Today in Cleantech

My Weekly Update that posted this morning deals with the question of how the U.S. government should deal with the aggressive (some would say illegal) support that the Chinese government is giving its green industries. So, it’s no coincidence that we hear today that GM and its Chinese partner SAIC Motor Corp. have signed an agreement to build and develop EVs in China. The Chevy Volt will go on sale in China this year but because it isn’t built in China, it’s ineligible for subsidies that would result in an almost 30 percent price reduction. China has given over $200 billion in subsidies to its green industries, more than double what the U.S. has given, and sooner or later the U.S. government is going to have to address Chinese trade and subsidy practices (and its own) surrounding cleantech, if it wants U.S. companies to remain competitive.

Electric car company Think rises from bankruptcy, again

Just how many times can a company emerge from the ashes of bankruptcy? For Norwegian electric car maker Think Automotive, it plans to rise from at least its third bankruptcy after announcing that Russian investor Boris Zingarevich has bought the assets of the company.

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?

Today in Cleantech

There’s a world of difference between an Apple store and your typical electronics retailer. Tesla seems intent on making the same distinction in the automotive arena.  Be sure to check out Josie Garthwaite’s Q&A with George Blankenship, Apple’s former retail chief who is now heading up Tesla’s retail efforts. And while it might be a while before we see his vision for Tesla dealerships, you can rest assured that EV shoppers will be in for a heck of a car buying experience.

Today in Cleantech

With all the hoopla surrounding Tesla’s IPO,  its rivals are being thrust into a big, shiny spotlight. Take Fisker, for instance. After getting the OK from a bankruptcy judge to by an old GM plant for its Project Nina, and amid reports that its backers have IPO hopes of their own, attention has turned to a curious countdown timer on the EV maker’s website.  What will Fisker unveil?  Hopefully, it’s more than a site redesign. (In fact, it better be.) I guess we’ll find out at midnight, Eastern time.

Auto Industry Revving for EV Renaissance, or Stuck in Neutral?

When the Big Three auto executives drove away from Capitol Hill last month, they left a trail of buzz about the electrification of the auto industry. GM’s plug-in hybrid Volt, which the company says will enter production in less than a year, and Chrysler’s proposed portfolio of electric vehicles assumed starring roles in the automakers’ pitch for federal aid. So it was little surprise that this week’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit kicked off with plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles in the spotlight. But has the Detroit show revealed an industry revving up for renaissance with its 2010 lineups, or stuck in neutral — years away from commercializing electric vehicle technology? Read More about Auto Industry Revving for EV Renaissance, or Stuck in Neutral?