Top Gear Tests Unplugged Tesla Model 3

Mods make a difference

The Tesla Model 3, according to the many, many reviews out there, is a pretty great car to drive. But what happens if you throw some modifications at it? Can the experience be improved upon, or is the Model 3 aftermarket a waste of cash? To explore this question, Top Gear tried out a pair of the mid-size sedans as modified by Unplugged Performance, an outfit that provides “premium performance upgrades” for Tesla vehicles. We’ve seen some of their work with the car before.

The first modded Model 3 they try out is a rear-wheel-drive version (this, after they drove an unmolested example to help make any differences more apparent). Fitted with a coilover suspension, carbon ceramic brakes, and a set of lightweight forged wheels (among other smaller details) — EV customizers are not yet able to toy with things like power output — they find it “sharper and more focused,” and go on to say:

There’s clarity and communication in the steering, much quicker reactions into corners and a tangibly lower centre of gravity. It feels tauter and more honed, and right up there with a 3 Series for agility.

That’s pretty high praise, though they do caution that the car’s stability control system pulls the plug if the shenanigans get even slightly out of hand. They also note that the suspension, using parts from the Ohlins catalog, doesn’t sacrifice ride quality with the lowered ride and offers some 24 levels of adjustment.

Sliding behind the wheel of the next kitted-out Model 3, this one an all-wheel-drive variant, expectations are somewhat different. While it might not have that feel drivers love when a vehicle is propelled solely from the back axle, it does have a bunch more power, lowering the zero-to-sixty time considerably.

Though they don’t give an in-depth review of this car, they do mention that the extra weight of the second motor seems apparent to them and call out the carbon ceramic brakes as being very welcome here. Indeed, they mention it took some amount of effort for Unplugged Performance to get the car’s sensors to play nice with the grippier brakes. Five months worth, to be exact.

Overall, they say the modifications help propel the car into the same handling zip code as the BMW M3, Mercedes C63, and Alfa Giulia Quadrifoglio, at least until the wick is turned up. A good place to spend time, we imagine, though we think with its constant software upgrades, along with its green and quiet approach, it’s already in a class of its own.

Source: Top Gear

Source: Electric Vehicle News

Hyundai and Kia unveil new solar roof to charge batteries in vehicles, launching next year

Electric vehicles enable owners to have more choices for the sources of energy to power their vehicles. EV owners have been known to adopt solar power at a higher rate than the rest of the popular.

Some of them even want solar directly on their vehicles – even though it’s not the most efficient place for it.

Hyundai and Kia have now unveiled a new solar roof for vehicles to launch next year. more…

The post Hyundai and Kia unveil new solar roof to charge batteries in vehicles, launching next year appeared first on Electrek.

Source: Charge Forward

Chevy Bolt Panel Van Is The Electric Cargo Hatch Of Our Dreams

Check out this Chevrolet Bolt EV panel van.

Leave it to the SEMA show for automakers to reimagine vehicles such as this. The 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV as a panel van? Why yes, of course. We should actually be asking, “why the heck not.” Anything to draw eyes to EVs and to show that they can do anything that ICE cars can do, as well as more.

The 2018 SEMA show is currently underway in Las Vegas, and this is not the only development we have to share with you. Stay tuned for a killer Tesla Model S and a 1977 Porsche 911 that is sure to impress.

Back to the Bolt EV featured here. As GM Authority points out, it’s outfitted with over $1,000 worth of accessories from the Chevrolet catalog: black Chevy bowties, door sill plates, a black all-weather custom driver’s side floor mat, an illuminated charge port, and a wall-mounted 240V/32A EV charging unit. Pretty sweet, right? However, these GM add-ons don’t tell the whole story.

This Chevy Bolt EV has been transitioned to a utility “van” of sorts, complete with window panels and a uniquely lined cargo area. What better to follow the battery-electric eCOPO Camaro and carry its spare electric motor, along with other tools and parts? Yes, this Chevy Bolt EV may be used as a race support van for the upcoming, Tesla-killing Camaro, which is also on display at SEMA 2018.

Source: GM Authority

5 photos

Photos: GM Authority

Source: Electric Vehicle News

Mahindra: We Didn’t Know How To Win A Formula E Championship

Mahindra Racing boss Dilbagh Gill says his team “didn’t know how to win a championship” in Formula E’s fourth season, where its title bid was thwarted by several issues.

The Indian manufacturer led the 2017/18 teams’ championship after Felix Rosenqvist won the second race in Hong Kong and took victory at the next race in Marrakesh.

But Rosenqvist, who also led the drivers’ championship after Marrakesh, subsequently suffered high-profile retirements while leading in Mexico and Rome, while his teammate Nick Heidfeld endured three consecutive DNFs between Santiago and Punta Del Este.

Mahindra eventually wound up fourth in the season four teams’ championship – one place down on its breakthrough season three result – and 126 points behind the title-winning  Audi squad.

Gill explained that while his team was capable of scoring race wins on merit, it was simply not mature enough to string together a championship-winning campaign.

“We have to go back to some of the stuff we did in season three, [which] was consistency,” Gill told

“One of the drivers would be on the podium in every race and we have to work [back] towards that right now.

“Wins are nice but at the same time we need to look at consistency and build our championship over a period of time.”

“We knew how to win races, but we didn’t know how to put a championship together.

“So I think what we are learning together is how we put a championship [run on], how we string races together, because we were brilliant in individual races.

“We’ve also augmented the team considerably over the last couple of months in terms of having [new] people.

“So the amount on pressure on the team has reduced slightly. And we have a bit more time to do work.”

Race winner Felix Rosenqvist, Mahindra Racing

Race winner Felix Rosenqvist, Mahindra Racing

Photo by: Alastair Staley / LAT Images

Gill stressed that Mahindra must focus on not losing ground to rivals in the season five in-season software development race.

The 2017/18 M4Electro’s performance tailed off in the final part of last season, even as the team managed to fix the reliability issues that plagued the middle part of its campaign.

“We started out the gates pretty strongly,” Gill said.

“Where we [were] also [a] bit stuck last year was development between races and I think that area we are going to be focusing a lot this year – that we keep up the pace of development compared to competitors during the season.”

Source: Electric Vehicle News

Green Deals: Sun Joe 14.5A Electric Pressure Washer $110, more

The official Snow Joe eBay outlet store offers its SPX3000 14.5A Electric Pressure Washer for $110 shipped. Regularly $149 at retailers like Amazon, this deal is $9 less than our previous mention and the best price available by $30. Sun Joe’s Electric Pressure washer includes a 14.5A electric motor and provides 1.76GPM. Rated 4.2/5 stars by over 5,700 reviewers.


The post Green Deals: Sun Joe 14.5A Electric Pressure Washer $110, more appeared first on Electrek.

Source: Charge Forward

October 2018 EV Sales: What To Expect?

How about another record-breaking month?

October 2018 will mark the 37th month of consecutive year-over-year monthly sales gains for plug-in vehicles.

Each month InsideEVs tracks all the plug-in EV sales/deliveries for the United States by automaker. The 2018 calendar year has been the most fascinating thus far in the history of the segment and it only stands to get better. The year started with somewhat lackluster sales, but the momentum quickly shifted. Now, each month is almost sure to blow the roof off of the past. In fact, four of the five best-selling months of all time for electric vehicles have all happened this year. We have no doubt October will make the list and push December 2017 off, though it won’t top the list. We think it will easily secure the new third-place position and possibly slot number two, but the latter would be pushing it.

Top Months for U.S. EV Sales to Date (estimated):

  1. September 2018 – 45,589
  2. August 2018 – 36,380
  3. July 2018 – 29,514
  4. March 2018 – 26,373
  5. December 2017 – 26,107

As of the end of September 2018, an estimated 234,635 plug-in electric vehicles had been sold in the U.S. this year. We’re down to the final quarter before the year goes into the archives (and the record books). It’s looking like we’ll see some 350k EVs delivered in the U.S. in 2018 by the time the year comes to an end.

Check Out: Contributor Josh Bryant’s 2018 yearly sales predictions here

Much of the success of that estimate depends on how many Model 3 vehicles Tesla delivers through the end of the year. Model 3 production seems to be pretty consistent with last month, so we may not see another monumental rise in October, but we’re sure to report another ridiculously promising number. Additionally, we have to ask ourselves if any other automakers are going to ramp up their efforts in this final quarter, or if numbers will remain relatively flat.

In October 2017, an estimated 14,315 plug-ins were sold in the U.S. This September we saw well over a 100-percent gain from last year’s numbers. Can October pull that off as well?  Will we see deliveries north of 28,000 this October? But, of course! We believe the number will be even higher. Realistically, there’s a small chance Tesla could double last October’s U.S. EV delivery number on its own. Wouldn’t that be a fantastic record to report? We’d love to say that we’re sure this will be the case, but our early estimates put Tesla’s U.S. deliveries a wee bit shy of pulling that off. Nonetheless, the Silicon Valley automaker stands to prove epic progress once again.

October is a bit of a crapshoot when it comes to estimating early numbers. In fact, it’s one of the toughest to glean thus far. While we’ve noted above that Tesla will continue to prevail, other automakers seem to take a rain check in October, at least in comparison to September numbers, as well as other previous months. This statement is clearly substantiated if you look at our data from prior years or look at automakers’ U.S. sales in October in general. Still, we can always hope that EV sales will continue to develop and move forward.

As far as our initial estimates tell us, we’re looking at some 34,000 (and hopefully many more) electric cars sold in the U.S. this October, though we’re honest enough to say that the window is rather wide. We hope to see at least 36,000 sold, but we would be content enough to report that 32,500 EVs made their way into new owners’ driveways this fall. Either way, the number will knock last October out of the water and will prove that the month can really shine, despite the past, albeit primarily Tesla that is once again raising that bar.

Keep yourself tuned in and refreshing the pages during the coming days as we put the numbers to the dialogue. We will begin reporting EV sales Thursday morning (November 1, 2018) and continue through Friday and into the early part of the following week. For now, below are some questions to ponder. If you have a compelling question, drop it in the comment section and we’ll consider adding it to the monthly report card.

In the meantime, what are your estimates? We’d really love to know what you think, especially since October is so difficult to estimate.

Questions entering October:

  1. Will Tesla Model 3 U.S. deliveries rise again even though we’re at the beginning of a new quarter?
  2. How significant of a drop in domestic Model S and Model X sales will we see due to overseas deliveries and the neverending Model 3 delivery ramp?
  3. Is September the month that Toyota Prius Prime deliveries bounce back more convincingly?
  4. Now that the Chevrolet Volt has surpassed the Chevrolet Bolt EV for overall sales on the year, what story will the quarter tell as GM finally reports official sales?
  5. 2018 Nissan LEAF U.S. sales were on the rise again in August. Will sales improve as the year moves on or continue to slide as customers are waiting for the upcoming 2019 model?
  6. Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid sales have really impressed, especially in the last four months. How many did Honda deliver in September?

***InsideEVs’ journalist Wade Malone provided sales estimations and related analysis.

Source: Electric Vehicle News

Tesla Jumps To #1 In Global Plug-In Electric Car Sales In 2018 YTD

Tesla is now #1 even in the automotive group rankings.

According to the latest comparison released by the EV Sales Blog, Tesla becomes the biggest manufacturer of electric cars among all automotive groups (even counting PHEVs). That’s an improvement compared to second place two months ago.

The changes concern BYD too, which through record results improved from third to second, and Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, which fell down two positions from #1 to #3.

Results for the first nine months of 2018:

  • Tesla: 154,123 (12% share)
  • BYD: 137,436 (11% share)
  • Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance: 131,606 (10% share)

Plug-In Electric Car Sales Ranked By OEM – September 2018

In terms of brands origin:

  • Chin: 47%
  • U.S. 16%
  • Germany: 16%
  • Japan: 10%
  • South Korea (4%)

Source: EV Sales Blog

Source: Electric Vehicle News

Volkswagen Considers Sharing Electric Car Platform With Ford

Ford EVs on the Volkswagen MEB platform?

Volkswagen Group and Ford could form a development and production alliance that would strengthen the competitiveness of both manufacturers, at least in certain market segments.

Media speculates that besides areas like light commercial vehicles (under consideration at least since June), VW and Ford could partner in EVs, which recently have not been the strongest point of Ford. Volkswagen could share its MEB platform, scheduled for late 2019, with Ford for a profit while Ford would be able to produce all-electric cars with lower investment costs.

Volkswagen CFO Frank Witter said VW intends to be much more open to partnerships and, when asked about sharing MEB with Ford, he didn’t exclude such a possibility.

“Whether we might provide access to other brands outside of the VW Group is theoretically possible, but there is no decision,”

Volkswagen probably will be open to partnering with other companies on autonomous driving, too.

Source: Automotive News

Source: Electric Vehicle News

Tesla owners sue, Hot Wheels 'Starman,' plastic roads: Today's Car News

Tesla Roadster 1:64 Hot Wheels carA second Tesla owner is suing the company over an Autopilot crash. Recycled bottles could make good roads. Hot Wheels launches its own Tesla ‘Starman’ Roadster. Our Twitter followers weigh in on how soon all new cars could be electric. All this and more on Green Car Reports. After the latest collision of a Tesla that was driving on Autopilot and…
Source: Hybrid and Electric Car News and Reviews