Silicon Valley Stories September 28, 2015

Toyota’s i-Road electric vehicle project is not dead

Toyota has very few electric vehicle projects in the works. The company is focusing its zero-emission effort on hydrogen-powered vehicles over battery-powered ones, but the i-Road concept is an exception.

The three-wheel electric vehicle is what I call “too concept” to ever be a production product. The futuristic design and independently moving front wheels are something that would appear to always be of the future, but the Japan-based auto giant seems to be pushing for a commercial release.

Silicon Valley Stories September 17, 2015

Chinese startup NextEV raised about half of the $1 billion it seeks ahead of launching its electric vehicle lineup according to Bloomberg. Last month we wrote about NextEV coming out of stealth to reveal its plan to “disrupt” the electric vehicle market with yet another electric supercar and today we learn that the company is extremely well-funded by big-name VC firms: Sequoia Capital and Joy Capital. expand full story

Silicon Valley Stories December 8, 2014

Great interview, not much new however if you follow Tesla and its CTO into the energy industry. Some interesting bits:

Why did Tesla act differently? For a start, it does not think of itself as a carmaker. “I see us more as an energy-innovation company,” says Jeffrey “JB” Straubel, the firm’s chief technology officer, and one of the co-founders of Tesla, along with Elon Musk, the chief executive. “If we can reduce energy-storage prices, it’s the most important thing we can do to make electric vehicles more prevalent,” says Mr Straubel. “Add in renewable power and I have a direct line of sight towards an entire economy that doesn’t need fossil fuels and doesn’t need to pay more to do it.”…

Mr Straubel met Mr Musk, a freshly minted multimillionaire from the sale of his PayPal digital-payments company to eBay. “One lunch was the beginning of what eventually became Tesla,” says Mr Straubel. “We spent most of the meal talking about electric aeroplanes. But as we were wrapping up, I said I was working on a fun crazy project with cars, trying to build a lithium-ion battery pack that could last 1,000 miles.”…

“Most other companies do not believe that battery volume will grow as fast as it’s going to,” Mr Straubel counters. “They don’t understand the tight linkage between cost and volume. We’re at this crossing-point where a small reduction in cost is going to result in a ridiculously big increase in volume, because the auto industry is so big.”…

“No one wishes we could come up with a technology that makes today’s chemistry obsolete more than me,” says Mr Straubel. “We could sell more cars at a lower price. But we’re not waiting.”

Silicon Valley Stories October 1, 2014

 

Elon Musk is teasing on Twitter the launch of a new Tesla product. At first blush Model X Crossover SUV built on the Model S chassis would be assumptions. I’m not sure what the D stands for but jokes aside it could have something to do with the garage or the naming of the product.

D could stand for ‘Driver Assist’ that showed up in recent forum leaks from new Teslas.

D could also stand for ‘deliveries’ of the Model X though the latest word is that the Model X isn’t supposed to start deliveries until Early 2015.

Or perhaps, D could be a new version of the Model S or the Model 3 which was slated to be announced at the N. American Motor Show in Detroit. “D” could stand for Dual Motors for AWD.

We’ve got a week to find out.

Silicon Valley Stories December 28, 2013

Tesla seems to be joining many other Silicon Valley companies in hiring employees away from Apple. Only weeks after poaching Apple Mac Hardware Vice President Doug Field to run Vehicle Design, we have discovered that Tesla has made another notable hire from the Cupertino tech giant: Rich Heley. He was hired away from Apple in November and joined Tesla in that same month, according to his LinkedIn profile:

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