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Tesla has inked a technology deal with Daimler
Written on: 21 June 2008 [12:12]
registered since: 20.07.2007
Tesla Motors, the maker of an electric sports car, has inked a technology deal with Daimler, said Chairman Elon Musk.
“We have a deal right now with Daimler. Its still in the early stages,” said Musk in an interview with Fox Business Network’s Liz Claman. “We have small deal that could potentially lead to a very big deal.”
According to Musk, Tesla’s electric sports car the Roadster, which gets 220 miles but costs $100,000, has been sold to more than 1,000 customers. The company, which started production a month ago, expects to produce 2,000 cars a year, said the executive.
Tesla is working on a cheaper version that will start at around $59,000. That electric car will be a four door sedan that fits five passengers, he said.
“Its has more than twice the energy efficiency than a Prius,” said Musk of the Tesla Roadster.
Is the deal with Daimler good or bad news? Cooperations with big car makers have had a negative eco-footprint so far in history (Smart). What could the deal entail? Any ideas?
Written on: 23 June 2008 [05:51]
registered since: 31.05.2008
All I've read is speculation. Is Tesla Motors providing technology to Daimler? Is Daimler providing manufacturing capacity for Tesla? No one in the know is talking.
My guess-- and please note this is only a guess-- is that Tesla is going to build a prototype electric power train for a car built by Daimler, and hopes the prototype will lead to an actual production model.
The reason why I think this might be the case is that Tesla has said in the past that they weren't necessarily interested in *just* building complete cars, but also would like to build electric power trains for other car companies.
Would this be good or bad? I don't have an informed opinion. Certainly it would be nice if Tesla Motors were to continue towards its originally stated goal of producing a moderately priced "family sedan" that is powered 100% by electricity.
OTOH it's not very realistic to think that a small company like Tesla could increase its manufacturing capacity enough, within just a few years, to produce enough cars to satisfy a nationwide market for electric cars. It would make more of an impact on pollution in the near future to assist one or more of the larger car-makers with making an all-electric car.
But note that even if Tesla is providing an electric power train for a Daimler car, this doesn't necessarily mean the car will be all-electric. At the moment, informed opinion says that plug-in "serial hybrid" cars are where the market will go in the near future. All-electric cars are seen as too advanced; batteries are still too expensive for an all-electric, moderately priced car which can actually compete with a gasser for range, speed and comfort.
Breakthroughs in battery tech have been made, but producing something in the laboratory and being able to market it at a competitive price are two very different things. Even if the new nano-wire batteries can be mass-produced at a competitive price, they're still several or many years away from the marketplace.
The near-term hope for all-electric cars is the EEstor ultracapacitor; if that turns out to work as promised, it will be sufficient to replace the internal combustion engine for most vehicles.
[This article was edited 3 times, at last 23.06.2008 at 06:03.]
Written on: 26 June 2008 [04:18]
registered since: 31.05.2008
The following was just posted today on the Tesla Motors forum, and directly quotes what I was referring to:
The recent PBS News Hour interview with Elon had a possible reference to this Daimler deal:
ELON MUSK: ... But one other thing I should say is we're actually very happy to sell batteries and motors, we're happy to sell power train components to other car companies. So we're not trying to keep the power train to ourselves, we're happy to sell that to other companies.
SPENCER MICHELS: Any buyers?
ELON MUSK: We actually have some, yes, we do. It's still confidential, but we think we'll be able to announce a deal with a major car company maybe later this year.
On the other hand, AutoBlogGreen is speculating the deal is perhaps going the other way: That Daimler may produce a small gas engine for the "range extended" (plug-in serial hybrid) version of the Tesla Whitestar sedan:
But all they got from a Tesla Motors exec was "No comment".
[This article was edited 1 times, at last 26.06.2008 at 04:20.]
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