As with most things, there is a right way and a wrong way to go about electric vehicles. Last Friday, Ian Wright and I spent a couple of hours around my conference table discussing our philosophies on electric cars. Wright knows something about this topic, as he was formerly an executive at EV start-up Tesla Motors, and is now the founder and CEO of Wrightspeed, a Silicon Valley-based start-up whose first car is going to be a high-performance electric supercar, price tag just shy of $200,000. And as it's electric, Wright expects it should out-start, outrun, out-turn, and … Read more
Editors' note: This blog initially misstated the refund amount for people who pay $5,000 to get on the waiting list but then later cancel their order. The amount is $4,950.
Tesla Motors is pushing out production of its sports car again, but the car goes farther on a battery charge than previously expected.
The company said late Monday night that it will deliver 50 Tesla Roadsters, its $98,000 all-electric sports car, in the first quarter of 2008 and 650 in total in 2008.
Earlier this year, the company said it would try to come out with cars … Read more
The common wisdom is that gas stations make almost no profit off the gas itself (the gas companies make a ton of profit, of course) and must have side businesses like garages and, above all, snack shops to turn a profit.
What if you were to turn that equation on its head and add a "filling station" to, say, a Starbucks? That's the intriguing possibility raised by an article on SFGate about Hyatt Hotels and Tesla Motors, the Google-founders-financed electric car start-up. (It's also been written up on CNET News.com.)
"Hyatt will install Tesla … Read more
The Lightning GTS, an all-electric sports car coming from England next year, will go 0 to 60 in four seconds, the company says.
But what I like is the '60s styling and the Union Jack license plate.
The car is one of several relatively new entrants into the electric auto market. They can be roughly divided into three categories: sports car specialists (Tesla Motors, Lightning, Lightspeed) and the sedan makers (Zap, Miles Automotive, etc.) and economy cars (Riva, Think). Some will make cars for different categories. Established companies like Nissan, of course, are tinkering at this too.
Right now, Tesla … Read more
How far can the Tesla Roadster go in real world conditions? We're going to get more data on that probably in the near future.
The all-electric sports car will go more than 200 miles on a single charge. However, the actual results will vary depending on the terrain and your driving style, according to Diarmuid O'Connell, director of corporate development. The company, for instance, has driven the car on a single charge from Lake Tahoe, Calif., to corporate headquarters in San Carlos, Calif., a distance of about 200 miles. (Truckee to San Carlos is 207 miles, according to … Read more
Phoenix Motorcars, the guys who want to bring you all-electric SUVs and trucks, won't be coming out with their cars this year after all.
CEO Dan Elliot posted this note on the company's site late Thursday night:
"We must also thank you for your patience in our development progress as we have worked to bring our product to market. We recognize that our product rollout has taken longer than originally expected as we continue to work through certification with the California Air Resources Board (ARB), finalize our financing package, and set up our production facility that will … Read more
Michael Marks, the former CEO of contract manufacturer Flextronics, has stepped in to become the interim chief executive of electric sports car company Tesla Motors.
Founder and current CEO Martin Eberhard will become president of technology.
The company also acknowledged that it may face more delays in bringing the Tesla Roadster to market. Last July, it was aiming to have a vehicle ready in about a year, then later shifted that date to the fall of 2007. Now another postponement could be in the offing. Eberhard wrote in an e-mail to customers:
"We are still planning to start production … Read more
The lithium ion car battery created by Tesla Motors has passed a battery of certification tests that effectively remove another hurdle in the path toward selling products.
Because they can burst into flames, lithium ion batteries are classified as dangerous goods, according to Erik Toomre, Director of Manufacturing Programs. "Before we ship it to the public, we have to demonstrate that it is safe," he said.
The United Nations has issued specifications on what tests lithium batteries have to pass and these regulations have been adopted and/or tweaked by various governments. In third party tests, both the … Read more
Tesla Motors CEO Martin Eberhard was in Los Angeles today to give members of the Motor Press Guild the story behind the making of its cars. For the past couple of years, the Bay Area-based company has gotten oodles of press coverage, much of it on the merits of its technology. But until this afternoon I wasn't entirely convinced. First, some background:
A year ago, I stood on Peter Hay hill at the Concours d'Elegance in Pebble Beach with a rather prominent car designer. Not too far in the distance, hordes of spectators gathered around a pair of … Read more
Earlier this year, Tesla Motors said it would open five customer service centers when it launched its electric car later this year--in Northern California, Southern California, Chicago, New York and Florida. Now, the company has divulged the exact location of its shop in Northern California, in what's surely a nod to its headquarters in Silicon Valley.
Stanford University has licensed Tesla use of a 2.6 acre lot at 300 El Camino Real in Menlo Park, Calif., where the sports-car maker will open a showroom and service center for its $92,000 electric car down the street from a … Read more