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Tesla Can't Ramp Up Model 3 Production Until Elon Musk Gets All the Tooling From Germany

Tesla Can’t Ramp Up Model 3 Production Until Elon Musk Gets All the Tooling From Germany

It’s another logistical issue from a company that has a long list of delays

It’s the classic case of Tesla being Tesla. The electric car maker says that production of the Model 3 is on track to meet its first-quarter targets. The only problem is that the tools it needs to actually build the Model 3 are still not in its Gigafactory in Reno, Nevada. They’re still 5,429 miles away in Dausfeld, Germany. It might seem like an easy problem to solve because Tesla could just have them shipped from Germany, it’s still a long distance to ship a lot of hardware that needs to be disassembled, shipped, and assembled once it hits its destination.

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Does a Convertible Tesla Model S Sound Enticing?

Does a Convertible Tesla Model S Sound Enticing?

Coach builder Ares already has sketches in place

Don’t look now, but Ares Design might remain relevant in the ever-changing news cycle in the coming months. The Italian coachbuilder made headlines last week when it announced plans to develop a modern-day version of the Ferrari 412. Now it’s back in our feed with what looks to be another project in the fold, this time for the Tesla Model S. If you’ve been pining to see a convertible version of the Model S, you can stop begging Tesla to do one. Ares will do it for you.

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SpaceX Falcon Heavy Launch A Success; Tesla Roadster And Starman Begin Their Journey

SpaceX Falcon Heavy Launch A Success; Tesla Roadster And Starman Begin Their Journey

Here I am, floating ’round my tin can...

Earlier this afternoon, as a multitude of anxious space exploration fans watched with bated breath, the Falcon Heavy rocket lifted off from the NASA Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, Florida. With all 27 individual Merlin engines lit, the trio of boosters providing more than 5 million pounds of thrust, the Falcon Heavy became the world’s most powerful rocket currently in service, officially launching us into a second Space Age.

Once the first stage was complete, the spent rockets were jettisoned and aimed back at Earth. Moments later, the two side boosters successfully touched down simultaneously on the ground in Florida. The third booster was supposed to land on a drone ship out in the Atlantic, but as it approached, the camera feed cut out due to the extreme vibrations. It’s not yet known if it landed successfully or not, but it’s believed to have crashed into the ocean.

The reusable rockets were designed to make space flight less expensive in the long run. Each Falcon Heavy launch is expected cost around $90 million, while similar flights from government organizations like NASA could cost upwards of $1 billion.

Most importantly though, the Falcon Heavy successfully delivered its payload into orbit. Strapped to the tip of the Falcon Heavy was a first-generation Tesla Roadster (painted in red, or course), complete with “Starman” strapped in at the wheel (Starman being a dummy wearing the SpaceX spacesuit). On the Roadster’s primary infotainment screen were the words “Don’t Panic!”, a reference to Douglas Adam’s classic novel “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”

The goal is to get the Roadster and its Starman passenger into an orbit around the sun that’ll take it by Mars, with the intention being to eventually launch a manned mission to the Red Planet. This successful test launch is the first big step towards that goal. But before it slingshots through the solar system, the Roadster will need to pass through the radiation-filled Van Allen belts, after which there will be a final burn to send Starman towards our planetary neighbor.

Since the launch, social media has been filled with breathtaking imagery, including several shots taken live from the space-traveling drop-top. Make sure to check out the live feed of Starman on YouTube.

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Tesla Working With Semi Customers To Refine Mega Charger Plans

Tesla Working With Semi Customers To Refine Mega Charger Plans

New infrastructure looks to address major EV weakness

Back in November, Tesla revealed its all-electric Semi, a product framed as nothing less than the catalyst to a battery-driven revolution in the freight industry. Now, the supporting infrastructure required to make the thing actually work in the real world is starting to come to light, as it was recently revealed that some of the companies that placed pre-orders for the Tesla Semi are assisting the California-based automaker in its effort to create a new “Mega Charger” network.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Elon Musk is Launching His 2008 Tesla Roadster into Space Today

Elon Musk is Launching His 2008 Tesla Roadster into Space Today

SpaceX’s first launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket puts the Tesla in Mars orbit

What does a CEO of both an automaker and a rocketmaker do to cross-promote? Why launch a sports car into space. That’s exactly what Elon Musk is doing with his personal 2008 Tesla Roadster during today’s first flight of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket.

The rocket will launch from the Kennedy Space Center on Tuesday, February 6 with its flight computer programmed for Mars. “[It’s a] red car for a red planet,” Musk tweeted back in December. The module atop the Falcon Heavy will then enter a hyperbolic orbit between Mars and the Sun, which it could theoretically maintain for a billion years. Better yet, the car’s radio will be playing Zarathustra, the theme song from 2001: A Space Odyssey. A mannequin affectionately named “Starman” will also be behind the wheel a wearing a SpaceX spacesuit.

The Falcon Heavy rocket is a huge milestone for SpaceX. While the Tesla Roadster is more of a silly payload, this trial launch will prove SpaceX has its math right. The Falcon Heavy is currently the largest and most powerful rocket in operation and is second only to NASA’s mighty Saturn V rocket used during the Apollo series in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The Falcon Heavy is said to have a payload capacity of 70 tons – roughly 2.6 times that of NASA’s shuttle orbiter.

Like SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, the Falcon Heavy’s main stage will launch its payload toward space before separating and landing itself back on earth. The second stage will continue to run as it escapes earth’s atmosphere and gravitational pull. Of course, Musk isn’t planning to send a fleet of Tesla vehicles into space, but rather has plans for manned missions to the Moon and then onto Mars.

The launch is scheduled to happen between 1:30 and 4:30 pm EST from Kennedy’s Launch Complex 39A, the same one used for Apollo and Shuttle launches.

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Elon Musk Demonstrates Falcon Heavy Launch With Tesla Roadster And Starman Payload

Elon Musk Demonstrates Falcon Heavy Launch With Tesla Roadster And Starman Payload

An animation of the upstart’s most ambitious mission to date

We here at TopSpeed are getting stoked for the launch of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket tomorrow, and this latest animation is just fanning the flames. The Falcon Heavy is scheduled to blast off at 1:30 EST from the NASA Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, Florida. Powered by 27 individual Merlin first-stage rockets doling out a combined 5 million pounds of thrust, the Falcon Heavy will be carrying a payload consisting of a first-gen Tesla Roadster, plus “Starman,” a dummy wearing the SpaceX spacesuit, in the driver’s seat.

At about 3-and-a-half minutes in length, the video is an animation that walks us through each stage of the mission, from initial takeoff, to the booster recovery, to the final sendoff for the payload, all of which is set to the audio backdrop of David Bowie’s “Life On Mars?”. All very fitting, considering the endgame is a manned mission to the Red Planet some time in the future. The Roadster will be set on a heliocentric orbit that’ll take it between the Earth and Mars, possibly laying the groundwork for a future Martian colony supply line. While typically these sorts of test missions involve simple weights, the addition of a red sports drop-top manned by a dummy adds a certain artistic quality to it, don’t you think?

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SpaceX Launches Falcon Heavy Tomorrow With Starman At The Helm Of Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster

SpaceX Launches Falcon Heavy Tomorrow With Starman At The Helm Of Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster

And you better believe Bowie’s “Space Oddity” will be playing on repeat

The final countdown is now imminent. Following a successful static test, SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy is now cleared for the real thing, with liftoff scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. The payload will include a deep-red first-gen Tesla Roadster with “Starman” strapped into the driver’s seat.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Tesla-Based Racing Series Gets FIA Approval

Tesla-Based Racing Series Gets FIA Approval

It’s a big step forward, but there’s still quite a few details left to sort out

The Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, otherwise known as the FIA, just gave the all-Tesla Electric GT World Series racing series its blessing following passing marks from the series’ cars in recent crash testing. Approval from the FIA, the same organization that keeps Formula 1 in check, gives the upcoming racing championship some serious clout, and moves it that much closer to becoming a reality.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Tesla Insiders Claim More Model 3 Setbacks Imminent; Tesla Says the Opposite

Tesla Insiders Claim More Model 3 Setbacks Imminent; Tesla Says the Opposite

We’ll see who’s telling the truth in the coming months

For all the gains Tesla has made as a company, the electric car maker still can’t seem to get out of its own way when it comes to meeting its production timetables. Production of the Model X was delayed for a few years and the same is happening with the Model 3. Now, MSNBC is reporting that Tesla employees are concerned that more production delays are on the horizon because of a slew of issues happening inside Tesla’s Gigafactory, including the alarming number of inexperienced workers and the slow pace of manually assembling the car’s batteries.

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Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster Heads to Space Aboard Falcon Heavy on February 6th

Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster Heads to Space Aboard Falcon Heavy on February 6th

A successful launch could shift America’s future policy on space exploration

Mark your calendars, people. February 6 is going to be a historic day for Elon Musk and SpaceX. After months of hype and speculation, SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket space ship will finally make its maiden voyage to space. The launch is historic for so many reasons. It once again puts Musk in the spotlight as the real-life equivalent of Tony Stark, a man whose ego is as big as his goals in life. It so happens that one of Musk’s goals is to build the biggest operational rocket in human history at a third of the cost of more contemporary spaceships. As long as Falcon Heavy’s launch happens without a glitch, Musk will once again be on top of the world, bested only by his Cherry Red Tesla Roadster that’s joining Falcon Heavy in its launch to space.

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You Can Rent A Tesla In Minneapolis For Super Bowl Week

You Can Rent A Tesla In Minneapolis For Super Bowl Week

All-electric power for football fans heading to the Big Game

Normally, if you wanna drive around in a new Tesla for a little while, you gotta have a trusting friend with one already parked in his or her driveway. Now, one rental company in Minnesota is offering folks a shot at experiencing a Tesla first-hand by renting them out during Super Bowl week.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Flamethrowers And Autopilot – Potentially Very Dangerous, But That's A Good Thing

Flamethrowers And Autopilot – Potentially Very Dangerous, But That’s A Good Thing

Elon Musk’s latest venture is an exercise in freedom

Those of us living here in the U.S. like to think we enjoy a good amount of leeway when it comes to self-determination and the way in which we live our lives. That includes the freedom to enjoy potentially dangerous activities, like driving a race car, or shooting a gun, or skydiving. And thanks to Elon Musk’s various ventures, we can add the convenience of the Tesla Autopilot feature and the fun of firing off a $500 flamethrower to the list. Unfortunately, there are still some individuals out there who demand hand-holding.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Tesla's New Compensation Plan Could Make or Break Elon Musk

Tesla’s New Compensation Plan Could Make or Break Elon Musk

Lofty goals are being set to ensure Tesla becomes one of the biggest companies in the world

Elon Musk is no stranger to taking risks. He built his fortune on the backbone of taking risks. He’s done it in the past, and it looks like he’s doing it again in the form of a 10-year compensation plan that could turn him into the richest man in the world if he accomplishes all his goals for the electric car brand. Tesla’s board of directors reportedly took six months to come up with Musk’s new compensation plan. As a board member himself, Musk recused himself from crafting the plan. He likewise has no vote on whether to pass or scrap it.

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An AWD Version of the Tesla Model 3 Could Break Cover in Spring 2018

An AWD Version of the Tesla Model 3 Could Break Cover in Spring 2018

Then again, this is Tesla we’re talking about so expect some delays

An all-wheel-drive Tesla Model 3 has been in the cards for some time. We all know it’s coming; we just don’t know when it’s coming. Turns out, it could arrive sooner than we thought because Tesla appears to be rolling out the dual-motor all-wheel drive Model 3 as early as the Spring of 2018. Unless your calendars are acting up, the dual-motor Model 3 could arrive as early as March 2018 or as late as June 2018.

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Tesla Model S, Apparently On 'Autopilot,' Crashes Into Culver City Fire Truck At High Speed

Tesla Model S, Apparently On ’Autopilot,’ Crashes Into Culver City Fire Truck At High Speed

Luckily, no injuries were reported beyond a few dents to the truck and a smashed Tesla

One unlucky driver down in Southern California found the limits of their Tesla’s Autopilot system this week when it rear-ended a stationary fire truck on the freeway. The incident was documented on social media in a post by the Culver City Firefighter’s Twitter account: “While working a freeway accident this morning, Engine 42 was struck by a Tesla traveling at 65 mph. The driver reports the vehicle was on autopilot,” the post reads. “Amazingly, there were no injuries! Please stay alert while driving!”

Lucky indeed. The fire truck’s rear end is a bit out of shape, but nothing major by the look of it – just a few broken taillights and a slight bend to the rear platform. The Tesla, however, looks like it’s toast, with the entire front end bunched up in a twist of metal and broken parts. We’re also a little incredulous about the whole “65 mph” claim, as something tells us the automatic braking brought the speed down substantially. Either way, kudos to Tesla for making such a safe car. Without that huge crumple zone up front, who knows what would have happened to the driver.

This is just the latest in a series of auto accidents involving the Tesla Autopilot system. We don’t know for sure if the driver is outright blaming the technology for the crash, but either way, it certainly seems like an easy way to absolve yourself of responsibility.

Of course, Tesla is quick to point out that running Autopilot doesn’t mean relinquishing control of the car. Although it does have the potential to one day reach full autonomy status, Autopilot is basically just glorified cruise control at this point. Drivers must still remain in control of their vehicle at all times. That said, the convenience and power of Autopilot seems to be leading to distracted driving and misconceptions about the system’s intended use.

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Tesla Semi Spied on Public Roads: Video

Tesla Semi Spied on Public Roads: Video

Electric power rides like the wind

Tesla’s long-awaited Semi has been spotted running under its own electric power on public roads. The heavy-hauler is seen driving at a quick pace near a UPS hub in California. Yet despite the speed, the truck makes almost no noise. Only a quiet electric hum and tire noise can be heard. That’s far more impressive than the clattery turbodiesels found in conventional semi trucks. Imagine how quiet streets could be without the rumble of a big-rig.

What’s more, the driver can clearly be seen sitting front and center – a design Tesla says enhances the driver’s ability to pilot the truck. Naturally, the Tesla Semi will have autonomous driving capabilities that will only get more advanced with time. Features like a convoy mode will allow groups of Tesla Semis to drive end-to-end for better efficiency and improved safety. Just imagine big-rigs no longer lumbering in the fast lane!

Keep reading to see the video and learn more about it

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Tesla Employee Crashes Model 3, Charged with DUI After Run-in with a Deer

Tesla Employee Crashes Model 3, Charged with DUI After Run-in with a Deer

It can’t be stressed enough: do NOT drive when you’re intoxicated

A Tesla employee found himself in hot water after crashing a Model 3 in California. Adding insult to injury, the man, identified as 38-year-old Colin Flynn, was also charged with DUI.

Flynn’s harrowing adventure occurred in the early morning of Saturday, January 13. According to police reports, the Tesla employee overshot a turn on a road in Morgan Hill, California, sending the car flying around 70 feet before crashing into the far bank of Coyote Creek.

Local police arrived shortly afterwards to find Flynn, unhurt from the crash. The Tesla told the police that the crash occurred after he swerved to avoid a deer, and not because he reeked of alcohol smell. The police asked him to take a breathalyzer test, and when he refused, he was arrested on suspicion of DUI and transported to the local precinct. Once there, Flynn also refused to have blood work done, as required by California law in cases like this. That discretion earned him a charge of obstruction. It wasn’t until officers obtained a search warrant that Flynn decided to cooperate.

As for the Model 3, the electric car was eventually removed from the creek after spending a few hours retrieving it. Authorities also advised all drivers to keep a lookout for the deer that supposedly caused Flynn to fly his Model 3 into the bank of a creek.

Most importantly, don’t drink and drive, folks.

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Bait & Switch: Tesla Swaps Model 3 Headliner from Alcantara to Textile

Bait & Switch: Tesla Swaps Model 3 Headliner from Alcantara to Textile

Can somebody give us an explanation?

Tesla has found itself in the middle of a new controversy, though the issue has nothing to do with its autonomous driving technology going awry. The issue at hand revolves around the Model 3’s headliner and the material that’s being used on it. Apparently, some owners who have taken delivery of their Model 3’s were surprised to see that the headliner in their cars was covered by weaved textile as opposed to Alcantara.

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Pops' Rants: Karma Just Kicked Elon Musk in the Nuts

Pops’ Rants: Karma Just Kicked Elon Musk in the Nuts

A middle finger with a Hyundai badge on it

Another day, another carrot. I just dropped by to tell you that I love karma. Nope, not the Fisker Karma. That karma. The principle that Good intent and good deed contribute to good karma and future happiness, while bad intent and bad deed contribute to bad karma and future suffering. It’s the concept that keeps all life in a perfect balance. And the same concept made Elon Musk look pretty dumb after Hyundai launched the Nexo hydrogen fuel cell SUV at the Consumer Electronics Show. Yup, gotta love karma!

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Roller Skates and Movies: Tesla Supercharger Locations Could End Up as Drive-In Theaters

Roller Skates and Movies: Tesla Supercharger Locations Could End Up as Drive-In Theaters

There could be more to do at the Supercharger stations when you’re charging your Teslas

Elon Musk is thinking of building a retro drive-in restaurant and theater at a new Tesla Supercharger in Los Angeles. It’s the latest in a series of “ideas” that Musk has proposed in recent years. While it’s not exactly as bold as inhabiting Mars or sending a Tesla Roadster to space, it does come at a time when Tesla is pushing to have more amenities at its Supercharger stations.

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Tesla Model X Pulls Stuck Volvo Semi Out Of The Snow: Video

Tesla Model X Pulls Stuck Volvo Semi Out Of The Snow: Video

Electric on diesel makes for a hybrid assist in the white stuff

In case you hadn’t noticed yet, the weather outside ain’t just frightful – it’s downright abysmal. Tons of frozen water is flying down from the sky, covering that tacky black stuff we all like to drive on, making us all nostalgic for better, warmer, traction-filled times. Some folks are handling it better than others, but sometimes, the inevitable happens, and without warningbam – you’re stuck. And that’s exactly what happened to the driver of this Volvo semi in Raleigh, North Carolina. Stranded on the side of the road, a passing SUV decided to give the struggle truck a hand, which normally would be an empty gesture – unless, of course, the SUV in question happened to have enough torque to shift the Earth’s orbit and the AWD grip to put it all down. As it happens, that’s exactly what you get in the Tesla Model X, and as such, this tale of the good all-electric Samaritan has a happy ending.

Recently posted on Facebook, the clip is just a minute in length, but heartwarming all the same. With the stuck semi hooked up to the Model X’s rear end, the driver of the Tesla puts the pedal down, spinning all four tires in a mad grab for traction. Eventually, it starts to hook up, and slowly but surely, the semi is freed from its wintry trap. Now we just want to see a Model X pull out one of those new Tesla Semis from a snow drift...

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Shocker: Tesla Misses Model 3 Goals; Delays Production Again

Shocker: Tesla Misses Model 3 Goals; Delays Production Again

Goal reduced from 5,000 to 2,500 for Q1 2018 production

Tesla is no stranger to production woes as both the original Model S and the trendy Model X experienced major delays early on, so it comes as no surprise the automaker announced the budget-friendly Model 3’s production volume won’t be ramping up to the 5,000-unit-per-week goal until the second quarter of 2018. That goal was originally set for December of 2017, but production delays sacked those plans. Despite the delays, Tesla still delivered 1,550 Model 3s in Q4 of 2017.

Continue reading for more on Tesla’s production woes.

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