Feds issue strongest position yet against distracting car tech, Tesla Model X has us excited, and confounded. Is Washington state penalizing electric car drivers? And we drive the 2012 Subaru Impreza.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 251 SHOW NOTES
In a shareholder letter released in conjunction with its fourth-quarter results, Tesla gave some tantalizing details about buyer interest in the Model X electric SUV. The company received 500 reservations for the Model X, at a refundable cost of $5,000 each, after the car's unveiling on February 9.
Model X deliveries will not begin until 2014. Tesla expects to produce 10,000 to 15,000 Model X vehicles per year. Although Tesla has not announced the price of the Model X yet, it should be on par with the previously shown Model S electric sedan.
The company also … Read more
While some states are still rolling out rebates for the purchases of new hybrid and plug-in vehicles, the Washington State Senate on Saturday passed a new law to make electric car owners pony up an extra $100 annual fee.
The reasoning behind the law is that although electric vehicles use the same roads as gas-powered vehicles, the owners don't pay gas taxes because they drive right past the pumps.
The Associated Press reported that Washington's gas tax, which is 37.5 cents per gallon, is the state's largest source of transportation dollars.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. … Read more
Commentary Tesla Motors is helping destroy the notion that electric vehicles are green cars with unfortunate compromises.
The company last night unveiled the Model X, a sleek-looking cross between a minivan and SUV with clever "falcon wing" doors and a new electric all-wheel drive system. People can start placing reservations tomorrow for the Model X, which is expected to be available late next year with prices in the $55,000 to $75,000 range before tax incentives and rebates.
Beyond making an attractive crossover, Tesla has shown how electric vehicles open up new design possibilities. The Model X … Read more
LOS ANGELES--The highlight of the Model X introduction, Tesla's SUV, was not the electric power train, but what the company calls the falcon-wing doors.
The manufacturer being Tesla, it was a given that the Model X would be an electrically driven vehicle. So during a preview for a small group of journalists at Tesla's design center in Los Angeles, Tesla CEO Elon Musk focused on the innovative side doors.
These doors lift up from the sides, then hinge in the middle before gaining their full height. Unlike gull-wing doors, Tesla's doors can open in much narrower spaces. Musk said they give the Model X the largest door openings of any passenger car. Impressively, he was able to stand in the car, his head underneath the open door, without crouching.… Read more
Those who have been waiting anxiously for anything on the Model S, the next electric car from Tesla, will enjoy this new video about the car. And those who doubt Tesla's ability to make a car can view ostensible proof that the Model S will be roadworthy.
In keeping with its high-tech startup nature, Tesla released this 2-minute video on Vimeo, rather than buy expensive ad space during the Super Bowl. The video does read like an advertisement for the car, with a mix of manufacturing and running footage intermixed with apparently thoughtful statements by the car's designer, … Read more
Green Car Journal dubbed the Ford C-MAX Energi winner of the 2012 Green Car Vision Award yesterday at the Washington Auto Show. This is the second consecutive year Ford has won top honors; the Ford Focus Electric garnered the award last year.
The Ford C-MAX Energi, which will be available in late 2012, is built on the same global C-car platform as the Ford Focus and future Ford models, the automaker said.
The C-MAX Energi bested four other finalists, including the BMW i3, the Cadillac ELR, the Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-Cell, and the Tesla Model S.
"The C-MAX Energi delivers … Read more
There's no need to worry: the departure of two Tesla executives was a planned transition that happened sooner than expected, company Chief Executive Elon Musk said today on an early morning investor call.
News that Peter Rawlinson, Tesla's vice president and chief engineer, and Nick Swanson, who supervised vehicle and chassis engineering, left the electric-car startup before the launch of the Model S sent the stock price plummeting almost 20 percent on Friday. Musk assured conference call listeners that Tesla wasn't trying to "dump news into the weekend." Rather, he said, he had made the … Read more
Besides selling electric cars, Tesla Motors is doing something that hasn't been done in the U.S. in a long, long time: a new American car company is starting production at a new U.S. manufacturing plant.
That is indeed an extremely rare event in the U.S. these days, as a Tesla representative pointed out to me at CES. Especially in California which, for much of the last century, was a manufacturing base for General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler. (See list of past U.S. auto factories.)
That Tesla factory, by the way, is the former NUMMI assembly … Read more