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Federal regulators have postponed rules to require hybrid and EV carmakers to add audible warnings to their cars to alert nearby pedestrians, bicyclists and visually impaired people, Reuters reported.
The audible warnings would be installed on cars made by Ford, Honda and Toyota and be activated when those cars are traveling slower than 18 mph. According to the report, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says hybrid and EV cars are 19-percent more likely to be involved in a pedestrian crash when compared to gasoline cars. The rule could prevent 2,800 crashes with pedestrians. Read More >
After Tesla is done delivering Founders and Signature editions of its Model X SUV, the company will offer a 70D model later next year with a 220 mile range for $80,000 plus $1,200 for shipping. A 90D, with a range of 257 miles and quicker sprint up to 60 mph, will be offered as well, but the company hasn’t disclosed how much that will cost.
Automotive News reported that the automaker updated its online configurator for potential customers to configure their base cars. A 70D Model X with every option checked tops out around $100,000.
The public Model X page only lists the 90D as deliverable next year, which Automotive News speculated could mean that the company may make the 70D available later in the year or 2017.
Tesla may need to sell 500,000 cars by 2020 to meet projected goals by shareholders.
Read More >
On Friday, Tesla announced a voluntary recall of every single damn Model S on the planet to check the front seatbelt installed on those cars. According to the automaker, one belt in a car that was sold in Europe wasn’t connected to an outboard lap pretensioner. The car was not involved in a crash, nor was anyone injured because of the defect.
According to Tesla, the automaker has inspected more than 3,000 Model S cars for similar faults and found none.
Regardless, the automaker said it would ask owners to bring in 90,000 Model S cars — literally, all of them — for inspection because having a seatbelt that doesn’t work is probably bad.
Read More >
On Thursday, Google’s autonomous car development team reported that Mountain View, California police pulled over the robot car for traveling too slowly. No ticket was issued.
According to the team’s Google Plus page, officers pulled over the car because they “want to know more about the project.” According to Mountain View police, the officer wanted reminded the car’s human passengers that impeding traffic is against the law. Tomato, potato.
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I guess I cover the reverse trike beat here at TTAC.
It started with a post about a Chinese
death trap three-wheeler I’d seen advertised. In the comments to that post, one of our readers suggested looking into the Elio project. We’ve done that a few times since then, including an exclusive review of one of their prototypes. Because of our coverage of Elio Motors, a group of Elio deposit holders who have become disenchanted by continued production delays asked us to consider their charges. While it’s true that I’m in what may be a minority of automotive writers that don’t think Elio is a scam, I’m not naive. There are ample reasons for skepticism and we take the word truth in our title seriously, so Mark Stevenson and I looked into the critics’ complaints and we both decided they were adding nothing new to issues raised by Elio’s critics before.
However, I do keep tabs on their Facebook group, which is how I found out about Arcimoto, a Eugene, Oregon company that hopes to put their highway capable electric reverse trike in production by the end of next year with a starting price of $11,900. Read More >
Speaking at the Barron’s Investment Conference last week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk predicted EVs would be good for 500 miles per charge by 2025.
According to Green Car Reports, Musk believed such vehicles would be possible in 10 years, but tempered those expectations by cautioning that more assembly and battery production facilities would be needed to realize that future. Read More >
Electric car sales in Georgia have halted after that state stopped offering incentives and started charging a $200 annual fee to recoup lost gas tax revenue, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
New electric vehicle registrations plummeted 89 percent from June to August after the state stopped offering a $5,000 tax break on top of the $7,500 federal incentive. Georgia’s incentive was one of the most generous in the country.
Georgia’s electric purge could portend a future in highly incentivized states, such as California and Colorado, where electric incentives and sales are still relatively strong.
Read More >
Sometime this year, Tesla Motors quietly ended its Ranger program that would dispatch service technicians to fix or send for service Tesla cars for a flat rate, Automotive News reported.
The program, which was touted by the company in 2012 as “transforming automotive service” said the service would cost $100 “regardless of how far away owners live from a Tesla Service Center.” Tesla’s service page now says: “Tesla Ranger service may be available in your area. Service begins at $100 per visit and increases based on your distance from the nearest Tesla service center.”
A four-year, prepaid service plan for the cars, which cost $2,400 and included unlimited Ranger service visits, now only costs $1,900 without mentioning Ranger service, according to the company. A spokesman for Tesla didn’t immediately comment on the report. Read More >
Researchers at the University of Cambridge say they’ve created a lighter, cheaper, longer lithium-oxygen battery that could eventually rival gasoline engines in electric vehicles in terms of range and weight, Automotive News reported.
The scientists announced that they had created a working prototype of an “ultimate battery” that could be up to 10 times more energy-dense than lithium-ion batteries. They said the battery, to date, could be recharged more than 2,000 times.
The lithium-oxygen batteries could eventually replace lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles and offer a range similar to gasoline engines, but researchers say that could be more than a decade away. Read More >
Nissan unveiled its
next Leaf IDS Concept, a semi-autonomous EV complete with a glimpse of Nissan’s coming “Intelligent Drive” features that may be equipped on some of its cars by the end of the decade.
The IDS Concept boasts an autonomous piloted driving mode for conversationalists (the seats rotate inward to invite dialogue!) a movable dash with “Minority Report” pre-cog abilities (probably) and a submarine-style style steering wheel.
But those aren’t the best concept-ish features. Read More >