Tesla's Battery Deal More Significant Than Just The Batteries

from the vroom dept

Electric car startup Tesla Motors has signed a deal to sell $43 million worth of lithium-ion battery packs to a Norwegian electric car company. This is a big deal for the company, as it’s evidence of a growing market for the company’s technology. The technology, however, is only part of the story. What’s interesting is that a new generation of auto companies have business models that look more like computer makers than Detroit automakers. Instead of simply thinking about the car as the finished product, new companies in the automotive space (with Tesla being the most prominent) are able to focus on specific technology problems while nimbly swapping in and out parts made by other companies. It’ll be some time before the change is complete, but it’s clear that the technology itself is only part of the revolution.

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Comments on “Tesla's Battery Deal More Significant Than Just The Batteries”

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Dirtboy says:

I forsee it more like laptops

The assembly line and replaceable parts is what helped to make the production of automocars so efficient. In the past 100 years, though, they have been increasingly moving towards more proprietary parts. The parts are replaceable, as long as you purchase from the car’s manufacturer. They like it this way, as a 6X markup on an alternator should tell you.

I doubt they will totally drop this market for more standard interchangeable parts. Think of it more as a laptop instead of a desktop. You can’t build your own from scratch, but maybe you will be able to upgrade the batteries from another source.

Bob (profile) says:

Re: Re: Can I ask a question?

So, you would rather be stuffed in a little rat-box car stuck in traffic for 2-3 hours each way …. I live IN Atlanta and watch many, MANY commuters stuck in jams both ways 5 days a week. Of course houseing costs in the city are much higher than in the ‘burbs and to get to truly rural living you might end up driving 3.5 to 4 hours each way. So, what is the cost worth? 8 hours of work plus 8 hours of drive time = very little time to have a life of your own. Of course, you might live where there isn’t much traffic and your commute is less than an hour each way ….

Thought Cancer (user link) says:

Re: Can I ask a question?

Well, I can tell you this much: it’s not just gas prices that are preventing people from moving closer to where they live. The people I talk to cite job security as a big reason why they’re not about to rearrange their lives around their workplace. I feel the same way, given how I live in a Right To Work state, where employers have exactly zero obligation and responsibility to the worker.

How about I move 30 miles closer to my employer and I am let go, downsized, fired, or otherwise dismissed? How about the non-compete that I am required to sign in my industry prevents me from working for a competitor in the region for three years? How now, brown cow?

In this era of free-agent employment, one has to look out for themselves, since no one else will. With the decline of unions and the rise of anti-worker legislation and regulations, it’s a fools errand for a worker to build their domestic life around proximity to their employer.

It’s not just the gas prices, it’s the whole employment system that’s fubar’ed.

dennly says:

hybrid autos - batteries

they’re the Achillies heel, they wear out before the car does, and then cost more than the car is worth (at 5 to 8 years old, say) … are we we being taken to the cleaners on this bit of so called smart technology?

And then there is the auto that runs on compressed air , where are they? That could be THE answer.

anonymous coward says:

Imagine sitting on the freeway talking to a DellAuto customer support technician in Bangalore telling you to insert your DellAuto Restore CD (which is at home) because your car’s drive crashed and you need a clean install.

After two hours of reinstall hell, your car still doesn’t work, and then you find that the problem is actually something that the DellAuto tech never mentioned and that could be fixed in five minutes…

You never know says:

Any car that runs on a renewable resource gets my vote. Be it methanol, ethanol, hydrogen or electricity, All can be produced in country, and exported. The big pulse it will provide jobs for our people, stimulate our economy, and not use up resources we no longer have an abundance of. If I have to pay $3 or more a unit for energy I would prefer it stay here and not spent over seas.

Shaine Mata (user link) says:

Missing the point

I don’t think it was intended to imply that cars would run like computers. I think the point is that cars could be built from components.

You could, for example, get a Toyota engine, GMC chassis, and a custom body. If automakers built cars with standardized components, they could sell pre-built autos or sell you the parts to make your own in combination with parts from other automakers.

Thus, this story points out a step in that direction.

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