The Tesla Model 3 is now on the road! Here’s everything we know

August 1, 2017 by  
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Tesla delivered the first batch of Model 3 sedans Friday night, finally revealing many of the big details we’ve been waiting to hear about. For example: the cheapest Tesla Model 3 still starts at $35,000, but a new Long Range version gives the Model 3 a Chevy Bolt -beating range of 310 miles. While Tesla has received over 500,000 reservations for the Model 3, many buyers may be disappointed to learn that many of the first Model 3 sedans will have a higher starting price than the base $35k the company originally boasted about. The “ electric car for the masses” will initially only be offered with a long-range battery, which carries a $9k premium over the base Model 3. This brings the starting price to $44,000 – before you add any other options. Related: Tesla’s new Solar Roof is actually cheaper than a normal roof Want an exterior color other than black? That will cost you an extra $1,000. The price will keep going up from there with the $5,000 Premium Upgrades package that adds power front seats, a tinted glass roof, plus a few other options. Enhanced Autopilot adds another $5,000 and “Full Self-Driving Capability,” adds another $5,000. With all the available options and even the fact that you have to pay a hefty premium for a color other than black, most Model 3 buyers will easily spend more than $35,000. Either way, the Model 3 is one of the most significant new entries in the EV segment. The base Model has a driving range of 220 miles, which is longer than any other EV currently on the market (besides its brother, the Model S). Just like the Model S, the Tesla Model 3 is no slouch. The base Model 3 will reach 60 mph in 5.6 seconds, while the Long Range version is even faster with a 0-60 mph time of only 5.1 seconds. If you want an even faster Model 3, a performance version will arrive in about a year, which will feature dual motors and a 0-60 mph time closer to three seconds. While Tesla delivered 30 Model 3 sedans, it will be a while until production is fully up and running. Over the next few months, production of the Model 3 will slowly ramp up to Tesla’s goal of producing 5,000 units a week, which should happen by December. If you place a reservation now, Tesla predicts that you’ll get your Model 3 in the second half of 2018 or by early 2019. Of course, if you already own a Tesla, you’ll get priority. Images @Tesla + Tesla

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The Tesla Model 3 is now on the road! Here’s everything we know

Electric cars could reach cost parity with conventional cars by next year

June 5, 2017 by  
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Are you eager to get your hands on a new electric vehicle,  but the price is too steep? You’re in luck – electric cars will likely reach cost parity with vehicles that have internal combustion engines by next year, and electric vehicles could be cheaper that gas by as soon as 2025, according to a new report by USB . The report makes it clear that while electric vehicles will still cost more than ICE cars, owning a new EV will be comparable to owning a gas or diesel car in the long-term. Analysts took into consideration the fuel costs, maintenance costs and other related expenditures related to owning all vehicles and used the information to determine that over time, the cost of owning a green vehicle is comparable to owning a conventional one. As Green Car Reports  reports , it is becoming more affordable to own an EV due to breakthroughs in battery capacity, charge times and a growing demand for environmentally-friendly technology. Part of the analysis required UBS to break down a $37,000 Chevrolet Bolt in order to estimate how much the vehicle cost to build. It was discovered that “the EV powertrain is $4,600 cheaper to produce than we thought and there is more cost reduction potential left.” Analysts continued that the 238-mile range Bolt costs around $28,700 to build and that GM is only expected to produce 30,000 Bolts in 2018. Therefore, there won’t be a huge incentive for it to be profitable. Related: UK solar smashes record, supplying 25% of electricity demand On the other hand, the Tesla Model 3 is expected to be produced in numbers as high as 500,000 by 2018. When extras are added on to the base price of the Model 3 at $35,000, the company is expected to break even. UBS declared that electric vehicles are the “most disruptive car category since the Model T Ford” and that though total sales for electric cars is still relatively small, global EV sales will reach 14% by 2025 (4.2 million vehicles). Europe is expected to take the lead in this department, selling 30% of the world’s electric cars within eight years. Now that EVs will soon cost the same to own as a car or truck with an ICE, a massive shift is expected to take place within the auto industry . + UBS Via  Green Car Reports

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Watch Toyota’s flying car take its first test flight

June 5, 2017 by  
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Have you ever wanted to ride in a flying car? In just a few years, you might soon be able to! Several companies are working on developing this technology, and Toyota-backed Cartivator recently made progress on this goal by taking its flying car for a tentative test flight. Though the vehicle still needs a lot of work, the Japanese-based startup company is certain the car will be ready to fly in time for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. The test flight can be seen in the Associated Press video below. Because the early prototype of the car is little more than structural scaffolding, batteries, and rotors, it doesn’t look like much. However, it is able to get about head height before returning to the ground. Unfortunately, the trial had to be called off after the propellers were damaged several attempts later. CNet reports that Cartivator Resource Management, a small tech company, received nearly $400,000 in investment from Toyota to bring the flying car concept to life. This isn’t the only futuristic technology Toyota is seeking to develop. After ending a partnership with Tesla , the company seeks to become a global leader in electric automobiles. When the Toyota-backed vehicle is completed, it should be able to take off from public roads and travel at speeds up to 100 kmph (62 mph) when flown at approximately 10 meters. At present, the team’s goal is to complete the flying car by the 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo so it can light the flame. Related: Uber inks deal to demonstrate on-demand flying taxis at the 2020 World Expo in Dubai The race is on to develop the first functional flying car . Airbus announced plans to test autonomous flying vehicles by the end of 2017 and Uber is collaborating with Singapore’s Ministry of Transport to develop flying taxis as an attempt to ease congestion on urban roads. + Cartivator Via CNet Images via Cartivator

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Tesla is doubling its Supercharger network by the end of the year to 10,000 chargers

April 24, 2017 by  
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Tesla is nothing if not ambitious. With the Model 3 release mere months away, Tesla is vowing to double its charging network. Right now, there are over 5,000 Superchargers globally, and by the end of the year that number will rise to 10,000 chargers – plenty of juice for the growing Tesla fleet. Tesla has two types of chargers: Superchargers , which can completely charge up a Model S in 75 minutes, and Destination Chargers, which work much like a home charger. Tesla currently has 9,000 Destination Charging stations and 5,000 Superchargers. By 2018, there will be 10,000 Superchargers and 15,000 Destination Charging stations serving over 200,000 Tesla vehicles. California alone will get 1,000 Superchargers. Related: Tesla starts fining Supercharger hogs $0.40/minute In addition to more Supercharging stations, Tesla is expanding existing stations: “Tesla will build larger sites along our busiest travel routes that will accommodate several dozen Teslas Supercharging simultaneously.” You can see all existing stations and planned stations at this link . + Tesla

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Tesla is doubling its Supercharger network by the end of the year to 10,000 chargers

The Tesla Model 3 could feature an ice-melting solar roof

November 3, 2016 by  
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Elon Musk just announced that the already amazing and affordable Tesla Model 3 will feature the same photovoltaic glass technology used in the company’s recently unveiled solar roof system . According to Musk, the technology could be used to create a car roof that defosts ice and melts snow while continuously generating energy from the sun. The CEO dropped some huge hints during a conference call regarding Tesla’s merger with SolarCity, where he also described the creation of a special Tesla glass division. The Model 3 , expected to be released in 2017, is already making waves as the company’s first affordable electric vehicle . The surprising price of $35,000 (before tax incentives) and the estimated 215 mile driving range are enough to consider trading in your gas-guzzler, but the addition of a solar roof is the cherry on top. While Musk did not come right out and say how the new technology would be integrated in the Model 3, his tweets seem to paint a pretty clear picture: “Solar glass tiles can also incorporate heating elements, like rear defroster on a car, to clear roof of snow and keep generating energy.” Related: Tesla, Solar City launch groundbreaking new solar roof product Referring to the ability to incorporate heating elements directly into the glass solar panels, Musk all but gives away the plans for a paneled roof and windshield that can defrost and melt snow efficiently. He also gave reassurance that the system is “strongly net positive ,” so melting away frost consume a minimal amount of energy. The merger between Tesla and SolarCity will not only benefit customers set on powering their homes with renewable energy, but also the everyday driver who wants to cruise around in an affordable, solar-topped EV. + Tesla Via Futurism Images via Tesla

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Tesla reports first profit in two years, up nearly $22M for Q3

October 27, 2016 by  
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It’s a no-brainer that Tesla churns through capital as if there were no tomorrow, but for this high-tech company led by one of the world’s favorite evil geniuses , the future is bright. For the first time in two years, Tesla reports turning a profit . With the California-based company’s latest financial release to shareholders , CEO Elon Musk and his team revealed Tesla earned a tidy profit of $21.9 million for the third quarter of 2016. While many businesses would be considered a failure if they didn’t make a profit within the first two years, Tesla’s expensive research and development ventures put them in a different category. After all, this is not just another car company. Musk leads the company into worlds of wild innovation: fully electric and autonomous luxury vehicles, a giant sustainable battery factory in Nevada, and soon a solar rooftop venture developed in partnership with SolarCity. Related: Elon Musk plans to unveil solar roof and Powerwall 2.0 on October 28 Tesla’s recent profits aren’t a fluke, though. The company seems to be doing very well in all aspects of its business. The report also boasts record production numbers, deliveries, and overall revenue, including a 59-percent sales bump for the Model S year-over-year last quarter. Tesla’s letter to shareholders also reported that orders for the Model S and X were up 68 percent over the same period last year. The company is still on target to produce 50,000 by the end of 2016, and is on track to begin delivering the new Model 3 in late 2017. Musk will be back in the spotlight Friday to unveil the Tesla/SolarCity solar roof , which he promises will be “really great.” Via Engadget Images via Tesla

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Air Shepherd drones hunt poachers using cyanide to poison Zimbabwe wildlife

October 27, 2016 by  
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An elephant is slaughtered every 14 minutes in Africa , according to a group called Air Shepherd that is utilizing drones to fight this horrifying trend. Their drones can obtain information at night when it’s hard for rangers to work, and monitor large swaths of land to search for animal poachers poisoning watering holes with cyanide. Not content to rest on their laurels, however, Air Shepherd is currently raising funds through their Indiegogo campaign to boost the volume of their drone flights. Air Shepherd, which is sponsored by the Lindbergh Foundation , harnesses technology to protect elephants and rhinos that are being poached with unprecedented regularity. Collaborating with the World Wildlife Fund , Air Shepherd flies drones in Zimbabwe ‘s Hwange National Park, covering more ground than rangers can on foot. If they see suspicious activities, they report it to rangers who can then go in on the ground and stop would-be poachers. The drones can fly at night, when poachers sneak in to poison watering holes, but when it’s difficult for rangers to operate effectively. Related: Could printing synthetic GMO rhino horns help save real rhinos from extinction? Air Shepherd’s head of drone operations Otto Werdmuller Von Elgg said in a statement, “Historically, there has been little ability for anti-poaching operations to work at night. You can’t see tracks, it’s difficult to see people, and it’s dangerous because the anti-poaching teams can walk onto elephants, rhinos, or buffaloes. Our night-time operations change the game in favor of the elephants and in the case of Zimbabwe we are in a unique position to help monitor the park during the day to spot poachers who are using cyanide.” Death by cyanide is agonizing for elephants, and often poachers come in to hack off their tusks before they are dead. But it’s easy for poachers to obtain cyanide, which enables them to kill a large quantity of animals in silence. Air Shepherd’s drones work to end the slaughter, and they’re hoping to send out even more teams to accelerate their work. Through money raised in the Indiegogo campaign, Air Shepherd hopes to outfit two new drone teams. Their initial goal was to raise $50,000, and they’ve already raised over $60,000. Their new goal is $200,000; you can back the campaign here . + Air Shepherd + Lindbergh Foundation Images via Air Shepherd Facebook

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WWF predicts wild animal populations will plummet 67 percent by 2020

October 27, 2016 by  
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Two-thirds of wild animals around the world could be gone in less than five years , according to a new report compiled by researchers from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Zoological Society of London. The latest edition of Living Planet Index (LPI), released this week, warns that loss of habitat due to environmental destruction, global warming, hunting, and pollution will result in a sixth mass extinction. Using 1970 animal population data as a baseline, scientists have measured the state of biological diversity and now warn that the world will have lost 67 percent of its animals by 2020 if major conservation efforts are not implemented immediately. The LPI report measures the condition of the world’s biodiversity by evaluating population trends of animals that live on both land and in the sea. The new report recognizes that dangers to animals worldwide are not new. In fact, researchers point to a 58-percent overall drop in global populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish between 1970 and 2012. That translates to an approximate 2-percent loss of species each year. Environmental destruction has continued, both directly at the hands of humans in the form of hunting and deforestation, as well as secondary effects such as rising global temperatures, making the threat even more severe. Related: Vanishing land snail signals the 6th mass extinction is well underway The LPI warns that we are approaching a crucial threshold and, without major conservation efforts, the worldwide decline in animal populations will reach 67 percent by 2020. “We are no longer a small world on a big planet. We are now a big world on a small planet, where we have reached a saturation point,” said Prof Johan Rockström, executive director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre, in a foreword for the report. Of all animals on earth, those dwelling in rivers and lakes have been impacted most severely by human activity. Animal populations in freshwater wetlands are down by 81 percent from 1970 figures, which the LPI report says is attributed to excessive water extraction, pollution, and dams. Global warming, which forces animals to adjust their habits, lifestyles, and even territories, amplifies the negative effects of human action and accelerates the loss of life. Via The Guardian Images via Wikipedia ( 1 , 2 , 3 )

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Elon Musk announces all new Teslas will be self-driving

October 20, 2016 by  
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Today, Tesla finally unveiled the second half its big Model 3 reveal . Shortly after 5 p.m., the company revealed that all new Tesla vehicles will include the hardware needed for full self-driving capacity, effective immediately. While this includes the Model 3, older vehicles like the Model S and Model X will also include the new hardware — in fact, the vehicles are already in production and available for purchase. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbPqIHwSHos In a blog post today, Tesla said: “We are excited to announce that, as of today, all Tesla vehicles produced in our factory – including Model 3 – will have the hardware needed for full self-driving capability at a safety level substantially greater than that of a human driver.” The company has received criticism in the past for its Autpilot. Tesla says that they are being cautious to make sure the program is safe. “Before activating the features enabled by the new hardware, we will further calibrate the system using millions of miles of real-world driving to ensure significant improvements to safety and convenience.” All updates to the system will be delivered wirelessly through the company’s over-the-air software updates. The announcement, which launched promptly at what Tesla fans are now calling “Elon o’clock,”  followed days of mystery. With the announcement, we finally know what CEO Elon Musk mysteriously teased about in a tweet just 10 days ago. Originally scheduled for October 17 and then bumped to October 19, the announcement didn’t come with the usual set of hints and clues that Tesla is known for letting out into the wild. The secrecy surrounding this unveiling drove the rumor mill for days, with speculations ranging from the launch of Autopilot 2.0 to “Tesla Glass.” Turns out Tesla fans are pretty smart, since the Model 3 reveal centered around their new Autopilot, which will come with every new Tesla. Related: Tesla slates mysterious product unveiling for October 17 The new vehicles will include eight surround cameras, which provide 360-degree visibility around the car for a range of up to 250 meters. For even greater safety, all cars will include 12 updated ultrasonic sensors, which can detect both hard and soft objects at nearly twice the distance of Tesla’s previous system. Rounding out the hardware is a forward-facing radar with enhanced processing which can see through heavy rain, fog, dust, and even the car ahead on the road. This cutting-edge tech goes far beyond the ordinary senses of a human driver, which the company argues will make the car’s autonomous capabilities far safer than traditional vehicles. The shift appears to be part of a larger strategy to provide on-demand mobility services to those who are unable to drive or simply can’t afford to purchase a personal vehicle. The weeks leading up to this announcement were a little unusual, even for an outlandish entrepreneur like Musk. One day before the original announcement date, the CEO tweeted an update , pushing the Tesla news to October 19. It “needs a few more days of refinement,” he said, without specifying whether he was referring to the unveiling or the product itself. In the absence of any hints from the company about the “unexpected” new product, Electrek conducted a poll of its readers last week and the majority guessed the announcement has something to do with Autopilot 2.0 or some sort of integrated augmented reality technology. In other Tesla news, the company quietly updated the marketing webpage for the upcoming Model 3, the $35,000 all-electric sports car. Musk originally promised that deliveries on preorders would begin in late 2017, but the website has now been updated to reflect that “production begins” late 2017 and “Delivery estimate for new reservations is 2018 or later.” While it seems that this represents a delay in Musk’s original timeline, the company has insisted that it doesn’t, telling The Verge that customers who have already reserved a Model 3 will still receive delivery in 2017, but all future reservations will be fulfilled in 2018 or later. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KwD1hjlbhwU + Tesla Images via Tesla Cat DiStasio contributed to this report.

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Tesla slates mysterious product unveiling for October 17

October 10, 2016 by  
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Here’s what we know: Tesla has scheduled an event for October 17 and it’s being called a “product unveiling.” Here’s what we don’t know: what the heck is going to be unveiled. International man of mystery (and, oh yeah, the company’s CEO) Elon Musk shared the news via Twitter , saying the unveil would be “unexpected by most.” In the absence of other details, the auto industry is having a field day speculating about what might happen next week. Many are hoping next week’s announcement will reveal the final design for the Tesla Model 3 , the California-based car company’s long-awaited “affordable” all-electric sports car, which is planned to debut at $35,000. But, is that an announcement that Musk would think is “unexpected by most” or even by anyone? Probably not, since everyone’s been chomping at the bit to learn more about the Model 3 since its initial unveiling back in April. Related: Elon Musk says Tesla will make fully autonomous models by 2018 What else could the secretive entrepreneur have to tell the world? The announcement could have something to do with the Autopilot software , which has undergone numerous updates and fixes since its initial rollout. Yet, Musk just announced two weeks ago that the latest version, featuring radar detection features, was being deployed via over-the-air updates so more news next week seems less likely. The unveil could be related to anything else the company has its mitts in, like a longer range battery. Tesla already has a separate event on the books for October 28, when a big announcement with SolarCity will be made. The focus of that unveiling is no secret, however, as Musk has already let us know that he’ll unveil a solar roof and the long-awaited Powerwall 2.0. An integrated Tesla charger will be part of that package, of course. As usual, we’ll have to wait and see what Tesla and Musk have in store, so check back next Monday to find out what happens when Musk finally lets his proverbial cat out of the bag. Via Engadget Images via Tesla and Elon Musk/Twitter

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