Musk Notes And Will Fix Oversight For Gaps In Tesla Service Coverage

The situation is not perfect, but it’s about to get much better.

While Tesla is a leader in electric car sales and is pushing EV adoption beyond all others, the situation is still not perfect. In fact, with all that’s on its plate, the company still has a long way to go and is developing, revamping, and fixing on almost a daily basis. It’s not as if the Silicon Valley automaker has had some 100 years or more to get its act together. Suffice it to say, service has been an issue all along and the fact that Tesla Service Centers are somewhat few and far between reinforces that problem.

One of the first points people make when OEMs bring a new EV to the table is that Tesla’s Supercharger network is way above and beyond that of all others. While there are still plenty of gaps in certain areas, the Supercharger network is outstanding and growing exponentially. This is not as true when it comes to Tesla Service Centers. Although the company is continually expanding, reworking its service situation, and adding more mobile service opportunities, as well as centers, it’s surely not where it needs to be.

The good news is that a recent audit at Tesla apprised CEO Elon Musk of the discrepancy:

So now, per the CEO’s tweet, this is being added to the priority list. Apparently, prior to the recent review, he was unaware of the huge gaps in service center coverage in North America. So, within the next three to six months the problem may be resolved.

Moreover, by the end of 2019, this issue may become a non-issue for countries overseas. And, while that is another year away, Tesla Model 3 deliveries in those areas won’t begin to ramp up until then, so if Musk’s words hold true, it should prove very positive internationally.


Source: Electric Vehicle News

Tesla Acquires Massive Chunk Of Land In China For Gigafactory 3

Tesla now knows where to build the Gigafactory 3.

Tesla (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. acquired an 860,000 square meter plot of land at the Shanghai Lingang Equipment Industrial Zone in China, where it plans to build Gigafactory 3.

The purchase was done through an auction for 973 million yuan (about $140 million), which seems to be in line with previous reports.

“The land transfer agreement was signed on Wednesday, October 17, with Tesla representatives including VP of worldwide sales Robin Ren sealing the deal with the Shanghai Economics and Information Committee, the Shanghai Lingang Area Development Administration, and the Lingang Group. Addressing the agreement, Ren noted that securing the site bodes well for Tesla’s mission as a whole.”

“Tesla did not give the price tag for the plot, but the Shanghai Bureau of Planning and Land Resources said on Wednesday that a plot of land of 864,885 square meters had been sold at auction at a price of 973 million yuan ($140.51 million). “

The size of the area seems to be over 40% of that in Nevada for Tesla Gigafactory 1.

Tesla intends to produce at the Gigafactory 3 some 500,000 electric cars and battery packs annually. The investment cost will be no less than a few billion dollars.

It’s expected that Gigafactory 3 will produce the Model Y all-electric SUV that’s yet to be unveiled.

Source: Reuters, finance.sina.cn, Teslarati


Source: Electric Vehicle News

Elon Musk is buying $20 million more of Tesla shares – seemingly to compensate for SEC settlement fine

Tesla disclosed today that Elon Musk is buying $20 million more worth of TSLA shares directly from the company.

The move comes as Tesla is required to pay $20 million as a fine for Musk’s settlement with the SEC over his comments about taking Tesla private. more…

The post Elon Musk is buying $20 million more of Tesla shares – seemingly to compensate for SEC settlement fine appeared first on Electrek.


Source: Charge Forward

Steampunk-Looking E-Bike Is the Latest American Creation

Old meets new in funky-looking Tarform e-bike

We’re getting really cool electric motorcycles designs—companies kind of have to stand out from an increasingly crowded market of startups who want to make the world a little better and need our money to do it. American company Tarform Motorcycles is the latest addition to the local e-builders family and the product it offers seems to have what it takes to take its share of the electric pie.

The model doesn’t have a name in the proper sense of the word—unless you want to consider “Tarform Production Unit” to be it. The company unveiled its first model in New York: a combination of modern technologies with a vintage, almost steampunk-looking design. The bike frame rests on what could probably be described as a massive engine cylinder-shaped battery block, complete with what looks like an arc reactor-esque logo on the side.

The silhouette is reminiscent of a café racer with a flat, stitched saddle and pillion cover. The retro elements are combined with more modern ones, such as the hexagonal handlebar and copper-colored gauge, as well as 3D-printed side panels.

The “Production Unit” is powered by a battery pack rated at an average of 75 miles combined range city-highway and gets a full charge within 4 hours (or 2h50 for 80 percent if you don’t have the extra hour to get to 100). Power is sent to the back wheel using a standard, exposed chain. Technology-wise, the model also integrates a certain level of artificial intelligence. For instance, the system will provide information on the bike’s status and raise a flag when maintenance is required and it will keep the rider informed of the presence of vehicles around him.

The bike is available for pre-orders with production scheduled to being in June 2019. Future owners will also be able to customize their Tarform unit, including swapping the original battery pack for a bigger one.


Source: Electric Vehicle News

ChargePoint users can now access networks in Canada, Europe

2014 BMW i3 REx fast-charging at Chargepoint site, June 2016  [photo: Tom Moloughney]Plugging in an electric car should be as easy as making a call on a cell phone—only it isn’t always. Now a series of new agreements—similar to cell-phone roaming agreements that let users make calls on other networks—are beginning to make that easier. The latest, announced Tuesday morning, is an agreement between ChargePoint…
Source: Hybrid and Electric Car News and Reviews

Cruise Automation Chevy Bolt Spied Without Bulky LIDAR

It appears that GM and Cruise are moving forward with a production-level autonomous Chevrolet Bolt EV.

Back in March of 2016, General Motors took a huge leap and acquired 40-employee, autonomous vehicle startup Cruise Automation for some ~$600-700 million. Since then, it has been no secret that the joint effort was slated to become one of the leaders in the space. In addition, we’ve been made well aware that Chevrolet and Cruise are taking their time with development and production efforts for the self-driving Chevrolet Bolt EV to assure that they get everything up to par. Now, we may be seeing some substantial progress.

If you’ve followed the stories in the past, it was clear that the self-driving Chevrolet Bolt EVs were in the early stages of development. This is not to say that the technology was behind — in fact, it has seemed far ahead of others — but instead, the cargo area was full of bulky computers and equipment and the cars were outfitted with large LIDAR systems on the roof, exposed cameras, and radar on the side mirrors.

While this situation may have been okay for some applications or perhaps even certain fleet vehicles, we’d hoped that there would be an autonomous Bolt EV at some point that did away with the excess baggage. Well, recent spy shots prove that this is truly becoming a reality.

Check out the self-driving Chevrolet Bolt EV sans obtrusive LIDAR. It also doesn’t have the radars on the mirrors or any obvious cameras. Moreover, GM Authority notes that the driver is clearly using his phone with both hands and not touching the steering wheel at all.

Let us know about your further observations and thoughts in the comment section below.

Source: GM Authority

Current Self-Driving Chevrolet Bolt EV Spy Shots

12 photos










A Previous Look At The Self-Driving Chevrolet Bolt EV

Cruise Automation Chevrolet Bolt EV with lidar

10 photos

GM's Self-Driving Chevy Bolt (Photo by Steve Fecht for General Motors)

Chevrolet Bolt EV autonomous test vehicles are assembled at General Motors Orion Assembly in Orion Township, Michigan. (Photo by Jeffrey Sauger for General Motors)
Chevrolet Bolt EV autonomous test vehicles are assembled at General Motors Orion Assembly in Orion Township, Michigan. (Photo by Jeffrey Sauger for General Motors)
Chevrolet Bolt EV autonomous test vehicles are assembled at General Motors Orion Assembly in Orion Township, Michigan. (Photo by Jeffrey Sauger for General Motors)
The Chevrolet Bolt EV set a personal best for sales in June (shown here in autonomous drive testing trim)
The large computer/hardware unit that fits in the Chevrolet Bolt's hatch.
Autonomous Chevrolet Bolt

Image Source: Automedia


Source: Electric Vehicle News

Hyundai IONIQ Electric Test Drive: It Feels Very Conventional

Hyundai and Kia first drives stream in and the consensus is these EVs feel “normal” and “conventional,” in a positive way.

 

Overview

With all eyes on the Hyundai Kona EV at the moment, it could be easy to overlook Hyundai’s other electric offering, the Ioniq Electric. That would be a mistake because this car has a lot to offer. And, the entire Ioniq line-up has a particularly important task, that being to take on the Prius. To show just how serious Hyundai is about dethroning Toyota’s efficiency mainstay, they match the hybrid and plug-in hybrid models but go one further by offering a fully electric version – something that Toyota has yet to do.

I hadn’t driven an Ioniq since the initial release a year and a half ago. Those vehicles were all pre-production examples so, with the forthcoming release of the Kona, it seemed like a good time to reacquaint myself with the electric version of the Ioniq. Hyundai was kind enough to pony-up an example decked out in Limited trim. So, what’s it like? Here are a few takeaways.

 

What do you get?

As it stands now, the Ioniq Electric comes equipped with an 88 kW drivetrain (118HP) that draws energy from a 28 kWh, 360V Lithium-Ion polymer battery. That’s fed by a 6.6 kW onboard charger along with CCS quick charging. All told, this all translates to an EPA rated 124-mile range. MPGe is 150 city, 122 highway with a combined 136. This makes the Ioniq the most efficient EV sold in the US.

What’s also of particular interest is that battery is offered with a Lifetime Electric Battery Warranty. That states that “if the lithium-ion polymer battery fails, Hyundai will replace the battery and cover recycling costs for the old battery free of charge to the original owner.”

Now a first glance, aside from efficiency, none of these numbers really push the EV envelope. But, that’s not the mission here. That mission is to be one part compliance car and one part commuter/city car. And, in my week with the car, I can report that the results are a compelling and useful car that can serve as a daily driver and, given the appropriate charger infrastructure, useful for longer trips as well.

Yes, the battery is only 28 kWh but, where other EVs tend to gulp electricity, the Ioniq sips. Driving in Eco mode in town without climate control, it’s fiendishly easy (okay, for a hypermiler) to achieve 7 miles per kWh and even at highway speeds, seeing numbers in the 5.5 range isn’t unusual. This drivetrain is remarkably efficient and that allows the Ioniq to achieve range numbers that are comparable to cars with larger batteries.

The drivetrain is well developed and smooth and, like most EVs, it’s pretty spritely. There are three driving modes; Eco, Normal, and Sport. Each of these modes is served up by varying the throttle response and that provides a noticeable distinction from one another. Each also gets its own version of the speedometer which caters to the mission of the drive mode. Those come served up on a 7-inch LCD instrument cluster that also integrates a 4.2-inch LCD trip computer.

Adjustable regen is handled via steering wheel paddles and can be completely turned off or set to one of three modes. In the most powerful setting, one pedal driving is almost possible. It’s almost possible because, once the speed drops to around 10 mph, the regen diminishes noticeably. At speeds greater than 10 mph and in either of the two most powerful modes of regen, the brake lights operate simply by lifting the foot off the accelerator but turn off once speed drops to 10 mph.

Interestingly, the Ioniq defaults to low-speed creeping which is really nice in traffic. That can be turned off as well. Speaking of defaults, each drive mode has a default regen setting so if there’s a preference beyond that setting, it has to be reselected each time the car is started. It’s not the worst thing with which to contend, but it would be nice to be able to set it and forget it.

So, what does all of this get you? Well, it gets you a very serene and very normal driving experience. There’s a low-speed hum that dissipates as speed increases but, overall, it’s easy to forget that you’re driving an EV. The handling is neutral and there’s practically no torque-steer evident. In short, there’s nothing that disrupts the serenity of the driving experience.

 

Charging

With a 6.6 kW onboard charger, a full charge can be had in 4 hours. At an Electrify America installation using their CCS plug, I saw a peak of 68 kW during which the battery went from 45% state of charge to 83% in twelve minutes. That’s pretty impressive.

 

Exterior Impressions

For every time someone has said to me “Why do electric cars have to look so weird?” and my only response was “Well, there’s the Focus Electric”, I’m glad to say that, in my week with the car, only one person identified it as electric – and that’s because she saw the Electric badge on the tailgate. That’s one of two things on the exterior of the car that gives it away as an EV. The other is a very attractive black gloss insert that replaces the grill on the internal combustion engine equipped Ioniq models. Other than that, it could be any Ioniq. That being said, the design is tidy and well proportioned without any of the busy lines and awkward shapes that make the Prius so polarizing. There’s nothing visually stunning or jarring. It’s just a very handsome four-door hatchback.

 

Interior Impressions

What you get in the interior is a very handsome and traditional dash. There’s no constant reminder that you’re in an EV like there is in a Leaf or a Bolt and practically nothing stands out as gimmicky. The dash is immediately recognizable and understandable – especially if you’re familiar with Hyundai or Kia products. The only thing that could come close to being described as gimmicky would be the shift mechanism. That’s handled via four buttons where the standard shifter sits in the hybrid and plug-in hybrid models. But, even that becomes familiar very quickly and feels normal.

 

Seating is particularly good and even the back seat offers comfortable accommodations for two and three in a pinch. The back seats fold down to provide a level load floor and the lift over in the hatch in minimal. In Limited trim, the seating surfaces are leather and the front seats are heated with the driver’s seat having power adjustment, a memory, and an exit feature.

There’s also Smart Cruise Control, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, wireless smartphone charging, Hyundai’s Blue Link Connected Services, an impressive Infinity Premium Audio system along with an 8-inch touchscreen display that relays all the EV related information to help the driver get the most from what’s available.

 

Conclusions

Okay, this car has a battery that falls to the smaller side, but the range is pretty good because of the sheer efficiency of the drivetrain. The Honda Clarity has almost as big a battery but can only muster an 89 mile EPA rating. With the speed of CCS charging and the increasing number of chargers available, I wouldn’t hesitate to take this car on a 250-mile trip – maybe even further. It feels like a really good balance of efficiency and battery size. Combine a price of $36,885 for the top of the line Limited trim and the $7500 tax credit and this car falls readily into the affordable range. And, with the excellent battery warranty, one begins to see that there’s real value here.

What you get in the Ioniq Electric is a car that feels like a normal car. It’s easy to forget you’re driving an EV. From the appearance to the easy to figure out controls, everything is normal and there’s a comfort in that because, as we move further away from the early adopter mentality, there needs to be something that resonates with car buyers who just want to get around and don’t care about making a statement at every stoplight. This, my friends, is their car. And that is what will keep the Ioniq relevant.

HYUNDAI IONIQ ELECTRIC

14 photos





Hyundai IONIQ Electric
Hyundai IONIQ Electric (in Marina Blue)
Hyundai IONIQ Electric Gets A Boost
Hyundai IONIQ Electric Marina Blue
Hyundai IONIQ Electric Marina Blue
Hyundai IONIQ Electric Marina Blue
Hyundai IONIQ Electric Marina Blue
Hyundai IONIQ Electric Marina Blue


Source: Electric Vehicle News

Elon Musk sees ‘foolish oversight’ of Tesla’s service coverage, announces major expansion of service centers

Elon Musk says that he reviewed Tesla’s service locations in North America and he realized that there are some major gaps, which he admits is a ‘foolish oversight’.

In order to remedy the situation, the CEO announced a major expansion of Tesla’s service coverage. more…

The post Elon Musk sees ‘foolish oversight’ of Tesla’s service coverage, announces major expansion of service centers appeared first on Electrek.


Source: Charge Forward

Majority Of Plug-In Cars Sold In U.S. Are Pure Electric

Pure electric wins over plug-in hybrid.

According to US DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, between December 2010 and July 2018, most of the plug-in electric cars sold in the U.S. are battery electric cars (53%), while plug-in hybrids take the remaining 47%.

We already have data for August and September, which clearly shows that BEVs outsell PHEVs 3:1, which means that the overall share of BEVs in the entire plug-in fleet will become higher each month from now on, at least until the automotive industry finds some plug-in hybrid contenders for volume BEVs (mostly Tesla Model 3).

“Cumulative sales of plug-in vehicles through July 2018 show that more than half (53%) are all-electric vehicles (EV). Plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV), which use electricity from the grid as well as gasoline, make up the other 47%. Together, sales of EV and PHEV add to more than 900,000 cumulative vehicles from the first sales in December 2010 to July 2018.”

Source: Argonne National Laboratory, Light Duty Electric Drive Vehicles Monthly Sales Updates website, accessed September 6, 2018.

Source: energy.gov


Source: Electric Vehicle News

Where would you like to see more public chargers installed? Twitter poll results

Electrify America DC fast chargers in Gulfport, MississippiOur readers seem to think charging networks are doing just fine with their plans to build out additional public charging stations. Several networks have recently announced expansion plans, focusing on putting more DC fast chargers in cities to help bring new drivers to the electric-car fold who may not have their own driveway or garage to charge…
Source: Hybrid and Electric Car News and Reviews