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Under 30 Minutes – Underground – From NY to DC? Musk Claims He’s Gotten the Go

Tesla CEO claims “verbal” approval for buried Hyperloop system.

by on Jul.20, 2017

A rendering of the HyperLoop shows a vehicle blasting through its near complete vacuum.

You take a quick elevator ride down into a cavern dug well below the busy streets of New York City. A half-hour later you ride back up to the surface, but now you’re in the nation’s capital.

At least that’s the scheme envisioned by entrepreneur Elon Musk, who said in a tweet that he has gotten “verbal govt approval” for his new tunneling venture, the Boring Company to build an underground version of his Hyperloop concept to connect New York and Washington, D.C. Total travel time, he estimated, would be just 29 minutes, or a fraction of what it today takes even by air, never mind the fastest conventional trains operated by Amtrak.

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The project would create a revolution in transportation, especially by linking up two major cities on the East Coast. But Musk is also trying to pull together another underground project that would allow motorists to avoid the traffic jams of Los Angeles by traveling through a network of underground tunnels.

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Musk Wants to Open More Car, Battery Plans

Looking at “two or three” Gigafactories in U.S. alone.

by on Jul.17, 2017

A new Model 3 in front of Tesla's Fremont, CA plant.

The coming months will be the real test for Tesla. With the launch of the new Model 3 we’ll soon discover whether this money-losing niche player can transform itself into an immensely profitable, mainstream automaker.

No surprise, CEO Elon Musk is already looking at what will have to happen as Tesla grows, and grows fast, 2018 volume forecast to hit 500,000 battery-electric vehicles, or six times the company’s 2016 volume. To keep up with anticipated demand, especially with even more products in the pipeline, Tesla is laying plans for a network of new car and battery plants.

Breaking News!

If Tesla hits its target with the Model 3, the company’s Fremont, California assembly plant will be “bursting at the seams,” Musk recently told shareholders. He has been dropping plenty of hints on what will follow, and that is likely to include at least one more assembly plant in the U.S., as well as one in China, while we could see as many as 20 new Gigafactory battery plants.

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Tesla Factory a “Predator Zone,” Claims Female Former Employee”

A.J. Vandermeyden opens up on allegations, lawsuit.

by on Jul.10, 2017

Former Tesla employee AJ Vandermeyden has sued over alleged sexual harassment at the Fremont plant. Photo courtesy The Guardian.

Adding to the list of problems facing Tesla Motors, the automaker is battling a lawsuit filed by former employee A.J. Vandermeyden, who accuses the automaker of tolerating a culture of “pervasive harassment” at its assembly plant in Fremont, California.

That’s the same factory that, just last Friday, produced the first of the automaker’s eagerly awaited Model 3 battery-sedans – and the same factory where a recent report noted Tesla had been experiencing significantly higher injury rates than at assembly plants producing far more vehicles.

The Full Story!

In a report by the Guardian newspaper, the 33-year-old Vandermeyden opened up about why she was suing Tesla for sexual harassment after being fired from her job in Fremont. The paper outlined conditions that many employees described during a Tesla town hall meeting earlier this year as a “predator zone,” where, they charged, female workers were open targets for male bosses.

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It’s Official: 1st Tesla Model 3 Rolls Off the Line

Pricing still TBD.

by on Jul.10, 2017

The first saleable Tesla Model 3 poses in front of the company's Fremont, CA plant.

Twitter-savvy Tesla CEO Elon Musk has posted a picture of what appears to be the first “saleable” Model 3 sedan to roll off the battery-carmaker’s Fremont, California assembly line, a critical step in Tesla’s push to become a truly mainstream manufacturer.

But the company appears to have pushed back on its promise to start taking official orders for the new Tesla Model 3 on Friday and still has not given a clear sense of pricing for the compact battery-electric vehicle. A visit to the Tesla website only reveals the same information that had been up there for some time, among other things noting a “starting price” of $35,000.

Breaking News!

Tesla has a lot riding on the Model 3 launch. Though there are plenty of skeptics, Musk has outlined a plan that would take the company’s production to 500,000 vehicles in 2018 – a sixfold increase from 2016 – and Model 3 would account for about 80% of that total.

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A Good Week Gone Bad for Tesla

Update: GM overtakes Tesla as EV maker's stock collapses.

by on Jul.06, 2017

Tesla hoped for a big boost by announcing the production launch of the new Model 3.

(This story has been updated to reflect the continuing plunge in Tesla stock on Wednesday.)

What started out as a week full of fireworks for Tesla may be turning into a dud.

The automaker’s high-flying stock suddenly has taken a nosedive since traders returned from the long Fourth of July holiday, falling 7% on Wednesday and, by midday Thursday dipping nearly another 5 percent. At around $310 per share by mid-afternoon, TSLA was not only off sharply from the record $383.45 set on June 23rd, but with a market capitalization of just under $51 billion. the value of Tesla had slipped behind that of General Motors for the first time in nearly three months.

Insight!

That’s clearly not what CEO Elon Musk had in mind when he tweeted on Sunday that Tesla was planning to start production of the eagerly awaited Model 3 on Friday. That’s the same day, he added, that Tesla would formally begin taking orders for the vehicle that is expected to transform the carmaker from a niche to mainstream player.

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Tesla Set to Launch Sales, Production of Model 3

Critical test for battery-carmaker set to get underway.

by on Jul.03, 2017

Tesla could hit its mark for the first time by rolling out the first saleable Model 3 this week.

The biggest test Tesla has ever faced is about to get underway, CEO Elon Musk announcing plans to roll the first saleable Model 3 off the line on Friday, the same day customers will be able to place official orders for the new battery-electric vehicle.

The Model 3 will be Tesla’s first entry into the mainstream electric market, with its $35,000 base price running roughly half that of the company’s current Models S and X offerings. Tesla has reported taking over 300,000 advanced registrations for the vehicle, each with $1,000 deposits, but one key question is how many of those will translate into actual orders.

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The other question is how quickly Tesla will be able to meet demand. In a Sunday evening tweet, Musk said he expects that “Production grows grows exponentially, so Aug should be 100 cars and Sept above 1,500. Looks like we can reach 20,000 Model 3 cars per month in Dec.”

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Tesla Model 3 Taking the Slow(er) Road

First specs, including performance, appear online.

by on May.30, 2017

A Tesla handout shows a pre-production Model 3.

For many owners, one of the most appealing features of the Tesla Model S is its neck-snapping acceleration – with the optional Ludicrous Mode the sedan capable of launching from 0 to 60 in around 2.8 seconds.

While the new Tesla Model 3 will nearly match the range of some versions of the bigger sedan, don’t expect to see it come close when it comes to performance. What appear to be official Tesla figures indicate the new battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, will need about 5.6 seconds to nudge 60. That’s faster than the rival Chevrolet Bolt EV, but just barely, and more in line with what some comparably-sized gas-powered vehicles can deliver.

EV News!

Early EVs were battery-powered stone ponies, barely able to get out of their own way, the little Mitsubishi MiEV, for example, needing a full 13 seconds to get to 60. That’s a key reason, industry analysts suggest, that demand for those first-generation electrics was so poor. By boosting range and performance, however, buyers finally to be sitting up and taking notice.

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Tesla Back in Consumer Reports’ Good Graces

Models S, X rewarded for return of auto-braking.

by on May.24, 2017

Tesla temporarily disabled auto-braking when it revised its hardware before finish a software upgrade.

After slamming the automaker for some serious concerns over safety, Consumer Reports has upgraded two of Tesla’s battery-electric vehicles.

The non-profit publication slammed both the Tesla Models S and X last month when it discovered the recently updated EVs did not have working automatic emergency braking, or AEB, systems – something that was offered on the older versions of the electric sedan and SUV. Using over-the-air updates, however, Tesla has activated that technology on the newer models.

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“It’s uncommon for a newer vehicle to be less capable than an older vehicle, especially when it comes to safety,” said CR’s director of automotive testing, Jake Fisher.

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Musk Predicts Tesla Will Build 100K Model S, X in 2017

As financial losses grow, production and revenues climb faster.

by on May.04, 2017

Tesla CEO Elon Musk told analysts and reporters that the company will build more than 100,000 Model S and X units this year.

Tesla Motors’ losses increased by 40% during the first quarter, but Elon Musk, the company’s founder and CEO, hailed the fact that sales, revenue and production growth outpaced those losses: production was up by about 65% from last year’s first quarter to 25,000 vehicles and revenue doubled to $2.7 billion.

The Silicon Valley battery-carmaker reported a loss of $1.33 a share, significantly worse than the 81 to 83-cent loss various tracking firms had Wall Street trackers predicting. The company has turned a quarterly profit – using non-standard accounting – only twice since it went public.

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While Musk was quick to point out what is going right, it didn’t necessarily sway the investor community, which he has come to rely on in recent months. (more…)

Tesla Reports Bigger 1Q Loss Than Expected

But production hits record; revenues beat forecast.

by on May.03, 2017

Investors continue to drive up Tesla shares, betting on the success of the upcoming Model 3.

Despite record production and deliveries – and a surging stock price – Tesla managed to disappoint on Wednesday by reporting a bigger loss than analysts had been forecasting – though revenues for the first quarter of 2017 did manage to beat expectations.

The Silicon Valley battery-carmaker reported a loss of $1.33 a share, significantly worse than the 81 to 83-cent loss various tracking firms had Wall Street trackers predicting. The company has turned a quarterly profit – using non-standard accounting – only twice since it went public.

We're on the Beatt!

The news wasn’t entirely disappointing. Tesla’s revenues for the January-through-March quarter came in at $2.70 billion, about $90 million above expectations. Production, the company said, was up by 64%, year-over-year. And Tesla previously had reported that it delivered 25,051 vehicles during the quarter, an all-time record, with a target of 50,000 battery-cars for the first half.

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