Tesla Can’t Ramp Up Model 3 Production Until Elon Musk Gets All the Tooling From Germany
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.
Does a Convertible Tesla Model S Sound Enticing?
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.
Tesla Insiders Claim More Model 3 Setbacks Imminent; Tesla Says the Opposite
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.
You Can Rent A Tesla In Minneapolis For Super Bowl Week
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.
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An AWD Version of the Tesla Model 3 Could Break Cover in Spring 2018
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.
Tesla Model S, Apparently On ’Autopilot,’ Crashes Into Culver City Fire Truck At High Speed
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.
Tesla Employee Crashes Model 3, Charged with DUI After Run-in with a Deer
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.
Bait & Switch: Tesla Swaps Model 3 Headliner from Alcantara to Textile
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.
Shocker: Tesla Misses Model 3 Goals; Delays Production Again
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.
Elon Musk Delivers Easter Eggs for Christmas with Latest Tesla Software Update
A new OTA update rolled out to Tesla Vehicles in the days before Christmas, and wouldn’t you know it – there was a hidden Easter Egg built into the update. Last year, we had the synchronized light show on the Model X, but Musk went a little more complicated this year and replaced the Model S on the main display with an image of Santa and his sleigh. It went even a step further with cars shown on either side being replaced by reindeer and the turn signals being replaced by Jingle Bells. If you haven’t accessed Santa Mode on your Tesla yet, it’s not that hard. Just access the slider or say “Ho Ho Ho” through voice command and you’ll see the fat man himself pop up and prepare to guide you through traffic.. or uh… reindeer that is. Check out Elon’s tweet, a couple of images, and a video showing it all down below.
Tesla Could Limit Use of Superchargers for Commercial Use
Tesla is laying down the law on all new vehicles it sells that will be used for commercial purposes. The California-based electric car maker has revealed that these vehicles will be restricted from using its Supercharger network to avoid abusive use by owners. The company has already updated its legal page to reflect this change in policy, but with commercial operators of Tesla vehicles still using these Superchargers for a whole range of other purposes, the automaker could take “additional action” to protect the availability of the Superchargers.
Tesla Finally Gives Early Model 3 Owners a Radio and a Trip Odometer
The Tesla Model 3 has already been criticized for being pretty basic, but the biggest criticism it got was that there was no GM radio and no odometer – two basic features that have been around for decades in every car produced. Well, with standard over-the-air updates, Tesla has finally added a trip odometer and FM radio. Whether or not these were originally intended to be paid options in the future, or simply overlooked remains to be seen, and even sounds a little absurd to have to question, but they are now considered standard equipment, which makes the latest OTA and win-win. In addition to these two features, the OTA update also brings in new apps that providing information on energy consumption and tire pressure monitoring. And, it also gets the “easy entry and exit” feature found on the Tesla Model S and Model X.
Remember, current Model 3 owners are, for the most part, Tesla employees or “members of the family” that were able to purchase early examples in order to give near-immediate feedback, but customer deliveries are expected to kick off by the turn of the year. Customers who will receive initial deliveries in the coming weeks should expect somewhat routine updates that will continue to add features and software honing over the next year or so at the least.
Tesla Customer Gets a Model 3 Owner’s Manual from Tesla Roadside Assistance
These days, it’s not uncommon for documents, images, or just about anything else pertaining to a new car to leak ahead of its debut. Sometimes it’s clearly at the hands of an Automaker (think the Jeep JL leaks or the Lamborghini Urus Leak from the other day), and other times it’s because some idiot behind a computer isn’t paying attention. In the case of the Model 3 owner’s manual, which we’ve yet to see in its entirety until now, it’s most likely the latter. What started out as a call to roadside assistance resulted in a member of the Tesla 3 Owner’s Club on Facebook getting a full, seemly official PDF version of the owner’s manual. And, it details everything from start to finish, including the new bi-directional thumb buttons, exterior mirror adjustments, Autopilot (just a copy and paste from other manuals,) hub cab (what we know as “aero caps”) removal and installation, and even motor information.
That’s right, even motor information is included, which tells us that the Model 3’s motor runs at a nominal voltage of 370 Volts with a maximum current of 800 Amps. Maximum motor speed is 17,900 rpm, while motor power is pegged at 165 kW or 221 horsepower. This is nothing new, of course, but what is new is the maximum wheel torque output – a mind-blowing 3,700 Nm or 2,725.980 pound-feet. Of course, that’s the glory of electric motors and electric vehicles in general – all of that gut-wrenching, near instantaneous torque on demand. And, even the Model 3 has plenty of that.
Of course, having enough torque stop the rotation of the earth is one thing, but it should be noted that as of the time of the manual’s publication, towing wasn’t permitted. So, while it could tow a skyscraper from one side of NYC to the other with all of that torque, it’s not a good idea to try right now. Then again, the manual says that it “currently” doesn’t support towing, which means it could, in the future, honor Musk’s previous promise that it would be able to. Finally, the manual confirms that the battery pack has a rated capacity of 75 kWh, which is exactly what we were expecting after previous leaks of EPA documents.
Check out the owner’s manual for yourself below – if you’re a reservation holder or just a curious reader, there’s plenty of material there to help you get familiar with the mini Model S.
Shocker! Elon Musk May Delay Tesla Model 3 Production
Elon Musk is, undeniably, a very busy and ambitious man. But, it comes at a cost. In this case, that cost is the reliability of his word when it comes to timetables. It almost seems as if every time we turn around Tesla is missing one of its targets, and now, that’s about to happen again. Not only did Elon Musk tweet that its semi-truck unveiling would be pushed back, but that the Model 3 was “deep in production hell.” You know what that means? It means you’re probably not going to get your Model 3 when the company said you would. When a customer asked Musk if he would get his Model 3 this year, Musk’s reply was a little sketchy: “December will be a big month, so probably, but it is impossible to be certain right now.”
The truth is, Tesla is in some hot water as far as Model 3 production goes. Musk had originally projected that Tesla would produce 1,500 examples of the Model 3 in the third quarter but fell far short, with official numbers stopping at 260. To add to that, of those 260, only 220 of them were actually delivered. Apparently, there is a huge bottleneck happening, with the Wall Street Journal reporting that some parts for the Model 3 were being made by hand back in September. Of course, this isn’t the only thing holding the company back, as Musk now has a deal with Puerto Rico to help bring power back to the island after it was ravaged by mother nature . As such, some sources have also been diverted to increasing Tesla battery production.
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We’re Just Going to Call China Home of the EV
Everyone knows that Tesla calls California home – and why shouldn’t it, it’s the hardest state in the country and home to, arguably, the hardest emissions regulations on the planet. It’s the perfect home for a company that hopes to eventually kill off the ICE to make way for an entire world of all-electric cars that silently zoom from city to city without nothing more than a destination mentioned by its human owner. One would think that the home of an automaker like Tesla would also be the place that sees the biggest push for the infrastructure required to keep those EVs going down the road, right? Well, with the announcement of the two new, 4-stall Supercharger stations in California (which would be the biggest in the world) we thought that was true. Until now, that is.
See, our friends over at Electrek have managed to procure a number of photos from an underground construction site in Shangai that promises 50 stalls (10 more the current record holder.) If that system happens to suck in as much power as the other systems around the world, the power output could surpass 3 megawatts of power. After all, it takes a lot of power to charge 50 Teslas at once. And, while this is pretty big news, it’s really not that exciting. After all, China has always been a major part of Tesla’s plan to have more than 10,000 Supercharges in service globally. And, China sales in 2016 managed to topple more than $1 billion and the first quarter of 2017 was a massive carryover in performance.
Eventually, Tesla will establish its own manufacturing front somewhere in China, which should help to push EV sales in the market even further than before. For a country so infatuated with the EV all of this is really good news. But, will 50 more Superchargers, or the 1,000 Tesla hopes to have in place by the turn of the year be enough to meet the current charger demand in the country or does 2018 need to be an even bigger year? Let us know in the comments section below.
Porsche CEO Makes a Classic Mistake that Could Cost the Brand Dearly
So, when it comes to long-range electric cars, Elon Musk is the pretty much the godfather, the don mega, and the man that pretty much made it happen with models like the Tesla Roadster, and even more so with the Tesla Model S. Fast forward to today and there’s now the Tesla Model X and the Tesla Model 3, with a Semi truck on the way and a smaller SUV that will mirror the Model 3 in pricing. Despite Tesla’s slow but continuous move to become an automaker for the masses (and it has come a long way) it’s still not able to keep up with the big boys quite yet – profits are still virtually non-existent and it takes an excessive amount of time to cut down the initial waiting list for new cars. But, in time, Tesla could be just as busy and successful as any of the big boys, including Chevy, Ford, Chrysler, Audi, BMW, and yes, even Porsche. As electric cars become more standard around the world, the effect will increase drastically until Tesla is practically a household name (not that it isn’t in mine already)
Now that the big boys are all about to step into Elon’s self-made niche, it’s time to start thinking about automakers that should be worried a brand like Tesla that already has an insanely massive cult following and is getting more affordable as time goes on. All of the major brands are about 30 seconds away from unleashing a serious EV offensive. Meanwhile, Porsche is over here, about to knock some heads with the Porsche Mission E and about to make a huge, huge mistake. CEO, Oliver Blume – the man that replaced Matthias Muller and was once Porsche’s head of production – doesn’t think that Tesla is a competitor.
Talking to The Financial Times in a recent interview, he even went so far as to say that the production version of the Mission E, which is due for production by 2019, “is not a Tesla fighter.” He went on to say that “it’s not so important what Tesla does. Porsche is going to follow its own way.” He chalks off his lack of concern for the brand that practically dispatched range anxiety for the masses by assuming that he doesn’t have to worry about it because Porsche’s main concern is making profit. OF course, we all know that he’s at least partially right, as Tesla doesn’t really know what profit is in the grand scheme of things, but just because the brand operates as more of a tech startup than a true-to-life, mass-production automaker doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t be concerned.
Keep reading for the rest of the story