Another day, another batch of Model 3 photos, and more new insights about the car’s design. This time the photos come from multiple posts on reddit by You You Xue, u/youyouxue, who spotted the Model 3 at the San Mateo supercharger and got several high quality photos which we’ll have a look at below.
Two weekends ago at the Berlin ePrix, spectators got to see Roborace’s DevBot, the autonomous racing car prototype, do a full lap of the Formula E circuit at Tempelhof airport. We’ve seen a few short videos which we’ll link below, but today Roborace released the thing we’ve been waiting for: actual in-car footage of the full lap around the circuit.
The picture you see above is the car which will bridge racing’s past and future, and may be the most exciting thing to happen to motorsport in decades. This is the Green4U Panoz Racing GT-EV, an all-electric racecar intended to compete in next year’s Le Mans 24 Hour race, motorsport’s most grueling test of endurance. The car will be entered for consideration as the race’s “Garage 56” entry – an “exhibition” slot with relaxed rules which is reserved for a car which displays innovative new racing technologies.
While other electrified vehicles have competed in Le Mans (hybrids have won the last 5 races and are expected to win this year’s race, happening this weekend), the GT-EV would be the first all-electric car to attempt the race. In 2014 Nissan entered the “ZEOD RC” as the race’s Garage 56 entry, which was a hybrid with a battery large enough to do a full lap under only electric power.
It seems like we’re getting new Model 3 sightings every day lately. Just yesterday we saw a Model 3 charging at a supercharger with the steering wheel and screen hidden from view. But with today’s sighting come the best photos yet we’ve seen of the steering wheel and screen – uncovered and through an open window this time to boot. Check below the break for more.
Honda held a test drive event this weekend for the all-electric version of their Clarity vehicle platform, and we learned answers to several of the hanging questions about the vehicle.
The range, which we recently reported would be around 80 miles, will actually be a bit higher-than-expected at 89 miles. The car also comes with DC charging standard. This isn’t so bad compared to many other EVs on the market, but in a world where the Bolt EV and Model 3 exist, this range spec is starting to look a little dated. Even worse, the price is higher than other “near-100-mile” EVs, with a factory lease price of $269/mo, $1,999 down (including first month’s payment), though a very generous 20,000 miles per year.
The Clarity EV will be available as a compliance vehicle in California and Oregon, in “select dealerships” starting August 1st. With a price/feature package like this, though, it might be dead on arrival, especially compared to what else is available these days. Check below the break for why.
At today’s shareholder meeting, we heard more from Tesla CEO Elon Musk about “the machine that builds the machine.”
While Tesla’s first Gigafactory is not yet fully operational, the company is currently finalizing three additional locations for future gigafactories, with an announcement to come about those locations. Musk mentioned that it is likely Tesla will eventually build 10-20 gigafactories worldwide, in the long-term.
Musk also stated that Tesla will have to find or build a new factory to manufacture the Model Y, while the Model 3 will still be built at Tesla’s main factory in Fremont, along with the Model S and Model X.
On Thursday we brought news of Trump declaring he intends to pull the US out of the Paris Climate Agreement and the swift response from state and local governments opposing the move. Since then, more governments, businesses and universities have voiced their displeasure at this poor decision, and today an assortment of 1,219 of these entities released an open letter declaring their continued support for the Paris Agreement, posted at the website: wearestillin.com… expand full story
Hot on the heels of Donald Trump’s decision to bow to fossil fuel industry pressure and pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement against the wishes of the American people, three US states have announced a coalition to continue implementing the goals of the Paris Agreement.
California Governor Jerry Brown, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, and Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced the creation of the group called the “United States Climate Alliance” and the three states, which together represent a quarter of US GDP and more than 20% of the nation’s population (but only about 10% of its carbon emissions), are inviting other states to join them.
Update: 68 “Climate Mayors” representing 38 million Americans have also committed to upholding the goals of the Paris Agreement. These include the non-CA/NY mayors of Boston, Houston, Chicago, Seattle, Atlanta, and many other large cities. One notable city joining the pact is Pittsburgh – in Mr. Trump’s speech, he noted that he was elected to represent “the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.” Pittsburgh, however, apparently wishes to remain in the Agreement. Also, the governors of Massachusetts, Oregon, Colorado, Hawaii, Connecticut, Minnesota, Virginia and Rhode Island have all proclaimed continued support for the Agreement.
The US will consider re-entering the Agreement after “negotiating a new deal” which is more “fair” to the US. It is unclear what is “unfair” about the Paris Agreement, as the Agreement itself does not set any specific goals for the US or any other country. Click below the fold for more details of the Agreement and analysis of this decision.
As part of California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard Program, Southern California Edison today introduced a new $450 rebate for electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid owners who live in SCE’s service area. This rebate is quite inclusive, as it applies to new, used, leased, or purchased EVs or PHEVs, and has no income limits.
To apply, you need to create an account on scecleanfuel.com. This is different from your normal sce.com account, so you’ll have to create a new one for the purposes of the rebate. You’ll also need your VIN number, to scan or send a photo of your permanent vehicle registration, and your SCE Service Account number (this is different from the “customer account” which starts with a 2, “service account” starts with the number 3, and is shown on your bill).
The program is expected to last through 2020, though rebate amounts may increase or decrease in that time. You can apply now at scecleanfuel.com. Expect up to 30 days before approval and several more weeks before the check shows up in the mail.
In February, we brought you news of Roborace’s first self-driving car “race” at the Buenos Aires ePrix, using two of their “DevBot” development cars for the upcoming autonomous car racing series. But earlier today at the Paris ePrix, Roborace took their actual car, dubbed “Robocar,” onto a public track for the first time.
Previously, while Roborace has been testing the Robocar around a private test track, it has only demonstrated DevBots in public. The actual design of the Robocar which will be used for the series had only been shown at their unveiling event back in February, or parked in the paddock at last week’s Monaco ePrix. The main difference between the two is that DevBots are a stripped-down version of an LMP-style racecar, complete with a cockpit for a human driver for testing purposes. The Robocar however has no cockpit, and there is no place for a human driver to sit.
The last round of Tesla’s referral program isn’t even over yet, but today Tesla announced a new round which extends from May 19th all the way through the end of this year, December 31st 2017. While this overlaps with the previous program which ends on June 15th, qualifying referrals between now and the end of that program will count for prizes from both referral programs for owners who have at least one referral between March 16 and May 19.
Tesla has previously limited the number of referrals a single owner can give out, and this time has lowered the limit down to 5, from the previous 9. Most interestingly, though, in addition to providing $1,000 off a new Model S or X, owners can provide their five referrals with unlimited supercharging. Tesla used to provide unlimited supercharging for all Model S and X vehicles, but recently ended that program for orders made past Jan 15th and delivered after April 15th.
One by one, EVs are decimating records set by internal combustion engine vehicles. NIO/NextEV’s $1.48 million electric supercar, the NIO EP9, has set a new lap record around one of the world’s most famous and grueling racetracks, the Nurburgring Nordschleife. The car managed a time of 6:45.90, which is the fastest lap ever set by an electric vehicle around the track – and in fact is faster than any production vehicle, electric or otherwise, beating the Lamborghini Huracan Performante by just over 6 seconds. expand full story
A new article in the May edition of Transportation Research took up the question of how much, if anything, consumers would pay for autonomous driving capabilities in their vehicles. The survey of 1,260 American households concluded that the average household would be willing to pay $3,500 for partial automation, or $4,900 for full automation.
There was a lot of variance in the data however, as several households said they would pay upwards of $10,000 for full automation, and others said they would not be interested in paying a premium at all for this technology. The research also concludes that because of this large variance in consumer price preferences, there will be plenty of room for vehicle models with varying levels of automation at various price points.
In today’s Q1 results, Tesla announced that they will add “nearly 100” sales, delivery and service locations globally over the next year, which is a 30% increase from their current physical footprint. In addition to their recent plan to expand the Tesla-certified body shop network, Tesla also plans to open their own Tesla-owned body shops in an attempt to add consistency to the customer experience with out-of-warranty body repairs. expand full story
Update/editor’s note: the article was updated to correct information on previous pricing and to include a statement from Tesla about the changes made today – read at the end of the article.
Tesla has updated their design studio overnight and made significant changes to pricing and options for the Model S and X, seemingly streamlining them in anticipation of the upcoming Model 3 release. The 75kWh Model S, now Tesla’s cheapest vehicle, has received a
$7,500 $5,000 price drop to $69,500 – just $1,500 more than the 60kWh version which was discontinued yesterday. They’ve also added the all glass roof (formerly $1,500) and automatic rear power liftgate as standard equipment on the Model S, so the base model has become a significantly better value with these updates. The 90D also received a $2,000 price cut.
A few other changes were made to option availability – the smart air suspension can no longer be added to the 75kWh Model S (still available on all other models), and the high amperage (72 amp) charger is now included with 100kWh models but unavailable on all other battery sizes. The high amperage charger is separate from the DC Supercharging system, and allows faster AC charging if paired with a Tesla wall connector ($550) and attached to a circuit capable of delivering 72 amps.
Tesla also released a few new Model X features overnight, which you can read about over here in Fred’s post.
In January we reported on Ford’s big strategic expansion into electrified vehicles, announcing seven electrified cars with six more to come. Today Ford issued a press release about two EVs they will bring to the Chinese market: a plug-in version of the Mondeo (Fusion) sedan and an all-new fully-electric small SUV. The fully electric SUV has so far only been announced on paper, not given a model name or shown as a concept car. Ford’s only specifications are that it will have a range of more than 450km (280 miles) and will come to China “within five years.”
Ford called the two models “new” in their press release today, but they’re really “new-to-China” rather than new overall. The small SUV was already announced in the January strategic announcement linked above, and the Mondeo is just the “world” version of the car Ford calls the Fusion in the US. So it looks like these two “new” cars don’t actually represent two of the six unannounced cars Ford alluded to in their January announcement.