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    Thread: Tesla's Major Design Flaw May Cost You $40,000

    1. Member Chris_V's Avatar
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      02-22-2012 04:03 PM #76
      Quote Originally Posted by PlatinumGLS View Post
      What happens if your area experiences a black out that lasts nearly a week like some areas during the Northeast blackout of 2003? Or areas that lose powers due to natural disaster?
      Insurance? Kind of liek insurance to pay for a replacement engine if you drive through a deep puddle and hydrolock the engine in your ICE car? I dunno, seems like there would be a way to combat a huge problem like that. Maybe buy a backup generator for your house if you live in an area where that might be a problem.

      I've been out of power for a combined 6 hours in the last 12 years, even with two hurricanes coming through.
      I love cars, but the problem is they are like schroedinger's hobby. They're always in a quantum superstate of being both awesome and a huge waste of time and money... until observation momentarily forces them into one state or another.

    2. Member rbloedow's Avatar
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      02-22-2012 04:04 PM #77
      Quote Originally Posted by PlatinumGLS View Post
      What happens if your area experiences a black out that lasts nearly a week like some areas during the Northeast blackout of 2003? Or areas that lose powers due to natural disaster?
      Generator?

    3. Member AHFlynn's Avatar
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      02-22-2012 04:14 PM #78
      Quote Originally Posted by surefooted View Post
      Not really concerned about job security then huh?
      not really. theyve got a lot of government money to burn through and a large international market interest. i think theyve got a really solid business plan and as a start up company are doing really well.

      plus my major has one of the lowest unemployment rates out of college, so if that doesnt work out im not too worried.
      Quote Originally Posted by Cousin Eddie View Post
      Nah, understeering into a tree in a Honda like a teenage girl ruins your street cred. I'd leave the door to show how hard you are.

    4. Senior Member Air and water do mix's Avatar
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      02-22-2012 04:20 PM #79
      Quote Originally Posted by Chris_V View Post
      I've been out of power for a combined 6 hours in the last 12 years, even with two hurricanes coming through.
      You're lucky, then.

      Here in southern Indiana, Hurricane Ike came through with enough force that it wiped out electricity over large areas, including mine. We didn't have power for about a week! This was at a point after my Mother-in-Law died, so we had 2 houses. Both without power for that week! The good news? The weather was incredibly good (highs in the upper '70s or so) and my wife cooked on our gas grill. We had to empty the fridge/freezer quickly, so we ate very well indeed. She even made some damn fine "cowboy coffee" to go with ham and eggs in the morning!

      6 months later we had a regional ice storm. Same scenario and again for a week in both houses (we hadn't yet sold the one), but the weather was absolutely horrendous. We were able to bunk with friends after the house got down to 60º or so. My folks, my sister and nearly everyone else we knew was in the same boat. That one really sucked.

      I still haven't bought a generator, as it's the only time in my 46 years that I've seen anything like that, and it happened 2 times in one year!
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    5. Member 2000JettaGLXVR6's Avatar
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      02-22-2012 04:21 PM #80
      Just another garbage article from Jalopnik, what else is new? Total non story (but hey, whatever gets clicks).

      http://techcrunch.com/2012/02/22/the...y-its-nonsense

      "All automobiles require some level of owner care. For example, combustion vehicles require regular oil changes or the engine will be destroyed. Electric vehicles should be plugged in and charging when not in use for maximum performance. All batteries are subject to damage if the charge is kept at zero for long periods of time. However, Tesla avoids this problem in virtually all instances with numerous counter-measures. Tesla batteries can remain unplugged for weeks (or even months), without reaching zero state of charge. Owners of Roadster 2.0 and all subsequent Tesla products can request that their vehicle alert Tesla if SOC falls to a low level. All Tesla vehicles emit various visual and audible warnings if the battery pack falls below 5 percent SOC. Tesla provides extensive maintenance recommendations as part of the customer experience."

    6. Member 2000JettaGLXVR6's Avatar
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      02-22-2012 04:23 PM #81
      Quote Originally Posted by PlatinumGLS View Post
      What happens if your area experiences a black out that lasts nearly a week like some areas during the Northeast blackout of 2003? Or areas that lose powers due to natural disaster?
      It lasts for weeks-months on a full charge.

    7. 02-22-2012 04:23 PM #82
      Quote Originally Posted by Roketdriver View Post
      How will this cost ME $40,000 if I don't own a Tesla? Sounds like a scam.
      lol
      No Longer : -=Camry Driver=- -=Camry Driver=- -=Camry Driver=- -=Camry Driver=- -=Camry Driver=- -=Camry Driver=- -=Camry Driver=- -=Camry Driver=- -=Camry Driver=- -=Camry Driver=-

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      02-22-2012 04:28 PM #83
      This is an owner use problem, and an education problem from the delivery coordinator (or salesperson, whatever they call them) to the customer.

      EV's aren't ICE cars, and each one has a few "gotcha's" that you have to explain to the customer, and then explain it again, and then ask them about a scenario, and then make sure their answer shows they understand.

      The LEAF has a charging timer interrupt button that needs to be pushed if you are wanting to charge outside of your normal charging schedule (and this will strand people before they remember unless you beat it into them), the Volt is intolerant of crappy extension cords, or loose blades in the connector, and now it seems that the Tesla Roadster doesn't like being off the charger.

      For everyone who is complaining that there needs to be a fail safe, at this point, intelligence is the fail safe. If the state of usable charge is 0%, and the normal drain on the battery will run the state of total charge down below what's safe, it's time to charge it. Even if you cut the rest of the car out of the equation, batteries draw down on their own, so a depleted pack with no usable charge can damage itself by just sitting.

      As an example, I have an electric RC plane that I fly infrequently. The LiPo's get a full charge before they sit, and then monthly I check them, as just sitting there and doing nothing, they'll discharge themselves into a brick. This car is no different.

      TL: DR- Consumers screwed up, but Tesla needs to make sure they're more educated on this matter during delivery.
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    9. 02-22-2012 04:32 PM #84
      Quote Originally Posted by AHFlynn View Post
      not really. theyve got a lot of government money to burn through and a large international market interest. i think theyve got a really solid business plan and as a start up company are doing really well.

      plus my major has one of the lowest unemployment rates out of college, so if that doesnt work out im not too worried.

    10. Member PlatinumGLS's Avatar
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      02-22-2012 04:34 PM #85
      Quote Originally Posted by 2000JettaGLXVR6 View Post
      It lasts for weeks-months on a full charge.
      I understand but in the example of the blackout, there was no warning. The battery could almost be near depletion at the time.

      As noted above, if you buy an electric car, you'll have to own a generator.

    11. Member rlfletch's Avatar
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      02-22-2012 04:37 PM #86
      The "Article" mentions the parasitic systems in the Roadster as draining the battery. My original question relates to shutting those systems down to save the battery. New question: How long will a charge in a Li battery last if it's sitting, unconnected to anything?

      It's clearly one of the issues one has to deal with while owning an Electric car. If you can't handle keeping the battery topped off don't buy it. Do any of you have any clue how hard it was to even keep a car running in the early 1900's? We are in the early stages of this new round of electric cars and they don't have 100 years of development yet to make them idiot proof. I suspect with all the hyperbole surrounding this non-story(remember: 0.25%) I'm sure Tesla will make sure people are aware of the care and feeding of their new tech. This is exactly why the roadster was a great platform to test on. Reliable car design with unknown reliability new technology. Now they have a rough idea how many people might "Brick" there cars. I'm glad to be aware of the issue but will not be pulling my deposit just yet.
      Quote Originally Posted by Fritz27 View Post
      Mercedes typically makes awful manual transmissions and fantastic auto transmissions. Choosing the stick would be like saying, "Y'know, that Natalie Portman is pretty hot, but if she grew some hair on her legs and had a dong, she'd be just right."
      Quote Originally Posted by jnm2.0t View Post
      Was it parked on the curb on garbage day?

    12. Member freedomgli's Avatar
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      02-22-2012 04:39 PM #87
      Quote Originally Posted by NashGTI View Post
      Do car makers have a responsibility to cover damage to a gas engine that doesn't receive oil changes?
      Once again, the oil change analogy sucks.

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      02-22-2012 04:41 PM #88
      same thing happened to my macbook hahaha. I left it on sleep mode while on vacation for 2 weeks. basically was draining power until the battery died
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      02-22-2012 04:41 PM #89
      Quote Originally Posted by freedomgli View Post
      Once again, the oil change analogy sucks.
      Correct. People always want to compare the pitfalls of ICE cars with EV's, but this situation doesn't transfer. SOC neglect has no comparison in an EV vs an ICE car.

      Close is deep cycling a lead acid battery, but that's just annoying, and not a major pitfall.
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      Quote Originally Posted by SivNiz View Post
      Have you ever been to the Terror Grill? Would you like to go?

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      02-22-2012 04:46 PM #90
      Drama aside, you'd think Tesla would just replace the batteries in those "5" at a reduced rate. This kinda publicity can't be worth $100k in negativity.


      Fisker is ON THE PHONE!

    16. Member Professor Gascan's Avatar
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      02-22-2012 04:46 PM #91
      Quote Originally Posted by Chris_V View Post
      Don't try to drive a Tesla after reaching 0% indicated, and don't leave it in a parking garage unplugged for a month.
      Quote Originally Posted by Brendan@bwalkauto
      Tesla needs to make sure they're more educated on this matter during delivery.
      These two are really the point. Tesla should be more forceful on this issue. I don't put them on the hook for it (it's a reality of the technology,) but even if they scare off a few consumers by being openly blunt about it, I think they'll have less headaches in the long run.
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    17. Member freedomgli's Avatar
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      02-22-2012 04:56 PM #92
      Quote Originally Posted by rlfletch View Post
      We are in the early stages of this new round of electric cars and they don't have 100 years of development yet to make them idiot proof.
      This is a cop out. Today's ICE cars aren't foolproof (intense pressure from the competition and the pressure to cut costs to boost short-term profits means mfrs. still screw them up) but they're mature products made by a mature auto industry. Startups will make mistakes but that doesn't mean that these companies should be easily forgiven for pushing out under-cooked BEVs and then blaming the early adopters for neglectful behavior that is foreseeable use. A car should not suffer $40k in damages from sitting idle for a week or two in storage. Period. This is not neglect no matter what warnings are printed in the owner's manual. While all design is a matter of compromise, catastrophic failures should be minimized through proper safeguards.

      Why doesn't the Tesla have a circuit that protects the battery from these parasitic losses before the battery reaches a critical failure point?

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      02-22-2012 05:02 PM #93
      Quote Originally Posted by freedomgli View Post
      This is a cop out. Today's ICE cars aren't foolproof (intense pressure from the competition and the pressure to cut costs to boost short-term profits means mfrs. still screw them up) but they're mature products made by a mature auto industry. Startups will make mistakes but that doesn't mean that these companies should be easily forgiven for pushing out under-cooked BEVs and then blaming the early adopters for neglectful behavior that is foreseeable use. A car should not suffer $40k in damages from sitting idle for a week or two in storage. Period. This is not neglect no matter what warnings are printed in the owner's manual. While all design is a matter of compromise, catastrophic failures should be minimized through proper safeguards.

      Why doesn't the Tesla have a circuit that protects the battery from these parasitic losses before the battery reaches a critical failure point?
      such a circuit in itself would cause a parasitic draw on the battery unless you were talking about a mechanical disconnect for the battery pack, which I'll bet already exists on the car.

    19. 02-22-2012 05:04 PM #94
      Quote Originally Posted by rlfletch View Post
      The "Article" mentions the parasitic systems in the Roadster as draining the battery. My original question relates to shutting those systems down to save the battery. New question: How long will a charge in a Li battery last if it's sitting, unconnected to anything?
      . . .
      This is my question. How hard would it be to shut off the "always on" systems when the battery reached a minimum threshold? If they've already rewritten the code to send a message to the owner and/or Tesla, why not have it go into "conservation mode" immediately afterward? Letting it just sit around and wait for permanent damage seems like bad engineering to me.

    20. Member rlfletch's Avatar
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      02-22-2012 05:04 PM #95
      The internets are on the job!:

      http://c1qfxugcgy0.tumblr.com/post/1...stating-design

      I suspect this entire issue won't take long to be exhaustively argued about to the highest levels of keyboard rage anecdotal knowledge.
      Quote Originally Posted by Fritz27 View Post
      Mercedes typically makes awful manual transmissions and fantastic auto transmissions. Choosing the stick would be like saying, "Y'know, that Natalie Portman is pretty hot, but if she grew some hair on her legs and had a dong, she'd be just right."
      Quote Originally Posted by jnm2.0t View Post
      Was it parked on the curb on garbage day?

    21. Member rbloedow's Avatar
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      02-22-2012 05:10 PM #96
      Quote Originally Posted by freedomgli View Post
      This is a cop out. Today's ICE cars aren't foolproof (intense pressure from the competition and the pressure to cut costs to boost short-term profits means mfrs. still screw them up) but they're mature products made by a mature auto industry. Startups will make mistakes but that doesn't mean that these companies should be easily forgiven for pushing out under-cooked BEVs and then blaming the early adopters for neglectful behavior that is foreseeable use. A car should not suffer $40k in damages from sitting idle for a week or two in storage. Period. This is not neglect no matter what warnings are printed in the owner's manual. While all design is a matter of compromise, catastrophic failures should be minimized through proper safeguards.

      Why doesn't the Tesla have a circuit that protects the battery from these parasitic losses before the battery reaches a critical failure point?
      DEAR GOD, JUST STOP. Nothing can prevent any battery from losing its state of charge - NOTHING. Hell - even new batteries in their packages discharge - why do you think your pack of triple-a batteries has an expiration date??

      GTF over it.

    22. 02-22-2012 05:16 PM #97
      Whoa. That's a little harsh, there. Yes, the battery will eventually discharge, but if shutting off the "always on" systems or mechanically breaking the connection to the battery pack will change that time from weeks to years, or even months, don't you think that's a step worth taking?

      Obviously, that's a big "if", which is why I'd be interested in a battery expert chiming in with how long a Li ion battery will last at, say, 5% charge with absolutely no load.

    23. Forum Sponsor Brendan@bwalkauto's Avatar
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      02-22-2012 05:23 PM #98
      Quote Originally Posted by Professor Gascan View Post
      These two are really the point. Tesla should be more forceful on this issue. I don't put them on the hook for it (it's a reality of the technology,) but even if they scare off a few consumers by being openly blunt about it, I think they'll have less headaches in the long run.
      This is what I did with LEAF customers when it came to range, driving techniques, etc. I'd rather lose a few deals but ensure those who are on the road are well educated mavens for the technology, not disgruntled with the limitations that they weren't aware of.

      Plus I sold them all anyway.

      Quote Originally Posted by gr8shandini View Post
      Obviously, that's a big "if", which is why I'd be interested in a battery expert chiming in with how long a Li ion battery will last at, say, 5% charge with absolutely no load.
      A charged LEAF discharges around 3% monthly. Much different battery design though.
      Last edited by Brendan@bwalkauto; 02-22-2012 at 05:27 PM.
      Brendan Dolan
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      Quote Originally Posted by SivNiz View Post
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    24. 02-22-2012 05:24 PM #99
      yikes, i wouldn't buy tesla stock anytime soon !!!

      they should probably seek a joint venture w/toyota or honda with their hybrid division or something

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      02-22-2012 05:27 PM #100
      As a second Roadster owner discovered, the Tesla battery system can completely discharge even when the vehicle is plugged in. This owner's car was plugged into a 100-foot long extension cord for an extended period. The length of this extension cord evidently reduced the electric current to a level insufficient to charge the Tesla, resulting in another "bricked" Roadster.
      Really? This is even remotely believed? Does the TV on the far side of your house not work right because it is too far from the pole?

      Yes there could be some drop across the extension cord but not enough that i could see it being less supplied power then what the car is using in standby.


      A fourth customer shipped his Tesla Roadster to Japan, reportedly only to discover the voltages there were incompatible. By then, it was too late, the car was bricked, and he had to ship it back to the US for repairs.
      Japanese and US plugs are compatible voltage wise and even plug into each other both grounded and ungrounded. The frequency apparently is off 50 vs 60 (US) hertz but that can be easily sorted by anyone with the budget to ship a damn car across the ocean and a trip to an electronics store, that is assuming the onboard charge controller could not handle it which I"d imagine it would.

      There are Teslas in Japan are they all bricked?


      Not saying they cannot totally discharge but 2 out of the 4 actual examples listed just don't make sense..

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