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Electric vehicles a hot topic at Frankfurt Auto Show

  • One of the biggest developments at the Frankfurt Auto Show is the showcasing of new electric vehicles models from luxury automakers such as Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Volkswagen, and BMW.
  • But with only a paltry 0.2% of total vehicle registrations in Europe of the EV/hybrid variety will all the development costs pay off?
  • Industry insider think it will as they point to the ability of automakers to lower their average fleet mileage ratings to appease regulators and a long-term trend toward alternative-fuel vehicles that nobody wants to miss out on.
Comments (26)
  • Here is a quote from the AP Business Writer (David McHugh), at the end of the article --- One of the biggest bulls is Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn, whose company has bet heavily on the all-electric Leaf. He said much of the industry is waiting now to see what China's next move is on reducing emissions. When China acts, it will mean "the explosion of the electric car."


    Something to think about with Tesla just about to enter the Chinese market ...
    11 Sep 2013, 11:27 AM Reply Like
  • Thanks for posting. The future looks promising.
    11 Sep 2013, 11:40 AM Reply Like
  • One thing people have a tendency to forget is "there is no middle man at Tesla---
    Elon is the chief engineer, designer etc and CEO---he reports to himself---
    Not only that he is the best in the world at both tasks----
    We have NOTHING to fear!!!!
    11 Sep 2013, 12:39 PM Reply Like
  • So he knows everything? That is not a good thing. Maybe one person can come up with a good concept, however can 1 person come up with the best of everything? NEVER!
    11 Sep 2013, 01:19 PM Reply Like
  • In this ONE case, probably in history, I believe you are in the vast majority of being incorrect------
    11 Sep 2013, 01:31 PM Reply Like
  • Elon Musk, who is a business major who made PayPal, sold that and started an EV company, is NOT an engineer by any means. He may call himself "Chief Engineer", but he might as well have started a surgical hospital and called himself "Chief Surgeon".


    He has a lot of real engineers working for him, doing all the real work and basically keeping Musk from doing anything stupid.
    11 Sep 2013, 02:45 PM Reply Like
  • He also has a degree in physics and has worked on a PhD in physics. A technical degree coupled with a business degree is the best possible combination. And yes, Musk does do his initial designs. His engineering team do take it from there. My husband is one of his engineers.
    11 Sep 2013, 03:44 PM Reply Like
  • Elon Musk has a physic degree as well and he taught himself programming when he was a kid. He is an Engineer.
    11 Sep 2013, 05:12 PM Reply Like
  • Tdot,
    Elon has a BA in Business and a BS in physics both from U Penn- Ivy League school. He was accepted to Stanford's PhD Physics program, but dropped out to pursue starting PayPal.
    Two degrees that have helped him build Tesla, Space X and Solar City in addition to the very successful PayPal
    He's smart enough to hire the right people to work for him. They are not there to ensure he does nothing stupid, but to help him execute his vision.
    He is smarter than me, and I'll go out on a limb and say he's smarter than you.
    We need more people like Elon- why discredit him?
    11 Sep 2013, 06:13 PM Reply Like
  • It is hilarious how these Musk fanatics come rushing up screaming like little girls about their beloved little god when someone points out the facts of the man's background. They are exactly like Justin Bieber fans in that regard.


    The title "Engineer" is bestowed on a person for completing an accredited course of study in Engineering in an accredited University, earning at least a Bachelor of Science degree in some sort of Engineering discipline, like Electrical or Mechanical or Aerospace or something. Most auto companies prefer their Engineers to also have at least a Masters degree in Engineering, and many also want them to be licensed and accredited as Professional Engineers, not to mention MBA degrees and such. And continuing education to keep up to speed is expected for engineers.


    The title is NOT bestowed on "self-taught" individuals for getting a Bachelor of Arts in Business, and then and a BA in physics, and then attempting to skip the whole Masters Degree process and dropping out of school for failing in the pursuit of a PhD. A BA in Physics does not make an Engineer any more than a Associates Degree in Criminal Justice makes an Attorney. There are all those pesky classes and homework assignments and exams that must be successfully completed to the satisfaction of a whole host of University Professors before the degrees like BS, MS, and PhD in Engineering are bestowed, and legitimate titles are granted.


    Random college drop-outs are not taken seriously. Even if they do manage to get rich and start new companies, and especially if they do that and grant themselves the titles anyway. Yes, the crazy world of computers and internet companies is full of college dropouts, and yes some of them got rich doing imaginative stuff. That does not earn them any "Engineering" or other titles beyond king of their own domain.


    Musk may well be a wealthy innovator. And he may have helped coach a bunch of really skilled Engineers into developing his vision of a fine (if expensive) electric vehicle. That does not earn him the title "Engineer". There is not an accredited university in the world that will grant that title to him, without him completing the course of study and earning it the hard way. Oh sure the man will probably get 50 honorary doctorates if he donates enough cash to some colleges here and there. Maybe the Queen of England will even knight him with an honorary knighthood. That still means nothing in the Schools of Engineering around the nation.


    By the way, Alan Mulally at Ford's is an Engineer, having completed Bachelors and Masters degrees in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering at the University of Kansas, which is fully accredited program and highly regarded internationally. He also has a Masters in Business Management from MIT (ditto). Alan did it the hard way: he did not skip steps, drop out, and quit when the University refused to go along with his graduate school scam, start an internet company (PayPal) and sell it at a huge profit to then buy himself into the automotive engineering business. And he certainly did not bestow upon himself the title "Engineer" without first earning it. At school.
    12 Sep 2013, 04:44 AM Reply Like
  • You are going to use 7-8 years and say that is a successful company? What does that make Ford?
    12 Sep 2013, 08:40 AM Reply Like
  • I cannot like this comment about schooling enough! Spot on Tdot! And I might add once again.
    12 Sep 2013, 08:43 AM Reply Like
  • Engineering is an applied science that came from the study of physics. There are many great minds that never completed an engineering degree. Bill Gates and Steven Jobs are just two that come to mind. Whether Mr Musk is an engineer or not, one thing is very clear: he is a great mind of our time, and he will go down in history as such.
    12 Sep 2013, 08:46 AM Reply Like
  • Elon Musk is listed by Tesla as "Co-Founder, CEO, and Product Architect." He is NOT listed as an engineer.
    14 Sep 2013, 04:52 PM Reply Like
  • Careful there Rik - Musks ankle-biting minions are at full swarm to protect their queen from any sort of "discrediting". He is after all the undisputed savior of the world, you know. From all the exhaust-belching gas-burning CO2-generating air pollution creators, that is. Never mind that the coal and oil burning powerplants that charge those Teslas are just as bad if not worse.


    Sure, the Tesla is a cool niche car, but more than $100,000 to get half the driving range as a comparable gas-burner or hybrid which costs one-third as much?


    But absolutely he is no Engineer. A Bachelor of ARTS in Physics (not even a Bachelor of SCIENCE!) does not an Engineer make. Not even close. He had some ideas as to how to spend a lot of investor's money on building an Electric Vehicle company, and hired real Engineers, many of whom were laid off from Ford or GM, to do the actual work in working out all the details to make it work.
    14 Sep 2013, 07:21 PM Reply Like
  • This is just the very beginning of the EV Revolution. Tesla has been the spark, and will continue to be the leader in the biggest untapped automotive market in our lifetime.
    11 Sep 2013, 12:52 PM Reply Like
  • Tesla will not be the leader at all. Tesla will be sold as Elon gets bored and starts up another company. The leaders will be the BIG manufacturers. Tesla builds 5000 cars in a quarter, Ford is building 780,000 in the 4th quarter. When Ford comes out with a 100 mile and a 200 mile range car in early 2015 Tesla will soon become an afterthought. And if you doubt me google Ford Electric Works. Oh and by the way they hired a few Tesla engineers to run the place.
    11 Sep 2013, 01:26 PM Reply Like
  • You sure about that? Cause Tesla also hired some of the best of the big three's engineers and that I know for certain.
    11 Sep 2013, 03:46 PM Reply Like
  • First-in, last-out - Elon Musk's words.


    He is not going to get "bored" until he meets goals he has set for himself. People like Elon would consider not meet a goal as a personal failure. If he steps aside it would be after a Gen 3 car. Unless he gets sick, I sure he will head Tesla for at least another 5 years.
    11 Sep 2013, 05:16 PM Reply Like
  • @cbroncos,
    I think you are correct in that Tesla will be bought out by a bigger car manufacturer. Mainly because right now any of the "old" car manufacturer runs the risk of cannibalizing the sales of their ICE vehicles if they produce an EV/Hybrid alternative at a lower profit. Therefore, cutting off their main source of profit and cash flow.
    Buying out Tesla would give them immediate exposure to the EV market and can be kept as a separate division. When this will happen, I have no idea, but whatever company that decides to do this will pay a hefty premium for Tesla.
    Right now the quality of the EV cars being made by the "old" companies do not even come close to a Tesla. However, I don't think Tesla will be an afterthought. The name already has an aura, status and an image of high quality- to just drop or merge what they've created would be a mistake.
    Also, once EV become more mainstream (I believe they will by 2020), you will see the design and engineering of cars change dramatically. They will become sleeker, faster and have better handling because the engineers will not be limited by having to build around a clunky engine block and drive train. The weight can be evenly distributed with a lower center of gravity, more aerodynamic and more "free" space to work with for design patterns for seating and storage. It will be a whole new world for the engineers and designers- it probably already is, we are just not privy to it.
    11 Sep 2013, 06:11 PM Reply Like
  • Tesla’s goal is to accelerate the world’s transition to electric mobility with a full range of increasingly affordable electric cars. "We're catalyzing change in the industry" So When Ford comes out with a 100 mile and a 200 mile range car in early 2015 Tesla will not be an after thought it will be part of Tesla's goal as being achieved.
    12 Sep 2013, 12:48 AM Reply Like
  • Hmm, Hired the best engineers from the big 3 when they were getting rid of thousands of head count. Are you sure they got the best engineers?
    12 Sep 2013, 09:18 AM Reply Like
  • Joe E we will have to wait and see about that. There are only so many rich green folk out there. At some point sales will slow of the $87,000 car. Ford will probably bring their cars in at under $50,000.
    12 Sep 2013, 09:20 AM Reply Like
  • In 25 years every other car in America will be an alternative fuel vehicle.
    Electric cars will be a very large part of that equation.
    In 50 years fuel cells will power the electric cars of the future and the internal combustion engine in passenger applications will be a thing of the past.
    25 years is such a short period of time, the future is upon us right now.
    11 Sep 2013, 10:26 PM Reply Like
  • Don't need fuel cells with solar panels everywhere.
    12 Sep 2013, 09:21 AM Reply Like
  • I have been pointing to European car makers getting into heavy R&D in EVs or PHEVs, TSLA will have heavy competition in 4-5 years when their Gen III is ready.


    Just a few models from Euro car makers for 2013:



    Most of these cars will be in their second generation by 2018-2020.


    I see this as a positive development for EVs as a category, not so much for TSLA - OUTSIDE its current high-end segments (Model S and X).
    11 Sep 2013, 10:44 PM Reply Like
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