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TSLA: 192.18

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Earlier this year, we learned that Tesla is expanding the scope of the Gigafactory in Nevada to not only manufacture battery cells and packs, but also electric motors on new ‘Drive Unit assembly lines’. It was revealed through job postings at the factory, but now Tesla is “expanding its manufacturing team in the Gigafactory” with several new job openings announced today by the company’s Vice-President of Engineering for Drive Systems & Vehicle NVH.

The effort appears to be to support the manufacturing of the new third-generation drivetrain architecture that Tesla developed for the Model 3.  expand full story

In this week’s top stories: Tesla Model 3 interior images, Model X Falcon Wing doors in snow, John Deere’s electric tractor prototype, Tesla pushes to meet its delivery goal of 80,000 cars this year, and the latest solar and energy news.

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December 9

TSLA: 192.18

-0.11
Stock Chart

After a rare step into electrification with a so far well-received plug-in hybrid version of the Pacifica minivan, Chrysler is reportedly ready to move to an all-electric version of the vehicle or at least an all-electric vehicle based on the same platform. The new vehicle is expected to be unveiled at CES in Las Vegas next month. expand full story

9to5toys 

So there’s been a very important question about the Chevy Bolt that we’ve been following closely since its specs started trickling out earlier this year. How fast can it charge? We’re not talking about Level 2/Home charging which was clarified this week at 7.68 kW.chevy-bolt-32a

The Chevy Bolt Owner’s Manual which is now online (PDF) confirms that the Bolt will charge at 32 amps at 240 volts = 7.68 kW – giving the car 25 miles of charge per hour. This week, AeroVironment also announced that they would be providing the optional Chevy-branded home charging stations (vs. the included 110V plug adapter) to Chevy by upping their 30A EVSE-RS Charging stations 2 more amps to reach this level. As we’ve discussed before, this is a solid speed for home and destination charging but trails Tesla’s 48A chargers. The real world difference here in charging 100 miles is 3 hours for Tesla and 4 hours for the Bolt. Not a huge difference really when most of this will be done overnight.

But the real question when we are talking about charging speed is DC fast-charging for long distance travel. There are a bunch of differing statements out there which say Chevy is going to include either 50kW or 80kW depending who and when you ask.

While this might seem trivial on the surface, it is actually quite a big deal. The difference between 50kW and 80kW is a significant 60% increase. To put that into a real world scenario, imagine you want to fill up 2/3rds (40 kWh or 158 miles range) of the Bolt’s 60 kWh, 238-mile battery pack:

  • 80kW, that takes 30 minutes
  • 50kW, that takes 48 minutes

So we’re getting mixed messages from Chevy. Let’s run down the data points.

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Renault has been doing a pretty good job at increasing the range of its electric vehicles this year. It started with introducing a new 41 kWh battery pack for the ZOE, which resulted in a best-in-class range of around 200 miles. Now the French automaker wants to upgrade its all-electric cargo van, Kangoo ZE, and confirmed it will unveil a new version of the vehicle next month with 50% more range. expand full story

9to5mac 

Another day, another teaser. Faraday Future is sure trying to create some hype for its upcoming electric car unveiling at CES next month, but the teasers are starting to make us nervous. With almost every automaker lobbying to reduce fuel consumption standards in order to slow down electric vehicle production, we are placing a lot of hope in new electric vehicle startups not encumbered by an existing gas-guzzling vehicle business that they are trying to protect. expand full story

Last month, we reported that top Tesla analyst and one-time ‘Tesla Cheerleader‘ Adam Jonas from Morgan Stanley believes the Model 3 will be over a year late. Today, he released a new note explaining his belief in more detail and how it plays into his vision of Tesla using the vehicle program to finance its “bigger mission to accelerate the development of a highly safe and efficient transport utility.” expand full story

Tesla has been rumored to be working on its own SoC (System on Chip) optimized for self-driving cars since we reported that the company quietly hired legendary chip architect Jim Keller from AMD as new “Vice-President of Autopilot Hardware Engineering” earlier this year. While Keller’s hardware engineer experience could be useful for other projects at Tesla, the fact that the automaker poached a team of chip architects and executives from AMD following Keller’s hire fueled the rumor.

In what could now possibly be a confirmation of the rumor, a report from South Korea suggests that Samsung Electronics signed a contract with Tesla to build an ASIC (Application-Specific Integrated Circuit) system – meaning to build its System on Chip with Samsung semiconductors. expand full story

9to5google 

Through their lobbying efforts since Donald Trump’s election and the EPA’s move to rush its new fuel consumption rules, automakers are sending a clear message that they don’t want to mass produce electric vehicles – at least not on the timeline suggested by the agency.

As we reported earlier this week, the EPA filed its midterm review of the fuel consumption standard early (before Trump takes over) in order to put in place a fleet requirement of 54.5 mpg by 2025, which would force automakers to add more electric vehicles to their fleet in order to compensate for their more gas-guzzling vehicles, like SUVs and pickup trucks.

Now several automaker lobbying groups representing nearly all major automakers (except Tesla Motors and a few French automakers) are now lobbying for the agency to delay finalizing the new rule until Trump takes over and replaces the head of the EPA. expand full story

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