The Paris Auto Show begins the first week of October and the announcements for electric cars are already rolling.
Fisker Automotive today said it would exhibit the first factory-built version of the Karma, its $89,900 series hybrid that is coming next year, at the show. The Karma reaches 100 kilometers per hour in 5.9 seconds and, perhaps more importantly, has the size, style and heft of an Aston Martin or a Jaguar. The Tesla Roadster is much smaller -- you sort of feel like a circus bear getting in and out of it.
The Roadster, of course, can also be bought today. The delayed Karma doesn't come out until the end of the year.
In other car news, Nissan and Sumitomo formed a joint venture, called 4R Energy Corp., to resell slightly depleted batteries from electric cars to utilities for power storage. With the Leaf nearing its public release, Nissan will be the company to watch at Paris as well as at Ceatec, Japan's version of CES, which is taking place the same week. At Ceatec, Nissan will talk about how EVs integrate with homes.
Reports are also circulating that Daimler will release an all-electric A class car with a battery from Tesla. Only 500 will be made.
--Daintree Networks formally launched its ControlScope platform for controlling lights and/or other devices in commercial office buildings. The company is joining an increasingly crowded market that includes Adura Technologies, Lumenergi, Scientific Conservation, Redwood Systems and Cavet Technologies. Daintree's twist is that it just makes software that light makers and others can bundle into their own systems. All of the above companies are striking their own alliances, so it's hard to say who will win. In some ways, this whole market could break down by customer segment: Lumenergi, for instance, is landing a number of government contracts.
"We are helping ballast makers go wireless," said CEO Danny Yu.
The company has been around since the early part of the decade and tested early ZigBee devices for compliance. Back then, no one really knew what to do with ZigBee. Energy management really was a godsend.
--Glycos Biotechnologies says it has developed a genetically modified strain of E. Coli that can convert fatty acids into precursors for ethanol and butanol. It beats making fuel from sugars, claims Glycos. Yesterday, Joule Unlimited unveiled a patent for a hydrocarbon-secreting microbe.
--And finally, Siemens and eMeter won a contract to supply meter data management tools to help manage the 313,000 meters controlled by the Orlando Utilities Commission.