Posts Tagged ‘tesla’

Tesla Model 3: How Can Such a Good Car Be So Bad

Teardown of battery-electric vehicle reveals many surprises.

by on Apr.25, 2018

"You can see the gaps from the moon" on the body of a Tesla Model 3, according to Sandy Munro.

With apologies to Charles Dickens, think of it as two tales of a car, suggests Sandy Munro, head of the suburban Detroit competitive analysis firm, Munro and Associates. How can such a breakthrough vehicle also have so many problems, he asks, during a lengthy look at what’s under the skin of the Tesla Model 3.

Over the years, Munro’s firm has vivisected hundreds of automobiles, including a number of new battery-electric vehicles, such as the BMW i3 and Chevrolet Bolt EV. But few teardowns, he suggested, have been more eye-opening than Tesla’s first mainstream offering. In terms of its battery-based drivetrain technology, the Model 3 readily sets a benchmark, but it’s another matter entirely with many of the things an owner more readily sees, including a body with massive quality and fit-and-finish problems.

Dig Deeper!

“It’s the best of (cars) and the worst of (cars),” Munro said, during a special meeting of the Detroit Automotive Press Association held at his Auburn Hills facility. “Some stuff gets a six, on a scale of one to five, others a one.”

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Despite Problems, Musk Promises Tesla Profit in Second Half of 2018

Stock up, but not everyone convinced.

by on Apr.13, 2018

CEO Elon Musk shown exiting the back seat of a Model 3 at its debut. Musk still needs to dig out of trouble caused by Model 3 delays.

It’s been a tough few weeks for Tesla, the battery-electric automaker again missing production targets, being accused of improperly firing nearly 1,000 factory workers and being scolded by federal safety regulators for its role in investigating a fatal crash involving its semi-autonomous Autopilot system.

But that has done little to dampen the enthusiasm of CEO Elon Musk. After earlier this week suggesting Model 3 production isn’t delayed but in a “time shift,” the South African-born exec on Friday tweeted a promise that Tesla will be both profitable and produce positive cash flow by the second half of this year.

Promises, Promises!

Musk’s latest tweet came in response to a harsh Twitter post by British news magazine The Economist, which warned Tesla would need to raise more cash this year. “The Economist used to be boring,” Musk responded, “but smart with a wicked dry wit. Now it’s just boring (sigh). Tesla will be profitable & cash flow+ in Q3 & Q4, so obv no need to raise money.”

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Tesla Again Misses Production Target for Model 3

Output up, still 20% short of goal, according to Musk e-mail.

by on Apr.02, 2018

Tesla is finally ramping up Model 3 production but still has a long way to go to meet targets.

Tesla shares took another 5% tumble on Monday after reports surfaced that the automaker once again missed its production targets for the much-delayed Model 3 battery-sedan.

Delays in the roll-out have hammered Tesla’s balance sheet, with some analysts expecting the California carmaker to have to go back for another fundraising round. It didn’t help to have Elon Musk post an April Fool’s Day joke indicating the automaker would be declaring bankruptcy.

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In an e-mal sent to Tesla workers on Monday, Musk said production of the Model 3 had reached the 2,000 per week mark at the end of the first quarter, but that is still short of the 2,500 target Tesla had projected back around the beginning of the year, and it is even more substantially behind the original target Tesla had laid out when Model 3 production began in July 2017.

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Volvo Relaunching Polestar as “Electrified High Performance” Company

Polestar joins growing list of dedicated electric spin-offs.

by on Jun.22, 2017

Going forward, the Polestar logo will stand alone, without a Volvo badge.

Volvo has become the latest automaker to set up a separate operation focused specifically on electric vehicles, in this case, putting the emphasis on “high performance” models.

The move appears to position its Polestar division to challenge the new Mercedes-EQ sub-brand, which is set to launch at least seven electric vehicles by 2022, and BMW i, as well as upstart battery-carmakers like Tesla, Faraday Future and Lucid. The announcement does not appear to preclude Volvo’s ability to produce less performance-oriented electric vehicles under its own badge.

Electrifying News!

Purchased by Volvo in 2015, Polestar will now operate as a standalone company with a new management team. That includes Chief Operating Officer Jonathan Gooding, who had been Volvo’s communications chief, and new Chief Executive Officer Thomas Ingenlath, who had been Volvo’s global design director.

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Tesla’s Musk Says “No Choice” But to Quit Trump Panel if US Quits Paris Climate Accord

President promises decision “over the next few days.

by on May.31, 2017

Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Pres. Donald Trump. Musk sits on three White House economic councils.

Faced with the growing likelihood Pres. Donald Trump will pull the United States out of the Paris climate chance agreement binding the country to cut production of CO2 and other global warming gases, Tesla CEO and environmental champion Elon Musk said he will have “no choice” but to quit three separate White House economic advisory councils.

Musk would be the latest transportation industry leader to leave the Trump panels, following the move by Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick earlier this year.

Stay in the Know!

The Tesla CEO had previously said he was “cautiously optimistic” he could influence Trump to remain committed to the Paris treaty, despite other actions critics said were anti-environmental. But on Wednesday, in response to a question posed by a Twitter follower, Musk replied that he would “have no choice but to depart [the] councils” if, as now expected, Trump pulled out on Paris.

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Lucid Air Pushes Price, Range, Performance into Stratosphere

400 miles per charge, 0-60 in 2.5 seconds...for $160,000.

by on Dec.16, 2016

The Lucid Air will be one of the world's fastest automobiles, the company promises.

It’s getting to the point where you can’t tell the new battery-car start-ups without a scorecard, California-based Lucid Motors the latest to charge onto the field.

Where a growing number of new and more established entrants into the EV market plan to target the mainstream, Lucid Motors is going after the extreme luxury segment with the Lucid Air sedan it unveiled this week, a vehicle that company officials are likening to “a private jet on four wheels.”

Get Charged Up!

It’s nearly as fast, the 1,000-horsepower battery-electric vehicle set to launch from 0 to 60 in as little as 2.5 seconds – or even faster than a Tesla Model S in Ludicrous Mode. The Lucid Air also boasts about 25% more range than the new Model S P90d, as much as 400 miles per charge. And, at $160,000 for a fully loaded version, it will be a fair bit more expensive than a top-end Tesla.

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Faraday Future Set to Reveal First Car at CES

LeEco’s autonomous debut short-circuited when its car wouldn’t run.

by on Oct.20, 2016

The LeEco LeSee concept.

Tesla Motors isn’t the only automotive upstart attempting to make news about electric and autonomous vehicles. Several potential competitors have their own, futuristic models to reveal – though, as Chinese-owned LeEco demonstrated Wednesday, there are plenty of pitfalls along the path.

With billionaire investor Jia Yueting on hand for a public unveiling in San Francisco, LeEco’s event went off the rails when the LeSee, its prototype autonomous electric vehicle, couldn’t drive down the runway, forcing Jia to run down the ramp on his own.

Plug In!

Jia, who made a fortune in the Chinese electronics industry, is clearly hoping to do better with a second automotive start-up he is funding, California-based Faraday Future. That company made its debut last January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and will be back at the 2017 CES in less than three months to unveil its first production model.

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Tesla to Complete SolarCity Takeover Despite Concerns

All-stock deal worth $2.6 bil, but critics cite conflicts of interest.

by on Aug.01, 2016

A series of SolarCity solar panel installations.

Despite concerns about potential conflicts of interest, Tesla Motors said Monday morning that it would complete its takeover of the solar power company SolarCity, a move it believes will lead to numerous synergies in its broader green energy strategy.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the all-stock, $2.6 billion deal will almost immediately result in $150 million in cost-savings, describing the deal as a “no-brainer” that “we should have done sooner.” But reaction has been skeptical since the proposed takeover was announced more than a month ago.

Power Up!

Together, Tesla and SolarCity “expect to save customers money by lowering hardware costs, reducing installation costs, improving our manufacturing efficiency and reducing our customer acquisition costs,” Tesla said in a statement.

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Chinese-Funded Faraday Future Breaks Ground on $1 Bil Las Vegas Plant

Project set to be ready within two years.

by on Apr.14, 2016

Officials dig in at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Faraday Future plant near Las Vegas.

The Chinese-backed battery-car start-up Faraday Future has broken ground for a $1 billion assembly plant set to rise in the Las Vegas suburbs.

The factory, which will eventually employ 4,500, is expected to produce a series of new electric vehicles, though the California-based company has provided only a faint glimmer of what it has in store once production begins in 2018.

Electrifying!

“Our aim is to complete a program that would normally take four years and do it in half the time, while still doing it right,” Dag Reckhorn, the head of global manufacturing for Faraday Future, said during a groundbreaking ceremony on a desert field in the Sin City suburb of North Las Vegas.

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Model S Quality Problems a Blow to Both Tesla and Consumer Reports

How can you be both the “best ever” and “undriveable”?

by on Oct.21, 2015

Tesla and Consumer Reports: friends no more?

Can you ever be both “the best ever” and “below average”? Apparently, you can if you’re the Tesla Model S and the one handing out the superlatives is Consumer Reports magazine.

Barely two months ago, the non-profit publication issued a breathless report announcing that the high-priced battery sedan had effectively broken its rating system, actually scoring more than a perfect 100 points. But on Tuesday, at a presentation to the Automotive Press Association of Detroit, Consumer Reports announced the very same vehicle had major reliability issues, at least according to the owners it surveyed.

Take Stock!

“Reliability has moved from ‘Average’ to ‘Below Average,’” said Jake Fisher, CR’s director of automotive testing. As a result, he added, “We’re no longer recommending the Model S.”

That move was the biggest surprise to emerge from the magazine’s annual Automotive Reliability Survey, and while it delivers a clear blow to Tesla, it also creates a cloud around Consumer Reports itself.

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