Today in Cleantech

The market loved Tesla’s first quarter results, popping an immediate 10 percent yesterday. And it wasn’t the numbers anyone cared about it (Tesla’s losses widened versus 2011 and were worse than analysts’ predictions). What the market liked was the symbolic move from the company to deliver a small number of Model S sedans in June, a month ahead of schedule. Production delays are a constant fear and headache in the automotive industry as we’ve seen from Fisker, and that market likes to know that cars are going to get into customers’ hands. The other thing the market loves is unexpected future sources of potential revenue (good surprises). There were two bits here. 1) The deal to build a luxury EV for Mercedes. This could be huge, cementing Tesla as the supplier of choice for the luxury EV market. 2) Word that orders are strong out of Scandanavia. It may sound irrelevant but when we’re talking about production runs on the order of 10,000, surprising demand from a new market can impact the bottom line.

GM to launch all-electric city car

Looks like GM is planning to compete even more directly with Nissan’s all-electric LEAF. According to reports, GM is supposed to announce on Wednesday that it will start selling an all-electric city car, designed for urban markets in the U.S. and based on its minicar Spark.

GM backs solar car port maker Sunlogics

After investing in batteries, wireless tech, and electric car innovation, the venture arm of GM is now turning to solar car ports. On Thursday GM Ventures announced that it has invested $7.5 million into Sunlogics, a company that makes canopies covered in solar panels.

What’s the least annoying sound to slap on an electric car?

Many of the electric cars I’ve test driven are immediately surprising because of one thing: they’re often times completely silent. But now after some concerns that silent electric cars equal deadly electric cars, some auto makers are developing digital noises to add onto these battery-powered rides.

What utilities should know about electric cars

Utilities know by now that they need to adopt steps manage electricity supply and demand if electric cars become popular. The trick is to figure out what to do. The Electric Power Research Institute released a report on Tuesday that addresses the utility concerns.

Aptera raises $2.25M in debt, restructuring

Three-wheeled electric-car startup Aptera has already delayed the launch of its car and has discussed restructuring and moving its manufacturing out of California. But it looks like the company is not completely down for the count: According to a filing, Aptera has raised $2.5 million in debt.

Why lithium-ion batteries die so young

The death of a battery: We’ve all seen it happen. In phones, laptops, cameras and now electric cars, the process is painful and — if you’re lucky — slow. But why does this happen?