Elon Musk Demonstrates Falcon Heavy Launch With Tesla Roadster And Starman Payload
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?
Pops’ Rants: Karma Just Kicked Elon Musk in the Nuts
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!
Tesla Comes Through for its Customers as they Scramble to get out of Harm’s Way
Now, there’s no denying that after Hurricane Harvey kicked the hell out of Texas, it was a ridiculous for Mother Nature to rape all of Florida too, but sure enough, it happened anyway. Originally deemed the most powerful storm ever recorded, Irma was larger than the state of Florida itself and has left a path of destruction as it made its way from the Atlantic toward the sunshine state. It decimated a few smaller islands and kicked Cuba’s ass a bit too before crossing directly over the Florida Keys and wrecking the West coast of the Florida peninsula. As Irma made its deadly approach toward the land of oranges, evacuation orders were issued and panic set in – not so much so that looters didn’t take their chances, of course, but we’ll leave that story for another time. In the end, the last few days before Irma made landfall in Florida were chaotic, to say the least.
Air traffic was a nightmare, leaving us to question how air traffic control even managed to prevent disaster, and the highways were jammed up like Satan himself was birthing from the bowels of the earth. Gas prices skyrocketed, and so did the price of bottled water as everyone tried to take advantage of the situation, claiming supply and demand as the reasoning for price gouging. Meanwhile, Tesla took a different approach and helped out its customers as they struggled to evacuate.
So, while some local businesses showed their ugly side by hiking prices like the apocalypse was coming, Tesla decided it would remove the range limiter on its lesser Model S and Model X vehicles in Florida, effectively giving owners an extra 30 to 40 miles, according to Electrek. And, it was all thanks to one owner who reached out to Tesla saying he needed just an extra 30 miles to get out of his mandatory evacuation zone. So, once Tesla heard from this customer, it decided that other Tesla owners might need the same, and temporarily unlocked the extra range via an over-the-air update. The update was effective on all 60D models of the Model S and X, which were sold with 75 kWh batteries that were limited with the option to unlock their full potential at a later time – something that would cost owners between $4,500 and $9,000 depending on the vehicle and time of the update. Keep in mind that this isn’t a permanent upgrade, and it will expire, but it certainly served an important purpose and has proven that not all automakers are greedy and self-absorbed. Keep reading to learn more.
First Tesla Model 3’s Handed Over In Live Streaming Party
We’ve been waiting and waiting for Tesla to finally begin deliveries of the new Model 3, and now, the wait is over. The first 30 Model 3’s destined for private owners just got handed over to their beaming owners in a live stream broadcast on Tesla’s website. Attending the event were swarms of the automaker’s designers and engineers, with quick back and forth tosses that provided a look inside the Tesla assembly line in Fremont, CA, as well as the newly erected “Gigafactory” in Nevada. The event also provided some hard specs on the new 3, plus a look at the final exterior design and the interior.
The Model 3 is a hugely important vehicle, both for Tesla and EV fans in general. Framed as the California-based automaker’s first entry-level, mass-market, affordable vehicle, the 3 promises sexy styling, long range, peppy performance, and zero local emissions, all for around $35,000 before incentives. We’ve got the lowdown on everything that was revealed during the stream, plus lots of new pics to sort through, so read on.
Continue reading for the full story.
Tesla Model 3 Handover Party Kicks Off at 8:45 PM PST Tonight!
The Tesla Model 3 is hands-down the most anticipated model of the year, promising to bring an affordable EV to the masses. It’s been a long time coming, but today is the day that the handover party kicks off and Tesla will hand over the keys to the first 30 models to roll off of the line. It’s obviously a very small first step, considering the hundreds of thousands of reservations, but it’s only a matter of time before Tesla really ramps up production. The party kicks off at 8:45 PM PST tonight and will be live streamed right on Tesla’s homepage.
The Model 3, which will finally be completely revealed later tonight, is basically a smaller, more basic version of the Model S, and has a set starting price of $35,000. As far as the exterior goes, it’s rather bland, just like the interior which is about as spartan as they come. It will be void of an instrument cluster, speedometer, or a conventional dashboard. Initial customers of the new baby EV will also be limited as far as options go, with the only choices to make being exterior color and wheel choice. As far as tonight’s event goes, there’s no word as to who the first 30 customers are, but we know the first model is going Elon Musk himself, as Tesla board member Ira Ehrenpreis gifted his place in the queue to the big guy. As far as the other 29 models, they will go to Tesla employees or current owners of other Tesla EVs. We’ll be sure to embed the live steam to this video as soon as we have it, but until then, keep reading to learn a little more about the Model 3.
Tesla Will Build “2 or 3” New Gigafactories In The U.S.
Out in the Nevada desert, near the city of Sparks, Tesla is busy building something called Gigafactory 1. Occupying some 24 million square feet and soaking up roughly $5 billion in investments, this mammoth facility is destined to create the lithium-ion power cells used to motivate Tesla’s various EV models. It is, without a doubt, a truly massive undertaking, tasked with mass-producing the components needed to transform the way the world consumes its energy. But Tesla isn’t one to rest on its laurels, and the latest news is that there are now a few more Gigafactories coming down the pipeline.
Tesla CEO and possible inter-dimensional renegade, Elon Musk, confirmed as much recently at the National Governors Association, according to a recent report from our friends over at elektrek. Details on the exact where and when these factories will be built are still forthcoming, but you can rest assured the states will be clamoring to get those Tesla manufacturing jobs within their borders. Further gigafactory construction is expected overseas, including in Europe and Asia. In addition to churning out batteries, the new factories are also expected to have a hand in creating the Tesla powertrains and final vehicle construction.
Continue reading for the full story.
Tesla Model 3 Unveiled
Elon Musk just unveiled arguably the most important model to ever wear a Tesla badge. It’s called the Model 3, and it bears the responsibility of being the California-based electric car manufacturer’s first low-dollar, high-volume seller in its 13-year history. That means it should contribute mightily to the company’s stated goal of bringing all-electric transportation to the masses.
Let’s start with the aesthetics. The Model 3 looks like a scaled-down Model S, with sleek, simple lines, and a gracefully curved roof. Several different wheel designs were on display for the unveiling, but sizing was equally large, filling the flared fenders with ease. LEDs appear in the front fascia, where a grille-free nose is in place for maximum aero efficiency.
Exact details on what will power the Model 3 are still under wraps, but Musk confirmed at least 215 miles of range and a 0-to-60 mph time under the six-second mark. He also reiterated that more range and faster acceleration would be offered on higher trim levels. The option for supercharging will come as standard, as will autopilot mode. Tesla expects 5-star safety ratings in every crash test category.
Inside will be enough space for five adult passengers to sit “comfortably.” To help make room within the downsized exterior dimensions, the instrument panel was compressed and the front seats were moved forward. In back, there’s a solid piece of glass sloping up to the roof, offering a roomier feel. Like the S, there will be two trunks, one in front and one in back, and Musk also confirmed that a seven-foot surfboard would fit inside the cabin.
Pricing will start at $35,000. Musk says he’s “fairly confident” deliveries will commence sometime next year, which is good news for anyone who plunked down $1,000 to place one of the 115,000 pre-orders already on the books.
Launched for the 2012 model year, the Tesla Model S revolutionized the electric car industry with a package that blends modern looks, high performance and a battery pack good enough to run at least 208 miles on a single charge. Although the sedan remained largely unchanged since its introduction, Tesla’s expanding Supercharger network helped increase the Model S’ popularity, which managed to outsell many of its gasoline-powered competitors. As we move onto the 2015 model year, the EV is getting its first major update as Tesla is rolling out a much-anticipated all-wheel-drive version that is dubbed the Tesla Model S P85D
Although based on the range-topping P85 Performance model, the all-wheel-drive sedan is more than just a P85 that moves with all four wheels connected to its drivetrain. The "D" in its name stands for the dual-motor configuration hiding under its body, which comes not just with all-wheel-drive, but with more power as well. With the P85D, the Model S just gained a hefty power update, a bunch of impressive performance numbers and even an improved range. Excited? You should be, the AWD Model S is not just the quickest electric car, but also the fastest production sedan.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Tesla Model S P85D.
The culture of open-source information just got a massive supporter. Tesla Motors has voluntarily revoked every patent the company previously held in the field of electric-powered vehicles, opening up other companies to use Tesla’s original ideas for free.
The unprecedented move comes as Tesla Motors’ founder and CEO Elon Musk released a statement citing his passion for zero-emissions vehicles and his belief in the growing need for such vehicles. “Given that annual new vehicle production is approaching 100 million per year and the global fleet is approximately 2 billion cars, it is impossible for Tesla to build electric cars fast enough to address the carbon crisis.”
With that, the company is now open to sharing its discoveries and innovations in developing, building, selling, and recharging electric vehicles. Well-established automakers like General Motors, Ford Motor Company, Toyota Motor Corporation, and others will now have free access to Tesla’s once-protected innovations.
Musk further elaborates in his candidly written letter that the electric car industry and eventually the world will benefit from having access to open-sourced and rapidly evolving technology.
Tesla originally held patents on its developments out of fear the large automakers would copy the technology and snuff out Tesla’s small operation. However, now that Tesla has made a such a name for itself and has a well-established (yet still rapidly growing) network of Supercharger recharging stations, that likelihood has diminished. What’s more, Musk points out that out of the 100-million vehicles produced annually, less than one percent of those are zero emissions. Thus far, Tesla’s competition seems noticeably absent.
Click past the jump to read more about Tesla’s giveaway.
Tesla Motors stepped on a lot of toes back when it launched the Model S, an all-electric sedan that proved quite popular with North American consumers. Sure, the EV is far from being perfect, and it’s not even that affordable, but it delivers great performance and good range.
When a couple of these sedans caught fire last year due to damaged battery packs, the California-based automaker received a lot of heat from anti-Tesla "movements" and had to come up with a new, titanium underbody shield. Well, it appears Elon Musk’s company can’t catch a break as some crazy flyers started showing up on the windshield of Model S cars in the San Francisco area.
The printed page contains a so-called "consumer alert" message that accuses Tesla of having been involved in "organized crime" and bribing "Congress people and federal staff" to get initial funding for the Model S. What’s more, it also claims the company "buys" car reviews and pays journalists to write only favorable articles about its product. Funny, we’ve done Model S reviews and never received a check signed by Mr. Musk himself.
The flyer even goes as far as to claim that Tesla drivers, who have a "higher-than-average inclination towards strange sexual behavior, drugs and risk", are supporting both corruption and spying. Why spying you may ask? Well, the anti-Tesla writing is quoting a secret partnership between the automaker and Google — "the worlds largest surveillance company".
But that’s not all. These giggle-inducing arguments are accompanied by absurd theories that have no scientific backing whatsoever, such as the fact that Tesla’s lithium ion batteries can blow up and lead to "catastrophic fires" if they "get wet or bumped". Making things even more ridiculous is a conspiracy-like assumption saying Tesla investors urged the U.S. invasion into Afghanistan! Should we bother to mention that Tesla was established two years after NATO intervened in the said country?
This manifesto could very well be some sort if joke, but we wouldn’t be surprised if the flyers came from a disturbed group of people having trouble getting a good night’s sleep over unfounded issues with Tesla Motors.
Click past the jump to read more about the Tesla Model S and to see the flyer for yourself.
Allow me to get this off of my chest ahead of time. You all know that I love Tesla, but what you likely do not know is how much I loathe Apple and everything it produces. From the Macbook all the way to the iPod Nano, I can’t stand it. I’ll spare you the gory details of my hatred for fear of igniting a nerd war...
With that in mind, imaging my panic when the rumors of Apple buying/merging with Tesla started flaring up. Well, those have fortunately died down and Telsla’s Elon Musk squashed the rumors, but that is not the end of the Apple/Tesla news. A report indicates that Apple’s head of mergers and acquisitions met with Musk last spring, but likely not on the topic of acquiring the electric car supergiant; rather, the most likely situation is that Apple is interested in being a part of Tesla’s "Gigafactory" project.
Apple is well known for dealing in green factories, and what greener of a factory than this one that will more than double the world’s output of lithium-ion batteries? It’s very obvious that Apple has serious interest in Tesla, but after Elon Musk made it clear that the company is not for sale. this is the most likely route for Apple to take in order to get a small slice of the Tesla pie.
Not only would this add a new revenue stream to Apple, but it would also alleviate some of the costs that Tesla will endure and give apple better access to more lithium-ion batteries at a significantly cheaper price. It’s a win-win, so I can’t see any reason for a deal like this to not take place.
What do you guys think; are these two tech giants about to make a deal for this factory or are we all sadly mistaken? Let me know in the comments below.
Click past the jump to read more about the Tesla Model S.
Last week Tesla undertook a world-record continental crossing with what it dubbed the Tesla Cross Country Rally. The goal was simple; take a pair of Model S sedans from Los Angeles to New York while spending an absolute minimum of time charging by using the new Supercharger network.
As if that wasn’t enough of a challenge, the team decided to take a northern route during what has been one of this country’s worst winters in decades. Along the journey the team encountered temperatures well below zero, closed interstates, and more than a foot of snow in some places.
Despite all these challenges, a full seventy-six hours after leaving Los Angeles, the team rolled into New York City. The total trip was 3,427 miles and the team only spent 15 hours and 57 minutes tied to a charger.
The going was tough enough that one of the gasoline powered support vehicles for the trip suffered a breakdown.
I was part of a cross country record attempt last year with Audi, and I can attest that this type of journey is anything but easy. It is a grueling punishment of your mental and physical health. Aside from the sleep deprivation, sitting in a car for that length causes cramps, muscle spasms and many other maladies.
I personally applaud Tesla for their outstanding effort.
If you would like to see some of the crazy weather they traveled through, as well as see a few more facts about the journey, click the play button on the video we have above.
Click past the jump to read more about the Tesla Model S.
It’s been a while since we’ve heard an update on Tesla, as it’s remained relatively quiet for the past few months — except for the fire issues. Well the silence is now broken, as the always-vocal Elon Musk has confirmed that the Model S will receive and all-wheel-drive option.
We already assumed that this was in the works, given the Model X — Tesla’s upcoming SUV — will be all-wheel drive and that it will share some of its drivetrain with its sedan sibling. We expect to see the Model X sometime in 2015, so the AWD version of the Model S will likely arrive in the late 2015 model year or early 2016.
Imagining the extra traction in bad weather is awesome, but what really gets me amped up is the thought of how this will affect the performance of the already fast sedan. The Model S Performance already hits 60 mph in an insane 4.2 seconds, and AWD may push that down into the sub-4-second range, rivaling gas-guzzling supercars.
On top of this fantastic news, Musk also outlined plans to release higher-capacity batteries for next year, and how he expects the new "giga factory" to reduce battery costs by up to 40 percent, making Tesla cars more affordable.
Click past the jump to read more about the Model S.
If electric car makers are to flourish in this highly competitive industry, then the cost of ownership needs to come down. Although, the electric car won’t replace conventionally powered cars any time soon, the high pace of the developments in electric car technology could one day allow automakers, like Tesla, to offer products at more affordable prices.
Tesla is now looking to spread its business into more mainstream cars for the masses, and this includes a midsize sedan that will be priced below the current Tesla Model S.
The new sedan, dubbed the Model, E will be revealed at the 2015 Detroit Motor Show with deliveries scheduled for early 2016. Chief designer, Franz von Holzhauzen, has told AutoBild that the midsized 3 Series competitor should be out in a years time. The new electric sedan is expected to be priced in the $30,000 to $40,000 bracket.
We are still awaiting more details about the upcoming Model E sedan. That said, we expect it to feature familiar Tesla styling with a wide oval grille and clean lines. The exterior and interior design would in all likelihood be influenced by the Model S which has now been widely accepted in the market.
Underneath, the new Model E could use a similar powertrain as the Model S. Batteries will be stowed away in the floor, and electric motors will drive the rear wheels. Tesla will almost certainly lower the output of the electric motor to help increase the overall range and lower the price.
Also helping lower the price, the Model E will likely have a few less interior features as the Models S.
We’ll keep an eye out for more information on the upcoming Model E, and bring you more information as it becomes available.
Click past the jump to read a brief overview of Tesla’s history.
(*Image Note: The above image is of the Model S, not the Model E.
Elon Musk, CEO of electric car maker Tesla, has categorically denied any plans to recall the company’s flagship Model S electric sedan. This comes as numerous reports of the Model S’ fires came to light. News of multiple Tesla Model S fires have been reported to date, and an official investigation into the matter is yet to be undertaken.
That said, U.S. regulators are yet to confirm any form of investigation into the Model S fires. If the government regulator does find a fault, we could be looking at a potential recall of select models. However, Tesla boss does not think a formal investigation should be required and that Tesla cars are way safer than any other fossil fuel-powered automobile.
Musk was quick to attack those media channels that, according to Elon Musk, had blown the whole thing out of proportion. "Reaction to the fires reported by some media are extremely inaccurate and unreasonable," he added. Since, the first report of the fires, Tesla stocks have plummeted by 22 percent, sparking fears among investors.
The NHTSA is in constant contact with the authorities investigating the accidents. The agency had earlier chosen not to investigate into the fires when the first incident came to light.
More on the Tesla Model S after the jump
With the Fisker offices all boarded up and awaiting a final sale to some random foreign country, who are we to turn to for high-end vehicle fires? Well, since Tesla has been everything that Fisker has not since, well, forever, who better to step into the automobile-flambé role than Fisker’s one time competitor that wasn’t really a competitor, but still was — or however the two used to spin that whole deal...
Yup, what you see in the video above is a Tesla Model S doing its best Fisker Karma impression, and we must say that it’s doing a mighty fine job indeed. Reports from Tesla claim that this Model S struck metal debris on the roadway and the debris caused damage to the battery pack. The driver continued on his merry way, despite the vehicle’s warning systems telling him to pull over and shut the vehicle off. The end result is the expensive BBQ you see above.
Mental note to all Tesla Model S owners; this is not a 2002 Cavalier where the check engine light is safe to ignore and easily blocked out by a few inches of electrical tape. This is a high-tech electric car with enough juice to make Texas’ electric chair blush in envy. When it says "pull over," you just may want to listen to it.
Fortunately, the driver wasn’t physically hurt, but we’re sure his wallet will feel the pain when it comes insurance premium time. Unfortunately for Tesla, its stock didn’t take too kindly to the flaming Model S, as it dropped 6 percent on Wednesday and continued to fall as of noon on Thursday. It is on a slight upswing for now, but this just goes to show just how badly one driver’s negligence can harshly impact a company.
We’ll keep you updated.
Click past the jump to read more on the Tesla Model S.
Tesla just keeps on rolling out new programs that make electric cars a real possibility for the majority of daily commuters. First came the introduction of the up-to-300-mile Tesla Model S, which was a revolution in EV technology in itself. Then came the release of the Supercharger network, which is free on any Model S with an 85 kWh battery – a $2,000 option on any Model S with a 60 kWh battery.
Sure, the Supercharger network is still small, but Tesla promises to have 98 percent of the U.S. covered by 2015 and enough to enable coast-to-coast driving in the winter of 2013. You can actually see a cool interactive map on the Tesla site. However, we’re not here to plug the website; we’re here to tell you that Tesla has again revolutionized the EV world with its pack-swap option at Supercharger stations.
This gives Model S owners the ability to choose waiting 20-plus minutes for their Model S to recharge and pay nothing or pay a fee and have their Model S’ battery pack swapped for a fully charged one. You’re likely thinking that these battery packs are so complex that it has to take hours to replace. But that’s not the case at all.
Thanks to Tesla using automation and a drive-over system, you can pull up to a station and drive over a small pit – similar to a quick oil-change place – and an automated system removes the discharged battery and replaces it with a fully charged one in just 90 seconds.
With Elon Musk being as flamboyant as he is – and rightfully so – he challenged the fastest gas pump in Los Angeles to a duel. Well, Tesla managed to swap out two Model S batteries before the gas pump could fill up an empty tank.
So it’s your choice: free or fast? We are just concerned with exactly how much this “fee” is for the pack swap. We bet it’ll run about the same price as a tank of gas: $50. Unfortunately, there is no ETA for the roll out of this program.
Click past the jump to read more about the Supercharger stations
Currently, prices for theTesla Model S range from $57,400 to $77,400 — $49,900 to $69,900, if you add the $7,500 federal tax credit. However, we are all well aware of the fact that the Model S is being sold at, or even possibly well below, the cost to build it. This means that it is only a matter of time before a price hike is in order.
Tesla has now lifted the veil of silence on this topic and announced that there will be a price increase in the near future. Surprise! Well, not really, since the rumors have been floating around about a price increase for a while. There is no information on just how much of an increase we are looking at, but we would guess that it will be significant. It may even push the upper end of the Model S toward the base price of the Fisker Karma. One bit of information that Tesla let us in on is that some features that are now standard equipment will later become option packages, which means that we will not only see a price hike, but also a decrease in standard features.
This price increase will not apply to the existing reservations. Those customers who have placed a reservation will receive an email from Tesla where they will be advice to finish their configuration and order within a "fair, predefined time frame."
For those of you who do not remember, the Model S has a variety of battery and motor choices. Depending on the version, the Model S can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in in 4.5 seconds and can hit a top speed of 126 mph.
Full details on the price increase will be announced in the next two to three weeks.
After nearly a year of seeing Mitt Romney and Barack Obama fling mud – maybe even a little poo – back and forth at each other, the election is finally over. Love him or hate him, Obama is in office for another four years and he has already shown that he likes to dwell in the automotive realm (see: automotive bailout, Chrysler bankruptcy, and DOE loans for EV technology).
A big one on our radar these days is the renewal of the CAFÉ standards – yes, it was a renewal; the CAFÉ standards are nothing new – and their direct impact on the sport car realm. By the year 2025, all automakers must have a corporate average fuel economy rating of at least 54.5 mpg, a number that sports cars often drag down.
There is a good possibility that one of three things will happen due to these standards. First, is the chance that automakers install more advance turbocharging technologies on vehicles in order to keep their power output high and fuel economy high too. With those technologies come rising price tags – something we are already experiencing today. The second – most unlikely – scenario is the complete elimination of all powerful sports cars, leaving behind just the likes of the underpowered-for-a-true-sports-car Scion FR-S-like vehicles. The third scenario is one that would satisfy our itch for fast cars and the EPA’s itch for eco-friendly cars, and that is the widespread development of super powerful electric, hydrogen fuel cell or natural gas sports cars.
The latter situation is one that we already know is possible. Have a look as the Tesla Model S and you’ll see a car that can travel 300 miles on a charge and still zip to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. And that is a rather large sedan, so imagine it as a sports car. Same goes for the mid-5-second sprint to 60 mph that the 5,000-pound Fisker Karma completes. The final example is the Maxximus LNG 2000 and its 1,600-horsepower natural-gas-powered engine.
We think that this renewal of Obama’s stay at the White House won’t necessarily bring about the conversion to alternative fuel sports cars in the next four years, but it will certainly accelerate the process significantly. We honestly think it is a thing to look forward too, not be afraid of. Just think, no more gas station trips!!
Few auto manufacturers would actually find themselves lobbying California lawmakers to pass more stringent zero-emission regulations. Then again, Tesla is not your “typical” automaker, as zero-emission cars is all they do, and that lobbying has put Tesla firmly in the minds of the state’s lawmakers.
With California having a vested interest in the success of the EV world, thanks to its growing number of cars on the road, it needs Tesla to start hammering out a more eclectic line of vehicles. The Model X is exactly the balance that Tesla and California need, but as an up-and-coming business, Tesla’s funds are a little tight. Well, California has upped its faith in the growing automaker, as it the state has issued it a $10 million grant to help the EV manufacturer get its Fremont, California ready for production of the new crossover SUV.
Now before you get yourself up in arms about the government handing out grants to another EV company, please note that per the terms of this grant deal, Tesla has ponied up $50 million toward the project. That $60 million will be used to create 700 new jobs, update equipment and bring in the new equipment that Tesla needs to stamp out the Model X.
This means that we are getting closer and closer to the scheduled 2014 release of the Model X, which will carry with it an MSRP from $57,400 to about $90,000. Models nearer the top end of the MSRP spectrum will boast dual-motor all-wheel drive and a 0-to-60 mph time under 5 seconds. That will put the Model X near the performance level of the Porsche Cayenne Turbo with a lower MSRP and no fuel to purchase. All that remains to be figured out is whether it will boast a 300-mile electric range like its Model S brethren. If so, Tesla certainly has a winner on its hands.
Not long ago, it was hard to use the term "sporty" in the same sentence with the word “electric.” That being said, as the technology progressed, green cars have started to grow faster and stronger, being able to compete against any famous sports car that can be found on today’s roads.
Tesla had a major role in permanently changing our perception of electric cars. Its sporty model - the Roadster – was launched in 2006 and was based on the similarly sporty Lotus Elise. Though, despite sharing the same platform with the Elise, the Roadster was a totally different breed of car.
This green monster is powered by a 248 hp (185 kW) electric motor fed by a 53-kilowatt-hour battery that offers an autonomy of up to 200 miles. However, going green and sporty doesn’t come cheap, as the Tesla Roadster has a starting price of $109,000.
Hit the jump for more details on the Tesla Roadster.
So, for anyone that watched the Debate last night – I did and I am suffering today thanks to the late evening – you saw presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney, hit our sector a few times. One time, he took a direct swipe at two alternative-energy car companies in one statement. If you missed the statement, here it is:
"Now, I like green energy as well, but that’s about 50 years’ worth of what oil and gas receives," Romney said during the first of three Presidential debates. "You put $90 billion — like 50 years’ worth of breaks — into solar and wind, to Solyndra and Fisker and Tesla and Ener1. I mean, I had a friend who said, you don’t just pick the winners and losers; you pick the losers."
Now, we’re not here to debate politics, but to call Tesla and Fisker “losers” is not quite fair. As a matter of fact, Tesla announced on Wednesday – the same day that Romney labeled it a “Loser” – that despite its struggles meeting delivery goals, which are due to supplier issues, it will become “cash-flow positive” by next month and will hit the 500-unit mark in just a few weeks.
Hitting that black in the ledger is a huge step for an upstart company and to see Tesla hitting it this soon is impressive. Musk also announced that despite criticisms of the DOE loan to Tesla, the company has always paid the loan installments on time and has never even given a thought to postponing the payments.
We are not too sure exactly what will come of Tesla in the long run, but it is already prepping the release of its second vehicle, the Model X SUV, and there is a light at the end of the very long upstart tunnel for Musk and Tesla. We’ll keep an eye on the ledger sheet and let you know if Tesla meets this anticipated milestone on time or not.
Click past the jump to read Mr. Musk’s blogged press release.
In the world of electric vehicles, Tesla is busy placing the finishing touches on the Sistine Chapel while the rest of the automotive world is still fumbling around with paint-by-numbers kits. Tesla managed to pull off making an EV lineup that is sexy, efficient, range-heavy, and cost effective while the rest just can’t keep up.
We knew that Tesla had its new “Supercharger” that it was working on, but we were none too sure exactly what it was going to end up being. Well, now we know. The Superchargers are a line of charging stations that Tesla is building to help make driving EVs nearly as convenient as combustion vehicles by providing extremely fast charges.
Tesla announced that the initial six chargers will all been high-traffic corridors in California and will be 100 percent fueled by sunlight, which makes them 100 percent green too. They can provide 100 Kw of power in just 30 minutes, which is good for about three hours of driving at 60 mph. In the future, Tesla plans to crank them up to 120 Kw. To boot, Tesla also announced that these Supercharger stations will be completely free of charge for Tesla Model S owners to use.
Tesla plans to extend the Supercharger network next year to other high-traffic areas and eventually plans to have enough stations to travel from Vancouver to San Diego, Miami to Montreal, and L.A. to New York in an electric vehicle without worrying about discharging the batteries. For Tesla Model S owners, this would mean completely cost-free travel across the country, sans wear and tear on the car and food.
We must tip our hats again to the genius that is Tesla. How exactly it pulls off these types of advancements in technology without going belly up is beyond us. Let’s just hope it can keep this trend up and get us away from fossil fuels altogether and into EVs that put most gasoline-powered cars to shame.