Tesla has over 24,000 Model X reservations, twice as much as they had for the Model S

A few months ahead of the launch of the Model X, Tesla could have over 24,000 reservations for the crossover-SUV, twice as much as the company had for the Model S before its official launch in 2012. Tesla confirmed back in December that they had around 20,000 reservations for the vehicle, the company could have added more than 4,000 reservations during the past 2 quarters. This number is in line with a tally created by members of the Tesla Motors ClubRead more

Tesla’s Model S Pride-mobile shows ‘equality without exception’

 

Tesla-Pride-model-s

Tesla was among many Tech companies participating in last weekend’s Pride festivities in San Francisco and one Reddit user took the opportunity to catch the pace car for the Tesla group which I find way better than the 2014 edition below.

Some comments from the thread:

  • Never thought I’d say this — that is a sexy looking rainbow coloured car.
  • Quite possibly the most left-wing car ever to greet the earth.
  • That’s actually way better than I expected.
  • Frederic Lambert: “showing off what their new paint shop can do?”

 

Video of the 2 Pride 2015 cars and another still below: Read more

Elon Musk’s SpaceX to buy another $75 million in solar-backed bonds from SolarCity

Solar panels on the roof of SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, CA.

SolarCity revealed in a recent SEC filling that the company expects SpaceX, Elon Musk’s rocket company, to buy $75 million in “SolarBonds”. Earlier this year, SpaceX already purchased $90 million in solar-backed bonds from SolarCity, just 2 months after the aerospace company landed a $1 billion equity deal with Google and Fidelity. If this second purchase goes through, SpaceX will be holding $165 million in SolarCity debt backed by solar assets.  Read more

Tesla’s Gigafactory is ahead of schedule according to Nevada officials

AP reported that Steve Hill, director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, presented a report to Nevada lawmakers on the progress of the Tesla Gigafactory in Sparks. The Governor’s Office expects the plant to be operational within a year, which is ahead of the original schedule, but in line with Elon Musk’s, Tesla’s CEO, recent comments on the pilot plant producing battery packs as soon as early 2016. Read more

Community solar in Minnesota attracts big investments, but not without problems – Interesting case study for the future of community solar

Xcel Energy, a major electric utility in Minnesota, proposed a new community solar program to make the renewable energy more accessible to the 600,000 apartment renters in the state. The proposal was approved by utility regulators late last year. Now just a few months after the program officially launched, Xcel reports having received over 700 applications totaling 763 megawatts (MW) of solar power installations. To put these figures into perspective, it would be enough electricity to supply more than 100,000 average households each year.

This is significantly more than Xcel planned and now they are petitioning their own program to decelerate its implementation. Read more

Tesla Model S has highest value retention of all electric vehicles and most gasoline vehicles according to a new NADA report

EVvalueretention

NADA issued a new report on electric vehicle value retention and unsurprisingly the Tesla Model S tops the list. The Model S retains an impressive 57.2% of its value after 3 years.  In comparison, segment averages for gasoline-powered luxury large, mid-size, as well as compact cars fell between 49.5% and 46.2% for the same period, according to NADA.  Read more

A company is making Elon Musk’s Hyperloop a reality: Hyperloop Technologies, inc.

From Hyperloop Technologies’ Twitter

The Hyperloop is a new mode of transportation detailed in a white paper by tech billionaire Elon Musk and with the help of informal teams of engineers from the two companies he leads; Tesla Motors and SpaceX. The idea is to create a reduced-pressure environment in which it will be easier to transport people or cargo at high-speed and efficiency. This environment would take the form of a tube in which pods would travel at up to 750 miles per hour. The original concept presented in the paper would have been able to travel the distance between Los Angeles and San Fransisco (354 miles) in less than 35 minutes.

Elon Musk, being busy running Tesla and SpaceX, decided to open-source the concept. A group of ex-SpaceX engineers, venture capitalists and other tech veterans didn’t waste any time and created Hyperloop Technologies to try to make the project a reality. Read more

SolarCity launches SolarCityNOW; watch in realtime total energy output and new installations

SolarCity, leader in residential solar installations, launched a new website called SolarCityNOW. The website displays realtime information on SolarCity’s energy output and new solar installations. The map illustrates how SolarCity acts like a decentralized electric utility. The company has over 200,000 installations, all connected to the internet in order to monitor the energy output of each system in realtime.  Read more

Tesla’s $35,000 vehicle, the Model 3, is more likely to be available in 2018

During a presentation at the 2015 EIA Conference earlier this week, JB Straubel, Tesla’s Chief Technology Officer, confirmed the Model 3 is “planned for 2018″.  There’s been a lot of speculation around Tesla’s upcoming vehicle, which is set to be priced at around $35,000 before any EV incentives and have at least 200 miles of range. Just a few weeks ago at Tesla’s shareholders meeting, Elon Musk, Tesla CEO, said the Model 3 could be ready by 2017, but Straubel’s presentation indicates that 2018 might be more realistic.  Read more

Def Con 2015 will have a ‘How to Hack a Tesla Model S’ Presentation

defcon-23

Listed among the Defcon 23 speakers is Marc Rogers Principle Security Researcher for CloudFlare and Kevin Mahaffey CTO of Lookout Inc who will give a presentation called ‘How to Hack a Tesla Model S’.

There have been various attempts to get into the Model S including the finding that there is an Ethernet IP network running through the car.  However the possibility of “Bricking a car that starts at $70,000 has kept the cost of entry high.

Tesla obviously will keep a close eye on this one.  Here’s the description:

The Tesla Model S is the most connected car in the world. It might surprise you to hear that it is also one of the most secure. In this talk we will walk you through the architecture of a Tesla Model S noting things that Tesla got right as well as identifying those that they got wrong. From this talk you will get an intimate understanding of how the many interconnected systems in a Tesla model S work and most importantly how they can be hacked. You will also get a good understanding of the data that this connected car collects and what Tesla does with this telemetry. We will also be releasing a tool that will enable Tesla Model S owners to view and analyse that telemetry in real time. Finally we will also be releasing several 0day vulnerabilities that will allow you to hack a Tesla Model S yourself – both locally and remotely. Note – only one of the 6 vulnerabilities we will discuss and release has been fixed. Disclaimer: With great access comes great responsibility – In other words we are not responsible for any Tesla Model S bricked by over enthusiastic attendees of this talk :)

DEF CON 23 takes place August 6-9 at Paris & Bally’s in Las Vegas, NV.

Image via Steve Martz

Understanding Tesla’s self-driving features: The Autopilot

Self-driving cars are a popular topic of discussion and the times of Google singlehandedly spearheading the effort seem long gone with what feels like every tech company on earth working on their own autonomous driving projects. One thing that inevitably comes up when talking about self-driving vehicles is predictions, but as the tech comes closer to reality, predictions and reality are blending to create misconceptions.

During Tesla’s recent shareholders meeting, Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, confirmed that the company will be pushing a new software update by the end of the month to their early access customers that will enable new autonomous features to their Model S. This could soon lead to the most advance autonomous capabilities to date in a vehicle currently on public roads.  Read more