This Saturday, Tesla Motors is holding a test drive to reveal the latest versions of its second zero-emission automobile, the all-electric four-door Model S to several thousand reservation holders. Tesla has made some extraordinary claims for the car, and analysts and investors will be watching the event closely to see if it can live up to them.
Friday's test launch of the Falcon 9 rocket was "essentially a bullseye," SpaceX officials said after the rocket successfully pushed past the earth's atmosphere and deposited a mock-up of its Dragon space capsule in orbit.
The Obama Administration will lend Tesla Motors $465 million to build an electric sedan and the battery packs needed to propel it. It's one of three loans totaling almost $8 billion that the Department of Energy awarded Tuesday to spur the development of fuel-efficient vehicles.
While automakers lay off staff and shut down plants in response to the economic downturn, one automaker announced Thursday that it will open a manufacturing plant in the United States, potentially creating hundreds of jobs in the area eventually chosen.
The Wrightspeed X1, a sports car whose three-second acceleration from 0 to 60 makes it one of the fastest autos in the world, is also super clean: It's powered by an electric motor and gets about 170 mpg. Ian Wright, the Burlingame, Calif., entrepreneur who created the X1 several years ago, had planned on ramping up production on a line of similar electric cars in 2009. But over the summer, he changed his mind.
For Martin Eberhard, there were many obstacles on the path to building the ultimate electric sports car. There was the scientific challenge of creating a lithium ion battery pack stable enough to power a 2,650-pound vehicle. There was the belief that Americans would stick with their gas-guzzlers, no matter what the price of oil. And there was, of course, the considerable resistance in the venture capital community to funding heavy industry.
Let's not wax sentimental about our space exploits thus far. The Apollo era was heroic, but beating the Soviets to the moon never provided a compelling economic reason to return. (We didn't even get Teflon or Tang as spinoffs--both were invented before 1960.)
Let's not wax sentimental about our space exploits thus far. The Apollo era was heroic, but beating the Soviets to the Moon never provided a compelling economic reason to return. (We didn't even get Teflon or Tang as spinoffs--both were invented before 1960.)