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Tesla Motors Receives Environmental Leadership Award from Global Green USA

17 October 2006

Tesla Motors was named a recipient of the Global Green USA Product/Industrial Design Award for its work in developing the Tesla Roadster (earlier post), an all-electric, lithium-ion battery-powered sports car.

Global Green USA is the US affiliate of Green Cross International, founded by Mikhail Gorbachev in 1993. The focus of the Green Cross organizations is threefold: stemming global climate change; eliminating weapons of mass destruction; and providing clean, safe drinking water for the 2.4 billion people who lack access to it.

Tesla and three other recipients were honored at the 7th annual Designing a Sustainable and Secure World Awards, an event co-sponsored by Global Green USA and Green Cross International.

Each year, Global Green recognizes advancements made in industry, building, media and public policy that move the world toward a sustainable and secure future.

Sustainability and resource depletion are among our deepest concerns. We set out to design a car that combines style, acceleration and handling with advanced technologies in order to make the Tesla Roadster a viable alternative to fossil-fuel cars.

—Martin Eberhard, CEO and co-founder of Tesla Motors

Other Winners include Goldman, Sachs & Co., for design and implementation of corporate policies that preserve and protect the environment; Sundance Channel for the development of Sundance Channel GREEN, a weekly primetime programming block focusing on environmental topics; and Bank of America, for creating one of the country’s greenest high-rise buildings.

October 17, 2006 in Electric (Battery) | Permalink | Comments (25) | TrackBack (0)

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Nice. Now for a B, C, or D class electric car, priced competitive vs a Volvo or BMW.

A roadster will guzzle energy regardless of type, precisely because it lends itself to a fairly aggressive driving style with the top down. Nevertless, there is a need to dispel the persistent myth about BEVs being glorified golf carts.

I hope Tesla's concept of building battery packs from commodity cells will prove scalable enough for use in mid-sized four-seater HEV/PHEV designs. That may strike the purist as heresy but sales volume tends to beat all other consideration in aggregate impact.

They're awarding a prize to a product that hasn't even hit the road yet?

Rafael, one other great feature of an electric vehicle (especially one that uses sophisticated controls and motor like the Tesla Roadster) is that the efficiency doesn't change that much with driving style.

In an internal combustion engine to get top horsepower you need a big powerful motor, but for efficiency you need a small fuel-sipper. In electric cars, you can pump a lot of current through the motor for intense power, or just give it a smaller amount for more gradual acceleration--the efficiency of the motor stays basically the same.

So whether you put the energy in very quickly or very slowly, you still get the same amount of output. This breaks down, of course, if you try to provide more power than the motor or batteries can handle (overheating and other inefficiencies ensue).

Also, those electric motors and batteries are probably oprating at efficiencies well over 90%, whereas an ICE will deliver 30% of the energy produced during combustion to the wheels if you're lucky.

The Tesla gets over 130mpg equivalent from electricty. Even if you DO drive aggressivly you are going to get great mpg out of it. Its simply very efficient well to wheel. The Tesla is a breakthrough, the selling price is far lower then the cost to build an EV1 and the range is amazing. I wish I could buy stock in Tesla but they seem to be a private company.

The Tesla gets over 130mpg equivalent from electricty.

There's no Tesla on the road yet.

You wrote:
There's no Tesla on the road yet.
----------

http://www.popularmechanics.com/blogs/automotive_news/3700136.html

The car is not ready for sale, but a number of automotive journalists have been allowed to drive it on public roads.

Tesla has solid financial backing and over 100 deposit bearing pre-orders. So far there have been few electric car manufacturers to make it this far in the last 20 years that will actually sell the car to the public. And this one goes faster then 35mpg. Much faster.

Allen Z, Tesla is planning on a 5 seater sports sedan with 0-60 in 6 s, range of 250 Miles (or more). This is due for release in 2008/2009 (not sure), and they are planning to build in the USA somewhere. These guys mean business!

"The focus of the Green Cross organizations is threefold: stemming global climate change; eliminating weapons of mass destruction; and providing clean, safe drinking water for the 2.4 billion people who lack access to it."

I understand Tesla Motors won the award because the 2.4 billion people who lack access to clean, safe drinking water will drive in their Tesla cars to stores where they can buy Evian.

Daniel -

electric motors are of course not equally efficient at all points in the torque-speed map. Especially poor at low speeds.

Recuperative braking into batteries remains a fairly inefficient affair, even with Li-ion chemistries. That's because a braking maneouver only takes a few seconds. Hence, frequent acceleration/deeleration cycles lead to substantial energy dissipation by the disc brakes. This problem is exacerbated by the weight of the batteries, though here Li-ion is clearly superior to the available alternatives. Lightweight construction of the rest of the vehicle is also very helpful.

BEVs do offer very good well-to-wheels efficiency, but at a hefty price tag. 130mpg equivalent sounds a tad optimistic, though, for real-world driving. Remember, EPA proposed changes to the procedures used to determine fuel economy precisely because the current ones yield grossly optimistic estimates for HEVs.

Tesla claims a 250 mile range based on the current, unrepresentative FTP test. If you drive aggressively, range will of course be (much) shorter.

Tesla sold out the first 100 cars in about one week, so much for the people who say that there is no demand for electric cars
the only thing they have done wrong so far is not sell the cars in europe. in London alone the would sell 1000 in no time easy
if there next car sells for less than $50000 as they say it will, then the ICE is dead long live the Tesla

Depending on the type of motor used, my understanding was that motors, in general, are particularly torquey at the low range of their operation, with torque peaking and dropping off suddenly higher up. (With exceptions, such as motors with Raser technology applied, special builds, etc.)

Regardless if that is the case or not, however, the point Daniel made still stands more or less: electric cars like this Tesla are relatively unaffected by driving style. I would modify that myself to this: they're relatively unaffected by 'acceleration rate.' If you take 5 seconds or 20 seconds to get to 100 kms/hour, the overall drain on the batteries will be about the same (unless they can't handle the rapid discharge, but that's a different issue then). Batteries don't need to be "richened out" like a fuel injected car does from 14.5:1 ratio to 11:5 ratio on hard acceleration. My feeling is that was the burden of Daniel's point. Hope I didn't misrepresent you, Daniel.

OF course, if you speed around at 120 miles per hour everwhere, then the mileage will go down significantly, but that is a direct correlation to wind drag and applies to all vehicles, electric or not. And yes, with such high speeds, without ultracaps added into the mix, electic cars will loose overall efficiency if braked hard all the time because energy goes into friction brakes and the batteries won't be able to absorb the regen energy as readily as if the car was slowed down gradually. Ricardo is really on the right track with their approach of part lithium ion battery, part ultra caps for the sudden and large power drain/recuperation moments.

I haven't looked at the new EPA guidelines, but I wonder how applicable the EPA mileage rates will be for EV's. I can see their relavance for HEV's because they still have an I.C.E., but that's not the case for a strictly all electric car.

antigravity -

realtiy check: Audi pre-sold 11,000 of its Q7 SUVs and just raised its production to 300 a week.

Tesla has a great concept but 100 (or even 1000) units is completely negligible in the auto industry, except for vehicles with six-figure price tags and serious bragging rights attached. It remains to be seen if Tesla will grow much beyond its niche, e.g. by licensing its battery pack design. The ICE will still be with us for quite a while. I would expect a progression beyond today's HEVs to PHEVs well before BEVs actually become viable in high-volume production.

Beyond the excitment of a real BEV (tesla). I think that most people are hoping that they are the thin edge of the wedge necessary to break the inertia of the larger car companies. If nothing else it is breaking the myth that you can't build a BEV that isn't a golf cart. If I hadn't heard of the Tesla I wouldn't have gone looking for my BEV Motorcycle.

Maybe at 10,000 units a year you start to become an auto company.

John W.:
As I know, from year2006 vehicles sold in US are not allowed to overrich fuel mixtures on full throttle (good news for tuners and performance chips sellers).

Another thing – hard braking/acceleration on BEV. High current passing through battery on hard regenerative braking/accelerating substantially raises battery temperature. Which in turn increases battery self-discharge. This is especially true to currently dominant Ni-Mh batteries, to the extend making them impractical for long-range BEV and even for PHEV applications. Li batteries are way better in this respect (but not perfect either), and this is the main reason for all buzz around Li batteries. Combination of high power ultracapacitor and high energy battery would be ideal.

Rafael:
“Couple of seconds” braking is, actually, panic stop. Most braking events are quite moderate application of brakes, allowing decent regenerating rate – more then 50% of energy is returned back for acceleration in modern Ni-Mh hybrids. It is far cry from ideal, but for example Toyota is steadily increases regenerative efficiency on their HEV for every consequent model.

Rafael
i do know that 100 BEV cars is very little and i think tesla know this also, if you go to youtube you can see the tesla in action and the ceo talking about the car, he says they will use the money made from selling the first few hundred cars to produce the next mass market model which they believe they can sell for $50000
yes the ICE will be with us for a while longer but the oil peak is getting closer every day, prob before 2010 and after that the ICE is dead in the next few weeks i will buy my last ICE car, and five years down the line i will have a BEV
it may be built by teala who knows but by then i think the large auto makers will stop the fool cell scam and just go pure electric
ps i also think there is a large market for a BEV motor cycle with LI batterys it would not cost too much because the amount of batterys needed would be a lot less than a car

"I understand Tesla Motors won the award because the 2.4 billion people who lack access to clean, safe drinking water will drive in their Tesla cars to stores where they can buy Evian."

Hal,
I imagine Green Cross' participation in the award from Global Green is to recognize businesses leading the way toward improvement in one or all of these areas. The Tesla is an entry in the global warming arena.

The company has a reasonable plan to build a fast sexy introductory car to capture attention. Their subsequent offerings are aimed at a much lower purchase price and higher passenger capacity.

If we don't encourage the companies taking risks to make changes in product types - the Evian will remain forever in the hands its in right now.

The car is not ready for sale, but a number of automotive journalists have been allowed to drive it on public roads.

And they measured its fuel economy?

Let's give them all the awards in the world if and when it comes to market and actually gets tested under real-life conditions. Then we can see how much power it uses, how long the range is, and how the vehicle and its components hold up.

antigrav: You are correct, $2K (Canadian) will take my BEV motorcycle 200km.

Woops ... that would be "$2K (Canadian) worth of LI batteries". It costs me a quarter to fill up.

note: I may be able to go 200km but I won't do that anytime soon. I would like to keep the battery healthy as long as possible. I also don't like to run a car below a quarter of a tank very often (I hate replacing the fuel pumps).

Neil
where did you get the BEV motorcycle, who makes it, what is the top speed

antigrav: Greenwit Technology Ltd. "Motorino" (e-ride.ca) Top Speed: 50-60kph on the flat, electronicaly limited to 70 kph. I have a GTh which has quite a heavy frame, the GTx is a lighter, faster bike. I'm planning on adding another motor to the front wheel for more power on hills which may lower my range somewhat. For insurance purposes this is concedered a "Limited Speed Motorcycle" which is equivalent to 50ccs. You only need a regular drivers lisence and the insurance is dirt cheap. The company started out with bycicle sized scooters and are working their way up. I'd like to see them build a full size motorcycle. The one I have is very quiet.

good lad thanks

I don't understand people who think the BEV industry should go from nearly zero to tens (or hundreds?) of thousands of units overnight. What other technology has worked that way? Right now BEVs are on the fringe of practicality -- just barely becoming able to compete with ICEs in certain niches (like a sports car). It is no crime for Tesla Motors to build that niche vehicle and begin introducing the technology to the marketplace.

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