United States Stories August 24

As many legacy automakers join a slew of new and established EV manufacturers in committing to an all-electric future for passenger vehicles, the transition for consumers continues to rise. While we are still quite a ways away from a world of roads dominated by BEVs, the graph of this transition continues to trend upward. Below is where the US currently stands in total EV registrations, broken down state by state.

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United States Stories March 22

In an unconfirmed letter to the Commander in Chief, two US Senators from California urged the administration to follow their state’s lead in establishing a phase out date for gas-powered vehicles. Furthermore, President Biden and his team are maneuvering how to reimplement vehicle emissions rules eased by the previous administration.

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United States Stories May 17, 2018

Electrek Green Energy Brief: A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

Today on EGEB, Japan updates its toothless energy plan. Oil-producing Alaska seeks carbon-free power to save itself from thawing permafrost. A new report shows how the 20 most water-stressed countries also have the most potential for solar energy and could thus alleviate their people’s thirst by going green.

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United States Stories September 12, 2016

off-shore-wind-mill

The Obama administration unveiled their gargantuan National Offshore Wind Strategy last Friday.  If executed, this joint plan by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Department of the Interior (DOI) could possibly output 7,200 terawatt-hours a year, which would be enough to provide “nearly double the total electric generation of the United States in 2015.” expand full story

United States Stories July 27, 2015

We’re mostly going to stay away from politics but this ad is very specifically on solar and renewables and it will hopefully kick off a debate on the energy sector that we’ll see in the run up to the 2015 elections.  The 10 year goal of moving US residences to renewables is a worthy 1st step. More from her campaign page

 

United States Stories April 30, 2015

 

Tesla-Battery-livestram-misssing

 

11:24 PM power wall is “beautiful, fits on the wall, garage wall or outside wall of your house. 6 inches thick. 3 feet across and tall. Really easy to fit in garage or your house.”

[11:25 PM] Mark Gurman: Connected to Internet. Smart micro grids Ten year guarantee [11:25 PM] Mark Gurman: “Nothing remotely in these price points” “Our goal here is to fundamentally change how the world uses energy” [11:26 PM] Seth Weintraub: Tesla’s selling price to installers is $3500 for 10kWh and $3000 for 7kWh. (Price excludes inverter and installation.) Deliveries begin in late Summer.

[11:27 PM] Mark Gurman: Musk says great for cold climates when there are power outages and ice storms Good thermal management system for very cold environments

[11:29 PM] Jon Jivan: Wayyy below suggested price of $13k by some outlets. Nice to see it come in so cheap. [11:29 PM] Mark Gurman: “Going to be huge in Germany”

[11:31 PM] Mark Gurman: Doesn’t require heavy foundations “the integration at the system level is the big differentiator” Ready to scale to a very large scale today

[11:32 PM] Mark Gurman: they’ve been using it for a year in house

[11:33 PM] Mark Gurman: Tesla will continue to open source the patents on all these [11:34 PM] Mark Gurman: Giga factory designed in the same as a giant car Fundamentally different way than approaching manufacturing and engineering

[11:39 PM] Mark Gurman: Installable by two people in half hour to an hour Installation prices up to distributors

[11:42 PM] Mark Gurman: “This would be bigger in terms of pack utilization than the car industry, actually comparable size” [11:43 PM] Mark Gurman: international, still need to figure out certified installers however

[11:43 PM] Mark Gurman: it’ll scale as fast as we can scale it.

[11:44 PM] Mark Gurman: international next year Germany and Australia late this year

[11:44 PM] Mark Gurman: China early next year

Musk said “we own tesla energy.com” when asked if they’d change from tesla motors as name

Update: Here’s our first look. Looks familiar

Update: Tesla Energy!

Screenshot 2015-04-30 23.16.58

Tesla Energy Press Kit

 

We’ll be covering the Tesla Battery announcement later tonight but Tesla just unleashed the livestream page. Check back soon. We’ll run down the highlights here. We’re expecting Tesla to announce home and industrial battery products that allow users to store solar and lower cost, high availability electricity for use at night or during higher cost/watt time periods.  The battery will be a down payment and rental fee which should more than pay for itself in electric bill savings.

There has been further speculation that, with this announcement, Tesla Motors will change its name to Tesla, Inc or Telsa Energy to note that it is an energy storage company, not just a car company.  We’ll find out more soon, stay tuned.

 

United States Stories February 21, 2015

watt-mile-US

In a new paper in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology, Tugce Yuksel and Jeremy Michalek at Carnegie Mellon University have shown the average energy usage per mile of electric cars across the US.  You’ll note that warm but temperate climates like the California Coast and the Deep South especially Florida fare the best. Very hot desert areas like Arizona don’t do well because of the energy required to cool off bith the batteries and cabin. The North does poorly because batteries lose power as weather gets cooler.  Below, a Nissan Leaf efficiency is graphed at different temperatures which illustrates this disparity more clearly. The optimum range for operation is between 45 and 82 degrees where the 300W/mile threshold is beaten.

nissan-leaf-watt-mile

This all translates to CO2 emissions obviously and with the West making their energy much cleaner, they produce about 1/3rd the CO2 emissions as the north Midwest which is basically one big coal plant. In fact, that area’s energy is so CO2 intensive that running an electric car there (assuming you don’t have your own solar/wind) rivals the CO2 emissions of a fuel efficient car like a Prius.

The big takeaway is that moving to electric cars isnt enough. The grid also needs to move to cleaner power like wind and solar.

coal-energy-co2-usage-electric-cars-energy-usage expand full story

United States 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.”

United States Stories July 28, 2014

Nikkei:
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.

United States Stories March 19, 2014

Nissan-Leaf-Tesla-tweet

After Tesla lost in New Jersey, Nissan’s social Media Team Tweeted the “dickish” image above from the Leaf account according to ABGreen. They quickly realized the folly of their ways and deleted it and perhaps someone was straighend out (the door?) over the matter.

I mean we’re all in this together and rising waters raise all ships and all that, right? expand full story

United States Stories February 26, 2014

You’ll recall that I picked Panasonic and Solar City to be among partners in Tesla’s upcoming Gigafactory announcement back in mid-January. I went on Bloomberg earlier this month to re-iterate those claims. Today, Panasonic got a little bit more official.

Reuters picks up a Nikkei report:

Panasonic Corp is inviting a number of Japanese materials suppliers to join it in investing in a U.S. car battery plant that it plans to build with Tesla Motors Inc, with investment expected to reach more than 100 billion yen ($979 million), the Nikkei reported.

The plant, expected to go on-stream in 2017, will bolster Panasonic’s supply of lithium-ion batteries to the U.S. electric-car maker.

Last week, Tesla shed some light on its plans for building a lithium-ion battery plant, or “giga factory,” that will cut battery costs and allow the company to launch a more affordable electric car in 2017. However, it said at the time that further details would be announced this week.

The U.S. plant, which will handle everything from processing raw materials to assembly, will produce small, lightweight batteries for Tesla and may also supply Toyota Motor Corp and other automakers, the Nikkei said.

Battery costs have been a major stumbling block to widespread electric car adoption in the United States, according to analysts. Tesla’s giga factory will lower costs by shifting material, cell, module and pack production to one spot.

In Tesla’s earnings conference call last week, Chief Executive Elon Musk said the electric car maker expects to build the factory with more than one partner, but a “default assumption” was that Panasonic, as a current battery cell partner, “would continue to partner with us in the giga factory.”

“The factory is really there to support the volume of the third generation car,” Musk said on the call. “We want to have the vehicle engineering and tooling come to fruition the same time as the giga factory. It is already part of one strategy, one combined effort.”

The pieces are starting to come together. The biggest question now is how Tesla funds the other $4B in costs. Will it issue more stock? Will it bring in some very rich partners like Apple? On that note we go to last week’s earnings call for more color on that: expand full story

United States Stories January 31, 2014

I’m still infatuated with the Chevy Spark EV. The Korean/American EV can be had for significantly under $20K or $200/month meaning it can be free after gas cost savings for big commuters. The practical little 4 seat hatchback can go around 80 miles on a charge and can be charged quickly using the same SAE DC  charger as the BMW i3.

There’s more!

It has more torque (over 400ft/lbs) than a Ferrari 458 Italia and can hit 60 miles per hour in 7 seconds flat.

Did I mention it is essentially free if you currently spend $10/day on gasoline?

The Spark EV starts its life in Changwon, South Korea where gasoline and electric sparks are built by GM Korea, which was once known as Daewoo. But the heart of the Spark comes from America. GM is building the permanent magnet motors in Maryland, and instead of LG batteries made in Korea (like the Volt) GM is using American-made batteries courtesy of B456 (formerly A123. I’m not making this up). For reasons we don’t understand, GM isn’t “doing a CODA” and shipping cars sans-drivetran to America for assembly. The plant in Maryland ships the batteries and drivetrain to Korea, GM Korea inserts it in the car and ships the completed unit back to the USA.

Anyway, here’s a great review. I have no idea how they keep these in stock. Chevy please send these outside of California and Oregon.  Money quote:

Power is supplied by a 560lb, 21.3 kWh lithium battery pack located where the gas tank is in the gasoline Spark. As with the Chevy Volt, GM is taking the cautious path to battery preservation equipping the pack with an active heating and cooling system. That’s a stark contrast to the Nissan Leaf which uses a passive cooling system. Thanks to the lightest curb weight in the group (2,989lbs), the Spark scores 82 miles of EPA range and the highest efficiency rating of any EV to date. Depending on the weight of my right foot, my real world range varied from 70-100 miles.

United States Stories January 27, 2014

Screenshot 2014-01-27 19.53.17

No battery ‘gigafactory’ information  yet but here’s the PDF. Notable is the $30,000-$35,000 base model price of the Gen 3 vehicle. Tesla’s traditionally only been able to hit the high side but so long as Federal Tax Credits are still around in 3 years, it should be a great deal especially with Tesla type specs.  expand full story

United States Stories January 14, 2014

TESLA-14-50-adapter-recall

Oh lordy. The press has gotten ahold of a lunker with its latest TESLA RECALL! meme. Unfortunately for the sensational, Tesla has already announced (last week) that it would be replacing the NEMA 14-50 adapters on its built-in charging cables (pictured above, circled). It also issued a software update that would step down charging if it had detected thermal resistance. Here’s the official letter (PDF).

It is the equivalent of Apple replacing its iPhone USB cable AC adapters.

All of this was in reaction to a garage fire that was likely caused by bad internal wiring (the investigation is still pending).

Today’s formal announcement says “recall” so the dimmer of us is running with that even though the facts on the ground are this:

  • No cars are being recalled or have to go anywhere.
  • Tesla will mail the $10 (guesstimate) adapter to customers
  • The press is not properly educated on electrical engineering concepts
  • Stock traders are. The “news” along with better than predicted production numbers has sent the stock upwards

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/423145289310953473

United States Stories January 10, 2014

fire_hazard-wiring-teslaI kid you not. Bloomberg:

The charger connectors, which tether Tesla-issued cables to wall outlets, will be mailed out in the next two weeks, Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said in an interview today.

“These are very rare events, but occasionally the wiring isn’t done right,” Musk said. “We want people to have absolute comfort, so we’re going to be providing them with an upgraded adapter.”

Tesla fell 2.6 percent to $143.72 at 12:20 p.m.

Tesla also upgraded the Model S firmware last month to prevent cars from drawing too much power from inadequate wiring.

At first blush, you might be thinking (as I had) that this is silly. My house is wired properly so I shouldn’t ever have issues like the person in California whose garage caught on fire after a short in the wiring in November.

But what if you go to a vacation rental or visit the family/relatives for a weekend. Can you be sure that the electrician that did their wiring was competent?

Good on Tesla for covering this; ‘Short sighted’ on investors for seeing this as a sign of weakness and not strength.

Update: Press release follows: expand full story

United States Stories December 31, 2013

Screenshot 2013-12-31 18.09.16

What you are looking at above is the state of the Tesla Supercharger network on The last day of 2013/first day of 2014.  Tesla counts 50 Superchargers in the US (1 per state!) and another 14 in Europe. While Elon Musk originally planned to take his family on a Christmas holiday across the country, there are still some rather big holes to fill.

Those holes all fall in the “coming soon” category and if you take a look at this helpful 3rd party map, you can see a lot of the country is still being built.

United States Stories December 3, 2013

TSLA-German-Adam

Last night after the market closed Tesla disclosed that the German Federal Motor Transport Authority (KRAFTFAHRT-BUNDESAMT) cleared Tesla of manufacturer-related defects in the three fires in recent months.  “Therefore, no further measures under the German Product Safety Act [Produktsicherheitsgesetz (ProdSG)] are deemed necessary.”

The assumption on Wall Street is that if the German Motor Transport Authority cleared Tesla, so would the NHTSA. German automotive standards are generally considered more stringent (and efficient) than that of the US.

Analysts jumped on the news and dialed the stock up.  The market responded with a 20 point gain after opening up 6 points and steady growth throughout the day.

Analyst’s words follow: expand full story

United States Stories October 30, 2013

Mission seems like the Tesla of motorcycles as president Mark Seeger stops by with his groundbreaking halo product, the limited production RS superbike. Only 40 of these will be assembled by hand in the USA but clearly there is a market for these if things go well.

Perhaps the hardest part? Convincing motorcyclists that they don’t need to be obnoxiously loud.  expand full story

United States Stories October 8, 2013

Not much not to like here.  How does $27,500 go for a $199/month lease? Add in the $7500 tax credit.  I’ll be interested to see how low that 82 mile range gets in the winter – oh you can only get on in California and Oregon which have mild winters so we’ll have to wait awhile and see. expand full story

United States Stories October 4, 2013

From Tesla:

A curved section that fell off a semi-trailer was recovered from the roadway near where the accident occurred and, according to the road crew that was on the scene, appears to be the culprit. The geometry of the object caused a powerful lever action as it went under the car, punching upward and impaling the Model S with a peak force on the order of 25 tons. Only a force of this magnitude would be strong enough to punch a 3 inch diameter hole through the quarter inch armor plate protecting the base of the vehicle.

Interesting that this is written by Elon Musk (with some help likely) and he actually turns the tables at the end:

The nationwide driving statistics make this very clear: there are 150,000 car fires per year according to the National Fire Protection Association, and Americans drive about 3 trillion miles per year according to the Department of Transportation. That equates to 1 vehicle fire for every 20 million miles driven, compared to 1 fire in over 100 million miles for Tesla. This means you are 5 times more likely to experience a fire in a conventional gasoline car than a Tesla! For consumers concerned about fire risk, there should be absolutely zero doubt that it is safer to power a car with a battery than a large tank of highly flammable liquid.— Elon

The post also includes an email from the driver – who is also an investor – who can’t wait to get behind another Tesla shortly (a loaner is on the way). expand full story

United States Stories July 29, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-07-29 at 12.58.38 PM

The next step in lighting up the east cost is complete with the east and west side of Florida getting getting superchargers. The new addresses:

Oh, and Norway just got put on the map.

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