How Many Miles On A Charge?

The Tesla affair is interesting. Elon Musk the redoubtable entrepreneur behind electric car-maker Tesla, took the New York Times to task  for saying the car ran out of juice before its stated 265 mile range.

The NYT hack said the car ran out of battery before it had done that distance.

Musk pointed to the data log which showed that the NYT hack had driven faster than he had stated and had driven around in circles.

A bunch of CNN hacks did the same journey later, ending with plenty of charge to spare.

It’s a useful insight into the state-of-the-art in electric cars.

You can probably get 200 miles plus, but is that satisfactory in a car costing $100,000?

Probably not, unless its a second/third/fourth car for doing the shopping.

For which the price seems a trifle high.



  1. Yes RupertG, unless fuel cells are the longer-term answer.

  2. I recall floods in America, where a car-park was inundated and partially submerged all the cars.
    After the water receded, all the Tesla cars parked in a row were fried – the batteries were shorted out by the water and they all caught fire.

  3. Barring some breakthrough in battery design, I think the only way for electric cars to get around the range problem is to have battery swaps at filling stations. There are lots of problems with that too – but I think they’re all tractable, which delivering enough energy quickly enough through electrical connections is not.
    That or induction charging in the roads, or overhead cables and pantographs… which would be very amusing.

  4. Indeed Mr Cynical. If I am driving 400-miles in a car, I might need to fill up my tank, but it takes a few minutes, and there is a large infrastructure to support it. I could even set off with 100-miles range in the tank and know I’ll be able to fill up later on.

  5. I don’t think 200 miles + is the problem, it’s the time that it takes to recharge when they are nearly flat that is a problem?
    I think also that the Tesla batteries are made up from standard battery cells which are clamped in a tray and wire bonded for connectivity, it’s pretty low tech stuff and can only be justified by $ savings?
    The Nissan Leaf for instance has a higher technology and better packaging.

  6. SecretEuroPatentAgentMan

    The patent application they refer to make a problem statement about thermal problems, and then they disclose how to overcome this problem. This is quite normal practice in drafting patent applications. There is nothing indicated in the article that Tesla did not use their own invention.
    Se patents US8277965 and US8361642.

  7. Well I see Airbus is saying it’s sticking with nickel-cadmium Tom, so there may well be some credence in this.

  8. I was reading about the batteries and saw this article:
    which shows Tesla’s own staff saying that their batteries are crap. It seems they put a certain type of battery in their car to appease their investors and not the public. They picked the wrong thing and are paying for it now.

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