We have the official confirmation from Elon Musk about the $35,000 Tesla Model 3 with 200-mile range to arrive in 2017. We are at the tipping point of the mass market for Electric Cars now. Developments in Asia with Foxconn will bring the Lithium race into another gear and after the largest ever Lithium M&A deal major industry players are taking the seats in the front rows of the spectacular show to participate in the dramatic transformation of our society into the 21st century New Industrial Revolution with Electric rEvolution. It will affects all of us, some will be fighting it with the new wars, others will embrace it and make it happen.
Rare Earth elements or metals (REEs) are essential elements in clean-energy technologies. In recent years REEs have received plenty of coverage concurrent to growing environmental concerns. The rare-earth topic is no longer obscure and discussions regarding future REE shortages are beginning to emerge in mainstream media. Today international governments and organizations are pushing efforts to develop solutions to the rising scarcity threat, one of the biggest being that only 1 percent of critical materials are currently being recycled (they are difficult to recover economically), and so the race to find viable sources for REEs is on.
The Green Technology Industry is the largest end-user of REEs and is continually growing with the development of electric vehicles and green energy electrical generators; wind turbines and solar panels. According to the American Chemistry Society, Lithium is among these endangered metals. China, which controls 97% of global rare earth production, has made significant investments in securing their supply. One excellent example of this is the recent news from China based Ganfeng Lithium Corp. regarding their 15million yuan (US $2.4 million) investment into International Lithium’s Blackstairs Pegmatite project in Ireland and the Mariana Brine project in Argentina for the 2014 budget year. Ganfeng Lithium Corp. is one of the largest lithium product suppliers in the world supplying ILC with both capital and expertise and providing the global green technology industry with a new potential source of lithium supply. Read more."
Tesla revealed this week that its more pedestrian vehicle will be called the Model 3. That is expected to retail for about $35,000. We asked an expert about the prospects of a "cheap" Tesla.
by Brooke Crothers
What happens when a much more affordable Tesla arrives? An expert offered his thoughts to CNET.
Tesla said this week that its $35,000 entry, due in 2017 (or thereabouts), will be called the Model 3. One of the keys to making a cheaper Tesla is battery technology, as CEO Elon Musk pointed out to Auto Express earlier in the week.I chatted with John Voelcker, senior editor for High Gear Media, which publishesGreen Car Reports, in the wake of the news. He offered insight into what impact a lower-priced Tesla might have.Q: Tesla has sold very pricey cars to date. How might a $35,000 Model 3 shake things up?John Voelcker: A list price of $35,000 is a very nice place to be as compared to the current Model S, which is selling well for its category, but this is a category that starts at $70,000 and goes up to six figures. So, if Tesla can in fact introduce the Model 3, as it's now called, at a base price of $35,000 with a 200-mile electric range, that will take them into a whole new order of magnitude of volume.Why can't they do that today?Voelcker: Lithium ion battery costs need to come down (as one salient reason), both through advances in technology and higher volumes. They made the Roadster, which was a two-seat performance car. They made 2,500 of those. They've made more than 50,000 of their Model S sedans. Once you get into volume manufacturing, like the Model 3 that Musk described, then you're talking not about tens of thousands of cars per year but, ideally, hundreds of thousands of cars per year. That battery production capacity doesn't exist. That's where the gigafactory comes in. Musk said we can't do the Model 3 unless we have that factory.What do you attribute the American public's fascination with the Tesla to? This could trigger a sales surge, correct? It seems to me that a lot of people are waiting on the sidelines for a more affordable Tesla.Voelcker: Tesla has had an ability to market itself without actually paying for much marketing and attract tens of thousands of devoted followers. It has grabbed the imagination of the technology-following public and the car-buying public in a way that I don't think [has] very many other parallels. If the company can deliver a stylish design with a 200-mile range or greater and can use the existing supercharger network of recharging sites all over the country -- and the world -- at a price of $35,000, I suspect there are a large number of people who will line up to buy one.That said, Tesla may not be as alone offering such a car as they have been. [Others] could produce a car as good and as stylish. By the time the Model 3 begins to be delivered to customers you will have vehicles with similar specifications both from Nissan -- which has sold more electric cars than anyone else in the world -- and GM, who has a 200-mile electric car [in the works].The fact the Tesla even exists is a bit a of miracle, don't you think? Voelcker: When's the last time a group of entrepreneurs started a car company from the ground up, whose brand is still with us today? The answer to that question: 1924. Cnet."