Yesterday

TSLA: 266.15

-0.64%
Stock Chart

SolarCity is the largest installer of residential solar so looking at their market performance is a useful indicator for the solar industry as a whole. This week, the company released their financial results for the second quarter of the year (April to June) and they achieved record bookings and installations.

Even though the company missed Wall Street’s expectations, they impressed the industry with 189 MW of solar power installed in just 3 months. I’m not overstating anything when I say this is impressive. For comparison, SolarCity installed more distributed solar power on rooftops than the capacity of a large solar power farm like the Centinela Solar Energy Project in California. expand full story

According to a series of tweets from Tesla CEO Elon Musk at 5am ET this morning, the Model S vehicles released since the D event will soon gain the ability to steer on the highway and parallel auto park.

This is a pretty big deal when combined with the current traffic aware cruise control. It means you can essentially put on “autopilot” when you get on the highway and don’t have to turn it off until it is time to recharge or get off the highway.  While I wouldn’t (and Tesla certainly doesn’t) recommend sleeping or getting out of your seat, one could theoretically pick up a newspaper, tablet or smartphone during this time (Oh, that’s against the law in most states currently).

At the very least, it is a great safety feature.

The parallel auto park will also be a very nice selling point for those who fear parallel parking. I’m sadly unfamiliar with this phobia as I can parallel park perfectly into any spot *crash*.

 

July 30

TSLA: 266.79

2.97%
Stock Chart

Earlier this year, Victory Motorcycles bought Brammo’s electric motorcycle business and now Brammo’s Empulse R becomes Victory’s Empulse TT. Other than the badges and a light styling refresh, the bike is roughly unchanged. Going for $20,000 and with an advertised range of 140 miles, the Empulse could represent an interesting higher-end alternative to the very popular Zero electric motorcycles. expand full story

July 29

TSLA: 263.82

-1.00%
Stock Chart

Tesla announced a new program for its owners today. People who refer new buyers will receive $1000 for every sale of a Tesla vehicle they can initiate.

  • Owners who make five referral orders will receive an invitation for them and a guest to attend the Gigafactory grand opening party.
  • Those who make ten referral orders will get the right to purchase a Founder Series Model X, which is not available at any price, for the cost of a base Model X, an approximately $20,000 difference.
  • The first owner in each region, North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific, to make ten referral orders will get a fully loaded Model X for free.

We had a hunch Tesla was up to something when Elon Musk said he had a “secret weapon agains the car dealers”In May we wrote:

“At this point we can only speculate about what could be Tesla’s “secret weapon”, but here’s an idea: a reward program for Model S owners who are generating leads and offering test drives. SolarCity, which could be considered Tesla’s sister company, found success with their “Solar Ambassador Program“. People can sign up to an app and submit leads to SolarCity. If a lead turns into a sale, the “solar ambassador” receives $250. Tesla could implement a similar program with their current Model S owners. Tesla is known to have a very enthusiast and knowledgeable customer base. Owners in regions where Tesla is not allowed to sell directly could offer test drives to potential customers, talk about their experience with the car and then maybe submit a lead to Tesla in a similar manner as SolarCity does with their program.”

Some more details:

Anyone who orders a new Model S before September 30 using the referral link of a current owner will get $1,000 off the purchase price. In return, the current owner will get a $1,000 discount that can be applied to a new car, service center visit or accessories.

Referral discounts are limited to ten and are awarded on a first to purchase basis. New orders must be placed prior to September 30, 2015.

This really should spur both sales and salesmanship amongst current owners. It will also spur debate on whether Tesla owners really love their cars or they just want to make a quick $1000 (both!).

Update: USE MY LINK! http://ts.la/seth8185

Full text of offer follows: expand full story

Car-shopping website Edmunds studied the registration data of all 1600+ Tesla Model S vehicles sold in the pre-owned market in the U.S and published an interesting report today about the differences between Tesla’s used car market and new car market. expand full story

July 27

TSLA: 253.01

-12.40%
Stock Chart

A few months ago we wrote about Tesla’s “pop-up” stores (mobile stores) being introduced in Santa Barbara. Today we learn that the store made it to the Hamptons for the summer. expand full story

According to a report from the San Diego Union-Tribune, Tesla inked a deal to install battery packs at 3 Escondido high schools in the San Diego County school districts. The 3 projects are approved to start installation in a few weeks and be completed by the end of the year – making the deal one of the biggest to date for Tesla’s new energy storage products. expand full story

We’re mostly going to stay away from politics but this ad is very specifically on solar and renewables and it will hopefully kick off a debate on the energy sector that we’ll see in the run up to the 2015 elections.  The 10 year goal of moving US residences to renewables is a worthy 1st step. More from her campaign page

 

July 24

TSLA: 265.41

-1.79%
Stock Chart

Apple and BMW have engaged in negotiations over Apple’s interest in using BMW’s i3 electric cars as a basis for its own electric car project, according to a new report from German publication

expand full story

July 22

TSLA: 267.87

1.10%
Stock Chart

From 9to5Toys.com:

stary-skateboard-kickstarter

Using your own muscles to propel a bike or skateboard is so played out in 2015. We’ve seen the lightest e-bike on the road and now a group of inventors is showing off “the world lightest” electric vehicle of any kind on Kickstarter.

The Stary Board is enjoying massive success after a few weeks, raising more than double its goal in that time. Weighing in less than most newborn babies at nine pounds, this new skateboard promises fast speeds at a low cost.  expand full story

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