Tesla sued due to 'misleading' Model S P85D horsepower numbers

By Shawn Knight ยท 27 replies
Sep 22, 2016
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  1. A group of 126 Tesla Model S P85D sedan owners in Norway have filed a lawsuit against Tesla claiming that their vehicles aren’t as powerful as the company advertises.

    Bloomberg reports that the owners found that their models only put out 469 horsepower versus the staggering ~700 horsepower that Tesla pledged. As such, they’re seeking unspecified reimbursements from the electric automaker.

    Tesla spokesperson Even Sandvold Roland told the publication that the vehicle meets requirements according to the measurement method required by authorities. So what exactly does that mean?

    Tesla has addressed this matter in the past (and has even been sued over it). JB Straubel, chief technical officer for Tesla, explained it like this in a blog post last year:

    Defining electric power in terms of horsepower is not very intuitive. Kilowatts or Megawatts are a much more useful unit. Electricity alone can't generate physical motion the way a horse or a fuel-burning engine does. An electric motor converts electricity into motion. Think of electric power as flowing much like fuel flows from a tank to an engine. Various situations (low state of charge, cold temperatures, etc.) can reduce this flow of electrons below the ultimate capability of the electric motor. In other cases, the potential flow of electricity may exceed the capability of the electric motor (warm battery, short duration accelerations, etc.). Since the battery electric horsepower rating varies it is not a precise number to use for specifying the physical capability of an EV. The motor shaft horsepower, when operating alone, is a more consistent rating. In fact, it is only this (single or combined) motor shaft horsepower rating that is legally required to be posted in the European Union.

    Further complicating matters is the fact that the “D” models have dual motors – one in the front and one in the rear. Tesla used to simply take the horsepower rating of each motor and add them together to get its equivalent horsepower output which was 691 horsepower. It seems that Tesla has moved away from that method as I’m now unable to find any Model S horsepower rating on its website.

    The Oslo District Court is expected to hear the case in mid-December.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Jibberish18

    Jibberish18 TS Evangelist Posts: 646   +89

    Nah nah boo boo. My car moves lik hell but is only rated at so and so and now I want to sue. You're already hitting 0-60 in less than 4 seconds. What more do you want?
  3. Reehahs

    Reehahs TS Guru Posts: 575   +316

    2.8 seconds actually.
    Darth Shiv and DaveBG like this.
  4. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,340   +1,438

    I'd like to see dodge get sued over the hellcat that dynos at ~610whp.

    And, thoughts on musk and tesla as a company aside, the fact that the p85d kills Ferraris and lambos in the quarter mile for 1/5 the cost is nothing to ***** about. May car company's day HP loss is from mechanical inefficiencies.

    Also, the fun of driving isn't about horsepower, it's about torque. This case is stupid. A rich man wants more money, nothing to see here.
    DaveBG and Reehahs like this.
  5. Ranger1st

    Ranger1st TS Evangelist Posts: 348   +124

    This case is simply window lickers with money not able to understand physics and mechanics at any basic level. How these people have not killed themselves already in the real world is beyond me. I would love to see the demographic of the those that filed, I would suspect we are looking at members of the entitled generation, doing what they do best.. being bitches.
    SirChocula and DaveBG like this.
  6. I guess at times it's true, some people have more money than sense; which I totally understand, why do you need sense when you have money? Although I would rather have money AND sense =)
    SirChocula and DaveBG like this.
  7. ETF Soldier

    ETF Soldier TS Evangelist Posts: 463   +136

    Horsepower is literally 750W, saying it's not intuitive is just saying that you can't do a simple conversion.
  8. risc32

    risc32 TS Addict Posts: 209   +96

    this guy has got it.

    as for the rest of you, looks like financial envy to me. tesla is lying. if you guys are all under 15 yrs old I won't hold it against you, it's your parents fault.
  9. Ranger1st

    Ranger1st TS Evangelist Posts: 348   +124

    by your reckoning there's no such thing as mechanical/thermal/eff. losses then. Nice world you live in.
    Reehahs likes this.
  10. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,891   +1,224

    OK, so if we take a model S P85D and put it in Ludicrous mode the motors put out 568 kW of power (thanks Wikipedia). Divide 568,000 by 745.7 (watts per horsepower) and you get 761 hp.

    Compare to another car that can go 0-60 and you'll see similar numbers for horsepower, weight and 0-60 times. The Dodge Charger Hellcat (707 hp, 2.9 sec 0-60 time, 4500 lbs) is a good comparison as it's almost as heavy as a Tesla. The Model S P85D is almost 5000 lbs. that's VERY heavy. Most cars with 0-60 times under 3 seconds weight fewer than 4000 lbs.

    There's no way you're going to get a 5000 lb car to go 0-60 in under 3 seconds without 700 horsepower. This isn't an opinion... horsepower is a measure of work done in a specific time; it's a unit of power. If you want to move 5000 lbs fast enough to get to 60 mph in 3 seconds you're going to need 700 hp.

    Telsa's not lying.

    (more fun facts - did you know the same guy who invented the Watt, invented the term 'horsepower'? it was James Watt.) http://auto.howstuffworks.com/horsepower.htm
  11. ETF Soldier

    ETF Soldier TS Evangelist Posts: 463   +136

    I'm reckoning nothing, but horsepower in it's definition is thereabouts 750W. I have commented nothing on the science, just the definition.
  12. lipe123

    lipe123 TS Evangelist Posts: 719   +236

    Wow a stupid lawsuit in America? what a shocker...
  13. EEatGDL

    EEatGDL TS Evangelist Posts: 568   +241

    Hahaha. I don't even have to ask: you didn't read past the headline. First line says "...owners in Norway...".
  14. Reehahs

    Reehahs TS Guru Posts: 575   +316

    May be they forgot to deice the road they were trying to benchmark the car on.
  15. bmw95

    bmw95 TS Maniac Posts: 199   +164

    lol window lickers. Made me laugh
  16. lipe123

    lipe123 TS Evangelist Posts: 719   +236

    Got me there, I read the article but did not particularly pay attention to the opening parts.

    Can't believe this kind of thing happens elsewhere.
    EEatGDL likes this.
  17. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,037   +2,558

    Well, I believe lithium ion batteries lose power in cold weather. Nickel cadmium batteries are even worse, bordering on useless.

    Given that Norway is notoriously cold (*), I'd have to wonder did they measure the horsepower in summer or in winter.

    In this case, I almost find myself siding with Tesla. Of course they're going to measure power under ideal conditions.

    For example, I buy a Model S, and find out it won't go 0 to 60 in under 3 seconds, right after an ice storm which put an inch of ice on the roads. So, the car just sits there doing pinwheels when I stomp on it. :'( Does this mean I have grounds for a lawsuit? I suppose it depends on who you ask.... :confused:

    (*) Not as cold as you might think, but cold nonetheless.

    The US is likely the most litigious country on earth. However, it's only about 240 years old. My point being, some places like Italy, have maybe 2000 years head start on us breeding shyster lawyers
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2016
    Phr3d likes this.
  18. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,829   +634

    Which is perfectly normal, the SAE test engines output from the flywheel and not the rear wheels, pretty much all car horsepower numbers are flywheel ratings that do not account for the mechanical loses of the transmission and differential.

    The same probably applies to these tesla's, they calculated the total horsepower by combining the potential output of the two electric motors and extrapolated the horsepower ratings they gave it. Without some hard data from the people who tested the car to only have 469 horsepower we can't really make an informed decision. What Dyno did they use? Why did they not post any graphs? Was the battery fully charged? Did they in fact have it in the "insane" mode?

    Without any of this information detailed it's just a lot of smoke being blown out of some greedy Norwegians areses.
  19. DaveBG

    DaveBG TS Addict Posts: 304   +97

    Those people do not deserve to drive Tesla. The car must be removed from them.
    SirChocula likes this.
  20. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,037   +2,558

    Next time you feel like posting something like this, please, think the better of it, and spare us.
  21. DaveBG

    DaveBG TS Addict Posts: 304   +97

    What do you mean?
  22. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,037   +2,558

    Well, "they should stop being allowed to have Teslas" is pretty childish, and patronizing of the company to a bizarre degree.

    I have news for you, not that many have Teslas in the first place, since Musk isn't going to have affordable models available, at least not until he talks somebody into buying him another "gigafactory". He will take your money as a deposit though...:oops:

    Musk is notorious for:

    1: Saying whatever he feels like in the name of self promotion.

    2: Giving incredulous name to his car's features.

    3: Playing the "victim".

    4, And most importantly, collecting massive tax credits for developing clean automotive technology.

    5: The Tesla motor company is at its heart, nothing more than a massive tax shelter for Musk. It lost a quarter of a billion dollars last quarter.

    6: Now that these tax credits are being taken away in some parts of the world, Musk is back to nurturing being seen as "a poor victim again". (Which BTW, you fell right into).

    7: If you ask Musk, (beings as he fancies himself as "the second coming"), people are getting ready to crucify him to that extent that pretty soon, we'll have a movie titled, "The Passion of Elon".

    So, to sum it up, if Musk wants to "run with the big boys", then he better batten down the hatches and get an army of lawyers to combat these, "frivolous lawsuits", everybody else has. Aw, poor Elon
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2016
  23. DaveBG

    DaveBG TS Addict Posts: 304   +97

    There is a model 3 coming that will be a lot cheaper. I bet you have heard of it. I do not see a reason it wont happen. Remember this is the guy who created company for space travel and electric cars from 0. Now he has more than enough support do the model 3. Maybe even sooner than expected.

    As for the rest who is not saying things to self promote himself? You are talking as you would do different if you was on his place...
    There are few people that done the positive things that he done (which benefit the entire planet), and many that had the chance but did not (the big boys?). I bet if you were on his place you would have been one of the second group.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2016
  24. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,037   +2,558

    Actually "the big boys" Chevy "Volt" is allegedly a decent , affordable electric auto. You can walk into a dealer tomorrow and drive out with one. Now as for a Tesla Model 3, you can hand Musk a check, and then wait until he mooches the money to build the factory in which to build the car,.

    Now, you manage to absorb Musk's propaganda like a sponge. "Like wow dude, did you see how fast the $100,000 Tesla goes"? If Musk wanted to actually do something to clean up the planet, he should have, or would have, started out building Model 3's, instead of the bullsh!t he's building now. As far as where Musk's money comes from to build rockets, it's from US government contracts, as much as anywhere else. Now, I repeat, the Tesla corporation is naught but a glorified tax shelter. I don't think it's ever had a truly profitable quarter. And yet, the stock prices rise, every time Musk get behind a microphone and starts bull sh!tting.

    The fact notwithstanding there will be so many people on the planet by the time electric cars are exclusively driven, the pollution will likely be similar to what it is now, simply by virtue of the smog and CO2 output from power generation facilities. Sure, you might decide to cover the entire Midwest with solar cells and windmills, but unless efficiency increases dramatically, you might have plenty of electricity, but no place left to grow your food.

    People like you get very difficult to deal with, when they're always driving around with their hero worship in insane mode. Remember, too much false hope is a least as pathetic as too little, and again, I implore you to "spare me" the Musk worship dogma.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2016
  25. DaveBG

    DaveBG TS Addict Posts: 304   +97

    I am not saying anything about Chevy Volt. Any electric car is awesome to me.
    As for the 3, he had no money to build the model 3 before. Now after some sales and maybe what you suggest with the tax things he has the money and will do it. I would rather believe him and not some random person on the internet...
    And finally I would rather have the pollution going trough a industrial filer on specific site rather than being spread all over the city from cars. Not to mention that fusion power will be available shortly and there will be unlimited amount of energy for all cars ever.
    Reehahs likes this.

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