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Tesla, Panasonic officially partner up for Gigafactory

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    Tesla, Panasonic officially partner up for Gigafactory
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Tesla delivers 7,579 Model S EVs in Q3, maybe picks Reno, NV for Gigafactory

There Are Now 156 Superchargers Installed Worldwide

Posted Jul 31st 2014 7:30PM

Tesla

When it comes to describing its situation, not even Bob Ross could paint a prettier picture than Tesla Motors. The California automaker has had a good few months and announced today that it delivered 7,579 Model S EVs in the second quarter of 2014. That's the most the company has ever delivered in a three-month period, reflecting an expanded market that now spans new countries in Asia and Europe. Tesla also built 8,763 vehicles in that time frame, another record, thanks to getting more cells from battery supplier Panasonic, and says it remains "on track for more than 35,000 deliveries in 2014."

Alongside the earlier announcement about the official Gigafactory announcement with Panasonic, the automaker also said today that it has broken ground on a "potential" location in Reno, NV, – validating earlier speculation – while it is still looking at locations in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas. Work at the site has mostly stopped for now, however, as the company doesn't want to begin pouring cement until state incentives are in place and a "compelling deal for all parties" has been struck. The ball in Nevada, according to CEO Elon Musk, is now in the hands of the state's governor and legislature.

The 7,579 vehicles delivered last quarter continue an upward-moving trend line. In all of 2012, Tesla sold 2,650 Model S EVs. For 2013, the company delivered 4,900 vehicles in Q1, 5,150 in Q2, 5,500 in Q3 and 6,892 in Q4. In 2014, Tesla sold 7,535 Model S EVs in Q1. Add in the 7,579 from Q2 this year, and you've got 15,100 or so, meaning that Tesla needs the next two quarters to average out at around 10,000 each in order to hit the 35,000-vehicle goal. Tesla expects 2015 to be even better, saying that the rate at which its expanding means that its, "annualized delivery rate should exceed 100,000 units by the end of next year." In other words, deliveries for Q4 2015 should be around 25,000 EVs.

A few other tidbits from the shareholder letter and today's conference call:
  • Tesla had a loss of $62 million last quarter.
  • The company's Fremont, CA factory is being upgraded to make the Model S and X on the same line and will be up and running next week.
  • Speaking of next week, the first operational Model X Alpha prototypes should be ready by next week.
  • Tesla expects North America to continue to contribute strong demand for its EVs, despite the Model S being available here for several years now. The company says, "we believe [North America and Europe] remain under-penetrated. We expect demand to continue to increase worldwide as we continue to grow our customer support infrastructure and broaden the appeal of our products, and as consumer awareness improves."
  • Model S drivers have driven 394 million miles in their fancy EVs so far.
  • Musk addressed the issue of drivetrain replacement, saying many early swaps were a result of problem misdiagnosis, including a couple performed on the vehicle belonging to Edmunds. A problem in some early drive units are being fixed with a 50-cent shim. Chief Financial Officer Deepak Ahuja said that from a cost perspective, "impact on warranty reserves have not been significant."
  • A couple of times during the call with financial analysts, allusions were made to developments that are currently not on the radar. Apparently, Tesla is "not showing all our cards" and capital expenditures and R&D numbers are better than appear because "there are things you don't know about." Hmm.
Read more below or click through our gallery of the actual letter.
Related GalleryTesla Factory
Tesla FactoryTesla FactoryTesla FactoryTesla FactoryTesla FactoryTesla FactoryTesla FactoryTesla Factory

Image Credit: Paul Sakuma / AP

Edmunds' long-term Tesla Model S has been wonderful, woeful

Posted Jul 31st 2014 7:00PM

Tesla Model S

We generally don't report on other outlets' long-term model tests, but Edmunds just completed a 17-month ownership experience with a 2013 Tesla Model S. It's just too interesting not to share.

The site bought a 2013 Model S Performance model for the added range of its 85-kilowatt-hour battery and tossed on a good variety of options for a total price of $105,005, including a wall charger. In terms of driving the electric hatchback, the folks there seemed to love it. There were a few minor gripes, but for the most part it offered sufficient driving range, plenty of space and generally good quality.

However, the ownership experience was hardly flawless. The journalists there were never quite able to hit the Model S' promised range of 265 miles, with a best real-world result of 230.4 miles during their ownership. Also, while they had it, the Model S had a rash of unscheduled trips for service – seven times – and their Tesla left them stranded by the side of the road once.

These weren't just some minor quibbles, either. The drive unit was replaced three times and the main battery once. That massive center info screen had to be manually reset nine times and was completely replaced once, as well. Edmunds writers forgave some of the faults, though. Their Tesla was an early production model, and some of the fixes were a result of technical service bulletins. They never had to pay for any of it, other than buying a new set of tires.

While this is all anecdotal evidence based on just a single Model S, it doesn't make the Model S sound like an easy car to live with all the time. You can get the full skinny on the love/loathe affair directly from Edmunds by clicking here.

News Source: Edmunds

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Drew Phillips / AOL

Recharge Wrap-up: India plans to subsidize EVs, Ultra Low Emissions Zone in London

Posted Jul 31st 2014 5:56PM

london mayor boris johnson range extended electric metrocab

India is set to heavily subsidize conversion to electric vehicles with its National Electric Mobility Mission Plan. The government will be providing automakers with cash to create electric cars. It will help customers pay for new electric vehicles, and a 35 percent subsidy for EVs and 25 percent incentive for plug-in hybrids has been proposed. The government will also subsidize kits to convert existing internal combustion vehicles to electric. Plans are in place to install chargers in hope of convincing drivers to make the switch to electric. The goal is to get 6 to 7 million electric vehicles on India's roads by 2020. Read more at The Asian Age.

The mayor of London wants to create an Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in central London by 2020, he announced during the Corporation of the City of London Air Quality reception. To fight air pollution in the city, Mayor Boris Johnson is trying to convince the government to keep diesel vehicles not meeting the Euro 6 emissions standard, as well as gasoline vehicles registered before 2006, out of the district unless they pay 10 pounds to enter. He also wants to convince the European Commission to adopt his plan to limit NO2 emissions ten years ahead of the 2030 target. Read more about the ULEZ at the BBC's website.

Metrocab showed off its Range Extended Electric taxi during reception. As part of the ULEZ plan, all taxis would all be zero-emissions capable and only use electric power in the ULEZ. "The aim is to have 7,000 zero-emissions-capable taxis on the streets of London by 2020," Johnson says. Of the new Metrocab developed by Frazer-Nash and Ecotive, Lord Mayor Alderman Fiona Woolf says, "It's superb, an absolutely beautiful machine and a masterpiece of British engineering. Totally silent, it's the Rolls Royce of taxis and can do 100 mpg." Read more in the press release below.

News Source: The Asian Age, BBC, Metrocab

Image Credit: Metrocab

Infiniti to get Leaf-based electric sedan after all

Posted Jul 31st 2014 5:45PM

Infiniti LE

Infiniti suffered a huge blow a few weeks ago when CEO Johan de Nysschen jumped ship after two years on the job to take the helm at Cadillac. As boss, he spearheaded change within the Japanese luxury brand and was among the biggest champions of the Q50 Eau Rouge. However, the company is far from sunk. Plans put in place prior to de Nysschen leaving are still on the table, according to Nissan product planner Andy Palmer to Automotive News, and that could mean a rosy future for the once AWOL LE sedan (pictured above) and other models.

Back in 2012, Infiniti promised that it would have the LE on the market as a premium electric sedan by 2014. It was supposed to share the battery pack with the Nissan Leaf but with a more powerful, 134-horsepower motor. But have you seen one on the road recently? The luxury EV was eventually shelved, but de Nysschen pledged the idea wasn't dead. Maybe now is a better time for it. According to Automotive News, the LE is rescheduled to launch in 2017 or 2018. The latest version would use the Leaf platform but with a more potent, next-gen battery to give it a range over 90 miles.

Of course, the LE isn't the only thing on the way from Infiniti; it also appears to be planning a two-pronged approach for small cars. Palmer recently tweeted that the company would build the forthcoming Q30 hatchback and QX30 crossover in the UK in 2015. Additionally, the automaker is firing up a new joint venture factory in Mexico with Mercedes-Benz; building compact models there starting in 2017. According Automotive News, the Mexican-built models will be more US-focused while the UK-built ones will appeal more to Europeans.

Finally, it looks like de Nysschen's plan for a flagship Infiniti sedan may still see the road too around 2018. It will be called either the Q80 or Q90 and use four-door coupe styling with a turbocharged V6 boasting about 600 horsepower, according to AN. For a guy who is no longer with the company, he appears to still be casting a long shadow over its future products.

News Source: Automotive News - sub. req.

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 AOL

Hyundai readying Juke rival with 'edgy, dynamic styling' for 2017

Posted Jul 31st 2014 4:58PM

2011 Hyundai Curb Concept

Love it or hate it, the Nissan Juke has drawn attention to itself and to its maker. Little wonder, then, that Hyundai wants to follow a similar formula.

According to our compatriots over at Edmunds, Hyundai has a whole raft of new products in the works – as you'd expect from the world's fourth-largest automaker – including replacements for the current Tucson and Elantra sometime next year, but also a subcompact crossover to target the Juke, not to mention tiny softroading rivals like the forthcoming Chevrolet Trax. Details at this point are few and far between, but it appears Hyundai is committed to making it as zany as the Nissan it will target. The Korean automaker revealed the Curb concept (pictured above) along similar lines at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show.

Hyundai Motor America CEO Dave Zuchowski tells Edmunds not to expect a mini Tuscon, but to "Think of maybe something that looks like a Juke or something that has edgy, dynamic styling." Considering how off-the-map Hyundai went with the Veloster and its unconventional array of doors, we know the Korean automaker can think outside the box for this Gen-Y crossover. Whether the edge tiny CUV market has space for more than the Juke, however, is another matter. One way or another, look for the tiny Korean crossover to arrive sometime in 2017.
Related GalleryHyundai Curb Concept
Hyundai Curb ConceptHyundai Curb ConceptHyundai Curb ConceptHyundai Curb ConceptHyundai Curb ConceptHyundai Curb ConceptHyundai Curb ConceptHyundai Curb Concept

News Source: Edmunds

8 automakers, 15 utilities collaborate on open smart-charging for EVs

Posted Jul 31st 2014 3:57PM



We're going to lead with General Motors here. GM is one of eight automakers working with 15 utilities and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) at developing a "smart" plug-in vehicle charging system. Why did we start with GM? Because it's the first automaker whose press release we read that mentioned the other seven automakers. Points for sharing.

For the record, the collaboration also includes BMW, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Chrysler, Mitsubishi and Ford. The utilities include DTE Energy, Duke Energy, Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric.

The idea is to develop a so-called "demand charging" system in which an integrated system lets the plug-ins and utilities communicate with each other so that vehicle charging is cut back at peak hours, when energy is most expensive, and ramped up when the rates drop. Such entities say there's a sense of urgency to develop such a system because the number of plug-in vehicles on US roads totals more than 225,000 today and is climbing steadily.

There's a lot of technology involved, obviously, but the goal is to have an open platform that's compatible with virtually any automaker's plug-in vehicle. No timeframe was disclosed for when such a system could go live but you can find a press release from EPRI below.

News Source: EPRI, BMW, Honda, General Motors

Image Credit: General Motors

Tesla selling like gangbusters in China

Posted Jul 31st 2014 1:57PM

Earns Tesla

"Will it play in Peoria?" asks the age-old question about how Broadway shows would be received in Middle America. Well, apparently Tesla Motors plays well in Beijing. It's part of Tesla chief Elon Musk's grand plan, of course.

The California-based maker of the battery-electric Model S has delivered about 1,000 of the vehicles in China since shipments started there in April, Bloomberg News says, citing Dougherty & Co. analyst Andrea James, Barclays Plc analyst Brian Johnson and Wedbush Securities analyst Craig Irwin. Tesla also started shipping its first right-had drive Model S sedans to the UK in June.

It is estimated that all those deliveries helped push Tesla's second-quarter global vehicle deliveries close to the 7,550 mark, which is more than the company forecast and would set a new quarterly record (Tesla's second-quarter results will be announced later today). It would also mark about a 45 percent jump from Tesla's 2Q sales a year ago.

The Model S is priced at about $120,000 US in China (the culprits include the top-of-the-line battery pack as standard equipment and steep taxes that the government charges on vehicle imports) but that hasn't swayed status-conscious buyers from footing the bill, apparently. Tesla declined to comment on the China sales estimate when contacted by AutoblogGreen but we may learn more later today.

News Source: Bloomberg News

Image Credit: Ng Han Guan / AP Photo

MyCarma surpasses crowdfunding goal of $25,000

Posted Jul 31st 2014 11:54AM



MyCarma, you had us at the "electric fist bump." The smartphone app maker's myEV "electric-vehicle logger" app recently set out on a crowd-funding campaign to raise $25,000 on Indiegogo. And the outfit beat the deal by about $3,400, getting cash from 205 backers in the process.

myEV is now set to debut in October. It can track energy use and state-of charge on 'nearly all' production plug-in vehicles (it'll be compatible with 33 models when it launches in the fall). The smartphone app reveals a ton of data related to battery-charging levels and energy consumption. And the product even has a social-media element by letting people compare energy consumption of their plug-ins and theoretically brag about it.

The product will also include a window sticker with a QR code. That code lets other plug-in drivers notify you – in a "privacy-protected way," of course – to ask if they can unplug your vehicle from a charging station. That's where the "electric fist bump" comes in. Or maybe another gesture if you say they can't unplug you. But we'll try to stay positive here.

In addition to those fist bumps, backers of myEV will get to buy the product at a discounted rate. Check out MyCarma's blog post announcing the campaign's success below, and link to a video about the product below.

News Source: MyCarma via Transport Evolved

Consumer Reports calls on Toyota to recall older Camry Hybrid models

Posted Jul 31st 2014 10:01AM

Toyota Camry Hybrid

Consumer Reports is calling on Toyota to issue an official recall of 178,000 Camry Hybrid sedans from model years 2007 to 2011, claiming that a pair of issues affecting the brakes are so dire they demand a more official action than what the company has undertaken so far.

The first issue, as CR tells it, relates to a clog in the brake-fluid reservoir filter, which if left untreated could lead to a number of dashboard warning lights. The "front brake assist could be temporarily lost," too, according to Toyota's own notice to dealers and owners of affected models. The company has issued a "service campaign" that will fit a new brake-fluid reservoir free of charge to any affected model brought to a dealer by June 30, 2017.

The other issue plaguing the fuel-sipping Camrys is being treated via a warranty extension, and focuses on the ABS brake actuator, a particularly expensive (both in terms of parts, at $1,000, and labor, around $3,000) item that is necessary for the anti-lock braking to function. There's also a related issue with the brake pedal's "stroke sensor," which like the actuator can lead to a very difficult-to-depress brake pedal. The warranty extension increases the coverage of the actuator to 10 years or 150,000 miles (whichever comes first).

While both the service campaign and the warranty extension were prompted by a number of complaints and an investigation from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, only the 2007 and 2008 models were investigated. Toyota broadened the scope of the issues, including 2009 to 2011 models, when it announced the service campaign and warranty extension. Despite the company's actions, CR claims that as of this writing, the 2007 and 2008 Camry Hybrids have still managed to rack up 269 complaints, with 14 reported crashes and five injuries.

CR ends its bit, arguing that the nature of these issues and the effects they can have on the way a vehicle behaves warrant an even greater action, saying:

"We think Toyota's proper action would be a recall. Greatly diminished brake function is a serious safety concern. A recall is more comprehensive and widely published than a mere service campaign, and owners don't have to wait for a problem to happen before qualifying for the repair. Besides that, unlike extended warranties, recalls don't expire and are performed proactively."

Thoughts? If NHTSA didn't demand a recall, do you still think the issues are dire enough to demand one? Could (or should) Toyota satisfy CR's demands by stepping up the information campaign regarding the warranty extension and service campaign? Have your say in Comments.
Related Gallery2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid
2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid

News Source: Consumer Reports

Tesla, Panasonic officially partner up for Gigafactory

Posted Jul 31st 2014 8:29AM

Tesla Gigafactory rendering

The first of perhaps 'hundreds' of gigafactories is now one step closer to reality: Tesla and Panasonic have announced their official agreement to work together on the gigafactory. The two companies have worked together for many years on electric vehicles, but this new deal takes the partnership to a whole new level.

The basic gist, since the agreement itself has not been released, is that Tesla will take care of the exterior (the "land, buildings and utilities") while Panasonic will pay for the machines inside in order to, "manufacture and supply cylindrical lithium-ion cells" that Tesla will then use to, you know, build battery packs. Panasonic's machines will take up half the space while a network of as-yet unnamed suppliers will be involved in the other half, according to the press release announcing the deal. Read it below.

There's been lots of speculation as to where the Gigafactory will be built, but the exact location probably won't be revealed until later this year, so don't expect any battery packs from the Gigafactory to be coming any time soon. That's why Panasonic is still going to be building Tesla cells in Japan for the time being.

As previously announced, the Gigafactory is expected to make batteries for around 500,000 EVs a year as well as more for stationary storage needs. That means 35 GWh worth of cells and 50 GWh worth of packs each year by 2020. We expect more information to trickle out today along with Tesla's quarterly earnings.

Chevy Volt 'acceptable,' Nissan Leaf 'poor' in new IIHS safety tests

Batteries In Both Plug-in Vehicles Considered Safe

Posted Jul 30th 2014 7:44PM



Ford C-Max Hybrid also scored "acceptable" rating.

With US Nissan Leaf sales up almost 30 percent during the first half of the year, the only thing that might be able to stop the battery-electric vehicle is a good, stiff barrier. Unfortunately, thing's aren't always pretty when that happens in the real world, according to new tests from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Things with the Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in are a little bit rosier, though.

The two plug-in vehicles were part of a batch of a dozen vehicles that just went through the IIHS's "small overlap" test, in which the driver's side front corner of the vehicle is crashed into a rigid barrier at 40 miles per hour. Out of the dozen, only the Mini Cooper Countryman was given a "good" rating. Five vehicles, including the Volt and the Ford C-Max Hybrid, were rated "acceptable," two were "marginal" and two, including the Leaf, were "poor."

Plug-in vehicles are unique in the crash-test context because of their relatively large battery sizes. In the Volt's case, the driver had a "low risk" of injury, said the IIHS. But the Leaf's crash substantially pushed back the instrument panel and steering column, creating a scenario where the driver was "likely" to sustain leg injuries. The batteries in both the Leaf and the Volt passed safety tests specifically targeted at things like thermo and electrical properties and overall integrity.

"Nissan is proud of the Leaf's 'Good' rating in all other IIHS tests, a 4-star NCAP rating from NHTSA and its IIHS Top Safety Pick rating in all previous years since the car's release," the company said in an e-mail sent to AutoblogGreen. "As for the performance of the 2014 Leaf in the 'small overlap frontal test,' Nissan will continue to review these and other results from the IIHS 'small overlap frontal test' as we seek opportunities for improvement."

Check out the IIHS's press release and small car crash-test video footage below.

News Source: IIHS via Hybrid Cars, CNN

Image Credit: IIHS

Elon Musk to get spot on The Simpsons

Posted Jul 30th 2014 6:33PM

Tesla Motors IPO

It's hard to believe that The Simpsons is moving into its 26th season, but there's good news for auto enthusiasts, especially of the EV variety. The show's executive producer, Al Jean, confirmed on Twitter that Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk would have a guest spot on the show in the upcoming season. Even better, it sounds like a pretty significant role.


According to Automotive News, Jean first announced the episode during a panel at San Diego Comic-Con. It's titled "The Musk Who Fell to Earth" and has Mr. Burns somehow losing all of his money to the Tesla boss. With his name prominently in the title, it gives the indication that Elon's role is going to be a lot bigger than just muttering a few lines in one scene and then walking away.

This is technically Musk's second appearance on The Simpsons. An earlier episode featured Elon Musk as a fragrance of the fictional ASK Body Spray. Tesla put up a screenshot of it on their blog and said, "You know you're famous when you get featured on the Simpsons." Apparently, the CEO is an even bigger deal now with this guest-starring gig.

Of course, The Simpsons has made at least two, great contributions to the automotive world – the Homer and the Canyonero. Our only hope is that Musk can somehow feature EV versions of them both in his episode.

News Source: Twitter, Automotive News - sub. req., Tesla Motors

Image Credit: Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV sales reach 33,000 worldwide

High Demand From Europe, Japan Mean No US Version For Now

Posted Jul 30th 2014 5:27PM

Plug In 2014: Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

It can be difficult to see from the US, where the Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid is not yet available, but the all-wheel drive SUV is a big hit in Europe and Japan. In fact, we learned at the Plug In 2014 Conference in San Jose, CA this week that Mitsubishi has sold over 33,000 copies of the PHEV around the world.

The breakdown is that Mitsubishi has delivered 15,000 units in Japan and 18,000 in Europe. Fuminori Kojima, Mitsubishi Motors North America's senior manager of incentives, told AutoblogGreen that the country with the highest sales rate in Europe is Holland, with about 6,000 units sold that thanks in part to generous incentives for plug-in hybrids there. The Euro-spec version on hand in San Jose has three regen levels (the normal D mode, plus B1 and B2). We got to take a spin around the block, but the battery was mostly depleted (it was a popular attraction in the Ride & Drive) and so we were driving on gas.

In the gallery from Plug In 2014, you'll note that the Outlander PHEV requires at least 95 octane (RON) unleaded fuel, which is 91 octane (AKI) premium fuel in the US. We don' know what the US version will need, but we've heard it will be "completely different." The Outlander has a 12-kWh battery and should have an EV range of around 30 miles. Whether or not it will have a CHAdeMO fast-charging port in the US is still undecided, as is the question of whether it will have a 3.3 or 6.6 kW onboard charger.

The timeline Kojima gave for the Outlander's US arrival was October or November of 2015, since the SUV still needs to be tested and homologated for the US, Kojima said, but the real problem is that Mitsubishi can't build enough. "The battery production capacity is limited," he said. "So that's why, [the] first [focus is the] domestic market and Europe showed more demand." As as an example, he mentioned not only the incentives but also said that the charging infrastructure is more built up in Europe. "We'd like to have it [in the US ] as soon as possible, of course," he said.

According to numbers from the European group Transport And Environment (see press release and sales chart below), overall plug-in vehicle sales have been doubling each year since the new breed was introduced in 2010. Last year, almost 50,000 plug-in vehicles were sold in the EU, with the Renault Zoe EV, Outlander PHEV and Volvo V60 Plug-in at the top of the pack.

News Source: Mitsubishi

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Sebastian Blanco / AOL

Icon Helios streamliner with Tesla bones is a dream from which we don't want to wake

Posted Jul 30th 2014 3:33PM

Icon Helios Streamliner

Icon Helios StreamlinerWhen it comes to truly, genuinely interesting automotive design and craftsmanship, Icon is one of the finest outfits in the game. We've covered the company and its founder, Jonathan Ward, in the past, and have remarked on just how fully and intricately done the automotive art it turns out is. The company's next big thing, though, is a far cry from the modified Land Rovers and Chevy Thriftmaster pickups.

The sketches you see above are of the Helios, Icon's latest mad creation. While still remarkably early in the planning phases, it's safe to say that the streamlined, Art Deco-inspired, boat-tailed (every vehicle should be boat-tailed) coupe is the company's single most ambitious vehicle yet.

"Although almost all of our projects thus far have been recreations inspired by vintage vehicles, I am fascinated about the concept of revisiting history in our own way," Ward told Jalopnik staffer and former Autoblog editor Damon Lavrinc. "The most interesting way to do this is by celebrating a particular era of design, or design language."

Technically speaking, the era that Ward is referring to never existed.

It's a world where there was no Black Friday, or Great Depression or second world war. Instead, man's fascination with aircraft and aerodynamics soldiered on untarnished by war and poverty, translating to four-wheeled creations so extreme they'd make the radical, rocket-inspired designs of the 1950s blush.

It is a stunning concept as a simple vehicle – you could drop this onto a Honda Civic platform and it'd still be a marvel. But it's Ward's plan for a powertrain that ups the already ample dose of outlandishness inherent in the Helios.

"In keeping with the founding premise at ICON, of fusing vintage design with the best modern drive experience and technology, I can think of no better platform to build this on, than the Tesla," Ward told Jalopnik.

In particular, Ward is targeting the upcoming Model X.

"I want to take the new Model X platform – so selectable AWD, 380-mile range, pure electric – and fuse it with this lost language," Ward said, adding that he's actively trying to score a meeting with Tesla founder Elon Musk and that he "will move mountains to figure out how to get [it] built."

Here's hoping that he can make that happen, because the automotive world sorely needs something this wild, this extreme and this utterly, utterly breathtaking.

You can expand the images above or head over to Jalopnik for a closer look at the Helios. After that, be sure to visit the Comments. We really want to hear from you on this one.

News Source: Jalopnik

Image Credit: Icon

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