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  Date: 15/09/2013

Finally an electric car worthier than fossil fuel car

In last few years, however hard the electric car designers try to design and sell best cars, they lack on two important tasks, which are the distance electric vehicle can travel in a single charge and the charging time. Anything beyond 200 km range was becoming challenging and the charging time anything less than 1.5 hours was also tough to design. But now you have a beautiful luxury sedan electric car from Tesla motors, the Model S, which can travel 480 KMs in a single charge and in 20 minutes the car can be recharged to travel another 200+ KMs. A range beyond this is not required for most of the users. It is a pretty cool performance for an electric car to compete with internal combustion engine cars. The technology behind this achievement is use of advanced lithium based and other fast charging high-density batteries coupled with super capacitors. Super capacitors can be charged faster which can charge the lithium batteries while the car is moving.

tesla car

While electric cars having able to come out of these drawbacks, the other inherent advantages of electric cars seduce car buyers to go for electric. The Tesla's Model S has received high-ranking for safety by safety testing organisations in the world. Due to the placement of batteries on the bottom floor of the chassis, the electric cars offer excellent centre of gravity. At higher speeds electric cars hold onto the road far better than a petrol/diesel cars while negotiating curves. These clutch-free vehicles is easy to drive. And also due to electric control of motion, making electric cars self driving is lot easier.

But there's still one drawback. The cost of the electric car in most of the regions is high compared to traditional car. The Model S from Tesla costs close to US dollar 60,000. In India Mahindra Reva is offering its new e2o model at a cost of little more than US$10,000. This not so-expensive car is limited with lesser mileage of 100 kilometres and the charging time of two hours. Over next 3-5 years, most of electric cars will employ the technology to increase driving range and also reduce charging time. The cost of the electric cars to come down as the volumes rise. The cost per km is also expected to come down due to decrease in average selling price of Lithium based batteries and supercapacitors.

Tesla motors S model, though bit expensive is an excellent car which can compete with any luxury internal combustion engine powered cars. After successful launch in US, Tesla has begun the first European deliveries of Model S this August in Norway, followed by Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Iceland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland.

Tesla is providing fast charging stations called Superchargers using advanced charging technology at selected places such as restaurants and shops on highways. These charging stations capable of charging Model S 20x faster than most common charging stations. Superchargers provide half a charge in about 20 minutes, delivering up to 120 kW DC (Direct Current) power directly to the Model S battery.

Tesla’s first network of European Supercharging stations opened in Norway at the end of August. Tesla planned to provide the supercharging stations in most of the Europe in the coming months

JB Straubel, Chief Technical Officer at Tesla said road trippers can stop for a quick meal while their Model S charges for free.

To update you on the financial performance of Tesla motors, Tesla has posted profits in the first quarter of 2013. By making electric car technology profitable, Tesla is heading towards becoming a renowned brand in the coming years. Tesla deserves all the accolades and awards.

In smaller electric cars, installing solar PV arrays on rooftop is not bad idea. Watch out this year's World Solar Challenge going to be held in Australia on 6th of October 2013. The 7 day solar powered car race covers 3021 km cutting through the Australia from north to south. Some of the earlier winners of this race have reached average speeds of 100 kilometres per hour purely on solar electric power. For electric car designers watching this event closely may give some ideas on efficiency and design.

Panasonic is sourcing lithium ion batteries and solar PV cells to Tokai University team, which is participating in World Solar Challenge 2013. Panasonic says its HIT solar cells suffer less degradation of power output at high temperatures, delivering the industry's highest-level energy output per unit of area. The rechargeable batteries Panasonic is providing are the cylindrical 18650 type (18 mm in diameter x 65 mm in height) high-capacity lithium-ion battery cells which use the company's proprietary nickel-based positive electrode. The high-capacity and lightweight battery cells store excess power generated by the HIT solar cells so that the car is able to continue running even on overcast days.
Author: Srinivasa Reddy N
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