Tesla to Release Affordable EV in 3-4 Years, Talks Future Buyout
May 27, 2013 9:45 AM
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Tesla wants to release a quality, yet affordable EV (unlike the Nissan Leaf)
Now that Tesla Motors has
freed itself of federal debt
, many are wondering, "What's next for the automaker?" According to its CEO, creating a quality electric vehicle that is also affordable is the main goal.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that his company's Model S is a great EV, but it's a luxury car that is out of the price range of many consumers. He compared it to the Nissan Leaf, which is an affordable EV, but lacks quality (in Musk's opinion).
“With the Model S, you have a compelling car that’s too expensive for most people,” said Musk. “And you have the Leaf, which is cheap, but it’s not great."
Musk said the ideal affordable Tesla EV would be available in about three to four years, and would be sold for under $40,000 USD. It would also have a range of about 200 miles per charge.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk
paying off its $465 million federal loan
from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) an entire nine years earlier than expected last week, some suspected that Tesla's next move would be an acquisition by larger companies like Daimler AG and Toyota Motor Corp. Daimler AG has 4.87 million Tesla shares valued at $425 million and Toyota has 2.94 million shares valued at $257 million.
While Musk recognizes that an acquisition is possible in the future, he doesn't see his company being sold to another automaker.
“Tesla just seems very expensive [to other automakers],” said Musk. "I’d guess it would come from outside the auto industry. It would be a buyer with a very large cash position."
Musk said Apple is a large company that could qualify as a suitable buyer for Tesla at some point.
However, Musk isn't selling anytime soon. He wants to stick around to continue selling Tesla's popular Model S sedan (the company sold 4,900 in the first quarter), seeing
(Tesla's profit came in at 12 cents a share for Q1, which was a boost from a loss of 76 cents a share in Q1 2012) and developing the affordable Tesla EV.
"What the world really needs is a great, affordable electric car," said Musk. "I’m not going to let anything go, no matter what people offer, until I complete that mission.”
The Detroit News
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The power grid is still a major hurdle
5/27/2013 11:21:58 AM
The biggest problem we have now is the inefficient and unreliable power grid. We are still too dependent on energy that simply isn't future proof and our current energy usage is too high (street lights, old power lines and transformers, slow move to LED and no viable options to replace tube fliurescent lighting used everywhere, inefficient CRT and LCD monitors still being used).
We have to upgrade and decrease the power used in the country to a great degree if we ever want to make a viable transition to EVs for everyone.
RE: The power grid is still a major hurdle
5/27/2013 12:43:05 PM
The grid will pose minimal problems for EVs, because they mostly charge at night, while superchargers will be used mainly when you need to go on long trips. It's simply more convenient to plug in at home than make a stop somewhere and do something for an hour (although the Spark EV claims 80% in 20 minutes, so that could change things).
The grid has plenty of unused capacity at night. If anything, use of that idle capacity will make electricity generation more efficient and cheaper.
It's also going to take decades for EVs to replace the bulk of the 200m cars on the road. There's no imminent issue here. If we get 10 million EVs on the road by 2020 (which is very optimistic), and they do 12k miles per year, they'll consume less than 1% of the nation's electricity production.
RE: The power grid is still a major hurdle
5/27/2013 1:17:16 PM
Musk has a solution for the power grid too, it's called SolarCity (up 400% YTD). The power grid is already starting to change in California as solar pv is shaving off most of peak demand during the hot afternoons and the incumbent utilities are freaking out.
"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
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