Tag Archives: Tesla

Tesla tops Toyota as largest auto employer in California

Electric car maker continues to expand operations in the state, marking the return of a US automaker, following the shuttering of plants by GM, Ford, and Chrysler.

CNET Car Tech

Mercedes-Benz B-Class drives well, but not far, on Tesla power train

Mercedes-Benz fits a Tesla battery pack to its 2014 B-Class Electric Drive, creating a comfortable driver with limited range.

CNET Car Tech

Tesla gigafactory site choice due soon–Or, maybe two sites

Tesla CEO Elon Musk isn’t just planning one site for the company’s future battery gigafactory–he’s actually looking at two.

CNET Car Tech

Dealers would do Tesla a disservice

Tesla offers a unique buying experience through its company-owned stores.

(Credit: Getty Images)

Last week, New Jersey informed Tesla it would require the California automaker to only sell cars through licensed in-state dealers, forcing it to stop selling cars through its own stores by April 1. Arizona and Texas have similar rules in place, effectively banning Model S sales in those states.

These state rules may come as a surprise to most people, but they have been on the books for a while. CEO Elon Musk, in a blog post on Tesla’s site, actually defends the intent of these laws. Musk points out how, after an independent dealer built up a business, an automaker might put pressure on the dealer, such as restricting product supply, to force the dealer to sell the business to the automaker. In the same post, Musk complains that now the auto dealers are using the rules to prevent competition from Tesla, which was not the original intent.

In New Jersey and other states currently banning Tesla’s direct sales, Tesla could turn to an in-state licensed dealer to sell its cars, but that would be a bad idea.

Setting the tone When I visited one of the first Tesla stores in downtown San Jose a few years a… [Read more]


Car Tech: An automotive blog from CNET

Tesla hands out new chargers in response to overheating

(Credit: Tesla)

Tesla announced Friday that it’s sending Model S owners upgraded wall chargers for their cars, after several drivers reported accounts of overheating.

A statement from the Palo Alto, Calif., company said a variety of factors could cause chargers to overheat, including “higher than normal electrical resistance.” Tesla said it’s fixed this issue with an over-the-air update rolled out last month. The update lets the car keep the charging current at a level that won’t overheat the adapter.

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“This update increases robustness and safety considerably in the unlikely event that a home wiring system, receptacle, adapter or cord is unable to meet its rated current capacity,” according to the statement. But, just in case, the company is also sending out an “improved adapter with a thermal fuse,” in a f… [Read more]


Car Tech: An automotive blog from CNET

Tesla Model S: Now the No. 1 car of the (West Coast) wealthy

The choice of the conscious wealthy.

(Credit: Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)

You know what a Porsche says about you? It says you don’t care.

You know what a Mercedes says about you? It says you believe that if the world ran out of gazelles, it would be just fine.

What drives me to such draconian extrapolations? A piece of fascinating analysis performed by Edmunds.com.

It attempted to discover whether the Tesla Model S was popular beyond the chest-beating, organic sackcloth-wearing confines of Silicon Valley.

Stunningly, the numbers show that in 8 of the top 25 most expensive ZIP codes in the US, the Tesla was the No. 1 registered vehicle of 2013. And it was No. 1 in more of the top 25 than any other vehicle.

Yes, America’s wealthy are rallying round to save the Earth. Or, at least, to buy the same rather attractive car.

More Technically Incorrect

Apple Mac hardware exec Doug Field departs for Tesla

(Credit: James Martin/CNET)

Apple’s vice president of Mac hardware engineering, Doug Field, has left the company to join Tesla Motors.

Doug Field, Tesla's latest hire.

(Credit: LinkedIn)

Tesla announced the hire Thursday, saying Field would become the company’s vice president of vehicle programs.

“Tesla’s future depends on engineers who can create the most innovative, technologically advanced vehicles in the world,” Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk said in a statement. “Doug’s experience in both consumer electronics and traditional automotive makes him an important addition to our leadership team.”

Apple declined to comment.

Before joining Apple, Field was Segway’s chief technology officer. He left the company in mid-2008 after nearly a decade there. Earlier stints in the vehicle industry include six years as a development engineer at Ford.

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Tesla taps AT&T to bring cellular connection to its cars

Tesla Model S.

(Credit: Wayne Cunningham/CNET)

Tesla will be able to tout one more feature in its advanced electric cars: a cellular connection.

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The upstart automaker has partnered with AT&T to bring a 3G or HSPA+ (what AT&T calls 4G) connection to its electric cars. With a modem and SIM card, the cars will be able to share performance data, allowing for better remote diagnostic and maintenance, while passengers have the option to browse the Internet, watch videos, or get real-time traffic info via the connection.

For AT&T, it’s the latest automaker to sign with the carrier, follo… [Read more]


Car Tech: An automotive blog from CNET

Tesla puts Model S fire into perspective

A burning Tesla Model S was captured on video by a passerby.

(Credit: Screenshot by Wayne Cunningham/CNET)

This week’s YouTube video of a burning Model S prompted the upstart electric carmaker to post an in-depth explanation of the accident that lead to the fire, along with statistics about fires in internal combustion engine cars.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk noted in the post that “you are five times more likely to experience a fire in a conventional gasoline car than a Tesla!”

According to Musk, a large piece of curved metal fell off a tractor-trailer rig. The Model S overran the object, causing it to lever up into the bottom of the car with a force of 25 tons.

The metal object created a 3-inch hole in protective plating underneath the car, breaching one of the 16 battery compartments in the chassis. The intrusion caused the battery pack to catch fire, although firewalls between the battery modules and in the structure of the car prevented the flames from moving into the passenger compartment.

Musk points out that internal combustion cars have much less protection in the chassis than does the Model S, so this type of acc… [Read more]


Car Tech: An automotive blog from CNET

Tesla developing self-driving for Model S

The Model S will benefit from autonomous car technologies being developed by Tesla.

(Credit: Wayne Cunningham/CNET)

When the Model S launched last year, it was missing one feature-set commonly found among its luxury competitors: driver assistance features such as adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, or lane departure warning. The company appears to be addressing that lack, according to a recent statement by Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

As reported by Reuters, Musk says that Tesla is developing auto-pilot technology for the Model S, and it should be ready in three years.

The technology will allow the Model S to perform 90 percent of driving tasks. Fully autonomous driving will follow on at a future date. Tesla has a position open for an autonomous driving engineer, and Musk said the company would develop the technology in house, as opposed to working with Silicon Valley neighbor Google.

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