Tesla Motors Essay
Company Profiles Provides Business information about the company. Contents include complete name, headquarters, brief business description, company history, number of employees, shareholder structure, basic financials, organisation structure, worldwide presence, Tesla motors has taken a different approach in EV technology and I think its paying off.
Though the challenges from the establish competition would be thrown in coming years and to maintain the differentiation would be tough which will reduce the capability to charge the premiums, hence the scale needs to be achieved for sustainability; the mass adoptability of EV would be the key and for that the Auto manufacturers needs to work hard under the federal support. Tesla Motors has positioned the first product on the premium end with the high performance definition, which has certainly given them the much needed image as leading EV maker and technologically capable of producing the high performance cars
The shift from niche to mass to achieve scale would give them much needed success. The sustainable improvement in technology and products would be essential and the process would take time and will need large investments time to time. Tesla Motors have successfully established the first product and the 2nd mass product is on its way, the strategy to start from the premium products on EVs seems to be working for Tesla Motors, but the real test would be ahead when the competitive environment would shape up.
Also the Government initiative to continue with the support and investment in the Charging stations infrastructure would accelerate the growth About Tesla Motors The Company Tesla Motors Inc. is a Silicon Valley-based company that engineers and manufactures electric cars (EVs). It is currently the only automaker building and selling highway-capable EVs in serial production . At the core of Tesla Motors is the belief that an electric car need not be a driving sacrifice.
They have brought the best of the automotive and technology worlds together to permanently bury the image of an electric car as a step backwards in performance, efficiency, or design. The key technology is the 100% electric powertrain, they set out to forever alter perceptions of electric vehicles and to make electric cars a viable alternative. They have produced a car that is at once beautiful and exciting to drive, along with being the most efficient production automobile on the planet. They believe that scale in electrical cars technology will bring the mass adoption.
They have worked with lithium ion batteries and come over the weaknesses like the life & safety to make them most viable option for efficient EV. A Tesla motor is backed by many known investors and a federal loan. The Tesla Roadster is being developed as a high performance car and it’s already on sale with bookings made for supplies till 2011. The family sedan called model S is under development to be launched in the starting on 2012 Tesla Motors is named for electrical engineer and physicist Nikola Tesla.
The Tesla Roadster uses an AC motor descended directly from Tesla’s original 1882 design, which he said came to him in a feverish hallucination due to exhaustion when he was working as an engineer and inventor in Hungary. Mission Tesla Motors designs and sells high performance, super efficient electric cars. Tesla Motors cars join style, acceleration, and handling with advanced technologies that make them the quickest and the most energy-efficient cars on the planet. Milestone Now The Tesla Roadster is their first production car, With a range of 244 miles on a single charge and a supercar level 3.
9 second 0-60 mph acceleration time, and, according to Tesla Motor’s environmental analysis, is twice as energy-efficient as the Toyota Prius. The company had produced its 1,000th Roadster as of January 2010. The company has delivered Roadsters in 43 states and 21 countries as of February 2010. Tesla began producing right-hand-drive Roadsters in early 2010 for the UK and Ireland markets, and the company is widely anticipated to begin right-hand-drive deliveries in Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Tesla is currently developing the Model S, an all-electric family sedan. Tesla launched the car March 26, 2009 with an anticipated base price of $57,400 or $49,900 after a US federal tax credit. It will have three battery pack options for a range of up to 300 miles per charge. Tesla has taken more than 1,500 reservations for the Model S and expects to begin production in late 2011 for the 2012 model-year.
Tesla currently employs about 500 people and is aggressively recruiting employees for positions in the headquarters in San Carlos, California; at the Model S Design Studio in Hawthorne, California; at its European headquarters in Windsor, UK; and at an increasing number of sales facilities throughout North America and Europe. Model S, the all-electric family sedan that will be produced in Southern California in an assembly facility that will employ approximately 1,000 workers. Company Board Elon Musk Chairman, Product Architect and CEO
As Chairman, Product Architect and CEO, Elon Musk drives the development of Tesla’s product strategy, product development and design efforts. Elon has been involved in key product decisions since the start of Tesla Motors, co-leading design of the Tesla Roadster, for which he won an Index and a Global Green award, the latter presented by Mikhail Gorbachev. He also serves as Chairman of Tesla Motors and has been the principal funder of the company, having provided the Series A and B funding and co-leading the Series C, D and bridge financings.
Elon is also CEO and CTO of Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) and Chairman of the board of Solar City. Previously, Elon co-founded Zip2 and PayPal. Kimbal Musk Director Kimbal Musk is CEO of Medium, Inc, an internet software company based in Boulder, Colo. Prior to Medium, he has been involved in many young businesses. Mr. Musk and his brother, Elon, started their first company, Zip2, an early content management company for the Internet, 1995.
It was the first company to bring vector-based maps and door-to-door directions to the internet, and it built the online content management systems behind more than 100 media companies, including The New York Times. Zip2 was sold for $307 million in cash in 1999, one of the largest transactions of its kind in the internet industry. Since then, he has helped found, advised, and invested in several exciting young companies. His prior and current board seats, in addition to Tesla Motors, are Medium, Inc. , Everdream Corp. , BlackBook Media, SpaceX Corp. , and ProgressNow.
org. He also owns The Kitchen, in Boulder, Colo, one of “America’s Top Restaurants” as per Zagat, Gourmet, and the James Beard Foundation. Mr. Musk has served as an Adjunct Professor at New York University, and is a graduate of Queen’s Business School in Canada and the French Culinary Institute in New York City. Steve Jurvetson Director Steve Jurvetson is a managing director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, a leading venture capital firm and one of the most active energy and clean tech investors, with affiliate offices around the world and $6 billion under management.
Steve was the founding venture investor in Hotmail, Interwoven and Kana. He also led the firm’s investments in Tradex and Cyras (acquired for $8 billion). Previously, he was an R&D engineer at Hewlett-Packard, where seven of his communications chip designs were fabricated. His prior technical experience also includes programming, materials science research and computer design at HP, the Center for Materials Research, and Mostek. He has also worked in product marketing at Apple and NeXT. At Stanford, he finished his bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering in 2-and-a-half years and graduated No. 1 in his class.
He also received an master of science degree in electrical engineering and a master’s of business administration from Stanford, and he served as president of the Western Association of Venture Capitalists. He was honored as “The Valley’s Sharpest VC” on the cover of Business 2. 0 and chosen by Forbes as one of “Tech’s Best Venture Investors,” by the VC Journal as one of the “Ten Most Influential VCs”, and by Fortune as part of their “Brain Trust of Top Ten Minds. ” Ira Ehrenpreis Director Ira Ehrenpreis has been General Partner with Technology Partners since 1996. He leads the firm’s Cleantech investment practice, investing in Energy
Technology, Water Technology, and Materials Science opportunities. Mr. Ehrenpreis is a recognized leader in both the Cleantech and Venture Capital communities. He has served on several industry Advisory Boards, including the Chairman of the Cleantech Venture Network Advisory Board, the Clean-Tech Investors Summit (2005, 2006 and 2007 Conference Chairman), the Energy Investors Forum (2004 Conference Chairman), the Energy Venture Fair, the California Climate Change Advisory Board, the Southern California Tech Coast Alliance, the Golden Capital Network, the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs (FWE), and the Comerica Venture Capital Advisory Board.
He has been featured as the Keynote speaker at both the Cleantech Venture Forum VI and the Cleantech Venture Forum V, as well as countless other industry events. Mr. Ehrenpreis also serves on the Board of the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) and on the Board of the Western Association of Venture Capitalists (WAVC). He is the Co-Chairman of both the VCNetwork and the YVCA, two non-profit organizations comprising more than 1,000 venture capitalists. Mr.
Ehrenpreis is also an active leader at Stanford University, where his contributions have included helping to teach the course on Venture Capital and serving on the Board of Visitors of Stanford Law School. He is a Contributor to Nimmer on Copyright, the leading copyright treatise. Mr. Ehrenpreis received his JD/MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and Stanford Law School, where he was an Associate Editor of Stanford Law Review. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude. Antonio J.
Gracias Director Antonio Gracias is Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Investment Committee at Valor Equity Partners. He is responsible for the firm’s management, perations, and investment strategy. Mr. Gracias has 15 years experience investing in a variety of sectors including private equity, public equity, and real estate transactions. Prior to founding Valor in 2001, Mr. Gracias served as Founder and Managing Member of MG Capital, a private equity firm headquartered in Chicago, Ill. Prior to MG Capital, Mr. Gracias was an Associate with Goldman, Sachs & Co.
, where he served the firm’s institutional clients in the International Equity Division. Mr. Gracias is a member of the Chicago 2016 Olympic Committee, Board of Directors of the Grand Victoria Foundation, Board of Trustees of the Illinois Institute of Technology, Board of Advisors of Columbia University’s School of Public and International Affairs, and Economic Club of Chicago. He is also a member of several Fund I portfolio company boards. He holds a joint B. S. and M. S. F. S. (honors degree) in International Finance and Economics from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service as well as a J.
D. from the University of Chicago Law School. Prof. Dr. Herbert Kohler Director Prof. Dr. Herbert Kohler is Vice President of Group Research & Advanced Engineering e-drive & Future Mobility as well as Chief Environmental Officer at Daimler AG. He is responsible for the Technology Strategy, the Intellectual Property Management and the Certification/ Homologation department of the Mercedes-Benz Cars. Herbert joined Tesla’s board in May 2009, when Daimler acquired a stake in Tesla, and has been working with Tesla since 2007 on the companies’ electric-drive smart program.
Herbert became vice president for Daimler’s Body and Powertrain Research in 2000, and in 2006 he became head of the new created divison Group Research & Advanced Engineering Vehicle and Powertrain. In 1993 Herbert took the lead of the Strategic Product Planning. Before that, he founded the Environment, Technology and Traffic Center. He received his PhD degree from the Stuttgart University in 1982. Brad W. Buss Director Brad W. Buss has been chief financial officer, corporate secretary and executive vice president of finance and administration at Cypress Semiconductor Corp.
since August 2005. Brad directed Cypress’s extremely successful IPO of its solar division SunPower in 2005 and the resulting spinoff of the remaining common shares to its shareholders in a very successful stock dividend in 2008. Before joining San Jose, Calif. -based Cypress, Brad was vice president of finance at semiconductor company Altera Corp. , where he was active in all aspects of the business including forging alliances and guiding strategic direction for global supply chain and sales channel management. A veteran of the electronics industry, Brad spent seven
years as a finance executive with Wyle Electronics, climbing to the rank of chief financial officer and secretary of the Atlas Services Division. Brad was also a member of Cisco System’s worldwide sales finance team. In addition, he served as senior vice president of finance and chief financial officer and secretary at Zaffire Inc. Brad began his finance career as an auditor with Arthur Anderson, where he developed expertise in accounting and auditing, regulatory compliance and financial statement preparation for public and privately held companies.
He also has extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions, divesture transactions as well as various capital markets transactions for both public and private companies. Brad graduated from McMaster University with a bachelor’s degree in economics. He also received an honors business administration degree, majoring in finance and accounting from the University of Windsor. He has also served as an adjunct professor at Golden Gate University School of Business. Brad currently serves on the Board of privately held Cafepress. com and other wholly owned subsidiaries of Cypress. Larry W. Sonsini Outside Counsel (Non-Director)
Chairman of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Larry W. Sonsini has gained international recognition for his expertise in the areas of corporate law, corporate governance, securities, and mergers and acquisitions. He has been instrumental in many of the IPOs, mergers, acquisitions, and other key transactions of Silicon Valley and beyond, including Google’s historic IPO and Hewlett-Packard’s merger with Compaq Computer. In addition to his duties at the firm, which included serving as chief executive officer as well as chairman for more than 20 years, Larry was a member of the board of directors of the New York Stock Exchange from 2001 to 2003.
He currently is the chairman of the NYSE’s Regulation, Enforcement and Listing Standards Committee, the Legal Advisory Committee, and the NYSE Committee for Review. In addition he is a member of the NYSE Proxy Working Group. Larry has received a number of distinguished awards including: 1993 Community Service Award for Exemplary Leadership from the National Conference for Community and Justice; 1996 Award for Achievement of the California Alumni Association at the University of California, Berkeley; 2000 Software Development Forum Third Annual Visionary Award; 2001 Member, Berkeley Fellows; 2001 Boalt Hall
School of Law Citation Award; 2001 Director’s Award, San Francisco Exploratorium; 2003 National Italian American Foundation’s Special Achievement Award in Commerce and Law; 2005 Bay Area Business Hall of Fame Award from the Bay Area Council; and Business Leader of the Year Award from the Harvard Business School Association of Northern California. In 1999, Larry was selected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In addition, he is a member of the American Law Institute. In 2003, Larry received an honorary doctorate from the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology.
Larry is a trustee of Santa Clara University and a member of the University of California President’s Board on Science and Innovation. He was formerly a trustee at the University of California, Berkeley (1990-1996). Larry has served on a number of advisory boards and committees, including: SEC’s Advisory Committee on Capital Formation and Regulatory Processes; ABA Committee on Federal Regulation of Securities; Legal Advisory Board of NASD, Inc. ; and Board of Advisors, Technical Law Journal, Boalt Hall. He was recently chosen as the honorary chair of the High Technology Law Institute at Santa Clara University.
Currently, Larry is a Foreign Policy Association Fellow. Larry joined Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in 1966 upon receiving his J. D. from Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley. He also received an A. B. from UC Berkeley in 1963. Larry was admitted to the California Bar in 1966 Investors Tesla is deeply indebted to its investors who have made the Tesla Roadster possible and who continue to encourage Tesla to fulfill its larger destiny. Partial List of Major Investors and Institutional Investors Daimler AG Valor Equity Partners
Technology Partners Draper Fisher Jurvetson/DFJ Growth DBL The Westly Group Compass Venture Partners Partial List of Individual Investors Elon Musk Jeff Skoll Nick Pritzker Sergey Brin Larry Page Kimbal Musk Bill Lee Jeffrey B Straubel The Tesla Motors Team Key management staff and their background Elon Musk, Chairman, Product Architect and CEO Elon co-founded Tesla and continues to oversee the company’s product strategy — including the design, engineering and manufacturing of more and more affordable electric vehicles for mainstream consumers.
As Chairman and Product Architect, he helped design the ground-breaking Tesla Roadster, for which he won an Index and a Global Green award, the latter presented by Mikhail Gorbachev. In October 2008, he took on the additional responsibility of CEO, overseeing daily operations as the company was ramping up Roadster production and accelerating the development of its second vehicle, the Model S. Elon launched Tesla’s regional sales and service centers across two continents and in May 2009 secured a $50 million investment and strategic partnership from Germany’s Daimler.
He spearheaded a successful cost-down program that enabled Tesla to achieve profitability in July 2009. He guides development of the Model S, the all-electric family sedan that will be produced in Southern California in an assembly facility that will employ approximately 1,000 workers. Elon after earning bachelor’s degrees in physics and business from the University of Pennsylvania, he worked briefly on ultra capacitors at Pinnacle Research in Silicon Valley to understand their potential as an energy storage mechanism for EVs.
He planned to do graduate studies at Stanford in materials science and applied physics but put school on hold to start Internet companies Zip2 and PayPal. In addition to his Tesla duties, he serves as CEO and CTO of SpaceX, and he’s Chairman of SolarCity. JB Straubel, Chief Technical Officer As a co-founder of Tesla, JB has overseen the technical and engineering design of the vehicles, focusing on the battery, motor, power electronics, and high-level software sub-systems.
Additionally, he evaluates new technology, manages vehicle systems testing, and handles technical interface with key vendors. Prior to Tesla, JB was the CTO and co-founder of the aerospace firm, Volacom, which designed a specialized high-altitude electric aircraft platform using a novel power plant. At Volacom, JB invented and patented a new long-endurance hybrid electric propulsion concept that was later licensed to Boeing. Before Volacom, JB worked at Rosen Motors as a propulsion engineer developing a new hybrid electric vehicle drivetrain based on a micro turbine and a high-speed flywheel.
JB was also part of the early team at Pentadyne, where he designed and built a first-generation 150kW power inverter, motor-generator controls, and magnetic bearing systems. With a bachelor’s in energy systems engineering and a master’s in energy engineering from Stanford University, he built an electric Porsche 944 that held a world EV racing record, a custom electric bicycle, and a pioneering hybrid trailer system. JB is also an accomplished pilot. Deepak Ahuja, Chief Financial Officer Deepak Ahuja has more than 15 years of global automotive financial experience to the Tesla team.
As Chief Financial Officer, Prior to joining Tesla Motors, Deepak was the Controller of Small Cars Product Development at Ford with the goal of bringing several exciting fuel efficient automobiles to the North American market. Previously, Deepak was CFO for Ford of Southern Africa, a $3 Billion subsidiary where he oversaw the finance, legal and IT functions. Prior to that, Deepak served as CFO for Auto Alliance International, a joint venture between Ford and Mazda with over $4 billion in revenue.
His career at Ford included assignments in all aspects of the business, including Manufacturing, Marketing and Sales, Treasury, Acquisition and Divestitures. Before joining Ford, Deepak worked as an engineer for Kennametal, Inc. near Pittsburgh, PA for almost 6 years and developed two new ceramic composites cutting tools for machining of aluminum alloys in aerospace and automotive industries. Deepak holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in materials engineering from Banaras Hindu University and Northwestern University, respectively and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University.
Franz von Holzhausen, Chief Designer As Chief Designer, Franz is responsible for driving the overall design direction of Tesla, and is charged with establishing a world class design competency for all future Tesla design concepts and production vehicles. Prior to joining Tesla, Franz was Director of Design at the Mazda North American Design Center. While at Mazda, Franz pioneered the Nagare surface language design philosophy. The word Nagare itself is but one of 150 different ways to describe motion in the Japanese language.
The Nagare and Furai concepts were the progenitors of The visual interpretation of what has become the new design language for the Mazda brand. These two initial concepts led to the development of the Ryuga, Hakaze and Taiki As well as the Kazemai – the latest concept unveiled in Moscow. Franz also led design of the Mazda RX-8, Tribute, and Mazda5 production vehicle facelifts, and was instrumental in the design development of the 2009 Mazda6 and Mazda3. Before spearheading design at Mazda, Franz held the Design Director position at General Motors. The Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Sky, and Opel GT are all examples of Franz’s efforts at GM.
Franz began his career as Assistant Chief Designer at Volkswagen, where he was involved in projects from Concept One to the Microbus. Franz began his studies at Syracuse University in the field of industrial design and graduated from Art Center College of Design in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in Transportation Design. Gilbert Passin, Vice President, Manufacturing Passin brings 23 years of international automotive experience to Tesla. He has led some of the most high-profile divisions at Toyota, Volvo, Mack and Renault across North America and Europe.
Most recently, Passin served as general manager of production engineering for Toyota in North America. Passin was vice president of manufacturing at Toyota’s plant in Cambridge, Ontario. Passin was instrumental in the manufacturing planning and launch of the best-selling Lexus RX luxury SUV at the award-winning plant which produces over 200,000 automobiles per year and is the only Toyota site to produce a Lexus vehicle outside of Japan. He also launched manufacturing of the award-winning tenth generation Corolla, one of the most popular automotive models worldwide which is widely acknowledged as the global
leader in its class for quality and durability. During his time with Mack, Passin played a key role in transferring the production of highway trucks to Volvo’s Virginia facility. At the Volvo facility, Passin successfully consolidated the production of Volvo and Mack trucks while increasing the production rate and improving quality and productivity. Passin has a degree in Engineering from Ecole Centrale de Paris. He has also taught Dynamics and 3D Mechanics in the School of Engineering at the University of Bath, U. K.
Peter Rawlinson, Vice President & Chief Engineer for Vehicle Engineering Prior to Tesla, Peter led vehicle engineering at Corus Automotive, an engineering consultancy specializing in advanced engineering solutions for the global motor industry. Traditional vehicle programs Peter worked on at Corus include the X type, XJ and F-type Jaguars, Land-Rover Freelander and Discovery, Ford Fiesta, Honda Accord, BMW 5 Series and Bentley Continental. He also led development of the Think electric vehicle platform, which was done with only 5 engineers in 6 months, while still meeting cost and mass targets.
Peter’s design set a new world record for best crash safety performance in the subcompact vehicle class. Before Corus, Peter served as Chief Engineer of Advanced Engineering at Lotus, where he pioneered the use of advanced aluminum body structures, bonding cast elements with stampings and extrusions, an approach subsequently widely adopted within the industry. Vehicles using this approach include Aston Martins, the new Jaguar XJ, the current Audi A8 and the latest generation of the Audi TT. Prior to Lotus, Peter was Manager for Advanced Drive-train and Suspension Systems at GKN Technology in the UK.
At GKN, he developed an advanced drive-train layout with a forward front drive and axle-line, paving the way for safer and more spatially efficient vehicles only now emerging in the marketplace, such as the Toyota IQ. Before GKN, Peter was Principal Engineer at Jaguar for almost a decade, responsible for advanced body structure design, layout and packaging, including crashworthiness. He was one of the first to apply computer-aided-design to automotive engineering and was an integral part of the team that advanced the integration of computer-aided-design with computer-aided analytical tools within a simultaneous engineering environment.
That same methodology is being applied at Tesla. Peter is a Mechanical Engineering graduate of Imperial College, London. Jim Dunlay, Vice President, Powertrain Hardware Engineering Jim came to Tesla in 2006 to lead Tesla’s power electrionics team from prototype to production. In 2007 he took on additional responsibility for Tesla’s battery pack, adding both design Engineering and manufacturing duties. Jim led the “on-shoring” of Tesla’s battery manufacturing, which now produces battery packs for the Roadster and Daimler’s Smart city car.
In 2009, Jim added development responsibility for Tesla’s motor and transmission. Before joining Tesla, Jim spent 25 years in the computer industry developing computer systems at Sun Microsystems, manufacturing test equipment at Tandem Computers and electronic instrumentation at Hewlett Packard. Jim has acquired several project cars including his 1969 GTO Convertible and his 1967 Jaguar E-Type. Jim earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Diarmuid O’Connell, Vice President of Business Development Diarmuid joined Tesla in 2006, and currently serves as the Vice President of Business Development in which capacity he manages commercial relationships and all aspects of government affairs. Before joining Tesla, Diarmuid served as Chief of Staff for Political Military Affairs at the US State Department, where he was involved in policy and operational support to the U. S military in various theaters of operation.
Before his tenure in Washington, Diarmuid worked in corporate strategy as a management consultant for Accenture, as a founder of educational software developer, Real Time Learning, and as a senior executive with both McCann Erickson Worldwide and Young and Rubicam. Over the course of his career, he has managed international operations, projects and marketing for such brands as Coca Cola, Gillette, and AT&T, among others. Diarmuid has earned a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College, a master’s degree in Foreign Policy from the University of Virginia, and an MBA from Kellogg.
John Walker, Vice President Sales North America John was appointed Vice President Sales for North America in August 2009 and is responsible for all sales in the United States and Canada, including the coast-to-coast retail expansion and opening of new stores in world’s largest car market. John has spent the past two decades in the global automotive industry, including assignments in South Africa, Australia, Canada and the United States. Before Tesla, John spent a decade in various sales and marketing positions at German luxury carmaker Audi.
He was most recently general manager sales operations for Audi of America and previously director of sales for Audi Canada and general Manager of sales for Audi Australia. John began his automotive career in South Africa with General Motors and BMW. His first job in the auto industry was a three-month spot-welding stint at a GM factory in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Other than the Roadster, Cristiano Carlutti, Vice President of European Sales and Operations Cristiano oversees Tesla’s European operations from the company’s EU headquarters in Windsor, UK.
Before joining Tesla in January 2010, he lead mission-critical divisions at Fiat, served as CEO of an Italian start-up and served as a member of the management committee of the Organizing Committee of the XX Winter Olympic Games. Cristiano joined Fiat in 1995 as a marketing analyst and rose to the vice president level, most recently overseeing the strategy and operations of the rent-a-car and used car department for European markets. Carlutti was also in charge of the Flagship development project, a €150 million program which established a network of company-owned dealerships throughout Europe.
He also served on the Organizing Committee of the XX Winter Olympic Games in Turin, Italy. As managing director of media operations and press chief for the 2006 games, Carlutti helped to create and manage a €13 million media operation with 20 venues serving more than 3,000 journalists. Before that he was CEO of Autocontact Italia, where he was in charge of reselling and servicing more than 90,000 vehicles per year. Cristiano has a degree in business administration from the University Luigi Bocconi in Milan, and he’s lectured on business and entrepreneurship at several universities in his native Italy.
He is fluent in English, French and Italian, and he has lived in Germany, Russia, Ireland and the United States. Ricardo Reyes, Vice President of Communications Ricardo spent his first day with Tesla at the Frankfurt Motor Show in August of 2009. Before joining Tesla, Ricardo was the head of communications and public affairs at YouTube. He previously handled litigation, competition and policy communications for Google, Inc. Ricardo also spent a decade working on public policy and communications in Washington DC, including two years at law firm Bracewell and Giuliani LLC.
Among the corporate and political clients he advised, he worked closely with General Motors’ suppliers as they faced major changes to their business structure. Ricardo served as Deputy Assistant US Trade Representative for Public and Media Affairs from 2001 to 2004, as a spokesman for US international trade policy. He was also managing editor of Regulation Magazine published by the Cato Institute, and worked with various public policy groups during his time in DC. In 1996, Ricardo worked as an observer for national elections in his birth country, Mike Taylor, Vice President of Finance
Mike joined Tesla as Vice President of Finance in September 2007. Mike brings 17 years of financial expertise to the company. Mike began his career at Goldman Sachs & Co. , where he helped clients worldwide raise over $2 billion in structured debt financing. He then worked for McKinsey and Company and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where he helped several companies through IPOs and acquisitions. In 1994, Mike caught the technology bug and has since helped game-changing companies raise more than $250 million in public and private financings.
His first foray into high tech was with Scopus Technology, for which he managed the public offering process prior to that company’s acquisition by Siebel Systems. Mike also served as Vice President of Finance for network management software pioneer Micromuse, where he coordinated the IPO and several financing rounds and managed all financial planning and investor relations activities. Mike then served as Chief Financial Officer for Benchmark Capital and Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Tropos Networks, where he helped raise more than $80 million in venture financing.
Along the way, Mike found time to earn a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley and JD/MBA from Stanford University. He serves on the board for the Center for the Early Intervention on Deafness. Evelyn Chiang, Vice President of Supply Chain and IT Evelyn, who joined Tesla in August 2007, oversees Supply Chain and Information Technology. Previously, she served as Senior Vice President of Operations of the Product and Technology Group of enterprise software giant SAP AG, where she managed global operations, including strategic business planning, portfolio management and post-merger integration.
She also managed new product introductions and served as Director of Professional Services at SAP. Throughout her 19-year career, Evelyn has held various roles in operations, consulting, and business development. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Matt Au, Vice President, Corporate Controller Matt joined Tesla in July 2009, responsible for accounting and financial reporting. Previously, he was vice president of finance for Gilead Sciences, a Foster City, Calif.
-based bio-pharmaceutical company focused on research and manufacturing of anti-viral therapies for HIV-positive patients. Matt spent five years with Gilead, managing more than 200 people and shepherding the company’s growth from $400 million to over $6 billion in annual sales. Before Gilead, Matt spent nine years with KLA-Tencor, a San Jose, Calif. -based semiconductor capital equipment company. He held various finance management positions, including two years in Japan as Asia controller.
Matt rose to vice president and corporate controller, managing the global accounting and financial reporting functions for KLA-Tencor as sales expanded from $200 million to over $2 billion annually. Prior to KLA-Tencor, Matt spent five years at IBM, starting as a cost accountant for a high-end disk drive plant. Matt sits on the advisory board of the Dominican Sisters Congregation in Mission San Jose, which runs three Catholic schools in California and assists ministries in California, Germany, Mexico, and Guatemala.
Matt holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from UC Berkeley, and an MBA in finance from the University of Chicago. Product Portfolio details, Roadster The Tesla Roadster, the company’s first vehicle, is the first production automobile to use lithium-ion battery cells and the first production EV with a range greater than 200 miles (320 km) per charge. The base model accelerates 0–60 mph (97 km/h) in 3. 9 seconds and, according to Tesla Motor’s environmental analysis, is twice as energy-efficient as the Toyota Prius. The company had produced its 1,000th Roadster as of January 2010.
The company has delivered Roadsters in 43 states and 21 countries as of February 2010. Tesla began producing right-hand-drive Roadsters in early 2010 for the UK and Ireland markets, and the company is widely anticipated to begin right-hand-drive deliveries in Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. Roadster Sport Tesla began taking orders in January 2009 for the Roadster Sport, a higher performance sports car based on the Roadster. Tesla says the Roadster Sport accelerates from 0–60 mph (97 km/h) in 3. 7 seconds, compared with 3.
9 seconds for the standard Roadster. The Roadster Sport price starts at $128,500 in the United States and €112,000 (excluding VAT) in Europe. Deliveries began in July 2009. The Roadster Sport is the first derivative of Tesla’s proprietary, patented powertrain. The Sport has been critically acclaimed by some of the leading US car critics including Engineering Editor Kim Reynolds of MotorTrend, whose magazine was the first to independently confirm the Roadster Sport’s reported 0-60 mph time of 3. 70 seconds. (MotorTrend recorded 0-60 mph of 3.
70 seconds; it recorded a quarter-mile test at 12. 6 sec @ 102. 6 mph. ) Reynolds called the acceleration “breathtaking” and said the car confirms “Tesla as an actual car company. Tesla is the first maker to crack the EV legitimacy barrier in a century. ” According to Tesla’s in-store marketing materials and third-party media reports,the Sport has: • Special firmware that wrings more torque out of the motor, particularly from 20-50 mph • Adjustable suspension that can be tuned to the driver’s preference, including a sport or a comfort setting.
• Distinct Sport badging on the interior and exterior of the car, including special “S” insignia on the leather seats. • Lightweight, forged black wheels. • Yokohama’s Ultra High Performance tires. Scotty Pollacheck, a high-performance driver for Killacycle, drove a 2010 Tesla Roadster Sport at the Wayland Invitational Drag Race in Portland, Ore. , in July 2009. He did a quarter-mile (~400 m) in dry conditions in 12. 643 seconds, setting a new record in the National Electric Drag Racing Association among the SP/A3 class of vehicles. Model S
Tesla is currently developing the Model S, an all-electric family sedan. Tesla launched the car March 26, 2009 with an anticipated base price of $57,400 or $49,900 after a US federal tax credit. It will have three battery pack options for a range of up to 300 miles per charge. Tesla has taken more than 1,500 reservations for the Model S and expects to begin production in late 2011 for the 2012 model-year. Tesla has built a driving prototype and is working on production engineering of the Model S sedan, originally code-named “Whitestar,” which the company plans to begin producing in late 2011.
Tesla plans to build an assembly plant in California to build the Model S. Tesla has already taken more than 1,500 reservations for the Model S. It is being designed as an alternative to cars such as the BMW 5 Series and the Audi A6, with an anticipated base price of US$57,400 (or US$49,900 after the federal tax rebate). If one considers the lower cost of electricity vs. gasoline, as well as the lack of routine oil changes and other maintenance, Tesla says the cost of the Model S is similar to internal combustion engine vehicles with a sticker price of roughly $35,000.
Tesla is planning on having three options for battery packs, allowing customers to select from 160 mi (260 km), 230 mi (370 km) or 300 mi (480 km) per charge before it must be recharged using a conventional 120 volt, 240 volt or some 480 volt outlets. On March 26, 2009, Tesla unveiled the Model S design to the public by introducing a concept version of the car in the Tesla Design Studio in Hawthorne, Calif. This car included a touch-screen dashboard with wireless Internet access and remote-programming abilities. It seats five adults (plus two children in rear-facing child seats) and has a 0–60 mph (97 km/h) time of 5.
5 seconds. The Model S was featured on Late Show with David Letterman in April 2009. Because the car uses no gasoline whatsoever and does not produce any tailpipe emissions, it was allowed on the Late Show set and was the first fully functioning car on the stage. Smart city car In late 2007, Tesla began working with Germany’s Daimler AG on powertrain components for an electric version of the German company’s Smart two-seater city car. Tesla is producing the battery packs and chargers for an initial 1,000-unit fleet of EV Smarts. Daimler has not released details about the vehicle’s pricing or timing.
The two companies announced that they were working together on the Smart in January 2009. Minivan, Crossover, Utility fleet van Tesla Motors also announced in June 2009, along with their loans from the DOE, that they plan to build electric family-sized minivans, electric SUV crossovers, and electric fleet vans for municipal governments. Facilities Tesla Motors’ headquarters are located in San Carlos, California, where much of the development of the Tesla Roadster occurred. United States Tesla was founded in San Carlos, California, a city in the region known as Silicon Valley.
Tesla opened its first retail store in West Los Angeles, Calif. , in April 2008. The company opened its second retail store in Menlo Park, Calif. , in July 2008. The company opened a display showroom in New York City’s Chelsea Art District in July 2009. It also opened a store in Seattle in July 2009. Tesla opened a store in Dania Beach, Florida in December 2009. It plans to open additional stores in Chicago and Washington DC. Tesla announced in August 2009 that it planned to move its corporate headquarters and build a powertrain development facility at 3500 Deer Creek Road, in the Stanford Research Park in Palo Alto, Calif.
Tesla said it would finance the project in part through $100 million of the federal low-interest loans. The facility, a 369,000-square-foot facility on a 23-acre parcel previously occupied by Agilent Technologies, will serve as Tesla’s consolidated corporate headquarters, with operations gradually shifting from its present quarters about 10 miles north in San Carlos. The powertrain facility will produce electric vehicle components for Tesla and for other automakers, including Germany’s Daimler, which is using Tesla’s battery packs and chargers for an upcoming electric version of its Smart city car.
About 350 employees are expected to be based at the Stanford site initially, potentially increasing to 650. Using $365 million in federal low-interest loans, Tesla plans to build a Model S assembly plant in California with a fully ramped-up annual output of 20,000 sedans. Tesla has not announced a specific location, though unconfirmed media reports have focused on Southern California. In the summer of 2009, many speculative media reports suggested that Tesla could occupy the NUMMI assembly plant in Fremont, Calif. , which General Motors and Toyota have signaled they plan to vacate.
Tesla has said it will develop a brown field site on existing industrial property—a preference of the federal government in approving candidates for interest-bearing loans from the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program. Europe Tesla’s European headquarters are in Windsor, UK. The Roadster’s chassis is currently being assembled by the contract manufacturing division of Lotus Cars in Hethel, England. The Roadster has a chassis with 100 percent unique dimensions, and the car is longer and wider and has lower door sills than the Lotus Elise. The two cars have a parts overlap of less than 6 percent.
In June 2009, Tesla opened its first store in Europe—a showroom in central London’s Knightsbridge district. In September 2009, Tesla opened its first store in continental Europe—a showroom in downtown Munich. Tesla opened a store in Monaco in November 2009 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony by CEO Elon Musk and car enthusiast Prince Albert II. Regional sales and service centers Tesla Motors dealership on Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles, California Tesla has the following regional sales and service centers: Menlo Park, California; West Los Angeles, California; Seattle, Washington; Dania Beach, Florida; Chicago, Illinois London, UK;
Munich, Germany; and Monaco. Tesla opened the doors to its display showrooms at 511 W. 25th St. New York City’s Chelsea Art District in July 2009 and in Boulder, CO in October 2009. The company says it plans to open the following locations: Washington DC Toronto, Ontario Marin County, California San Diego, California Milan, Italy Paris, France Copenhagen, Denmark Tesla operates company-owned stores. Tesla showrooms include free Wi-Fi, beverages and snacks, coffee bars and couches. Prospective customers can test-drive cars with a salesperson. The company’s executives say they model showrooms after retailers such as Apple and Starbucks.
Tesla recommends that customers bring in their car for inspection and firmware updates every year or every 12,000 miles (19,000 km). Tesla operates mobile service squads for customers who do not live near the regional sales and service centers. There is minimal maintenance required of an electric vehicle. Because there is no internal combustion engine, there are no routine oil changes. Brake maintenance is minor due to regenerative braking. Transmission, brake, and cooling system fluid changes will be required roughly every five to seven years or as needed.
Partnerships & Alliances Suppliers Tesla uses several domestic and overseas suppliers and partners. Although the Roadster is an American car according to its vehicle identification number, like virtually all production cars it uses parts from around the world. Tesla’s carbon fiber body panels are made in France by French supplier Sotira. The panels are sent to England, where Tesla contracts with Lotus to build a unique chassis in Hethel, U. K. The cars are then sent to Menlo Park, California, where workers install all of the proprietary intellectual property of the car.
The battery pack is assembled in San Carlos, California, using battery cells from Asia. The single-speed gearbox is built by Michigan-based supplier Borg Warner Inc. When the company began in 2003, Tesla licensed AC Propulsion’s Reductive Charging(tm) patent, which integrates the charging electronics into the inverter in a way that reduces mass and complexity. Shortly after the company’s founding, Elon Musk convinced JB Straubel to join Tesla and ultimately lead development of the Tesla powertrain well beyond what the company initially licensed from AC Propulsion.
The company no longer employs any of AC Propulsion’s original intellectual property. Dana is also become one of the key suppliers to Tesla Motors, Tesla Motors using Dana’s battery cooling tech in the 2010 Roadster Panasonic is set to supply batteries to Tesla Motor for its Model S Battery pack makes up one of the most expensive components in an electric car. In the past, Tesla has declined to disclose the lithium-ion battery suppliers for its first model, the Roadster, except to say that the company buys battery cells from Japanese suppliers.
Panasonic strengthened its battery business when it announced last December that it would purchase Sanyo. Sanyo was the world’s largest lithium-ion battery maker, with most of the batteries going to consumer electronic devices such as cell phones and laptops. The companies have gotten government approval for the deal in Japan, and are seeking the nod from the European Commission. Panasonic was already in the car battery business when it announced the Sanyo deal. Panasonic had created a joint venture with Toyota Motor called Panasonic EV Energy.
At a starting price of $57,400 ($49,900 if you include the federal tax credit), a standard Model S would come with a battery pack that allows for 160 miles per charge. Consumers can upgrade to battery packs that would prolong the range to 230 miles and 300 miles. Tesla hasn’t announced the prices for the upgrades. The battery pack for the 230-mile or 300-mile range is made up of 8,000 cells, compared with the 6,800 cells in the battery for Tesla’s Roadster, a $100,000-plus sports car with a 244-mile range.
Tesla is using better cells for the 300-mile battery pack, hence the number of the cells is the same as the battery for the 230-mile range, said J. B. Straubel, Tesla’s chief technology officer, earlier this year. The battery pack for the 160-mile range would come with 5,500 cells. Alliances Daimler Starting in late 2007, Daimler and Tesla Motors began working closely to integrate Tesla’s lithium-ion battery packs and charging electronics into the first 1,000 units of Daimler’s electric smart car. The two companies are expected to collaborate further, including working together on the Tesla Model S sedan.
The collaboration is not expected to result in co-branded cars or the sale of Mercedes vehicles in Tesla showrooms, or vice-versa. On May 19, 2009, Germany’s Daimler AG, maker of Mercedes, acquired an equity stake of less than 10 percent in Tesla for a reported $50 million, according to unconfirmed media reports. The investment deepened the relationship between the inventor of the automobile and the newest member of the global auto industry. As part of the collaboration, Prof. Herbert Kohler, Vice President E-Drive and Future Mobility at Daimler AG, took a seat on Tesla’s board of directors.
On July 13, 2009, Daimler AG sold 40 percent of their May acquisition to Aabar Investments PJSC. Aabar is an investment company controlled by the International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), which is wholly owned by the Government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. (In March 2009, Aabar purchased a 9 percent stake in Daimler for 1,95 billion EUR. ) key customer details, key supplier details, Patent Portfolio details Method of balancing batteries A methodology for balancing batteries for use in an electric vehicle. The methodology includes initializing a target balance voltage value to a predetermined voltage.
Sampling a first voltage of the batteries at a predetermined interval. Sending the lowest voltage value to all of the batteries…. Multi-mode charging system for an electric vehicle A method and apparatus that allows the end user to optimize the performance of an all-electric or hybrid vehicle and its charging system for a desired mode of operation is provided. The system of the invention includes multiple charging/operational modes from which the user may select Liquid cooled rotor assembly A rotor assembly cooling system and method of using same are provided.
A portion of the rotor shaft is hollow, the rotor shaft including an open end and a closed end. A coolant feed tube is rigidly attached to the rotor shaft using one or more support members future plans, Legal Cases Lawsuits On April 14, 2008, Tesla Motors filed a lawsuit against Fisker Automotive, alleging that Henrik Fisker “stole design ideas and confidential information related to the design of hybrid and electric cars” and was using that information to develop the Fisker Karma, which was announced at the North American International Auto Show in January, 2008.
Tesla had hired Fisker Coach build to design the WhiteStar sedan but decided against the design as it was considered “substandard” by Tesla chairman Elon Musk. On November 3, 2008, Fisker Automotive Inc. issued a press release indicating that an arbitrator has issued an interim award finding in favor of Fisker Automotive, Inc. and against Tesla Motors Inc. on all claims. Also in March 2008, Magna International filed a lawsuit against Tesla claiming that it was never paid for services rendered. Tesla hired Magna to help design a 2-speed transmission for its Roadster. The Magna-designed transmission is not in use for the current model.
The founding of the company and who can rightly be called “founder” was the subject of a lawsuit filed in May 2009 and later dropped after an out of court settlement. On May 26, 2009, Eberhard filed suit in San Mateo County, California against Tesla and Elon Musk (Chairman and CEO of Tesla) for slander, libel and breach of contract. Musk wrote a lengthy blog post that included original source documents, including e-mails between senior executives and other artifacts demonstrating that Eberhard was unanimously fired by Tesla’s full board of directors. On July 29, 2009, a judge in San Mateo County, Calif.
, Superior Court struck down a claim by former CEO Eberhard, who asked to be declared one of only two founders of the company. Tesla said in a statement that the ruling is “consistent with Tesla’s belief in a team of founders, including the company’s current CEO and Product Architect Elon Musk, and Chief Technology Officer JB Straubel, who were both fundamental to the creation of Tesla from inception. ” In early August, Eberhard withdrew the case, and the parties reached a final settlement September 21. Some provisions are confidential, but the agreement includes a provision that the parties will consider Martin Eberhard, Elon
Musk, JB Straubel, Marc Tarpenning, and Ian Wright to be the five co-founders. Recall In May 2009, Tesla issued a safety recall for 345 Roadsters manufactured before April 22, 2009. Tesla sent technicians to customers’ homes to tighten the rear, inner hub flange bolts. Using common verbiage from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, Tesla told customers that without this adjustment, the driver could lose control of the car. The problem originated at the Lotus assembly line, where the Roadster is built.
Lotus also recalled some Lotus Elise and Exige vehicles for the same reason. Tesla reminded customers that millions of cars are recalled every year. Key Rumors & News Tesla Motors won’t kill the Roadster next year as expected, In fact is poised to start cranking out a lot more of them while Tesla expands its market to include Asia and Australia. The nugget of news comes from this month’s issue of the Tesla Newsletter, which says, “Tesla has negotiated agreements with key suppliers that will increase total Roadster production by 40 percent and extend sales into 2012.
” The agreement amounts to a reprieve for the Roadster, which according to the paperwork Tesla filed ahead of its impending IPO, was to hit the end of the road next year due to tooling changes at an unnamed supplier. Tesla has never confirmed it, but that supplier is widely believed to be Lotus, which builds most of the Roadster at its factory in Hethel, England. Lotus is retooling to build a new model, but apparently has agreed to keep cranking out Roadsters through 2012. By that time, Tesla plans to be building the Model S sedan at a factory in Southern California, and presumably will begin building Roadsters there as well.
Tesla spokesman Ricardo Reyes declined to comment. The deal negotiated with Lotus allows Tesla to increase production by as much as 40 percent to meet demand for the Roadster, which Tesla will begin selling in Asia and Australia next year. That will bring to 25 the number of countries where the Roadster is sold. Tesla has delivered more than 1,000 Roadsters Lease a Tesla for Just $1,658* a Month Putting together $111,005 to get yourself a Tesla Roadster can be a bit tricky, so the Silicon Valley automaker is now leasing the electric sports car. Because putting together $1,658* a month is so much easier. We kid.
Anyone who’s seriously considering a Roadster more than likely has the scratch it takes to put one in the garage. The company is offering a lease to provide “added flexibility and piece of mind” to customers because “as technology evolves, you will remain on the cutting edge of electric mobility advancements. ” It believes a leasing option will help push the car a little further into the mainstream by making it easier for people to get behind the wheel. “This will help us with the customers who have some trepidation about changing the paradigm from gasoline to electric,” company boss Elon Musk told the Wall Street Journal.
“They can dip their toe in the water without making a big commitment of a purchase. ” But Mike Omotoso, an industry analyst with J. D. Power, told the Journal a lease payment higher than many people’s mortgage payment probably won’t help Tesla move more than a few cars out of its spiffy showrooms. The monthly payment may rival that of a high-end luxury sports car from Stuttgart or Maranello, but Tesla argues it’s still a better deal because you’re saving at least 10 percent in operating costs by not burning gasoline. It will all be academic soon enough.
Tesla plans to stop producing the Roadster in 2011 because an unnamed key supplier — presumably Lotus, which builds much of the car — is retooling its factory. According to the paperwork it filed ahead of its IPO, Tesla won’t have a replacement for the Roadster until at least one year after the Model S sedan hits the road, which the company says will happen in 2012. * Monthly lease payments of $1,658 (excludes sales or use tax) for 36 months based on MSRP of $111,005 (includes destination and documentation fees). $12,453 due at signing includes $1,658 first month’s payment, $9,900 down payment, and $895 acquisition fee.
No security deposit required. Excludes tax, title, license, registration, and any locally applied fees. This lease offer is subject to credit approval and is for well qualified customers only. Not all customers will qualify for this lease program. Lessee must cover insurance. At lease end, lessee will be liable for disposition fee ($350. 00), any excess wear and use as set forth in the lease agreement and excess mileage charges of $0. 25 per mile for miles driven in excess of 30,000 miles over the life of the lease. Lessee acquires no ownership interest unless purchase option is exercised.
Visit a local Tesla showroom or contact Tesla Motors directly for details and vehicle availability. For more information call 650-413-6300. All figures presented are estimates only. Actual selling price may vary. company contact details. Main Corporate Offices & Reception 3500 Deer Creek Palo Alto, CA 94304 650-681-5000 Main Corporate Mailing Address 1050 Bing Street San Carlos, CA 94070 European Sales Office Thames Court 1 Victoria Street Berkshire Windsor SL4 1YB United Kingdom +44 (0) 1753 626782 Tesla Motors Limited, UK Potash Lane Hethel Norfolk NR14 8EZ Tel: +44 (0) 1953 608444 Fax: +44 (0) 1953 608404 Website : www.
teslamotors. com Financing Tesla Motors was incorporated in Delaware on July 1, 2003 by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning to pursue mass production of AC Propulsion’s tzero prototype electric car. With a small amount of personal funding, they rented Tesla’s first office in Menlo Park, California and set about developing a business plan. They quickly added Ian Wright to the team and in January 2004 started looking for funding to develop an production electric sports car. They arranged with AC Propulsion to borrow their TZero prototype to demonstrate to potential investors the performance possible with an electric car.
By April, they found a lead investor in Elon Musk and closed a Series A capital investment round of USD$7. 5 million. The round included Compass Technology Partners and SDL Ventures, as well as many private investors. Musk, a South African-born entrepreneur, became Tesla’s Chairman of the Board. Musk later led Tesla Motors’ Series B, USD$13 million, investment round which added Valor Equity Partners to the funding team. Musk co-led the third, USD$40 million round in May 2006 along with Technology Partners.
Tesla’s third round included investment from prominent entrepreneurs including Google co-founders Sergey Brin & Larry Page, former eBay President Jeff Skoll, Hyatt heir Nick Pritzker and added the VC firms Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Capricorn Management and The Bay Area Equity Fund managed by JPMorgan Chase. The fourth round in May 2007 added another USD$45 million and brought the total investments to over USD$105 million through private financing. In August 2007, Martin Eberhard was replaced by an interim CEO, Michael Marks. In December 2007, Ze’ev Drori became the permanent CEO and President of Tesla Motors.
In January 2008, Tesla Motors fired several key personnel who had been involved from the inception after a performance review by the new CEO. According to Musk, Tesla was forced to reduce the company workforce by about 10 percent to lower its burn rate, which was out of control in 2007. The fifth round in February 2008 added another USD$40 million. Musk, who was President of PayPal before it was bought by eBay, had contributed $70 million of his own money to the company by this time. In October 2008, Musk succeeded Ze’ev Drori as CEO. Drori became Vice Chairman. He left the company in December.
By January 2009, Tesla had raised USD$187 million and delivered 147 cars. On May 19, 2009, Germany’s Daimler AG, maker of Mercedes, acquired an equity stake of less than 10 percent of Tesla for a reported $50 million. The investment deepened the relationship between the inventor of the automobile and the newest member of the global auto industry. As part of the collaboration, Prof. Herbert Kohler, Vice President E-Drive and Future Mobility at Daimler AG, took a seat on Tesla’s board of directors. In July, Daimler announced that Abu Dhabi’s Aabar Investments bought 40 percent of Daimler’s interest in Tesla.
In June 2009 Tesla was approved to receive $465 million in interest-bearing loans from the United States Department of Energy. The funding, part of an $8 billion program for advanced vehicle technologies (Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program), supports engineering and production of the Model S sedan, as well as the development of powertrain technology that Tesla plans to sell to other automakers. The low-interest loans are not related to the “bailout” funds that GM and Chrysler have received, nor are they related to the 2009 economic stimulus package.
The Department of Energy loan program was created in 2007 during the George Bush administration in order to get more fuel-efficient vehicle options to U. S. consumers and to decrease the country’s dependence on foreign oil. The company announced in early August 2009 that it had achieved overall corporate profitability for the month of July 2009. The company said it earned approximately $1 million on revenue of $20 million. Profitability arose primarily from improved gross margin on the 2010 Roadster, the second iteration of Tesla’s award-winning sports car.
Tesla, which like all automakers records revenue when products are delivered, shipped a record 109 vehicles in July and reported a surge in new Roadster purchases. In September 2009, Tesla announced an $82. 5 million round to accelerate Tesla’s retail expansion in advance of the Model S. Daimler participated in the round to maintain equity ownership from its initial investment. A new investor was Fjord Capital Partners, under the leadership of founders Michael Obermayer (a former senior partner and director of McKinsey & Company, Inc), Arild Nerdrum and Xavier de La Rochefoucauld.
Fjord is a specialized European private equity manager investing into the clean energy sector globally. Fjord invests growth capital in renewable and low-carbon companies and projects. On 29 January 2010, Tesla Motors filed Form S-1 with the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission, as a preliminary prospectus indicating its intention to file an initial public offering underwritten by Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, J. P. Morgan and Deutsche Bank Securities. Product Reviews & Reports Tesla Sport Roadster Reviewed by Chuck Squatriglia • March 19, 2010
Photos by Jim Merithew for Wired. com $141,000 • teslamotors. com 7 out of 10 Tesla’s Roadster Sport Zips the Light Fantastic To drive the Tesla Roadster Sport is to learn the meaning of range anxiety. The souped-up version of Tesla’s Roadster does not want for range: Apply a feather touch on the accelerator and you’ll get some 236 miles on a charge. That’s by far the best of the electric cars on the road or on the horizon. But you’re not going to go easy. Stomping that go pedal is too much fun. The Sport is quick.
Even though it uses the same AC induction motor as the base model Roadster, Elon’s henchmen tweaked the firmware to boost the battery’s output. The result is another 40 ponies, bringing the Sport to 288 horsepower. It’ll hit 60 mph from a standstill in a Porsche-like 3. 7 seconds. And then there’s the handling. The Sport holds the road like a baby gripping a rattle. It is easy to hustle through corners, and, with a combined 13 settings on the car’s adjustable shocks and sway bars, it’s easy to tune out the Roadster’s tendency toward oversteer. With the upgraded suspension, the ride is firm but not harsh — even on washboard roads.
The car is porky at 2,700 pounds (that’s what happens when you drop in a 900-pound lithium-ion battery pack), but it’s too fast and nimble to be called a pig. If you leave the car in its superefficient “range” mode and drive like a responsible adult, you’ll hit the 236 miles Tesla says the car is good for. We spent most of the day in “standard” mode and were (mostly) judicious in our application of acceleration and we got 189 miles. The car features a holy-shit-that’s-FAST “performance” mode you can select on the fly (and we did, several times). But unless you’ve got a really long extension cord, it
is best reserved for occasional use. Like, say, dusting that Porsche 911 ahead of you. It’s worth noting that a pair of guys competing in an alt-fuel car rally in Australia managed to squeeze 313 miles out of their Roadster, but we’re betting they didn’t have as much fun driving the car as we did. Inside, the seats are supportive and comfortable but awfully close together. The Sport is tiny, and it’s close quarters in the cockpit even if the two occupants are calorie-starved supermodels You can easily reach across the cabin to the passenger door. Good thing, too, because you have to if you want to adjust the mirrors.
The Sport doesn’t have power mirrors nor is the wheel adjustable. That might be a bit of a problem since the wheel blocks your view of the top of the gauges. But ultimately it doesn’t matter since the numbers are hard to read — and really, if you have to check, you’re probably going too fast. That’s easy to do in the Sport. It’s so smooth and so quiet that 80 mph feels like 50. The Sport is low, the doors are small and the sills are wide, so anyone but a gymnast is going to look like a klutz getting in. Once you’re in, though, the car is remarkably comfortable. The interior is highly refined — our test car was awash in polished carbon fiber.
The leather on the steering wheel is so soft we thought it might be made from kitten skins. But there are some problems. The instrument binnacle and center console — which houses the push-button gear selector and a cool touchscreen that displays system data — are flimsy. The screen on the JVC stereo/nav system is too small, and it’s in the middle of the dashboard. Not exactly convenient. And those gorgeous sail panels behind the rear window that give the car a sleek silhouette create a wicked blind spot. Worse, the windshield frame can block your view of streetlights.
Such things would be grudgingly acceptable in the $47,250 Lotus Elise on which the Roadster and Roadster Sport are loosely based. But we’re talking about a car that costs almost three times that much. The Sport package adds $19,500 to the Roadster’s sticker, bringing the tab to $121,000. Ours was loaded with options, including the carbon-fiber trim package, the ‘Executive Leather’ package, the top-shelf electronics package and an orange paint job bright enough to attract every cop in the county. None of them does anything to increase the performance of the car, but they make an already gorgeous vehicle look that much better.
Beauty comes at a price — sign off on all these options and you’ll pay $141,000. Still, that kind of money buys you one hell of a car. The Sport is perfectly suited to the high-speed exploration of winding back roads far from civilization. And that’s where you’ll come face to face with the inherent limitations of the Sport’s impressive technology: All batteries, even a beast like the 53-kilowatt-hour pack in the Sport, eventually go dead. And, unless you’re lunching at the Googleplex you’ll be hard-pressed to find somewhere to charge up. Therein lies the quandary of the Roadster Sport.
It encourages you — no, it entices you — to explore that squiggly road on the GPS, and it’s so much fun to drive you won’t want to stop. But venture too far and you’ll inevitably think, Will I have the power to get home? You will, but even with 236 miles of juice, you’ll have to turn back sooner than you’d like. WIRED Stunning acceleration. Confidence-inspiring handling. Stunning acceleration. Zero tailpipe emissions. Stunning acceleration. Gorgeous styling. Stunning acceleration. TIRED Eccentric-millionaire expensive. No power mirrors — isn’t this an electric car? Steering wheel blocks your view of the gauges.
Center console and instrument binnacle felt flimsy. Getting in and out requires more grace than we could muster. Manufacturer: Tesla Price: $141,000 (as configured) Getting a Charge Out of a Tesla By Dan Fink On and Off the Grid Published March 9, 2010 It jumped off the line like a Learjet, pressing me hard back into the sculptured seat. Less than four seconds later, we were doing 60 mph. But instead of the loud roar of a Ferrari Spider or Porsche Carrera accelerating just as fast, the only sounds audible in the Tesla Roadster cockpit were a gentle high-pitched whine from the electric motor and the wind trying to remove my hat.
I could even hear birds singing as we ascended switchbacks on a tortuous canyon road west of Boulder, Colo. I’m fairly sure I heard some snapping noises too, as the heads of drivers, bicyclists, hikers and deer spun at the passing of this mean-looking, nearly silent machine. Not bad for a plug-in electric sports car that’s twice as efficient as a Toyota Prius Hybrid, has a 250-mile range and charges from empty to full in 3. 5 hours from a home 240-volt wall outlet. Boulder has long been known as a center of “green” philosophy — and also as a very expensive place to live.
Tesla Motors is betting that their new dealership here will be a success, as the $109,000 base price means this is not an electric car for the masses. Tesla is working on a number of models for the future, some priced at $50,000. That’s not really the point, Tesla Motors sales advisor Nigel Zeid explained during our test drive. “Tesla Motors is not an elitist car company who will only talk to you if you earn seven figures,” Mr. Zeid said. “This is our trickle-down technology.
People who are fortunate enough to buy this car are pioneers, and have allowed the company to continue so that we can start building much more affordable cars for the future. ” In the works are the $50,000 Tesla S series Sedan with delivery scheduled for 2012, a crossover SUV and a commercial delivery van for fleets. The S series is already getting attention and pre-orders, Tesla regional manager Tony Longhurst told me. “If we could get 200 of them a month right now, we’d probably sell 200 a month,” Mr. Longhurst said. Range Anxiety
So-called “range anxiety” is a big concern for anyone considering purchasing an electric car, and in Boulder it’s no different. The most common question for their sales staff is “How far does it go on a single charge? ” Mr. Longhurst said. “The answer is up to 250 miles, but of course range depends on wind, hills, and how hard you drive the car. ” “New Tesla owners tend to drive quite hard at first,” Mr. Zeid added later. “But even if you drive 70 miles to your office and have only a 110 VAC outlet available there for charging, you are still putting 5 to 10 miles of range per hour of charging back into the car while you work.
When you get home, just remember to plug the car in to your fast charger and it will be full in less than 3. 5 hours. “You never forget to plug in your cell phone when you get home from work, do you? ” Mr. Zeid said. Future community charging stations will use 440 VAC circuits to charge the car in 15 to 45 minutes. Future community charging stations like those being planned in Boulder and other communities (and already in operation in California) will use 440 VAC circuits to charge the car in 15 to 45 minutes. Swipe your credit card, plug in your car, and go have lunch.
Everything will be full when you return. Because the Roadster uses regenerative braking from the motor to slow itself, city drivers in stop-and-go traffic and mountain drivers climbing hills can recover some of the energy they’ve lost. The mechanical brakes need only be applied rarely in normal driving. Let your foot off the accelerator (it’s not called a “gas” pedal anymore) and the car uses its momentum to charge the battery bank and slow you down. “We have a gentleman who lives up in the mountains west of here,” Mr.
Longhurst said, “and every time he comes into Boulder he arrives with more range than he left with 30 miles ago. ” Those of us who have leaned green for a couple decades find a 250-mile range astonishing. Back in the day, converted electric Volkswagens and small pickup trucks could achieve only 30 to 50 miles on a charge, and they face nearly the same limitations now. Even a 50-mile range wouldn’t get me to town and back without a recharge. When we pulled the car over for a photo shoot and shut it off, I noticed a faint humming noise coming from the rear. It was the battery bank, circulating coolant.
The Tesla stores energy in lithium-ion batteries, just like those in your laptop computer. And I mean just like them — these are industry-standard “18650 form factor cells” like those found in most laptops. Except that there are 6,831 of them encased behind you in a protective cradle. Li-ion batteries have been a huge innovation in battery technology, but they are well-known for being fragile and susceptible to the slightest abuse in charging or discharging. Burning and exploding Li-ion cells onboard airliners forced new FAA regulations and recalls from Dell, Apple, IBM and others.
Two-year-old laptops often have only minutes of run time left at full charge, and replacement battery packs can cost more than the computer is worth, a large source of irritation to business travelers. How does Tesla Motors get around this problem? They claim a battery-bank life of 100,000 miles or seven years. The World’s Most Pampered Battery Bank Few batteries die a natural death. Most are murdered. The ideal conditions for longest Li-ion cell life are at cold temperatures with a low state of charge. Your poor laptop battery is kept always full by its wall charger, and is constantly cooked by the high temperatures of your microprocessor.
These are the worst possible conditions for Li-ion battery life. The Tesla’s 6,831 lithium-ion batteries are encased in a protective cradle. In Tesla vehicles, each string of cells in the battery bank is monitored by the car itself, 24/7. Coolant circulates when needed by an electric pump. If any individual part of the battery bank begins to show a problem, microprocessors isolate it and it can be replaced without touching the remainder. The car tells you to please schedule a service call. “If one or two or a dozen cells go bad, it doesn’t stop the car from working,” Mr. Zeid said. “You won’t even a notice a difference in performance.
” The car’s intelligence also tries hard to maximize battery life with how fast and far it allows you to drive, but allows you to override its control if needed. If some smug fellow in a Porsche pulls up next to you at a stoplight, you can switch to “performance” mode and smoke him off the line. On the other hand, if you are 60 miles from home with only 30 miles left in the battery, the car will automatically conserve energy to extend your range by more than double. As for the safety considerations of Li-ion cells, both in actual driving and in shipment, Tesla relies on multiple layers of redundancy.
Each cell has two different over-current protection fuses built into it, and each string of cells has its own microprocessor for control. All parts of the battery bank communicate with each other and with the car itself, and more internal battery-bank sensors detect inertial changes from a collision, position changes from a roll-over accident, smoke, humidity and moisture, instantly disconnecting everything. 101 Uses for a Dead Battery Bank Tesla Motors makes no secret of the fact that all batteries eventually die. Their claimed seven-year lifespan is actually quite good compared with most battery banks used in off-grid power systems.
But what happens when the battery bank has lost its oomph? According to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the current replacement cost is $36,000. The company is betting that Li-ion cell prices will drop over the next few years, too — so worried customers can pay $12,000 right now for a battery pack to be installed in 2016 when their current one starts to wear out. All involved would certainly hate to see such a battery engineering marvel go to a landfill, even though it legally could be disposed of there since there are no toxic substances involved. Fortunately, the entire battery pack is recyclable.
Tesla has set up an exchange program where owners get credit for the materials salvaged from their old battery bank, which will then be shredded. Plastic, metal, and copper-cobalt are recovered. The Tesla has been drawing plenty of attention at auto shows and on the road. What excited me most, though, were other prospects for these used batteries that Tesla has proposed. They figure that consumers will consider the batteries spent when they have lost about 30 percent of their capacity. “The remaining 70 percent is still perfectly usable,” said Mr.
Zeid, “and in the future will be providing back-up power for homes. ” He went on to point out that home back-up batteries see far more peaceful conditions then those in vehicles, and that used Tesla batteries could see a long second service life. With Boulder’s new smart grid initiative, that could be a perfect fit. As for me — 11 miles from the nearest power line and relying entirely on solar and wind for my electricity — all these ideas are starting to sound really tempting. A Tesla Roadster is not in my future; it doesn’t even have enough ground clearance to make it up my driveway in the mountains.
But I could buy the Tesla crossover SUV when it comes out, then add some extra photovoltaic modules and a larger wind turbine to my system to charge it. When the battery pack fails, move it to my off-grid home and buy a new pack. The Tesla battery bank stores 53 kilowatt-hours. My current one, which is much larger and twice as heavy, stores only 19 kwh. This is all starting to make sense — and when electric cars start to make sense way up here off the grid, I start to listen. EV News Khosla Says Clean-Energy Investors Should Beware of IPO Rush March 17, 2010, 12:28 AM EDT
By Tim Mullaney March 17 (Bloomberg) — Investors should beware of stock offerings from clean-technology companies this year that lack a long-term technology edge and rely too much on government aid, said Vinod Khosla, the biggest U. S. investor in green startups. “There will be Googles in this business, but before there is a dot-com rush, investors should ask questions,” Khosla, 55, said in an interview. “My objective is that good companies get funding and that, with the bad ones, people know what questions to ask. ” Electric-car company Tesla Motors Inc.
and solar-panel maker Solyndra Inc. are the only two clean-technology companies to file for initial public offerings this year and received incentives from President Barack Obama’s administration. The companies, which together received $1 billion in aid from the government, plan to raise a total of $400 million in IPOs. Silicon Valley venture capitalists are looking to IPOs to bolster returns after the slowest two-year stretch of deals since 1975, said Mark Heesen, president of the National Venture Capital Association in Arlington, Virginia.
Menlo Park, California-based Khosla Ventures and the rest of the venture industry plowed more than $10 billion into almost 900 clean- technology deals since 2005, with investments rising more than eightfold from 2005 to 2008, according to the association. Clean Technology The term “clean technology,” which emerged in the venture capital industry around 2005, describes investments in renewable-energy, conservation and power-management companies. Last year’s economic stimulus bill set aside $36. 7 billion for loans, grants and funding for alternative energy initiatives, according to the U. S.
Energy Department. A123 Systems Inc. , the only U. S. clean-technology startup to go public last year, won a $249. 1 million federal grant to build a battery plant in Michigan, and is applying to borrow another $235 million, according to regulatory filings. No U. S. clean-energy startup has gone public without government assistance since 2007. The government has had a poor track record of backing energy technologies since the 1970s, said Ted Sullivan, an analyst at energy consulting firm Lux Research Inc. in New York. Under President Jimmy Carter, the government invested billions in Synthetic Fuels Corp.
, a corporation set up to develop petroleum alternatives. It was shut in the 1980s after oil prices dropped. ‘Bad Idea’ “It’s typically a bad idea for the government to pick winners,” Sullivan said. “A lot of history shows the government is incredibly poor at it. ” Khosla’s biggest investments include biofuel companies like Range Fuels Inc. of Broomfield, Colorado, and electricity- generation companies such as natural-gas startup GreatPoint Energy Inc. in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Sausalito, California-based AltaRock Energy Inc.
, which is developing geothermal electricity. Makers of solar panels, electric cars and automobile batteries will struggle to keep their technology far enough ahead of bigger competitors to become consistently profitable, Khosla said. “The guy with scale and balance-sheet capability wins,” Khosla said. “Unless someone has a huge technology differentiation, it’s hard to achieve sustainability. ” Khosla Ventures has invested at least $367. 6 million in 23 clean-technology companies since 2006, according to the National Venture Capital Association, making it the largest U.
S. venture investor in that industry. Khosla declined to say how much his firm has invested. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers was No. 2, according to the association. Government Loans Tesla, which makes a $109,000 electric sports car, landed a $465 million loan from the Obama administration. Solyndra, which makes rooftop solar panels from cylindrical modules, got a $535 million loan guarantee and has applied for another $469 million, filings show. Both companies have filed with the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission for IPOs and neither has set a date.
Ricardo Reyes, a spokesman for Palo Alto, California-based Tesla, and Dave Miller, a spokesman for Solyndra in Fremont, California, declined to comment. They cited federal regulations limiting public statements by companies preparing IPOs. Investors in A123 bet on demand for the company’s products rather than on government subsidies, Chief Financial Officer Michael Rubino said. Watertown, Massachusetts-based A123 sells batteries for power tools and autos, and has development deals with carmakers such as Bayerische Motoren Werke AG. The market for electric-car batteries is expected to soar to $21.
8 billion by 2015 from $31. 9 million last year, according to A123’s filings, which cited consulting firm A. T. Kearney. “You have growth drivers like global warming, national security and the price of oil,” Rubino said in an interview. “It isn’t any one factor. ” First-Day Gain A123’s IPO in September commanded $13. 50 a share, and the stock rose to more than $20 on its first trading day. A123 fell 31 cents to $15. 05 yesterday on the Nasdaq Stock Market. While Tesla and Solyndra have products on the market, they haven’t yet turned a profit. Sales at Tesla jumped to $93.
4 million in the first nine months of 2009 from $580,000 in the same period a year earlier, as it delivered cars that customers had ordered since 2006, according to a regulatory filing. Its net loss narrowed to $31. 5 million from $57. 3 million a year earlier. Solyndra’s sales jumped to $58. 8 million from $1. 5 million in the same period, while its loss narrowed to $119. 8 million from $179. 8 million. Both Solyndra and A123 spend more to make their products than they sell for, even before marketing and overhead expenses. Pick Winners Codexis Inc. is the only U. S.
clean-technology company that’s registered to go public this year and hasn’t received aid to build a factory, according to regulatory filings. Redwood City, California-based Codexis makes enzymes used to produce ethanol. The question is whether government aid can prop up companies until they turn a profit, said Josh Lerner, a professor who specializes in venture capital at Harvard Business School. Both state and federal efforts to promote commercialization of specific technologies usually fail, because bureaucrats can’t predict which approaches will be widely adopted, Lerner said.
“The way the programs are structured doesn’t fill you with confidence,” Lerner said. “They’ve been problematic in terms of picking the real winners. ” Tesla charges up for $100m listing By David Gelles in San Francisco Published: January 30 2010 01:44 | Last updated: January 30 2010 01:44 Tesla Motors filed for an initial public offering for up to $100m on Friday in a bellwether moment for the nascent electric vehicle industry. The filing by the Silicon Valley company marks the first public offering for an American car company since Henry Ford Motor Company in 1956, and
positions Tesla to become the first mainstream dedicated electric vehicle maker. Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank Securities are underwriting the IPO, according to the filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission. It was not disclosed on which exchange the shares would be listed, when they would be available or at what price they would be offered. Best known for its $109,000 Tesla Roadster, a two-seat luxury coupe, the company is run by Elon Musk, the South African-born PayPal co-founder. The Roadster has been criticised as a plaything for the wealthy.
But Tesla maintained that its development was necessary to prove its technologies worked. Tesla’s vehicles use a custom designed powertrain that incorporates a battery, an electronics module, an efficient motor and control software. Today the company is working to broaden its market with the Model S, a family sedan it hopes to sell for about $60,000. Expected to be on the road next year, the Model S is projected to have a range of 300 miles. Ten showrooms around the world display Tesla vehicles. In its filing with the SEC, Tesla sought to distinguish itself from traditional carmakers.
“We operate in a fundamentally different manner and structure than traditional automobile manufacturers to pursue what we believe is a historic opportunity – to create an integrated company which successfully commercialises electric vehicles without compromising on range, performance or styling,” it said. Tesla was founded six years ago in Silicon Valley. It has taken several rounds of funding from investors, including Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, and venture capital stalwart Draper Fisher Jurvetson.
Last May, Daimler AG, parent of Mercedes, took a reported $50m stake in the company, representing less than 10 per cent of its equity. Two months later, Abu Dhabi’s Aabar Investments bought 40 per cent of Daimler’s stake. As part of the US government’s efforts to jumpstart the domestic electric vehicle industry, Tesla was granted $465m in loans from the Department of Energy last year. Tesla’s financial performance has improved in recent months, according to the filing. Revenue jumped to $93.
4m for the nine months ending last September 30 as more Roadsters were sold, and losses narrowed from $57. 3m to $31. 5m. Tesla’s filing is also a boost for the IPO market, which is in the midst of an ongoing slump. You’re Now An Investor In Tesla Motors By Chuck Squatriglia January 22, 2010 | 1:54 pm | Categories: EVs and Hybrids The Department of Energy has closed its $465 million loan to the California electric car company to finance construction of the SoCal factory that will build the Model S sedan (pictured).
The feds announced the loan in June, but it’s taken a few months to get the paperwork in order. “This is an investment in our clean energy future that will create jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in a statement. “It will help build a customer base and begin laying the foundation for American leadership in the growing electric vehicles industry. This is part of a sustained effort to develop and commercialize technologies that will be broadly deployed throughout the American auto industry.
” Tesla will use the money to refurbish a factory where it will produce the super-sexy Model S sedan, which it claims will deliver as much as 300 miles on a charge and cost $49,900 after the $7,500 federal EV tax credit. “We are honored that the US government selected Tesla to be among the first companies to participate in this visionary program,” company CEO Elon Musk said in a statement. “This loan will allow us to further accelerate the production of affordable, fuel-efficient electric vehicles. ” Tesla Motors plans to start production in 2012 and build 20,000 cars a year by the end of 2013.
It hasn’t announced where the car will be built, but all signs point toward an old film studio in the Los Angeles suburb of Downey. The city has offered Tesla free rent and other incentives worth $8. 7 million over 15 years, according to the Long Beach Press-Telegram. The company reportedly has filed several key planning applications required to establish a factory on the 51-acre site. “They’re beginning the process,” City Councilman Luis Marquez told the Press-Telegram. “It’s one of the necessary steps in them moving forward with their plant.
” Downey isn’t a done deal, though. Tesla also is considering an old Boeing factory in Long Beach, California. The DOE signed a $5. 9 million loan agreement with Ford in September; the company will use the money to retool factories in five states to build more fuel-efficient cars. The feds also have loan agreements pending with Nissan ($1. 6 billion) and Fisker Automotive ($528 million). The Charging infrastructure is going to play a very important role and United states needs to be ready with it before the EV wave catches the market
Posted on March 23, 2010 by Tom Banse, Voice of America Electric Vehicles Charge Ahead in US Construction to begin on thousands of charging stations for ‘clean’ cars. Washington, United States [RenewableEnergyWorld. com] What’s billed as the biggest rollout of electric vehicle infrastructure in the world is about to begin in the United States. Urban planners are deciding where to locate more than 11,000 charging stations in 11 major cities. They want those stations up and running by the end of this year.
Last year, the Department of Energy awarded $100 million to eTec, an electric transportation research and development firm, to build electric vehicle charging networks in five states. Now is when the rubber meets the road, or more precisely, construction begins. “You know, there’s a lot of excitement over this,” says Rich Feldman, a regional manager for eTec. “This is going to result in oil savings. There’s going to be jobs that come out of this project in terms of people installing the equipment. We’re obviously launching a whole new industry here. There’s going to be other spinoffs and economic opportunity.
” Park, Plug in and Power Up Feldman is supervising the installation of more than 2,000 electric car chargers in the greater Seattle area in western Washington, and another 2,000 at homes and public places in four Oregon cities. They’ll be near shopping centers, fast food restaurants and movie theaters, “the variety of places that people think about when they’re able to park and leave the vehicle for an hour or two. ” Feldman’s infrastructure company has partnered with Nissan. The car maker bought lots of ads during the Winter Olympics to promote its forthcoming all-electric model named the Leaf.
Nissan is inviting drivers to sign up on its website to be among the first to buy one. Feldman says eTec hopes to convince a subset of Nissan Leaf buyers to participate in a study. It wants 900 drivers in each state to let researchers from the Idaho National Lab monitor their driving and charging behaviors. “In exchange, they get a free, home-based charging station,” he explains. Lessons learned about consumer preferences on placement, features and payment options could guide the eventual national rollout of charging infrastructure. The Nissan Leaf and the plug-in Chevy Volt are supposed to hit U.
S. dealerships late this year. They’re the first wave of mass production electric cars. Mark Perry, who directs product planning for Nissan North America, says new owners will have no trouble finding a power station. “So the concern, ‘If I use this vehicle or purchase this vehicle, can I get charging? ‘ that’s going to be a very easy answer here. ” The price of the fully electric Nissan is being announced at the end of March. Then the company will start taking deposits from consumers, who likely will pay a substantial premium over a comparable gasoline powered compact.
The four-door, five-passenger Leaf has a range of about 160 kilometers. Perry says that Nissan will sell and lease the car and battery as a package. “There had been a lot of conversation about separation of car shell and battery and different approaches,” he said. “Nissan is still going to explore different business models in other parts of the world. But here in the U. S. , definitely an entire transaction ? car and battery ? purchase or lease. ” A World of Business Models for Electrics Other companies and countries are trying different business models to lure consumers into electric cars.
Denmark is one nation on the cutting edge. A California-based company called Better Place is working with Denmark’s biggest utility to build the charging network there. It will offer battery swap-out stations, a feature not included initially in the United States. (Image, left: In Copenhagen, hotel owner Kirsten Brochner gets behind the wheel of her leased Norwegian-made electric car. Credit: VOA – T. Banse) “We are building these switch stations here in Denmark ? a number of them ? so that when people want to cross the country, then they can very easily,” Utility CEO Anders Eldrup says.
“If it works according to the plans ? we hope it will ? then you can, within three to four minutes, faster than you can put gasoline in your car, you can switch the battery for a brand new one, which is fully charged, and off you go. ” When the system starts up next year, Danish electric vehicle drivers will pay a monthly subscription to access the battery charging network. They could also pay by the mile. But will consumers go for any of this? Vehicle researcher Valerie Karplus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says the car market is big enough to support numerous niches.
But she adds, “It’s going to take consumers some time to sort out how they feel about going to a swap station, versus a gas station, versus charging at home. At the same time, today’s internal combustion engine cars are going to get more and more efficient. You may not have to go the gas station all that often with one of those cars. ” She is looking forward to what she calls ‘an interesting technology race’. In Denmark, electric cars are exempt from the world’s highest car registration tax. That’s a big incentive, along with free parking on Copenhagen streets.
Washington State already exempts fully electric cars from its sales tax, and Nissan executives recently paid a call on legislators to talk up additional incentives. Free parking came up, along with access to carpool lanes. In Oregon, electric car enthusiasts want that state to increase the tax credit it offers to buyers of alternative fuel vehicles. Similar conversations are happening in government offices in Europe, East Asia and U. S. state capitals. Many policymakers, as well as drivers, find the prospect of a zero-emissions ride electrifying. Electric car demand ‘may boost green collar jobs market’
The green collar jobs market in the UK and elsewhere may be boosted if the predictions of one expert come true. Speaking at the Geneva Motor Show, which is running until March 14th, Carlos Ghosn, chief executive of Renault and Nissan, said demand for electric cars is to rise, the Financial Times reports. He suggested that the vehicle manufacturing sector will very quickly be hit by a shortage of capacity for producing the cars. Mr Ghosn added: “From everything I’m seeing, in 2011 or 2012 we’re going to have to rush to build capacity for both batteries and cars. “
He went on to reveal that Israel had ordered 100,000 units of Renault’s Fluence sedan as part of an initiative to roll out electric vehicle and recharging infrastructure. The executive went on to state that he thinks his firm will need greater capacity for producing the number of cars consumers want. Posted by Rick Marley France Spending $2. 2 Billion on Electric Car Charging Network BY Ariel Schwartz Thu Oct 1, 2009 No one will buy electric cars if there are no plug-in stations, but no one will build plug-in stations without EVs on the road. That’s the conundrum for both car makers and plug-in infrastructure companies.
Fortunately, the public sector is stepping in to help out. Last week we wrote about Duke Energy’s and FPL’s commitment to buy $600 million in EV fleets. Today the French government announced it will spend $2. 2 billion on a battery-charging EV network. The French are taking no prisoners in their battle to make EVs mainstream–the country plans to make charging sockets mandatory in new apartment blocks by 2012 and in all office parking lots by 2015. France will also soon be home to a Renault SA facility with a production capacity of 100,000 batteries each year.
The United States hasn’t invested quite so much cash or energy into a country-wide charging network, but Obama has announced plans to put one million PHEVs on the road by 2015. Of course, that’s a goal that will only be possible if a charging and battery switching network is available to support the cars. Such a charging infrastructure may exist soon enough, albeit without a direct cash infusion from the government–Better Place is already in talks with officials in Oregon and California about installing a network of battery-switching stations. How cities can foster demand for electric cars
When Tesla Motors opened its new showroom in Boulder, it did so in style. Hosting an invitation-only party, the automaker brought out a lively group of local politicians, environmentalists and entrepreneurs for a night of martinis, music and test-drives of the Tesla Roadster. A Tesla Roadster on display at the electric vehicle maker\’s new store in Boulder, Colorado. Eric Magnuson via FlickrThe much talked about, all-electric, luxury sports car has received as much attention for its price tag as anything else. At more than $100,000, few people are likely to buy a Roadster.
But with a temporary Colorado tax-break reducing the price to $67,800, surely someone in affluent Boulder will snag one. So why not throw a blowout party, invite a bunch of friends, and put the car on display for all to see? But the Roadster is more than just an expensive car. Its sleek contours and luxury styling are enough to turn anyone into a car fanatic. Well before the party started, invited guests and curious onlookers had gathered outside the building, taking photos with their cell phones as traffic slowed along the west end of Pearl Street.
It is a beautiful car, yes, but its performance — demonstrated in an all too brief test-drive up Boulder Canyon — is even more impressive. Inside the showroom, there was a certain zeal running through the conversations of the crowd. Like family members around a newborn’s crib, guests hovered over this car, taking photos and clinking cocktail glasses. To be sure, this was a party. But it was also something else. It was a night for the optimist, an opportunity to be there at the beginning of something new and exciting-something world-changing. Born to be wired
Still in its infancy, the electric car has a future that is both promising and uncertain. It is often cited as an antidote to U. S. dependence on foreign oil, and for good reason — a Pacific Northwest National Laboratory study claims that if 73 percent of the country’s light-duty vehicle fleet were electrified, oil consumption would fall by 6. 2 million barrels a day. That would eliminate nearly 53 percent of our current oil imports. It’s an alluring goal, but 73 percent is a big, distant number. President Obama has called for 1 million electric cars on the road by 2015, and that’s only 0.
5 percent of the entire U. S. fleet. The electric car has a ways to go. But with consumer demand uncertain, automakers are treading lightly. Though most major companies plan to manufacture plug-ins during the next few years, with list prices substantially lower than the Tesla’s, initial production rates will be meager. Chevrolet, for instance, has revised plans to release 60,000 units of the highly anticipated Volt, cutting back to a conservative 10,000 units. Demand is nearly impossible to predict. A product or technology can stagnate for months-years even-and then take off, spreading out into the marketplace.
With electric vehicles, there’s legitimate concern over the likely demand. But, in the meantime, we can work on dismantling the obstacles most likely to plague this technology. Much of that work can be done on the ground, at the city level. Home is where the start is Electric vehicles aren’t likely to pour into car lots next year. Our current economy will make sure of that. Nevertheless, many cities can position themselves to benefit from the technology. In doing so, they very well may play the most vital role in the success of these cars. One such city, Denver, has already begun this work.
As one of several partner cities on Project Get Ready — a Rocky Mountain Institute initiative that convenes city leaders and plug-in champions nationwide — Denver has assembled working groups to facilitate the move to electrified cars. By targeting concerns and perceived inconveniences related to the electric vehicle, these groups may achieve more than any car commercial, marketing campaign, or glitzy cocktail party could ever hope for. The City and County of Denver has selected nearly 100 sites around the city at which public charging units could be installed.
This will offer the public the first tangible look at how electric cars will operate in the city while assuaging fears over their driving ranges. There’s a strong argument for this approach. Although electric vehicles have garnered considerable attention over the years, many people still lack an understanding of how the technology will work in the cities and on the highways. Charging units, placed in key locations, will serve as a visual reminder that the technology is real and the infrastructure is in place.
Smart Grid City In nearby Boulder, one of the nation’s largest electrical utilities, Xcel Energy, is busy installing new smart meters in selected homes and businesses throughout the city. The first project of its size, Smart Grid City will demonstrate the benefits of advanced energy software and real-time information. If Xcel’s recent request to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission for a peak-pricing program is approved, the company will offer consumers a financial incentive to draw energy at off-peak hours.
An electric vehicle, for instance, could be plugged in at 9:00 pm, when peak power usage has leveled off, therefore promoting the use of night-time wind energy. The smart meters used in Xcel’s program may end up playing an important enabling role in the use of electric cars since utility rates will play an intrinsic role in what time people decide to charge their vehicles. A Bright Future Boulder and Denver’s civic and government leaders, research institutions, and entrepreneurs are building a home for the electric car.
Rather than waiting for the car to arrive, these entities are plug-in-proofing their cities and demonstrating a belief in the potential for vehicle electrification. With all the money and time going into this effort, the electric car will have a better chance of widespread adoption and we’ll be one step closer to energy independence. If it takes a party to sell some cars and get the word out, so be it. That’s a future that calls for celebration. NISSAN LEAF ELECTRIC CAR TO COST $25,000 AFTER TAX CREDIT Agencies See this story in: The Economic Times
New York: Nissan Motor Co said Tuesday its new electric car will cost just over $25,000 in the US, a move that could force rivals to lower prices on similar vehicles. The Leaf, a four-door hatchback due in showrooms late this year, will have a base price of $32,780, but buyers can get a $7,500 electric vehicle tax credit, Nissan said. The price tag puts the Leaf, which can go up to 100 miles (160 kilometers) on a single charge from a home outlet, within reach of mainstream car buyers, and it also will force competitors to respond when they introduce their cars.
General Motors Co. , which also will begin selling its Chevrolet Volt rechargeable electric car later this year, said that it will look at Nissan’s pricing before announcing the Volt’s price closer to its December sales date. “I think it’s fair to say their pricing, it won’t overwhelm, but it will have some influence on our pricing decision,” said GM spokesman Rob Peterson. GM was looking to price the Volt, which can go 40 miles (65 kilometers) on full electricity before a small gas engine kicks in to provide power, around $35,000. It would cost $27,500 with the tax credit.
But GM executives have said they are trying to lower the price as they begin building models at a Detroit factory. Other competitors, such as Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group LLC, also plan to sell fully electric cars, but those will come out after the Volt and Leaf hit showrooms in December. Nissan says the Leaf will cost 3. 76 million yen ($40,000) in Japan. It will price the car lower in the U. S. because it wants to sell more of them in that market. The automaker says it is confident it can still make money at that price. Orders in the U. S. start April 20 and Nissan is aiming for 25,000 orders by December.
ELECTRIC CARS WIN HYPE, STAYING POWER IS A QUESTION Reuters See this story in: The Financial Express (Web & Print Edition) Electric cars are riding high, as incentives and new models make them a realistic option, but the fresh attention may highlight flaws compared with gasoline and alternatives such as biofuels. The attention rankles with some in the biofuel industry, whose own hype was abruptly halted by a glut of production in 2007, subsequent bankruptcies and a fall from grace after a link was drawn—which they dispute —between biofuels and spiraling food prices and rising hunger.
Gasoline may beat off both alternatives for decades as the least-worst option, with wider adoption of more efficient conventional cars helping to curb carbon emissions and oil dependence. The uncertainty is striking for a $5-6 trillion global auto and fuel supply market, where there is agreement only that the number of cars will keep rising, perhaps doubling to 2 billion by 2050. The momentum is with electricity, following an oil price spike in 2008, lavish government incentives and a crippling downturn across the wider car industry.
Last week the United States finalised fuel efficiency standards, following similar rules in Europe. Green cars grabbed centre stage at auto shows this year in New York, Geneva and Detroit, including all-battery cars, hybrid varieties that switch between electric and gasoline, and small, more fuel-efficient conventional cars. But battery electric vehicles (EVs) are expensive. Mitsubishi Motors and Nissan Motor Co last week announced prices for their i-MiEV and Leaf battery-only electric cars, in production already or about to debut, at 3. 98 million yen ($42,520) and 3.
76 million yen respectively before state subsidies, several times the cost of equivalent cars. Driving ranges of about 100 miles, far less than for a petrol car, which US customers expect to exceed 300 miles. Electric cars have to contend with the multi-billion-dollar cost of a new charging infrastructure, although they benefit from running costs at about a quarter of gasoline at today’s prices, according to electric car advocates. Reports outlining technical specs, launch dates, markets available, variants available, forecasted sales, sales price, key customer segments.
How the Tesla Roadster Works by Ed Grabianowski The Tesla Roadster is fast, fancy, handles like a dream and goes like a rocket, but it’s virtually silent. Find out what else sets it apart from gasoline-powered cars. When you climb into the seat of a high-performance car that costs six figures, you expect certain things: acceleration that pushes you back into the seat, top-end stereo equipment, road-hugging handling, the throaty roar of a powerful engine and a big budget for the high-octane gas needed to fuel it. Well, the Tesla Roadster has almost all of those aspects covered.
It’s fast, fancy, handles like a dream and goes like a rocket, but it’s virtually silent and it’ll never burn a single drop of gasoline. Tesla’s first production car is also the world’s first high-performance electric car. Unlike a traditional gasoline-powered car, the Tesla Roadster doesn’t contain hundreds of moving parts. It’s powered by just four main systems: The Energy Storage System (ESS) The Power Electronics Module (PEM) An electric motor A sequential manual transmission Image © 2006 Tesla Motors, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Energy Storage System is located in the rear of the vehicle. In place of an internal combustion engine, the Tesla Roadster sports a bank of batteries — the Energy Storage System (ESS). In developing a power source befitting such a high-performance car, Tesla went with technology proven in the laptop computer field — rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. The Roadster contains 6,831 of them. They weigh about 1,000 pounds in total, and Tesla claims that they provide “four to five times the energy-density stores of other batteries” .
The batteries fit into 11 sectors with 621 batteries each. A separate computer processor controls each sector to make sure all of the charging and discharging is handled smoothly. The Power Electronics Module (PEM) is a power inverter and charging system that converts DC power to AC power using 72 insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs). This results in a marked increase in power output compared to first-generation electric cars. Under peak acceleration, the batteries can crank out 200 kW of energy — enough to light 2,000 incandescent light bulbs.
In addition to controlling charge and discharge rates, the Power Electronics Module controls voltage levels, the motor’s RPM (revolutions per minute), torque and the regenerative braking system. This braking system captures the kinetic energy usually lost through braking and transfers it back into the ESS. The efficiency and integration of the battery, PEM and motor systems is between 85 and 95 percent, allowing the motor to put out up to 185 kW of power. Aluminum heat dissipation fins and a rear-mounted ventilation port keep the power transistors from overheating. Image © 2006 Tesla Motors, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Roadster’s charging port You can recharge the Roadster in two different ways. An electrician can install a recharging station in your garage. This 220-volt, 70-amp outlet allows for a full recharge in 3. 5 hours from a completely dead battery. Tesla likens charging your car to charging your cell phone; you can plug it in at night and have a fully-charged car in the morning. There’s also a mobile kit that allows recharging at any electrical outlet, no matter where you are. The length of time it takes to charge using the mobile kit depends on the outlet configuration that you’re using (110-volt or 220-volt).
Although auto owners have been driving around for decades with tankfulls of volatile, flammable gasoline in their cars, having 1,000 pounds of batteries behind their head gives some people pause. The recent recalls of lithium-ion batteries used in laptop computers have increased those fears. Tesla has gone to great lengths to ensure the safety of the Roadster’s energy system. First, the battery system was extensively “catastrophe tested,” which involved heating individual cells until they burst into flames. Each cell is isolated enough from adjacent cells to prevent any damage to them.
If one cell overheats, it will not start a chain reaction explosion. A host of sensors detects acceleration, deceleration, tilt, temperature and smoke. If one senses an abnormal event, like a crash, it immediately shuts down and disconnects the power system. Similar anti-fault protections and sensors are part of the charging system Tesla Roadster Motor and Other Features Tesla Motors and the Future of Electric Cars Nikola Tesla Eberhard named his new company after scientist, inventor and engineer Nikola Tesla. Tesla developed three-phase electric motors like the one used in the Tesla Roadster.
The Tesla Roadster and the Tesla company have an unusual history. The company has almost no connection to the traditional American auto industry, and its founder had no experience in the auto industry when he decided to create the world’s first high-performance electric car. Martin Eberhard and his business partner Marc Tarpenning founded a company based on a portable eBook reader. Frustrated at the mainstream auto industry’s inability to create an effective electric car that had mass appeal (he often refers to early electric cars as “punishment cars”), Eberhard decided to create one himself. Image courtesy Group Lotus PLC
The Tesla Roadster’s chassis is a heavily-modified version of the Lotus Elise chassis. Image © 2006 Tesla Motors, Inc. All rights reserved. Instead of creating an entire car and all its systems from scratch, Eberhard took advantage of outsourcing, which made the various elements easy to acquire. After netting $60 million in investment funds, (including over $30 million from Elon Musk, co-founder of PayPal), the new company chose a design from England-based Lotus. The Tesla-Lotus partnership works well for several reasons. Lotus’ Hethel, England facility is well suited to producing cars in small runs.
This allows Tesla to basically manufacture cars to order, rather than building thousands and spending money to warehouse the overstock. Also, the Tesla Roadster is based on the Lotus Elise — they look superficially similar and have the same basic chassis (though the Roadster’s chassis is heavily modified) and other parts. This added to the savings. While most of the Roadster’s parts and systems, such as the stereo, the brakes and the battery chargers are off-the-shelf, final assembly happens at Lotus facilities. Image © 2006 Tesla Motors, Inc. All rights reserved.
Tesla claims that the Roadster offers double the efficiency of popular hybrid cars, while generating one-third of the carbon dioxide. Are Electric Cars Finally the Next Big Thing? Tesla’s business plan recognizes that innovative technology is often very expensive and that the very rich are usually the first people to adopt it. Once prices come down, the technology can move down into the market. That’s why Tesla’s first car is a high-end sports car only made in limited numbers. However, Tesla has set its sights on a 2008 release of a four-door electric sedan (codenamed White Star).
The Roadster seems to be a success within its limited production numbers — the first 100 limited edition “Signature Series” Roadsters sold out, and the next run of 100 is ready for pre-orders. A fully-loaded Roadster will cost $100,000, with a $75,000 down payment required to reserve one. EV1, where are you? Image courtesy Sony Classics The GM EV1 The only other electric car to be widely marketed in the United States was GM’s EV1. Only available for lease, the ultra-aerodynamic car was efficient but didn’t look very appealing. It also suffered from mediocre performance.
Eventually, GM pulled all the EV1 leases and had all the remaining cars destroyed, even though there were waiting lists and people willing to sign liability waivers for the chance to buy one. Critics complained the GM only created the EV1 to satisfy certain emissions laws and cancelled the program as soon as the law changed, never putting much marketing force behind the car. A documentary called “Who Killed the Electric Car? ” charges that GM’s close ties with the oil industry led to a conspiracy to defeat electric car programs like the EV1.
Electric cars will probably always be more expensive than cars that use combustion engines. The savings comes when you look at its the fuel costs and environmental impact. An electric car has zero emissions and doesn’t add to pollution. Driving an electric car a mile costs a fraction of what it costs to drive a gas-powered car a mile. Critics rightly point out that the energy to power an electric car still comes from somewhere — in this case, a power plant that provides energy to the electrical grid. Shifting the source of the energy from oil to coal doesn’t necessarily make it any cleaner.
Tesla and other electric car proponents respond that electric cars are more efficient for several reasons. First, generating power at a power plant, even a coal power plant, is more efficient and creates less pollution than millions of small combustion engines creating the power. Plus, some of our electricity comes from cleaner power plants like hydroelectric plants, wind farms and solar cells. In an interview with Wired. com, Eberhard claimed that the energy in a gallon of gasoline could drive an electric car 110 miles.
Comparing average gas prices and electricity prices, the Roadster could go 150 miles for the price of one gallon of gas. Tesla reports twice the efficiency of even the greenest hybrid cars. For lots more information on the Tesla Roadster, Tesla Motors, electric cars and related topics, check out the links on the next page. Tesla Motors supporting for using the EV EV Incentives The Tesla Roadster qualifies for a $7,500 US federal tax credit*(acquired pre-2010 & acquired in 2010). As the owner of a zero-emissions Tesla, you may be entitled to a variety of state and local government incentives, depending on where you live.
We’ve put together a list of incentives to give you an idea of what’s available in your hometown. The Alternative Fuel and Advanced Vehicles Data Center (AFDC) is a good resource to keep up on the latest incentives. A couple of things you should know: Many of the incentives require that Tesla Motors certify the vehicle status as an alternative-fuel vehicle on a state-by-state basis. We’ve started this process, but it might take some time. Also, state incentives can be difficult to interpret and are subject to change. We recommend that you consult your local tax professional.
*Incentive is not currently applicable on Tesla leased vehicles. For Example : Incentive as applicable at California Tax Rebate CARB rebate of $5,000 for vehicles purchased/leased after March 15, 2010. Single Occupancy HOV Lane Electric car owners can use the state’s HOV lanes without meeting the occupancy restriction. Free parking available for EVs: Sacramento, LAX, San Jose, Hermosa Beach and Santa Monica. Reduced charging rates: Sacramento,Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Southern California Edison and PG&E San Joaquin Valley EV Incentive ($1000-$3000)
Reducing Dependence on Foreign Oil A Peaceful Solution to Oil Wars You need only open the morning paper to understand the importance — and urgency — of America‘s reduced reliance on foreign oil. The instability of the Middle East makes our 58% dependence on foreign oil a dangerous and costly proposition. Look even closer and you’ll see that the lion’s share of American oil use (nearly two-thirds of our consumption) is tied directly to transportation. If ever there was a time when a gasoline-free car was needed, that time is now. Breath of fresh air.
Electricity may be just one answer, but it’s an especially desirable one. As the universal currency of energy, it can be generated from coal, solar, wind, hydro, and nuclear sources — or a combination of all of them. No matter how or when the world changes, electricity can adapt, easily and safely. See more Environmental Benefits Zero Emissions Equals Zero Guilt The California electricity generation mix is already extremely clean (see below), but if you really want zero emissions, electric vehicles can be powered from 100 percent renewable energy.
You even can generate your own energy to fuel them by installing solar panels that last for decades. Good luck trying to drill an oil well in your back yard! Several Tesla Motors customers have already installed panels through our preferred solar installation partner, Solar City. Please contact them directly if you have questions about the feasibility of adding a solar option to your home. At least one of our customers has been running his home off of solar for years. To find out more, read his blog. Country reports-Information on happenings in the country in electric car businesses.
Current players in the country, future entrants. Government policies, incentives. The Chrysler will soon enter the Electric car market with the Fiat 500 platform developed as EV GM is developing Volt, though EREV (Extended Range Electric Vehicle), where the it will have battery range of 40 miles and once the battery comes to 30% of the charge then a small gasoline engine starts charging the battery, parallel it will supply charge to motors to keep car running whenever required. Up and Coming Electric Cars
Just as the major car companies were crushing their electric car programs in 2004 and 2005, the perfect storm was brewing on the horizon: Hurricane Katrina, growing acceptance of global warming, runaway Prius sales, oil price spikes, green marketing galore…The major auto companies went right back to the drawing board and emerged with big plans for electric cars. BMW Megacity BMW is working on a small electric car that could launch in 2012. The Megacity is a low-slung three-door four-seat hatchback coupe. The car is smaller than the Honda Fit, and will have a projected range of 100 miles.
The BMW Megacity, which could be sold either as a BMW or Mini, is not much more than a concept at this stage, but pressure on BMW to meet California’s zero emissions vehicle requirements might bring the car to life—albeit in small numbers. BYD E6 If China’s BYD can deliver on its big promises for the E6 all-electric crossover, then it could take the US by storm. (Investment guru Warren Buffet is betting that BYD will come through. ) Unlike the small city-oriented electric runabouts on slate from established carmakers, the E6 is a five-passenger wagon capable of carting a typical American family.
Moreover, the E6 has a range of 200 to 250 miles and boasts a 0 to 60 mph time of less than 10 seconds. Top speed is 100 mph. The vehicle can be fully charged in about 10 hours by plugging into a standard household outlet. BYD says that it takes only 10 minutes to charge to 50 percent capacity and 15 minutes to the 80 percent level. BYD has been in the battery business only since 1995, and started building cars in 2003. Considering that the company maintains an R&D department with 8,000 engineers, it’s not surprising that the initials BYD stand for “Build Your Dreams.
” BYD showed the E6 at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show along with its F3DM and F6DM plug-in hybrid sedans. It announced plans to sell the F6DM in the US within a few years, although it didn’t set a firm schedule for any of its electric-drive vehicle—probably wise, since the cars have not yet been certified for sale, and face questions on quality, crashworthiness, and equipment. Coda (Electric Sedan) Southern California automaker Coda Automotive announced plans to bring a new electric car to the US from China in 2010.
The all-electric sedan is based on an existing gas-powered four-door car, known as the Hafei Saibao 3, built in Harbin, China. Re-engineered with a lithium ion battery, the Coda sedan promises a driving range of 100 miles. The MSRP for the Coda sedan will be around $40,000. The scrappy California company may be the first start-up to offer a practical and affordable electric car to mainstream buyers. Ford Focus EV The Ford Focus EV, due out in late 2011, is the first electric car designed for the generic aisle of the dealership. Ford’s plans for the Focus EV are not aimed at buzz and sizzle.
Instead, the company is focused on addressing the biggest obstacle between EVs and the mainstream: cost. By choosing an existing platform—the Focus—and using technology developed by auto supplier Magna, Ford will save the expense associated with developing a unique design. The Ford Focus EV is targeted to have a range of 100 miles between charges, courtesy of a 23 kWh battery pack. Ford Transit Connect Electric With the introduction of the Ford Transit Connect Electric, unveiled at this week’s Chicago Auto Show, Ford may have produced the first green halo truck.
When you combine car-like driving dynamics, cargo capacity and accessibility with the the built-in marketing opportunities for small businesses to emblazon the large exterior panels with green slogans such as “Zero-Emissions” and “100 percent electric,” it makes for a compelling package. The vehicle has a 75 mile per hour top speed and can drive up to 80 miles on a charge—perfectly fine for the needs of a local delivery cycle. Mercedes BlueZero In late 2008, Mercedes-Benz unveiled its BlueZero concept vehicles—the core idea is to build electric, plug-in hybrid, and fuel-cell cars on a single platform.
Daimler had previously announced that its next generation FCV fuel cell cars will be built on a subcompact (B-class) chassis in 2010. Migrating to the BlueZero would only be a minor adjustment. Daimler’s future electric cars could also shift to the BlueZero—because the guts of its electric cars already fit in the smaller Smart and A-Class. Sharing platforms and technology architectures could allow Daimler to telescope development and production timelines, and save money on rolling out new electric models. At this stage, it’s still a concept. Mini E The limited edition Mini E car is based on the Mini Cooper platform.
The car’s 380-volt battery is comprised of 5,088 individual cells, and can be recharged using a standard 110-volt electrical outlet. The battery pack has a maximum capacity of 35 kilowatt hours. BMW will offer a specialized high-amp wall-mounted device that will allow a full replenishment of the battery in less than three hours. The Mini E will have a cruising range of 150 miles. Approximately 500 cars are slated for production and lease to select customers in Southern California and the New York area. Pricing, as well as production beyond the first 500 units, is not yet determined.
Mitsubishi iMiEV Mitsubishi began delivering the all-electric iMiev to Japanese customers in 2009. Production numbers are slowly ramping up from the current target of a few thousand per year. The small EV uses a single 47 kW motor and 16 kWh lithium ion batteries—to yield about 75 miles of range and a top speed of 80 miles per hour. The vehicle is a four-seater with a real but cramped back seat. Nissan Leaf Nissan is calling its new electric car—the Nissan Leaf—the “world’s first affordable, zero-emission car. ” And they could be right. Unveiled on Aug.
2, 2009, the Leaf is a medium-size all-electric hatchback that seats five adults and has a range of 100 miles. Pricing was not announced (although the company previously hinted at a price around $30,000. ) The Nissan Leaf’s closest comparable future all-electric car is the Ford Focus EV. The distinguishing characteristic between the two vehicles could be design—pitting the established look of the Ford Focus against the purpose-built Nissan Leaf, which will go on sale in late 2010. Pininfarina Blue Car Legendary Italian sports car designer Pininfarina will begin production of its small all-electric four-seat five-door Blue Car in 2010.
The Blue Car is powered by a 50 kW electric motor getting energy from a lithium polymer battery pack with 150 miles of range. The company began accepting reservations from European customers in spring 2009. The lease will be about $500 per month. The body of the car is designed as an elastic shell resting forcefully on the four wheels, providing more room than the average city car. Techno-goodies include solar panels on the roof, and the ability to use a smart phone to monitor battery state-of-charge, and to start AC or heat from a distance.
Pininfarina will start slow, only in Europe, and aim to ramp up production up to 60,000 units per year by 2015. Renault Fluence Patrick Pelata, executive vice president, said that the all-electric Renault Fluence will launch in 2011, starting with at least 20,000 units in the first year. (The gas-powered Fluence debuts in 2009. ) The company will produce a smaller compact electric car in the following year. No more details at this time, although its sister company Nissan will introduce its yet-to-be-named electric-only model also in 2012. That’s probably not a coincidence. Smart ED
Despite considerable media buzz for Daimler’s Smart ForTwo, microcars have not taken American roads by storm. Perhaps consumers may be more forgiving of the lack of size and power if the Smart is offered with an electric drive. The first models will likely go to Europe in about 2010. Availability in the US is uncertain. The car will provide 70 miles of range and 70 miles per hour on the freeway. Recharge time from 30 to 80 percent capacity is about three and a half hours. The gas version of the Smart ForTwo has earned low marks for handling, especially at higher speeds. Subaru R1E
The Achilles Heel of electric cars has been the limited range they can travel between charges. The Subaru R1e could help change that. The diminutive two-seater, about 20 inches longer than a Smart ForTwo, has a top speed of 65 miles per hour and a range of 50 miles. More importantly, the time to recharge the 346-volt lithium ion battery pack has been reduced to about 15 minutes. Here’s the hitch: To get the faster charging time, you need a special stationary charger. Using the onboard standard charger puts the electricity refueling time back to about eight hours. Toyota FT-EV
Toyota introduced the FT-EV electric concept at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show, hinting that it might offer an urban all-electric commuter vehicle in the next few years. The FT-EV concept shares its platform with the company’s Japanese and European minicar, the Toyota iQ. The iQ is larger than the quintessential minicar, the Smart Fortwo, but not by much. Its wheelbase is a little more than five inches longer, and on the whole, the car is only about a foot longer than the Smart—11. 4 inches to be exact. The electric version on display at the Detroit Auto Show, the Toyota FT-EV concept, offers driving range of 50 miles, according to Toyota.
The company is expected to launch 10 new hybrid gas-electric models globally by 2012, but has not made firm commitments to bring a full battery-electric car to market. Tesla Model S What makes the Model S so cool? First of all, the visual design is gorgeous. Second, it seats five—or seven if you count the two side-facing rear seats for small children. There are killer features, like the 17-inch touch screen that provides all of the vehicle’s interface components such as climate control and entertainment, but also offers 3G or wireless connectivity.
But most importantly, the Model S is way more affordable than the company’s $109,000 Tesla Roadster. The current price target for the Tesla Model S is $57,900 (minus a $7,500 federal tax credit)—still not in range for most mainstream buyers but moving in the right direction. The Model S is planned for release in late 2011. The following companies have announced intentions to produce electric vehicles, but have not discussed specific vehicle details: Volkswagen and Peugeot Citroen. Limited Run Electric Cars
Not content to follow the slow timelines from the major car companies, a number of entrepreneurs have taken the bold step of building mainstream highway-capable all-electric vehicles. The payoff could be big—but the logistical hurdles, such as federal highway crash testing, are daunting and very expensive. Those costs will get passed on to customers—those that are willing to wait for months or years for innovative companies to roll out models even in small quantities. The poster child of the independent electric car movement has been Tesla Motors.
When the company launched, it promised to reinvent the auto industry in the mold of a Silicon Valley start-up—and leave Detroit in its dust. After hitting a number of potholes—product delays, boardroom discord, and major operating losses—the company emerged looking good. An investment from Daimler, a $465 million government loan, and a potential IPO, add up to cash and momentum for the electric car start-up. Tesla Roadster The Tesla Roadster is a screaming-fast, all-electric two-seater sports car built on the frame of the Lotus Elise.
The specs, if they can be delivered, are impressive: 0 – 60 mph in less than four seconds, 135-mpg equivalent, 200-mile range, and a brilliant tech design that wires together nearly 7,000 mass-commodity rechargeable lithium batteries. The price? Just north of $100,000. While Tesla’s path to production hasn’t been as smooth as the Roadster’s power delivery, the company seems to be past the worst of its growing pains. The 2010 Tesla Roadster continues to earn praise for its acceleration—what Scientific America calls “an insane amusement park ride. ” The company has delivered nearly 1,000 Roadsters to date (as of November 2009).
Th! nk City Th! nk—formerly owned by Ford—had big plans to become a leader in the emerging EV market in the United States. Those plans fell short, as the company moved to the brink of bankruptcy in late 2008. In an extraordinary rescue effort, Ener1—the parent company of battery-maker EnerDel—and other investors revived small-scale production of the vehicle in Finland. They now have plans to produce as many as 60,000 units per year in the US, probably in Indiana where EnerDel makes lithium ion batteries. Before falling into a financial crisis, the company was on its sixth generation of the Th!
nk City, a $28,000 two-seater car with a maximum speed of 65 miles per hour—and a driving range of about 120 miles. Recharge time is about four hours. Volvo C30 Electric Volvo’s conservative approach is apparent in the Volvo C30 EV, the all-electric four-seat concept sedan unveiled at the 2010 Detroit auto show. At first glance, the stats may seem unimpressive: a range of about 90 miles, acceleration from 0-60 mph in 11 seconds, a top speed of about 80 miles per hour, and a leisurely eight hours to recharge the 24 kilowatt-hour battery pack from 220-volt household outlet.
Volvo could push these numbers further or race to bring the car to market faster, but it isn’t. Instead, the company is slowing down and chilling out—and making sure that customers’ expectations are met. In 2011, Volvo will build and test a fleet of 50 C30 EVs. Within the Limited Run category, a number of companies are converting existing gas-engine models into electric vehicles: The eBox Your first stop in buying AC Propulsion’s eBox is a visit to your local Scion dealer to purchase a 5-speed Scion xB wagon, for about $15,000. Or AC Propulsion will coordinate the purchase of an xB near their San Dimas, Calif.
headquarters. Then, their engineers will remove the internal combustion engine and related components, and install AC Propulsion’s electric drive and battery system composed of more than 5,000 small cells. The cost of conversion will add another $55,000 to the purchase price. The company expects to build about 20 to 25 eBoxes a year. Also, limited runs of the following all-electric sports car are extremely limited: the UEV Spyder, Mullen L1x-75, UK’s Lightning and the Venturi Fetish, selling for about $75,000, $125,000, $200,000 and $300,000 respectively.
Low-Speed and Three-Wheel Electric Cars Aptera 2e The arduous road to delivering a new highway-speed electric vehicle to the market can be bypassed in two primary ways: limiting the electric vehicle to three wheels (so it can be legally classified as a motorcycle) or limiting the vehicles legal top speed to 25 miles per hour (so it can avoid highway crash testing). Those strategies lower the “barrier to entry,” opening the gates to scores of fledgling companies offering some mighty funky machines. It’s a long list, so we’ll keep our descriptions to a minimum.
We’ve also eliminated companies that do not provide a base-level of information about products and prices—and products not directly selling in North America. Aptera 2e Winner of the funkiest EV design award, the Aptera 2e (formerly Type-1), looks like a cross between a motorcycle and ultralight single-occupant airplane. Built near San Diego, and selling for approximately $27,000, the Aptera 2e is competing in the Automotive X Prize competition. Thousands of potential buyers paid a $500 refundable deposit in anticipation of production scheduled for late 2008, and then delayed a few more times.
Only time will tell if the company can deliver to its loyal fans. http://www. aptera. com Bad Boy Buggies Bubba Kaiser and Joe Palermo of Natchez, Miss. developed the Bad Boy Buggy as a hunting tool. The $10,000 off-road all-electric vehicle takes advantage of an EV’s quietness to creep up on prey. (The Los Angeles Times quips that the Bad Boy Buggy is an electric vehicle that even Sarah Palin could love. ) The vehicle maxes out at 20 miles per hour with 35 miles per charge—but it travels on all terrains.
The 1,650-pound Buggy uses lead-acid batteries to turn two 13-horsepower motors with 130 foot-pounds of torque, giving it a payload of 1,000 pounds to haul off your kill. The entry level model sells for about $10,000 and a stretch version goes for $11,500. The buggy comes in four color choices–green, red, black and camouflage. http://www. badboybuggies. com/ BG C100 Barry Bernstein, a steel wholesaler from Philadelphia, founded BG Automotive Group with the dream of building an affordable electric car in the United States.
The chassis and body of the BG C100 are currently imported from the Far East, with the rest of the components coming from US suppliers. Assemble also in America. The current neighborhood electric model, the BG C100, is imported from Asia. The C100 promises a driving range of 60 to 80 miles from a pack of eight lead acid batteries. The four door, five-passenger hatchback—available from $16,000 to $18,000 depending on the option package—comes with dual airbags, climate control, CD stereo, power doors/windows, an iPhone docking station on the dash, and 100-percent money guarantee.
The first models are expected to ship in May 2009. http://www. bgelectriccars. com/ Dynasty IT Dynasty Electric Car Company, formerly based in British Columbia, Canada, offers five different variants of its low-speed electric vehicle, including a sedan, mini pick-up, van and two open-air versions. The “IT,” which has a range of about 30 miles and a top speed of about 30 miles per hour, sells for approximately $20,000. In May 2008, the company was purchased by Pakistani automaker Karakoram Motors. http://www. itiselectric. com Flybo or XFD-6000ZK The electric Chinese Smart Car knock-off, measuring just 102.
3 inches long on a 71-inch wheelbase, has a reported top speed of 45 mph and a range of 70 miles. Articles on the web say that this neighborhood electric vehicle comes up short on build quality, and is not recommended for winter use. The rear-wheel-drive Flybo, primarily marketed towards gated communities, has a price tag around $10,000. GEM Global Electric Motorcars (GEM), a Chrysler corporation, is the granddaddy of neighborhood electric vehicle companies. GEM offers approximately six models, ranging in price from about $7,000 to $13,000, and primarily sells to resorts, universities and retirement communities.
GEM models aren’t the most exciting, but they’re here now and they work! http://www. gemcar. com Kurrent The Kurrent, an electric car originally designed in Italy, was being produced in small quantities by American Electric Vehicle in Ferndale, Michigan. The car continues to be made in Italy, but according to EVFinder. com, US production has stopped. The vehicle uses lead acid batteries to deliver a range of about 40 miles. The price of the Kurrent was competitive with GEM products at approximately $10,000—but offers more “amenities,” such as windshield wipers, doors, headlights, seatbelts and a trunk. www.
getkurrent. com Myers NmG The Myers NmG is a funky, single-occupant three-wheeled electric vehicle made by Myers Motors in Tallmadge, Ohio. The “personal electric vehicle,” which features two wheels in the front and one in the back is $36,000. It uses thirteen 12-volt, lead acid batteries that can be charged through a standard 110-volt outlet. Six to eight hours of charging will carry you approximately 30 miles. www. myersmotors. com Reva / G-Whiz The Indian Reva Electric Car Company wants to bring environmentally responsible motoring across the globe. The company is set to launch its next electric vehicle in 2009.
The new version promises 75 miles per charge—a boost of 25 miles from the switch to lithium ion batteries and the addition of roof-mounted solar panels. The company is eyeing a sales target of 4,000 vehicles, about half of which will be exported. It is also building a new assembly plant in Bangalore, India with a capacity of 30,000 units per year. The current model, REVAi, is marketed in the UK as G-Whiz. There are more than 2,000 Reva electric cars already on the roads in London and Bangalore, with a distribution network being built up across Europe, South America and parts of Asia. Tango T600
The Tango T600 electric car, from Commuter Cars in Spokane, Wash. , is 102 inches long and only 39 inches wide. In other words, it’s as tall as most conventional cars, not quite as long, but only half the size from side to side. That means driver in front and passenger in back—like a tandem bicycle. The price exceeds $100,000. (Note: Technically, the Tango T600 is a highway-capable four-wheel vehicle; however, the vehicle’s size limits its practicality. ) www. commutercars. com VentureOne The Venture One $20,000 three-wheeled, two-seater tilt-a-whirl motorcycle-car gizmo is expected in 2009.
The fully electric version, featuring two in-wheel 20 kW electric motors and a 17 kWh lithium ion battery pack, delivers approximately 120 miles on a single charge. Plug-in hybrid versions are also in the works from Venture Vehicles in Los Angeles. www. flytheroad. com ZAP Xebra The ZAP Xebra sedan will never be described as luxurious, smooth, or extremely well built—but unlike much of the competition in the electric car market, it’s real, affordable, and available. For about $12,000, you can bring home the Chinese-built all-electric four-seater and begin enjoying the benefits of a zero-emissions vehicle.
The Xebra is the least expensive three-wheel road-ready electric vehicle on our list. www. zapworld. com ZENN Car Made in St-Jerome, north of Montreal, the ZENN is a neighborhood electric vehicle with a range of approximately 35 miles and a full recharge time of 8 to 9 hours from a conventional electrical outlet. A base-level ZENN—no air conditioning or radio—sells for approximately $13,000 or with AC for about $15,000. The company has future plans to launch a high-speed model called the cityZENN, offering 80 mph top speed and 250-mile range.
ZENN headquarters are in Toronto. www. zenncars. com Discontinued and Rare Electric Cars The most promising recent period for electric vehicles was the 1990s—at least it seemed so at the time. In September 1990, the California Air Resources Board mandated that 2 percent of all new cars sold by major automakers in California would be “zero emission” vehicles by 1998—growing to 10 percent by 2003. That sent automakers scrambling to produce electric vehicles for the mass market. Obviously, things didn’t work out as planned.
(See “Who Killed the Electric Car” for details. ) Very few units were ever produced, and nearly all of them were destroyed. The remaining units are extremely hard to find and very expensive. RAV4 EV From 1997 to 2003, Toyota made approximately 1,500 all-electric versions of its popular RAV4 model. From the outside, the RAV4 EV looks the same as a gasoline version of the vehicle, and has all the versatility of a small utility vehicle. The top speed is approximately 80 miles per hour—with a range of about 100 miles, and a full recharge time of five hours.
Most of the vehicles were destroyed, but miraculously, Toyota allowed 328 RAV4 EVs to be sold. The suggested retail price, at the time, was $42,000. A rare used RAV4 EV can sell these days for $70,000 or more. EV1 Time Magazine named it one of the 50 worst cars of all time, but the customers who leased the EV1 had a quasi-religious devotion to the zippy two-seater. General Motors made fewer than 1,000 EV1s by the time the company canceled production, claiming that demand was too limited for a two-seater with a range of about 120 miles, and a recharge time of approximately eight hours.
GM crushed nearly every single EV1, so even its biggest devotees cannot find a used EV1 to purchase. Honda EV Plus The Honda EV Plus was a two-door model, but could seat four. Driving range was approximately 100 miles. Only about 300 EV Plus units were made and sold—and the purchase price was a hefty $53,000. Most were destroyed, leaving a non-existent market for the vehicle. Ford Electric Ranger Ford produced the Electric Ranger from 1998 to 2002. Most of the 1,500 units were leased to fleets, although a handful of vehicles were sold to individuals. Nearly all leases were terminated between 2003 and 2005.
Ford made a few Ford Electric Rangers using nickel metal hydride batteries, which yielded 65 miles in range. Most used lead acid batteries, with a more limited range. The rare used Ford Electric Ranger has appears on eBay for anywhere between $10,000 and $25,000. Nissan Altra The Nissan Altra was produced between 1998 and 2002—although only about 200 vehicles were made. By appearances, the Nissan Altra EV looked like a regular mid-sized station wagon. The Altra offered ample cargo room and numerous amenities, such as power mirrors and windows, keyless entry, and four-wheel anti-lock brakes.
Top speed for the Nissan Altra was 80 mph, and it could travel about 100 miles between charges. Chevrolet S-10 Electric Fewer than 500 Chevy S10 Electric vehicles were produced. Range was 90 miles. Most were leased to fleets (and subsequently destroyed), but approximately 60 were sold and could appear in auctions. (Photo by Mike Weston. ) Chrysler Epic Electric Minivan Chrysler released the all-electric no-frills Chrysler Epic minivan in 1998. The acronym EPIC stands for Electric Powered Interurban Commuter. Driving range was approximately 80 miles, with recharge times of four to five hours.
Performance was modest, with a 0 – 60 mph time of 16 seconds. Phoenix Motorcars SUT (Sport Utility Truck) Phoenix Motorcars, based in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. , had big plans to shake up the EV world, but fell short and finally sputtered into Chapter 11 in April 2009. Its fate is undetermined but the prospects are not high. The company had planned to use engine-less vehicles supplied by Ssangyong, Korea’s fourth largest automaker, as the basis for its electric vehicle line in the US. (Ssangyong doesn’t sell cars in the United States). Analysts
questioned Phoenix’s business model for years and its capacity to deliver a $45,000 SUT in any quantities. It now appears that the few models that were produced will become collector’s items. Solectria Force In the early 1990s, the Solectria Corporation of Wilmington, Massachusetts (now Azure Dynamics Corporation), managed to convert about 400 Geo Metros into an electric vehicle called the Solectria “Force. ” Top speeds are about 70 mpg, and 13 12-volt lead acid cells provide about 40 miles of range. Market demand and forecast. The Electric Car Market: Not Fully Charged
Large and niche automakers alike are declaring the electric car the vehicle of the future. But it’s unlikely that many drivers will be plugging them in soon A man shows the usage of a RWE charging device for a SMART electric car at the Frankfurt auto show. Miguel Villagran/Getty Images By Moira Herbst SPECIAL REPORT Story Tools At the Frankfurt Auto Show this month, electric cars are the new black. Everyone from BMW (BMWG. DE) to an Atlanta startup called Wheego Electric Cars is trotting out an electric model or two, boasting of their ample features and unique promise.
But beyond the hip music and snazzy displays, electric cars face some sobering realities that make them vehicles of the future rather than of the present. The biggest issues are price and usability. Costly batteries put these cars out of reach for most consumers, and infrastructure isn’t currently in place to allow owners to plug in and charge up cars when they’re away from home. Add to that speed and range limitations with electric technology, and it’s clear the electric future won’t come overnight.
That doesn’t mean there isn’t cause for excitement about electric cars, which offer the possibility of zero-emissions driving for a potentially large number of city dwellers. It does mean, though, that consumers will have to be patient. “There are a lot of questions to be solved, and of course it will take a few years,” says Stefan Bratzel, head of the Center of Automotive Research Institute in Bergisch-Gladbach, Germany. “Nevertheless, it’s a major trend in the auto industry, and one can speak about a technology paradigm change. ” Renault Gambles Big on Plug-ins
Some companies are fully embracing such a shift, but analysts caution it’s a risky strategy. At the Frankfurt show, Renault (RENA. PA) introduced four electric vehicles it intends to bring to full production by 2012. The company is hoping to become the world leader in sales of electric vehicles, as Chairman Carlos Ghosn announced at the Frankfurt show on Sept. 15. Renault boldly forecasts that electric cars will make up 10% of the world market by 2020, but that’s way beyond other estimates: Researcher IHS Global Insight (IHS), for instance, currently predicts that electric vehicles will account for just 0.
6% of total industry volume in 2020, with an additional 0. 7% coming from plug-in hybrid vehicles. “Renault is taking a big gamble with its electric vehicle strategy,” says IHS Global Insight auto analyst Tim Urquhart. Renault’s bet, he says, will either succeed and “accelerate the wide-scale commercialization of electric passenger cars or [it] may leave Renault struggling to market and commercialize technology for which the customer has limited enthusiasm. ” Other companies are making substantial investments while remaining opaque on strategy amid an uncertain market.
BMW is investing $1 billion in a scheme called Project i that will create a line of small cars for urban drivers including an electric-powered version. But CEO Norbert Reithofer wouldn’t say when BMW will take its first mass-produced electric car to market. “This product will come; it’s a serious product,” he assured BusinessWeek on Sept. 15 at the Frankfurt show. S Korea sees potential boom in electric vehicles market 08:40, March 18, 2010 Increases the bookmark The advent of electric vehicles (EV) has long been welcomed as the world auto-industry’s answer to global warming.
South Korea’s auto-sector has been no exception– it bodes well with the country’s ‘low carbon, green growth’ policy too– as local government and automakers have come to envision this fledgling industry as a ‘blue ocean’ market. Pushed by the government’s recent enactment of a new law allowing commercial, low-speed EVs on designated driveways from March 30, South Korea’s electric car industry is showing early progress that may prove to be fruitful in the foreseeable future. The world’s fourth largest EV market by 2015
Last week, the South Korean government reaffirmed its goal of becoming the world’s fourth largest EV market by 2015. Under the plan, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy launched a forum to strategize development of green cars, where more than 500 government officials, auto experts, and industry members will share ideas on expanding the market for hybrid and electric cars, while also easing restrictions on the manufacturing side. The announcement was an extension from last year’s grand plan that includes an investment of 400 billion won (342.
6 million U. S. dollars) by 2014 on research and development for high-performance batteries and other related systems. That plan calls for all-electric vehicles to comprise 10 percent of domestic sales of small-size cars by 2020, while capturing 10 percent of the global market for zero-emission plug- in cars by 2015–which will put South Korea fourth among the world ‘s largest EV markets. The ministry said its initial target is to put one million electric cars in the local market, where they project an annual estimated savings of 429 million U. S.
dollars in energy imports and a reduction of three million tons of carbon emissions per year. Underscoring the significance of developing environment- friendly cars to achieve green growth and economic growth, Choi Kyung-hwan, the minister of knowledge economy, told a press conference, “Countries now see the development of environment- friendly cars as a necessity, not a choice. ” Local auto-makers jumping on the move Electric cars to debut in the South Korean market later this month are only low-speed EVs, or Neighborhood Electric Vehicles ( NEV), that run at a maximum speed of 60 km per hour.
The current market leader in NEVs is CT&T, a South Korean company established by former Hyundai Motor employees, which specializes in EV production. CT&T started churning out its “E-Zone” model from a couple years ago, as it shipped more than 38,000 units to Japan and the United States last year, and its domestic production is expected to grow following Tuesday’s announcement to build a local assembly line capable of producing 10,000 EVs per year, with revenues projected to reach 10 billion won (8. 8 million U. S. dollars) annually.
Samyang Optics, an optical instruments maker, has signed a deal with U. S. -based electric vehicle maker, ZAP, under which ZAP will transfer its EV production technologies to the South Korean brand. ZAP will also be in charge of EV sales in South Korea as it will help Samyang build a local plant as well. High-speed EVs, however, are expected to be out in the market by 2011 at the earliest, as local carmakers including Hyundai-Kia, Samsung-Renault, and GM Daewoo have all announced its plans to commercialize their products by then.
In the meantime, the Seoul Metropolitan Government has been quick to implement NEVs, as a total of 35 vehicles will be deployed on a trial basis this year to fire departments, patrol officers, and parking management, with further plans to use them during the G20 meeting to transfer participants. South Korea’s capital city, in cooperation with the state- funded Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), has also introduced the world’s first “On-line Electric vehicle (OELV)” last week, which charges its electricity from power strips built 5cm underground while running.
The Seoul City Hall said it expects to apply the new technology to city buses from as early as next year, after trial operations, with plans of switching all buses and taxis to ‘green-cars’ by 2020. Remaining problems Industry experts point to the lack of institutionalized road laws that specifically apply to EVs and the high cost of purchasing a single vehicle, at around 20 million won (17,700 U. S. dollars), as major factors slowing the growth of the EV market. In response, the country has come up with a number of government incentives including tax deduction and parking discounts to help the industry, but many view it as insufficient.
“To really reach the mainstream audience in South Korea, the cost of the vehicle has to be dropped and a number of issues regarding safety measures, road laws, and charging stations must be solved as well,” Kim Gyung-yu of the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade (KIET) told Xinhua. Also, the new law to be in effect from March 30 allowing low- speed EVs to run on local driveways requires local administrators to designate EV driving areas, but they have been slow to respond due to the slow speed of the NEVs, offering not much incentive for new EV drivers.
Kim said EVs will first be used in limited areas, such as patrol officers or food deliveries, before seeing a real boom in the mainstream audience. “Once these problems are solved, the future may be a lot more promising,” Kim said June 5, 2009 An overview of the electric car market Filed under: Electric Cars — Tags: Electric Cars, hybrid cars — moveforward @ 8:54 am Do we have the power yet? In this age of green policies and quests to save the environment the subject of electric cars is something which has become more and more central to more and more governments around the world. While many people may believe that
electric cars are a fairly new addition to the worldwide transport sector you may be surprised to learn that the electric car is one of the oldest vehicle designs in the world and has a history which goes back to the 1830s. However, there are many issues to cover with regards to the electric car market, why it has not taken off as yet, what is holding it back and what the future holds. A brief history of the electric car market Scottish businessman Robert Anderson has the mantle of inventing the first electric car and while the exact date of his invention is unclear it appears that happened between 1832 and 1839.
While this was one of the more crude electric carriage vehicles it set about chain of events which has seen the electric car take centre stage in the 21st century. While Anderson was the first to officially invent an electric car there were also other designs released to the market in the 1830s with Prof Sibrandus Stratingh of Holland another inventor who made his mark at a very early stage. However, it was not until American designer Thomas Davenport and Scotsman Robert Davidson stepped into the breach in 1842 that the sector really began to take shape.
These inventors were the first to use non-rechargeable electric cells or batteries as we know them today. The oil market There are many factors which came together to increase the use of petrol powered cars which included the discovery of significant oil fields around the world, which saw the price of oil fall and become more affordable to the masses. With oil apparently in plentiful supply in the 1900s we saw the development of worldwide car companies such as Ford, and the like, who channelled all of their investment funding into the petrol and gasoline car market.
Political issues There is a general feeling that governments around the world, keen to stamp their authority on the worldwide transportation sector, were very positive on oil and fairly negative on the use of electric cars in their local markets. The use of oil-based fuel created a significant income stream for governments around the world, through taxation and oil sales, and also created a vehicle industry which would go on to employ millions of people around the world.
As the supply of oil came under more and more scrutiny, with fewer and fewer oilfields discovered on regular basis, many governments around the world turned to immature technologies which they could use as a new tax income stream for the future. Many people would be surprised to know how advanced the electric car market is today although there is still limited visibility in many markets around the world and still a significant bias towards oil-based fuel vehicles. The environment
As it became more and more apparent that harm to the environment, green issues and greater fuel efficiency were factors dominating the minds of many voters around the world it did not take governments too long to realise the potential for votes. As a consequence, each and every political party around the world now has “green issues” which they use to attract the attention of voters and ultimately increase their potential support base. However, many people believe that the various summits which have received worldwide attention appear to pay lip service to the issue of electric cars with very little follow-through.
Indeed the UK government recently introduced a car scrappage system which had been targeted at more efficient fuel systems such as electric cars, but it now appears as though no cars are currently in production which fit the criteria and as such the vast majority of scrapped cars are being replaced by more efficient oil-based fuel vehicles. Was this a missed chance? The problem of distance When the electric car market began to evolve in the 1800s there were literally no national transport networks in the vast majority of countries around the world therefore short distance travel was all that was on offer.
This allowed the use of fairly basic electric cars such as those invented in the 1830s but as transport networks began to grow it became wholly apparent that oil fuel based vehicles held a significant advantage over electric cars. While there have been significant improvements in electric car technology over the last few years, many people are still concerned about the distances these cars can travel before they need to be “recharged”.
However, there is a train of thought suggesting that governments around the world are still holding back on promotion of the electric car industry in order to squeeze the last drops of revenue from the declining worldwide oil market. Hybrid vehicles As the slow shift from oil fuel based vehicles towards electric vehicles continues to evolve we have seen the introduction of a number of hybrid vehicles which have both an electric power source as well as a traditional combustion engine. This allows the use of oil-based fuel and electric power from one vehicle with the driver able to switch between the two at appropriate points in their journey.
Even though the hybrid system is very much a “halfway house” between electric cars and oil fuel-based cars there has been some difficulty in encouraging consumer acceptance. When this stigma is removed once and for all this will be a significant weight off the back of the electric car industry and potentially open up the sector to more development, more investment and ultimately more demand from consumers. Conclusion There have been a number of false dawns regarding the electric car market over the decades and centuries although there appears to be a significant shift towards this particular area of late.
Governments around the world are seeing their oil-based income “dry up” and are looking towards new, more fuel-efficient transportation vehicles. It will be interesting to see how governments around the world balance their need for income, to fund government activities, against the well-being of environment. Many people believe this is the argument that has held back the development of electric cars for many years with a number still sceptical that government policies have changed for the better for consumers. The Truth about High Cost EVs and their Market Potential
by Ron Cogan 02/21/2010 Recent outreach from an electric vehicle advocacy group sought to dispel 10 popular myths about electric vehicles. As long-time supporters of electric cars, we’re on board with all of them with the exception of one, which logic just can’t allow to go unchallenged. This one addressed the ‘myth’ that plug-ins are too expensive for market penetration. It’s an onion of a myth, really, and peeling back just the surface layer with easy answers is not an honest approach. So let’s take this a layer at a time.
The ‘facts’ offered to dispel the myth are thus: New technologies are typically costly, and we’re reminded to recall when cell phones and DVDs were first introduced. We’re told that ‘the purchase and lifetime operating cost of an EV is on par with, or less than, a gas powered equivalent because EVs require little maintenance or repair, no oil changes, no tune-ups, and no smog checks. ’ And, of course, the government stimulus package includes a $2,500 to $7,500 tax credit for EVs and PHEVs, with some states like California and Texas also considering incentives up to $5,000.
We do remember when cell phones were bigger than a brick and about as easy to carry. The very first ones cost about four grand. Most people didn’t buy one until they were a lot, lot less. DVD players were also costly when introduced with their price of entry in the $700 range. The point is that they started out expensive and over time evolved into affordable mass market products. It’s prudent to point out that neither has anything to do with cars, which are more creatures of necessity for modern life than mere enabling technologies for communications or entertainment.
And cars, unlike consumer electronics, are expensive by nature and represent the second largest purchase most of us will ever make. It’s true that conventional operating costs will be less. With fewer moving parts and an energy-efficient drivetrain that makes the most of electric power, that’s a no-brainer. However, this assumption ignores the most high-profile maintenance item of a battery powered car – the eventual replacement of an electric car’s battery pack, which is likely to land in the same financial ballpark as replacing a transmission or engine.
Plus, there’s the cost of installing a 220-volt home charger. Identifying the availability of thousands of dollars in tax incentives as proof that battery powered cars are no more expensive than their conventional counterparts is disingenuous. They are more expensive. It’s just that at this point in time, the federal government is subsidizing the cost to make them more approachable in the early years of commercialization. There will come a time when sizable incentives are no longer offered, and when this time comes we’d better hope that battery costs have come down …
way down. Otherwise the lack of this incentive will be glaring and obvious on the bottom line. To achieve real market penetration at mass market numbers, what electric drive vehicles must ultimately do is sell on their merits, appealing to buyers with desired features and functionality at a price they can afford. Nissan intends to do this by leasing the battery separately from the car. GM did this before by subsidizing the lease cost of its EV1 electric car. Innovation and creativity – not smoke and mirrors – will be required.
Shimizu established the Sim-Drive Corp. venture in August with others who believe in the cars’ potential, including Soichiro Fukutake, chairman of publisher Benesse Co. “I’ve been developing EVs for 30 years and have always thought they would someday become widespread,” said Shimizu, who has created nine electric vehicles in that span. “It has become a time when we can do something by establishing a company. ” By using Shimizu’s three decades of research, the venture firm plans to provide electric drive technologies to car manufacturers.
Shimizu, for instance, has developed a system in which the motor is mounted to hubs — instead of occupying an engine compartment and requiring a mechanical drivetrain linkage — thus freeing up a lot of space above the frame. Shimizu’s company is part of a surge in ventures looking to tap the potential of the electric vehicle market. With Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama’s ambitious pledge to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020 from 1990 levels, it has become imperative that Japan aggressively pursue green technologies.
Enter the electric vehicle, which emits no carbon dioxide, except when being charged, and looms as an alternative for gasoline-powered cars. Tokyo-based Auto EV Japan Co. , which sells the Girasole electric compact, and Tesla Motors Inc. , a Silicon Valley venture founded in 2003, entered the EV market in the early days. Newcomers face a hard time breaking into the conventional car market because the auto giants and their affiliated parts makers have well-established production infrastructure and distribution systems.
Electric vehicles, however, can offer opportunities to startups and nonautomotive battery makers because there aren’t yet any leading players in the field. Also, the component infrastructure is not as demanding because EVs run on battery-powered motors. But major carmakers are exploring the potential of electric vehicles, and thus ventures may have a tough time competing down the road. “It is important for carmakers to produce vehicles that are comfortable and user-friendly. Existing carmakers lead in these areas, so new and venture firms are at a disadvantage.
They will have to build up their experience,” said researcher Masahiro Fukuda of Fourin Inc. , which studies the world’s car industry. Fukuda is head of the department that studies Japan’s automotive market. Major carmakers are already in the EV game. Mitsubishi Motors Corp. is aggressively marketing its first electric car, the i-MiEV. Nissan Motor Co. is meanwhile upping the ante, preparing to debut its first electric model, the Leaf, in the latter half of fiscal 2010. “We’ve positioned electric cars as one of the pillars for our business,” MMC President Osamu Masuko said in June.
Toyota Corp. , which leads the hybrid car market, plans to sell EVs in the U. S. by 2012. According to a report compiled in May by Tokyo-based market researcher Fuji-Keizai Group, EV production will amount to 135,000 units in 2020, compared with 3,000 in 2010. It will take until 2025 or later for the market to reach maturity, because infrastructure, including charging stations, and battery technology won’t be fully developed until then. Despite such figures, experts doubt electric vehicles will become the mainstay mode of transportation in the foreseeable future.
“We don’t know (how widely consumers will embrace EVs) because the current economy is based on the production of gasoline,” said Manabu Takeoka, director of management of Takeoka Auto Craft, based in Toyama Prefecture. Takeoka’s firm began developing electric vehicles in 1995 and currently produces and sells small ones. His firm produces about 80 annually. To expand the market, he said there needs to be more benefits and incentives to encourage consumers to switch from gasoline-fueled cars. People will purchase EVs if, for instance, they don’t have to pay for parking or are exempt from car-related taxes, Takeoka said.
He points to London as a model, where drivers of gasoline-powered cars must pay an extra tax when entering the city while EV users don’t. Technology and vehicle capability still must be improved, said Fukuda of Fourin, adding that EVs generally have less range per charge than gasoline-fueled cars on a full tank. “Carmakers are researching not only electric vehicles, but also other environmentally friendly cars, including fuel-cell vehicles,” Fukuda said. “I think they are still wondering what type of car they should focus on.
” Despite this kind of skepticism, Sim-Drive’s Shimizu remains a true believer. He says the key for EVs to expand is whether carmakers, big-name or not, actually start mass production. That has yet to happen. Once electric vehicles come roaring off assembly lines, they will become price competitive with gasoline-fueled cars, and their operating costs will be less because the price of electricity is about a 10th that of gasoline, Shimizu said “From inefficient to efficient, clumsy to handy and complex to simple, there is a flow of technology.
When thinking about that, the shift will be to electric,” said Shimizu. “Looking at transitions of technologies in the past, when the technology improves (in a certain field), the market becomes drastically bigger. So I think both (existing carmakers and new players) can survive, and this is based on the premise that the market will be larger. ” Overall market trend under different scenarios.
The high price EVs have let them be slow movers in the Market, but some manufacturers are determined to turn the situation around, Tesla has taken high performance route to justify the high price, Nissans Leaf EV strategic pricing of $ 25000 indicates that that price war on EVs is not far away, also these efforts from likes of Nissan and GM will certainly accelerate the adoption of EVs on Mass scale, the Government will need to get into action to make the supportive infrastructure available, the Battery industry and the EV manufacturing industry needs to put capacities as some experts feel that the EV boom will fall sort of supply.
Developed countries having surplus Electricity capacity which is wasted in the low demand hours can reduce energy wastage as EVs utilization (Charging) goes higher. The Vehicle to Grid momentum can accelerate with more and more EVs on road and will make the EVs operating economy far better than predicted as V2G may prove to be earning source, which will make EVS more acceptable. But it all depends on the bringing the cost down of EVs, Battery packs etc.
the current estimates are ranging between 5% to 10% of the cars will be replaced by EVs by 2020 and 20% by 2050 which says that the potential is enough to make efforts to be first mover for few manufacturers But it also suggest that the dependence on fossil fuel will continue and the current manufacturers can continue with Gasoline and Diesel fuels to sustain in the market. For a while yet, all electric cars will be way too expensive.
The i-MiEV will run roughly $30,000 to $40,000, or about twice what a gas-powered version would. A Tesla costs $110,000 to start. Although the Leaf’s price at $25,000, the battery pack will likely be leased separately, and the real price might be closer to $40,000 before tax-credit discounts. That’s for a car that is basically a $15,000 Hertz economy unit with a $25,000 battery pack. Wouldn’t you rather buy it with a $1200 gasoline engine instead?
One that can be fully refueled in five minutes instead of eight hours? Most people would. Consider one problem with massive electrification: A mammoth global industrial complex supremely efficient at producing 50-to-60-million light vehicles with internal-combustion engines every year would have to be largely scrapped, replaced by one comparatively clueless about making cars with electric motors and batteries. Such huge, entrenched efficiencies don’t go away quietly.
Even hybrids, for all the praise they receive, currently amount to less than five percent of monthly U. S. new car sales. This is not a take rate that encourages automakers to scrap their massive investment in the development and production of internal-combustion engines. Electric vehicles face a classic chicken-and-poached-egg conundrum: Low volumes ensure that the price of electric-vehicle components, from batteries to transformers to drive motors, will remain prohibitively high.
In turn, that depresses demand, which then discourages automakers from committing billions to developing dedicated electric-vehicle platforms; such dedicated platforms would better demonstrate an EV’s full potential than today’s meager offerings, which are all derived from existing production-car architecture. Men and women might be strolling on Mars before the industry can build an electric car that is price competitive with a petroleum burner. And that’s if it can do it at all.
Battery technology is the major choke point, still awaiting the gotta-have-it breakthrough that will allow electrics to achieve the kind of cost-to-performance ratio required by the mainstream. Rolled up in barrel-shaped cells or, better yet, laid out in sheets where the voltage-sapping heat can be better dispelled, lithium ion is today’s “it” chemistry. Lithium ion offers high power density, manageable operating temperatures, and easy rechargeability. Lithium is, to use the parlance, so hot right now.
However, lithium’s development into useful battery material has been—and continues to be—glacially slow, taking the past 40 years to reach a weight-cost-power ratio that is still just a dim flicker compared with that of oil-based fuels. And we can only expect an 8-to-10-percent increase in storage capacity—and commensurate drop in cost—per year. Besides, batteries aren’t like fuel tanks; they can’t be topped off full or drained of the last drop. To ensure battery longevity, they can’t be fully charged or fully discharged, leaving the top and bottom 25 percent or so of charge capacity as a sort of necessary usage.
That means you’re paying for—and lugging around—battery capacity that can’t be used. It’s expensive capacity, too. The latest estimates put one kilowatt-hour (kWh) of battery at about $1000, which means the Tesla’s 53-kWh pack—worth about $53,000—is toting around $26,500 of unusable zap. Factor in that 8-to-10-percent improvement over a decade, and the Tesla’s battery pack will still cost about $20,000 in 2020. And there are more sinister problems with batteries. Like oil, lithium threatens to cause geopolitical headaches in the future.
About half of the known lithium reserves lie under salt flats in Bolivia, where the locals are already being fitted for sheik’s garb. Even if more is found, such intensely localized concentrations promise political and ecological trouble as the world races to grab its share. Are electric vehicles really that progressive if you have to pay off dictators and dig up pristine landscapes to power them? Lithium is recyclable, but the infrastructure to do so is almost nonexistent. The process is also fussy—the batteries must first be chilled to minus-325 degrees Fahrenheit to make them inert.
And it could get trickier as battery formulations become more exotic to reach power targets. To charge a lithium-ion battery, you need electricity. —no doubt the nation’s first utility that will face large numbers of EVs—tell us that they’re readying the system to service up to 400,000 electric vehicles by 2020. Generation is not a problem—the utility currently produces 22,000 megawatts (about 16 percent of which comes from wind and solar power) and has up to 8000 to spare, mainly at night when power demand is low but capacity necessarily remains high to ensure grid stability. In Focus: Dim Future For Electric Vehicles?
by Chris Sawyer on March 3, 2010 What are the prospects for electric vehicles, known in the auto industry as EVs? Even though every major automaker has an EV either on the drawing board or nearing production, for the foreseeable future, the vast majority of new vehicles will continue to use a gas or diesel combustion engine for propulsion. The number of hybrids will increase as car companies add this technology in a bid to increase fleet fuel economy, and vehicles that use a combustion engine as a generator to recharge on-board batteries, like Chevy’s Volt, will become more commonplace.
Short of government mandate, it’s unlikely that battery-powered vehicles will become the dominant powertrain in the foreseeable future. According to the Boston Consulting Group’s study entitled Batteries for Electric Cars: Challenges, Opportunities, and the Outlook to 2020, EVs and other battery-powered vehicles have a litany of hurdles to overcome before they are accepted as a mainstream option.
Not only are battery prices still above the level at which a consumer could hope to break even on his EV purchase within a reasonable time (1-3 years), a robust charging infrastructure is non-existent and will take years to establish, charging times are many times longer than buyers are used to (a typical stop at a gas station takes maybe 10 minutes versus perhaps hours to recharge a battery), and so on. Though technologies may change rapidly and greatly reduce the cost of batteries while increasing their capacity and life, that day is not here yet.
It may never arrive. According to the Boston Consulting Group: It’s estimated automakers pay $1,000-$1,200/kWh for a lithium-ion battery pack today. Car companies are targeting a cost of $250 per kilowatt-hour by 2020 for future battery packs. Reaching this goal will take a cost-neutral breakthrough in battery chemistry that also increases energy density. In 2020, automakers should expect lithium-ion batteries to cost $360-$440/kWh. Assuming the cost/kWh falls by the expected 65% between 2009 and 2020, today’s $16,000 battery pack will cost $6,000 in 2020.
Means of reusing EV batteries under consideration include: storage capacity for powerplants and wind or solar energy farms, reuse in smaller EVs, emergency power, grid stabilization, and home power storage. These uses either have a small theoretical market size or their needs are currently met by less expensive technologies. If EV sales reach projected volumes, it will require $20 billion in local, state and national spending by 2020 to create a proper recharging infrastructure. Estimates say EVs should drive the increase in electricity demand by less than 1% by 2020.
This should not require additional power-generation capacity. At 3% to 5% of overall market share, however, EVs by themselves would increase electricity demand by up to 1% per year, and require additional capacity and upgrades to the aging electrical grid. Even with the expected rise in the cost of advanced gasoline engine technologies, battery pack prices will have to drop dramatically for automakers to sell EVs at a cost comparable to combustion-engined vehicles. So much for the technical aspects of EVs. What can the average car buyer expect?
According to the Boston Consulting Group’s study: Using a standard 120-volt home outlet it takes almost 10 hours to charge a 15-kWh battery. Upping the output to 240 volts reduces this time to two hours. A commercial three-phase charging station drops charging time to 20 minutes. Within three years or less of purchase, buyers expect to break even on their EV acquisition. At an inflation-adjusted oil price of $100/barrel in 2020, that break even point is 15 years. U. S. diesel buyers and hybrid owners would break even in about 8 years under the same assumptions. At a higher-than-expected sales rate of 5% for EVs, the 2020 U.
S. vehicle fleet will be 52% gasoline-powered, 32% hybrid, 5% diesel. The remiaing 6% would be flex-fuel vehicles. Bringing the break even for EVs down to three years would require one of the following to happen: Battery costs drop from $400/kWh to $215/kWh. Energy density increases from 150 Watt hours per kilogram to 290 Wh/kg. Inflation-adjusted government incentives of $7,700 per vehicle are made permanent. Annual vehicle miles traveled rise from 13,673 miles to +40,000. Oil prices jump to the equivalent of $375/barrel. The federal gasoline tax increases 210%. Though the Boston Consulting Group didn’t mention it:
Lithium is currently extracted from the soil via a water-intensive process or from brine dried from salt pools. China is one of the largest producers of inexpensive lithium while another large producer, Bolivia, has suggested “political use” of its natural resources. Batteries are made from toxic materials and would require an expensive recycling system to prevent environmental contamination. The vast majority of electricity in the United States is produced using coal. The only viable high-volume clean alternative on the horizon is nuclear. The US electrical grid already is overtaxed.
Cold weather can cut EV range nearly in half. Extreme heat also adversely affects range. Replacing one-third of the approximately 300 million vehicles in the U. S. fleet at 5% per year would take more than 100 years based on an annual sales rate of 15 million vehicles per year. As you can see, electric vehicles are not a silver bullet solution. It’s not even clear what problem they are a solution for. Yet every car buyer will pay the price for this folly. The Future of Electric Vehicles: Setting the Record Straight on Lithium Availability Thursday, 27 August 2009 00:00 Keith Evans
Earlier this year, President Barack Obama announced that the U. S. Department of Energy would make $2. 4 billion in grants available to U. S. companies for the manufacture and deployment of domestically manufactured batteries and electric vehicles. Bringing down the cost of lithium-ion batteries is key to advancing the deployment of electric vehicles. Yet for sometime debate has raged within the community of scientists working on lithium technology as to whether or not there are sufficient reserves of this metal. In short, oil import dependent states don’t want to replace one dependency-oil for the
transportation sector-with another in this case lithium if insufficient quantities of this material are available. Based on data from U. S. National Research Council reports produced over the last 30 years and augmented in the interim by many subsequent discoveries of lithium the fact is that lithium deposits are large. In a report on a major conference on lithium supply and demand held in Chile in January 2009, the conference Chairman stated, “What speakers in the Santiago event demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt is that lithium resources are large enough to cover any rationally conceivable demand.
” Lithium Background: Sources and Science Current and potential sources of lithium are from pegmatites, continental brines, oilfield and geothermal brines, and jadarite. The lithium contents of various deposits can be expressed in terms of the lithium oxide content (Li 20) for ores or parts per million (ppm) or milligrams per liter (mg/lt) for brines. In tabulating reserves from a variety of sources the weights (tons) are generally quoted as elemental lithium (Li). Pegmatites These are coarse grained igneous rocks formed by the crystallization of post magmatic fluids.
They occur in close proximity to large magmatic intrusions and vary greatly in size. In the U. S. lithium containing pegmatites are numerous in the nearly 16 mile long tin-spodumene belt in North Carolina. The principal lithium minerals in pegmatites are spodumene, petalite and lepidolite. All these have been used in the manufacture of lithium chemicals and also have direct applications in certain glasses and glass ceramics if the iron content is sufficiently low. In the absence of a sufficient market many pegmatites have not been fully explored due to the expense involved.
The situation is now changing and recently, with the potential increase in demand, exploration activity has increased. Talison Minerals in Australia, for example, has recently tripled its reserves to 1. 0 million tons of lithium. Many pegmatites contain tin and tantalum as well. Continental Brines Lithium is leached from certain volcanic rocks and when the surface or groundwater flows into closed basins where solar evaporation rates exceeds rainfall, lithium and other elements become more concentrated.
At one end of the scale is the Great Salt Lake in Utah but net evaporation is low and lithium values cannot reach a commercially viable level although sodium chloride, potash and magnesium are recoverable. At the Clayton Valley in Nevada, another closed basin, lithium has been recovered for decades. The major brine deposits, though, are at moderate elevation in the Salar de Atacama in Chile and high elevations in Bolivia and Argentina and in Western China and Tibet. Most contain economic contents of potassium and boron. Oilfield & Geothermal Brines
Oilfield brines in the Smackover Formation particularly in Arkansas and in the Paradox Basin in Utah contain possible viable brines. The Salton Sea KGRA contains an estimated 2. 0 million tons of lithium and is currently being evaluated as a source possibly using wells currently used for power generation. Hectorite Hectorite is a magnesium lithium smectite, a clay similar to bentonite and occurs in numerous areas in the western U. S. The largest known deposit straddles the Nevada-Oregon border and contains approximately 2. 0 tons of lithium in a series of seven shallow lenses. Jadarite
Recently discovered in Serbia by Rio Tinto Zinc Corporation during a boron exploration program, a deposit containing 850,000 tons of lithium was discovered. Once explored the total reserve could be at least double this. Reserves and Resources At the 2009 Santiago lithium conference, global lithium reserves and resources were estimated at nearly 30 million tons with 7. 6 million tons in pegmatites, 17. 6 million in continental brines, 1. 75 million in geothermal and oilfield brines, 2. 0 million in hectorites and 0. 8 million in jadarite. In one presentation mention was made of another estimate from authors at the
University of Chile and the Colorado School of Mines of some 35 million tons. Estimates from three major producers represented ranged from 28 million (FMC and Chemetall) to 35. 7 million from SQM. The National Research Council (NRC) reports a fairly wide definition of reserves and resources. This definition follows the logic of Donella Meadows in a 1972 statement which follows: Reserve is a concept related to the amount of material that has been discovered or inferred to exist and that can be used given reasonable assumptions about technology and price.
The US Geological Survey (USGS) publishes more narrowly constrained estimates. In the NRC report the authors made adjustments to the gross tonnages of the pegmatites included in the estimate to allow for mining and processing losses. In the case of anticipated open pit operations the tonnages were reduced by 25% and by 50% in the case of anticipated underground projects. The brine reserve tonnages were not reduced as recoveries vary greatly as the data is generally proprietary. (This precedent is retained in this paper. ) Current Production
Lithium mineral concentrates are used predominantly in glass, glass ceramics and ceramics (approximately 90% of demand) where they act as a powerful flux, provide silica and alumina to the mix and provide thermal shock resistance. Most of the rest of the market is metallurgical. The largest producer is Talison Minerals in Western Australia which has a capacity of 250,000 tons per year of spodumene concentrates with a range of lithia grades. Other producers are Bikita Minerals in Zimbabwe with the mineral petalite and Tanco in Canada with spodumene.
All the lithium pegmatite minerals have at one time been used as feedstock for the production of lithium chemicals and a high percentage of Chinese production with approximately one-third from domestic sources and two thirds from spodumene imported from Australia. Eighty five percent of the demand for ores and concentrates is in Europe and Asia. Until recently, in reporting production data, the non-chemical concentrates and lithium chemicals, from whatever source, were treated separately but some reporters combine the two to report on total lithium demand.
This accounts for some confusion as simply reporting tons of concentrate produced or sold does not allow the calculation of the tonnages of contained lithium as the percentage of lithium in concentrates varies. This is not a problem with lithium chemicals where the many products with varying lithium contents are reported in terms of lithium carbonate equivalents (LCE’s) as lithium carbonate is the predominant lithium product. One pound of lithium metal (Li) is equivalent to 5. 32 pounds of lithium carbonate.
The 2008 market for lithium chemicals approximated to 95,000 tons of LCE’s with the principal products being metal and metal derivatives, carbonate, hydroxide and bromide. At the Santiago conference, the company FMC’s breakdown of lithium markets served was: air treatment 8%, construction 2%, aluminum production 6%, glass & ceramics 20%, batteries 29%, grease & lubricants 13%, polymers and pharmaceuticals 5% and others 17%. Of the battery demand some is in the form of metal for primary batteries and the remainder as carbonate and some hydroxide as the feedstock for the lithium based materials used in rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.
Currently, the demand is mainly for small versions as used in computers, cell phones etc. but a major demand is anticipated for vehicular batteries. Lithium-ion battery production is currently concentrated in Japan (39%), China (36%) and South Korea (20%). In short, despite the availability of lithium as a material for the production of lithium-ion batteries, battery production remains outside the U. S. There is considerable disagreement regarding Chinese capacity and production. Much of current production is spodumene-based despite the existence of large brine reserves some of which have complex chemistries.
Various observers estimate potential capacities by 2011 at between 60,000 and 85,000 tons. The geographical distribution of metal and chemical sales is Asia at 53%, the Americas at 21%, and Europe at 26%. Future Demand In the battery sector demand in conventional applications is estimated to be growing at 7% but major demand growth is expected with the large scale electrification of vehicles. Quantifying this is extremely difficult involving estimating the annual production of new vehicles over time, estimating the percentage of these vehicles that will be battery powered and
how many of these will have lithium-ion batteries. Then there is the question of which of the many lithium chemistries will be adopted and whether the electric vehicles will be hybrids, plug-in hybrids or purely electric each with varying requirements based on battery size. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates that the number of the cars in the world currently approximates to 700 million and this figure will rise to 3 billion by 2050. In five or six years the IMF believes China will overtake the U. S. in car sales and in forty years it will have as many as the whole world currently has.
Other random items are that Hitachi, alone, is developing the capacity to produce sufficient batteries for 700,000 cars a year. JP Morgan estimates that electric vehicles will total 9. 6 million by 2018 and Toyota estimates that plug-ins will be produced at the rate of 20,000-30,000 year by 2012. At the Santiago lithium conference estimates of lithium demand to satisfy vehicle requirements were presented by the three major lithium producers and, in addition, the Tru Group presented a study they had undertaken on behalf of Mitsubishi Corp.
All the producers used the same lithium demand figure of 0. 6 kilos of carbonate per kWh with a range, by vehicle type, of 1. 2 kilos in a mild hybrid with a 2 kWh battery (new generation lead batteries are a competitor), through 7. 2 kilos in a 12 kWh battery in a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV0 to 15 kilos in a 25 kWh battery in an electric vehicle (EV). They each looked at a range of scenarios covering estimated market penetrations and vehicle types and the demand estimates to meet these ranged from 5,000 to 70,000 tons of lithium carbonate a year by 2020.
FMC went a little further and estimated total carbonate equivalent demand in 2020 for both conventional and vehicle demand split between a vehicle demand of 70,000 tons and conventional demand of 223,000 tons – a total of 293,000 tons of LCE’s. SQM also estimated that in 2030 between 15% and 25% of new vehicles would be battery powered with between 75% and 90% of these being Li-ion batteries with a carbonate demand of between 65,000 and 145,000 tons. Meeting Demand How is the increase from the current 95,000 tons of lithium carbonate equivalents (LCE’s) going to be met? The world’s largest reserve is in the
Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia with reserves (a recently revised estimate) of 8. 9 million tons with a considerable upside potential. Comibol’s initial target is between 20,000 and 30,000 tpa with the co-production of 400,000 tpa potash. The Salar de Uyuni receives an inordinate amount of publicity. However, suggestions that the future of the electric vehicle is dependent upon its development are clearly in error based on the large volumes of reserves in other countries. The company Chemetall announced that subject to demand the company would double its production at the Salar de Atacama to approximately 40,000 tons per year (tpa) by 2020.
SQM operates to the north of Chemetall but pumps brine from the same aquifer with reserves of approximately 7. 0 million tons of Li (approximately 36. 0 million tons carbonate). This operation is driven by the production of 860,000 tpa of potash. The amount of lithium in the brine pumped to the solar evaporation ponds greatly exceeds current lithium processing plant capacity and the company states that 280,000 tpa of carbonate is currently returned to the brine aquifer. Lithium production can be readily increased with plant expansions and minor increases in the solar ponds area.
SQM is planning to increase potash production to 1. 3 million tpa and this will add considerably to the already large quantities of surplus-lithium. FMC states that its current reserves in Argentina are adequate for 70 years implying that reserves are sufficient to support expansion. In China, as stated earlier, there is no single opinion regarding whether expansion plans will be implemented, but the stated target is to produce 85,000 tpa from brine alone. Reserves are variously quoted as being between 2. 6 and 4. 8 million tons of Li.
Reserves and resources at current operations excluding China approximate to 7. 75 million tons of Li or 41 million tons of lithium carbonate. There are numerous projects in various stages of evaluation. In Argentina the evaluation of the Salar de Rincon is reputedly close to completion and the initial target from a 1. 4 million ton reserve is 17,000 tpa. Both the above salares are relatively low grade (although Uyuni contains an area containing 400,000 tons Li with higher lithium concentrations) but the brines have a high magnesium content and other technical issues which could increase costs.
Exploration activity is at a high level at nearly a dozen Andean salares including at the Salar de Olaroz in Argentina. A number of companies are active in Nevada in geological environments similar to the one containing Chemetall’s Silver Peak (Clayton Valley) operations. Regarding pegmatites, Kelibar Resources a subsidiary of Nordic Mining, is planning a 6,000 tpa project in Finland. Canadian Lithium Corp. is completing a study to reactivate a former operation in Quebec with an optimal production case of 20,000 tpa, and in Western Australia Galaxy Resources is planning to develop the Mt.
Marion pegmatite, ship the concentrate to China and produce carbonate at the rate of 20,000 tpa to take advantage of lower sulfuric acid and soda ash prices there. Talison, owners of the very large Greenbushes pegmatite operation and who have invested considerable sums in expanding its reserves, is considering chemical production. Of the unconventional sources the Siberian jadarite deposit has current reserves sufficient to produce at 60,000 tpa from one of three known horizons and the initial target at Western Lithium’s hectorite deposit is 25,000 tpa.
With the probable exception of the pegmatite based projects with announced production targets, the reserves at the other pipeline projects total listed above are sufficient to support production levels at rates much higher than the initial tonnages listed with, between them, approximately 14. 0 million tons of lithium or 74 million tons of lithium carbonate. Production Costs It is generally considered that lithium production costs are lowest at the Salar de Atacama in Chile which is unique in its high lithium concentrations, outstanding solar evaporation conditions and proximity to the coast.
Other brine deposits are not so fortunate in terms of lithium grade, more complex chemistries, less attractive climate conditions or location. Any or all of these factors will increase costs at other project sites. At this time it is not known what costs will be incurred in recovering lithium from jadarite, hectorite and geothermal brines. Studies are ongoing. Production costs from pegmatites using well known technologies will vary. In 2008 SQM estimated Chinese production costs from spodumene at about $2.
00/lb and a rough estimate for costs at possibly reactivated operations in North Carolina could be being between $2. 50 and $3. 00/lb. However, the company conference Chemetall has pointed out that the cost of lithium in a lithium-ion battery is approximately 1% of the total battery cost so in this application, expected to be the leading application in the future, the price of lithium is not a significant factor. Additionally, of course, lithium is not consumed in the process of storing energy and, in time large volumes are expected to be recycled.
To put the 30. 0 million tons of reserve and resource estimate into context, each million tons of recovered lithium (5. 62 million tons of carbonate) is sufficient for 560 million vehicles requiring a 10 kWh battery. In short, the large-scale manufacture and development of electric vehicles using lithium-ion batteries should not be hindered due to lithium availability but has more to do with cost-issues related to the manufacture of the batteries themselves and to their reserve-charge potential demanded by drivers themselves
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Key developments for Tesla Motors, Inc. Tesla Motors, Inc. Appoints Gilbert Passin as Vice President of Manufacturing 02/3/2010 Tesla Motors, Inc. has appointed Gilbert Passin as vice president of manufacturing. Mr. Passin has 23 years of international automotive experience. Most recently, he served as general manager of production engineering for Toyota in North America. Tesla Motors Mulls Acquisition 01/30/2010 Tesla Motors Inc. filed for an initial public offering (IPO) of shares to raise as much as $100 million.
The company said that it may utilize the proceeds to pay for factories and equipment, which it estimates will cost as much as $125 million in 2010. Tesla may also use proceeds from the sale to fund potential acquisitions. The company said it does not have agreements or commitments for specific acquisitions. Tesla Motors, Inc. Reports Earnings Results for the Nine Months Ended September 2009 01/30/2010 Tesla Motors, Inc. reported earnings results for the nine months ended September 2009. For the period, the company reported net loss of $31. 5 million on revenue of $93. 4 million.