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Tesla Powerwall Challenged By Mercedes Home Batteries

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The European automaker have challenged Tesla Motors by introducing batteries and autonomous technologies

The batteries made to meet the high demands for electric Mercedes Benz cars are finding a new application as in-home power storage units. It is quite like Tesla Powerwall. The parent company of the German automaker announced that Deutsche ACCUMOTIVE is producing the energy storage units. The batteries are delivered, supported and installed by partners, such as solar technology and utility companies. This is logical because the batteries are typically installed along with solar panels.

Batteries are already offered in Germany and Mercedes says it will be internationally extending the program. Up to 8 of the columnar 2.5 kilowatt-per-hour lithium-ion batteries can be equipped with its maximum capacity or 20 kilowatt-per-hour together. Mercedes revealed that this is sufficient to capture solar electricity for use later with “virtually no losses.” The unit price has not been revealed, since it can include many components: the unit itself (or three or two), perhaps some photovoltaic panels and installation.

Mercedes Benz subsidiary has been manufacturing similar units since the last year for industrial purposes. The technologies were developed to be scalable; therefore, they can rapidly enter the private house market. Daimler is relying on its power storage subsidiary greatly – it has invested over a sum of half a billion dollar in a second battery manufacturing facility at the Deutsche ACCUMOTIVE site, which will start running in summer next year.

Compared to that, the Tesla Energy Powerwall does the same job, with arguably much style. The American electric vehicle maker’s battery has 6.4 kilowatt-per-hour of power storage “for daily cycle applications,” revealed the website. Like Mercedes power storage units, they can be installed for solar systems that need more energy storage. Tech Crunch does not know how much does Powerwall costs — $3500. It knows demand had reached high levels, indicated by 38,000 reservations when announced of the Powerwall in 2015.

That demand level appears to leave a lot of room for a rival such as Daimler AG to enter its road-tested battery technology in 2015. Daimler is not the only one to challenge the Californian organization as the Swedish automaker Volvo has targeted its reputation by stating that Autopilot, which is the semi-autonomous driving technology of Tesla, is “just a beta,” “wannabe” and claimed that it was dangerous.

Volvo has been making efforts to turn itself into the leader of the autonomous automobile world. It has done huge displays regarding launching self-driving vehicle networks, and appreciated its own semi- autonomous technology, Pilot Assist, in a very ingratiating manner. But the reality is that the Gothenburg-based organization is lagging behind the US company in its self-driving technologies, and this looks like a blind and dumb lashing out.

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Posted by on April 30, 2016 in Technology, Tesla Motors


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Tesla CEO Has Something To Tell About Autonomous Vehicles

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CEO Elon Musk believes that his company’s self-driving cars are much safer than that of conventional vehicles

Autonomous vehicles and their self-driving features have been unable to win public trust up till now, but Tesla’s autopilot feature, which provides partial autonomy to vehicles, is 50% safer than that of a human driver, revealed Tesla CEO Elon Musk. “The probability of having an accident is 50% lower if you have Autopilot on,” said Musk while addressing an energy conference in Oslo, Norway. “Even with our first version, it’s almost twice as good as a person.”

Extracting data from the automaker’s vehicles, Elon said, on average kilometers driven by a vehicle was nearly twice when Autopilot was turned on. The results were given by the company’s first generation of Autopilot, which its owners have previously used to drive more than 47 million miles following its introduction in October last year.

An Autopilot technology uses radar and ultrasonic sensors to execute functions, including switching lanes, steering on a motorway, parking and adjusting speed to respond to traffic. Elon anticipates that the second, entirely self-driving version of the car will even be much safer than the present technology.

Two years are yet away, the second generation of Autopilot of Tesla will need to make regulatory bodies realize that it’s “definitively” safer. He said, the company will need much data to demonstrate “that the safety level is definitely better, by a meaningful margin, if it’s autonomous versus non-autonomous.”

The self-driving vehicles of Google are far behind, as they have just been driven 1.3 million miles since testing in Texas and California started in 2012. Human beings need to take over the wheel 341 times in a passage of 14 months to avoid software failures and accidents, the organization disclosed in January.

Google announced that it was making self-driving vehicles in 2009 and started to test them on the roads of California in 2012. In February next year, it said it bore “some responsibility” following an accident of its driverless vehicle, which suffered from a minor crash when it hit a bus.

Google aims to offer the vehicles to the masses in 2020. Ford Motors is a traditional automaker, which is keen to demonstrate its lead in the development of making new vehicle technology. It is heavily investing in self-driving technology and said its vehicles are equal to Google in reaching “level 4” autonomy. The Michigan-based organization is even rumored to be discussing with Larry Page’s company about a partnership on self-driving technology.

Tesla is an icon of the electric vehicle movement. It has also continued to rapidly add semi-autonomous features to its highly advanced automobiles. This includes autopilot, which allows vehicles to navigate by themselves in many scenarios and Summon, which allows Tesla owners to order vehicles to their door through a smartphone.

The future of the ride-sharing app of Uber could be vehicles, getting riders between points without needing the help of driver, a situation that could cut down prices in a dramatic manner.

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Posted by on April 27, 2016 in Technology, Tesla Motors


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SolarCity Uses Tesla Batteries To Power An Array Of Solar Panels

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The batteries of Tesla Motors would be used to help SolarCity complete its project in Hawaiian Island, Kauai.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s SolarCity has chosen batteries manufactured by his company to supply 13 megawatts of power storage for solar panels to be developed on Hawaii’s island  Kauai.

The combined power and solar storage technology is pioneered to provide Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC), dispatch able power during the evening, and at a time when sun has gone down.

KIUC has signed a 20-year agreement with solar energy supplier to purchase solar power by paying an economical price of $0.145 per kWh. SolarCity has selected the automaker as its supplier of batteries. The venture now needs to be approved by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission.

In April 2015, Elon launched a set of batteries for storing electricity to electrify businesses, utilities, and houses, marking expansion of Tesla beyond electric vehicles with battery technology that he stated would “fundamentally change the way the world uses energy.” The machinery allows homeowners and businesses to store electricity and lower down the dependence on utility grids for power.

The agreement with KIUC and SolarCity has given momentum to Tesla Energy and Elon said utility scale agreements are capable of contributing to 80% to 90% of sales revenue earned by the business division.

Tesla Powerwall, which can be fitted in house garages, has made huge interest from customers but the larger market is for the Powerpack, which decreases dependence of utilities on expensive services that are only provided in times when the demand has reached peak levels.

The solar power producer’s agreement is also showing how two companies are capable of joining to explore more opportunities to expand in two comparatively nascent markets.

In California, a historical power storage mandate requires Southern California Edison of Edison International, San Diego Gas & Electric of Sempra Energy and PG&E Corporation to jointly purchase the capacity to store 1.3 gigawatts of electricity by the end of 2020.

New York also turned to storage for relieving congestion on plants and transmission lines to let the ageing power producing plans potentially retire.

Tesla took its own lithium ion batteries used by it for powering vehicles for long and repackaged them to use with solar panels, connected to buildings or power grid. Since 2010, Tesla has worked with the Solar Company to install battery pilot ventures for homeowners, utilities and commercial buildings. In 2015, it officially aimed to deliver such batteries as the small sized Powerwall and the bigger Power Pack, under a new unit known as Tesla Energy.

Recently, the company said its battery plant in Nevada is currently manufacturing grid batteries. In other news, Tech insider reported that Tesla has tied up with US toy manufacturer Radio kids to develop a kid sized Model S for youngsters.


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Posted by on February 18, 2016 in Technology, Tesla Motors


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Tesla and SolarCity Reevaluates Shared Experiences

Tesla cash, Tesla solar

Since the past few months, SolarCity is trying to stem its growth for reining costs in the industry.

Tesla Motors and SolarCity are sharing a lot in common as their founder Elon Musk is focusing on new power technologies and fast valuations. This week, both are trying not live outside their means.

In 2015, the solar energy service provider actually started acting according to the program when it stated to cut down its growth for cutting costs. Yet its most recent results, released on February 10, 2015, demonstrated that up till now, there is progress on slowing down front but not on anything else: Cash outflow hits peak in the final quarter.

The stock is over 50% lower than its value in October. The electric vehicle maker, whose own stock declined by approximately 32% during the time, should hope it is capable of doing better. It disclosed results one day later and stated its cash flows would turn positive in 2016.

“Cash is king” its CFO – recently appointed like that of SolarCity – stated while addressing a call on Wednesday. But so its growth: the automaker is planning to supply between 55% and 74% more automobiles this year and launch its highly anticipated Model 3 and crank up its Gigafactory.

A huge red flag indicates how the automaker evaluates cash flow. While responding to a question in an evening call on Wednesday, it acknowledged that the money earned by an asset-backed program has flattered this figure to fund some automobile deliveries – or “short-term borrowing,” as many other people call it.

In reality, less cash was paid by the carmaker – when described as cash from operations minus capital expenditure – in the fourth quarter than that of the previous. The factor that makes it odd is that the organization selected this quarter to stop reporting free cash flows separately in a letter written to shareholders.

Maybe this is because, even though with sluggish place, the figure of $441m was in negative. Overall, the company had a cash outflow of $2.16 billion past year. This is over two times the amount of 2014 and also over twice of “less than” $1bn estimated by former CFO in this time of 2015.

During the course of previous year, net of cash, long-term debt virtually grew three times to $1.44 billion. Tesla now has cash worth $1.2bn, with Chief financial officer Jason Wheeler stating $1bn is “a nice comfort level” in terms of the least capital required to operate the business.

Tesla told it won’t need to look for more ‘external’ finances in 2016.Yet it hopes that it’s capital expenditure would be cut down by $1.5 billion lower than that of the previous year, as it is sticking to the promises for growth that are underpinning its flagging stock and some price targets of wilder analysts at Wall Street.




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Posted by on February 12, 2016 in Technology, Tesla Motors


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Tesla CEO Says SpaceX Aims To Boost Production and Launch Rates Of Falcon 9

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SpaceX strives to built better ‘Falcons’ than before and its improve launch rates.

Tesla CEO Musk’s SpaceX is planning to improvise the launch and manufacturing of its rocket named Falcon 9 in 2016 whereas introducing its rocket Falcon Heavy and conducting its commercial crew vehicle examination, the president of the Space Exploration Technologies Corporation ‘Gwynne Shotwell’ told on  February 3, 2016.

During the annual Commercial Space Transportation conference of the Federal Aviation Administration, an area on which Shotwell emphasized was boosting the rocket’s launch rate and manufacturing. She said changes must to be done to the manufacturing process. These include adding the stages that can assemble at a single time from 3 to 6.

The organization is also trying to accelerate manufacturing of Merlin engines that powers Falcon 9 since a larger number of engines need to be developed by the corporation at higher manufacturing  rates planned for 2016.

The launch schedule of SpaceX and its capability to take care of clients are a topic regarding which many are concerned in the space industry. It still has to announce the date at which its next mission will be launched.

The next mission will carry the SES-9 communication satellite. Speculations indicate that the rocket might be launched in March. Whereas the American space company is planning to produce more units of Falcon 9, Gwynne gave a suggestion that the organization is still changing the vehicle.

The launch operation of 11 Orbcomm satellites on December 21 was the first flight of a full thrust upgraded version of vehicle. In addition, it was the first time when the organization succeeded in landing the first stage of rocket as a reusability effort.

The newest changes, Gwynne told, were done after the static fire test of the first stage on January 15 at Cape Canaveral. She gave a few details regarding the status of the bigger Falcon Heavy Rocket.

Falcon Heavy will be launched from the Apollo launch site and former shuttle Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space center, which has been leased by SpaceX. Work for renovation of launch pad for supporting Falcon Heavy and launches of Falcon 9 is almost wrapped up, she stated.

The crew flights of Falcon 9 are still scheduled to start in 2017. Gwynne suggested SpaceX plans the Crew Dragon spacecraft’s in-flight abortion test before the end of 2016, where the automobile employs its thrusters segregate from Falcon 9 during ascent.

Two demo flights to the International Space Station will follow that in 2017 – a crewless one and the other carrying astronauts. The first operational mission would follow these two demo flights. Gwynne also disclosed an update on the plans of SpaceX for developing a commercial launch pad located near Brownsville, Texas. SpaceX surely learned much from past mistakes.

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Posted by on February 6, 2016 in Technology, Tesla Motors


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Tesla Motors Might Tie Up With Luxe To Extend Its Charging Infrastructure

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Tesla Motors might collaborate with Luxe to help its customers charge their vehicles

The on-demand parking valet application Luxe might be partnering with Tesla to extend the service provided by it alongside parking, possibly choosing more highly valued consumers in the procedure. The company looks to be cooperating with the automaker to provide vehicle charging as well as other facilities for Tesla automobiles when motorists do booking of parking through the application.

From what we have understood, this is only the stage. Later, as far as we know, the plan for the automaker is to do pre-installation of Luxe in dashboards of cars, so that owners of the car would have parking and other facilities provided by Luxe( like car washes) as  an  autonomous options to select as part of the longer journey.

The collaboration looks to be in the initial stage at the moment and only provided to owners of Tesla vehicles in New York and San Francisco. An individual should download Luxe application and should inform their destination before they move out or when they are at a distance of 100 miles away from it.

They would then be matched with the valet of Luxe who would be available on arrival to park the vehicle in their secure parking. Users would also be allowed to order charging as a part of this facility along with other options such as a vehicle wash, they could avail drive-home and overnight storage options as well that the parking service provider is  already providing to other vehicle owners. Returns within a time span of 20 minutes and one week advance bookings have also been offered.

The cost of charging $15 for a 1 X EV charge plus the cost of parking to a package of five EV charges for $65 along with cost of parking.  Details regarding subscriptions are available to owners of Tesla vehicles in New York City and San Francisco have been disclosed on the website of Luxe.

In other news, Left lane news has reported that at an event held by the Federal Trade Commission, the general counsel of Tesla, Todd Maron slammed General Motors for being amongst those established automotive organization who are making efforts to safeguard the status quo in an accused effort to avoid rivalry from new comers.

The automaker has claimed that a conventional franchise structure isn’t optimal for the manufacturing strategy of the company. The company has been focusing on custom-configured automobiles, rather than keeping the levels of inventory high, and a dealership would need to deliver the vehicles at higher prices to earn money.

The officials of FTC had earlier made an argument favoring the elimination of bans imposed by states on direct sales, though the regulator has formally kept its stance neutral prior to the gathering of experts.

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Posted by on January 25, 2016 in Technology, Tesla Motors


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Panasonic Corporation Funds Tesla Gigafactory Operations In Nevada

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Panasonic Corporation would be investing $1.6bn in Tesla’s battery plant in Nevada

Tesla’s gigafactory is provided financial support by the Japanese electronics maker, Panasonic Corporation. President of Osaka-based organization, Kazuhiro Tsuga, said the company would spend up to $1.6bn on a modern battery manufacturing plant with Tesla Motors.

The Asian enterprise expects to develop its future in the automotive electronics sector. Both organizations are jointly financing up to $5bn for gigafactory in Nevada. Panasonic has not revealed the total investment earlier and it would take many years before that plant starts to hum at full steam. The waiting time may prove to be expensive for Panasonic, as it has been struggling to earn money through the manufacturing of lithium ion batteries.

“We are sort of waiting on the demand from Tesla,” Mr. Kazuhiro said in a phone call interview at the CES in recent times. Tesla’s automobile growth projections are huge, but lower prices of gasoline have reduced the total demand of EVs.

The investment in battery manufacturing would turn Panasonic into huge automotive parts supplier benefitting from automobile’s computerization and forecast of global demand for light automobiles in the future.

While its trade show still exhibited many camera and televisions, it also demonstrated its modern electronics for home and cars. Mr. Kazuhiro is taking account of proliferation of small screens in vehicles to compensate for slowdown as far as conventional televisions are concerned. “The car is changing,” he stated. “It is getting to be an electrical object. We have those technologies, so I thought ‘we need to shift our resources to automotive.’ ”

The sales of Panasonic to automotive organizations would probably increase by almost 100% in the upcoming 4 years. It is expected that this financial year would make a contribution of $11 bn (¥1.3 trillion), around 15% of the sales revenue of the company, but would expand to almost one fourth of the revenue later this decade.

Panasonic intends to increase yearly revenue to ¥ 10 trillion by its financial year that ends in March 2019, which has increased from ¥ 8 trillion for its financial year ending in March.

Its automotive business would contribute to more than 50% of the growth, supported by a big agreement with Ford to deliver its screen and electronics system for Sync 3 multimedia feature of the automaker, which would probably be offered with almost all Ford automobiles. Other vehicle companies have also given orders to it.

Panasonic is also manufacturing rear view mirror and electronics utilized in new vehicle security systems that show a picture shot by a rear-facing camera to improve the visibility of the driver.

In other news, Clean Technica has disclosed that Tesla Motors has delivered more than 100,000 Model S cars in the fourth quarter of last year and started to manufacture Powerwall.



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Posted by on January 11, 2016 in Technology


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