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Old 06-30-2012, 10:41 PM   #14 (permalink)
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EV start-ups go tits up because a hundred million bucks is not a lot of money... Especially if, like Aptera, your loan never gets approved.

A hundred million for a car company that's supposed to mass produce and distribute? A drop in the bucket.

Hyundai spent a few hundred million on the Tau V8 alone... Which goes into a tiny, tiny percentage of the cars it builds. Manufacturing for 40k units a year, you need to invest in a factory worth some 300 million, give or take... Depending on where you build it and how much is done in house.

Prototyping? Crash testing? Show cars? Set aside a few million for those throwaway units.

Unless you have a technology or chassis partner willing to give you top drawer parts or bodies, as Fisker and Tesla did with the GM Ecotec and the Lotus Elise... And you need to charge a big premium given the costs of outsourcing these... You have to cut costs the way most people do... Buy from China. And you still need to redesign and re-engineer the stuff for US consumption. You could do it the way ZAP did with the Xebra and say to hell with it... Or try to meet regulations and end up with a twenty year old Chinese glider that looks like garbage compared to a Leaf and which costs just as much. The general public... and investors... aren't going to buy into that, no matter how good the electric hardware underneath is.

The EV initiative failure was something I saw coming from years away, simply given the amount of money involved and how many ways it had to split, the laughably outdated Chinese hardware being peddled and the sometimes snake oil quality of the sales pitches. Blame poor business sense and some dishonesty on the part of some proponents. And blame the fact that economies of scale will always favor major manufacturers... Hence RIP Saab, RIP Daewoo, RIP Ssangyong, etcetera... Lotus and Proton only live thanks to Malaysian oil money, but that won't last long. Is it shocking that the most convincing electric comes from manufacturing giant Nissan? Not really... Not at all.
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