Elon Musk reveals boring tunnels are for Hyperloop

May 23, 2017 by  
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Cleantech pioneer Elon Musk wants you to drive a Tesla electric car or truck, power your home with SolarCity solar panels and store renewable electricity with Tesla Powerwall battery packs. Oh yeah, he also wants to zip you from DC to NYC in less than 30 minutes via Hyperloop pods that can reach speeds of more than 600 miles per hour racing through evacuated tubes. Now Musk has revealed that part of the reason he started The Boring Company , besides finding a solution for LA’s “soul-destroying traffic,” is to launch and test Hyperloop by using his new Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) to dig underneath the City of Angels . “Fast to dig, low cost tunnels would also make Hyperloop adoption viable and enable rapid transit across densely populated regions, enabling travel from New York to Washington DC in less than 30 minutes,” the company’s new FAQ page states regarding its specific goals, adding that “the electric skate can transport automobiles, goods, and/or people. And if one adds a vacuum shell, it is now a Hyperloop Pod which can travel at 600+ miles per hour.” Related: Elon Musk’s Boring Company video envisions underground LA as a crazy slot car race The FAQ page mentions that The Boring Company aims to fix congestion in major cities by building an underground network of road tunnels “many levels deep” with the ability to keep adding levels. The key to making this work would be “increasing tunneling speed and dropping costs by a factor of 10 or more.” Costs would be mitigated by reducing the tunnel diameter, which the site claims can be accomplished by placing vehicles on a “stabilized electric sled.” Speeding up tunneling is another way to reduce costs, with the stated goal for the TBM to defeat the snail in a race. Hyperloop One has already built a full-scale test track at the company’s development site in Nevada. Countries from India to South Korea  to the United Arab Emirates  to Russia  have expressed interest in Hyperloop technology. It is clear that the race to build the first Hyperloop rapid transit system is underway and similar to his other ventures, Musk is eager to take the lead. + The Boring Company + Hyperloop One Via Archinect Images via The Boring Company

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Elon Musk reveals boring tunnels are for Hyperloop

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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Solar prices in India dip below coal

The three phases of Tesla’s clean energy revolution

May 13, 2017 by  
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A roadmap to convert the world to clean energy by the century’s end, inspired by Tesla’s growth from a niche business to a major renewable market player.

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The three phases of Tesla’s clean energy revolution

Tesla’s groundbreaking solar roof just hit the market

May 10, 2017 by  
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Get your credit card ready, because Elon Musk announced that Tesla’s Solar Roof tiles are available to order starting today – and the Tesla Solar Roof order page just went live. The innovative roof tiles look like traditional slate, Tuscan or shingle roofing, but they collect sun to power your home with clean, renewable solar. Musk said that the smooth black and textured version of the tiles will be available for order today, with other styles following next year. Musk made the announcement today, as he so often does, on Twitter ,  stating that installation will start this year in the US. He added that Tuscan and French Slate will be available in 6 months. Orders and installation overseas won’t be available until next year. Tesla solar glass roof orders open this afternoon. I think it will be great. More in about 10 hours … — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 10, 2017 Related: Tesla unveils discreet new rooftop solar panels The Solar Roof can be paired with Tesla’s Powerwall battery to power a home entirely on sustainable energy. According to Musk, each tile is unique and looks like a traditional roof tile from the street. + Tesla Solar Roof Via CNET  

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Tesla’s groundbreaking solar roof just hit the market

Tesla executives start mysterious new recycling company

May 3, 2017 by  
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You’d think with battery production commencing at the new Gigafactory and Tesla being the most valuable car company in America, the company’s executives would have their hands full. But it appears Tesla’s Chief Technology Officer Jeffrey Straubel and head of special products Andrew Stevenson have quietly filed documents for a new company aiming to “unlock the value of your materials.” CB Insights found a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing , with Straubel and Stevenson listed as executives on a new company called Redwood Materials . They already have a $2 million investment from an undisclosed investor. Their office is in Redwood City, California, fairly close to Tesla headquarters in Palo Alto. Related: Tesla just announced plans to build up to five Gigafactories Could Tesla be behind the company? According to its scant website, Redwood Materials offers “advanced technology and process development for materials recycling , remanufacturing, and reuse” – and that’s about all we know. A Tesla spokesperson didn’t answer The Verge’s request for clarification. But the publication said it’s quite possible Tesla isn’t involved with Redwood Materials at all. In the past Straubel has invested in companies that aren’t connected to Tesla, like a 2016 investment in energy storage company Axiom Energy. He’s also mentioned an interest in mineral recycling. Last year he said Tesla would recycle electric vehicle batteries and reuse those materials. In a recent March 2017 keynote address, Stevenson mentioned “re-thinking the materials supply chain ” as an area of innovation for the car company. Battery production requires materials like nickel, manganese, cobalt, graphite, copper, and lithium, and it makes sense Tesla would want to obtain reused materials for their batteries as much as possible as they ramp up production from 80,000 cars in 2016 to one million in 2020. The Redwood Materials website offers no other details, although you can enter an email address for updates. Via CB Insights , The Verge and Electrek Images via cchana on Flickr and Lwp Kommunikáció on Flickr

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Tesla executives start mysterious new recycling company

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

First civilian jetpack gives humans the power of flight

April 24, 2017 by  
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Most of us have dreamed about flying . Now company JetPack Aviation is making those dreams reality. They’ve designed “the only true JetPack ,” the JB10, and it packs a powerful punch. Humans can soar up to 10,000 feet in the air at speeds of 68 miles per hour with the futuristic technology . JetPack Aviation has designed a personal flight jetpack that allows humans to zoom through the air for around 10 minutes. The technology is powered by two efficient jet engines that run on diesel. While flying, users can lean forward to move and speed up, or lean back to slow down to a hover. The right handle controls thrust and throttle; the left handle governs spin. The jetpack can even be equipped with an automatic inflation system which will release a float bag in seconds if the jetpack hits water. Related: Dubai firefighters now have jetpacks in their arsenal JetPack Aviation CEO David Mayman said in a Mashable video, “I think that the jetpack is the ultimate expression of freedom. It’s more than just a fantasy or a dream; it’s more than science fiction ; it’s something that we can literally do right now.” Mayman has been working for ten years with chief designer Nelson Tyler, who has been working on jetpacks for decades and whom Mayman describes as “like one of the original Wright brothers.” The jetpacks aren’t just for having fun in the backyard; the company has envisioned several practical applications for their jetpacks as well. They said commuters and first responders could benefit from the technology, and the military could use the jetpacks on search and rescue missions. JetPack Aviation recently raised $285,269 on equity crowdfunding platform StartEngine . The company says 500 people, military services, and government agencies have contacted them for more information, and they’ve already received their first order from a private citizen. Start saving now – the retail price is $250,000. + JetPack Aviation Via Mashable and JetPack Aviation on StartEngine Images via JetPack Aviation Facebook and screenshot

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First civilian jetpack gives humans the power of flight

Elon Musk announces plans to debut a Tesla semi truck this year

April 14, 2017 by  
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Most people are familiar with Tesla ‘s cars – but the electric automaker’s next product will be bigger than personal transportation. Much bigger. According to a recent Tweet from Elon Musk , Tesla is set to launch an all-electric semi truck in just a few months. Musk says Tesla will reveal the new truck in September, noting that the new tech will be “seriously next level.” The Tesla CEO also mentioned that the company is working on a pickup truck, which won’t be revealed for 18 to 24 months. Tesla Semi truck unveil set for September. Team has done an amazing job. Seriously next level. — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 13, 2017 Elon first mentioned Tesla’s plan to create a semi-truck in July 2016, while he was laying out his “Master Plan.” According to the plan, the Tesla Semi truck is an essential part of creating greener transportation. An electric, presumably self-driving semi-truck could make cargo transportation safer and cleaner for the environment. Related: Tesla officially becomes America’s most valuable car company @NoahMagel Pickup truck unveil in 18 to 24 months — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 13, 2017 In a recent Twitter conversation, Musk mentioned that the company is also working on a pickup truck for the Tesla line. That will be unveiled in a few years. Currently the company’s line up includes a the luxury Model S sedan , Model X luxury crossover SUV and the more affordable Model 3 , which should hit streets later this year. + Tesla Via Slashdot Images via Tesla Club Belgium

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Elon Musk announces plans to debut a Tesla semi truck this year

Tesla unveils discreet new rooftop solar panels

April 10, 2017 by  
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Elon Musk’s solar roof tiles won’t fit the bill for every home. Some homeowners won’t want to replace their entire roofs , but Tesla , of course, already has a solution. They’re now marketing sleek, low-profile solar panels that are easy to install and better blend in with roofs than traditional panels. Leave it to Tesla to offer an elegant alternative to traditional solar panels. They updated the Energy section of their website over the weekend to include new images of their solar panels. The seamless look of the new technology is thanks to “integrated front skirts and no visible mounting hardware” according to Tesla’s website. Electrek said these features come from Zep Solar , a mounting equipment company SolarCity acquired before Tesla’s acquisition . Zep Solar engineers designed the rail-less system Solar City employed to slash solar installation times in half. Related: Elon Musk says Tesla’s solar roof will be cheaper than ordinary roofs Tesla says their panels “exceed industry standards for durability and lifespan” on their website. Panasonic will be manufacturing the exclusive panels at the Gigafactory 2 in Buffalo, New York. There aren’t many specifics available for the new solar panels yet, but Electrek said they will be 325-watt panels. They noted Panasonic sells other 325 watt panels, and those have a 25-year power output warranty and a 21.76 percent module efficiency. Tesla and before that SolarCity used to install solar panels from multiple suppliers as many solar companies do, but told Electrek once these new panels go into production, Tesla will use them for all residential projects in the future. It seems Elon Musk aims at offering solar solutions with better aesthetics for those who have been hesitant to go solar in the past with the bulky rooftop options. Anyone interested right now can request a custom quote on Tesla’s website . The company told Electrek production should begin this summer. Via Electrek and Engadget Images via Tesla

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