Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Jaguar will unveil its all-electric Tesla rival in March



  • Jaguar plans to release its first fully-electric car, the I-Pace, in 2018.
  • The SUV will be able to achieve an 80% charge in around 45 minutes when using a 100kW charger.
  • It will also boast 400 horsepower, 516 pound-feet of torque, and the ability to go from 0-60 mph in about four seconds.
Jaguar is getting ready to release it's first fully-electric vehicle, the I-Pace, this year. The SUV will allow Jaguar to compete with Tesla's high-end electric SUV, the Model X, and get a head start on Mercedes-Benz, which plans to start making its fully-electric EQC SUV in 2019.
While Jaguar hasn't announced a price yet, the I-Pace is expected to start at $76,400 and possibly run upwards of $100,000. That would put the SUV in the same range as the Model X, which starts at $79,500.
Jaguar announced it will unveil the I-Pace on March 1. 

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Formula E 2018/2019 car

Formula E has revealed the first complete images of the second-generation car that will be used from the 2018/19 season.

The electric racer, which will bring an end to the mid-race car swaps in place since the series’ inception, is a significant departure from the original, standard single-seater design.
Its striking new look includes a ring of lighting around the FIA-mandated halo cockpit protection device, a huge rear diffuser and LMP1-inspired coverage of the front wheels.
The front and rear wings are angled more aggressively, with the remaining bodywork also much more stylised than before.
The car was revealed digitally on Tuesday ahead of a physical launched planned for the Geneva Motor Show in March.
Spark Racing Technologies won the tender to produce the car, which will be powered by a new McLaren Applied Technologies battery after the Formula 1 team’s sister company beat current battery supplier Williams Advanced Engineering to the deal.


Monday, 29 January 2018

Alibaba, Foxconn lead $350 million funding in electric car startup

Alibaba reportedly in talks to buy $1.2 billion stake in ...

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Foxconn Technology Co Ltd have led a 2.2 billion yuan ($347.74 million) funding round in Chinese electric car maker Xiaopeng Motors as competition escalates in the new energy vehicle (NEV) market.
The latest injection brings the startup company's total funding to 5 billion yuan, it said in a statement. It follows an earlier round in December in which Alibaba also participated.
Xiaopeng, which debuted its electric car at CES in Las Vegas this month, is one of several Chinese start-ups looking to speed up development of battery-powered technology and compete with global leaders including Tesla Inc.
China's new energy vehicle sales are expected to grow by 40 percent in 2018, according to an industry body, even as the country's traditional automotive market slowed sharply in 2017.
Xiaopeng says its first vehicle, the 'G3', will hit the market this year.
Alibaba has invested heavily in smart car technology and partnered with a handful of traditional western and Chinese carmakers, including Ford Motor Co and BMW.
Other investors in the round include IDG Capital as well as previous investors GGV Capital, Morningside Venture Capital and Matrix Partners, Alibaba said on its press site on Sunday.
Russian billionaire investor Yuri Milner is also supporting the initiative, the web site said.

Sunday, 28 January 2018

EV Review: 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC 350e




By  Rikki Gibson
The luxury SUV market is extremely hot for the 2018 model year. With hybrid and electric models becoming mainstream, carmakers like Mercedes-Benz have a massive market on which to capitalize. Competition is heating up with Acura, Lexus, Jaguar and widely-known Tesla all trying to claim the biggest piece of the pie.
Mercedes-Benz has more than one luxury SUV with which to compete. In the compact SUV segment, the GLC 350e can be found making a splash. It’s a fantastic blend of everything you expect from the best-selling luxury brand – stylish, feature-heavy, stable, and well-performing – with the added benefit of being extremely fuel efficient.
The question isn’t if Mercedes-Benz has a good product; it’s obvious that the 2018 GLC 350e is a worthy contender. Rather, the question is if the GLC 350e does enough to differentiate itself from other vehicles in its class. The Acura MX Sport Hybrid offers a very well-equipped experience for a similar price. The BMW X5 xDrive40e is more expensive but is a larger, more capable vehicle. The Tesla Model X carries a much higher price tag but is a fully electric SUV. Where does the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC 350e fit in?

Exterior styling

Like all German-engineered Mercedes-Benz vehicles, the 2018 GLC 350e is impeccably good-looking. The silhouette is less boxy than most of its competitors, opting instead to take a less traditional SUV approach and instilling wagon-like cues. Its body design is bold with tasteful flashes of chrome and strong, muscular bulges in the front end and over the fenders.
In typical Mercedes fashion, wheels no less than 18 inches in diameter are standard. 19-inch AMG-style wheels are available in either the AMG Line or Night Package trims along with fancy trim accents. There’s no doubt about it: the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC 350e is a sharp-looking sport utility vehicle.
For its price, the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC 350e is a steal. No other vehicle offers the cabin quality and plethora of equipment that this SUV does. Standard equipment for the $50k model includes natural grain Brown Ash wood trim, diamond-stitched leather, Smart Key with Keyless Start, rain-sensing wipers, pre-entry climate control, a power liftgate, and a 7-inch color display with central controller.
Options are endless for the 2018 GLC 350e. They include a fantastic Head Up Display, an 8.5-inch touchscreen with COMAND touchpad controller, heated and ventilated front seats and heated rear seats, Nappa leather, Hands Free Access, Surround View Camera, and much, much more. That doesn’t even speak to the color palettes available.
But it’s not just about equipment. The heart of the issue is how it feels on the inside. Because everything looks perfect, or maybe meticulous is more accurate, it feels a touch clinical and sterile. There’s unreal sound insulation in the cabin including noise-insulating front glass. It might be just a touch overboard – a bit of outside noise could liven the in-vehicle experience.
When you start adding options and packages, the price quickly climbs above the base level. With a healthy assortment of popular picks, it’s easy for the price to reach $65,000 or higher. Nonetheless, the fit and finish you get in the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC 350e is certainly up to the German standard.

Driving Experience

Some hybrid vehicles you dread to drive. The 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC 350e is not one of them. There’s mastery at play here because a hybrid vehicle shouldn’t feel this enjoyable to drive. It’s a complete experience, from suspension and handling to acceleration and the in-cabin experience.
Between the 85kW electric motor and the 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4, the GLC 350e makes a combined 320 horsepower and 431 lb.-ft. of torque! That’s certainly a number Mercedes-Benz should brag about. It takes just 6.2 seconds to sprint from 0 to 60 mph. All the while, it’s incredibly efficient, although exact fuel efficiency specs aren’t available at this time.
As another plus, the GLC 350e comes standard with 4MATIC all-wheel drive. It’s the time-tested permanent AWD system Mercedes-Benz installs in many of their vehicles and has split-second torque transfer to the wheels that need it. Even when road conditions are terrible, you probably won’t notice in this vehicle.
One very mentionable system is its hybrid system. The GLC 350e can operate on all-electric power for short trips, or it can be used with seamless integration with the gas engine. It incorporates regenerative braking to recharge the battery and its E-MODE ties in a haptic accelerator pedal to help you drive as efficiently as possible. It’s quite impressive, to say the least.

Features

MSRP$49,990 USD
TypePHEV
Electric Range21 miles / 34 km
Total RangeTBD miles / TBD km
Time to Charge4 hours (Level 2)
Electric Motor85 kW
Battery Capacity8.8 kWh
Top Speed130 mph / 210 km/h
Warranty4 years/50,000 miles or 80,000 km

Conclusion

If you’re comparing the Mercedes-Benz to other models priced in the same range, it holds its ground firmly. The GLC 350e has ‘wow’ factors in a few areas including its powerful-yet-efficient powertrain. There aren’t many negatives aside from the high-priced add-ons and an almost too-perfect interior.
The 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC 350e is ideal for higher middle-class families as well as business-class company vehicles. While its efficiency is definitely notable, it’s probably not the biggest factor for those deciding to purchase this type of SUV.

Top Competitors

  • 2018 Tesla Model X
  • 2018 BMW X5 xDrive40e
  • 2018 Lexus RX 400h
  • 2018 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid

Saturday, 27 January 2018

SOLO all-electric one-seater car designed for commuters







Electra Meccanica SOLO designer Henry Reisner designer introduces the all-electric one-seater set to revolutionize the way people commute daily.
Electra Meccanica's SOLO electric vehicle is set to revolutionize the way people commute daily.
The Canadian auto manufacturer designed the SOLO single seater car to provide a unique driving experience for the nearly 80% of Americans commuting to work alone in their personal vehicle.
“This is a certified ready to go vehicle that will be on the streets by the third quarter of this year,” Electra Meccanica SOLO designer Henry Reisner said during an exclusive interview with FOX Business’ Liz Claman.
The SOLO is a two door, three wheel electric vehicle with a top speed of 85 miles per hour and can drive for 100 miles on a single charge.
“Instead of driving your big 3,000 pound car, you can drive a small car, pay for no gas, easier to park,” Reisner said.
The SOLO all-electric vehicle retails at $15,500 and its lithium-ion battery system requires three hours of charging time on a 220-volt outlet or six hours overnight on a 110-volt system. SOLO can be reserved for $250 with delivery expected in the fourth quarter in 2018.
“This will do everything that your regular car commuter car will do, Reisner said on FOX Business’ “Countdown to the Closing Bell.” “Air condition, power breaks, power steering, everything that you need, except no more gas bills.”
As a publicly held company, Electra Meccanica (ECCTF) began trading as an over the counter stock in September of 2017, and announced its application filing for a listing on the Nasdaq exchange last October.

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Tesla’s ‘affordable’ electric car debuts at UTC




SAN DIEGO – San Diego is among the first markets in the nation to get an actual Tesla Model 3, billed as the company’s “more affordable family sedan.”
More than 450,000 people have pre-ordered a Model 3 by making the required $1,000 deposit, according to Telsa officials. Most of those future Tesla owners have yet to sit inside one. That will change Friday.
Other retail stores to receive the highly-anticipated electric vehicle were in Miami, Boston, New York and the Bay Area.San Diego-area Model 3 reservation holders will now be able to see the car and sit inside it.  The vehicle was debuted at the Telsa showroom at University Towne Centre at 4545 La Jolla Village Drive in La Jolla Friday morning.
The new electric car retails for a base price of $35,000. That makes them significantly cheaper than Tesla’s other cars, the Model X and the Model S.
The debut does not include test drive vehicles just yet, according to Tesla officials.

EV what you need to know about charging


2018 C-MAX Hybrid Electric Powertrain
Nathan Bomey
When Macy Claprood was making the commute to Miami for her summer job, she glanced at the instrument panel in her Nissan Leaf and realized she had to fill up — on electricity.
Claprood, 21, of Fort Lauderdale, had to stop halfway at a mall parking lot to top off the batteries in her electric car.
She didn't have a choice "because I wasn't going to make it," she said.
Every driver who decides to go electric faces the same anxieties about charging. It's the more complicated part of owning an electric car, especially since outside the home garage, charging stations can be few and far between.
The good news is that powering up is only going to get easier and more convenient. Plus, there's the payoff: the money saved by not having to buy gasoline.

laprood paid $10 each time she used a station to recharge her Nissan Leaf in Miami — and she appreciates the savings. On the Fort Lauderdale-to-Miami commute she was making last summer to her job teaching lifeguard lessons, she estimates she would have spent about $20 round-trip on gas in a conventional car.
That's one reason she loves her Leaf, which tops out at an electric range of about 107 miles.
"The gas just costs so much money," she said. "It definitely pays off."
Most electric-car drivers are like her, using public charging stations only when they occasionally need them. They love the quiet power that their cars provide.
"I don't know that I could ever go back to gas," Claprood said. "I like the car."
With the current shortfall of charging stations, though, electric-car drivers admit to a hassle factor.
More stations are coming, potentially making things easier for Claprood. Tesla is tripling its fleet of fast-chargers by the end of 2018, Volkswagen is spending heavily on new stations, and the U.S. government is backing new infrastructure plans, among many other investments. But it's not clear if they will be enough.
Volkswagen's emissions scandal turned out to be good news for electric-car charging.
The German automaker agreed to invest $2 billion over 10 years in U.S. electric-car infrastructure, including new stations and educational initiatives, as part of a federal settlement over its diesel emissions scandal.
Mark McNabb, CEO of the VW-funded Electrify America program, said the company is spending $500 million apiece in four 30-month cycles. The first round of investments is focusing heavily on installation of stations in 17 metro areas, including six in California.
And the terms of the settlement prevent VW from favoring its own technology.
Tesla continues to develop its own nationwide network of electric-car stations, dubbed superchargers. Usage is free to buyers of the company's Model S sedan and Model X crossover for the first 1,000 miles annually and available to buyers of the new, lower-priced Model 3 for a fee.
The company started 2017 with 5,000 superchargers globally and projected in April that it would finish the year with 10,000. CEO Elon Musk told analysts in August that the company would triple its network by 2018.
Some Tesla superchargers have been busy for long periods, angering owners. But Musk said in August that "we're confident that will address the supercharging needs of S, X and 3."
Tesla vehicles can also charge at public outlets and in the home.

For a few hundred or thousand dollars, electric-car owners can install a charging station at home. Since charging overnight is easy — it can even be done with a standard outlet — the Department of Energy projects that more than 90% of charging will take place in a residential setting, up from about 80% today.

Automakers are beginning to deliver electric cars that alleviate a condition known as "range anxiety," which afflicts electric-car owners who fear they'll run out of electricity on the road with nowhere to charge.
The Tesla Model 3, which began shipping to customers this fall at a starting price of $35,000 before tax incentives, is able to travel at least 220 miles on a charge. Musk originally projected weekly production of 5,000 vehicles by the end of December but has since revised that target to the end of the second quarter after hitting manufacturing snags.
GM's Bolt, which is available for sale nationwide for $37,500 before incentives, goes at least 238 miles on a charge. Most major automakers are working on longer-range electric vehicles at similar or even lower prices.
Since the average commute is about 25 miles per day, "running out of energy is just not going to be that common," said John Nielsen, managing director of automotive engineering for AAA.
Aside from the home, the workplace is the most common place for drivers to charge up.
Experts said employers are increasingly installing charging units as they realize it's an amenity that helps keep workers happy.
"You're going to charge wherever your car naturally parks, and where it parks the most is at home and work," said Pasquale Romano, CEO of ChargePoint, which operates a network of charging stations and facilitates payments.
Drivers who rely on street parking might have to wait longer to go electric.
Although some foreign cities are experimenting with curbside charging stations, it's unlikely to come to U.S. streets anytime soon.
"That's an area of the ecosystem that's really underserved right now," said Simon Ouellette, CEO of Mogile Tech, which runs the EV station-finding ChargeHub app.
But VW's McNabb said people who don't have access to a garage or parking lot charger can access "community depots" with super-fast charging where they can pop in and out for a quick fill-up.
Technologists are aiming for systems that could eventually charge electric vehicles in as little as 10 minutes.
But that will require automotive companies to reconfigure battery chemistry and vehicle electronics to accommodate the intense power demands of extremely fast charging, said Michael Berube, director of the Department of Energy's Vehicle Technologies Office.
McNabb said it's important for stations to be "future-proof," meaning capable of making upgrades as batteries improve.
"What was technologically advanced three years ago is not really even relevant today, so I think it's important we keep our eye on that so we end up continually adapting to changing technologies," McNabb said.
Eventually, it's possible no one will charge their vehicles — and all those public charging stations could become unnecessary.
If auto futurists are right that we're headed toward a world in which people no longer own cars and instead hire self-driving, electric vehicles through ride-hailing apps, fleet operators likely will charge up the vehicles.
"Something like that would reduce the need for public charging," Ouellette said.
Someday, electric cars could even charge wirelessly through so-called inductive systems — chargers embedded in parking spots or the roadway itself. Proponents of inductive charging say the technology's first application could be for city buses or trucks.
If inductive charging ever becomes available, the very concept of a charging station could go by the wayside.

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Plug wars


FILE PHOTO: Electric car chargers are seen at the Holloway Road Shell station where Shell is launching its first fast electric vehicle charging station in London, Britain October 18, 2017. REUTERS/Mary Turner/File Photo

Christoph Steitz

 German carmakers hope a network of high-power charging stations they are rolling out with Ford will set an industry standard for plugs and protocols that will give them an edge over electric car rivals.
At the moment, Tesla and carmakers in Japan and Germany use different plugs and communication protocols to link batteries to chargers, but firms building the charging networks needed for electric vehicles to become mainstream say the number of plug formats will need to be limited to keep costs down.
Carmakers behind the winning technology will benefit from having an established supply chain and an extensive network, making their vehicles potentially more attractive to customers worried about embarking upon longer journeys, analysts say.
Manufacturers that back losing plugs, however, could end up with redundant research and development and may have to invest to adapt assembly lines and vehicle designs so their customers can use the most widespread fast-charging networks.
Swiss bank UBS has estimated that $360 billion will need to be spent over the next eight years to build global charging infrastructure to keep pace with electric car sales, and it will be key to limit the numerous technologies now in use.
"The quick-charging marketplace might be growing fast but the issue of different types of connectivity and communication will need to be resolved going forward," UBS said in a study published this month.
To try to build critical mass for the Combined Charging System (CCS) favored by Europe, BMW, Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler, Ford and the Volkswagen group, which includes Audi and Porsche, said in November they would develop 400 high-power charging stations on main roads in 18 European countries by 2020.
"In the end, it is about safe-guarding investments for those that are investing in electric mobility," said Claas Bracklo, head of electromobility at BMW and the chairman of the Charging Interface Initiative (CharIN), which is backing CCS.
"We have founded CharIN to build a position of power."
It is still early days for electric cars and difficult to predict which plug technology will prevail or even whether there will always be different ways to charge vehicles, unlike the one-size-fits-all nozzle that can refill all petrol cars.
But there is a lot at stake for the carmakers ploughing billions of dollars into the development of batteries and electric cars.
FORMAT WARS
Besides CCS, there are three other standards that will charge batteries fast: Tesla's Supercharger system, CHAdeMO, or Charge de Move, developed by Japanese firms including carmakers Nissan and Mitsubishi, and GB/T in China, the world's biggest electric car market.
"I think over time CHAdeMO and CCS converge, likely into the current CCS standard, and the jury is out as to what will happen to Tesla," said Pasquale Romano, chief executive officer of Silicon Valley-based ChargePoint, which runs one of the world's largest charging station networks.
So far, there are about 7,000 CCS charging points worldwide, according to CharIN, with more than half in Europe. The European Union backs CCS as the standard for fast-charging but does not prohibit other plugs being installed.
That compares with 16,639 charge points compatible with CHAdeMO - most in Japan and Europe - and 8,496 Tesla Superchargers, with the majority in the United States. In China, there are 127,434 GB/T charging stations, according to the China Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Promotion Alliance.
Just as in previous format wars such as the battle for videotape dominance between VHS and Betamax, each charging standard has its pros and cons.
Tesla's system is exclusive to its clients, for example, while CCS features a double-plug that can charge DC and AC, increasing the number of spots where drivers can recharge.
CHAdeMO, meanwhile, allows cars to sell power from their batteries back to the grid, a process known as bi-directional charging that can help stabilize energy networks in times of demand swings and earn car owners some extra cash.
"If I were Nissan, I'd be wanting to take that standard and make it the dominant one," said Gerard Reid, founder of Alexa Capital that advises companies in the energy, technology and power infrastructure sectors.
"It creates a competitive advantage for them," he said.
TIME IS TIME
Most plugs used to charge cars at home use alternate current (AC) and are slow, so building networks that can power vehicles fast when on the road is seen as key by the industry, given many potential consumers still worry about battery range.
Able to deliver more powerful direct current (DC), fast-chargers can load electric cars up to seven times faster.
The fastest DC stations, capable of delivering up to 400 kilowatts, can recharge cars within 10 minutes, a vast improvement on the 10-12 hours it can take to reload at some AC charging points today.
Developers hope drivers will feel more confident about undertaking longer journeys if they know they can reboot with a quick pit stop similar to stopping at a petrol station.
With that in mind, the joint venture set up by the German carmakers and Ford to install CCS fast-chargers has teamed up with companies that have service station networks in Europe: Shell, OMV, Germany's Tank & Rast and retailer Circle K.
For traditional carmakers, getting ahead in the electric car race is also about staying relevant in an industry that has been shaken up by Tesla.
Elon Musk's company is now worth $11 billion more than Ford, even though Tesla delivered just 76,230 cars in 2016 while the U.S. car industry pioneer sold 6.65 million vehicles.
The German carmakers teaming up with Ford, however, believe their deeper pockets should give them the upper hand in the long run and they see charging technology as an important factor in the fight.
TIPPING POINT
For now, CCS, Supercharger and CHAdeMO plugs continue to be installed in Europe as well as the United States, while China is pressing ahead with GB/T, suggesting it is too early to call a winner in the plug wars - especially as no carmaker will want to lose out on the Chinese market.
Tesla, for example, said in October it was modifying its Model S and Model X cars for China to add a second charge port compatible with the country's GB/T fast-charging standard.
Most other rivals are also incorporating the GB/T standard into their vehicles for China, which has ambitious quotas for electric car sales, although some industry officials still hope the country will adopt one of the other standards at some point.
While sticking with developing its proprietary network for now, Tesla is a member of the CHAdeMO and CharIN initiatives. It is also selling adapters so owners of its cars in North America and Japan can use CHAdeMO charging stations.
Tesla declined to comment on whether it would consider joining a rival charging standard at some point, a move analysts say could be a tipping point in the race for plug dominance.
"For Tesla it was always very important to have a charging infrastructure for our clients from the get-go," a spokeswoman said, adding that it welcomed all investment in car charging.
Tomoko Blech, who represents CHAdeMO in Europe, said fussing over which standard would prevail was not helpful given that the electric car industry was still in its early days and carmakers should fight it out with their models.
Some also argue there will always be several ways to charge battery-powered cars.
"If you drive a petrol car you can fuel it any place in the world. This is the best you can get," said Nicolas Meilhan, principal analyst at consultancy Frost & Sullivan.
"You will not get that for electric vehicles."


Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Tesla proposes big payout if Musk meets lofty goals


By Abcnews
Elon Musk is known for his bold predictions on electric and self-driving cars. Now his pay could depend on whether those predictions come true.
Under a new all-or-nothing pay package, Musk would remain at Tesla Inc. for the next decade and see his compensation tied to ambitious growth targets.
The proposal, revealed Tuesday in a regulatory filing, requires that Tesla grow in $50 billion leaps, to a staggering $650 billion market capitalization.
The electric car maker, based in Palo Alto, California, is worth less than $60 billion today. Tesla must hit a series of escalating revenue and adjusted profit targets, only after which Musk would vest stock options worth 1 percent of company shares. He would get no other guaranteed compensation.
The pay package, developed over the last six months by Tesla's board, still needs the approval of Tesla shareholders, who will vote on it at a special meeting in late March. Musk and his brother Kimbal, who is a Tesla board member, will recuse themselves from the vote.
If the goals are reached, Tesla would be one of the biggest companies in America. The $650 billion benchmark would make Tesla the fourth-most valuable U.S. company, behind only Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc., and Amazon.com Inc. based on current valuations. It would be larger than Microsoft Corp., and would exceed the current combined valuation of the world's top eight publicly-traded auto companies.
The pay scheme would also catapult Musk into the ranks of the world's richest people. Musk's stock options could be worth up to $55.8 billion if he meets the company's goals. He also would own a 28 percent stake in Tesla, which would be worth $182 billion. Forbes' current richest billionaire, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, is worth $86 billion.
Musk has long had ambitious plans for Tesla. In a 2015 earnings call with analysts and media, he predicted Tesla could match Apple in total value by 2025.
Musk's growth plans were laid out in a 2016 blog post he titled "Master Plan, Part Deux." Tesla plans to expand from electric cars and SUVs to trucks — including a semi due out in 2019 — and buses. It will continue to work on autonomous vehicle technology and plans to enter the car-sharing business, letting Tesla owners share their cars when they're not using them and running Tesla-owned fleets in cities.
The company, which bought solar panel maker SolarCity Corp. in 2016, also plans to expand its solar panel and energy storage businesses. Tesla is making solar panels and roof tiles at its factory in Buffalo, New York, which will help the company blunt any impact from President Donald Trump's recent 30-percent tariff on imported solar panels and cell modules.
The plans are ambitious, but that's nothing new for Tesla. Under a 2012 agreement, Musk's stock options vested only if the Tesla's market cap continued to rise in $4 billion increments. The company also had to hit matching operational milestones, including vehicle production targets and developmental milestones tied to the Model X and Model 3 programs. Tesla wound up reaching all of the market cap milestones and nine of the 10 operational milestones, falling short only of its goal to have four consecutive quarters with 30-percent gross margins.
When that pay package was created, the company was worth just $3.2 billion. Its market cap at the end of last year was 17 times that amount. That's why the new goals may not be that far-fetched, says Michael Ramsey, an analyst with Gartner who follows Tesla.
"To this point, it has been dangerous to predict failure for Tesla or Elon," he said.
Adam Jonas, an analyst with Morgan Stanley who follows Tesla, thinks plan is partly a marketing tool as the competition for electric and autonomous vehicle talent heats up.
Jonas added that Musk — who owns 21.9 percent of Tesla shares — is already "all-in" on the company, so he sees the incentive package as more for investor confidence than for Musk's personal benefit.
In order to vest shares when milestones are reached, Musk must stay on as CEO or serve as both executive chairman and chief product officer. That would give Tesla the option of hiring a different CEO. Tesla said while it doesn't currently intend for Musk to step away from the CEO role, the terms allow him to potentially focus his attention on key products and strategy.
The amount of time Musk divides between Tesla and other ventures has been a concern for investors. Musk is also the founder and CEO of rocket maker SpaceXand the co-founder and chairman of OpenAI, a nonprofit that researches artificial intelligence. He also recently started The Boring Co., which hopes to build tunnels beneath Los Angeles and other major cities for high-speed transit.
Musk has never made a salary at Tesla, which is unusual but not unheard of for a CEO. Ford Motor Co. Executive Chairman Bill Ford didn't take a salary or bonus for five years starting in 2005 when the company's fortunes were sagging. Oracle Corp.'s Larry Ellison has a $1 salary but takes home millions in stock awards. And Steve Jobs took home $1 per year when he was Apple's CEO from 1997 to 2011.
Tesla — which turns 15 this year — has never earned a full-year profit. It has reported only two profitable quarters since it went public in 2010.
Each of the four vehicles it has made has faced significant delays and production problems. Its newest vehicle, the lower-cost Model 3 sedan, is no exception. Musk initially said Tesla would be making 20,000 Model 3s per month by the end of 2017, but he recently pushed that goal to the end of the second quarter.
That hasn't dimmed investors' appetite for Tesla's stock. Tesla shares were up less than 1 percent to $352 in afternoon trading. They've risen around 40 percent over the last year.

China's Electric Dream Goes Public







By Nisha Gopalan 

China's biggest electric-car maker 
1 , owned by state firm BAIC Group, will soon have a coming-out party at home.
A way into one of Beijing's favorite industries may prove to be a hit for the group and investors.
BAIC, whose BAIC Motor Corp. subsidiary is listed in Hong Kong, is injecting its EV unit into a Shanghai-traded maker of optical-fiber cables, Chengdu Qian Feng Electronics Co., in a $4.5 billion reverse merger. That's good news no doubt for investors in Chengdu Qian, whose shares have been halted since September 2016.
The plan will also cheer shareholders in BAIC Motor, which owns 8 percent of the electric-auto unit, according to analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. The Hong Kong subsidiary might make a 1 billion yuan ($156 million) investment gain from the deal, the Wall Street broker predicts.
BAIC Group, whose main business centers on sales of Mercedes-Benz cars in China and a painful partnership with Hyundai Motor Co., gets a listed presence in an industry that mainland investors love. Just look at BYD Co., backed by Warren Buffett -- its China-listed stock has risen a lot more than the Hong Kong shares.
Mainland investors' enthusiasm for the electric story makes perfect sense.
While EVs represent just a fraction of total auto sales, China is already the world's largest electric-car market, and will keep growing, thanks to the government. Beijing is working on a timetable to end sales of fossil-fuel-based vehicles, and the country already has the world's largest EV charging network. It's safe to say gas guzzlers' days are numbered in a nation that's keen to curb pollution and build national champions.
That gives the prospective Shanghai listing a golden aura. While China will open up the EV market to competition and phase out subsidies to reduce the throng of companies joining the electric game, few would bet against BAIC.
The BAIC listing will also be a purer play on EVs than BYD. As Gadfly has noted, the Buffett-backed company gets just 55 percent of its revenue from auto sales, and electric vehicles are 20 percent of the total. While EVs are a small part of BAIC Group's mix now, Chairman Xu Heyi said in an interview with the state-run China Daily last month that the company plans to stop producing conventionally powered cars under its own brand by 2025. 
BAIC competes with Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd., the owner of Volvo Cars, and Chery Automobile Co., as well as BYD and the many smaller new entrants.
In the coming shakeout of the EV industry, however, it's hard to see the state-backed brand being the loser.