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March 30 2017

08:40

Drone Video Footage Shows How Big VW’s Diesel Scandal Is

One person managed to capture video using a drone showing how many cars Volkswagen has bought back.

It was reported last week that the Pontiac Silverdome in Michigan had become a storing site for cheating diesels that Volkswagen has purchased from owners, and now we have a sense of just how many vehicles are sitting in that parking lot. YouTuber “jacuzzibusguy” filmed the Volkswagen buyback staging area at the dilapidated stadium and it might be more shocking than you originally thought.

SEE ALSO: Volkswagen Storing Bought-Back Diesels In Old Football Stadium

As of now, there’s no accurate count of how many diesel vehicles Volkswagen has purchased from owners, and the Pontiac Silverdome is just one of many sites where Volkswagen is currently storing vehicles. Jalopnik reports it knows of at least four or five other sites in the U.S., but there’s likely more than that. Either way, the scale of the buyback is enormous and this drone footage confirms that.

This article originally appeared at AutoGuide.com

The post Drone Video Footage Shows How Big VW’s Diesel Scandal Is appeared first on HybridCars.com.

04:41

Skoda Unveiling Vision E Electric and Automated Concept in Shanghai

Skoda Auto will be revealing its first electric and autonomous vehicle late next month at the Shanghai Motor Show.

The Czech Republic-based Volkswagen subsidiary announced it will be showing the Vision E concept all-electric SUV, and that it embodies the brand’s interpretation of electric vehicles.

The company claims the Vision E SUV coupe will be able to travel 500 kilometers (310.6 miles), but the vehicle is only in the concept stage. It would probably be using European NEDC range standards, which go longer than what’s used in the U.S.

Powerful lithium ion batteries and optimal recuperation will maximize charging range, the company said. It will have 225 kW of system output, allowing for instantaneous acceleration and dynamic driving. It will be able to reach a top speed of 180 kilometers per hour (111.8 mph).

Skoda is designing the electric SUV with two electric motors that can work together fluidly for maximum efficiency, and the ability to drive the vehicle on all four wheels. The front- and rear-wheel drives are adjustable to reach the highest degrees of stability, dynamism, and safety, the company said.

The automaker said it will be able to meet level 3 requirements for autonomous vehicles. That level is called “conditional automation” by SAE International (Society of Automotive Engineers), which allows for full automation with the expectation that the human driver will take over the vehicle as needed. The highest level for full automation is level 5.

Using level 3 autonomous driving, the Vision E will be able to operate independently in traffic jams, go into autopilot on highways, stay in lane and swerve to other lanes, and search for free and available parking spaces. To tap into the autonomous technology, various sensors with different ranges and numerous cameras will be able to constantly monitor the traffic situation.

The Skoda Vision E will be built on VW’s Modular Electric Drive kit (MEB) platform. That was introduced by the parent company last year as part of its ambitious plan to electrify its product offerings.

SEE ALSO:  Volkswagen’s Skoda Nameplate Could Come To North America

Skoda’s first plug-in vehicle will be the Superb plug-in hybrid, to be released in 2019. The company said that its first purely electric series vehicle will come out in 2020, with no specification given on whether it will be the Vision E.

By 2025, Skoda plans to have rolled out five all-electric vehicles in various vehicle segments.

The company’s existing product lineup in Europe covers the gamut of passenger vehicles including a small hatchback, small-to-large cars, a crossover, and an SUV. Skoda is known as one of the top money-making brands for VW, joining up with Audi and Porsche.

The Vision E SUV crossover was designed with full functionality in mind. It’s 4,645 millimeters (182.8 inches) long, 1,917 mm (75.4 inches) wide, and 1,550 mm (61 inches) tall. A long wheelbase of 2,850 mm (112.2 inches) and short overhangs were used by the designers to support a spacious interior. Riders can use that space to store goods and its elevated seating position for comfort and visibility. It also features an exterior design, with a sloping roof line, in the style of a coupe.

 

The post Skoda Unveiling Vision E Electric and Automated Concept in Shanghai appeared first on HybridCars.com.

04:00

Daimler Moves EQ Rollout To 2022 As Rules Of The Game Change

Daimler is speeding up its EQ all-electric vehicle lineup launch by three years to deal with regulatory pressure and to take a leading role in the shift toward electrification.

The German automaker is sticking with its goal of launching 10 EVs, but they’ll all be unveiled by 2022 instead of the previous target of 2025.

Its EQ lineup of 10 electric sedans, SUVs, and compacts was announced last fall at the Paris auto show with 2019 as the starting time. Mercedes-Benz will oversee the EQ subbrand.

The company sees market forces speeding up for automakers to move away from traditional powertrains. Internal combustion engines are going through what the company describes as a “transitional period.”

Daimler used the annual shareholder meeting to release a statement prior to the event on Wednesday.

“We want to shape the profound transformation of the automotive industry from the forefront,” Daimler chairman Manfred Bischoff said in the statement. “Further fundamental changes will be required for Daimler to remain successful,” he said.

Like other Europe-based automakers, Daimler is facing increasing scrutiny from national governments and the European Union. Diesel cars, which not long ago made up the leading powertrain for cars in the continent, is seeing softening demand. The Volkswagen diesel cheating scandal triggered some of that, but carbon emissions mandates had been falling into place for years prior, with diesel losing support.

Daimler is facing its own increased scrutiny with German prosecutors investigating its employees from allegations made over diesel emissions reporting manipulations.

While achieving declines in carbon emissions from vehicles sold in Europe for several years, the company saw it flatten last year at 123 grams per kilometer. As has been the case in the U.S., buyers have been favoring larger vehicles. If the automaker doesn’t bring that measure down to a level of 100 grams per kilometer by 2021 it will face hefty fines.

Strong demand for large vehicles could help explain Daimler’s unveiling so far in the EQ lineup. The EQ electric SUV is expected to hit the market in 2019.

Diesel versions of these vehicles are seeing declining interest, which signals an historic shift in European consumers who had preferred to drive diesel vehicles for several decades. Daimler prided itself on high-performance diesel powertrains and used it to compete strongly against BMW, Audi, and others.

SEE ALSO:  Daimler Chief Reflects On How Tesla Has Put a Shine On Electric Cars’ Image

The Center for Automotive Research at the University of Duisburg-Essen reported that demand for diesel vehicles fell to its lowest level in December since September 2010, making up 43 percent of total sales.

Germany’s IG Metall union said after conducting a survey of manufacturers and suppliers in Daimler’s home state of Baden-Wuerttemberg that the industry is leaning away from diesel and over to electrification.

“Among development teams, especially in diesel, there are signs there’s less to do as electrification is starting to have an impact,” Roman Zitzelsberger, a union representative on Daimler’s supervisory board, said about the survey of auto manufacturers and suppliers. “We found there are fewer follow-up requests and general degree of activity.”

Automotive News

The post Daimler Moves EQ Rollout To 2022 As Rules Of The Game Change appeared first on HybridCars.com.

00:40

Mayors Creating Car Scoring System To Cut Pollution And Hold Automakers Accountable

City mayors from around the world are starting a car scoring system aimed at cutting air pollution on city streets.

The mayors of Paris and London who head the C40 Cities organization are working out a system to score new cars based on their real-world emissions and impact on air quality. Paris mayor and C40 Cities chair Anne Hidalgo and London mayor and vice chair Sadiq Khan believe the program will help consumers make better choices once informed on the environmental impact of their cars.

They also see the car scoring system setting a standard to pressure automakers away from exploiting loopholes in their vehicle labels and emissions reporting methods.

Mayors at other C40 cities will be working to create and support the global scoring system. So far, the list includes Seoul, Madrid, Mexico City, Milan, Moscow, Oslo, and Tokyo.

“For too long, some vehicle manufacturers have been able to hide behind inconsistent regulation and consumer uncertainty about the damage their cars are causing,” Hidalgo said. “This announcement is a wake-up call to car companies that they need to act now.”

The European Union’s testing has only included fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions, and are based on laboratory tests, according to C40. Actual emissions out on the road can be up to 15 times greater. The new program would issue scores for each vehicle after testing during real-world, on-road conditions.

The data will be accessible to the public trough dedicated websites.

Paris and London have committed to having their programs in place by the end of this year.

While leaving out automaker names, C40 points to the Volkswagen diesel emission cheating scandal and other automakers that have fallen under investigation as highlighting the vulnerability of the EU’s current emissions reporting system. Governments are also blamed for using testing methods that automakers can manipulate to conceal the real-world levels of toxic emissions.

“Some diesel cars that meet the EU’s highest environmental standards, known as Euro 6, in reality release more nitrogen oxide and nitrogen dioxide than a modern heavy duty truck. These NOx and fine particle pollutants are particularly important, as they are amongst the most damaging to human health,” C40 said.

SEE ALSO:  Paris Hopes Color-Coded Window Stickers Will Help Clean Up Heavy Air Pollution

C40 Cities membership now includes more than 90 cities, more than 650 million people and about a quarter of the global economy. Started as C20 with 18 members in 2005, it eventually changed its name to C40 when there were that many active member cities; the group seems to be sticking to C40 even though its city membership has more than doubled.

New York’s former mayor Michael Bloomberg previously served as chair and now heads up the board. He’s been a vocal advocate of cities playing an integral part in a global strategy to address climate change, now serving as a U.N. envoy for cities and climate change.

“These new vehicle scorings will empower consumers to make informed choices that protect public health and the planet,” Bloomberg said. “This is a great example of how the same steps that improve lives also fuel progress against climate change.”

The post Mayors Creating Car Scoring System To Cut Pollution And Hold Automakers Accountable appeared first on HybridCars.com.

00:38

AeroVironment Tapping Into JuiceNet To Make Charging More Efficient For EV Drivers And Utilities

A leading charging station supplier has partnered with a smart-grid charging platform firm to provide both increased charging capabilities to electric vehicle drivers and electric demand load management for utilities.

AeroVironment is collaborating with eMotorWerks’ and its JuiceNet smart-grid charging platform to offer customers, including utility companies, a set of services tapping into what EV owners and electric companies are curious about for making charging more efficient.

Tied into the JuiceNet product, users will be able to utilize smartphone, web, and Amazon Alexa voice control over their EV charging. Other functions include viewing data on real time and historic energy usage for their electric cars; charging status notifications; load balancing two or more electric vehicle service equipment (EVSE) components to effectively share the load; and scheduling charging during periods of lower utility rates, helping users save money on charging.

Utilities can tap into the platform to modulate energy demand on the grid. They can also shift and spread out EV charging loads to times when renewable energy is more abundant or energy rates are lower.

EV drivers with environmental concerns have used Juicebox to monitor power plants or types of power plants in real time. The company says its platform offers cloud-connected and intelligent grid charging solutions, including green-charging from renewable energy sources. JuiceNet has the capability to increase the relative percentage of renewable energy used to charge a driver’s EV by setting the “Green Charging” feature.

In certain sections of California, customers can earn rewards dollars for using the Green Charging feature. That service is set to expand to locations outside of California.

SEE ALSO:  AeroViroment EVSE-RS Named Official Home Charger for Chevy Bolt

EV drivers can tap into eMotorWerks’ solutions including Juicebox by using smartphone applications. In some markets, they can earn frequent charging rewards through eMotorWerk’s platform and utility partnerships.

AeroVironment’s chargers have been selected by eight global automakers for charging their EVs.

The post AeroVironment Tapping Into JuiceNet To Make Charging More Efficient For EV Drivers And Utilities appeared first on HybridCars.com.

March 29 2017

20:06

Top 5 Most Fuel Efficient SUVs

Crossover SUV sales are on the rise and just because they offer some of the benefits of a truck does not mean they need to be inefficient.

Indeed, the standard now for fuel economy among the best is nearly as good as some compact sedans.

Of course, with the exception of all-electric models, the top-performing gas-burning crossover SUVs do comprise quite the trade-off of 15-20 mpg compared to the most fuel-sipping hybrid sedans and hatchbacks in the 40- to 50-mpg range.

Thanks however to cheap gas (or not), many consumers don’t seem to let that compromise stop them as SUVs provide more cargo space and a more authoritative profile on the road.

Following are the top 5 most efficient vehicles sold. But first we’ll mention the Tesla Model X.

The large crossover deserves a note as the most energy efficient “SUV” sold in America, but being all-electric and priced at least doubly over the others, it is the odd vehicle among “fuel” efficient conventional and hybrid SUV.

2017 Honda HR-V – 31 mpg

Available in a CVT transmission or regular stepped-gear automatic, both versions of Honda’s CR-V are rated for 31 mpg.

Honda brought this non-hybrid compact crossover here in 2015 and it sits below the very popular CR-V, being based on the Fit platform and powered by the Civic’s 1.8-liter engine.

Weighing in at 3,100 pounds, the HR-V has decent get up and go from its 141 horses.

Rumors initially were it would be a candidate for hybridization, but to date those are unconfirmed by Honda which is otherwise moving ahead with electrified vehicles.

All wheel drive as well as front wheel driver versions make for a versatile formula, as does the respectable cargo space

Mazda CX-3 2WD – 31 mpg


A direct competitor to the HR-V, the car from the company that has resisted hybridization is of course another non-hybrid, but its fuel economy is alright.

Powered by a larger 2.0-liter engine with a tad more oomph, the Mazda is 150 pounds lighter than the HR-V, and has more engaging driving opersonality.

Utility and style are baked in, and a 4WD version, while rated 29 mpg, is also available.

Lexus NX 300h – 31 mpg


Based on Toyota’s RAV4 platform, the upscale hybrid serves up more go from the ES 300 h sedan’s 2.5-liter hybrid powertrain, while maintaining on the same mpg on paper as the HR-V and CX-3.

This of course is a much more upscale ride, replete with the “spindle” grille that says you have are someone a cut above, for those who buy into conspicuous consumption.

Otherwise, it does deliver refinement, more bells and whistles, and a luxurious interior and accoutrements one would expect in a mid-level luxury car starting around $40,000.

Available in a 2.0T non-hybrid also, the “edgy” styling is complemented by respectable road manners for an overall sporty package letting you in theory eat your cake and have it too. http://www.hybridcars.com/2015-lexus-nx-300h-hybrid-review/

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid – 33 mpg

Available only in all-wheel-drive, the RAV4 is the alternative to the NX, it came a year after last year, and has jumped to the second-best selling hybrid slot due to what’s technically known as a fairly good bang for the buck.

Utilizing the same 2.5-liter hybrid powertrain as the NX, it’s prices a paltry $700 more than comparably equipped RAVs in conventional trim.

This said, it is very well equipped in better and best trim levels, so that extra padding is how Toyota makes it work, but ultimately it is a good deal, and good reason to go hybrid.

Included is Toyota’s all-wheel-drive that utilizes a rear electric motor not connected by any driveshaft to the front wheel drive portion.

Styling is handsome, and no different than the non-hybrid except for badging and minor details.

Nissan Rogue FWD – 34 mpg

Driven by a 176-horsepower, 2.0-liter hybrid powertrain, the FWD version of the Rogue edges out the mpg of the AWD version of the RAV4, and represents Nissan’s entry to this market just rolling out this spring.

The Rogue was already immensely popular, and don’t be surprised to see it compete closely with the RAV. A 4WD version also beats by 1 mpg the RAV.

Attractive styling, and useful interior design complement good road manners.

This and the RAV ought to be enough to pull Honda in eventually with a CR-V hybrid, as has been rumored, and they otherwise represent an opening of this segment.

Now if we can get more plug-in versions in the same form factor, that would be even better, but meanwhile, aside from the Model X, this is the best that you can get in terms of fuel economy.

The post Top 5 Most Fuel Efficient SUVs appeared first on HybridCars.com.

16:33

Faraday Future Breaks Plans For California Plant And Will Downsize Nevada Plant

Faraday Future has scrapped a plan to buy California land for an assembly plant, and is downsizing its Nevada factory.

The troubled Chinese electric carmaker is ending land purchase negotiations with Vallejo, a California city in the bay area.

The Gardena, Calif.-based company was going to supplement its main production plant in North Las Vegas, Nev., with the California location.

The future of the Nevada plant will be changing from an earlier plan. The company now says it has a “new strategy,” that will downsize the original building design to less than a third of the size. The company originally committed to build a three-million square foot assembly plant.

In February, Faraday Future said it was taking bids from contractors and was getting ready to start up the Nevada plant soon.

So far, nothing has gone up on that land. The factory had been suspended last fall when Faraday stopped paying some of its contractors.

A spokesman for the company said the electric car will go into production soon. Construction work at the assembly plant will begin “very soon,” he said.

SEE ALSO:  Faraday Future Parent LeEco Lands $600 Million; Construction to Resume on Nevada Factory?

The company grabbed a lot of attention last year showing of the FF 91 electric hypercar. Since late in the year, news has been coming out over internal struggles going on, including having a few top executives leave in frustration.

Chinese tech entrepreneur Jia Yueting, a major shareholder in Faraday, announced cutbacks to his LeEco company late last year. His company faces its own set of financial problems and doesn’t seem to have much offer Faraday at this time.

Los Angeles Times

The post Faraday Future Breaks Plans For California Plant And Will Downsize Nevada Plant appeared first on HybridCars.com.

15:58
How to keep your teen from drinking and driving
15:35
2018 Chevrolet Equinox
14:40
New Ford recalls affect 442,000 Edge, Escape, Fiesta, Fusion, and other models
14:30
2018 Acura TLX, Lamborghini Urus, Next-gen Nissan Leaf: What’s New @ The Car Connection

March 28 2017

21:34
6 tips for taking road trips with your dog
17:55

Chinese Tech Giant Tencent Buys 5 Percent of Tesla

Tesla has gained significant financial backing by way of a 5-percent investment by Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings.

The company’s $1.78 billion stake in the electric automaker, or about 8.2 million shares makes it Tesla’s fifth-largest shareholder. The first four largest shareholders consist of CEO Elon Musk and investment companies Fidelity, Baillie Gifford, and T. Rowe Price.

Along with needing more cash flow for its Model 3 launch later this year, Tesla can tap into these resources for expanding into important overseas markets like China.

In a U.S. regulatory filing from early March, Tesla reported making more than $1 billion in revenue in China last year. That made for more than 15 percent of Tesla’s revenue last year of over $7 billion.

CEO Elon Musk had said China will someday become Tesla’s largest market.

Tencent has been investing in Chinese electric vehicle manufacturing startups. One of these, NextEV, also has a U.S. office in San Jose, Calif., near Tesla’s Palo Alto headquarters.

Like Tesla, NextEV has a presence in testing out self-driving cars in California.

SEE ALSO:  Tesla Sees Over $1 Billion In China Sales Revenue Last Year

NextEV, which has rebranded itself as Nio and is based in Shanghai, has also found another major investor lately through Chinese search engine giant Baidu.

Tencent has backed at least two other Chinese EV startups, including Future Mobility. Like Nio/NextEV, Future Mobility is working on self-driving EVs. The startup said the first one could be introduced by 2020.

Beyond EV makers, Tencent has put money in Didi Chuxing, the world’s second largest ride-hailing company after Uber. The company has also invested in Lyft, Uber’s chief rival in the U.S.

Tesla earlier this month had already raised about $1.2 billion by selling common shares and convertible debt.

Automotive News

The post Chinese Tech Giant Tencent Buys 5 Percent of Tesla appeared first on HybridCars.com.

14:59
America's infrastructure is so bad, gravel roads are making a comeback
14:45
2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell
14:30
Nissan Murano recalled, Bugatti Chiron driven, Trump vs. climate-change: What’s New @ The Car Connection
13:08

Uber and Lyft Face Tougher Competitors Than Taxis: Automakers

As the taxi industry continues being decimated by Uber and Lyft ride-hailing and ridesharing services, these and other mobility companies will begin seeing a wave of competition coming from automakers jumping into the race.

Taxi and black-car operators have been sideswiped by Uber and Lyft in recent years as riders get to pay about half the taxi fare, tap into on-demand pickup from their mobile device, and have a much more user friendly and likeable experience. That’s been especially the case for younger riders in their 20s and 30s who don’t see the point in following the previous taxi-ride tradition.

Last year saw a wave of acquisitions and investment from global automakers entering the shared mobility space, and preparing for the autonomous rides of the future. The possibility of providing robo-taxis was one of the potential services being discussed as automakers reinvent themselves from vehicle manufacturers to mobility service providers.

Daimler, Ford, General Motors, and Volkswagen proved how serious they are about it. Much of that has come through acquisitions including VW launching its Moia mobility service division, and GM starting up Maven carsharing and investing in Lyft.

Market analysts warn Uber that getting into shared, automated rides could be undercut by automakers experienced in starting new divisions with the capital needed to back it up. Automakers investing in carsharing and ridesharing fleets could have the upper hand.

“Uber has to undergo a transition as large as OEMs,” said James Hodgson, an analyst with ABI Research.

Daimler has been in the market for years through its Car2Go carsharing subsidiary. The German automaker has gone through highs and lows with Car2Go, after entering a market niche it had had no experience with prior. It now serves over two million members worldwide.

Daimler, through Car2Go, has the experience to issue a wake-up call to Uber, Lyft, and other mobility startups.

“It doesn’t happen overnight,” said Paul DeLong, CEO of Car2Go. “There’s significant investment [in] maintenance, repair, fuel, parking cost. It comes down to utilization. We want to get people to use our cars multiple times in the day.”

Automakers have paid serious attention to the intensive growth and interest out there in Uber and Lyft – and in autonomous driving.

SEE ALSO:  Uber To Open Self-Driving Research Center In Michigan

Uber has been quite serious about testing autonomous vehicles, experiencing its first crash Friday night in Tempe, Ariz. The company has also entered autonomous trucking through its Otto acquisition last year; that acquisition has been at the heart of a lawsuit from Google’s Waymo company based on accusations that Uber stole Waymo’s intellectual property on self-driving vehicles.

Last July in his “Master Plan, Part Deux” blog post, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that his company will be getting into the game. Tesla will be rolling out a shared fleet program that enables Tesla owners with fully autonomous cars to make income through renting out their electric vehicle to customers needed a ride.

GM is tapping into a similar revenue stream through its Express Drive rental car program. Lyft drivers can rent GM vehicles that include insurance and maintenance in the rental cost.

With GM and Lyft working together to test out self-driving all-electric Chevy Bolts, perhaps Lyft drivers will one day have that option to try out through Express Drive.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles entered the space last year through its partnership with Waymo. FCA will provide the Chrysler Pacifica; Waymo will automate the self-driving minivans and may offer a mobility service with the vehicle.

Automotive News

 

The post Uber and Lyft Face Tougher Competitors Than Taxis: Automakers appeared first on HybridCars.com.

13:05

California Disregards Trump and Moves Ahead With Emissions Goals

California has approved emissions standards that the White House still wants to review.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) finalized 2022-2025 emissions rules for the state and also set a mandate for zero-emission sales over the same time period. CARB has also ordered its workers to start on determining targets for beyond 2025.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently said that it would reconsider the 2022-2025 tailpipe emissions targets just last week, but California is moving forwards anyways

The move could prove to be problematic if federal regulators decide to go in a different direction, since about a dozen states follow California’s car regulations in full or part. Not only could different targets be an issue for automakers, but consumers as well.

SEE ALSO: Auto Analysts See Fuel Efficiency Moving Forward Regardless of White House Decision

After Trump’s election but prior to him taking office, the Obama administration rushed to finalize the federal standards, but automakers said there was not enough time for consideration. Since then, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said it would reconsider the 2022-2025 targets after automakers requested a review.

A White House official told Reuters the Trump administration was committed to protecting jobs and providing consumers with affordable cars. U.S. and California regulators projected that stricter pollution controls could add about $1,000 to the cost of each car sold in 2025, with mileage increasing from 38.3 mpg in model year 2021 to 46.3 for model year 2025.

Reuters

This article originally appeared at AutoGuide.com

The post California Disregards Trump and Moves Ahead With Emissions Goals appeared first on HybridCars.com.

12:48
2018 Acura TLX peeks out ahead of auto show debut
03:20

Elon Musk Adds Details On What To Expect From Model 3

A year after the introduction of the prototype Model 3, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to his medium of choice, Twitter, to share more details on the pending production version.

Due in just three months in July, the Model 3 is the arguably biggest news for electric cars going, and may even be this year’s biggest news among all cars overall.

You’ve probably heard the baseline specs by now: A cool car starting at $35,000 (plus potential delivery fee), range at least 215 miles, larger battery optional and all-wheel-drive optional, Autopilot, trickle-down tech from Model S, and did we mention it was going to be cool?

To date, the only car with similar range and price is the Chevy Bolt which began sales last October in California and Oregon. That FWD compact crossover that was developed in response to Tesla’s planned 3 will continue to roll out to the rest of the country through September.

Musk has said there will be a second reveal prior to the first Model 3s being delivered, but meanwhile here are some of the details revealed.

Details

Although the Model 3 will be all new, as a price leader it will not introduce new technology ahead of the upscale Model S and X.

The front end design now looks a bit like a Panamera, now with cameras for Autopilot, but the newness will be under the skin. Specifically, technology is devoted to design and production of the car, but it won’t have anything “majorly new that a consumer would notice.”

The Model 3 also will skip a basic process that new car manufacturers normally go through, and that is beta testing. Or rather, Tesla will sell initial cars to employees who will act as beta testers in the interest of getting the car out sooner.

If something does go awry, well, they can just drive it to work and get the fix or update and Tesla will refine the car as needed on the fly.

Also perhaps a bit unexpected is all-wheel drive is not due until next year. Some had speculated that the top-shelf AWD models would come first along with bigger batteries as those would be most profitable and that pattern was seen for Model S and Model S.

Here also the move was made to expedite the roll-out.

Musk mentioned the Model S came first in RWD, and that’s true – in fact the “D” was a reveal that came unexpectedly later – but otherwise the most-expensive Signature S models were delivered first in 2012.

Also of note is the battery capacity size is limited to 75 kWh due to its shorter wheelbase than the Model S and X. Those cars Tesla has managed to squeeze a 100 kWh battery option into, but they are heavier, so we shall see how much range the 75 gets.

One person asked Musk if the Model 3 will have more range than the Bolt.

The Bolt, less aerodynamic than the 3, is EPA rated 238 miles from a 60 kWh battery. The base Model 3 is expected to have a smaller battery than that and deliver at least 215 miles, and obviously the larger battery options will exceed the Bolt’s range.

Not necessarily news, but reiterated, is the Model 3 is to be competitive with a BMW 3 series or Audi A4. “Model S is like BMW 5 and 6 series, but much faster, more storage space + Autopilot,” Musk said.

Notable also while some have worried the sedan’s trunk will be tiny, Musk said it will be big enough to fit a large cooler, without specifying cubic feet.

When asked if the Model 3 will have a head-up display, the implication was no, but it won’t need it either.

Musk has previously suggested fully autonomous cars could also even pay for themselves by doing duty as for-hire carsharing vehicles. That is, in this futuristic scenario, a person could own and drive a Model 3 (or other Tesla) and when it was not in use by the owner, the self-driving car could be out driving others around who pay for the service.

For the UK and other markets where right-hand-drive is the nom, this will be delayed to summer 2018.

Whether people who are eagerly waiting for the spiffy new EV would be willing to risk strangers nicking, scratching, scuffing, and dirtying their pride and joy is another question, but the idea has been floated nonetheless.

This scenario will be available for the Model Y crossover expected to be built on the Model 3’s platform.

When that will be built is not known, it’s at least “a few years away,” but if anyone thinks people willing to let out their Model 3 so it can pay its way is a wild scenario, so is the projected production ramp up.

Musk said he is telling suppliers that he needs componentry for “1,000 cars a week in July, 2,000 a week in August, and 4,000 a week in September.”

By year’s end, the production rate is projected at an ambitious 5,000 per week, 10,000 weekly by 2018’s end – or about five-times the production rate it now has for Model S and X.

This is enough to add to around 430,000 Model 3s by end of 2018 and for that same year, Musk says it can build a half a million cars in total, counting its other models.

This is quite the jump from fewer than 100,000 built worldwide last year, and no carmaker has ever ramped up at that rate.

In any case, this also implies the Model 3 will have to be quite special as it is hinted that it will be. It will also need to be successful without too many hiccups or glitches.

Tesla has a history of coming late to market, and it saw some issues such as failing drive units in Model S, and a laundry list of bugs in the Model X, so it has certainly set a tall bill for itself to fill.

Due in July, the Model 3 stands to make waves like no other car before it, and eyes will be on what else is revealed between now and then.

Twitter

The post Elon Musk Adds Details On What To Expect From Model 3 appeared first on HybridCars.com.

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