This is topic Tesla in forum The Joy of Tech at The Geek Culture Forums.

To visit this topic, use this URL:;f=1;t=001244

Posted by Shooshie (Member # 2205) on April 04, 2016, 06:02:
I think it's time for the Tesla thread. I was at the mall recently, which is something I do about every 4 years, and happened into the Tesla store. They had a Model S on display, and after salivating on it to the point that they had to ask me to leave, whereupon they had to give me water to rehydrate me so that I could move again, I determined that I would someday own a Model S. Then the Model 3 came out, and I decided that maybe I could do without the gull-wing doors, and just have a consumer-grade Tesla. I watched all the Model 3 videos, keeping plenty of water handy, along with a towel under my chin, and now I'm completely programmed with a Pavlovian response to the word Tesla. Say it too many times, and I'll dry up into one of those dehydrated water monkeys you used to see advertised in comic books, to which you add water and watch them dance and play before your very eyes. Except that I'd just stare at the pictures of Teslas.

Suddenly my 2 Priuses and one Prius V seem... old hat. Worse; they have a dirty combustion engine in them. As much as I like to pretend that it's not there, the Tesla has made me painfully aware of its existence. Yes, I can actually hear it running when I step on the gas too far and light the gasoline engine, which usually remains off while I stealthily motor around on just barely enough battery power to poke up a small hill before coasting down and trying to recoup my lost energy. Now I hear the dirty little thing purring when I step on the gas. I know it's in there turning hydrocarbon fuel into greenhouse gasses that are choking our planet's atmosphere, which causes it to retain sunlight and heat up the world, melting the polar ice caps, changing our weather patterns, flooding our sea-level cities, and basically destroying life as we know it. And that's just a Prius. Heaven help those poor sinners who drive a fucking Ford Extravaganza, which spews out its own cloud capable of raining on anyone who drives too close on its tail, not to mention generating tornadoes that blow the other cars off the road as it passes. Yep, those poor souls are going straight to hell, where Al Gore will remind them daily, by video from Heaven, of course, that "I told you so."

But that brings us back to this Tesla, and its fuel... clean, quality electricity, hand brewed in individual batches by micro-elves who never eat, burp, or defecate on this planet, at least, while they fill up individual Lithium Ion batteries with the stuff. I mean, that IS how it works, isn't it? Something like that? No? Well, then; from where DOES this electricity come? Since we'll be using it to save our planet from greenhouse gasses, it must come at least from Switzerland, where it's made in pristine labs once used to carve gears for pocket watches, right?

No? Well you're not going to tell me that it comes from... greenhouse gasses??? No, of course not! Nobody generates electricity with fire anymore, do they? Don't they have dams and solar farms and windmill-powered generator farms, and electric eel farms run by sea monkeys?

But... what's that stuff in that 2 mile long train I saw yesterday while gently coaxing my Sea Glass Pearl Prius up past 17 mph., on that highway paralleling the railroad track? It looked a lot like that black chunky stuff they used to get by slicing off a mountain top and shaking it over a big truck until the black stuff fell out, then throwing the rest of the mountaintop, called "tailings," into the nearby rivers, clogging them up and ruining the rivers. Of course, the sawed off mountaintop made a good place to put a mall, where we now can go and order a Tesla Model 3, so I guess Mountaintop Removal wasn't all bad. And we DID get that black chunky stuff they used to carry in 2 mile long trains like the one I saw yesterday.

Oh no! That's what it was! It was a train load of COAL! And it was heading to the electric plant where it would be piled up in feed lots and fattened on corn and beef brains, before being hauled by conveyor into the maw of that plant where it would be ignited in the dark caves inhabited by Morlocks who harvest the precious heat given off by the flaming coals, and feed that heat into generators which produce the pure, clean electricity that is fed into wires that deliver it to Supercharging Stations where our precious Tesla Model 3s nurse gently at the nipples of their throbbing electric teats until their banks of Lithium Ion batteries are filled with the powerful electrons that course through their veins and turn their motors that send them careening down highways and accelerating from 0 to 60 in less than 6 seconds.

Damn! After all that, I'm at LEAST gonna need me some gull-wing doors.

So let me get this straight. Electricity comes from some heat-producing fuel that sends its remnants into the atmosphere in the form of... Greenhouse Gasses? You mean, our precious Teslas aren't throbbing with the ugly, greasy sound of antiquated and putrid gasoline engines, because our local electric company does that part for them?

But what about those miles and miles of windmills along the highways? And what about those gigantic mega-solar plants in Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico, where sunlight is cheap? What about those dams outside Las Vegas where Lake Mead hoovers into Boulder Canyon and sends megawatts back to feed that neon fixation of Las Vegas Blvd (The Strip) and power the spinning wheels in those one-armed slot bandits in every grocery store, filling station, and casino this side of Area 51? Isn't it true that Teslas only run on clean electric power that comes from these renewable sources? (Presuming that Lake Mead is renewable, since greenhouse gas produced droughts have lowered its levels to a trickle)

What? All of those renewable sources working at full capacity, 24/7/365 (366 during leap year), do not produce more than a little tiny sliver of the pie-chart that is our total energy consumption, and the rest — which is about to quintuple in quantity once each and every one of us drives a Tesla Model 3, Model 4, ... Model 2001, a pace oddity — all comes from dinosaur fuels that spew vast quantities of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere?

But wait. I heard Elon myself. I heard Elon tell me that we had to accelerate the pace and get these cars out there to save our planet! Elon never lies. He's like Google; "Don't Be Evil." Elon is as pure as the driven snow. He's got Mars exploration in his veins. His cars' exhausts don't stink. They've got gull-wing doors, for crissake! How is it possible that a Tesla vehicle is really suckling at the teat of that very same monster that Elon is trying to kill by making Teslas? Oh, the recursive argument is stymieing my brain like an M.C. Escher woodcut where a little monster is eating a beautiful flock of birds that morph into angels that morph into little monsters that are eating a beautiful flock of birds that morph into angels that... oh, heavens! Is there no way off this planet?

Er... yes. But we have to buy a lot of Teslas first, so that Elon can finance Space X to build rockets to get us to Mars, where presumably we won't need cars anymore, since there won't be any malls to drive to. Aaack! M.C. Escher again!

And as long as we're talking about this, what about Elon Musk's giant building, with the largest building footprint in the world, even bigger than Bigfoot, where approximately one jillion lithium ion batteries are built every day from the world's dwindling supplies of lithium and ions, before filling each of those jillion batteries with jumping gigawatts of said electricity, produced with mountaintops of coal and Bakken Fields of natural gas. What happens to all those batteries when they're dead? Do we send them to landfills? Ship them by barge to the center of the Pacific Ocean and drop them through the Texas-sized pile of plastic bottles and tampon applicators that have washed to the middle of the sea? And how much electricity do all those little elves use to build those batteries? When there are salvage yards filled with millions of dead Model 3s, Model S's, and Roadsters, what happens to the mountains of former lithium batteries?

Suddenly I feel sick. I think I'll drive my Prius around town at speed, accelerating from 0 to 60 in 6 seconds to the tune of my dear old friend, the gasoline engine which powers the generator that feeds the electric motors that power my Prius. We're going to melt the icecaps right off this planet. We're going to steam up the atmosphere. We're going to drive ourselves into a planet of extreme weather, uninhabitable cities, and farms that can't raise anything that doesn't eat prickly pear cactus.

Let's face it. We're going to HAVE to move to Mars. There's no way around it. So, everyone order your Teslas today, so that Cousin Elon can get us all a one-way ticket to an unspoiled planet. Oh, won't we be surprised to find that Mars was once like Earth, but the Martians all bought Teslas to enable their version of Elon to build them rockets to get them off Mars and come to the unspoiled blue planet they would call "Earth." Wait until we start to dig into the Martian soil and discover that Mars is one giant landfill. Oh, M.C. Escher, why didn't you and Bach warn us of Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem? We can't see this vicious circle of folly, because we're right in the middle of it!

Well, anyway, enjoy your new Teslas. I know I will.

Posted by CommanderShroom (Member # 2097) on April 04, 2016, 09:21:
Originally posted by Shooshie:
I think I'll drive my Prius around town at speed, accelerating from 0 to 60 in 6 seconds to the tune of my dear old friend, the gasoline engine which powers the generator that feeds the electric motors that power my Prius.


I think the only way you could get a Prius to go from 0 - 60 in under 6 seconds is to latch it onto a SpaceX rocket.

Electric, hybrid and even our antiquated pure internal combustion engine is going to to have a trade off somewhere. Resources have to be expended in some way. So I have never been fooled into thinking that by owning a hybrid or electric car I was somehow going to give polar bears new icebergs to live on.

Tesla has really done one single important thing. It has made the electric car sexy. Because when most people think electric, we think the Nissan Leaf, the i-MiEV, or hybrids like the Prius. None of which are cool, particularly economical for the price tag, or even that great to drive. If we are lucky Tesla can make it so that the electric car is considered viable in some way, and then maybe |MAYBE| people will begin to consider creating better ways to produce and store electricity.


Probably not.

Wonder how much a ticket to Mars will be?
Posted by TheMoMan (Member # 1659) on April 04, 2016, 10:43:
Location, Location, Location as in real Estate. The hill top is located a few miles from the Au Sable River There are five hydro Dams along the Au Sable. I am not positive that our Electrons come from falling water, however that is the likely source.

For most of my life I have experimented with getting free electrons, they are hard to capture in large enough quantities to be useful.

Wind in small scale too much damage to equipment, as the wind varies wildly.

Solar direct to electrons, most conversions are less than 10% who is going to fund your experiment.

Solar to heat that works and well. Now heat to Electrons without losing the gains of solar to heat. The Israelis have some nice setups that work in a Desert. How much loss at 45Degrees N?

OSU Ohio State University had a Solar Fueled Engineering building at one time.

Back to Electric Cars=Glorified Golf Carts or real cars?
Posted by CommanderShroom (Member # 2097) on April 04, 2016, 14:07:
If you are ever south of Las Vegas on I-15 there is the Ivanpah Solar Farm. Fascinating, supposedly cooks birds that get in the way, and looks like the eye of Sauron when coming into Primm from California.

Cool tech, but not sure if it will be an answer for our hungry country.
Posted by Shooshie (Member # 2205) on April 04, 2016, 16:29:
Well folks, don't get me wrong. I still salivate when I hear "Tesla," and I really want one.

Oh... and Priuses are surprisingly peppy. When you hit the gas, both the combustion engine and the battery are slamming electrons into those motors, and they can leap ahead like all but the better sports cars. Leaves the pack sitting back at the stop light, which must be quite unexpected for the uninitiated. SUVs never catch up!

Of course... they're made of tin foil. (not really, but they are very light)

The whole point is that while we may love Teslas, and admittedly I do, they aren't going to save the planet. If anything, that giant lithium ion battery factory is churning out little time bombs, ecologically speaking. What's going to be the effect of a billion of those things rotting in landfills? Or will they be recycled into sculptures for Central Park? Maybe Apple will build a new headquarters some day that's made entirely of recycled L/I batteries.

Oh man, I love technology, but sometimes I wish I were just a farmer or hunter-gatherer. (better watch what I wish for; I still want my Tesla.)

Posted by Shooshie (Member # 2205) on April 04, 2016, 16:31:
Originally posted by CommanderShroom:
looks like the eye of Sauron when coming into Primm from California.

Oh man, you nailed that one! hahaha...
Posted by TheMoMan (Member # 1659) on April 04, 2016, 20:16:
The Israelis build medium sized solar stills held in place with greenhouse loops. for power to pump the water a large silo structure with a wind turbine vertical axis. A clear funnel to gather up the heated air into the silo. Startup happened about two hours after sun rise and ran until the sand cooled off.
Posted by The Famous Druid (Member # 1769) on April 04, 2016, 23:43:
Scotland just closed its last coal-burning power station.
It's now mostly renewables, with a few aging nukes awaiting decommissioning (when the bureaucrats in London were asked where to build nukes, the answer was often "far away from London")

So, Tesla's don't have to be powered by dirty coal-burners, but I share your worries about all that Lithium.

btw - if anyone ever tells you that nuclear power is "cheap" and "clean"- the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority expects to spend over £110 billion cleaning up just one site.
Posted by dragonman97 (Member # 780) on April 05, 2016, 01:21:
Loosely apropos of doing things the clean/green way -- there's something I've been curious about for a bit. I have pretty good sun exposure on one of my walls during the day (facing east) there an economical way I capture and store this power to later do something like charge/run various USB devices? Ideally I'd love some way to even run LED light bulbs off it, but I think that's probably impractical unless I were to do some rewiring that I'm not about to do. (A simpler solution would be to somehow charge up hideous things like 'tap lights.')

In a dream world, I'd love to recharge my laptop off solar as well, but I suspect that's a pipe dream.

As for the dirty power used to charge Tesla cars, I think one has to accept that this is how power is produced in parts of the country/world, and that the amount actually used to charge a Tesla is probably a drop in the bucket compared to various other uses. I think it's been suggested that it's still greener than an ICE, even factoring in the power plant piece. Dirty as they might be, you have to figure a power plant is vastly more efficient running at scale than an individual engine. There's a concerted effort to get rid of coal right now, but some charming individuals are fighting pretty hard against that now. :/
Posted by CommanderShroom (Member # 2097) on April 05, 2016, 12:31:
Listening to NPR this morning and there was a story on Crescent Dunes.

I actually had no idea how that one worked.
Posted by Snaggy (Member # 123) on April 05, 2016, 14:47:
OMG, that bird mortality video! [Frown]
Posted by TheMoMan (Member # 1659) on April 05, 2016, 19:14:
Dman you could build a solar salt in an insulated container. Four parts Sodium Chloride one part Potassium Chloride and enough water to be twice as deep as the salt, add some green food color and place in the sun light. This thing will get very hot oven like temps, and cools very slowly.

Look up eutectic salts for heat storage.
Posted by dragonman97 (Member # 780) on April 06, 2016, 01:16:
Originally posted by TheMoMan:
Dman you could build a solar salt in an insulated container. Four parts Sodium Chloride one part Potassium Chloride and enough water to be twice as deep as the salt, add some green food color and place in the sun light. This thing will get very hot oven like temps, and cools very slowly.

Look up eutectic salts for heat storage.

I like the idea of a mad science experiment, but not in my place. [Razz]
I'm looking for something a bit more conventional that's unlikely to catch fire, draw undue attention, or chase folks away. [Wink]
Posted by TheMoMan (Member # 1659) on April 06, 2016, 09:03:
Dman while this is unlikely to catch fire there is a burn hazard if you were to put your extremities in the solution I have recorded temps as high as 375 F.

Look up "Beer can solar"
Posted by dragonman97 (Member # 780) on April 06, 2016, 21:10:
375 F, no way. My bedroom is the one with eastern exposure. [Razz] I suspect it would attract attention on my fire escape, even...
Posted by CommanderShroom (Member # 2097) on April 07, 2016, 09:29:
Originally posted by Snaggy:
OMG, that bird mortality video! [Frown]

I am not happy about that one. I really hope they are being honest about the refocus actually mitigating that.
Posted by TheMoMan (Member # 1659) on April 09, 2016, 20:12:
The factory I worked in had Electric scooters that we used to travel from end to end, being in the tool-room we were often playing with the final drive ratios. Dragster or Formula one?

If I should become rich suddenly I think the Tesla with four wheel drive would be right for me.
Posted by quantumfluff (Member # 450) on April 10, 2016, 00:31:
I look at this very selfishly. I want my gene line to survive forever. That means we need a post-scarcity economy eventually. Either that means renewables soon, or my descendents have to be part of that that tough 1% that survive the meltdown. I've been preparing on both fronts.
Posted by TheMoMan (Member # 1659) on April 10, 2016, 10:18:
As a child growing up in Flint Mi. we had electric buses powered off of over head wires, however Flint was a GMC town soon the buses were replaced with Diesel power GMC.
Posted by The Famous Druid (Member # 1769) on April 11, 2016, 03:56:
All the best cities still do...

Trivia note: that's how my parents met - mum was a tram driver, dad was a conductor, althought those trams looked more like this...
Posted by TheMoMan (Member # 1659) on April 11, 2016, 06:39:
Heads up a bit of retro here, In 1966 I had a 1964 Pontiac Catalina that could do 0-60 in five seconds and under 12 seconds through the quarter mile. There is nothing as addicting as brute acceleration.

Now to get that performance one must buy this Motor Trend.
Posted by Shooshie (Member # 2205) on April 18, 2016, 12:35:
I used to have a 1967 Chevy pickup truck with a camper shell on the back. It had a 283 V8 engine in it, which — unknown to me at the time — was favored by stock car racers as one of the snappiest and most reliable motors ever made. It was so quiet that I often tried to restart it at stop lights, only to find out that it didn't need it, from the KRKSHKRKSHK noise of the starter encountering a running motor. I remember driving to a saxophone lesson one time, which was 30 miles away. I had left 15 minutes late. When I got on the freeway, I hit the gas. I arrived on time.

Now picture that. You're driving along at 60 mph, and suddenly in your rear view mirror you see something coming at you at 60 mph relative to you. You think it's a Porsche, but it's too big. WTF? Suddenly it whizzes past you. It's a Chevy pickup with a camper. It's going 120 mph as if that was cruising speed. What's more, it could accelerate at that speed.

When people used to talk about that 283 V8, as if it were the motor of God, I didn't really understand why, at first. You see, that was my first car, and I didn't realize that not all cars could do that. Only over the years, driving cars that strain to go 90, did I realize that my old pickup truck secretly dreamed of being a race car. When I gave her the gas, she leaped out of the gates!

Still, the cognitive dissonance of a pickup with a camper going 120 for 30 miles down a freeway just makes me laugh out loud. I was a stupid kid. (and lucky)

Posted by TheMoMan (Member # 1659) on April 18, 2016, 20:16:
Some times when there is nothing to compare too, it is difficult to draw a conclusion.

These people customize Golf carts and some of their customs are not allowed on some courses, they will run with the ATVs. Golf Carts and Accessories

I have seen their 4X4 High rise.
Posted by CommanderShroom (Member # 2097) on April 19, 2016, 11:17:
Talking about unlikely vehicles in the fast lane. I owned a couple of International Travelalls.

One was lifted and primer gray. And no one was dumb enough to stand in the way of that beast at 90 MPH.

Sometimes I wish I had kept it. My current Hyundai just gets no respect.
Posted by TheMoMan (Member # 1659) on May 12, 2016, 14:40:
While in traffic today, The Mrs and myself, were passed by a Tesla. There was no mistaking the rear trunk lid with the "T"
Posted by CommanderShroom (Member # 2097) on May 13, 2016, 09:22:
They are really nice looking cars.

However there was a local story about how one supposedly went autonomous and drove into a trailer.

Suicidal Tesla
Posted by TheMoMan (Member # 1659) on May 13, 2016, 10:30:
CS. as with any story there is a back story to that "TESLA" going rouge. It appears that the driver is partly to blame. Were I worked it was always the nut that held the steering wheel.
Posted by dragonman97 (Member # 780) on May 13, 2016, 18:29:
I saw mention of that story. It seems like playing with the gear shifter in just the right manner can activate the 'summon-ready' mode. You're then prompted with a pretty big reminder that this has been done, but rather than press 'yes,' you're offered the option to 'cancel.' To cause the actual chaos, you have to hit something on the key fob to trigger the 'summon.' Did the guy do all this? Is the Tesla really capable of malfunctioning like that all on its own? Both options seem dubious - I haven't seen a clearer explanation yet. It does seem like the feature is a bit lacking if it "can't drive properly" when the feature does get used as requested. I think it should also be more 'opt in' than 'opt out.'
Posted by CommanderShroom (Member # 2097) on June 23, 2016, 09:46:
It is a strange idea. Somehow I think there is more to it. But if the driver was at fault, they certainly wouldn't want to mention it. And if Tesla is at fault, I think they will be pretty hush for now too.

I am just waiting to see if there are other similar incidents.

But truthfully I like my cars and motorcycles relatively low tech. And Tesla is pretty far out of my comfort zone.
Posted by TheMoMan (Member # 1659) on July 01, 2016, 10:26:
OH POOP a man was killed when driving in FL with a Tesla on Auto. Details are sketchy. It appears that both auto and the driver missed a Semi turning, across his lane.


© 2015 Geek Culture

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.4.0