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Jameson Dow

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Ariel Motor Company, best known for the ultra-lightweight Atom sportscar, has just announced their plunge into electrification with their upcoming HIPERCAR, an ultra-high-performance range-extended electric supercar.  In contrast to most plug-in hybrids, HIPERCAR won’t use a traditional engine as its “range extender,” instead opting for a 35kW micro-turbine generator.

The car’s specs look suitably insane – 1180hp total from 4 in-wheel motors, 0-60mph in 2.4 seconds, and 0-150mph in 7.8 seconds.  That 0-150 time is nearly three seconds (!) faster than the Porsche 918.

Teaser images have been released, but the design has not been finalized.  While no price has been announced, it will “represent excellent value” when compared to “£1m+ supercars which it will outperform.”  The car will hit the road in 2020.

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August 19

Tesla will add automatic “enter/exit” seat positions in future software update after Twitter request

Tesla is leveraging both its CEO’s popularity on twitter and its cars’ over-the-air update capability to respond to another customer request, with CEO Elon Musk promising on twitter that a future software update will include a function to automatically move the seat and steering wheel into a more comfortable position for entry and exit when the vehicle is put in park.

The Model S can be slightly difficult to get in and out of for less-flexible people, so this feature should be a nice addition for many customers.  I’ve personally seen several owners who have an “enter/exit” driver profile on their Teslas, with the seat and wheel position saved for easier exit and entry.  So while this workaround was always possible, Tesla’s software update will make it more automatic.

August 18

Four months ago, Seth got a chance to try out the 2017 Hyundai IONIQ Electric at a Hyundai media day, and came away impressed. The IONIQ is Hyundai’s new three-powertrains-on-one-platform model, with a hybrid released and a plug-in hybrid planned, alongside the pure EV model we reviewed. Seth’s takeaway was that the IONIQ compares very favorably to the Prius, the car which it seems aimed to compete against.

Last week, I was given the chance to take a week long test drive of the IONIQ Electric, to go into a deeper dive of how the car works, more than our short test drive could give us (though do have a look at Seth’s review for a lot of the spec details). What I found is that the IONIQ is a lot of car for the money, and a complete game-changer in the “entry-level” EV market.

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August 4

It’s not often that a company sells ~70 times as much product as its main competition.  But according to an interview with VW brand chairman Herbert Diess, published on VW’s employee web magazine “Inside” and reported on by Reuters, that’s the case between Tesla and VW.

In the interview, Diess claims “in the old world [our competition] is Toyota, Hyundai, and the French carmakers. In the new world it is Tesla.”  He goes on to state that the reason for this is because Tesla “has abilities that we currently do not have,” particularly in engineering.

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Just over a month ago we saw a new hypermiling record in a Model S – 560 miles (901 km) on a charge.  When we posted our article about that, Tesla CEO Elon Musk responded on twitter, stating that “over 1000 km should be possible in a 100D with the right tires.”

Well, now we have news that a Tesla Owners group in Italy took Musk up on his challenge and managed to shatter the previous hypermiling record with a Model S 100D, beating it by over 100 miles and finishing just shy of 670 miles on a single charge.

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August 2

After last week’s delivery event, we’re starting to get a lot of videos online of the ride-alongs Tesla gave to attendees at the event.  Lots of them have been focused on the car’s user interface, which we had heretofore only seen glimpses of in a few static photographs.  People have been wondering how the UI would be different given that the Model 3 only has one horizontal center screen, quite different from the Model S.

Many of the videos posted have been quite detailed, a testament to how detail-oriented Tesla fans can be about the product they love.  And from these videos, Tesla fan and UX/UI designer Andrew Goodlad has created an interactive mockup of the Tesla Model 3 UI which you can play with online.

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August 1

Mazda exec Robert Davis doubled down on Mazda’s anti-EV stance at a Michigan trade group convention this week, Automotive News reported.  In a seminar, Davis stated that the “impending death of the internal combustion engine is overrated,” said governments shouldn’t “mandate” EVs, and said EV incentives should be eliminated.

Mazda currently makes no electric or plug-in hybrid models, though claimed last year that they were planning to offer EVs in 2019 primarily to meet ZEV regulations.

Robert Davis was a US senior VP of operations for Mazda until being reassigned to a smaller role earlier this year.

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July 31

Automotive News reports that Mercedes has officially made the decision to stop production of the electric B-Class. Production will be phased out within the next few months, according to Mercedes USA spokesman Rob Moran.

This means that, despite big talk from Mercedes about future EV plans, including their recent jump into Formula E, adding battery production to factories, and rumors of future EV models from their new EQ sub-brand, the company will no longer produce any battery-electric model for the time being.

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July 29

After tonight’s delivery event (click through to see our coverage, including specs and first drive), which included only brief comments by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Tesla has now posted a long-needed “Model 3 Reservations FAQ” on their support site with a few of the answers which people hoped they would get tonight during the delivery event.

The most notable answer, of course, is: we can’t tell you exactly when you’ll get your car, but we’ll give you a window of a few months.  Other important ones include: early cars will start at $49,000 with lower option configurations coming within the next few months, supercharging hardware is standard but supercharging is not free, financing (loans) will be available but not leases, owners can only use their owner priority on one Model 3 for each Tesla they currently own, and international orders will not be filled until at least late 2018, or 2019 for right-hand-drive markets.

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July 28

The Tesla Model 3 delivery event (watch here) is live, and we’ll continually update this post (adding to the bottom of the post as more information becomes available) with any additional information from the announcement which isn’t covered in our other posts from the event (which will be posted when Elon takes the stage at 9PM PDT).

This is one part of a series of posts from the Model 3 unveiling. You can read the other parts here:

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In anticipation of today’s Model 3 delivery event (which we are covering live on scene, check this space at 9pm PDT for all the juicy details), Tesla has announced the winners of their “Project Loveday” fan-made video contest.  The winning entries will be livestreamed at tesla.com tonight during the Model 3 unveiling event.  But if you can’t wait that long, you can watch them below!

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July 22

Overnight, Tesla made some changes to their available options, making some options standard, and notably eliminating one thing: leather seats. As of now, Tesla only sells vegan seats.

While this lack of leather is not made explicit on the Tesla configuration page, any mention of leather has been removed, and all upgraded interiors are now referred to with Tesla’s “premium” designation which they applied to the original rollout of vegan seats made of a new synthetic material.

However, not every component in a Tesla is vegan – cars still come with a leather-wrapped steering wheel standard, but Tesla has offered to provide a non-leather steering wheel upon request in the past for customers who make a point of avoiding all leather.

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Tesla is fond of doing middle-of-the-night updates to their product line, and today they simplified their options on Model S and X once again, making several options standard and merging others into a single “Premium Upgrades Package.”

The main changes are that Model S and X now come with various upgraded lighting options included (LED fog lights, three-position LED turning headlights, lighted door handles and ambient interior lighting) and all models now include air suspension, which previously wasn’t even available on the 75, as standard.  Meanwhile the upgraded sound, XM satellite radio (requires sunroof), bioweapon defense mode, and subzero package (heated rear seats, steering wheel and wipers) have all been merged into a single $5,000 option on Model S.  The Model X Premium Upgrades Package includes all of the above, plus self-presenting front doors for $6,000.

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June 30

Elon Musk tweets: “News on Sunday” about Tesla Model 3 release date

The wait is finally over, folks! According to a tweet from Elon Musk, on Sunday, July 2 we will finally…find out the Model 3’s release date.  Okay, so we’ll still have to wait a little bit for the actual release.  And we still have to wait a couple days for the release date.  But…the wait for the wait is almost finally over!  Almost!

June 29

Electric bicycle companies are a dime a dozen these days, so when we were contacted by the somewhat-unimaginatively-named “Electric Bike Company,” I didn’t expect much.  I hadn’t heard of them before, but found out they were headquartered nearby, in sunny Newport Beach, California, so figured why not take a trip to the beach and have a look at what they have to offer?

What I found is a small company that makes a real gem of a bike, with good quality components, well-thought-out design, and at a very reasonable price point (starting at $1,299) compared to the competition.

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June 27

In the more-than-year-long saga of Tesla trying to open a dealership in Virginia, the auto dealers have just scored a victory (and consumers have taken a defeat), with a judge allowing the Virginia Auto Dealers’ Association (VADA) lawsuit against Tesla to proceed.  Tesla had argued that the VADA was not an “aggrieved party,” but a judge in Virginia ruled on Monday that they are and that they thus have standing to bring the lawsuit against Tesla.

This ruling does not stop Tesla from opening the store this summer as planned, but may force them to shut down after opening if VADA’s suit is successful.

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June 26

Everywhere you look, EV records keep improving.  Our newest example is Faraday Future’s FF 91, which took on the Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb this weekend and shattered the previous record for a “production” EV, set last year by a stripped but otherwise mostly unmodified Tesla P90D.  The FF 91 beat the Tesla’s time by over 20 seconds, setting a time of 11:25.083.

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June 22

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.

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June 21

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.

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June 16

Video: Audi’s ‘Tesla competitor’ e-tron Sportback concept spotted on a garage roof in Hamburg

Just a few days ago Audi put up a Tesla-taunting billboard for their e-tron Sportback all-electric vehicle concept, and today we’ve received spy video of the car driving at low-speed on a garage roof in Hamburg, Germany.

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