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Tesla Battery Supply Deal for Think Scuttled

Tesla Motors has opted not to pursue the development of battery packs for Think Global, according to Darryl Siry, Tesla Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Service.

In May, Tesla Energy Group, a newly-formed division of Tesla Motors, announced an agreement to supply Think Global with lithium-ion battery packs (derived from Tesla’s battery pack design for the Tesla Roadster) for the Th!nk City cars. That supply agreement covered the development and delivery of battery packs starting in December 2007 and continuing through 2008.

After Michael Marks became CEO of Tesla Motors, one of the first actions he took was to inform Think that we would not pursue the development of battery packs for them at that time because we had to be focused entirely on our own vehicle programs. We hope to work with Think in the future, but for now it is important that we stay focused on our own vehicle programs.

—Darryl Siry

In October, Think Global announced it had selected EnerDel as the supplier of choice for prismatic large format Li-ion batteries that will be used to power its Th!nk City electric vehicles. (Earlier post.)

To counter a growing perception that problems with the Tesla battery pack were behind the delays in delivering the electric Roadster—and Think’s shift to EnerDel—Siry wrote that:

The primary cause of our delay has been and continues to be issues with durability and reliability of the transmission, as we have reported before.



Fred; while I cannot attest to the marketing campaign Tesla is using I can commend them for putting money where most people's mouths are. They seem to be demonstrating that a handful of enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and engineers can build a viable, albeit expensive, EV from shelf components. That and other exigencies has kicked up the heat on major auto manufacturers to build Li-Ion PHEVs with a commitment like never before.

Without pre-publicity and some market "spin" - the pressure on auto makers would not be so great. Turning an oil tanker around mid-route is no easy task. I commend the team at Tesla, their VCs and at manufacturers they have put heat under to build viable EVs, PHEVs and alt fuel vehicles.

We all now know that viable alternative energy vehicles can and will be built. The first generation of new EVs may not be superlative but they will lead the way to better products. If it takes "spin" to get there - I'm happy to take a few turns.



I am with you! I do like Tesla for what they are doing and you will not find a more EV fanatic than me out there. I am only suggesting that instead of running PR spins all the times, they focus on getting the roadster on the road once and for all. I am also aware that delays happen; no way around it, but then simplify and become more nimble in the product execution plan.


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