Today

Earlier this year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that he was hoping for the automaker to launch in the country this summer.

But he expressed concerns last week about local regulations preventing a launch. The government is now reassuring the company that could sell in India, but they seem to be insisting that they would have to manufacture locally. expand full story

Following the acquisition of SolarCity and growing overall workforce ahead of the start of Model 3 production, Tesla has now over 30,000 employees. That’s a ten-fold increase over the last 5 years.

In order to manage this growing workforce, Electrek has learned that Tesla hired former Electronic Arts executive Gabrielle Toledano as Chief People Officer, a new c-level position for the automaker. expand full story

9to5toys 

SmartCar announced a novel new way to connect to your Tesla today called TeslaBot. In a nutshell, it is a Facebook Chatbot that connects to your Tesla Model S or X via Tesla’s open APIs and can do much of what Tesla’s own app can do, often faster… expand full story

Earlier this year, Daimler announced that it is converting the Smart brand to all-electric in North America and discontinuing gas-powered Smart cars.

By September, Canadian and American dealerships will stop receiving gas-powered smart cars and the 2017 electric smart model year cars will become the only options.

Today, Daimler confirmed pricing of the 2017 smart fortwo electric drive and it received a small price reduction to a starting MSRP of $23,800. expand full story

Electrek Green Energy Brief: A daily technical, financial and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

SolarWorld USA planning in case of mass layoffs within 60 days – For the right global buyer, this company – its vertically integrated resources, brand name, trained devoted distribution arm, etc – is going to be worth investing in. The buyers will have to shed all debt and probably think real hard about supply chain management and product positioning. I’d suggest capital coming from Germany and/or the US, plus China because of sensitives and realities. If someone can manage this with a political touch and market it just right – they’ll have a jump started premium quality solar panel manufacturer.

Finance company using solar trade war to get their money – SQN Capital Management says Suniva Inc. owes it more than $51 million for the purchase of factory equipment it financed. SQN said it’s bankrolling the U.S. trade complaint by Suniva in a bid to help that company recover – You must be one coal-hearted, candy stealing, Scrooge McDuck – or just a hedge fund manager – to want to stick it to the entirety of the USA to get your money. I do have to say though, as a guy who doesn’t have $51M on the line, I ought step back. Anyone want to buy some solar manufacturing hardware? Maybe we can get the companies that buyout SolarWorld to pick this hardware up – a 2 for 1 political dance move.

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9to5mac 

The Jaguar I-Pace, the British automaker’s first all-electric vehicle, is nearing a production unveil and therefore, prototypes spotted in the wild are looked at closely for a glimpse at the real thing.

A new sighting in Monaco showed the vehicle speeding around a track without camouflage. expand full story

Tesla has often been compared to Apple for its disruptive nature, but Marc Andreessen, a billionaire venture capitalist and co-founder of Netscape, is taking the comparison a step further.

Andreessen believes that Tesla could have a similar impact on the auto industry as Apple had on the mobile market in the late 2000s. expand full story

May 22

Tesla has been considering to enable a Wifi hotspot in its vehicles for a while. Code about it appeared in its software in the past and last year, it introduced a new chip and module that could enable the feature.

Now CEO Elon Musk says that he is considering it along with a dynamic 360-degree surround view feature. expand full story

9to5google 

According to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, alternative fuel vehicles (AFV’s) in the Europe Union are off to a very strong start in the first quarter of this year, increasing their numbers sold by 37.6% to 212,945 vehicles.

Hybrid vehicles (HEV) showed the biggest growth with 61.2% versus the same period last year, now counting 111,006 units. Electrically chargeable vehicles (ECV = BEV and plug-in hybrids) grew with 29.9% from 36,322 units sold in Q1, 2016 to 47,196 units in Q1, 2017. This includes 49% growth for “battery-only” (BEV’s) to 24,592 units sold and 13% growth for the plug-in hybrids (21,644 units). The U.S. market showed a similar growth of 49% for electric car sales to 40,700 units sold in the first quarter according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The American car market is about 16% larger.

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