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At this point, premium automakers have no excuse not to have an all-electric vehicle in their line-up, like Tesla, or at least one in late stages of development, like Mercedes, Audi, Porsche, and others. It’s a different thing for more affordable vehicles, but batteries are now cheap enough to allow large battery packs in luxury cars with performance competitive with internal combustion engines.

British automaker Bentley is now considering joining the rest of the industry in electrification with an all-electric SUV. expand full story

February 25

TSLA: 257.00

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Last year, Tesla launched a new program called ‘Drive to Believe’ in order to invite car owners across European markets to swap their car for a Tesla Model S for a whole week.

Apparently, the participants completed their week and Tesla is now featuring some of them in a series of promotional videos with “more to come”. expand full story

In this week’s top stories:  we got a lot of updates on the highly anticipated Tesla Model 3 through the company’s fourth quarter earnings and through some exclusive reports. We looked into how to invest in some of the resources required for the electric vehicles revolutions and much more on Electrek.

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9to5toys 

NASA takes a cool picture – Link is to NASA’s website, with an easy before and after comparison system. 850MW of solar PV, some mountains, and a river from space. Pretty cool.

Co-location of solar & pollinator friendly plantsNREL did a great presentation, and now it is becoming a thing in real projects. This technique is new to me – but it reminds me greatly of other co-location techniques like solar+fish, +parking lots, +vegetables, +pathways, +roadways and more. Each of these co-location partners are worth money and increase the return on investment of solar projects. I’d like to see low-light vegetable farms built on top of parking lots outside of supermarkets or apartment complexes.

GA politicians wants to remove power from Public Utility Commission – When electricity companies were given publicly approved monopolies, the Public Utility Commission was created to balanced out the natural greed of self interest. The electric utilities, still, have many times violated the public’s trust. Now, a politician in Georgia thinks the Commission ought not have influence on how much renewable energy a power company should purchase. Of course, they use the excuse of freedom and market capitalism – but I bet they’re not considering a carbon tax to balance out ignored externalities. Watch the news as renewables now grow at 200GW clips in the coming years – you thought the politicians were getting strung about before?

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February 24

TSLA: 257.00

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The news that Tesla is looking at not only one location but possibily 3 more locations for Gigafactories got a lot of countries, states, and regions quite excited this week. Some European countries had already launched efforts to attract Tesla after they announced last year that they would be looking for a location in Europe to build another massive factory to manufacture both batteries and vehicles.

Now that the number of plants went up, the US could apparently also get another Gigafactory. expand full story

9to5mac 

We find that automakers who have historically been betting on hydrogen fuel cells over battery-powered vehicles, like Honda, are very focused on the speed of charging since it’s currently the only advantage fuel cells have over batteries.

While charge rates are obviously important, it’s not actually the biggest barrier to EV adoption since most people charge overnight. Nonetheless, Honda wants to give “unlimited range” to electric vehicles with a new dynamic charging technology at high speeds. expand full story

Following a new effort to unionize Tesla’s workforce amid the production expansion for Model 3, claims about the company’s worker compensation and conditions at the Fremont factory were made in order to gain support for a union. These actions CEO Elon Musk believes were deeply influenced by the United Auto Workers (UAW), which has been trying to unionize the plant for years.

Nonetheless, Musk said last week that he would investigate the claims. He has now completed his investigation and addressed the claims in an email to all employees, which Electrek has obtained, below. expand full story

Exxon, again yesterday via its blog, pushing for carbon tax and *government intervention* – Exxon wants a carbon tax because internal combustion vehicles will slowly disappear while natural gas, which Exxon is heavily invested in, replaces coal. A carbon tax on coal is about double natural gas – and Exxon is losing serious money on expensive oil investments. Plus an interesting phrase from a company that constantly attacks government: At ExxonMobil, we’re encouraged that the pledges made at last year’s Paris Accord create an effective framework for all countries to address rising emissions; in fact, our company forecasts carbon reductions consistent with the results of the Paris accord commitments. Governments can help advance the search for energy technologies by funding basic research and by enacting forward-looking policies. If you’re Exxon, you can doubly win – support a carbon tax that hurts your competition, while also making it look like you’tr supportinf international climate change agreements (many say a $40/ton carbon tax will mean we meet both Paris and Clean Power Plan goals). My prior thoughts on this topic.

World’s largest wealth fund urged to consider infrastructure investments – If $900B worth of investment money were pushed to invest 5% in renewable infrastructure, then we’d get the equivalent of 50GW of solar power from Norway alone. Money like this would flow from many soverign wealth funds globally, and it will join private capital from groups like BlackRock. These renewable investments are being considered for two reasons – they’ve shown long term stability, and they align with the fund’s general do no harm matra. Good, clean money being made.

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9to5google 

The 89th Academy Awards will take place this Sunday at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, and as usual, celebrities are expected to arrive on the red carpet in limousines and luxurious vehicles.

Tesla vehicles, both the Model S and X, could be the most popular among them this year thanks to a new all-Tesla limo service financed by Morgan Freeman. expand full story

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