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When we spoke with Tesla spokeswoman Rachel Konrad yesterday about some of the statements made CEO Elon Musk in the most recent company newsletter, she promised a teaser shot was on its way. That image has arrived and although we can't see much, there are some conclusions that can be drawn. Compared to the arch-rival Fisker Karma, the Model S appears to be significantly shorter. That's most obvious in the front end since the Tesla doesn't have to accommodate an engine for the range extender. The passenger compartment also appears to be larger than the Karma. With its five door hatch body style, the Model S should also provide more utility than the Fisker. We'll just have to wait until March 26 to see the whole car. Thanks to TeslaMotorsClub for the tip!
California Governator and (soon-to-be) Tesla Roadster owner, Arnold Schwarzenegger, addressed the seething throngs of media types at Tesla's San Carlos, California facility. The topics of conversation centered on new incentives for Tesla to continue its production of vehicles in the Golden State, specifically the start-up's second vehicle, codenamed the Model S, which according to Tesla, get 225 miles on a single charge and cost $60,000.
(Business 2.0) – On a rotating stage bathed in blue light, the vehicle looked otherworldly, like something from far in the future. It was called the Autonomy, and vaguely resembled a giant skateboard. The only feature it shared with today's cars was its wheels. General Motors's unveiling of the vehicle at the Detroit auto show in January 2002 shook the car industry and made the CBS Evening News, with GM's boyish engineer Adrian Chernoff gleefully comparing the feat to that of the Wright brothers.
But not everyone was dazzled by the news. In a private meeting backstage with ExxonMobil shortly after the unveiling, GM executives reiterated that they believed so much in the Autonomy that they had pledged, publicly, to deliver a drivable version of the car by the end of the year. It was a $1 billion bet, and they were prepared to raise it by billions more in order to begin manufacturing within a decade. What they needed first, though, was some assurance that there would be a reliable supply of fuel--hydrogen--to fill up millions of the fuel-cell-propelled cars. Here, at last, the world's largest automaker said, was a vehicle so versatile, so green, so cheap to build, so exciting that it would crack the global market wide open. Would the world's largest energy company like a share of the spoils?
The Exxon reps exchanged glances. Then one cleared his throat. He called the Autonomy "a big surprise." But as for hydrogen, he said, "we really don't see a future in it." Petroleum was too plentiful. Exxon's new-fuels research was focused elsewhere. "Sorry, guys," he shrugged.