The Virginia Automobile Dealers Association has filed a long, convoluted complaint with the state’s Motor Vehicle Dealer Board. It accuses Tesla Motors of committing illegal acts at is authorized dealership in Tyson’s Corners and at a nearby gallery store in a shopping mall. To hear the VADA tell it, Tesla has done such heinous things as offering customers test drives, fudging official reports on state mandated fees, and engaging in illegal advertising. It stops just short of charging Tesla with mopery on the high seas.
Electric vehicle sales are exploding in China, thanks in large measure to aggressive rebates and incentives from the Chinese government. Interest in Tesla automobiles among Chinese customers has increased strongly since the company officially announced its new, less expensive Model 3. Tesla has gotten more reservations for the Model 3 from China than any other country outside of the United States, according to Ren Yuxiang, Tesla’s head for Asia Pacific.
Nissan is using the outpouring of interest in the Tesla Model 3 as the basis of a new print ad appearing today in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal. The ad reminds people they don’t have to wait until 2017 (or 2018 or possibly 2019, given Tesla’s inability to get its products to market on time in the past) to drive an all electric car. All they need to do is hop on over to their nearest Nissan dealer and grab a shiny new LEAF. After federal rebates, a LEAF S can cost as little as $22, 360 including transportation.
Tesla Motors did everything right. That was the key soundbite from the director of battery electric vehicles at Audi, Stefan Niemand. In a speach at the recent annual Technical Congress of the German Association of the Automotive Industry outside of Stuttgart, Niemand laid down the gauntlet, so to speak, stating that German auto-manufacturers were falling far behind the competition with regard to electric vehicles and reaching electric vehicle buyers.
“These cars are slower than those with conventional drive and they have a much lower range — and in compensation they are more expensive,” is how Niemand put it. Without a change in approach, electric vehicles (EVs) won’t make any real inroads into the marketplace, he commented.
Audi Executive Stefan Niemand Lauds Tesla Motors’ Approach
Niemand also noted something along the lines of: “Those who had ever driven electrically are lost for the internal combustion engine (ICE) for all times.” Which is something that I’ve heard from a great many people — this idea that, once you’ve owned a well-made EV, the thought of going back to an ICE vehicle is not enticing.
The Audi exec also, surprisingly, complemented Tesla, stating: “I hate to admit it, but Tesla did everything right,” when talking about the company’s impressive Supercharger network.
Teslarati provides a bit more on that:
He marveled at how Tesla created a system of 611 Supercharger locations with more that 3,600 individual chargers in such a short period of time. The inference left for his colleagues to draw upon was that unless they are willing to make a similar commitment, they are in danger of falling further and further behind their American rival.
… Niemand said buyers want to buy cars that do not degrade the environment and are even willing to pay a premium for them, but only if they do not have to give up the fun of driving them. In particular, he lamented that Europe does not yet have a comprehensive infrastructure of fast charging stations. He told his colleagues that they must commit to building a system that features charging stations with at least 350 kW of power.
“We need awesome cars and a seamless infrastructure,” he concluded. The provision of these two things would allow EV adoption to surge, according to Niemand.
Of course, achieving that aim while still maintaining current levels of profit is easier said than done. Especially when a company like Tesla is providing such strong competition, and such fresh ideas.
Originally published by EV Obsession.
The owner of a Tesla Model S in Norway got a nasty surprise on New Year’s Day when his car caught fire and burned to the ground while charging. There wasn’t much left of the car when the fire finally burned itself out, but that didn’t stop Tesla Motors from conducting an exhaustive examination of the vehicle. Yesterday, it announced it believes the fire was caused by a short circuit inside the car’s electrical distribution box.
Nearly 100 years ago, now, Serbian-born inventor Nikola Tesla introduced the world to alternating current electricity. Stable, safe, and able to be sent great distances efficiently, Tesla effectively used that new technology. Along with work he did with other inventors like Edison and Marconi, he helped to invent the modern world. A century later, another American immigrant named Elon Musk decided it was his time to change the world, and the company he founded- Tesla Motors- owes its name and inspiration to the great inventor.
It is fitting, then, that this striking, elegant commercial for the brand that carries the Tesla name to be narrated by the man, himself. You can check it out, below.
Tesla Motors Commercial, Narrated by Nikola Tesla
I don’t know about you, but that ad- titled, “Not a Dream” and produced as something of a labor of love by the Freise twins, Adam and Nathan- struck me as moving and powerful. The imagery of the Tesla Motors Model S driving triumphantly down the halted oil rigs seems especially poignant, given the recent drop in crude prices that has led to an oil market crash and a halt to much of the drilling in North America, already. And still, the Tesla powers on.
If you’re a fan of film, heavy-handed symbolism, and Teslas of either kind, then you owe it to yourself to take some time and watch the film. Once that’s done, let us know what you thought of “Not a Dream” in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
Elon Musk’s vision of global dominance for his Tesla Motors brand continues to take shape. Hot on the heels of news that Musk plans to build the upcoming Model 3 “entry level” Tesla in China in order to avoid trade tariffs in that country comes news that Musk is in “advanced” talks with the German government to open a new battery factory to avoid similar taxes and tariffs in Europe.
This might be news to even the most watchful Tesla fan- especially since Tesla Motors in Germany flat-out denies such talks. “(Tesla has) no current plans” to build a battery factory in Germany, Tesla’s Munich-based spokeswoman Kathrin Schira said.
Despite the denial from Schira, Germany’s Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said “we are in talks,” with the Tesla Motors CEO about a possible plant, Gabriel said, adding, “I assume he (Musk) will want public funds.”
So, gang- who do you believe? I, for one, would put my money on the new European battery plant being a response to a scaling back of electric vehicle incentives in other EU nations and a bid to keep Model S (and Model X) prices reasonably in line with cars like the Mercedes S class hybrids and PHEVs. That’s just me, though- what do you think? Let us know. Comments. Etc.
Originally posted on EVObsession
Shortly after I posted a story that Tesla’s certified pre-owned webpage had gone live on Saturday, the Tesla Motors website and Twitter were hacked by an unknown assailant, as was Elon Musk’s personal Twitter. For several hours this past Saturday, the Tesla website redirected to a spoof website while the official Twitter feeds spit out all sorts of infantile messages before the automaker regained control of its sites and social media.
Tesla released an official statement on the hack, saying the case was already “under investigation” and laying the blame for the hack squarely at AT&T’s customer service. According to Tesla’s official version of events:
Posing as a Tesla employee, somebody called AT&T customer support and had them forward calls to an illegitimate phone number. The impostor then contacted the domain registrar company that hosts teslamotors.com, Network Solutions. Using the forwarded number, the imposter added a bogus email address to the Tesla domain admin account. The impostor then reset the password of the domain admin account, routed most of the website traffic to a spoof website and temporarily gained access to Tesla’s and Elon’s Twitter accounts.
If this series of events is true, it means that Tesla wasn’t really “hacked” so much as somebody at AT&T didn’t do a thorough-enough job of vetting the person claiming to be a Tesla employee. Nonetheless, some people are bound to question whether this means Tesla vehicles themselves are vulnerable to hacking (and like all cars these days, they are), and some drivers reported that they were unable to use their mobile phone apps while the automaker attempted to sort things out. To its credit, Tesla has been active in recruiting hackers and security experts to make the Model S safe from attack, but one has to wonder what might happen if Tesla was well and truly hacked?
Just don’t tell that to Wall Street, as TSLA stocks are up 7% this morning ahead of an official announcement about Tesla’s home battery service. Perhaps the fact that despite being hacked, nothing all that bad actually happened has bolstered the bulls. After all, it’s happened to other automakers before too.
Is the Tesla hack much ado about nothing, or cause for concern?
Elon Musks’s Tesla Motors is leading the way when it comes to building the cars of the future, selling more of its Model S electric sedans than the established, gas-burning Mercedes S class or Audi A8s throughout last year. Still, that’s not all the company is doing to right the wrongs of the oil industry. Tesla is making hiring veterans of the war in the Middle East a priority.
“We want to be known throughout the veteran community as a great place to work,” said Arnnon Geshuri, Tesla’s vice president of human resources, in a recent interview. “Veterans are a great source of talent for Tesla, and we’re going after it.”
Tesla’s workforce is expanding rapidly in preparation for next year’s launch of the Model X crossover and the new, entry-level Tesla sedan (which, apparently, will not be called the Model E when it debuts next year). As of this writing, Tesla has more than 6,000 employees, and nearly 5% of those are veterans – including Tesla’s logistics director, former Navy officer Adam Plumpton.
Tesla isn’t just going after former service members, either. The San Jose Mercury News recently interviewed one Army National Guardsman who just returned from deployment:
Deployments can be disruptive for both employers and employees, but Tesla industrial engineering technician and National Guard member Megan Gates said the company was very accommodating when she, in August 2011, was activated to Camp Roberts near Paso Robles for two years. Tesla held her job open for her, and Gates returned to work in November.
“I spent two years living in barracks repairing equipment and supporting returning units,” said Gates, 35. “But Tesla kept in touch with me, and the company made the transition back super easy. I came straight back to work.”
While Gates was stationed at Camp Roberts, she became a squad leader and was promoted to sergeant. At Tesla, she was recently promoted to a production supervisor in powertrain, which is basically the brain of Tesla’s electric cars. Her promotion goes into effect after she returns from two weeks of Guard training at Fort Irwin, California, later this month.
“I give it 100 percent, whether I’m in uniform in the Guard or in jeans and a T-shirt at Tesla,” said Gates. “The military gives you technical skills and experience working on a team, and manufacturing is all about following directions but being flexible.”
You can read more about Tesla Motors and its pro-veteran hiring program and see more pictures of Tesla’s military hires at the Mercury News’ website by visiting the source link, below, and lets us know what you think of Tesla Motors’ latest hiring/PR coup in the comments section at the bottom of this page. Enjoy!
Tesla Motors is now the largest auto-industry employer in California — employing more than 6000 people within the state, with a further 500 jobs expected to be added to that figure before the end of 2014.
That’s an impressive feat considering how young the company is. And an even more impressive feat when you consider the fact that Toyota has substantial operations based in the state as well — employing around 5,300 people currently.
That number will drop considerably when Toyota makes its move to the state of Texas, though, taking most of those jobs with it. When that happens, Tesla won’t have much competition left — and will possess a clear and substantial lead on any other auto-industry employer in the state.
Green Car Reports provides more:
It’s all part of Tesla’s rapid expansion, as it gears up for higher sales, more vehicles, greater battery production and expansion into China. It’s also beneficial for California itself, as high labor and energy costs and strict environmental guidelines are seeing some manufacturing industry companies — such as Toyota — jump to other states.
Industrial power rates in the state are 55% higher than the US average, said California Manufacturers & Technology Association spokesman Gino DiCaro. Workers are also paid more, and getting clearance to expand or open factories can be time-consuming and expensive. In recent decades, the state has concentrated more on technology, defense and aerospace, rather than car production — but Tesla is a good fit for California and has brought manufacturing back at its Fremont plant — previously co-owned by GM and Toyota.
Tesla’s workforce — which currently totals around 5,800 people worldwide — is sure to grow significantly in the next few years as several of the company’s expansion plans come to fruition (presumably). The most widely reported on would of course be the Gigafactory. Or is that “Gigafactories” — as in dozens or even hundreds of them?
The company shouldn’t have any trouble finding workers, though, given the flood of responses that they seem to be getting when they post job openings. Humorously (sort of anyways), the response to a recent job fair the company put on in Fremont was so great that the event actually had to be cancelled after just two hours — owing to huge turnout and resulting traffic jam.
Have a case of the Mondays? Dreading another work week? Does life seem futile? Don’t worry, we’re here to remind you that we live in the future, where science fiction has become science fact, and the cars of our dreams . I’ve got the perfect video to kick this new series off.
Let’s get the week started with an amazing fan-made video for Tesla Motors entitled Hope. Cobbled together with footage from Wired, Aerial Mob, and Tesla itself, this fan-made commercial is an inspiring homage to Tesla’s unlikely success story. If you watch this and don’t feel inspired to greatness, you’d better check your pulse. So far, this is my favorite fan-made commercial though you should check out the other candidates for yourself.
For those still reading (why?), the abbreviated speech is pulled from the end of Charlie Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator.” It’s an incredible feat of cinema from 1940 with a universal message that still resonates today. If you’ve made it this far, and you haven’t seen this timeless classic, do yourself a favor and watch it.
After you watch this fan video, that is.
The Golden State used to have many car factories, though these days there are few companies actually building cars in California. Tesla Motors, however, calls Cali home, and they’ve brought a surge of money and jobs into the Bay Area with the successful launch of the Model S. To help boost production, California is giving Tesla a substantial tax break.
California is allowing Tesla to forgo $34.7 million in sales and use taxes on $415 million worth of new manufacturing equipment. The equipment will help Tesla increase production of the in-demand Model S, and Tesla expects to build over 21,000 units this year. However, the old NUMMI factory Tesla shares with Toyota has the capability of building many, many more cars than that. The new equipment will allow Tesla to put another 35,000 units per year into production.
Unlike many states, California heavily taxes the purchase of manufacturing equipment, keeping many big companies from having production facilities there. However, California uses the tax as a way to encourage cleantech startups, like Tesla, buy forgiving these hefty taxes, as well as giving grants encouraging production of vehicles like the Tesla Model X. This is at least the second time Tesla has used such tax breaks to save money, and while they could arguably save even more by going to a lower-cost state, Silicon Valley seems like the place Tesla belongs.
Whether or not Tesla can actually totally fill out production volume at the NUMMI plant remains up in the air, as the facility is theoretically capable of producing hundreds of thousands of vehicles per year. At the rate Tesla is going though, it won’t be long before they look to expanding to an all-new facility.
Source: The San Francisco Gate
Elon Musk has been nothing short of bullish on the prospects of his electric car company, Tesla Motors, though the legions of loyal fans may be even more optimistic than the pioneering CEO. One fan laid out an ambitious timeline for the electric automaker that by 2022 sees a market dominated by Tesla in every market.
The timeline is far from official, and much of it certainly seems within the realm of possibility. For example, the timeline calls for sales of 5,000 Model X SUVs in 2014, which is well within the production capacity of Tesla’s Palo Alto plant. More than doubling sales of the Model S, however, to 50,000 units in 2014 may be a bit of a stretch considering a lack of available battery packs.
It also makes sense for Tesla to introduce the $35,000 Model E prototype to be introduced sometime in 2015, a year or two ahead of actual production. The announcement of a new Tesla/Panasonic “Giga Factory” is also possible, and sales of the Tesla Model S could possibly reach as high as 70,000 units, with Model X sales around 40,000 units.
From here though things begin to escalate quickly. While a 500-mile battery pack is theoretically possible for the Model S, even if battery pack prices plummet you’re still talking about a massive and heavy battery. That said, it is certainly possible that by 2017 or 2018 Tesla will roll out a new autopilot/self-driving feature that Elon has mentioned in passing before.
By 2020, the fan-made timeline predicts sales of over 300,000 units annually, and by 2022 most automakers will be using Tesla batteries and drivetrains for their own EVs, while paying Tesla a tithe for access to an extensive Supercharger network. More realistically is the introduction of an affordable Model C compact, priced around $25,000. That sounds hopelessly optimistic, and while I can see Tesla sales really starting to take off, I doubt automakers like Nissan and GM are going to bid goodbye to billions of dollars in EV research just to pay Tesla for its technology.
That said, Tesla Motors has defied expectations before, and I wouldn’t put anything past Elon these days.
Source: Tesla Motors Forums
Some people will do anything to make a buck, and trademark squatting is one way to make fast and easy money. Zhan Baosheng thought he could fleece Tesla Motors for $32 million by trademarking the “Tesla” name, so rather than pay up, Tesla will simply go by another name in China; “Tuosule”, the transliteration of the Tesla name in a dialect native to Hong Kong.
Telsa Motors has offered Baosheng $326,000 for him to release his rights to the “Tesla” name, just 1% of his absurd asking price of $32 million. The electric automaker is also taking Baosheng to court, arguing that despite launching a half-assed website, the Chinese trademark owner has no intention or ability to launch an all-electric vehicle. Baosheng trademarked the name back in 2006, before the Tesla Model S ever saw the light of day.
But in case the court fails to side with Tesla, the electric automaker is moving forward with the Tousule name on the Chinese mainland. While Tesla is said to be readying a Hong Kong showroom twice the size of the normal American showroom, the company will only be able to take orders for now; actual sales of the Tesla Model S will come later.
This story isn’t over yet, and Tesla stands to gain big from sales in China, which are already said to be in the 100s. But is a Tesla by another name still a Tesla?