Published on February 24th, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan


Bricked Tesla Roadsters Explained

February 24th, 2012 by  

I guess there’s a bit of a pseudo-scandal right now regarding ‘bricked’ Tesla Roadsters (yes, another one). Well, actually, it’s mostly about one Tesla Roadster. For some explanation and history on this story/issue, here’s a Gas2 repost by Chris DeMorro:

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is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.

  • Tropical Day

    I read the Druckler’s article in Jalopnik. Had Tesla not informed customers of the risk and consequences of allowing the battery to fully drain, Drucker would have a case. I also believe Tesla would of ponied up with a replacement in order to avoid negative publicity. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

    Growing up the old saying went never buy the first model year, and very little in that new model could be considered new technology. As with all new technologies there are going to be a few issues. I believe %98 of the people buying a Tesla are aware of the inherent risk involved in the purchase of this ground breaking technology.

    As with any new technology the early adopter is pioneering new ground. This is not your fathers Oldsmobile. To those who can afford to drop $100K on a rev 1 all electric 2 seater, I take my hat off to you. They are the new pioneers excepting some risk in order to help innovators bring about much needed change.

    If you require the reliability and range of 100 year old technology and have a hundred grand to spend, you have a plethora of choices available to you. A little perspective might help. The first automobiles were considered unreliable and toys for the rich. As for the battery draining down to zero without the owners knowledge. Tesla could easily address this issue with an app alerting the owner and or delegates to the vehicles status. Left at an airport unattended for weeks. Maybe you should of considered taking a lemo or cab it like the rest of us.

    Mr. Drucker dropped a hundred grand looking for a little more attention than he could by buying the run of the mill 911. Looks like he’s determined. One way or the other.

    • Bob_Wallace

      After the first 500 units were produced Tesla added an owner warning system to the Roadster.

      The system is capable of notifying Tesla that there is a Roadster urgently in need of a charge in order to protect the batteries. It gives Tesla the GPS coordinates of the car. I think I ran across one case in which, upon notification, the local Tesla dealer went to the owner’s garage and plugged in his/her car.

      Clearly owners were informed not to leave their cars discharged for more than two weeks.

      One owner screwed up and isn’t taking personal responsibility, but trying to put the blame on Tesla.

  • 100% Tesla Motors’ fault. I have had my lithium-ion batteries put down for more than 10 years and they still work fine. A proper battery management system does not allow the battery to discharge that much. It was not self discharge, either.

    Self discharge takes years to get it to the state that damages the battery. It was drawing current the whole time, possibly to power electronics, and it was supposed to stop before this happens.

    • Bob_Wallace

      “A copy of the Tesla Roadster owner’s manual (covering the Tesla Roadster S and Roadster 2.5. Link is at the bottom of the page for you to peruse yourself), states in numerous places that owners are not to leave their vehicles uncharged for long periods of time, or to drain the battery down to zero. Doing so, the owners are told, will cause permanent damage to the battery, and such damage will not be covered under the Tesla Roadster’s warranty agreement. This is spelled out in numerous places in greater detail throughout the manual. Scans of these pages are available in the gallery below. In addition, there is an agreement which owners must sign at the time of purchase that has the owner acknowledge the responsibility of maintaining a proper battery charge, and that any damage that results from negligence in this area is not covered under warranty. Degusta’s complaints that the “Battery Reminder Card” handed out to owners during servicing don’t contain adequate warnings of the consequences are also misleading, as the consequences are spelled out in the aforementioned documents.”

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