Tesla has removed the underperforming (sales-wise) Model S 60 entry level vehicle from its lineup, and has replaced it with a new, more powerful base model that it’s called the Model S 70D. The new Tesla Model S 70D bring with it a dual-motor all wheel drive feature that packs a 329 horsepower punch, as compared to 302hp offered by the departing Model S 60. The allows the Model S 70D to go from 0-to-60 MPH in 5.2 seconds with a top speed of 140 MPH. Access to the Tesla Supercharger network is now included, a perk that Model S 60 customer had to pay extra for. Same goes for a bunch of the features that were previously included in the technology package.
Tesla begins shipping the Model S 70D shortly, and you can order one at a base price of $75,000, or lease one starting at $818 per month.
Read More | Tesla
If you're looking for a luxury EV and want a more established name than Tesla, BMW has entered the fray with the i3. In fact, the BMW i3 is both the first EV from the company, as well as a platform to build on for the future. The i3 will be priced at $41,350 when it goes on sale in the US in Q2 2013, although, like many electric vehicles, it isn't for everyone.
While it isn't the most expensive EV on the market, it also costs well above what the typical car buyer pays for a new vehicle. Also, range anxiety will be a problem for some as well, as a fully-charged BMW i3 will only get you 80-100 miles. If that worries you, you can opt for the 650cc two-cylinder generator add-on, that makes the i3 similar to a Chevy Volt, letting you get extra range through using gasoline. At 170 horsepower coupled with 184 pound-feet of torque, you'll be able to go from zero to sixty in seven seconds.
BMW definitely knows how to make a car, and for EV enthusiasts who've grown weary of the odd space-age concepts found in some other car manufacturer lines, could be a breath of clean, fresh, environmentally-safe air.
Read More | BMW i3
Here is a detailed inside look of how the famed all-electric battery powered Tesla Model S car is made. It's an automotive robot car manufacturing plant literally straight out of the future. Check out the video!
Last night Tesla CEO and founder Elon Musk teased that the company would show off its battery swap service this evening, and lived up to the promise with an impressive demonstration. Tesla owners will be able to pull into a battery swap facility with their charge is running low, and a staff member will swap out the low battery with a full one. The kicker here is that the swap is performed faster than it takes to fill an empty gas tank at the pump--less than 90 seconds. Owners don't need to leave their vehicles, and the service is priced to be competitive with gas station services. The first swap stations will cost about $500,000 to build, and will appear in some of the busier Tesla corridors, including I-5 in California.
Swapping will take 90secs. You'll never get out of your car. Return the pack on your journey back or keep it & we'll bill you the difference— Tesla Motors (@TeslaMotors) June 21, 2013
Check out the video after the break for the live demo, recorded from the crowd.
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 biggest turn off in buying an electric vehicle for most is the sticker price. Some, like the Fisker Karma, hover at six figures, and other like the Tesla cars range from $50,000 onward to $100,000, which is priced well above most pocketbooks. That leaves room for only a few EVs to choose from in the $30,000 neighborhood, primarily the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi I. If these two don’t float your boat, there is a new contender entering the market outta California.
The company is called Coda Automotive, and it's set to roll out a new 5-passenger EV. The company is based out of Los Angeles, California, and its EV plant is in Benicia. The car is priced reasonably at $35,200.
Buyers will have the option of choosing five exterior colors, two wheel designs, and those lucky enough to be within the first 500 customers will get cars that feature limited-edition accents, signifying they’re on of the first Coda vehicles to hit the road.
Read More | CNet
Tesla has announced the Model X, an all-electric crossover vehicle that it says will be put into production by 2014. Key features include rear Falcon Wing doors, which fold out Delorean-style (but how practical are Falcon doors inside a parking garage), and an average of 300 miles per charge. The plug-in CUV is based on the same platform as the Model S sedan, which also has yet to see the light of day, but should go into production this summer.
Read More | CNN
Tesla Motors is suing the BBC show "Top Gear" for allegedly falsely representing the performance of one of its electric vehicles.
In a segment that aired three years ago, "Top Gear" showed a Tesla Roadster running out of electric charge during a race with the gas-powered Lotus Elise, a car that the Roadster is based on. Tesla claims that neither of the two cars it loaned to "Top Gear" for the segment dipped below 20 percent charge. The company contends there's no way the Roadster ran out of juice, and it wants the BBC to stop airing the segment.
"When 'Top Gear' reviewed the Tesla Roadster, the episode that aired contained lies and misinformation about the Roadster's performance, behavior, and reliability," Tesla said in a statement. "Tesla reluctantly took legal action after its repeated attempts to contact the BBC, over the course of months, were ignored."
A spokesperson for "Top Gear" defended the show's integrity. "We can confirm that we have received notification that Tesla have issued proceedings against the BBC. The BBC stands by the program and will be vigorously defending this claim."