The Tesla battery swap is the hoax of the year

What California says about zero-emission vehicles, and why Tesla is committing fraud

Image representing Tesla Motors as depicted in...

Image via CrunchBase

Guest essay by Alberto Zaragoza Comendador

I didn’t create this essay because I dislike electric vehicles. While I’m skeptical of their potential, I have nothing against EVs per se.

Sure, electric cars enjoy a laundry list of incentives. I totally disagree with these policies, but a bajillion people have already pointed out why electric car subsidies are dumb. I cannot add much value there, and EV advocates will argue they’re doing nothing illegal anyway.

The fundamental reason this blog exists is to tell the world about the fraud Tesla is committing. This has resulted in tens of millions dollars’ worth of fraudulent carbon credits being received by the company, and if nothing is done the tally will get into the hundreds of millions. This blog exists not to tell people about EV incentives, but about the illegal incentives a particular EV company is getting. I covered much of the same ground in my first post, but here I’ll give California’s own regulations as sources.

You don’t have to take my word for it.

Click here and go to slide 13. It shows how many Zero Emission Vehicle credits a car gets. ZEVs are divided into seven categories:

· Type 0: less than 50 miles, 1 credit

· Type I: 50-75 miles, 2 credits

· Type I.5: 75-100 miles, 2.5 credits

· Type II: 100-200 miles, 3 credits

· Type III: 200+ miles, 4 credits. (Also: 100+ miles with fast refuelling).

· Type IV: 200+ miles with fast refuelling, 5 credits

· Type V: 300+ miles with fast refuelling, 7 credits

This system is regulated by the California Air Resources Board. And by “fast refuelling” they mean refuelling to 95% of capacity within 10 minutes (Type III) or 15 minutes (Types IV and V). This is impossible for batteries, so it could only be done with hydrogen. Indeed, you’ll hear complaints that the regulations are designed to favor hydrogen over batteries. Well, tell California.

English: Tesla Model S Prototype at the 2009 F...

English: Tesla Model S Prototype at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Model S is clearly a Type III vehicle: it gets between 200 and 300 miles, but even in the fastest Superchargers it needs about one hour to reach 95% of battery capacity. Tesla itself quotes 75 minutes for 100% charging. So it gets 4 credits per car…or at least it should. Let’s go back to 2012.

As of June 15, the 85KWh version (called S3 here) was considered a Type III vehicle. But by October 12 it had morphed into a Type V. So the upgrade happened at some point between these two dates. Presumably, the 60KWh version was also upgraded in the same time frame. Here is a December 20 confirmation that both versions had been upgraded, showing how the 60KWh model went from Type III to Type IV. And here is an restatement in April 2013 of basically the same things, but including the cancelled 40KWh version. (CARB doesn’t seem very well organized).

In any case, production of the Model S only ramped up in the last quarter of 2012, so the vast majority of them qualified under the new classification. The real question is, why the upgrade?

Because of the battery swap. If the car can exchange batteries in 90 seconds, then it’s totally crushing the 15-minute requirement established by the California Air Resources Board. Notice that, even in this case, the 85KWh version still doesn’t meet the range requirement to be a Type V vehicle, as it’s rated by the EPA at 265 miles. So it would be stuck at 5 credits. It seems CARB bent the rules a little, or perhaps they concluded that the superb refuelling time “offset” a deficiency in range. In any case it’s no reason for alarm.

What is a reason for alarm is that CARB gave Tesla these extra credits before any battery swap station had been built. In fact, it happened about nine months before the feature was publicly demonstrated (June 2013). I’ve emailed CARB officials and Tesla twice, to find out more about this issue. Did Tesla demo the battery swap to CARB officials? If so, when and where? Did Tesla bring its own car, or does CARB have one for testing purposes? Did CARB officials check and drive the car before, during and after the swap?

They haven’t answered.

By May, the battery swap was becoming a problem: CARB openly discussed removing it from the fast refuelling category. Perhaps other carmakers were complaining to CARB that Tesla was getting credits for a feature nobody could use. In any case, the agency deferred a decision to October.

In June, after weeks of teasing, Tesla demonstrated the 90-second, fully automated battery swap in public. It was their biggest event this year. Or ever: I can’t remember any other Tesla event with such a level of media coverage.

And guess what, the company brought its own cars and didn’t let anybody near them. The official video doesn’t even show what’s happening under the car.

By August, Tesla forum users were openly calling the feature a stunt. You see, some Model S owners have already put their battery warranties to use, and the battery change takes three or four hours, and a few workers. It’s impossible to automate it, let alone to do so in 90 seconds. This somehow went unnoticed for the Internet.

The company itself hasn’t made a statement about the swap feature for several months. And looking at their SEC filings, there is exactly one reference to this swapping thing.

our capability to rapidly swap out the Model S battery pack and the development of specialized public facilities to perform such swapping, which do not currently exist;

I won’t give you a link, because the exact same sentence has been appearing in every earnings report for a couple years. No estimates of how much the swap stations could cost, or when they could open, or what areas they could serve, or any meaningful information.
The writing was in the wall all this time. Tesla never intended to build the “specialized public facilities to perform such swapping”.

October came, CARB met, and the same issue came up: does a battery swap qualify as fast refuelling? See slide 12:

Some [battery electric vehicles] have been qualifying under the fast refueling definition by means of battery exchange. However, it has not been publically demonstrated that battery exchanges have occurred on the vehicles earning credits. Though staff does recognize the potential for a battery exchange to help market the vehicle, other vehicles earning Type IV and V ZEV credit depend on fast refueling for vehicle operation and success. Staff is proposing to remove battery exchange from qualifying under the fast refueling definition, starting in 2015 model year.

Translation: we know Tesla is a scammer, but we don’t want them to go bankrupt so we’ll let them milk the battery swap cow for another couple years.

As it happens, starting in 2018 all ZEV credits will be awarded on range alone, not on refuelling time (see slide 66). This means the battery swap will no longer give Tesla any extra credits. So if CARB actually takes action in 2015, Tesla could only exploit this loophole for two or three years, out of five in total. Maybe the scam could stop before reaching $200 million. Phew! Good to see those regulators doing their job.

Tesla has reported sales of the 85KWh version at 70-90% of the total. Remember this version was upgraded from four ZEV credits to seven, and the other version from four to five. If that’s the case, then 35-40% of all ZEV credits they earn in California come because of the battery swap. Only Tesla knows how much they’ve made off these credits, but over the last four quarters their ZEV revenue has been $170M. Do the math.

And that doesn’t include figures for the current quarter. Or credits they have earned but haven’t sold yet. If you check the document I just linked to, but in slide 68, you’ll see that all credits can be “banked” (stockpiled) without penalty. Presumably, this could only change starting in 2018 when the ZEV program will revamped. So even if the market is weak one quarter, they can make it up the next.

Here you can see the transfers of ZEV credits among carmakers. It seems Tesla has sold 1,311.52 “credits” from October 2012 to September 2013, which is precisely the period we’re interested in, and they still have 276.080 left. But this is a different measure of credits (grams per mile of non-methane organic gases, and I don’t understand it either). To arrive at the ZEV number, you have to divide them by the number that appears at the bottom of the website, which for this period is 0.035. So Tesla has sold 37,472 credits, and they still have 7,888 in balance. This suggests their total ZEV credits earned for the period were 45,360, so they’ve sold 82% and kept the rest.

Note: this is not an audit. There is surely something I’m missing – credits transferred among states, carried over from previous periods, etc. So this is only an approximation. I suspect their credit generation in California was greater (it has provided 40-50% of their car sales), but they transferred those credits to other states. Also: the number of ZEV credits “generated” by other electric cars cannot be reliably calculated, because the big carmakers sell a lot of low-emission vehicles and they can also generate ZEV credits with those.

Still, we’re probably looking at $150 million in sales of California credits over this period, of which $60 million correspond to the battery swap. Including credits they haven’t sold yet, the respective figures grow by $30 and $12 million.

The bottom line is that ZEV credits are a key source of “revenue” for Tesla. Pure profit, in fact. And they will remain so for the foreseeable future.

And this has serious implications for entire ZEV program. Tesla “produced” about 45,000 ZEV credits in the state from October 12 to September 13. (For calendar 2013, the figure would be higher). Of this amount, about 18,000 (40%) were fraudulent. The only other electric car selling in decent amounts is the Nissan Leaf, but it only gets three credits per car and sells less than the Tesla. Everybody else is a rounding error, and the system as a whole probably produced less than 60,000 credits.

So if 40% of the credits Tesla gets are fraudulent, that’s 30% of the entire California market. In fact, it’s probably more than 20% of the entire US market. And that’s assuming the rest of the system is clean.

In short, the ZEV mandate is a joke.

So here we are, fifteen months after Tesla started getting carbon credits for the battery swap. The company has already cashed out, probably for more than $60 million. Without building a single swap station, or demonstrating the feature in consumer cars, or bothering to provide any sort of explanation.

I have emailed them, written on their Facebook page, posted in their forum. Their only “reaction” was to kinda make the battery swap disappear from their website. It’s impossible to get an actual response from the company.

Tesla intends to shut up its way out of this mess.

The question is, how could a scam so brazen go unnoticed for so long? I think other carmakers probably don’t want to get into trouble with California officials. So they’ve been lobbying to put an end to the special treatment Tesla gets, but they haven’t publicly denounced the situation or filed a lawsuit.

And for industry outsiders, well, the idea that the whole battery swap thing could be a fake is just surreal. How could Tesla sink that low?

The Tesla battery swap is the hoax of the year.

143 thoughts on “The Tesla battery swap is the hoax of the year

  1. More evidence, inter alia, of how electric cars function as an upward redistribution of wealth from poorer to richer – middle-class taxpayers pay the subsidies that let rich celebs and others buy electric cars at prices far less than their actual cost (factoring in production, recharging facilities and disposal of hazmat components).

  2. I remember when Tesla gave their swapping emo. They also said that each swap would cost an
    amount that I figured would be twice as expensive as using gasoline. Only in California do they consider a car that is responsible for marginally less emissions to be “zero emission.” I
    would argue that point in disallowing ZEV credits.

  3. How much of their gross revenue is directly associated with some sort of government subsidy program again?

    just sayin big $$$$$$$

  4. Is it too late to suggest we just give California back to the Spaniards? True, we would lose around 80% of our “naked people doing things that would startle a caribou into sterility” industry, but I think it’s worth the risk. Plus, we still have Florida.

  5. Stark Dickflüssig says:
    December 21, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    Great minds in the same gutter. I’m not sure if I should be proud or ashamed. I’m too old to be ashamed so I’m going with….

    At least the movie makers have to earn their money through actual sales.

  6. Here’s the video of the battery swap.. ( I love the OMG exclamation by the woman…)

    http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=tesla+battery+swap&go=&qs=ds&form=VBREQY#view=detail&mid=946715E3DAC1DF3E7E2B946715E3DAC1DF3E7E2B

    The chassis and battery…

    http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=tesla+battery+swap&go=&qs=ds&form=VBREQY#view=detail&mid=F7551FE8E5F1CFACCAFFF7551FE8E5F1CFACCAFF

    From an engineering perspective, a rapid battery swap should be possible, but it sure doesn’t look to me like this system is readily suitable.

  7. If true, who is entitled to sue Tesla under California law? Can the state be sued for skipping verification of claims and wasting taxpayers’ money?

  8. DJ says:
    December 21, 2013 at 5:30 pm
    “Here’s the video of the battery swap.. ( I love the OMG exclamation by the woman…)”

    So, two possibilities
    a) They hired Penn&Teller for that.
    b) the battery hangs UNDER the steal beams. Hmmm….

    I go with a).

    [“steal beams” ?? 8<) .. Mod]

  9. Maybe the problem is that they can’t get the extra batteries they would need for the swap stations. I understand that they are selling every battery they can get.

  10. Don’t people buy the Tesla for the feel good buzz? If someone bought it because of the features it does not actually have then they can claim to have been induced to part with money under false pretenses and or “uttering”.

    California can ask for the money back on the same grounds.

  11. Why the excitement?
    Tesla lobbied and bamboozled the regulators more effectively than its competitors. That is SOP in the USA today, just ask about bank regulation if you need a more substantial illustration.

  12. The click here go to slide 13 does not link to a ppt or ‘slided’ document but links to a zev standards document.

  13. One more green energy scam supported by big control government… Follow the redistribution of wealth by liberals…

    This doesn’t surprise me… at all…

  14. OK, so it’s a fraud, but we all knew that.
    Still, if I could pull up at the red-carpet and drop Scarlett Johansson off, I’d buy one.
    If I had the money.

  15. I am not sure why the author is implying the battery swap is some sort of fake because it takes a few hours in the shop. Sure, looks like there or a lot of bolts to undo, you have to put it up on the rack, and somehow support a damned heavy battery when it’s undone – seems like it might take an hour or so without specialized equipment.

    But it seems that Tesla’s built a specialized rig that removes all of the bolts at once, lowers the battery out, shuffles in another one, raises it back into place, and then replaces and tightens all of the bolts at once. That’s not exactly rocket science, and it’s pretty believable to me that it could switch out a battery in 90 seconds.

    Hell, I betcha with trained staff and a few specialized pieces of equipment, you could get a manual replacement down to under 15 minutes and meet the CARB requirement.

  16. I suspect that demonstration of the battery swap system is a demonstration of the concept of a battery swap system.

    The next question to ask is: “What happens to the depleted battery?”

    So let’s try a little “Scale to a real population” test.

    At a popular local filling station, there are 16 bowsers, with an average filling time of about 6 minutes for a diesel/petrol car. i.e. 10 vehicles/hour/bowser or 160 for the whole station in an hour.

    If the vehicles were all Tesla-like EV that’d translate to the station having 160 batteries to store and to recharge/test at the end of the per hour of operation.

    “No problem” ?? If the 85kWh batteries are recharged at 1C, they will take about an hour to recharge, with each charger drawing over 90kW off the grid. i.e. the whole station would be humming with an electricity consumption of 14.4 MW, just to run the chargers. (14,400kW) Adding in the “robots” to change batteries, conveyor systems, cooling systems to temperature-condition the batteries down for charging and removing the heat produced during charging, it could easily be 16 MW. Probably 1000 times more than what they’d be drawing off the grid now.

    Where are all the batteries going to be charged? Obviously, a facility will have to be built to accommodate the automated, battery handling and charging system. They’ll have to be automated to cope with that rate as the pay rate of human HV-DC technicians is proportional to the risks of the job.

    There’s not just the electrical risk, but we’ve already seen what happens when Tesla batteries are inadvertantly punctured by a conductive object. There’s a significant fire risk and associated with the, the toxic hazard of fumes from the fire. Each battery will probably have to be handled inside a “cell” of sorts to guard against the spread of fire and fumes while in the facility.

    And once charged, the battery would have to remain in that cell while it’s warehoused (with a trickle-charge and condition monitoring).

    I can’t imagine such a facility being built for less than $10 million. Any takers?
    RoI (before operational overheads) at $10 flat fee per swap is 6250 operational hours at peak turnover rates. Before operational overheads.

    Given the limited range of EV with only 85kWh battery (it’s like giving a full-sized car a fuel tank that’ll only hold 10 litres), there will have to be 2 to 3 times as many battery swap and charge facilities as existing filling stations. All of them well-connected to the electricity grid or their own nuclear power plant. ;-)

    And who’ll be paying for the upgrade of the grid and the power stations? A few square metres of PV on the roof aren’t going to cut it.

  17. BTW: In order to make an automated system work quickly, its operating environment must be perfect.

    That includes the underside of the car. Nice and clean. No buildup of mud, muck, bitumen, salts, bits of dead animals stuck in exactly the wrong place, … No corrosion on the screws, … No cross-threaded screws from a previous installation …

    So the swap cycle time is going to be more than just the 90 seconds to do the nominal task; there’ll be a need to clean and inspect before the actual swap and, in the lands of prima iuris, a post-swap inspection.

    A real car, coming out of a real traffic environment, is far from clean underneath. That’s probably a surprise to far too many people.

    Even in factories where assembly is automated and the parts are nominally perfect, there are screw-up.

  18. Richard Parker says:
    December 21, 2013 at 7:19 pm
    “Now I know why Tesla has been the only EV company reporting profits.”

    But only just barely. Expected P/E for next quarter is 259. They’re a hype-based operation like Amazon.

  19. You see, some Model S owners have already put their battery warranties to use, and the battery change takes three or four hours, and a few workers. It’s impossible to automate it, let alone to do so in 90 seconds.

    Ha!

  20. Here’s a photograph of the battery when I was visiting the San Jose dealership. I was eating at an incredible Indian restaurant close by and thought I would stop in to snap a few photos. I wondered how difficult it would be to change?

  21. No bent screws or washers, no bent or dented underbodies or sheet metal, no “drooping” tires or mis-aligned frames.

    Aligning the car to the underbody + receiver + recharger-battery-carrier + nut-driver wrenches?

    Not as easy as it seems, unless each “bay” (the six “bowsers” mentioned above in the king’s English) has its own automated drive-off-drive-on ramp and wheel guide – the station would need either an underbody guide+find+align-laser to car + move the frame, or somehow “lock” the car to the underbody frame like they do on the rigidly-attached assembly line conveyors.

    (And, how do you assemble a multi-car-company good-for-all recharge station? )

  22. What’s all the fuss about? I strongly recommend that they place small wind turbines at strategic places over the car’s exterior. Then as the car moves forwards through the air, the wind turbines will generate sufficient electricity to recharge the batteries.

  23. Berényi Péter says:
    December 21, 2013 at 5:36 pm
    If true, who is entitled to sue Tesla under California law? Can the state be sued for skipping verification of claims and wasting taxpayers’ money?
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    ROTFL.

    The VERY definition of government is “skipping verification of claims and wasting taxpayers’ money”; reference:
    o Bank regulation
    o social security pension accruals
    o Obamacare
    o primary & secondary public schools
    o etc, etc, etc

  24. You’re being way too public about who you are, and where you can be found. I wish we lived in a world where we didn’t have to think of such things, but we don’t.

    You should change your car, change your location, change your driving routes daily, and make sure only a handful of very trusted people know how to reach you.

    I wish I was joking.

  25. Dear Alberto, you speak of all the “laundry list of incentives for electric cars” excuse me but what about the countless government incentives that the oil and gas have been enjoying from this country alone for decades. American tax payers have been spending literally billions each year alone on what our country calls “Energy Security” (Please look this up yourself) American tax payers pay for the US Navy, Marines, Airforce to patrol the Middle East to keep the oil lanes safe for tankers to keep the oil flowing. Yes we pay for all of that including billions each year of tax cut for these same companies. Over decades this amount trillions of American tax payer dollars just for “Energy Security” alone. Many independent studies have been done on this issue and stated gas now would be in the neighborhood of $15 a gallon if we had to pay at the pump for all the support we give each year to the gas and oil companies.
    And yes I do believe in all the solid science behind “Global Warming” In addition, investments in alternative energy are a good investment for our future. Companies like Tesla are still at the very early stages of innovating the future of clean transportation. And yes entreprenures like Elon Musk should be admired and respected. I was shocked to see two weeks ago on Fox News the commentators seemed to be thrilled that a Tesla stock had taken a hit because of the fire. They seem to be rooting for the demise of this American company. What is that all about? I thought Fox News admired entreprenures? I thought they love new high paying American manufacturing jobs? Apparently not when it comes to green energy. Right now China (like so many other countries) is chocking on its own smog and is fertile ground for this new technology. Yes, believe it or not, we can make a lot of money in this new technology. We need to keep moving forward!

  26. Peggy Noonan for the WSJ wrote of “The Most Memorable Words of 2013”.

    “Botched” is her choice for that word, specifically when used as the botched rollout of ObamaCare.
    The sentence of the year is very famous. “If you like your health-care plan, you can keep it,”

    Now we have the hoax of the year – “Tesla”

    Ms. Noonan, Daniel Henninger, or Holman Jenkins (all WSJ op-ed types) might take up this issue. But it is already known. That nothing is done about it has to do with the hoaxes in the CA governor’s mansion and the US White House. That’s depressing.

  27. Charles you are a genius, I have access to massive govnt funding, lets get Gore and Suzuki on board and get rich.

  28. I’m surprised no one has questioned: who owns the swapped battery packs. You buy a new tesla, pristine and very expensive battery pack included, You go on a trip, you need to stop for a fast swap recharge, would you do that? Are you going to accept an unknown aged battery pack of questionable quality to be swapped into your brand new tesla? Do you have to buy two or more battery packs and have them charged and stored for your personal use at specific ‘stations’? Don’t see how this would ever be feasible or am imagining how this is supposed to work.

  29. David Dowell says:
    December 21, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    There are almost too many lies, exaggerations, and false propaganda in your short reply to respond to each – and, such as your assumption that much of the military costs are to “fund” (or are spent because of) oil – almost all go directly into international politics. Oil has a role, a prominent role in international politics of course, because the world’s economies run on oil, electricity, and coal and nuclear. And wood when YOU deny people a quality life and when YOU encourage and develop policies deliberately intended to kill millions, and harm billions more by deliberately denying them inexpensive and reliable energy.

    In that, I cannot forgive you for the deaths and harm you are encouraging by your CAGW religion.

    Nonetheless, let’s look quickly at a few other parts of that “price” you are so wrong about.

    1. When oil is 100.00 per barrel, as it is roughly right now, how much is spent to pull it up out of the ground, ship it to the port or pipeline, and get it to the refinery? How much of that 100.00 per barrel is spent on tax, title, and personnel, and maintenance, equipment, tools, and operations” of the companies providing the world’s transportation needs?

    2. How much of that 100.00 per barrel goes directly to the government of the producing country as taxes, fees, and government charges and tariffs? If it is a US driller, how much goes to the federal, state and local governments, and how much goes to the owner of the well? (I KNOW you are trying to claim that the oil depletion allowance is not a “tax credit” similar to millions of other companies receiving as part of their standard financial system depreciation, but we will leave that lie to the Occupy fellows, the ABCNNBCBS enablers, and their White House liars. Rather you are trying to maintain the lie that the oil depletion allowance is a “subsidy” to the oil companies – but, then again, that is what you have been trained to repeat.)

    Hint: Some 80.00 dollars of that 100.00 goes directly to government pockets.

    3. So, we have paid 100.00 per barrel for the raw oil, but have not refined it nor have it delivered to the end user. Now, in the US due to deliberate democrat policies to increase energy prices and maintain this recession they began back in 2007 with Pelosi’s first budget submittable to Bush, the price of gasoline at the pump is just under 4.00 per gallon. European prices are higher – because taxes in Europe are higher still.

    So, at 4.00 per gallon, how much of that gallon goes to the government in USER-PAID taxes of all types? Include, of course, the 14% of all wages paid that goes to Social Security, Medicare, direct income taxes, corporate income taxes (now 50% of profits!), sale tax (7% of the sales), gasoline highway tax, disposal and environmental taxes on the tires, oil itself, maintenance fees, property taxes on the refinery AND distributor AND gas station AND warehouses AND parking lots AND …, Include license plate taxes for the trucks delivering the oil, trailer inspections and fees ……

  30. For even faster refueling, simply call your valet and arrange to have him meet you near the end of your range with the flatbed truck with the spare EV. Or just the spare car.

  31. If it is too difficult and expensive to switch out the battery pack from under the car, then I repeat this suggestion I made April 10, 2013 in “Is the Tesla Model S Green?”:

    To that I have a Solution: U-Haul Battery Pack Trailers !!!

    Instead of waiting for an hour for a recharge, you check in one trailer and get another. Once you get good at it and are a customer in good standing, It ought not take more than 10 minutes. There will probably be a Full Service Lane, too. It also eliminates lots of problems with battery packs that get old. Of course, the theft risk of towing a $20,000 lithium-ion battery trailer will give you pause. And there is the chance that a charged trailer isn’t available when you drop one off.

    Finally, there is that pesky image of a Tesla pulling a U-Haul, even if it has racing stripes. I won’t be able to look at a Tesla without the mental picture of it pulling that trailer. :-)

  32. kind of related. i do wonder what will happen when all the solar in my state of Queensland, Australia, that is connected to the grid reaches use-by date around the same time!

    20 Dec: Scientific American: A Solar Boom So Successful, It’s Been Halted
    Photovoltaics proved so successful in Hawaii that the local utility, HECO, has instituted policies to block further expansion
    By Anne C. Mulkern and ClimateWire
    Hawaiian Electric Co., or HECO, in September told solar contractors on Oahu that the island’s solar boom is creating problems. On many circuits, the utility said, there’s so much solar energy that it poses a threat to the system and a safety issue. Studies are needed on whether grid upgrades are necessary. If they are, residents adding solar must foot the bill. And starting immediately, contractors and residents would need permission to connect most small rooftop systems to the grid…
    “We can’t allow circuits to become dangerous,” said Peter Rosegg, a utility spokesman. “We can’t allow circuits to become unreliable because there’s too much PV on those circuits.”…

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=a-solar-boom-so-successfull-its-been-halted

  33. All:

    Thinking of the “swift battery charge” demonstration – NEVER repeated elsewhere, nor outside that hall – ….

    NASCAR has many rules, many regulations about fuel tanks, carburetors, restrictors, bore sizes etc. The NASCAR inspectors and administrators take their jobs very seriously, and very seriously inspect cars before and after races and time trials and before the season. But … The NASCAR drivers and NASCAR lead mechanics – following perhaps too closely to their highly illegal bootlegger roots – take those same regulations not-perhaps-as-dutifully-as-they-should.

    Tales are made of Smokey Yaunik being suspected of using too much fuel during a race (so he would not need as many pit stops as his rival teams and so finish faster) .. Inspected after the race, nothing was found illegal, but the fuel system, tank and all fill lines had been removed for the inspection. Smokey started the car anyway, drove it out of the inspection shop, around the track and all the way back to the his own shop. “Empty” the whole way.

    Now, we’ve seen above the “battery” casing ABOVE the battery – which cannot be unbolted from the chassis – it IS the entire chassis below the seats and bedpan between motor and drive …. It (that frame) cannot be removed. So, from below, how many bolts and how are everything tied together? The video was careful NOT to show any details, only the outside casing rising from below. Up from a 30 inch high stage?

  34. What does not make sense in the whole process is that you are not going to drive away a leave your $18k battery pack for someone else.

    This would immediately loose you your guarantee on your $18k investment. You now have a second hand battery pack of unknown origin.

    As the general stock of batteries ages, you risk picking up a weak unit for your brand new Tesla at the first “refill”.

    The demo, however irrelevant to real life filling station scenarios, seems technically feasible so I doubt it’s a fraud in that sense.

    However, since this does not currently exist, even at one single location in the world for customer use, it DOES NOT EXIST. It does not merit a single ZEV point , ever.

    It is a scam which has been approved and regulated by CARB.

    The ordinary man in the street is subsidising rich men’s toys.

    Alberto does well to point out this is recognised by CARB but they just kicked it down the road. So it’s not oversight.

  35. It just irks me when kilowatt hour is written as KWh while the correct version is kWh.
    Other than that, great article!

  36. ABRACADABRA
    Battery swapping to combat human caused climate change.
    An inexistent solution to an inexistent problem.

  37. ABRACADABRA PART II
    Imaginary things paid for with real money.

    PS In Romania during the darkest dictatorship years, I saw a classic century year old comedy about elections. It was all play EXCEPT for the banquet scene in which there was very real and plentiful food.

    The message was very clear, and escaped censorship.
    The rest may be comedy, but the money is for real.

    The director became a star of the American theater, a decade later…

  38. It bears to remember that absent the carbon credit sales Tesla would not be profitable, which has massive impact on stock price and their ability to get loans. The SEC should be put on this trail and investigate.

  39. charles nelson says:
    December 21, 2013 at 8:07 pm
    What’s all the fuss about? I strongly recommend that they place small wind turbines at strategic places over the car’s exterior. Then as the car moves forwards through the air, the wind turbines will generate sufficient electricity to recharge the batteries.

    A member of the Swedish Parliament actually suggested that very thing at a paliamentary hearing on energy policy. Which gives you a clue why H. L. Mencken thought that “ignorant politician” was a tautological statement.

  40. In the UK what is described in the head posting, if true, would be fraud by misrepresentation under S1, Fraud Act 2006, and any citizen would have the right to ask the police to investigate, whereupon prosecution would follow. I do not allege that what is described in the head posting is true, but, if it had happened in Britain, the posting, turned into a witness statement and backed up with the evidence, would certainly be enough to establish a prima facie case.

    I have long thought that the only way to bring this scare rapidly and inexpensively to an end is with a couple of fraud prosecutions, but the near-universal reaction among the skeptical community has been outright funk.

    One of those who exposed the hockey-stick scare will say privately that there is more than enough evidence to prosecute some of the parties to that particular scam (no names, no pack-drill): but when I asked him to let Mr. Cuccinelli know that he was disinclined to do anything, and he wanted to be paid several thousand dollars to draw up a one-page outline of what was fraudulent and why.

    Here are some further aspects of the scare that seem to me to raise questions about whether fraud has been committed. There was the alteration by the WMO of three tree-ring series to bring them into conformity with the thermometer record since 1960. There was the IPCC’s superimposition of four trend-lines on the global-temperature dataset to claim, falsely, that the rate of warming was accelerating and we were to blame. There was the assertion that 97.1% of 11,944 scientific papers supported the consensus that most of the global warming since 1950 was manmade, when the authors of the paper had themselves marked only 0.5% of the abstracts as endorsing that notion. There was Gleickgate. There was Climategate: dozens of frauds plainly evidenced. There was Al Gore’s publicly faking a CO2 experiment. But none of these frauds (except parts of Climategate involving Jones, who could and did plead ineptitude) was perpetrated in the United Kingdom, where the laws against fraud are tough.

    In the United States, even where the State (in its wider sense) refuses to do its duty because it does not like to prosecute those whose frauds reflect the prevailing political opinion (Communism at present, both in California and in DC), private citizens can sue in the civil court under the Racketeer-Influenced Criminal Organizations statute. They can personally collect millions in damages. But will any of the conservative think-tanks raise the cash for even one fraud prosecution, even in the plainest of cases?

    I, for one, will not be holding my breath. It is because skeptics have not been tough enough in fighting the Forces of Darkness that, until now, the F. of D. have prevailed, and the largest transfer of power and wealth in human history from the poor to the rich continues unabated.

  41. Spend any time working on cars yourself and you will know how this idea is going no where in pratice , in a perfect new state under ideal conditions perhaps . But after some time and some miles , no way .
    Still the guy behind Tesla has done every well out of it with lots of ego boosting from the greens , although its worth noting he often threatens to take people to court for not showing him enough ‘love’ in their car reviews he never actual does anything because there based on facts even if he does not like them.
    Range , price and recharging times are still the EV killers .

  42. The feasibility of windmills on your car depends on a lot of factors; unless it’s a very still day, the wind blows independently of the motion of your car, with the maximum trade-off of energy generated vs. drag occurring whenever you’re stationary at the traffic lights.

    On the interior of the car, you could also harvest low grade thermal energy from the cherry red glow of the driver’s embarrassment.

    (none of which mitigates the obvious assumption of the MP that the act of driving into the air generates free energy)

    Could still be tempted to drive this for a bit, just not under any bridges or when I’m in a hurry:

    http://www.wired.com/autopia/2012/07/wind-powered-car-upwind/

  43. OT, but in response to RACookPE1978 @ 11:49 Dec 21.

    Smokey Yaunik, the master of interpreting what the rule book said — or, perhaps, didn’t say..

    Trying to figure out NASCAR’s rule book threw me at first. Then, after studying the rules from all sides, I realized I’d made a colossal mistake. I’d been reading the rule book to see what it said. And all along what I should have been doing was finding out what it didn’t say. After I started doing that, racing became fun in a big way.

    From the legend himself; http://www.circletrack.com/ultimateracing/ctrp_0801_smokey_yunick/

    Pages 2 & 3 are a hoot!!!

  44. How is the Tesla a “zero emissions vehicle?” At least 60% of the electricity in California is generated from fossil fuel, is it not?

  45. Tesla is a publicly traded company. This kind of rule changing and interference by CARB, plus the battery swap trickery spells big trouble. Where is the SEC? Some people should be going to the Hoosegow.

  46. @ RACookPE1978. I am a great fan of the late Smokey Yaunick, his books on engine preparation although relating to O.H.V. V8 U.S. engines taught me much about basic engine building, I am involved in motorcycle race preparation both ancient and modern ( but no Harleys! ) I know that story well, apparently T.P.T.B. in NASCAR wanted to reduce the fuel tank capacity from 30 gallons U.S. to 23 gallons, but according to Smokey they never said anything about the fuel lines, he took advantage of this by running large diameter lines around the inside of the car, to the tune of a 7 gallon capacity! the story goes that he took the car to be inspected, the tech. people took the tank out of the car to measure it’s capacity and in typical Smokey style he fired up the car and drove it back to the pit lane. I don’t think his interpretation of the rules can be compared to the deliberate blind eye tactics of the socialist republic of California legislators.

  47. We are the the crowd making nice conversation in front of our own bank while it’s being robbed.
    And while the robbers openly grab the loot we do nothing. The robbers don’t rob the bank once, they rob it every day and we keep on chatting.
    Hasn’t the time arrived to make a citizens arrest?

  48. @ JK, 2:44am, Dec22.

    How is the Tesla a “zero emissions vehicle?” At least 60% of the electricity in California is generated from fossil fuel, is it not?

    Depends on what time – day or night?

    http://www.caiso.com/outlook/SystemStatus.html#SupplyandDemand

    At the time of posting (3:20am Calf time), Current System Demand – (Actual Demand at this point in time) – 21,641MW

    Renewables – Graph shows aggregated output from renewables connected to the ISO grid;

    Current Renewables – 1,503.46MW

    Very interesting on how much power is required when everyone is asleep! Never mind, wind and solar is answer to curbing AGW. /sarc.

  49. Excellent post. I’m holding off my EV purchase until Greentech Automotive gets its act together. I want a clown car with a twang to it.

  50. Top Gear tested a Tesla and did a performance test. It was not the slowest car round the test track, in the top half, but Clarkson flattened the batteries in 20mins and the car needed a new set, cost $40,000. Tesla were not pleased, It seems that these batteries cannot run to flat as recharging cannot be done then.
    What a great idea!!!!!!!

  51. I think EV’s are wonderful, but not wonderful enough that I should pay for someone else to buy and operate one. How many of these subsidies would we have if the pols voting them in had to fork over their cash instead of other peoples’ money?

  52. Can you drive a 85 Kwh auto at 60 mph on less than 25 HP?
    85 Kwh is equal to 113.6 HP Hours. 265/60= 4.41 hours.
    113.6/4.41 = 25.75 HP @60mph
    I’m using 2.5 Kwh (47amps @ 12 volts) to operate the instrumentation, lights, and electronics for 4.41 hours.

  53. …The feasibility of windmills on your car depends on a lot of factors; unless it’s a very still day, the wind blows independently of the motion of your car, with the maximum trade-off of energy generated vs. drag occurring whenever you’re stationary at the traffic lights…

    I have this plan for a VERY green car which I would like £2bn of taxpayers money to develop.

    It comprises a box on free-running wheels, with solar panels on top and windmills down the sides. These provide enough energy (when it is moving) to power a simple radio and a few LEDs.

    The car operates by attracting Green Party supporters to it, since it is painted green with energy-saving slogans written all over it. When they turn up, they are asked to support the fight against Big Oil by getting behind the car and pushing. For this they earn one Carbon Credit every five miles.

    Like most ‘alternative cars’ the range will not be great, but it will be appropriate for local use. The wide distribution of Green Party supporters means that the car already has the ability to travel longer distances than electric or hydrogen cars do (limited as they are by provision of filling/charging stations). It offers multiple benefits – transport, the ability for conventional energy users to make amends for their anti-social conduct, and provision of free outdoor exercise as required by the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport…

    I think that this could be the next big thing, and am already in discussions with government investors….

  54. The only reason Tesla even exists is based on a huge lie. They are carpetbaggers, profiting from the lie that what they are doing somehow is helping the environment, at the expense of taxpayers. They are already slimeballs, in other words, so adding in this ZEV fraud is hardly surprising. The whole carbon trading system is chock full of frauds and gaming the system which itself is based on a lie. It’s like asking bank robbers to continue robbing banks but at least be honest about it.

  55. Batteries are the weak point of smartphone and cars. It takes time, fast charging is not good for battery life, and the holding capacity diminishes with battery age, after approx 500 cycles it needs to be discarded.

    The silliest thing in this story is the detailed and bureaucratic approach of the California reglementation that was made before the technology could reach an approximation of maturity. In such case it is sure that development will take wrong orientations, as shown here

    Battery swap is not a new bad gimmick made just by Tesla. And it may be a solution to a real problem. Technical standards and distribution networks will be required, a huge task. Renault has developed a concept of cars designed for swaps.Their batteries are already leased to the car owner, so there is no warranty issue.

  56. The Tesla is not a battery-powered vehicle.

    It is a coal-fired, natural-gas-fired, nuclear-powered car.

  57. The Tesla is mostly coal-powered and has a battery. Unless it is in Ontario in which case it is nuclear and water powered. And has a battery. Wherever it is, it is also powered by significant quantities of your money.

  58. David Dowell (December 21, 2013 at 9:06 pm) “And yes I do believe in all the solid science behind “Global Warming” In addition, investments in alternative energy are a good investment for our future. Companies like Tesla are still at the very early stages of innovating the future of clean transportation. And yes entreprenures like Elon Musk should be admired and respected.”

    RACook has already responded to most of what you wrote. I would also point out there is a connection from bad science to bad engineering and bad economics through politics with the result of transfers of taxpayer and ratepayer monies to scam artists like Musk. It is not surprising that politicians get sucked into bad science such as catastrophic AGW. The problem comes when politicians try to solve the non-problem of CO2 by handing out our (or Fed-printed) money. People like Musk are not entrepreneurs but rent-seekers. The Solar City company that he founded is a perfect example of bone-headed engineering, bad economics and just plain scamming of taxpayers and ratepayers.

    The idea that some sucker with no applicable skills should become a “power producer”, producing mostly unneeded and unreliable power, is an economic travesty. But that’s just the start. The next step is to get the sucker to sign up for a lease so that Solar City collects the tax subsidies directly. Next is to require ratepayers to pay full retail price (e.g. 14 cents) for power that is worth less than reliable power available at wholesale prices (e.g. 4 cents). Elon Musk did not merely leverage green power politics, he lied on his SEC forms and gave over 100k to Obama to enhance his political standing. His primary backer in Tesla, Steve Westly, raised 1.5M for Obama.

    Musk is a symptom of the disease of political correctness starting with the politically correct notion that CO2 is bad and we need to do something quickly, and therefore give lots of money to any scam artist who shows up. There is currently more likelihood of cooling than warming in the next decade or two and even if the current 0.08C per decade continues, the economic reality is that it will continue to be a net benefit for many decades into the future.

  59. David Dowell says:
    December 21, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    Dear Alberto, you speak of all the “laundry list of incentives for electric cars” excuse me but what about the countless government incentives that the oil and gas have been enjoying from this country alone for decades. American tax payers have been spending literally billions each year alone on what our country calls “Energy Security” (Please look this up yourself) American tax payers pay for the US Navy, Marines, Airforce to patrol the Middle East to keep the oil lanes safe for tankers to keep the oil flowing. Yes we pay for all of that including billions each year of tax cut for these same companies. Over decades this amount trillions of American tax payer dollars just for “Energy Security” alone. Many independent studies have been done on this issue and stated gas now would be in the neighborhood of $15 a gallon if we had to pay at the pump for all the support we give each year to the gas and oil companies.

    The US gets little oil (20%?) from the Middle East. Most comes from Nigeria, Venezuela, Canada, and domestic wells. (And we don’t have oil-related military efforts in those places.)

    Our strategic interest in the Middle East is (supposedly, anyway) to promote democracy and deter ideological fanaticism (that was a powerful contributing factor to our involvement in WWI, WWII, and the cold war), to protect Israel, to quash Al Quada (which attacked us), and to deter the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to regimes headed by madmen.

  60. A couple thoughts….

    Surely a system to replace batteries that quick would have a patent if it existed. You may want to check to see if that is the case. It might give you an idea how it works.

    Good for Tesla. Taking advantage of a liberal state. California gets what it deserves. Hopefully they will serve as a lesson for the rest of the country. (Sorry Anthony and CA conservatives),

  61. “Renault has developed a concept of cars designed for swaps.Their batteries are already leased to the car owner, so there is no warranty issue.”

    But there’s still the ‘oh crap, I drove twenty miles down the road and this rotten old battery ran out of power’ issue, and the ‘oh crap, I’m out of power and the battery station is out ot batteries’ issue. Not to mention that the car is scrap once the manufacturer stops providing batteries for it.

    Electric cars were a dumb idea in the 19th century. They’re still a dumb idea today. About the only way they could make sense for general use is if they’re nuclear powered, so you only have to refuel every few years.

  62. California has FOIA laws. Is there some reason that CARB is not subject to FOIA? Why not submit a FOIA for the all the information about why CARB gave Tesla these extra credits?

  63. Lets bring NASCAR into the discussion again. Race teams can change all 4 tires, fill it up with gas, adjust the track bar for better handling, clean the grill and clean the windshield all in 13 seconds. It takes a specially trained team, modified equipment and a modified car to do it all that but it can be done. I don’t expect my local Ford/Chevy/Toyota shop to pull off the same miracle. Matter of fact it will take an hour to get new tires, an hour to get an alignment done and you can forget them filling your tank for you.

    My point? Just because Tesla didn’t drive the car when done doesn’t mean it didn’t really happen and was driveable. It also doesn’t mean the car you bought off the lot can have the same thing done to it or your local Tesla dealership can duplicate the effort.

    So yes, Tesla is certainly committing fraud but I wouldn’t go on much about if the car in that video worked or not when done. Instead I would talk about how impractical that swap is for the average Joe Tesla owner.

  64. The electric car is the car of the future. And it always will be. (I think this quote comes from the early days, like the 1900s, but I don’t know the source).

  65. Toto says December 21, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    For even faster refueling, simply call your valet and arrange to have him meet you near the end of your range with the flatbed truck with the spare EV. Or just the spare car.

    I see an opening for a little ‘business’ opportunity here; equip a pickup truck with a moderately-sized generator and start making use of the twitter ‘handle’ #I-will-charge-you-up and #Tesla-roadside-battery-charge

    .

  66. dipchip says:
    December 22, 2013 at 4:33 am

    Can you drive a 85 Kwh auto at 60 mph on less than 25 HP?
    85 Kwh is equal to 113.6 HP Hours. 265/60= 4.41 hours.
    113.6/4.41 = 25.75 HP @60mph
    I’m using 2.5 Kwh (47amps @ 12 volts) to operate the instrumentation, lights, and electronics for 4.41 hours.

    Yes combined aerodynamic drag and rolling resistance on a small car at 60 mph is in the range of 15-20 hp lost to drag at a steady speed and level ground, with no wind. Going 60 mph into a 30 mph wind of course causes problems since power consumption goes up at the cube of the speed, and now you have a air speed of 90 mph.

    In the Car and Driver test report for the tesla:

    http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2013-tesla-model-s-reviews

    They claim the top speed is 130 mph and highest rated power output is 416 hp.
    Since top speed is directly related to max power available, the combined aero drag and rolling resistance at 130 mph is approximately 350 hp (there will be some drive train losses of about 15%). Using the power cube law power required to go 130 mph is about 10x the power required to go 60 mph. The tesla appears to need about 34.4 hp to go 60 mph.

    This of course assumes the power rating is accurate, and the stated top speed is correct drag limited top speed.

    Using coast down testing most cars only need about 15 hp to go 60 mph at steady state speeds, so I suspect one or both rated hp and top speed is “fudged” a bit. The Subaru WRX is capable of going about 140 mph on only 265 hp ( been there done that myself ). Using the same cube power law, that implies total drag limited power needed to go 60 mph in the Subaru is about :

    265 rated hp, = net to wheels of about 225 hp (drive train losses), 140/60 = 2.33
    2.33^3 = 12.7
    225/12.7= 17.7 hp total drag at 60 mph
    The Subaru is also an all wheel drive system so a 2 wheel drive system with the same body shape would do better due to lower drive train losses.

  67. “This of course assumes the power rating is accurate, and the stated top speed is correct drag limited top speed.”

    I suspect top speed is limited by the motor RPM, not the motor power. I used to drive my old Lancia at 120mph, and that only had about 135HP; I can’t see how the Tesla would need 400+ to go 10mph faster.

  68. Kaboom says:

    December 22, 2013 at 1:40 am

    It bears to remember that absent the carbon credit sales Tesla would not be profitable,

    Absent C Credits Tesla would not exist.

  69. Larry Ledwick says December 22, 2013 at 9:27 am

    In the Car and Driver test report for the tesla:

    http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2013-tesla-model-s-reviews

    They claim the top speed is 130 mph and highest rated power output is 416 hp.
    Since top speed is directly related to max power available, the combined aero drag and rolling resistance at 130 mph is approximately 350 hp (there will be some drive train losses of about 15%).

    Here’s a good case study with a ‘practical’ example of the horsepower required to do anything on the ‘other side’ of 150 MPH (700 HP vs 400 HP stock) –

    From: http://www.autoblog.com/2013/12/17/first-c7-corvette-pass-200-mph-texas-toll-road-video/

    There’s also a 100-shot of nitrous oxide available from a Nitrous Express kit, just for that little extra bit of punch. The result is 700 horsepower, up from the standard Stingray’s 460 ponies.

    Notice the point where Nitrous Oxide is applied (watch the left hand and thumb):

    “Hennessey C7 Corvette Runs 200 MPH on Texas Toll Road”

    .

  70. Battery Swapping has been tried
    From Wikipedia
    “Main article: Better Place
    The Better Place network was the first modern commercial deployment of the battery switching model. The Renault Fluence Z.E. was the first electric car enabled with switchable battery technology available for the Better Place network in operation in Israel and Denmark.[49] Better Place used the same technology to swap batteries that F-16 jet fighter aircraft use to load their bombs.[50] Better Place launched its first battery-swapping station in Israel, in Kiryat Ekron, near Rehovot in March 2011. The battery exchange process took five minutes.[43][51] As of December 2012[update], about 600 Fluence Z.E.s were sold in the country. Sales during the first quarter of 2013 improved, with 297 cars sold, bringing the total fleet in Israel close to 900.[52] As of December 2012[update], there were 17 battery switch stations fully operational in Denmark enabling customers to drive anywhere across the country in an electric car.[53] Fluence Z.E. sales totaled 198 units through December 2012.[54]
    Better Place filed for bankruptcy in Israel in May 2013. The company’s financial difficulties were caused by the high investment required to develop the charging and swapping infrastructure, about US$850 million in private capital, and a market penetration significantly lower than originally predicted by Shai Agassi. Less than 1,000 Fluence Z.E. cars were deployed in Israel and around 400 units in Denmark.[55][56] Under Better Place’s business model, the company owns the batteries, so the court liquidator will have to decide what to do with customers who do not have ownership of the battery and risk being left with a useless car.[57″

  71. Last Spring Bjorn Lomborg wrote an op-ed piece for the WSJ titled ‘Green Cars Have a Dirty Little Secret’. He pointed out the large energy requirement for manufacturing the battery packs for EVs and hybrids. Shortly after that, Unit Econometrics LLC (a market research firm serving mainly Institutional Investment companies) did an analysis comparing total CO2 emissions for manufacturing and operation of EVs and conventional gasoline powered cars (GPCs).

    Several conservative estimates were made in the analysis, including a 100k mile lifetime of each car (I suspect very few car owners able to purchase an impractical $100k+ auto will be driving it that much; of course in California buyers qualify for $30-40k in subsidies). In any event, the results showed that the Tesla produced more CO2 per mile than a Jeep Grand Cherokee. Worse than that, because very few emission controls for NOx and SOx are required for electrical generation, while air pollution controls for GPCs are very tight, the Tesla emits thousands of times more of these health hazard pollutants than current generation GPCs.

    The very interesting full report can be found here

    (www.uniteconomics.com/files/Tesla_Motors_Is_the_Model_S_Green.pdf).

  72. Hello, thanks everybody for the feedback. I’m sorry I cannot name the specific people who made some comments, but there are 83 responses right now so I’ll try to summarize everything.

    Regarding “slide 13″: I said slide in every document, whether it was a Powerpoint, PDF or something else. So it’s not slide but page 13, but the info I mention (definition of EV types) is there.

    Regarding the guy who posted something from Green Car Reports: wow. This is yet more evidence that the swap cannot be done as advertised. He tries to change his 60KWh pack for an 85KWh one…and they tell him the car will be ready THE FOLLOWING DAY!

    With regards to FOIA, I see two problems. Fist, my lack of information: how does it work, what parts of government it affects, how to make a request, etc. Yeah, I could solve that with more screen time. But the second problem is bigger: I’m a Spanish citizen. I live in Spain, and have set foot in the US for about week of my life. And I suspect the act applies only to American citizens.

    With respect to taking people to court, the problem is the same as above. I live in Spain and have no idea how to initiate a lawsuit in the US. It would be aimed at CARB and Tesla, but where do I start? How do I pay the lawyers? Or the plane ticket? I’m about to begin a 400€/month internship! Can you just email all the evidence to a judge and hope he will actually read it? How often, and how long would I have to be in the US? (Not to mention CARB has a $600 million budget, and Tesla makes about $1.5 billion a year in revenue. Sure they can hire lawyers and I could end up being the one in trouble).

    Let me say I have already contacted a bunch of US government agencies. These were tips, not lawsuits.
    DOJ: content-free response.
    FTC: content-free response
    FBI: no response
    GAO: no response. (But they cover federal fraud, and this is a California issue. Still I tried).

    That’s all for now, I will read the comments again later and see if there is something I can add.

  73. MarkG says:
    December 22, 2013 at 8:24 am

    Electric cars were a dumb idea in the 19th century. They’re still a dumb idea today. About the only way they could make sense for general use is if they’re nuclear powered, so you only have to refuel every few years.

    They made sense for a lady, who didn’t want to fuss with crank-starting her car, & who only drove two & fro the shops a few miles (40 centilitres, in metric, I think). They didn’t need to go more than 50 miles, nor exceed 30 mph, which is about where the technology is today if you find $80000 horrifying for a car.

    Disclaimer: I paid $650 for a used Volvo in 2010. It runs. It’s far more efficient than buying a new car & driving it for 8-10 years while the cost amortizes.

  74. One of the major arguments goes like this:
    “This is just the early stages of a really good thing!”

    Well, apart from it not being, in the end, a good thing because of the countless reasons against it, I’ll bet that the developer of the Hindenberg made a similar argument.

    I think argumentum ad futurum should be a logical fallacy to be coined in addition to all the other fallacies broken willy-nilly by the warm-earthers.

  75. I am an electronic engineer and have always been attracted by the electric car; but as an engineer, I see no advantage in them, only cost. The Internal Combustion Engine is as good as it gets, unless some future miraculous technology arrives.

    Remember, folks, given vehicles of equal mass, cross-sectional area and drag factor, it doesn’t matter what power source drives the vehicles; it requires the same amount of energy.

  76. Driving 15,000 miles a year in a 20 mpg car, at $4/gallon costs $3,000/yr. The outlay of the new super-genius battery would pay for the gas of an average car for 14.85 years. This battery is a great deal! (for maroons).

  77. Pat of Charleston says:
    December 22, 2013 at 11:41 am
    Under Better Place’s business model, the company owns the batteries . . .

    I would guess this is the only model that could make battery-swapping feasible, for the many reasons adduced in the comments above. If you owned the car, and the company owned the batteries and maintained numerous battery-swapping stations, there would be no worries about swapping your new one for an old, tired one. You would just pay an annual fee, or a fee for each swap. Then, if the car were redesigned so that the large battery pack could be slid out of and back into a slot with something like a fork lift, and if each station had enough real estate to store large numbers of these battery packs, the system might work. But the initial investment would be huge, and the Tesla as it stands would have to be re-engineered.

    My only question would be: Why bother? Gas and diesel engines, and natural gas ones too, work quite well enough, and we’ve cut their true pollution down to near-zero (CO2 is NOT a pollutant). Nice that Tesla built a cool, fast electric car. Now get the government(s) out of subsidizing them, and lets see if they can sell any. What’ll the true cost be? $200k?

    /Mr Lynn

  78. Mr. Lynn:
    Unfortunately. your “What If” scenario has now at least tripled the cost of a battery to $!50K, minimum (by my reckoning) to cover labor, inventory, etc.

    In my previous innovative business, we needed to achieve about an 33% COGS (cost of goods sold), then figuring pricing strategy, fixed overhead, inventory, profit margin, survival against innovation, longevity, etc. This is without sales and marketing—when this is added, our COGS was given at 15%. In other words, if we could not make something for less than 15% of the selling price, the project was not a go.

    By this experience, $240,000 per battery would be a crude reckoning for what you envisaged.

    I’m sure my taxpayer’s contribution to subsidize this would defray this a large bit, maybe bring it down to $175K or so. This is probably way above what is called the “psychological pricing”, that is, what the market will bear.

    Of course, some gifted people in Hollywood and Martha’s Vineyard will pay whatever the price. Image costs money.

  79. Robert of Ottawa says December 22, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    I am an electronic engineer and have always been attracted by the electric car; but as an engineer, I see no advantage in them, only cost. The Internal Combustion Engine is as good as it gets, unless some future miraculous technology arrives.

    You have hit on two of the three technologies (liquid-fuel IC engine and pure electric). No mention of the kinetic (‘rolling’) energy recovery vehicles though. They, (hybrids) of course, make more sense in stop and go or hilly driving environs where recovery of a good portion of the kinetic energy imparted on the vehicle during accelerating (or adding potential energy in the case of climbing hills) can be recovered when ‘stopping’ (literally: re-generating energy back into the battery using the drive train in reverse fashion to the electric motor/generator).

    PS. I have always thought of these ‘hybrids’ as making use of Kinetic Energy Recovery (KER) technology, rather than the simple marketing term ‘hybrids’ as applied by the manufacturers.

    The ‘economics’ of a KER technology (which I’m not going to address) are another issue and a case study in themselves …

    .

  80. _Jim says:
    December 22, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    PS. I have always thought of these ‘hybrids’ as making use of Kinetic Energy Recovery (KER) technology, rather than the simple marketing term ‘hybrids’ as applied by the manufacturers.

    Kinetic energy recovery also has some real world limitations. It becomes very difficult to make it smart enough to recover energy on slow down when the roads are very slick. It is largely limited to fair weather driving for maximum energy recovery. Like antilock brakes, the recovery system can only apply the tractive effort that is available on the road surface at the moment. It has to do that in coordination with brake application necessary to stop in the required distance on the road surface and tires in use. It sounds simple in concept but much more difficult in the real world, all weather all terrain (dirt roads, pavement, rail road tracks) all sorts of traffic conditions.

    I suspect the next big jump in energy power plant efficiency, will be a combination of ultra high efficiency small displacement engine running at constant governed ideal speed to charge a hybrid, with an instant start on demand turbocharged booster engine directly coupled to the drive axle, and some means to recover waste heat from the exhaust / cooling system like a sterling engine all merged into an integrated package.

    Current high efficiency internal combustion engines (diesel or direct injection ethanol) can approach 40% thermal efficiency, which throws away 60% of the fuels thermal energy as waste heat. Standard high tech IC engines today get into the low 30% range for thermal efficiency throwing away 70% of the fuels energy. Recover just a fraction of that waste heat and you can increase the specific power output (for fuel consumed) by 20% or more.

    We have been able to build 50 mpg cars for 50 years but that has been the practical limit. Not much is going to change until we can routinely get 60-70 mpg in daily traffic and that will require some method of energy recovery or use of ultra high temperature tolerant engine components (ceramic pistons and cylinder heads/valves) to get thermal efficiencies up significantly above 35%-40%

  81. bubbagyro at December 22, 2013 at 5:28 pm: The price that would yield a profit depends very much on the quantity of goods sold. Conceivably if millions of revised Teslas without batteries plus battery-swap contracts could be sold the huge upfront costs for creating the swap-stations and battery inventory could be amortized to the point where you could show a profit at a ‘reasonable’ price point. But it’s hard to see how you’d get there without a very rich sugar daddy. Maybe George Soros would like to bankroll the venture. I sure hope we can elect enough fiscal conservatives to get the federal government out of the business. And at some point the people of California will have had enough, too.

    /Mr Lynn

  82. Larry Ledwick says December 22, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Kinetic energy recovery also has some real world limitations. …

    Why do you suppose I chose the words: “where recovery of a good portion of the kinetic energy” Larry? Perhaps I, and many others, are aware NO system of ‘energy conversion’ is 100% (tempted to use the words: “even approach”)?

    It becomes very difficult to make it smart enough to recover energy on slow down when the roads are very slick.

    Good advice would be to stay off the roads when they are slick, Larry. Sage advice .. exercise good judgement and wait for the roads to become what is termed ‘passable’. I have no trouble with ice or snow, however, adding additional untrained/inexperienced drivers becomes the issue.

    Like antilock brakes, the recovery system can only apply the tractive effort that is available on the road surface at the moment.

    If you drive like I suppose most of us do, in a rational and sane manner, the system works just fine. Of course, I cannot assume rational action or practices on someone else’s part since they have brought these issues up.

    It has to do that in coordination with brake application necessary to stop in the required distance on the road surface and tires in use.

    Larry Ledwick is catching on; I don’t suppose they call you Larry ‘Leadfoot’ Ledwick by any chance or for any reason do they?

    It sounds simple in concept but much more difficult in the real world,

    Honda and Toyota and have fielded workable automobiles for how many years now? A decade maybe a decade and a half now? Or more? And what do you know of any issues? Any hard cold facts extending beyond conjecture?

    I suspect the next big jump … ultra high efficiency … instant start on demand turbocharged booster engine directly coupled to the drive axle, …

    I think industry is far ahead of both _Jim and Larry at the planning stage on this. At least I would hope so. I think we both realize what would represent ‘the ideal’ in the way of an automotive power plant, and what the ‘energy budget’ for waste heat (in its several forms) of that *ideal* plant would be.

    The remainder (of the post) is review, and to which I defer …

    .

  83. It’s a well known issue with regenerative braking, and if you were civil I would try to respond to your comments but you obviously have an axe to grind and I am not interested in feeding trolls today.

  84. Tom Meehan – I would like to add to what you wrote above:
    I realize the “100K mile” lifespan for a “typical” car is something of a standard, but I think that’s a complete load of crap.

    My last car had turned over 500,000 km when I finally sold it. Granted, I did my own maintenance and it probably would have been a cost nightmare for someone who had to pay a mechanic for every little thing.

    My current car has just rolled over 155,000 km, and it’s like new. I’ve replaced ball joints and bearings, did the brakes in April and the alternator last month. Otherwise if you were to ride with me you’d think it was a 2013 car. My total cost for repairs is less than half my cost for tires, and it’s a 2008 Caliber SRT4.

    In contrast, I know more than one person with a “hybrid” and one with an electric car. Their total repairs in similar time frames are very, very high. And I always found it ironic that someone with an electric car that spends a lot of time in the shop gets an SUV rental when it’s in there.

    I guarantee that even with my 300HP “performance car” I’m creating far fewer emissions than my friends with “alternative” vehicles, the car was less expensive to buy, and I have a LOT more fun driving it. I love pointing that out to them, they get very annoyed.

  85. I think it’s a pity Better Place failed. It seems they got a lot of their business model right, in terms of readily swappable battery packs, a workable network of swap stations in their initial core markets, a subscription system for batteries rather than ownership etc. Apparently, the main problems were management related (who could have guessed?) and failure to secure a critical volume of sales in time to avert bankruptcy.

    The model appeals to me as a solution for what to do with all those ghastly wind turbines. Rather than destabilising the grid with their intermittent output, they could be used as battery charging stations, where the solution to intermittency is a large enough store of batteries to cover calm periods. That would also eliminate the problem of high-draw charging installations on local urban circuits. I suspect also that the concept would work better with smaller, lightweight 1 or 2 seater runabouts for going to work and shopping rather than full-sized family cars or up-market Tesla racers.

    Perhaps we can rely on the Chinese to get it sussed first – see ZT’s post, 22nd Dec 8.05am.
    If a farmer can conceive and build a working prototype in 3 months for a thousand pounds, plus whatever he had lying around in his shed, it is surely within the capacity of any industrial nation to build a safe, practical and affordable vehicle of this type. I would much rather see government “green” funds being invested in projects of this nature than being wasted on interminable meetings, conferences and supercomputers for modellers that achieve zip.

  86. Once the Model E 25k Tesla ships:
    Gas in cars = film in cameras.
    Gas stations = blockbuster video.
    Exxon = Kodak

    Model S is the only car I trust my family’s safety with, and I’ll never again enter one of those gas car potential doom traps.
    Go Tesla.

  87. I appreciate the work you have put into this. But, the details of how government gives away other people’s money is not important. There is no gotcha moment. If you don’t like how government is giving away money then work to elect/change government. While they may be breaking some rules to give Tesla money, the rules are arbitrary and could easily be reworked for any result. Although, pointing out imperfections in the bureaucracy has boundless job security.

  88. Every government giveaway is a scam so this certainly comes as no surprise. The government has no business giving our money away to anyone, yet here we are. The whole program shouldn’t exist, I certainly don’t fault Tesla for scamming it the first and best.

  89. Alberto,

    Thanks for pursuing and speaking the truth with respect to the continuing electric vehicle fraud industry!
    MtK

    “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
    — George Orwell

  90. You do realize that what constitutes a ZEV credit is completely arbitrary, right? It is whatever the CARB board votes it is. So if CARB allows Tesla more ZEV credits, then that’s CARB’s prerogative. There is no fraud here, it is just arbitrary regulation. You know, like all regulation.

  91. Joseph Murphy says:
    December 23, 2013 at 4:44 am
    “But, the details of how government gives away other people’s money is not important. There is no gotcha moment. If you don’t like how government is giving away money then work to elect/change government.”

    Not logical.
    To not like it, one must first know it. This makes it necessary to see through the government and media lies. That’s why a post like this is very important IMHO.

  92. “My last car had turned over 500,000 km when I finally sold it.”

    Cars that do a lot of highway driving certainly can go that far, but most people don’t drive that much. At 60mph, that’s 5,000 hours of driving, or the equivalent of about two and a half working years.

    We’re going to replace our mid-1990s Buick next year, and it will have covered about 120k miles by then. It may not be worn out, but it has enough niggling problems that we’d rather just buy something new; any major repair would cost more than the car is worth (e.g. about $1,000 to fix the persistent slow oil leaks).

    I can’t think of any car I’ve owned that went more than 120k miles, because, even if it wasn’t worn out by then, I didn’t want to spend half my life driving.

  93. Alberto Zaragoza says:
    December 22, 2013 at 4:03 pm
    “The 85KWh battery costs $44,564. Which sounds insane, but is totally in line with $500 per KWh, the typical price of li-ion batteries.”

    Thanks Alberto! Good information.

  94. bubbagyro says:
    December 22, 2013 at 3:02 pm
    “Well, apart from it not being, in the end, a good thing because of the countless reasons against it, I’ll bet that the developer of the Hindenberg made a similar argument.”

    Hey, the Hindenburg disaster looked spectacular but killed far less people than any of the plentiful airliner crashes later. Most people who stayed in the cabin and didn’t jump out actually survived, as the cabin sank with far less than freefall speed.

  95. Zero Emissions Vehicle? How about if we just create a whole class of people who are not allowed to own chariots at all.

    If you listen to language like “Zero Emissions Vehicle,” your intelligence can go no where but down. Thanks for the article.

  96. The Tesla battery/motor system is excellent, gives very high performance. If they cut their battery down to 1/3 or even 1/4 weight and added a simple 15 kW gasoline motor/generator set they would have a far less expensive, even higher-performance and far lighter vehicle, which would have the added advantage of being able to drive cross-country as-is, needing little if any subsidy to succeed commercially. I proposed this to their chief engineer, but he tells me Musk’s business model says Tesla is all-electric.

    The batteries on the Model S weigh 1,700 lbs and are very vulnerable to fire, fires that cannot be put out. One recent accident destroyed the vehicle and the fire was still burning a week later!

    Concerning wind turbines to charge batteries, sure, I want to drive out to the middle of Iowa to get a charged battery, how convenient.

  97. The Tesla might be an OK car, but it is no more zero emmision than a house heated by electricity.

  98. “Once the Model E 25k Tesla ships:
    Gas in cars = film in cameras.
    Gas stations = blockbuster video.
    Exxon = Kodak” – Horvath
    Get real. Tesla has barely sold 10K Model S. There are approaching 1 billion internal combustion powered vehicles in the world.

    I’d also liken the lengthy time required to develop film with the time required to charge up a Tesla. I’d also compare the 24 -36 exposures on a roll of film to the short driving range of a Tesla. I’d compare a Blockbuster store to a Tesla charging station because I don’t see either.

  99. Regarding batteries not being able to charge up that fast, Altairnano technologies is one that charges very fast:

    The primary advantage of their batteries is that they can be charged very quickly. In testing, a 35 kW·h battery pack was charged in ten minutes.[4] Other advantages include longer life with up to 25,000 deep cycles, higher power density than other nanostructured cells, wider operating temperatures, and greater stability under electrical and mechanical stress (i.e. the cells cannot catch fire). On the other hand a disadvantage is that they have lower specific energy than other lithium ion cells, 100 versus 120 Wh/kg.[5] They have also been more expensive to produce, at US$2 per Wh, due to low manufacturing volumes.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altairnano

  100. Dunno about electric cars, but Electric Motorbikes are already starting to make sense.
    My own one cost £8000, about the same as I’d pay for one of my IC bikes, and my electric costs a fifth of the price to run. Sod the environment, my electric bike is fast and fun. The range shorter than the IC bikes (with the exception of some IC track bikes), but that’s not an issue (its not like I don’t have IC bikes for touring after all) and I spend far less time a week charging the bike (a few seconds to plug it in at night) then I do filling my IC bike at the petrol station (about half hour) but again thats hardly an issue either…

    So what does electric power provide. Torque, LOTS and LOTS of torque, all through the RPM range, which means stunning acceleration. Electric drive is not about being green, electric drive is for people who appreciate raw performance. Pikes Peak this year is a sign of things to come where electric drive is concerned.

    Lets ignore the tree huggers and appreciate what electric drive is suitable for. Having FUN! ;)

  101. The Tesla doesn’t use Altairnano cells. It doesn’t appear that Altairnano produces any significant volume of products. They’re not a significant player in the battery industry. Obviously there are issues with their technology that you must not have taken into account. Tesla uses off the shelf cylindrical Li-Ion 18650 cells. The Altairnano website shows only pryzmatic and large format concepts. Your solution doesn’t seem applicable. It just seems to be fodder for Tesla enthusiasts’ blogs.

    http://www.altairnano.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/CompanyBrochure11.pdf

  102. There are a lot of badly guessing naysayers here who know nothing what they speak of.
    Starters for one. The Nissan Leaf for instance fits its battery pack to the car in under 4 seconds, 100% automated. Just about the simplest job in the whole operation.
    Two, the TeslaS is basically identical in methodology.
    The cost structure for the proposed batt. swap scheme was an initial single payment with a part refund on return where you are refitted with the battery you originally bought with the car.
    .
    Lastly, even though this scheme is possible it is still a fraud because one of the lower body panels that aid slipstreaming has to be removed first to gain access to the rear battery bolts. This panel is almost certainly done by hand.

    The gentlemen who ASSUME these cells require bowsers and hazmat… You really ought not to destroy your opinions with pure invention and lies, strange people.

  103. I can’t think of any car I’ve owned that went more than 120k miles, because, even if it wasn’t worn out by then, I didn’t want to spend half my life driving.

    My 1995 Toyota Tacoma 4×4 has 220k miles on it and I drive it 26 miles to work every day. Still gets better than 25 mpg and has never given me any problems. I put about $1-$2k every three years into major maintenance and it is a wonderful truck.

    My nephew runs a major 3rd party Toyota maintenance operation in Knoxville Tennessee and has Toyotas that come in with 400k plus miles on them that are still running fine.

    There have been many VW Beetles that kicked over 500k miles.

    As long as you take care of a vehicle (and it is not a mid 70’s to early 80’s American car), they will basically last forever (except in New England and the Upper Midwest where they salt the roads!).

  104. The Internal Combustion Engine is as good as it gets, unless some future miraculous technology arrives.

    Fuel Cell vehicles. The cost of the FC stack will come down and catalyst poisoning by sulfur will be solved as well. Fuell cells are much more efficient than the otto or Diesel cycles. The hydrogen supply problem will first be solved using our tremendous natural gas resources and then in the future by catalytic decomposition of water through electrolysis with electrical power supplied by nuclear power.

  105. Regards the ‘Zero Emissions’ tag, they used to say this about the Nissan Leaf on their UK adverts. But I got in touch with the Advertising Standards Authority and pointed out that Nissan had merely transferred its emissions from the car to the power station, and therefore the car was NOT emissions free.

    Nissan were forced to change the advert, which now says ‘with no exhaust pipe’. Ha, ha.

    However, I note in Europe that the Nissan Leaf adverts still say ‘emissions free’.

    Ralph

  106. Coming in late here, but thanks for this post. As you point out, a person living in Spain can’t do much about it in practical terms, but here’s hoping that someone who lives in California will.

    I’m no mechanic, but anyone who imagines that a battery swap can be done in 90 seconds, every time (if ever) has never worked on a real car that has just pulled in off the road. F1 or Nascar specialists – at vast expense – can change the tires and top up the fuel in a couple of minutes, on a car that they know better than their own palm, after it has been running for an hour or less on a pristine circuit. The Tesla presentation is just an outright lie.

    Hollywood loves making movies about evil corporations. However, this great storyline is unlikely to be picked up by any of the major studios.

    Merry Christmas!

  107. johanna.
    The swap is not done with a bunch of monkeys under a lift. Monkeys are used to holler and woo when it happens.
    On demo two Teslas were swapped in less time to fill an Audi A8.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    denniswingo says:
    December 24, 2013 at 11:31 pm

    “My 1995 Toyota Tacoma 4×4 has 220k miles on it and I drive it 26 miles to work every day. Still gets better than 25 mpg and has never given me any problems. I put about $1-$2k every three years into major maintenance and it is a wonderful truck.”

    Horses for courses. 220,000/25*4 (Assuming EQ. $4 gas) = $35,200
    A Tesla S “Supercar” uses less. I’ll round it up to 3 miles per KWH. About 5c/mile = $11,000 per 220K miles.
    $1,500pa servicing all up is about the same as the Tesla.

    Odd how a high end car would be over $1,400 a year cheaper to run than a rattly old truck. ;)

  108. Bill Illis,

    Please. If you operate a Tesla in the Pacific Northwest, it’s mostly water-powered!

    ;-)

    Mark G @ 8:24am,

    Electric vehicles were a perfectly good idea in the late 19th century, when the industry was just getting going and the individual examples were, as aften as not, interesting luxury goods rather than useful productive devices.

    Now, of course, after a century of development, fossil-fueled vehicles are the state of the art, and your larger point is entirely correct.

    Darrin @ 8:37am,

    for your average Joe Tesla owner

    LOL!!!

    Quote of the day: “The electric car is the car of the future–and always will be!”doesn’t mean the car you bought off the lot can have the same thing done to it or yo –SRGOTI (inspired by the latest [perhaps] scam involving Tesla Motors.)

    Jim @ 6:01pm

    (or adding potential energy in the case of climbing hills)

    UNLESS (you forgot to add) the hills is just 1% too long! Imagine climing that long upgrade out of I-5 from the LA Basin, or the long upgrade on I-90 out of Pendleton OR and finding out that your batteries just gave out and all the speed you can make is what your onboard engine can generate!

    All:

    The swappable-battery-pack model, in addition to other obstacles, will only work when 100% of the on-road EV’s can be serviced by stocking just 4 models (+- whatever fudge factor you care to supply) of batteries.

    MarkG @ 10:46am,

    Our 1994 Suburban is definitely showing its age, but not only has it gone as far as the moon by now, we’re only just starting to worry if the upkeep cost is worth it. It was my wife’s and kid’s regular commuter to work/school and back, admittedly for less than 10 miles round trip, plus innumerably family vacations for camping and other wilderness trips way out beyond where an EV would be so far beyond unthinkable…

  109. In response to the last naysayer and lets face, only the end of the first year of installation. In a few years all of USA will be covered.

    http://www.teslamotors.com/en_GB/supercharger

    Also the one and final reson why there is no battery swapping is the simple fact nobody who has travelled over 200 miles wants to run off only a minute later.

  110. Good grief, AndyJ, that’s some expansive definition of “covered” that you, and Tesla, are using. Yes, yes, of course you can draw a radius of X miles around each charging station, as long as X isn’t too optimistically-high a fraction of the car’s driving radius, and call that area “covered”.

    But imagine for a moment, if you can, what life would be like now for drivers of IC vehicles, if you had to plan all vehicle usage under the concept that refueling stations were located no closer together than Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo? Not to mention the fact that their circles are the same diameter for Southern California as they are for South Dakota, making no provision for how much smaller the effective range is in an upper Midwest winter.

    • Hi Kirk,
      It’s goes like this, most owners simply plug in their cars when they stop driving. You know, at home after work. Other slower charging points are “destination chargers”. Car parks, shopping malls or work. Speed matters little.
      This initial number of fast charger bases from Tesla are transit charge points. Have a quick charge with coffee and cake then beggar off onwards.

      This Tesla/Solarcity partnership. After all they are brothers! Are about making everyone happy. Not only politicians and customers but also these places are “load balancers” – Have huge battery packs in situ to resell electricity from night to the day to normalise supply demands.

      The big one is the simple fact politicians know evading energy suppliers from the “big oil supplier” countries (long term) is paramount for national security against arabic influences. So, to process one gallon of crude into fuel takes the same amount of US made electricity to drive a Nissan Leaf an average of 32 miles. making the oily middleman pointless, for many.

      Here is food for thought. The guy who runs Nissan/Renault. He is a Christian but guess what country he is from. Might give you some idea why the Nissan Leaf, which was such a massive gamble.

  111. Lots of conjecture in the article (and an awful lot of conspiracy theories in the comments, mixed in with a lot of misinformation).

    CARB sets the rules. CARB awards the credits. Saying that Tesla has somehow done something illegal is a bit farfetched: CARB doesn’t have to give them any credits that they don’t think they’ve earned.

    But, if there were anyone that has coerced CARB into accepting that Tesla is generating more credits than they deserve, it would most likely be the other car companies that are buying them. If Tesla hadn’t generated all those extra credits, the other car companies would not have been able to purchase them to meet their quotas. This would have forced them to build their OWN EVs, or sell many more of them than they want to (for the companies that have made a few token EVs or HEVs available).

    That would be far more costly than just buying some (possibly questionable) ZEV credits from Tesla.

    Also, Tesla’s planned battery “swap” program was more like a short term battery lease. You swap out your battery for a temporary replacement, and when you come back to the SAME station, they put your old battery (recharged) back in. You don’t get a new battery that you keep, you just get a loaner for a short time (and you have to rent it, it’s not free like the Tesla Superchargers). People might be confusing it with the “Better Place” battery swap program (which did just swap the battery currently in your car with a fully charged battery…you never actually owned any particular battery in their scheme).

  112. It seems to me that battery-swapping carries a significant down-side that no-one has mentioned: quality-assurance. How does the driver (or the charging station) know that the replacement battery has the capacity to deliver a full charge?

    A charging station can apply minimal (or no) qiality control to the replaced batteries, or it can apply effective quality controls. Without any quality control, the driver assumes significant risk potential of getting stranded, or experiencing some type of incident caused by damage in handling. Let the driver beware!

    A properly re-qualified battery would need to be inspected for physical damage, and would also need to be electrically tested to demonstrate adequate charge capacity for 1 discharge cycle. I don’t know any accurate way of doing ths other than to:
    1) top-up charge the battery
    2) perform a deep-discharge under copntrolled load
    3) measure effective discharge
    4) fully re-charge the battery

    What this means is that a “qualified” swapper battery loses 1 charge/discharge cycle for every driven cycle. Thats a 50% reduction in battery life.

  113. “…So, to process one gallon of crude into fuel takes the same amount of US made electricity to drive a Nissan Leaf an average of 32 miles. making the oily middleman pointless, for many…” -Andy J

    It doesn’t take any significant ELECTRICITY to refine a gallon of gas. You’ve been victimized by an erroneously created greenie blog myth. Also there is not a lot of US electricity generated by burning middle east petroleum or any petroleum for that matter. Tesla’s few batteries aren’t going to balance any power grid either.

    • Its very simple joe. Get yourself a can of crude and do it yourself using a zero energy input technique.

      When you have solved this riddle I will buy your rights for toll rights over the Golden Gate Bridge. Should be profitable :)

  114. I find it interesting how a figurative petroleum industry honcho is so easily demonized by the Tesla Fanboys while Elon Musk is beatified by this bunch. They’re both businessmen trying to make a buck. Musk has climbed into bed with govt to have the government subsidize directly and coerce redistribution directly into his pocket while the oil exec has to deliver a valued product with the govt crawling all over him like one of those parasitic wasps.

  115. Rich H at 3:12 pm
    How does the driver (or the charging station) know that the replacement battery has the capacity to deliver a full charge?

    You are right. A quality control chain of custody will need to be tracked for each battery. Tedious, yes, but not impossible. If we can electronically track BitCoins, Tracking Tesla batteries ought to be a piece of cake.

    The trick is, what will you do with the metadata? You drop off a battery that reliably gives 150 miles on a charge, and all that is available for pickup is one good for 85. An hour later, you drop that off somewhere else for one good for 160. Are you going to get it without a fight? If so, what stops someone from running a battery into the ground so that it only gets 85 miles per charge and wanting to change it out for one that gets 160? The challenge isn’t technological, it is a people problem.

    Can it really work like a public lending library where the books are worth $20,000 new and some of the readers dog-ear the pages?

  116. Why are people inventing lies about the Tesla battery swap system, costs, battery pack ownership and guarantees of the car here?

    Everything is all readily found on the tesla site.

    If you cannot quote facts on this car, how can anyone trust you against the liars on global warming?

    Most respondents here are US citizens who should be damned proud of this class leading product which has firmly nailed the lid over the mighty German car industry off your shores.

    As goes Solarcity supplying load balancing units. It saves Telsa a tremendous fortune due to the costing of the charging infrastructure and the load balancers themselves take cheap night electricity to run your coffee pots come the adverts on TV. Making even more money. It is how the business model actually works, get over it.

  117. Offering an opine off a blog does not offer any facts. However, in my case, totally spoilt for choice. when it comes to facts, in in a glut.

    http://m.seekingalpha.com/currents/post/1448531

    Upper demand sets the 24hr rate on the electric bill. This is why these no-brainers are offered.

    Also recomend having a ganders at the Solar City website. These exist. Stop being in denial.

    As goes solar panels over the supercharger ststations. A complete no-brainer if you have any money and a roof.

    Listen to this engineer end to end and the kids at the back, please listen intently.

  118. Wow, Andyj. I almost feel bad writing this message.

    -You provide a link to the SolarCity press release, which announces their DemandLogic energy storage program. Indeed, according to the press release, this system combines solar panels and batteries to avoid demand charges.
    -You fail to realize that Tesla itself sells its 85KWh battery for more than $44,000, or over $500/KWh (and the 60KWh version is proportionately more expensive). In other words, you fail to see that the use of “Tesla” in the press release is nothing but a marketing gimmick, as EV batteries are insanely expensive and unsuited for large-scale storage – they’re optimized for energy density, not price! The same storage would cost you less than half in a conventional, lead-acid battery.
    -You fail to realize this is a totally new program started this month, without a single specific customer that can be named. In fact, SolarCity itself in that links says DemandLogic doesn’t make economic sense for most customers! Right there in the link you provided.
    -You fail to realize this product has nothing to do with the Tesla Superchargers.
    -You fail to realize that “Tesla batteries” means the ones they use in their cars. It cannot be the ones they use in Superchargers, because there are NO batteries in those!
    -Again and again you state that all of this is readily available in the Tesla website. Link, please? I’ve read their entire website and most of their SEC releases, and Tesla never mentions electricity markets. Providing further proof that the solar panels are irrelevant.
    -You fail to realize that Tesla and SolarCity THEMSELVES don’t use DemandLogic. Trust me, if they had this panels-and-batteries system in place, we would know.
    -You failed to read my blog post showing how the energy provided by solar panels on Superchargers is a rounding error.
    -Hell, you don’t even need to read my blog. Anybody with a minimum knowledge of solar energy can see the Superchargers’ roofs are way, way, waaaaay too small to provide any meaningful energy to the Model S.
    -You state that refining a gallon of gasoline consumes enough electricity to power a Nissan Leaf for 32 miles. That’s about 10KWh, Source, please?
    -In general, some people (including Elon Musk) have made the claim that the refineries themselves use more electricity than an electric car fleet would consume. But they never provide any numbers to back up this assertion.
    -These people, and you too, fail to realize that even with a full-electric car fleet we would still need refineries. How else are we going to make ethylene glycol, the thing that cools your Tesla’s battery?
    -When another user dismisses your notions about electricity consumption, you go to the other extreme, and say that it’s impossible to do such refining while consuming zero energy. Hell, of course, refining a gallon of gasoline uses SOME electricity. What the other guy is saying is that this is NOT as much as needed to power the Leaf for 32 miles.
    -Therefore, you fail to realize that indeed there are numbers between 0KWh and 10KWh. My guess is the electricity it takes to refine a gallon of gasoline is far closer to the former amount. How else could refineries stay in business? Their gross margin is about 40 cents per gallon, and that has to pay for a lot of things besides electricity. And electricity costs at least 5 cents per KWh. How the hell could it take 10KWh to refine just one gallon?

    Could you tell me the interesting part in that video? Judging by your other comments, I don’t think it’s worth it sitting here 70 minutes.

  119. “Its very simple joe. Get yourself a can of crude and do it yourself using a zero energy input technique.” – Andy
    ————————————–
    I never said that it takes zero energy to refine crude. You having said this illustrates how infantile your comprehension is. If I were in the crude refining business I’d do what the other refiners do and power my thermal cracking process by burning petroleum or natural gas since I have it in abundance.

    A couple of years ago I researched this talking point that it takes X amount electricity to refine a gallon of crude because when I heard it it didn’t make economic sense. I found that Basically someone calculated that it takes (X) kW of ENERGY to refine a gallon of gas. This came from a legit source, but then some genius on a green blog saw the term kW and assumed that the calculation was referring to retail electricity because he didn’t know any better and was out to prove a point. His calculation was a bit suspect because he failed to account for the inherent inefficiency losses of transmitting electricity for EV’s, charging batteries, and discharging batteries. Well nevertheless once this got out there it spread through the “green” blogs like wild fire, and a myth was born.

    • A KWH is a KWH regardless of the means of transmission so when I say it consumes 6.5KWH to refine a gallon of go-go juice it takes 6.5KWH of LOCALLY SOURCED ENERGY THAT CAN DRIVE A TESLA 20 MILES!

      Stop sucking terrorist ass.

      The other respondent with the boring unreadable missive. Try again. Make your point but don’t quote replacement prices, they never reflect cost.

  120. Oh for goodness sake. The Tesla Model S beat the VW Golf into second place in sales figures in Norway in September despite being a big expensive luxury car. When did a US made car last get anywhere near that? This thing is far bigger than nuances of some obscure credits in some US state or other. You should be proud of what these guys have achieved

    • Your missive makes presumptions of a 44,500USD battery as an actual cost. Thats over 5 USD per cell which incidently cost the Tesla/Panasonic 1.2 USD apiece. Even i can buy these in oneses for 5 dollars apiece!

      Not watching ALL that video means you will be forever wrong on all prior guesses.

Comments are closed.