Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Posts Tagged ‘ev news’

More Worries as Tesla Strains Finances Rushing to Launch Model 3

Stock analysts as analysts issue new warnings.

by on Feb.27, 2017

Investors are growing increasingly worried about Tesla's finances, sending its stock tumbling again.

Tesla shares took another sharp dip on Monday, continuing a decline triggered by the maker’s weak fourth-quarter earnings, and the admission by CEO Elon Musk that the battery-carmaker’s finances were “getting very close to the edge.”

Shares were off 4.2% at the end of Monday trading, to $246.23, as Goldman Sachs became the latest to turn on Tesla, analyst David Tamberrino downgrading the maker’s stock from “neutral” to “sell.” The market turned bearish when, last week, Tesla reported that it lost $121.3 million, or 78 cents a share, during the final quarter of 2016.

Beyond the Headlines!

That might have been taken in a more positive light, considering that was less than half the $320.4 million deficit posted during the fourth quarter of 2015. But Musk struck a cautious note when advising analysts and media during a conference call that the company has been burning through cash at a frantic rate as it prepares to introduce its new Model 3 sedan over the summer. (more…)

Tesla Posts Q4, Full-Year Loss

Company says Model 3 launching in July, full volume in September.

by on Feb.22, 2017

Tesla's Elon Musk dismissed concerns about possible delays involving the Model 3, which is slated to begin production this summer.

Tesla’s founder and leader Elon Musk dismissed concerns about the much-anticipated launch of its mainstream vehicle, the Model 3, this summer, noting the substantive differences between it and the preceding vehicles.

Musk noted during the maker’s Q4 earnings call, that the Model 3 is a much less complicated vehicle than its predecessors, lacking some of the gee-whiz technology like the self-presenting door handles.

Electrifying News!

Additionally, the company has a track record of success, in terms of production, so suppliers are providing the company with their “A-teams,” making for fewer problems and constraints. Finally, he noted that it’s the company’s fourth time through process and the learning curve will reflect that. (more…)

Smart Going All-Electric in U.S. Market

Minicar brand abandoning gas models after 2017.

by on Feb.14, 2017

The Smart Fortwo Electric Drive offer a maximum range of 99 miles and is now the only Smart Fortwo option in the U.S. and Canada.

Barely a year after belatedly redesigning its microcar line-up, Daimler AG’s Smart brand has confirmed it will stop selling gasoline-powered vehicle in the U.S. and Canada, focusing exclusively on an electrified version of its two-seat Fortwo model.

It is the latest development in a series of setbacks for Smart, which has continued to lose ground despite last year’s redesign. The timing was unfortunate, according to industry analysts, coming at a point when gasoline prices were hovering at barely $2 a gallon and millions of North American buyers have been migrating from passenger cars to utility vehicles and other light trucks.

Subscribe Now!

News of the decision to go all-electric came in the form of a letter sent by Dietmar Exler, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, to Smart dealers. Declaring “Smart has always been synonymous with innovation,” Exler added that “Developments within the micro-car segment present some challenges for the current smart product portfolio. He concluded that, “A dedicated focus on the electric drive in the U.S. and Canada provides a logical step to support a sustainable, zero emissions future.” (more…)

GM Exploring Options for Additional Battery-Electric Vehicles

Chevrolet Bolt EV lands another big award – but GM needs to move even faster to retain its lead.

by on Feb.10, 2017

GM President Dan Ammann says the company will produce more electric vehicles in the near future, but was short on specifics.

Fresh off another victory for the new Chevrolet Bolt EV – which was named the car of the year by syndicated TV show Motor Week – General Motors is exploring options for adding still more battery-electric models to its line-up.

While company officials are vague about both the details, numerous sources say that GM wants to maintain the lead it established by introducing the Bolt, the world’s first long-range, mainstream-priced battery-car. The electric crossover has garnered a series of awards since its launch late last year, including North American Car of the Year.

Beyond the Headlines!

“We will obviously need a much broader portfolio,” said General Motors President Dan Ammann, talking to TheDetroitBureau.com after a keynote speech at this year’s Chicago Auto Show. “We see opportunities as electric vehicles take hold.” (more…)

Tesla Briefly Idling California Plant to Prep for Model 3 Launch

“Planned pause” a critical step ahead of Tesla’s bet-the-company debut.

by on Feb.09, 2017

Tesla will pause production at its plant in Fremont, California, to prep for the Model 3, which is expected to come online later this year.

Tesla has confirmed it will briefly “pause” production at its Fremont, California, assembly plant this month as it begins the process of tooling up for the all-new Model 3 battery-sedan scheduled to come to market later this year.

The Model 3 is, arguably, the most critical model that Tesla will bring to market since it rolled out its original Roadster early this decade. Expected to deliver at least 200 miles per charge, but at a price tag barely half that of the current Tesla Model S sedan, the new EV has generated about 400,000 advance reservations, according to Tesla.

News Now!

But industry analysts warn that the company needs to ensure the Model 3 comes to market on time and with the sort of quality that mainstream buyers expect. (more…)

Tesla Deliveries Miss Mark as Year Ends – But Production Up

Launch of updated Autopilot takes blame.

by on Jan.04, 2017

Tesla fell short of its goal of delivering 80,000 vehicles in in 2016, but only narrowly as it produced nearly 77,000 vehicles.

Tesla ended 2016 with some good news … and some bad.

The California EV maker said it delivered a total of 76,230 vehicles last year, but it still fell short of its goal of handing customers the keys to 80,000 vehicles for the year. That said, production was up a full 64% in 2016, in part due to the ramp-up of the all-new Model X battery-SUV.

EV News!

Put the blame for the sales shortfall on the updated Tesla Autopilot system. Since October, Tesla has been adding a variety of new sensors to both the Model X and the Model S sedan to give those cars advanced, semi-autonomous capabilities. But the changeover caused initial problems slowing production early in the fourth quarter. (more…)

Tesla Reaches New Deal with Panasonic

Musk hints at higher kW superchargers coming soon.

by on Dec.28, 2016

Tesla owners can now be charged an "idling fee" if they leave their vehicle in a charging stall after its fully charged.

As Tesla charges ahead with construction of its Gigafactory in the Nevada desert, it got a bit of welcome news: Panasonic Corp. is investing $256 million into its production facility.

However, it’s the plant in Buffalo, New York, where Tesla makes photovoltaic cells and modules, not the Gigafactory. The investment isn’t much of a surprise really as the two companies have been partners for years, including in the factory just outside of Reno.

Subscribe Now!

In this case, the California-based company is making a long-term purchase commitment from Panasonic as part of the deal, in addition to providing factory space and infrastructure. (more…)

VW Set to Debut Battery Microbus at NAIAS

BUDD-e gets a new I.D.

by on Dec.22, 2016

Could Volkswagen be charged up to bring back the Microbus? This suggests maybe.

For those still hoping to see Volkswagen finally bring back the iconic Microbus, you might want to keep an eye on what the German maker is unveiling at the North American International Auto Show next month. A close look at these three teaser images suggests we’ll be seeing a new perspective on the original minivan.

For now, VW isn’t saying much, other than noting that the concept is an alternate take on the Golf-sized battery-electric I.D. hatchback that made its debut at the Paris Motor Show in September. And it could provide a hint of what’s to come as VW prepares to launch more than two dozen new battery-cars during the next decade.

Auto Show News!

“The concept vehicle forges links between the legendary origins of the Volkswagen brand and its electrifying future,” explains a somewhat cryptic news release. “Like the I.D., this concept is also based on the Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB), and so it shows the potential and bandwidth of the MEB.” (more…)

Three California Drivers Take Delivery of First Chevrolet Bolt EVs

Initial sales limited to California market.

by on Dec.13, 2016

Customers Bobby Edmonds (l to r), William “Bill” Mattos and Steve Henry take delivery of the first three 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EVs Tuesday

The first three Chevrolet Bolt EVs have been delivered to retail customers in California, marking the start of sales of the market’s first long-range, relatively affordable battery-electric vehicles.

Industry experts believe that the Bolt could usher in a new era in which battery-cars finally start appealing to mainstream, rather than just green-minded, buyers by delivering range comparable to conventional, gas-powered vehicles without a hefty price premium. Chevy hits market as much as a year ahead of similar offerings coming from manufacturers including Tesla, Volkswagen and Nissan.

Breaking News!

“The range and technology attracted me to the Bolt EV,” said Bobby Edmonds, a software developer from suburban San Francisco, who is replacing his BMW i3 with the Chevy Bolt. “It’s also a great-looking, roomy vehicle and I love the fact it’s from an American brand. I look forward to the longer drives I can make compared to the i3 that I owned.” (more…)

Despite Financial Problems, Faraday Still Set to Debut 1st Model at CES

New teaser offers closer look at what is expected to be EV SUV.

by on Dec.08, 2016

Faraday Future plans to go full speed ahead with its new sport-ute concept, which it will show at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show.

Despite financial problems serious enough to put on hold construction of its new Las Vegas factory, battery-car start-up Faraday Future plans to go ahead with the unveiling of its first production model at the Consumer Electronics Show four weeks from now.

The California-based, Chinese-backed Faraday made its official debut at CES last January, but the exotic sports car it revealed at that splashy Las Vegas event is expected to be replaced by a more conventional-looking electric SUV.

Subscribe Now!

A teaser image released this week by Faraday shows the nose of the production car, appearing to fill in some of the missing details from a short video the company put out in October showing a camouflage SUV blasting around a desert race track. (more…)