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Discussion in 'Cars and Transportation' started by tonybelding, Jan 28, 2008.
Moderator edit from TEG:
(This topic is split off from another one here)
For the past few months I got the feeling Whitestar was on the backburner for good...but lately, I sense it's closer than everyone is led to believe as evidenced that the transmission has already been designed... And the airbag and other issues have already been dealt with by Tesla once with the Roadster. It's a hell of a lot further along than The Fisker Karma. If the Whitestar is meant to be a BEV like Martin's original master plan, I'd be willing to bet it's about time for a public unveiling. HOWEVER, if it's an E-REV like the Volt, the ICE compoent is going to put Tesla far behind GM. Tesla, stick with what you know--BEVs!!!
Why would you say that? The Karma show car looked fairly far along. They have a partner doing the drive-train that has previous experience with military vehicles and fleet conversions, so I have no reason to believe that their announced schedule is impossible. From what I can tell they plan to deliver the Karma before Whitestar.
If Karma is REEV, but Whitestar is BEV that could differentiate them (purists going for Whitestar). If both are REEV then many customers may consider both depending on price differential, styling, features and such. I think the plan calls for Whitestar to be slightly more affordable than Karma with a similar feature set. It will be interesting to see if people like Whitestar styling as much as the Karma styling. Nothing wrong with having a choice, and some competition. It shows more indication that there is a market opportunity there.
I highly doubt Fisker will be able to keep to it's announced schedule. It's a lot easier to mock up a car for the press and publicize plans than it is to actually follow through within the announced timeframe. Building an EV-Rx from scratch is no easy task as GM's Volt folks would tell you. Ok, they'd say e-REV but I prefer my acronym.
Also, at eighty big ones this is not really a Whitestar competitor. The price difference is more than I make in a year! (ok, quit laughing)
Mostly extrapolation. See below. No doubt the body and interior looked good, but I'm talking about internal components.
"According to Fisker reps, there won't be a running prototype of the Karma until the end of 2008. When asked not much was available in terms of technical details. A little digging around has turned up some clues about what might be coming. Fisker's specialty is styling, not mechanicals. For that skillset he has formed a partnership with Quantum Technologies. Quantum however is not known for developing powertrains, they have specialized in compressed gas fuel storage systems. A couple of years ago Quantum purchased Tecstar, a company with some experience in powertrain development. In the realm of plug-in hybrids one problem that must be addressed is batteries. The obvious question that arises is who will supply the battery. The most likely candidate would be Advanced Lithium Power of Vancouver BC. ALP already has a relationship with Quantum through a program to convert some Ford Escape Hybrids to plug-in capability in Southern California. Not much detail is available right now about what technology ALP is using but perhaps we'll find out if and when Fisker and Quantum actually roll out a functional prototype."
Advanced Lithium Power may be providing batteries for Fisker Karma - AutoblogGreen
Have to say I'm with you on this one DDB. Seems like you can just smell who is for real in this market and who isn't. The companies and products that are less than vapor have so far tended to be very open about the technology they plan to use. I haven't seen anything from the fisker people that leads me to believe they are anything but a concept at this point. As we are all well aware this type of product is not something you can just throw together and expect it to work right off.
You guys might be right. I am just saying that Fisker and Quantum are a bit more than just unknown startups.
"Quantum's proprietary high-performance plug-in-hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) architecture - known as 'Q-Drive' - has evolved over five years of innovation and development at Quantum."
Quantum has done work on:
* GM Sequel fuel cell vehicle
* GM Hy-Wire fuel cell vehicle
* US Army Hybrid concept vehicles
Maybe I'm fishing. But Fisker is going to be in for a rude awakening with the dates they have projected. It reminded me of ZAP's announcement the other day, that they are looking for someone to engineer their Alias--they've got to be kidding. The fact that the Roadster's transmission 1.5 was "borrowed" from Whitestar tells me a lot. I wish they'd just slap the Roadster battery in the darn thing and market a four-door sedan. How hard could that be from where they're at now?
I agree here... both Fisker and ZAP are lacking in technical know-how. Fisker is somewhat better-off than ZAP, but it doesn't matter because you need all the pieces to put a car together.
I don't think it's quite that simple
The Tesla Roadster is really built-up around the battery pack. Adding another pair of seats without changing the ESS shape would mess up the weight distribution, leading to all kinds of handling and safety hazards.
What I'm really lobbying for here is a BEV. Why would Tesla want to reinvent the wheel with a range extender? They'd be relinquishing their speciality to GM. Who do such a nutty thing?
TEG, I agree that they are not complete newcomers to this field from an engineering standpoint but that is not the only mountain they have to climb in this case. They also have to get sorted and have working well in the next year:
- saftey certification
- mass production of all components including batteries
- battery design and chemistry that works.
- an IC engine that works.
- reliability testing of the interaction of all components
- a plant to build it all in
among other things. Unless they are way further along than their currently available info hints then their dates are way too optimistic in my opinion. Don't get me wrong here, I would love to see another player in this field that is "for real" but I also hate to back companies that market vapor as ready to go "soon" for the sake of VC money.
I'd prefer to see Tesla stick with BEVs, too, but if battery costs push it up to $85,000... I'm open to compromises...
We'll have to wait and see. Tesla would probably be at or near the world's #1 consumer for lithium-ion cells if they're making 10,000 WhiteStars per year... they can probably work out a deal with cell makers, perhaps even using some kind of custom-made large-format design...
Got to wonder, how can Miles do it for $32,000? What about BYD? Even if the cells come out of China, that is too cheap to fail to explore (quality aspects aside). That would give Tesla at least $20-30K to play with. But you are correct, we'll have to wait and see. And although I don't want to wait, I agree with your other post that Tesla shouldn't even talk Whitestar until regular Joe Customer gets his order filled.
I'm not convinced that they can. Their price used to be "under $30,000", and it's been creeping up ever since. They've never publicly shown a functional prototype; their website has photos of the original Hafei Saibao (the car the "Javlon" is based upon) with the ICE-related parts photoshopped out. They seem totally reliant upon their Chinese partners to figure it all out.
The whole thing has ZAP-like vaporware fumes about it.
Tesla and Fisker have Silicon Valley venture capital funding, competition has alway been very good in the automotive business.
These folks are competing to develop a viable car in the very near future, who has the better car? Who cares...lets hope they both come up with a sedan in the near future.
At the end of the day Tesla will have an ICE engine in the sedan as a range/performance extender and come to market sooner than later.
Liquid cooling the electric motor in the Tesla sedan will be simple when it is also liquid cooling the ICE.
It isn't clear to me what Tesla has decided in that regard.
All I know is that they started talking up REEVs like it was a good idea, but I have seen no comment to say if they have decided (one way or another) if they are doing it for Whitestar, Bluestar or not at all.
For all I know it will be an option as will full BEV depending on how much $ you want to spend.
Option. Good suggestion TEG, although a trailer towed behind a sedan may look a little tacky. I do like the idea of choices, one being more expensive than another. If Tesla could produce a Volt competitor I'd be very interested.
Lets see how it develops with the "range/performance extender" and how it will get implemented and executed.