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
Formula E has had a wild season this year, with unpredictable, close racing and tight championship battles for both drivers and teams. It’s finally coming to an end this weekend in New York, with races on both Saturday and Sunday to finish out the season. Jearn-Eric Vergne and Techeetah currently have a big lead for the drivers’ and teams’ championships respectively, but anything could still happen in these last two races.
The track is in Brooklyn’s Red Hook neighborhood, located near the Brooklyn cruise terminal. The track offers great views of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. We’ll have Seth and Phil on-site at the ePrix this weekend, so if you want live updates from the track, check out our Instagram.
Elon Musk: Tesla will stop selling cars [Update: at consumer pricing] once full self-driving is solved
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been talking a lot about Tesla Network lately, part of Tesla’s “Master Plan, Part Deux” which will enable Tesla cars with full self-driving hardware to operate as autonomous robotaxis to generate revenue for owners and for Tesla itself.
This is all still a ways off, but that hasn’t stopped Musk and others from theorizing about what might happen when the technological problems behind self-driving are solved. Recently, Musk stated that any Tesla bought today is an “appreciating asset” due to its potential to be used to generate revenue in the future. But an asset wouldn’t really appreciate unless a new, similar asset couldn’t be bought at the same price. So now, Musk has committed to making that happen, stating that once robotaxis become possible, Tesla will likely stop selling cars to consumers, at least at anywhere near the same price.
Romain Dumas sets even quicker Goodwood record in electric VW ID.R: 39.9 seconds
Yesterday we saw VW’s electric ID.R break a 20-year-old record at Goodwood hillclimb, but that was just a practice run. Today, with official timing, driver Romain Dumas managed to smash his time from yesterday and lower the record by more than another full second.
A common refrain about electric cars is that they’re fine for city driving but can’t do road trips. This has been disproven many times, and Tesla owners in particular have an easy time on road trips due to Tesla’s excellent Supercharger network.
But today we’ve seen yet another reason not to worry about the capability to take EVs on long trips, as Bjørn Nyland has managed to drive 2,781km (1,728mi) in 24 hours in a Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD. Nyland set this record on IONITY quick chargers in Germany because currently, that network is significantly faster than Tesla’s Superchargers.
The previous record was 2,644km, set last year in a Model 3 by the Austrian G-Electric team including German Horst Lüning. Lüning previously held the record before that with 2,424km in a Model S.
Volkswagen has been racking up EV records with its ID.R all-electric racecar, and today the VW ID.R piloted by Romain Dumas managed to beat a record which has been held for 20 years — Nick Heidfeld’s record run of the Goodwood hillclimb in the 10-cylinder McLaren MP4/13 which dominated the 1998 Formula 1 season.
The previous record was 41.6 seconds for the 1.86km (1.16mi) hillclimb course. Volkswagen managed to bring that record down to 41.18. They have more runs to go this weekend, so it’s entirely possible that the record might be lowered again.
The Formula E championship is coming up on its last few races of the season, with only this and the upcoming doubleheader in New York left to round it out. This weekend Formula E returns to Switzerland for only the second auto race in the country in more than half a century.
In 1955, Switzerland banned auto racing nationwide in response to the 1955 Le Mans disaster where hundreds of spectators were killed or injured by a horrific crash. This ban remained in place for 60 years until the country repealed it in 2015 – but only for electric racing. The move was made to attract Formula E to the country, and last year Zurich held the first race in Switzerland since the ban was implemented. This year the race moves to a new track in the de facto Swiss capital city of Bern with an interesting feature near the exit of turn 4 – an actual bear pit. Like, a pit. With bears in it.
A few months after unveiling their new e-208 electric hatch, Peugeot has already added the car to their configurator in Germany.
The lowest option level available is €30,450 for the base “Active” trim (incl. 19% VAT). Germany has a €4,000 EV incentive, so that translates to €26,450 after incentives.
Toyota has been dragging their feet on new vehicle technology for some time now, seemingly happy to continue selling their antiquated gas-powered fleet, with no battery electric vehicles and only one plug-in hybrid and one fuel cell vehicle (powered by 95% fossil-sourced hydrogen) across their entire lineup.
But if you watch their recent ads, the deceptiveness of which we’ve covered before, you wouldn’t know this. Because they continue to misleadingly advertise their “self-charging” “hybrid electric Corolla” as if it’s anything other than a 100% fossil-powered gas guzzler. And in case it wasn’t apparent already: “self-charging” is not a real thing, as the entire concept violates the basic laws of physics.
One of the first questions from a prospective electric car buyer is: “sure I’m not buying gas anymore, but how much will my electric bill go up?” The answer, just about everywhere, is that an electric car is cheaper to drive, but sometimes it’s hard to figure out by how much.
It’s a complex question to answer because of different electric rates around the country, time-of-use rates, and fluctuating gas prices as well. But last night, Tesla CEO Elon Musk suggested that Tesla could build software into their vehicles to answer just that question – and to help owners save money as well. The idea came, as many have, in a late-night answer to a tweet.
A while back, Tesla shifted all of their seat options to “Tesla Synthetic Material” which is not animal sourced, and therefore vegan. But there’s still one non-vegan material in Teslas: the steering wheel.
While it’s possible for customers to order a car with a custom vegan steering wheel, this is an off-menu item and Teslas do not come standard with it. Vegan customers often don’t know about this option, and will end up driving a car with a leather steering wheel because of it. Some don’t mind, but some do. And today, Tesla announced that the Model Y and Model 3 will both be entirely vegan, including the steering wheel, next year.
One of Tesla’s future plans is to roll out a network of self-driving “robotaxis,” dubbed “Tesla Network.” In today’s Tesla shareholder meeting, CEO Elon Musk fielded a question from a shareholder about the possibility of having a human-driven rideshare fleet prior to the rollout of Tesla Network.
This would be similar to Uber/Lyft or other rideshare services, but driven through an owner’s own Tesla app which they already have installed.
Musk seemed responsive to the idea, stating that while the end goal is to have autonomous ridesharing, this might be a good stopgap prior to Tesla gaining regulatory approval for their robotaxi fleets.
The world-famous – and famously deadly – Isle of Man TT race is going on this week, and alongside the gas superbike races there’s an electric-only TT Zero class racing in its tenth year.
In this year’s race, Michael Rutter and Team Mugen set a new electric superbike lap record for the course, with a 121.91mph (196.2km/h) lap in 18:34.172. This narrowly beats the previous record by about a second, and about a tenth of a mile per hour. This is Rutter’s fifth win of the TT Zero.
Automakers have sent another letter to the governments of the US and California regarding upcoming fuel economy rules, asking the EPA to stop a planned fuel economy rollback, the New York Times reports.
Currently, the EPA and DOT are finalizing a rollback of fuel economy standards, which is expected to go into place soon despite challenges by California and the 13 “CARB states” that follow California Air Resources Board rules. If implemented, the plan would likely split the US auto market and cause nightmares for automakers – at least those that sell polluting cars.
Tesla has sold a CHAdeMO quick charge adapter for Model S and X for a while now. When Model 3 hit the road using the same plug as the S and X, people assumed the adapter would work with the Model 3, but early tests showed that it did not.
That seems to have changed today with an update to Tesla’s shop, which now states that the Tesla CHAdeMO adapter is compatible with “the North American version Model S, Model X, and Model 3.” It has also been added to the “adapters” section of Model 3 accessories.
Update: not long after this post, Tesla changed the text in their shop again, and it now states that “CHAdeMO is not compatible with Model 3,” contradicting the page from earlier today (which you can see via Wayback Machine). expand full story
(UPDATE: This article previously stated the EV tax would be $248. It turns out the bill also hikes the registration fee to $148 for all vehicles, but to $248 for EVs specifically. So the “EV Tax” is $100, not $248)
The Illinois legislature has approved a $45 billion transportation bill over the weekend to help improve the state’s infrastructure. Among other things, this bill includes a $100 tax on electric vehicles.
It’s been ten years since the original MINI E hit the road in limited numbers, and BMW is ramping towards production of a new model slated to be released next year. This weekend we saw a short video of the MINI Electric‘s production line, showing that the car seems to be pretty far along and just about ready for prime time.
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.