Electrical cars, future or present?30 nov 2014

Last month we were talking about the alternative means of transport that the Dutch government was supporting actively. Within this means of transport, we found out that the electrical cars are targeting the conventional fuel powered cars.

Following that topic, today I will talk about the king of the electrical cars at the moment, the model S from Tesla which we can get (the cheapest version) for 60.000 USD (48.200€ the 29th Nov 2014) and we will talk about some technical issues related with electrical cars as well.


We will start talking about the maximum range that the Tesla S has, which is limited by the capacity of the electrical batteries (the man kind is still waiting for a miracle in this sense). The Tesla S, has two versions, the most cost competitive one with batteries of 60kWh which allow us to drive 290 km on the high way (average speed of 110 km/h and AC on!) and the version with batteries of 85kWh which in the same conditions allow us to drive on the high way for 368km, not bad, right? In the following link you can calculate the max range depending on how you want to use the car.

Our batteries are flat, now what? If we are away from home we will have to look for quick charge spot (nowadays we can find more and more everywhere). How long will it take? According to the Tesla S specs, if we are charging our car with a 20kW charging spot (a quick one), it will charge with a ratio of 93km of range per one hour of charging, enough to come back home if we had a slip with the charge in our batteries..

Electrical cars, future or present?

And, what about at home? which modifications do we need to perform? Depending on the kind of house that we have, the solution will vary. Obviously, we want the car to be charged quickly, but without the fix term of our electrical invoice flying away like a rocket. In houses with mono phase distribution of 9.200W (something typical in new built houses) without investing a lot of money, we can charge our car with a ratio of 37km of range per hour of charging (at night with hardly any other high power electrical device connected to he net). If you are somewhat more impatient (I’m in that group), you can raise the hired electrical power and even move to three phase distribution to get a higher charging current.

What are the benefits of having an electrical car? First of all, the environment. These cars have 0 CO2 emissions (lifespan of the battery and other components apart). It is also true that this statement is conditioned to the nature of the electrical energy that arrives into our grid; In the case of Spain in 2013, 42% of the electrical energy used came from renewable energy. Other advantage of the electrical cars over the fuel powered cars is the low maintenance required due to the simplicity of it’s design. In my opinion, the best advantage over a conventional car is the price per km. I made a very simple comparative between the BMW 320 with a Diesel engine and the Tesla model S to know how much euros cost us to drive 100km.

  • BMW 320: 4.1l/100km * 1.21€/l = 4.96€/100km
  • Tesla S: 60kWh/309km * 0.13 €/kWh = 2.52€/100km

We have to pay almost double to drive the same distance with a diesel engine than with a electrical car (tax and maintenance costs aside). This calculation has been made supposing a electrical rate that doesn’t distinguish between peak time and night time. With another rates and charging the car at night the difference between fuel powered and electrical car would be much higher.

With such a nice advantages is a big temptation to take the leap to electrical cars but the price of the Tesla model S (48.200 the cheapest) makes it hard. Anyway, there are other electrical alternatives like the Volkswagen e-Golf or the Nissan LEAF. With the advantages mentioned, would you dear to take the leap?

I look forward to your comments and experiences!


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