Category: Tesla

By on June 19, 2019

During Tesla’s most-recent shareholders meeting, Elon Musk said the company’s pickup should be arriving this fall — adding that we would probably see it near the end of the summer if everything goes according to plan. Apparently disinterested in waiting another two months, robotics enthusiast and self-professed EV fan Simone Giertz decided to fabricate her own using a Tesla Model 3 as a starting point.

Giertz, who runs a YouTube channel focused on quirky building projects, claimed the home-brewed pickup’s relation to the sedan was one of necessity. She only chose the Model 3 because it possessed a steel chassis and was cheaper to risk ruining than a Model S would have been.  Read More >

By on February 28, 2019

tesla model 3

The $35,000 Model 3 is here. Fittingly, perhaps, it’s three years late.

Tesla has promised a $35,000 version of the Model 3 since announcing the car in 2016, but the company focused on more-expensive variants at first to help get the model off the ground without tanking the company in the process. It needed the large profit margins from the higher-priced Model 3 to help the company turn a profit for back-to-back quarters for the first time.

Now you’ll be able to buy multiple versions of a Standard Range trim. The base version of which will be available for $35,000 and have a 130-mph top speed and a range of 220 miles. Zero to sixty should take 5.6 seconds.  Read More >

By on January 18, 2019

tesla model x, Image: Tesla Motors

The automaker may have worked out production bugs and finally turned a profit late last year, but 2019 is off to a rocky start for Tesla. In an email to employees Friday, CEO Elon Musk said he’ll thin the company’s full-time ranks by 7 percent, warning of a “very difficult” road ahead.

The news comes hot on the heels of a slew of cost-cutting measures, including the elimination of various trim configurations and this month’s culling of 75D base models — a move that leaves only the top-flight 100D versions of the Model S and X in Tesla’s stable. Thursday brought word of the scrapping of company’s long-running customer referral program, prompting tears in the Tesla-boosting blogosphere.

All of this throws Musk’s promise of a true “people’s car” by this summer into doubt. Read More >

By on January 11, 2019

Shortly after General Motors announced its decision to end assembly work at two car-producing U.S. plants, Tesla CEO Elon Musk floated the possibility of a Silicon Valley rescue of either Detroit-Hamtramck or Lordstown Assembly.

Talks between GM and Tesla did occur, it turns out, but GM CEO Mary Barra doesn’t seem to think much of the chances of laid-off employees finding salvation in a Tesla intervention. Read More >

By on January 10, 2019

There will be no Ace of Base prizes for the Tesla Model X or Model S in 2019. Just days after promising to cut prices of all its cars by $2,000 in response to the company blowing through its federal tax credits faster than a record producer with a bag of high-test cocaine, the company’s Chief Executive Tweeter has announced the discontinuation of the 75D X and S models.

This is in addition to Tesla cleaving off a number of color and interior trim choices last year. At the time, it was speculated the company was doing so in an effort to streamline production.

So Elon giveth, so Elon taketh away.

Read More >

By on January 3, 2019

During my wayward youth in the Aughts/early this decade, a friend of mine decided it would be funny if he got me involved in a weird little bar game called “icing.” The idea of this game was to order your friend a Smirnoff Ice surreptitiously and/or hide it somewhere, and when he received the drink he must drop to one knee and chug it. There may be other variations to the game, but that’s all I recall.

Like many things that happened culturally during that decade, icing was quite stupid. Stupid as it was, it was also relatively harmless. The “iced” got a free drink out of it, even if it was a terrible vodka drink, and everyone else got a laugh. The late Aughts were such innocent times.

Fast-forward a decade and now there’s a new type of “icing” afoot, though it’s now called “ICE-ing.” It has nothing to do with booze, but it still involves bros.

Read More >

By on January 2, 2019

The calendar reads 2019, meaning new Tesla customers can’t hope to wrangle more than $3,750 in EV tax credits from the feds — a figure that’s half as much as the incentive enjoyed by buyers up until New Year’s Eve. Of course, you may find yourself living in a state that’s happy to hand out some of its own cash. If so, lucky you.

Looking to soak up some of the difference, Tesla announced a price cut on all models Wednesday. Going forward, or at least until CEO Elon Musk decides otherwise, Tesla is shaving $2,000 from sticker prices across the board — including on the current cheapest model, which recently saw a price bump. Read More >

By on December 28, 2018

Tesla Model 3, Image: Tesla

A little over a month ago, we ran the results of our best/worst cars of 2018 poll. At the end of each post, I reflected a bit on the results, but I wanted to dig a bit deeper.

While I had hoped to do this a bit sooner, other work got in the way. So Steph and I decided it would be a good way to close out the year.

Read More >

By on December 28, 2018

Elon Musk

Tesla’s nine-member board now numbers eleven, with many shareholders hoping that the addition of two independent directors — a key directive of Tesla’s SEC settlement — helps keep a lid on CEO Elon Musk’s stock-rocking shenanigans.

Whether or not the two new members can actually do this remains to be seen. Musk continued antagonizing the Securities and Exchange Commission even after agreeing to the settlement that saw him removed as chairman, and he insists no one’s vetting his tweets. Speaking of ill-considered tweets, Musk’s lawyers claim the British cave diver suing Musk for defamation should just let it go. Read More >

By on December 26, 2018

Having rung the bell on 200,000 electric vehicle deliveries in the U.S., Tesla will enter 2019 without the ability to offer a full $7,500 federal tax credit to would-be buyers. While not nearly as attractive an incentive as the same amount applied to a lower-priced EV, it’s still free public dollars. And it’s better than $3,750.

Twice this past fall, Tesla CEO Elon Musk warned customers they’d need to order by a certain date in order to ensure a delivery date prior to January 1st. After receiving a holiday earful from dutiful customers now facing late deliveries, Musk put on the Santa suit. Read More >

By on December 11, 2018

Detroit Hamtramck Assembly Plant Cadillac CT6 - Image: GM

Tesla’s Fremont, California assembly plant once cranked out Pontiac Vibes and Toyota Matrixes under a joint venture between General Motors and Toyota, but could a current GM factory one day give way to Tesla production?

Tesla CEO Elon Musk put that possibility out there during a 60 Minutes interview on the weekend. As one might expect, Musk’s comments were greeted with skepticism. Read More >

By on December 10, 2018

Image: Porsche/YouTube

If you want a Porsche Taycan EV, you may end up waiting even longer than planned.

Unless you’ve already raised your hand, that is.

Production is a year or more away, but Porsche USA’s top boss is already saying that if all preorders are turned into sales, the car is already sold out for year one. This, despite the company’s CEO saying that production will increase to account for the number of preorders.

Read More >

By on December 6, 2018

The city of Shanghai claims Tesla could begin production in China in the second half of 2019, which would be an incredible achievement for the automaker. China is Tesla’s biggest market after the United States and assembling product within its borders would be a good way to avoid the nation’s aggressive tariffs on U.S autos, which currently stand at 40 percent.

However, the trade war between the two countries has also stifled sales — and not just for Tesla. China’s car market hasn’t been particularly robust this year and appears to be headed for the first major slump after nearly two decades of reliable growth. While President Trump has teased that the People’s Republic may be about to lower its automotive trade barriers with America, there’s no assurances coming from Asia. Regardless, setting up shop within China should be beneficial for Tesla’s bottom line and make it more competitive with Chinese EV brands like BYD and Nio.  Read More >

By on December 4, 2018

A New York Times report published on Friday features claims by African-American workers at Tesla’s Fremont, California plant that they were racially harassed.

The Times pieces together a combination of interviews, internal communications, and sworn legal statements from over two dozen current or former Tesla workers. Alleged incidents listed in the reporting include a crude, racist drawing; the use of racial slurs; the drawing of swastikas; and African-American employees being assigned to menial tasks due to their race.

Read More >

By on December 3, 2018

Tesla Model S Grey - Image: Tesla

California Highway Patrol arrested a 45-year-old man early Friday morning under the suspicion of driving under the influence while his 2017 Tesla Model S was operating in Autopilot on Highway 101.

While condemned previously for its misleading marketing, Tesla has been clearer of late that Autopilot is not self-driving. Likewise, anyone who owns one of its vehicles should be able to understand that the feature has limitations necessitating regular human involvement to complete any journey.

However, none of this has stopped individuals from abusing the driving aid. In August another motorist was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol after his Tesla collided with a fire truck. Earlier in the year, a Tesla owner passed out while behind the wheel. Fortunately, Autopilot brought the vehicle to a stop in the middle of the Oakland Bay BridgeRead More >

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