Tesla (TSLA) releases Q3 results: record $6.8 billion revenue and turns $300 million profit

After market close today, Tesla released its financial results and shareholders letter for the third quarter 2018, which turned out to be a historic quarter.

We are updating this post with all the details from the financial results and shareholders letter. more…

The post Tesla (TSLA) releases Q3 results: record $6.8 billion revenue and turns $300 million profit appeared first on Electrek.


Source: Charge Forward

Massa Plans to Become Formula E “King”

Felipe Massa will become the second high-profile ex-Formula 1 driver to race for Venturi in Formula E. While the team’s first such partnership failed spectacularly, the early signs suggest Massa should be in a position to thrive.

Venturi has been here before – an ex-Formula 1 star making the switch to new electric pastures in Formula E. But where Jacques Villeneuve failed – after just three events and two race starts in the 2015/16 championship – the Monaco manufacturer is hoping that new recruit Felipe Massa can succeed.

In fact, after an intense expansion process in recent months, which included launching the Next Gen driver academy and hiring ex-DTM racer and Williams F1 test driver Susie Wolff as team principal, the squad is aiming for a spot in FE’s upper echelons.

That ambition is part of the reason why Massa has been signed to a three-year deal. But the 11-time grand prix winner has his own reason to enter FE: he’s not done with racing.

“I don’t want to be sitting on my sofa at home,” he says. “I cannot do that so I need to do something.”

There was a sense that Massa did not really want to give up his spot on the F1 grid at the end of 2017 – as evidenced by his willingness to race on with Williams for that season after previously having to make way for the incoming Lance Stroll at the end of ’16.

In Massa’s 15 years of racing in F1 there were seven champions. FE, from its first four campaigns, has crowned four different title winners. Where Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull are the only squads to have triumphed in grands prix races since 2014, eight FE teams have taken wins in the same period.

Of course, there are plenty of reasons from decades of history that have led F1 to its current problem with a thin success-share, and FE is a start-up spec-chassis championship, but the latter’s healthy competitive spread is the key reason Massa highlights to explain why he wants to join in the fun.

“Formula E is a championship that is unpredictable,” he says. “You have so many drivers winning, everything is a little bit more competitive. Formula 1, more or less, you understand who is going to fight for the championship – almost every time – since I arrived in F1 to now.”

Felipe Massa, Ferrari F2008

Felipe Massa, Ferrari F2008

Photo by: Sutton Images

While Massa will attempt to add another successful chapter to a glittering motorsport career, the 37-year-old is important to FE, too. He possesses a high profile and his presence will mean at least three Brazilian drivers will be on the 2018/19 grid – the country is a significant automotive market for manufacturers and has a long history of motorsport success.

The first FE team Massa was hotly linked with was Jaguar, and at the end of 2016 he came close to sealing the same arrangement he now has with Venturi – to wait for the ’16/17 season, which was just about to get underway when he ended what he had thought was going to be his final F1 campaign, to run its course and then come on board. But the career moves of Nico Rosberg – now an FE investor – and Valtteri Bottas changed all of that.

“Before I re-signed in F1 I was close [with Jaguar],” confirms Massa. “I didn’t really sign anything, but I did a test to see the [Gen1] car and everything. Maybe after the test we [would] discuss because it was not going to be straight away, it was going to be I’d finish the season in F1, Formula E was already starting to go into 2017, [so] I said, ‘No, if I go, I go after one year because I need a bit of time to prepare myself, to have a little bit of time at home as well and then we decide’.

“Then I did the [Jaguar] test, but when I did the test I had already signed with Williams [for 2017] so it [was] very short to carry on for one more season in the end. But this time I stopped and took the same idea: wait one year, prepare myself and see many things about the championship. But it worked more or less in a similar way.”

So, with Jaguar settled with Nelson Piquet Jr alongside Mitch Evans, Massa agreed to join Venturi – a team handily based near to his Monaco home – and the deal was announced back in May. Venturi president Gildo Pastor is happy to have him.

“He is full of life and he wanted to go on with us and do this incredible challenge,” Pastor says. “We have been training him for some time now and he’s fantastic. He wants to get better in this field so much – he wants to show everybody there is a king.”

Felipe Massa, Venturi Formula E

Felipe Massa, Venturi Formula E

Photo by: Venturi Formula E Team

Massa may be valuable to FE through his star billing and F1 achievements, but Wolff explains that his arrival has also boosted Venturi when it comes to its business dealings ahead of season five.

“For us as a team, commercially, he’s been a huge asset,” she says. “That’s been one of my areas that I’ve been focused on ahead of season five and I’ve only had positive feedback from the fact that he’s one of our drivers and without a doubt the most high-profile driver on the grid. For the team it’s a massive win.”

But easing deals off past glories is one thing, succeeding in FE – a notoriously tricky category to master – is another, as demonstrated by Villeneuve’s doomed exploits. Massa will be going up against many drivers who have raced in and dominated the series since it began – Sebastien Buemi, Lucas di Grassi, Sam Bird – and other rivals who have used their new FE home to boost their own racing credentials; think Jean-Eric Vergne and Oliver Turvey. Plus, his recently confirmed 2018/19 team-mate Edoardo Mortara has shown rapid pace at times too.

FE enters a new era in season five with its Gen2 car, which may level the competition somewhat and features new toys that could ease Massa’s arrival. The new car has a brake-by-wire system for its rear wheels and it has been suggested that this will improve driver feeling under braking, as well as maximising regen for the powertrain.

“There are also systems in F1 that recover a lot of energy from the braking and it’s the same approach for season five,” explains Venturi technical director Franck Baldet, who has been overseeing Massa’s development progress, which began with testing its season-four car on the team’s simulator to learn essential brake balance and energy management techniques before switching to the simulated VFE 05 Gen2 car and then testing the real machine on-track.

“His experience from F1 on the brake-by-wire system is helping a lot because he can bring us the F1 experience, where we have a similarity,” adds Baldet.

Felipe Massa, Venturi Formula E

Felipe Massa, Venturi Formula E

Photo by: Venturi Formula E Team

Gen2 will wipe the FE slate clean to a certain extent and Massa’s relationship with Mortara appears to be very good on the surface – Wolff highlights it as a key reason why the Swiss-Italian racer was re-signed for a second year at Venturi. But when it comes to success on street circuits, Massa will need to regularly produce performances along the lines of his pole lap at the Monaco Grand Prix in 2008, and not his double crash at the same venue in ’13.

Massa attended the Zurich and New York races at the end of season four to see first-hand how an FE event works in full and to gain an understanding of Venturi’s race operations. When discussing his decision to join Venturi, which pushed “harder than all of the others” to sign him, it’s clear he views the team as one that is going places, even if it is still yet to score a first FE victory.

“[With] a new season, a new car – it’s a big change for everybody so it’s impossible to say who is going to win the championship next year, who is going to be more competitive or not,” Massa says. “But if you see everything that the team is preparing – it’s quite interesting and I really hope we can have a competitive car.

“It’s true that Venturi have never won a race, but they were very close to winning and they’ve managed some very good results in terms of points.”

Massa has already impressed Venturi as “a very open-minded colleague” according to Baldet, who adds: “He really is pushing a lot to always be with us.” There is a real sense that Massa has not just joined the team or FE to simply collect pay-cheques.

“My goal is always to be the best I can,” he says. “My goal is to try to win races – this is always what I had in all my career. I want to try to win and be the best – my goal never changes.”

Massa’s presence on the FE grid and the results of his debut campaign will undoubtedly be one of the tales of the upcoming season. But if he can bring success to Venturi, he will also rewrite the team’s own FE story.


Source: Electric Vehicle News

Volvo Invests In California Charging Company FreeWire

Volvo does not envision direct ownership of charging or service stations.

Volvo Cars, through its recently launched Volvo Cars Tech Fund, has acquired a stake in electric car charging company FreeWire Technologies, which earlier this year attracted also BP Ventures ($5 million investment).

Volvo doesn’t reveal how much it invested, but expects that having FreeWire on-board will “reinforces its overall commitment to supporting a widespread transition to electric mobility together with other partners”.

Volvo Cars says that its electrification strategy does not envision direct ownership of charging or service stations, however the company sees potential in mobile fast charging units in some applications.

“Installing traditional fixed fast-charging stations is usually a cost- and labour intensive process that requires a lot of electrical upgrades to support the connection between charging stations and the main electrical grid. FreeWire’s charging stations remove that complication and use low-voltage power, allowing operators to simply use existing power outlets. This means drivers can enjoy all the benefits of fast charging without operators needing to go through the hassle of establishing a high-voltage connection to the grid.”

From 2019 on, all new Volvo models will be electrified. By 2025 50% of sales to be all-electric.

Zaki Fasihuddin, CEO of the Volvo Cars Tech Fund said:

“Volvo Cars’ future is electric, as reflected by our industry-leading commitment to electrify our entire product range. To support wider consumer adoption of electric cars, society needs to make charging an electric car as simple as filling up your tank. Our investment in FreeWire is a firm endorsement of the company’s ambitions in this area.”

Atif Rafiq, chief digital officer at Volvo Cars said:

“Freewire’s fast charging technology holds great promise to simplify the experience for customers of electrified Volvos. With this move, we aim to make the future of sustainable, electric cars more practical and convenient.”

Arcady Sosinov, CEO of FreeWire said:

“We’re thrilled to partner with Volvo Cars to develop new markets and business models around our EV fast charging and ultra-fast charging technology. Having a car maker with both the legacy and future vision of Volvo is going to give us access to technology, testing, and new strategies that will really accelerate the growth of the company.”


Source: Electric Vehicle News

Tesla starts releasing Navigate on Autopilot feature with disappointing caveat, update with UI changes

Tesla is pushing a new software update today with its long-awaited ‘Navigate on Autopilot’ feature, though it comes with a disappointing caveat and several other changes. more…

The post Tesla starts releasing Navigate on Autopilot feature with disappointing caveat, update with UI changes appeared first on Electrek.


Source: Charge Forward

Electric TCR Racing Series To Launch In 2020

The WSC Technology subsidiary behind the E TCR concept has revealed the electric touring car category will launch as a series in 2020.

The concept and early car specifications were first revealed in March by WSC Technology, a subdivision in the WSC Group that originally developed TCR regulations, but few additional details have been released since.

E TCR was formally launched on Sunday at Barcelona – which is hosting the season finale of TCR’s flagship regional series, TCR Europe – with WSC revealing a standalone series will be created for 2020.

WSC also confirmed the series will be multi-make, and said it is “the first global multi-brand electric touring car racing concept”.

“In the wake of the global success achieved by TCR and being aware of the automotive market’s current trend towards a new and responsible mobility, two years ago WSC Technology embarked on this ambitious project with the aim of educating the motorsport community in making contact with these new technologies that represent the future reality,” said WSC head Marcello Lotti.

“It is already attracting the interest of different car manufacturers that also regard it as a tool to restore the role of motorsport as a platform for research and development that can transfer experience and innovations to the standard products.”

Cupra, SEAT’s performance brand, is currently the only manufacturer to have developed a car to E TCR regulations, which will utilise the same “chassis concept” currently used in TCR.

Its e-Racer, which is powered by two twin-electric motors located over the car’s rear axle and is capable of delivering a peak power level of kW (equivalent to 680 bhp), was presented at Barcelona.

SEAT was also heavily involved in the original development of the TCR concept with WSC.

“We would like to highlight the deep involvement of CUPRA in the overall project from a technical point of view,” added Lotti.

“The cooperation between WSC and SEAT began from the inception of the TCR concept and has now taken a further step forward during this project with the development of the first racing car built in compliance with the E TCR technical regulations.”

Event format details and a 2020 calendar will be revealed at a later date.


Source: Electric Vehicle News

Green Deals: Grape Solar 100W Polycrystalline Solar Panel $95 (Reg. $120+), more

Home Depot offers the Grape Solar 100W Polycrystalline Solar Panel for $94.99 shipped. As a comparison, it has a nearly $150 list price but typically goes for around $120 these days. Today’s deal is a match of our previous mention and $5 less than the historic Amazon all-time low price. You can use this panel with compatible 12V systems on RVs, boats and just about anything that accepts a MC4 connector. Rated 4.7/5 stars.

more…

The post Green Deals: Grape Solar 100W Polycrystalline Solar Panel $95 (Reg. $120+), more appeared first on Electrek.


Source: Charge Forward

Volvo invests in mobile electric car charging startup FreeWire

Volvo is dipping its toes into electric vehicle infrastructure with an investment in FreeWire, a manufacturer of mobile rapid charging systems for electric vehicles. The investment comes as Volvo ramps up its electrification effort. more…

The post Volvo invests in mobile electric car charging startup FreeWire appeared first on Electrek.


Source: Charge Forward

Renault Twizy Assembly Moving To South Korea

Going where the sales are.

The Renault Twizy may have found its audience. A rare sight on North American shores — the low-speed version of the 2-seater had been available for lease in Canada — the funky quadricycle has had dismal sales since shortly after it began production. In fact, between 2012 and 2017, the French automaker has only managed to move an average of about 3,800 examples of the all-electric oddity per year. The single bright spot has been South Korea, where it was introduced in 2016, and so now assembly of the vehicle is being shipped to that East Asian peninsula.

The French automaker blames the poor sales figures on the lack of charging infrastructure, but guess what region has lots of charging points and, relatively, high Twizy sales? Yup, South Korea. So, instead of canceling the program outright, the company will shift production to the Renault Samsung factory in Busan. Though historically 60 percent of Twizy production had been exported, more recently upwards of 90 percent had been funneled to Korea to meet demand.

While we’re not sure how many people the assembly line will employ there, according to Ward’s Auto, the headcount at the current Twizy plant in Valladolid, Spain had dwindled down to a mere 33 persons. No doubt the shift of production should help bring up margins on its Asian sales, which should help the company’s bottom line. It will also free up space at the Spanish facility for other work.

With Twizy gone from Valladolid, production of battery packs for the plug-in hybrid versions of the Renault Captur and Megane will happen there instead. The arrangement will also add a few more jobs for the plant, with estimates of 70 workers needed to handle that task.

There remain no plans to bring the Twizy to the U.S., which makes sense. There top spec of the car is limited to a 50 mile-per-hour top speed and it isn’t exactly weather-proof. Still, we’re kind of sad it isn’t available to rent at certain destination locations —  a marketing plan startup Arcimoto is pursuing, and one which Renault had actually experimented with in San Francisco for a short period. We kind of like the idea of rambling around the Florida Keys, for example, in one of the contraptions. Especially if it was kitted out like the Sport F1 Concept from a few years back.

Source: Ward’s Auto


Source: Electric Vehicle News

These new $1,200 Bosch-powered 35 mph city electric scooters are going global

It’s an exciting time for electric scooters and mopeds. The number of manufacturers continues to grow, and that competition is also keeping prices affordable.

SWAG isn’t the newest electric scooter company, as they’ve already been selling their products in Asia for years. But they are the newest electric scooter company to begin selling worldwide. And with a price tag of $1,200, it’s hard not to at least take a second look at these cute little EVs.

more…

The post These new $1,200 Bosch-powered 35 mph city electric scooters are going global appeared first on Electrek.


Source: Charge Forward

Tesla’s China Factory Will Build Model 3 & Model Y

Regulatory filing now confirms what we had long ago believed to be the case.

Both the Tesla Model 3 and upcoming Model Y will be built in high volume at Tesla’s soon-to-open factory in China.

Reuters reports:

“Tesla Inc’s Shanghai Gigafactory is planning to produce two models in its first phase project, a Shanghai government filing showed on Wednesday.”

As mentioned, we alluded to this being the case some time way back when (November 2017, to be precise), but it’s now confirmed via a filing.

This confirms what Tesla CEO Elon Musk had previously stated too:

“[Tesla] won’t be making Model S and Model X, but we’ll be making probably Model 3, probably Model Y primarily for the local Chinese market and it’s really the only way to make the cars affordable in China, but it’s three years out, so.”

Reuters adds:

“The new factory, based in eastern China, aims to manufacture Model 3 and Model Y cars, with annual capacity of 250,000 vehicles, according to a filing by the environmental assessment firm conducting a feasibility study for the project.”

We’ve still yet to see the Tesla Model Y in production or even prototype form, but hints suggest we may get a peek at it before the end of this year.

Below is the lone teaser released thus far by Tesla of the Model Y.

Official Tesla Model Y Teaser

Source: Reuters


Source: Electric Vehicle News