Published on July 3rd, 2014 | by Zachary Shahan


Toyota i-Road, Fisker, Tesla Patents, Battery Swapping… (EV News)

July 3rd, 2014 by  

Time for another EV news roundup. I’m breaking it up into sections this time. Enjoy!


Battery Swap Dead End: Tesla hasn’t hitting its battery-swapping rolling target (which was about 7 months ago) and it hasn’t mentioned it. Has battery swapping hit a complete dead end?

Fully Charged Tour: A Tesla tour across the US Northeast will let you test drive Teslas. Pretty rad, but it makes me wonder: is Tesla Model S demand really as high as many of us project?

Tesla A La Carte: Al la carte car shopping is almost impossible to find these days, sadly. However, if you’re interested in a Tesla, this is another benefit the electric car leader offers to its happy shoppers.

Sort of Affordable Tesla: We can’t call the upcoming “sort of affordable” (Elon’s words) Tesla the Tesla Model E, but it should be a lot more economical than the Model S. Word is that it will be mostly wrapped in steel and will be about 20% smaller. As far as we know, the starting price is still supposed to land somewhere around $35,000.

Tesla Taxi: A new taxi service has opened up in Norway. The color is a bright green. Of course, it’s in Norway.

Tesla Patents? Meh: Not a lot has happened publicly since Tesla opened up its patents to the world. Some automakers aren’t even looking at them, we now hear. Quotes from GM and Honda are quite hilarious, and sad.

Tesla Model S vs Lamborghini Gallardo: It’s a race. Nuff said.

Rich & Angry: A rich Chinese man was so upset that he didn’t get one of the first Teslas in China, and that he had to wait so long for his car, that he decided to smash it up… yes, the logic there isn’t 100% clear.

Other 100% Electrics

Detroit Electric: Despite not having a car on the market, Detroit Electric has been getting a lot of press lately. Recently, we highlighted that neither the car nor its parts were being built in Detroit (or even the US, for that matter). However, it appears that 8 people are working at its Detroit office now, and the goal is to have 20 there by the end of the year.

China 2013 EV Sales: China’s EV revolution hasn’t actually been much of a revolution. In 2013, only ~7,000 EVs were sold in the giant country.

Carice MK1: This is a beautiful car, and I really don’t think many cars are beautiful. It is being reborn electric, but only for a select few.

Toyota i-Road: The Toyota i-Road looks slicker than slick, in my opinion. I would seriously buy one of these little guys. They are now testing in a 3-year French car-sharing pilot program. It’s part of a “smart city” program.

Fun as Hell: Speaking of the Toyota i-Road, Chris agrees that driving these things looks fun as hell. Maybe we should get an Important Media fleet.

Plug-in Hybrids

American Fisker: Wanxiang is reportedly going to start Fisker sales in the US before bringing the car over to China. (Technically, we don’t yet know if Fisker is going to remain a plug-in hybrid or become a fully electric car manufacturer under Wanxiang’s lead. But Wanxiang has said that he would put “every cent” he has — note that he’s a billionaire — into advancing the electric car revolution and making Fisker competitive.)

Porsche 918 Spyder PHEV: The Porsche 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid was recently filmed rolling through London. Despite, or because of, its super quiet ride, it pulled a lot of curious eyes.

BMW i8 vs Golf Carts: Yeah, golf carts and teh BMW i8 don’t have a lot in common, but their electric motors brought them together for a fun video shoot with some pro golfers.

BMW i8 with Hole in 1: Speaking of golf and the BMW i8, a professional golfer recently won one of the limited-production i8 sports cars simply by hitting a hole in one.

VW XL1: Just £98,515 (~$169,000) in the UK. And I think a full 20 are being shipped there.


Home EV Charging in UK: The UK has set aside £9 million to help stimulate EV charging investments at homes across the island.

Formula E: Formula E racers take over London and are video taped doing so. (Btw, is “video tape” still an acceptable verb?)

Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.

  • Ben Helton

    Finally an honest acknowledgement of the battery swap being non-existent.
    Will the clouds start fading for everything else? Is Tesla going to finally get hit with a reality check about it’s false promises?

    • A Real Libertarian

      Will you admit it was stupid to keep doubling down on the short-selling when you go bankrupt, or will you keep blaming Elon Musk?

      • Ben Helton

        Sorry buddy, I know better than to gamble in the stock market.

        I’m just rooting for Elon Musk to volunteer to be an astronaut on the first attempt to land on Mars! (I’m sure his ego would love that).

        Here’s the golden argument ; ‘you gotta do it while you’re young’ they dont let old people go through multiple Gs and penetrate the atmosphere (after all, Space Cowboys was JUST a movie)

        If he doesn’t do it by the time he’s 50, well…. HE MAY NEVER GO

        • Bob_Wallace

          And not wise enough to know how to invest in the stock market?

          • Ben Helton

            I’m Sorry, Bob.

            I actually have 3 kids. An unlike my stupid father who lost it all several times investing in over-promising companies like TM, I will not dare.

            I make good money, and if I were to dare invest in anything, believe me, it wouldn’t be a company that hemorrhages money the way Tesla does.

            But… I also don’t blow money at the titty bar. Maybe it’s just smarter lifestyle choices.

          • Bob_Wallace

            This is way off topic for this site, but I’d suggest you get your hands on a copy of A Random Walk Down Wall Street. You can get one from your library or a used copy from Amazon for about $5.

            Here’s the basics.

            1) You can’t pick winners any better than chance. No one can without insider information and that can land one in jail.

            2) Any company can fail. But it is extremely unlikely that a significant number of the top 500 or 2000 US companies will fail. A few will but in most cases other companies will pick up their business and grow.

            3) Never put yourself in the position that you Must sell at some point in time. The market can take a deep dive as it did in 1929, 1987 and 2008. But each time the market was back in a couple of years. Don’t let yourself be forced to sell into a down market. Don’t use your mutual fund as your emergency money. Have another plan for riding out the bad times (some money in a fixed rate instrument or very good credit).

            If you simply purchased a little bit of each of the largest 2,000 publicly owned companies in the US you’re going to do better than all mutual funds that try to beat the market over the long term.

            You seem to be a young guy. Try to get some money invested each month. Time grows money in an amazing way. In the early/mid 1980s I put $16k in an IRA. It’s now grown to over $130,000 and I’ve taken a lot of money out, certainly more than I put in. Perhaps $40k or more.

            The $16k I invested 30 years ago now supplies me with $650 per month and the fund keeps growing faster than inflation. I can tap it 6% per year and it will never run out.

            And read the book.

      • Ben Helton

        Where’s this third generation car, anyway? Will Tesla ever be able to sell a vehicle for under $50,000 (let alone under $30,000) that an average joe could actually buy?

        Will we even see the Model X? If they are not making money selling 1 car with (supposedly) waiting list grade demand. How will they be able to afford to R&D on just the production upgrades in the factory, new staff, doubling the amount of production, etc… This is not professional vehicle manufacturer kind of stuff going on here. Everything is delayed, months, if not years. Now, we have a supposed battery swap station(s) that have not only NOT arrived of late 2013, there is no explanation as to why, or when it actually will come. I’m sorry people, YOU ARE SELLING VEHICLES PROMISING THIS TECHNOLOGY. That is deception, and a class action law suit from buyers who purchased AFTER seeing the demo have rightful grounds.

        They won’t remove it from the website; they won’t dismiss it as non-existent, yet, there is just nothing to be said on its supposed progress. What…the…effff? This is not just some hyperloop that was foolishly mentioned, not really going to get built. This had a full blown demonstration, a promise to when the roll out of stations would be, etc….

        IMO, Tesla has been an IPO / ZEV scam ever since Eberhard got the boot.

        • Bob_Wallace

          What promises have Tesla made and then not delivered?

          It isn’t due date time for the X. They may have to push the delivery date back a bit. They had to push back the delivery date for the Roadster when their transmission supplier delivered an unusable product and they had to manufacture it themselves. Stuff happens.

          They put in the ability to battery swap with the S. But they apparently have decided to do no swapping. So what? It’s very early in the evolution of the modern EV and Tesla covered the bases. They made it possible to go the swapping direction if superchargers didn’t work. Superchargers work.
          The hyperloop. Elon introduced the idea and stated that he was not going to pursue it. Obviously he has a lot of irons in the fire. Other people have taken up the hyperloop and are building prototypes and working out some of the engineering details.

          And knock off the allcaps shouting.

  • Offgridmanpolktn

    “Fully Charged Tour”
    ‘Is Tesla Model S demand really as high as many of us project ‘
    Seeing as how that even if I am willing to pay cash for one today it is quoted a 107 day wait time there must still be quite a backlog of other customers in front of me.
    However as the four wheel drive and extra space for the dogs and camping gear are a priority for us will continue to hold my place for the Model X, even if it takes another year or two.

  • Very cool and exciting article! The future of electric cars are looking fantastic car service

  • JamesWimberley

    Without going overboard, how about some coverage of two-wheelers? I’ve no idea whether electric motorbikes are taking off, or who the lead manufacturers are.

    • Probably the biggest news on the e motorcycle front is Harley Davidson testing an e harley….

      • Bob_Wallace

        And the people who have test driven Harley’s e-bike are very impressed.
        Except for the fact that their lips get very tired from having to make the Harley Vroom-Vroom sound as they ride….

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