Sing the Song of the Electric

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Elon Musk was on sister station KCRW in Santa Monica earlier this week, talking about Tesla's decision to manufacture in Fremont. Downey - within broadcasting range - was crestfallen, as you might imagine, so Musk chose his words cautiously. Without Toyota, Tesla wouldn't be able to afford NUMMI. With Toyota, well, the deal was "extremely compelling."

Musk was on "Which Way LA" earlier this month,  talking about the So Cal space industry and SpaceX. Southern California has lost a lot of space-related manufacturing over the years.  Even so, Musk told host Warren Olney he moved south from Silicon Valley because Southern California is still home to "the biggest concentration of space experts in the world." As to why he's in California versus anyplace else: "I like California. It's where I want to live, so it's where I put my companies."

Governor Schwarzenegger holding a media availability after viewing the 2011 Mitsubishi i-MiEV. Left of him: Mitsubishi Motors North America COO Yoichi Yokozawa and Mitsubishi Motors Research and Development of America Chief Engineer David Patterson.

Governor Schwarzenegger kvelling over the 2011 Mitsubishi i-MiEV. Left of him: Mitsubishi Motors North America COO Yoichi Yokozawa and Mitsubishi Motors R&D of America Chief Engineer David Patterson. (Credit: Governor's Office)

In the electric car industry, California appears to be culturally and geographically poised to team up with Asian powerhouses to charge into the future. (Sorry, I'll stop with the puns now.) Consider  the announcement earlier this week that Indian auto giant Mahindra & Mahindra plans to acquire a controlling stake in Reva, an electric car maker in Bangalore.  Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicle's chief of technology and strategy will be Chetan Maini, who founded Reva with AEV, a small tech firm (so small I can't find a website) located near ... Los Angeles.

Santa Monica-based Coda Automotive plans to apply for a federal loan of more than $400 million to set up the plant in central Ohio to build batteries for all-electric cars.

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About Rachael Myrow

Rachael Myrow hosts the California Report for KQED. Over 17 years in public radio, she's worked for Marketplace and KPCC, filed for NPR and The World, and developed a sizable tea collection that's become the envy of the KQED newsroom. She specializes in politics, economics and history in California - but for emotional balance, she also covers food and its relationship to health and happiness.

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