With the consumer good's industry getting increasingly competitive, Japan's well known consumer brands like Sony are putting a bigger emphasis on supplying parts to automakers for the chance of higher profit margins.
Tesla's Kurt Kelty To Battery Partners: 'I Need To Know You're On board'
Tesla executive Kurt Kelty gives a speech in Japan asking battery suppliers to take more risks to increase production. Tesla needs more batteries in order to make more cars and drive the price of batteries down.
The Tesla Model S might be the headline-grabber of the electric vehicle world, but the Nissan Leaf is the segment's secret star. With over 130,000 sold worldwide since its introduction and record US sales in 2014, the little hatchback has helped its parents at the Renault-Nissan Alliance to sell over 200,000 EVs since 2010.
Despite recent rumors to the contrary, don't expect to see much collaboration between Tesla and BMW in the near future. Based on some rather prickly statements from the German automaker, Elon Musk might have even burnt some bridges in Bavaria with his latest proclamations.
With Toyota and Daimler no longer holding Tesla shares, the electric vehicle company might be looking for a new partner – possibly a Bavarian one. In a new interview with Germany's Der Spiegel, CEO Elon Musk confirmed that he has had talks with BMW execs about future collaboration.
To paraphrase Dr. Evil from Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, why spend a trillion when you could spend ... billions? That's what Panasonic is saying about its investment in Tesla's gigafactory, though there's a catch. The billions are in Japanese yen.
The big news on the electric vehicle front today is that Nissan is considering slowing down EV battery production in the US and UK and source all of Nissan's big packs come from Japan. Nissan may also buy some batteries from the Korean company LG Chem. This is apparently causing dissent within Nissan, but it follows what Alliance partner Renault is doing in the hunt for 180-mile EVs.
With pro football season about to begin, we thought it appropriate to use a gridiron metaphor: one research firm is estimating that Tesla Motors will outkick its coverage when it comes to the Gigafactory it's planning for the western US, likely Reno, NV. The electric-vehicle maker has said needs the giant battery plant because its annual sales will reach a half-million by the end of the decade. Lux Research is saying the company's EV sales will be closer to about half that.
Just how intimate would you like to get with the powertrain in a Chevy Volt? If you're anything like YouTube user d55guy, then spending a half hour filming yourself taking apart the battery pack, motor, inverter and more for a look inside sounds like your idea of fun. After all, this way you get to see the cooling system, the heavy safety kill switch and count up the individual cells in the battery modules. Fun!
The first of perhaps 'hundreds' of gigafactories is now one step closer to reality: Tesla and Panasonic have announced their official agreement to work together on the gigafactory. The two companies have worked together for many years on electric vehicles, but this new deal takes the partnership to a whole new level.
The Chevrolet Volt isn't changing much for the 2015 model year. According to specifications uncovered by Inside EVs, though, the new Volt's battery does have a slightly larger capacity. According to the spec sheet, this doesn't translate to increased range. Real world driving, though, might tell a different story.
Getting 17 More Miles From 36-kWh Pack Is A $600 Option
There was something unexpected hiding in the new configurator for the 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive: a $600 "Temporary range extender." Since we've never heard of such a thing, we had to click through for more.
The 2012 and 2013 model year Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in vehicle may have a battery glitch caused by low coolant levels. No recall has been issued and General Motors is taking care of the issue at no cost to drivers.