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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not sure if this has been brought up already, but considering that Tesla already seems to have battery technology far superior to what GM plans to use in the Volt, why doesn't GM just buy the technology from Tesla or just buy Tesla altogether? This would be a great way to accelerate their bid for the electric car market.
 

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Tesla might be a huge flop, we don't know yet. They have been "fixing" their transmission problem for 6 months now, and still no solution. If they make it out of that I'm sure we will see some kind of interaction with another company, hopefully GM.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It still seems to me that GM could have taken advantage of thier battery technology- I mean the Tesla Roadster is claiming to get 225 miles on a single charge and the Volt....40 miles? Seems like GM is WAY behind the power curve already and the Volt isn't due out for another 2 years.
 

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It still seems to me that GM could have taken advantage of thier battery technology- I mean the Tesla Roadster is claiming to get 225 miles on a single charge and the Volt....40 miles? Seems like GM is WAY behind the power curve already and the Volt isn't due out for another 2 years.
The Tesla Roadster also costs a hell of a lot more than the Volt will. The Volt's meant to be an affordable daily driver. The Tesla Roadster's more of a rich-boy car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The Tesla Roadster also costs a hell of a lot more than the Volt will. The Volt's meant to be an affordable daily driver. The Tesla Roadster's more of a rich-boy car.
I agree, but if Tesla finds a partner to mass produce thier upcoming "Blue Star" sedan in 2010 as they plan to, the Volt may be a day late and a dollar short- as seems usual for GM.



Quote from head of client services for Tesla in article below

"There's a model in the works right now, a five-passenger sedan that will be styled comparable to the roadster but a lot roomier to accommodate families, and that is slated for 2010," Snyder said.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/05/03/electric.car.ap/index.html
 

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The Telsa battery lasts longer than the Volt's because it's bigger. It weighs 1,000 lbs, from what I've read. If the Volt had a gasoline engine and a 1,000-lb battery, it wouldn't be doing too well.
 

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I agree, but if Tesla finds a partner to mass produce thier upcoming "Blue Star" sedan in 2010 as they plan to, the Volt may be a day late and a dollar short- as seems usual for GM.



Quote from head of client services for Tesla in article below

"There's a model in the works right now, a five-passenger sedan that will be styled comparable to the roadster but a lot roomier to accommodate families, and that is slated for 2010," Snyder said.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/05/03/electric.car.ap/index.html
You know that Tesla has just been a BS press-release generator for over 5-6 years already... let's see cars, being sold to consumers, who then go out and drive them.

Also a >100k$ pricetag is kind of out of GM's sphere...



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It still seems to me that GM could have taken advantage of thier battery technology- I mean the Tesla Roadster is claiming to get 225 miles on a single charge and the Volt....40 miles? Seems like GM is WAY behind the power curve already and the Volt isn't due out for another 2 years.
The problem is that Tesla's battery technology is NOT way ahead. They are just using thousands of laptop battery cells. That's fine if you don't mind the $100,000 price tag, but the cost cannot come down much with this strategy because laptop battery cells are already mass-produced, i.e. the cost of Tesla's batteries is not going to come down. You need a battery pack specifically designed for automotive use in order to get the cost down.

I still think GM should think about partnering with Tesla, or even buying them, because they clearly have a lot of very competent engineers that could help GM with future projects.
 

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GM won't buy Tesla because GM has a NIH mentality. They prefer to develop the technology on their own.

Besides, Tesla is still a small fry in this market. What makes them unique is their differing strategies, which will probably do them well in the long run. But until now, it really only limits its buyers to the high-end market.

But they are a well funded company. Plus they have a desire to expand their product line. They could become the standard for fully electric vehicles down the road. Right now, it's just a nascent market, it's really anyone's guess.

There are other fully electric car makers out there, like ZENN -- a Canadian company. I've seen one tooling around San Francisco.

Besides, I wouldn't want GM to buy Tesla. They have a tendency to screw things up. And they have their own problems to deal with that are more pressing than a super niche vehicle that sells or will sell ~1,000 annually.
 

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GM's is using the best battery technology available today. The only difference Tesla has is they are using a miniature roadster (Lotus) which is super light to begin with. I don't know the exact numbers but Tesla removes the gas powertrain and adds well over 1500lbs worth of batteries and motor which really destroys the weight balance of the original, excellent handling car.

Also with a limited use roadster you don't have to worry about people not wanting it because they can't take it on vacation. The concept behind the Volt is brilliant because you can use it to drive back and forth to work or make any other round trips of under 40 miles which is 90% of all drives. Then if you need to go out of town you can still take the same car with the range extending powertrain. Much more realistic for the average consumer with current battery technology.

This also open GM up to offer different variations in the future. Batteries are only getting better and better every year which will be extending the range longer and longer. At some point people will have the option to add a few extra batteries and eliminate the complexities of the range extender and buy a completely electric vehicle.
 

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I wonder how much the roadster's range would drop if the power train were put in a car that is nearly 1500lbs heavier than the Elise....
 

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GM buying Tesla would be a publicity nightmare.

If the company succeeds, then the press and the competition will claim GM was too stupid to make their own electric vehicles, so they just bought a company that knew how.

If the company fails, then GM looks like the company that killed the electric car twice. (I know GM didn't kill the car. But people will spin it that way, you know they will.)

As others have said, the Tesla is fantastic but it's not cheap and we have no way of knowing if the Tesla four door will be cheap. If GM brings the Volt to market, it will have a longer range than the Tesla four door and probably be cheaper, and GM can use their existing facilities to build many tens of thousands of them.
 

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GM won't buy Tesla b/c they just lost $3bil in 3 months plus Slick Rick just got a huge bump in pay so now everyone is working for hugs and smilies :) :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Obviously the Tesla Roadster is not competition for the Volt- one is a niche sports car, the other is not. The Roadster is very good at what it does, knocking the socks off many gasoline powered sports cars that cost twice as much. The thing GM needs to be on the defensive about is the sedan.

The Tesla Roadster claims to get ~220 miles on a single charge. That's with sick acceleration and I'm sure a transmission geared with that in mind. I know the Volts range will potentially be a few times this number, but if Tesla calms down the performance of thier transmission and motor for a potential Sedan version, it should get much better range than the Roadster does. That doesn't take into account any new battery tech that they could be using by then. A sedan would, of course outweight the Roadster and that would need to be taken into account as well.

I love the Volt concept, but I thought the idea was to get away from oil completely. To me, the full electric concept is more of a real answer to our oil dependency and much of the pollution problems of combustion engines. Isn't GM still behind the curve on this? By the time the Volt comes out, Tesla- and possibly others, may already be touting fully electric cars that can directly compete.

If the Tesla Roadster was more cost effective, there is no doubt the would be selling more than they could produce...wait, they already are, and that's at 100k.
 

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If the Volt has a 40 mile range (more than most will use per day) and is filled up with E85 - I'd say the owner is very, very far away from contributing to oil dependency.
 

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Tesla will be lucky to survive. No point buying something that will implode. Just wait, and pick up any useful pieces thereafter -- of which I doubt there are many.

The sedan, should it ever arrive, will not be very useful without an onboard generator. The range will be pulled down to 100 miles or so when loaded up, again making it even less useful without a generator. And the cost of the batteries will be deadly unless they drop the size of the pack, at which point it'll be similar to the Volt in electric-only range.

As Tesla isn't close to profitability and won't be, they'll survive on VC money for a while. But without a line of sight to profitability they'll be toast in two years as the VCs won't wait forever. And the only way to profitability is with a more mainstream car, something that's not easy to do and must pass all the safety tests along the way. A family sedan has to be useful and ensuring there's enough room for luggage and family will be the hard thing to do if the pack is huge to provide reasonable range. How attractive a in-city commuter car will be is another question. I say, not very.
 

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Telsa is a Religious toy. Yes it works, but how different is it from the EV1? Its practically the same technology. Take electric motors put them with a bunch of heavy batteries and dump them in a light chassis and drive them around town, close to your house. Don't you dare take that trip to Mexico in it.
 
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