Tesla doomed

LunarMist

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#41
Complicated doesn't mean stupid. Trying to land on a ship might not be ideal, but it's way better than just giving up and trashing a rocket that doesn't have enough fuel to make the trip back to land on solid ground.
Maybe they could land in the oUtback or somewhere in western China where there is a lot of open land.
 

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#44
Rockets have been 'reused' for quite some time now - you may remember the Space Shuttle ...

The boosters were recovered and recycled. And the Shuttle engines could be reused after considerable refurbishment and testing (several months worth).

Yes, yes, I realize we're much smarter now, and Space X first stages will - against all previous experience - be reusable for an unstated number of launches. There is plenty of annoying cost information around that shows that reusing the first stage doesn't make a colossal amount of difference to the overall launch cost. The second stage would be far more reusable, if you could figure out a way to get it back (see Space Shuttle). The key is launch frequency, which is why Mr Musk is floating the idea of thousands of satellites - to make his sums work.

The reality is that SpaceX has a strategy of temporarily undercutting everyone else to win business, but with higher costs than say, the Russians. Their long term strategy needs a huge number of launches to turn reuse into an advantage.

Nonetheless, SpaceX is in a far better position than Tesla, which is what I started this discussion about. For NASA work (including R&D), they actually get significant payments up front, topped up with progress payments. Nice work if you can get it.
 

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#45
And in case anyone missed it, SpaceX landed their second 1st stage booster safely today. This time on a barge in the ocean (saving the fuel that would have been needed to return the 1st stage to the launch site).

[video=youtube_share;sYmQQn_ZSys]https://youtu.be/sYmQQn_ZSys[/video]
I did not miss it. Congratulations to SpaceX on finally achieving their stated aim of landing a rocket on its fins on a barge.

Of course, Blue Origin launched, landed and reused the same New Shepard rocket 3 times in slightly more than 4 months, all before this. Yes, yes, I realize it's a smaller rocket, it didn't have such an arduous journey, and it didn't have to land on a barge. But the media coverage of SpaceX has been so hyperbolic, that most people believe this latest landing was a mighty historical breakthrough without precedent.
 

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#46
As a shareholder, I'm OK with this too. Toyota has already licensed Tesla IP. Rumor has it that BMW has done the same. So long as the company is profitable.
May well be a Google Fu fail, but I couldn't find any reference to this. What IP did Telsa license to Toyota?
 

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#49
Maybe my browser is fooling me, but there's nothing in that Wikipedia article about licensing Toyota, nor in the references it links to in turn.
 

Howell

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#50
Wikipedia also doesn't mention that the partnership dissolved unamicably. Though Toyota gained a lot of value in Tesla stock, and Diamler before them.
 

LunarMist

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#51
Wikipedia also doesn't mention that the partnership dissolved unamicably. Though Toyota gained a lot of value in Tesla stock, and Diamler before them.
$50 million is just lunch money to the Toyotas of the world. What was the deal with the Teslad RAV4? Was it a crappy product, too expensive compared to more traditional plugin-in hybrids, or what?
 

sechs

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#52
Rockets have been 'reused' for quite some time now - you may remember the Space Shuttle ...

The boosters were recovered and recycled. And the Shuttle engines could be reused after considerable refurbishment and testing (several months worth).
This is a ridiculous apples to oranges comparison.

The Space Transportation System turned out to actually cost more because you throw away the big tank, have to go out and retrieve the solid rocket motors (which is why SLS is leaving them in the drink), and orbiter and engine refurbishment is quite expensive and time consuming.

SpaceX hopes to take the landed first stage, hose it down, fuel it up, and fire it again.
 

sechs

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#53
Of course, Blue Origin launched, landed and reused the same New Shepard rocket 3 times in slightly more than 4 months, all before this. Yes, yes, I realize it's a smaller rocket, it didn't have such an arduous journey, and it didn't have to land on a barge. But the media coverage of SpaceX has been so hyperbolic, that most people believe this latest landing was a mighty historical breakthrough without precedent.
Well, it's not just a smaller rocket. It's designed to just touch space and come back. It doesn't even really carry anything. And if we want to get technical, SpaceX and others have been launching, landing, and reusing rockets for years. That's simply not an interesting feat.

On the other hand, taking a rocket that actually sent a payload into orbit and landing it on a boat in the (totally not still) ocean is, you must admit, a bit of a deal. Unless the government has been hiding something from us, it *is* a historical breakthrough, without precedent.
 

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#60
I'm a bit of a bus nerd (mostly thanks to my work), and everybody seems to agree on that electric buses are the future, either fully electrical or hybrid, at least on city buses. A hybrid city bus saves around 40% energy, a hybrid city bus with charging stations at the end of the line (with a 6 minute stop) saves around 90%. Another nice thing with electric buses is that you can place bus stops inside malls for example. Usually, at least here in Sweden, you'll find the bus stop at least 300 meters from the store entrance, because there's a parking lot in between.

I read at the end of the link that they questioned how a gas turbine hybrid could be zero emission, but its possible if they use bio gas instead of natural gas. But you need a certain population density for it to be practical/economical.
 

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#61
NYC has already been using hybrid buses for at least the last 5 years. Electric buses are probably the next step once the charging infrastructure is in place. Buses often sit for 10 or 20 minutes at the end terminal. That might give enough time to replenish the charge lost in between terminals. That's really all you need to do. The battery can be topped off overnight so there is some reserve during the day. Electrifying heavy vehicles like buses and trucks neatly solves both the pollution and noise problems these vehicles create.
 

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#65
How much will it cost normal people in suburbs to pay for electric busses in urbanos?
The infrastructure costs a bit, and an electric bus cost around twice as much as a normal bus. But then the energy price is lower than the diesel price, and the maintenance costs are probably lower too (I don't know the life expectancy of the battery though, especially in the cold). The interior layout is usually a bit different compare to a normal city bus with fewer seats, so you can get more people onboard. Anyway, the initial cost is much higher right now, but seen over the lifetime of the vehicle the cost is about the same- or perhaps even a bit lower for an electric bus.
 

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#66

jtr1962

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#67
Once we have autonomous vehicles, I see large buses on regular schedules becoming inefficient.
In the suburbs probably true. In large, dense cities we'll still use conventional buses on fixed routes simply because the street space doesn't exist to replace one bus with 50 or 75 autonomous vehicles going to different destinations. I've heard the idea of autonomous vehicles making mass transit obsolete but it doesn't hold up under scrutiny, at least in dense cities. I honestly feel autonomous vehicles will revolutionize transportation in the suburbs. You won't need to own a car unless you want to. There probably will be no need for buses running on fixed schedules. You can develop the park-and-ride lots near commuter rail stations into housing.

In cities however I largely see smaller autonomous vehicles fulfilling the role now served by taxis-namely providing door-to-door transit but at a much higher price than conventional mass transit. Such autonomous vehicles can also largely replace private autos in cities also, sharply reducing the need for parking. They'll never replace mass transit, however. The trend now is to reduce the number of vehicles in cities. Autonomous vehicles can do that, but they need to be limited in number to roughly the number of taxis which currently exist. Buses can also be made autonomous but we might need to overcome public resistance against not having someone on the vehicle to deal with emergencies.
 

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#68
The biggest problem with a city bus is that it's usually slower than the bike (at least where I live)
That's universally true in large cities. I typically even beat out buses on my bike late nights when there's little traffic. The bus needs to stop for passengers and red lights. I don't. Even if I only average 15 mph I'll often handily beat buses late nights. During the day it's no contest. Buses typically average 5 to 10 mph, I can still average 12 to 15 mph.
 

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#69
The infrastructure costs a bit, and an electric bus cost around twice as much as a normal bus. But then the energy price is lower than the diesel price, and the maintenance costs are probably lower too (I don't know the life expectancy of the battery though, especially in the cold). The interior layout is usually a bit different compare to a normal city bus with fewer seats, so you can get more people onboard. Anyway, the initial cost is much higher right now, but seen over the lifetime of the vehicle the cost is about the same- or perhaps even a bit lower for an electric bus.
It's fine with me if the downtown riders pay for the overage, but unlikely. I'd never live close enough to make riding of any use. Around here they have some busses powered with natural gasses.
I haven't ridden a bud since the 60s though.
 

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#70
How much will it cost normal people in suburbs to pay for electric busses in urbanos?
The suburbs in general receive a massive amount of direct and indirect subsidies for roads over and above whatever portion of taxes their residents pay which goes for urban transportation. Also, in the context of bus service, the largest cost by far is labor, not the cost of the buses. An average city bus might cost $500,000 and lasts about 10 years in service. That's $50K per year. The labor and energy to run that bus 16 hours per day (2 shifts) probably costs upwards of $300K. $200K would be for two drivers (pay and benefits) plus labor to cover vacations/sick time/holidays. The other $100K would be fuel, mechanics, dispatchers, etc. I'm probably even underestimating things because I'm not even including the costs of illnesses like asthma or cancer resulting from diesel fumes. Now say the electric bus costs $1 million but it will probably last 20 years, will cost less to operate, will hardly break down, and won't make anyone sick by polluting. It might well cost less than the diesel bus. It's already the case that TCO of electric cars is less than gas cars even with the (at present) higher purchase price. It should be no different with large vehicles like buses.
 
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#71
I wasn't arguing that shared transportation would die out, but that scheduled routes and vehicles seating 25+ would. An app similar to Uber connected to a serious database could offer the best of all the options, both in terms of cost and efficiency.

1. It knows where you are
2. You tell it where you want to go
3. It provides you with a number of available options, their costs, and an ETA
4. It re-routes one of its assets to fill your order

Provided you don't encounter software or database performance issues, this would scale incredibly well. It would be able to utilize the largest, most efficient vehicle that could solve the problem. Dynamic pricing and ETA would allow the passengers to make the most effective choice.
 

LunarMist

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#72
I wasn't arguing that shared transportation would die out, but that scheduled routes and vehicles seating 25+ would. An app similar to Uber connected to a serious database could offer the best of all the options, both in terms of cost and efficiency.

1. It knows where you are
2. You tell it where you want to go
3. It provides you with a number of available options, their costs, and an ETA
4. It re-routes one of its assets to fill your order

Provided you don't encounter software or database performance issues, this would scale incredibly well. It would be able to utilize the largest, most efficient vehicle that could solve the problem. Dynamic pricing and ETA would allow the passengers to make the most effective choice.
The whole point of a large bus is to have densely packaged and efficient transportation with a dedicated driver/parking. 25+ cars with robo controls still takes far more space than one bus and then the cars all have to park somewhere. :(
 
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#73
The whole point of a large bus is to have densely packaged and efficient transportation with a dedicated driver/parking. 25+ cars with robo controls still takes far more space than one bus and then the cars all have to park somewhere. :(
This system does not exclude ride sharing. In my experience with buses in cities, they are either too full or too empty most of the time. This can be resolved by dynamically changing the size of vehicle and frequency of service based on real-time demand. The other challenge with scheduled service is that even if you are the only one on the thing it still won't take you to your destination; only to the closest stop and you are on your own from there. If each person keys in their origin and destination it is a certainty that the computer could find more mutually convenient pick-up and drop-off locations. No drivers, so that is irrelevant. Autonomy also allows vehicles that aren't being utilized to travel any distance required to find a spot that is out of the way to recharge/wait.

A half-full bus is more of an impediment to traffic than a couple minivans.
 

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#74
I could see what you described working fairly well during off-peak hours. However, in NYC at least, most buses on fixed routes are standing room only for much of the day, so probably not much efficiency to be gained by going to smaller vehicles for most of the day (i.e. 7AM through about 7 or 8 PM). In places where buses regularly run at less than peak loads most of the time, you might have larger efficiency gains.

A much larger potential benefit for places like NYC might be not so much going to smaller vehicles but having greater frequency of service. If you no longer need to pay drivers suddenly your operating costs per passenger mile might drop by 2/3rds. Now you can have three times the frequency of service for the same cost. This in turn will help attract a lot of bus ridership. Low frequency of service is a bigger reason for people not taking a bus than the fact it doesn't offer door-to-door service. For late night service especially the higher frequency would be a boon. I just missed a bus when returning home late at night a few weeks ago. I had to wait 30 minutes for the next one. My trip would have been much more pleasant if the wait had only been 10 minutes or less.
 
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#75
Valid points, all. Happy that my post sparked off a frenzy of comments :)

I'm excited because electric buses will solve two big problems here: pollution and noise. Also hopefully maintenance; they're pretty awful about that now. Most buses groan to climb a small incline.

Also small trucks and smaller pickups doing last-mile delivery (UPS truck and smaller). That would be an awesome saving in pollutants being spewed out now.
 

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#76
I'm sorry that I continue to hijack the Tesla thread, but one thing everybody is talking about right now is MaaS (mobility as a service), and Hannover is the first city to implement it in the real world.

http://www.uitp.org/news/maas-international-recognition

I can imagine that more services will be integrated in the future, maybe book a bike, a car pool car, a commercial taxi, a bus ride or a train ticket, you do all the booking and get all the information in the same place, and just pay for everything on the same bill at the end of the month or whatever way suits you.

To change vehicle size during the day is a bit tricky and also expensive, you have to buy both smaller and larger buses and park them somewhere when they are not in use, because it's peak and low demand everywhere at the same time + you need to get the vehicles back to the depot at the end of the day, so it's possible you can't make an "optimal" planning anyway.
 

LunarMist

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#77
This system does not exclude ride sharing. In my experience with buses in cities, they are either too full or too empty most of the time. This can be resolved by dynamically changing the size of vehicle and frequency of service based on real-time demand. The other challenge with scheduled service is that even if you are the only one on the thing it still won't take you to your destination; only to the closest stop and you are on your own from there. If each person keys in their origin and destination it is a certainty that the computer could find more mutually convenient pick-up and drop-off locations. No drivers, so that is irrelevant. Autonomy also allows vehicles that aren't being utilized to travel any distance required to find a spot that is out of the way to recharge/wait.

A half-full bus is more of an impediment to traffic than a couple minivans.
Does Telsa also make the transit vans? I suppose it's just a larger battery pack and motors. I had very bad experiences in the airport shuttle vans and will not do that again.
 

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#79
Electric buses and trucks are potentially way more important than electric cars if we want to reduce the noise and pollution problems in large cities. And any autonomy which reduces the number of vehicles needed and/or parking is another bonus. We made a horrible mistake in the last 60 years allowing our cities to be overrun with large numbers of polluting motor vehicles. Hopefully Tesla will help to fix this problem, making our cities more livable in the process. I'd personally say traffic, noise, pollution,and carnage from motor vehicles are the single biggest quality of life issues in a place like NYC. I'm hoping the next steps Tesla is taking are successful.
 

LunarMist

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#80
Electric buses and trucks are potentially way more important than electric cars if we want to reduce the noise and pollution problems in large cities. And any autonomy which reduces the number of vehicles needed and/or parking is another bonus. We made a horrible mistake in the last 60 years allowing our cities to be overrun with large numbers of polluting motor vehicles. Hopefully Tesla will help to fix this problem, making our cities more livable in the process. I'd personally say traffic, noise, pollution,and carnage from motor vehicles are the single biggest quality of life issues in a place like NYC. I'm hoping the next steps Tesla is taking are successful.
Why do we need Tesla to make the busses? Why not have a bus company make them, or does Tesla have a better system for paying off the politicians?
 
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