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Tesla Delays “Unexpected” News, but Announces Solar Cell Deal with Panasonic

“Needs a few more days of refinement,” tweets CEO Musk.

by on Oct.17, 2016

Panasonic claims to make the world's most efficient rooftop solar cells.

Those who were hoping for a big announcement from Tesla Motors are going to have to wait a couple more days, according to CEO Elon Musk, though the Silicon Valley-based electric car company did have some significant news to report on Monday.

Tesla says it will expand its alliance with Japanese electronics giant Panasonic to start producing solar cells. That could be a major development for SolarCity, the solar panel company Tesla recently said it will acquire. Panasonic already produces batteries for Tesla’s electric vehicles and is a major partner in the massive Gigafactory battery plant being erected in Reno, Nevada.

News Now!

Tesla’s Musk had hinted earlier this month that the company would make an “unexpected” product announcement on October 17th, but in an overnight tweet, the South African-born entrepreneur said the project “needs a few more days of refinement,” and won’t be revealed until Wednesday.

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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.

News Now!

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 Gigafactory Delay Complicating Tesla’s Worsening Financial Woes

Maker likely to blow through at least a third of its cash.

by on Aug.09, 2016

Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Barely two weeks after Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk led a tour of the company’s new Gigafactory, it turns out that battery plant is running both late and likely over budget – something that is expected to worsen an already troublesome financial situation for the battery-carmaker.

Intended to be the world’s largest lithium-ion plant, the Gigafactory is already set to begin partial operation, and Musk last week boasted of plans to eventually boost output far beyond the original plans. But Tesla now says it spent nearly $120 million to prep the facility during the first half of the year with costs for all of 2016 expected to balloon to $520 million.

Perspective!

That’s one reason the carmaker’s cash reserves are fast on the decline. In fact, Tesla said it will have to lay out $1.1 billion, or about a third of its cash, during just the third quarter of this year. And with plenty of work left both on the Gigafactory and on the development of the Model 3 sedan, the financial pressures on the company are expected to grow more severe –especially in light of its unexpectedly sharp second-quarter loss.

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Tesla Still in Red, But Loss Narrows

CEO Musk calls solving quality problems "the key thing we have to achieve."

by on May.04, 2016

Tesla CEO Elon Musk in front of an image of the Model X SUV - which has been plagued by quality problems since its launch last year.

Struggling to solve quality problems with its first two models while getting ready to launch the all-new Model 3, Tesla Motors rolled up another deficit for the first quarter of 2016, but the losses narrowed, taking industry analysts by surprise.

The battery-electric automaker said it went $282 million into the red for the first three months of the year, or $2.13 a share. Excluding one-time items and using so-called non-GAAP accounting, the lose shrank to $75 million, or 57 cents a share, which was better than Wall Street had forecast, according to a survey of analysts by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Your Auto Insider!

Finances were all but the secondary topic during a teleconference featuring Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk and other senior executives. Much of the session focused on the upcoming Model 3 launch as well as efforts needed to resolve Tesla’s ongoing quality and reliability issues.

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Faraday Future Sketches Out Plans for Tomorrow

But start-up leaves plenty of questions unanswered during debut event.

by on Jan.05, 2016

The Faraday Future FF Zero1 concept.

A revolution on wheels? That’s what officials from Faraday Future laid out for an audience at the Consumer Electronics Show late Monday as the mysterious, Chinese-funded start-up carmaker finally came out from the shadows.

Launched just 18 months ago, largely with the backing of Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting, Faraday plans to set up a $1 billion assembly plant in North Las Vegas, with the first car set to roll down the line sometime in 2018, R&D chief Nick Sampson confirmed during a high-energy presentation. But the CES debut left plenty of questions unanswered.

The Future is Now!

Among them, what will Faraday build? The California-based carmaker rolled out the FF Zero1, something that lead designer Richard Kim called “a concept of cars,” but it is admittedly nothing more than an “electric dream car,” Kim stressed, rather than something likely to go into production.

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Better Late Than Never: Tesla Finally Reveals Model X

7-seat SUV includes new “bio-weapon defense mode.”

by on Sep.30, 2015

The new Tesla Model X spreads its wings -- or, more precisely, its unique falcon doors.

After struggling to pull a “challenging” project together, Tesla Motors finally pulled the wraps off its new Model X sport-utility vehicle at a standing-room-only event in Silicon Valley.

It becomes just the third product line Tesla has ever offered, and the second in its current portfolio, a much-needed counterpoint to the Model S sedan in a market that has widely embraced utility vehicles. If all goes according to plan, the new Model X should help Tesla nearly double its sales next year and set the stage for the even more mainstream Model III due out in 2018.

Product News!

As the California carmaker has attempted to do with the Model S, the new SUV delivers far more range than what other battery-cars can muster. And it’s loaded up with an assortment of surprise-and-delight features – from high-performance “Ludicrous Mode” to an advanced air filtration system CEO Elon Musk jokingly dubbed its “bio weapon defense mode.”

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Automakers Struggle to Keep Hackers Out of Increasingly Automated Vehicles

Chrysler recall not likely to end the problem.

by on Jul.27, 2015

A Wired journalist winds up in a ditch after hackers took control of this 2014 Jeep Cherokee.

Sometime next month, if all goes well, California battery carmaker Tesla Motors plans to ask a select group of owners to begin testing its latest vehicle operating system. Dubbed version 7.0, it will include a beta version of Tesla’s new Pilot system which will offer the ability to drive on the highway hands-free.

As with previous updates for the Model S sedan, Tesla will upload the software wirelessly, rather than requiring owners to visit its showrooms. It’s an approach many other automakers are expected to adopt in the coming years. But it also raises some serious concerns among industry observers who question whether such an approach might make it easy for hackers to shift their focus from computers to cars.

We'll Keep You In the Know!

The risk was highlighted this past week when a pair of professional hackers gained access to a 2014 Jeep Cherokee driven by a reporter working for Wired magazine. They turned on the Jeep’s windshield wipers, shut the engine down while it was being driven down the highway, took control of the steering wheel and then disabled its brakes, sending it into a ditch.

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Cherokee Hack Forces Fiat Chrysler to Recall 1.4 Million Vehicles

Maker volunteers to safeguard against future incursions.

by on Jul.24, 2015

Odds are if you have Fiat Chrysler model with an 8.4-inch touchscreen, that vehicle is subject to the maker's latest recall.

Just days after hackers were able to take control of a 2014 Jeep Cherokee and run it into a ditch, Fiat Chrysler is recalling 1.4 million vehicles to upgrade vulnerable software to reduce the risk of it happening again.

The maker will send owners a USB device that will automatically download the necessary updates to protect the vehicles.

High-Tech News!

“Further, FCA US has applied network-level security measures to prevent the type of remote manipulation demonstrated in a recent media report,” the company said in a statement. “These measures – which required no customer or dealer actions – block remote access to certain vehicle systems and were fully tested and implemented within the cellular network on July 23, 2015.” (more…)

Jeep Owners Urged to Act to Lock Out Hackers

Hackers take control of Jeep Cherokee, crash it into ditch.

by on Jul.22, 2015

A journalist crashes into ditch after hackers take control of his 2014 Jeep Cherokee. Image courtesy of Wired.

Fiat Chrysler has released an urgent update for the software on a number of its connected vehicles after learning that two hackers were able to take control of a Jeep Cherokee and crash it into a ditch.

The news comes amidst growing concern that hackers are beginning to target automobiles as they have computers and cellphones. But in this case, there’s more than just private information at stake. Experts fear that such cyberattacks could pose the actual risk of death or injury, as well as major chaos on the highways.

Take Control!

The possibility that hackers could gain access to hundreds of thousands of FCA vehicles was revealed in a story in Wired magazine. The potential was demonstrated by two professional hackers, including one who previously worked for the National Security Agency. They plan to reveal at least some of their tricks during a so-called Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas next month.

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Tesla Reveals Powerwall Energy Storage System

Base home system to start at $3,500.

by on May.01, 2015

A Powerwall system alongside a Tesla Model S.

Already providing a shock to the auto industry, entrepreneur Elon Musk is now hoping to transform the electric utility world. The billionaire founder of Tesla Motors added a new line of business Thursday night, confirming widespread rumors that the electric carmaker would add a line of residential and business battery backup systems.

Power Up!

In typical fashion, Musk declared the Powerwall system more than just the sort of technology that could keep a computer or TV running in the event of a power outage. Rather, he insisted during an evening news conference, that the system was another step in the goal of saving the environment by moving away from fossil fuels.

“This is within the power of humanity to do,” Musk proclaimed during a media briefing at Tesla’s design center in the Los Angeles suburb of Hawthorne. “We have done things like this before. It is not impossible.”

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