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UAW Gearing Up for Organizing Battle With Tesla

Elon Musk claims pro-union voice is actually UAW employee.

by on Feb.10, 2017

At least one Tesla employee believes the automaker's workers need UAW representation.

Tesla and the United Auto Workers union are scuffling over whether workers at the Tesla assembly plant in Fremont, California, need representation.

The UAW has been eyeing the Tesla plant for several months and apparently has managed to gain a foothold where at least one Tesla employee has stepped forward to identify himself as a union supporter.

Electrifying News!

Jose Moran, the pro-union employee, also has drawn the wrath of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who labeled him an employee of the United Auto Workers. (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.

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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…)

Musk and Trump: Strange Bedfellows, Indeed

EV innovator hails choice of oil exec for new Sec. of State.

by on Jan.25, 2017

Elon Musk, left, listens intently as President Donald Trump, right, talks during a meeting with leading U.S. tech executives.

At first glance, they might seem to be polar opposites: one has proclaimed his desire to save the world from the effects of global warming and environmental degradation. The other has declared climate change a “hoax” perpetrated by the Chinese, and is kick-starting two controversial oil pipelines while naming a former oil executive to be his new Secretary of State.

True, they both claim to be wealthy entrepreneurs, but the unexpectedly cozy relationship that is developing between Tesla Motors founder and CEO Elon Musk and new President Donald Trump is nonetheless taking many observers, especially those in the environmental community, by surprise.

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It wasn’t necessarily the decision to join the new president’s business advisory board – along with traditional auto industry leader Mary Barra, the CEO of General Motors – nor the White House meeting on Monday. But what really shocked Musk’s legion of fans was his Tuesday announcement endorsing the choice of Rex Tillerson as Trump’s Secretary of State. (more…)

Tesla Autopilot Cleared by Feds

But investigators will continue monitoring system – and fault name, Autopilot.

by on Jan.19, 2017

Federal investigators cleared Tesla and its Autopilot system of any safety defects that may have caused this fatal crash in Florida last year.

Federal safety regulators have determined there is no known safety defect with Tesla’s semi-autonomous Autopilot system, wrapping up an investigation that was launched after a fatal Florida crash last May that resulted in the death of a former Navy SEAL.

A handful of other crashes were tentatively linked to the technology, though the battery-carmaker strongly disputed those claims. With Autopilot considered one of the key selling attributes for Tesla products like the Model S and upcoming Model 3, getting the all-clear from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was a significant development for the automaker.

Autonomous News!

In a Twitter post, Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk declared the wrap-up of the investigation was “very positive,” Tesla following up with a statement that said “the safety of our customers comes first, and we appreciate the thoroughness of NHTSA’s report and its conclusion.” (more…)

Tesla Looking to Set New Solar Record

Model S 60 owners get a price break on upgrade.

by on Jan.16, 2017

Tesla's Gigafactory is expected to be the world's largest lithium-ion production plant.

Tesla’s been a groundbreaking company on many levels since its inception and now the company is looking to set a new benchmark on ground its already broken: the world’s largest solar array on the roof of its under-construction Gigafactory.

The California-based EV maker is planning to create a 70-megawatt rooftop installation of solar panels that will provide the facility with all of its power needs and will, once completed, nearly seven times bigger than the next biggest rooftop array.

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While this may sound like a rather expensive proposition, Tesla’s acquisition of SolarCity, the solar panel manufacturer, will more than offset the costs associated with producing the panels needed to generate the power for the plant. (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 Updates Autopilot – But Faces Federal Lawsuit

Owner claims Model X experienced unintended acceleration.

by on Jan.03, 2017

Tesla was sued last week by a Model X owner who claimed the vehicle suddenly lurched forward running into a garage wall and into the house.

Thousands of Tesla owners have gotten a surprise, post-holiday gift from Tesla Motors, the battery-carmaker issuing a major, over-the-air update for its Autopilot system that significantly enhances the car’s semi-autonomous capabilities.

The move happened as Tesla comes under scrutiny for alleged problems with earlier versions of Autopilot linked to at least one fatal crash and several other accidents. Separately, the carmaker was sued in federal court on Friday by an owner who claimed his Model X unexpectedly surged out of control, smashing through the wall of his garage and into his living room.

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The latest Autopilot update – dubbed HW2, or Hardware 2 – is likely to disappoint some owners. It will only work on Tesla Model X SUVs and Model S sedans built after October 2016. That’s when Tesla began updating the vehicles with an array of new radar, camera and ultrasonic sensors – but minus the cameras the cars were equipped with previously. (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.

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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…)

NHTSA Concerned About GM’s Super Cruise Stopping Plan

Regulators worried stopping vehicle could cause additional problems.

by on Nov.29, 2016

General Motors Staff Researcher Dr. Jeremy Salinger road tests a Cadillac using the semi-autonomous Super Cruise technology.

The concerns U.S. regulators have about the implementation of semi-autonomous or autonomous vehicles appears to be growing as safety officials really dig into the inner workings of these new technological marvels.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently urged General Motors to exercise caution in the implementation of its Super Cruise semi-autonomous system, specifically the fact that the system will slowly bring the car to a full stop if it senses the driver is sleeping, incapacitated or simply not paying attention.

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NHTSA confirms the automaker’s plan to bring the car to a stop and activate the vehicle’s hazard lights if the driver is inattentive or unresponsive is compliant with federal automotive standards. However, it is also concerned the flashing lights could be misinterpreted by other drivers creating a more serious safety issue. (more…)

Tesla Shareholders Approve $2.6B Buyout of SolarCity

Some shareholders file suit trying to block acquisition.

by on Nov.18, 2016

Tesla CEO Elon Musk told shareholders their "faith will be rewarded" for approving the SolarCity acquisition.

In Elon we trust.

At least that’s what Tesla shareholders appear to be saying after approving the $2.6 billion acquisition of Musk’s SolarCity Corp. by a more than three-to-one vote.

Tech News!

“I think your faith will be rewarded,” Musk told shareholders. (more…)