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Tesla Looks to Nevada for New Plant

The car company Tesla looks to have finally made the decision of where the proposed 5 billion dollar Gigafactory which has become a 5 state competition has had its location finally selected. According to CEO and founder Elon Musk, Tesla had already broken ground at a site in Nevada in July but was keeping their options open for a possible factory in New Mexico, Texas, California and Arizona. The construction of this factory would allow Tesla to realize a goal of mass producing its batteries for industrial and commercial sales as well as the ability to produce other models for the car manufacturer.

Why Nevada?tesla 1

Nevada has promised Tesla the opportunity to produce their batteries and any future vehicles with legislation that could offer the company upwards of 400 million dollars in tax incentives. Such a discount in tax incentives would require Nevada’s state senate to enact legislative changes but as state representatives stated, they would be a huge plus for the area and the state itself. Tesla had already announced in the early part of the year of its plans to create a new crossover model which the company is looking to sell at around 30,000 to 40,000 dollars and appeal to a much wider segment of the market. The company has already confirmed that they have been actively excavating at a site just outside of Reno at an industrial park. The amount of land the company has announced would require a 10 million square foot factory that would be able to produce up to 500,000 battery packs per year by the year 2020. The new gigafactory is proposed to cost the company between 4 and 5 billion dollars and would more than double the output capability by Tesla. The factory itself has been suggested to be the sole plant that would produce the batteries that fuel Tesla’s cars. These batteries would also be manufactured for commercial applications as well, as previously Musk had stated the uses of the batteries would be more economical than traditional modes of gasoline or diesel powered equipment. The new plant has become one of the most sought after plants in recent history among the 5 states that were competing for Tesla’s investment. What has been coined as one of the most lucrative state economic stimulus plans by a private investing company would employ a whopping 6,500 people if the plant were to run at full capacity. Tesla’s new factory would then only be a stone’s throw away from their main production facility in Fremont, California. Nevada has the infrastructure already set up which have helped in creating the state to be the ideal destination for the gigafactory. With air transportation in the area, rail lines and the closeness to the main production facility as well as the headquarters for the company have only strengthened the vision of Elon Musk. The most important feature is that the company has already announced that the state that would take on the new factory would have to provide about 500 million dollars towards the overall price of the plant, or about 10 percent of the overall cost which is not unheard of in economic development plans.

Tesla’s Current Model Stesla 2

The current model in production is the Tesla Model S which is most comparable to the more premium of luxury sedans. The car ranges from roughly 75,000 dollars to about 95,000 dollars before any kind of government purchase incentives and is fueled by a lithium ion battery. Tesla cars have made industry headway in the last couple of years as electric cars have taken on more of a premium face rather than many of the hybrid sister cars that have been marketed towards the general population. Musk made history a couple o months ago when he announced the company was setting itself up to share its electric vehicle patens with the other car manufacturers in an effort to push the technology and make it more available to the customers. In the spirit of the movement, Musk has been quoted as saying that even if it’s not a Tesla in someone’s driveway, the electric car movement is the way to go. Musk has recently denounced the hybrid movement and the fuel cell technology being developed by Hyundai and Toyota. Tesla is very excited about the Model III which will be the third vehicle to come off of the Tesla assembly lines, aimed at the mass market. About a year ago the company had been playing with a Model X in which they had wanted to make available to the public by mid 2017 but the company has retracted their cost estimate as current projections will place the crossover into the more expensive market like its sister car, the Model S.

The victory for Nevada might come with a price tag but it is the belief of the governor and the state senate that such a hefty economic investor like the Tesla Motor Corp. brings along both economic and job development. At the end of the day there are two clear winners, the company which has been given the opportunity to grow and those that are being put to work via a new plant.

 

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4 Tech Savvy Cars

The cars on the road are no longer just vehicles getting us from point A to point B, like they did when your grandparents drove them. What in the past were heavy steel cars that on a good day got 10 to 15 miles per gallon have evolved into technologically superior modes of transportation inclusive of Bluetooth and GPS navigation. The technology that is found in these cars isn’t just available in luxury models but has become widely available in all levels of cars, especially cars priced under 25,000 dollars.

One: Hyundai Elantratech 1

The Hyundai Elantra is an elegantly designed small sedan that is both cheap in cost and widely enjoyed by customers that are looking for a fuel efficient car. Hyundai’s Elantra offers its drivers the comfort of 27 miles per gallon city and 37 miles per gallon highway. The sticker price ranges between 17,000 dollars and 22, 000 dollars. The car doesn’t skimp on the tech either as one might expect with the relatively low sticker price. The car offers customers the availability of a seven inch screen, GPS navigation, Bluetooth and voice recognition software to help the driver and occupants navigate the many entertainment features of the car. Hyundai has also begun offering a BlueLink service which is Hyundai’s version of OnStar, which will alert emergency services in the event of an accident. The car’s software also allows for the driver to sync up the car to an available app on one’s smart phone to open and access the car via Bluetooth.

tech 2Two: Kia Forte

Kia has been stepping up their game in recent years producing such cars like the Forte which have revolutionized the way the public views the company. The Forte offers its customers what has become an average fuel economy for most cars in its class, allowing its drivers more time on the road and less time at the pump. The Forte gets 25 miles per gallon city and 37 miles per gallon highway. Comfort features on this sedan are neither short nor lacking when it comes to the 2014 Kia Forte. Dual zone auto climate control, LED taillights, power heated and air ventilated leather seats, and HID headlights are all available in the Forte. Kia also features the UVO software which allows the driver and occupants to use the navigation system and entertainment systems all for a total sticker price of between 16,000 dollars and 21,000 dollars.

Three: Toyota Corollatech 3

Toyota has the largest global sales number per year than any other car manufacturer currently producing. Alongside their continually popular Camry model, the Toyota Corolla weighs in at one the most popular small sedans that is affordable, fuel efficient and tech savvy on its own. With a sticker price of 16,900 dollars and 20,000 dollars, the car offers its drivers a wide range of user friendly tech. Toyota has been pairing the Corolla with varying apps available on the smart phone market so that the customers may personalize their cars as much as possible. Corolla offers its customers traffic information and weather information systems as well as Bluetooth availability and a USB port for added entertainment. Toyota even took the tech in the Corolla a step further so that text messages could be received and replied to within the information system in the car.

tech 4Four: Dodge Dart

When Dodge brought back the Dart, it amped up the tech in car to appeal to a younger generation rather than the older generation that first drove the Dart way back when. The car offers what is often regarded as the most up to date connectivity software on the market. The UConnect system that the Dart offers its customers is both user friendly an super fast. The entire system allows the driver and occupants to control just about everything in the car via the UConnect system from the climate control to the radio and entertainment systems. The screen from which all this is controlled is also a lot bigger than most of its competition in the same class, measuring in at 8.4 inches. The Dart is competitively priced with a sticker price at about 16,500 dollars to about 23,000 dollars achieving 25 miles per gallon city and 36 miles per gallon highway.

Each of the cars mentioned above are cheaper vehicles offering their drivers the comfort of higher luxury sedans and the tech now widely expected that once were premium features. With an average cost between 16,000 dollars and 25,000 dollars, the cars have become a staple of performance and comfort within the industry. While the list only includes 4 tech savvy cars they are not necessarily the top of the industry and all around appeal comes down to the individual driver, the cars are a shining example of modern cars and tech evolving together and making their way into the popular sales of the auto industry.

 

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The Toyota Ford Hybrid War

In the last ten years the elation over hybrid vehicles has taken on a new definition. Hybrids at their onset were the next big thing to hit the automobile market offering drivers a tangible asset in order to combat low fuel efficiency and high fuel cost. In more recent years the market has seen the sharp decline in hybrids and the ascension of all electric vehicles taking the main focus of optimal performance and an elevated sticker price. With all of that going on there is still a hybrid war being waged between two of the most affordable brands, Toyota and Ford. Believing that there is still a high demand for gas electric hybrids that won’t break the bank.

Toyota’s Prius Hybridhybrid

In 2005 Hurricane Katrina’s destructive power in the Gulf of Mexico hurled US oil prices into the clouds. With the sharp rise of fuel cost for the average US driver effectively transformed what consumers were willing to drive and continue to pay for. Toyota had only sold 54,000 before the hurricane hit. In less than a year the Toyota Prius sold 108,000 vehicles and by mid 2006 more than 180,000 vehicles had been sold. Since 2006 high point in sales the number has dwindled down and leveled off to about 140,000 units sold per year. The company is one of the more premier vehicle manufacturers of hybrid technology that has been designed for selling to the mass market. The Toyota Prius hybrid has been consistently outselling every other hybrid for sale in its class moving more than 100,000 units each year. The company continues to bank on the continual success of the Prius hybrid and has redesigned the car to better fit the needs of their consumers offering a more sleek body and extra cabin space. The Prius Hybrid also offers consumers one thing none of the competition has been able to achieve at the same price point; 50 miles per gallon.

Ford’s Hybrid Models

Ford has taken a giant leap in hybrid technology by converting some of its best selling models into a hybrid lineup. One of the first vehicles that was introduced into the hybrid market after the hurricane in 2005 was the Ford Escape Hybrid which offered customers the ability to enjoy a four wheel drive vehicle with all the room of a small SUV and the better fuel economy of a hybrid car. However because of the SUV’s weight overall performance was suited more towards city travel than highway travel. Ford was quite successful with the Escape hybrid which helped the company to invest in other models, first by testing their selling potential as all gas fueled engines before converting them to hybrid cars. One of the more current best sellers for Ford is the Fusion Hybrid. The car offers its customers the luxury of a bestselling midsize sedan with the availability of a hybrid drive train. Ford has been banking on the cost factor of its hybrids that tend to average 30 miles per gallon instead of the 50 mile per gallon Prius, yet offer the market more options. The theory that Ford has been investing in has proven to be true in their sales numbers. Ford believes that more people will settle for 30 miles per gallon if they can still enjoy the SUVs and the cars that they have come to love over the last few years.

The Next round of Fuel Efficient Hybridshybrid 2

The next round of fuel efficient hybrids going on sale in 2015 will offer consumers the ability to achieve even better fuel economy while remaining relatively in the same cost as previous hybrid models. Ford is offering up a new hybrid version of Fiesta which is rumored to achieve 43 miles per gallon and being propelled by a 1.0 liter engine. There is also rumor that Toyota plans to redesign the current generation of Prius hybrids that may get as high as 56 miles per gallon. Both companies have shown that they will continue producing hybrid vehicles that are more affordable than the all electric cars that other car manufacturers have continued producing. Ford and Toyota have been looking to the future of hybrid sales by reinventing the car with technology that allows the vehicles to gain more mileage per gallon of fuel spent.

There is currently no clear winner when it comes to understanding the outcome of the current hybrid war. What is clear is that both Toyota and Ford believe there is still a place in the market for hybrid technology and will continue to produce even when other manufacturers have ceased to produce hybrid vehicles. In either case the only real winner in this hybrid war is the consumers, whom gain to benefit from the ongoing competition between both companies which are producing a better product with each new vehicle generation.

 

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2014’s Ugliest Cars

The average US driver is driving a car that has been on the road for more than a decade. As the economy and job market have continued on in uncertainty, many drivers have discontinued their purchasing ways of the past. Those who are buying cars are more concerned with fuel economy than the looks of a car. This has never been more true than what has been seen in recent years where the beauty of automobile design takes on the what have been ranked as some of the most ugliest cars with little to no market appeal. Here is a list of some of 2014’s ugliest cars in no particular order.

One: Toyota Priuscars 3

When teenagers are dreaming of obtaining their drivers licenses, some key adjectives come to mind. Freedom, independence, adulthood but often it is not economic. The Prius has in recent years become more of an economy lined vehicle which has virtually transformed the hatchback and compact market. This versatile car has given the rise to fuel efficient cars which have successfully changed the market as consumers are more apt to buy fuel efficient cars over that of some of the more streamlined visually appealing. The Prius and Prius Hybrid are two of the best selling vehicles worldwide, becoming one of the staple sales that Toyota can count on year after year. The car’s sales numbers are definitely high but according to The New York Times automotive writer Lawrence Ulrich the Prius “it’s as frumpy as any car I’ve seen…”

carsTwo: Nissan Juke

The Nissan Juke has pretty much won in the world ugliest car almost three years running. The car has been on the market for the last four years but just because the critics call the Juke ugly hasn’t killed off the surprisingly strong following of the car. In the automotive world, it is often the vehicles that standout from the norm that we remember more fondly. The Juke is definitely out of the norm, but it is one of the only small crossovers that offers customers a turbo four cylinder with all wheel drive and more recently the option for a NISMO tuned trim level. The Nissan Juke may be ugly by industry standards but that hasn’t stopped the company from promoting the vehicle or the 38,000 Juke customers from purchasing the car as of last year.

Three: BMW X6cars 1

The BMW X6 has failed the company on more than one level in its existence. The X6 was supposed to be the embodiment of everything that BMW cars were known for luxury and power, while allowing customers to enjoy the room of an SUV but with the comfort of mind in a crossover. On top of all that the underperforming X6 has a lofty 62,000 dollar price tag added on top of it. Much of the critics of this crossover come at the consumer level where the car is the third least selling vehicle produced by BMW. The crossover continues with each new model year change to look less and less like a crossover and more like a slightly overpriced hatchback coupe. The Frankenstein monster of the BMW series.

cars 4Four: Nissan Versa

I am usually a fan of the Nissan brand, but to make this list is car number two. The Versa sedan and hatchback comes across very plain. The company even tried jazzing up the Versa hatchback by calling it the Versa Note, and styling the body to more appealing to a younger market. However, the car is only a car. What makes this car ugly in the eyes of the consumer market is the overall lack of eye appeal to the car. If you are looking for a nondescript car to get you from A to B without any horsepower under the hood or bell and whistles in the cabin then this the car for you. Unfortunately for most of the market this car is a bare bones wreck that is only good for two things, a cheap sticker price and 35 miles to the gallon.

Five: Lincoln MKTcars 2

I’d argue its most of the Lincoln lineup and not just the MKT but the market’s sales numbers would argue different. Many US consumers find the MKT to come off rather tacky and the grill comes across as ugly to many would be Lincoln buyers. The same grill is found on earlier Lincolns produced between the 1930s and 1940s, back when they matched the cars they were built on. Nowadays, the grill seems like an out of place reach into the history of the company that is being overstated and out of touch within the current market. The MKT even got a brand facelift with the death of the Town Car which was one of the most iconic faces for the brand, and unfortunately for Lincoln, the MKT has failed the company. The lack of sales and the overall disgust held by the public on this car have lost about 7,000 sales for the company since the beginning of the year.

What this list has proven is that company lineage and better fuel performance don’t really count for much when consumers are out car shopping. While the economy and job market’s uncertainty have definitely played into the hands of the consumer market, one thing has remained clear. A car is only as useful as how it performs and the needs it fulfills both in capability as well as aesthetically.

 

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Tesla Makes Industry Strides

Tesla has become a household name in such a short time with company front man Elon Musk determined to change the way people view electric vehicles. The company has made significant stride in electric vehicle technology and at the hands of Musk have begun sharing their patents with other auto manufacturers to help propel electric technology. Every time Tesla comes to the table, they seemingly push the auto industry into a customer’s dream when it comes how an automobile company serves the needs of the consumer.

A New Kind of Warrantytesla 2

Tesla has only just recently announced the implementation of a new warranty program. The previous warranty on the Tesla Model S was set at a 4 year and 50,000 miles has now changed to an 8 year and infinite mile coverage. The new rules that have been released will still have the same limits as its battery pack. This translates to Tesla customers as being able to purchase a used Model S and have the warranty applied retroactively regardless of the amount of previous owners. Musk then stated, “In hindsight, this should have been our policy from the beginning of the Model S program. If we truly believe that electric motors are fundamentally more reliable than gasoline engines, with far fewer moving parts and no oily residue or combustion byproducts to gum up the works, then our warranty policy should reflect that.” The company has gone out and informed its investors that this type of action might impact the company’s profits only slight in the short term but would be the right move for their customers. Many believe that by Tesla taking this type of service warranty out on their vehicles will in fact not damage the profits of the company because of the investment made in their customers. The car is currently marketed to a much more pricier clientele that will have the propensity to be repeat buyers and those that will be purchasing the car used will be able to enjoy the same luxuries as if the car were new. Industry analysts believe that the negative effects of this policy, if any, will be outweighed by the long term profits the company aims to achieve.

Reaching Across the US

A year ago in May, Tesla only had a finite number of recharging stations that were available across the US for its customers to recharge the batteries while on the move. In the past this lack of charging stations, overall car mileage range and time to recharge the battery packs have drawn much criticism when it came to customers looking to purchase an electric car. Tesla Motors has announced that there are now currently 105 charging stations strewn across the country for customers to use. The company has said that the charging stations are all equipped with their superchargers that as Tesla continues to boast, a half hour of charging will give the car 170 miles. Tesla has also released that by this time next year the company will have enough super charging stations available all across the US, enough to meet the needs of 98% of the US population. The best aspect of all comes from the construction companies that have been hired to help install the chargers, who on the job only takes about a week to install from start to finish for full operation.

Competition with Cadillactesla 1

Tesla’s Model S comes across as a clear competitor with BMW or Mercedes-Benz but it Cadillac that sees Tesla as their main competitor. General Motors has taken this on in such a serious light that the company released the Cadillac ELR as the direct assault against the perceived Tesla threat. The ELR sells for roughly the same cost as a Model S and as Cadillac had promoted the vehicle before release as Cadillac’s answer to an electric car. The ELR has as Cadillac representatives been described as a technology that is unlike the Model S. The Cadillac is more of a plug in hybrid and less of an electric motor. Even General Motors has admitted that the ELR may not be as big a competition to Tesla as the company had orginally intended the car to be. As of July, Cadillac has only sold 578 ELRs since the car had gone on sale earlier in the year. In the same span of time Tesla has sold roughly 15,114 Model S electric vehicles. Elon Musk has been quoted many time saying that General Motors is heading down the wrong path when it comes to producing electric vehicles and hybrids. What is most clear about Musk’s vision for electric automobiles is that while he believes the future of the automobile will be running on an electric motor, he has made no claim that they should all be produced by Tesla.

Tesla has across the board been making some generous industry strides. Strides that are virtually changing the way that the auto industry will treat and service their customers as well as how customers are viewing the future of electric cars.

 

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ALTe EV Technology

Crude oil prices have risen and only slightly fallen in recent years mirroring supply and demand. Contributing to higher prices have been world tensions amid ongoing war in or around oil producing nations and more recently the conflict ongoing in Ukraine concerning Russia. With all of that going on, many economists have been discussing how by the year 2023 there will be a worldwide decrease in fossil fuels. More fuel efficient cars have become the norm in many countries but the push for green or renewable energy has really been making a difference in the eyes of consumers. Globally, there are many governments offering monetary or tax break incentives to citizens that invest in purchasing electric or hybrid vehicles. As EV (electric vehicle) technology grows so too does the support of customers looking to buy them and a company by the name ALTe is leading the way in converting conventional vehicles into plug in vehicles.

ALTe TechnologiesALTe

ALTe Technologies is a company that was founded 5 years ago by Tesla Motors Alumni. The company is best known for converting more conventional vehicles into plug in hybrids. The company has maintained its overall focus to be driven at the fleet vehicle industry, in order to make fleet vehicles more affordable to operate and more eco-friendly. ALTe has been developing both hybrid and electric systems since 2009. The company is looking to target countries with higher vehicular traffic as is found in the U.S., China, and developing nations in Asia-Pacific.

The Fuel Efficiency Wars

Right now there is a big competition going on in the auto industry. It is not about who can make the smallest car or most fuel sipping smaller engine. The current fuel efficiency war that is ongoing is occurring between Ford and Dodge Ram in the pursuit to make a more fuel efficient pickup truck.  The trucks that are currently being offered with higher range with combustion engines haven’t yet topped 28 miles per gallon highway. For many auto manufacturers, the only way to cut high fuel consumption is to cut the range and weight of the vehicles that are in question. In some cases like with Toyota and Nissan, these manufacturers were able to turn either an existing vehicle into a hybrid or fully electrically driven and able to keep customers by having a regularly sized vehicle reap the benefits. On the other side, customers are seeing vehicles like the IMEV which is offered by Mitsubishi which comes off like a only slightly larger Smart Car. So the fuel efficiency wars that continue to rage between all the auto manufacturers continues on many fronts as developers try to mix range and cabin room yet maintain an affordable or lowered sticker price.

The Importance of EV TechnologyALTe 2

The importance of EV technology is the customer benefits of this applied technology. ALTe has been looking into manufacturing systems that would make some of the nation’s bestselling and most used vehicles more efficient for their owners to use. Within the last couple of months ALTe has introduced one of their EV systems onto an F150 in an effort to improve fuel consumption, while providing one of the best selling vehicles with an alternative to high gas prices and ever constant costly refueling trips.

The importance of this breakthrough technology if it were to be introduced into the general market would revolutionize the auto industry. Right now electrically powered vehicles offer two things, high cost of ownership and sticker price and a lack of range. Depending on the brand, many people in the general market cannot afford to purchase an all electric vehicle. Often the cost of the technology is a common put off to those that would be the ones truly in need of the better fuel economy. On the market currently there are two types of electric vehicles available, the high luxury as is seen with BMW and Tesla, and the more common brands like Nissan, Mitsubishi, or Toyota. However the sticker price for Nissan, Mitsubishi and Toyota all are upwards of $30,000 which is not cheap and only offered in those models available, many of which are smaller cars. ALTe is a company that if their systems were to be produced on a more grandeur scale, would allow customers to keep their cars and eliminate the rather costly gas powered engine.

ALTe technology has the ability to offer revolutionary changes into the auto world. It would allow the average consumer to achieve what only a privileged few can obtain while maintaining ownership over their current vehicles. The company’s soon to be ability would offer just about anybody the ability to have a longer run with their current vehicle rather than having to give it up due to rising fuel costs. Especially for customers in the US where electricity is subsidized by the government allowing for much cheaper costs in recharging as well as cost effective tax breaks.

 

 

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