SYNDICATED NEWS
PHOTO CAPTION: Tesla Model S - some 5,000 were built in Q1 2013.

The Real Reason Tesla Survives

Forbes' Joann Muller dissects the success - to date - of Tesla, where other alternative energy vehicles programs have faultered.

Published: 12-May-2013

Say goodbye to another green car start-up. Vehicle Production Group, which planned to build thousands of wheelchair-accessible vans powered by natural gas, has called it quits. According to Bloomberg, the company ran out of money and couldn’t pay its 100 employees anymore.

Add VPG to the growing list of recent green car failures: Bright Automotive (electric delivery vans) , Carbon Motors (clean diesel-powered police cars), Aptera Motors (three-wheeled electric cars), Coda Automotive (inexpensive electric sedans) and, arguably the most infamous, Fisker Automotive (plug-in hybrid sports cars).

All had applied for financing under a $25 billion U.S. Energy Department loan program to promote development of cleaner cars, but only Fisker and VPG managed to draw the lucky tickets. Fisker was awarded $529 million (but received only $193 million before the DOE cut them off because of missed milestones) and VPG received $50 million. But now, they’re all dead, or almost dead. (One exception: tiny Wheego Electric of Atlanta, an EV start-up that started out making glorified golf carts and now sells a handful of bubble-shaped two-seaters with a top speed of 65 mph. The company is talking about introducing a $44,000 electric SUV next, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.)

<< PREVIOUSNEXT >>
RELATED NEWS ITEMS

Tesla Model S will start at around $50K depending on battery pack capacity and other options.

Tesla new sedan achieved an EPA 2-cycle range of 320 miles and a 5-cycle range of 265.

Tesla will begin official deliveries of the Model S starting on June 22, 2012.

Model S #001 was delivered June 5, 2012 to venture capitalist and Tesla board member Steve Jurvetson

Tesla Model S could someday offer battery swapping, speculates Autoblog Green.

Autoblog Green's Domenick Yoney speculates on what the mystery Tesla 'Supercharger' Network may involve.

READER COMMENTS

blog comments powered by Disqus