According to PlugShare’s quarterly report, Tesla added 858 charging stations across the US from September 2014 to September 2015. The increase is largely due to Tesla’s “Destination Charging” program, which now accounts for over 80% of Tesla’s charging points in the US.
The automaker operates two different types of charging networks, the “Superchargers” and “Destination Charging“. Supercharger stations can charge a Model S at a rate of more than 300 miles of range per hour and they are mainly located next to popular routes to facilitate road trips. expand full story
Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed that the company can’t offer the Autopilot as a retrofit. There are a few aftermarket options available to add driver assist features to a car, but nothing close to Tesla’s ‘Autosteer’ and ‘Auto Lane Change’ features… until now.
Kyle Vogt is best known for being one of the co-founder of Twitch, but since leaving the company in 2013, he founded Cruise, also known as Cruise Automation, with the goal of “building self-driving technology that works on your existing car”. The company has been ramping up lately with the closing of its $12.5 million series A round of financing led by Sam Altman and the hiring of a senior Tesla Autopilot engineer. expand full story
Last month we reported on comments made by BMW CEO Harald Krüger about the BMW i3 getting a new battery pack with more range in 2016. Now we learn through an article coming out of Autocar yesterday that sources close to BMW are saying that the new battery pack should enable “up to 124 miles of range on a single charge” and be available as a retrofit to current i3 owners – something Krüger hinted could be possible.
Autocar’s Greg Kable didn’t say on what he is basing his “124 miles” figure, but he compared it to the current range of the i3 which he said is “just under 100 miles”. This means he is working with the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) which is not very accurate in predicting real world range. expand full story
The city of Sion in Switzerland approved a pilot project with two all-electric and fully autonomous buses which will hit the road as soon as spring 2016. The project could become the first fully autonomous public transportation system in operation.
The buses are being introduced in collaboration with the city of Sion, France-based electric bus manufacturer Navya and self-driving software firm BestMile. expand full story
When Tesla first unveiled the Model X in September, the vehicle was widely reported to cost $132,000, but a lot of publications failed to understand that it was the sale price of the limited “Founders series”. Then Tesla opened orders for the “Signature series” – for people who reserved the vehicle with a $40,000 deposit – and now Tesla finally opens the order book to the reservation holders for the production version.
There’s no surprise. The base version is the “Model X 70D”, which starts at $80,000 ($5,000 more than the Dual Motor version of the Model S) and has an EPA-rated range of 220 miles. Tesla says that new orders will start shipping in “mid to late 2016”.
You can see a screenshot of the Model X design studio below: expand full story
Between established automakers accelerating their electric vehicle programs and the newcomers in the EV industry – like Apple, Faraday Future or Atieva – engineers with battery experience are not short on employment opportunities. Earlier this year, Apple poached several battery tech experts from A123 Systems and we also reported that about 1 in 8 of Faraday Future’s ~400 employees is formerly from Tesla Motors.
From an executive’s standpoint, retaining talent in a specific field can be challenging on its own, but for Elon Musk, CEO of both Tesla and SpaceX, it can be even more complex when both companies he’s managing require talent in the same field… expand full story
On November 20th, Tesla completed the Supercharger route between Melbourne and Sydney by opening a location in Gundagai. The company now operates 7 Supercharger locations in Australia and they are all located between Victoria’s coastal capital and the capital of New South Wales. expand full story
Earlier this summer, Lucasfilm announced that Fiat’s FCA will be one of six major brand participating in an “expensive and historic” promotional campaign for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. As part of the campaign, FCA unveiled a custom-painted Fiat 500e stormtrooper at the LA Auto Show last week.
The Fiat 500e is equipped with a 24 kWh battery pack and can achieve 87 EPA-rated miles on a single charge. At a MSRP of $32,795, the 500e can be an interesting smaller alternative to the Nissan LEAF, Chevy Spark or Kia Soul EV, but like the Soul EV, it suffers from the price comparison with its gasoline-powered counterpart, which starts at $17,990. expand full story