+Tesla Motors provides a public response to the battery killing controversy 10

tps://plus.google.com/110107458243955110887″ class=”proflink” oid=”110107458243955110887″>Tesla Motors provides a public response to the battery killing controversy.
While Tesla is correct in saying that the vast majority of Roadster owners have had no problems with their batteries, they also acknowledge having made changes to the way the battery management works on the upcoming Model S to at least make the potential for issues far less likely.

That said, you still need to keep a Roadster plugged in when it’s not in use for any length of time. While EVs generally require less maintenance than internal combustion vehicles, Tesla does exaggerate that requirement. As an owner, you no longer have to worry about constant oil changes, exhaust checks, or spark plug replacements

I’ve owned many cars over the past 25 years and I wouldn’t call oil changes every 3-6 months constant. Similarly, modern engines (anything in the last 10-15 years) can usually go 100,000 miles without changing spark plugs. On the other hand, I don’t have to keep a gas pump hooked up to my car if I park it for 2 weeks or 2 years.


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A single blogger is spreading a rumor about electric vehicles becoming inoperable. “Bricking” is an irrational fear based on limited information and a misunderstanding of Tesla’s battery system. Here …

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10 thoughts on “+Tesla Motors provides a public response to the battery killing controversy

  • Anton Wahlman

    Some should author a comprehensive article about how these battery policies, warranties and "strong suggestions" or whatever you call them, compare between the Tesla, the Volt, the LEAF, the Focus and a few others in due course. If you read the LEAF owner's manual, you are told to not "top off" if you're already over 80% charged, for example, whereas the Volt owner's manual I don't believe says anything — but I could be proven wrong on that last one. People want to know.

  • Anton Wahlman

    I will also try to dig into my Volt owner's manual a little more comprehensively over the weekend, and report on what I find there. So far I found nothing, but I have to give it a more careful read before I can tell with sufficient certainty. By the way, I've now put 9,200 miles on the Volt, and it truly is performing like a champ. I've done 3,000 out of those 9,200 miles driving very long distances at an even 75 MPH (took me well over 24 hours) through deserts and over mountains. Spectacular, flawless, performance.

  • Ernest W

    Guess keeping the batteries 'topped up' is part of an EV operation regime. Is it that hard to put a little effort in keeping the cars running.
    Probably not for the "I'll keep driving even though the Check Engine light is on" crowd.

  • Anton Wahlman

    I have now fine-combed the 2011 Chevy Volt manual to see what it says about long-term storage without plugging in the car. Here is what I found:

    Page 10-29: "Extended Storage" – Remove the 12 volt battery's black (-, negative) connector, or use a trickle charger. Then make sure the car's high-voltage battery is at least 50% full. Then make sure it is stored in a place where the temperature is between 14 degrees and 86 degrees (F) = -10 degrees and 30 degrees (C). IT DOES NOT SAY FOR HOW LONG YOU CAN DO THIS. IT DOES NOT SAY WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF YOU FAIL TO FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS.

    At at couple of other places in the manual, another text is copied multiple times, such as page 1-18, where it first appears: "Do not allow the vehicle to remain in temperature extremes for long periods without being driven or plugged in. It is recommended that the vehicle be plugged in when temperatures are below 0 C (32 F) and above 32 C (90 F) to maximize high voltage battery life." IT DOES NOT SAY WHAT "LONG PERIODS" ARE (2 WEEKS, 2 MONTHS, 2 YEARS?) OR WHAT COULD HAPPEN IF YOU FAIL TO FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS.

    All in all, this could be interpreted to be very good, as you seem to have no specific responsibility as an owner aside from following these instructions, at which point you could perhaps store the car for years (forever?), as long as you do it in the right climate. On the other hand, it appears some further specificity is missing in this description of what the owner may risk if he/she decides to leave the car unplugged and not drive it for an undefined amount of time.

    Bottom line: As a Volt owner, I'm not the slightest worried. The Volt appears to have more safety-precautions built into it than any other electric car in the market today. The fact that it can also force the gasoline engine to turn on in order to help condition the system in the event that temperatures fall to 32 degrees and below, or to help drive the battery's A/C system if the temperature goes above 86 degrees, also helps, at least for a few years unti it's run out of the 9 gallons in the tank, assuming you left it full.

    This is analogous to the fact that when you actually turn on the car, and it's 28 degrees or below outside, the engine will start and run for 5-15 minutes whether you like it or not, even if the battery is full or anywhere else above the "minimum state." This is being reported every day on various blogs by owners in colder climates. In other words, the Volt does what it should do, logically, when operating in a very cold (freezing) climate. Every car is less efficient when operating in freezing temperatures, especially in the first 5-15 minutes when the car is warming up.

    One more bottom line: Not a single Volt owner has experienced a "bricked battery" to date. With close to 13,000 having been manufactured, approximately 9,000 units in service, and approximately 30 million miles being driven, that reliability record appears to be a perfect 100% — so far, anyway.

  • Sam Abuelsamid

    +Anton Wahlman The 12V battery is the same lead-acid type battery that you find in every car and is used to feed juice to accessories. Disconnecting the negative terminal is standard procedure for long term storage. If it dies, a new one is less than $100.

    When it comes to the big battery, I'm not sure how long they mean as far as storage, but it's probably months. If you are going to store the car for more than a couple of months, it's probably a good idea to charge the battery to about 50% and then disconnect it to be on the safe side. It may even be sufficient to just pull the big orange disconnect which I think is in the trunk. This is mainly intended for emergency responders, but it should kill the high voltage circuit. When you are ready to drive, just stick it back in.

  • Sam Abuelsamid

    +Anton Wahlman you have obviously made the mistake of assuming that Republicans (or almost any politician) would think logically.

    There is also a fundamental flaw in your logic. _ The purpose of bringing this car to market was to maximize profits_.

    The Volt was not built to maximize financial returns, at least not in the near to mid term. It is a brand building and engineering exercise that is actually sold at a loss. The financial investment to create it is unlikely to ever be recovered from sales of this car.

    However, the halo effect of having this kind of car in the lineup demonstrates GM's commitment to building more efficient vehicles and shines a light on cars like the Cruze which are much more affordable to most people. It also demonstrates what GM engineers are capable of creating.

    Even though the Cadillac ELR may actually turn a profit, even it is unlikely to attract many of the hard-core wingnuts. They will reject it out of spite because it uses Volt technology.