1,000-HP ELECTRIC Supercar By 2016

The Tesla S-P90D may remain the fastest 0-60 electric sedan: 2.6 seconds!

Until the next generation Tesla Roadster comes out in 2016-2017


since the Tesla sedan is already able to do 0 to 60 mph in 2.6 sec., the roadster will at least do it in 2.5 sec. or less. . . . match or beat the Bugatti Veyron.

Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] was the first to successfully pitch EVs as luxury status symbols.

Tesla Roadster
“Before the Model S there was the Roadster: Tesla’s $120,000 convertible that truly showed that world that electric cars don’t have to be slow. Despite having a motor that’s only about the size of a large watermelon, the Roadster could break the four second threshold with ease, and was rated at 3.7 seconds. It also boasted a range of over 200 miles, catapulting electric cars into a whole new league of performance.”

Until the next generation Tesla Roadster comes out, the Tesla S-P90D at 0-60 in 2.6 sec. may only have only one production electric competitor, the Rimac, at 0-60 in 2.8 sec but at about ten times the cost – around a million dollars.

Mercedes-Benz recently confirmed a Tesla competitor will be coming “soon,” Apple’s recent hiring spree leaves little doubt an “iCar” is in development, and Chinese tech firm Letv, which has close links to Aston Martin and Lotus, is aiming to produce an electric supercar. And now Reuters is reporting that investors are solidifying behind another China-based firm with Tesla in its sites.

Already with a successful team in the Formula E Championship electric car racing series, NextEV plans to release a full range of electric road cars after the debut of a supercar sometime next year.

The company has procured talent from some automotive heavyweights—including the Ford Motor Company [NYSE:F], Italdesign Giugiaro, BMW, Volkswagen—as well as at least one former member of the Tesla team. Funding specifics are somewhat murkier, but Uber investor Hillhouse Capital has joined the “deep-pocketed China-based internet entrepreneurs” and holding company Tencent in the venture.

As you’d expect, NextEV’s announcements about its forthcoming electric supercar’s capabilities are spectacular.

The as-yet-unnamed green machine will be capable of zero to 60 in no more than three seconds and boast 1,000 horsepower, specs which compare with current flagship supercars like Ferrari’s LaFerrari and McLaren’s P1. But even with the relative simplicity of electric vehicle drivetrains, delivering that level of performance is hardly going to be easy. And 2016 is just around the corner. {and Tesla already has a family sedan on the road doing even better at 0-60 in 2.6 seconds.}

from http://www.motorauthority.com/news/1099909_chinas-nextev-gunning-for-tesla-promises-1000-hp-supercar-by-2016

see Electric Auto-Sport for the latest news

The so-called ‘Tesla rivals’

Another day brings another new electric automaker. Call them “Tesla rivals.” All of these new ambitious ventures demonstrate the growing interest in electric transportation. But they also reveal a collective amnesia about just how difficult it really is to build a new automotive startup from scratch.

The newest one comes courtesy of a Reuters report, which describes a brand-new, Shanghai-based startup called NextEV backed by a group of Chinese Internet entrepreneurs. The company says it will launch an electric supercar in 2016.

Investors in NextEV reportedly include Hillhouse Capital, which also backed Uber, and Chinese Internet giant Tencent. The company appears to have hired executives from Ford, Tesla, and BMW.

And that’s just the latest company aiming to compete on some level with Tesla. A couple of months ago the new “Tesla rival” was Faraday Future, a startup based in Gardena, Calif. That company was reportedly founded last year, and already has 200 employees—including some from Tesla. The plan is to launch their first electric car in 2017. It’s unclear who’s funding the venture.

At one point battery startup Boston Power was also dubbed a Tesla rival, largely due to its plans to build a sizable battery factory and partner with Chinese automakers to build a low-cost electric car. Boston Power was originally founded in the U.S., but moved to China in 2011 when the funding for battery tech in the U.S. got difficult.

Boston Power has been funded by GSR Ventures, a venture firm that funds businesses to grow in China. Boston Power chairman Sonny Wu (who’s also a managing partner with GSR Venures) told the Wall Street Journal at the time of the last funding round that the firm funded the company because “somebody” had to compete with Elon Musk.
{it looks exactly like a Carol Shelby ’65 Cobra Daytona, Shelby’s race car, not the convertable}

There’s also Fisker Automotive, which despite it’s spectacular crash and burn two years ago, still has plans to re-launch under its new owner Chinese auto-parts giant Wanxiang. The company has plans to build a factory in Moreno Valley, Calif. that will employ 150 workers. Another 240 people work at the company’s headquarters in Costa Mesa, Fisker says.

There are a variety of reasons why this group of new startups is attempting to follow in the footsteps of Tesla and tempt fate by launching an electric car out of an independent car company.

Many of these startups have no doubt been encouraged by the successes of Tesla. The company has made its founder and early employees wealthy, and its Model S sedan has been so well-received that it aced its Consumer Reports rating.

The list of car companies that haven’t worked in only the past few years include Aptera, Coda Automotive, Think Automotive, Wheego, and Fisker. (Am I forgetting anything?)

Tesla’s success overshadows that the company spent over a decade beating all odds. The company almost died several times. It almost sold to Google GOOG 1.41% during hard times two years ago. It almost went out of business as it was preparing to produce its first vehicle, the Roadster.

Tesla will also likely go through some hard times ahead. It continues to borrow and raise money to get its next cars, the Model X and Model 3, out the door and its massive Gigafactory battery factory up and running. Tesla is still operating like a startup and taking on the risks of a startup. When Tesla hits some hurdles, which is no doubt will, will it scare off some of these eager startups?

Meanwhile, it’s not surprising that new electric car startups would emerge out of China. China is very interested in building domestic electric car tech, offering support for battery and auto companies that are willing to build factories in China. The country also discourages vehicles that burn gasoline in certain regions, and is trying to cut down on car driving to reduce its infamously bad air pollutions.

As the country did with solar panels, China is willing to heavily over-support domestic technology and markets that it wants to get into. This leads to a constant boom and bust cycle. There will likely be a bunch of Chinese electric car startups that will gain fame and potentially crash and burn.

Reuters reports that the Chinese government has recently decided to encourage investment in the sector from non-automotive companies. The Chinese Internet investors in NextEV are just one group backing a new electric car startup, says Reuters.

Alibaba and Xiaomi Technology are also considering investments in electric car companies, according to the report. …

Chinese Internet companies could also partly be interested in backing electric car startups as a way to try to compete with electric car tech that Apple and Google are reportedly building. If you believe the reports, Apple is aggressively developing an electric car with the project name Titan.

But overall, the trend of new entrepreneurs and investors becoming interested in electric car tech shows how the tide around electric transportation could slowly be turning. Electric cars make up only a fraction of cars sold in the U.S., but that’s ever so slowly starting to change. In certain countries, like Norway, electric cars make up an already large portion of new cars sold.

When better and cheaper electric cars hit the market, more people will no doubt buy them. The reality is that there really are no Tesla competitors currently out there. The technology is at its very earliest stage, and is being pushed forward by Tesla. {which is exactly what it wants!}

from http://fortune.com/2015/09/01/tesla-rival-automakers/

Number of Discontinued Hybrids Mount
Auto Trends Magazine

Hybrid electric vehicle sales have had a tough time this past year as lower fuel prices drive customers to traditional gasoline models and larger ones at that. Although the Toyota Prius remains the undisputed hybrid leader, Prius sales are down nearly 16 percent through the first six months of the year.

Toyota shows no signs of retrenchment in a segment that it dominates, but its competitors are not showing the same resolve. Indeed, manufacturers are reviewing what products to offer customers as the shift to SUVs continues unabated. Hybrids are on the chopping block and in the past year we have seen the number of discontinued hybrids mount.

Honda, which beat the Toyota Prius to the market with its Insight, has been down this road before. Indeed, after the Insight was canceled, it was brought back. Then canceled again. Honda still sells the sporty CR-Z, but rumors say that hybrid only model will be replaced by a gasoline-only model. Honda will keep the Accord Hybrid, but the plug-in version is history. Honda has also canceled the Civic CNG – a compressed natural gas – model.

Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid

An all-new crossover Nissan Pathfinder sport utility vehicle made its debut in 2014. With it came a hybrid model, giving shoppers something besides a Toyota Highlander Hybrid to consider. Available in two- and four-wheel drive editions, the Pathfinder Hybrid was rated as high as 25 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.

What the Pathfinder Hybrid didn’t do was to bring in the sales. It was powered by a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder gasoline engine and that motor only kicked in when it was needed. When combined with the hybrid system, it generated 250 horsepower, close to the 260-horsepower of the V-6 model. Due to the fact sales have been weak the hybrid won’t be sold for the 2016 model year. Furthermore, no left over models are available.

This is the second time Nissan has thrown in the hybrid towel. It discontinued the Altima Hybrid a few years back. Your lone vehicle electrification choice is now the all-electric Nissan Leaf.

New Hybrids Planned

Just as manufacturers free themselves of some hybrid models, new ones are on the way. Figure that some of the planning for the new models started before gas prices plummeted, but will be released perhaps in time for the next run up in fuel costs.

The Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid returns for the 2016 model year, but it is nothing like the “mild” hybrid that once powered this midsize sedan. The new model may challenge the Honda Accord Hybrid for segment-leading fuel economy, delivering a combined 47 mpg. Unlike the original hybrid Malibu, this one can operate in electric-only mode at speeds of up to 55 mph. It will have a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine and a two-motor electric drivetrain, similar to the PHEV Chevrolet Volt.

The Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid may be part of GM’s long term strategy for raising its fleet mpg average. It should also spawn new models elsewhere, with Buick a logical fit and perhaps Cadillac too.

Toyota may be disappointed in slumping Prius sales, but it continues to expand its hybrid line and will bring a Toyota RAV4 Hybrid to the market in 2016. This model follows the mechanically similar Lexus NT Hybrid and will give Toyota eight hybrid models. Apparently, Toyota also believes that gas prices have bottomed out and that interest in hybrids will once again flourish in the near future.

from http://www.autotrends.org/tag/electric-vehicles/

First Generation Chevrolet Volt Clogs Dealer Lots
5-25-2015 BY MATT KEEGAN

Lower Fuel Prices and an Improved Model

Several auto trends are conspiring to suppress Volt sales. Besides it higher base price compared with conventional models, fuel prices are the lowest we have seen in more than five years. A recent price boost above $2.50 per gallon in most markets to about $3.00 per gallon elsewhere could renew interest in the Volt and other EVs. Yet, new vehicle shoppers continue to make the shift to less efficient trucks and utility vehicles, while demand for all sedans — conventional and otherwise — falls.

Another factor is the 2016 Chevrolet Volt itself. The new version offers several improvements over the departing model, including a longer electric-only range (50 miles over the current 38 miles); a lighter battery, what allows for a three-seat row in the rear instead of the previous two; and an improved dashboard interface. Moreover, GM may be undercutting the first-generation Volt, by dangling its upcoming model in front of prospective shoppers.

EPA Fuel Economy Mandates

Critics are pointing to higher prices, swollen inventories and a shift in consumer preferences among the reasons why the Volt’s year-to-date sales are down 46.1 percent through April, numbering just 2,779 units sold. Some also are openly questioning GM’s decision to proceed with the Chevrolet Bolt, an all-electric vehicle that comes to the market in 2016.

That being said, GM is responding in much the same way as other manufacturers are when faced with a federal regulatory environment requiring all automakers to attain a 54.5 mpg fleet average in 2025. Thus, it is only through an assortment of electric vehicles that car companies will meet those goals.

B as in Bolt

Naming conventions aside, the Chevrolet Bolt brings a more reasonably priced electric vehicle to the market for the 2017 model year. Gas prices are expected to trend higher, possibly increasing demand for all electric vehicles with it.

GM surprised everyone with the concept Bolt’s release. This vehicle, with a final price of about $30,000, has a 200-mile electric range. That range more than triples the capacity of some models, such as the Mitsubishi i-MiEV. Extended range is critical to EV acceptance and at present only Tesla Motors offers models that meet the higher threshold.

That GM is pushing forward with the Chevrolet Bolt comes as it renews its commitment to two other EV models — the Chevrolet Volt and the Cadillac ELR. The Volt hit the market for the 2011 model year and the second generation model will debut this summer. The Cadillac ELR, based on the Volt platform, has its first full year in 2014, barely cracking the 1,000-unit sold mark. Nevertheless, an updated version of that model is scheduled, and its price has been slashed by $10,000.

Low gas prices are not keeping GM from moving forward with its long-range plans. Most analysts believe that the current gas prices, averaging just below $2.50 per gallon as of this writing, will not hold. Indeed, some have forecast $4 per gallon gasoline will return within the next two or three years. Therefore, product timing means vehicles like the Bolt, Volt and ELR may receive additional scrutiny from potential buyers.

The Chevrolet Bolt will be the brand’s second pure electric vehicle. It currently retails the Spark EV, an A-class variant to the gasoline-only model that is itself selling reasonably well. For 2016, GM has reduced the Spark’s price by 6 percent.

Reducing Range Anxiety

The two factors that are inhibiting electric vehicle acceptance — price and range — are being aggressively attacked by the manufacturers. Certainly, the $7,500 tax credit offered for pure EVs continues to help, what will allow GM to sell the Chevrolet Bolt for less. Range anxiety, a huge detriment for many buyers, will shrink. Indeed, the second generation Nissan LEAF may also broach the 200-mile range just as Tesla Motors ups the range of its base Model S to 240 miles.

Manufacturers and suppliers have also been touting quicker recharging alternatives, including 240-volt charging units in the home and DC fast charging stations designed to provide a full charge in fewer than 30 minutes. Thus, if drivers time their trips correctly, they can stop for a break, recharge their vehicles, and continue with their extended journey. The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt would be one such vehicle that will benefit from this service.

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