By on May 17, 2019

tesla-model-3

Ten months. That’s how long Tesla’s CEO claims this month’s offering of $2.7 billion in stock and convertible notes bought the struggling automaker.

Hungry for cash to fuel new model development, a Shanghai Gigafactory, and an assembly line on which to build the upcoming Model Y crossover, Tesla has resorted to endless measures to trim costs, from moving to an online sales model and attempting to cull the bulk of its sales staff, to general staff reductions, to reducing build configurations. Vehicles prices seem to change by the week.

And still it’s not enough. To keep the automaker afloat, Musk told employees, the company will need to count every penny. (Find Out…)

By on May 16, 2019

tesla model-s-rear, image: Tesla Motors

The spontaneous combustion of several Tesla vehicles in recent weeks has forced the automaker into action, issuing over-the-air updates in an attempt to snuff out the problem… and smother another round of bad PR. To its credit, Tesla seems to be taking the matter seriously.

The update covers the company’s Model S and X vehicles, regardless of country. Meanwhile, investigations continue into the cause of recent blazes in Shanghai, San Francisco, and Hong Kong. (Find Out…)

By on May 16, 2019

Image: Nissan

As you read earlier this week, the state of Illinois wants motorists to pay up. Big time. A new proposal that stands a good chance of passing into law not only more than doubles the state’s gas tax, it would also hit electric vehicle drivers with an annual $1,000 fee — a bill for adding wear and tear to the state’s roads and bridges while depriving state coffers of sweet, sweet gas tax revenue.

Some EV drivers are not what you’d call “happy” about it. But are you? (Find Out…)

By on May 15, 2019

On Tuesday, Volkswagen announced its plan to assemble 600,000 electric vehicles utilizing the brand’s MEB platform at two plants in China. The facilities, said to be located in the cities of Anting and Foshan, will help bolster EV volume after the completion of VW’s Zwickau plant in Germany — which the company previously claimed would manufacture 330,000 cars annually.

While that facility is nearing completion and supposed to be up and running before 2020, there’s no firm timeline in place for China. But that’s the least of the issues Volkswagen must solve in order to make this dream a reality.  (Find Out…)

By on May 13, 2019

tesla model 3

Like most states, Illinois hasn’t raised its gas tax in years, keeping it at 19 cents since the musically gifted year of 1990, and, like most states, Illinois needs cash for pressing infrastructure repairs. Illinois’ state gas tax joins a slew of other taxes, including income tax, that’s bundled into local pump prices, but one type of driver was able laugh at all the chumps lining up for dino juice.

The electric vehicle driver.

By virtue of their emissions-free powerplant, EV drivers side-step this area of taxation. Unfortunately for the Tesla owners of Cook County and other jurisdictions, those days may soon come to an end. A proposed law would see EV owners dinged $1,000 a year — their contribution to maintaining the roads and bridges their hefty EVs ply on a daily basis. As you’d expect, many are not happy.

Neither are conventional vehicle owners, however, as the proposal would more than double the state’s gas tax. (Find Out…)

By on May 10, 2019

Volkswagen seems to be feeling pretty good about itself today. After announcing pre-orders for the ID.3 hatchback, the first vehicle from VW’s new electric sub-brand, the company reported it was already having issues coping with demand. Within 24 hours, the automaker said it had received more than 10,000 reservations throughout Europe, creating some extra work for its IT department.

“Sometimes, the IT systems are unable to handle the large number of users accessing the system at the same time,” VW said in a release. “This leads to long waiting times and interruptions in the registration process in some markets. Volkswagen is working hard to eliminate the hitches. Nevertheless, more than 10,000 registrations were received throughout Europe during the first 24 hours.”

While it sounds phenomenal, as the company repeatedly noted ID.3 demand is already exceeding expectations,  it’s nowhere near Tesla territory. But the American firm is somewhat of an outlier with an almost miraculous ability to get the public excited about new product and a longer history of EV manufacturing. By comparison, VW is still testing the waters — even though it has already agreed to preform a cannonball by 2025 and sell 1 million connected, zero-emission vehicles every year. (Find Out…)

By on May 9, 2019

Dyson, the UK-based maker of innovative vacuums and fans, plans to launch an electric vehicle in about two years’ time — a promise backed up with over $2 billion in funding and the poaching of former Infiniti president Roland Krueger, who now heads the company’s automotive division.

The fledgling automaker doesn’t want to be an also-ran in the still-fledgling EV field. As the clock ticks closer to a real, physical car, new patent drawings reveal what it may look like. (Find Out…)

By on May 8, 2019

Months before its planned debut at Germany’s International Motor Show, Volkswagen has announced the first model of its ID electric sub-brand — the ID.3 — and wants the world to know it’s already accepting pre-orders. While the U.S. is unlikely to see the model for some time, if ever, the vehicle provides a glimpse into VW’s much-touted electrification strategy.

Volkswagen’s corporate release claims the ID.3’s MSRP starts below 30,000 euros (about $33,500 USD), with a “1st special edition” beginning at 40,000 euros (roughly $44,750 USD). Pretty steep for a people’s car.  (Find Out…)

By on May 8, 2019

Image: Workhorse W-15, by Corey Lewis

In a surprising turn of events, President Donald Trump broke a hot bit of news on Wednesday, tweeting that electric truck maker Workhorse Group has closed a deal to buy GM’s mothballed Lordstown Assembly plant, formerly home to the Chevrolet Cruze.

The news came by way of GM CEO Mary Barra, Trump said, and the automaker isn’t denying the plant sale. (Find Out…)

By on May 7, 2019

It’s no secret that California plans to ignore any federal ruling that soften emissions regulations on automobiles. The state’s already suing the Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over the data used to justify the Trump administration’s proposed rollback of vehicle emission standards. It has also recruited leadership in other states to join the cause and adopt its zero-emission-vehicle strategy.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis has already signed an executive order directing the state to follow California’s path — joining with Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and other participating states toward a common cause. However, the battle isn’t over yet. Industry lobbyist are hard at work changing minds, and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (AAM) seems to be making progress with Colorado.  (Find Out…)

By on May 2, 2019

The last decade is littered with announcements from cities, provinces, and states from across the globe, promising to ban internal combustion vehicles by a predetermined date. While the rules and timelines vary quite a bit, the locations are relatively consistent. China and Europe are the most eager to adopt a zero-emission strategy, with California doing most of the promising in North America.

This week, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the city’s “.” Styled to resemble the contentious stimulus program sponsored by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) that shares its name, LA’s plan is similarly concerned with promoting “environmental justice,” equity, green jobs,  renewable energy, improved air quality, and sourcing clean water.

Transportation is also a major component of the deal, with the city suggesting that 100 percent of car sales will be zero-emission by 2050 and 50 percent of all trips could be completed by walking, biking, “micro-mobility” (scooters, etc), or public transit — reducing vehicle miles per capita by 45 percent in the same timeframe.  (Find Out…)

By on May 1, 2019

Tesla Model 3, Image: Tesla

Forgive this writer for channeling Jonathan Pryce. Brush up on your secret handshake, too, as Tesla has a new version of the Model 3 customers can’t order online.

It’s a model that stands to become even more of a ghost than the U.S.-market Model 3 Standard Range, which disappeared from the company’s website after being on sale just a few days. American customers don’t apply here, as this cynical model’s sole purpose is to undercut a government EV incentive program’s price cutoff by a single dollar. A dollar, it should be said, that’s worth about 75 U.S. cents.

Who’s excited about 93 miles of range? (Find Out…)

By on April 30, 2019

Faraday Future, the contentious automotive startup that always seems to find (and then lose) sizable amounts of cash, has announced it has once again managed to secure new funding. According to its , Faraday says will receive $225 million in bridge financing via a funding round led by Birch Lake Associates.

While the bulk of the cash will go towards paying off vendors, some of which have filed lawsuits, around 40 percent will be left over to help get the FF91 to market and prove the company can actually build a car. The strategy seems risky, but it may be Faraday’s best bet at this point.  (Find Out…)

By on April 30, 2019

Image: Steph Willems/TTAC

Mary Barra wants everyone to know that she — and by extension, her company — has no interest in seeing Ford Motor Company parading around an electric pickup with no competition.

Confirming rumblings that General Motors has an EV truck in the works, the company’s CEO said in an earnings call Tuesday that the automaker will indeed offer such a vehicle. This should make the ongoing truck wars even more interesting, especially if Ram grudgingly gets into the game with an electron-powered Laramie Longhorn. No word on that particular front, however.

Like Ford’s electric F-150, there’s no word on a timeline for GM’s upcoming electro-truck, either. (Find Out…)

By on April 24, 2019

Later today, Tesla will release financial data for the first quarter of 2019, a quarter in which both deliveries and production fell compared to Q4 2019. The Model S and X returned their worst sales showings in years, and analysts fear a steep drop in revenue in a period where CEO Elon Musk pulled a U-turn on profitability predictions.

Should be fun.

However, there’s a more news coming out of Tesla than just anxious investors and head-scratching autonomy promises. There’s real, bonafide driving range added to the two aforementioned vehicles, and the company at least deserves kudos for improving its existing products. (Find Out…)

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