cartechboy (2660665) writes "Unless you've been in a coma for a while you're aware that many dealer associations have been causing headaches for Tesla in multiple states. The reason? They are scared. Tesla's new, different, and shaking up the ridiculously old way of doing things. But the thing is, Tesla keeps winning. Now Ward's commenter Jim Ziegler, president of Ziegler Supersystems in Atlanta, wrote an opinion piece that basically says Tesla's going to prevail in every state against dealer lawsuits. He says Tesla's basically busy defending what are nuisance suits. This leads to the question of whether there will be some sort of sweeping federal action in Tesla's favor."
cartechboy (2660665) writes "How low can battery cost go, and how fast? That's the question automakers are dealing with when it comes to the future of electric cars. Tesla is betting big on electric and has already proven many skeptics wrong with its Model S sedan. The company is making even bolder claims with its upcoming Model 3 stating it'll have about 200 miles of range and a base price of $35,000. That's a nice goal, but is it possible. Battery skeptic Menahem Anderman wrote a new report suggesting that the pace of cost reduction for electric car batteries won't be as swift as Tesla's CEO Elon Musk suggests. This leads Anderman to predict the actual price of the upcoming Model 3 will be in the range of $50,000-$80,000. That's quite a jump from the goal of $35,000. Can Tesla actually pull off the Model 3 with the goal price of $35,000?"
cartechboy (2660665) writes "Tesla's been battling car-dealer associations in many states as of late. Just recently we heard about it taking on the fight in Georgia. While we haven't seen the outcome of the fight in Georgia, Tesla did just score a win in Massachusetts. The highest court ruled this week that the state dealer association does not have standing to sue Tesla for operating one of its company-owned stores there. Further, the ruling by the state Supreme Judicial Court upholds a lower court's decision to dismiss a suit brought by the Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association. The issue is the law dealers were using to justify their suit was actually intended to protect franchised dealers from abuse by car manufacturers or distributors. Tesla can now add Massachusetts to its win column, but it still cannot presently operate its stores in Arizona, Texas, or Virginia. How long until Tesla can just sell its cars how it wants in all states?"
cartechboy (2660665) writes "Tesla and Toyota have already worked together a few times. That factory that Tesla builds the electric Model S in? Yeah, it bought that from Toyota. The Toyota RAV4 EV? Yeah, the battery and software tuning was done by Tesla. Now it sounds like Tesla and Toyota might have another significant project in the pipeline in the next two or three years. Tesla CEO Musk said such a project could be "on a much higher volume level" than the firms last project with Toyota, the RAV4 EV. Toyota currently has a 2.4 percent stake in Tesla Motors and has sold 2,130 RAV4 EVs through August. For its part, Toyota has no comment regarding Musk's comment about the future project. Given Toyota's stance on electric cars, Musk's comment is a bit confusing. So what exactly will this joint project be?"
cartechboy (2660665) writes "Elon Musk isn't just changing the way our cars work, no, he's changing the way we buy our cars too. At least, he's trying to. Musk and Tesla's biggest hurdle in the U.S. has been bypassing conventional dealerships and selling directly to customers. This concept is something that's illegal in many states thanks to a nationwide patchwork of decades-old franchise laws. Tesla's latest battle is taking place in Georgia where dealers allege that the start-up company is in violation of the state's franchise laws. Not surprsingly, Tesla's fighting back. To sell cars in the state Tesla had to agree to sell fewer than 150 vehicles directly to consumers in the state. Last week Georgia Automobile Dealers Association complained that Tesla sold 173 vehicles. Tesla hasn't publicly commented on how many vehicles it has sold in Georgia. We've seen time and time again how this story ends, and the writing is clearly on the wall for this case."
cartechboy (2660665) writes "Google showed us what it feels is the car of the future. It drives itself, it doesn't have a gas or brake pedal, and there's no steering wheel. But that last one might be an issue. Back in May California's Department of Motor Vehicles published safety guidelines aimed at manufacturers of self-driving vehicles. After seeing Google's self-driving car vision, the California DMV has told the company it needs to add all those things back to their traditional locations so that occupants can take "immediate physical control" of the vehicle if necessary. Don't for a second think this is a major setback for Google, as the prototypes unveiled weren't even close to production ready. While the DMV may loosen some of these restrictions in the future as well all become more comfortable with the idea of self-driving vehicles, there's no question when it comes down to the safety of those on the road."
cartechboy (2660665) writes "Tesla's Superchargers are the talk of the electric car community. These charging stations can take a Model S battery pack from nearly empty to about 150 miles or range in around 30 minutes. That's crazy fast, and it's nothing short of impressive. But what does it take to actually build a Tesla Supercharger site? Apparently a lot of digging. A massive trench is created to run high-capacity electric cables before the charging stations themselves are even installed. A diagram and photos of the Electric Conduit Construction build out have surfaced on the Internet. The conduits connect the charging stations to a power distribution center, which in turn is connected to a transformer that provides the power for charging cars. It took 11 days to install the six charging stalls in Goodland, Kansas. If you thought it was a quick process to build a Supercharger station, you were clearly wrong. Now, what ever happened to those battery swapping stations?"
mrspoonsi (2955715) writes "A US juggler facing child sex abuse charges, who jumped bail 14 years ago, has been arrested in Nepal, after the use of facial-recognition technology. Street performer Neil Stammer travelled to Nepal eight years ago using a fake passport under the name Kevin Hodges. New facial-recognition software matched his passport picture with a wanted poster the FBI released in January. Mr Stammer, who had owned magic shop in New Mexico, has now been returned to the US state to face trial. The Diplomatic Security Service, which protects US embassies and checks the validity of US visas and passports, had been using FBI wanted posters to test the facial-recognition software, designed to uncover passport fraud. The FBI has been developing its own facial-recognition database as part of the bureau's Next Generation Identification (NGI) programme."
cartechboy (2660665) writes "We all know Tesla is working on its Gigafactory, and it has yet to announce officially where it will be. But the automaker did announce a shortlist of possible locations, and California wasn't on it. The state has quickly been trying to lure Tesla to get back into contention. Now the state may waive environmental rules which would normally make construction of such a large manufacturing facility more difficult. Apparently, Governor Jerry Brown's office is currently negotiating an incentive package for Tesla that would waive certain parts of the nearly half-century-old California Environmental Quality Act. Not only that, but state officials are reportedly considering letting Tesla begin construction and perform damage mitigation later, along with limiting lawsuits that could slow down the project. Let's not forget some massive tax breaks to the tune of $500 million. Is California stepping out of bounds here? Is it about to be in hot water, or does this all sit just fine with everybody?"
cartechboy (2660665) writes "Skeptics will ask what happens to electric-car batteries once they leave the car? Do they just end up in landfills? This is a great question, and the answer is no, not really. While some could be recycled, that doesn't seem like a realistic plan as the stuff inside lithium-ion batteries is cheap, and technological breakthroughs will make it dated. But a secondary use, that's more realistic. The idea of these massive battery packs being re-purposed for something else is completely real. Maybe they'll be bundled to a solar panel system on a house to both create and store renewable energy for peak utility times. So will these battery packs end up creating more waste by going to landfills? Not likely, but they also might not get recycled."
cartechboy (2660665) writes "Self-driving cars are coming, that's nothing new. People are somewhat nervous about this technology, and that's also not news. But it appears self-driving cars are already hear, and one idiot was dumb enough to climb out of the driver's seat while his car cruised down the highway. The car in question is a new Infiniti Q50 which has Active Lane Control and adaptive cruise control. Both of which essentially turn the Q50 into an autonomous vehicle while at highway speeds. While impressive, taking yourself out of a position where you can quickly and safely regain control of the car if needed is simply dumb. After watching the video, it's abundantly clear why people should be nervous about autonomous vehicles. It's not the cars and tech we need to worry about, it's idiots like this guy."
cartechboy (2660665) writes "Humans seem to fear the idea of self-driving cars. Why? The reasons we have accidents are more times than not because of human error. A recent study by Insurance.com which polled 2,000 licensed drivers in June 2014 found that 61 percent of those surveyed said they would make better driving decisions than a computer. While one would love to believe such a thing, it's a fact that computers drive better than humans. This may not be true today, but very, very soon, once software is tidied up, autonomous cars will make far better drivers. Why? Because humans are taking selfies, putting on makeup, and reading email while behind the wheel of the car they are supposedly driving. Self-driving cars don't get hammered before driving, they can't take selfies, and they certainly aren't reading the most recent Buzzfeed article. Human error accounts for up to 95 percent of all traffic accidents. So the next time you think you're a better driver than a computer, you aren't."
cartechboy (2660665) writes "Remember four years ago when Tesla's new headquarters in Palo Alto, California seemed like a big risk? Yeah, time flies and now the Silicon Valley startup is already running out of room. Apparently the electric-car maker is already looking for 200,000-300,000 square feet of office space in the lower Peninsula market. Part of the motivation is that the company would like to have employees closer to its Fremont factory, which is 20 miles from its current headquarters. With heavy traffic that journey can take up to an hour or more. While not looking to relocate its headquarters, Tesla's simply looking to expand its space. Meanwhile, we all eagerly await to hear if the Gigafactory will indeed end up being built in Nevada."
cartechboy (2660665) writes "Tesla says the future is electric cars, but many are skeptical that battery technology is advanced enough. It seems researchers just created pure lithium anode which is considered the 'holy grail' of battery tech. Existing lithium-ion batteries rely on the movement of lithium ions between the anode and cathode--and back--as the battery charges and discharges. While it's currently the best option for powering electric vehicles (and consumer electronics), there's room for improvement. The researchers at Stanford University just created that improvement. The pure lithium anode has the potential of boosting battery efficiency by a large margin over today's units. It proveds higher energy density, lighter weight and more power. A lithium anode would be ideal, but it's also unstable as the lithium expands during charging, causing cracks and fissures in the anode. Then lithium ions escape and battery life is reduced. That, and lithium anodes chemically react with the electrolyte, further reducing its life. Researchers fixed this issue with a carbon nanosphere arranged in a honeycomb structure. Is this the future? Did Standord's researchers just truly create the holy grail of battery technology?"
cartechboy (2660665) writes "We've covered the Bloodhound SSC before because it's being built to go at least 1,000 mph. That's just crazy. Throughout the car's development the team has kept us updated on how it's constructing and testing various components. The latest development has the team testing the wheels to ensure they won't explode at 1,100 mph. How do you test such a thing? You run the wheel up to 1,100 mph and see what happens, naturally. We know the record speed attempt will be live streamed for all to view, so if something catastrophic does happen, we'll know about it as it's happening. In the past we've learned about the Bloodhound SSC's anatomy, brakes, and engine. The team is clearly working hard to ensure both the driver's safety and the ability to control the car in case the worst happens. The question still remains: will the Bloodhound SSC actually break the speed record and hit 1,000 mph, safely?"