EV Obsession: Tesla to Drive Down Battery-Pack-Level Costs by 70% via Economies of Scale

Tesla will drive down battery-pack-level costs by 70% (down to around $38/kilowatt-hour) once the Gigafactory hits peak production via economies of scale, improved chemistry, supply-chain optimization, and other factors, according to Jefferies analyst Dan Dolev.

As part of his recent appraisal of the company, the analyst increased his price target for Tesla’s stock up to $365 a share -- largely owing to his analysis of the company’s battery business.

Quartz: Tesla Still Has to Beat Apple, Google, and the Entire Auto Industry to Win the Electric Car Market

Being first isn’t always best. Before Facebook went wide, there was MySpace. HD DVDs beat Blu-Ray discs to the market by a few months, but ended up being abandoned by the company that created them. Tesla has the first electric cars that are both desirable and well built -- the recent Model S variant broke Consumer Reports’ rating system -- and CEO Elon Musk plans to bring electric cars to the mass market. But it may not be the company to achieve that goal.

Apple is reportedly ramping up its electric-car team, and Google is plugging away with its self-driving car program. At the same time, almost every established car brand is working on (or has) an electric car. Could Tesla end up being another early market leader that winds up as a footnote in a rival’s history of success?

Bloomberg View: VW Scandal Will Speed Up Diesel's Demise

The Volkswagen emissions scandal has broader implications than the potential damage it can do to Europe's biggest carmaker. It's the result of Europe backing the wrong emissions-reducing technology on a regulatory level. There is now an opportunity to reverse that error and force the continent's сar manufacturers to concentrate on hybrid and electric vehicles. They've got the technology and resources to reshape the market.

The scandal is about VW's bad business decision to cheat testing equipment so it could rush new engine models to market in the U.S. It is also about a failure of regulatory oversight and testing technology. Most of all, however, it's about diesel engines: They were the ones performing so badly on the tests that VW engineers had to look for a workaround so marketers could trumpet the advent of "clean" diesel.

GeekWire: Bill Gates Speaks at U.S.-China Event in Seattle, Praises Clean Energy Partnership for TerraPower

Bill Gates wants to develop a better way to produce nuclear energy, and now a Chinese company is helping him do so.

The Microsoft co-founder spoke for a few minutes at an event on Tuesday in Seattle about TerraPower, a Bellevue-based company founded eight years ago that is developing a traveling wave reactor which would improve upon nuclear technologies created in the 1950s. Gates is chairman of the company, which employs 120 and originally spun out of Nathan Myhrvold’s Intellectual Ventures lab.

At an invite-only “Chinese Provinces-U.S. States Business Cooperation Seminar” in downtown Seattle on Tuesday, TerraPower signed a memorandum of understanding with China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) to work together on next-generation nuclear power plant technology.

TechCrunch: Meet Nuclear Power’s Comeback Kids

Leslie Dewan and Jacob Dewitt are part of a new generation of nuclear scientists pushing for use of safer technologies. Both young founders took to the TechCrunch Disrupt stage today to chat about their work in developing upgraded types of nuclear power generators designed to eat their own waste.

Literally. Both MIT-trained nuclear physicists founded separate but similar startups for nuclear power generators that run on their own radiated waste, eliminating the need to truck and store discarded radioactive material.

Dewan, a founder of Transatomic Power, developed a molten-salt type nuclear reactor based on technology that has been around since the 1950s, but for some reason was overlooked in favor of the current design. Dewitte, founder of UPower, built a smaller, unconnected reactor that can be loaded into a shipping container or the back of a truck and sent to remote, off-the-grid parts of the world that still lack energy.