Tesla slays expectations, delivers over 88,000 cars in the first quarter


Tesla pulled off a massive upset, announcing record first-quarter deliveries despite disruptions due to the coronavirus crisis. Analysts were expecting to see a delivery figure of around 77,000 vehicles for Q1 2020. The Great Electrifier delivered 88,400, its best first-quarter performance ever. The production figure was 102,672 vehicles, just a shade off the record of… Read more »

EV software delays threaten to become “a disaster” for the German automakers


When I interviewed Tesla co-founder Ian Wright in 2014 for my history of Tesla, he described the software found in traditional automobiles as “a dog’s breakfast,” by which he meant that it was a motley mixture of heterogenous hardware and software, in contrast to Tesla’s elegant unified system, which controls every function of the vehicle…. Read more »

BYD says its new Blade Battery offers far lower risk of fire


The popular discussion of EVs tends to center on range, and this has led battery makers to focus on increasing energy density—some would say, at the expense of other equally important attributes such as longevity and safety. Chinese EV giant BYD has introduced a new Blade Battery, which is designed to “bring battery safety back… Read more »

Trump administration guts air pollution standards


As expected, the Trump administration has announced a rollback of federal fuel economy regulations, a move that some estimate will increase annual US carbon emissions by as much as 25 percent, as well as increasing fuel costs for consumers and putting the US auto industry at a competitive disadvantage. The administration says weakening the standards… Read more »

SEAT adapts windshield wiper motors to make ventilators


Spain has been hit especially hard by the COVID-19 virus. Now SEAT, the Spanish subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group, has adapted an auto assembly line to manufacture ventilators. Since the emergence of the pandemic, SEAT has launched several initiatives to produce material and devices in high demand by hospitals, including ventilators. A team of engineers… Read more »

Volkswagen explains why batteries, not fuel cells, are the right choice for passenger cars


The debate over hydrogen fuel cells refuses to go away. The founders of Tesla considered hydrogen and other energy storage media before deciding that batteries were the best choice for electric powertrains, and have explained their reasoning in great detail several times since. Toyota, on the other hand, continues to insist that fuel cell vehicles… Read more »

Tesla to reduce operations in Nevada, build ventilators in Buffalo


Tesla plans to drastically reduce staffing at its Nevada Gigafactory due to the coronavirus crisis, the local county manager said on Thursday. “Tesla has informed us that the Gigafactory in Storey County is reducing on-site staff by roughly 75% in the coming days,” Austin Osborne said in a post on the county’s web site. A… Read more »

US Army plans for an EV future


The US Army has been tentatively testing EV technology for some time. Electrification offers opportunities to streamline the military’s logistics tail and to improve its mobility and reach, and the process needs to move faster, a general with Army Futures Command told Defense News in a recent interview. “Let’s be clear. We’re behind. We’re late… Read more »

Take that, Coronavirus! Polestar begins production of its EV in China


As auto plants around the world shut down or shift to producing ventilators, Polestar, the performance EV brand owned by Volvo (which is in turned owned by Geely), announced that production of the Polestar 2 would begin this week at its plant in Luqiao, China. The company is taking stringent health precautions: at the factory,… Read more »

Nissan to offer electric options for all new models in Japan


Nissan was an early EV pioneer, but although the LEAF is still a common sight on the streets, sales have been flat in the US. In Japan, however, things look different. According to Nikkei, the LEAF and Nissan’s hybrid models accounted for 25% of sales in fiscal 2018, and the company aims to expand this… Read more »