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Sam Bird seals victory in the Putrajaya ePrix

November 22, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV enthusiast, EV News, FIA Formula E

Sam Bird cruised to victory at the second race of the season in Putrajaya ahead of championship-leader Lucas di Grassi and Sebastien Buemi.

Photo courtesy of Formula E Sam Bird seals victory in the Putrajaya ePrix

Photo courtesy of Formula E
Sam Bird seals victory in the Putrajaya ePrix

The Virgin Racing driver crossed the line to pick up the full 25-points and clinch his maiden ePrix win.

Bird said: “The weekend went really well, we were quick from the first outing and we were quickest in practice. Qualifying didn’t quite go our way as I think we were not in the best group for doing a fast lap time but we put that right in the race.

“The first stint I was able to get a very good gap which meant we could take it easy and not make any silly mistakes, do some lift and coasting, and coast to the finish. I have to dedicate this win to a good friend of mine who is very ill. It’s very sad what’s happened to him and this one is for Jules.”

Audi Sport ABT driver Lucas di Grassi and e.dams-Renault’s Sebastien Buemi both managed to fight their way through the field to stand on the podium despite starting at the back of the grid.

Di Grassi said: “For sure this was beyond my expectations. Everyone is here to win, everyone is pushing to the limit as this track has proven once and for all this car is very tricky to drive even if you have done all the testing. The tiniest margin can ruin your whole weekend and that’s what happened in qualifying from my side and then to come all the way from the back of the grid on a street track to second is an amazing feeling. I felt I had a much better race than in Beijing where I won.”

“I’m really happy I have to say,” said Buemi. “We were really good in testing and then when we came to the first race it just didn’t go well. It went bad today in the qualifying which is quite strange, we did some set up changes that didn’t work so well but I felt the strongest in this car and finished third.”

Bird’s win means he moves up to second place in the championship standings just three points behind Beijing race-winner di Grassi.

Nicolas Prost continued the strong form he showed in qualifying to finish fourth. The Frenchman started from 11th position after carrying over a 10-place grid penalty for causing an avoidable collision in Beijing.

Dragon Racing’s Jerome d’Ambrosio showed his reliance from last place on the grid to come home in fifth. D’Ambrosio qualified in the top-three only to be penalised for exceeding the maximum power usage.

Oriol Servia, who inherited pole position, made a good getaway to retain the lead at the start as Daniel Abt dropped back with what seemed to be a power issue.

The Qualcomm Safety Car was deployed on the opening lap to clean the debris from the track as Amlin Aguri’s Katherine Legge and Michela Cerruti (Trulli) collided. Legge looked to make a pass on the inside but lost the back end and caused Cerruti to spin.

Andretti racer Matthew Brabham clashed with Venturi’s Nick Heidfeld at the tight turn 10 hairpin sending the Formula E debutant into a spin.

Brabham’s team-mate Franck Montagny was in a feisty mood as he carved his way through the field but forced Heidfeld into the tyre barrier on the outside of turn five. The stricken Venturi brought out the safety car for a second time.

Abt make the most of the opportunity and pitted under the safety car in an attempt to run a long second stint. However, it was a gamble that didn’t pay off as he dropped to 10th place to pick up a solitary point.

He said: “I had some problems at the start which I’m not sure what it was, it seemed like a power issue and it didn’t kick in. I pitted in under the safety car which was a risky strategy and a bit of a gamble which unfortunately didn’t pay off.”

Mahindra’s Bruno Senna crashed heavily on the final lap in pursuit of Sebastien Buemi for the final podium spot. Senna said: “I saw Buemi and had an opportunity to get a podium but I made a mistake. I just went for it and got out on the marbles when I lost the car.”

To view the full results click here.

FIA Formula E Championship – Putrajaya ePrix – Race (31 laps)

  1. Sam Bird, Virgin Racing, 51:11.979
  2. Lucas di Grassi, Audi Sport ABT, +4.175s
  3. Sebastien Buemi, e.dams-Renault, +5.739s
  4. Nicolas Prost, e.dams-Renault, +9.552s
  5. Jerome d’Ambrosio, Dragon Racing, +13.722s
  6. Karun Chandhok, Mahindra Racing, +17.158s
  7. Oriol Servia, Dragon Racing, +18.621s
  8. Antonio Felix da Costa, Amlin Aguri, +19.926s
  9. Jaime Alguersuari, Virgin Racing, +20.053s
  10. Daniel Abt, Audi Sport ABT, +45.663s
  11. Ho-Pin Tung, China Racing, +55.833s
  12. Stephane Sarrazin, Venturi, +56.626s
  13. Matthew Brabham, Andretti, +1:05.036s
  14. Bruno Senna, Mahindra Racing, +1 lap
  15. Franck Montagny, Andretti, +1 lap (penalty)
  16. Katherine Legge, Amlin Aguri, +3 laps (penalty)
  17. Jarno Trulli, Trulli, +3 laps (penalty)
  18. Nelson Piquet Jr, China Racing, DNF
  19. Michela Cerruti, Trulli, DNF
  20. Nick Heidfeld, Venturi, excluded (penalty)

This article is an EV News Report repost, credit: Formula E.

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The House Always Wins

November 21, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, Model S, Politics, Tesla

Gigafactory  Image courtesy of Tesla The House Always Wins

Image courtesy of Tesla
The House Always Wins

By Tesla CEO Elon Musk

There have been several articles recently implying that Tesla, through clever machinations, maneuvered Nevada into providing an overly large incentive package for the Gigafactory. I love backhanded compliments as much as the next person, but this is untrue.

Nevada is the entertainment capital of the world, home to the most sophisticated casinos on Earth. As everyone knows, the money to build those resorts arises because the casino houses generally tend not to lose. Even were they to lose, the state of Nevada, through the taxes it collects, would still win – it is the house to the house. They really know what they are doing.

Moreover, when the incentive proposal went to the Nevada legislature, it received approval from every member of the Senate and House with no dissenting votes. This includes every Republican and Democrat representative from every part of the state.

Following passage of the bill, the debt ratings agency Moody’s assessed the deal as credit positive for both the Reno area and Nevada as a whole.

The reason is that it is a no-lose proposition for the state. The deal is not merely slightly good for the people of Nevada, it is extremely good.

To understand why, one must look closely at the terms of the deal. A casual reader of stories about the Gigafactory might assume that the $1.3 billion number in the headlines means that the state wrote Tesla a huge check for that amount. In fact, Tesla has received no money from the state at all. We did receive land through a swap the state did with our developer, but, if you have been to Nevada, you will notice that there is quite a lot of extra land with nobody on it. This is not in short supply.

Of the $5 billion investment needed to bring the Gigafactory to full production in five years, state incentives will cover about 5%. Compared to the operational and upgrade costs over a 20 year period, expected to be approximately $100 billion, state incentives will constitute just over 1%. This makes sense: the $1.3 billion in incentives mostly consists of alleviating a few percent of annual property and use tax on a huge amount of equipment over the course of 20 years, an average of about $50 million per year after initial construction.

However, the 20 year mark is simply when the last of the incentives expires. The Gigafactory itself will continue contributing economically to Nevada for much longer. Our automotive plant in California has been in operation for over 60 years with no foreseeable end in sight.

It stands to reason that the beneficiaries of a project should also contribute to its creation. Given that Nevada will have the largest and most advanced battery factory in the world and a very large number of high-paying direct and indirect jobs, contributing about 5% to the initial construction cost and a few percent to costs thereafter seems pretty fair.

Finally, with the exception of the land conveyance, all of the incentives approved by the legislature are performance based. We must execute according to plan to receive them, meaning that, while the state and Tesla both share the upside, only Tesla suffers the downside.

At Tesla, we believe in doing deals where both parties benefit, and, when there is an asymmetry or underperformance on our part, interpreting that in the other party’s favor. This is true for big deals like the Gigafactory and for everyday transactions. For example, if you buy or lease our car and don’t like it (within a reasonable amount of time), you can automatically give it back, accounting only for usage and damage. Tesla will absorb loss of the new car premium when reselling it as a used vehicle.

Our goal in doing so is to build long-term trust. If people know that we will not take advantage of them and aspire to fairness, even at our own expense, then they are much more likely to want to work with us in the future.

The article below about our vehicle factory in California gives a sense of what we expect of the Gigafactory in Nevada.

Tesla Factory Upgrade Article

This article is an EV News Report repost, credit: Tesla.

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Malaysian PM Najib Razak Was Guest of Honour at Pre-race Formula E Gala Dinner

November 21, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV enthusiast, EV News, FIA Formula E

Photo courtesy of Formula E Malaysian PM Najib Razak Was Guest of Honour at Pre-race Formula E Gala Dinner

Photo courtesy of Formula E
Malaysian PM Najib Razak Was Guest of Honour at Pre-race Formula E Gala Dinner

Attended by more than 150 guests – including government ministers, local dignitaries, teams, drivers and partners – the event was held within the Grand Ballroom of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Kuala Lumpur. As well as the Prime Minister’s wife Rosmah Mansor, guests including Michael Andretti, Alain Prost, Alejandro Agag and five Formula E drivers. The event was held to help support good causes and included an exclusive auction, with guests bidding for items such as a signed race suit and specially commissioned race artwork.

The inaugural Putrajaya ePrix takes place on November 22 from 7:45am (local time).

Qualifying groups for the 2014 FIA Formula E Ycapital Management Putrajaya ePrix have been announced (see below).

The lottery draw was made during the Drivers’ Briefing ahead of tomorrow’s qualifying session which gets underway at 10:00am (local time) on the 2.5km Malaysian street circuit. With a high chance of rain tomorrow, the order could prove crucial in determining who secures the pole position spot, earning three points in the process.

The qualifying session is a straight fight for the fastest laptime and determines the order for the day’s race. The session will last 55 minutes (40 minutes track) and see drivers divided into four groups of five cars, with each group having 10 minutes to set their best time. Full power (200kw / 270bhp) will be available throughout with drivers only able to use one car.

Action gets underway at 7:45am (local time) with full coverage and live timing on the official website.

Group 1
Bruno Senna, Mahindra Racing
Matthew Brabham, Andretti Formula E
Stephane Sarrazin, Venturi Formula E
Daniel Abt, Audi Sport ABT Formula E
Nelson Piquet Jr, China Racing

Group 2
Karun Chandhok, Mahindra Racing
Jarno Trulli, Trulli Formula E
Michela Cerruti, Trulli Formula E
Franck Montagny, Andretti Formula E
Ho-Pin Tung, China Racing

Group 3
Oriol Servia, Dragon Racing
Jerome d’Ambrosio, Dragon Racing
Nicolas Prost, e.dams-Renault Formula E
Sebastien Buemi, e.dams-Renault Formula E
Nick Heidfeld, Venturi Formula E

Group 4
Sam Bird, Virgin Racing
Jaime Alguersuari, Virgin Racing
Lucas di Grassi, Audi Sport ABT Formula E
Antonio Felix da Costa, Amlin Aguri
Katherine Legge, Amlin Aguri

This article is an EV News Report repost, credit: Formula E.

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SCE Seeks New Clean Power Resources

November 21, 2014 in Environment, EV News, Greentech, Solar

New renewable distributed generation resources sought to support innovative Orange County reliability pilot project.

Photo courtesy of SCE SCE Seeks New Clean Power Resources

Photo courtesy of SCE
SCE Seeks New Clean Power Resources

ROSEMEAD, Calif. — Southern California Edison (SCE) has launched a Request for Offers (RFO) to acquire electricity from new renewable distributed generating facilities.

The RFO was launched to support SCE’s Preferred Resources Pilot (PRP) in central and south Orange County and is seeking up to 50 megawatts of renewable power.

“This pilot is a real-world test where SCE is exploring how cleaner-energy resources can help maintain or improve electric service reliability in a densely populated area and potentially lessen dependence on natural gas generation,” said Caroline McAndrews, director of SCE’s Preferred Resources Pilot.

SCE is seeking power from projects as small as 500 kilowatts that can connect to its distribution system in the area and come online by December 2017.

The renewable sources of power bid in this solicitation may include solar and wind generation along with other renewable resources.

Projects that meet RFO requirements will compete in an open and competitive process. Jim Buerkle, director of SCE’s Energy Contracts Management, indicated that “SCE looks forward to soliciting for renewable distributed resources in the PRP area such as rooftop and carport solar photovoltaic systems to study how these clean resources can help contribute to local grid reliability.”

SCE has scheduled a bidder’s web conference on Dec. 2. Web conference details can be accessed by registering at The website also contains eligibility requirements as well as the pro forma power purchase agreement and other RFO information.

“The purpose of this pilot project is to work toward achieving three goals all at the same time — reliability, affordability and cleaner power,” McAndrews said. “This RFO is a big step forward in obtaining the cleaner resources needed for this innovative project.”

About Southern California Edison

An Edison International (NYSE:EIX) company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population of nearly 14 million via 4.9 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern California.

This article is an EV News Report repost, credit: Edison Intl.

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BART to OAK Airport Opening Nov. 22

November 21, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, Politics, San Francisco, Sustainable San Francisco, Trains

It’s fast, it’s frequent, it’s convenient, and it’s about to open. BART’s new train to plane service, “BART to OAK,” which provides an easy connection to Oakland International Airport, will open in time for Thanksgiving travel on Saturday, November 22, 2014.

Image courtesy of BART BART to OAK Airport Opening Nov. 22

Image courtesy of BART
BART to OAK Airport Opening Nov. 22

To mark this exciting moment in BART’s history, a public celebration will be held on Friday, November 21, to give the community a chance to check out the new stations, the beautiful art work, and to take a free ride before it opens.

Clean, Easy, and Quick Service 

Starting on Saturday, November 22, 2014, riders will be able to board one of four three-car automated people movers at either the Coliseum Station or the Oakland International Airport Station and take the eight-minute ride at 30 mph.

“The ride and the experience alone are memorable,” said BART General Manager Grace Crunican. “Riders get a 360 degree view from the windows surrounding the entire car as you travel over the traffic below. It’s a cable propelled system with light-weight and quiet trains, so it’s like gliding through the air.”

Trains arrive every 5 minutes during peak commute hours (weekdays 8am-8pm) and drop off and pick up riders just steps away from both terminals at OAK.  BART riders have a quick and easy train to train transfer at the Coliseum station. Riders can use a BART ticket or a Clipper Card. The complete schedule can be found below.

Sample one-way adult fares between the new Oakland International Airport Station and various stations throughout the system include: from Downtown Oakland stations: $7.85; from Downtown San Francisco stations: $10.05; from Downtown Berkeley station $8.50; from Walnut Creek station $9.70; from Fremont $9.85; from Dublin Pleasanton station: $9.80. Fare listings can be found here:

The project team has already won awards for the systems’ innovative engineering and forward use of technology. The project broke ground in 2010 and construction cost $484 million. As of Saturday, November 22nd, AirBART buses will no longer be in operation.

Get a Sneak Peek, Join the Celebration 

A public celebration will take place on Friday, November 21st at the Coliseum Station from 11am-3pm. The festivities include commemoratives and local music.  All costs of the celebration have been paid through the generous donations of various sponsors. More details can be found at

Learn more about the newly installed, original art at the Coliseum Station side of the station here, and the Oakland International Airport Station here. Follow the excitement of the grand opening on our Storify page.

Image courtesy of BART BART to OAK Airport Opening Nov. 22

Image courtesy of BART
BART to OAK Airport Opening Nov. 22

This article (11-7-14) is an EV News Report repost, credit: Bay Area Rapid Transit. Video (11-17-14) courtesy of BART.