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Tesla on Top Gear

Posted: Tue, 16 Dec 2008, 18:03
by Mark T
The 'Testosterone Trio' at Top Gear have put the Tesla to the test.
Starts out well but as you might expect ends up getting a bagging.
But I think it shows great potential. I'd take one.
Mark

Tesla on Top Gear

Posted: Tue, 16 Dec 2008, 19:04
by Striker
To be fair, most cars on that show receive a bagging.

I've seen more scathing reviews on BMWs, and they claim to like those..

--Striker.

Tesla on Top Gear

Posted: Wed, 17 Dec 2008, 06:15
by Thalass
Damnit. I was going to link to this! And I went and downloaded the whole episode to see it... haha.


I just about karked it when I heard Clarkson was going to drive the Tesla. I liked it over all, though. The negative bits are logical, not blatant bagging like the australian top gear would have done. Constant raving reviews would be worse in some ways. The faults are fixable, with a few generations of developement.

I think the Stig lap is something they should aim to be on top of! That'd show them!

Tesla on Top Gear

Posted: Wed, 17 Dec 2008, 06:21
by mjcrow
Considering they had 2 of them and they BOTH broke down, I think they were very forgiving. Did you notice Jeremy had the EV smile when he accelerated away from the Lotus :)

He also commented during the Stigs lap that it's a pity you can't get it to sound like a v8...well actually you can, as long as you buy the BRABUS version.

Tesla on Top Gear

Posted: Wed, 17 Dec 2008, 19:31
by moemoke
Great Video, Only getting 50 miles out of it on their test track is OK
They only get 3mpg (miles per gallon) out of a Mitsu Evo when they fang it around the track. The Stig doing the same time as a Porche GT3 in the same conditions is awesome.
Not sure on Clarkson's comment,"in the real world it doesnt work" I dont think there test track is "the real world"
I think it was a very good test and they seem postive with the concept so lets hope Tesla can hold it together and build the cheaper version as planned.
The future of motoring that James eludes to is the Honda hydrogen car (you tube vid as well), makes no mention of how they make the hydrogen
(they use electricity)does seem a lot more complicated than pure BEV.

Tesla on Top Gear

Posted: Wed, 17 Dec 2008, 21:16
by I, Claudius
mjcrow wrote: Considering they had 2 of them and they BOTH broke down, I think they were very forgiving.


Tesla have released a different take on that here


FWIW, here's James May's puff-piece on the FCX that followed.


Tesla on Top Gear

Posted: Wed, 17 Dec 2008, 22:14
by acmotor
Congress should give the $48B to Tesla not GM, Ford or Chrysler. They are history. Ponder that if you will.

ICE used to be rated in hp, they changed it to kW, but NOW we have kW.

Tesla on Top Gear

Posted: Wed, 17 Dec 2008, 23:31
by woody
acmotor wrote: Congress should give the $48B to Tesla not GM, Ford or Chrysler. They are history. Ponder that if you will.

ICE used to be rated in hp, they changed it to kW, but NOW we have kW.
You forgot about PS!

And gross HP, net HP.

They used to measure the HP at the flywheel without the exhaust, water pump, fan etc. connected. Lies, damned lies, and marketing.

Marketing is still the same, reduce a product to 1 number. e.g. cameras->megapixels, cars->kilowatts or litres, computers->megasomethings

cheers,
Woody

Tesla on Top Gear

Posted: Thu, 18 Dec 2008, 01:56
by Thalass
KRuddy should have given Zeva their millions! Or, y'know, me. :p

Tesla on Top Gear

Posted: Thu, 18 Dec 2008, 06:41
by htial
I like the review...   ...Seemed quite fair and inline with all their reviews...    ...And seeing as I can't really afford any of the cars on Top Gear...   ...They could tell me that the car could get me a sordid night with Katie Holmes...   ...Still won't buy it...

Tesla on Top Gear

Posted: Thu, 18 Dec 2008, 07:37
by zeva
Thalass wrote: KRuddy should have given Zeva their millions! Or, y'know, me. :p

Yeah I agree.

Tell you what, let's just split it 50:50 Image

Tesla on Top Gear

Posted: Thu, 18 Dec 2008, 18:52
by roddilkes
.

Tesla on Top Gear

Posted: Thu, 18 Dec 2008, 23:45
by acmotor
Yes, I think the hydrogen fuel cell bus trial in Perth et. al. demonstated the point that fuel cells are a complication and efficiency loss that leave those technically minded wondering why bother, just go BEV. An man, if you spent as much on batteries as they did on fuel cells you could have bought the whole lithium battery factory and research team ! Or Nickle salt Zebra batteries.

Unfortunately I think there is too much commercial interest and politics tied up in fuel cells for the world to consider them in their actual technical viability.
The system can retain service stations and tax on fuel with hydrogen !

BTW, The fuel cell busses in Perth were in fact EVs with a "fuel cell" battery.
Did that point get any airplay ?
Many people just considered LPG / CNG / Hydrogen in the same boat going into an ICE.

The HFC busses were fairly basic EVs from the drive system point of view.

I prefer the Tindo

What a shame the Perth trial was not done with Lithium batteries. But then it would not have been a trial, just a practical solution !

But back to the Tesla on TG ...... I was quite happy with the look on JC's face when the EV did its thing down the track. The times they are a changing ! Image

Tesla on Top Gear

Posted: Fri, 19 Dec 2008, 07:05
by AMPrentice
Im sick of the 3 stooges both the Oz and Pom versions.
Fool cells are are just that and their support for them
shows their true colors just a bunch of rednecks catering
for dumb sheep and the greedy.

Tesla on Top Gear

Posted: Wed, 24 Dec 2008, 23:28
by juk
roddilkes wrote: What they didn't say is that if Captain Slow had driven the Honda FCX around the test track like Clarkson it would probably only do 40 miles.
I am not convinced that fuel cell vehicles are better than battery vehicles.

Rod.


Rod, i think you're quite generous there. What is the throttle response of a fuel cell?? They do not tell you that they have lithium batteries in between the fuel cell and the motor. They hinted at it when they said that the car tells you when it's ready to drive. I doubt that the FCX would even survive one hot lap.

If the tesla's mileage can go from 225 to 50, then the fuel cell would have to supply 4.5 times as much current as it normally would based on the same ratio. Taking into account how poor the Prius's mileage was on their test track since it wasn't designed for that duty, i think you'd find that the FCX would have to wait for the fuel cell to recharge the batteries within the first lap.

Tesla on Top Gear

Posted: Thu, 01 Jan 2009, 20:08
by Thalass
Hey Tuarn, I've been thinking about BEV busses and how you'd charge them at bus stops. Most people suggest in-ground induction charging, but that isn't very efficient. The solution is easier: Tram style overhead wires (or rails). They would only have to run the length of the bus stop, (or strung up around the bus station), and perhaps longer uphill stretches of road like going up great eastern highway eastbound at the hills to assist.

It'd only have to be major stops (outside a shopping centre, perhaps) and proper bus stations - as well as hills. So timetables wouldn't be affected, I think. And most bus routes would allow for a few minutes topup along the way.


Tesla on Top Gear

Posted: Fri, 02 Jan 2009, 04:57
by acmotor
Maybe even a combination of Ebus using the electric rail infrastructure and the branching off to adjacent suburbs on battery with recharge at stops / depot ?

This is often the hard one to balance... rail being fast and priority to get people out of town but not having the flexibility to go to where people actually live. Busses or even mini busses are a lot better at that but struggle with the traffic and stop/starts to get clear of town.

Sorry, That's off topic.

I want a Tesla ! there you go, back on topic ! Image

Tesla on Top Gear

Posted: Fri, 02 Jan 2009, 06:17
by woody
RUF is one idea which is reasonably well thought out:
A network of monorail tracks which private cars and public buses are compatible with.
My favourite bits:
* you only need enough EV range to get from your house to the nearest onramp
* on the monorail you're computer driven at up to 150mph
* when you get to town, you leave your EV on the rail and the system drives it away to park somewhere to charge
* the buses have private seats with your own door - public transport with personal space!

Downside is that it would be really tricky to convert a car to be RUF compatible


Tesla on Top Gear

Posted: Fri, 02 Jan 2009, 21:15
by Thalass
I think the way the busses and trains are set up (at least in the northern suburbs around the freeway) is similar to how you describe, Tuarn. It probably wouldn't be viable to have busses running on the rail lines inbetween trains. As you said; trains are designed to go long distances quickly, whereas busses meander around from train station to train station with lots of stops. I think that is the good way to do it, but with BEV busses. Especially if the power comes from the train lines (at least in the stations).

What is needed is more rail lines to the north and south of midland, and to the west of the main north-south freeways. (A loop from joondalup to midland via ellenbrook, and from midland to rockingham or mandurah via armidale. And then possibly more spokes from the city, too. And BEV busses between the train stations.


Oh, and the day Tesla make an off road car, I'll be first in line! (Take the hint, damnit Subaru!) :P

Tesla on Top Gear

Posted: Wed, 07 Jan 2009, 03:44
by bga
Hi all,
Cool bus. How come Adelaide gets a solar bus (suatainable) and WA got a Hydrogen bus (unsustainable and defunct).

Fool cells... Think of these as a perfect diversion. It'll take so long to make anything happen that business as usual can be conducted for a long time yet. I've always though that H2 only makes sense if it's sourced from hydrocarbons. (Did somebody whisper Exxxxxon?)

back on subject...

I thought the tesla on top gear shows what happens when the 3 stooges come up against something that they're not familiar with.

I'm surprised that tesla let them do that without
1) preparing the car for a race track.
2) requiring that they be interviewed so that the vehicle could be properly introduced and silly expectations quashed.

Overall, I thought that the car performed very well, except for the tyres complaining on every corner and the amount of body roll.

I was surprised that the large battery block in the car is so high. It's no wonder that cornering suffers.

I like the Tango with the heavy batteries in the floor and truly amazing cornering for a 1m wide vehicle.

In a recent(ish) New Scientist, Low Rolling Resistance tyres versus their coefficient of friction was discussed and the conclusion was that LRR implies slippery with longer braking distances.

I think that the tesla is an extreme in battery capacity. The penalty being a heavy battery and much more range than is normally needed, not that I'd complain.
The thought here is with affordability and possibly overall weight. This may be better served by being a smaller battery and part hybrid so that the extreme range requirement can be addressed by a rarely used fuel motor.

Fuel motors are really not that evil if they are being used in a sparing, sustainable fashion. A proper industrial-strength series hybrid would only need a tiny motor, say 15kW. The Aptera shows a good solution. Car meets plastic airplane - I think that they've addressed all the basics. the strut front wheels look a bit vulnerable, though. They're moving rapidly to having a 'buy' button on their website.

Cheers
BGA


Tesla on Top Gear

Posted: Wed, 07 Jan 2009, 07:52
by antiscab
Hi BGA,

a 15kw motor and generator isnt particularly small or light.
i once came across an aviation alternator rated to 20kw at 8000rpm input.
it weighed 24kg (this is light for this size alternator, as you would expect from an aircraft).
to run this alternator, without gearing you would need a 400cc motorbike engine (since you are limited to 8000rpm).
with fuel tank and everything else required, that adds another 40kg.

then you need to add fuel. 5kg of fuel gets you 100km range.
so for an extra 70kg in dead weight you are *always* carrying around, you get 100km extra range.

of course if you were to put it in a trailer, and only use the trailer when need be, then fair enough.

Matt

Tesla on Top Gear

Posted: Wed, 07 Jan 2009, 15:16
by Rattrap
That Tango EV is possibly the most ugly car i have ever seen!