When Tesla Motors Inc introduced 100% electric cars in 2008, some were skeptical. An all-electric car may be ideal for local commutes, but what if you drive a lot of miles for work or want to take a road trip?
Even those who are brave enough to join the Tesla Tribe have faced “reach anxiety” while on the road. (“Uh oh… I’m not sure I have enough charge to get home or the next Supercharger” – that’s Range Anxiety). Tesla superchargers have become much more common today, and updated navigation systems show drivers how far they can go with their current charge and where they need to stop to recharge. Scope anxiety isn’t the problem it once was.
Tesla puts small batteries in a big pack
Tesla’s batteries are big – really big. The Model S battery weighs almost 1,200 lbs. Rather than using large unit batteries and to save cost and weight, Tesla uses thousands of small lithium-ion batteries placed side by side in a sealed compartment. The individual batteries seem almost identical to the ones we all use in common electronic devices.
The Tesla Gigafactory outside of Reno, Nevada is tasked with manufacturing and lowering the cost of the batteries that will be needed to power the entire line of Tesla electric vehicles. This includes the upcoming Model 3 which is expected to ship early next year. Almost 400,000 Model 3s have been reserved to date.
A Tesla battery is generally good for anywhere from 230 to 270 miles and so far the only way to replenish the miles has been to plug in.
Let’s take a look at some cool charging options for Tesla electric vehicles.
Let pedestrians charge your Tesla
Pavegen is developing technology that converts the energy created by footsteps into electricity to power services in areas with a lot of foot traffic. Founded in 2009, the Pavegen has been involved in more than 100 projects in more than 25 countries. With sales of over 2.5 million, a global distribution network, and internationally issued patents, the next step is scale.
Tesla Motors and Pavegen joined forces last year to show something pretty awesome where a Tesla Model S was actually propelled by the footsteps of pedestrians. Pavegen slabs were placed in a street and a charger was connected to a Tesla. The first time a pedestrian stepped on the tile, the car did move forward. The battery charge level continued to increase each time one stepped on the tile until the car finally started.
Pavegen is not yet available for EV charging, but with that kind of creative thinking and technology, you can bet it will.
Look mom! No cable! Charge your Tesla at home – wirelessly
Tesla owners usually bill at home. Most have 220V outlets in their garages and plug their cars in at night, waking up with a fully charged battery. Many Tesla owners have said they got into their cars in the morning to find the car was not charged because they forgot to plug in the charger the night before. It’s more common than you might imagine. Many drivers unintentionally forget to plug in their car chargers after a long, difficult day.
Wireless charging is a technology that Alphabet / Google is starting to test on its self-driving cars, at least based on reports from the IEEE Spectrum. However, while Google is still testing the technology, Tesla owners have a head start and can already place orders to buy and use wireless charging.
A cool startup, Plugless, wants to take the pressure off Tesla owners from remembering to plug in. The company goes even further by developing a wireless charging technology. Model S owners can now place orders for a new product that allows them to charge their cars without plugging into a home charging system or Supercharger. New wireless charging system is called Plugless Power and is designed for the Tesla Model S to provide an intelligent charging system that does not require any intervention from the driver.
Plugless Power is an efficient, hands-free wireless charging technology that is fully self-sufficient for charging the Tesla Model S – it is not yet available for the Model X, Model 3, or Roadster. Plugless Power is a 7.2kW charger that offers the same power output as a wired charger – the system delivers 20 miles for every hour of charge giving your Model S an overnight charge of 200 miles or more.
The best part is that Plugless works with the Tesla Charge Timer and its simplicity and ease of use ensures that it doesn’t alter the connection experience you had with your Model S – except for removing the need to plug in a charger. The plugless would normally be hardwired into a home’s electrical system, but it can also be manually plugged into a dedicated 50 amp circuit near a parking space.
Model S owners can enjoy a pricing reserved for reservation holders of $ 2,440 by paying a fully refundable deposit of $ 244. Deposits end May 31, and Plugless Power will sell for around $ 3,290 when shipments begin. The company also offers a 45-day return policy for any reason after installation and Evatran will be happy to take the shipping cost back and forth.
It should be noted that Tesla Motors has not affirmatively endorsed the Plugless, but has neither rejected nor made a statement about the product. Plugless Power is backed by a 3 year warranty and the company states that using Plugless will not affect your Tesla warranty. In fact, the 3 year warranty that Evantran offers guarantees against the possibility that the Plugless could affect your Tesla warranty.
Scope anxiety is gone, but charging is still a serious issue
Charging is a problem that Tesla Motors owners face on a daily basis. Tesla Superchargers are fast, at least compared to charging at home, but you’ll still spend more time stopping in a Supercharger than at a gas station. A growing problem is that you may have to wait for a place in a Supercharger. This is already happening in some busy California compressors, but when you add 400,000 Model 3s to the mix, the problem could become serious.
Tesla planned that Superchargers would only be used for long haul trips, but CEO Elon Musk admits that “there are a few people who use it quite aggressively for local supercharging … do this every now and then. , but it’s supposed to be a long distance thing.
Tesla has 624 Supercharger stations with 3,708 Superchargers but Superchargers are not enough to meet the needs of its customers. The company now has an ambitious plan to deliver 500,000 cars by 2018 and 1 million cars by 2020 and the the charging problem with Tesla could get worse unless Tesla / owners take proactive steps.
Roger Chou in San Diego, who ordered a Model X but drives a Model S told the WSJ that “Tesla’s sales will drop if they don’t build more supercharger stations… If they want to start charging people, that’s fine, but be clear about that, so people can make up their minds beforehand. to spend over $ 100,000 on a car. “
Evantran claims that Plugless has already provided more than 500,000 hours of charging to users in the United States and Canada. Adoption of the device has already been recorded in 6 of 13 Canadian provinces and 43 of 50 US states. The company reports a 500% increase in the number of people using Plugless from mid-2015 to the first quarter of 2016.
How about recharging while driving?
Electric vehicle owners will also be delighted to discover charging technology being developed to integrate wireless charging units directly onto highways. The wireless charging units will be an adaptation of Plugless technology and they will gradually charge your car while you are driving. Of course, wireless charging units could be integrated on a separate lane for electric vehicles, but it wouldn’t be surprising if all roads were covered with such a system by mid-century.
The British government is already ready to test new road technology and the government is committing to invest around $ 779 million in the project through 2020. Mike Wilson, UK government’s chief road engineer, said: The motorways of England. Interestingly, similar technology is already in use in Gumi, South Korea, where the shuttles are charged by underground charging systems.
In another development, researchers at Clemson University are working on a dynamic wireless charging system on the roads of the University’s International Automotive Research Center (ICAR) in Greenville, South Carolina. Previously, researchers developed stationary wireless charging technology similar to the system offered by Plugless. Interestingly, the R&D for the new mobile wireless charging system is supported in part by a multi-million dollar grant from the US Department of Energy (DOE). In addition, a consortium of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Toyota, Cisco and a few other companies are also supporting the project.