Archive for the ‘Tesla’ Category

Tesla rival Rivian raises $2.5 billion to make electric trucks and SUVs

July 10th, 2020
Rivian's R1T at the New York Auto Show in 2019.

Enlarge / Rivian's R1T at the New York Auto Show in 2019. (credit: Jonathan Gitlin / Ars)

Upstart electric vehicle maker Rivian has added $2.5 billion to its war chest, the company announced on Friday.

It's Rivian's fifth fundraising round in just 18 months. The company raised $2.85 billion in four previous fundraising rounds between February and December of 2019. This gives Rivian more than $5 billion to spend on manufacturing capacity for its forthcoming electric trucks and SUVs.

Rivian is planning to build two consumer vehicles that were both introduced to the public in 2018. There's an electric truck called the R1T and an SUV called the R1S. Both are based on the same battery-powered all-electric skateboard platform and boast ranges up to 400 miles.

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Elon Musk taunts Tesla critics as stock soars to new highs

July 7th, 2020
Elon Musk taunts Tesla critics as stock soars to new highs

Enlarge (credit: Tesla)

Tesla's stock leapt above $1,400 for the first time on Tuesday morning—a nearly 50 percent increase over the price just a week earlier. As of publication time, Tesla's stock has slumped a bit to around $1,380. That's still more than the stock was worth at any time before today and a six-fold jump from Tesla's share price a year earlier.

The primary villains in Tesla's mythology are "shorts": investors who short-sell the company's stock in hopes of profiting from a falling price. CEO Elon Musk has regularly taunted these critics about the company's rising stock price. On Sunday, Musk gleefully announced that Tesla was selling "limited edition short shorts" on its website.

The shorts are red with gold trim, with a small Tesla logo on the side. "S3XY" is emblazoned across the back in large type. The shorts cost "only $69.420," Musk wrote. As I write this on Tuesday morning, the shorts are sold out.

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Tesla stock leaps again on unexpectedly strong delivery numbers

July 2nd, 2020
A Tesla facility in Lathrop, CA.

Enlarge / A Tesla facility in Lathrop, CA. (credit: Andrei Stanescu / Getty)

Tesla has surprised Wall Street again with better-than-expected delivery numbers. The electric carmaker delivered 90,650 vehicles in the second quarter of 2020, up slightly from the 88,400 vehicles delivered in the first quarter. This despite the fact that Tesla's main factory in Fremont, California, was shut down by county officials for the first half of the quarter.

Tesla's stock leapt at the news. After closing at a record high of $1,120 yesterday, Tesla's shares rose above $1,200 in pre-market trading on Thursday morning.

While Tesla's Q2 deliveries were up from the previous quarter, they're down slightly from the 95,200 vehicles produced in the second quarter of 2019. Tesla also delivered more cars in Q3 and Q4 of 2019 than it did last quarter. That presumably reflects the effects of the coronavirus over the last two quarters, as well as the phaseout of the federal tax credit for purchasing a Tesla. The credit fell by half on June 30, 2019 and phased out completely on December 31.

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Posted in cars, Policy, sales, Tesla | Comments (0)

Stock surge makes Tesla the world’s most valuable automaker

July 1st, 2020
Stock surge makes Tesla the world’s most valuable automaker

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson vs Disney)

One share of Tesla stock traded for more than $1,130 on Wednesday, pushing the company's market capitalization to nearly $210 billion. That sent Tesla's market cap past Toyota, which is worth either $170 billion or $203 billion, depending on how you count it. Tesla is now the world's most valuable car company.

It's a remarkable milestone for a company that sells far fewer cars than its leading rivals. Toyota and its subsidiaries sold 10.7 million vehicles in 2019, while Volkswagen and its subsidiaries sold almost 11 million vehicles. Tesla sold a comparatively tiny 367,500 vehicles last year.

But Wall Street is apparently very optimistic about Tesla's prospects for future growth and profits. Many experts expect a global shift to battery electric vehicles over the next decade or two, and Tesla is leading that revolution. Tesla's Model 3 was by far the most popular battery electric vehicle in 2019. It sold 300,000 vehicles, almost triple the sales of the next most popular model: the EU series from Chinese automaker BAIC Group. The Model 3 sold four times as many vehicles as the Nissan Leaf, the most popular battery electric vehicle not made by Tesla or a Chinese company.

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Posted in cars, Elon Musk, Tesla, Toyota, Wall Street | Comments (0)

Tesla driver blames Autopilot for crash, faces negligent driving charge

July 1st, 2020
A red sedan cruises down a tree-lined highway.

Enlarge / Tesla Model S driving on the freeway in Silicon Valley. (credit: Andrei Stanescu / Getty Images)

A Massachusetts man is facing a negligent-driving charge after his Tesla slammed into a police car that was parked by the side of the road. According to a state trooper, the man had Tesla's Autopilot technology turned on and said that he "must not have been paying attention." The crash occurred in December, but the defendant, Nicholas Ciarlone, was only recently charged in the incident.

NBC Channel 10 in Boston reports that the police car was parked on the left-hand side of Route 24, a divided highway in West Bridgewater, a town about an hour south of Boston. The state trooper had just pulled over college student Maria Smith and was asking for her registration paperwork when the Tesla slammed into his SUV.

This caused a pileup, with the police car crashing into the student's vehicle. The trooper was knocked back against the concrete barrier at the side of the road but was not seriously injured. Smith said she got glass in her hair when the back window shattered. And Smith told NBC 10 that the officer easily could have sustained more serious injuries.

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Tesla factory workers who stayed home due to COVID fears face termination

June 26th, 2020
Tesla's main US factory in Fremont, California.

Enlarge / Tesla's main US factory in Fremont, California. (credit: Andrei Stanescu / Getty)

Two workers, Carlos Gabriel and Jessica Naro, say that they received termination notices from Tesla last week after taking unpaid time off in an effort to avoid the coronavirus. The San Jose Mercury News first reported Gabriel's termination notice last week.

Both workers say that they were contacted this week by Tesla's HR department. Naro was given the opportunity to come back to work if she committed to a return date. She declined because her 6-year-old son has a health condition that puts him at heightened risk.

Gabriel ended his call after the Tesla rep refused to allow him to record it. He hasn't heard back since and believes he is no longer on Tesla's payroll.

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Posted in cars, coronavirus, CoronavirusTesla, Elon Musk, Tesla | Comments (0)

Teslas are the most unreliable new cars in the US, survey finds

June 24th, 2020
A frowny face has been photoshopped onto a Tesla speeding down a road.

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson / Tesla)

On Wednesday, J.D. Power has just released its Initial Quality Survey for 2020. Conducted annually for the past 34 years, the survey queries buyers of new cars of that model year to find out what, if any, problems they encountered within the first 90 days of ownership. Each brand is then ranked on the number of problems it experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100).

2020 is the first year that Tesla has been included in the survey, and as readers of our recent story on Model Y problems might have guessed, things don't look great for the California-based electric car company. Meanwhile, things look very good indeed for Dodge, which shares the top spot with Kia.

According to J.D. Power's survey, Tesla's initial quality score is 250 PP100, a feat which makes even Audi and Land Rover seem reliable by comparison. Although to be entirely accurate, Tesla isn't officially ranked last, because the brand won't allow J.D. Power to survey its customers in 15 states where OEM permission is apparently required. "However, we were able to collect a large enough sample of surveys from owners in the other 35 states and, from that base, we calculated Tesla's score," said Doug Betts, president of the automotive division at J.D. Power.

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Posted in cars, Dodge, J.D. Power, reliability, Tesla | Comments (0)

Tesla stock soars above $1,000 as Musk vows to “go all out” for Semi

June 10th, 2020
Red Nikola Two.

Enlarge / The Nikola Two truck drives out on the stage at an April 2019 event. (credit: Megan Geuss)

Tesla's stock price soared above $1,000 on Wednesday. The rise pushed the company's valuation to around $190 billion—within striking distance of the world's most valuable valuable car company, Toyota, at $215 billion.

Tesla's stock surge comes a week after one of Tesla's leading electric vehicle rivals, Nikola, debuted its stock on public markets. Like Tesla, Nikola is building all-electric vehicles. But there are a couple of big differences. First, while Tesla initially focused on passenger cars, Nikola will initially sell trucks along with off-road vehicles and a jet ski. Second, while Tesla cars run on batteries, Nikola is focusing on fuel cells—though some vehicles will have a battery option.

Nikola's first week on the stock market has been strong, with the stock price nearly doubling to reach Wednesday's closing price of $65. This makes Nikola worth nearly $30 billion—on par with Ford—before it has shipped its first vehicle.

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Posted in cars, Ford, Insanity, Nikola, Tesla, Tesla Semi | Comments (0)

The story of cheaper batteries, from smartphones to Teslas

May 22nd, 2020
The story of cheaper batteries, from smartphones to Teslas

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty)

In 2010, a lithium-ion battery pack with 1 kWh of capacity—enough to power an electric car for three or four miles—cost more than $1,000. By 2019, the figure had fallen to $156, according to data compiled by BloombergNEF. That's a massive drop, and experts expect continued—though perhaps not as rapid—progress in the coming decade. Several forecasters project the average cost of a kilowatt-hour of lithium-ion battery capacity to fall below $100 by the mid-2020s.

That's the result of a virtuous circle where better, cheaper batteries expand the market, which in turn drives investments that produce further improvements in cost and performance. The trend is hugely significant because cheap batteries will be essential to shifting the world economy away from carbon-intensive energy sources like coal and gasoline.

Batteries and electric motors have emerged as the most promising technology for replacing cars powered by internal combustion engines. The high cost of batteries has historically made electric cars much more expensive than conventional cars. But once battery packs get cheap enough—again, experts estimate around $100 per kWh for non-luxury vehicles—electric cars should actually become cheaper than equivalent gas-powered cars. The cost advantage will be even bigger once you factor in the low cost of charging an electric car, so we can expect falling battery costs to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles.

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Posted in batteries, environment, Features, Policy, science, Tesla | Comments (0)

Report: Tesla plans to build a new car factory in Texas

May 18th, 2020
Tesla's Cybertruck at its November 2019 unveiling.

Enlarge / Tesla's Cybertruck at its November 2019 unveiling. (credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

Elon Musk's recent clashes with officials in Alameda County, home of Tesla's Fremont factory, may have given him a heightened sense of urgency to find Tesla's next US factory. On Friday, several news outlets reported that Tesla was narrowing in on a new location to build the Model Y crossover and Tesla's forthcoming Cybertruck.

The reports started with Electrek, a pro-Tesla site whose co-founder Fred Lambert has good connections inside the company. Just before 3pm Eastern time, Lambert reported that Tesla had settled on Austin, Texas as the site of its next factory.

"We are told that the decision for the site is not set in stone since Tesla was apparently given a few options in the greater Austin area," Lambert wrote. "But Musk is said to want to start construction extremely soon and aims to have Model Y vehicles coming out of the plant by the end of the year."

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Posted in austin, cars, Elon Musk, Tesla, Texas | Comments (0)