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minnmarker

Tesla Drivetrain?

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minnmarker

Tesla just announced they will have a pickup truck out in 18 to 24 months.  How long until this makes it into boats - into wake boats?

Given the broad (flat) torque curve of electric motors and Tesla's track record at delivering cost competitive vehicles it might not be long until someone takes an electric pickup truck drive train and puts it in a boat.  Seems like a no brainer?

Anyone have any inside scoop on Malibu or others looking at this?

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Sixball

Just think all this battery powered vehicles will need to improve before it works in things like boats or vehicles for people in the country. Its just hard to find the charging stations. Hibrid is working but for me I can't have A battery vehicle.  Give me a gas burner!  

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sunvalleylaw

I had a thread a while back about it.  I think battery charge life and friction are at issue.  I am no engineer, but I understand that it is hard as a boat requires more effort from an engine than a car, to overcome all the friction of the water.  Someone who knows more can say that better.  I would love to see it though.  They, over at Nautique, played with a similar idea a few years back.  Andy Mapple liked the idea.  

 

 

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Fffrank

It's a few generations of batteries away from being feasible in a boat.  Cars have quite a bit of rolling inertia that can be turned back into energy during braking.  They also only burn ~2gph at highway speeds.  Boats are burning 6-8gph which means we need at least 3-4x the energy reserves for the same equivalent time of use.  This also means 3-4x the charge times.  And a much smaller market that is relatively slow to adapt.  Not realistic at this point.

The self driving semis, however?  It would be a bad time to be a young long-haul driver.

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minnmarker

I get regenerative braking and low hp requirements for a car but that logic does not hold for an over the road semi truck which burns about 10 gallons per hour (at 65 mph) and recaptures very little energy through braking.  The way Tesla is moving forward I think electric boat propulsion will happen way faster than we think.  For example, weight is not nearly so important in a boat as in a car, so larger batteries are not such an issue.  Can you imagine the space savings of the electric engine?  An underfloor battery and an engine that fits in a box the size of a beer cooler.  No transmission, no gas tank.  4 hours of run time would be plenty for me with an overnight charge on the lift.  No trips to the marina for over priced gas.

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jjackkrash
16 minutes ago, Fffrank said:

It's a few generations of batteries away from being feasible in a boat.  Cars have quite a bit of rolling inertia that can be turned back into energy during braking.  They also only burn ~2gph at highway speeds.  Boats are burning 6-8gph which means we need at least 3-4x the energy reserves for the same equivalent time of use.  This also means 3-4x the charge times.  And a much smaller market that is relatively slow to adapt.  Not realistic at this point.

Spot on.  Tesla's are awesome cars under normal driving conditions, but the battery drains like it has a hole in it if you run them on a track.  Tow boats are always under load; I don't think the batteries are close, at least not yet.  

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sunvalleylaw
28 minutes ago, minnmarker said:

I get regenerative braking and low hp requirements for a car but that logic does not hold for an over the road semi truck which burns about 10 gallons per hour (at 65 mph) and recaptures very little energy through braking.  The way Tesla is moving forward I think electric boat propulsion will happen way faster than we think.  For example, weight is not nearly so important in a boat as in a car, so larger batteries are not such an issue.  Can you imagine the space savings of the electric engine?  An underfloor battery and an engine that fits in a box the size of a beer cooler.  No transmission, no gas tank.  4 hours of run time would be plenty for me with an overnight charge on the lift.  No trips to the marina for over priced gas.

HOpe you are right!  I would love to re-power my Response that way.  Though I am not sure they will make a re-power option.  You will probably have to buy the whole boat.

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Sailvi767
1 hour ago, minnmarker said:

I get regenerative braking and low hp requirements for a car but that logic does not hold for an over the road semi truck which burns about 10 gallons per hour (at 65 mph) and recaptures very little energy through braking.  The way Tesla is moving forward I think electric boat propulsion will happen way faster than we think.  For example, weight is not nearly so important in a boat as in a car, so larger batteries are not such an issue.  Can you imagine the space savings of the electric engine?  An underfloor battery and an engine that fits in a box the size of a beer cooler.  No transmission, no gas tank.  4 hours of run time would be plenty for me with an overnight charge on the lift.  No trips to the marina for over priced gas.

Current battery technology is a long way from 4 hours at 300 or so HP. To really be marketable you would need 8 hours or more. Battery powered sailing Catamarans were all the rage a few years ago. Recharge the batteries under sail from prop rotation. Seemed like a great idea and several models were available. It turned out to be a disaster. Those boats still in service have all been repowered with diesels. Turns out electrics and water don't go all that well together. The biggest current Tesla power pack would run a wakeboat for maybe 20 minutes.

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Fffrank
1 hour ago, minnmarker said:

I get regenerative braking and low hp requirements for a car but that logic does not hold for an over the road semi truck which burns about 10 gallons per hour (at 65 mph) and recaptures very little energy through braking. 

Actually, a semi tractor should recapture nearly 100% of any energy it loses due to braking and/or going down hill.  Getting trucks moving is the expensive part in terms of energy -- keeping them moving is easy (although diesel engines are only ~45% efficient.)  Utilizing a motor with a 90%+ efficiency will instantly save $$$$.  Tow boats are using most of their energy output to overcome the resistance of the water.  Doubling the efficiency of the engine will have very little effect.  Plus, OTR trucks can carry LOTS of heavy batteries with very little impact on rolling resistance.  They also have a VERY large flat space that is suitable for solar panels. 

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sunvalleylaw
7 minutes ago, Fffrank said:

Actually, a semi tractor should recapture nearly 100% of any energy it loses due to braking and/or going down hill.  Getting trucks moving is the expensive part in terms of energy -- keeping them moving is easy (although diesel engines are only ~45% efficient.)  Utilizing a motor with a 90%+ efficiency will instantly save $$$$.  Tow boats are using most of their energy output to overcome the resistance of the water.  Doubling the efficiency of the engine will have very little effect.  Plus, OTR trucks can carry LOTS of heavy batteries with very little impact on rolling resistance.  They also have a VERY large flat space that is suitable for solar panels. 

Love the vizsla!  

So I don't know how they did it, but that Nautique seemed to do better than 20 minutes.  Maybe I am wrong.  I hope a way will be figured out at some point.  

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minnmarker
3 minutes ago, Sailvi767 said:

Current battery technology is a long way from 4 hours at 300 or so HP. To really be marketable you would need 8 hours or more. Battery powered sailing Catamarans were all the rage a few years ago. Recharge the batteries under sail from prop rotation. Seemed like a great idea and several models were available. It turned out to be a disaster. Those boats still in service have all been repowered with diesels. Turns out electrics and water don't go all that well together. The biggest current Tesla power pack would run a wakeboat for maybe 20 minutes.

 

2 minutes ago, Fffrank said:

Actually, a semi tractor should recapture nearly 100% of any energy it loses due to braking and/or going down hill.  Getting trucks moving is the expensive part in terms of energy -- keeping them moving is easy (although diesel engines are only ~45% efficient.)  Utilizing a motor with a 90%+ efficiency will instantly save $$$$.  Tow boats are using most of their energy output to overcome the resistance of the water.  Doubling the efficiency of the engine will have very little effect.  Plus, OTR trucks can carry LOTS of heavy batteries with very little impact on rolling resistance.  They also have a VERY large flat space that is suitable for solar panels. 

All good points - although I was talking about a semi running straight and level, not city or mountain driving. 

In any case, it would be interesting to know what the kwh capacity and weight of the Tesla Semi and Pickup batteries are - and then compare that to the kw needed to run a wake boat.  Not saying it'll be in a wake boat next year - or even 5 years.  As far as weight, we're filling our boats with up to 6,000 lbs. of water.  A battery even close to that heavy would have some power..  Of some note, there were several electric "booze cruise" boats at the boat show but they were only 10 hp or so.

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AJwakedevil
15 minutes ago, Fffrank said:

Actually, a semi tractor should recapture nearly 100% of any energy it loses due to braking and/or going down hill.  Getting trucks moving is the expensive part in terms of energy -- keeping them moving is easy (although diesel engines are only ~45% efficient.)  Utilizing a motor with a 90%+ efficiency will instantly save $$$$.  Tow boats are using most of their energy output to overcome the resistance of the water.  Doubling the efficiency of the engine will have very little effect.  Plus, OTR trucks can carry LOTS of heavy batteries with very little impact on rolling resistance.  They also have a VERY large flat space that is suitable for solar panels. 

electric powered trucks with large amounts of batteries and a solar panel running the length of 42' long bed... yup, sounds very plausible. 

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minnmarker
2 minutes ago, AJwakedevil said:

electric powered trucks with large amounts of batteries and a solar panel running the length of 42' long bed... yup, sounds very plausible. 

Solar panels on the top no way - but Elon Musk has been doubted by many too many times, and then come through, to discount his plans.

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RevWil

Could you imagine how much quieter the cabin would be? Then we would be complaining about the friction noises. I'm curious what the minimum runtime would be to launch this tech and for it to be successful.

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sunvalleylaw
22 minutes ago, RevWil said:

Could you imagine how much quieter the cabin would be? Then we would be complaining about the friction noises. I'm curious what the minimum runtime would be to launch this tech and for it to be successful.

from what I heard about the Nautique boat, it was not silent.  Prop noise and water on the hull made noise too.  But still a lot quieter I would think.

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Zac

It would be significantly quieter. This is a matter of when, not if. 

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rugger

Huge tesla fan and I agree it's coming.   I spent a little time in Silicon Valley in a previous career back in late 90s. I learned about Moore's law (intel fame) where speed/performance/storage capabilities double every 18 months.  Always thought why can't Silicon Valley make cars??? Cars have had such slow performance innovation by design IMO.  Super excited when tesla was founded.  

Regardless of what you think of electric cars they are "game changers" (our favorite term right?) and performance has made leaps and bounds much faster than gas cars.   

Boats will be electric IMO. Batteries I would think are a huge hurdle still.  There were lots of electric boat concept threads on the Tesla forums as well...  FWIW.  Interesting to follow!

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JeffC

I believe a way to break through the run time issue would be to have an exchangeable battery.    On a small private ski lake, having the ability to swap a discharged battery and a charged one quickly would mitigate the run time issue a bit. 

Ive lost track of it, but I thought Tesla was looking at that - swap batteries over the course of a few minutes, and off you go again...

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Zac
9 minutes ago, JeffC said:

I believe a way to break through the run time issue would be to have an exchangeable battery.    On a small private ski lake, having the ability to swap a discharged battery and a charged one quickly would mitigate the run time issue a bit. 

Ive lost track of it, but I thought Tesla was looking at that - swap batteries over the course of a few minutes, and off you go again...

Originally they pitched a battery swap in about 3 minutes for the same price as a tank of gas. The idea has since been abandoned I believe due to cost. As it has evolved I think people that have these cars realize that the bulk of their driving is commuting and if a longer trip is planned it's easy enough to map it out and stop at the super charging stations if necessary. 

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WAwinegrapes
37 minutes ago, rugger said:

Huge tesla fan and I agree it's coming.   I spent a little time in Silicon Valley in a previous career back in late 90s. I learned about Moore's law (intel fame) where speed/performance/storage capabilities double every 18 months.  Always thought why can't Silicon Valley make cars??? Cars have had such slow performance innovation by design IMO.  Super excited when tesla was founded.  

Regardless of what you think of electric cars they are "game changers" (our favorite term right?) and performance has made leaps and bounds much faster than gas cars.   

Boats will be electric IMO. Batteries I would think are a huge hurdle still.  There were lots of electric boat concept threads on the Tesla forums as well...  FWIW.  Interesting to follow!

Moore's Law applies to computers. But not to batteries. And even computers are not keeping pace.  If that were the case, we'd have battery driven/propelled space shuttles.

There have been some improvements in batteries, specially in the last 5-10 years. But not enough to warrant Ford and GM to jump head first into the battery car world.   Both have dipped their toe into the EV car dept more so because of unrealistic  and idiotic Govt mandates and fuel efficiency guidelines.  And  I read where GM was discontinuing the Volt, and Toyota was discontinuing  or scaling back the Prius line.

But keep in mind that the first cars were battery driven, and that was 100+ years ago.  The same deficiencies/shortcomings with batteries back then which resulted in switching from batteries to an array of propulsion systems including gas, kerosine, steam, etc.,  exist today.  Even the Egyptians had primitive galvanic batteries, and how many centuries ago was that?  being conservative and saying the first mass produced cars arrived in 1901.  That would give us 116-7 years for improvement. Using 115 to make it easy divided by 18 months (1.5)  means batteries would have doubled their performance 76 times.  Which is clearly not the case.

I am optimistic that batteries will make great strides in the near future.  BUT we are a generation or 2+ away from EVs being commonplace. And being cost effective.  And that does not include the $7,500 rebate every new car buyer gets! ANd I have yet to get a thank you from one of them.

Without the $1.3 BILLION from the State of Nevada  and the   $5 BILLION from US taxpayers/suckers, and the million$$ from several other States that have been captivated by elon's gift of BS, given  as  incentive to build Musk's Federally subsidized toys in their State, ole elon would most likely be working for Google, Intel, or the US Govt.

http://nationalinterest.org/feature/cut-elon-musks-government-subsidy-gravy-train-18671

I wish the Federal govt would give me $5 BILLION to play with.  With my engineering degrees, I too could come up with some really cool toys!

 

And I wish the Fed govt would get out of deciding who/which business succeeds and which ones fail.  By giving elon $5 billion, he is ahead in the race to build anything.  And the person/company who does not get that same $5 billion is doomed to failure.

Edited by WAwinegrapes

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Slurpee

I love the idea of electric cars.  I think they'll drive a necessary innovation that ties very closely with other progressive ideas like self-driving vehicles.  Personal and commercial.  I'll not voluntarily own one for a very long time.  Why?

Tesla uses a LiNiCoAlO2 chemistry for their Model-S cells.  The cobalt oxide cathode material is very interesting.  It's energy density capability is best of class.  It's what's in our phones and most other devices.  When CoO2 is mixed with Lithium it goes exothermic producing a lot of heat and liberates oxygen as a gas.... which ignites.  So any damage whatsoever to the cell ultimately results in a self-sustaining fireball.  Go to youtube and search for Lithium Ion (not LiPo) batteries at the rifle range.  I like this one at 1:50 for an example.  You won't find a 1000 lb battery of that stuff under my butt in a vehicle any time soon.  I've been in a few car wrecks.  You don't need more complications in a situation like that.  And Hollywood aside, gas tanks don't blow up often. I'll take that path for the time being, but by all means I hope E-Vehicles are successful and the problems are solved.

By the way, to defeat this Lithium Cobalt Oxide ignition effect you have to use a cell chemistry that doesn't make use of Oxide in the cathode.  Phosphate for example.  Those outgas and go exothermic as well, but don't reach ignition temperature under normal conditions.  We used these types of cells when designing the Segway batteries.  The downside is the energy density is a lot lower meaning more weight for the same effect.

 

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Zac

This is a true game changer once it's done right. More so than anything else we've seen for a long time. 

The weight of the battery would be superb along the bottom of the boat, more storage, way quieter, the boat would become essentially maintenance free, no gasoline, positive environmental impact. 

Alot of things have to happen before its done right but I really believe it will come in the next few decades. 

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WAwinegrapes
26 minutes ago, JeffC said:

I believe a way to break through the run time issue would be to have an exchangeable battery.    On a small private ski lake, having the ability to swap a discharged battery and a charged one quickly would mitigate the run time issue a bit. 

Ive lost track of it, but I thought Tesla was looking at that - swap batteries over the course of a few minutes, and off you go again...

Just how heavy is the battery that you want to exchange?  The battery in the Prius is 120#, and there is still the engine as a means of propulson.  The Chevy Volt, a true EV car, the battery weighs 450#.

I guess you'll need a hoist or crane to swap it out.

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Slurpee
4 minutes ago, Zac said:

The weight of the battery would be superb along the bottom of the boat, more storage, way quieter, the boat would become essentially maintenance free, no gasoline, positive environmental impact.  

No and Not really.  Batteries have a shelf life and they have a cycle life.  Think of them as fancy ink cartridges if it helps.  Keeping them at peak ability is impossible because every use (cycle) will degrade them just a tad.  It's no different in that respect to the Lead cells we use now.  They're gonna get replaced every few years.  And can you imagine how much effort its gonna take to get that cell out.  Imagine removing your existing gas tank every 3 years (while full of dangerous fuel).  Yikes.  Not a home project.  And if it were standard large format cells the maintenance is a pain.  It's like having 50 lead acid batteries all wired together.  That you constantly have to keep balanced with extra hardware.  It's a maintenance nightmare that I've lived through.

And as for positive environmental impact?  Well, the energy footprint needed to mine the very rare raw materials needed for these cells is quite high.  At the end of the day the environmental cost to make a cell is very high and only creates a positive impact when used 100% through it's life.  Letting it sit around a lot creates a negative impact.  That's why the biggest benefit is in electrical grids, commercial transit, etc.  Those are maximum utilization scenarios.  

Again, I'm all for battery development and utilization.  There is however a MASSIVE amount of problems with making it something practical and safe.  I get on my soap box about it a lot.  I'm sorry.  The things we are exposed to daily with batteries make it seem so easy and wonderful.  That doesn't hold true while you scale up to something like a vehicle.

Where I see E-Vehicle in the future.  The FAR future is fleets of vehicles available on a subscription basis.  Think the taxi/uber industry as a template.  Just pay your subscription and the cars are there to get you and take you wherever you need to go when you need it.  Want your own Tesla.  Sure.  But want a Cadillac for date night, and a regular comfortable sedan for the commute, and a van for vacation.  Self-Driving e-vehicles will maximize the actual benefits of a battery vehicle and put them in an infrastructure where a managing corporation can afford to make the maintenance practical.

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