Doug Vining Tesla's electric ladyland

Reading this hands-on report of a fairly long range test drive of the Tesla Model S, one is impressed by the innovation and vision for the future that Tesla is creating. The current obstacles to making cars work more like laptops are the cost and efficiency of batteries. But Tesla does not see that as a problem in the long run.

Remember how Nokia rose to leadership in the early cell phone industry? It was the effort they put into making the batteries smaller, longer lasting, and quick to charge. Of course, power hungry smartphones have reversed that trend, and now many road warriors resort to a Power Monkey or other backup pack to keep their phones alive.

So can Tesla come up with the goods, and make electric motoring as commonplace as laptops and smartphones, or will early adopters have to resort to fuel cells for emergency range extension? I'm thinking there is definitely a market for some sort of Trunk Monkey portable fuel cell that can charge up your car in an emergency!
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Posted: 9 August 2013 at 10:37

Doug Vining Tesla's electric ladyland

Moore's Law on Wheels

That's how Shai Agassi describes the modern EV. In this insightful blog Agassi says big car makers shouldn't try and emulate Tesla, but should rather out-innovate Tesla (if they can) by learning that this is a fundamentally different business to traditional car making.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shai-agassi/teslas-a-threat-to-the-au_b_3779966.html

"Lessons from Tesla" will probably become required reading for all business school courses in the future!
Posted: 22 August 2013 at 12:21

Doug Vining Batteries are a problem for EVs

We've said before that battery capacity is a major problem for electric cars, but now Tesla says it's also production capacity that's a problem

I've got two solutions for Elon Musk - hook into China's legendary manufacturing capacity or focus on fuel cells instead!

(Tesla did pretty well last quarter, with a mere $38 million loss.)
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Posted: 6 November 2013 at 18:09

Doug Vining Electric fuel

Imagine being able to fill up your electric car with liquid battery power in a matter of minutes. That's the idea behind these liquid electrode batteries being developed at MIT. Of course, if you've got time on your hands, you can also recharge in the conventional way. It's early days yet, but this could be breakthrough technology for electric vehicles.
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Posted: 21 February 2014 at 08:29

Doug Vining Toyota's Mirai is not the future of motoring

Although 'mirai' means 'future' in Japanese, I don't think this car will be a mass market winner, not even in the 2020s. It's just too expensive, at around US$ 60,000 (in Japan) and entirely dependent on the ability to refuel it at hydrogen stations, which makes it a niche product in the extreme. I think a far better concept would be a plug-in electric car like Tesla with a small fuel cell to boost its range. A fuel cell that runs on liquids like synthetic diesel or methanol, even better.

Of course, the US and California will subsidize the cost to the eco-conscious motorist, and one can guess that it might become a status symbol among rich celebs there. But it still won't be the Toyota Corolla of the future. And it's not as sexy as a Tesla.
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Posted: 19 November 2014 at 12:47

Doug Vining Gasoline, electric or hybrid?

Electric cars are doing pretty well in some urban markets, with the BMW i3 claiming to have sold 12,000 units in the last year. The market is still very fragmented, and now hydrogen fuel cell cars are making their way onto the scene. Personally I think these are the least likely to get mass adoption, but then, with the oil price dropping, perhaps a return to gasoline-electric hybrids will offer the best economy and lowest pollution.
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Posted: 15 December 2014 at 12:41

Doug Vining New hydrogen breakthrough

A new method of converting plant waste into hydrogen that promises to be ten times more effective than electrolysis could, if commercialised, finally kick-start the hydrogen economy.

"Unlike other hydrogen fuel production methods that rely on highly processed sugars, the Virginia Tech team used dirty biomass—the husks and stalks of corn plants—to create their fuel. This not only reduces the initial expense of creating the fuel, it enables the use of a fuel source readily available near the processing plants, making the creation of the fuel a local enterprise."

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-04-discovery-breakthrough-hydrogen-cars.html#jCp
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Posted: 13 April 2015 at 16:15
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