Feb 282014
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Tesla Motors Takes Another Step Forward

Tesla Motors’ electric vehicles are among the best-selling EVs, and that means they need many batteries to build their cars. The company intends to construct an enormous ‘Gigafactory’ (possibly in Nevada) which could produce up to 500,000 electric vehicle batteries annually.

The batteries are to be constructed from the ground up in the new factory, potentially increasing their profits by a factor of two, and drive down the cost of the batteries via economies of scale, another step forward for the EV industry which will force the rest of the automobile manufacturers to kick their R&D into high gear.

Elon Musk, the CEO, hinted that the factory will utilize solar and wind power, making their electric cars greener than ever, or maybe it could make the rest of the car brands’ batteries greener, as it could sell those batteries to them. After all, this factories production capacity far exceeds their current battery demand.

Source: Gas 2.

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Feb 192014
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Limited production of the electric Rimac Concept One cars is to begin in 2015. Rimac Automobili is considering the production of only 88 of these cars for the moment.

The Rimac Concept One. Image obtained with thanks from Rimac Automobili.

The Rimac Concept One.
Image obtained with thanks from Rimac Automobili.

The Croatian-built Rimac is an electric performance car equipped with four electric motors, one of which is at each wheel, facilitating what they call ‘All Wheel Torque Vectoring’. It tops the revolutionary Tesla Roadster with a 0-60 MPH acceleration time of 2.8 seconds, a driving range of 500 km (310 miles per charge)!

How could they possibly achieve this?

Try to guess with me…

Horsepower

This vehicle’s 4-motor, oil-cooled propulsion system cranks out a combined 1,088 HP, and 1,600 N·m (1,180 foot-pounds) of torque. This is approximately ten times more HP and ten times more torque than that of average cars.

Carbon Fiber

This vehicle is equipped with a carbon fiber chassis. Carbon fiber has the potential to be much lighter than the traditionally used steel.

Sheer Power

Like the 1,088 HP motor set, Rimac Automobili used a high-capacity 91 kWh battery pack. Generally, the larger a li-ion battery pack is, the more current it can discharge for acceleration.

Refrigerated Battery Pack

The power output of lithium-ion batteries is limited by temperature. Cooling them enables Rimac to squeeze more power out of them.

The Cost

You, probably expected a high cost, like I did. It is high, at a whopping $1 million. However, it is below the price point of some Bugatti cars, which are in the $2 million USD range, which have acceleration times in the same 2-second range. However, there are other notable differences, such as the higher top speed of the Bugatti Veyron cars, which is in the 200 mph range, and the benefits of the electric propulsion system, such as higher efficiency, mechanical simplicity, and of course, little to no engine noise.

Additional Details

  • Braking distance: 31.5m (100-0 km/h)
  • Lateral g-force: 1.4 g
  • Efficiency: 140-550 Wh/km
  • Weight-to-power ratio: 1.79 kg/hp
  • Weight distribution: 42% front, 58% rear
  • Total length: 4548 mm
  • Total width: 1997 mm
  • Total height: 1198 mm
  • Dry weight: 1950 kg
  • Lithium-Iron-Phosphate (LiFePO4) chemistry
  • Capacity: 91 kWh
  • Cooling: Freon (gas) with high-voltage heat pumps
  • Milled aluminium and sheet aluminium housing
  • Rimac Automobili Active Battery and Thermal Management Systems
  • Several layers of redundant safety and protection systems

Source: Rimac Automobili and Gas2.

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