Category Archives: Tesla

Tesla Unveils Tesla Semi Truck, Promises 500 Mile Range and 5.0 Second 0 to 60 Time

Despite concerns about the slow rollout of the $35,000 Model 3 Sedan and its shockingly high rate of cash burn, Tesla is pressing forward with its ambitions to shake up the world of automobiles and has done so in a new and unique way with the unveiling of the Tesla Semi truck.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk exuded confidence in his new big rig, and started off his remarks with perhaps the most impressive performance statistic of this beast, a 5.0 second 0 to 60 time when it isn’t shackled to a load. You read that correctly, 0 to 60 in 5.0 seconds, a time normally reserved for many modern performance cars, and a massive leap over the 0 to 60 times boasted by many of its petrol powered opponents. While it would be interesting to see how this big Tesla does in a drag race, the truck is no slouch either when towing a trailer filled with 80,000 lbs of stuff. Tesla claims that it can maintain a 65 mph speed on a sustained five percent grade wheras other diesel trucks can only do the same feat at 45 mph.

The exterior styling of the truck is clean, and obviously geared towards achieving maximum aerodynamics. While it will not win a beauty pageant anytime soon, The front fascia has a pseudo-aggressive look, and the slick headlights help endow it with a slight degree of elegance. The truck currently does not have a sleeper unit, but we actually prefer the bigger cab over the smaller box style unit that Tesla also had on display for the world’s press. The rear wheels are hidden behind panels, and keen observers will notice the centrally mounted driving position which supposedly enhances visibility for higher levels of safety. The rear fascia (if you call it that) is predictably utilitarian, but we do like the tasteful taillight strip which builds on its futuristic theme quite nicely.

In addition to the centrally mounted driving position, Tesla designers also aimed to maximize space by moving the passenger seat behind, and to the right of the driver versus the normal side by side configuration utilized by current big rigs. Tesla also enhanced interior storage, and claimed that these changes were inspired by feedback from commercial truck drivers. The interior also features two big screens borrowed from the Model 3 with the right screen featuring radio and navigation controls, and the left screen covering vehicle settings and other truck related functions. Tesla claims that like its passenger cars, the screens could eventually be updated to be more configurable  which should please drivers looking to tailor them to their specific industry, and the transportation needs of their rigs.

The Tesla Semi Truck has conventional exterior mirrors mounted on the outside of the vehicle, but both screens also show the sides of the truck thanks to cameras mounted on the bottom portion of the mirror assembly. Tesla claims that these are part of the Autopilot system, but we suspect they are also designed to help drivers be more acclimated with the central driving position. As a bonus, Elon Musk claims that the front glass is “explosion proof” and that it could withstand the force of a nuclear blast. While  we are not eager to find out how the Tesla Semi Truck fares as a bomb shelter, the exaggerated explanation could mean that the glass is more durable than conventional windscreens, and that could appeal to fleet managers looking to shave precious maintenance dollars, especially money that goes into replacing windshields damaged by rocks and other debris.

Performance in this segment is more about road tripping versus 0 to 60 sprints, and the Tesla Semi Truck aims to achieve this by offering drivers a 500 mile driving range between charges. Notably this is lower than diesel trucks equipped with auxiliary fuel tanks, but Elon Musk was quick to point out that 80 percent of all trucking routes are 250 miles or less which could give the EV truck an edge, especially if it has a reliable network of charging stations in place.

Speaking of charging stations, a project this big requires an equally big charging source, and Tesla has unveiled the answer to keeping the big Tesla Semis powered up, Megachargers. Designed to be even more powerful than the standard Supercharger network, Megachargers will still retain the global network that has come to define the Superchargers and Musk revealed that “truckers will be able to travel anywhere in the world via the Megachargers.” The main reason why this is possible is in the way that they work, with the Megachargers drawing their juice from solar energy. This allows them to stay off the main electrical grid, and in turn not only give drivers locked electricity rates, but also 400 miles of driving range in a 30 minute charge.

This is not a bad combination, though we are curious to see how quickly Tesla can get the Megacharger network up and running, especially considering that the California based firm plans to unleash the first units onto the marketplace in 2019. Another challenge will be how much of a strain this new model will put on Tesla’s already precarious cash reserves, especially if sales do not meet projections. Contrary to Tesla’s flash and circumstance, the Tesla Semi Truck is NOT the first EV big rig in the marketplace. For example Daimler already has an all electric concept truck out on the road, while Nikola Motors is also embarking on a production green big rig of their own, the electric-hydrogen fueled Nikola One.

Model Y

Tesla Teases Model Y CUV

Following the launch of its Model X SUV, Tesla has released a shadowy teaser image of the next step in its plans to dominate the CUV market the Model Y.

Like Tesla’s other teaser images, this one does not reveal too much detail. However, it does give a preview of the basic styling direction Tesla is trying to achieve with the Model Y, as well as the proportions for the front end. Unlike the Model X, the Y is expected to feature a more traditional apperance, and that could include ditching the X’s glitchy falcon doors for more conventional units.

While the Model Y is based on an all new platform, Tesla admits that the Y will eventually outsell the Model 3 due to the high demand from CUV buyers. Tesla also admitted that it wanted to avoid some of the styling compromises that emerged when designing the Model X.

“I think we really made a mistake trying to derive the design for the Model X from the Model S platform” Musk revealed at a recent shareholders meeting.

Look for the Model Y to also feature a more approachable pricing ladder albeit in the higher end of the CUV segment where it will compete with rivals from Audi, BMW, and Mercedes.

Tesla Announces One Model Racing Series

Ever wondered what would happen if Tesla chose to unleash the insane potential of Ludicrous mode out on the race track? The California based EV company aims to answer that by unveiling an all new racing series for eager enthusiasts.

Dubbed Electric GT, drivers will compete in identical Tesla Model S P100Ds that have been extensively modified for track day use. A key change is the radical diet that the typically 01-069_JJC1687porky car has undergone in its transition from the road to track slaying beast, with Tesla engineers cleaving 1,100 lbs of excess flab.

This was achieved by completly gutting the interior of virtually all of its luxury and convinence features. However, the spartan cabin retains the vertically mounted touchscreen, and adds goodies such as a carbon fiber bucket seat for the driver, a full roll cage, as well as a rectangular steering wheel.

The exterior styling is also race ready, and adds a full bodykit, a deeper front bumper with 01-013_JIM8378-Editarincorporated front splitter, and a massive rear wing. Also, look for each car to feature a slick paint job that varies depending on affiliation and sponsors.

The P100D is no slouch in performance either, and is capable of producing 778 horsepower and 734 lb-ft of torque thanks in part to its 100 kWh battery pack. The folks at Electric GT have added beefier brakes, a fully revised suspension system, and center locking wheels shod in sticky Pirelli racing slicks.

Both male and female drivers are eligible to compete in the Electric GT series, but U.S. fans will be mostly out of luck with the initial pool of races taking place in Europe. Each race will take place at a well known European race circuit including Estroil in Portugal, the Paul Ricard in France, and the famed Nurburgring in Germany. Three additional races will be organized in the Americas, but all three will not be championship races.

Electric GT events consist of a 20 minute practice session, as well as an hour long qualifying session. Once all that is out of the way, the formal competition is split into two 37 mile long events.

It will be interesting to see how various elements of strategy and tactics differ from other types of motor racing  and how the batteries hold up in rigorous track use.

In the meantime, Electric GT hopes to attract 20 professional drivers and 10 diffrent racing teams for the new season. We look forward to hearing more about this new series as information becomes avalible.

Tesla P100D

Tesla Unveils 100-kWh Battery, Makes Debut In P100D Model S and X

Following up on previous rumors and multiple reports, Tesla has confirmed that it will be offering all new 100-kWh battery packs for the Model S sedan as well as the recently launched Model X SUV dubbing them the P100D in the process.

Tesla claims that the bigger battery will boast an equally impressive driving range with the company claiming that a Model S equipped with this option can get up to an EPA-estimated 315 miles on a single charge. This makes the new flagship sedan the longest ranged electric vehicle in production, and could signal significant progress for Tesla and its battery technology.

However, this battery also has a split personality and is also capable of serious performance when hooked up to Ludicrous Mode and its Dual Motor all-wheel drive system. When equipped to the newly named P100D (the only model with this battery) Tesla claims that the Model S is the third fastest accelerating car on the market with the car achieving the feat in a blistering 2.5 seconds. For those that would like to counter this assertion and claim that the Porsche 918 and the Ferrari LaFerrari are faster, Tesla has prepared a quote just for this elite crowd of enthusiasts.

“However both the LaFerrari and the Porsche 918 Spyder were limited run, million dollar vehicles and cannot be bought new” stated the company. “While these cars are small two seaters with very little luggage space, the pure electric all-wheel drive Model S P100D has four doors, seats up to 5 adults plus 2 children and has exceptional cargo capacity.”

As for the Model X P100D, the all electric SUV sees its driving range increase from 250 miles to 289 miles on a single charge. It will also see a bump in performance with the SUV capable of clawing its way to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds. This figure would cement its claim of being the “world’s quickest production SUV” a title that was previously held by the Bentley Bentayga. All of this range and performance will not be cheap, and the P100D package is a sizable premium over other Model S and Model X variants. Despite this, Tesla claims that it still has high hopes for the package, and claims that it will also play a critical role within the company.

“While the P100D Ludicrous is obviously an expensive vehicle, we want to emphasize that every sale helps pay for the development for the smaller and much more affordable Tesla Model 3 that is currently in development.” Without customers willing to buy the expensive Model S and X, we would be unable to fund the smaller, more affordable Model 3 development.”

Model S

Tesla Unveils Two New Model S Variants

Traditionally when Tesla unveiled a new version of its Model S electric sedan it was typically catered to the upper end of the market not only in terms of price, but also features such as Ludicrous mode and new interior options. However, today’s announcement from the California based firm flips the script, and focuses on the low end of the market.

Dubbed the Model S 60 and 60 D respectively both of these models will offer buyers at least 200 miles of driving range in a package that starts at $66,000. In case this package sounds familiar to hardcore Tesla fans, it’s because the company used to sell a Model S that came with a 60 -kWh battery before killing it in 2015. The company also sold a 40-kWh model but stopped production of that particular model back in 2013. While it appears that these model’s are setting a new precedent by resurrecting a previously canceled model, a closer look reveals that things are much different when one takes a closer look.

It all starts with the price tag which is lower than before, and now starts at $66,000 (a noticeable drop over the previous model’s $70,000 base price.) Furthermore, an all-wheel drive version (the 60D) is also available, and both variants come equipped with a 75-kWh battery pack which matched the current generations battery pack. The new models will also come equipped with standard Autopilot hardware which will not only allow buyers to upgrade the battery pack for more range, but also turn on the full Autopilot suite of software. The latter allows the car to achieve limited autonomous driving capability, but a recent string of controversy as well as several high profile incidents with the system do show that it still needs some tweaking before it can truly be an alternative to traditional driving. This announcement will not only open the Model S to a wider pool of customers, but also allow the company to have a more comprehensive level of trim levels especially for buyers that will eventually move up from the entry level Model 3 sedan when it arrives in Tesla showrooms.

Tesla Confirms Ludicrous Mode For Model 3

It’s no secret that Tesla’s $35,000 Model 3 sedan will be the cheapest model avalible for EV buyers, but a tweet from Tesla CEO Elon Musk appears to suggest that the new four door will have the performance to back up its sleek styling credentials.

It all began on Twitter when a fan from India named Vignesh Raju said that “Ludicrous mode is the best thing ever.” Typically many of these comments can be dismissed as mere fan appreciation, However Raju also dropped a direct question to Elon Musk and asked “Will the Model 3 have it too?” Musk’s reply was a simple “of course.”

That brief statement does little when it comes to revealing details about what figures the Model 3 would achieve or the price of adding it to the car (its a lofty $10,000 for Model S and X buyers.) However, when the 3 was revealed, Musk promised that the sedan would hit 0 to 60 in under six seconds. It’s unclear what Ludicrous mode would bring to the table, but a properly equipped 3 would certainly not beat the 2.8 second 0 to 60 time posted by the bigger Model S. Instead, we think it could lower that figure to about 4 seconds which is on par with many sport sedans like the BMW M3.

We look forward to hearing more information about the Model 3’s Ludicrous mode capability as well as the other technologies that will make their debut on the Model 3.


Tesla Unveils Model 3 Sedan, Sets Up Clash With GM

Following several years of speculation, as well as rumors regarding its very existence. Tesla has unveiled the Model 3 sedan, which not only accelerates the company’s push towards mainstream acceptance, but also sets the stage for a confrontation with General Motors and its mass market EV entry the Chevrolet Bolt.

The exterior styling of the Model 3 shares much of its inspiration with the bigger Model S four door as well as the brand’s Model X SUV. This allows it to maintain the futuristic styling elements that have come to define the company’s other offerings, while also allowing it to stand out on its own as well. The sedan does appear to be a bit shorter and narrower thanModel 3 side profile the fore-mentioned models, but despite its smaller dimensions, Tesla claims that the Model 3 will be able to fit five adults in relative comfort. The front seats for example have been pushed forward towards the front axle to help enhance interior space, while both the front and rear cargo areas claim to offer the best storage capability of any vehicle with similar dimensions. Tesla CEO Elon Musk even suggested that a seven foot surfboard could be easily stowed in the car.

Tesla did not reveal formal details on the performance hardware, but did claim that the base Model 3 is capable of making the sprint to 60 mph in less than six seconds with higher spec trims completing the same feat in less than four seconds. The company also revealed that the car will have “at least” 215 miles of driving range which is expected to be a key Model 3 rearselling point once Tesla’s network of charging stations is fully operational along with specially designed Supercharger stations. This level of performance should be on par with its gasoline powered rival the BMW 3 Series, but look for range to dwindle accordingly if the Model 3 is used as a sports sedan instead of a fuel sipping icon of the future.

The Model 3 is expected to arrive late in 2017 which will allow Tesla to build an additional 225 retail outlets to augment the existing 215 buildings that it operates throughout the world. In addition, Tesla also promised to double the number of Supercharger stations that it has globally with the firm planning to increase the figure from 3,608 to 7,200 by the Model 3 orange alternate rear viewend of next year. While this late launch date does allow the Bolt to leap ahead in initial sales, the improved infrastructure will help the Model 3 make up the sales gap, and also make it more viable of a long term purchase. However, with Tesla burning through capital at a rapid pace due to the Model X and other factors, the long wait could also put the company in a financial crunch if early adopters opt out of the pre-ordering program.

“I do feel fairly confident that it will be at the end of next year” Musk revealed with a confident smile when asked about the Model 3’s arrival.

Buyers interested in securing a Model 3 for their garage will be able to place a $1,000 refundable deposit to secure a spot on the car’s waiting list. The initial batch of cars will go to customers that already have a Model S or Model X model before eventually trickling out to other customers especially buyers that aim to own a Tesla for the first time. Tesla was quick to point out that the Model 3 has already generated plenty of buzz with the company logging roughly 115,000 orders in 24 hours. Look for this figure to grow over the next few months as more customers have a chance to check out the Model 3 for themselves.

Model S

Tesla To Introduce Model 3 March 31st

Thanks to leaked invitations that were sent to the winners of Tesla’s referral program, it has been confirmed that the company’s anticipated Model 3 sedan will make its debut March 31st at a private event in Los Angeles.

According to the folks at Forbes, Tesla will most likely be holding the event at its design studio in Hawthorne California. Tesla for its part has remained quiet on specific details of the event (as it has with other aspects of the Model 3) but it is rumored that attendees will be shown a near production version of the Model 3 and Tesla stores will also begin taking early $1,000 deposits on the 3 when it is unveiled on that date. For buyers that live too far away from a Tesla dealer, the company will have an online deposit service that will activate on April 1st. Look for this option to appeal especially to customers that live in states where Tesla is barred from selling cars in its direct sales format.

Official details about the Model 3 have been very limited so far but it is known that it will be targeting the BMW 3-Series sedan, and be about 20 percent smaller than the Model S sedan. The Model 3 will also have range on its side with a preliminary estimate of 200 miles which is commendable for an all electric vehicle. Options would most likely include bigger battery packs, all-wheel drive, bespoke interior materials, and a two motor drivetrain to cater to enthusiast buyers.

Stay tuned to Autoinfoquest for our thoughts on the car when it is formally unveiled. The first deliveries are expected to arrive at Tesla dealers late next year which would cause the Model 3 to arrive as a 2018 model. Official pricing has also not been released, but look for base models to start at about $35,000 before taxes and federal incentives are factored into the equation. This pricing is pretty consistent with some of its rivals, and would be more favorable both in terms of volume, as well as the larger swath of younger buyers that Tesla plans to attract with the car.

All Electric i6 Sedan Arriving In 2020?

BMW’s i division got off to a strong start with the introduction of the i3 city car, and the i8 supercar, however, offering only two models will not cut it for the brand’s survival, which is why rumors of a third i badged model have us intrigued.

According to a report released by Automobile Magazine, the third model would be an all electric sedan known tentatively as the i6. The i6 would be roughly the size of the current generation 3-Series, but ride on an all new platform that would be specifically designed for it. Like its two brand cousins, the i6 would be made largely out of carbon fiber and other weight saving materials to offset the considerable mass generated by the battery pack.

BMW is expected to offer the i6 in several different variants with base models using a two motor setup with higher grade trims using a more potent four motor arrangement that would feature a bigger battery to boost driving range. All versions of the i6 are expected to feature a state of the art lithium polymer battery pack that is expected to generate more energy than current packs while also costing less to build in the long term.

If these rumors do turn out to be true, look for BMW to possibly unveil the i6 sometime in 2019, with sales beginning the year after. It would be targeted towards the Tesla Model 3 but the i6 would also face an indirect challenge from the upcoming Chevrolet Bolt. The Model 3 however will be its biggest challenge ,with the car expected to debut next year at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show.


Model S

Tesla To Unveil Model 3 In March, Geneva Appearance Likely

In a statement released earlier this week via Twitter, Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed that the California firm’s new entry level sedan would be unveiled in March which gives fresh ammunition to rumors that it would make its official appearance at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show.

The Model 3 is expected to go into production in about two years, and would be a key product for the company’s new gigafactory. The new EV is also expected to be a competitor for the upcoming Chevrolet Bolt, and Tesla hopes its 250 miles of all electric range can help it standout against that particular model. This impressive range also highlights the Model 3’s other key attribute, its more accessible MSRP price with Musk’s tweet confirming that it will start at $35,000.

Musk revealed that their is no agenda in place for one particular customer base stating “There is no agenda to sell to wealthy customers only,” obviously hinting at his strong desire to make Tesla more accessible to a wider range of customers that would not otherwise have the cash needed to put one in their garage. He also revealed that the Model 3 will not go “super crazy” with features like the Model S and Model X possibly hinting that Tesla plans a more gradual roll-out of updates to give the Model 3 time to catch on with consumers. Musk also hinted that “adventurous” upgrades will be available later on possibly for range topping Model 3 variants though we wouldn’t be too surprised if some of these upgrades trickle their way to lesser variants.

In the same suite of tweets, Musk also revealed more information about the Model X CUV revealing that the Model X is roughly $5,000 more expensive in all of its trim levels than the Model S with buyers being able to choose colors and equipment packages in a few short weeks. These are very key times for Tesla, and it will be interesting to see whether these ambitious plans bear promising fruit for the firm and its customers.