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Isreal, the new center of the EV Universe?

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by TEG, Nov 30, 2007.

  1. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #1 TEG, Nov 30, 2007
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2007
    The government of Israel has been flirting with the idea of a major EV play for a while
    ( Shai Agassi has been involved )

    This helps explain the business model recently announced by Project Better Place

    Renault appears to be planning to build an EV factory there

    The government of Israel seems to very supportive

    Could Tesla be involved? :

    From an interview with Elon Musk:
    ..."{Tesla} is also working to strike a deal with a major car manufacturer (which Musk declines to name) to become a supplier of chassis and drive trains for a mass-market electric vehicle."...
     
  2. DDB

    DDB Member

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    I have long wondered why Israel hasn't had an interest in building EVs. Let's face it, the arab world isn't exactly friendly to them and the arabs tend to make their money off oil.

    Israel's national security could very well be tied to the EV market, as well as a booming IP export. It may be too little too late.

    But TEG, regarding your Tesla speculation, without more, I'd bet you're barking up the wrong tree. I'd consider a major manufacturer one that is up and running...and from another continent.
     
  3. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #3 TEG, Nov 30, 2007
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2007
    Very well could be. I have heard a few places (like that interview) about a pending/upcoming major deal of some sort for Tesla, so my curiosity has me prone to make these sorts of wild speculations right now. I can understand if some think this sort of speculation is a waste of time, but I find it fun to look for clues and try to connect the dots. Also, I hope Tesla appreciates being able to see what outsiders are thinking about their actions and statements (why else would they have public blogs?). I am sure others are speculating behind closed doors, but I am just chatting about those sorts of ideas here. I try to be clear that these are just wild theories and nothing more.

    ----------------------

    With that said, I also noticed that Tesla seemed to give some "props" to the GM Volt, which had me wonder if they could actually be in a deal with GM, but that seems unthinkable given the GM EV history and the whole gist of the "Who Killed the Electric Car" movie that was so critical of GM.

    Besides, GM & Ford seem to have plenty of their own expertise in these areas.

    Renault is a major car company, and maybe a bit behind on EV R&D. Also this whole movement in Israel seems like it could be a rather big deal in terms of prototyping and proving a saturated market. Even though the Roadster is only offered in the USA now, I don't see Tesla staying just in USA forever.
     
  4. DDB

    DDB Member

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    Yep, fun to speculate. The problem with Israel's model is it's compltely the opposite of Tesla's business model. They want charging stations whereas Tesla wanted batteries with enough range to get you back home to charge overnight.

    I do agree there has been quite a few friendly jabs between Lutz and Tesla's brass. But with the focus on the Volt, I can't imagine they'd be up to another EV progject with all the eggs in that basket. I'd think Chrysler or even Ford would have the most to benefit not having something in the pipeline that is wholly EV. I do hope it's an American company, if it's true. But Ford and Chrysler are selling off their decent brands though... Who does that leave?
     
  5. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    I wouldn't call that opposite. Tesla would benefit from having more charging stations around too. They've really come up with the best charging station: one that provides just about as much "juice", and about as fast a charge, as our existing electrical grid can support and that can be deployed at reasonable cost. It's the best compromise.

    I really feel that most BEVs made with today's battery technology, and aimed at being affordable and selling to the mass market, are going to be limited to about 100-130 miles range. That will keep the battery cost and the weight under control. The Roadster may do 245 miles, but that's with $20,000 worth of battery cells and a 900-pound ESS mass on board, and a super-lightweight aluminum frame and carbon fiber body to compensate. To make something affordable you are looking at less batteries, less exotic materials, more mass production.

    That translates to less range, and therefore more need for public charging stations. There's no way around it, unless you move to PHEVs or else somebody like EEstor pulls a rabbit out of their hat.


    Err? Jabs?

    As far as I've heard, Martin Eberhard and Bob Lutz have shown nothing but respect and even a bit of praise for one other. It's a sharp contrast to the sniping that various EV startups have made at one another. I think one reason is because Tesla and GM are so very not in competition; they are going at completely different segments of the market with completely different business plans, production volumes, etc. They can afford to be gracious and magnanimous towards one another.


    The dilemma here is that the companies who need Tesla's technology the most are probably the ones who are most clueless in terms of realizing they need it. That would be the Germans, most likely. :)

    My list of clued-in major car companies: GM, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Nissan/Renault.

    Companies that may possibly be getting a clue: Toyota, Honda, the new Chrysler.

    Companies fumbling around in the dark: Ford/Mazda, VW, BMW, Hyundai.


    GM, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Nissan and Renault have been researching BEVs for years and I'd guess aren't in urgent need of Tesla's help. Ford, VW, BMW and Hyundai have shown little indication that they understand the value of this technology.

    The semi-clued companies are the most intriguing to me, because they are interested in electric drive systems, but they don't seem to have figured out quite how to harness them properly. Toyota is hung up on conventional hybrids, but their move toward PHEVs is very timid and halfhearted. Honda sees BEVs only as tiny "punishment cars" for those who can't afford a real hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle (which they themselves admit is over 10 years away from mass production!). And Chrysler. . . Chrysler was totally clueless (partly because they were so cash-strapped, they couldn't afford much alt-fuel research) until Cerberus bought them and announced their new "ENVI" division -- but what will come of that, and how serious they are about it, I have no idea.
     
  6. danny

    danny Administrator

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    If you visit Israel you'll se that many people there do not park their cars in personal garages. They are usually parked outside therefore electric charging units would need to be put on the street as well as private parking garages. So when they say charging units, i don't think of gas station like locations for them or of locations in public parking or business parking, but rather street and apartment parking.
     
  7. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Tony, I really appreciated your last post. It seems to be rather well clued in to what is going on.

    Tesla + BMW could be a good combo. The original idea of an electric 5 series could be made literal. Recall way back when Martin was first showing off the Roadster and some BMW folks told him he was demonstrating the future (rather than mocking the effort).

    I am still reeling from the news that Martin is out. I could relate to his vision, and with someone else driving now I don't know what to expect next.
     
  8. DDB

    DDB Member

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    The fact is, no company (clued in or not) has a BEV program for a roadster....all could benefit with an aquisition of Tesla in my opinion. The majors may just be haning out on the sidelines waiting to see if the startups can make it work.
     

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