Elon Musk’s brother Kimbal is giving away his personal Tesla Model 3

February 21, 2018 by  
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Kimbal Musk , Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s brother , is giving away his Tesla Model 3 — the sixth one ever made. Why would he do that? According to Electrek , it’s for a good cause: to benefit his nonprofit, Big Green , which provides Learning Gardens for underserved schools . Hit the jump to find out how you could win. Musk is giving away his own Tesla Model 3: a blue one that Omaze , the online platform hosting the campaign, described as fully loaded : “We’re talking everything from voice-activated controls and Wi-Fi/LTE connectivity to a premium audio system and LED fog lamps. Plus, the Long Range battery, which will keep you going for over 300 miles. This Tesla hasn’t been to space, but it’s still out of this world.” Oh, and taxes are covered as well, according to Omaze. Related: Kimbal Musk launches a revolutionary shipping container farm initiative in Brooklyn I’m so excited to give YOU the chance to win my fully customized #teslamodel3 —the sixth Model 3 ever made—to support my nonprofit @biggreen Watch the brilliant minds who helped me design my next car, then enter to win through my bio link or omaze.com/tesla ???? A post shared by Kimbal Musk (@kimbalmusk) on Feb 20, 2018 at 8:29am PST The legal information on Omaze’s website also lists other premium upgrade details, like heated seating, open pore wood decor, a tinted glass roof with infrared and ultraviolet protection, and a center console with docking for two smartphones. Omaze said the average retail value of the Tesla is $60,500. I sure do love my #Tesla #Model3 ?? ? ?? A post shared by Kimbal Musk (@kimbalmusk) on Feb 19, 2018 at 9:08am PST Musk isn’t giving his car away totally for free, of course. People who want to win the car can make a donation to Big Green through Omaze for entries into the contest. The money will go towards helping the nonprofit “establish a culture in schools that promotes youth wellness and reduce preventable diet-related health disparities. Just $50 can provide seeds, plants, and supplies for a single school’s garden for a whole year.” Big Green’s ultimate goal is to construct Learning Gardens at every single low-income school in America. The minimum amount you can donate, $10, gets you 100 entries. A higher donation means more entries. The deadline to enter is April 24; the winner will be announced around May 8. Find out more here . + Win Kimbal Musk’s Tesla Model 3 + Big Green Via Electrek Image via Omaze

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Elon Musk’s brother Kimbal is giving away his personal Tesla Model 3

What the ‘world’s loneliest tree’ tells us about humanity’s impact on Earth

February 21, 2018 by  
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Over 170 miles away from a single other tree , the ‘world’s loneliest tree’ rests on Campbell Island. New Zealand governor Lord Ranfurly planted the Sitka spruce on the island around 400 miles south of the country sometime in the early 20th century, and researchers now believe it holds clues about the Anthropocene Epoch . After completing a thorough analysis of the tree, researchers have set a potential start date for the geological age in which humans are the dominant influence on the environment . In a piece for The Conversation , Chris Turney and Jonathan Palmer of the University of New South Wales and Mark Maslin of University College London shared work revealing how the world’s loneliest tree might help us determine a potential start date for the Anthropocene. The wood of the tree recorded the radiocarbon generated by above-ground atomic bomb tests, and its layers reveal a peak in 1965, according to the scientists. Related: New report shows humans change climate 170 times quicker than natural forces The spike in radioactive elements generated from those thermonuclear bomb tests has been a contender for defining the Anthropocene’s beginning, according to the scientists, but until now most of the records have been collected in the Northern Hemisphere. They said, “To demonstrate a truly global human impact requires a signal from a remote, pristine location in the Southern Hemisphere that occurs at the same time as the north.” The world’s loneliest tree helped provide that signal. Detailed study of the tree’s year-by-year growth reveals a spike in radioactive elements between October and December 1965. The scientists said, “This spruce has demonstrated unequivocally that humans have left an impact on the planet, even in the most pristine of environments, that will be preserved in the geological record for tens of millennia and beyond.” In other words, according to this research, the Anthropocene officially began in 1965. The journal Scientific Reports published the research online this week; scientists at institutions in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Germany contributed. Via The Conversation Images via Turney, Chris S.M., et al./Scientific Reports

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Two men set new Tesla Model 3 record for $101

January 4, 2018 by  
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Two men reportedly set a new record driving across the United States in a Tesla Model 3. Alex Roy and Daniel Zorrilla traveled from Redondo Beach, California to New York City in 50 hours, 16 minutes, and 32 seconds, setting the new electric Cannonball run record. And they made the trip pretty inexpensively, paying just $100.95 for charging . A Tesla Model 3 can get you across America in a little over two days, it turns out. Roy and Zorrilla drove from the Portofino Inn to the Red Ball garage, racking up a total mileage of 2,860 miles, in just over 50 hours. The prior electric car cross-country record was 55 hours, in a Tesla Model S, set by Roy and two other men in 2016. Related: The Tesla Model 3 is now on the road! Here’s everything we know The duo didn’t exactly make the trip at the easiest time of year in the United States. They left on December 28 and encountered low temperatures throughout the drive – and running the heater would have impacted the electric car’s range and their trip time. Roy tweeted extreme cold negatively impacts the car, and shared pictures of charging the car with snow on the ground. The Drive, which shared news of the run on January 2, said a detailed article would follow shortly. The Verge pointed out the run acted as a quality test, since there have been concerns over early Model 3s, but the car still made it to New York in the cold. Tesla produced 2,425 Model 3s in the 2017 fourth quarter. They’re not quite where they want to be; The Mercury News reported the company wouldn’t reach the target Elon Musk set in November of 5,000 Model 3s a week by the end of March. They’ll now aim for 2,500 of the cars a week, and might hit that 5,000 target by the end of June. Via The Drive , The Mercury News , and The Verge Images via Tesla and Alex Roy on Twitter ( 1 , 2 )

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Two men set new Tesla Model 3 record for $101

Elon Musk takes delivery of the first Tesla Model 3

July 10, 2017 by  
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Last week Tesla announced that the first Model 3 would roll off the production line at the company’s plant in Fremont, California – two weeks earlier than originally planned. The first Model 3, painted in black was produced on Friday and was quickly swooped up by CEO Elon Musk . Now that the first Model 3 has rolled off the line, Tesla is hoping to produce at least 30 this month, which will be delivered to the first owners at a special “handover party” on July 28. Starting next month, production of the Model 3 will slowly ramp up with about 100 units planned in August and a more significant 1,500 Model 3 sedans expected to be produced in September. Tesla hopes to be producing around 20,000 Model 3 sedans by the end of the year. Related: Tesla makes good on South Australia promise with world’s largest Lithium ion battery The Model 3 will have a starting price of around $35,000 before any tax incentives, making it one of the first electric cars for the masses, alongside the Chevy Bolt . Tesla has reportedly received over 400,000 reservations for the Model 3, which means that it will be a while until many of the later reservations are fulfilled. If you were to place a reservation today, Tesla estimates that you won’t take delivery of your Model 3 until mid-2018 at the earliest. Although the Model 3 will now be available, many would-be buyers may be disappointed to hear that Tesla is going to limit the amount of options on the first Model 3 sedans. All the first versions will only be offered with rear-wheel drive with basic color and wheel options. If you want a dual-motor Model 3 you’ll have to wait until 2018. Images @Tesla + Tesla

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Tesla is taking some major risks by accelerating production of Model 3

May 19, 2017 by  
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Tesla is raring to get its Model 3 sedan on the road, and it looks like the electric-car maker isn’t above taking a few risks to do so. In its self-imposed race to launch the car by September, Tesla is leapfrogging past the testing phrase of its production line and eschewing temporary prototype tools in favor of permanent—and far pricier—equipment, according to Reuters . The move is a high-risk one, industry experts say, because of the higher cost of any tweaks to equipment designed to produce millions of cars. Certainly Tesla isn’t immune to quality issues: The company has fielded complaints of steering-wheel malfunctions , foggy windshields , and improperly latching doors in the past, all of which resulted in expensive recalls. Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, said during a call with investors that “advanced analytical techniques,” i.e., computer simulations, would help the company bypass what he dubbed “beta” production testing. Related: Tesla is doubling its Supercharger network by the end of the year to 10,000 chargers But the gambit, if successful, could spell bigger profits. The faster Tesla can drop the Model 3, which has an estimated base price of $35,000, the sooner it can rake in billions it anticipates from customers who have already placed deposits. “It’s an experiment, certainly,” Consumer Reports’ Jake Fisher told Reuters. + Tesla Via Reuters

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Tesla is taking some major risks by accelerating production of Model 3

Solar prices in India dip below coal

May 19, 2017 by  
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Solar power is soaring in India as prices plummet. A recent auction for 500 megawatts (MW) of capacity at Bhadla solar park in Rajasthan saw a record-low tariff of 2.44 rupees per kilowatt-hour (kWh) – that’s around four cents in dollars. Solar tariffs have fallen by more than 25 percent in the past three months. But this isn’t all good news; some experts worry that as tariffs get so low, many solar projects in India could become unviable. The Government of India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy announced the incredibly low tariff in a May 12 press release , describing the moment as history in the making. The figure beats out coal prices: India’s biggest power company NTPC sells electricity from coal-fired plants at 3.20 rupees per kWh. The country is set to become the world’s third biggest solar market this year as capacity hits 8.8 gigawatts, which is a 76 percent increase over the year before. Consulting firm Ernst & Young said the country has the second best market on Earth for renewable energy investments. Related: India doubles down on solar power with huge park capacity increase But Quartz India said they aren’t all celebrating in the solar sector. The industry is seeing cutthroat competition; around 33 groups participated in an April auction for 750 MW of capacity at Bhadla. Such reverse auction processes – where sellers try to underbid each other for the work – lowers tariffs more. One problem with super low tariffs is at a certain point developers won’t make a profit. Quartz India spoke with Reliance Securities senior analyst Rupesh Sankhe who said if a developer hopes for a return on investment of 14 percent, solar tariffs should be between 4.5 and five rupees per kWh. He told Quartz India if the tariff dips below three rupees per kWh, “the return will be zero. No matter what they do, they won’t make profits.” Some companies may not be taking into account risks like grid curtailment, or times when power-generating units aren’t allowed to send electricity to the grid. And as more renewable energy goes on grid, in line with India’s goals, some companies may not end up making the money they expected. Via Quartz India Images via Wikimedia Commons and Ajay Tallam on Flickr

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Fiskers EMotion has the Tesla Model S in its sights

November 1, 2016 by  
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Legendary automotive designer Henrik Fisker teased us last month with the promise of a 400-mile range electric sports car that could potentially create stiff competition for the Tesla Model S, and now he’s released a few images to show off his creation . His new company, Fisker Inc , is aiming sky-high, claiming its upcoming offering, an all-electric luxury sedan dubbed the EMotion, will be capable of “fully autonomous driving” and powered by a graphene-based battery. As with Fisker’s previous forays into the EV market, there are a lot of lofty promises attached to this burgeoning design, and time will tell whether the company can back them up. Fisker released a sneak peak of the nose end of his new EV in late October. The EMotion sedan looks somewhat similar to the Tesla Model S, but is more angular and almost robotic in nature. The EMotion is also outfitted with dihedral “butterfly” front and back doors, a departure from the norm. It’s worth mentioning that while the Tesla Model S has standard doors, fans will be familiar with the falcon-wing doors on the Model X, which actually caused a delay in the SUV’s release date due to their complicated operations. It’s no surprise that Fisker found a way to incorporate some wow-factor in the door department of his new EV. Related: Fisker promises a 2017 comeback with a 400-mile range electric sports car Fisker is falling short in one important area when it comes to this new design, where it comes to evidence. Tesla is famous for teasing about new products or functions and then swiftly delivering demonstrations, but so far Fisker is all talk and no show. There’s been no word on who will produce the self-driving technology Fisker plans to use (whereas Tesla developed its own) and the next-gen graphene battery tech is also a mystery at this point. With the Model S having a top range around 300 miles, far and above that of other electric luxury cars, Fisker will have to put his money where his mouth is in order to convince the world that he can actually create the dream car that will send a shockwave through the EV market. Whether Fisker Inc has what it takes to knock Tesla off its throne is another story, and we’re sure Elon Musk will have a thing or two up his sleeve to keep the competition exciting. Via The Verge Images via Fisker Inc

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

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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Fisker promises a 2017 comeback with a 400-mile range electric sports car

October 5, 2016 by  
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A few months after the announcement that Fisker Automotive will reboot the Karma Revero , the company’s namesake Henrik Fisker says he is starting a new car company, called Fisker Inc., to produce an electric sports car that can travel over 400 miles between charges, a huge jump over existing EV ranges. Although the company hasn’t volunteered a solid launch date for such a vehicle, or any other details to speak of, Bloomberg reports that we’ll all learn more sometime in mid-2017. The Danish automotive designer told Bloomberg that his next EV offering will “look completely different” and will be “sporty and spacious.” While there’s no word on the initial cost of a technologically advanced EV with a 400-mile range, Fisker suggested there will be a mass market version priced around $40,000. That’s a pricepoint low enough to compete with the Tesla Model 3 , which debuted at $35,000 (but ‘only’ has a 215-mile range). Related: The Fisker Karma – a candidate for resurrection or DOA? Fisker has a long history in the automotive industry, having designed iconic cars for BMW, Aston Martin, and VLF Automotive. The CEO announced his new company in a Twitter update on Monday, October 3, saying, “The Original Fisker is back. I am very proud to be launching Fisker Inc. With a game changing battery technology.” Much like Tesla, Fisker will be producing its own electric car batteries as Fisker Nanotech. Reportedly, the company is working on graphene-based battery technology, which is a longer lasting alternative to lithium ion that has also been shown to charge much faster. “For the last two years, I have been looking at battery technologies and wanted to see if there was something that could really give us a new paradigm,” Fisker told Bloomberg. “We had the strategy of developing the technology as fast as possible without getting tied down to a large organization, which would hold us back. Now we have the technology that nobody else has. And there is nobody even close to what we are doing out there.” Via Engadget Images via Fisker Inc and Twitter via screenshot

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