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 or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Whitestar / Fisker "Eco Chic" speculation

Discussion in 'Model S' started by TEG, Oct 26, 2007.

  1. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Messages:
    17,249
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    The last comment in the most recent Tesla Blog was:

    [[ “Range Extended EV” is not just PR spin for series hybrid platform, it actually makes sense from a customer perspective." ]]


    To me this is a sign that Tesla is seriously considering getting into the hybrid business (with vehicles that burn some kind of fuel), and perhaps soon.


    This purported "Mega Scoop" said that Fisker Coachbuild company was going to design the Whitestar.

    Although the above story was seemingly debunked, Fisker announced an effort to go green and stories surfaced of a Fisker hybrid high end sports sedan coming soon.

    fisker_hybrid_teaser.jpg

    Stories have reported that Fisker is planning to use "Quantum drive" power technology, but I wonder if Tesla might be involved after all...

    Even if this isn't "Whitestar", it certainly lines up to be a close competitor.
     
  2. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Messages:
    17,249
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    By the way, the Lexus GS450h is in this "segment"...

    [​IMG]
     
  3. WarpedOne

    WarpedOne Supreme Premier

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Messages:
    2,651
    Location:
    Slovenia, Europe
    #3 WarpedOne, Oct 26, 2007
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2007
    I wouldn't mind being seen in something like this (first image).

    Then again I do not see how Tesla could survive going head to head with Toyota and other big ones in pure hybrid market. How could they improve on Toyota's HSD or Honda's IMA? Why would someone want a hybrid Tesla? Just for the looks?

    I do not believe Tesla is going to go on the hybrid path. I think they started to give credibility to other big guys just to improve their own image. They do not want to come along as a young spoiled teenager knowing everything and criticizing all others. They want to have credibility.
     
  4. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Messages:
    17,249
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    I hope you are right, WarpedOne.
     
  5. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    Messages:
    14,792
    Location:
    CA CA
  6. Cobos

    Cobos S60 owner since 2013

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2007
    Messages:
    1,267
    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    Yes I am eagerly awaiting the details for the Whitestar as I assume it will be a pure BEV. I'm afraid I would loose most interest in the Whitestar if it ended up as a hybrid. And the fact is that with the dollar as low as it is now if Tesla can get the Whitestar around the suggested prices they should sell nicely in Europe due to good EV incentives... As a pretty extreme example I stumbled over the Norwegian Corvette pricelist. Total price in Norway for Z06 basic trim: $323 799 (Base price: $107 309 + sales tax: $26 827 + "Sin tax": $189 663). As EV's are exempt from both sales tax and sin tax you can see how both the Roadster now and especially the Whitestar can actually compete on price. As most of Europe has similar laws, even though they are not as good for EVs as here, there should be a market easily for a few tens of thousand Whitestars...

    Cobos
     
  7. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Messages:
    17,249
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    More fuel for the fire...

    http://newenergynews.blogspot.com/2007/09/for-plug-in-hybrid-small-cos-big.html

    WHO
    Henrik Fisker, designer the BMW Z8 and Aston Martin’s DB9 and V8 Vantage; Malcolm Bricklin, who brought Subaru and Yugo to the US; Alan Niedzwiecki, CEO, Quantum Technologies’; Darryl Siry, head of marketing and sales, Tesla Motors Inc.

    WHAT
    Both Fisker and Bricklin are planning to introduce plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) to the mainstream US market. Tesla Motors, having sold 600 all-electric sports car at $98,000 to the environmentally-committed affluent, is planning a plug-in hybrid version of its car.

    WHY
    - Fisker’s vehicle will be powered by batteries especially designed for it by Quantum Technologies.
    - The Tesla vehicle will be called the Whitestar and will sell for $50,000.
     
  8. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Messages:
    17,249
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
  9. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,091
    Location:
    Hamilton, Texas
    Yes, but now we have Darryl Siry publicly agreeing with GM that the Chevy Volt is an electric car because only the electric motor will drive the wheels.

    So. . . Maybe they've decided White Star will be "100 percent electric" with a gasoline-powered range extender, after all. :frown:
     
  10. mt2

    mt2 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Messages:
    544
    Location:
    Chicago Area, Northwest Burbs
    I'm right there with you, WarpedOne. I think by the time Tesla is producing the BlueStar, there may be room for a hybrid option. But in 2010, Tesla will still be building brand recognition and find themselves up against some big players. Performance and reliability of a pure BEV will be key differentiators.

    In the WSJ interview, Martin asked about DeLorean, "What problem was he trying to solve?" Taken in context, the question meant, "Why would I buy one?" Martin went on to compare the DeLorean to the Vette that was offered the same year - demonstrating how the big guys walk all over the little guys if the little guys don't set themselves apart.

    Nobody is going to buy a Chevy Volt and use the term "range extended electric vehicle" casually when describing their car. Nearly 100% of the market will see it as a hybrid. Trying to draw distinctions in that market by balancing charging times, fuel economy, range, and performance will quickly degrade into a confusing mess not unlike cell phone calling plans. And confusion drives consumers away.

    By producing a BEV WhiteStar at the same price point as a Lexus or BMW hybrid, Tesla will set themselves apart from the fracas.
     
  11. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    Messages:
    14,792
    Location:
    CA CA
    #11 vfx, Oct 28, 2007
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2007
    I agree with the differentiation a product -especially with a little guy facing off with the big guy.

    MT2 wrote:

    "- demonstrating how the big guys walk all over the little guys if the little guys don't set themselves apart."

    How does this statement gel with the Volt and it's dubious role as a Tesla killer? That is, if GM is not really planning to bring the car to market (at least in the stated timeline) then consumers in 2010 or 2011 will have a Whitestar in front of them to buy but GM pounding the drum with the Volt still "coming soon"?

    And to keep it on thread, The same question applies to Fisker and company (if it's not Tesla).
     
  12. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,091
    Location:
    Hamilton, Texas
    I think the Chevy Volt and Tesla WhiteStar are going to be two very different cars, and I think it's really a stretch to call the Volt a "Tesla killer".

    The Fisker is interesting, but I'd want to know more about both the car and the company before I start speculating about it.

    We're into an oil price shock now, and I think we're going to see another one in 2008, and in about 2009 we'll be getting into "perennial crisis" mode. This suggests to me that the demand for plug-in cars by 2010 should be much higher than today.

    I shouldn't be surprised to find both Tesla and GM selling all that they can make. GM obviously is equipped to make a lot more -- but Tesla has a decent chance of reaching the market first. It's the companies who don't have anything electric that are going to be hurting.
     
  13. WarpedOne

    WarpedOne Supreme Premier

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Messages:
    2,651
    Location:
    Slovenia, Europe
    Yes, if they use the ESS and eMotor they already have. Maybe with some changes.

    Where will they get an ICE? Develop their own or buy one? First choice means at least 4 years of development, second means giving up on part of their profit and control over the product and their destiny.
     
  14. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,091
    Location:
    Hamilton, Texas
    You know the US version of the Lotus Elise has a Toyota engine, right?

    I'd like to see somebody try a more unconventional ICE in a hybrid car. . . like a gas turbine, or a Rotapower engine. The big car companies are less likely to try this sort of thing, since they already have huge investments in piston engines.
     
  15. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Messages:
    17,249
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #15 TEG, Oct 28, 2007
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2007
    Elon wrote in an old blog:

    So, by "zero emission electric power generation options" did they just mean recommending or reselling home solar systems? Perhaps they have been investigating other mobile power generating options. Are fuel cells "zero emission" (with water vapor output)? I think Martin dissed fuel cells enough to think they wouldn't be doing that. Maybe they have another trick up their collective sleeves?

    By the way, Dean Kamen's stirling engine is an intriguing idea, but I would still like to see Tesla stay committed to 100% electric and stay on the cutting edge of electricity storage technology.
     
  16. Kardax

    Kardax Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Messages:
    258
    Location:
    Minnesota, USA
    Indeed; if Tesla ever plans to add an ICE range extender to their "electric cars", it's invariably going to come from someone outside, not only because they can be sure it'll work, but because they can avoid the patent minefield.

    I've seen a lot of different engine designs, but I've never seen one that gets better MPG than a conventional piston engine. Which is kinda odd, to me, considering how many parts a piston engine has, but there it is...

    One thing I've always wondered is how a series hybrid (oops, I mean "range extended electric vehicle") is going to do its EPA mileage tests. The MPG will be great on electric power, but will drop drastically when the battery runs out.

    -Ryan / Kardax
     
  17. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,091
    Location:
    Hamilton, Texas
    The great thing about a piston engine is that it can be throttled, and it can operate reasonably well over a wide RPM and power range. This is why you don't see gas turbines used in cars, as one example. Gas turbines are more efficient but they like to run at a constant speed.

    If you are running a serial PHEV then suddenly you don't need to throttle the engine. An engine that can run a generator at a steady, fixed rate will do the job.

    I wonder about that too.
     
  18. mt2

    mt2 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Messages:
    544
    Location:
    Chicago Area, Northwest Burbs
    I hope no one interpreted my comments as suggesting the Volt will go up against the WhiteStar. So wrong, for so many reasons. Instead I was trying to point out that differentiating a range extended EV from a hybrid will be near impossible. People will be buying "normal cars" and "hybrids", no matter what manufacturers call them.

    If the WhiteStar will be the Fisker hybrid sports sedan, then Tesla will be entering a confusing (for the average Joe) marketplace. Everyone will be trying to set themselves apart in that market, and that will only make it more confusing.
     
  19. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Messages:
    17,249
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #19 TEG, Oct 28, 2007
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2007
    Anyone remember way back when I posted a simplistic "mock-up" of what I thought Whitestar could look like (as a 4 door sedan with a bit of Roadster look)?

    [​IMG]
    perhaps a touch of resemblance:
    [​IMG]

    (Fisker sure pushed those front wheels forward. Probably comfortable on the freeway, but what kind of turning radius?)
    The Fisker looks like a very long vehicle.
     
  20. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    Messages:
    14,792
    Location:
    CA CA
    I think the combination of Dean Kamen and Tesla contains powerful possibilities.

    Worth mentioning that Dean Kamen is a Tesla owner.
     

Share This Page