Jun 26, 2009 | 7
The era of the electric auto may finally have eased out of the driveway.
Hundreds of people in several states are test driving electric MINI Coopers And a preproduction version of the Chevy Volt hit the streets earlier this week, weeks ahead of schedule. But being an early adopter isn’t cheap.
GM's Fastlane Blog features a post by Chevrolet Volt Vehicle Chief Engineer Andrew Farah about his experience driving the Volt for a few laps around the company's Technical Center campus in Warren, Mich. Besides the expected glowing review of the car, Farah reports that Chevy is making a few Volts per week now and plans to have about 80 preproduction vehicles built by October. The production Volt isn't due until 2011.
Apr 13, 2009 | 10
Despite an infusion of federal funds, there are reports that General Motors (GM) – the nation's No. 1 and the world's No. 2 automaker is preparing to declare bankruptcy on June 1. GM was leader of the pack for 77 years until 2007 when Toyota surpassed it as the globe's top car seller. Meantime, the company is fielding offers for its king gas-guzzler, the Hummer, which has attracted interested bidders despite its enviro-hostile rep and dismal sales.
Detroit-based GM has received over $13 billion in government support since last year to keep it afloat despite slumping sales, in part due to the firm’s reliance on gas-eating sports utility vehicles and pickup trucks. These vehicles have fallen out of favor in the face of rising oil prices.
The Detroit News reports that GM is mulling declaring bankruptcy and reorganizing in a way that would enable it to retain its most promising Chevrolet, Buick and Cadillac brands. That means the electric-gas hybrid Chevy Volt would continue its rollout, even though GM expects to lose money on the first generation of the high-tech vehicle, according to Automotive News.
Oct 16, 2008 | 1
Chrysler, Ford and GM are busy using up the $25-billion jump-start they received last month and their economic outlook is far from rosy. But it is the upstarts—in specific, electric car company Tesla Motors—facing the roughest road because they don't have the track record for access to cheap cash.
As the credit markets have seized up, Tesla has been forced to restructure and has entered a "critical phase" financially, according to a company blog post. Tesla will be abandoning Detroit and digging in at its new corporate HQ in San Jose as well as laying off an unspecified number of its 250 employees. Its primary financial backer, Elon Musk—whose SpaceX rocket finally took flight, successfully putting a payload into orbit—will also return to the helm of the company, shifting current CEO Ze'ev Drori to the board of directors. He had been in the job for a little less than a year.
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