By on May 19, 2016

Tesla Model 3

It’s billed as the affordable electric car of the future, but 12,200 reservations have dropped off the Tesla order list since the company’s Model 3 came on the scene.

The new tally was revealed when Tesla announced plans to raise $1.4 billion through a share offering to boost its financial standing, Bloomberg reports.

Since orders opened, 4,200 duplicate reservations have been erased by the company, and 8,000 customers have backed out of their purchase. That leaves 373,000 reservations on the books, each backed by a $1,000 check. (Read More…)

By on May 17, 2016

Tesla Model 3 Unveil, Image: Tesla Motors

As the owner of a 2013 Tesla Model S P85 and occasional TTAC writer, I have my opinions on the Model 3. Many commenters thought Tesla’s business model of starting at the high-end and working its way down market was crazy, but Elon Musk had the right idea: use the cash flow from high-end car manufacturing to ramp up your engineering chops and supplier relationships so you can push prices down to eventually make a mainstream product.

That’s exactly what Tesla is doing and the plan seems to be working brilliantly — but there’s a catch: managing the engineering “complexity budget.”

(Read More…)

By on May 13, 2016

2013-Tesla-Model-S-Rear

It was nice of Tesla founder Elon Musk to deliver a Model S P85D to the Los Angeles Police Department for testing last year, but they’re kindly going to return it. Possibly with a note under the wiper asking him to make it much cheaper.

The hyper-performing electric sedan took up residence with the LAPD (along with a BMW i3) last September, part of a research initiative that studied how EVs could fit into a future policing model.

With testing over and grades handed out, the LAPD can now say with confidence that the Model S isn’t their cup of tea. The speed was nice, but the price? This isn’t Dubai. (Read More…)

By on May 11, 2016

Tesla Model 3 Unveil, Image: Tesla Motors

At the Tesla Model 3’s glitzy unveiling, everyone knew the model was a half-baked cake. Now, company founder Elon Musk admits the much-hyped electric sedan still isn’t out of the oven.

Musk said in a recent conference call that the design of the $35,000 Model 3 EV still isn’t finalized, according to Reuters, and the company plans a spending spree to get the model into production on time. (Read More…)

By on May 10, 2016

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Something electric could be brewing at General Motors, and we’re not talking about just the Chevrolet Bolt.

John Rosevear at the Motley Fool has an interesting take on what the future holds for Orion Assembly (the Michigan facility tapped to produce the Bolt this fall), and why GM seems to be keeping other models away from the plant. (Read More…)

By on May 9, 2016

Gas pump evolution Source: Tesla Motors

What a difference a few years make.

Perhaps you’re old enough to remember when scientists warned us about an impending ice age. Today, climate change concerns have to do with global warming.

Just a few years ago, “peak oil” — the theory of terminal decline once we’ve reached the maximum extraction rate from known petroleum reserves — was popular. A couple of recent perspectives, however, indicate that we may not hit peak oil production and consumption for the foreseeable future — and that the price of oil may actually go down long-term. (Read More…)

By on May 6, 2016

Tesla Model 3 Prototype on road, Image: Tesla Motors

Time’s a wastin’ if you want to impress your friends and neighbors with a gee-whiz Tesla Model 3 anytime in the next three years.

As he’s known to do, Tesla founder Elon Musk took to Twitter last night to warm wannabe owners about the growing wait for his $35,000 electric sedan. If you’re just lining up for a Model 3 now, consider signing a lease for another vehicle while you wait — you probably won’t have to terminate it early. (Read More…)

By on May 5, 2016

Elon Musk + Tesla Model S Circa 2011

There’s probably no s’mores or ghost stories, but Tesla founder Elon Musk is still a fan of camping out at his company’s Fremont, California production facility.

Musk admitted to giving his sleeping bag a regular workout during a recent earnings call, during which he outlined his production goals for the upcoming Model 3. The optimistic deadline of July 1, 2017 is now viewed as impossible (due to supply issues), but Musk is optimistic that significant quantities of the $35,000 EV will be out the door before New Year’s Eve.

Musk might need to splurge on an upgraded sleeping bag next summer. (Read More…)

By on May 4, 2016

2015 Volkswagen eGolf Motor

“Do those non-diesel things, only better,” seems to be Volkswagen’s mantra these days.

The aftermath of the continuing diesel emissions scandal saw the embattled automaker dive deep into cleaner technology, and it now looks like VW wants its name on a relatively cheap electric vehicle, Autocar reports (via Carscoops). (Read More…)

By on May 3, 2016

BMW i3 and i8

BMW’s electric car sub-brand is growing, thanks to new and upgraded models, but its management ranks are shrinking as executives flee to a Chinese startup.

Three top names, including the program’s head, were lured to China’s Future Mobility Corp. this year, Automotive News Europe reports, while sales dropped by nearly a quarter in the first three months of 2016.

Call it a case of “i” gotta go. (Read More…)

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