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 firstname.lastname@example.org
After a surprisingly exciting race at the often-processional Monaco circuit, Formula E continues this crazy season at the Berlin ePrix at Tempelhof airport this weekend. Last year Audi swept their home race with a 1-2 finish, will they be able to repeat the feat and get back in the running for the teams’ championship this year?
Hyundai and Kia have been getting more serious about electric cars lately, with the new Kona, Niro and Soul EVs coming out all as good packages at reasonable prices. But none of these are performance monsters, moreso regular, everyday, utility cars.
That all seems to change starting today, as the two companies announced an 80 million Euro ($90m) investment into Rimac Automobili, the Croatian supercar maker behind the Rimac Concept_One and upcoming Concept_Two. The intent is to collaborate on the production of two high-performance electric sportscars, one of which will debut under Hyundai’s “N” brand and the other which will use fuel cell technology.
Tesla has been making bold claims about future autonomous driving plans lately, most recently holding an “autonomy investor event” where the company laid out plans for its future full self-driving technology. At that event, Tesla stated that they would be ready to roll out a fully autonomous robotaxi fleet as early as next year, depending on regulations.
Today, CEO Elon Musk pushed that timeline forward a bit, and stated that Tesla’s long-planned autonomous cross-country roadtrip would actually occur later this year. Tesla has made claims in the past about enabling cross-country Autopilot travel, but the news today is that not only will it be possible for Tesla to do this on their own to demonstrate their technology, but that any Tesla owner (*with FSD software) will be able to do the same.
The principality of Monaco, an enclave for the rich and famous which houses its fair share of exotic cars, has been a racing mecca for 90 years. But it’s not just gas cars which find a home here – the famous Monaco Grand Prix circuit, site of the most prestigious race in the world, hosts Formula E for the third time this weekend.
Not only does Monaco host the ePrix, but in addition, the Prince of Monaco, Albert II, has been an electric car supporter for quite some time. He even owns a Model S and drove it around the circuit for a parade lap before the Grand Prix a few years ago.
The exciting, close racing of this Formula E season continues this weekend in Paris. Last race in Rome was the seventh race of the season and again we had a new winning driver and new winning team.
Two weeks ago, Tesla removed the $35k Model 3 from their website, making it an “off-menu” item. When asked, they couldn’t answer how long the model would be available – causing many, including Electrek, to assume that this was an attempt to “kill” the car.
It looks like that death won’t pan out yet, as today during Tesla’s Q1 earnings call, CEO Elon Musk made the promise that the 35k Model 3 “is there and will remain there” for sale for an indefinite time period.
We’ve written before about car sharing platforms being used by EV owners, particularly Tesla owners, to make a little side money with their cars. Turo is the biggest example of this, and they’ve shared some statistics with us about their platform showing that EVs are quite popular there and gaining steam much faster than the rest of the site.
Earlier this week a Model 3 was spotted filming a self-driving demo ahead of Tesla’s autonomy investor event on Monday. Curiously, we heard about this through a TSLA short-seller on twitter. As it turns out, discussion following this tweet in the TSLA short community ended up focusing on the possibility of intentionally causing collisions in order to discredit Tesla ahead of the event.
But that’s not all. According to a legal filing by Tesla in Alameda county courthouse yesterday, the individual behind the short-seller’s twitter account has engaged in a pattern of harassment and stalking of Tesla property and employees and Tesla has officially sought and been granted a temporary restraining order against him.
Sono Motors, a German EV startup, announced today that it will build the crowdfunded solar-powered Sion EV at a manufacturing facility formerly owned by SAAB in Trollhättan, Sweden. The plant is owned by National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS), a holding company which acquired most of SAAB’s assets after its bankruptcy.
Sono has contracted NEVS to produce 260,000 vehicles in an eight-year period, beginning in the second half of 2020, and plans to use 100% renewable energy to power its factory. The car will launch at a cost of 25,500 Euros (~$28,900).
Genesis revealed the “Mint” concept, a small electric car made for the city but focused on a luxury experience, today at the New York Auto Show. Genesis calls the Mint “a new vehicle typology” and says that it offers an “innovative user experience.”
There is no current plan to bring the car to production.
Formula E’s action continues to impress this season. In six races, we’ve had six different winners, leaving an incredibly close race for both the drivers’ and teams’ championship. This Saturday, the series returns to Rome after last year’s inaugural Rome ePrix, seeking to continue to produce exceptionally exciting races.
As Tesla moves towards more autonomous features on its vehicles, it has also been teasing a long-term goal of providing owners the opportunity to provide Uber/Lyft-like rides with their vehicles, letting owners make money in their off-time.
The system has been dubbed “Tesla Network” and last night, CEO Elon Musk announced that we’re going to hear more about it later this month.
The annual Drive Electric Week celebration, a week of events where the public can see and drive a variety of electric cars and talk to current owners about their experiences, has been expanded this year with an event that covers the whole month of April. Drive Electric Earth Day runs all the way from April 1-30 and has events scheduled throughout the US, and a few in other countries as well.
Most states have at least one event, with coastal high-population areas hosting several. You can find a map of all the events on Drive Electric Earth Day’s website.
After a couple chaotic weeks of price and option changes from Tesla, another one went into effect today. This time, it was about the recently-unveiled Model Y, which received a $1,000 price increase across the vehicle line.
CEO Elon Musk also announced on twitter that prices on inventory cars will increase ~3% after the end of this quarter, to keep them in line with the recent price increase (which was really just a partial reversal of last month’s price drop).
Tesla is continuing to improve Autopilot’s abilities in both documented and undocumented ways. Just recently the system has gained two new capabilities: detecting stop lights and detecting lane change intention from other cars.
There have been a dizzying amount of price and option changes over the course of the last few weeks, with something changing pretty much every day. And today is no different. One day after Tesla raised prices across its lineup (as expected after a change in retail strategy), Tesla has also dropped the base “Standard Range” battery pack from the Model S line.
This happens just three weeks after adding the smaller Model S battery option in the first place.
We’re back to China again after just two weeks, for a race on a brand-new track along the seaside in the resort city of Sanya, on the southernmost tip of the country.
Last night we saw our first glimpse of the upcoming Tesla Model Y at Tesla’s Design Studio in Hawthorne California.
The reveal was similar to other Tesla events in the past. Press, Tesla employees and faithful customers collected in the old Northrop hanger next to the Hawthorne airport to see a new vehicle. The lights were dim and red, the food was present but perhaps a little underwhelming, and the event didn’t quite start on time.
On Friday, March 15, thousands of protests are planned across the globe with young people skipping school to protest against environmental inaction by their governments. This event is being organized by Fridays for Future globally and by US Youth Climate Strike in the US.
While the Global Climate Strike’s main day of protest is this Friday, March 15th, many protests are scheduled to continue occurring weekly or monthly (you can find them color-coded by frequency on this map). Global youth intend to broadcast their exhortation to climate action to the people in charge of our planet’s future, until governments act in a suitably strong manner to fix this urgent problem.