Saleen may not be the first company you think of when it comes to electric cars. Tire-smoking modified muscle cars, sure, but not so much with the electric cars. That could, however, be about to change.
Struggling automaker Mitsubishi seems adamant that it will soldier on across the globe. Just last week, we told you how the brand would begin selling a pair of rebadged, Korean-built, Renault-Samsung sedans in the US market, and now comes an official statement from Mitsubishi about a mid-term business plan called "New Stage 2016."
When Bob Dylan and his guitar-driven poetry embraced the amp in the mid-Sixties, he famously endured cries of "Judas!" from at least one dejected folkie. The Voice Of A Generation had gone electric, and apparently not all of his concert-goers were ready for the transition. We suspect the Kia Soul and its dancing hamsters will have an easier time of it.
Tesla Motors has big plans for China and has already started taking reservations from the mainland for its Model S. One man, however, has a jump on the rest of his 1.3 billion fellow citizens, having taken delivery of the first example thought to have made it into the country. And it only cost him about $410,500 for the bragging rights.
Despite earlier reports, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced it will not be filing a formal investigation into the fire that engulfed a Tesla Model S earlier this month, as the agency says there was no evidence to suggest the fire was due to a manufacturer defect or that the car was in violation of government-mandated safety standards, according to Automotive News.
The city of Palo Alto, in the heart of California's Silicon Valley, is already on the cutting edge of modern technology, as the home of Tesla Motors, Hewlett-Packard and Stanford University. It also has large facilities run by Facebook, Apple, Google and PayPal. Outside of the private sector, though, there's not a lot to distinguish Palo Alta from other very wealthy ZIP codes.
Cadillac will be taking on Tesla Motors, the underdog EV manufacturer that's seen heaps of critical acclaim and stock market buzz with its most recent sedan, the Model S. "If you want to compete head-to-head with Tesla, and we ultimately will, you want to do it with a Cadillac," Dan Akerson, the chairman and CEO of General Motors, told media in Washington, according to The Detroit News.
The Spark-Renault SRT_01E looks like it'd be at home on any Formula One track in the world, but this is a car with a different destiny: the all-electric Formula E series. Unveiled at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show this week, the SRT_01E from Spark Racing Technology is a 200-kilowatt/270-horsepower monster EV for the 2014/2015 FIA Formula E Championship, which starts zero-emission racing in urban areas this September.
Volkswagen has never been one to put all its eggs in one basket, be it brands, models, bodystyles or powertrain technologies. Germany's largest automaker is a major player in both gasoline and diesel internal combustion engines, but it has also dabbled in hybrid powertrains more recently, and it's cranking up its pure-electric campaign as we speak. A key part of that initiative is the new e-Golf that has just rolled out on VW's show stand here at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
Nissan is working away on its ZEOD RC (Zero Emission On Demand Racing Car) which is still on pace for a Le Mans arrival in 2014. As of right now, the DeltaWing-shaped car's carbon-fiber tub and chassis have been completed. The next step will be installing the twin electric motors and fitting the seat of driver and GT Academy winner Lucas Ordóñez. If the current schedule sticks, the zero-emissions racer will hit a UK track for test laps in September.
The FIA's Formula E World Championship is picking up steam. We reported earlier this week that the series had confirmed a ten-race calendar that would start in 2014 and bring the series to North and South America, Europe and Asia. We also mentioned that Formula E's boss Alejandro Agag was in the process of recruiting teams for the new series, with a particular focus on the front runners of Formula One.
Tesla continues to impress, with high demand pushing the small, California-based company well beyond its initial projections of 400 Model S EVs per week. According to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, "We're above 400 a week at the current manpower, and not trivially above it." If things continue at the current pace, Tesla's Fremont, California factory, former home of the General Motors/Toyota NUMMI facility, will be pumping out 800 cars per week by late 2014.
Nissan says it will roll out an urban electric vehicle that's even better than alliance partner Renault's Twizy. While Renault is marketing the Twizy small electric car as an alternative to scooters on European streets, Nissan thinks its upcoming EV will have more to offer.
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