Good point except for a few things:
1) There's a chasm between press claims on batteries that may achieve a certain performance in a lab and ones that can demonstrate that performance in an assembled pack on the road. I'm in the EV business, and we talk to the battery manufacturers daily. Vaporware is everywhere.
2) Re fast charging: you can't change the laws of physics. Think of a very high capacity battery pack as a swimming pool. Which do you think you'll need to fill it fast; a soda straw or a firehose? That was my point: even if you solve the issues of stress on the battery from fast charging, you would require a power source that doesn't exist and would be incredibly expensive to provide as infrastructure. It's hard to even find a 220v 80 amp circuit. No new technology can change this fundamental fact.
3) 2.5 years is nothing. If they don't have it now, they won't have it then. Production lead times.
4) Beware Technology Review; they don't filter.
Extravagant claims are put out for one reason: to seek investment, attract non-refundable deposits, and prepare for IPO or acquisition before the house of cards crashes down. It's a race between the rate at which you can attract new gullibles and the rate that your credibility diminishes. Pump and dump.
Here are a couple of tips for how to recognize this game in action in an unveiling or press release:
1) Look for the weasel words "up to" in performance claims. As in, "the car can accelerate to x mph in up to y seconds", or the range is "up to" z miles. When the investor lawsuits come in, no one can prove falsehood because of the "up to".
2) Look for performance claims bundled together to give the appearance that they are all describing the same configuration or condition. For example, a range of x miles, a cost of y dollars, 0-60 in z seconds. But a range at what speed or driving cycle? Which battery pack? Mix and match, it's a shell game.
In the Model S case, I think it's just barely possible that the battery pack out of the Roadster could provide 160 miles of range at some not-too-high constant speed. I'd put the 300 mile range claim firmly in fantasy-land. The question then remains, how does Tesla get the cost down by a factor of two from the Roadster (which is after all based on the Elise, a very basic car) with a battery pack of at least the same size? Doesn't add up. Not even close.
My view of the Model S reality: a $100,000+ car with a usable range of 100-120 miles, charge rates same as the Roadster, and 0-60 in maybe 8-9 seconds. Which is fine, as long as customers expect what they're getting. Check back in a few years and see if I'm right.
Not good news for:
The U.S. taxpayer, if government loans are provided;
Customers who have kicked-in $40,000 non-refundable deposits
While what you've stated might be accurate today, what about in 2.5 years?
Here is an interesting article on battery technology which was published in Nature this month.
Technology Review: Ultra-High-Power Lithium-Ion Batteries
The research has already been licensed by A123 (the battery company that GM is buying the Volt's batteries from).
Synopsis: Batteries can charge super-fast now, with standard electrical tech.
Point? If batteries can charge in 5-10 minutes in the next year or so, and battery storage capacity improves (which it obviously will), 2.5 yrs from now will be a completely different set of figures.