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Electric Vehicles -Four Weddings and a Divorce as Auto Heavyweights jostle for position

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Electric Vehicles is becoming the most active segment of the Green Industry in recent times with Alliances,Acquisitions as well as Breakups . Global Auto Heavyweights along with numerous small startups  like Fisker,Coda,Tesla are jostling for position in this new “Hot segment” of the Auto industry.The past few months have seen furious activity with a mish-mash of tie-ups and stake sales among these companies.

Four Weddings and a Divorce

Tesla got a $50 million cash infusion from Toyota alongwith an unused plant.Tesla which is planning to launch an EV Sedan, already has an existing tie up with Daimler which bought an equity stake earlier.Daimler is also tying up with Chinese EV giant BYD auto to start a 50:50 JV to produce Electric Vehicles in China . BMW is already working with Brilliance China Automotive to produce Electric Vehicles in China by 2013.Honda and Coda Automotive are also looking to China for Battery Technology to fuel their Electric Vehicle ambitions.Indian utility vehicle maker Mahindra bought a majority stake in small EV producer Reva.General Motors which had a technology tie-up with Reva to produce Electric Vehicles in India canceled its tie-up and will now go it alone.Not to be outdone , Battery Technology is also seeing Increased Competition with Battery makers tying up with Electric Vehicle Producers.

GM to develop electric car in U.S.; ends Reva tie-up – Reuters

General Motors will develop electric car technology for the Indian market in its home town of Detroit, after ending a partnership with Indian firm Reva, the head of its operations in the country said.GM India, which had originally planned to launch an electric version of the Chevrolet Spark, will now offer the hybrid electric vehicle Chevrolet Volt in the fourth quarter of 2010, after its global launch in November, Karl Slym said.

India’s Reva had entered into an agreement with General Motors India last year to develop electric cars in the country, including an electric version of the Chevrolet Spark.”Now with Reva changing its ownership we saw no particular value in doing this experiment,” Slym said.Slym said the decision to end the agreement with Reva was taken around two months ago as GM had a parallel program to develop electric vehicles globally.

Buffett’s BYD, Daimler Set Up Electric-Car Venture – Reuters

Daimler, the world’s second-biggest manufacturer of luxury cars, and BYD will invest 600 million yuan ($88 million) in the 50-50 partnership in China, the Stuttgart, Germany-based carmaker said in an e-mailed statement today.

Part-owned by Buffett’s Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire Hathaway Inc., BYD entered the automobile market in 2003 and began mass production of the world’s first plug-in, gasoline- electric hybrid vehicle five years later. The manufacturer, which is also owned by China’s richest man Wang Chuanfu, markets the popular F3 compact, China’s best-selling car last year.BYD plans to start selling the E6 electric car in the U.S. this year and in Europe next year. The company said on May 20 that it has an agreement to deliver at least 560 E6s to a taxi operator in Shenzhen in 2010, with 40 of the cars already in use as taxis in the city, as part of an effort to encourage individual purchases. The company signed an agreement with Volkswagen AG in 2009 to explore cooperation in areas including hybrid cars and lithium-battery electric models.


Sneha Shah

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