Archive for the ‘Tesla’ Category

Plugging In: An Inside Look at the MEB — VW’s Platform for an Electrified Future

A combined VW-Ford battery-car program seems to have come un-plugged, however.

by on Feb.11, 2019

An under-the-skin look at VW's modular MEB battery-car platform reveals the skateboard-like layout.

Volkswagen is plugging into battery power in a big way, the German automaker planning to launch 50 or more all-electric models by 2025, an aggressive push that will have it betting heavily on a single new platform it is developing. Dubbed the MEB, this flexible, modular “architecture” will be used to underpin the vast majority of battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, that will be offered by VW’s dozen different passenger car brands.

The MEB has been a topic of discussion between VW and Ford Motor Co., the two companies recently launching a joint venture to develop light commercial vehicles. They also are exploring ways they may be able to work together on the development of electric vehicles, possibly using the new VW platform — though a senior Ford official cautioned that this might prove more difficult than originally hoped.

Beyond the Headlines!

“The future, for us, is really a dedicated EV platform,” said Matthew Renna, vice president of e-Mobility for Volkswagen’s North American Region, a platform “flexible enough to cover a broad gamut of products ranging from an entry level subcompact up to models like the ID. Buzz minivan and even midsize SUVs.

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Tesla Out of Cheaper Model 3s, Stakeholder Cuts Share in Half

T. Rowe Price halves stake from 10.12% to 5.2%.

by on Feb.11, 2019

The mad rush to blow out Model 3s at the end of the year has left Tesla with very few Model 3s to deliver.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently said that the company would face some stiff headwinds in the early part of this year, and now some of those issues are now coming to light … as are the consequences.

The company’s last recent round of layoffs were unexpected, but were initially seen positively as analysts suggested the company would need to find ways to cut costs. However, according to Reuters, one of the teams that were cut significantly should have raised alarm bells sooner.

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Reuters reports that Tesla’s delivery team saw 150 of 230 employees lose their jobs. The Las Vegas-based group was largely responsible for delivering the company’s savior vehicle: the Model 3.  (more…)

Tesla Cutting Price on Model 3 — Again

Automaker searching for ways to meet $35K benchmark.

by on Feb.06, 2019

Tesla cut the price of the Model 3 – this time $1,100 – for the second time in recent weeks. The first cut was $2,000.

Tesla Inc. is lowering the price on its entry-level Model 3 sedan by $1,100. It’s the second time the company has cut the price on the vehicle as it attempts to keep it affordable as federal tax incentives for the vehicles continue to fall.

The Palo Alto, California-based automaker previously lopped $2,000 off the price of the company’s best-selling vehicle to help offset the drop in the federal tax credit from $7,500 to $3,750 after the beginning of the year.

All Charged Up!

Tesla’s tax credit began phasing out for Tesla in January. The price cuts make the starting price of the Model 3, according to Reuters, $42,900, which still higher than the $35,000 the company touted it would be when the sedan was first introduced. (more…)

Aston Martin Lagonda All-Terrain Concept Hints at Future

All-electric prototype hints of crossover set to mark the brand’s revival.

by on Feb.06, 2019

The Aston Martin Lagonda All-Terrain Concept will strongly influence a coming production model.

Automakers have a habit of reaching into the history books. We’ve seen a number of once forgotten nameplates rise from the dead lately, including the Chevrolet Blazer and Ford Bronco. And the upcoming Geneva Motor Show will mark the revival of two once-grand brands: Hispano-Suiza and Lagonda.

The return of the latter, a subsidiary of Aston Martin, has been in the works for several years, a show car called the Lagonda Vision making its debut in Switzerland a year ago. Next month, we’ll see the debut of a second prototype, the Lagonda All-Terrain Concept, and it seems a lot closer to the production model set to reach showrooms a couple years from now.

Geneva Motor Show News!

“The Lagonda All-Terrain Concept offers explicit clues regarding what will be the first Lagonda model to enter production, and further demonstrates how Lagonda’s zero emission powertrain enables us to create spectacular cars that will radically redefine their sectors of the market,” says Aston CEO Andy Palmer.

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Tesla Purchasing Ultracapacitor Maker Maxwell Tech

Electrify America turns to Tesla Powerpack for new charging stations.

by on Feb.05, 2019

A Tesla supercharger station.

Tesla will spend $218 million to acquire Maxwell Technologies, an energy company that could help it both reduce battery costs and develop a battery alternative called an ultracapacitor.

Separately, Electrify America, a company dedicated to promoting and supporting electric vehicles, plans to use Tesla’s Powerpack battery backup system at more than 100 of its EV charging stations.

Electrifying News!

“We are always looking for potential acquisitions that make sense for the business and support Tesla’s mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy,” Tesla said of the planned purchase of Maxwell in a statement.

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VW Subsidiary Buying Tesla Powerpacks for Charging Stations

Purchase comes just after Musk says powerpack biz will be strong.

by on Feb.04, 2019

As Volkswagen brings more EVs to U.S. consumers, they're going to need places to charge.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said recently that he expected the company’s power storage operations to grow twice as fast as the automotive business for some time going forward … and now Volkswagen’s helping to prove him right.

Volkswagen AG’s subsidiary, Electrify America, plans to install Tesla battery storage, better known as Powerpack systems, at more than 100 charging stations across the United States to help keep costs down for drivers who may have to charge their electric vehicles during peak load times.

Tech News!

Electricity users can incur high-demand charges from many U.S. utilities when they draw a lot of energy from the grid in a short time, which can happen charging an electric vehicle or a number of them at once at a single station. (more…)

Tesla Selling Model 3 in China; Changes Names on Model S,X

Chinese buyers can get lower-priced model not available in U.S.

by on Feb.01, 2019

Tesla made a less expensive version of the Model 3 available for sale to the Chinese market.

Just days after reporting a small profit for the fourth quarter of 2018, Tesla opened up sales of a lower-priced Model 3 to buyers in China while changing the variant names for the Model S and Model X.

The EV maker is offering the long range, rear-wheel-drive Model 3 variant starting at 433,000 yuan, or about $64,000, according to Reuters. By comparison, the medium-range RWD Model 3 in the United States starts at $35,950. Tesla doesn’t currently sell the rear-drive, long-range version in the U.S. right now.

All Charged Up!

The 433,000 yuan represents a significant price cut from what they were originally selling for in China: 499,000 yuan. It’s not clear where those vehicles will be produced in the Fremont, California plant or in the Shanghai Gigafactory, which is currently under construction but expected to be complete before the end of the year. (more…)

With More Product Coming, Tesla CEO Musk Promises Good Earnings Even In a Global Recession

Musk outlines plans for Tesla Model Y, Semi and Pickup in hour-long earnings call.

by on Jan.31, 2019

Tesla's Elon Musk spent much of his time on a call with analysts and media painting a rosy picture for 2019.

Tesla’s weak fourth-quarter earnings failed to impress industry analysts and investors, despite an optimistic, hour-long presentation by CEO Elon Musk who promised that the battery-electric automaker is ready to deliver solid profits “even if there’s a global recession.”

Speaking to reports and analysts, Musk presented an upbeat vision that anticipates a huge surge in both production and demand for the Model 3 sedan, while noting that two other products, the Model Y SUV and battery-powered Semi will go into production in 2020. The 47-year-old entrepreneur fended off concerns that Tesla won’t be able to cover an upcoming bond payment of more than $900 million without seeking new equity.

News You Can Trust!

“2019 is going to be an amazing year for Tesla,” Musk said, later adding that he is “optimistic about being profitable in Q1. Not by a lot, but I’m optimistic about being profitable in Q1 and for all quarters going forward.” (more…)

Tesla Misses With Q4 Earnings, Raising New Concerns

Automaker plans to ramp up Model 3 output in bid for bigger earnings.

by on Jan.30, 2019

Tesla's Elon Musk said the company faced significant headwinds in the previous quarter and will continue to do so.

Tesla delivered its second consecutive quarterly profit on Wednesday, but hit by various headwinds, including weak sales in China, the world’s largest battery-car market, the numbers fell well below the Wall Street consensus forecast, triggering a pushback from nervous investors.

The automaker said it would push to boost production of its mainstream Model 3 battery-electric vehicle in the months ahead, but whether that can kick-start momentum remains uncertain, Tesla CEO Elon Musk earlier this week warning that the automaker faces a “very difficult” road ahead, something potentially complicated by a nearly $1 billion bond payment due near the end of the first quarter.

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Referring to 2018 as “the most pivotal year in Tesla’s history,” the automaker tried to put a positive spin on its Q1 results, noting that sales came in stronger than expected with strong revenues. But the initial response was far from upbeat, despite Tesla shares regaining some of the losses of recent weeks during the regular Wednesday trading session. (more…)

Tesla Strongly Hints at Q1 Loss as Musk Warns of “Very Difficult” Road Ahead

Automaker’s stock continues tumble triggered by job cuts.

by on Jan.29, 2019

Weaker-than-expected Q4 demand is expected to mean just a modest profit.

Tesla is expected to report a small profit for the final quarter of 2018 but the automaker’s CEO is now signaling it may have some bad news for the current quarter.

The automaker delivered a solid surprise when it announced a $311.5 million profit for the third quarter of last year, well exceeding analysts’ expectation. CEO Musk earlier this month warned that the final three months of the year would bring a much smaller profit. While Wall Street has already digested that forecast, there are concerns about Musk’s latest advisory.

Breaking News!

While Musk, on January 18th, suggested the company might still be able to deliver “a tiny profit… with great difficulty, effort and some luck” as it headed into 2019, his latest advisory suggests its luck may be running out, at least for now. With Musk warning of a “very difficult” road ahead, there’s a growing consensus the first quarter now will bring another dose of red ink.

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