California Stories October 11
California Stories September 24
More than 70 large companies and investors representing $30 billion in assets sent a letter today to governors across the US urging the acceleration of the switch to zero-emission trucks, vans, and other large commercial vehicles. Will their letter make an impact?
California Stories August 19
While legislators battle over federal infrastructure bills, some US states are out of the gate when it comes to adopting clean energy.
California Stories August 5
US EV automaker Rivian has submitted a permit application to the Planning Commission of the City of Costa Mesa in Orange County, California. According to the application, Rivian has requested a conditional use permit (CUP) to revamp an industrial building to support 24/7 maintenance and receive new EVs for inspection before they’re delivered to customers.
California Stories June 24
Once again, members on Rivian Forums have found new details hinting at what the EV automaker has in store next. According to a list of job locations for planning engineers, there are several potential spots picked out in Northern and Central California for the Rivian Adventure Network. Rivian has previously shared a map of its 3,500+ DC fast chargers coming in the next two years, but the public has not seen many specific addresses of those locations.
California Stories March 22
In an unconfirmed letter to the Commander in Chief, two US Senators from California urged the administration to follow their state’s lead in establishing a phase out date for gas-powered vehicles. Furthermore, President Biden and his team are maneuvering how to reimplement vehicle emissions rules eased by the previous administration.
California Stories December 24, 2019
On December 16, 2019, California’s Office of Administrative Law approved amendments to its Electric Vehicle Fueling Systems Specifications. These rules ban operators of electric vehicle charging stations from billing by the minute at new 240Vac stations in 2021 onwards, and new DCFC stations 2023 onwards.
This is a huge blow to Electrify America and EVgo. Both firms bill by the minute for EV charging, leaving drivers with sticker shock and feeling ripped off by the end of the session. Chargepoint will also be negatively affected, as many of their site-host partners choose to bill per minute. And while Tesla already bills by the kilowatt-hour, California will also be requiring charging stations to physically display “on their face” important information about electricity cost and delivery, a move that will put the most burden on Tesla’s Supercharger stations.
California Stories November 16, 2019
The California state government has fired back against the Trump administration’s attempt to destroy the state’s emission regulations and those of ZEV states. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration enacted a directive yesterday which would prevent agencies from buying most gas-powered sedans and any vehicles made by the few automakers siding with Trump’s “EPA”. expand full story
California Stories September 14, 2019
Good news, Californians! Do you have an old gas car laying around that you don’t use, and would rather turn it into an electric bicycle? Well now you can, with a trade-in program that includes e-bikes!
California Stories August 28, 2019
California, which is seen as the leader in electric vehicle adoption in the US, is still nowhere near its goal to have 5 million zero-emission vehicles on the road by the end of the next decade. expand full story
California Stories July 25, 2019
Four big automakers have cut a deal with California to adopt the state’s vehicle emissions rules in a compromise agreement, bypassing the Trump administration’s plan to freeze fuel economy standards.
California Stories May 20, 2019
As the Environmental Protection Agency prepares to introduce the final form of its proposal to freeze US fuel economy standards sometime in the near future, California is giving more indications of how it intends to fight the regulatory rollback.
California Stories January 29, 2018
Last week, California Gov. Jerry Brown announced a series of new executive orders to push the state to have 5 million electric cars on the road by 2030.
It’s the most ambitious zero-emission goal in the US, but is it enough? expand full story
California Stories December 27, 2017
The California Independent System Operator (CAISO) – the group that manages 80% of the electricity used in California – has begun showing utility-scale batteries charging and discharging into the power grid via their website.
By resolution, due to a natural gas emergency, the State of California requested large-scale battery based energy storage projects be attached to the grid at the end of 2016, early 2017. Now we get to watch the systems – some that we covered – do their job.
California Stories December 5, 2017
Norway, Paris/France, England, India, Germany, China and Scotland have all announced plans to ban the sale of gasoline vehicles in the upcoming decades. The US state of California might be close behind if a new bill expected to be introduced in the coming month by Assemblymember Phil Ting takes hold.
California Stories June 28, 2017
California is already leading electric vehicle adoption in the US, but they still need to speed things up if they want to achieve their goal of 1.5 million electric vehicles (EVs) by 2025, and 5 million by 2030. There are currently around 300,000 EVs on California roads today.
A new bill unveiled today would unlock $3 billion worth of incentives for an updated version of California’s current EV rebate. expand full story
California Stories May 18, 2017
The market share of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids keeps increasing steadily in California during the first quarter of 2017 according to the California Auto Outlook quarterly report. On the other hand, the market share of hybrids, excluding plug-ins, has been declining since 2013 and continues to do so in the current calendar year.
Nationwide new car registrations decreased by 1.4 percent. However, dealers in The Golden State saw a 0.7 percent increase in registrations and the state is now on track to top 2 million new car registrations again for this year. The Californian market hit a low of 1.04 million new light vehicle registrations in 2009 and topped the 2 million mark in 2015 after years of strong recovery since the financial crisis.
California Stories January 23, 2017
On the heels of the California Air Resources Board’s Midterm Review of the Zero-Emission Vehicle Program, the state’s electric utilities are seeking to expand electric vehicle infrastructure with thousands of new charging stations.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) all submitted new plans to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) last week to collect about $1 billion more from their customers in order to finance the important expansion. expand full story
California Stories November 15, 2016
California hits milestone of 250,000 electric plug-in cars
The state of California reached the milestone of a quarter million plug-in electric vehicles on the road since the resurgence of EVs in 2010. With 30 different electric vehicles available in California due to its ZEV mandate, the state is able to grow its EV fleet significantly faster than the rest of the US.
California Stories August 27, 2016
Pacific Gas & Electric Co., the biggest utility company in California, recently submitted a proposal to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to install approximately 7,500 level 2, and 100 DC fast EV charging stations around the state, which would be, by far, the most massive roll-out of chargers in the United States.
California Stories July 7, 2016
California’s Air Resources Board is starting to realize that it might have made a mistake by projecting a 15.4 percent market share for zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) by 2025. The state, which pioneered incentivizing automakers to sell electric vehicles, is being outpaced by countries, like Norway and the Netherlands, exploring the idea of ZEVs having a 100 percent market share within the same timeframe.
Furthermore, because of Tesla, which only sells ZEVs, and the popularity of a few plug-in hybrid models, like the Volt, ZEV credits have flooded the market and now automakers would only need to achieve a 6 percent ZEV market share in the state and compensate with credits bought from other automakers in order to comply with CARB’s mandate without being fined. expand full story
California Stories June 16, 2016
A few weeks ago, Tesla closed an important $1.7 billion stock offering to finance its new build plan for the Model 3. The capital raise was needed for Tesla to accelerate its production and achieve a rate of 500,000 cars in 2018 – two years earlier than previously planned.
The new plan is in response to the higher than expected demand for the Model 3. Tesla’s management was expecting 100,000 to 200,000 reservations at best, but the automaker already received over 373,000 reservations.
While Tesla already confirmed that some of the capital would be used for its operations, the company made it clear that most of the money would be put toward an expansion of the Fremont factory to increase production. Now we get a specific number for the expansion as Tesla is applying for a $106 million tax break with the state to help the project. expand full story
California Stories May 13, 2016
Earlier this year, we reported on a new proposed bill in California to eliminate the sales tax on new cars manufactured in the state for out-of-state buyers. The bill aims to spur “industrial tourism” and encourage people to come pick up their new Teslas at the automaker’s Fremont factory without having to pay California’s sales tax.
The bill, which was proposed by Tesla and is sponsored by Sen. Bob Wieckowski whose district is home to Tesla’s Fremont factory, is now facing strong opposition as some legislators suggest it only aims at offering tax breaks to rich people able to afford luxury vehicles. expand full story
California Stories May 3, 2016
As Tesla is looking to almost double its annual vehicle production every year for the next few years, it has to significantly increase its headcount, which currently stands at just over 15,000 employees. Now Tesla is reportedly set to go on a hiring spree this weekend to hire “hundreds” of “production assembly associates” at a “massive” job fair in Fremont, California, according to job listings.
Tesla recently confirmed that it is currently working on increasing its production plans to minimize the wait for the Model 3 following the storm of reservations it received for the $35,000 all-electric sedan – approaching 400,000 cars as of the latest update. expand full story
California Stories April 13, 2016
Proposed CA bill hopes to put Google’s driverless prototype cars in the regulatory clear
Truly autonomous vehicles are poised to be an exciting technology, but as with any other technology, there are always regulatory hurdles to be cleared. As first spotted by public records sleuth Mark Harris, a bill working its way through the California legislature would require the state’s DMV to effectively legalize Google’s ambitions of having a driverless fleet of self-driving Koala cars…
California Stories March 28, 2016
Next week, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) will hold a public workshop on the FY 2016-17 Funding Plan for Low Carbon Transportation and Fuels Investments and AQIP. Under the current proposal, the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP) would receive $230 million in funding through 2017. expand full story
California Stories February 2, 2016
It’s difficult to get accurate delivery numbers for Tesla in the US since the company doesn’t disclose sales by market, but in California, which is Tesla’s biggest market in the US by far, we can follow state rebates for clean vehicles in order to get a good idea of Tesla’s growth in the state. expand full story
California Stories January 28, 2016
Sen. Bob Wieckowski, whose district is home to Tesla’s Fremont factory, is sponsoring a bill which include a provision to eliminate the sales tax on new cars manufactured in California for out-of-state buyers. The new provision would allow Tesla to spur what the senator refers to as “industrial tourism” and maybe even create a program similar to BMW’s popular “European delivery” option. expand full story
California Stories December 21, 2015
As the end of the year, and consequently the end of the fourth quarter, is getting closer, investors and analysts are debating whether or not Tesla can achieve its ambitious delivery goal of 17,000 to 19,000 cars in the last 3 months of the year for a total of 50,000 to 52,000 in 2015.
Achieving the lower-end of the guidance would mean a 46% quarter to quarter increase and a 73% increase over the same period last year. We’ve already reported on registration data for October and November for Tesla’s most important European markets, but now with more data coming from California and Denmark, as well as new information about the Model X and demonstration vehicles, it looks like Tesla is poised to achieve at least the lower-end of its guidance. expand full story
California Stories October 26, 2015
The so-called “poaching war” for top automotive engineering talent between Tesla and Apple gathered quite a few headlines in the past months, especially after Tesla CEO Elon Musk called the Cupertino company the “Tesla Graveyard” for hiring people he claimed were “fired” by the company. But after looking closer into the recent hires between the two companies, it looks like Tesla has little to fear from Apple’s recruiting effort, at least if we compare it to Faraday Future’s.
Faraday Future took a small step out of ‘stealth mode’ earlier this summer to announce that it is looking for a location for a manufacturing facility to build an electric vehicle. In the months since, the 1-year old startup ramped up its hiring effort and now has over 400 employees with an impressive percentage coming from Tesla. expand full story
California Stories October 23, 2015
Production brown/beige Model X in the wild [Gallery]
These are obviously going to become more common in the coming weeks and months but as it stands now, this is quite a sight. All of the early Founder/Signature models are P90D with Ludicrous on board.
On Thursday, California’s Air Resources Board had a meeting and status update on the state’s ‘Zero Emission Vehicle’ (ZEV) program where industry actors expressed their views on the clean vehicle market and the ZEV credit mandate. During a presentation to the board, Tesla’s Vice President of Business Development Diarmuid O’Connell argued that lobbying efforts from automakers effectively delayed fuel economy in the U.S. by about 20 years.
He added that the automotive industry used similar lobbying tactics to delay the commercialization of Zero Emission Vehicles. He said the effort delayed the state of California’s initial 1998 goal of 2% market penetration by 16 years – Zero Emission vehicles only reached 2% of the market in 2014. expand full story
California Stories October 12, 2015
Earlier this year, Advanced Microgrid Solutions (AMS) and Tesla Motors, under its ‘Tesla Energy division’, inked a massive 500 MWh supply deal for battery packs to power AMS’ “hybrid-electric buildings” concept. Today AMS announced a new project under the agreement with Tesla to install a first phase of Powerpacks at up to 24 office buildings owned by The Irvine Company, a real estate company with properties throughout coastal California. expand full story
California Stories October 7, 2015
Fred did some excellent work sorting out the Model X pricing but I was surprised to hear that I’d be able to buy a Model X for $75K before incentives and $65K with…next year. But how does Tesla get to the $75K price point without going against CEO Elon Musk’s “Model S +$5000” pricing scheme? After all a Model S 70D is currently listed at $75,000. expand full story
California Stories October 2, 2015
Tesla Motors released its delivery results today for July through September 2015 and confirmed that the company delivered 11,580 cars during the quarter. For the first time, the number includes two different models in the same quarter: Model S and Model X.
Presumably, only the 6 Model X’s delivered during the launch earlier this week are accounted for in the third quarter results, meaning Tesla delivered ~11,574 Model S’s beating its previous record of 11,532 units achieved during Q2 2015. expand full story
SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive and Chairman Elon Musk are officially announcing a new high-efficiency solar panel today at the Inside Energy conference. During an interview at the conference, Elon Musk was talking about his other venture, Tesla Motors, and he revealed that the recent launch of the Model X caused a big uptick in orders for Tesla’s other vehicle, the Model S. expand full story
SolarCity announced today that it has built the most efficient rooftop solar module with 22% efficiency according to a third party tester: Renewable Energy Test Center. Until now, SunPower’s X-Series panel was considered the most efficient rooftop panel with 21.5% efficiency.
SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive says that the new modules will produce between 350 to 360-watt compared to the company’s current 260-watt panels. expand full story
California Stories September 30, 2015
Fisker Automotive announced today a name change to Karma Automotive, as well as a new logo (see above). The company was named after its co-founder and famed car designer, Henrik Fisker. Fisker resigned from the company during financial difficulties in 2013. The company filed for bankruptcy soon after. Then the Wanxiang Group, a Chinese auto parts conglomerate, bought the company’s assets out of bankruptcy for $149 million. They also picked up A123, a battery maker who at the time was supplying Fisker with battery packs before both companies went under.
Wanxiang has since been trying to relaunch the company and especially its flagship electric sedan, the Karma, hence the new name of the organisation. expand full story
One thing a lot of us were wondering as Tesla delivered the first few Model X’s yesterday is what software version would the Model X be using considering Tesla is still beta testing the upcoming v7.0 with new Autopilot features.
It turns out the Model X is running a unique update of v7.0 without the new Autopilot features: Autosteer and lane changing.
DragTimes published a quick video of the UI at the Model X launch event. You can watch the video below the break: expand full story
Tesla launched the Model X last night in Fremont. You can read our quick overview of Elon Musk’s walk-through of the vehicle here, but here’s the video of the event and a roundup of the videos shot during the press day leading up to the event.
Some reservation holders have been waiting for over 3 years for the Model X, and now it’s finally here. Tonight Tesla launched its all-electric SUV in Fremont, California in front of a crowd of reservation holders, employees and journalists. We already knew a lot about the Model X prior to the launch – 0 to 60 mph in 3.2 secs, AWD, up to 257 miles range – but Tesla CEO Elon Musk still had a few surprises… expand full story
California Stories September 29, 2015
Tesla Motors is holding a launch event tonight for the Model X at the former Solyndra building near Tesla’s Fremont factory. The company will open the doors at 7PM local time (10PM ET) and the event will start at 8PM (11PM ET). Tesla will livestream the event on their website and we will be live-blogging it here: expand full story
California Stories September 28, 2015
As images of the Tesla Model X are rolling off the assembly line, we are seeing a number of improvements to the car over prototypes that have been publicly shown. One such improvement was revealed in a video showing the front trunk or ‘Frunk’ of the Model X. Compare the size of the Frunk in the shipping model above to a Prototype shown off by CEO Elon Musk last year.
Another image of the Model X Frunk, straight on the assembly line, is below. expand full story
Indian Prime Minister Modi meets with Tesla CEO Elon Musk, discusses off grid power/wall [video]
Although India probably isn’t a large market for Tesla’s luxury Model S/X and even the $35,000 Model 3 will be a tough sale for normal Indians, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the company’s Fremont car plant does have some immediate ramifications. According to the Indian Foreign ministry, Musk gave the PM a tour of the plant and paid particular attention to the Tesla Powerwall which the CEO noted could, when used in conjunction with Solar, help India’s rural communities bypass the electric grid.
California Stories September 26, 2015
‘Wild’ may be an exaggeration but at the Tesla plant in Fremont, a spy caught a prototype Model X opening and closing (video below) its Falcon Wing doors . The spies seemed to be concerned about the door closing mechanism, and many of the mules we’ve seen have had partially opened doors, but it is unlikely that this is the final design/spec.
In any case, we’ll be live on the Model X launch on the 29th, come back and join us! expand full story
California Stories September 25, 2015
Tesla is still tuning the Model X’s options ahead of its launch scheduled for September 29th at the Fremont factory. Earlier this month, the company added an option for hitch accessories directly at the purchase of the vehicle in order to get around the limitations of the ‘Falcon Wing’ doors. Later, it updated the EPA-rated range to 250 miles for the P90D version of the all-electric SUV. Today we learn Tesla now added an option for a 6-seat configuration to the vehicle. expand full story
SolarCity is introducing a new program to install solar in affordable housing communities
SolarCity, the biggest solar installer in the US, announced a new program to install solar for affordable housing communities. Under the new program, SolarCity will finance and install solar arrays for affordable housing developers, and then the company will distribute the energy produced by the solar panels to individual housing units.
California Stories September 22, 2015
It has been a while since we’ve heard of Renovo Motors, the all-electric supercar maker backed by the deep-pocket VC firm True Ventures, but we hear that Renovo was recently testing its coupe at the famous Mazda Raceway Monterey, California. expand full story