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

https://electrek-co.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/electrek.co/2019/03/18/tesla-remotely-increases-power-output-of-all-model-3-vehicles-through-software-update/amp/?amp_js_v=a2&_gsa=1#referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&_tf=From%20%251%24s&ampshare=https%3A%2F%2Felectrek.co%2F2019%2F03%2F18%2Ftesla-remotely-increases-power-output-of-all-model-3-vehicles-through-software-update%2F

Tesla reverses decision to close stores, raises prices instead!

(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 of the Web: new rideshare competition starts in Dallas

This Dallas startup just hauled in $14.5 million to disrupt Uber, Lyft

Alto’s business model differs considerably from traditional ridesharing companies.

Dallas natives Will Coleman and Alexandra Halbardier are the driving forces behind the company, which launched in Dallas during the recent holidays.

Alto’s business model differs from traditional ridesharing companies. The firm employs its drivers and manages a dedicated fleet of SUVs. It also gives more control to its customers. For example, Alto members use an app to control the in-car experience, from music to climate. Frog Ventures designed the app and in-car experience.

Link to original article
https://www.dallasnews.com/business/entrepreneurs/2019/01/22/dallas-startup-just-hauled-145-million-disrupt-uber-lyft

Best of the Web: Tesla model Y? SUV

  • Tesla will unveil its Model Y SUV on March 14, CEO Elon Musk said in a series of tweets Sunday.
  • The tweets may exacerbate Musk’s clash with the Securities and Exchange Commission over the CEO’s unfettered use of social media.
  • Musk said that the SUV would cost 10 percent more than Tesla’s Model 3 sedan and have “slightly less range” for the same battery.

https://www-cnbc-com.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/www.cnbc.com/amp/2019/03/03/tesla-to-unveil-model-y-suv-on-march-14-musk-says-in-tweet.html?amp_js_v=a2&_gsa=1#referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&_tf=From%20%251%24s&ampshare=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cnbc.com%2F2019%2F03%2F03%2Ftesla-to-unveil-model-y-suv-on-march-14-musk-says-in-tweet.html

Best of the Web: Musk Hints at Model 3 under $35K

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Original Story Link

New York (CNN) Tesla has long promised a pared-down version of its Model 3 sedan that would be $35,000.

The electric car company announced Thursday, more than a year after Tesla began delivering Model 3s, that price point is finally available — but CEO Elon Musk said the company will have to close stores and lay off workers in order to make it financially sustainable to produce the cheaper car.

The Model 3 is “excruciatingly difficult” to make at the reduced price, Musk told reporters on a conference call.

The base model will have 220 miles of range, a top speed of 130mph, the company said in a blog post.

Repair and Disrepair – When Cars Go Wrong

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The two extremes in mechanics jargon, when it comes to repair work, are Running Repair and Invisible Repair. A running repair, for instance, is a repair while a car is in use. An invisible repair is one that you can’t see anything ever went wrong. Normally, repairs on vehicles are somewhere between these.

As cars tend to be so expensive most people just want a repair that works, rather than one where you can’t see any damage. Many things like dents or bubbles in the windscreen may just be ignored; though having pride in your car is a good thing in itself, there’s a good reason to get things fixed while they’re still small issues. Not unlike seeing a dentist, you can put it off but you’re not saving yourself any money, in fact, you pay more in the end.

Some repairs are cheap but may need to be done every six months. Technically we call this preventative maintenance. This includes replacing the fuel filter or battery. Many parts are replaced because they wear out quickly while others are replaced because if they fail the results are more severe.

garage-943249_1920.jpgOther repairs, however, start out expensive from the moment you find out your car needs it. The most expensive job in the car is changing the cylinders which can cost about $10,000 on a standard car. Other expensive jobs are to change a battery on a car which works on hybrid fuel, replacing the transmission and replacing the entire suspension of a car (this might come as a surprise to the layman who might not know there is more than one kind of suspension).

When it comes to do-it-yourself, we find the good the bad and the urban legend. It’s not terribly difficult to replace your own air filter (at least the main one) and because this part should be replaced regularly and affects your fuel economy it’s a good candidate for a do-it-your-selfer. Things like a transmission go firmly into the category of things not to try at home.

When it comes to urban legends…there is a well-established idea that ladies’ tights or stockings can be used to repair fan-belts. This used to be essentially true. However, it might be quite hard to do in a modern car simply because it’s just so hard to find the fan belt. If you have to try this, stretch the tights or stockings as far as they can go, remove the old fan belt and run it around the pulleys that held the old fan belt. It will work better with more than one layer, so presumably, two pairs of tights work better than one. In the end, tie it up with a knot. Then drive immediately to a shop and have a proper fan belt installed.

Unless you simply can’t afford to have your car repaired always do so before selling your car. The value is restored, you’ll find buyers faster because not everyone has the ability to take on a non-running vehicle, and it’s highly unethical to not disclose things you know are wrong with a vehicle you’re selling. So avoid having to spend a bunch of ad space listing what doesn’t work.

And what about if fixing the car is too expensive or just can’t be done? Well, then it must be scrap time. An unrepairable car is issued a special certificate. Often the word “UNREPAIRABLE” emblazoned on its front. In order to obtain an unrepairable certificate, you need proof of ownership and filled in the correct paperwork, which differs from state to state. You also need to surrender the license plate which came with the vehicle. Unless you do this quickly (within ten days of when your car stops working) you may have to surrender your car.

It’s sad when a car goes to the wreckers, but that’s just the way of the world. It’ll happen to all cars one day.  Even yours.

Automobile Jobs – What Might Change?

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Technology is the primary force driving changes in employment within the automotive industry. The increase of technology in cars and manufacturing is both an opportunity and a curse. As driving jobs are clearly threatened by AV’s (self-driving vehicles) new jobs are created like analytic engineers, 3D printing technicians and cybersecurity experts.

It’s a whole new game with cybersecurity since cars are getting ever more open to being hacked without physical contact. Why break to steal a car when you can hack it and tell it to drive to you. Then again, even an unsuccessful hack to a moving vehicle could prove fatal for dozens of people. The process of cybersecurity is needed to stop undesirables getting hold of self-drive cars in a process called “car hacking” where the dashboard and gearbox can be accessed from a distance. As a result, jobs are created for “white-hat” hackers who test the systems.

Engineering analysis is about applying the scientific process of analysis to work out how different forces react to the automobile. This area is also interested in remote systems. Another position that has existed but will now change radically is the drivability expert. This person used to evaluate the design for ergonomics and ease of operation. This position going forward will require experience with UXUI (user experience user interface) so that computer controls are intuitive instead of distracting.

There will also be a rise in jobs concerning electric and hybrid cars. Because they both require the need for better battery technology, this area of research is vital to improving the car driving experience.

cars-35082_1280On the assembly line, automation has been taking over for a long time. Some 800 million jobs could be affected by the change worldwide as robots begin doing the work people do now. It’s actually likely that many of these jobs will transition to part-time instead of being laid off, but it remains to be seen how unions will respond.

It seems whatever happens the Big Three companies; General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler will continue to be the biggest employers in America, also known as the Detroit Three.  Statistics are confused but it seems that 10% of American jobs (that is 14 million) will be at risk if these companies plummeted. Luckily that doesn’t seem to be happening any time soon.

It seems sometimes that cars must be built in Michigan. Forbes.com points to Fiat Chrysler moving a plant from Mexico back to Michigan. Although the car companies concentrate on Detroit technology is bringing in new players and we shouldn’t be surprised if they’re headquartered in Silicon Valley. Germany is also a big testing area for autonomous cars and engineers there are collaborating with designers in Canada and programmers in India to create the next wave of car for none other than Apple.inc.

It is difficult not to include politics in the discussion since tariffs are all over the news. It’s not just the tariffs on imported cars; the cost of steel has a huge impact on car makers. Although it does mean that fewer cars will be imported from abroad and international companies such as Toyota and Honda will increase the domestic manufacture of cars for the US market.

There has been an increase in the number of dealerships since 2014, which should mean there are more jobs for salesmen and lot porters, etc. (according to Staticia.com). Most gas stations went to self-pay a while ago so those job losses are mostly absorbed. So far it seems that jobs in Highway rest areas seem to be fairly stable and have been for decades; the only threat to these jobs would be high gas prices, higher freeway speeds, and affordable train or airline fares–so little threat there.

Technology is impacting jobs across the board but the simple lesson to draw here is that if you aren’t growing you’re withering. Always keep your skills up to date.

V8 vs. V6

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Ah, the V8 vs. V6 debate – it’s as classic as a second generation Trans Am. Which one is better? Is there really a big difference in these muscle car parts? The answer is that the “best” option is up to you, the driver. What will you be using your ride for? There are a lot of racing enthusiasts who are only happy with the V8 option because of the power and speed. However, for many “regular” drivers a V6 is (way) more than enough power. Consider what you really want from your machine to make the best-informed decision.

What’s the Difference?

Overall, V6 cars will be less expensive to purchase, insurance will likely be lower, and your pocketbook will thank you at the gas station. This can mean more cash flow for those must-have accessories. A V6 can easily handle the daily commute and the occasional road trip, packing enough punch to inject a good amount of speed and power into an open road ride. The downside? Well, it’s not a V8 and doesn’t have the power of that monster.Mehta_V6 Emblem

Yes, a V8 will likely cost more in every department. Is it worth it? That’s up to you. Are you jonesing for weekends at the track, car show hopping, or heading to that favorite stretch of open road? Then a V8 may well be worth it. Sure, it might be a little trickier (ahem, expensive) to modify and those with lead feet might be tempting fate, especially with highway photo radar systems, but you only live once.

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So, How Do I Choose?

Test driving many different V6’s and V8’s is the only way to get a real feel for the difference – and your preference. Many of the newer V6 models are extremely (and sometimes surprisingly) powerful and people realize that’s “all” they need. Others instantly fall in love with the rumble of a V8. There’s no way to predict which way you will lean until you get behind the wheel.

Some Things to Keep in Mind

Some racing pros suggest that a V6 is the right choice for someone new to the muscle car family. Others are more the “do what feels right” type. It’s important to keep practicality in mind, even though it may not be the most fun part of buying a new ride. If you’re shopping for an (extremely lucky) teen’s first car, they likely won’t need a V8 and that’s asking for trouble anyway.

However, if it’s a second “just for fun” car that won’t be eating up gas in a long routine commute, it might be the perfect pick. Think about financing, the often unpredictable gas prices, and insurance premiums when making a selection. Choosing power is a big deal, so do your research, test drive as many machines as possible, be reasonable, and most of all, enjoy.

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