Published on June 25th, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan1
Tesla Starts Delivering Model S to Customers (+ Clean Transport News Roundup)
June 25th, 2012 by Zachary Shahan
Other than our own clean transportation stories, here’s some more clean transportation news from around the interwebs:
Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA) delivered Model S, the world’s first premium electric sedan, to its first customers at an invitation-only event at the Tesla Factory in Fremont, California [on Friday]. These deliveries put Model S on the road approximately one month earlier than previously announced and places the company in a good position to build 5,000 cars by the end of 2012, followed by 20,000 cars in 2013….
Model S is the world’s first premium sedan to be built from the ground up as an electric vehicle, meticulously engineered to elevate the public’s expectations of what a premium sedan can be. The five-door premium sedan competes with the top cars in its class in spaciousness, handling and style, yet produces zero emissions. Because there is no internal combustion engine or transmission tunnel, the interior of the car allows for additional cargo space in the front of the vehicle and one of the most spacious cabins in its class.
The heart of Model S is its efficiently-packaged electric powertrain that delivers a thrilling driving experience while setting a new EPA record for electric vehicle range of 265 miles. Model S comes with three battery options – 40 kWh, 60 kWh and 85 kWh. The battery’s floor-mounted position gives Model S a low center of gravity and ideal weight distribution for exhilarating performance and superior handling. Model S has many similar features, including immediate responsiveness, instant torque and smooth acceleration that made the Tesla Roadster famous. Tesla has already received more than 10,000 reservations worldwide for Model S.
Deliveries of Model S in Europe and Asia will begin in early and mid-2013, respectively….
According to Nissan, once its new factory in Smyrna, Tennessee begins production in December, the number of LEAF EVs sold will go up quickly enough for the company to reach its goal of selling at least 20,000 during its current fiscal year (which ends in March). The Smyrna plant is a big deal, with a capacity of 200,000 LEAFs per year and 150,000 battery packs (presumably for upcoming electric models).
Why would that change anything? Well, right now all LEAFs are made in a single plant in Japan, and this limited production is only sold in certain regions of the world and certain states in the US. Nissan bets that with more supply, it’ll be able to have LEAFs available nationally in the US and ramp up the roll out around the world, leading to higher much higher total sales. After all, demand isn’t the only important part of the equation.. If the supply isn’t there, there can be a lot of unmet demand….
The Tata Nano made a big media splash because it was so affordable, though it didn’t quite rack up the sales that were expected for varied reasons. Now the Tata Group is trying to do it again, in partnership with France’s Dassault Systèmes, but this time with an electric car. This new Tata EV is currently under development, and the goal is to sell it for about 10 lakh, which is about $20,000. The best guess out there seems to be that it would be about the size of the Tata Indica EV, which is pictured in this post and which Tata has also worked on, but it doesn’t seem to have come to fruition (yet?)….
Charging infrastructure specialists launch joint venture with goal of deploying 10,000 pay-as-you-go charge points….
Bikes, Buses, Trains, & Such
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood just announced the 47 transportation projects in 34 states (and DC) that will receive a total of almost $500 million from the TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) program. It’s the fourth round of TIGER grants, bringing the total up to over $3 billion for innovative transportation projects….
The lives of millions of cariocas, Rio de Janeiro residents, have already started to change with the opening of the Transoeste, the city’s first BRT corridor. The public transit system, developed with assistance from EMBARQ, WRI’s center for sustainable transport, expects to help hundreds of thousands of Rio residents, providing them with safer transport, shorter commutes, and less pollution….
Meet the Jopo, the laid-back chopper-style city bike the Finns have been zipping around on for decades.
With around 20,000 hitting the streets each year, it’s the hottest selling bike in Finland (and in Scandinavia, according to their website). Originally introduced in 1965, the Jopo was re-released in 2002, and now comes in seven different variations, including an electric version, the Jopo Electric 3-Speed….
An often-remarked-upon phenomenon in the transit world is the preference, perceived or otherwise, for rail over buses. But this tendency has not been well understood.
A pair of recent European case studies delved into this issue, and their findings help illuminate the psychology behind what many have observed. In the first study, set in Germany, 63 percent of subjects preferred a regional train system over an equivalent bus system, given a hypothetical choice with all other factors being equal. Meanwhile, in a second study set in Switzerland, 75 percent preferred trams to buses — even given identical service levels.
Of note, researchers found preferences for rail travel were “rather irrational” and “highly loaded with emotional and social attributions.” The largest factor explaining the favoritism was “emotional attributes,” like nostalgia, accounting for 38 percent of the bias in Germans. Meanwhile, concrete factors like differences in seat structure or the merits of a fixed guideway accounted for only five percent each….
Millions of Americans in all corners of the United States, from California to Washington to Arizona to Iowa and Illinois, to Oklahoma, Texas, Ohio, Florida, Delaware and Massachusetts, are using public transportation tomorrow to participate in the seventh annual National Dump the Pump Day. In addition to a record 144 public transportation systems participating, there are 18 public and private organizations that are also promoting National Dump the Pump Day, for a total of 162 organizations. (See link below for the list of known participants.)
Magnetic instabilities play a crucial role in the emergence of black holes, they regulate the rotation rate of collapsing stars and influence the behavior of cosmic jets. In order to improve understanding of the underlying mechanisms, laboratory experiments on earth are necessary. At the Helmholtz- Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR), confirmation of such a magnetic instability – the Tayler instability – was successfully achieved for the first time in collaboration with the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics in Potsdam (AIP). The findings should be able to facilitate construction of large liquid-metal batteries, which are under discussion as cheap storage facilities for renewable energy….
How expensive are electric car battery packs?
It’s a topic of much discussion among electric car fans, and a closely guarded secret within the auto industry, but now an industry analyst has suggested that improved technology and economies of scale has lowed electric car battery pack costs to just $250 per kilowatt-hour of energy stored….