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From Electrek: Tesla’s hacked Battery Management System exposes the real usable capacity of...

Discussion in 'News from Electrek.co' started by RSSFeed, Dec 14, 2016.

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  1. RSSFeed

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    Tesla’s hacked Battery Management System exposes the real usable capacity of its battery packs

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    Like most automakers, Tesla measures the battery capacity of their electric vehicles by the total energy potential of the pack rather than the total usable capacity. For example, the original Nissan LEAF’s 24 kWh battery had a usable capacity of about 21.3 kWh.

    What is particular to Tesla is that the company uses the battery capacity in its branding – a Model S 75 has a 75 kWh battery pack, but as we previously reported, those are rarely perfectly representative of the pack’s usable capacity. We now have more details on the actual usable battery capacity of each of Tesla’s battery packs, which highlights some better bargains and some options to avoid for Tesla shoppers. more…

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  2. Rick59

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    This is not good news for Tesla. Model 3 release will trigger a tsunami of legal claims from "average" owners looking to reduce the cost of their car. Tesla needs to come clean with the usable capacity of their battery packs.
     
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    • garsh

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      I can't get too worked up by this. They *should* make the actual values known in a 'detailed specs' listing, but I'm fine with continuing to call the cars 75, 90, 100 etc. The important thing is advertised range & performance.
       
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      • BigBri

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        Reminds me of hard drives a bit. There are technical reasons but it sucks to buy a 3tb drive and have 2.7.
         
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        • TrevP

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          They need a buffer to prevent bricking. People need to remember that you can't have a lithium pack go below a certain voltage otherwise you damage the battery permanently. Tesla has earmarked a certain amount of "low buffer" to prevent this. That's why there's less usable amount than what is physically there.
           
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          • garsh

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            Reminds me of Ford 5.0 Mustangs, which actually had 4.9l engines.
             
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            • Badback

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              I am actually 72.85 years old, but I insist that I am only 72.
               
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              • Michael Russo

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                And I am 59.15, yet sooo ready to be 60 and join you, @Badback , in the happy family of those who can take naps at 10am... :D
                 
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                • Kizzy

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                  But there's a difference between a buffer and a coming up short on what is physically possible. If actual capacity matched what they are labeling the battery as, sure, a lesser usable capacity is acceptable. Or if it's some kind of sneaky math conversion, maybe. But rounding up by such relatively large amounts as an official spec? Not so much, in my opinion. It feels shady.
                   
                • Dan Detweiler

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                  To me, and it's just me, this entire argument is irrelevant. The company gives a stated range. The cars meet or exceed that stated range, of course with variances based on use, weather, etc. that have been discussed ad nauseum. Whatever is in the pack doesn't matter to me as long as I am getting what I expect to get based on stated range, degradation, and my driving environment and driving style. If they called their models Fred, George and Bobby instead of 60, 90 and 100 would we be having this conversation? I just think it is much ado about nothing.

                  Dan
                   
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                  • Michael Russo

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                    First thing I'll say, @Dan Detweiler , is aren't we all happy that Fred, George & Bobby were discarded as model naming options..?! Surely S, ≡, X and Y represent more attractive alternatives, no? ;)

                    Having said this, on a more serious note, I'd like to refer to one of my 'golden rules'... 'the truth is always in between'... I concur that meeting expected & announced performance parameters... range & all is what should matter... On the other hand, to the extent model labelling can be at least perceived as an inference of performance - in this case battery size driving range - it is not totally innocent & probably at least an indication of 'creative', if not somewhat disingenuous marketing... Others have done it for years (e.g. my BMW X5 2.5d... is actually a 2.0 litres turbodiesel engine... so really a 2.0TD... :))

                    But oh, well, folks, let's all find joy in knowing T≡SLA cars are and will be great... and for sure Model ≡ too!! :)

                    Have a nice day!
                     
                  • TrevP

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                    I agree but in some ways this is a bit of the wild west st the moment. I can remember way back in the 90s when there was a big brouhaha about computer monitor sizes where the visible area was smaller than the physical display but the companies we're advertising the physical size. Smart thing with hard drives today.

                    I think unless there's a big backlash that this argument will sort itself out naturally.

                    BMW, Tesla, GM and Nissan to name juts a few all advertise a certain capacity physically but the usable amount is actually less.

                    In the end I only care about the stated range. Model 3 could very well end up with a smaller battery than the competition currently uses but better aerodynamic and inverter electronic efficiencies play a bigger role in optimizing range.
                     
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                    • Badback

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                      I see what is happening here. In the absence of any real news about the ≡, we are forced to create issues to further the discussion, whether the issues are relevant or not, we MUST continue to discuss.
                      Fred Flintstone is faster than George Burns but neither is as fast as Bobby Allison.
                       
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                      • BigBri

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                        It really seems to be the difference between marketing and reality. I worked for an internet provider for years and our most common package was a max of 5mb down and 1mb up but usually it was 3 down and 0,4 up in reality. Our sales people would sell the service as a 6mb service as they were just smashing the download and upload number together and expressing the theoretical maximum as a sort of average. I often had to explain to clients the difference between marketing and reality.

                        I remember when the Playstation 3 came out there was a big hoopla about how many cores its processor had. They were so bad at making this processor that most of them shipped with dead cores that didn't work. There was a minimum # of working cores for a chip to be marked as good but you'd still have some chips that had more working cores then others, they'd just turn them off. I think it's a similar situation here.

                        Tesla uses the battery size as part of the marketing and it also gives a general metric on the model badge as to how big the battery is. Lets say the 3 shipped with a 60KWH battery by default but the real capacity was 50KWH. I'd really only be mad if the indicated range of the car didn't live upto what was being advertised as that'd be the actual metric I'd be making battery choices on. Maybe at some point they'll be making their packs a bit bigger for redundancy sake as while I don't know a ton about battery manufacturing I'd suspect putting that many cells into a pack chances not every cell will function and they account for that roughly.
                         
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