Tesla Birth Watch 33: Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams

If you can't get the whole car to market, sell the pieces. At least that's what Tesla's thinking these days. According to CNET, Tesla is expected to announce that they will sell drivetrain components (presumably excluding transmissions) and software to other companies interested in developing their own electric car. Chairman Elon Musk (who already has his Roadster even if no paying customer does) indicated that Tesla might start peddling their technology by 2010 "or earlier." In addition to parting-out the Roadster, in an interview during this week's Clean Tech Investor Summit in Indian Wells, California, Musk also revealed that Tesla was trying to finish a styling prototype of their sedan (code named "Whitestar") in the second quarter. He suggested a working prototype would be "possible" by the end of the year. Based on Tesla's present nomenclature convention, "Tesla Sedan" seems the likely name for their unlikely machine.

Frank Williams
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  • Ihatetrees Ihatetrees on Feb 07, 2008
    M1EK: Electric companies would LOVE to be able to sell more power at night - if we actually had feasible variable pricing now at the consumer end, you’d get a huge discount for it. The technology IS there for variable pricing. And the capital cost is reasonable - wireless meters are now standard. However, to make it really work, you'd need some big changes in consumer billing and mentality - such as large monthly discounts for using minimal power on peak summer heat events. The problem: that sort of billing becomes POLITICAL. There's a huge entitlement mentality when it comes to getting electricity at fixed rates. And many people (and politicians) would work tirelessly to prevent the guy down the street from getting a 'better deal'.
  • Jthorner Jthorner on Feb 08, 2008

    I would love to buy power at variable pricing. We are getting hit hard here in our all-electric California home because our pricing per KWH goes UP as you use more. Kind of counter-intuitive as it is inverse volume pricing. Supposedly this was needed to deal with the Enron pricing scandal years ago, but oddly enough it has never gone away. In the winter I'm paying a premium price to keep our home warm enough in the night (around 60 degrees) and then on sunny days, which is most of them, the heat doesn't run during the day. But, I pay a premium for using electric heat. I suppose I could install a propane furnace, but isn't that going backwards from a macro-environmental point of view? The propane would have to be delivered by truck to a big tank in the yard, which I'm not crazy about having.

  • ZoomZoom ZoomZoom on Feb 08, 2008

    I am thinking about putting PV on the roof. I'd consider it worthwile if it could pay for the house air conditioning during hot sunny months (which is most of the year). Potential Problems: 1. Panel anchoring mechanisms can interferes with roofing structure. 2. If not properly anchored (and/or in SPITE of proper anchoring), PV panels can become giant wings in hurricanes.

  • Siry Siry on Feb 14, 2008

    Frank I'm a little late to the game here, but Elon is a paying customer. He didn't even get a discount. No one does. Also - the idea of selling drivetrain components and integration services has been part of our business plan for many years. It's a profitable business and there are many OEMs wanting to do business with us on that front.