Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) News: JB Straubel, Killer Bill Progress Report & An Apple Inc. (AAPL) Acquisition

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Editor’s Note: Related tickers: Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA), Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM)

Tesla’s Straubel Keeps Motors Rolling as Stock Surges 57%: Cars (BusinessWeek)
Elon Musk was fresh off the sale of PayPal and starting another business, commercial rocket service Space Exploration Technologies Corp., when he met kindred spirit JB Straubel. Their shared belief that consumer electronics advances could be applied to more earthly modes of transport is a cornerstone of Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) Straubel’s first company, Volacom Inc., designed unmanned electric aircraft. He sold the assets to The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) and was working with it in late 2003 when he attended a Stanford University speech by Musk on his startup SpaceX. Then, over lunch in Los Angeles, the two moved from ideas on aerospace to electric vehicles.

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)

Emission credits boost Tesla’s profit (WindsorStar)
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s first quarterly profit, led by a surge in deliveries of the electric-car maker’s Model S, got an added bump from sales of California and U.S. environmental credits that generated 15 per cent of revenue. Such sales totalled $85 million, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company said in a May 10 filing. That included California zero-emission vehicle credits of $67.9 million and “other regulatory credits” of $17.1 million, Tesla said. The latter amount, mainly from U.S. rules, wasn’t detailed in the first-quarter earnings on May 8, said Jeff Evanson, a spokesman. The automaker, led by billionaire Elon Musk, has surplus credits because it sells only electric vehicles, which don’t produce tailpipe emissions.

Tesla’s rapid rise (BusinessSpectator)
Kevin Baillie, co-founder of a visual effects company that works on major motion pictures, had never been in a car like his new Tesla Model S electric sedan, but somehow it looked familiar. “When I got into my car, I thought, ‘Wait a minute, this looks like something from the movie I just worked on’,” said Baillie. “It’s like Star Trek.” The ringing endorsement of car enthusiasts like Baillie has given Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) a much needed stamp of approval in a ‘green’ car industry that has seen high-profile failures and struggles over the last year. The Model S is 10-year-old Tesla’s first attempt to reach a mainstream audience for electric cars. Sales of the five-passenger sedan have outpaced expectations since its launch last year, and on Thursday, Consumer Reports magazine awarded it with a near-perfect rating.

Bill squeezing out Tesla passes NC Senate (JournalNow)
A bill backed by auto dealers that effectively blocks California’s Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) from selling in North Carolina has passed the state Senate. The electric car manufacturer says the bill that passed the Senate unanimously Monday effectively bars it from selling to state residents through its Internet-based model. The bill would require Tesla to go through the state’s system of 7,000 franchised dealers by amending the definition of a dealer. The company recently announced its first quarterly profit and top marks from Consumer Reports.

Would Apple really buy Tesla? (CSMonitor)
It’s been a great run for Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) these last few months. The startup electric-car maker delivered 4,900 Model S luxury sport sedans from January through March, got a rave review from Consumer Reports, and reported its first-ever profitable quarter. CEO Elon Musk even dropped hints that it might be working with Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) on self-driving car technology. But Green Car Reports argues that Tesla is unlikely to remain independent in the long term. A few commentators–here and here–have suggested that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) might acquire Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), but that seems to stretch credulity.

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