Ex-Tesla CEO Complains about Electric Roadster's Coolant Pump that Just Won't Turn Off


Tesla Roadster Reality Check
Martin Eberhard, the co-founder and former CEO of Tesla Motors has had his electric Tesla Roadster for a few months now (he blogged about getting it), and he has recently written a post on his blog about the Roadster's coolant pump.

Apparently it just won't turn off! Read on for more details.

In a post titled "Wasting Energy Like Two Really Nice Refrigerators" he Eberhard writes:

Soon after I got my car, I noticed a funny thing: the ESS coolant pump seems to run all the time. Even when the car is off. Even if it has been off for a long time. Even when the car is plenty cool. You can hear it run, and many people have commented about the noise of the pump and the noise of coolant gurgling into the overflow reservoir.

The Tesla people tell me that when the battery is half-way discharged, and the car is off, and the ESS is cool, then the pump will shut off. Fine. But my average daily drive is less than 60 miles, and I have only driven far enough to drain half the battery 4 times since I got my car three months ago. So, except a few hours on these four occasions, this poor pump has been running 24 hours per day, 7 days a week for three months solid.

He installed a separate electricity meter just for his car, so he's been able to document how much electricity just the coolant pump used. "The pump draws about 146 watts all day long, all night long, every day. This works out to 1,278 kWh per year".

Not exactly ideal. In fact, he calculated that for his own personal driving usage, that amounted to 22% of the total electricity used by the Tesla.

Keeping Things in Perspective
Now, that's not the end of the world. Nothing's perfect, especially not new technologies. If that's the worse problem with the Tesla Roadster, that's almost a good thing. The problem can probably be fixed fairly easily. Maybe just a firmware update, maybe it won't even be a problem with the new drivetrain, because after all, Eberhard got a very very early production model. And even with that problem, we're pretty sure that the Tesla Roadster is more energy efficient and cleaner than most cars on the road (remember, the battery is non-toxic and can be recycled).

But we have to be honest, and this problem is a bit embarrassing. We hope that Tesla Motors will address it soon.

Via Tesla Founders Blog
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