Tag Archives: tesla

Tesla announces network of free charging stations powered by solar energy

The biggest problem with driving an electric vehicle (EV) is not driving from home to work. It’s the long trips and vacations that scare people – beyond the EV’s range of 75-150 miles per charge. They need a network of charging stations, like gas stations, placed along highway routes for all the popular destinations.

And while the major car manufacturers are content to let governments and utility companies build these – Tesla has announced they will build their own. The company has six in operation in California and plans for twelve by next year. After that, if sales continue to grow, building 100s of them nationwide – allowing you to drive an EV from Los Angeles to New York.

And like all things Elon Musk does – these will be sleek, high technology, sustainable devices. Powered by solar technology, giving a 150 mile charge in 30 minutes, and free for Tesla drivers – while giving energy back to the grid.

For comparison, the standard models on the market offer 16-31 miles for a 30 minute charge.

 

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Interesting profile on Elon Musk – a genius billionaire changing the world

It’s not often you read a profile of a man fit for comic books. One whose life so closely resembles a superhero’s that a movie was made about him. In that movie genius billionaire Tony Stark builds a powerful metal suit that can fly, produce unlimited energy, and battle gods. Which nearly describes Elon Musk.

Ok, maybe that’s an exaggeration but Musk is flying people into space, building electric cars, running a billion-dollar solar company, and – his latest venture – trying to create a super train that’s “at least twice as fast as a plane, solar powered and leaves right when you arrive.”

Those are some achievements fit for a superhero – and you have to wonder, how can one man do all that? It’s hard to put in words but more comparisons help – from Business Week:

Friends and colleagues describe him as Steve Jobs, John D. Rockefeller, and Howard Hughes rolled into one. “He’s a throwback to when people were doing less incrementalist things,” says Peter Thiel, the tech investor who co-founded PayPal with Musk. “The companies he’s started are executing against a vision measured not in years but in decades.”

I’m not sure what that means, but it definitely makes for an interesting profile – Elon Musk, the 21st Century Industrialist.

 

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Ford Focus Electric – now all major manufacturers sell EV’s – comparison of the basic specs

Note these specs are the most hotly contested in the industry. The price is based on MSRP excluding tax credits and all those crazy option packages (for Tesla you can get the base model for $50k and the same car with options for $100k).

Battery power and range are based on EPA estimates (though, those vary a lot too).

 

Ford Focus Electric

  • $39,995
  • 23 kWh
  • battery range – 76 miles

 

Nissan Leaf

  • $35,200
  • 80 kWh
  • battery range – 73 miles

 

Tesla Model S

  • $49,900
  • 40 kWh
  • 160 mile battery range (+$10k for 230 mile range)

 

 

Hybrid Plug-In

These two cars are marketed as Electric Vehicles (EV) even though they have a gas engine. What separates them from other hybrids is a larger battery pack that requires a charge (plug-in) to function.

 

Chevy Volt

  • $39,145
  • 16 kWh
  • battery range – 35 miles
  • 1.4L 4-cylinder gas engine

 

Toyota Prius Plug-in

  • $32,000
  • 4.4 kWh
  • battery range – 11 miles
  • 1.8L 4-cylinder gas engine

 

Photos of each EV:

 

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A first look at the Tesla Model S

I was never that impressed with the Tesla Roadster. It’s easy to make an exciting long-range electric car if you don’t bother to making it affordable or practical.

Now comes Tesla’s next trick. The Model S sedan, available with seating for up to seven, is now on sale. Once it’s in full production, prices will range from $50,000 to roughly $100,000.

The view from the driver’s seat was striking. Wherever possible, knobs and physical gauges have been replaced by computer screens.

There isn’t even a “Start” button. If you have the Tesla’s car-shaped key fob in your pocket and your butt is in the driver’s seat the car — quite reasonably — assumes you want it to turn on. So it does.

It runs in “Accessory” mode, allowing you to use the computer screens and listen to the stereo, until you push down the brake pedal. Then the speedometer and other driving gauges appear and the car is ready to roll.

 

Keep reading: CNN - Tesla Model S review: A good first impression

 

 

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