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Comment Re:(some) cars are gadgets now (Score 1) 158

Well Elon has said that legally speaking the car can't self drive. Technically speaking it can and he's said that if you fall asleep at the wheel you shouldn't get into an accident and most likely will just keep driving until you wake up (not sure if navigation is enabled if it can then take exits). But due to legalese one part of the autopilot is limited to private property (though it'll be interesting to know how the car determines if it's on private property or not). Namely you can exit the car and it'll self-park (including opening the garage door and closing it) and at a shopping center or what not you can call the car over to you from its parking spot. It'll drive without a driver to you. Also, if you integrate your calendar with the car and it knows you have a meeting at 9 and it takes 30 minutes to drive there the car will heat itself, back out of your garage and come to the door by 8:15 ready and waiting with your favorites ready to go. THAT is more of an autopilot than is currently rolling on the streets. That's entirely bringing to mind the nice old KITT car ;)

Comment Re:You double peddalled 2 or three times?? (Score 1) 394

Well the one time I did get it I was lounging and was braking with just my toe (you hardly ever use the brake pedal anyway thanks to aggressive regen). After that I've induced myself a few times to demonstrate to people the hazard warning etc. To think back clearly now I'm not sure I've actually triggered it unintentionally beyond that one time when I was toeing it, the other few times probably are demonstrations to passengers.

And I hardly see it as a problem, definitely not a design flaw as there is no way to accelerate and brake together. As the accelerator is electronic (and non-linear as it takes into account both the pedal position as well as the speed of change when accelerating the car, one of the best features of the car so far for me) it will just be ignored if there is signal that the brake pedal is in use as well. The only thing you get is the audible warning, never any unintended acceleration.

Comment Re:Firmware (Score 2) 394

The brake pedal is elevated with regard to the gas pedal meaning that in essentially any situation you hit the break first. If you double pedal the car will break and not only that, it WILL tell you that you are pressing both pedals and make an audible noise.

So I'd have to conclude that the problem lies between the pedals and the seat in this case.

And I know cause I drive one daily and I have managed to double pedal a total of two-three times when being lazy and it's never been a situation where it'd lead to the car not stopping. Also, with regard to hill hold the firmware 5.9 comes with hill hold where after breaking the car remains holding the current position no matter what angle 1s after you release the brake to allow for easy hill hold. At least that's what the first owners of 5.9 report.

Comment Yes, affordable (Score 1) 99

That's precisely what Tesla is planning to do. Slice the price at least to half in the Gen-III car (Model E) and then further in the Gen-IV car. Gen-III is 3-4 years out, Gen-IV probably 3-4 after that. Price goal for Model E is ~30-35k$ and with savings from gasoline and service should be equivalent to 20-25k$ cars in total cost of ownership.

Comment Re:And, Folks, stay tuned.. (Score 1) 239

So if it's completely off how do you make contact with it to turn the AC on before driving and slide the charging level up a bit so that it charges a bit warming the battery in winter. You know to connect the car has to maintain a regular standby connection to 3G or WiFi able to be pinged. I personally switched off the sleep mode because I don't drive that much and waiting for the car to wake up for 2 minutes was annoying. If I go on road trips I'll probably turn sleep mode on again. But so far I saw about 8km drain overnight with sleep mode off, but the car is instantly active on iPhone app as well as when sitting in.

So spending 40W to watch for the keyfob approach, poll the 3G service and do some other minor internals isn't that much. And losing about 12c worth of electricity per day or so won't break my wallet either.

Comment Re:Five Star (Score 1) 627

You're making a LOT of big assumptions there, depending GREATLY on where you live:

So are you apparently.

Free electricity to fuel the Tesla

Not unless you live in a city where Tesla is providing free chargers. I don't, and I'm pretty sure my power company won't just give it to me for free if I tell them I'm a Tesla owner.

Well 20 eur a month is close enough to free compared to 220 eur a month that I pay right now.

$5/gallon for gasoline

More like $3.50 here.

More like $7 here (1.4 eur / liter).

Cost of maintenance for both cars is similar

Wow, that is a BIG assumption right there. Pretty sure a Tesla dealership is going to charge considerably more for maintenance than a local garage. And very few local garages around here can work on Teslas.

I think by maintenance he meant the (semi-)annual maintenance that all cars go through. Tesla actually publishes the cost on their website. If you pay in advance for four years I think it was 2000 eur total. So 500 eur / year. I can guarantee the breaks, oils, filters and what not that are done on any modern car usually cost above that in maintenance. Repairs are a different topic altogether and should mostly be covered by insurance or warranty.

Also, Elon Musk has stated that the service centers MUST NOT EVER earn profit. They must repair and maintain the Model S at the lowest possible cost while giving the customer the best experience. Tesla gets its profit from sales to end users and other manufacturers, it does not plan to earn profit from service work. This is a major disruption to the usual business model where dealerships earn little in the car sales (hence the low margin business) and earn shitloads in service work. As an example, the local Mitsubishi dealership is 2-3x more expensive than the rally team that I know who rebuilds their Evo X daily. They order the parts from the same central warehouses in EU, doubt that the labor is cheaper, but the repairs are far far cheaper in total when done at the rally shop. So yes, the maintenance is actually going to be cheaper for Model S than for any brand new car that you service at the dealership, not your uncle Joe's garage (here for example that's a requirement for warranty as well as leasing).

The Tesla battery lasts for 10 years + 150,000 miles

You ever had a cellphone battery last for 10 years without degrading?

Sorry, but color me skeptical.

From what I have understood the comparison isn't viable. Industrial grade batteries supposedly have less degradation and the battery LiIon battery lasts best when on average between 30-80% full and has daily usage. Tesla battery warranty for 85kW model (the one I'm planning) is 8 years unlimited miles. The various statements I've heard are that the battery is designed in normal use to have above 70% remaining capacity after 7 years. That is a pretty neat. You'll probably have shitload of car issues in those 7 years with your ICE and drivetrain. I've for example already had to swap the clutch assembly on my Evo X and the estimate is that this is once every 3 years or so. The cost of that is in thousands + labor cost (it's a full day of dismantling and rebuilding). The Model S doesn't even have a clutch.

So if you want to buy an el cheapo ICE, go ahead. If you want to buy a decent luxury performance car, then there is no better car in the world right now than the Model S. From performance and handling stats it's gonna smoke most all the luxury cars and a huge amount of the performance/sports cars. It'll give tough competition to even some supercars. From luxury point of view it has far more space than most cars and it's cheap to own and maintain. Also, as you can use regen breaking most of the time it's one pedal driving and you won't wear through the breaks as fast as with ICE cars, again reducing costs even if not as much as some other elements.

Comment Re:Five Star (Score 1) 627

I just did a total cost of ownership calculation for a Model S and it's cheapish. Here in Estonia the highest cost will come from insurance because Tesla doesn't have a service center in the country, once that's alleviated in some way and the insurance comes down from the currently ridiculous 6500-8500 eur / year to a more reasonable 1000-1500 eur / year (mostly driven by car price) the Model S will be cheaper than most cars in its own class. The competing car I chose is the Audi A5 / S5 or similar. The cost of owning the car including financing, "fuel", service and insurance is the same as Model S 85kW model EVEN with the absurd insurance cost. If the insurance drops to compatible levels (and it is in countries where Tesla has a service center) then the Model S is far cheaper to own for TCO per annum.

Now if you compare it to crap like an Accord, then of course you can claim that those are cheaper, but that's not the target segment. To be fair the Model S 60 kW version is comparable in TCO to a car ca 20-30k eur cheaper due to low to no fuel costs compared to what we pay for gasoline here in EU. And I only calculated in my average usage of 12 000 km / year. If you drive more the discrepancy will only enhance. I'm currently driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X, a rally car. The total cost of ownership in the last 12 months was higher than the Model S mostly because of the fact that after 5 years of use the Evo X repairs are picking up (a simple 4-wheel drive pump cost 3000 eur, suspension replacement cost another few k etc). Even without the repairs it's only the insurance that makes a difference and the Evo X is worth only 24k eur while the Model S in EU costs far more than in US (80k for 60kW, 90k eur for 85kW with VAT). The good part is that in Estonia we have government incentives of size 18k eur that you get for an electric and we have charging stations within maximum 40km anywhere you are.

So all-in-all my next car is a Tesla, only thing that I need to do now is get some further replies from them and finalize the financing etc (and I really need to lobby the insurance to reduce their cost).

Comment Re:Five Star (Score 1) 627

It's not actually hard to cite. Just google Model S review and you'll get plenty and the reasons are fairly obvious. The Model S has been designed for aerodynamics to reduce the air drag mostly for lower energy cost and therefore increased milage, but that also improves handling at higher speeds. For lower and higher speeds the main thing however is the extremely low center of gravity. During the safety tests they had to cheat because none of their standard methods was able to make the Model S roll over due to the extremely low center of gravity. It's competing in the supercar category with it and it's 100% due to choice of location for battery pack that is the heaviest component in the car. Low center of gravity as well as center-car center of mass (there's no huge mass offsetting the mass center like in ICE cars and the battery pack is uniform in the floor) give excellent turning capabilities. Also, the stock 19" or higher wheels come with good tires that add to the handling, but that's something most manufacturers could do. The excellent mass placement however is almost impossible to achieve in an ICE due to the engine throwing off the balance (hence most supercars are center-engine type for handling and mass distribution).

Comment Re:nowadays (Score 1) 259

Yes it is. mr X does exchange and reveals his wallet address. Therefore you can track said wallets balance and transactions. However said person X or maybe in fact any number of persons could easily obfuscate everything by creating 10K addresses and randomly moving the money around between them. If they collect on 100 addresses and use 10K to obfuscate it's about as close to anonymous you can get.

Comment Re:Apparently people accept garbage. (Score 2) 279

I think this is always a question of costs. As an example I live in a country that's one of the most connected in the world (Estonia) and has relatively good connectivity throughout. However the house I bought was built in 2006 and the original land developer even though they had in their contract never actually lay down cable. So I have gas line, I have power, I have water, I have sewage. But I don't have a landline (copper or optical). At the time he was developing the region adding this would have been peanuts, but for reasons noone can imagine he didn't. Now if I wanted to get a line from the closest connection point (ca 2-3km away) it'd cost me in tens of thousands of euros and not because of the cable cost, that's relatively cheap, but because of all the permits and studies and land restoration needed due to digging. Also, because it's across a highway I'm pretty much screwed and couldn't use air lines or anything.

So even though the tech may exist for 10G endpoint connectivity, how would you connect the nexuses. So 100 houses connect at 10G to a subjunction. Should that be 10G or 100G or 1Tb? How about 100 of those connect to the next tier and those to the next? What good does it do having 10G if the backbone can't handle that traffic?

Also, right now I'm sitting on a 4G connection. The latency is ~28ms which is relatively well usable (don't really play online games and even VNC is snippy enough) and the speeds vary between 16-30Mbit/s. Looking at a HD movie streaming online (most data intense constant use) is for example on iTunes right now the great gatsby (was on front page so good enough example) is 5.5GB for 2h 20 min movie. Doing the math this comes to ca 5.7Mbit/s average. Now if you want buffering and avoidance of some hiccups it'd be great to have 1.5x that and if you want two separate people to watch different things, then also additional x2. That comes to a whopping 17Mbit/s to watch two Full HD movies in parallel over live streaming with bandwidth to spare for buffering hiccups. So why precisely would I need much more than that? Sure if I really really want to buy a 20GB game and play it the next instant the faster the better will help, but even at a measly 20Mbit/s it'll fully download in under 2.5h.

So yes people NEED only 10-25 Mbit/s for daily lives that are comfortable. Anything beyond that is nice to have and improves, but I'd actually prefer improved reliability so that I actually get said speed 24x7 at a stable low latency. I'm a power user and I have hardly any real need to go beyond current speeds at home. What I really had to fight with was getting an unlimited download cap. Now THAT is something that people accept as garbage. Most 4G packages here are 30-50GB/month. At best you can get to 60GB on the main provider, but the cost of that is relatively high. Luckily there was a second entrant to the 4G market half a year ago and their 4G is actually about as stable at where I live so I could swap to them with their unlimited package at a lower cost than the competing offer for 60GB. Just watching netflix and the occasional iTunes rental and doing business as usual our household consumes ~120GB/month.

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