Martin Eberhard, White Star Team, Tesla Motors
White Star is a follow-on vehicle design that will serve as a more general-purpose family sedan EV than the first tesla vehicle, the Roadster.
The White Star EV is expected to sell volumess of 10,000 to 20,000 annually due to the good performance and substantial EV range of the vehicle which should sell for a minimum of $50,000 US. The performance is expected to be in the category of BMW's 5 Series cars, which sell about 30,000 units annually in the US. This approach to the EV market is likely to appeal to more consumers who are environmentally conscious and are also able to afford a luxury sedan.
Individuals will benefit purchasing the vehicle and enjoying it for the superior ecological performance. Society will benefit the reduced specific generation of harmful emissions, including carbon dioxide. The economy will benefit making the realization that these clean technologies need not be a detrimental drag on the economy, but rather can be pursued for profit and lead to more competition and economies of scale that bring new jobs and higher tech jobs. The environment is the overall winner as a result of this project as the air is cleaned and renewable energy sources are harnessed to produce the energy for transportation.
The project is the first major EV effort in the US since the GM EV1 and Toyota RAV4 EV programs were abandoned in 2003. The predecessor, Roadster EV, is expected to have much lower sales volume and is not likely to directly impact the environment substantially. However, the excitement it generates will likely lead to increased interest in the White Star vehicle. The success of White Star would likely lead other entreprenuerial companies to engage in the production of EVs and may actually help re-establish the EV industry worldwide. The government of New Mexico, USA, is said to have placed soft orders for 100 White Star sedans. The success of White Star will also encourage more university research in electric propulsion as well as research among non-government organizations. The ultimate focus of the research is likely to be on harnessing renewable energy for transportation with EVs.
The project will raise the awareness of society so as to understand that clean energy can power a substantial portion of vehicle miles. People who choose to install clean energy technologies on their property will see first-hand how they can harness it for transportation and will be demonstrators for their friends and neighbors. Economies will benefit the sale of clean energy generation equipment which is purchased to provide electric propulsion energy for the White Star vehicles. The environment will benefit due to this increased harnessing of renewable energy.
The White Star project will decrease the specific consumption of fossil fuels, resulting in lower specific emission rates of carbon dioxide as well as lower emissions of other trace pollutants. This makes for a more sustainable transportation system. A change in propulsion system technologies will be good for the automobile industry which has not seen significant technology improvements for many years. This will enhance the economy, improving sustainability thereof. Finally, the social system will benfit a more continuous improvement in transportation efficiency as opposed to a crisis in oil production that can interrupt and endanger societies around the world.
These White Star vehicles can leverage either solar PV or wind energy. Tesla motors is investigating the production of solar charging stations that can be purchased for the vehicle. Customers who install either type of renewable energy equipment can enjoy the benefits of an extremely low level of environmental impact rarely experienced in history.