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Posts Tagged ‘electric vehicles’

Detroit Electric Abandoning Detroit Production Base for Sports Car

Maker may still turn to Motor City for later models.

by on Mar.31, 2014

CEO Albert Lam with a prototype of the Detroit Electric SP:01 battery sports car. The car will now be built in Holland instead of Detroit.

Call it Not-So-Detroit Electric, apparently. Already a year late in plans to produce a $135,000 limited-edition sports car, the start-up firm says it will turn to Holland to produce its little SP:01 model starting later this year.

But the company still hopes to return to the Motor City when it launches a more mainstream, battery-powered sedan later in the decade.

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Named after a Michigan-based battery-car company that folded during the Great Depression, Detroit Electric was introduced by Hong Kong businessman Albert Lam, a former Apple executive, during a splashy news conference nearly a year ago. At the time, he admitted the project walked a fine line “between sanity and insanity,” and would be a challenge to get into production. (more…)

Electric Vehicles Save $100 Million in Gas Costs

Sales of EVs doubled in 2013 to nearly 100,000 units.

by on Mar.27, 2014

American EV owners saved themselves $100 million last year by not buying gas.

More than 160,000 Americans saved themselves $100 million in 2013 by not doing one thing that millions of others had to do: buy gasoline.

According to Union of Concerned Scientists, those drivers saved 45 millions of gasoline last year. Not surprisingly, Californians led the way accounting for nearly half of the savings – $40 million – and reducing emissions of carbon dioxide by 140 thousand tons per year.

Beyond the Headlines!

The number of plug-in electrics doubled in the U.S. last year to 99,827 vehicles compared with 2012. Again, California led the charge. In fact, 2.5% of the cars sold there in 2013 were plug-ins.

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Tesla Poaches Nissan VP Simon Sproule as New PR Chief

Plenty of challenges await.

by on Mar.13, 2014

New Tesla PR Chief Simon Sproule.

It’s been an up-and-down month for Tesla, and if at times it seems like the start-up battery-carmaker has struggled a bit to stay on-message that’s probably no surprise.  It has, in fact, struggled to keep staffed with PR professionals and even those now on the Palo Alto-based team have often been overwhelmed.

There’s the generally good news about the maker’s stock price run-up, the worrisome developments involving a series of vehicle battery fires.  This week, Tesla seemed shell-shocked when it was denied the opportunity to set up factory-run dealerships in New Jersey. Never mind the fact that its expanding in Europe, preparing to enter China and getting ready to launch a new SUV, to be followed by a more mainstream battery sedan.

Global Insight!

Making sense out of all that will shortly become the responsibility of one Simon Sproule, at 45 an industry veteran who has worked for Ford, Jaguar, and for most of the last decade with CEO Carlos Ghosn in a variety of duties at Nissan and the Renault-Nissan Alliance.  His most recent assignment was director of communications for that Euro-Pacific partnership.

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Tesla Megafactory Deal Could Slash Costs for Batteries

EV maker reportedly planning $1 bil US factory with Japan’s Panasonic.

by on Feb.26, 2014

Lower cost, higher-power batteries could make vehicles like the Tesla Model S a lot more competitive.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is expected to announce plans for a new “gigafactory” later this week, and reports out of Japan indicate the project will involve a $1 billion joint venture with electronic giant Panasonic to set up a lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant in the United States.

The two partners are expected to seek the involvement – and investment – of additional partners, according to Japan’s Nikkei. Among the key goals of the program will be a sharp reduction in the cost of the advanced batteries needed to power vehicles like the Tesla Model S.

News to Charge You Up!

The reports have generated some skepticism, and neither Panasonic nor Tesla are directly discussing the reports – or the megafactory announcement the California-based automaker is expected to make on Thursday. Contacted by the AFP news service, a Panasonic official would only say the company is “studying every possible way to strengthen ties with Tesla.”

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Tesla May Raise Gigacapital to Build Gigafactory

Maker unlikely to meet demand in China this year.

by on Feb.20, 2014

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the company would likely need to raise capital if its proposed battery "gigafactory" was to be ready in the next three years.

Tesla Motor’s financial results showed the company’s progress, but the performance of the stock reflects its perceived potential. Now it appears the EV maker is going to leverage that to raise capital.

The company is preparing to announce its plans to develop a “gigafactory” that would produce batteries for its vehicles at a much higher volume and much lower cost, but in order to do it, it’s going to need some cash and now’s the time to get some with the stock price at an all time high.

News to Charge You Up!

“I think that’s a good idea,” said said Elon Musk, Tesla’s founder and leader, during a conference call with analysts yesterday. He declined to comment specifically about the possibility, but allowed if the company were to build the gigafactory within the next three years, raising money to do so would be necessary. Since the announcement for the plan will be next week, it seems getting some more cash is on Tesla’s agenda. (more…)

Tesla Either Lost $16 Million or Earned $46 Million in Q4

EV maker set new sales record for quarter with 6,893 units.

by on Feb.19, 2014

Tesla reported a record number of units sold for Q4: 6,893 vehicles. The company sold 22,477 for all of 2013.

In a surprise to no one, Tesla’s fourth-quarter earnings were a mixed bag, depending upon what kind of “bag” you want to use: non-GAAP or GAAP.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based EV maker reported net income of $46 million, or 33 cents per share, on a non-GAAP basis. Using GAAP reporting, which is typically the standard, the company lost $16 million, or 13 cents per share. The earnings include $15 million in regulatory credits, although no zero-emission vehicle credit sales, the company noted.

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It also secured $13 million in revenue from powertrain programs is has with Toyota and Daimler. Tesla officials noted the reason for providing both GAAP and non-GAAP results is “due to lease accounting for our resale value guarantee (RVG) and employee stock based compensation as a result of the increase in our stock price last year.” (more…)

China’s Wanxiang Wangles Control of Bankrupt Fisker

Wins auction with bid of nearly $150 million.

by on Feb.17, 2014

Fisker initially attracted the attention of a number of high-profile buyers, including actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

Bankrupt battery-carmaker Fisker Automotive could get a new lease on live.  After an unexpected, last-minute surge in bidding, China’s Wanxiang Group won an auction for the remaining assets of the California-based maker for $149.2 million.

That was nearly six times as much as it originally appeared the once-promising Fisker might go for.  The company originally expected its assets to go to Japan’s Hybrid Tech Holdings for a much more modest $25 million after filing for bankruptcy last November.  Creditors had objected to what they saw as a sweetheart deal and U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross agreed to let other interested parties bid for Fisker’s remains.

Your Trusted Source!

“This is a great result for all Fisker stakeholders,” Marc Beilinson, the carmaker’s chief restructuring officer, said in a statement issued after the announcement – which is expected to be finalized by the Delaware-based bankruptcy court tomorrow.

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Tesla Sets New Record High for Share Price

Investors push stock beyond $200 mark during trading.

by on Feb.13, 2014

Investors seem pretty excited about Tesla. They pushed the company's stock price to a record-high close today of $199.63.

Investors apparently are expecting good news from Tesla when it reports earnings next week as the company’s stock floated above $200 a share today before closing at record high $199.63.

It was the second time this week that the Palo Alto, Calif.-based electric vehicle maker’s stock broke through the $200 barrier. In fact, it set a new record today of $202.72.

Fuel for Thought!

Analysts surveyed by FactSet expect the car maker to report fourth-quarter earnings of 19 cents a share on $646 million in sales, according to MarketWatch.com. (more…)

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.

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“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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