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  1. One thing you cannot call Elon Musk is a shrinking violet. The CEO of Tesla has taken to Twitter once again to defend the company. This time it deals with the results of Consumer Reports' annual reliability survey where the Model S, a vehicle which had earned the coveted Recommended rating, lost it this year due to a number of problems reported by owners. CR says the Model S likely to face a "worse-than-average" overall problem rate. Musk said in his tweets that problems outlined in CR's survey were because of early production models and that new models have these issues ironed out. Musk goes on to say "Most important, CR says 97% of owners expect their next car to be a Tesla (the acid test)." Source: Elon Musk Twitter, (2)
  2. Last week, Tesla announced some new updates for the Model S. The big news was the introduction of the optional 'Ludicrous' acceleration mode. This mode drops 0-60 from 3.1 to 2.8 seconds and can do the quarter-mile in 10.9 seconds. Tesla is able to do this via a new advanced smart fuse for the battery that allows an increase in the maximum amp throughout from 1,300 to 1,500 amps. This option will cost $10,000 for a new Model S P85D. But if you are the current owner of a P85D, you can get the Ludicrous package for $5,000 plus labor for the next six months. Also announced is a new 90-kWh battery pack option which adds 15 Miles to the overall range of the Model S P85D (275 to 300 Miles). Opting for the larger battery will cost around $3,000. Wrapping up the changes is the introduction of a new base Model S. The Model S 70 RWD only comes with one electric motor and will set you back around $70,000. Source: Tesla Press Release is on Page 2 THREE DOG DAY - 90 kWh battery pack option for $3k - 70 kWh rear drive Model S for $70k (effectively ~$50k after incentives & gas savings)- 2.8 sec 0 to 60 mph upgrade to "Ludicrous Mode" First, I should address something that might be on your mind, like: "Where the heck is the Model X and the Model 3!? You should really get on that." Don't worry, those remain our focus and good progress is being made on both. X is on track for first deliveries in two months and Model 3 in just over two years. Now, on to the awesome news of today. New buyers now have the option of upgrading the pack energy from 85 to 90 kWh, which provides up to 15 miles of additional range. This takes our current longest range model, the 85D to almost exactly 300 miles of highway range at 65mph. Existing owners can also purchase the pack upgrade, but I wouldn't recommend doing so unless your usage is on the edge of current range. On average, we expect to increase pack capacity by roughly 5% per year. Better to wait until you have more time on your existing pack and there is a larger accumulated pack energy difference. 70kWh for $70k We are now offering the 70kWh version of the Model S in the single motor version for $5k less than the dual motor, consistent with the price differential for the single and dual motor 85 kWh car. Importantly, enough options are now standard that you will have bought a great car even if you pick the base version. Various purchase incentives mean the actual net price is around $60k and annual gasoline and servicing savings are around $2k. These savings are captured immediately if you lease the car. Luuudicrous Mode While working on our goal of making the power train last a million miles, we came up with the idea for an advanced smart fuse for the battery. Instead of a standard fuse that just melts past a certain amperage, which means you aren't exactly sure when it will or won't melt or if it will arc when it does, we developed a fuse with its own electronics and a tiny lithium-ion battery. It constantly monitors current at the millisecond level and is pyro-actuated to cut power with extreme precision and certainty. That was combined with upgrading the main pack contractor to use inconel (a high temperature space-grade superalloy) instead of steel, so that it remains springy under the heat of heavy current. The net result is that we can safely increase max amp throughout from 1300 to 1500 Amps. If you don't know much about Amps, trust me this is a silly big number of Amps to be going through something the size of your little fingernail. What this results in is a 10% improvement in the 0 to 60 mph time to 2.8 secs and a quarter mile time of 10.9 secs. Time to 155 mph is improved even more, resulting in a 20% reduction. This option will cost $10k to new buyers. In appreciation of our existing P85D owners, the upgraded pack electronics will be offered for the next six months at only $5k plus installation labor. It is important to note that the battery pack size upgrade and the pack electronics upgrade are almost entirely independent. The first is about energy, which affects range, and the second is about power, which affects acceleration. There is of course one speed faster than ludicrous, but that is reserved for the next generation Roadster in 4 years: maximum plaid. MORE ON THE ANNOUNCEMENT Model S already offers the highest possible safety ratings, the longest range of any EV, and over-the-air updates that continuously make it better. The performance improvements we're announcing today demonstrate, yet again, that an electric car can soundly beat any gasoline car on efficiency and pure performance. Today's three new options give customers the ability to order the Model S for their lifestyle: 90kWh Battery Model S with maximum range. Available as an option on all 85kWh Model S, the new extended range option gives customers the ability to order a 90kWh battery. The upgrade increases range on all 85 kWh Model S by 5%. Ludicrous Speed Ludicrous Speed decreases the 0-60 mph time for Model S 10% to 2.8 seconds with a quarter mile time of 10.9 seconds. Time to 155 miles per hour is now 20% faster than a standard Model S Performance. Model S 70 In line with our mission to make our cars increasingly affordable, 70 RWD offers the best value of any Model S released to date, $5,000 less than the current lowest priced Model S with all the current standard equipment. Model S 70 RWD starts at $70,000. Here are a few examples of what a customer can now order: Model S P90D: truly Ludicrous performance; 0-60 in 2.8 sec with a quarter mile time of 10.9 seconds. Motor Power: 259 hp front, 503 hp rear, 253 miles range Model S 90D: the longest-range Model S ever produced, 90D travels up to 270 miles on a single charge. 417 hp Model S 70: 230 miles range, 0=60: 5.2, 328 hp
  3. Lone Star State lawmakers have reined in Tesla's hopes of selling to Texans. Two bills allowing the Palo Alto-based electric carmaker to open Tesla Store's have died in the state legislature, in the face of dealership opposition. Tesla's direct-sales approach has raised the ire of dealership associations nationwide, who worry this jeopardizes their decades-old sales model based on franchise laws. Similar laws are on the books in states such as Michigan, Arizona, West Virginia, and until recently, New Jersey. Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk reportedly hired up to 20 lobbyists in Texas and made $150,000 in campaign contributions. Despite support from former governor Rick Perry, the bills were unable to overcome Texas' powerful dealership lobby, whose support of franchise laws in a state priding itself as a bastion of free-maket economics and limited red tape was deemed "very un-Texan" by Musk in a 2014 interview. The Texas Auto Dealers Association has spent over $278,000 lobbying against Tesla, with some individual dealership owners and groups contributing hundreds of thousands more. Texas is home to the country's second largest high-tech workforce and is the U.S.' largest technology manufacturing exporter. Tesla's absence among the likes of industry pioneers such as Dell and Texas Instruments is notable. The state competed for the brand's 'Gigafactory' but lost to Nevada. The state's legislature holds bi-yearly sessions, meaning Tesla will need to wait until 2017 for similar bills to be introduced, just in time for the Model 3's debut. Source: The Verge View attachment: Model_S_Press_WEB.jpg
  4. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has issued their preliminary report on the fatal crash involving a Tesla Model S in Autopilot mode and a semi-truck back in May. According to data that was downloaded from the Model S, the vehicle was traveling above the speed limit on the road (74 mph in 65) and that Autopilot was engaged. The speed helps explain how the Model S traveled around 347 feet after making the impact with the trailer - traveling 297 feet before hitting a utility pole, and then going another 50 feet after breaking it. The report doesn't have any analysis of the accident or a possible cause. NTSB says their investigators are still downloading data from the vehicle and looking at information from the scene of the crash. A final report is expected within the next 12 months. Car and Driver reached out for comment from both Tesla and Mobileye - the company that provides Tesla the chips that process the images being captured by Autopilot's cameras. Tesla didn't respond, but a blog post announcing the crash said: "neither Autopilot nor the driver noticed the white side of the tractor trailer against a brightly lit sky, so the brake was not applied." A spokesman for Mobileye told the magazine that their chips aren't designed to flag something like the scenario that played out in the crash. “The design of our system that we provide to Tesla was not . . . it’s not in the spec to make a decision to tell the vehicle to do anything based on that left turn, that lateral turn across the path. Certainly, that’s a situation where we would hope to be able to get to the point where the vehicle can handle that, but it’s not there yet,” said Dan Galves, a Mobileye spokesperson. It should be noted that hours before NTSB released their report, Mobileye announced that it would end its relationship with Tesla once their current contract runs out. The Wall Street Journal reports that disagreements between the two on how the technology was deployed and the fatal crash caused the separation. “I think in a partnership, we need to be there on all aspects of how the technology is being used, and not simply providing technology and not being in control of how it is being used,” said Mobileye Chief Technical Officer Amnon Shashua during a call with analysts. “It’s very important given this accident…that companies would be very transparent about the limitations” of autonomous driving systems, said Shashua. “It’s not enough to tell the driver to be alert but to tell the driver why.” Recently, Mobileye announced a partnership with BMW and Intel in an attempt to get autonomous vehicles on the road by 2021. Source: NTSB, 2, Car and Driver, Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required)
  5. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened an investigation into a fatal crash dealing with Tesla's Autopilot system. In a statement given to Reuters, NHTSA said the driver of a 2015 Tesla Model S was killed while the vehicle was in the Autopilot mode. The crash took place on May 7th in Williston, Florida when a tractor-trailer was making a left turn across a divided highway. Tesla in a lengthy blog post said: "neither Autopilot nor the driver noticed the white side of the tractor trailer against a brightly lit sky, so the brake was not applied." The Model S drove underneath the trailer with the bottom making contact with the windshield. The Verge reports the driver was 40-year old Joshua Brown who filmed various videos of his Model S. One of the videos on his YouTube channel showed his Model avoiding an accident with a bucket truck. NHTSA's investigation will look the design and performance of the Model S and its various components, including Autopilot. It should be noted this is standard practice for NHTSA to investigate any crash where the vehicle's system could be at fault. Tesla's blog post says this is first known fatality in over 130 million miles since Autopilot was turned on. Autopilot has been a source of controversy since Tesla rolled it out last year. Numerous videos of Model S owners filming themselves in dangerous situations and sometimes showing the system not working caused Tesla to make some drastic changes. These included limiting the types of road the system could be turned on and making checks to see if there was someone sitting in the driver's seat. Tesla has said time and time again that Autopilot is a beta feature and that the driver needed to pay attention. "Autopilot is getting better all the time, but it is not perfect and still requires the driver to remain alert," Tesla said in their post. "It is important to note that Tesla disables Autopilot by default and requires explicit acknowledgement that the system is new technology and still in a public beta phase before it can be enabled. When drivers activate Autopilot, the acknowledgment box explains, among other things, that Autopilot “is an assist feature that requires you to keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times," and that "you need to maintain control and responsibility for your vehicle” while using it. " Nevertheless, this crash puts autonomous technologies and Tesla under some intense scrutiny. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), The Detroit News, Reuters, Tesla, The Verge
  6. Recently if you wanted the cheapest version of the Tesla Model S, you had to get the Model S 70 which started at $71,500. But today, Tesla has announced a new low-cost version of the Model S. The new Model S 60 starts at $66,000 (before federal and state incentives) and offers a maximum range of 210 miles. If you're wondering why this sounds somewhat familiar, that is because Tesla offered the Model S 60 up until last year when the 70 took its place. Aside from the lower price, the 60 can be equipped with all-wheel drive (the 60D which starts at $71,000). Interestingly, the Model S 60 doesn't have a 60 kWh battery pack. Instead, it is a 75 kWh battery pack that are capped by software to pretend to be smaller. You can unlock the full capacity of the battery via a software update, but it will cost you $9,000 (along with a $500 service fee). Source: Tesla Press Release is on Page 2 As you know, Model S is designed to be a great car for every lifestyle, and we continue to make it even better. Last month we introduced design updates to Model S, and through continual software updates we've made Model S faster, smarter, safer and more enjoyable to drive. It's part of Tesla's relentless commitment to making its products better. With these improvements, we've heard from a number of people who would like to buy a Model S, but can more easily afford it only at a lower price point. To respond to these requests, on Thursday June 9 we're introducing two new variants of Model S – Model S 60 and 60D, offering a compelling feature set and a great value at a new low price. The new Model S 60 delivers more than 200 miles of range, a top speed of 130 mph and zero-to-60 acceleration in 5.5 seconds, starting at $66,000. The all-wheel drive option brings even more range and performance, beginning at $71,000. And every Tesla comes equipped with active safety features and Autopilot hardware. Keep in mind that when comparing the price of any electric vehicle to an internal combustion vehicle, it's important to compare not just the out-of-pocket price, but also the effective cost of ownership. Factoring in annual fuel savings which typically ranges between $1,000 and $1,500, as well as available tax incentives, the effective cost of owning Model S 60 comes to about $50k. And there are other advantages to owning a Tesla that add up over time, including: Less maintenance – Tesla vehicles don't require regular maintenance like oil changes, fuel filters or smog checks. And our four-year/50,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty and eight-year/infinite mile battery and drive unit warranty come standard with Model S. Ample charging options – for most Tesla owners, home charging provides plenty of range for daily travel, and with an EPA range of over 200 miles, that's still the case for Model S 60 and 60D. For long distance travel, there are many convenient Supercharger and Destination Charging locations throughout our network. New features via free software updates – as with every Model S, the 60 and 60D will receive free over-the-air software updates that add functionality and continue to improve the driving experience for years to come. To provide customers even more flexibility over time, Model S 60 and 60D owners may later choose to upgrade their vehicles to a 75kWh battery with a software update, should they want to add to their car's battery capacity in the future.
  7. Today, Telsa pulled the covers off the updated Model S. The biggest change for the Model S is the removal of the front grille. It has been replaced with a similar fascia to the Model X and recently announced Model 3 - front panel and LED headlights. Inside, the Model S gets HEPA air-filtration system first introduced on the Model X as an option. This system according to Tesla is said to remove up to "99.97 percent of particulate exhaust pollution and effectively all allergens, bacteria, and other contaminants from cabin air." Tesla has also swapped the 40-amp onboard charger to a 48-amp one that will reduce recharging times. All of these updates means the Tesla Model S has a higher pricetag. The Model S now begins at $71,500 for the base 70 kW Model S, an increase of $1,500. Source: Tesla
  8. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 24, 2013 Its all about the trademarks it seems these days. Case in point, Venture Beat via Reuters reports that Tesla has applied for a trademark with the name ‘Model E’, that refers to “automobiles and structural parts therefore.” The application was filed on August 5th and is currently waiting for approval. This has caused most everyone to go into a frenzy and try to figure out why Tesla wants to trademark 'Model E'. The going theory at the moment is that 'Model E' will be the name of Tesla's next model. The new model will be a competitor to the BMW 3-Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. We'll be keeping a close eye on this. Source: Reuters William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  9. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com April 3, 2013 Yesterday, Tesla announced a new, more affordable way to get behind the wheel of a Model S. Its what Tesla calls a "revolutionary new finance product" that combine the "best aspects of car leasing and ownership." How affordable are we talking about? Tesla was throwing a cost of less than $500 per month*. How does this product work? From Tesla's press release, Note a key phase in that quote. "When considering the savings from using electricity instead of gasoline, depreciation benefits and other factors, the true net out of pocket cost to own a mid-range Model S drops to less than $500 per month." In other words, they're factoring cost of ownership into the payment. Tesla has a calculator on their site that shows Effective Monthly Cost and the actual payment you'll be making. Using myself as an example, here are the Effective Monthly Costs and payments for the three Model S models. 60 kWh: $866 (effective), $1,051 (payment) 85 kWh: $1,042 (effective), $1,199 (payment) 85 kWh Performance: $1,305 (effective), $1,421 (payment) *Note: Payments are based a 2.95% APR, 10% down payment, and 66-month term loan, excluding sales tax and registration. The big question of course is will anyone get that magical $500 per month payment or not. I've only scratched the surface on this. Motor Authority has an in-depth article on Tesla's math that I recommend you check out. In the meantime, you can check out Tesla's press release on the next page. Source: Tesla William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Tesla Unveils Revolutionary New Finance Product Combines Best Aspects of Car Leasing and Ownership PALO ALTO, Calif. – April 2, 2013 – Tesla Motors announced today that, in partnership with Wells Fargo and US Bank, it has created a revolutionary automotive financing product that provides the best elements of ownership and leasing to Model S customers. Most people throughout the world prefer to own their belongings, rather than rent what is essentially someone else's property via a lease. However, leases do provide some key benefits, particularly a low initial payment, tax deductions, lower risk on resale value and the convenience of returning a car without the hassle of reselling it personally. Working with some of the largest and most respected banks in the country, Tesla has been able to create a new kind of financing product that combines the surety and comfort of ownership with all the advantages of a traditional lease. Like the Model S, this product was created from the ground up to provide maximum benefit to consumers, rather than simply duplicating other financing programs that tend to favor companies at the expense of the individual. How does it work? US Bank and Wells Fargo have agreed to provide 10% down financing for purchase of a Model S (on approved credit) The 10% down payment is covered or more than covered by US Federal and state tax credits ranging from $7,500 to $15,000. New Jersey, Washington and DC also have no sales tax for electric vehicles. These advantages are not available when leasing. When considering the savings from using electricity instead of gasoline, depreciation benefits and other factors, the true net out of pocket cost to own a mid-range Model S drops to less than $500 per month. After 36 months, you have the right, but not the obligation to sell your Model S to Tesla for the same residual value percentage as the iconic Mercedes S Class, one of the finest premium sedans in the world, made by Daimler (also a Tesla partner and investor). Not only is Tesla guaranteeing that resale value, but Tesla CEO Elon Musk is personally standing behind that guarantee to give customers absolute peace of mind about the value of the asset they are purchasing.
  10. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com April 2, 2013 Tesla announced some interesting bits of news yesterday. In a press release, the company announced sales of the Model S have exceeded a previous estimate for the first quarter by 250 vehicles. Tesla also said that they're delivering 500 vehicles a week, up from 400 not too long ago. But that wasn't the most interesting bit of news. Further down the release, Tesla announced that they would not be building any of the 40 kWh Model Ss due to small number of orders they got for it (about 4% of total orders). Instead, Tesla will be giving the people who wanted to the 40 kWh model the 60 kWh models with the same range as the 40 kWh model (about 160 miles) thanks a software limiter on this model. The 60 kWh model also brings forth improved performance; 302 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque vs. the 235 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque on the 40 kWh model. You can remove the limiter on the 60 kWh range-limited model buy spending $10,000, which happens to be the cost difference between the 40 kWh and 60 kWh models. Tesla says its an option for both original and second-hand owners. Source: Tesla, Wired's Autopia William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 TESLA MODEL S SALES EXCEED TARGET Profitability Guidance Amended Upward 40 kWh Battery Cancelled SUNDAY, MARCH 31, 2013 Tesla Motors announced today that sales of its Model S vehicle exceeded the target provided in the mid February shareholder letter. As customers who note their Model S serial number this weekend will realize, vehicle deliveries (sales) exceeded 4,750 units vs. the 4,500 unit prior outlook. As a result, Tesla is amending its Q1 guidance to full profitability, both GAAP and non-GAAP. "I am incredibly proud of the Tesla team for their outstanding work. There have been many car startups over the past several decades, but profitability is what makes a company real. Tesla is here to stay and keep fighting for the electric car revolution," said Elon Musk, Tesla Motors co-founder and CEO. "I would also like to thank our customers for their passionate support of the company and the car. Without them, we would not be here." Also being announced today is that the small battery option for the Model S will not enter production, due to lack of demand. Only four percent of customers chose the 40 kWh battery pack, which is not enough to justify production of that version. Customers are voting with their wallet that they want a car that gives them the freedom to travel long distances when needed. The customers who ordered this option will instead receive the 60 kWh pack, but range will be software limited to 40 kWh. It will still have the improved acceleration and top speed of the bigger pack, so will be a better product than originally ordered, and can be upgraded to the range of the 60 kWh upon request by the original or a future owner. Tesla is also revealing a small Easter egg today: all 60 kWh cars have been and will be built with Supercharger hardware included. Tesla is taking a slight cost risk that ultimately all customers will want to buy the Supercharger upgrade and receive unlimited, free long distance travel for life. Even for those that never drive long distances, this will improve the resale value of their car to people that do. ABOUT TESLA Tesla Motors' (NASDAQ: TSLA) goal is to accelerate the world's transition to electric mobility with a full range of increasingly affordable electric cars. California-based Tesla designs and manufactures EVs, as well as EV powertrain components for partners such as Toyota and Daimler. Tesla has delivered almost 10,000 electric vehicles to customers in 31 countries. Forward-Looking Statement Certain statements in this press release, including statements regarding the expected profitability of the company, the availability of vehicle features and options and the Supercharger network, are "forward-looking statements" that are subject to risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements are based on management's current expectations, and as a result of certain risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those projected. Various important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements, including the risks and uncertainties identified under the sections captioned "Risk Factors" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results Of Operations" in Tesla's Form 10-K filed on March 7, 2013. Tesla disclaims any obligation to update information contained in these forward-looking statements.
  11. Tesla is apparently full of surprises. This morning, the Californian electric automaker announced the Model S 70D which will replace the 60 as the base model. The 70D packs a larger 70-kWh battery pack which increases range from 208 miles to 240. The D in the 70D means this is packing Tesla's dual-motor all-wheel-drive system which provides a total output of 514 horsepower. This increase in power drops 0-60 from 5.9 to 5.2 seconds. Other changes on the 70D include Tesla’s Supercharging DC fast-charger installed and the and the Autopilot semi-autonomous system. As for price, the Model S 70D will start off at $75,000, about $4,000 more than the Model S 60. Source: Tesla Motors Press Release is on Page 2 Introducing the All-Wheel Drive Model S 70D Today, we are introducing the Model S 70D, an all-wheel drive electric car with a 0-60 time of 5.2 seconds and a 250 mile range at 65 mph. Even at a starting price of $75k, the Model S 70D offers a broad and compelling set of features. Moreover, when one factors in the cost advantages over an internal combustion engine vehicle, including fuel savings and incentives, the actual cost of owning Model S 70D comes to about $55k over five years (the average length of new car ownership). In addition to having independently operational front and rear motors, the 70D includes Supercharging to enable free long-distance travel, Autopilot hardware, navigation, blind spot detection and many other features. As with every Model S, the 70D will receive free over-the-air updates that add functionality and improve the driving experience for years to come. Starting today, you can also order any Models S in three new colors: Ocean Blue, Obsidian Black, and Warm Silver.
  12. Tesla, the electric car startup in California has put the automotive industry on notice with the Model S. With impressive range and the model stealing sales from luxury makers, automakers are wondering how best to compete with the Model S. Car Magazine learned about what BMW has planned. Known internally as F18, the new model will utilize a long-wheelbase version of the next-generation 5-Series sedan. The next-generation 5-Series will be one the first models to use a new modular platform known as Cluster Architecture (CLAR) which will underpin models from the 3 to 7-Series. The new architecture will allow F18 - or as Car calls it the i5/i7 - to share many components such as suspension, steering, and brakes from the 5-Series. Power will come front two electric motors and a four-cylinder engine. Total output is expected to be around 400kw - about 536 horsepower. As for design, the report says it could be a mixture of 6-Series Gran Coupe and the next-generation 7-Series. Now the model is expected to come out in 2018. This date makes sense as that will be the time when the U.S.' CAFE regulation that 4.5 percent of vehicles sold must be a zero emission vehicle goes into affect. Source: Car Magazine
  13. Last night, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced some big changes for the Model S. The first change is the introduction of all-wheel drive to the Model S lineup, which means the addition of a second electric motor up front. The system dubbed Dual Motor All Wheel Drive works out like this for their lineup, 60D and 85D - Front & Rear Motor: 188 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque; Combined: 376 horsepower and 326 torque. P85D - Front Motor: 221 horsepower and 244 pound-feet of torque; Rear Motor: 470 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque; Combined: 691 horsepower and 687 pound-feet of torque. The P85D will take the place of the P85+ as the Model S flagship with a 0-60 MPH time of 3.2 seconds (0.7 seconds faster than the P85+) and a top speed of 155 MPH. On the range front, the 60D sees a 17 mile increase (208 to 225 miles); the 80D gets a 10 mile increase (265 to 275 miles); and the P85D takes 10 mile hit (285 to 275 miles). Pricing for the all-wheel drive models is as followed, 60D: $75,070 85D: $85,070 P85D: $120,170 Also being announced was Tesla's Autopilot system. The system utilizes a forward-looking camera, a radar sensor, and ultrasonic sensors to give the Model S a 360-degree view of the surrounding road. At the current time, the system will be able to read speed limit and stay at that speed if the driver allows it. The system will also automate lane changes and park itself. Tesla says there will be more features coming to the Autopilot system in the future. Source: Tesla, Motor Trend, Carscoops, Automobile Magazine William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  14. Many people see the Cadillac ELR as General Motors' direct competitor to the Tesla Model S, but GM's head of global product development, Mark Reuss says it isn't. “People like to say the ELR is, but it’s really not. It’s a different car, it’s a different price point. It’s way-different technology,” Reuss said. Ruess goes onto say that he isn't sure if the company has a direct competitor to Tesla. So why do many people consider the ELR a competitor to the Model S? Probably from a quote from former GM CEO Dan Akerson back in September. "If you want to compete head-to-head with Tesla, and we ultimately will, you want to do it with a Cadillac,” Source: The Detroit News William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  15. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com September 26, 2012 On the surface, everything seems bright and sunny at Tesla. The company has begun production of the new Model S sedan, introduced a new charging network for Model S drivers that uses solar energy, and is in the process of planning new models. But, Tesla is showing some signs of setbacks of becoming an automaker. In a recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Tesla has downgraded their full-year revenue forecast from $550 - $600 million to $400 - $440 million. "We have methodically increased our Model S production at a rate slower than we had earlier anticipated," Tesla said in the filing. Tesla says it's about four to five weeks behind its delivery goals due to supplier delays. The automaker says that it is working with suppliers to speed up deliveries. Tesla also revealed in their filling that have a net cumulative loss of $864.9 million through June 30 of this year. This isn't surprising considering learning to build vehicles and then build them adds up. This report caused shares in the company to tumble about 8.5% yesterday morning. Source: Reuters, Tesla Motors William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  16. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com June 21, 2012 The EPA gave its ratings for the Tesla Model S are they are very good. The EPA rates the new Model S at 88 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) in the City, 90 MPGe on the Highway, and 89 MPGe combined. Range is estimated to be 265 Miles, a 12% decrease from Tesla’s original estimate. (Note, these EPA ratings are for the the top of the line Model S. We’ll learn what the ratings for the other Model Ss in time.) So where does the Model S fall into the EV MPGe ratings? Well it's behind the Honda Fit EV (118 MPGe), Mitsubishi i (112 MPGe), Ford Focus EV (105 MPGe), and Nissan Leaf (99 MPGe). But well ahead of the Coda Sedan (73 MPGe). However, the Model S is larger than any of the vehicles listed and can seat up to seven (five + two jump seats). Source: Autoblog William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  17. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened an investigation into a fatal crash dealing with Tesla's Autopilot system. In a statement given to Reuters, NHTSA said the driver of a 2015 Tesla Model S was killed while the vehicle was in the Autopilot mode. The crash took place on May 7th in Williston, Florida when a tractor-trailer was making a left turn across a divided highway. Tesla in a lengthy blog post said: "neither Autopilot nor the driver noticed the white side of the tractor trailer against a brightly lit sky, so the brake was not applied." The Model S drove underneath the trailer with the bottom making contact with the windshield. The Verge reports the driver was 40-year old Joshua Brown who filmed various videos of his Model S. One of the videos on his YouTube channel showed his Model avoiding an accident with a bucket truck. NHTSA's investigation will look the design and performance of the Model S and its various components, including Autopilot. It should be noted this is standard practice for NHTSA to investigate any crash where the vehicle's system could be at fault. Tesla's blog post says this is first known fatality in over 130 million miles since Autopilot was turned on. Autopilot has been a source of controversy since Tesla rolled it out last year. Numerous videos of Model S owners filming themselves in dangerous situations and sometimes showing the system not working caused Tesla to make some drastic changes. These included limiting the types of road the system could be turned on and making checks to see if there was someone sitting in the driver's seat. Tesla has said time and time again that Autopilot is a beta feature and that the driver needed to pay attention. "Autopilot is getting better all the time, but it is not perfect and still requires the driver to remain alert," Tesla said in their post. "It is important to note that Tesla disables Autopilot by default and requires explicit acknowledgement that the system is new technology and still in a public beta phase before it can be enabled. When drivers activate Autopilot, the acknowledgment box explains, among other things, that Autopilot “is an assist feature that requires you to keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times," and that "you need to maintain control and responsibility for your vehicle” while using it. " Nevertheless, this crash puts autonomous technologies and Tesla under some intense scrutiny. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), The Detroit News, Reuters, Tesla, The Verge View full article
  18. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has issued their preliminary report on the fatal crash involving a Tesla Model S in Autopilot mode and a semi-truck back in May. According to data that was downloaded from the Model S, the vehicle was traveling above the speed limit on the road (74 mph in 65) and that Autopilot was engaged. The speed helps explain how the Model S traveled around 347 feet after making the impact with the trailer - traveling 297 feet before hitting a utility pole, and then going another 50 feet after breaking it. The report doesn't have any analysis of the accident or a possible cause. NTSB says their investigators are still downloading data from the vehicle and looking at information from the scene of the crash. A final report is expected within the next 12 months. Car and Driver reached out for comment from both Tesla and Mobileye - the company that provides Tesla the chips that process the images being captured by Autopilot's cameras. Tesla didn't respond, but a blog post announcing the crash said: "neither Autopilot nor the driver noticed the white side of the tractor trailer against a brightly lit sky, so the brake was not applied." A spokesman for Mobileye told the magazine that their chips aren't designed to flag something like the scenario that played out in the crash. “The design of our system that we provide to Tesla was not . . . it’s not in the spec to make a decision to tell the vehicle to do anything based on that left turn, that lateral turn across the path. Certainly, that’s a situation where we would hope to be able to get to the point where the vehicle can handle that, but it’s not there yet,” said Dan Galves, a Mobileye spokesperson. It should be noted that hours before NTSB released their report, Mobileye announced that it would end its relationship with Tesla once their current contract runs out. The Wall Street Journal reports that disagreements between the two on how the technology was deployed and the fatal crash caused the separation. “I think in a partnership, we need to be there on all aspects of how the technology is being used, and not simply providing technology and not being in control of how it is being used,” said Mobileye Chief Technical Officer Amnon Shashua during a call with analysts. “It’s very important given this accident…that companies would be very transparent about the limitations” of autonomous driving systems, said Shashua. “It’s not enough to tell the driver to be alert but to tell the driver why.” Recently, Mobileye announced a partnership with BMW and Intel in an attempt to get autonomous vehicles on the road by 2021. Source: NTSB, 2, Car and Driver, Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required) View full article
  19. Recently if you wanted the cheapest version of the Tesla Model S, you had to get the Model S 70 which started at $71,500. But today, Tesla has announced a new low-cost version of the Model S. The new Model S 60 starts at $66,000 (before federal and state incentives) and offers a maximum range of 210 miles. If you're wondering why this sounds somewhat familiar, that is because Tesla offered the Model S 60 up until last year when the 70 took its place. Aside from the lower price, the 60 can be equipped with all-wheel drive (the 60D which starts at $71,000). Interestingly, the Model S 60 doesn't have a 60 kWh battery pack. Instead, it is a 75 kWh battery pack that are capped by software to pretend to be smaller. You can unlock the full capacity of the battery via a software update, but it will cost you $9,000 (along with a $500 service fee). Source: Tesla Press Release is on Page 2 As you know, Model S is designed to be a great car for every lifestyle, and we continue to make it even better. Last month we introduced design updates to Model S, and through continual software updates we've made Model S faster, smarter, safer and more enjoyable to drive. It's part of Tesla's relentless commitment to making its products better. With these improvements, we've heard from a number of people who would like to buy a Model S, but can more easily afford it only at a lower price point. To respond to these requests, on Thursday June 9 we're introducing two new variants of Model S – Model S 60 and 60D, offering a compelling feature set and a great value at a new low price. The new Model S 60 delivers more than 200 miles of range, a top speed of 130 mph and zero-to-60 acceleration in 5.5 seconds, starting at $66,000. The all-wheel drive option brings even more range and performance, beginning at $71,000. And every Tesla comes equipped with active safety features and Autopilot hardware. Keep in mind that when comparing the price of any electric vehicle to an internal combustion vehicle, it's important to compare not just the out-of-pocket price, but also the effective cost of ownership. Factoring in annual fuel savings which typically ranges between $1,000 and $1,500, as well as available tax incentives, the effective cost of owning Model S 60 comes to about $50k. And there are other advantages to owning a Tesla that add up over time, including: Less maintenance – Tesla vehicles don't require regular maintenance like oil changes, fuel filters or smog checks. And our four-year/50,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty and eight-year/infinite mile battery and drive unit warranty come standard with Model S. Ample charging options – for most Tesla owners, home charging provides plenty of range for daily travel, and with an EPA range of over 200 miles, that's still the case for Model S 60 and 60D. For long distance travel, there are many convenient Supercharger and Destination Charging locations throughout our network. New features via free software updates – as with every Model S, the 60 and 60D will receive free over-the-air software updates that add functionality and continue to improve the driving experience for years to come. To provide customers even more flexibility over time, Model S 60 and 60D owners may later choose to upgrade their vehicles to a 75kWh battery with a software update, should they want to add to their car's battery capacity in the future. View full article
  20. Today, Telsa pulled the covers off the updated Model S. The biggest change for the Model S is the removal of the front grille. It has been replaced with a similar fascia to the Model X and recently announced Model 3 - front panel and LED headlights. Inside, the Model S gets HEPA air-filtration system first introduced on the Model X as an option. This system according to Tesla is said to remove up to "99.97 percent of particulate exhaust pollution and effectively all allergens, bacteria, and other contaminants from cabin air." Tesla has also swapped the 40-amp onboard charger to a 48-amp one that will reduce recharging times. All of these updates means the Tesla Model S has a higher pricetag. The Model S now begins at $71,500 for the base 70 kW Model S, an increase of $1,500. Source: Tesla View full article
  21. Tesla's Model S may have taken the world by storm, but one Atlanta woman's vehicle was taken out by a storm. Sarah Day was charging her Model S at a Supercharger near Columbus, Georgia, when a lightning bolt struck nearby. Once Day realized her dash camera stopped working, Day realized something went wrong. She explained what happened next in an interview with Teslarati: Though Tesla sent a tow-truck, the Model S was unable to be disconnected from the charging station. The sunroof was also stuck halfway. Thus Day's vehicle had to be left at the station, until a technician could service the vehicle onsite. Sarah's day wasn't entirely rained out. She raved about Tesla's "amazing," "responsive" customer service, who first offered to pay for a rental vehicle to return home. Opting to remain in the same city as her vehicle, Day was then asked if she'd like to be put up in a hotel, with expenses and transportation paid for. Tesla's service centre has sent a technician to safely disconnect the vehicle's power cable and bring it in. Tesla told Day that each Supercharger "has multiple relays and sensors to protect the cars from surges," and the vehicle may have sensed the voltage spike and disconnected everything as a precaution. Could it be Edison's vengeful ghost? Is this Ben Franklin's endorsement? Heaven only knows. What we do know is that Tesla is hoping that its upcoming Model X crossover will as successful as the Model S. Perhaps lightning will strike twice? We'll have more once the story develops. Source: Teslarati
  22. Lone Star State lawmakers have reined in Tesla's hopes of selling to Texans. Two bills allowing the Palo Alto-based electric carmaker to open Tesla Store's have died in the state legislature, in the face of dealership opposition. Tesla's direct-sales approach has raised the ire of dealership associations nationwide, who worry this jeopardizes their decades-old sales model based on franchise laws. Similar laws are on the books in states such as Michigan, Arizona, West Virginia, and until recently, New Jersey. Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk reportedly hired up to 20 lobbyists in Texas and made $150,000 in campaign contributions. Despite support from former governor Rick Perry, the bills were unable to overcome Texas' powerful dealership lobby, whose support of franchise laws in a state priding itself as a bastion of free-maket economics and limited red tape was deemed "very un-Texan" by Musk in a 2014 interview. The Texas Auto Dealers Association has spent over $278,000 lobbying against Tesla, with some individual dealership owners and groups contributing hundreds of thousands more. Texas is home to the country's second largest high-tech workforce and is the U.S.' largest technology manufacturing exporter. Tesla's absence among the likes of industry pioneers such as Dell and Texas Instruments is notable. The state competed for the brand's 'Gigafactory' but lost to Nevada. The state's legislature holds bi-yearly sessions, meaning Tesla will need to wait until 2017 for similar bills to be introduced, just in time for the Model 3's debut. Source: The Verge View attachment: Model_S_Press_WEB.jpg View full article
  23. Last week, Tesla announced some new updates for the Model S. The big news was the introduction of the optional 'Ludicrous' acceleration mode. This mode drops 0-60 from 3.1 to 2.8 seconds and can do the quarter-mile in 10.9 seconds. Tesla is able to do this via a new advanced smart fuse for the battery that allows an increase in the maximum amp throughout from 1,300 to 1,500 amps. This option will cost $10,000 for a new Model S P85D. But if you are the current owner of a P85D, you can get the Ludicrous package for $5,000 plus labor for the next six months. Also announced is a new 90-kWh battery pack option which adds 15 Miles to the overall range of the Model S P85D (275 to 300 Miles). Opting for the larger battery will cost around $3,000. Wrapping up the changes is the introduction of a new base Model S. The Model S 70 RWD only comes with one electric motor and will set you back around $70,000. Source: Tesla Press Release is on Page 2 THREE DOG DAY - 90 kWh battery pack option for $3k - 70 kWh rear drive Model S for $70k (effectively ~$50k after incentives & gas savings)- 2.8 sec 0 to 60 mph upgrade to "Ludicrous Mode" First, I should address something that might be on your mind, like: "Where the heck is the Model X and the Model 3!? You should really get on that." Don't worry, those remain our focus and good progress is being made on both. X is on track for first deliveries in two months and Model 3 in just over two years. Now, on to the awesome news of today. New buyers now have the option of upgrading the pack energy from 85 to 90 kWh, which provides up to 15 miles of additional range. This takes our current longest range model, the 85D to almost exactly 300 miles of highway range at 65mph. Existing owners can also purchase the pack upgrade, but I wouldn't recommend doing so unless your usage is on the edge of current range. On average, we expect to increase pack capacity by roughly 5% per year. Better to wait until you have more time on your existing pack and there is a larger accumulated pack energy difference. 70kWh for $70k We are now offering the 70kWh version of the Model S in the single motor version for $5k less than the dual motor, consistent with the price differential for the single and dual motor 85 kWh car. Importantly, enough options are now standard that you will have bought a great car even if you pick the base version. Various purchase incentives mean the actual net price is around $60k and annual gasoline and servicing savings are around $2k. These savings are captured immediately if you lease the car. Luuudicrous Mode While working on our goal of making the power train last a million miles, we came up with the idea for an advanced smart fuse for the battery. Instead of a standard fuse that just melts past a certain amperage, which means you aren't exactly sure when it will or won't melt or if it will arc when it does, we developed a fuse with its own electronics and a tiny lithium-ion battery. It constantly monitors current at the millisecond level and is pyro-actuated to cut power with extreme precision and certainty. That was combined with upgrading the main pack contractor to use inconel (a high temperature space-grade superalloy) instead of steel, so that it remains springy under the heat of heavy current. The net result is that we can safely increase max amp throughout from 1300 to 1500 Amps. If you don't know much about Amps, trust me this is a silly big number of Amps to be going through something the size of your little fingernail. What this results in is a 10% improvement in the 0 to 60 mph time to 2.8 secs and a quarter mile time of 10.9 secs. Time to 155 mph is improved even more, resulting in a 20% reduction. This option will cost $10k to new buyers. In appreciation of our existing P85D owners, the upgraded pack electronics will be offered for the next six months at only $5k plus installation labor. It is important to note that the battery pack size upgrade and the pack electronics upgrade are almost entirely independent. The first is about energy, which affects range, and the second is about power, which affects acceleration. There is of course one speed faster than ludicrous, but that is reserved for the next generation Roadster in 4 years: maximum plaid. MORE ON THE ANNOUNCEMENT Model S already offers the highest possible safety ratings, the longest range of any EV, and over-the-air updates that continuously make it better. The performance improvements we're announcing today demonstrate, yet again, that an electric car can soundly beat any gasoline car on efficiency and pure performance. Today's three new options give customers the ability to order the Model S for their lifestyle: 90kWh Battery Model S with maximum range. Available as an option on all 85kWh Model S, the new extended range option gives customers the ability to order a 90kWh battery. The upgrade increases range on all 85 kWh Model S by 5%. Ludicrous Speed Ludicrous Speed decreases the 0-60 mph time for Model S 10% to 2.8 seconds with a quarter mile time of 10.9 seconds. Time to 155 miles per hour is now 20% faster than a standard Model S Performance. Model S 70 In line with our mission to make our cars increasingly affordable, 70 RWD offers the best value of any Model S released to date, $5,000 less than the current lowest priced Model S with all the current standard equipment. Model S 70 RWD starts at $70,000. Here are a few examples of what a customer can now order: Model S P90D: truly Ludicrous performance; 0-60 in 2.8 sec with a quarter mile time of 10.9 seconds. Motor Power: 259 hp front, 503 hp rear, 253 miles range Model S 90D: the longest-range Model S ever produced, 90D travels up to 270 miles on a single charge. 417 hp Model S 70: 230 miles range, 0=60: 5.2, 328 hp View full article
  24. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 24, 2013 Its all about the trademarks it seems these days. Case in point, Venture Beat via Reuters reports that Tesla has applied for a trademark with the name ‘Model E’, that refers to “automobiles and structural parts therefore.” The application was filed on August 5th and is currently waiting for approval. This has caused most everyone to go into a frenzy and try to figure out why Tesla wants to trademark 'Model E'. The going theory at the moment is that 'Model E' will be the name of Tesla's next model. The new model will be a competitor to the BMW 3-Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. We'll be keeping a close eye on this. Source: Reuters William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  25. One thing you cannot call Elon Musk is a shrinking violet. The CEO of Tesla has taken to Twitter once again to defend the company. This time it deals with the results of Consumer Reports' annual reliability survey where the Model S, a vehicle which had earned the coveted Recommended rating, lost it this year due to a number of problems reported by owners. CR says the Model S likely to face a "worse-than-average" overall problem rate. Musk said in his tweets that problems outlined in CR's survey were because of early production models and that new models have these issues ironed out. Musk goes on to say "Most important, CR says 97% of owners expect their next car to be a Tesla (the acid test)." Source: Elon Musk Twitter, (2) View full article

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