Panasonic and Tesla finally agree to a battery partnership on US ‘gigafactory’ plant

OSAKA — Panasonic has reached a basic agreement with Tesla Motors to participate in the Gigafactory, the huge battery plant that the American electric vehicle manufacturer plans to build in the U.S. Tesla aims to begin the first phase of construction this fiscal year. The plant would start making lithium-ion cells for Tesla cars in 2017. The automaker is shouldering the cost for the land and buildings.     Panasonic likely will invest 20 billion to 30 billion yen ($194-291 million) initially, taking responsibility for equipping the factory with the machinery to make the battery cells. An official announcement on the partnership will come by the end of this month.     Capacity at the Gigafactory will be added in stages to match demand, with the goal of producing enough battery cells in 2020 to equip 500,000 electric vehicles a year.     The total investment is expected to reach up to $5 billion, and Panasonic’s share could reach $1 billion.     The Japanese company owns a stake in Tesla and currently makes the batteries for Tesla cars. In a contract reworked in October 2013, the two agreed that Panasonic would supply Tesla with 2 billion battery cells between 2014 and 2017.
The partnership wasn’t ever a secret or really ever in doubt. Panasonic, I think, spent some extra time negotiating better terms. Both company’s stocks are spiking on the news.

Javier Verdura, Director of Product Design and Project Management for Tesla Motors pulls back the curtain

No breaking news here but a nice look behind the curtain of design at Tesla motors. Stick around for the Q&A at the end.

Join the second installment of RKS Sessions with Javier Verdura, Director of Product Design and Project Management for Tesla Motors. Verdura will give us a look under the hood of the innovative company- sharing their history, design process and where they’re headed in the future.

The second event in the series, RKS Sessions brings together luminaries and ideas focused on cutting edge user-experience, brand, service and product design. A monthly design-centric event series, it is jointly produced by RKS and Cross Campus. RKS Sessions is also a forum for the design community to share their ideas.

About Javier Verdura
Mexico City-born Javier Verdura graduated from Art Center College of Design with a BS in Product Design in 1991. In 1998 he joined the then start-up firm Product Ventures, he remained there for 15 years as the Vice President of Design and Development, during his tenure he helped grow the company from 6 employees to almost 50. His most recent position has brought Javier back to Los Angeles where he is currently the Director of Product Design at Tesla Motors. Over his 22-year career, Javier has designed everything from surgical equipment to consumer products and packaging. He has been recognized by winning some of the industry’s most prestigious awards: 3-time Red Dot winner, Multiple Good Design Awards (7) and an IDEA award. In addition, his name appears in more than 130 patents in US and abroad. Javier’s philosophy on Industrial Design: if you can’t manufacture what you create, it is not worth designing.

Edmonds completes Tesla Model S “Reverse Cannonball Run”, breaks record with 67 hour time, averaging 63mph


Edmunds documented their unofficial record-breaking “reverse Cannonball Run.”

“The key to breaking the record wasn’t to drive fast; we had to drive smart,” said Dan Edmunds. “Fast, aggressive driving will only succeed in sucking down an EV’s battery. We had to drive responsibly to make sure we had enough juice to get from one charging station to the next. And we saved time by charging only a little more than what we figured was necessary to get to the next Supercharger.”

The Trip Stats

  • Total Time: *67 hours, 21 minutes (Tesla: 76 hours, 5 minutes)
  • Total Distance: 3,331.9 miles (Tesla: 3,427 miles)
  • Driving Time: 52 hours, 41 minutes (Tesla: 60 hours, 8 minutes)
  • Average Driving Speed: 63.2 mph (Tesla: 57.0 mph)
  • Average Trip Speed: 49.5 mph (Tesla 45.0 mph)
  • Average Distance Covered in 24 hours: **1,187.3 miles
  • Supercharger Plug-In Time: 14 hours, 40 minutes (Tesla: 15 hours, 57 minutes)
  • Number of Supercharger Stops: 23
  • Average Supercharger Plug-in Time: 38.3 minutes
  • Number of Other Stops: 0
  • Average Consumption Rate: 317 Watt-hours/mile
  • Total Consumption: 1.06 Megawatt-hours
  • Total Fuel Cost: $0
  • Extra Distance and Time Due To Cannonball Start/End Instead of City Hall-to-City Hall: 21 miles, approximately 45 to 50 minutes.
  • And, lest we forget: Total L.A.-N.Y.-L.A. Round Trip Time: **6 days, 23 hours, 4 minutes (less than a week!)

After arriving in New York, the team headed back to California at a more leisurely 6 day pace.

QUANT e-Sportlimousine with nanoFLOWCELL drive concept wows EV enthusiasts but is it realistic?

The Quant looks like an amazing vehicle that has a 600km range and insane sub 3 second 4wd acceleration.  A couple of things to keep in mind though:

1. If you have $1M to spend you could build a pretty big/fast Nissan Leaf or Tesla Model S.

2. Not much has been said about the nanoFlowCell and it is hard to gauge exactly how much storage it can produce

3. I hope my pessimism is wrong and they build lots of these.


Tesla reconfigures its assembly line for Model X, takes plant down for 128 hours

Time to start making some Model Xes.

Tesla Motors shut down its production line Monday as part of a long-scheduled plan to retool the factory to increase production of the Model S sedan and prepare for the introduction of the Model X crossover SUV. “We’ll be back at regular production Aug. 4,” Simon Sproule, Tesla’s vice president of communications, said in an interview. “We’ll be down for 128 hours of regularly scheduled production time.” The new production line, which will cost roughly $100 million, is on the ground floor of the factory off Interstate 880 and will be used for both the Model S and forthcoming Model X. “It improves the overall flow for the plant,” Sproule said. “We’re installing new lines, reconfiguring the plant and making more use of the available space in Fremont.”

Interesting we still don’t know what the final product will look like. CEO Elon Musk noted at the recent shareholder conference that the design had changed significantly for the better since the latest prototypes had been displayed.

Tesla target of Chinese hacking contest



Qihoo 360 Technology Co. has found ways to remotely control the Tesla car’s locks, horn, headlights and skylight while the car is in motion, the Beijing-based Internet security company said in a posting on its Sina Weibo account. Wu Jing, a director of investor relations for the company, said its information technology department conducted the experiment, without elaborating.

These are all things you can control via the smartphone app while the car is in motion (fun trick to play on wife is cracking sunroof during rain) and maybe Tesla needs to rethink which of these things should be happening in motion.

So, it would appear that the hackers would be attacking the Brew API that the apps and third party apps use. That’s not terribly serious but obviously should be watched…as Tesla plans to do…

“While Tesla is not associated with the conference and is not a sponsor of the competition, we support the idea of providing an environment in which responsible security researchers can help identify potential vulnerabilities,” Palo Alto, California-based Tesla said in an e-mail. “We hope that the security researchers will act responsibly and in good faith.”

The future of flight, the Airbus E-Fan Electric Airplane

B-Roll of the E-Fan Electric Airplane Flying. Provided for press use by Airbus from official press source. If you think this is cool, Airbus is working on a 90-seat regional based on the electric technology. More here and here

From Wiki:

Airbus Group is developing an electric aircraft with Aero Composite Saintonge. The aircraft uses on-board lithium batteries to power the two electric engines and can carry two passengers. A test flight was conducted in April 2014 at Mérignac Airport, France, landing in front of a large audience, the French Minister of Industry Arnaud Montebourg being one of them. At the 2014 Farnborough Airshow, Airbus announced that the E-Fan 2.0 will go into production by 2017 with a side-by-side seating layout.[1] Airbus has stated that there are plans for development of a commercial regional aircraft in the near future.[2][3]
The E-Fan is an all-electric two-seat twin-engined low-wing monoplane of composite structure. It has a T-tail and a retractable tandem landing gear with outrigger wheels. The two engines are mounted either side of the rear fuselage.
Two production variants are planned, a two-seater E-Fan 2.0 for use as a trainer, and the E-Fan 4.0 four-seater. To increase the duration the E-Fan 4.0 will have a hybrid-electric system that will have a small engine to charge the battery, this will increase duration from nearly an hour to 3.5 hours.[4]
The E-fan is made of an all-composite construction propelled by two ducted, variable pitch fans spun by two electric motors totaling 60 kW of power. Ducting increases thrust while reducing noise, and having the fans mounted centrally provides better control. The motors moving the fans are powered by a series of 250 Volt lithium-ion polymer batteries made by South Korean company Kokam. The batteries are mounted in the inboard section of the wings and have enough power for one hour, and take one hour to recharge; an onboard backup battery is available to make an emergency landing if power runs out while airborne. The E-fan’s undercarriage consists of two retractable fore and aft wheels, with another two under the wings. They are powered by a 6 kW electric motor that not only taxis the plane, but is capable of accelerating it to 60 km/h (37 mph; 32 kn) for take offs; having the take off performed by the undercarriage relieves some of the burden from the flight motors.[5]

Tesla Announces Release Date for Second Quarter Financial Results

PALO ALTO, Calif., July 17, 2014 – Tesla announces that it will post its financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2014, after market close on Thursday, July 31, 2014. At that time, Tesla will issue a brief advisory release containing a link to the Q2 2014 Shareholder Letter, available on the company website. Tesla management will hold a live question & answer webcast at 2:30pm Pacific Daylight Time (5:30pm Eastern Daylight Time) to discuss the Company’s financial and business results and outlook.

What: Tesla Motors, Inc. Q2 2014 Financial Results Q&A Webcast

When: Thursday, July 31, 2014

Time: 2:30pm Pacific Daylight Time / 5:30pm Eastern Daylight Time

Shareholder Letter:

Webcast: (live and replay)

Approximately two hours after the Q&A session, an archived version of the webcast will be available on the Company’s website for a period of one year.

Investor Relations Contact:

Jeff Evanson

Tesla Motors

Press Contact:

Simon Sproule

Tesla Motors

For additional information, please visit

Electric-Car Enthusiast Built His Own [Telsa approved] Charging Network Between Beijing and Guangzhou

Props to this guy

Mr. Zong lives in the southern Chinese boomtown of Guangzhou, where he founded a business that makes energy-efficient equipment like water heaters for swimming pools. In April, Tesla Motors Inc. delivered its first cars to customers in China in Beijing, about 1,300 miles to the north. Tesla doesn’t operate enough charging facilities between the cities to allow him to drive his car home.

Undaunted, Mr. Zong decided to build his own charging network. With the help of partners found online, he bought 20 charging pillars from Tesla for 5,000 yuan (about $800) each and put them in 16 cities along the way.

“I thought it would be cool if I could build China’s first electric-car-charging road,” said Mr. Zong, who completed the installations last month. A Tesla spokeswoman said the company is aware of, and approves of, Mr. Zong’s ambitions.

Vince Megna wins Tesla ‘Lemon Law’ suit, collects $126K

Menga and his client collected $126,836 in the lawsuit. This includes the cost for the company to buy the car back, all the accessories for the car and $18,500 in attorney fees

It’s unfortunate but settling for a relatively small amount is a lot easier than giving this guy a courtroom platform, though it does set a worrisome precedent and this guy clearly is trying to use his 15 minutes of fame to get more business.  Asshat.