Schlagwort-Archive: electric car makers

Chinese money is fueling electric car startups like Atieva in an effort to catch up to Tesla

A few miles from Tesla Motors Inc’s Palo Alto headquarters, a Silicon Valley startup plans to challenge the electric car maker with a rival family of vehicles designed and built in the United States with major backing from Chinese investors.

Atieva plans to put a premium electric sedan on the road in 2018, followed by a pair of luxury crossovers in 2020-2021, company executives told Reuters in an exclusive interview. The company is racing not just against Tesla, but also against three China-based startups that are using Silicon Valley technologists.

Two of those startups are funded by the same Chinese internet billionaire backing Atieva. All three have opened technical facilities in Silicon Valley in the past year. Only one of those companies, Faraday Future, has said it also plans to build its electric vehicles in the United States.

Unlike those companies, Atieva was started in California. Former executives from Tesla and Oracle launched it in late 2007, and hired several former Tesla hands including Atieva Chief Technology Officer Peter Rawlinson.

„Secret sauce“

With its first car still at least two years away from production, Atieva is using a Mercedes-Benz Vito commercial van to test the drivetrain: a pair of high-output electric motors, a lithium-ion battery pack, inverters and controllers.

Rawlinson, who while at Tesla led engineering of the Model S sedan, said Atieva’s software is the „secret sauce“ tying all that hardware together to deliver a combined 900 horsepower to the 5,000-pound four-wheel-drive van he has named „Edna.“

The drivetrain propels the van from zero to 60 mph in just 3.1 seconds, a fraction slower than the fastest Tesla Model S. Atieva’s 0-60 acceleration target for its 2018 sedan is 2.7 seconds, faster than a 12-cylinder Ferrari supercar.

The Atieva sedan, being developed under the code name Project Cosmos, looks like a futuristic descendent of the Audi A7. Its headlamps are ultra-thin, with thousands of insect-inspired micro lenses. Its dashboard has a three-piece reconfigurable digital display that can be controlled by voice or touch.

Atieva has raised several hundred million dollars from investors including Mitsui & Co Ltd , the Japanese trading giant, and Venrock, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm connected with the Rockefeller family that once funded Intel and Apple.

Crowded field

Elon Musk Elon Musk, Chairman of SolarCity and CEO of Tesla Motors, speaks at SolarCity’s Inside Energy Summit in Manhattan, New York October 2, 2015. REUTERS/Rashid Umar Abbasi

Atieva’s launch schedule would add its new sedan to a bumper crop of electric luxury vehicles vying for customers in a rarified market Tesla now has largely to itself.

This week, Daimler AG’s Mercedes luxury car brand said it would unveil in October a long-range electric car it intends to put on sale before 2020. German rivals Volkswagen AG and BMW AG have said they are also working on premium electric cars.

Tesla did not reply to a request for comment about these would-be rivals, but the company is not sitting still and waiting for them to pounce. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk raised $1.46 billion with a share sale last month, and outlined plans to launch a high-volume Model 3 sedan in 2017.

Tesla’s lead in the electric luxury vehicle segment has bolstered the price of its shares, which remain more than double their level of three years ago despite a 9 percent decline for the year to date.

Manufacturing plans

As Atieva looks for where it will build its U.S. factory, manufacturing director Brian Barron says the company has narrowed its search to two sites and expects to choose later this year. Barron, who spent 20 years overseeing various BMW plants, said the factory will be designed to build 20,000 electric cars a year initially, ramping up in stages to 130,000 a year.

Two of Atieva’s biggest shareholders are Chinese: State-owned Beijing Auto and a subsidiary of publicly traded LeEco, an internet company that has also declared it intends to offer an electric car. LeEco is controlled by Chinese tech entrepreneur Jia Yueting.

Jia also controls Faraday Future, an electric vehicle startup whose U.S. headquarters is based near Los Angeles and which also shares space in LeEco’s San Jose technical center in Silicon Valley.

A fourth Chinese-backed startup, NextEV, has a new San Jose facility near LeEco. NextEV is backed by Valley venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, which funded Google in its infancy. NextEV was launched in 2014 by William Li, the founder of Chinese website Bitauto, and financed in part by Tencent, the Chinese internet services provider.

Atieva design vice president Derek Jenkins said the company will set itself apart from its Chinese rivals using its „California DNA“ and its „California mindset.“ He did not provide specifics, but Jenkins led the team that designed the latest Mazda MX-5 Miata roadster.

 

http://www.businessinsider.com/r-electric-car-startups-fueled-by-chinese-money-aim-to-catch-tesla-2016-6

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QUANT e-Sportlimousine powered by Saltwater top speed 350 km/h (217.5 mph) 0-100 2.8 seconds maximum power 920 horsepower (680 kW) – 600 km (373 mi) with a full tank

image_quant_05

QUANT e-Sportlimousine powered by Saltwater
top speed 350 km/h (217.5 mph)
0-100 2.8 seconds
maximum power  920 horsepower (680 kW)
range 600 km (373 mi) with a full tank

 

In a breakthrough that is bound to catch the attention of the oil industry and even electric car makers, a company has just gained approval for its ‘salt water’ powered car in Europe.

A car called the Quant e-Sportlimousine that was presented at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show is the first electric car powered by salt water and is now certified for use on European public roads.

The e-Sportlimousine, built by the German company Quant, runs on an electrolyte flow cell power system made by NanoFlowcell that generates a staggering 920 horsepower, goes 0-62 mph in 2.8 seconds, and propels the car to a top speed of 217.5 mph!

What is an electrolyte flow cell you ask? According to Green Car Congress“Flow cells or flow batteries combine aspects of an electrochemical battery cell with those of a fuel cell. The electrolytic fluids in flow cells—usually metallic salts in aqueous solution(salt water)—are pumped from tanks through the cell. This forms a kind of battery cell with a cross-flow of electrolyte liquid.”

For the first time an automobile featuring flow-cell electric drive will appear on Germany’s roads,” said Nunzio La Vecchia, chief technical officer at NanoFlowcell, a company which designed the car. “We are extremely proud that as a small company we have developed such visionary technology and are now able to put it into practice. But this is only the beginning of our journey of discovery.”

A few months after making a debut at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, the Quant e-Sportlimousine underwent an in-depth inspection and received official approval to be tested on public roads in Germany and Europe from certification provider TÜV Süd based in Munich, Germany.

The car is powered by the electrolyte flow cell power system, which is a part of the NanoFlowcell technology. The system works in a similar way to a hydrogen fuel cell, except for the fact that salt water is used for storing power. In particular, two liquids with metallic salts, which act as the electrolyte, are combined in such a way that the electrochemical reaction takes place. After that, electric motors use this reaction to generate electricity, which is then stored and distributed by super capacitors. The efficiency of this system reaches 80%, since the car has almost no moving parts in it, and the produced waste heat is insignificant in comparison with cars powered by lithium-ion batteries.

The company claims that the Quant e-Sportlimousine can reach the speed of 350 km/h (217.5 mph), accelerate from 0-100 in 2.8 seconds and has maximum power of 920 horsepower (680 kW). Moreover, the car is claimed to be able to travel up to 600 km (373 mi) with a full tank, which is five times greater than with a conventional battery system. At the same time, the car is safe to drive and environmentally friendly.

However, the market price of the Quant e-Sportlimousine is estimated to exceed $1.7. It is not yet clear if the company plans to use the NanoFlowcell technology on more affordable cars, but it can be said for sure that this technology has a great potential and could be used in a wide range of applications which go beyond the automobile industry.

Using this platform, the e-Sportlimousine is able to produce a massive amount of power while emitting zero emissions. While the e-Sportlimousine is bound to be very expensive, there is hope for the electrolyte flow cell power platform to be used more practically in the future.

This technology has potential uses for other industries as well, says NanoFlowcell spokesman Prof. Jens-Peter Ellermann, “The potential of the NanoFlowcell is much greater, especially in terms of domestic energy supplies as well as in maritime, rail and aviation technology. The NanoFlowcell offers a wide range of applications as a sustainable, low cost and environmentally-friendly source of energy.”  

“Low cost”, that sounds good to me.

Source: http://themindunleashed.org/2014/09/move-tesla-new-car-powered-salt-water-900-horsepower.html