EVPlus - September 2014
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Nissan Sparky EV Ute
Added by admin 19/09/14
room project transforms boring commuter car into epic mini-ute
Here's something that could electrify the zero emission car
market in Australia, an electric ute!
Based on the Nissan LEAF electric vehicle (EV), the Nissan Sparky
was created by two industrious Nissan engineers who work at the
company's technical centre in Arizona, USA.
Roland Schellenberg and Arnold Moulinet designed and developed
the compact ute; their motivation for the project was simply:
"I needed a project for a team building activity so we can bring
the team together. We had a need for a truck. Something to drive
around, a shop truck," explained Schellenberg.
The one-of-a-kind electric vehicle has a Nissan Navara tray (badged
Frontier in the USA) wedged into the back and is powered by an
unmodified 80kW/280Nm electric motor.
"We basically got the stock LEAF, and after reviewing a bunch of
designs of pickup trucks that we have here at Nissan, we decided
to go with a Frontier [Navara] bed," said Moulinet.
The Sparky is currently put to use at the technical centre in
Arizona to move people and supplies around the grounds.
"My main job here is working on rough-road vehicles, rough-road
testing. I'm pretty good at taking cars completely apart to the
bare frame and putting them back together again to resume
testing," added Moulinet.
In Australia, Nissan sold 23 LEAFs in August 2014, and for the
first eight months of this year 118 of the electric vehicles have
been sold, representing an increase of 18 per cent on last year's
tally of 100 in the same period.
Priced at $39,990 drive-away in Australia, the LEAF is still very
much a niche model in Australia, as is its closest competitor,
the more expensive Holden Volt ($59,990). The Holden has had a
much tougher year in 2014, with just three vehicles sold last
month making for a total of 45 for the year, down from 85 in
More story, photos and video...
Story and image courtesy:
Tesla Motors spawns an automotive ecosystem
By Dana Hull
Added by admin 13/09/14
-- Tesla's decision to build its massive "gigafactory" for
battery production in Reno is viewed as a big win for Nevada. But
as Tesla races to make an affordable electric car for the masses,
the company's California footprint will continue to grow.
The electric automaker is on track to deliver more than 35,000
cars this year and has ambitions to produce 500,000 cars a year
by 2020 -- all at its factory in Fremont. The accompanying
infusion of jobs and investment is reshaping that once-quiet
suburban city and spilling over into the surrounding region.
Tesla already has 6,000 employees in the Bay Area: hundreds at
its corporate headquarters in Palo Alto, but the vast majority at
the Fremont factory. Tesla also employs 100 workers at a new
facility in the Central Valley city of Lathrop for specialized
production work. The company's design studios are in Hawthorne,
outside of Los Angeles. Tesla also has 19 stores in California,
including seven in the Bay Area. And it has more than 1,500 job
listings on its corporate site, many of those for positions in
Futuris, an Australian company that makes leather seats and the
interior roofing system for both the Model S and the forthcoming
Model X, moved into a 160,000-square-foot facility in nearby
Newark in July. Futuris has 160 employees in Newark but expects
its head count to grow to 420 within a year as the Model X goes
"Supply chain localization, and being 10 miles down the road from
Tesla, is fantastic," said Sam Coughlin, general manager for
Futuris in the United States. "We can react quickly, and our
engineers are constantly working with Tesla. It always makes
sense to be close to the customer."
Eclipse Automation, a Canadian company that tests manufacturing
equipment, opened engineering offices and a service shop in
Fremont this summer.
"We have a number of clients in the Bay Area, but Tesla was a
driving factor in the decision to set up operations here," said
Jason Bosscher, general manager of Eclipse's Fremont office.
Image: A worker steams wrinkles out of a leather-covered seat at
Futuris Automotive in Newark, Calif., where the company assembles
about 150 seat kits a day for use in the vehicles built by
electric car maker Tesla, Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014. Futuris is
one of a number of suppliers for Tesla who are relocating to the
Story and image courtesy:
San Jose Mercury News
Official: $1.3 Billion In Incentives Brings Tesla
Gigafactory To Nevada
Added by admin 05/09/14
Gov. Brian Sandoval and Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced Thursday
that Tesla will indeed build their Gigafactory in the state of
All it took was up to $1.3 billion worth of incentives over 20
The Governor called the today's event a
“monumental announcement that will change Nevada forever,” while
adding that he expected every dollar the state spends in aided
Tesla to comeback 80 fold. “Even the most skeptical economist
would conclude that this is a strong return for us.”
At full capacity the plant is expected to employ up to 6,500
If the Tesla CEO is to be believed, his company walked away from
even more money offered by other states in lieu of a higher
confidence that facility will indeed be ready by 2017.
Translation: that basically that Nevada had the least amount of
red-tape to deal with. Mr. Musk did not get into any details of
offers from the losing states – California, Texas, Arizona or New
Musk did note that the plant could actually be operation by late
2016 thanks to the speed at which the process has been moving of
“I would like to recognize the leadership of Governor Sandoval
and the Nevada Legislature for partnering with Tesla to bring the
Gigafactory to the state. The Gigafactory is an important step in
advancing the cause of sustainable transportation and will enable
the mass production of compelling electric vehicles for decades
to come. Together with Panasonic and other partners, we look
forward to realizing the full potential of this project.” – Elon
Later in the press conference, Elon Musk was asked if the hunt
was still on for a second battery location, to which the CEO
“Nevada is it.”
The specific details and approvals will be hashed out in a
special legislative session early next week, and while the exact
amount of the incentives is not know (as the utilization of the
factory puts money on a sliding scale), it starts at around $865
million according to the executive director of Sandoval’s Office
of Economic Development, Steve Hill.
The Governor’s office figures that the factory will ultimately
generate $100 billion for the state economy and create 22,000 new
jobs over the next 20 years.
Story and image courtesy: