Archives for July 26th, 2013
In what could prove to be a symbolic moment for the strength and potential of the electric vehicle industry, Tesla Motors, on its company blog, announced its intention to re-pay its Department of Energy Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loan five years ahead of schedule, with the last payment being on 2017, instead of 2022 the original deadline for payback of the loans.
In the heated political climate surrounding government-subsidized green energy initiatives, the company was quick to point out the that ATVM loans were initiated and approved under the Bush administration, and were completely separate from the federal bailout of General Motors and Chrysler, as well as being the smallest of the ATVM loans granted, the others being Ford at $5.9 billion, Nissan at $1.4 billion, and Fisker at $529 million. Tesla’s loan was for $465 million.
In the blog post, Tesla VP of Business Development, Diarmuid O’Connell, said the company expected to show a modest profit in the first quarter of 2013, excluding non-cash option and warrant-related expenses.
The company’s upcoming models were briefly mentioned in the post, including the Model X crossover, and the third-generation model, described as a high-volume, low-price model, sometimes referred to as the “Blue Star.” During its development, the Model S was coined the “White Star” by many automotive media outlets.
However, being a publicly-traded company, Tesla is under the scrutiny of investors and regulators, and announced that its annual report would be delayed due to errors in its filing, according to Bloomberg. Some unpaid capital expenditures from 2011 and 2012 will be re-classified as operating activities in the revised report.
Source: Bloomberg, Tesla
2011 Tesla Roadster 2.5
Pretend for a moment that you’re one of the fortunate folks who purchased a new Tesla Roadster while it was still in production. You’re satisfied with the car, but now all anyone wants to talk about is the swanky new Tesla Model S. What’s an early adopter to do?
You could, or course, trade in that Roadster for another vehicle from a different manufacturer. Some dealers might balk at the idea, since the all-electric Tesla is a very different car than the kind in which most of them traffic. And of course, those dealers wouldn’t be able to sell you the Model S, because only Tesla can do that. (For now.)
Thankfully, there’s now another option for EV enthusiasts: Tesla has launched a buyback program, allowing Roadster owners to trade in their pricey two-seaters for the more practical Model S.
Tesla intends to re-sell the Roadsters for prices ranging between about $70,000 and $90,000, depending on vehicle condition. What Tesla hasn’t said is how much it’s willing to give Roadster owners for their trade-ins.
Roadsters initially cost north of $100,000 but the 60 kwh version of the Model S starts much lower, at $62,400. So, it’s conceivable that Roadster owners could drive off with a brand-new ride and some dough for the difference.
That said, we have a hunch that most Roadster types would opt for the Model S Performance, which has a significantly higher $87,400 starting price — meaning that Tesla might not have to write many refund checks.
By Richard Read
The Motor Trend Channel’s Wide Open Throttle news show kicks off its fourth episode, starting out with more than a dozen models coming from AMG in the next few years, electric-powered BMWs, and spy shots of the upcoming seventh-generation Corvette just around the corner, and Tesla’s sporty new Model X electric crossover.
We’re all fans of high-performance models, so whenever we hear more are coming, we get excited. Among the most intriguing is the rumored Porsche 911-fighter, the new SLC model in 2014, expected to be powered by a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 producing 550 horsepower with a rear-mounted transaxle.
Corvette traditionalists will be relieved that the C7 Corvette will still be front-engine, rear-drive, and V-8-powered. But the biggest news, other than the direct-injected fifth-generation small block V-8 under the hood, is a dramatically improved interior.
Stay tuned to the Motor Trend YouTube channel for fresh automotive content, updated daily.
Modern cars lose around 12% to 17% of the engine's power through the gearbox, differentials, axles and whatnot. The percentage is higher for automatic gearboxes, and lower for manuals. However, some cars don`t have actual gearboxes, at all, and they are all the better for it.
The all-electric Tesla Model S does away with the gearbox, and the result is a lot more of the engine's power going to the rear wheels. The Model S was recently put on the dyne by Dragtimes, and what they found was highly-impressive.
The car is rated at 416 hp when it leaves the factory, so with a loss of 15%, the figure would drop to around 355 hp. However, the dyne test revealed that, in fact, the Tesla puts down a lot of its power – 386 hp, to be precise, which is a very good achievement for a production car (less than 10% loss).
The simplicity of the electric drivetrain is an advantage here, as it does`t have to move all sorts of pulleys and gears around, sapping precious horsepower in the process. This is why the Model S, which is a heavy car by regular car standards, can sprint from 0-100 km/h or 0-62 mph in 4.4 seconds, which is exactly the same as the BMW F10 M5, which has a twin-turbocharged V8 engine with 560 hp. As always, the Model S continues to impress…
Some pictures couldn’t be more eloquent even if they had the message written all over them, and, in a way, this one kind of does. It shows an accident that took place in Denmark, a few years ago, in which a Volkswagen Touareg crushes a Tesla Roadster and Toyota Prius into submission.
⌕ Different Angle This accident paints the perfect picture of global car corporations’ view towards EVs – they do make them, but they make them deliberately unappealing, to maintain the sale of conventionally powered cars. The Touareg (global car industry) crushes the Tesla and Prius (global EV sales).
We hope that with the drop in the price of batteries (reportedly three times cheaper by 2020), will finally herald the age of the EV, which is currently our best bet for the future. If we could just make batteries better and cheaper sooner, to further facilitate the shift.