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BMW, Daimler, Ford, VW Team Up on Pan-European Fast-Charge Network

System will “reduce charging times significantly” and simplify long-distance travel.

by on Nov.03, 2017

The Ionity chargers will use a common plug and deliver enough power to slash charging times.

Four of Europe’s largest automakers are teaming up to create a network of fast-charging stations across Europe, a move they believe will play “an essential role” in increasing the appeal of battery-electric vehicles by making long-distance travel quick and easy.

The new venture, Ionity, will open 20 high-power charging stations in Austria, Germany and Norway by the end of this year, spaced out at 75-mile intervals along major roads. The goal is to have about 400 of the Level 3 and 4 chargers in place by 2020.


“The first pan-European (high-power charging) network plays an essential role in establishing a market for electric vehicles,” said Ionity CEO Michael Hajesch, adding that a critical goal is “to facilitate long-distance travel” by making it possible to charge up quickly, much as motorists currently can do while driving vehicles powered by internal combustion engines.


Tesla Will Now Charge to Supercharge

Maker also announced purchase of German engineering firm to help boost production capacity.

by on Nov.08, 2016

A Tesla Supercharger station in Hawthorn, CA.

There’s no such thing as a free lunch – or free energy, it seems. Tesla Motors plans to stop offering unlimited use of its cross-continent network of high-speed Superchargers to anyone who buys one of its vehicles after January 1, 2017.

The system, which currently includes 734 chargers worldwide, most in the U.S. and Canada, allows motorists to travel long distances without range anxiety. Until now, they have been open to any Tesla owner at no charge. The battery-carmaker hasn’t said what it will now charge new buyers but claims it will “cost less than the price of filling up a comparable gas car.”

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Tesla had already signaled it would not include free charging for buyers of the Model 3, which is expected to go into production during the second half of 2017. The company says it now has more than 300,000 advance registrations on the books. And to help ensure it meets the aggressive production ramp-up outlined by CEO Elon Musk last March, Tesla is now buying Grohmann Engineering, a German firm that develops automated manufacturing systems for batteries.


Tesla Model 3 Buyers Won’t Get Free Lifetime Use of Superchargers

CEO Musk confesses to a series of “clueless” moves during shareholders meeting.

by on Jun.01, 2016

Tesla eventually plans to have "several 100" Supercharger stations across the U.S. and Canada.

When the new Tesla Model 3 goes on sale later next year, buyers will spend barely half as much for the 200-mile battery-car as the company currently charges for its original Model S sedan – but they could be in for some hefty, additional fees, especially if they also want to use Tesla’s Supercharger system.

That’s a network of high-speed chargers that let a motorist get up to an 80% “re-fill” in 30 minutes or less, depending upon the capacity of the battery. Use of the Supercharger system is free for life for owners of the Model S and newer Model X.

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“Free supercharging fundamentally has a cost. The obvious thing to do is decouple that from the cost of the Model 3,” Musk said during Tesla’s annual shareholders meeting. “It will not be free long distance for life unless you purchase that package.”


Nevada Set to Open “Electric Highway”

Project would support Tesla Gigafactory.

by on Jun.17, 2015

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval.

While it may be best known for its gambling industry, the State of Nevada has been making a push to take leadership in the future of the auto industry, as well.

The first state to officially license autonomous vehicles, and the home to the new Tesla Gigafactory battery plant, Gov. Brian Sandoval this week announced plans for the Nevada Electric Highway. The project will set up a network of charging stations on U.S. 95, the highway between Reno, where the Gigafactory is being built, and the gaming center of Las Vegas.

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“We’ve all driven this road before and have anxiety (just) getting gas,” said Sandoval. “Now we can have confidence to charge our electric vehicles and drive them from place to place.”


Team Sets Cross-Country EV Driving Record

California to NY in just over 67 hours.

by on Jul.22, 2014

The Edmunds team takes a break from their cross-country excursion in that Model S sedan.

A team of drivers has gone a long way – 3,331.9 miles, in fact – to disprove negative perceptions about electric vehicles, setting an all-time record along the way.

Driving a Tesla Model S from Redondo Beach, California to New York City in just 67 hours 21 minutes, they showed that battery cars aren’t necessarily slow, nor limited in range, and they demonstrated the potential for new quick charging technology, as well.

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Dan Edmunds, the director of vehicle testing for website, led expedition, paired up with the auto tracking service’s photo editor Kurt Niebuhr. Significantly, they made the trip on their own, without the sort of backup often used in record runs – including an earlier trip sponsored by Tesla itself meant to prove that a Model S really could drive coast-to-coast in reasonable time.


Tesla Devotees Charging Across the Country to Set Record

Four-man team using only maker's supercharger network for trip.

by on Jan.30, 2014

A team of four is attempting to set a world record by driving a Tesla Model S from Los Angeles to New York using only the maker's network of superchargers in just three days.

Elon Musk, Tesla’s founder, has been threatening to take his family on a cross-country vacation in a Model S using only the company’s recently completed Supercharger network to power up the vehicle.

But before he even powered up his car, one family’s already done it and a team of four is seeking to set a world record for the trip.

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A father-daughter team drove from New York to Los Angeles in five days. Now, the four-man Cross Country Rally team is currently attempting to break the newly established “record” by completing the 3,400-mile trek in reverse – Los Angeles to New York – in just three days. (more…)

Tesla Market Capitalization Hits $15 Bil, Passes Fiat and Peugeot – Combined

Battery carmaker soars to new record as Wall St. rethinks auto stocks.

by on Jul.15, 2013

Tesla demonstates its new battery-swap capability.

There are plenty of folks who still don’t see much of a future for electric vehicles. Clearly, they aren’t the ones investing in Tesla Motors.

The Silicon Valley battery-car maker reached a critical milestone Monday morning when its shares surged just enough to push its total market capitalization up to an even $15 billion dollars.  And though Wall Street pushed back as the morning dragged on, Tesla stock still was running more than five times its 52-week low.

A Good Investment!

That means the maker, which only just posted its first-ever quarterly profit during the January to March period, now has a market cap equal to Italian automaker Fiat and France’s PSA Peugeot Citroen – combined.

That’s all the more significant considering that Tesla sold a grand total of about 4,750 vehicles during the first quarter. And while that was a good 5% above the battery-carmaker’s original forecast, that’s little more than the number of Ford F-Series pickups sold in two days and significantly fewer Toyota Camrys sold in a week.


Tesla Demo’s 90-Second Model S Battery Swap

Faster than filling a gas tank, declares CEO Musk.

by on Jun.21, 2013

Tesla demonstates the speed of its battery swap system compared to the time it takes to fill up at "the fastest gas station in LA."

Beyond the high cost of electric-vehicle technology, perhaps the biggest turn-off for consumers has been the lengthy time needed to recharge products like the Model S.  Or so goes conventional wisdom.

But the maker has set out to show that recharging the sedan doesn’t have to be an obstacle – first by announcing plans for a nationwide, high-speed “Supercharger” network and, now, by demonstrating the ability to swap out a depleted battery for a fresh one faster than you can fill up a gas tank.

The Last Word!

After tweeting plans to prove that possibility, Tesla CEO Elon Musk invited journalists and several hundred Model S owners to the factory to demonstrate the new battery-swap strategy. On a video screen overhead, a Tesla employee was shown filling up a car’s gas tank at what the South African-born executive described as “the fastest gas station in L.A.”  On stage, a robotic machine automatically removed a Model S battery and replaced it with a fully charged one.


Tesla May Offer Battery-Swap Option for Model S

CEO Musk hints of recharge option faster than filling a gas tank.

by on Jun.18, 2013

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk with a Model S sedan.

Barely a month after announcing plans to set up a high-speed network of “Supercharger” stations across the U.S. and Canada, Tesla CEO Elon Musk is hinting the start-up electric vehicle maker might also adopt a battery swap system that could allow owners of the new Model S sedan to have a freshly charged battery pack “faster than you could fill a gas tank.”

Tesla has been exploring the idea of swapping batteries for a number of years.  The approach is, at least conceptually, quite simple. When one battery pack runs down, simply switch it out for another, much like changing batteries in a flashlight. But, in practice, it’s a lot more difficult than it might seem.

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“Live pack swap demo on Thurs night. Seeing is believing,” tweeted Tesla Musk this week. The South African-born executive is fond of using Twitter to alert friends, fans and the media of the company’s plans, including news of the expanded Supercharger network.


Tesla Plans Cross-Continent Expansion of Supercharger Network

Battery-carmaker hopes to end “range anxiety.”

by on May.30, 2013

Tesla plans to place "several 100" Supercharger stations across the U.S. and Canada by mid-decade.

Battery-car start-up Tesla Motors hopes to put a quick-charging “supercharger” within the reach of all U.S. motorists – and most of those in Canada – over the next several years, something that could eliminate the so-called “range anxiety” that has so far been a factor in the limited sales of plug-based” vehicles like Tesla’s Model S.

The roll-out of the Tesla Supercharger network will now come twice as fast as originally planned, with about twice as many of them being put in place, according to the maker’s founder and CEO Elon Musk. The fast-charging system will also be upgraded to reduce charging times by nearly half compared to the first chargers now in place, said Musk.

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“It does mean quite a lot to mainstream customers, being able to drive you (battery) car wherever you want to go…at a moment’s notice,” said the South African-born executive. “So (this is) very important to accessing a broader audience” for battery-electric vehicles like the Tesla Model-S sedan that went on sales last summer.