a capricious webcomic

Electric complication

April 8th, 2008

I wonder if the Volt charger will be compatible with the Tesla charger?

Posted in Uncategorized

45 Responses

  1. jumi

    it’s the Edison charger that would have the compatibility problems, methinks.

  2. keacher

    @Jumi – Hehehe πŸ™‚

  3. wjsteele

    I wonder if my Dodge Charger will work! πŸ™‚


  4. Cthulhu

    I still want to see someone develop a giant rubber-band car.

  5. Josef K.


    They did, it was the Citroen 2CV.

  6. xubz

    Seriously, All the Hybrid/Electric Car makers should agree upon a standard charger.

  7. vic

    If they could do it for petrol/gasoline, why not agree on a charger standard. It would make things so much easier. Pull into a service station, pull into a hybrid parking spot swipe credit card, plug in, go and have some lunch etc…

  8. Vex

    “I wonder if the Volt charger will be compatible with the Tesla charger?”

    Just multiply with a Second charger and divide by a mΒ² charger.

  9. EV Owner

    This comic has little merit. Every electric vehicle I have seen, including the one I drive has an onboard electric charger.

    Some use 110v plugs, and some use 220v. I have a 220v/30a service plug in my car, and it uses a standard drier hookup.

    Even some cities in the east coast, as well as some European cities such as London have municipal parking spots with electrical outlets available, some even for free.

    Or, you could alway pull into an RV park, and fill up there for 6 bucks a day!

  10. lax-goalie

    EV Owner:

    “This comic has little merit.” It’s called humor. Perhaps you’ve heard of it?

    Mod comment: -5 clueless

  11. Rog

    I’d say he just inserted a clue, you just didn’t like him spoiling your fun. =P

  12. Mark

    Why not have the charger built-in and all one would need is an extension cord?

  13. Michael

    They do have a standard; it’s those mini-USB connectors, lots of devices have then, the tesla just needs a Tesla to 160 x mini-USB adapter.


  14. Joe

    What’s even funnier about this (and the whole plug-in car thing in general) is the idea that any energy is being saved. First, I’d like to see someone’s monthly electric bill after owning on of these things for a while. And, don’t most American electric utilities use oil or coal to fir their generating facilities? So, instead of the waste oil on the road, we’ll have wasted oil at the power plants due to increased “I need to charge my car” demand.

    Even funnier: we go through one of these oil-crisis-prices-rising-lets-all-drive-electric-cars-and-build-windmills-in-the-backyard things every fifteen or twenty years. Then, more oil is discovered, or the demand slows, so the price bottoms out, and everyone’s in their SUVs again.

    Nevertheless, this is still a funny comic.

  15. Aaron

    At the worst it will be like computers. At first there will be no interoperability and then companies will get together and agree upon a standard. Then, either there will be one (or maybe a few) standard or there will be converters for different types of cars.

  16. Mike

    @ Joe: Yes, the electricity is USUALLY derived from fossil fuels, save nuclear powered areas. However also take into consideration that internal cumbustion engines are VERY inefficient, something around only 10% of the energy is converted, the rest is lost by heat.
    It may only be *small* step, but it is a step none the less.

  17. Anonymous



  18. DaveP in Ohio

    My plug-in electric car costs about 45 cents to charge for about 40 miles… that’s 1.2 cents a mile or 266 EMPG (equivalent MPG) at $4/US gallon.

    And plug-ins aren’t new… Mine is a 1980 Comuta-Car and I also have a 1975 CitiCar.

    DUMP THE PUMP! http://www.pluginamerica.org

  19. Anonymous

    @Joe. Also, don’t forget the wind farms that are constantly being built and expanded, as well as solar, which in due time can replace a good portion of the oil and coal used for the utility.

  20. Harold

    I wish people would do a little research on a subject before making comments about it but then this is the Internet where it’s too much trouble to even RTFA so what am I thinking.

    First, I’ll add to Mike’s comment to Joe about efficiency – they calculated the cost of grid power against the cost of gas. The Tesla Roadster gets equivalent to 256MPG so yea grid power technically comes mostly from fossil fuels but you will use a lot less of them.

    Now, as for the charger, this is from the Tesla website…

    “And should you need to charge on the road, packed away in the trunk is an optional mobile-charging kit that lets you charge from most standard electrical outlets while away from home.”

  21. AlphaNerd

    @ Joe: Due to the massive inefficiencies of internal combustion engines, it is in fact significantly cheaper (for the consumer) and less polluting (both in CO2 and in most other pollutants) to operate an electric vehicle than a to operate a gas-powered vehicle, even if the power is coming solely from fossil fuels. And we can increase output of electricity via renewable means, while generating gasoline via renewable means is significantly less efficient and scalable currently.


  22. Reacto

    Nothing beats gasoline

  23. The Toybox mobile edition

    […] As Slashdot reports, “the early owners must be proud, but there could be complications.” […]

  24. Tesla is Serbian

    And what about the NUCLEAR POWER to produce electricity to charge TESLA?
    Now that everyone realizes β€œThe Chine Syndrome, 1979” scenario belongs to comic books and has no merit in modern science, nuclear is the answer. Most developed countries around the World depend heavily on nuclear power (some up to 80%) to produce electricity and this will lower the price even further.

  25. David

    At clueless Joe,
    If a car is fueled by electricity, the electricity can come from anywhere. That is the point of moving to an all electric automobiles and supply infrastructure. The energy can come from oil and coal today, nuclear, solar, wind, tidal, fussion tomorrow. Can’t do that if cars remain gas powered.

  26. David

    I wonder how much more electricity production we would require as a nation to meet the demand of all vehicles converting to all electric. It will be a challenge just to replace fossil fuels used to supply our current electricity needs. But adding a couple hundred million cars worth of electic power to todays electricity consumption would seem astronomical.

  27. Andre

    Electric cars are an alternative, to petroleum based cars, in the sense that the original source of the electricity generated need no be fossil fuel derived. Think solar, wind, methane, nuclear, hydro, etc.

    Some of the other proposed solutions, including Hydrogen, are not energy sources, but energy transportation solutions, since you still need electricity to separate the oxygen from the hydrogen atoms.

  28. Andre

    The real solution, to the energy perceived energy crisis, is not necessarily alternative power. I see much more value in smarter use of available energy, either by more efficient systems or turning to passive systems.

    You would be surprised how much energy can be saved if we built our homes to be in tune with the local environment, than trying to use a standard design which is in tune with nothing and ends up consuming energy unnecessarily.

    Build Smarter. Consume Smarter.

  29. Zoson

    The argument that someone’s electric bill will be astronomical in comparison to the cost of purchasing gasoline at the pump is completely off base.

    If you compare the efficiency of a Tesla with that of a standard gas vehicle, the actual consumption is about 230-240 miles to the gallon.

    So sure, you may have a ridiculous electric bill in comparison to what you were paying previously. But you will still end up paying less in the long run.

    Then of course there are the wind, hydro-electric, solar, and nuclear power plants that could be charging your car also.

    Lastly, this brings cars down to using the most ‘base’ form of energy they require. Which means that they are still future-proof for whatever type of energy we develop for consumption. Just get a generator of the appropriate type and plug your car into it.

  30. Sean

    David –

    Many of these electric cars will be getting charged overnight when electricity demand is low.

    Shedding dependency of oil will ultimately require infrastructure changes but nothing is going to happen overnight. The utilities should have more than adequate warning that their systems are reaching output capacity.

  31. EV Owner

    I got the joke… πŸ˜€

    Just see many, many misconceptions about EVs.

    For instance, how people would like to see the electric bill after a few months.

    Here’s some news. It costs mst $30 per month to charge my car. I spend at least $60/month in electricity to run central air. So, I suppose everyone could be green, and not run their home ACs. Oh wait…

  32. vorkus

    Two main issues I see. One we need a bunch more power plants which will probably be coal or oil. The enviro-nuts need to come to terms with this for the time being.

    Second, we need the electric car industry to produce 1) a 4 door mid-sized family sedan 2) a full sized pickup (for those who actually need one). Both vehicles need to able to do 300 miles before rechargin.

  33. MSD

    Adding the cost of the car… I will not see any personal benefit from a hybrid for 3-4 years. by that time, GWB will be gone, new oil will be found, and gas prices will bottom out.

    For now, I’m going to continue driving over spotted owls, bambi, and baby seals in my Ford Excursion.

  34. Steve


    Why would you stop at wondering? You have the option of calculating and obtaining an informative estimate of the quantities involved. No advanced math is required, just arithmetic. Access to this website means you have access to wikipedia and similar sources of useful information.

    There are proposals for energy policy that don’t do well when numbers are examined, like industrial scale solar satellite arrays. What surprises me is how often people chime in pessimistically about alternatives without bothering to look at the numbers.

  35. Aron

    Some people are missing a critical point – electric vehicles are a very purpose-specific vehicle, ie, they will almost universally be used as daily commuters. One would hope that your daily commute is not 300 miles. As electric vehicles become more normal for commuting workers, demand for gasoline will go down, and it will be practical to have a truck or large car that runs on gasoline for long distance trips and/or heavy duty, as well as your electric commuter for short, daily trips.

  36. EV Owner

    My electric vehicle has a range of 75 miles, @ 65mph.


    I have a 55 mile roundtrip commute to work. And I plug it in when I get home from work. Its it not a cure all, but it will take care of a majority of work commutes, trips to the grocery stores, etc.

    With gasoline being over $4/gallon, the 2.5 cents/mile I pay for electricity makes me smile as I pass SUVs. Hey, hows that 11 miles per gallon treating ya?

  37. sly1

    I wonder how long it will take the DEA to show up looking for the tesla owners “grow room”

  38. Pete

    > I wonder how much more electricity production we would require as a nation to meet the demand of all vehicles converting to all electric. -David

    Not much if we charge at night! In fact, our electricity would be cheaper overall if we had demand-based pricing and cars programmed to prefer charging when prices are low.

  39. John

    The anti-electric vehicle mentality spread by the Big 3 parallels the tobacco lobby efforts of the 1970’s-1980’s: spread lots of disinformation so people will question scientific research results. Great editorial by Andy Grove in last Sunday’s Washington Post explains quite succinctly a viable transition to EV’s. Critics of EVs should read (if the DO read?) it as it represents not only a genius’ point of view, but the perspective of the paradigm-shifting, former CEO of Intel. If the anti-EV persona can’t accept Grove’s reality, we are indeed doomed to follow Jared Diamond’s worst “Collapse” scenario.

  40. Werner

    @Vic – Did they now agree on a common fuel? They have Diesel and different octane values ++ ;D

  41. BillD

    The poster who said the China Syndrome belongs in the comics should read “We Almost Lost Detroit” and some Chernoble news coverage. And consider waste disposal. Uranium is in short supply, found mainly in other countries, carcinogenic, mutagenic, and poisonous. Oh, and dangerous for several milenia.

    A better solution is to put money into fusion development, there’s more available fuel and both the fuel and waste products are minimally dangerous.

    Yes, better than break-even fusion has been proven, no matter what the oil companies tell you.

  42. Leon

    There are other alternatives! my own power (this is in AUS mind you) is 100% green pwoer. This doesn’t specifically mean our actual power is green power but all our bills go towards funding for green power, like solar or wind.

    Also Nuclear Power is NOT a viable alternative.

  43. johnny

    p3E6f6 Thanks for good post

  44. Two cents per mile

    @vorkus “Two main issues I see. One we need a bunch more power plants which will probably be coal or oil. The enviro-nuts need to come to terms with this for the time being.

    Second, we need the electric car industry to produce 1) a 4 door mid-sized family sedan 2) a full sized pickup (for those who actually need one). Both vehicles need to able to do 300 miles before rechargin.”

    Let’s be factual. First of all, LESS than 2% of electricity generated in the United States comes from petroleum. Secondly, as a poster said before, small internal combustion engines are inefficient and dirty. Even if all the electric cars ran on electricity generated by coal in this country, the environmental impact would still be less. Not to mention, that Obama plans on increasing our renewable resource production, and electric cars give the driver the freedom to use clean energy (not an option with standard cars).

    Secondly, many electric power plants generate electricity at the same rate, but energy is used in spikes mostly in the morning and afternoon. As electric cars would probably charge at night, they wouldn’t have a very great affect on the power grid, and wouldn’t require that much more energy to be produced.

    I agree with you that there needs to be more types of electric vehicles, although why 300-miles? That seems pretty arbitrary. Many electric cars would work as commuter vehicles, and I hope your commute isn’t 300 miles. Also, to extend the range, several companies are developing battery-trailers which you could rent for longer trips.

    I hope you found this information valuable.

  45. steve

    I work in electricity enviroment and most people would tell you how stretched the power grids are getting now.
    wind turbines will take ages to pay for them selves then need maintenance aswell.nobody wants them near there houses .nobody wants nuclear.nobody wants coal/oil power stations either but they’re first to complain when power goes off..