Mustang Parts
   Carrying Saleen wheels and Bullitt wheels.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

GM's eAssist: 25% improvement?

In a recent blog post, GM claims that their eAssist mild hybrid (starter/generator) system is good for an average 25% fuel economy improvement.

I'm not sure how they got this number, it doesn't pass the common sense test for me.

Here are the EPA ratings for the eAssist Malibu vs the 2.5L I4 gasoline Malibu, copied from the EPA's web site:

2014 Malibu eAssist
City: 25mpg
Highway: 36mpg
Combined: 29mpg

2014 Malibu 2.0L
City: 21mpg
Highway: 30mpg
Combined: 24mpg

So, comparing Malibu vs Malibu, by getting the eAssist system, you gain all of 5mpg for the EPA combined number, which is a 20% improvement, not 25%.

And these are EPA numbers!  In real life, where people will drive faster than the EPA does, the benefit of eAssist will drop further.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Musk: Batteries Are Expensive

"The biggest single challenge for electric vehicles is affordability." -- Elon Musk

This comment was made during a recent shareholder's meeting, reported by Inside EVs.

Musk thinks Tesla can produce in "three to four years" an EV which has sufficient range to be broadly practical, which is affordable to a large number of customers. 

Which is probably something like a $30,000 vehicle which has a real world range of 200miles or better.  Based on the sales numbers of the current crop of 100mile vehicles, which aren't great, I am guessing the range needs to double before the masses really take notice.

But doubling the range of a car like the Leaf will add approx. $10,000 to its price, at current battery costs of approx $500/kWh.

So the billion dollar question is, how will Tesla get ~45kWh of batteries for $10,000, leaving them $20,000 for the base vehicle and profit?