A few weeks back, we started noticing that some electric car companies were looking a little less strong in this sagging economy. Now, both Tesla Motors and Chinese automaker BYD have pushed back the introduction of two yet-to-be-seen electric vehicles.
Tesla has run into problems financing the factory for it's more-affordable, more-practical, but still extremely high-end $60,000 Model S sedan. The car's release date will be pushed back by at least six months, leaving us with no definite idea of when we'll see one in showrooms. The credit crisis, of course, is to blame. After a $100M round of financing closed, in part to build the Model S factory, bank collapses froze access to the funds, and Tesla has decided to "tread water" for the meantime, in order to (at least) stay afloat.
Chinese automaker, BYD, just weeks after saying they'd have their plug-in hybrid, the F3DM, available in the US and Europe by 2010, has announced that their postponing until 2011. No word on why, unfortunately, as the car is already being sold in China. Speculation abounds of course. Some say that the Chinese are hesitant to involve themselves in the voltatile and sagging markets of the US and Europe. It's also possible that they were looking to make a splash with their first press release and, having done it, figure no one will notice the delay. One could also guess that they've found a few problems with the car that they'll have to fix before showing the world how great a Chinese automaker can be.
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