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Unlimited range, no costs

Unlimited range, no costs

In 5 - 10 years cars will have unlimited range and no costs for driving, with the performances like today.
This is the logical step forward, I hope we will just laugh about limitations of current cars.
For most people these cars will be their first car, they will be very cheap and most of all sustainable.
And it is not the point in some high technology, just opposite, it will be low tech car.

cloroxbb | August 27, 2013

5-10 years? I doubt that

ttoomm1 | August 27, 2013

Time is running much faster, everything is changing faster, most people still doesn't have cars, and when they will have them, they must be pollution free, otherwise the earth will not survive, but on the other side the cars must be much more affordable for people in Afrika, India, Asia ...

cloroxbb | August 27, 2013

Just like free energy doesn't exist, neither will free travel.

Timo | August 27, 2013

Barefoot walking? Of course you would need food to do that walking, but I don't consider that as cost of travel.

Unlimited energy and "unlimited range" with something that can actually be considered as a car can't happen. It's just laws of nature that prevent that. You can get very cheap travel though. For India something like electric assisted bicycle or electric scooter with cheap solar panels working as chargers can be made.

People actually should need at least two vehicles: one very small for one person daily commute and grocery shopping, one larger for hauling lots of cargo and family for trips.

I think Tesla should consider building something that can be registered as motorcycle, but is in fact some sort of cross between car and bike as a companion to Model S. Small thing, high performance, agile, good visibility, a bit space for groceries. That's it. $10k-$20k "companion vehicle".

One person here suggested Tron-style bike. You don't have to go quite that futuristic, but it has a point, even small sells if it is sexy. Bikes are. Sexy. But not as comfortable as cars. We need a whole new category of transport between cars and bikes.

Smaller vehicle needs less resources to build and way less energy to reach reasonable range. If you can make a vehicle that is, without batteries, couple of hundred kg:s, and has frontal area of one third of Model S and has car-like good Cd you would need something like 20kWh to get 300 mile range. Maybe less.

cloroxbb | August 28, 2013

I think a Zero S or DS would compliment nicely! That is actually what I plan on doing.

risingsun | August 28, 2013

We will have very cheap travel. The department of energy estimates that residential solar power will cost $1.5 per KwH to install by 2020. I am guess that translates into 5 cents a KwH. So it will be very cheap to recharge your EV.

cloroxbb | August 28, 2013

Unfortunately, utility companies are already starting to complain that people going "off the grid" are hurting their profits, so there will be oposition right off the bat as more and more people decide to use renewable power...

This place is becoming less and less the land of the free...

risingsun | August 28, 2013

At some point, most homeowners will be able to actually go off the grid for a reasonable price. At that point, utility companies will lose a lot of leverage over consumers. It isn't a question of if, it is a question of when. I think society, consumers and utility companies will be better off if consumers who use solar power don't go off the grid. The power companies will make less money, but that is life.

Timo | August 28, 2013

If you think they (utility companies) are worried now, think what they will do if/when cheap fusion comes available in a form of LPP experiment. There would not be any nation-wide grid then. That thing is small enough that it would fit in a boiler room of any house/condo and would generate way more power than needed.

cloroxbb | August 28, 2013

If it ever happens, not holding my breath.

Timo | August 28, 2013

They create fusion without problems. Problems are in engineering part of the device to get net energy. I'm quite confident that they get the device to make net energy at some point in near future. Device itself is far more reliable than tokamak monsters, and progress is actually way faster than I would have expected because funding for it is nearly non-existent unlike those tokamak failures.

jstack6 | August 28, 2013

A few utilities let EV's charge for free at night. We have to work with them and not fight or go off GRID. If we store and use their excess energy at night they can let us drive for free. Our vehicles can pay for themselves.

WWW.V2G-101.COM it's already being done in Delaware and at Google in California. Vehicle To GRID is a great way to work together.

risingsun | August 29, 2013

The Usa definitely needs more smart grid trchnology. Maybe you will be able to charge at
Different rates given the current spot price of electricity. This would be a very efficent way to geneterate and use power effectively

Tesluthian | August 29, 2013

Free transportation energy is possible, if businesses en mass start letting patrons charge up for free. I can even envision a point system, like frequent flyer miles.

You collect free EV charge credits from purchases and go to your local businesses to redeem them for free electric energy. 5% back should do it, cheaper than running a sale. This because running a car on electricity is cheaper than running on gas, and some businesses get a wholesale rate. Recharge points could be worth more, if you recharge at businesses during evening shopping, weekends, or at night.

In regards to fusion, Lockheed Martin (LMT), seems to be marking progress in the small fusion reactor front.

skurlow | August 29, 2013

http://aerorocket.com/MagLev.html

i wonder if someone has thought to have a car in two modules - the bottom module contains the wheels, motor, brakes and steering system. the top module is where the occupants and luggage reside.

the bottom module travels along the ground like a conventional car but it has magnets in it to allow the top module to be levitated. this means the bottom module only needs enough juice to move its weight plus keep the upper module levitated by an electro-magnetic field.

i wonder whether something like that is feasible and has benefits.

Brian H | August 29, 2013

skurlow;
maybe in smooth straight-line travel. Acceleration in any direction, especially sudden, could be ... an adventure.

Haeze | August 30, 2013

@skurlow Unfortunately, the way physics defines force in our universe, is that the top levitating portion would still exert its weight on the bottom portion of your proposed vehicle. Even if the top portion is levitated by magnets, the field is acting both on the top portion (to help it fight gravity) and equally on the bottom portion. If you took any of those toys in the article you linked that levitate objects on a magnetic field, and put the base of the toy on a scale... once you suspended the floating portion of the toy above the base, you will see the weight value on the scale increase by exactly the weight of the suspended object.

Brian H | August 30, 2013

Yeah, I missed that he thinks you get weightless lifting as well as accel. Another under-educated wannbe freeloader. I blame the Teachers' Union.

Haeze | August 30, 2013

@Brian H
I honestly don't know the poster, personally, so I can not speak to their education level, or age.

Many people I have met hated science classes, and once they graduated, never took another science class again. It is completely understandable that one would not have a full grasp of Newton's laws of motion if they weren't interested in learning Physics.

It doesn't necessarily mean they are under-educated, they could simply be more educated in a different field such as Social Sciences, Linguistics, Biology, or any number of other paths.

I just wanted to point out the flaw in their reasoning for the reduction of weight in their proposed design, I did not by any means want to make them feel less educated.

Brian H | August 30, 2013

Anyone who escapes from Gr. 9 without understanding the basics of momentum and gravity is under-educated.

Timo | August 30, 2013

"basics of gravity" is a bit tough. Basics of forces would suffice. Vector sums.

ttoomm1 | August 31, 2013

Sometimes education is the biggest barrier, you know the phrase : " I didn't know it is impossible, so I made it ".

Timo | August 31, 2013

That's rarely the case in sciences. We have quite good understanding of basic physical laws now. That phrase could have been more accurate about hundred years ago. Not anymore.

carlgo | August 31, 2013

I worked with two brilliant scientists, graduates of the top two technical institutes in the US. To shorten a long story, both were appallingly ignorant about the non-technical world.

Both suffered serious legal and personal difficulties because of this disconnect. Both would have been far more effective in both their lives and in their work if they had been forced to minor in something completely unrelated, perhaps a liberal art.

Their shared assumption was that they were brilliant scientists so they must be brilliant in every other way as well. This proved to be their downfall. They did incredibly stupid things and held some very bizarre, clearly incorrect views of society and the world in general.

While all students should be exposed to properly funded and presented science, all scientists should be required to minor in a liberal art of some sort in order to understand the world and their own limitations.

David70 | August 31, 2013

@garigo,

I think you'd be surprised at the number of scientists who also have interests and abilities in music and/or art. Perhaps not all who are at the top of their fields and heavily focused on only their work, but at leas many who are simply competent in the fields.

David70 | August 31, 2013

leas -> least