Hey flu, check this out

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Submitted by Veritas on February 23, 2012 - 12:28pm

Since you are a car guy, I thought you would enjoy reading this.

“'It’s A Brick” – Tesla Motors’ Devastating Design Problem.'
http://theunderstatement.com/post/180300...

Here is another example of "green technology" that is not working out- "General Motors and General Electric are two companies that have been in the political crosshairs lately. GM stands accused of 'crony capitalism,' while GE is under fire for paying no Federal income taxes in 2010. The two companies share more than that though, with GE placing an order for 12,000 Chevy Volts and other hybrid vehicles."

http://lonelyconservative.com/2012/02/ge...

I am enjoying the weekly pigg wrap up. Thanks for your efforts.

Submitted by flu on February 23, 2012 - 12:59pm.

I read about that... However, I suspect it's related to user error...

http://www.autoblog.com/2012/02/22/tesla...

Most things don't "brick" themselves. From my personal experience, if something I have bricks, it's 99% of the time because of me.

Submitted by Veritas on February 23, 2012 - 3:50pm.

Good to know, although I cannot afford one anyway. Some of the early big screen tv's became bricks, but I think that was related to the technology, not the user.

Submitted by ucodegen on February 23, 2012 - 6:06pm.

flu wrote:
I read about that... However, I suspect it's related to user error...

http://www.autoblog.com/2012/02/22/tesla...

Most things don't "brick" themselves. From my personal experience, if something I have bricks, it's 99% of the time because of me.


In the case of cell phone design or embedded systems, bricking can often be screwing up the boot-loader in the process of an update (since you often have to load it with the new image). Most of these devices 'self-burn' the ROM.

With the Tesla, I suspect it is because the charging controller only uses the battery voltage supply to run, it may not have very simple - discrete logic - to select outside supply or charging voltage, which ever is 'alive' or had 'usable voltage' with a preference of battery source. If this is the case, you will brick the Tesla if you completely discharge the battery because the charging controller will look only to the battery to for power to manage the charging of the battery.

Submitted by The-Shoveler on February 23, 2012 - 6:49pm.

The bricking thing I think can be resolved for not too much (hopefully anyway), and should be a recall idem if it is a flaw (hey it is new tech).

I like the new Fisker Karma, but it's way over my budget.

that new 100MPG Ford that is coming out looks cool, If We start seeing these things below 20/25K (which I believe is coming), We will have to find some kind of new market for all that Oil.

Or if Gas goes above $7 or so, then people will take to these in mass,

Submitted by svelte on February 23, 2012 - 8:46pm.

Well I think the Tesla problem is real, but that there should also be a semi-easy fix. Why not an auto-disconnect of the battery once it reaches an unreasonably low charge level? That'll fix it, might not be cheap to implement though.

As for the Volt article, now that wasn't biased was it? :-)

I personally don't think electric cars are the answer - we've been down that path before about 100 years ago and I haven't seen enough change in battery technology to think it will end any differently this time.

I think TG had it right - the algae research looks promising. That's where my hypothetical money is right now. Hope it works out.

Submitted by Veritas on February 23, 2012 - 11:22pm.

It is a shame that we cannot get this one here in the U.S.: Ford's 2009 Fiesta ECOnetic goes on sale in November. But here's the catch: Despite the car's potential to transform Ford's image and help it compete with Toyota Motor (TM) and Honda Motor (HMC) in its home market, the company will sell the little fuel sipper only in Europe. "We know it's an awesome vehicle," says Ford America President Mark Fields. "But there are business reasons why we can't sell it in the U.S." The main one: The Fiesta ECOnetic runs on diesel. It gets 65 MPG!!!

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/con...

Submitted by flu on February 24, 2012 - 4:26am.

Well, I said I smelled something fishy.. Not saying it's the best design, but....

http://www.autoblog.com/2012/02/23/tesla...

For the lazy...

Yesterday's outrageous attack on electric vehicles didn't come from the GOP (for a change), but from a seemingly disinterested blogger, one Michael Degusta. His charges against Tesla include suggesting that its cars will have "eventual, inevitable, catastrophic battery failure," lambasting the company for poor warranty service, accusing Tesla of tracking its owners without consent, and intimating that the company is not only failing to provide owners with proper notice of this phenomenon but also covering up the whole sordid affair. Serious stuff, this post of his that's rippled through the automotive web with the force of a 185-kW electric motor.

Yet all may not be what it seems. Late yesterday, an e-mail surfaced on Green Car Reports, in which a disgruntled owner who bricked his battery pleads his case to Tesla CEO Elon Musk. The e-mail, sent by one Max Drucker, CEO of Santa Barbara-based Social Intelligence Corp, is a clear plea for assistance in the repair of his car. Drucker identifies his car as Roadster #340, the same car that serves as the primary example in Degusta's piece. Drucker has since spoken with Autopia about his car, admitting that he drove his Roadster down to a 25 percent charge, then left it parked for six weeks, something the owner's manual specifically warns against.

Now, let's turn our attention towards Degusta, who noted at the end of his screed, "No one has paid me to write this article" and pointed out that his blog is not advertising-supported. That's an important point, as it's clearly designed to give readers the impression that Degusta is an unbiased outsider, something of a modern-day Upton Sinclair, defending the poor, innocent owners of $100,000 sports cars from the uncaring electric car company and its billionaire co-founder.

Yet, a few minutes spent with Google shows that Drucker and Degusta are also business partners, having registered at least four corporations together in California, according to Corporationwiki. It also turns up this article, from the November 15, 2000, issue of Insurance & Technology magazine, a profile of Drucker, in which he is quoted describing Degusta as his "partner in crime." Indeed, we wonder if the famously litigious Tesla might be considering another libel lawsuit against this muckraking duo.

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1073...


Drucker, the letter writer, admits in the letter that he left his Roadster unplugged for more than two months--saying that he was in temporary housing and "didn't have a convenient place" to plug in the car.

And, he claims ignorance that such a thing was necessary: "I had no idea I was putting the car at risk or obviously I would not be in the position I am in now."

Tesla specifically warns the owner to keep the car plugged in, both through its customer staff and in several places in owner manuals and elsewhere.

From our earlier Q+A on the phenomenon of 'bricking':

Q: Does Tesla tell Roadster buyers to keep their cars plugged in?

A: Yes. It's prominently called out in the warranty and owner's documents.

(We've provided four images from the Tesla Roadster owner's manual and other documentation, in the gallery below, that highlight the necessary care for the battery.)

Drucker's letter suggests there will be a "major public outcry" when "middle-class families" who buy the upcoming Model S sedan "accidentally let their batteries discharge."

And the letter suggests that this whole affair will become a "PR nightmare for Tesla."

Drucker ends, "I am not going to write this off as a $40K mistake and move on happily."

Submitted by svelte on February 24, 2012 - 7:37am.

So, the original blog post was by a friend/business partner.

That doesn't change the fact that the car needs a $40K repair simply because he hadn't plugged it in for weeks!

Apparently, you consider that an acceptable electric car trait, flu?

Submitted by flu on February 24, 2012 - 7:47am.

svelte wrote:
So, the original blog post was by a friend/business partner.

That doesn't change the fact that the car needs a $40K repair simply because he hadn't plugged it in for weeks!

Apparently, you consider that an acceptable electric car trait, flu?

It was written all over the owners manual and prior to purchase, this was detailed by Tesla.. Don't drain the battery to 0. I would have stopped at the purchase. BUT if I accepted the purchase (like apparently this guy did), well yes, I'd say it's user error. And let's face it. Who really knows what he really did. He says weeks. It could have been months. He could have abused the crap out of it. Bottomline, he ain't telling the truth.

Submitted by svelte on February 24, 2012 - 7:53am.

flu wrote:

It was written all over the owners manual and prior to purchase, this was detailed by Tesla.. Don't drain the battery to 0. I would have stopped at the purchase. BUT if I accepted the purchase (like apparently this guy did), well yes, I'd say it's user error. And let's face it. Who really knows what he really did. He says weeks. It could have been months. He could have abused the crap out of it. Bottomline, he ain't telling the truth.

Let's take a look at the owner's manual...

[Page 5-2] Even when you're not driving the vehicle, the Battery will slowly lose its charge. Therefore, when you're not using the vehicle, you should leave it plugged in. However, situations may arise in which you must leave the vehicle unplugged for an extended time (for example, at an airport when travelling for a couple of weeks). If this is the case, it is your responsibility to ensure that the Battery does not become fully depleted. Charge the Battery to a maximum level before leaving it. Keep in mind that when the vehicle is left unplugged with a full Battery, the initial rate of decline can be significant. When fully charged, the Battery's charge level can drop as much as 7% a day and 50% within the first week. When the Battery's charge level falls below 50%, the rate of decline slows down to approximately 5% per week. Over-discharge can permanently damage the Battery.

If for some reason, you are unable to keep the vehicle plugged in when it is not being used, it is up to you to preserve battery life by paying attention to the charge level and the temperature (see bulleted list below). If leaving your vehicle unplugged for more than 24 hours, follow these do's and don'ts to avoid prematurely decreasing the life of your vehicle's Battery:

• DO leave the vehicle plugged in whenever possible.
DO maintain at least a15% charge level in the Battery if leaving it unplugged for more than 48 hours.
• DO charge the Battery to a full charge before leaving it unplugged. This maintains the charge level needed to keep the Battery's electronics operational. If storing for more than 15 days, it is strongly recommended that you keep it plugged in.
• DO NOT expose an unplugged vehicle to ambient temperatures below -20°F (-29°C) or above 120°F (49°C.

Do you consider that strong enough warning? Nowhere does it say it'll cost you $40K if the battery goes dead!

And it says "strongly recommended" that it remain plugged in - not "required"!!

I guess you and I will have to agree to disagree on this one. I think this sort of behavior from a car is unacceptable.

Guess that means I won't be owning an electric car anytime soon!

Submitted by flu on February 24, 2012 - 8:07am.

svelte wrote:
flu wrote:

It was written all over the owners manual and prior to purchase, this was detailed by Tesla.. Don't drain the battery to 0. I would have stopped at the purchase. BUT if I accepted the purchase (like apparently this guy did), well yes, I'd say it's user error. And let's face it. Who really knows what he really did. He says weeks. It could have been months. He could have abused the crap out of it. Bottomline, he ain't telling the truth.

Let's take a look at the owner's manual...

[Page 5-2] Even when you're not driving the vehicle, the Battery will slowly lose its charge. Therefore, when you're not using the vehicle, you should leave it plugged in. However, situations may arise in which you must leave the vehicle unplugged for an extended time (for example, at an airport when travelling for a couple of weeks). If this is the case, it is your responsibility to ensure that the Battery does not become fully depleted. Charge the Battery to a maximum level before leaving it. Keep in mind that when the vehicle is left unplugged with a full Battery, the initial rate of decline can be significant. When fully charged, the Battery's charge level can drop as much as 7% a day and 50% within the first week. When the Battery's charge level falls below 50%, the rate of decline slows down to approximately 5% per week. Over-discharge can permanently damage the Battery.

If for some reason, you are unable to keep the vehicle plugged in when it is not being used, it is up to you to preserve battery life by paying attention to the charge level and the temperature (see bulleted list below). If leaving your vehicle unplugged for more than 24 hours, follow these do's and don'ts to avoid prematurely decreasing the life of your vehicle's Battery:

• DO leave the vehicle plugged in whenever possible.
DO maintain at least a15% charge level in the Battery if leaving it unplugged for more than 48 hours.
• DO charge the Battery to a full charge before leaving it unplugged. This maintains the charge level needed to keep the Battery's electronics operational. If storing for more than 15 days, it is strongly recommended that you keep it plugged in.
• DO NOT expose an unplugged vehicle to ambient temperatures below -20°F (-29°C) or above 120°F (49°C.

Do you consider that strong enough warning? Nowhere does it say it'll cost you $40K if the battery goes dead!

And it says "strongly recommended" that it remain plugged in - not "required"!!

I guess you and I will have to agree to disagree on this one. I think this sort of behavior from a car is unacceptable.

Guess that means I won't be owning an electric car anytime soon!

That was exactly the reason why I didn't get a tesla..Because when I was in the middle of talking to the sales, I can't say how many times it was emphasized to me that you need to leave the battery charged... It wasn't practical. But hey, if you're going to be a v1 adopter, you got to play by their rules...

So yes, I think the guy is a total tool... If you're told you need to leave the car plugged in and don't drain the battery, and if you expect to be a v1 adopter and understand this is going to be routine maintanance on your part (like doing an oil change, only much more worse), don't ignore the directions. Otherwise don't buy the product...
It's no different than I see folks who bought an audi/vw with a TFSI engine, stuck in crap gas, stuck in dyno oil, waited for 20k+ oil changes, and then wondered why they were having a bunch of oil sludge issues afterwards....

Submitted by harvey on February 24, 2012 - 8:05am.

Sad and amazing how people put a political spin on everything.

Someone doesn't read the manual on a car, and this leads to conclusions like the following:

another example of "green technology" that is not working out.

Using this logic, we can interpret every gun accident as a failure of the 2nd Amendment.

Submitted by svelte on February 24, 2012 - 8:28am.

I also read about a gentlemen who was moving to Japan and had his Tesla shipped over.

When it arrived, he found out their electrical grid was not compatible with the Tesla charging system, so he had it shipped back to the US.

By the time it arrived back in the US, it was a brick.

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