2011 Tesla Model S Concept Tech Deep Dive—300Mile Range SevenSeat …

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Seat Electric Cars

2011 Tesla Model S Tech Deep Dive—300-Mile Seven-Seat EV for Mass Market?

1, 2009 12:00 AM

HAWTHORNE, It s not hard to see the drawbacks of the Tesla Though the tiny electric car has plenty of speed, its two-seat and $109,000 price tag will it out of most garages.

But the Tesla S sedan unveiled at SpaceX yesterday seeks to change all and, by late 2011, a commercially viable electric-powered that seats seven, for That s still not an inexpensive But the figure does dip to $49,400 the maximum $7,500 Federal Tax for plug-in electric vehicles in.

We took a look inside s ambitious sedan. Basem

The Goal

At the media launch founder Elon Musk We re trying to accelerate the electric car and get us off oil as soon as possible.

Musk wants his company to a mass-produced electric vehicle. the company s Roadster. the Model S not be handmade, and Tesla says it to hit 20,000 units per year production is in full swing. indicated that the car and perhaps the batteries themselves may be leased.

Due to s improvements in cell technology, the may be able to last between 7 and 10 under normal usage. The car is to have a three- to four-year bringing it within the range of consumers expect from gas-powered cars

The post-tax-credit just under $50,000, t exactly make it the people s car of the century, but it does put the Model S on par premium luxury sedans BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

Drivetrain Tech

The big S tech news is the advanced that improves both output and range. Obviously we to work within the noise, and harshness parameters of a luxury Tesla chief technology J.B. Straubel says, but we re to squeeze a lot more performance and out of the new batteries.

The standard 42-kilowatt-hour battery sits on the relatively flat pan and contains roughly 8000 Roadster uses 6831.

On a basis, the batteries are estimated to a 20 percent volumetric improvement in over the Roadster battery, to Tesla. Batteries will be in 160-mile, 230-mile or 300-mile and the sedan s $57,400 price tag is on the entry-level 160-mile-range setup. The braking system will, of assist in charging the battery.

says they could set up a charge station between, Los Angeles and San Francisco, yielding a time of only 45 minutes. But considerably slower charge Tesla says, closer to 4 using the onboard adaptor plugs into a standard wall socket. The system is compatible with 220, 240 or 400

Up to a 240-volt, 70-amp charging is possible, they say, in applications.

The electric motor be similar to the single rear-transaxle in the Roadster but, unlike the car, it will be liquid-cooled, for longer durations of high-speed and negotiating steep uphill The transmission will be a single-speed It simplifies things. It s lighter, and things can go wrong, Musk

Like the Roadster model, control and ABS will help vehicle dynamics. The standard S is expected to go from 0 to 60 mph in under 6 and Tesla hopes later to a sport model that that speed in well 5 seconds. The unique Tesla is also intended to be flexible to accommodate an electric motor at the wheelsso an all-wheel-drive option be available down the line.

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The S is expected to weigh in at just 4000 poundsroughly 1200 of pounds come from the pack. Weight distribution is to be roughly 45 percent front and 55 rear, which should aid The benchmarks cited for handling include the BMW 5 Series and the Mercedes-Benz The brake system is supplied by

As for the suspension hardware, Straubel We re not exactly reinventing the wheel in department; most of those are already in use.


How do you five adults, two children and of cargo into a sedan? The S has a unique architecture that the drivetrain components below the and between the rear wheels. The chassis and body panels be manufactured by Tesla, and they to keep running weight to a while aiming for a five-star rating.

Rear passengers are to have roughly 10 mm more than in a Mercedes-Benz CLSnot SUV levels of interior spacebut that the Model S promises to a mountain bike with its wheel intact, or a surfboard and a television, we re impressed.

The interior setup features two seats for small kids an old-school station wagon), and the is intended to completely eliminate and knobssort of like a utopian on BMW s iDrive. Control-wise, everything is to two screensan almost conventional dashboard unit and a 17-inch navigation unit in the center The central screen promises to be with Web-ready 3G wireless

Speaking of computer tech, the s system CPUs are designed to with Tesla headquarters, and if give the okay for remote the car will be able to troubleshoot and software patches.

Designer von Holzhausen suggests that s design goals initially like a minivan layout to but the electric powertrain architecture more flexibility than he I call it a skateboard, he says, it s a flat, open space no motor up front. The setup not opens up the cabin, it enables and rear cargo space.

The Bottom Line

The mass-produced car has yet to become a reality. But Tesla to have weathered some technical challenges with its and the Model S Concept looks If they can deliver the specs and hit a point that falls $50,000, Tesla might be to achieve what other have yet to accomplish.

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