At a one-day workshop Tuesday sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission to discuss the future of automobile dealers in the U.S., executives from General Motors and Tesla jabbed at each other over electric car sales.
GM CEO and Chairwoman Mary Barra touted the new Chevrolet Bolt as being one of the few all-electric cars that could be purchased in all states.
Later, at a direct-sale discussion, a lawyer for Tesla chided Barra by saying that it was GM’s persistence in shaping dealer law nearly a century ago that has forced Tesla out of six states including Michigan and Texas.
“Because they voluntarily chose generations ago to use a certain business model, (GM thinks) everyone that comes after should be required as a matter of law to use the same model,” Tesla lawyer Todd Maron said Tuesday. (Read More…)
Porsche announced Friday that it would build its Mission E car — an all-electric sedan with looks that a Panamera would kill for — and sell the car by 2020. The Mission E concept was announced at Frankfurt earlier this year.
In addition to the car’s 0-60 mph time in under 3.5 seconds, the Mission E (no word on whether that is the final name) will also boast a 310-mile range and an 800-volt charge capability that could recharge the battery up to 80 percent in 15 minutes, providing you can find a charger for it.
Porsche didn’t announce pricing or availability yet, because presumably they’re figuring out exactly how much people will be willing to pay for the Stuttgart coat of arms and how many sales they’ve already lost to Tesla.
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.
Tesla will begin rolling out its firmware update Thursday to enable some Model S and Model X cars to partially drive themselves, the company’s CEO announced on Twitter.
Tesla’s AutoPilot feature will reportedly steer the car during some highway driving and help parallel park the car. A valet feature that would park and retrieve the car without a driver will reportedly come later. It’s unclear how autonomous the cars will be after Thursday, so we’ll save up the $75,000 and let you know as soon as we can.
Model S cars built after September 2014 will reportedly be eligible for the driver-less updates. Cars without the needed sensors and cameras receive a UI update, according to CEO Elon Musk.
Porsche announced its all-electric four-door concept sedan at the Frankfurt Auto Show, complete with 15-minute charging (to 80 percent) and 310-mile overall range. There’s also some holographic and emoticon blather, but we’ll get to that later.
According to Porsche, the Mission E will use two electric motors with a combined output of 600 horsepower to power the car up to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. The car’s 800-volt charger would be a first for electric cars, and would help the car charge up to 80 percent in 15 minutes. According to Tesla, the Model S takes about 30 minutes to charge up to 80 percent for similar range.
Porsche didn’t say when (or even if) the car would make it into production, but it’s likely that something very much like it will be heading our way soon. Maybe this will be a new Panamera?
In a letter to Model S owners, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that its referral “experiment” had gone well and that the company would be expanding the program, according to HybridCars.
Owners can refer as many people as they want, and although the “free” Model X cars have likely already been claimed in each of the three sales regions, the top referrer by Oct. 31 can trade in their Model S for a P85D with “ludicrous” speed mode. Referring 10 new buyers now means you can buy a fully loaded “Founder Series” Model X for the price of a base Model X (a $25,000 savings according to the company).
It’ll still probably be ugly for whomever wins at the end.
According to the Tesla Motors Club, the referral program that would award one Model X to a lucky loyalist in exchange for referring 10 new Model S buyers may already be over. “Kevin2686″ may likely be the North American winner for the free Model X considering he managed to refer 10 new buyers.
Forum members say Kevin2686 spam posted his referral link, and indeed on a CNET news story about the promotion a user named “Tesla2000″ offered $1,000 up front and $1,000 later with a link to Kevin2686’s referral code. In Tesla’s relatively vague referral language:
“Please note that we may withhold credits, discounts or other awards where we believe customers are acting in bad faith or otherwise acting contrary to the intent of this program.”
This may not end well. (Read More…)
Details on Tesla’s “free” Model X for the first 10 referral buyers have been few since the beginning. First it appeared that the program would be limited by time, then it appeared it would be limited by country, now it appears that it’ll be limited by continent.
The first person to refer ten friends in each sales region— North America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific — will receive a free Founder Series Model X.
But even more unclear is exactly how Tesla will give its winner their new Model X. Depending on how that happens, there are very few scenarios in which the new Model X owner (with 10 friends wealthy enough to buy new Model S cars) wouldn’t qualify for up to $7,500 back from the feds. (Read More…)
Tesla’s third production model, its Model X crossover, will start arriving to customers who have already ordered the car September 29, the automaker announced.
Customers for the crossover, which costs $133,000 to $144,000, began ordering options and colors for their cars that include premium sound and “ludicrous speed” modes.
The company announced it would hand over its first few cars to new owners at their headquarters in California.
Wall Street Journal columnist Holman W. Jenkins (great name) slammed Consumer Reports for its glowing review and better-than-perfect score for the Tesla Model S P85D, in part, because the $127,000 car still qualifies for a government tax break.
“Prostitute is not too strong a word,” he wrote. “… (Consumer Reports) is shilling not only for the car but the government policies that subsidize it.”
Jenkins takes aim at the state and federal tax incentives still available for the vehicle — which are going away in many places — and at the magazine for hyping its review so heavily, and subsequently giving it away for free on its subscription-based website. (Read More…)