There’s a part of me that feels bad when I am sceptical about a potentially great thing. It’s so easy to be a sceptic, and anytime an entrepreneur or innovator proposes a new, potentially game changing thing, legions of lazy sceptics come out of the woodwork denouncing it as hype. […]
It’s the 30-ninth Earth Day today, which means there will be a TON of stories about the environment. Even if it weren’t Earth Day, though, you’d be able to read a TON of stories about the environment. It’s a story that’s a part of our lives in a major, inescapable […]
At the Fortune Brainstorm Green conference Shai Agassi, CEO of Better Place, told the crowd that his battery swapping stations would cost $500,000 to build, and that they would look like car washes.
British startup Bee is talking up its dream of building a four-seat, five-door “Bee.One” which is supposed to be the UK’s most affordable electric car when all is said and done.
Bright Automotive unveiled its hybrid van, the IDEA, this morning in Washington D.C. The spacey looking van will go 30 miles on a full charge. After that, it’s using gasoline. It is supposed to be able to travel 70 miles a day on a single gallon of gas.
Adura Systems, a California based startup, is developing technology that will get electric hybrid buses moving 50 miles per gallon. Adura is working in conjunction with the Chinese government to deploy its first buses.
The New York Times Magazine uncorks a profile of electric car-infrastructure startup Better Place this weekend.
Raser Technologies (RZ) will unveil a Hummer H3 on Monday that’s been turned into a plug-in hybrid electric at the Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress in Detroit.
Bus maker Navistar (NAV) is entering into an agreement with the Department of Energy worth $10 million to develop a plug-in hybrid electric bus over the next three years.
The Wall Street Journal reminds us that we can improve our fuel efficiency without building more hybrids or increasing the fuel efficiency of automobiles, we just have to drive like a bunch of old ladies.
Elon Musk writes that his company is trying to cheapen up the electric auto in a blog post for the Guardian today, but admits it won’t happen without early support from the wealthy.
As, GM (GM) figures out what brands to sell, which ones to keep and which ones to just pull the plug on, you’d think the goal would be to consolidate the units that are the most profitable, while tossing the money losers.
The British government is joining the global bandwagon of governments offering to subsidise the purchase of electric cars, saying it will offer $2,998 to $7,495 to consumers who purchase a hybrid or an electric. The government is still working out how the discount will be administered–as a rebate or tax […]
Nissan’s (NSANY) CEO Carlos Ghosn appeared on CNBC’s Squwak Box this morning to talk electric cars.
Better Place’s CEO Shai Agassi wowed the eggheads at the TED conference with his stump speech about cutting carbon emissions by making all cars electric. The video just came online recently, we’ve embedded it below.
Last week at the New York Auto Show we asked Henrik Fisker why we should put a deposit down on his car rather than his rival Tesla’s Model S, or Roadster. His answer, the infrastructure doesn’t exist to support a long drive in an all electric car.
A123Systems announced that it’s received $100 million in refundable tax credits from the state of Michigan.
Johnson Controls-Saft (JCI) will renovate a factory in Holland, Michigan, which it will use to build batteries for hybrid cars from Ford (F), BMW, and Azure Dynamics.
Sometimes it just feels good to yell at the lowliest of employees, even if it makes no difference. For instance, if your iPod freezes constantly, ripping an Apple store employee feels great, though that single rip probably won’t hit Steve Jobs’ ears.
Last fall when the world fell apart, Warren Buffett made many famous investments, $3 billion in GE, $5 billion in Goldman. He also made one sleeper investment, paying $230 million for 10% of Chinese battery maker BYD, now better known for offering a $22,000 electric hybrid in China.
General Motors (GM) invited CNN’s Peter Valdes-Dapena to drive a “mule” powered by the Chevy Volt’s hybrid gas-electric engine and power train (the body of the car was actually a Chevy Cruze. The Volt body hasn’t been built yet). Here’s what he thought:
Jaguar is going to join the electric car party now that it’s secured a £307 million ($450 million) loan from the European Investment Bank, reports Autocar.
A123 systems, a Watertown, Massachusetts based battery startup, raised $69 million, with GE leading the investment with $15 million says the Wall Street Journal.
Despite the fact that we’re just seeing electric cars roll on the road, Richard Lowenthal, CEO of Coulomb Technologies tells us selling charging stations for electric cars will be a profitable business in a year and a half.
Henrik Fisker, CEO Fisker Automotive, tells us that China doesn’t understand American culture, which will hold back its chances for success in the electric auto game. But, if the government doesn’t provide some loans for promising technology developments, then before we know it, we’ll be passed by China just like […]
If you’re looking for a way to lose 15 minutes and you’re Tesla crazed, you’re in luck.
A123 Systems secured a contract with Chrysler earlier this week because it created a battery that could be used across a number of vehicles reports the MIT Technology review.
The Chinese government formally laid out its plan for ramping up its production of electric cars. It will heavily subsidise electric auto sales, as well as pay for automotive research.
Fresh off an $85 million round, Henrik Fisker is in New York showing off his sumptuous plug-in hybrid, the Karma S. We were able to speak with him about the company, its plans and the problems of auto companies generally.
Nissan is expected to enter into an agreement with the Chinese government to provide electric cars and develop charging infrastructure in the country, according to the Wall Street Journal.
TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington got a quick spin in the Tesla Model S, along with fellow TechCrunch reporters Sarah Lacy and Leena Rao. The car isn’t street legal as it lacks backseat safety belts and air bags, so they only got to zip around Tesla’s parking lot.
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The Department of Energy says it plans on handing out billions in loans to financially viable companies developing fuel efficient cars in the next month.
In flush times, the funding of a company is not necessarily indicative of the potential success of that company (witness the last dot-com boom.) One of interesting effects of a severe downturn in capital markets is that market forces have a tendency to mercilessly cull the herd. The money that […]
Fisker Automotive announced that it raised $85 million in venture capital backing from New York-based Eco-Drive (Capital) Partners LLC, a European-American investment consortium, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers.
Here’s another way to cut back on costs for the Chevy Volt–get rid of unecessary parts. The Volt has a range extender built into it, which means that when the battery craps out, a gas engine kicks in to keep the car running.
The Chevy Volt will roll across American highways in the near future, despite being labelled too expensive by Obama’s auto task force.
If electric cars ever populate our roads at anywhere near the level environmentalists would love to see, lithium will become a hot commodity. Bolivia controls a massive amount–over 50%–of the world’s supply.
Bloomberg News confirmed that the government intends to keep GM’s electric car, the Volt, in production, even though the auto task force ripped it in their report.
Greentech Media was lucky enough to take Nissan’s electric prototype for a spin. Their verdict: The drive was “quite good.”
China tells the New York Times that it’s going to produce a half million electric and hybrid autos by the end of 2011. If you choose to believe that, then it sounds like bad news for the U.S. However, picking at the meat of the news, it really doesn’t look […]
Tesla announced in a press release today that it received 520 reservations for its $57,400 sedan the Model S in the first week of the sedan’s existence.
What’s left of the American car industry is already hopelessly behind the curve when it comes to hybrid and electric cars. And if China has anything to say about it, that’s right where we’ll stay.
On Sunday we picked up on a leaked Car and Driver magazine interview with Telsa CEO, Elon Musk. In it he says, “a bit of news that hasn’t come out yet [is] General Electric is investing in Tesla.”
Add another electric car maker into the mix: Detroit Electric is teaming with Malaysian manufacturer Proton to produce two new electric cars for the masses.
Chinese electric auto company BYD would like to sell its car batteries to American and European automakers, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
UPDATE: It looks like GE hasn’t invested in the Tesla, after all.
Images Via Jason Calacanis’ Blog:
Tesla will show off its relatively affordable Model S today for the first time, and from a sneak peek, it looks almost as sleek as the company’s flagship Roadster.
Renault-Nissan showed off its electric car, the EV-02, today in San Diego. The company will tentatively roll these out starting in 2010, aiming for a mass launch two years later.
While the decisions of Tesla’s management have been questionable, there is no doubt that their car is a solid product. In anticipation of the Model S being unveiled this week, the Associated Press took a whirl through New York in a Roadster. The reviewer is absolutely smitten with the car:
It’s easy to pile on Detroit’s Big Three as incompetent (trust us, we do it all the time) for failing to produce compelling alternatives to the gas sippers and guzzlers that populate our highways.
Whoops! In January, Tesla told customers that it would be producing 30 Roadsters a week by spring. Well, spring is right around the corner and the company isn’t going to be able to make good on that promise, Earth2Tech reports.
Breaking! The LA Times reports that hybrid sales have fallen off a cliff. Whereas in the summer there was a long wait for hybrids, now there’s a glut of inventory on the lots.
Nikkei English News in Japan is reporting that Toyota will cut the price of the Prius to meet the lower price of Honda’s Insight hybrid in Japan.
We recently laid out an argument that a little bit of protectionism wouldn’t be the end of the world and that it might actually do some good. To sum up, our basic points were:
Much has been written about the potential impact of Big 3 bankruptcies on the hundreds of suppliers that sell parts and assemblies to them. Part of the logic of the auto bailout was that if any one of the Big 3 were to fail, it would bankrupt some of the […]
Tesla’s California competitor, Fisker, hits the Southern California airwaves. 100-mpg plug-in hybrid Karma “coming soon.” (Fisker, you’ll remember, is the car designer hired by Tesla who later defected and started his own company).
A theme that emerges from Michael Lewis’s blowout feature in Vanity Fairs on Iceland’s financial meltdown is that the country shifted away from its core business–fishing–towards something it barely understood–banking.
Thinking about picking up a Honda Insight–their new hybrid which is selling like hot cakes in Japan–to save a few bucks? Well, you better be a ‘stocks for the long run’ type of person.
Think, an electric car maker from Norway, is planning on opening a plant in the United States. It hopes to start production in 2010, producing 2,500 cars in its first year, eventually pumping out up to 60,000 cars annually in the United States and employing 900.
In elite economic and intellectual circles, having the temerity to accept any benefits of protectionism makes you worthy of excommunication. Blind loyalty to the idea that free trade forever and always is the only allowed philosophy. Of course, this uniformity of thought is reason enough to be sceptical.
Loads of people still hang onto fears of poor Chinese manufacturing, but if we want to get cheaper electric cars in the United States, we should let go of those fears.
Credit’s tight, the economy’s in the toilet, gas prices are low. It should all add up to trouble for an electric car start-up, right? Not so, says Charles Stonehill, the new CFO of Better Place.
While Obama hasn’t yet given automakers bailout money to ail their woeful financial prospects, he did help them out in the stimulus by allocating billions for highways, roads and bridges. Yesterday, $26 billion was released to states for transportation infrastructure projects.
Tesla Motors announced it is opening its first retail location for the year in Chicago at 1053 W. Grand Ave., near the Kennedy Expressway in the River West neighbourhood. Seven additional retail locations are planned for the year, in Manhattan, Miami, Seattle, Washington, London and Munich.
Fisker, the California company behind the electric auto the Karma, raised another $3 million for itself, reports Earth2Tech (via VentureWire). That brings the company’s total raised thus far to $100 million. In the fall it raised $67 million.
Where will the guts of your electric car’s battery pack come from? They could come from Bolivia, who has about half of the world’s lithium reserves. Seizing an economic opportunity, Bolivia’s president, Evo Morales says he’s ready to invest $200 million into mining the nation’s reserves.
There’s $25 billion awaiting assignment at the Department of Energy. That money is supposed to be directed to help subsidise the next generation of start ups and entrepreneurs working on electric automobiles. The program was approved in 2007, the DOE got the money in September 2008, but nothing’s been done […]
The Department of Transportation floated the idea of taxing people for the amount they drive as opposed to their emissions. Luckily, the bad idea’s been struck down:
China will be giving out cash rebates for people purchasing new fuel efficient automobiles or buses, according to Reuters. Purchases of small hybrids could get a $7,308 rebate. Purchases of fuel cell powered commercial buses could get an $87,000 rebate.
The Green Car Advisor picks up on something that most other people missed from Tesla’s newsletter earlier this week. Tesla is offering its customers the chance to pay $12,000 now for a battery pack seven years from today.
In a letter sent out to Tesla fans today, CEO Elon Musk lets the faithful know that the company will be profitable and it plans to press full steam ahead.
Better Place gets another big write up today, this time courtesy of the New York Times. Better Place, as CEO Shai Agassi describes it, is like the AT&T of electric cars. Better Place provides a grid, an infrastructure for zero emission autos to exist.
There was a time when sleek, powerful sports cars turned heads. From the Corvette to the Viper to the M3. Nowadays, however, it’s electric cars that get people turning their heads.
Earlier this week, it was reported that Ford’s new Fusion hybrid and Mercury Milan were fuel efficient enough at 39 mpg to qualify for a $3,400 income tax credit from the IRS. Huzzah!
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