What’s News: Tesla price cut on standard models

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(Reuters) – Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) has dropped the standard-range variants of its Model X and Model S from its product lineup and adjusted prices across its range, in a sales push that comes days after the U.S. electric vehicle maker reported record deliveries.

To simplify its offerings, the automaker on Tuesday limited variants of its Model X sport-utility vehicle and Model S sedan to “Long Range” and the more expensive “Performance”. It also trimmed the price of its now entry-level Long Range variants.

The discontinuation of the standard-range variants, however, means a rise in starting prices – to $84,990 for the Model X and $79,990 for the Model S, excluding potential buying incentives.

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Best of the Web: Homebrew Tesla 3 pickup, #why?

Simone Giertz was tired of waiting for Elon Musk to unveil his new Tesla pickup truck, so she decided to make one herself. The popular YouTuber and self-described “queen of shitty robots”transformed a Model 3 into an honest-to-god pickup truck, which she dubs “Truckla” — and naturally you can watch all the cutting and welding (and cursing) on her YouTube channel. There’s even a fake truck commercial to go along with it.

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Giertz spent over a year planning and designing before launching into the arduous task of turning her Model 3 into a pickup truck. And she recruited a ragtag team of mechanics and DIY car modifiers to tackle the project: Marcos Ramirez, a Bay Area maker, mechanic and artist; Boston-based Richard Benoit, whose YouTube channel Rich Rebuilds is largely dedicated to the modification of pre-owned Tesla models; and German designer and YouTuber Laura Kampf.

Best of the Web: meet the man behind Rivian

Meet RJ Scaringe. The Founder of Rivian, Changing the Way We View Transportation

RJ’s goal? To change the way our society views transportation. To change the way we buy and own vehicles. To change the way we treat our environment.

Original story by Brooke Hess

Founder of Rivian, the company building the world’s first electric adventure vehicles, RJ Scaringe isn’t one to set simple goals. He thinks big.

RJ’s goals go beyond simply building electric cars. They go beyond 4×4 vehicles. They go beyond self-driving vehicles. RJ’s ultimate goal is this – to change the way our society views transportation. To change the way we buy and own vehicles. To change the way we treat our environment.

RJ founded a car company, and yet he does not want people buying his cars in the future. This may seem like a strange business plan, but to RJ, it is the only way forward.

RJ envisions a world where you don’t own a car. Your family doesn’t own a car. Your neighbors don’t own cars. Sounds like a hassle to get around, right? How will you go skiing this weekend? How will you take your family to the beach in the spring? How will you move your oldest child into her dorm room?

Ford teases competition for Tesla Y

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Ford is preparing to launch its first electric vehicle built to be electric from the ground up: a Mustang-inspired all-electric crossover, and now, the automaker is teasing it as a Tesla Model Y competitor.

Last year, Ford said that it was going ‘all-in’ on EVs following the ousting of CEO Mark Fields and appointment of Jim Hackett.

Hackett formed a new internal team, called ‘Team Edison’, to oversee electric car programs. He also shifted one-third of internal combustion engine investments to electric cars, but the company is still investing more in the former than the latter.

Ford confirmed that its first next-gen electric vehicle will be inspired by the Mustang.

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Ford teases Mustang-inspired electric SUV as Tesla Model Y competitor

Earlier this year, Ford released the first image of the vehicle — pictured above — and the Mustang-inspired all-electric crossover is expected to hit the market as soon as next year.

Hacking a Tesla?

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Like all modern cars, Tesla is computer controlled. Unlike most modern cars, Tesla equips there cars with the latest in Automated Driving Technology, which is to say they believe their cars can drive themselves. For the most part, they seem to have succeeded in the self-driving part.

Of course, our minds instantly begin to ponder what happens if a hacker gets it. I mean in most cars you might be able to give it bad fuel economy or lock the doors. What happens when you hack an A.V.

Well, a couple of white hat hackers have given it a try and managed to turn on the windshield wipers. While that doesn’t sound like much it does shoot down the hope that Tesla somehow created a hack-proof car.

HOWEVER, the hackers, Tencent, were also able to take over control of the steering wheel and run it via a gamepad controller. They did this even though the autopilot feature wasn’t activated. Here’s a link to more details below.

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Best of the Web: Tesla pushes out update, increases range.

tesla-3984107_1920Tesla started remotely increasing the power output of all Model 3 vehicles through a software update over a year after starting production.

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When the US E.V. maker pushed out their new Model 3 with its shorter range and lower price they promised upgrades were in the works. The first of which pushed out for free via a remote software upgrade.

The automaker also promised to increase Model 3 range with a Long Range battery pack and rear-wheel-drive motor as well as a peak power increase for all Model 3’s.

Now Tesla is starting to roll out the peak power increase update – through its firmware version 2019.8.2.

In the release notes, Tesla writes about the Peak Power Increase:

“Your vehicle’s peak power has been increased by approximately 5%, improving acceleration and Performance.”

Tesla previously said that this increase in peak power output should result in an increase top speed to 162 mph for Model 3 Performance, but all Model 3 vehicles should feel a little more powerful.

Tesla reverses decision to close stores, raises prices instead!

tesla-2875852_1920(Reuters) – Electric carmaker Tesla Inc said on Sunday it will raise prices of its high-end vehicles by about 3 percent on average as it plans to keep more retail stores open than planned.

Tesla said the worldwide price hikes will apply to the more expensive variants of Model 3, Model S and Model X, and there will be no price increase to the $35,000 Model 3.

The carmaker said potential buyers can place orders until March 18 at the old prices.

The move comes after Tesla said last month it was shifting all sales online to help lower prices by about 6 percent on average, allowing it to achieve the $35,000 Model 3 price point earlier than expected.

Cost savings from store closing will be only about half the expected amount as the company will close only half the number of stores planned, it said.

The carmaker said a few stores in high-visibility locations that were closed due to low throughput will be reopened with a smaller Tesla crew.

Tesla said the stores will carry fewer cars in inventory for customers who wish to drive away with a Tesla immediately.

(Reporting by Rishika Chatterjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Gopakumar Warrier)

Best if the Web: drowning in announcements from Tesla?

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  • The Model Y launch announcement from Tesla comes days after the company cut prices on other models.
  • The vehicle could have strong demand, but it could also cannibalize demand

 

Original Story

Tesla‘s onslaught of announcements is starting to make analysts wonder if customers are losing interest in its cars.

CEO Elon Musk said Sunday that Tesla’s upcoming Model Y crossover vehicle will be unveiled on March 14. While it could be a great vehicle with high demand, RBC analyst Joseph Spak said the timing of the announcement raises concerns. Musk tweeted the news days after the company made considerable price cuts to its other models and said Tesla needs to close some showrooms and cut sales staff. It also spent nearly $1 billion paying off debt last week.

On Thursday, Tesla unveiled its long-awaited $35,000 Model 3, reduced prices on upgrades to its Autopilot automated driver assistance system and made significant price cuts to its Model S and Model X vehicles after saying it will only sell its vehicles online to lower costs. Its shares fell nearly 8 percent Friday and slid by another 3 percent in midday trading Monday.

Best of the Web: VW goes Electric!

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In January, Volkswagen teased a new electric dune buggy, a modern reinterpretation of the classic American dune buggies that were first created in the 1960s. Now, the battery-powered buggy is making its global debut this week at the Geneva Motor Show, and it has a name: the I.D. Buggy, placing it alongside the automaker’s other I.D.-branded vehicles that are meant to represent VW’s all-electric future.

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For VW, the buggy is meant to show off the versatility of its MEB, or “Modulare E-Antriebs-Baukasten,” which is German for “modular electric drive matrix.” The company is betting big on its MEB platform, which will serve as the basis for the 10 million electric cars it wants to sell.

Also known as beach buggies and sand rails, dune buggies became wildly popular in the 1960s with the launch of the Meyers Manx, produced by California surfer and entrepreneur Bruce Meyers. Debuting in 1964, Meyers came up with the idea of lifting the body off the original Volkswagen Beetle and replacing it with a fiberglass, open-topped shell, making a few other modifications that would let it operate on sand dunes, as well as public roads.

DB2019AU00319Volkswagen estimates that as many as 250,000 of the original Beetles were modified into dune buggies and other unique models by the 1980s. Meyers himself relaunched his company in 2000.

All buggies from the 1960s featured a high degree of modular variability. The I.D. Buggy is no different. According to VW, it’s a pure two-seater that can be converted to seat four. Another electric motor can be added to the front axle to make four-wheel drive possible. In fact, the upper body can be completely detached from the MEB chassis, opening up a world of possibilities for third-party manufacturers as the original Meyers Manx kit did for the first buggies.

The paint job, which VW describes as “fern green,” is reminiscent of the automaker’s Day-Glo yellow microbus concept, the I.D. Buzz, which it first revealed in 2017. This makes sense considering all are members of VW’s I.D. Family, a new generation of connected, autonomous electric vehicles. Other members include the Vizzion, a 400-mile range, 75 kWh-motor sedan, and the Crozz, a self-driving crossover SUV.