TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker and becoming a Supporting Member. For more info: Support TMC

Tesla Motors - The Early Years

Discussion in 'Tesla, Inc.' started by malcolm, Apr 11, 2009.

Tags:
  1. Brando

    Brando Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2016
    Messages:
    837
    Location:
    Bainbridge Island, WA
    Marc keeps telling his inspiring story - as time passes, he gets more succinct. Love it.
     
  2. Vern Padgett

    Vern Padgett Proud and Grinning Model S90D owners

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Messages:
    437
    Location:
    Whittier, California
    The last two links are to articles that are very much worth reading.

    J. B. Straubel in Popular Science-- very good reading. I wish there were an update. This piece tells about the electric bicycle he built, and the Porsche 944 he gutted and filled with 800 lbs of lead-acid batteries to achieve an acceleration record.

    We need a book on J. B. Straubel.

    The first link-- nice report-- wish it was a lot longer--- who is the author, B. Behrend?

    The first 2 links are dead.
     
    • Like x 1
  3. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Messages:
    19,459
    • Like x 1
  4. Brando

    Brando Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2016
    Messages:
    837
    Location:
    Bainbridge Island, WA
    #64 Brando, May 7, 2018
    Last edited: May 7, 2018
    Electronics change fast. [ModelS vs Model 3 motors very different, for example] Cocconi was a pioneer. Both JB and Elon give Cocconi a lot of credit. Elon tried to get Cocconi to start a car company, he said he didn't want to do that. I'd suggest internet search

    alan cocconi electric car

    He is an amazing person/engineer. Just one of the articles you'll find:
    AC Propulsion tzero, The Godfather of Modern EVs | CleanTechnica
    Read the comments !

    one more about founders of Tesla
    Will the Real Tesla Founder Please Stand Up?
     
    • Like x 1
  5. Vern Padgett

    Vern Padgett Proud and Grinning Model S90D owners

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Messages:
    437
    Location:
    Whittier, California
    #65 Vern Padgett, May 7, 2018
    Last edited: May 7, 2018
    Brando thank you-- I just finished Darryl Siri's short piece "Will the Real Tesla Founder Stand Up?" And it is neither Musk nor Eberhard! Very nice writing. Thank you again.

    And read Nicolas Zart's article AC Propulsion tzero, The Godfather of Modern EVs | CleanTechnica

    Very cool! This is short and well-written. Check it out, everyone.

    Do read all the comments-- How about the comment at the end, that the Volt and Bolt owe nothing to AC Propulsion--- Author Nicolas Zart says "Pete also rightfully points out that this tzero “… is also the most influential electric vehicle in this century since it inspired and started the clean energy electric car movement.”
    BUT Marion Meadsa year ago queries "What an audacious claim coming from Tesla fanatics to lay ancestral claim to all EV's. The EV-1 motors have been excellent performer when Musk was still in diapers. The motors in the Volt and Bolt didn't use Tesla's technology."

    How about that? Should we "Tesla Fanatics" (like me) credit Tom Gage and Alan Cocconi for restarting the EV -- or give credit to General Motors for their EV1?

    Or to Ferdinand Porsche for his late 1890s design of a hybrid-- with 4 hub-mounted electric motors?
     
    • Love x 2
  6. Vern Padgett

    Vern Padgett Proud and Grinning Model S90D owners

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Messages:
    437
    Location:
    Whittier, California
    #66 Vern Padgett, May 7, 2018
    Last edited: May 7, 2018
    Very interesting account. I'm wondering about this: “Michael Marks had invested about $2.5 million in Tesla in 2007 … “

    What became of that investment? Elon is given as the number one stockholder, with around 20%, and J. B. Straubel is second, with 333,000 or so shares, around $100 million worth, and cousin Kimbal Musk is third.

    I’m wondering what Michael Marks did with his 2.5 million $ investment in Tesla from 2007. Or Zvi?
     
  7. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2014
    Messages:
    3,384
    Location:
    California
    The idea of an electric car goes back more than 100 years and has many "inventors".
    I do think we need to give Elon credit for building the first successful EV company (after surviving near death) leading to mass adoption of EVs. Without Elon, all we would have would be the pathetic compliance cars produced by the ICE manufacturers.
     
    • Like x 1
  8. Brando

    Brando Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2016
    Messages:
    837
    Location:
    Bainbridge Island, WA
    small correction: Kimbal is Elon's brother
    cousin started Solar City
     
  9. Vern Padgett

    Vern Padgett Proud and Grinning Model S90D owners

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Messages:
    437
    Location:
    Whittier, California
    The recent history of EVs is fascinating. Check out Wikipedia's piece on the EV1. How many of you knew that GM had an "Impact" in 1990, 50 of them, the prototype for the EV1 of 1996, which they destroyed (they destroyed all 50 of the 1990 Impacts)?

    Any of you see the 1990 GM Impact? At the 1990 Los Angeles Auto Show? I was there in mid 2000s. I remember a Roadster prototype or early Roadster. Go in the entrance then over to the right, to the Tesla section. They would not let me sit in it. I asked-- and they said no. Kind of turned me off, for about 10 years. Sorry. Guess I don't want to wear out your car by sitting in it for one minute.

    From their article: " Alan Cocconi of AC Propulsion designed and built the original drive controller electronics for the Impact, and the design was later refined by Hughes Electronics."

    Alan Cocconi! Have any of you met this pioneer? Does Tesla have a plaque to him at their HQ?
     
    • Informative x 1
  10. Vern Padgett

    Vern Padgett Proud and Grinning Model S90D owners

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Messages:
    437
    Location:
    Whittier, California
    #70 Vern Padgett, May 10, 2018
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
    So which car would you all rather have, if you could have only one?

    An AC propulsion T-Zero like one of the 3 built;
    A 1990 GM Impact, one of the 50 they destroyed;
    A 1996 early production EV1 with lead-acid batteries (coefficient of drag .19!);
    an 1898 Porsche-Löhne benzene-electric hybrid with 4 wheel hub-mounted motors
    ?

    Me, I'm leaning towards the Porsche. Here is from Wikipedia: "The Lohner-Porsche's design was studied by Boeing and NASA to create the Apollo program's Lunar Roving Vehicle. Many of its design principles were mirrored in the Rover's design. The series hybrid concept underpins many modern railway locomotives ..."
     
    • Like x 1
    • Love x 1
  11. Vern Padgett

    Vern Padgett Proud and Grinning Model S90D owners

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Messages:
    437
    Location:
    Whittier, California
    The Car That Could: The Inside Story of GM's Revolutionary Electric Vehicle (Hardcover).

    There are more than 20 copies available for less than ten dollars on Amazon.com.

    I'm reading it again. I read it maybe 15 years ago. It is a good read people!

    Amazon.com Review
    The story of General Motors' first mass-produced electric car, the EV1 (at first, unfortunately, named the Impact). This project was decades in gestation, the early dreams of pollution and noise-free vehicles taking a long time to progress beyond visionary prototypes. This was partly because of opposition to the concept from oil companies and the automotive industry. Eventually a combination of government prodding and technological advances in battery design made it possible. Schnayerson describes the supportive role of GM chairman Robert Stempel and the tenacity of a group of true-believing engineers who kept the idea alive after Stempel was ousted.

    More info: From Publishers Weekly
    Hailed as the first practical electric passenger car, General Motors' Impact faces an uncertain future, with doubts about whether a market will materialize for a high-priced auto with significantly limited range and few recharging options. The sleek, small, battery-powered aluminum prototype, which runs silently with no engine or tailpipe, owes its existence to ex-GM chairman Roger Smith, who on Earth Day 1990 publicly declared that GM would mass-produce an electric vehicle (EV).
    He then resigned. When his successor, Robert Stempel, was replaced in 1992, the Impact development team of engineers was significantly downsized, and the project seemed dead.
    Secret talks initiated by the Impact team with Ford and Chrysler to consider an EV consortium led instead to GM's renewed commitment to the project, which was kept under wraps.
    Shaynerson, a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, recreates a remarkable, inspiring saga of glitches, unexpected setbacks, power struggles and ingenuity, and in doing so he tells how GM, once stagnant, resistant to technological change and battered by foreign rivals, staged a comeback. Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
     
  12. Brando

    Brando Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2016
    Messages:
    837
    Location:
    Bainbridge Island, WA
    #72 Brando, May 11, 2018
    Last edited: May 11, 2018
    reminder: TeslaTap.com/links a treasure trove of information
    - Not that I'm bias, but when I found this clip, TeslaTap added it to their "links" page. You will enjoy, I'm sure.


    side note: It was Alan's yellow T-zero that "sold" both Elon (as an inverster) and JB to join Eberhart and Tarpenning startup Tesla Motors.
    AND the yellow T-zero was used to show to all the original potential investors and early Roadster buyers. Alan encourage them to all work together.
    and going back to 1980
    http://evmuseum.com/ev1_images/1980_GM_Epcot_2003_01.jpg
    from
    EV1 Museum - General Motors EV1 picture and photo gallery and history
     
    • Like x 2
  13. Brando

    Brando Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2016
    Messages:
    837
    Location:
    Bainbridge Island, WA
    Most have no idea how easily we have been manipulated. This is just one example - autos and oil.
    BUT, it certainly could help for the next 30 years as we transition to electrification of transport.
    Getting off oil addiction. Walking, biking, and alternative fuels. Do it for yourself - SAVE MONEY.
     
    • Like x 1
  14. Vern Padgett

    Vern Padgett Proud and Grinning Model S90D owners

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Messages:
    437
    Location:
    Whittier, California
    Thanks Brando. It was something to see the very people I just read about in the Shnayerson book. Thank you. -- Vern
     
    • Love x 1

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.
  • Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


    SUPPORT TMC