Formula E profiled by BBC (starts in Beijing this weekend!)

Tesla is 3 years away from producing semi-autonomous driving vehicles

Nikkei:

TOKYO — Tesla Motors plans to develop its own autonomous driving system, with part of the technology to be introduced in three years, said Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk.”Full auto-pilot capability is going to happen, probably, in the five- or six-year time frame,” the head of the U.S. electric vehicle manufacturer told The Nikkei on Monday. “The overall system and software will be programmed by Tesla, but we will certainly use sensors and subcomponents from many companies,” Musk said.

Tesla aims to get a head start by incorporating some of the technology in a new electric vehicle slated to go into production around three years from now, he added. This car is expected to be priced at around $35,000.

Tesla gets $1.25B tax break to build their Gigafactory in Nevada

(abbreviated video below)

To be honest, I think CEO Elon Musk was always planning for Nevada. There are lithium mines there. IT is a short rail ride away from Tesla’s Fremont, CA plant. The other states and redundant ground breaking was to get a better deal and keep the politicians honest.

It would appear it worked. Tesla got a sweet $1.25B tax package to build in Nevada. Breakdown below

9to5-image 2014-09-04 at 9.28.44 PM

Reno, Nevada will be site of the Tesla Gigafactory

The Gigafactory location was the topic of discussion when I went on Bloomberg in February. A few reasons I thought it is Nevada’s to lose:

  • Nevada is geographically close to Tesla’s Fremont CA plant. Northern Nevada is on a quick direct Train route.
  • Northern Nevada also is the US’s only meaningful Lithium mine. Another huge deposit is located in near by Wyoming.
  • Nevada’s energy prices are higher than New Mexico or Arizona but still relatively low. Tesla however plans to use Solar and wind power, both of which northern Nevada has in spades
  • Texas won’t let Tesla sell cars direct to customers in the state. Arizona can’t go a year without trying to pass some crazy laws against gays, immigrants or other minorities.
  • Nevada has low taxes and pro-corporate laws.
  • Elon Musk likes going to nearby Burning Man

The AP Reports today:

Tesla has chosen an industrial park outside Reno to build its battery “gigafactory,” a person familiar with Tesla’s plans said Wednesday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no official announcement had been made — that was scheduled for Thursday afternoon at Nevada’s Capitol.

Aside from low tax rates and business-friendly workplace laws, Nevada offers plenty of sun and wind to generate “green” power, and relative proximity to the company’s car manufacturing plant in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The industrial park 15 miles east of Reno also is near a deposit of lithium, an essential element to produce the battery cells.

Formula E begins this month in Beijing and the silence is deafening

Profiled in the WSJ, the Formula E series will be an interesting series this year. Besides the lack of internal combustion sound, the biggest difference will be the pit stops which will have the driver actually hop into another car rather than getting fueled up.

Nissan Leaf to get redesign and double range for mid 2016?

Not only is the car redesigned but claimed to get more than double the current 85Mile range. The design is definitely more pleasing though I have to wonder what that huge front grill is all about.

Nissan is hard at work developing the next-generation Leaf, focusing on improving the range with new battery tech and – as our exclusive images show – a more conventional look. The new car is expected to be on sale late in 2016, with prices starting around £17,000…Nissan bosses are promising new battery technology is on the way, with better energy density for a more usable pure electric vehicle. A figure of about 186 miles is likely to be the target.

via AutoExpress

Two New Yorkers take out Palo Alto magazine ad to request features from Tesla, CEO Elon Musk responds

Surely there had to be a better way? Personally, I’ve never wanted for much of this but I’ve also never had cars that had these features in the past either.  Full ad pasted below: Read more