By on March 20, 2017

Tesla Model 3 Unveil, Image: Tesla Motors

After deciding that its analytic tools are top-notch and will tell it everything it needs to know, Tesla is skipping the “beta” phase of the Model 3’s development cycle.

In a conference call to investors last week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the automaker doesn’t need to bother with that crop of pre-production models. Early release model 3s built on the company’s production assembly line — not specialty one-offs built in a corner of the shop — should be rolling by this week or next, he said. (Read More…)

By on February 9, 2017

Tesla Model 3 Unveil, Image: Tesla Motors

Tesla is planning to halt vehicle production for one week in February to prepare for Model 3 pre-production, which the company says will begin February 20.

According to Reuters, the short-term shutdown of its Fremont, California assembly plant will give Tesla time to add capacity to its paint shop as it plans for full-scale production of the Model 3.

(Read More…)

By on October 6, 2016

Tesla Model 3 Unveil, Image: Tesla Motors

Since General Motors showed the Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept at the 2015 North American International Auto Show, the company has been adamant the car would compete with Tesla’s upcoming Model 3 in terms of pricing, range and certainly in terms of consumer adoption.

The Teslarati, on the other hand, don’t seem to agree.

Tesla’s stated modus operandi since inception is “to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport by bringing compelling mass market electric cars to market as soon as possible.” But for fans of the Silicon Valley brand the M.O has been twisted into Tesla or bust, leading to straw man arguments and arbitrary analysis.

Electrek’s latest Tesla versus Chevy op-ed by Fred Lambert is a perfect example. (Read More…)

By on September 20, 2016

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

After revealing the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt’s surprising EPA-estimated range (238 miles), General Motors has now rolled out the price for its long-awaited electric car.

What will it take to get into Chevy’s EV? $37,495, which includes destination. A federal tax credit lowers that to $29,995, or five bucks below the “affordable car threshold” so sought after by EV builders. (Read More…)

By on August 9, 2016

BMW ad

BMW has the plug-in sedan you want, no waiting.

That’s the message in Bimmer’s new ad for the 330e plug-in hybrid, which takes a not very subtle jab at would-be Tesla Model 3 buyers. Titled “Wait or Drive” (get it?), the television commercial plays the tiniest of violins for the 373,000 buyers who put $1,000 down on a car they might not see for a couple of years. (Read More…)

By on July 7, 2016

1985 Honda Accord, Image: Honda via NetCarShow

Electric automaker Tesla Motors has collected more than 400,000 deposits from customers for its 2018 Model 3 sedan, despite having little more than rough renderings of the car to show prospects. This is a remarkable achievement that speaks to its groundbreaking products and the cult-like following of Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

People standing in line to put down deposits and then be willing to wait for a hot car is not without precedent. I sold Honda automobiles during the 1980s and the similarities to today’s Teslamania is striking.

Memo to Musk: If you can indeed increase your production five-fold in two years, I am sure you will move 400,000 Model 3s, but most of them won’t go to today’s deposit holders.

Allow me to explain. The scene was Benson Honda in San Antonio. The year was 1984 … (Read More…)

By on June 23, 2016

tesla-model-s-logo

It was a little terrifying watching the question-and-answer session near the end of Tesla’s livestreamed annual shareholder’s meeting, and it wasn’t just the lady asking about goji berries.

All of the speakers — well, the majority of them — seemed to possess a stratospheric level of admiration for Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Like religious (or political) disciples, the trust they placed in the man’s brilliance and decision-making abilities seemed limitless.

Well, after this week’s announcement that Tesla is offering to buy SolarCity — a solar energy provider co-founded and chaired by Musk — cracks are forming in his circle of supporters, especially in the financial realm. (Read More…)

By on June 20, 2016

Tesla Supercharger With Model S At Tesla Dealership

South Koreans are used to having a bunch of Americans hanging around, but the arrival of a group of Tesla employees won’t be welcomed by executives at Hyundai.

Tesla wants into the South Korean marketplace, and just posted job listings for sales and engineering positions in the Asian country, Bloomberg reports. Already registered in South Korea, the automaker plans to open up an office in Seoul and hire a recruiter based out of Japan. (Read More…)

By on June 20, 2016

VW Golf Harlequin

Volkswagen is rumored to cut some 40-plus models from its worldwide fleet as it ushers in a new era of electrification.

That, Tesla wants you to order something now instead of waiting until later, and millennials are just like the rest of us … after the break.

(Read More…)

By on June 17, 2016

sensai

The meme is called I Hope Senpai Will Notice Me, and it commonly refers to a situation in which someone hopes desperately to catch the attention (no matter how temporary that attention might be) of a romantic interest and/or social superior.

When it happens in the auto industry, it usually comes in the form of an auto industry alpha male temporarily deigning to notice one of our many beta/omega/is-there-something-worse-than-omega-cause-if-so-that-word-applies automotive journalists.

I inadvertently participated in a “Senpai, Notice Me!” moment of my own when I agreed to face Bob Lutz in the CTS-V Challenge. Robert Farago told me not to attend. He’d correctly diagnosed the event as one in which auto journos would crawl on their hands and knees to lick the spittle dripping from Bob Lutz’s super-alpha chin; in particular, I remember the odd shudder of ecstatic, erotic joy that visibly wiggled through Wes Siler’s body when Bob turned to him and offhandedly said, “Hi, Wes.” (Read More…)

By on June 14, 2016

Tesla Supercharger With Model S At Tesla Dealership

The stuck cork that was the Model X has finally cleared its supply hurdles, causing Tesla production to hit a new high at the automaker’s Fremont, California factory.

With assembly of that model speeded up, Tesla recently hit a production rate of 2,000 vehicle per week, a knowledgeable source told Electrek — a figure that’s still way off the company’s goal of building half a million units per year within the next 18 months or so. (Read More…)

By on June 3, 2016

Tesla Model 3 Unveil, Image: Tesla Motors

Four weeks after he said the Model 3’s design was six to nine weeks from being finalized, Tesla CEO Elon Musk now says he’ll need six more weeks until the affordable EV is off the drawing board.

Got that? When the Model 3 (scheduled for production in late 2017) was unveiled on March 31, almost everyone noticed the embryonic state of the vehicle, especially its blank-slate interior. What the future electric sedan will look like after Tesla finishes its design work is still anyone’s guess. (Read More…)

By on June 1, 2016

Tesla Supercharger With Model S At Tesla Dealership

Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk plans to turn off the free electricity taps at his company’s Supercharger stations for owners of the upcoming Model 3.

Musk made the announcement last night during a question and answer session at the company’s annual shareholders meeting.

Paying to use the Tesla-financed recharging network isn’t something the roughly 373,000 reservation holders want, but the decision comes down to basic economics, said Musk. (Read More…)

By on May 31, 2016

gigafactory-aerial-1

If you’re a Tesla owner who spent the past year diligently convincing your friends and family to join the club, clear your schedule for July 29.

The electric automaker recently mailed out invites to a grand opening party for its battery-producing Gigafactory, located (like a Bond villain’s lair) in the desert outside Reno, Nevada. The chances of guests being wowed by a fully operational factory humming with workers busily cranking out EV batteries is doubtful, though. (Read More…)

By on May 23, 2016

Tesla Model 3 Unveil, Image: Tesla Motors

The folks at United Auto Workers are eyeing Tesla’s production targets and making plans.

The electric automaker wants to manufacture 500,000 vehicles per year in 2018, and the union wants the workers behind those EVs in its fold, according to USA Today (via Left Lane News).

Though it hasn’t announced anything officially, UAW boss Dennis Williams recently expressed interest in unionizing Elon Musk’s California assembly plant employees. (Read More…)

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