Exclusives August 16

A look inside the Chevy Bolt EV Battery
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Hopefully writing the final chapter in the battery-related Bolt Fire saga, GM is set to start replacing all modules in some Chevy Bolt EV Batteries within weeks. Electrek had an exclusive sit-down with a spokesperson from GM to get some details on the upcoming program.

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Exclusives July 28

The Chevy Bolt EV has been recalled twice for the risk of battery fire after a dozen fires in a little more than a year. The first recall was in November, with a fix provided in May, which did not fully work. GM then recalled them again in July after another fire on July 1 and a second on July 2 and two on July 25th. On August 16th GM announced that they would start replacing all battery modules in affected Bolts, the same day that a 2020 caught fire as well. This recall has restricted vehicles to about 60% of the battery capacity, and vehicles should not be charged unattended or parked indoors. No fix is currently available. Based on information that is publicly available, here is a list of Chevy Bolt EV fires that we have found.

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Exclusives July 20

Details are emerging from a dozen Chevy Bolt EV fires that have occurred in a little over the past year. Electrek sat down with the owner of one of the first to get his story. More than a year later, he is still making car payments on a car he doesn’t own. GM confirmed his case to be a battery fire.

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Exclusives July 8

Burnt remains of the latest Chevy Bolt Fire
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Another Chevy Bolt fire occurred on the morning of July 1 in Vermont. Similar to the previous one from less than two months ago, this car spontaneously caught fire the morning after charging and while still plugged in. Unlike the previous one however, this one had the final software update that claimed to prevent fires. Join us for an exclusive and in-depth investigation into this, and the history of the Bolt fires.

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Exclusives May 7

The recent Chevy Bolt fire on May 1, 2021 occurred just days after the “final fix” for the fire issue was announced. We sat down with the owner to discuss what happened, tell the inside story, and try to find some answers…

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Exclusives July 1, 2020

Not since the 1950s has a Soriano motorcycle rolled off the line. But that’s set to change as the storied Spanish motorcycle brand is rebooted by an Italian company as an all-electric motorcycle manufacturer.

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Exclusives May 15, 2020

A source familiar with the matter told Electrek that Tesla has chosen Austin, Texas, for its next factory, and it’s going to happen quickly. expand full story

Exclusives April 27, 2020

Ford will soon convert reservations for the all-electric Mustang Mach-E into official orders. Mark Kaufman, the vehicle’s global director of marketing distribution, told Electrek that test drives will be critical for a successful launch of Ford’s electric crossover. Therefore, the company is beginning to plan how to get prospective buyers behind the wheel, even if pandemic-related physical distancing orders are still in place.

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Exclusives February 26, 2020

Electrek has learned more about Tesla’s secret project “Roadrunner”: applying “the machine that builds the machine” strategy to produce cheaper battery cells on a massive scale. expand full story

Exclusives February 20, 2020

Electrek has learned that Tesla lost one of its most senior executives and the man behind the construction of Tesla’s Gigafactories, Kevin Kassekert, who left the automaker last week. expand full story

Exclusives February 19, 2020

Electrek has learned that Tesla is now operating a giant new building next to Gigafactory Nevada and we might know what the automaker is going to use it for. expand full story

Exclusives February 7, 2020

Ford has been relatively quiet about the Mustang Mach-E since it’s unveiling in LA in November. So Electrek met with Darren Palmer, the product chief for Ford EVs, to learn where things stand. Palmer said that the Mach-E is “close to sign-off” for vehicle engineering. And he confirmed that Ford will hit the 300-mile range target for the long-range version.

Palmer also revealed that the company has allowed a few Mustang enthusiasts to take it for a drive. And he talked about how Ford’s EV team is already looking ahead at future electric models, which sounds like an all-electric Explorer or Escape could be in the works.

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Exclusives January 31, 2020

Dirk Abendroth, the chief technology officer for tier-one supplier Continental, knows a thing or two about electric vehicles. Before joining Continental a year ago, he headed electric powertrains for the BMW i3 and i8. He also served as vice president of powertrain and autonomous driving at Byton.

Now, from his vantage point as CTO for one of the top five global auto suppliers, he told Electrek, “Electric mobility is a real revolution.” He listed the reasons why that’s true: reduced CO2, new design possibilities, and a radical shift in manufacturing.

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Exclusives December 3, 2019

Porsche is really interested in Tesla’s latest V10 software update, and especially the new Smart Summon feature. Electrek has learned that Porsche sent engineers to the US to rent a Tesla Model 3 and test out Autopilot under the latest software update.

They apparently came out impressed. expand full story

Exclusives November 19, 2019

California-based Monday Motorbikes has a new electric moped coming soon. And Electrek just received the first details confirming the specs for two models: the Gateway and Gateway Booster electric mopeds.

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Exclusives November 17, 2019

Minutes after the official unveiling of the Ford Mustang Mach-E, we jumped into the press scrum surrounding Bill Ford. Electrek asked Ford’s chairman, and Henry Ford’s great-grandson, if he knew the introduction was taking place one block from Tesla’s design center. “That’s a coincidence,” he said. And then he flashed a big smile.

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Exclusives October 23, 2019

So far, the only thing we’ve known about Harley-Davidson’s upcoming electric bicycles is that they are coming. But now we’ve received new info that sheds some light on what H-D is planning for the lightest motorbikes they’ve ever built. expand full story

Exclusives July 2, 2019

Another Tesla executive is leaving the automaker. Electrek has learned that Jan Oehmicke, an executive hired by Tesla a year ago to lead European operations, is leaving the company. expand full story

Exclusives May 15, 2019

One of the advantages of electric motorcycles is their high torque, which makes them great hill climbers. Zero intends to prove that point this June when they take an SR/F to the Pike’s Peak Challenge. Now we’ve got the first look at the slightly modified electric motorcycle and are hearing from its rider, Cory West.

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Exclusives March 30, 2019

There has long been a debate about Apple’s secretive automotive project being only about a self-driving system for vehicles rather than a full electric autonomous vehicle. It now looks clear that the latter is the case as Apple hires Tesla’s head of electric powertrains. expand full story

Exclusives February 22, 2019

Tesla has been increasingly using more solar panels made by Panasonic at Gigafactory 2 in Buffalo for its solar retrofit business.

Now Electrek has learned that Tesla started using a new 330-watt solar module. expand full story

Exclusives December 15, 2018

Electrek has learned some exclusive information about Tesla’s Megapack, the company’s upcoming new stationary energy storage product.

The big new battery system is going to debut at Tesla’s giant 1.2 GWh energy storage project with PG&E in California. expand full story

Exclusives September 2, 2018

Tesla has been aiming for a production rate of 6,000 Model 3 vehicles per week by the end of August and an overall production of 50,000 to 55,000 Model 3 vehicles throughout the third quarter.

Electrek has learned that the automaker missed the 6,000 unit production rate goal, but Tesla is nonetheless on track for its overall third quarter goal. expand full story

Exclusives August 30, 2018

With the gradually improving Model 3 production, Tesla’s delivery volume is higher than ever and it could even become a bigger bottleneck than production.

Now Electrek has learned that Tesla has been building a new delivery organization to support the insane workload of Model 3 deliveries. expand full story

Exclusives July 30, 2018

As we just reported, Tesla is planning an interior design refresh for the Model S and Model X. You can read our report for the timing and reason behind the update.

In this new report, we look at the actual planned design as Tesla is bringing the spartan minimalist Model 3 interior design to the Model S and Model X while keeping some more premium features in the more expensive flagship vehicles.

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Exclusives July 8, 2018

Ever since Tesla launched the Model 3 in 2017, CEO Elon Musk said that the automaker has been ‘anti-selling’ the new electric vehicle in favor of Tesla’s current Model S and Model X as it ramps up production.

Now Electrek has learned that Tesla will finally start promoting the vehicle, or at least the performance version, by incentivizing its sales team to sell the vehicle and offering test drives. expand full story

Exclusives August 24, 2017

With a starting price of $35,000, the Tesla Model 3 is half the price of the vehicles Tesla is used to designing and manufacturing, the automaker’s flagship Model S and Model X all-electric vehicles.

In order to achieve this more affordable price, Tesla had to design a whole new platform and battery pack architecture.

Today, we get an exclusive first look at this new Model 3 battery pack architecture. expand full story

Exclusives July 11, 2017

When Tesla announced new expansion plans for its Supercharger network earlier this year, it managed to ease some of the concerns that its current owners had over the network becoming overcrowded with the launch of the Model 3.

We started to see Tesla adding chargers to its current Supercharger stations and build new ones with up to 20 chargers.

But the expansion also included a new type of station with much higher numbers of stalls. We now get our first good look at those stations through new site plans for one of the very first stations. expand full story

Exclusives June 23, 2017

After several changes in the Autopilot team’s leadership over the past few months, Tesla ended up hiring one of the leading AI and computer vision researchers this week.

At the same time however, we learn that several of the team’s top computer vision experts have left the company over the past few weeks. expand full story

Exclusives June 1, 2017

Tesla wasn’t kidding when it announced a major expansion of its Supercharger network in April.

Electrek has learned that the automaker started construction or acquired permits for over 40 more stations since having made the announcement less than 2 months ago. expand full story

Exclusives May 25, 2017

After first unveiling the product last year, Tesla started taking orders with a $1,000 deposit for the first versions of its solar roof tiles earlier this month.

Electrek has learned that demand exceeded expectations and that its solar roof tiles are now sold out ‘well into 2018’. expand full story

Exclusives February 8, 2017

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Yesterday, we got a slightly better idea of the range of battery options for the Tesla Model 3 after CEO Elon Musk confirmed that the vehicle’s wheelbase can’t support a 100 kWh battery pack like the Model S and X.

But specifics are still unclear since it leaves us only with a vague range of < 60 kWh to < 100 kWh for battery options. Today, we get some actual numbers for the first time as we learn of a Model 3 test mule. expand full story

Exclusives January 26, 2017

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When launching an accelerated production program for the Tesla Model 3 after receiving more pre-orders than anticipated, CEO Elon Musk said that the company would enforce a rigorous sourcing program both with internal teams and suppliers in order to meet its deadline.

He said that suppliers will be held to high standards and deadlines or otherwise they could be fired – adding that “if you can make a human in 9 months, you can make a tool in 9 months,” in reference to the Model 3 production timeline.

One of the suppliers fell victim of the strict sourcing program this week after Tesla canceled a large order. expand full story

Exclusives November 13, 2016

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As new vehicles are coming off the assembly in Fremont right now, Tesla is making the transition from its first generation Autopilot hardware to its second generation hardware in order to gradually enable level 3 and 4 autonomous driving, and eventually fully self-driving capability, according to the automaker.

As we discussed in the past, the industry is skeptical of Tesla’s ability to deliver a fully self-driving level 5 system with its new hardware suite, but there’s a reason Tesla is confident in its ability to deliver such a system. The reason is data.

Electrek has learned that Tesla has now accumulated 1.3 billion miles of Autopilot data from its first generation sensor suite and “nearly all of it” is useful to the second generation Autopilot, according to the company. expand full story

Exclusives August 28, 2016

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After the recent and widely covered series of Tesla accidents while on Autopilot, Tesla CEO Elon Musk talked about focusing on better educating Tesla owners on how to use Autopilot features. Last month, he mentioned an upcoming blog post to highlight “how Autopilot works as a safety system and what drivers are expected to do after they activate it.”

We have yet to see that blog post, but now Electrek has learned that Tesla will introduce new Autopilot safety restrictions in order to reduce the risk of similar accidents happening again. Tesla owners are often wary of new Autopilot restrictions. They feel like Tesla is rolling back features that they have paid for, but they shouldn’t worry about the new restrictions since they will not really affect owners using the system properly. expand full story

Exclusives June 30, 2016

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One of Tesla’s main advantages over other automakers is its capacity to send significant software updates over-the-air. Model S and X owners wake up in the morning and ta-da! They have new features in a vehicle they bought weeks, months or even years go, and Tesla’s next update will have something for everyone, whether you have Autopilot hardware in your car or even if you own a ‘classic’ pre-Autopilot Model S.

Electrek has learned all of the so far unreleased details of Tesla’s upcoming update 8.0 — one of its biggest to date. The automaker started testing the latest build with a limited number of owners and it features the most important UI refresh since the launch of the Model S, new Autopilot features and more… expand full story

Exclusives June 29, 2016

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Tesla manufactures its drive inverter for the Model S/X in-house at its Fremont factory, but the automaker is using proven off-the-shelf products — primarily TO-247 transistor packages. The company used this approach from the start when working on the Roadster. Like what it has been doing with battery cell technology, the automaker saw an opportunity to attach its product to improvements in transistor systems to gradually allow more powerful and efficient powertrains.

While the strategy served it well so far, Tesla is moving away from it with its third generation platform and consequently, with the Tesla Model 3. The company will be using new battery cells manufactured at its Gigafactory in Nevada and as it turns out, it also started from a blank sheet for its new inverter architecture. Electrek has learned new information about the system which has some interesting implications for the upcoming $35,000 all-electric sedan. expand full story

Exclusives June 10, 2016

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You might remember Porter Harris from our piece on SpaceX’s battery development ‘Tesla is not Elon Musk’s only company developing high-tech battery packs‘ – and also when covering Faraday Future (FF) since Harris joined the company as ‘Chief Battery Architect’ in November 2014 – and then one more time when he suddenly left the company just before it came out of stealth mode.

Electrek has now learned that he co-founded a new startup to compete with FF and Tesla with new battery pack designs for electric vehicles, and even to compete with ‘Tesla Energy’ in stationary energy storage products. expand full story

Exclusives April 18, 2016

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SunEdison, the world’s largest renewable-energy developer, has been going through some serious financial troubles for a while now and could reportedly file for bankruptcy as soon as this week. Its stock (SUNE) lost 98% of its value over the past 12 months and people are starting to jump ship.

Through the troubles, Electrek has learned that Tesla hired a key member of SunEdison’s energy storage team. expand full story

Exclusives February 26, 2016

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Just a few weeks after hiring legendary microprocessor architect Jim Keller from AMD, Tesla managed a second high-profile hire from the chip maker for its Autopilot team. Electrek has learned that the automaker recently hired machine learning expert Junli Gu to lead the Autopilot’s self-learning tech.

As we reported in our recent piece on Tesla’s Autopilot team, the company lost a lot of talent around the release of the version 7.0 of the system last year, but ever since Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to encourage engineers to join the team, it has seen several high-profile additions. expand full story

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