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.
Let’s Hope That Tesla’s Production Timetable For The Model 3 Doesn’t Have "Delays" Written All Over It
The start of production of the Tesla Model 3 is all set to begin this July in a “limited” capacity, although according to InsideEVs, the first wave of models that roll off the production line are earmarked for Tesla’s employees and investors. While that allocation part isn’t entirely that big of a deal, the timetable for the car’s production is, especially if Tesla is serious about achieving its goals of producing 5,000 units per week by the fourth quarter of this year and 10,000 units per week sometime in 2018.
To its credit, Tesla has already started production trials for the car in anticipation of the massive volume it has to deal with once full-scale production commences. Tesla, after all, has more than 370,000 deposits to deal with, right?
For everyone’s sake then, let’s hope that the company’s production plans for the Model 3 are all ironed out. Tesla CEO Elon Musk is saying all the right things at the moment, even telling reporters recently that the ramp-up in the production of the Model 3 will happen slowly to give Tesla some form of breathing room to address potential bugs and issues.
That’s good to hear because history hasn’t been kind on Tesla’s production promises. Remember, both the Model S and Model X experienced massive production delays during their launch. The Model X, in particular, was delayed numerous times for a myriad of reasons, including issues with suppliers that ended with ugly lawsuits on both sides. Those delays pushed the launch of the Model X from its original launch timetable in the early part of 2014 all the way to the end of 2015. That’s almost two years, if you’re keeping score.
For the sake of the Model 3, which Tesla is promoting as the model that would signal the company’s entry into mainstream markets, delays of any sort would be devastating to the company. It’s not a premium model like the Model X that can be explained through automotive and legal jargons. This is a car that has almost 400,000 pre-orders attached to it, and you can be sure that a lot of those deposits will be canceled if Tesla suffers any delays in the production of the Model 3.
Let’s all hope that it doesn’t come to that then.
Continue reading for the full story.
The Tesla Model X isn’t in production yet, nor has a production model even been revealed, but the all-electric SUV continues to be the focal point of many discussions. One of the latest comes from seekingalpha, a research website for investors (that requires an email subscription), in which a recent article suggests that Audi’s launch of the 2016 Q7 e-tron quattro plug-In hybrid could put Tesla’s third production vehicle in a hole.
This argument is centered on the waiting list where an estimated 23,000 potential buyers have laid down their refundable $5,000 deposits. The author seems to think that if the Q7 and its combination of a diesel engine and a plug-in hybrid powertrain arrive before the Model X, people will opt for the seven-passenger hybrid over the seven-passenger electric vehicle. More so, he believes that the price difference between the two vehicles, which he estimates to be around $35,000, people will buy the Q7 PHEV now as well as the proposed $35,000 Tesla Model III that is scheduled to debut in 2017.
Only time will tell if this theory plays out, but our best guess is this will not be the case. Sure, there might be a handful of customers who put their name on the list just looking for an efficient, three-row SUV, but at the same time, most of these people are probably looking for a fully electric vehicle rather than just the 35 miles of electric range the Q7 diesel PHEV is expected to deliver. On top of that, it would seem that Tesla buyers are willing to stay on their “invisible leash” (aka Tesla’s Supercharger) in order to enjoy zero-emission driving.
Regardless of which scenario plays out for the Tesla Model X, this is definitely an exciting time for SUV drivers where a variety of advanced plug-in utility vehicles are preparing to hit the market.
Click past the jump to read more about Audi’s future Q7 Plug-in Hybrid.
Tesla is ready to reveal its plans for a brand new hybrid sedan planned for production at a new plant in Bay Area, California, no sooner than 2010. Tesla’s management preferred California to New Mexico for the new plant as there are more obviously advantages such as sales tax exemption on the purchase of manufacturing equipment and grants for training its new employees.
The new model nick named Model S will be a plug- in hybrid vehicle completed with a compact internal combustion engine. The sole drive system will feature a high powered electric motor running on the batteries, which are supposed to be of lithium- ion type. The price for this model is expected to be around $60,000. It’ s design is similar to rival niche automaker Fisker Automotive. Tesla officially claims that the rival has stolen the original designs to develop its own Karma plug- in hybrid.
Fisker is in trouble! Tesla sued them! Why? Simple: for stealing design ideas. Last year Tesla hired Henrik Fisker, a Danish-born designer who is known for his work on high-end exotic sports cars, to do the body design for a four-seat sedan, code-named White Star.
The Tesla lawsuit contends that Mr. Fisker and his chief operating officer, Bernhard Koehler, doing business under the name Fisker Coachbuild, fraudulently agreed to take on Tesla’s $875,000 design contract to gain access to confidential design information and trade secrets, then announced a competing vehicle. Last fall Mr. Fisker founded Fisker Automotive, which is backed by the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
Both the planned Tesla sedan and Mr. Fisker’s recently announced Karma are meant to be hybrid cars using a small gas engine to power a generator that charges a battery, which in turn powers an electric motor. The design, known as a serial hybrid, is thought to greatly extend the range and efficiency of hybrid vehicles.
The Tesla lawsuit states that before doing the design work for Tesla, Mr. Fisker had no experience with hybrid technology. It says that he did substandard work for Tesla, essentially sabotaging it, and then used the revenue from the design contract to develop his company’s car.