Tesla has cleverly gotten around a New Mexico law that prevented them from selling and servicing their cars in the state. Up until now, New Mexico Tesla owners have had to drive out-of-state to get their cars serviced. There were also no Tesla stores in the state. Why? Because, like a number of other US states, New Mexico has a ban on direct car sales.
The ban stems from an old law used to protect car dealers in case automakers decided to start supplying vehicles directly to consumers. However, Tesla’s core business model revolves around selling directly to the consumer, with no middle-man car dealer involved. Up until now, Tesla has had no presence in New Mexico. They tried to enter the state in 2019 with the aid of a number of favorable legislators but were blocked from doing so when local car dealer associations campaigned against them.
However, it now appears Tesla has found a loophole. By partnering with a Native American tribe, Nambé Pueblo, Tesla was able to build on their land – which is not subject to state law. Hence Tesla could open a new 7,000-square-foot service center and store inside the remains of a former casino north of Santa Fe.
Interestingly, Tesla could potentially use this loophole in a number of other states that have a ban on direct car sales. It just seems it’s a matter of finding the right tribal location, and then reaching a separate agreement with the tribe in question.
The City of Nitro, near Charleston, bought the Tesla Model 3 for about $40,000 — a little more than its other cruisers cost — and then spent another $10,000 to outfit it with lights, sirens and other equipment a police car needs, CNN affiliate WCHS reported.
In a post on Facebook, the department said it decided to buy the Tesla after doing a lot of research, having discussions with Tesla and talking with an Indiana police department that has five Model 3s in its fleet and plans to buy more.
“We believe time will show that through the fuel savings, maintenance cost and resale value, that this car will be cost-neutral to the citizens of Nitro,” Mayor Dave Casebolt told WCHS.
He told WCHS the car can go 500 miles on $18 worth of electricity, while their other police cruisers need about $90 in fuel to cover the same distance.
“The savings, we figure, will be in the neighborhood of $5,000 a year per vehicle,” Police Chief Chris Fleming told WCHS.
The Nitro Police Department has installed a Tesla charging station outside the building and department policy is to keep the vehicle charged to at least 50% at all times, so it’s always ready to patrol.
The city has also purchased two other patrol cars this year, according to its Facebook post — Ford Interceptor Hybrid and a regular Ford Interceptor.
It plans to compare the three vehicles for a year and decide which one provides the best cost benefit.
A Tesla Model 3 struck a Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) trooper’s vehicle on Saturday just weeks after the NHTSA established an investigation into the semi-autonomous driving functionality. The driver and FHP confirmed the vehicle was operating on Autopilot.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, a 27-year old was driving his Model 3 westbound on Interstate 4 near Orlando at around 5 a.m. eastern time on Saturday morning when the vehicle struck a Highway Patrol vehicle that was stopped on the side of the road to assist a disabled automobile on the shoulder.
The driver stated that the vehicle was operating on Autopilot, according to FHP and ABC affiliate WFTV9. The driver of the Tesla, along with the owner of the disabled vehicle, had minor injuries. The Trooper on the scene was unhurt.
Happening now: Orange County. Trooper stopped to help a disabled motorist on I-4. When Tesla driving on “auto” mode struck the patrol car. Trooper was outside of car and extremely lucky to have not been struck. #moveover. WB lanes of I-4 remain block as scene is being cleared. pic.twitter.com/w9N7cE4bAR
Interestingly, the accident occurred just weeks after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened an investigation into Tesla Autopilot. The agency told Teslarati that it would investigate eleven separate instances of accidents that occurred under Autopilot operation. However, several of the accidents in the investigation were ultimately not the fault of the system itself and was actually a result of gross negligence by the driver. Two of the eleven incidents being examined were caused by the driver being intoxicated. Another was caused by a driver with a suspended license, and four were the result of incorrect Autopilot use.
NHTSA launches Tesla Autopilot investigation over crashes with emergency vehicles
Because of its unfamiliar nature to many people, Autopilot receives a bad reputation and is often misrepresented and misunderstood by media and critics. Tesla Autopilot is not a fully autonomous driving functionality and is standard with every Tesla from 2017 or later. Tesla has never indicated that Autopilot is a replacement for human drivers and has said on numerous occasions that the system must be used while the driver is fully attentive and still focused on the road. To operate Autopilot in a vehicle, the driver’s hands must be on the wheel at all times in case of a needed intervention, and the wheel has sensors that confirm the driver is still maintaining ultimate control of the vehicle.
While the driver told FHP that the vehicle was operating under Autopilot, it is still the responsibility of the driver to maintain control of the vehicle. Frequently, the Autopilot and Full Self-Driving suites are abused by some. When these irresponsible acts of operation result in an accident or injury, Tesla takes the blame and not the driver. Unfortunately, this is not an accurate depiction of how safe Autopilot actually is.
A Tesla vehicle operating on autopilot slammed into a Florida police cruiser on a highway near Orlando on Saturday, just days after CEO Elon Musk admitted faults with the experimental self-driving software amid a federal investigation into the system.
The crash happened just before 5 a.m. on Saturday when the trooper had activated his cruiser’s emergency lights on the way to help a disabled vehicle.
The Tesla hit the cruiser on its left side and then collided with the disabled vehicle, highway patrol spokeswoman Lt. Kim Montes told the Orlando Sentinel.
The 27-year-old Tesla “driver” and disabled vehicle driver suffered minor injuries as a result of the crash, according to the report. The state trooper was unhurt.
An email to Tesla seeking comment was not immediately returned.
Earlier this month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced a formal investigation into Tesla’s autopilot system after a series of crashes with parked emergency vehicles.
The agency said it had identified 11 crashes since 2018 in which Teslas on Autopilot or Traffic Aware Cruise Control have hit vehicles with flashing lights, flares, an illuminated arrow board or cones warning of hazards.
The investigation covers 765,000 vehicles — or nearly every car that Tesla has sold in the US since the start of the 2014 model year, including the Models Y, X, S and 3, the agency said.
On Monday, Musk acknowledged issues with the company’s latest auto-pilot technology.
“FSD Beta 9.2 is actually not great [in my opinion], but Autopilot/AI team is rallying to improve as fast as possible. We’re trying to have a single stack for both highway & city streets, but it requires massive NN retraining,” Musk said in a tweet.
If you’re committed to buying American when shopping for a new car, better get yourself a Tesla.
Elon Musk’s EV company has been declared the “most American” automaker according to Cars.com’s long-running American-Made Index, marking the first time that an electric car brand has come out on top in the list’s 16-year history.
While the auto website doesn’t reveal its exact methodology in ranking each 2021 make and model, the five factors they account for are location of final assembly, percentage of U.S. and Canadian parts, engine’s country of origin, transmission’s country of origin, and the U.S. workforce involved in assembly.
Specifically, the Tesla Model 3 claimed the No. 1 spot, followed by the Ford Mustang, Tesla Model Y, Jeep Cherokee and Chevrolet Corvette. See the top 20 here:
Tesla Model 3
Tesla Model Y
Jeep Grand Cherokee
The Drive reports that the lowest-ranked models include both foreign marques like Nissan, Toyota and Honda in the bottom five and domestics like the Ram 1500 at No. 89 and and the GMC Sierra 1500 at No. 80.
But it would be wrong to even the the last-place model, the Honda Civic, an “un-American” car—there are 254 other models sold in the U.S. that didn’t even make the list at all.
It was sleek, cone-shaped, a little confusing — like something Hollywood would give a sci-fi villain for a quick getaway.
It wasn’t a helicopter. And it wasn’t an airplane. It was a cross between the two, with a curved hull, two small wings, and eight spinning rotors lined up across its nose and tail.
At the touch of a button on a computer screen under a nearby tent, it stirred to life, rising up from a grassy slope on a ranch in central California and speeding toward some cattle grazing under a tree — who did not react in the slightest.
“It may look like a strange beast, but it will change the way transportation happens,” said Marcus Leng, the Canadian inventor who designed this aircraft, which he named BlackFly.
BlackFly is what is often called a flying car. Engineers and entrepreneurs like Mr. Leng have spent more than a decade nurturing this new breed of aircraft, electric vehicles that can take off and land without a runway.
They believe these vehicles will be cheaper and safer than helicopters, providing practically anyone with the means of speeding above crowded streets.
“Our dream is to free the world from traffic,” said Sebastian Thrun, another engineer at the heart of this movement.
That dream, most experts agree, is a long way from reality. But the idea is gathering steam. Dozens of companies are now building these aircraft, and three recently agreed to go public in deals that value them as high as $6 billion. For years, people like Mr. Leng and Mr. Thrun have kept their prototypes hidden from the rest of the world — few people have seen them, much less flown in them — but they are now beginning to lift the curtain.
Mr. Leng’s company, Opener, is building a single-person aircraft for use in rural areas — essentially a private flying car for the rich — that could start selling this year. Others are building larger vehicles they hope to deploy as city air taxis as soon as 2024 — an Uber for the skies. Some are designing vehicles that can fly without a pilot.
One of the air taxi companies, Kitty Hawk, is run by Mr. Thrun, the Stanford University computer science professor who founded Google’s self-driving car project. He now says that autonomy will be far more powerful in the air than on the ground, and that it will enter our daily lives much sooner. “You can fly in a straight line and you don’t have the massive weight or the stop-and-go of a car” on the ground, he said.
The rise of the flying car mirrors that of self-driving vehicles in ways both good and bad, from the enormous ambition to the multi-billion-dollar investments to the cutthroat corporate competition, including a high-profile lawsuit alleging intellectual property theft. It also recreates the enormous hype.
It is a risky comparison. Google and other self-driving companies did not deliver on the grand promise that robo-taxis would be zipping around
Tesla launched a high-performance version of its Model S, aiming to reignite interest in the nearly decade-old sedan and fend off rivals such as Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and Lucid Motors in the luxury electric vehicle market.
Tesla redefined electric cars in 2012 when it launched its high-end Model S with a sleek design and long driving range, and CEO Elon Musk said the new version, the Model S Plaid, was designed for a future where cars drove themselves.
“This car crushes,” Musk said at an evening delivery event held at Tesla’s U.S. factory in Fremont, California on Thursday. “Sustainable energy cars can be the fastest cars, be the safest cars, gonna be the most kick-ass cars in every way,” he said.
The model is “faster than any Porsche, safer than any Volvo,” said Musk, wearing a black leather jacket, after he drove the Model S Plaid down a test track onto the stage.
The launch of the Model S Plaid, which has already been showcased online, has faced delay and some controversy over an expected airplane-style yoke steering wheel.
Musk canceled another variant, Model S Plaid+, which would have had a 33 percent higher driving range than the Model S Plaid and used advanced battery technology, known as 4680 cells.
The Model S Plaid accelerates from 0 to 60 mph (97 kph) in 1.99 seconds and has an estimated driving range of 390 miles (628 km).
While it offers little change in body style, the Plaid charges faster at Tesla supercharger stations, has a roomier back seat and an improved entertainment system.
FILE PHOTO: A Tesla Model S electric vehicle is shown in San Francisco, California. U.S., April 7, 2016. Alexandria Sage/File Photo
(Reuters) – Zoox Inc said on Tuesday it had settled a lawsuit with Tesla Inc after admitting that some new hires from the electric carmaker were in possession of certain Tesla documents when they joined the U.S. self-driving car startup.
Tesla lawyers filed a lawsuit in March last year against four former employees and Zoox, alleging the employees stole proprietary information and trade secrets for developing warehousing, logistics and inventory control operations.
Zoox said the settlement required it to pay Tesla an undisclosed amount and undergo an audit to ensure that none of its employees had retained or are using Tesla’s confidential information.
“Zoox acknowledges that certain of its new hires from Tesla were in possession of Tesla documents pertaining to shipping, receiving, and warehouse procedures when they joined Zoox’s logistics team,” Zoox said.
Several companies are racing to develop the technology required to make cars drive on their own and lawsuits against former employees are common as firms strive to keep proprietary information in-house.
Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Stephen Coates
has big electric-vehicle ambitions, and Wall Street appears to be impressed.
“GM comes out swinging against Tesla,” Wedbush analyst Dan Ives wrote in a Wednesday evening research report, following the company’s electric-vehicle technology presentation near Detroit earlier in the day.
(ticker: TSLA) stock but not General Motors (GM). He was interested in what the state of EV technology is at a traditional auto maker that predominantly builds gasoline-powered vehicles. “We believe the event was a clear shot across the bow against [Elon] Musk and Tesla, which continues to lead the EV landscape by a clear margin.”
Even though Ives thinks Tesla is in the lead, he said Musk’s company has to take GM “seriously in this EV arms race.”
GM CEO Mary Barra said Wednesday that “from 2020 to 2025, we will allocate more than $20 billion of capital and engineering resources to our EV and [autonomous vehicle] programs. “Our investments are delivering real results and as you will see here today, they will dramatically change the future of this company and of our industry.”
GM wants to sell 1 million electric vehicles annually by the middle of the 2030s. It should be noted that Tesla plans to sell 500,000 electric vehicles in 2020. That’s part of the lead Ives mentioned.
“GM’s EV day should help show investors that GM is serious about decarbonization and has a strong plan,” RBC analyst Joe Spak wrote in a Thursday research report. He noted that GM is planning to offer 20 battery-powered models by 2023. Spak is a GM bull, rating shares the equivalent of Buy. His price target is $49 for GM stock. Spak is also a Telsa skeptic. He ratse Tesla stock the equivalent of Sell and has a $530 price target for shares.
J.P. Morgan analyst Ryan Brinkman has the same rating structure on the stocks—buy GM, sell Tesla. “GM showcased its work on a next generation of batteries it calls Ultium which possess performance characteristics when mated to its new drive units that we estimate are at least on par with or even exceed that of the most advanced competition,” he wrote in a Thursday research report.
Brinkman noted that GM says its batteries can travel up to 400 miles on a charge without compromising performance, such as rapid acceleration. Telsa’s base Model 3 will go about 320 miles on one charge. That is one data point in favor of GM, but apples to apple comparisons are difficult. Factors such as how many battery cells are included in a car’s battery pack isn’t known. EVs, in theory, can increase range by adding battery cells. That, of course, adds cost and weight.
“GM made a compelling presentation that it will be among the leaders globally in electric vehicles…and made a compelling case that along with its partner LG Chem, its battery science was at the leading edge,” Benchmark analyst Mike Ward said in an