Looking for some lazy Sunday reading? You’ve landed in the internet country.
Electric-car advocates are often passionate, with memories long enough to remember GM’s 2004 destruction of its pioneering fleet of EV1 electric cars. Since then, the company has built and sold two generations of the Chevrolet Volt, with the launch of the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV imminent within a year—before Nissan, Tesla, BMW, or any other plug-in pioneer manages to field a 200-mile electric cars below $40,000. Despite that, at least some electric-car owners and fans seem to retain a considerable undercurrent of skepticism about Detroit’s largest automaker and its intentions.
These are unusual times in this new electric car era with second-generation EVs threatening to offer conventional car price-for-performance. First up will be the 2017 Chevy Bolt meeting the new benchmark of somewhere over 200 miles range and sticker price of around $37,500 before incentives. Of course anyone who’s not been hibernating has also heard of the similarly specified and sleeker designed $35,000 Tesla Model 3 now with more than 325,000 pre-orders at $1,000 apiece paid by eager intenders.
This long intermission between Part I and Part II of the Model ☰ reveal promises to be both tortuous and virtuous.
Amid all the positive response to the Tesla Model 3, a few people have questioned why the car is not a hatchback and instead utilizes a traditional style trunk but with a small opening.
Ford may be well ahead in its plans to produce a hybrid model of its F-150 pickup truck – and a plug-in one, at that. According to a spy photographer who snapped a number of copyrighted shots of a semi-camouflaged F-150, at 35 mph the engine was heard to shut down while an electrical sound of a hybrid powertrain seemed to take over.
Some used car dealers are starting to specialize in used EVs, many of them from out of state. In Colorado, a used EV can still qualify for the the state’s $6,000 incentive.
More than almost any other entrepreneur, Elon Musk finances his three primary business ventures — Tesla Motors, SolarCity, and SpaceX — by leveraging his own personal assets. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) says those three companies are valued at close to $50 billion, largely because of Musk’s “voracious appetite for risk and unyielding optimism.” A study in February by ISS QuickScore found that just 13% of executives or directors at the 3,000 largest companies have pledged shares they own in those companies as collateral for personal loans.
The need for lithium to power the future has caused some to refer to lithium as “white petroleum” or the “new gasoline.” At present, the best lithium supply in the world is located in the Clayton Valley area of Nevada, about 3 hours away from the Tesla Gigafactory. Unlike other deposits, the lithium there is dissolved in salt brine, making it easier to extract and easier to process.
Marco Papa. I am a techie by trade and very much a product of the first dot com boom (and bust) of the 90’s. I originally came to this country from Italy to pursue a PhD in computer science at USC, back in 1981. I worked for 6 different dot-coms in the span of 10 years, starting as software developer, then system architect all the way to several CTO positions. All these companies, except one, no longer exist: they either were sold, or went bankrupt. But in the process I learned a lot about company valuations, private placements, and raising tens of millions of dollars from VCs, banks and brokerage houses. And yes, like many other Internet executives of the time, I owned a Ferrari 355 spider convertible. I’ll come back later to the Ferrari.
Don’t add Germany to the list of countries officially considering banning sales of cars running on gasoline or diesel just yet. But several prominent people are pushing the government to take steps in this direction. One of them is Energiewende Undersecretary Rainer Baake. Craig Morris explains.
With the Stanley Cup destined to be won by an American team for the 23rd straight year, Canadian hockey fans seemingly spent the month of April shopping. The country’s monthly auto sales topped 200,000 for the first time in history, and least two plug-in electric vehicles set sales records.
Drivers chime in.
Jia Yueting is China’s Elon Musk. The self made multi-billionaire has made a fortune selling televisions and smartphones to his countrymen. Now he wants to take some of that money and create extraordinary electric cars to compete with those made by Tesla. Jia’s company, formerly known as LeTV, has been termed “the NetFlix of China.” Once the Chinese had all those electronic devices they bought from LeTV, they need stuff to watch. LeTV created its own production company to supply that content.
Getting a look inside the Tesla factory in Fremont, California is a rare occurrence. It’s not that it never happens, but Tesla strictly controls what the public sees of its internal operations. Musk and Tesla are like Bill Belichik and the New England Patriots. They tell you only what they want you to hear and nothing more.
A new joint venture focused on high-voltage electric vehicle powertrains has been formed following the signing of an agreement between Siemens and Valeo, according to a recent press release from the companies.
In-wheel electric motors developed by the Tecnalia Foundation have been performing much better than estimates before testing suggested they would — with power being 50% to 60% higher than expected — according to recent reports.
WrightSpeed has signed a contract with NZ Bus to convert hundreds of its city buses to a gas-turbine hybrid-electric powertrain. The new propulsion systems should cut fuel consumption by about 50%.
Battery life is of critical concern to carmakers and energy storage companies. All of today’s lithium-ion batteries degrade over time. The more times they are charged and discharged, the shorter their lifespan. Researchers at the University of California at Irvine (UCI) say they have discovered how to increase the tensile strength of nanowires. That breakthrough could be used to make lithium-ion batteries that last virtually forever.
What sort of music do you imagine Elon Musk listens to when he’s looking over SpaceX rocket designs at home? Smooth jazz, perhaps? Some country, or show tunes? No. When Musk is hanging out in his secret lair with his secret robot butlers he turns to one genre: power metal. Only power metal’s ceaseless rhythms and symphonic splendor can match Musk’s soaring ambition, and now, one band has had the courage to try and capture this spirit in musical form. Raptor Command are a self-described “heavy metal tribute to Elon Musk” and their first single is the no-nonsense “Elon: Champion for Humanity.”
As someone who has put a substantial amount of my life to date into highly competitive sports, I can say that I am highly aware of just how corrupted by steroids and “supplements” most professional sports now are.
The Tesla Roadster turns 10 this year, which has given many owners plenty of time to think about what they like about the car in this new documentary.
Working at Tesla could be a dream job. It is one of the most high profile and innovative companies in both the tech and automotive worlds, but with that also comes high stresses. Elon Musk is known to demand a lot of his people. Some get burned out after a while. Others just want a fresh set of challenges.
It’s no wonder the US is a repeat gold medalist in the 500-meter worry. We’ve shifted seamlessly from range anxiety to space anxiety. Some people are bummed that the Model ☰ has a trunk instead of a hatch. The payoffs, of course, are copious rear seating and a panoramic rear window that almost nobody on earth has experienced yet. But regardless of the rewards, some people feel just plain robbed, imprisoned, by that trunk — and the frunk be damned. George Carlin, anyone?
Energy experts have a mantra: “efficiency first.” They argue that it’s important to implement efficiency measures before investing in renewables. Consumers, however, don’t tend to listen to the chant of the experts. They purchase what is attractive to them. A particularly attractive combination is an electric vehicle (EV) and a solar photovoltaic (PV) system.
One investment approach that is gaining traction among consumers is to buy an electric vehicle (EV), and then size the solar photovoltaic (PV) system to meet existing consumption plus the extra consumption required by the EV.
What is a Solar+ home? Existing clean energy technologies can be cost-effectively combined to result in a Solar+ home that offers strong economic and environmental benefits. The approach is to combine solar photovoltaic (PV) power, an electric vehicle (EV), simple energy efficiency measures and appliance electrification. Benefits are maximized when the various technologies are sized, installed and operated within the context of the house as an integrated system. The specific technologies are:
- Solar power, where PV is located either on the customer’s home or as community solar.
- Personal transportation electrification that shifts from gas-powered vehicles to EVs.
- Simple energy efficiency measures, including phantom (or plug) load reduction and conversion to LED lighting.
- Appliance electrification, including conversion of water and space heating from natural gas to electric heat pump technologies.
- Basic building shell improvements including caulking, targeted insulation and ventilation.
The press is giggling about Elon’s desk on the factory floor, and the sleeping bag reference. If you’ve been following Tesla for more than a couple of years, you already knew about Musk’s desk location. It’s right on the assembly line. And the sleeping bag thing should be no shock if you’ve read the Ashlee Vance book about Musk. He’s been borderline homeless for quite some time, presumably without the tick bites, but you never know.
Every time GM’s lobbying efforts against Tesla make new headlines, like today’s headlines about the battle for Connecticut, TeslaMondo will remind readers of GM’s two-faced position on dealerships.
At the recent SAE World Conference, representatives from several car manufacturers issued a plea for global emissions and technical standards. They argue they waste billions of dollars striving to meet different emissions targets. They say that money could be better spent reducing pollution from the transportation sector rather than meeting a series of different regulatory and technical standards.
The Finnish company Outokumpu, working in partnership with the German Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (ILT), has developed a new lightweight, stainless steel electric vehicle battery pack, according to recent reports.
Legendary moped builder Sachs rocked the established tiny-bike world when it launched the original Sachs MadAss bike in 2004. Since its launch, numerous attempts have been made to bring the bike to the US, with the bike having been sold under the Pierspeed and Tomberlin brands or as the AMG Nitro. The biggest obstacle for the cult-following bike has always been getting it emissions-certified in the US. That concern may be a thing of the past, however, because Sachs just released an all-electric MadAss.
Regulatory regimes seeking to reduce emissions from transport have largely focused on tailpipe emissions—i.e., the criteria pollutants and CO2 that emerge with the exhaust from the tailpipe. However, there is more than 15 years of research showing that the contribution of non-exhaust primary particles to the total traffic generated primary particles is significant in urban areas. Non-exhaust PM factors include tire wear, brake wear, road surface wear and resuspension of road dust. Further, a 2013 review by Denier van der Gon et al., 2013 found that the ratio of non-exhaust to exhaust particles is strongly increasing in the last two decades, due to exhaust emission reductions.
ExxonMobil saw its Q1 profits dip 63% from last year, but it still approved a record shareholder dividend. Should we be worried?
Remember this ongoing compilation of headlines that directly warns Tesla about scary competitors, as if journalists are Tesla’s avuncular protectors? Well, the most credible among the ol’ “Tesla-killers” are the five here. Let’s see how they’re doing now.
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