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Posts Tagged ‘battery cars’

Tesla Confirms Plans for 3rd, Mainstream Model

Maker plans to have a line-up full of S-III-X.

by on Jul.16, 2014

Tesla hopes to charge up a more mainstream audience when it launches the new Model III by 2017.

California battery-car start-up Tesla Motors has shown it can take on established premium-luxury brands with its Model S sedan, but the real test will come when it launches an all-new mainstream electric vehicle it’s planning to call the Model 3, or Model III, depending on which tweet you read.

CEO and founder Elon Musk has long made clear his plans to go down-market, the new sedan expected to come somewhere around $35,000 – or between one-half and one-third of the price of the bigger Model S, depending on equipment and range. That would position the new offering as a direct competitor to the likes of – appropriately enough, the BMW 3-Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedans.

Get Charged Up!

The Model 3 actually would be Tesla’s fourth model, following the original Roadster, the Model S and the upcoming Model X sport-utility vehicle set to debut next year. But it would be, by Tesla’s count, bring the debut of the brand’s third-generation battery technology.

And it would allow the maker to come close to its original plans for a somewhat inside joke. The smaller model was originally scheduled to be called the Model E – until, that is, Tesla was reminded by rival Ford Motor Co. that the Michigan maker owned that trademark.

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Saleen Plans Performance-Tuned Version of Tesla Model S

Tuner will emphasize both exterior tweaks and performance enhancements.

by on Jul.15, 2014

A preliminary sketch of a Saleen-tuned Model S.

Able to turn a 0 to 60 launch in little more than 4 seconds, the Tesla Model S has changed many folks image of battery cars as little more than electrified stone ponies.

But just how much additional performance might an owner squeeze out of that lithium-ion pack? That’s apparently something that raised a flag at Saleen, the tuner house that has amped up plenty of conventional gasoline-powered vehicles, such as the Ford Mustang, while also producing its own supercar, the S7.

The Word is "Free"!

Steve Saleen himself is leading the charge, and he plans to have a tuned version of the Tesla Model S ready before the end of the summer.

Some preliminary sketches give a hint of what he’s got in store. The modified battery car will include changes to both its exterior, as well as what’s hidden under the hood, according to Saleen.

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Musk Hopes Patent Move Will Boost EV Sales

Developing cheap, long-range battery nearly as tough as going to Mars, says Tesla founder.

by on Jun.18, 2014

Tesla CEO Elon Musk during a recent TV appearance.

It’s a risky – some would say foolhardy – strategy, but by opening up the company’s patents to its competitors, Tesla Motors founder and CEO Elon Musk said he is hoping to stimulate completion in the battery-car market.

In a pair of television interviews, the South African-born entrepreneur also noted that he is looking to develop a cheap, long-range battery that will make it possible to produce a “compelling, mass-market” electric vehicle. But Musk, who also runs the SpaceX rocket company, admitted that goal is nearly as tough as sending a man to Mars.

Electrifying!

The list of companies that have tried and failed to break into the automotive market is long, Musk said during an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, adding that stimulating competition by giving away your patents, while unorthodox, is one way to encourage more competition – and investments — in battery-cars.

“If we succeed, it will help kick-start electric vehicle sales,” he said, noting that Tesla’s sales are expected to grow by almost 60% this year to 35,000 Model S sedans, compared with about 22,000 in 2013.

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Sales Up, But Tesla Drops $50 mil into the Red

Adjusted earnings stay in the black.

by on May.07, 2014

A model Tesla dealership.

It beat its own optimistic sales forecast, but battery-electric automaker Tesla Motors nonetheless dropped $50 million, or 40 cents per share, into the red for the first quarter of 2014.

But after excluding special one-time items, the Silicon Valley-based start-up managed to eke out a $17 million adjusted income, or 12 cents a share. That handily exceeded the consensus industry analyst forecast of 6 cents per share.

Plug In!

Tesla had a significant quarter, the maker coping with concerns about the safety of its battery packs – ultimately heading off a federal investigation by announcing plans to add a new, titanium safety cage underneath its Model S – while preparing for its much-anticipated product launch in the booming Chinese market.

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Over Half of New Vehicles Now Deliver at Least 23 MPG

One in nine now top 30 MPG, according to new study.

by on Apr.29, 2014

The Nissan Altima is one of a growing list of vehicles delivering better than 23 mpg - often more than 30 miles per gallon.

Despite the resurgence of full-size pickups, SUVs and muscle cars, American car buyers are getting better fuel economy than ever before, over half of the vehicles sold this year delivering over 23 mpg, according to a new study, with one in nine topping 30 mpg.

Even some traditional gas guzzlers are now yielding mileage once considered a stretch for small cars, industry and government data reveals, though automakers still face a stretch achieving the 54.5 mpg target facing them in 2025, observers warn.

Efficient Use of Your Time!

“This has been remarkable,” said Mark Cooper, research director for the Consumer Federation of America, which has been tracking fuel economy trends for over a decade.  After years of relatively stagnant mileage, the increased federal fuel economy rules passed in 2005 have been paying off, he said, calling it a “great example” of how industry can respond to mandates backed by public support.

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EV Buyers Tend to Be Younger, More Affluent Than Hybrid Owners

One in five battery-car owners has income topping $175,000.

by on Apr.22, 2014

The high cost of the Tesla Model S has raised the average income for all EV buyers.

Motorists who purchase battery-electric vehicles tend to be younger and more affluent than drivers who buy more conventional hybrid vehicles, according to a new study.

That’s in line with other studies that have found the Tesla Model S has become one of the most popular products among motorists in the nation’s wealthiest zip codes.

Data Check!

“At first glance, one would imagine that consumers purchasing either a hybrid or electric vehicle would be nearly identical; both are environmentally conscious, are of similar ages and have higher income levels,” said Melinda Zabritski, senior director for Experian Automotive. But the data tracking firm found surprising differences.

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Daimler Betting Big on Hydrogen Fuel Cells

China could be critical electric vehicle market, says CEO Zetsche.

by on Apr.10, 2014

The Mercedes-Benz F-Cell hydrogen car.

Daimler AG’s top executives believe hydrogen fuel cells hold the key to developing a broader range of electric vehicles in the future.

Dieter Zetsche, Daimler AG’s top executive and head of the Mercedes-Benz Car Group, told shareholders at the company’s annual meeting in Berlin the German automaker is committed to electric vehicle technology.  China, the world’s single largest car market, now has plans for putting millions of EVs on the road by the end of the decade.

Electrifying!

“With our Chinese partner BYD, we have developed an electric vehicle in China for China,” he said. The Denza, which was developed with BYD, will debut at the Beijing Auto Show later this month, he added.  “China plans to have five million electric vehicles on the road by 2020 and we’re ready to help,” Zetsche added.

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Kia Joins Battery Brigade With New Soul EV

Limited sales begin later this year.

by on Feb.06, 2014

Kia's first battery-car, the Soul EV, goes on sale during the third quarter, but only in a handful of markets.

Korean carmaker Kia is the latest to plug-into the growing market for battery-electric vehicles, introducing the all-new 2015 Kia Soul EV at the Chicago Auto Show.

The Soul is one of three battery-based models Kia is showing at this year’s event in the Windy City, the maker also rolling out an updated version of its Optima Hybrid sedan, as well as the new Niro Hybrid Concept.

Keeping You Plugged In!

Most major automakers have, or soon plan to add plug-based vehicles to their U.S. model lines – at least in part due to the strict new Zero-Emission Vehicle, or ZEV standards going into effect in California and a handful of other states.  But while sales have fallen well short of proponents’ expectations, plug-in hybrids and pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, generated just short of 100,000 sales last year, an all-time record.

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Ferdinand Porsche’s First Car Resurfaces After 111 Years

P1 battery car to go on display in Stuttgart.

by on Jan.28, 2014

The Porsche P1 is formally known as the 1898 Egger-Lohner C.2. Phaeton.

It wasn’t your classic “barn find.”  In the case of the rare P1, it was found stuffed in the back of an old Austrian warehouse – since 1902.

Officially known as the Egger-Lohner electric vehicle, C.2 Phaeton, it’s the first car ever designed by the legendary Ferdinand Porsche. And it was one of several electric vehicles the automotive pioneer – later known for his groundbreaking sports cars – developed in his early years.

Your Global Auto Source!

The classic, newly restored after 115 years – more than 111 of them in storage – is getting its rightful place of honor at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart this week as part of the gallery’s fifth anniversary.

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Nissan Becomes First to Sell 100,000 Electric Vehicles

Nissan Leaf now market’s battery best-seller.

by on Jan.21, 2014

British dentist Dr. Brett Garner bought the 100,000th Nissan Leaf at the urging of his wife.

Nissan has crossed a significant threshold becoming the first manufacturer to ever sell 100,000 plug-based vehicles.

Just over three years after launching the Nissan Leaf, the maker delivered the milestone battery sedan to a dentist in the British community of Fareham, about two hours southwest of London.

Your Auto News Source!

“I have chosen my Nissan Leaf because I am very interested in its running costs,” said Dr. Brett Garner, a father of three. “The cost of ownership such as maintenance, insurance and charging also convinced my wife. She had the experience of driving 500 miles in a borrowed LEAF and the low cost was remarkable. So she was converted and insisted that we had a Leaf.”

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