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Tesla’s Musk Says “No Choice” But to Quit Trump Panel if US Quits Paris Climate Accord

President promises decision “over the next few days.

by on May.31, 2017

Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Pres. Donald Trump. Musk sits on three White House economic councils.

Faced with the growing likelihood Pres. Donald Trump will pull the United States out of the Paris climate chance agreement binding the country to cut production of CO2 and other global warming gases, Tesla CEO and environmental champion Elon Musk said he will have “no choice” but to quit three separate White House economic advisory councils.

Musk would be the latest transportation industry leader to leave the Trump panels, following the move by Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick earlier this year.

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The Tesla CEO had previously said he was “cautiously optimistic” he could influence Trump to remain committed to the Paris treaty, despite other actions critics said were anti-environmental. But on Wednesday, in response to a question posed by a Twitter follower, Musk replied that he would “have no choice but to depart [the] councils” if, as now expected, Trump pulled out on Paris.

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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.

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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 Workers Suffer Injuries “On Regular Basis,” Reveals New Report

Rate of injuries declining, company says.

by on May.25, 2017

The Tesla plant in Fremont originally was built by GM and later run as a GM-Toyota joint venture.

Workers at the Tesla assembly plant in Fremont, California suffered injuries at a 31% higher rate than the auto industry average, according to a new study by the non-profit group Worksafe, and more serious injuries occurred almost twice as often.

The study could complicate Tesla’s challenges at its only plant – which is getting ready to start production of the critical new Model 3 battery-electric vehicle at the same time there is a push by some workers to create a local union.

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For its part, Tesla confirmed it has had problems, though it insists the issue is rapidly being addressed. “We may have had some challenges in the past as we were learning how to become a car company, but what matters is the future and with the changes we’ve made. We now have the lowest injury rate in the industry by far.”

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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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Tesla Wrestling With Challenges, Pressure from Plant Workers

Growing pressure on plant floor causing injuries, employee turnover.

by on May.19, 2017

Employees at Tesla's production facility in Fremont, California, complain of poor working conditions and injuries resulting from them.

While Tesla moves to push ahead with production of the Model 3, it is facing challenges inside its factory in Fremont, California, that include an increasingly restless workforce where turnover is high and complaints about on the job injuries are mounting.

The United Auto Workers has launched an organizing drive and pro-union have now filed multiple charges with the National Labor Relations Board, claiming they have been harassed for pro-union activity. Tesla has denied the charges.

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But Tesla also has been hit with complaints about working conditions inside the plant, which has also been turned into a giant construction site as the company’s founder pushes ahead with his bold expansion plans. Musk has even talked the Bay Area Rapid Transit authority about building a new station closer to the Fremont factory. (more…)

Tesla Bull Analyst Flipping to Bear

Concerns over fighting with tech companies causes rating change.

by on May.16, 2017

Morgan Stanley Analyst Adam Jonas switched from bull to bear when it comes to Tesla over concerns about potential battle with tech companies.

One of the Wall Street analysts that has been optimistic about the outlook for Tesla Motors’ stock has reversed course.

Adam Jonas, Morgan Stanley’s lead automotive analyst, has downgraded Tesla from Overweight to Equalweight with a price target of $305, suggesting a 6% downside on the company’s stock price from current levels.

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The downgrade hurts Tesla because the electric-car company depends on the stock’s impressive valuation to help attract new investors. (more…)

Tesla Ripe for Takeover by Apple, Analysts Claim

CEO Musk sweeps aside idea saying it isn’t in the cards.

by on May.08, 2017

Tesla CEO Elon Musk says Apple makes fine phones and laptops, but acquiring the Palo Alto, California EV maker isn't going to happen.

Apple, despite the various challenges it might face, is sitting on nearly a quarter of trillion dollars, giving it ample resources to mount a takeover of virtually any company in the world and analysts at Citigroup. have concluded on the possible targets is Tesla.

Elon Musk, Tesla’s founder and CEO, brushed aside the speculation about a possible Apple-Tesla alliance, saying it wasn’t in the cards. “They make good phones and laptops,” noted Musk, adding he personally uses Apple products.

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But he shrugged off suggestions during the analysts call that followed the release of Tesla’s financial report for the first quarter in which losses grew by 40% even though the electric-vehicle company’s revenue doubled. (more…)

Tesla Trying to Tie Up Loose Ends With Old Grohmann Customers

EV maker searching for “individual solutions” for each company.

by on May.05, 2017

Elon Musk's insistence that Tesla Grohmann's resources be focused on the company's Fremont, California plant to ensure delivery of the Model 3 this summer.

Tesla continues to work on the issues cropping up at its Tesla Grohmann subsidiary in Germany, including how best to deal with the engineering unit’s non-Tesla customers, such as BMW, Volkswagen and Daimler.

How best to deal with these legacy customers is the root cause of the departure of the subsidiary’s former owner, Klaus Grohmann. Tesla acquired the former Grohmann Electronics late last year to help improve the California-based EV maker’s manufacturing operations.

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Grohmann specializes in “building the machines that build the machines,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk noted at the time. The intention was to have Klaus Grohmann staying to help oversee the transition and direct the work done for Tesla’s Fremont, California plant. (more…)

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.

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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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