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Posts Tagged ‘Tesla Model S’

Despite Ongoing Quality Issues, Tesla Owners Bond with Their Cars

“Owners see themselves as pioneers.”

by on Mar.21, 2017

Despite endemic quality problems, Power finds strong emotional attachment to Tesla products.

Tesla owners could be accused of having a love/hate relationship with their vehicles. The maker’s Models S and X have repeatedly been slammed for serious quality issues, yet owners retain a strong emotional bond to those battery-electric vehicles, according to a new study by J.D. Power and Associates.

But the question is whether those buying the next generation of Tesla products, starting with the Model 3 sedan set to go into production in July, will be nearly as forgiving. Moving into the mainstream carries significant risks, according to various analysts.

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“Tesla owners see themselves as pioneers who enjoy being early adopters of new technology,” said Kathleen Rizk, director of global automotive consulting at J.D. Power. “Spending $100,000 or more on a vehicle that has so many problems usually would have a dramatically negative effect on sales and brand perception. Right now, though, Tesla seems immune from such disenchanted customers.”

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Tesla Drops Base Models S 60 and 60D

Customers willing to pay for better range.

by on Mar.20, 2017

The low end of the Model S range failed to attract much interest from buyers.

Tesla hoped to win over buyers on a budget by introducing two more affordable versions of the Model S a year ago, but both the 60 and 60D battery sedans are being pulled from the line-up next month, according to the Silicon Valley automaker.

Turns out buyers are willing to come up with the extra cash to get the extra range offered by two slightly more expensive versions of the Model S, the 75 and 75D, Tesla has discovered. They offer a minimum EPA rating of 265 miles per charge.

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That fits with the general direction of the battery-car market, according to several industry analysts and insiders who spoke to TheDetroitBureau.com. Demand for shorter-range electric vehicles is largely flat-lining, while there’s growing interest in vehicles that can deliver at least 200 miles per charge.

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EV Makers Compete for “World’s Fastest” Title

Latest EV supercars top 200 mph.

by on Feb.27, 2017

The NextEV NIO EP9 delivers some impressive numbers both with and without a driver.

Battery-carmakers are intent on proving their products aren’t just short-range bricks. A number of new models are offering not only extended range but performance. Serious performance. And they’re laying conflicting claims for being the world’s fastest electric vehicles.

Among those in the hunt for that crown are Maryland-based Genovation Cars and Chinese-owned NextEV, as well as struggling start-up Faraday Future and, of course, Tesla. There’s even a new Croatian battery-carmaker hoping to gain high-speed bragging rights, Rimac Automobili.

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It’s a challenge to sort through all the claims, even when limiting one’s focus to “production” EVs, suggests Andrew Saul, CEO of Genovation Cars. “There is talk and there are results,” he said in a press release pumping the East Coast maker’s new GXE model.

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Singaporean Hypercar Takes Aim at Bugatti Performance Numbers

Flowery Dendrobium set to bloom at Geneva Motor Show.

by on Jan.18, 2017

The Vanda Dendrobium is named after a genus of orchids native to Singapore.

It looks like something Batman might drive, hails from Singapore and has the nearly unpronounceable name Dendrobium, but start-up Vanda Electrics is betting there’s a market for the new battery hypercar it’s set to debut at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show.

The concept model making its debut on March 7th will join a rapidly growing list of high-performance and exotic plug-based models that have been announced in recent months – from the all-electric Faraday Future FF91 to the hybrid-assisted Formula One hypercar under development by Mercedes-Benz.

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Vanda’s website suggests it was “set up to look into the future of electric transportation.” Until now, that has had it focusing on relatively mundane projects like a 25 mph urban delivery vehicle and an e-scooter. But while the Singapore-based company’s teaser release provides few details, it last year hinted it was working on an electric exotic that could hit 250 mph.

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Fisker Reveals Emotion EV and Possibly Game-Changing Tech Specs

Could ultracapacitor system obsolete battery technology?

by on Nov.01, 2016

The Fisker EMotion could be in production by some time later next year.

If at first you don’t succeed…if you’re Henrik Fisker, it seems, you try and try again.

Best known for the sleek and iconic Aston Martin DB9, Henrik Fisker has attempted to launch two car companies since going out on his own a decade ago, including the ill-fated Fisker Automotive, the Danish designer is about get back into the business with a new pure battery-electric vehicle that could go beyond just being a Tesla-fighter. If the newly released images and specs prove accurate, the Fisker Emotion could rewrite the rules for the zero-emissions segment.

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Beyond the car’s sleek design, the real breakthrough appears to be an alternative to the lithium-ion batteries used in most of today’s battery-based vehicles. Instead, the Emotion will use an ultracapacitor to store enough energy, the start-up claims, to run a “theoretical” 400 miles per charge.

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More Trouble for Tesla: Consumer Reports Trashes Reliability

Model X rated “sixth least reliable vehicle” in latest owner study.

by on Oct.25, 2016

Tesla's Model X has had a series of major quality problems, especially with the falcon doors.

Already facing growing concerns about quality issues with its newest electric vehicle, the Model X SUV, Tesla Motors was hammered by influential Consumer Reports magazine this week, the non-profit publication ranking the California carmaker 25th of 29 brands in its annual automotive reliability study.

It wasn’t all bad news. After faring poorly in the 2015 auto survey, CR said the Tesla Model S actually had “improved reliability.” But the newer Model X “has a long way to go,” with a variety of issues including balky falcon wing doors, locks, latches and other systems.

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The Model X is “the sixth least reliable vehicle in our survey, and there are some monumental challenges with that vehicle,” Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports’ director of automotive testing, said during an appearance before the Detroit Automotive Press Association. “It’s unclear,” he added, “whether they will get the ‘falcon wing’ doors right ever.”

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Tesla Deliveries Surge 70% in Q3

Upturn after EV maker’s first-half sales shortfall.

by on Oct.03, 2016

The Tesla Model X launch has been a thorn in the company's side, production still a challenge.

Tesla Motors saw third-quarter deliveries of its Models S and X battery-electric vehicles surge 70% during the third quarter, a significant improvement over recent quarters that saw the California-based manufacturer fall short of its targets.

Tesla also said that it expects deliveries during the fourth quarter to come in “at or slightly above” the July to September numbers, something that would put the maker on a path to rolling out more than 2,000 of the battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, each week for the rest of the year.

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In turn, company officials have indicated that could translate into a profit for the maker – using non-standard accounting procedures – after some recent, heavy losses.

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Tesla Updates Software After Chinese Hackers Take Control of Model S

Researchers take complete control of vehicle from up to 12 miles away.

by on Sep.21, 2016

Chinese researchers take control of a Model S, even remotely popping open its rear hatch.

Tesla has issued an urgent update to the software controlling virtually aspect of its high-tech battery-electric vehicles, a move triggered by reports that a Chinese security team had managed to hack into the Model S sedan’s control system.

Researchers from Keen Security Lab were able to take remote control of the vehicle from distances of up to 12 miles. They were able to take control of functions such as the vehicle’s brakes and windshield wipers.

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The news only adds to growing concerns about automotive cybersecurity at a time when the industry is in the midst of what some are calling a “transportation revolution.” Just this week, federal regulators issued the first national guidelines for the development of autonomous and even more advanced driverless vehicles. Some observers fear hackers could make such vehicles a target for criminal efforts and even for terrorist activities.

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China Fatal Crash Focuses New Attention on Tesla Autopilot

"No way of knowing" if semi-autonomous system was to blame, says Tesla.

by on Sep.14, 2016

Dash cam footage chronicles the second fatal crash involving Tesla's Autopilot program. This one was in China in January. Photo credit: Jalopnik.

A second fatal crash, this one in China, may have been the result of a malfunction by Tesla’s semi-autonomous Autopilot system.

The incident, which occurred last January but is only now being revealed, took the life of 23-year-old Gao Yaning, the son of the Model S owner. A video captured by a dash camera mounted in the car showed that it appeared to hit a street sweeper at highway speeds, rather than moving aside.

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The crash preceded a May 9 collision between a Model S operating in autonomous mode and a truck that turned into the battery-car’s path. Tesla confirmed the Autopilot system was operating when that accident, which took the life of a 40-year-old former Navy SEAL, occurred on a Florida highway. Because of the extent of the damage in the China crash, Tesla says there is “no way of knowing” if the system was enabled. (more…)

Another Tesla Autopilot Accident Reported in Beijing

Did Tesla salesperson oversell car’s capabilities?

by on Aug.10, 2016

Another Tesla Model S has been involved in an accident while in Autopilot mode. This time the minor collision happened in China.

With two federal safety investigations already underway in the U.S., Tesla Motors could face scrutiny in China, as well, in the wake of an incident involving a Model S sedan operating in Autopilot mode.

The crash last week was relatively minor – unlike the fatal accident in Florida on May 9 – but it raises questions about both the capabilities of Tesla’s semi-autonomous technology and the way Autopilot is being sold and explained to the public. The driver, a 33-year-old computer programmer, claims he was told by the dealer’s staff that Autopilot allowed the vehicle to be operated hands-free.

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Tesla confirmed the crash, but noted that the driver, Luo Zhen, was not following its guidelines. “As clearly communicated to the driver in the vehicle, autosteer is an assist feature that requires the driver to keep his hands on the steering wheel at all times, to always maintain control and responsibility for the vehicle, and to be prepared to take over at any time.” (more…)