sparky
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EETimes-- Tesla Co-founder: Family Cars won't Go Electric

Tue Sep 28, 2010 6:39 am

http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news ... o-electric

So, Ian Wright, a well respected co-founder of Tesla who left to build a bigger adrenalin rush; the Wrightspeed X1, gave a keynote at a chip conference in San Jose a few days ago. He comes off as bashing EVs; primarily on cost, citing the $1000 per kWh canard among other things. He's got an agenda, mainly promoting his hybrid truck technology which I see as an important next step since those all those F-150s use a boatload of fuel nationally.
What bugs me is the seeming need for the hybrid EV folks to bash the EV folks. His talk is getting some traction among conservative blog spots as a counterpoint to the DoE efforts to electrify transport (really just a counterpoint to anything Obama).

He states the LEAF is for early adopters but not the mass-market. I do feel that may be somewhat true. But, I think the Prius also falls into that category, over a million cars later.

cdub
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Re: EETimes-- Tesla Co-founder: Family Cars won't Go Electric

Tue Sep 28, 2010 6:48 am

Time will tell.

Prius is definitely mainstream.
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indyflick
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Re: EETimes-- Tesla Co-founder: Family Cars won't Go Electric

Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:14 am

cdub wrote:Time will tell.

Prius is definitely mainstream.
However, when the Prius was launched there wasn't the sort of bashing in the press as you see with the LEAF. I remember some articles knocking the Prius, but mostly on its radical look. If we, as the early adopters, don't get ahead of this negativity, it can become a self fulling prophecy. It's certainly a big plus that LEAF is presently sold out.

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EVDRIVER
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Re: EETimes-- Tesla Co-founder: Family Cars won't Go Electric

Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:28 am

That is really lame, I wonder where he is partnering. I have spoken with him about six times over the years and he was all about EVs and how it was the way to go. I asked him why he built his car and he always said it was as a fun project. He always attended grass roots events to promote EVs and has one RAV4 if not two but I can't remember for sure but he boasted how great it was, sure seems like a family car. He sure seems to be doing a 360. As far as the Leaf being for early adopters, I suppose that depends on how you define them, if it's EV people then I say no but I think they are going to be surprised in a year and many will sell and so will smaller city cars if priced well.

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walterbays
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Re: EETimes-- Tesla Co-founder: Family Cars won't Go Electric

Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:50 am

EVDRIVER wrote:That is really lame, I wonder where he is partnering. I have spoken with him about six times over the years and he was all about EVs and how it was the way to go.
To understand Wright's change of heart I don't think you need look any further than last year's lawsuit among the founders of Tesla Motors. He must hate to see Nissan, GM, Coda, Mitsubishi, and others beat Tesla to a mass market EV; and to contemplate Nissan's rumored EV sports car.

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indyflick
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Re: EETimes-- Tesla Co-founder: Family Cars won't Go Electric

Tue Sep 28, 2010 10:22 am

A couple of quotes from Wrights keynote really bother me.
EE|Times aricle wrote:EV batteries currently cost about $1,000 per kilowatt hour
However, according to Deutsche Bank research that's off by a factor of two.
Deutsche Bank research wrote:The firm notes the average lithium-ion cell price in 2009 has been $650 per kwh, but claims automakers are already seeing bids for $450 per kwh from battery companies for delivery contracts in the 2011/2012 timeframe.
Furthermore, they predict an additional 25% decline in price over the next 5 years and a 50% decline over the next 10 years along with a doubling of performance over the next 7 years.
The second major issue is this...
EE|Times aricle wrote:The good news is trucks, not passenger cars are the biggest consumers of gas. Wright believes medium duty trucks built with his hybrid power train design could pay back its owners investment in three years.
Why did he say gas? I assume he really meant petroleum based fuels, including both diesel and gasoline. That would only make sense when you are looking at medium duty trucks versus passenger cars. Regardless, he's wrong. Passenger cars, in total, consume far more fuel than trucks. If he meant on a per vehicle basis, then he would have a point. But I'll bet the vast majority of those 10M trucks could simply be replaced by medium-duty truck BEVs.

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Re: EETimes-- Tesla Co-founder: Family Cars won't Go Electric

Tue Sep 28, 2010 10:34 am

Long distance trucking is an anomoly caused by cheap oil. Future belongs to trains.
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TRONZ
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Re: EETimes-- Tesla Co-founder: Family Cars won't Go Electric

Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:04 am

Sounds like "sour grapes" and spin. The future is electric! Everyone remember "digital convergence" in the tech industry? Pretty much complete now. With EV's, we are seeing the next phase of "electrical convergence" in the transportation industry. Take the "high ground" of this industry (batteries) and you own the surface transportation market. Screw around with complicated ways of creating ICE hybrid systems and you are just wasting R&D time/money while loosing market share to companies that are dashing straight for the final solution; Pure EV!

BTW - The ultimate "Toy Hauler" is the USN Enterprise... and it's an EV!!!
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Re: EETimes-- Tesla Co-founder: Family Cars won't Go Electric

Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:10 am

Most families that have two cars and a garage or carport are candidates to replace one of those cars with an EV today. Instead of his and her cars, it's the local car(EV) and the long distance car(ICE or Hybrid). The economic case is easy to make if the cost after rebates is less than $30,000. This doesn't require anything from the consumer but a change of thinking. The potential market is in the millions of cars.
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Re: EETimes-- Tesla Co-founder: Family Cars won't Go Electric

Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:48 am

As an aside, have you noticed that nearly all articles written about EVs (including this one) in the last six months or so, typically have reader comments regarding the EVs/coal FUD? Sometimes the article itself includes this FUD. It's interesting to me because these posters are often not your run of the mill Internet trolls. Many are able to craft a credible appearing post, albeit based on BS. The scientific research is readily available on the Internet which shows it's BS. So I must conclude they are posting that FUD for ulterior motives. Maybe it's time for the EV tribes to go on the offense, spreading ICE FUD, rather than to continue to play wack-a-mole with the EV hating FUDsters in the comments sections.

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