From James Dean’s Mercury coupe in Rebel Without a Cause to Burt Reynolds’s Trans Am in Smokey and the Bandit to Jason Statham’s McLaren in the new Fast and Furious film, cars have been stars in many a Hollywood classic. However, as a recent Bloomberg article points out, electric cars are still waiting for their big-screen breakthrough.
Above: A Tesla Model 3 parks directly in front of some 'Hollywood' graffiti art (Instagram: @blizzrd_the_tesla)
The race to fully autonomous vehicles is on. In April, Elon Musk declared that Tesla should have over a million level 5 autonomous vehicles manufactured by 2020. To clarify, that means over a million cars equipped with the necessary hardware capable of driving with no help from a driver. That's contingent, of course, on the software being ready. In addition, government approvals will be necessary (read: mandatory) long before self-driving Teslas will be commonplace...
Elon Musk isn’t afraid to buck conventional wisdom about sticking to your core business - Tesla builds its own batteries, and even seats, and it has branched out into stationary storage, solar panels, and flame throwers. During Tesla’s most recent shareholder meeting, Elon said the company might get into another line of business - mining. He implied that taking control of the supply chain for the raw minerals used in its batteries might be a necessity as Tesla scales up production and adds more vehicles to its lineup.
To regular readers of this column, it will be no surprise that Tesla’s Model 3 is cheaper on a total cost of ownership basis than competing luxury sedans from BMW and Mercedes, but a Toyota Camry? Model 3 is a state-of-the-art electric vehicle with a 5-star safety rating and a driving experience that’s gotten rave reviews from every auto mag under the sun. Is it possible that it’s even in the same price class as the entry-level, reliable-but-dull Camry?
Above: A look at the Tesla Model 3 photographed in Miami's Wynwood art district (Instagram...
Tesla has wisely made arrangements to quiet all the critics crowing about its production capabilities — the company just obtained the patent for a giant machine that will create the entire body frame of a car in a single press. It's called the 'Multi-Directional Unibody Casting Machine' (patent images and info below).
Above: Tesla's giant Unibody Casting Machine's illustration from the latest patent.
As evidenced in the patent schematics, it looks to be a large-scale press that will produce the car's body in one go or at least in the minimum amount of time that should enable Tesla to increase its production numbers manyfold, imagination is the limit...
The Tesla buying experience is unique compared to the typical car buying process offered by Big Auto. There’s no sitting down, negotiating, and (sometimes) no test drive. More on that in a minute. First, there's a few things you should know before walking into a Tesla store. For starters, it is not a dealership.
Above: A look inside one of Tesla's company-owned stores (Image: Tesla)
Traditionally, dealership franchises are privately owned. Direct sales are illegal in many U.S. states, so individually owned franchises are tightly regulated. Many in that industry are opposed to Tesla’s...
Investors didn’t expect Tesla to post such a wide loss in Q2 2019, but when it did, the stock quickly took a tumble. Fortunately (if you’ve got money invested in TSLA), the slide only lasted a short while, after which it’s been business as usual.
It was late April 2019 when a friend and I arrived at the Glendale Galleria in California to see the new Captain Marvel movie. While my friend took a business call I wandered into the Tesla showroom next door. It was then, for the first time, I encountered a Model 3 up close. I sat in the car and was amazed at the simplicity of Tesla's interior design. It was impressive to see a single touchscreen control nearly all of the car’s features — even the direction of air flow.
Thieves are having a hard time stealing vehicles made by Tesla. According to the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), Tesla's 2016-2018 Model S and X was among the least stolen vehicles, only beaten by the BMW 3 series. The institute claims this is due to electric cars typically being stored in garages where they're charged. But if that's the case, where are the other EVs on their top 20 list?
Above: Tesla's Model S (Source: Tesla)
According to HLDI, "Two of the vehicles on the least-stolen list are the Tesla Model S and Model X. Their low theft rate may be related to the fact that...
Tesla’s v10 software update was teased recently thanks to a flood of information flowing from Elon Musk's Twitter feed. According to Musk, the timeframe for v10, “depends on how release to owners with early access goes, but hopefully wide release by end of August,” will (hopefully) happen. Early access members have been given an early August release date.
Above: Cuphead is soon coming to Tesla via software update V10 (Source...
When it comes to cool, exciting car stuff, wiring harnesses are not usually the first things that come to mind. However, wiring represents one of the most important components in modern vehicles - not only in terms of how the vehicles perform, but also in terms of how they are built. We recently learned that Tesla has devised a new wiring architecture that’s designed to allow robots to handle more of the assembly process, which could greatly reduce vehicle build time.
Above: Tesla's Model Y could be the first to benefit from plans for a new wiring architecture (Image: Tesla)
For some buyers, the savings on fuel and maintenance costs is one of the motivations for buying an electric vehicle. Those who actually own one know that the main advantage of going electric is the superior driving experience - however, the savings certainly offset the higher purchase price of an EV, and in some cases may result in the total cost of ownership being lower than that of a comparable legacy vehicle.
Above: Model 3 charging at Tesla's Design Center in Hawthorne, CA (Instagram: @fromwhereicharge)
But how to estimate the potential savings? It’s a complex calculation that will be...
Eli Burton is the President and Founder of My Tesla Adventure, a California-based Tesla Owners Club. The club's mission is to bring together Tesla owners to embark on fun adventures, make great memories, and form lasting friendships. Eli is also a long-time space enthusiast, amateur rocket maker, SpaceX fan, and creator of an exciting new comic book series, The Adventures of Starman.
Lexie Janson left behind a stable gig as an architect to follow her (many) passions. Becoming a drone racer, python developer, and tech reviewer, Janson morphed into MaiOnHigh — a quirky, captivating alter ego she created on social media. She started MaiOnHigh to "encourage women and girls to be more interested in IT, technology, drones, and electric vehicles." She also happens to be the proud owner of both a Tesla Model S and Model 3.
Above: Lexie Janson and her Tesla Model 3 (Instagram: MaiOnHigh)
Last year, Luxembourg-based Bianca Hurduc decided to start a car blog, Arctic Swan, to provide auto news and reviews. But the site needed a twist. She wanted to feature "inspiring lady drivers with wanderlust... written by a woman for women." Car reviews are provided in both English and French. And since launching, she's tested the best from BMW, Audi, Alfa Romeo, Citroën, and many others. Recently, she got behind the wheel of Tesla's Model X.
If there’s one thing the legacy automakers can agree on, it’s that nobody wants to buy electric vehicles. In June, when BMW Director of Development Klaus Frölich said, “There are no customer requests for BEVs – none,” it made a splash in the press only because of the ironic fact that he said it at an event where the company announced plans to build 25 new plug-in models by 2025 (as reported by Forbes). Execs at major automakers express similar sentiments on a regular basis.
The automotive and oil industries dominate the global economy, and both are on the cusp of revolutionary change. The ramifications of this are endless, and when auto industry experts start discussing the current state of affairs with an open mind, the conversation can take some very interesting turns.
Elon Musk recently rejected rumors of a Tesla Model S facelift. When asked about the possibility of an interior revamp to the car, the CEO simply tweeted, "No." He added, via Twitter, there wouldn't be an exterior redesign either. In turn, Tesla critics flew into a frenzy. These so-called experts claim a cosmetic overhaul is absolutely mandatory for the award-winning luxury sedan.
Above: A look at the design of Tesla's Model S (Source: Tesla)
From the beginning, Tesla's lead designer, Franz von...
Ah, the callow and cocksure Elon Musk, the bad boy gamer from Silicon Valley, the brash, iconoclastic upstart who dares to challenge the time-tested titans of transportation! Would that be the same Elon Musk who recently became the longest-serving CEO in the global auto industry?
Above: Artwork depicting Tesla's CEO Elon Musk (Flickr...
Amsterdam is a famously tolerant city, but there’s one sin it won’t be tolerating for much longer - air pollution. Saying that pollution is shortening the average life expectancy of residents by a year, municipal authorities in the Netherlands capital city recently announced a plan to ban vehicles running on gas or diesel from driving in the city center by 2030.