Tesla will be showing its new technology that allows Model S owners to swap battery packs in their vehicles as its design center in California on June 20th. CEO Elon Musk made the announcement on Twitter, reinforcing previous statements that Tesla would allow its customer to driver longer distances without the need to wait for the battery to charge at a Supercharger location.
We aren't sure if this applies to current Models S cards, or if this is a redesign that will be part of future models. Apparently, switching out the batteries takes just minutes--about the same amount of time that it takes an average car to be filled up with gas.
Live pack swap demo on Thurs night at 8pm California time at our design studio in Hawthorne. Seeing is believing.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 18, 2013
At the D11 conference, Tesla CEO Elon Musk just announced a major expansion to the Tesla Supercharger network. According to Musk:
"There's going to be a dramatic acceleration of the Supercharging network. By the end of next month, we'll triple the Supercharger coverage area. There's a map that'll go live tomorrow. By the end of this year, you'll be able to drive from LA to NY just using the Supercharger network. We're improving the density of Superchargers in well-traveled routes, as well as the overall coverage area."
This is huge, as there is always range anxiety for owners of vehicles that are 100% powered by electricity. Rapid expansion of Tesla's Supercharger network is essential to curbing that feeling. Tesla Model S owners using the Supercharger can go from 0% to 80% charged in 30 minutes. Of course, the Model S is a very expensive vehicle, but getting Superchargers in place for when Tesla expects to have a $30,000 range vehicle for sale (in about three years, according to Musk,) will go a long way towards buyer confidence.
The Tesla Model S has just received the highest form of praise from Consumer Reports--best car it has ever tested. That is quite an achievement, and an amazing vote of confidence for the small California-based car manufacturer. Consumer Reports even made sure to reiterate that it didn't just mean best electric car, but rather, the Tesla Model S was simply the best car Consumer Reports has ever tested, period. Standout features like a battery that allows the driver to go 200 miles before needing to be recharged (although that is a $10,000 add-on option,) incredible handling due to the weight and low placement of the battery, and the ability to go from 0-60 in 5.6 seconds. The vehicle tested would retail for $89,650, and to be honest, we'd expect a car that costs that much to be in the running for "best car tested" in any media outlet.
Get a look at the Consumer Reports Telsa Model S video review after the break.
The 2012 Ford Focus Electric is the very first all-electric car released by the company, and is marketed as America's most fuel-efficient five-passenger vehicle, what with it's 110 MPGe city rating (99 MPGe highway) and up to 76 mile range on a single charge. We were able to spend a week with the 2012 Ford Focus Electric, and we're here to report back with our thoughts. Is it a worthy contender in the electric car movement? Read on.
General Motors unveiled the long-awaited 2014 Cadillac ELR this week, the first plug-in extended range EV hybrid for the brand. For all intents and purposes, the ELR is a Chevy Volt that's been souped up with Cadillac luxury touches. Originally revealed as the Cadillac Converj, the ELR will feature a redesigned interior cabin that will supposedly define future Cadillac models, with features like Regen on Demand buttons on the steering wheel that let the driver capture the energy generated by the vehicle's momentum, conserving it for a bit more battery juice. The ELR also packs in the awesome Cadillac CUE infotainment dashboard system. The vehicle puts out 207hp, more than 25% more than the Chevy Volt. No final word yet on EV range, though, but the Volt gets about 35 miles before gasoline kicks in, and the ELR is a bit heavier. GM says that production on the ELR is set to begin later this year in preparation for a 2014 North American launch.
Read More | GM
Remember our 2012 Chevy Volt that failed while driving and almost got me in an accident? We updated the story with the details about trying to work with Chevy and GM to get a replacement Volt since we no longer felt safe driving the one we had. After all, it had been in the shop for repairs every two weeks since we had picked it up the first time. Well, we are please to report that Chevrolet and General Motors did right by us, and agreed to replace our 2012 Volt with a newer, similarly-equipped 2013 model. Since this was a lease, it was a bit more complicated than a simple trade. Instead, we did what's called a VIN swap. The result? We keep the same lease terms and paperwork, with the VIN being the only change on the documents. It took a while since the 2013 Chevy Volt wasn't available until very recently, and once it arrived, we needed to wait for all the paperwork to be completed. Still, it was worth the wait. Stay tuned for our 2013 Chevy Volt review.
In case you missed it, earlier this week we detailed how the Chevy Volt malfunctioned and nearly caused a high-speed collission while we were driving it. We've had plenty of readers writing in to ask for an update on the Chevy Volt fisaco that we've found ourselves embroiled in. We definitely planned on hitting you guys with an update on how Chevrolet and General Motors address the situation that we're facing once all was said and done, but since it's taking a bit longer than we'd hoped, and since there have been a couple of new developments, we figured we'd do an interim report.
Before we get into some of the good, we've gotta say right up front that dealing with Chevy/GM as a corporate entity has been frustrating. It seems that it's goal is to tell us that there is nothing they can do, with the hope that this will just go away, rather than doing whatever it can to ease the concerns of a customer who's done nothing but praise it's flagship product all the way up until it put us in harms way. More on that later.
Update 1: We're trying to deal with Chevy to get resolution that both us and the dealer believes to be the best option. GM would rather us forget about everything, it seems.
We've been keeping tabs on the Chevy Volt ever since the electric vehicle was unveiled in September 2008. We covered the 230 MPG announcement, and were on-hand for the introduction of the OnStar Mobile Integration announcement which showed how you would be able to send commands from your smartphone directly to your Volt (and other OnStar-equipped vehicles) remotely. While there were other pure EVs out there, the maximum range would leave some stranded without any other option but getting towed while the Volt had a gas tank that could run a generator to continue creating electric power even when the pure electric battery ran out. The Volt, in our minds, was the car of the near-future. Until EV range is bumped high enough to never cause charge anxiety, Chevy's flagship EV provided the best trade-off. So we leased one. That's where things started to go very wrong.
See that guy up there? His name is Noble, and the last time he filled up his gas tank was 4,000 miles ago. How can that be? He drives a Chevy Volt, which he calls "the best vehicle he's ever driven." A fully charged Volt can drive for about 35-40 miles before switching over to a gas-powered electric engine (similar to a hybrid vehicle.) So if you rarely (or never) run out of electric power, you'll never touch the gas in the tank. Check out the video below for more from Noble himself.
Read More | Chevrolet Voltage
The Infiniti LE made its debut at the New York Auto Show this year. Like many concepts, the design, was brilliantly stunning. Luckily, Infiniti plans on staying true to its concept design and introducing a new way of building an EV.
While most EVs are an afterthought, Infiniti went head on with its LE concept. The EV isn’t a rebadged G-series (although it’s about the same size,) instead, it's an original Infinity design--an Infiniti first. All the luxury, sportiness, and a sexy design that you see now, is what you’ll get later. According to Infiniti, the LE Concept sports a 24kWh lithium-ion battery located under the passenger compartment floor, which is the same battery used by the Nissan Leaf. As for tech features, expect Infiniti Connection, which includes Infiniti's Personal Assistant 24-hour concierge service, navigation, and POI search along with a wireless charging system.
Read More | Infiniti
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