Here’s the cleantech stories we’re following today on the GreenBeat:
We read a lot of stuff about green cars and, lately, most of it’s about electric cars.
Tesla has entered into a $60 million agreement to develop a powertrain system for the electrified Toyota RAV4, which is slated to go on sale in 2012.
Here’s our roundup of this week’s tech business news. First, here are the most popular stories VentureBeat published in the last seven days:
France’s second-largest solar power producer, Solaire, has raised $111.4 million in financing to build three solar plants with 20 megawatts of capacity near the city of Grenoble. The country is one of the fastest-growing markets in Europe, with capacity expected to double this year, driven in part by feed-in tariffs.
Despite the hype and the near-ubiquity of the Toyota Prius (pictured), most Americans remain leery of buying alternative-fuel vehicles. That’s probably because they don’t have the basic knowledge to understand it, according to a new survey conducted by Harris Interactive.
Energy management firm AlertMe raised $23 million in a second round of funding ahead of planned expansion into the U.S. market. The company has picked up a strategic investor and commercial partner in British Gas, the U.K.’s largest utility, which invested about $9 million for a 15.96 percent stake in the company. The two companies have signed a commercial agreement worth over $32 million that will roll out AlertMe’s products to the utility’s customers – the products allow consumers to monitor and manage energy consumption over cell phones and the internet. Investors in this round include VantagePoint Venture, Index Ventures and SET Venture Partners.
Energy and carbon management startup C3 is looking to raise almost $50 million in funding. The company was founded by Thomas Siebel, who sold Siebel Systems to Oracle for $5.9 billion in 2005, and counts Condeleeza Rice among its directors. It’s still in stealth mode, so details on the company and its products are scarce. Earth2tech notes it is entering crowded space — there are already 20 companies, including Hara, in the energy and carbon management space.
Tesla is recalling 439 Roadsters after a single incident in which a low-voltage auxiliary wire rubbed up against a carbon fiber panel in the car causing a short, smoke and “possible fire” behind the right front headlamp, the company reports.
Here’s our roundup of the week’s tech business news. First, the most popular stories VentureBeat published in the last seven days:
Investors putting money into cleantech have declined every quarter since early 2009, according to a report from Kachan & Co. Early-stage cleantech investment has especially suffered – according to Reuters, 20 percent of all cleantech venture capital went to early-stage and seed funding in the first half of 2010, down from 35 percent in 2007. China’s cleantech IPOs and M&A activity continues to lead the rest of the world by nearly fourfold.
Biofuels and biomaterials company Amyris’s stock held up in its first day of trading, closing last night at $16.50, up three percent from its opening price of $16. The stock peaked at $17.44, the San Francisco Chronicle writes. The report estimates about 2.4 million shares were traded yesterday. The stock was reportedly priced below range. Earth2Tech deemed the IPO a “decent exit” for investors, estimating the worth of investors stakes: $67 million for Kleiner Perkins, $62 million for Khosla Ventures. The company raised a total of $85 million.
Coda will be selling its $45,000 all-electric sedan in malls, a sales strategy the startup likens to Apple’s. The company plans to put up storefronts within 10 to 12 miles of its target demographic (stores are planned for Los Angeles and California’s Bay Area) and plans to retain control of the stores, servicing cars, proffering a “no-pressure” sales environment and offering the cars for sale without markup. The company made waves when it announced the high price tag earlier this week because the relatively unknown vehicle is priced well above the cost of the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt, which, like Coda’s sedan, will be released in December.
GE will team up with electric vehicle (EV) services startup Better Place to roll out a host of financing and technology initiatives aimed at encouraging widespread adoption of electric vehicles, the two companies announced today.
GE and electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure startup Better Place announced a partnership this morning. The collaboration will build compatibility between the products of the two companies, finance battery purchases abroad and push for greater EV adoption. The companies will help finance the purchase of 10,000 EV batteries in Israel and Denmark and will make GE’s WattStation charging stations (pictured) compatible with Better Place’s network of EV infrastructure. [Update: Check out our in-depth look at how the partnership will work.]
Electric cars may be coming out in force come December, but the spotlight is now on how their batteries will be resold and recycled several years down the road.
Electric car startup Coda has announced the pricing for its all-electric sedan, and it’s a big pill to swallow: $44,900, or $37,400 if you factor in a $7,500 tax incentive.
Ford announced today that it will partner with Texas utility giant Oncor to prepare the northern region of the state for electric vehicles (EVs). The collaboration will range from consumer education to working behind-the-scenes to gather data and prepare the grid for EVs.
Chevron Energy Ventures and Solar Millennium’s proposed $6 billion solar power plant – to be the largest in the world – has cleared approval from the California Energy Commission, according to a Reuters report. The Blythe, Calif. plant will have a capacity of 1,000 megawatts — big numbers in an industry where the largest plants are about one-third that size. Solar Millennium and Ferrostaal AG are working to develop the plant through a joint venture, Solar Trust of America. It’s unclear what role Chevron plays in the plant, according to the Reuters story. Southern California Edison has already entered a deal to purchase all of the energy generated from the first half of the project. The entire project consists of four 250 megawatt plants.
In its $9.4 million first-round financing, SG Biofuels has attracted the backing of a subsidiary of Koch Industries – the first time the oil and agriculture conglomerate has invested in biofuels. SG Biofuels makes fuel from the inedible seed of the jatropha plant (pictured). Oils produced from jatropha could be made for less than $1 a gallon, Earth2Tech reports.
A123 opens largest lithium-ion battery plant in the U.S. The Livonia, Mich. plant will expand the company’s manufacturing capabilities by up to 600 megawatt-hours per year, with the goal of ramping up to a total 760M megawatt-hours by next year’s end. The announcement comes one year after A123 was awarded a $249 million grant as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. As GigaOm notes, A123’s IPO last year opened at $17 per share but now trades at less than $10 per share. Another Michigan-based battery player, Sakti3, made news last week for winning a $3.2 million investment from the venture capital arm of GM.
Here’s a list of cleantech news we’re tracking today:
GM Ventures, the venture-capital arm of General Motors, announced today it has teamed up with Itochu Technology Ventures to invest $4.2 million into Sakti3, a lithium-ion battery developer.
Electric vehicles face a long road to progress when it comes to its lithium-ion batteries, IBM scientist Winfried Wilcke tells the New York Times. Advances in lithium-ion technology have been slow, says Wilcke, whose team is trying to develop a technology that would extend EVs’ range to 500 miles on a single charge (current EVs have a range of around 100 miles). He likens the long road ahead to “climbing Mount Everest.”
Here’s our roundup of the week’s tech business news. First, the most popular stories we published in the last seven days:
Nissan is taking orders today for the Leaf, the first mass-produced, all-electric vehicle, but it’s only offering up 200 cars for December delivery.
Ceremonial handshakes offer photo opportunities the world over, and so it is with the arrival of the first running Volt range-extended electric car in China.
Here’s the cleantech news we’re following today:
Here’s a roundup of the cleantech news we’re staying on top of this morning:
As reported earlier, Mercedes-Benz will be launching a new all-electric version of its entry-level A-Class model dubbed the A-Class E-Cell. This limited production model is being developed together with Tesla and will reportedly make its world debut next month at the 2010 Paris Auto Show.
The electric vehicle battery industry will cave in by 2017, according to a new report that predicts massive oversupply — basically too many batteries for too few cars on the road.
It’s official: Green car madness has taken over. After seeing more electric and hybrid vehicle startups than we could keep track of, we finally decided to start keeping count.
Google continues to look for electric and other alternatives to gas-guzzling, earth-warming cars.