pic: MARS 1523: Our New Tesla

MARS 1523 with the new team car a Tesla all we have to do now is paint it red and black.

what is the backstory behind this? donated? just showing off to the high school?

XD great idea, but Electric cars aren’t ready for mass production. Too expensive, too heavy, and don’t have a great range. Cool car though and I like the color.

Our robot driver’s dad works for Tesla, so he brought one to tell us about the engineering behind it.

The Tesla came in the blue tote. This is why you should always inventory your KOP before the replacement window closes! :stuck_out_tongue:

Is it just me, or does this picture look photoshopped?

If you guys have $100,000 to spend on a Tesla, I can’t wait to see your robot! :yikes:

search for the nissan leaf…nissan apparently disagrees with you

And the Chevy Volt. It isn’t completely electric or ready (will be in a few months) but it is still will be available soon.

The 1990s called, and they want their electric car characteristics back.

Several major car companies are on track to roll out all electric cars in the next few years (like the Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model S), and several more are working on plug-in hybrid vehicles (like the Chevy Volt) that will entirely electric for X number of miles, then switch to a hybrid operation. For the Chevy Volt, that X is 40 miles. The average American drives 29 miles per day, which means if the average American bought a Chevy Volt they’d never have to buy gas ever again, unless they went on a road trip or other extended length journey.

Sure 40 miles would be great if you live within 20 miles of work, but i know a lot of people that have an hour or more commute one way. The normal combustion engine has a lot left to offer in fuel economy. A company has a new bearing that will cut friction by a ton and improve fuel economy. I’m not saying electric vehicles are not a good option in the future, but the technology is not there yet. Maybe in 5 or 10 years it will. But there are some major road blocks in the way, such as weight, the amount of batteries (mostly laptop batteries) adds too much weight, which hurts range and performance. The Tesla weighs 2723lbs, while the car it is based on is a Lotus which weighs around 2000lbs. Most of that extra weight is from the batteries. Granted there is a company developing a compound that weighs similar to a sheet a paper that will hold a charge. The current and near future electric vehicles are a great start, just not the answer to replace the current combustion engines yet. By the way, I am a diesel person, which in my eyes is the best way to improve the modern car/truck

The problem with all electric cars is our infrastructure. You replace even as few as 5% of cars with electric and in the summertime you have huge supply problems in many parts of the country.

So along with building these cool vehicles we need to rebuild our electricity production and delivery systems.

All you smart your students need to work it out and save our old butts!

Not to mention if you live inner city (where an electric car would be most effective), were do you plug it in at currently?

That is one reason they can’t mass produce electric cars becuase they don’t have plugs in every gas station, plus they take time to charge. That is why the Volt is becoming popular as it goes 40 miles on electric, switches to gas, and charges the battery in that time.

Oh darn I’ll just keep filling my sister’s 1990 Camry with 35mpg until they come out.:wink:

Yay, a debate!

Oh, wait the topic is on the feasibility of marketing and mass producing an electric car… Well, I’m not a statistician, so I really shouldn’t speak about the statistics of the issue. I’m not a marketing guy, so I can’t speak to the issue of selling them. I’m not a civil engineer, so I can’t speak to the grid requirements.

However, I am a car enthusiast, and I can speak to the fact that driving a Tesla was one of the most incredible experiences I’ve had, and puts any doubt out of my mind that electric isn’t good enough for America.

I honestly dont see why everyone is so excited for the Volt, its not a pure electric vehicle, its a new style of Hybrid (A much better system of hybrid then was it out already). But the point of an electric vehicle is to not need the use of gas. But yet everyone is praising how the Volt is the next Prius. Part of it is how GM is advertising it. But a hybrid of any type is not the fix to the emissions problems the modern combustion engine, its just putting a band-aid on a very large gash. Sure it will help, but its not a fix. As I had stated before an Electric car will not work for most people until the weight comes down, the price comes down, the charging time (all three will happen, just who knows how long it will take), and the problem of where to charge it at. We are going to have to put curb side charging stations all over our cities. I mean if you live in the country or in a small town it’s no problem, just run an extension cord, since they will charge off 110V. Every single alternative energy powertrain for cars have so many road blocks, why not just make the modern combustion engine more efficient? I mean Diesel is a great alternative to gas. Why not focus of developing more and better diesel engines?

Haha! It’s not ours, but one of our member’s dad works for Tesla, so he has a corporate car. And no, it’s not photo-shopped. And while our robot is rather low tech compared to the Tesla, we think it’ll do fine.

He talked to us about why it costs over $100,000 (this one is about $150K), the engineering behind it, and the type of infrastructure needed for mass electric cars (for example battery exchanges instead of gas stations). From what MARS learned, electric car technology is advancing quickly and costs will start falling soon. Right now, it’s like back when a flat screen plasma TV was $20,000.

Whether the electric infrastructure can handle 250 million electric cars in the future is up to us as FRC students!

By the way, there’s more pictures of the Tesla on our photo gallery.

Every alternative energy drivetrain has roadblocks. True.

Why not focus on developing better engines of your favorite variety (diesel or gas)?

Because at some point, it becomes economically non-viable to do so. If it was economically viable to engineer an engine to have 60 MPG right now, you can bet that somebody would have done so! But at the present time, it’s not economically viable. Give it a couple of years or so.

Why are people working on EV technology? Because it may not be economically viable right now, but it’s getting very close. As soon as it is, you can bet that the companies that currently have the technology to make EVs will be making money hand over fist, as they’ll either have the market-ready stuff, or they’ll be making a lot in patent royalties from other companies that are building EVs using their technology. And, what they’re working on can improve the hybrids.

The obstacles to an EV are simple: Range (how far you can drive without charging), Price (those batteries are expensive), Charge time, Performance, Size/weight. All of those are improving.

I find it slightly funny this topic shifted to a discussion on electric vs gas cars.

Neat picture. Would’ve been nice to get a shot of the motor (guess I can’t call it a “engine”), but I would’ve been to excited to worry about pictures. Very cool.


We’ve got a picture of the engine here. It’s in the trunk.

First, there is not and probably will never be one solution to climate change/our overdependence on oil. We need to cut down a little here and a little there. So, if you are waiting for the perfect solution, you will be waiting a very very very long time. I think we should use these economically efficient and environmentally friendly technologies while we are researching bigger and better technologies.