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Nissan Sparky EV Ute

Added by admin 19/09/14

Back 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: "why not?"
"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 2013...

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                                                   Story and image courtesy: CarSales.com.au


Tesla Motors spawns an automotive ecosystem

By Dana Hull

Added by admin 13/09/14

FREMONT -- 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 California.
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 into production.
"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 Bay Area.

                                                   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

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced Thursday that Tesla will indeed build their Gigafactory in the state of Nevada.
All it took was up to $1.3 billion worth of incentives over 20 years.
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 persons.
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 Mexico.
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 late.
“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 Musk
Later in the press conference, Elon Musk was asked if the hunt was still on for a second battery location, to which the CEO said,
“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.

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                                                   Story and image courtesy: InsideEVs


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