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Old 12-02-2015, 11:00 PM   #41 (permalink)
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I don't know many owners who park their car outside for weeks in sunny climates. These cars are always garaged. The next release of software updates will make sure the 12V is topped up all the time by charging up from the main one. A heavy price to pay for a battery tender when you have a massive battery sitting in the middle of the vehicle.
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Old 12-02-2015, 11:03 PM   #42 (permalink)
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Sigh....

The goal of Model X was to allow for 3 rows of adult friendly seating with SUV styling. There is no other vehicle in this segment that allows adults ingress and egress while standing up. It solves a very real problem.

The solar panel in its current form serves no purpose except vanity, much like non functional hood scoops, coffee can exhausts and bolt on wings. The small fan that blows when warm is an innovation that has been on Benzes for decades called REST. No inefficient or expensive solar panel is needed.
Your response assumes that adults need to enter a vehicle standing up. Millions of SUV's have been sold in the last 20 years and somehow adults have been able to enter and exit them. So, when you say "it solves a very real problem" -- I disagree that it was any kind of a "HUGE problem". It solves a relative non-problem (or creates a very "nice to have" - I'll accept that phrasing) with an expensive solution. So, respectfully, I disagree. Doesn't mean I hate the Tesla, or anything. But, I see those gull wings with sonar & radar sensors as an overly expensive solution to a problem that cars have reasonably solved in the past: Doors. And, I will be interested to see what the failure rate & costs to keep that (to me, overly complex) system functioning over 10 years will be.

(Sigh back)

While we're at it ... calling it an "SUV" seems generous with ground clearance that isn't really much (any?) higher than the Model S? I can see why the marketers wouldn't want to class it with a mini-van. But, I can't really picture it going off road. So, a mini-van is probably closer to what it is. Granted, a really fast and really nice one!

Ok. I'll stop here and give you the last word!
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Old 12-03-2015, 12:36 AM   #43 (permalink)
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Adding another 15 miles to the range would be a huge bonus if the new car can take it.
Yes we have done it and thought originally along those same lines but after having used the Tom unit for some time it minimizes the need for more EV range since you can rebuild and conserve it. The next pack we will do will likely be the 40KWh and then maybe a 60KWh in the future, mainly to increase performance rather than range.
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Old 12-03-2015, 04:40 AM   #44 (permalink)
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Yes ... mainly to increase performance rather than range.

+1

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Old 12-03-2015, 12:27 PM   #45 (permalink)
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Your response assumes that adults need to enter a vehicle standing up. Millions of SUV's have been sold in the last 20 years and somehow adults have been able to enter and exit them. So, when you say "it solves a very real problem" -- I disagree that it was any kind of a "HUGE problem". It solves a relative non-problem (or creates a very "nice to have" - I'll accept that phrasing) with an expensive solution. So, respectfully, I disagree. Doesn't mean I hate the Tesla, or anything. But, I see those gull wings with sonar & radar sensors as an overly expensive solution to a problem that cars have reasonably solved in the past: Doors. And, I will be interested to see what the failure rate & costs to keep that (to me, overly complex) system functioning over 10 years will be.
To be fair, many of the features that are included in higher-end cars these days can be considered "nice to have" or even "why?" A perfect example in the latter category was my Jag XK Convertible's steering wheel heater. I loved that car, but I could just not figure out how heating the palms of my hand had any beneficial effect. In the former category, cars come with things like rear-view cameras, powered rear hatches, auto parallel parking, retracting running boards, remote start, (most) 4-wheel drive systems, etc. These are all nice to have, but none are really in the same category as airbags, seatbelt pre-tensioners, or energy absorbing structures that could mean the difference between life or death.

Car makers pile in a lot of this stuff to justify the higher cost of the new models and to differentiate their products from the competitors. In that sense, the PV panel, as anemic as it is, serves the same purpose. While it is possible to power a car entirely from PV cells, it will not be very practical.



I see Karma's solar roof in the same category as the steering wheel heater in my old Jag. It sounds like a very luxurious feature and it impresses people when they hear about it, but it does not solve a real problem. It is also a unique visual signature of the car that evokes the car's philosophy of combining luxury and responsibility, just as the fake hood scoops evoke speed on a Corvette without actually contributing to it.

Obviously, if you would rather shed the excess weight by replacing the solar roof with a CF one, then that's your choice. But I don't think it would be fair to criticize Fisker for adding a unique visual accent to a new car that needed the buzz, even if the practical impact of that feature was very very small.
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Old 12-03-2015, 12:37 PM   #46 (permalink)
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There is a significant energy/efficiency savings from using resistive heating type devices vs forced air. The use of ancillary systems such as heated steering wheels and seats reduces the load on the HVAC system (forced air is quite an inefficient way to heat a cabin vs resistive heat which is more effective in keeping occupants warm). This is why many lowly eco-cars have heated steering wheels (i.e. Leaf, Ford Focus etc). Karma Solar Roof weighs too much, costs too much and consumes more energy than it will ever produce.
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Old 12-03-2015, 12:55 PM   #47 (permalink)
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There is a significant energy/efficiency savings from using resistive heating type devices vs forced air. The use of ancillary systems such as heated steering wheels and seats reduces the load on the HVAC system (forced air is quite an inefficient way to heat a cabin vs resistive heat which is more effective in keeping occupants warm). This is why many lowly eco-cars have heated steering wheels (i.e. Leaf, Ford Focus etc). Karma Solar Roof weighs too much, costs too much and consumes more energy than it will ever produce.
I agree regarding EVs, but my Jag was an ICE-powered car and did not have Start/Stop and, a a result, had plenty of heat to spare to heat the cabin with the top closed or open when the engine was running, and the steering wheel heater was pretty pointless. I also owned a pair of very nice driving gloves that kept my entire hand warm with zero energy expenditure, even when driving in the cold evenings (I kept the top open all the time, except when it was actually raining).

I don't disagree regarding solar roof. My only point was that despite its shortcomings, it did serve a useful purpose for a new car company trying to get their cars recognized and to get some buzz around their product. Even Fisker seemed to recognize that the benefits of the solar roof were pretty much exhausted by the time they designed the Atlantic, and did not put one in that car.

As long as we are on the topic, how much weight do you think it would save to replace the entire solar roof with a CF panel? That should help the car's performance significantly, no?
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Old 12-03-2015, 12:58 PM   #48 (permalink)
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With all this being said if it is purely a design element, why not do a small panel that supports the 12v system & fan (10-20W like in the Prius and Leaf) and then do a roof design/pattern that gives the illusion of a contiguous roof length solar panel. This would reduce the inefficiencies associated with the current design and reduce the cost (or increase margin) of the vehicle by thousands.
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Old 12-03-2015, 01:06 PM   #49 (permalink)
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With all this being said if it is purely a design element, why not do a small panel that supports the 12v system & fan (10-20W like in the Prius and Leaf) and then do a roof design/pattern that gives the illusion of a contiguous roof length solar panel. This would reduce the inefficiencies associated with the current design and reduce the cost (or increase margin) of the vehicle by thousands.
I was obviously not in the room when this decision was made, and I am sure there are many different ways to do it better. As with everything else, they probably ran out of time and money.
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Old 12-03-2015, 04:06 PM   #50 (permalink)
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As long as we are on the topic, how much weight do you think it would save to replace the entire solar roof with a CF panel? That should help the car's performance significantly, no?
At least 40lbs, the roof is the worst place to add weight. Would help handling performance.
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