Category: electric vehicles

June 11, 2019 Off

Tesla’s shareholder meeting: How to watch and what to expect

By Jill T Frey

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is expected to take the stage Tuesday for the company’s annual shareholder meeting following a volatile year that saw swings between profitability and wider-than-expected losses, production goals met and deliveries milestones missed, and a securities fraud charge, and subsequent settlement, with the SEC.

The board, like the company it governs, has also undergone changes in the past 12 months. In December, Tesla appointed two independent board members, Oracle founder, chairman and CTO Larry Ellison and Walgreens executive Kathleen Wilson-Thompson. Four months later, Tesla announced in regulator filings, that was reducing the board by more than one-third, to seven directors. Brad Buss, Linda Johnson Rice, Steve Jurvetson and Antonio Gracias will not stand for re-election once their terms end.

Like its earnings calls, Tesla shareholder meetings are rarely boring. If the past is a guide, the event will be run like an informal town hall … Read the rest

May 28, 2019 Off

The all-electric Honda e is bringing its side view mirrors inside

By Jill T Frey

Honda e, the compact electric vehicle that’s coming to market in spring 2020, is bringing its side-view mirrors inside. The company confirmed Tuesday that its side-camera-mirror system, which was on the prototype version, will be a standard feature when the car enters production. 

The side-camera-mirror system includes two six-inch screens, situated on the left and right sides of the dashboard, that provide live images of traffic. Honda argues that the tech reduces aerodynamic drag by 90% compared to conventional door mirrors, for an overall 3.8% improvement for the entire vehicle. This, in turn, can help with the battery’s efficiency and range.

The mirrors also improve visibility, Honda says, adding that the camera unit housings are shaped to prevent water drops on the lens. The lens also has a water-repellent coating to prevent residual water build up.

You can check out how it works in the video below.

The driver can … Read the rest

May 20, 2019 Off

Ford CTO Ken Washington at TC Sessions: Mobility on July 10

By Jill T Frey

A conference dedicated to transportation and mobility wouldn’t be complete without hearing from Ford, the U.S. automaker with a storied 116-year history.

We’re excited to announce that Ford CTO Ken Washington will participate in TechCrunch’s inaugural TC Sessions: Mobility, a one-day event on July 10, 2019 in San Jose, Calif., that’s bringing the best and brightest minds — founders, investors and technologists — who are determined to invent a future Henry Ford might never have imagined. Or maybe he did.

If there’s a person at Ford who can provide insight into where the company is headed, it’s Washington.

As CTO and vice president of Research and Advanced Engineering, Washington leads Ford’s worldwide research organization, oversees the development and implementation of the company’s technology strategy and plans and plays a key role in its expansion into emerging mobility opportunities.

Prior to joining Ford, he was vice president of the Advanced … Read the rest

May 17, 2019 Off

Rivian debuts a pull-out kitchen for its electric pickup truck

By Jill T Frey

Sometimes you need scrambled eggs. And with that thought, today at the Overland Expo in Flagstaff, AZ, Rivian announced a major accessory for its electric pickup: A camp kitchen. The unit slides out from the Rivian R1T’s so-called gear tunnel that lives between the bed and cab. The kitchen includes storage and a stove that’s powered by the R1T’s 180kWh battery pack.

This kitchen unit is the first significant concept Rivian has unveiled for the pickup’s unusual gear tunnel. This space provides another locked storage compartment for the pickup — but why have it all, many asked when it was revealed? And now, with this kitchen unit, Rivian is responding to the questions. It seems Rivian wants to make its vehicles the center of an ecosystem of add-ons. The company already revealed racks, vehicle-mounted tents and even a flashlight that hides in the side of the driver’s door. Expect more … Read the rest

May 15, 2019 Off

Tesla issues battery software update after Hong Kong vehicle fire

By Jill T Frey

Tesla has started pushing out a software update that will change battery charge and thermal management settings in Model S sedans and Model X SUVs following a fire in a parked vehicle in Hong Kong earlier this week.

The software update, which Tesla says is being done out of “an abundance of caution,” is supposed to “protect the battery and improve its longevity.” The over-the-air software update will not be made to Model 3 vehicles.

Tesla has not yet identified the cause of the fire or found any issues with the battery pack. But the company said it will act if it discovers a problem.

“The safety of our customers is our top priority, and if we do identify an issue, we will do whatever is necessary to address it,” Tesla said in a statement.

Here is the company’s statement in its entirety on the software update:

We currently have

Read the rest
May 14, 2019 Off

TC Sessions: Mobility announces its July 10 agenda

By Jill T Frey

TechCrunch Sessions is heading to San Jose on July 10 and we’re thrilled to announce our jam-packed agenda, overflowing with some of the biggest names and most exciting startups in the transportation industry. With Early-Bird ticket sales ending soon, you’ll want to be sure to grab your tickets after checking out this agenda.

Throughout the day, you can expect to hear from and partake in discussions about the future of transportation, the promise and problems of autonomous vehicles, the potential for bikes and scooters, investing in early-stage startups and more.

We’ll be joined by some of the most esteemed and prescient people in the space, including Dmitri Dolgov at Waymo, Argo AI Chief Safety Officer Summer Craze Fowler, Nuro co-founder Dave Ferguson, Karl Iagnemma of Aptiv, Seleta Reynolds of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation and Ford Motor CTO Ken Washington.

We’ll also spend time discussing … Read the rest

May 9, 2019 Off

VW’s new electric hatchback receives 10,000 pre-orders in first 24 hours

By Jill T Frey

Volkswagen opened up pre-orders in Europe at a launch event Wednesday for a special edition of the first model in its new all-electric ID brand. Within 24 hours, the company received more than 10,000 registrations, a result that suggests growing demand for electric vehicles.

VW revealed Wednesday the name, some pricing and range specs for the first model in its multi-billion-dollar effort to produce and sell a portfolio of electric vehicles. This first model, known as the ID.3, is an electric hatchback that will be offered in three battery options, with ranges between 330 and up to 550 kilometers (205 miles to 341 miles) in accordance with WLTP. The WLTP, or Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure, is the European standard to measure energy consumption and emissions.

Customer interest in the special edition “ID.3 1” — which will be limited to 30,000 vehicles — is “significantly exceeding the brand’s expectations, … Read the rest

May 2, 2019 Off

Tesla is raising up to $1.5 billion through convertible note and share sale

By Jill T Frey

Tesla is raising up to $1.55 billion through the sale of notes and shares, according to a filing made by the EV maker today.

The document outlines that Tesla will sell up to $1.35 billion in convertible senior notes. The number could increase further: Tesla is giving underwriters the chance to buy a further $202.5 million for over-allotments. In share numbers, that’s an initial 2,723,198 shares that could expand to 3,131,677.

The notes are due in 2024 and, already, Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk is committed to buying $10 million in the offering, that’s 41,896 shares.

Tesla’s stock price rose by five percent in pre-market at the time of writing, according to data from Yahoo Finance.

As is often the case in such offerings, the plans for the funds raised are fairly vague at this point.

“We intend to use the net proceeds from this convertible notes … Read the rest

April 25, 2019 Off

Tesla to open up Model 3 orders in UK

By Jill T Frey

Tesla is poised to open up orders for the Model 3 in the U.K. by early May, as well as other markets that have right-hand drive vehicles, according to a tweet from CEO Elon Musk.

The Model 3 order page will go live May 1 or 2 in the U.K., followed by Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong. Tesla’s U.K. web page says “deliveries in right-hand drive markets will begin in the second half of 2019.”

The first Model 3 vehicles were handed over to U.S. customers beginning in July 2017 at a splashy event at its factory in Fremont, Calif. Those first vehicles went to Tesla employees and deliveries limped along for months due to production bottlenecks. Deliveries began in earnest in 2018.

The expansion into more right-hand drive markets … Read the rest

April 25, 2019 Off

Waymo CTO Dmitri Dolgov at TC Sessions: Mobility on July 10

By Jill T Frey

Long before there was an autonomous vehicle industry, there was Project Chauffeur — a secret endeavor staffed by about a dozen engineers and housed under Google’s moonshot factory X.

That venture, popularly known as the Google self-driving car project, would eventually graduate from its project status to become a standalone company called Waymo in 2016 — along the way helping launch an entire industry and numerous careers.

And Waymo’s CTO and VP of engineering Dmitri Dolgov has been there for the entire ride.

We’re excited to announce that Dolgov will participate in TechCrunch’s inaugural TC Sessions: Mobility, a one-day event on July 10, 2019 in San Jose, Calif. centered around the future of mobility and transportation.

We’ll talk to Dolgov about those early days, how the company has evolved and where it’s headed next, as well as dig into the tech behind self-driving cars.

TC Sessions: Mobility will present … Read the rest