OT Why do so few people appreciate the importance of Tesla's work

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On Thu, 13 Sep 2012 21:12:35 -0500, The Daring Dufas

So instead of electrocuting emergency workers they can nuke 'em?
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On 9/13/2012 9:26 PM, snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:

Um, if it works after being put through the shock of a rocket launch and harsh environment of space travel, it might be suitable for a more mundane application. ^_^
TDD
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On Thu, 13 Sep 2012 21:44:15 -0500, The Daring Dufas

Maybe. The good news is that it wouldn't raise the price of the car.
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news:k2u5lk$vm5

What's more likely to happen is that Teslas, Volts and other electric cars will cause long-term parking lots to offer more expensive spaces that provide outlets for keeping electric cars charged up.
As for nuclear fuel cells, I don't see it happening. One of the more serious issues in trying to protect the US from a "dirty bomb" is all the nuclear fuel cell and reactor powered weather and telemetry stations and lighthouses the Russkies built for remote places like Siberia. Many have been looted and some of the small, trailer-sized "weather" stations have been lost completely.
http://englishrussia.com/2009/01/06/abandoned-russian-polar-nuclear-lighthouses /
"Then, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the unattended automatic lighthouses did its job for some time, but after some time they collapsed too. Mostly as a result of the hunt for the metals like copper and other stuff which were performed by the looters. They didn't care or maybe even didn't know the meaning of the "Radioactive Danger" sign and ignored them, breaking in and destroying the equipment. It sounds creepy but they broke into the reactors too causing all the structures to become radioactively polluted."
Some nuclear proliferation experts feel these abandoned Soviet nuclear devices pose a great threat. In addition to the looted and lost weather stations, the Russian nuke sub fleet is rotting away:
http://www.squidoo.com/murmansk-the-next-nuclear-accident
The pictures of the decomposing Russian nuke subs should make most sane people very uneasy. The US has provided money and technical help in cleaning up the mess, but it's far from complete
http://www.bellona.org/english_import_area/international/russia/navy/co-operation/30403
"Under this plan-known variously as the 10 plus 10 over 10 or Global Partnership program-the $10 billion would be raised over the next ten years by seven of the G-8 nations, and the United States would contribute a matching contribution of $10 billion."
Let's hope the people in charge of this operation do a better job than the State Department did in designing a safe room in the Libyan Embassy. A "safe room" without an independent air supply can't stand up to a can of gasoline yet so many of them are designed that way. A freaking SCUBA outfit could have kept our ambassador alive. I suspect this latest screwup is going to turn out to be an outgrowth of the ongoing war between the State Department and the Pentagon about security funding. The last incident I recall was the Blackwater shooting in Iraq that brought about serious consequences and changes in US-Iraqi relations.
-- Bobby G.
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On 9/14/2012 6:22 AM, Robert Green wrote:

http://englishrussia.com/2009/01/06/abandoned-russian-polar-nuclear-lighthouses /
http://www.bellona.org/english_import_area/international/russia/navy/co-operation/30403
Classic Bobby G. suffering from H.I.S.I., pronounced "hissy". It stands for (H)umor (I)rony (S)arcasm (I)mpairment. People with that particular mental disease are said to have H.I.S.I. fits and often put on a big display of pseudo-intellectualism about the subject at hand when they fail to see the humor or bizarreness of statements made by someone who is attempting to pull their leg. It's also called The Mr. Data response in some circles. ^_^
TDD
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wrote:

Excellent point. What's really equally troubling is why they didn't build in some sort of voltage-regulated system that disconnects the "parasitic" load of the car when the battery approaches self-destruction. I would think the average driver would rather have the car go dormant and need resetting than go completely dead, costing the owner $40K in replacement costs. Design decisions (flaws?) like that *have* to make you wonder about what other unusual (perhaps catastrophic) design choices Tesla Motors made with their cars.
I suspect from the description of a 100' extension cord not providing sufficient charge to one of the failed cars that the Tesla requires more power to keep charged up than a reasonable amount of solar cells could deliver.
Perhaps a design that included an emergency battery (a much cheaper, smaller unit) that kicked in when the main battery dropped to dangerous levels. A problem like this could really put the kibosh on Tesla sales, a fact they seem to acknowledge by not thoroughly disclosing how expensive running out of charge can be. Five reports of total battery failure costing $40K is four reports too many.
-- Bobby G.
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On 9/14/12 5:49 AM, Robert Green wrote:

The battery low voltage disconnect is available for regular cars, boats, RVs and such now. It seems like it would be fairly easy to adapt for the Tesla.
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On 9/14/2012 8:08 AM, Dean Hoffman > wrote:

The darn thing won't even roll with dead batteries and the door locks are probably electric too. My old 1967 Renault could be hand cranked with the jack handle if the battery was dead and no way to push start. Perhaps a hand crank inertia starter like a WWII fighter plane to provide enough power to get the evil thing unlocked. ^_^
TDD
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news:k2vckq$779

They could play it up as a feature. The car that's impossible to steal without a flatbed and six strong men. It's clearly a problem they need to figure out how to solve. If I had a Tesla I would sure prefer it to shed its parasitic load way before its battery committed suicide. I'd rather have to go fetch a portable generator to recharge a nearly dead battery than have to somehow get the car to Tesla for a 40K battery exchange. Apparently their design engineers disagree.
What *should* worry them is how bitter (and talkative) bricked Tesla owners will be. That could have an impact on sales way beyond what it might cost to fix those bricked Teslas. While they are at it, they could get signed NDA's saying the owner would have to reimburse Tesla for the cost if they talked about the settlement. That's what a lot of other companies do when they get their t*ts caught in the wringer.
-- Bobby G.
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wrote:

Yes, it is an amazing position for a company. Kind of like a restaurant employee arguing with a customer that the drink they just served them was made right instead of just giving them a new one. Result is you wind up with 8 people who won't come back. Those at the table, next to it, watching, etc.
It would seem business 101 would suggest that if Tesla doesn't want to foot the $40K cost of a new battery, they should just raise the price of the cars $500, $1000 whatever it would take to cover the cost.
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wrote:
<stuff snipped>

-> NDA's saying the owner would have to reimburse Tesla for the cost if they

<Yes, it is an amazing position for a company. Kind of like a restaurant employee arguing with a customer that the drink they just served them was made right instead of just giving them a new one. Result is you wind up with 8 people who won't come back. Those at the table, next to it, watching, etc.>
Agreed. But some businesses behave that way, regardless. Maybe Tesla's too "young:" a company to have come to the conclusion that many other businesses have reached: "Don't let problems take on a life of their own."
<It would seem business 101 would suggest that if Tesla doesn't want to foot the $40K cost of a new battery, they should just raise the price of the cars $500, $1000 whatever it would take to cover the cost.>
I've been on a few projects that were guided by a "target price" that rightly or wrongly was immutable. It sounds very much like Tesla, because of things like basic battery costs, had to hew to a very tight price point.
What I've seen happen, and of course other people's experience may differ, is that a request to raise the price to cover a battery replacement contingency comes up, various "stakeholders" in the design process get very edgy. The interior designers are afraid one of their features will be cut to save money, the exterior, engine and electronics designers are probably equally afraid of being asked to "subsidize" the new feature(s) as well. All to remain just a little shy of the target price. It's a quite legitimate strategy, given how often projects hit cost overruns, but it can lead to issues like Tesla's.
I suspect that the missing reinforcing band on the exploding toilets from another thread went missing because of someone in the product design chain deciding to cut the product's cost by eliminating a safety device that would only be rarely needed.
-- Bobby G.
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You really think another $500 on a $100,000 auto is going to make much difference?


I think that is true of large companies. But this isn't GM, it's a small startup.
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It really makes you wonder what they were thinking. One thing that comes to mind is that *they* didn't even know about the totally dead battery issue until it happened to them on prototype vehicles well into the production cycle. Prototypes are usually constantly in use and not likely to be parked in airport lots for two weeks. It could have escaped detection until it got into the wild.
It would be interesting to read all the confidential internal email about the issue and how it was discovered. Those communications may eventually surface if some pissed off owner decides to sue them and goes on fishing expedition with subpoenas in a civil suit. Telsa may be faced with settling or revealing engineering mistakes made in the design. A couple of dozen replacement batteries might be better for them in the long run than continuing stories of people having to pay $40K because of a dead battery. That concept doesn't seem to sit well with people. As the article said, you can insure your car for all sorts of stupid things you might do, but not letting the Tesla's batteries go flat. That turns buying one into a pretty risky proposition because who among us hasn't had a dead battery in their lifetime?
-- Bobby G.
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wrote:

Somehow I think it's not that simple. For example, with virtually any car battery, the drain when it's parked from the minimal running systems, eg alarm, door locks radio receiver, etc is very small. You can park them for a couple weeks and they start. The Tesla has a battery at least an order of magnitude larger. In the article, it states that the Tesla manual says a fully charged battery can lose 50% of it's power in a week just sitting there. So, I suspect some kind of self-discharge process is the real culprit and even disconnecting it totally would not make a big difference in the outcome. I'm sure it would help, but it may only extend the ultimate outcome by a few more days.
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In article

Lithium-ion doesn't really self-discharge any faster than lead-acid, so I think that the Roadster must have a hefty parasitic load.
This page from the Tesla website
http://www.teslamotors.com/models/facts
has this to say about the Model S:
"The Model S battery will not lose a significant amount of charge when parked for long periods of time. For example, Model S owners can park at the airport for extended vacations without plugging in."
So maybe Tesla has quietly addressed the bricking issue. (The Roadster has been discontinued.)
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<In the article, it states that the Tesla manual says a fully charged battery can lose 50% of it's power in a week just sitting there. So, I suspect some kind of self-discharge process is the real culprit and even disconnecting it totally would not make a big difference in the outcome. I'm sure it would help, but it may only extend the ultimate outcome by a few more days.>
It's hard to believe a lithium battery could self-discharge that much in just a week but anything's possible, I guess. It seems to me like buying a car with a leaky gas tank. I'd love to know if Tesla knew about the bricking problem from the design phase or they got ambushed by it themselves.
Still, if a low voltage disconnect would buy me even a few days before my car got bricked (costing me $40K!) I'd want every second of those days to count. I suspect you're right about the discharge being fast because they appear to have tried to solve it with a GPS system that dispatches an emergency charging crew. That kind of fix leads me to believe that time is very much of the essence in dealing with a dying Tesla Roadster battery. Maybe the problem's been mitigated somewhat in the newer versions. Given how often people run their cars out of gas, it seems pretty strange to design a car that dies so spectacularly when it runs out of battery charge. My roommate once did over $1000 worth of damage to his fuel-injected Volvo running it out of gas (he was notorious for driving on E), or so the dealer told him.
-- Bobby G.
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SO you propose to keep a "go to the airport" car around? Seems that would increase your transportation budget significantly.
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I don't fly very often, but when I do, I get a ride to the airport. It's about 8 miles from my house. The Tesla might not work for your lifestyle, but it would for mine. I mean, except for the sticker price part.
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No, it certainly wouldn't work for my lifestyle, unless it were free (along with insurance and registration).
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On 9/13/2012 12:27 PM, snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:

If I owned one, I would be inclined to install a small propane gas generator, solar cells or whatever to keep the battery up when I parked the damn expensive toy somewhere for an extended period. O_o
TDD
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