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Testing the Tesla

Tesla test
Technician Geoff Amann takes the Tesla.through a driving cycle on Argonne's dynamometers.

Argonne transportation engineers recently evaluated an all-electric Tesla Roadster at the Advanced Powertrain Research Facility’s new two-wheel drive dynamometer laboratory.

Data obtained from the Tesla will help researchers develop test procedures that provide an unbiased, consistent and practical approach to evaluating electric vehicles.

“As we study these advanced vehicles, our knowledge base of the progression of vehicle electrification technology is enhanced,” said chief engineer Mike Duoba. “In a rigorous, controlled manner, we are able to study many vehicle operating conditions to determine the impact on fuel consumption.

“Testing the Tesla at Argonne resulted in some of the best information we’ve obtained from electric cars,” he added.

For example, researchers were able to evaluate several shortcut procedures used to report electrical energy consumption. This could potentially reduce dynamometer test time from 12 hours to 2 hours.

Argonne’s work with the Tesla continues its support of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) J1634 standard on electric vehicle testing. Ultimately, the new standard will result in more accurate assessments of electric vehicle range and electrical energy consumption.

The Tesla is owned by a private citizen, who allowed Argonne to test the car for several months.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the Tesla Roadster can travel 244 miles on a single charge of its lithium-ion battery pack. The all-electric sports car can also accelerate from 0–60 mph in 3.7 seconds.


April 2010


Mike Duoba

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