Fred Lambert

@FredericLambert

Fred is the Editor in Chief and Main Writer at Electrek. He mainly covers electric vehicles, autonomous cars and ride-sharing platforms.

You can read his work on Electrek, 9to5mac.com and 9to5google.com

You can contact him by email at fred@9to5mac.com

Fred Lambert's Favorite Gear

Today

TSLA: 279.05

1.67
Stock Chart

Toyota, the largest automaker in the world, announced today a new $35 million initiative to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to develop new advanced materials with a focus on creating the next generation battery for electric vehicles.

The project is led by the US-based Toyota Research Institute (TRI) and they will work with “research entities, universities, and companies on materials science research.” expand full story

Hyundai, the third largest automaker in the world by volume, has so far been too entrenched in fuel cell hydrogen cars to significantly invest in battery-powered electric vehicles. The Ioniq Electric was its first major deviation from its effort in zero-emission cars and it has so far been well-received. We have a full review coming soon.

The Korean automaker seems now ready to invest more in electric vehicles. An executive confirmed that they are working a new all-electric platform that will enable several long-range models in different segments. expand full story

With the ZOE, Renault pioneered the idea of selling electric vehicles while only leasing the battery pack for a monthly fee. The idea is controversial. While it significantly reduces the entry price, the vehicle is virtually useless without the battery pack and the fee can be expensive.

Nonetheless, the program proved popular since Renault announced that it recently signed its 100,000th battery lease and now those ZOE owners have an interesting opportunity. They can upgrade their battery pack to Renault ‘s new 41 kWh pack released last year. expand full story

9to5toys 

Tesla’s 8.1 software update released this week is the most significant step for the Autopilot program on the new hardware. Chris Lattner, Tesla’s Vice President of Autopilot software, said so himself:

Indeed, it’s the biggest jump for the speed limit, but Electrek has also learned that Tesla is now making a better use of its hardware. With the 8.1 update, Tesla is now using 2 cameras instead of just the one out of the 8 cameras on the sensor suite. expand full story

Yesterday

TSLA: 277.38

-0.07
Stock Chart

Tesla released the 8.1 software update today and it included several improvements to the Autopilot on the new hardware and a few UI changes.

As usual, Tesla also hid an easter egg in the update and owners found it pretty quickly. (update: we hear it might have actually been in the software before and only surfacing now) expand full story

Logistic companies are increasingly finding it economical to convert their fleet to electric vehicles, especially for urban routes. Daimler is early in the segment with its Mercedes-Benz vans and it now announced an important contract that will help them kickstart the effort.

They will make 1,500 all-electric Mercedes-Benz vans for Germany’s largest independent logistic firm, Hermes. expand full story

9to5mac 

Earlier today, we reported on Tesla releasing the 8.1 software update and the focus is undeniably on improving the Autopilot system on the new hardware, but there are also a few improvements for all vehicles whether they have Autopilot or not.

Here are the UI changes: expand full story

Skoda, a Czech automobile manufacturer owned by Volkswagen, is also part of the German automaker’s ambitious electrification plans. The brand confirmed today that it is developing its own all-electric vehicles on the VW Group’s MEB platform for electric vehicles.

Their effort resulted in a first concept: ŠKODA VISION E. expand full story

Yesterday, we reported on Elon Musk killing any hope of a head-up display in the Model 3, which leaves only hope for autonomous driving and the mysterious “spaceship-like” steering controls to explain the lack of an instrument cluster.

We have now learned that the designer in charge of the Model 3’s steering wheel is responsible for the praised interior of Porsche’s Mission E. expand full story

9to5google 

We reported just last week that Daimler was among the most ambitious legacy automakers when it comes to the electrification of their vehicle lineup with plans for 10 new all-electric models and 15 to 25% of all their production being electric by 2025.

At Daimler’s Annual Shareholder‘s Meeting in Berlin today, the company announced an acceleration of those plans. They are now aiming to get those new electric vehicles in production by 2022 – 3 years sooner than previously announced. expand full story

Last week, Elon Musk said that Tesla’s highly anticipated 8.1 update was coming March 28-29 and he delivered this time. We reviewed reports of the update 8.1 (17.11.3) being rolled out to Tesla owners with Autopilot 2.0 hardware.

The 8.1 software update was also supposed to bring some UI improvements, but so far the release notes focus on bringing the Autopilot 2.0 system to parity with the first generation. expand full story

The next generation Nissan LEAF has been recently spotted on public roads and even though it was heavily camouflaged, we can see some significant design improvements over the original design.

While an extended range is the most anticipated feature of the new all-electric vehicle, the design refresh is likely to be welcomed. expand full story

March 28

TSLA: 277.45

7.23
Stock Chart

At the Vancouver Auto Show today, Electra Meccanica, the electric division of the formerly Italian (now based in Canada) automaker InterMeccanica, has announced today a new all-electric roadster called Tofino.

The company claims that the vehicle will have a range of up to 400 km (250 miles) on a single charge and a starting price of $50,000 Canadian (~$37,000 USD). expand full story

9to5toys 

As we reported last week, Elon Musk did everything but confirmed that the Tesla Model 3 will not feature a head-up display (HUD). Today, he went a step further and completely confirmed that there will be no HUD. The CEO seems confident that people will not mind:

It either shows extreme confidence in Tesla’s ability to deliver fully self-driving with ‘Tesla Vision’ on the new hardware or we might still get a surprise with the supposedly ‘spaceship-like steering controls’ of the Model 3. expand full story

Last week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that the company’s all-electric compact SUV, called Model Y, is still “a few years” away from production.

Today, the CEO reportedly teased that an announcement about the vehicle is coming “next week”. expand full story

In order to offer more services and ultimately, get more value out of charging, electric vehicle charging stations will need to become “smart” – like the mobile industry’s transition to “smartphones”.

As part of that transition, two important EV charger makers, AeroVironment and eMotorWerks, announced a new partnership to create ‘Smart Advanced Electric Vehicle Charging Solutions’. expand full story

9to5mac 

Accidents involving Tesla vehicles have often been blamed on the Autopilot lately. The latest example happened in Phoenix last week when a Model X hit a police motorcycle. Fortunately, no one was hurt.

The police said that the driver blamed the Autopilot. expand full story

Yesterday, on the same day we reported on Tesla launching its corporate fleet program, a company took delivery of a fleet of 21 Tesla Model S sedans in Maumee, Ohio.

The company in question, Maumee Assembly & Stamping, is a Tesla supplier and the owner, Stanley Chlebowski, said that he ordered the cars to “get Tesla’s attention” and maybe get more work from them with the upcoming launch of the Model 3. expand full story

Tesla’s stock was up 3% this morning in pre-market trading after the company disclosed through a SEC filing that Tencent, a giant Chinese holding firm, has been accumulating stock in the electric car company for a total 5% passive stake worth over $2.2 billion at the current price.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that he is “glad to have Tencent as an investor and advisor to Tesla.” expand full story

9to5google 

Before introducing the second generation Autopilot hardware, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that once the first truly self-driving car is available, all other vehicles without the technology will have a “negative value”.

Echoing the idea, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas said this week that they started warning their clients that if Tesla is successful in enabling fully self-driving capability on its current vehicles equipped with the second generation Autopilot hardware, it could render all other cars obsolete. expand full story

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