Tag archives for electric car

Tesla to earn $250 million from sales of California environmental credits

Tesla Model S



Tesla Motors is expected to release quarterly earnings figures within the next few days, and the Silicon Valley automaker is thought to have attained profitability for the first time ever. As it turns out, a good bit of that profit will reportedly come from the State of California.



According to an article from the LA Times, Tesla, which is reportedly on pace to sell 20,000 vehicles in 2013, receives as much as $35,000 in environmental credits from California for each Model S it sells. These credits can then be sold to other automakers that do business in the state but don’t sell zero-emission vehicles of their own. Some experts believe Tesla could earn up to $250 million from such ZEV credits.



While profits from ZEV credits equals good news for Tesla, some experts and rival automakers aren’t very pleased with California’s strong-arm tactics when it comes to the sales of electric vehicles. “At the end of the day, other carmakers are subsidizing Tesla,” said Thilo Koslowski, an analyst at Gartner Inc.



Mary Nichols, chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board, counters by saying, “We are in the air pollution business, not the car business… There is some jealously of Tesla going on here.” Check out the entire article from the LA Times here, it’s an interesting look into the inner-workings of the business side of the eco-friendly automotive marketplace.

Related GalleryTesla Model S

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By Jeremy Korzeniewski

Tesla Retail Stores Defended by Brand CEO

Elon Musk, tech mogul and co-founder of Tesla is coming to the defense of his company as it faces a lawsuit from dealers in Massachusetts and New York.

They allege the Palo Alto, California-based electric-car maker is violating franchise laws that forbid factory-owned stores, something that’s restricted or prohibited in 48 states. Naturally, Musk denies this claim. In a blog post he said the company has taken “great care not to act in a manner contrary to those rules.” He backs up this assertion with several arguments.

The first point he makes is that most dealerships have an inherent conflict of interest. Pushing consumers toward electric cars undermines the sales of traditional vehicles, which is the majority of their business. Tesla, of course, does not have this problem.

Another one of Musk’s arguments centers on franchise laws. Factory-owned Tesla dealerships cannot unfairly compete with franchised dealers because there are no franchised Tesla stores, therefore no harm can be done.

One of his last points has to do with the location of Tesla dealers. By putting them in high-traffic areas like shopping malls Tesla hopes it can reach potential customers before they decide what kind of car to buy. The stores are staffed by non-commissioned salespeople are there to educate consumers. Vehicles are purchased from the company’s website.

By Craig Cole

Elon Musk might start Tesla, SpaceX holding company; talks electric supercar

elon musk



Elon Musk is talking about maybe forming a holding that would own stock in both of the companies he’s incredibly busy with these days – Tesla Motors Inc. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) – basically to simplify his life. “No actual plans under way,” he said. “[It] gets unwieldy to have lots of companies with me as the only connection.” The holding company may own public shares of both California-based companies. Tesla Motors went public in 2010, and Musk is looking at launching an initial public offering of SpaceX next year.



SpaceX has been doing pretty well lately. In May, it became the first private company to send a spacecraft to supply the International Space Station. In August, SpaceX landed a $440 million U.S. government contract to develop spacecraft for future cargo missions.



Tesla Motors is looking forward to becoming profitable, and that may happen in 2013 through sales of its Model S battery-powered sedan. Next year will see the launch of its all-electric Model X crossover sport-utility vehicle.



Musk also mentioned on a Web chat on Jalopnik that Tesla is thinking about rolling out an electric “supercar.” This would cost more than the Tesla Roadster – supercars from brands such as Ferrari and Lamborghini can cost more than $200,000.



This will need to wait about four-to-five years, he said. It was going to happen right after the Model X, but it might be a good idea to make a less expensive electric car, since it is “more important to the world that we do a more affordable electric car.”



As automakers are learning, offering more affordable electric cars is a good idea. A $7,500 federal tax credit is usually available, but on cars like Model S, it probably doesn’t make much of a difference. The Model S, which began production in June, has a starting price of $57,400 and can cost more than $100,000, depending on battery pack size and other options. If you’re thinking about buying one of these or a $200,000-plus Tesla supercar, a $7,500 tax credit is, proportionally, peanuts.

By Jon LeSage

Tesla curbs forecast due to Model S issues, losses total $864.9M

2013 Tesla Model S - black - front three-quarter view



It ain’t easy creating a brand-new automaker from scratch. The fact that Elon Musk and Tesla have actually been able to bring not one, but two cars to market is in itself quite impressive. That said, the road has not been without its bumps, and Tesla is feeling some of the setbacks that come with being a fledgling automaker.



To that end, Tesla has revealed that it expects $400 million to $440 million in full-year revenue, or roughly $160 million less than its prior 2012 revenue forecasts. In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Monday, the electric carmaker said “We have methodically increased our Model S production at a slower rate than we had earlier anticipated,” leading to the company figuring they’ll fall short of the $560 million to $600 million they originally forecasted. Tesla also revealed a net cumulative loss of $864.9 million through June 30 of this year – Tesla has yet to break even as an automaking entity, but it remains something of a startup, so the fact that it has lost money to this point shouldn’t be a major surprise – building cars is expensive, and learning how to do so is even more expensive. Following the disclosure, Tesla shares fell about 8.5 percent this morning in trading.



Tesla cites delays in suppliers for its Model S production shortcomings. The California automaker says it is working with suppliers to speed up deliveries and internally, it is adding shifts and automation to its manufacturing processes. With little more than half of the 5,000-vehicle target expected to be built by year’s end, Tesla says it is four to five weeks behind its delivery goals.



Meanwhile, reservations are on the rise. 11,500 Model S units were spoken for at the end of June, and that number has risen to 13,000 as of September 23 (not counting vehicles already delivered). While reservations increased, so did cancelations.



The first several thousand reserved customers were asked to configure their vehicles for delivery, lest they lose their places in line.

Related Gallery2012 Tesla Model S: First Drive

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By George Kennedy

Tesla Model S finally has its date with a dyno

Tesla Model S on dyno



The performance abilities – and even the burnout potential – of the Tesla Model S has already been well documented, but, surprisingly, we haven’t yet seen the all-electric luxury hatchback strapped to a dyno. Fortunately, the crew over at Dragtimes has posted a video that finally gave us some real-world numbers for the family- and environmentally friendly Tesla.



As the article points out, the results might be off a little (on the low side) due to the run not starting from a dead stop, but the numbers are impressive nonetheless. Immediately upon throttle application, the dyno records almost 300 horsepower at zero miles per hour, and power peaks at 368 hp at around 55 mph (we imagine the “386HP” quoted on the video title is a typo) before trailing off to around 220 hp closer to the car’s limited 130-mph top speed. This compares quite favorably to the power numbers provided by Tesla putting max output at 416 hp; the dyno provided no torque figures for the car. Dragtimes also believes this number bodes well for the car on the track, too, quoting a quarter-mile time of 12.2 seconds at 112 mph.



The video of the quiet, zero-emission dyno session is posted below, so check it out.



By Jeffrey N. Ross

Tesla Model S Named 2013 World Green Car of the Year

tesla-model-s

Luxurious, powerful and laden with cool technology, the Tesla Model S adds yet another accolade to its crowded mantel today by winning the World Green Car of the Year Award at during the New York Auto Show.

Equipped with an 85 kWh battery — the largest available — it is supposed to offer up to 265 miles of range. Power is sent to the rear wheels with up to 443 lb-ft of instantly delivered torque in the performance model.

Aside from its luxury interior appointments and relatively understated style, standout features include its massive touch screen infotainment system the size of two iPads and the ability to update its system through a 3G connection.

2013 New York Auto Show Complete Coverage

That’s especially important with the Model S because it means the company can affect how the car behaves without requiring owners to bring their cars in for service.

Tesla competed against the Renault Zoe – a a five-door electric car – and the Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid for the title.

Discuss this story at GasStinks.com

By Luke Vandezande