About the Author

Jameson Dow

Jameson has been driving electric vehicles since 2009, and has been writing about them and about clean energy for electrek.co since 2016.

You can contact him at jamie@electrek.co

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September 12

Last month, we reported on Tesla’s update to its referral program which will finally put an end to unlimited free supercharging, starting with orders placed after September 16th.

At the time, the plan was to downgrade the perk for ordering with a referral code to a year of free supercharging.  Now, less than a week before the expiry of the program, Tesla has changed things up again, and will instead offer a $100 supercharging credit to customers who buy a new Model S, X or Model 3 Performance using a code from a current owner.

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September 6

Laguna Seca is becoming a popular track for manufacturers to run their vehicles around.  Just a few weeks after Jaguar announced that their I-Pace set a “production EV lap record” at the track, Lucid has announced today that their upcoming Air sedan positively smashed that time, setting a 1:41.67 time in comparison to Jaguar’s 1:48.18.

The caveat here is that the Lucid is not yet a production car, and though Lucid claims the car’s powertrain was configured with “showroom intent,” it featured modified high-temperature brakes and a stripped-down interior with rollcage, racing seats and fire suppression system.

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September 4

This weekend marks the start of another Drive Electric Week, a yearly series of EV meetups where EV fans can see and drive their favorite models and EV owners can meet up to chat amongst themselves and with curious members of the public about the experience of owning an EV.  This will be the 8th annual event, with a record 316 events registered across the US, Canada and New Zealand.

The week is organized by Plug in America, an organization which advocates the transition to electric transportation, along with Sierra Club and the Electric Auto Association.  Every event is free to attend for owners and non-owners alike, and attending is a great way to get the word out or get your questions answered about electric vehicles.

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August 1

In today’s Q2 earnings report, Tesla has claimed that the Model 3 is not only the best-selling premium mid-sized sedan in the US as of July, but that, even in the middle of its production ramp, it is currently outselling all other vehicles in that segment combined.

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Tesla’s referral program was set to finish tonight, but, as they’ve done many times before, instead it got a midnight update extending it for a little while longer.  The program now goes through September 16th instead of July 31st, with prize availability unchanged from the last round of the program.

There are two big changes: first, the Model 3 Performance is now eligible for unlimited supercharging when ordered using a referral code, previously only available to Model S and X orders.  Second, while S/X/3P cars ordered with a code before September 16th will still qualify for free unlimited supercharging for the entire duration of original vehicle ownership, cars ordered after September 16th will only get one year of free supercharging.

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July 12

Watch the all-electric, driverless Robocar at the Goodwood hillclimb in this 360º video

Roborace, the planned driverless racing series which will act as a support race for the all-electric Formula E championship, has been taking their fully autonomous Robocar to various tracks over the last year to showcase their technology.  This weekend they’re at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in Chichester, England, which holds an annual hillclimb event with all sorts of interesting cars, old and new alike.

July 5

Today, in response to the myriad of self-induced scandals which have plagued him ever since he took the job, Scott Pruitt resigned his position as chief saboteur Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

He will be replaced by Deputy Administrator Andrew Wheeler as acting administrator, a former coal lobbyist who worked with Murray Energy CEO Bob Murray; was an aide for Jim Inhofe, the top climate science denier in the Senate; and who helped craft the Bush administration’s ironically-named “Clear Skies” initiative, an effort to destroy the Clean Air Act.

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June 19

Today, in response to the EPA’s recent rollback of agreed-upon 2022-2025 fuel efficiency standards, Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado issued an executive order for his state to develop a Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) standard similar to California’s current standard.  The executive order explicitly calls out California as a model, and notes the twelve other US states which have adopted similar programs.

Gov. Hickenlooper previously issued an executive order in 2017 for the state to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26% by 2025.  Today’s order is one step towards that goal.

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June 5

The Model 3 production ramp is chugging along, with all production lines demonstrating the capability to produce 500 cars per day, according to CEO Elon Musk in today’s Tesla shareholder meeting.  So now that the supply of cars coming out of the factory isn’t so scarce, the next question is: when will stores get them? expand full story

May 24

In response to a twitter query tonight, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced a reveal date for the Model Y: “March 15.”

Soon afterwards, he claimed that he “just made it up, because the Ides of March sounded good,” but added that we should “consider it real” since that date falls within Tesla’s rough target for unveiling the car sometime between late 2018 and mid-2019 anyway.

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May 22

In response to Consumer Reports’ first review of the Model 3, and our article about issues they had in their braking tests, Tesla CEO Elon Musk swiftly promised that if an issue is found with Model 3 braking, it would be fixed at no cost to owners, even if a physical upgrade is required.

Just a few hours later, Musk gave us another update: Tesla seems to have isolated Model 3 braking issues to calibration of the anti-lock braking system. Thankfully, this is solvable through a firmware update, and Musk promised one in the coming days.

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May 21

In a discussion on Twitter over the newly-announced dual motor and performance Model 3 options, Tesla CEO Elon Musk stated that the $35,000 base model of the Model 3 would not ship for “3 to 6 months” until after hitting their planned production goal of 5,000 cars per week, primarily to ensure that Tesla will be able to produce the car profitably.

Tesla plans to hit 5,000/week in July, which puts the base model’s earliest deliveries in the 4th quarter of this year, though possibly not until 2019.

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May 11

Roborace is an electric car racing series with a twist – there will be no drivers.  It’s planned as a support race for Formula E, the all-electric racing series, where teams will compete primarily through software – writing autonomous driving programs and seeing which algorithms can race the best.

So far, though, the series is just in development mode, so there is only one “team” developing software for their DevBot development car, trying to see if this is even feasible, and occasionally doing fun stunts, like pitting man vs. machine as they did at the recent Rome race, to get people ready for the series.

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May 1

In the wake of the EPA’s move last month to eliminate federal fuel efficiency standards for 2022-2025 model year cars, California has filed a lawsuit against the EPA to stop the move from happening.  The lawsuit was filed today with California Governor Jerry Brown, Attorney General Xavier Becerra, and the California Air Resources Board as plaintiffs, with 17 other states joining in.

In total, the states filing the lawsuit represent 140 million Americans and about 43% of the country’s car market.

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April 23

A federal court ruled today that the Department of Transportation must implement a new, inflation-adjusted fine for failure to comply with federal fuel efficiency standards.

This ruling confirms that automakers will have to pay the full, updated fine for failing to meet efficiency standards.  The Department of Transportation’s attempted rule would have let them pay less than 40% of the legally required fine.

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April 11

In the midst of the Tesla Model 3 rollout, where Tesla is now producing about 2,000 cars a week, the company is apparently not letting that slow down its future plans.  Today, Reuters reported that automotive suppliers have received a Request for Information (RFI) from Tesla about Model Y parts.

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March 20

Tesla’s Siri integration now works with Model 3

In version 3.3.3 of the Tesla iOS app, released today, Siri integration now works with the Model 3.

The changelog states that it’s only “minor fixes and improvements,” but I’d argue that this is more than just a minor improvement.

Tesla has had Siri integration for the Model S and X since November, but this is the first time it’s been possible to control the Model 3 with Siri.  This merely gives access to much of the information and controls which are currently available in the Tesla app, but it’s still nice to be able to use many features of the app without having to launch it.

Spring is here, it’s time to ditch those winter tires – and Tesla has just the way to do it, if you’re lucky enough to have a Model 3 and ready to spend $4,000.  After hints at the possibility of 20 inch sport wheels coming to the Model 3, Tesla updated their shop site with a 20 inch wheel and tire package for the car overnight.

The package includes installation by Tesla at your local service center and comes with tires and wheels, plus new suspension links to better take advantage of the higher levels of grip provided by these sport tires.

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March 15

Volvo’s recently unveiled Polestar 1 plug-in hybrid just got one step closer to reality, as they started taking pre-orders today and posted an online configurator allowing interested customers to check out the various color and wheel options available on the car.

We don’t yet know much about the buying process, as Volvo recently said cars from the Polestar brand would primarily be available as a “subscription service” (similar to a lease).  When pressed, Volvo stated that the Polestar 1 would target a price of “130-150,000 Euros” ($160k-$185k).

The deposit is $2,500/€2,500/20,000RMB and is fully refundable.  Pre-orders are available in 18 countries: China, United States, Sweden, Germany, Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Portugal, Poland, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and Canada.

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March 14

Trump’s embattled EPA head Scott Pruitt has come down on the side of polluters on just about every issue that faces the US, so it is with little surprise that in a recent interview he signaled that he may try to fight back against California’s fuel economy requirements.

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