Better Battery Engineering Could Accelerate Acceptance of High Performance Electric Cars

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If you’re looking for an engineering career in the automotive industry, the growth will be in hybrids and all-electric vehicles.

Take Tesla’s new all-electric Model S for example. Built by Palo Alto-based Tesla Motors, the high-performance seven-seat car is expected to compete with the BMW M5, yet deliver groundbreaking all-electric performance. Priced at $87,400, the Model S will zip from 0 to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds with a top speed of 130 mph. Best of all, it will cruise up to 300 miles on a single charge.

Tesla will also be offering a base Model S (priced at $57,400) with slightly reduced performance specs and a range of just 160 miles. Battery pack upgrades will be available to boost the range to 230 or 320 miles for $10,000 and $20,000 respectively. (An aerodynamic wheel design helped push the car past the 300-mile barrier.)

The Model S may look like a four-door sedan, but it’s really a hatchback with two rear-facing seats in the back that can accommodate children. The luxury interior features a 4G-enabled infotainment system with a 17-inch display.

Tesla is said to be installing commercial fast chargers in a number of locations along Interstate 5 on the US west coast. The chargers will be able to recharge even the big 85 kilowatt-hour battery pack in less than an hour. By comparison, the Nissan Leaf’s 24 kWh battery requires 30 minutes for an 80 percent fast charge and only a 73-mile range on a full battery. To completely charge the Model S takes about 5 hours on a 240-volt home charging station. If you’re a battery engineer, you can see there’s still room for improvement.

For an added perspective, check out this video:

Got any thoughts on electric vehicle engineering jobs? Include them in the comments section below.

Alex A. Kecskes has written hundreds of published articles on health/fitness, "green" issues, TV/film entertainment, restaurant reviews and many other topics. As a former Andy/Belding/One Show ad agency copywriter, he also writes web content, ads, brochures, sales letters, mailers and scripts for national B2B and B2C clients. Please see more of his blogs and view additional job postings on Nexxt.


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