Sunday, March 29, 2009

What Is This Economic Crisis Good For Anyway? How About A True Electric Car.

What Is This Economic Crisis Good For Anyway?  How About A True Electric Car.


Aside from the obvious inevitable outcomes: the downfall of financial institutions rotten to the core, stripping away corporate anonymity, far-reaching reregulation, rebuilding a great deal of America’s embarrassing decrepit infrastructure, and you know the rest of the list.


When it comes to Detroit; the umpire has not yet made the call at the plate…”Safe or Out!”  But in Silicon Valley there are developments that have clearly opened the door to the future of the Green Automobile, and this time the  emissions less electric car will not be shelved, and will only be a matter of time before those thinking outside of the box will produce a no plug-in to run, self recharging electrical engine power plant.  And who gets to that finish line first will own a great of the world!


But in the meantime Tesla Motors, (and mind you; this is not a commercial) has taken major step in the right direction.  I still want to get rid of that damned recharging umbilical cord. If I may digress for just a moment:  it’s not all of the start and stopping time outs to recharge these vehicles that still gets under my skin; it’s the fact that we still have a lot of horrible non-green technologies for producing the electricity needed to charge and recharge these, in my mind, temporary, interim evolutionary vehicles. Yes, they are emissions less.  Yes they don’t burn gasoline and belch all kinds of atmospheric environmental pollutants, but those electric plants feeding them do and will, and they will have to crank out a helluva lot more kilowatts to keep our new toys running.  So let’s be realistic about this. 


Some little group of geeks who want to become unbelievably filthy rich need to get about the task of creating an on board recharging system for all the battery packs these cars will be using for awhile.  Think alternator, generator, voltage regulator and step off from there.  You don’t have   generate or siphon off a great deal of on board electricity to step up coil or whatever to produce enough juice to be circulated in a recharging circuit system.  Think about it!  OH, and hybrids; I’ve written them off.


Anyway let’s get to be bit of excitement.


  • - 300 mile range
  • - 45 minute QuickCharge
  • - 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds
  • - Seats 7 people
  • - More Cargo space than station wagons
  • - 2X as efficient as hybrids
  • - 17 inch infotainment touchscreen
  • - 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds


  • - 120 mph top speed


  • - Sport sedan dynamics


  • - All-wheel-drive available


This Electric Car Is the Real Thing 

Not The Greatest Video But Mainstream Media Absent!

 Tesla Motors introduced their $50,000 Model S Electric Sedan this week to lots of ooohs and ahhhs from the automobile and tech communities. The bad news is that this won't roll off the assembly line until 2011-2012.


Tesla's initial entry into the world of electric cars has garnered a great deal of media, and for good reason. It was one of the first performance oriented zero-emissions vehicles, and despite looking all too much like the Lotus Elise it is based on, not to mention making thorough use of the British automaker and engineering firm’s expertise in designing and building the all-electric supercar, it has enjoyed tremendous mainstream publicity to the point that Tesla is now a household name. What to do next? Expand the brand with a more mainstream model to capitalize on the buzz, of course.

First off, thanks to the penmanship of designer Elon Musk, Tesla’s much anticipated Model S four-door coupe looks good off the mark, with a very British rounded nose, uniquely sculpted front headlight assemblies and a large, gaping chrome-enhanced grille, expected in the luxury sector. Will it dethrone Fisker’s Karma as best looking ultra-green super sedan? Possibly not, but where the Karma is a plug-in hybrid with an extremely sophisticated and efficient powertrain, the Model S is purely electric and therefore zero-emissions polluting thanks to its all-electric drivetrain.

What’s exciting for Tesla is the market potential for such a vehicle, a point proven by fellow upstart Fisker that has reportedly already signed up 35 dealers to sell a lineup that will soon expand to include two models as well. Fisker intends to sell 10,000 of its Karma sedans alone, and its all-new Karma S hardtop convertible grand touring model will only add to that total, immediately vaulting the brand past storied luxury marques such as Aston Martin and Bentley.

A total of 250 Tesla roadsters delivered so far, however, won’t excite the mass-market auto dealer mentality all that much, but the prospective sales of 20,000 total Model S four-door sedans by the end of its first full year of sales, and its potential to pull in upwardly mobile environmentalists for aftermarket sales and service will have some high-end sellers salivating at the mouth with the thought of getting their hands on a franchise.

In order to make any electric car viable in the real world, range has to exceed mere commuting capability and extend into weekend jaunts to the country. To that end, the Model S should excel with a choice of three range packs that start at 257 km (160 miles), reach a median of 370 km (230 miles) and top out at 483 km (300 miles), the topmost model featuring 440-volt charging and the lesser models featuring 110- and 220-volt power sources respectively. A quick charge can be achieved in only 45 minutes, while a full charge will take up to 4 hours via a 220-volt plug; a connection to North America's 110-volt household current will take longer.

So what's Tesla's key strategy to achieve such strong sales numbers right out of the box? Simple. Zero emissions and reduced running costs aside, the luxuriously appointed sedan will start at only $49,900. What's more, in the US there will be $7,500 Obama-break (tax-break).

Due to new harmonized safety standards and no concerns about violating low-speed vehicle restrictions in certain provinces that have made it impossible to import vehicles like the Zenn city car or even drive Canada's own Dynasty electric, the Tesla Model S will find its way to Canada towards the end of the year when Tesla's roadster will also become available north of the 49th. While Tesla dealerships are expected, interested parties will be able to import their cars through upcoming Tesla "regional centers" in Seattle and New York.

Of interest, only Canada and Norway create the majority of their electricity via renewable resources, such as run-of-river small hydro, wind, biomass, geothermal and solar energy. According to Tesla, recharging the current Roadster from the current Canadian grid would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 85-percent, on average, when compared to the emissions of an equivalent gasoline-powered vehicle. In British Columbia, Manitoba and Quebec, where hydro-generated electricity is dominant, the reduction would be up to 98-percent.

Tesla isn't only known for environmental issues, mind you, but it's made a name for performance too. On that note, even the standard S will sprint to 100 km/h in 5.7 to 6.2 seconds, while the upcoming Sport version will hit the marque in "well under five seconds," says Musk.

Sounds like going green won't be all that boring after all.


The Tesla Motors Blog


Besides its great looks and incredible specs (and unfortunate leadership controversies), there is something else interesting about the Tesla. Google's founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page are big investors.

We learned this week that the Tesla would have an industry first 17-inch display that would include Google Maps for driving guidance and a 3G connection to use services like Pandora radio. You can also check the battery charge on mobile devices as well. For instance, you can check the charging while you are at work.

But that isn't all that the Google founders would probably like to get into this car.

If they had their way...

The car's web browser of choice will undoubtedly be Google Chrome. The OS that is running the system will likely be Android. Google Talk/Google Voice (Grand Central) could also be used for communications.

Going international? Use Google Translate to navigate your way to Cabo San Lucas...or Quebec.

YouTube could keep the kids occupied in the back while driving or be a distraction while waiting for a Big Mac in the drive thru line. Speaking of distraction, how about seeing your Google Reader feeds or Google News on that 17-inch display.

Mobile shopping is getting bigger and Google Checkout/Product Search could play a part of this. Need to exchange a battery for the Tesla? Pull up Google to find the closest/cheapest battery refilling station.

That's just the beginning. Google has their hands on what could be the most revolutionary vehicle of the millennium, if they put those big brains to work on what automobile consumers want, they'll likely come up with things that make other cars last century.

The Tree Hugger Gallery Slideshow

This brings us to the short and sad tale of “Who Killed The Electric Car”.  By now we all the answer to that one: Detroit and the Oil Companies.  Below there is a presentation concerning GM’s much talked about Evolt Hybrid…a joke at best!  Again corpaorate thinking at its tokenistic worst.  Evolt completely dismissed here! (Ed.)l


Short Supply: American-made Electric Car Batteries

The key component for America's automotive rebirth isn't even made here.

As Big 3 CEO's, the head of the UAW, and various invited economic experts appeared before Congress this week, one key witness was missing, which is ironic, because the success or failure of a revitalized American auto industry pivots around its presence.

That missing witness is an American advanced automotive battery manufacturing industry.

With all the talk on Capitol Hill this week about Big 3's plans to introduce advanced, plug-in electric cars, with the CEO's dramatically arriving to testify in conventional hybrids and advanced prototype plug-in models, little if any attention was paid to the fact that America has next to no advanced automotive lithium ion battery production capacity. With the exception of a currently shrinking handful of US-based firms, virtually all advanced nickel metal hydride (NiMH) and lithium ion (Li-ion) production is done overseas, mainly in China, Japan and Korea.

Two Japanese companies: Panasonic and Sanyo produce nearly all of the batteries found in today's hybrids, including those manufactured by Toyota, Lexus, Honda, Nissan and Ford. And Panasonic, whose hybrid battery production JV is now largely owned by Toyota, is seeking to acquire Sanyo, which would give it nearly monopolistic control of all NiMH battery production for automotive applications.

US-based Cobasys, originally founded as joint-venture between Troy, Michigan-based ECD and General Motors to produce NiMH batteries for the now extinct EV1 electric car, produces nickel-based batteries for the troubled giant's hybrids, but its fate is uncertain. Between legal spats with Daimler and product quality issues with GM, as well as management problems, the joint venture with Chevron-Texaco remains, at best, a small player in a rapidly shifting market. Two other NiMH plays, Colorado-based NiLar and ElectroEnergy, which also produces lithium-based cells, have run into either technical obstacles or financial ones.

On the lithium ion battery front, the picture is much the same. The literally thousands of finger-sized cells that power the Tesla Roadster come from Asia. The same goes for the battery cells the Chevy Volt, the extended range electric car on which General Motors is pinning its future.

The battery "pack" in the Volt consists of a series of battery modules, each similar to the starter battery on a small car or motorcycle. Inside these modules are individual "cells", each rated at 2-3 volts. These are connected together to make a module, which is connected to all the other modules to make a single 16 kilowatt hour battery pack, giving the car a range of 40 miles on electric power only.

General Motors contracted with two firms to develop the battery pack for the Volt: Michigan-based Compact Power, Inc. (CPI) and Germany's Continental AG (Conti). CPI gets its cells from its parent, LG Chem, the giant Korean conglomerate. Conti partnered with Massachusetts-based A123 Technologies for their cells, but those cells are manufactured in China.

So the lithium battery technology inside the Volt "mule" -- a converted Chevy Cruze -- in which GM CEO Rick Wagner arrived on Capitol Hill for a second round of Congressional hearings, ultimately came from Asian manufacturers, not American ones.

There are just a tiny handful of North American lithium cell manufacturers that are actively engaged in producing cells for automotive applications.


Bolivia pins hopes on lithium, electric vehicles -

Also, auto manufacturers generally want batteries made near their assembly plants. How soon Bolivia's lithium deposits are developed depends on many factors ...


Who Killed the Electric Car: GM and Chevron

Oct 25, 2006 ... Find out and comment on why GM was forced to kill EV1 ..... Before "Who killed the electric car" movie I had no clue such technology existed ... - 


GM's top execs flank the Volt at GM's Centennial Celebration

40 miles of electricity. Sounds pretty arbitrary, right? Wrong.

Yesterday, I wrote Volt EV Range: Is 40 enough? Would 80 be better? Should GM increase the Volt's EV range as battery technology develops?

Well, let's first analyze the American driver and the future of the American driver. Around 80 percent of American commutes are 40 miles or less. And, as people continue their migration back into cities, these commutes are plagued by traffic, congestion and sub-20 mile per hour speeds - conditions that bring out the worst in today's conventional vehicles.

These horrible conditions, however, bring out the very best in hybrid carsand they will also bring out the best in plug-ins, such as the Chevy Volt, thanks to regenerative braking.


Solar Cell Car Roofs Are Nothing!


Nanowire battery can hold 10 times the charge of existing lithium ...


MIT develops quick-charge batteries - The Boston Globe


Breakthrough battery for electric cars? - Green Machines-

Dec 13, 2007 ... A new battery that can be recharged to 90 percent capacity in under five minutes will start shipping in March, Toshiba Corp. announced, ...

Thermal Insulating Nano-Paint Generates Electricity : TreeHugger


Tell me that somewhere in just that list that we can’t  find ,adapt or develop a technology to make The Electric Telsa the first Full-fledged Electric Car!




  1. GM and Chrysler's plans are not viable. They never will be to the UAW decides to play ball. Bluegrass Pundit

  2. I have posted the comment from Bluegrass Pundit so that I may respond to this notion. The viability of our auto industry does not rest with the surrender of the UAW and the reduction of America's work force to third world status. The major problem can be found in a product that has not evolved to this century's needs and production techniques. Detroit will move to a true Green Electric vehicle when it is forced to do by the market place. The same holds true for the modernization of production techniques and the long over due retooling necessary. If Detroit builds a vehicle American's desire it will sell. "If you build them; they will sell." In the meantime falling for the scape-goating of the UAW falls on deaf ears here as another example of America being nose ring led by right wing verbal lint "profits first" on everyone else's backs. It is garbage. Further, the current crisis will only serve to bolster a resurgence of Unionism in this land. Look at management and investors before you look at and finger point at labor.


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