The wild success Tesla experienced with the Model S clearly demonstrated that not only is there a viable market for EVs but that electric cars may very well be where the entire auto industry is headed. In a similar vein, the work that Tesla is carrying out with its Autopilot software is influencing other established players within the auto industry to devote an ever-increasing proportion of R&D dollars towards self-driving car technologies.
Despite the increasing popularity of Tesla, and despite the fact that even luxury automakers like BMW and Porsche have warmed up to the idea of EVs, Ferrari remains principally opposed to the idea. Not too long ago, Ferrari Chairman Sergio Marchionne said that the idea of developing a Ferrari without a standard internal combustion engine would be “an almost obscene concept” and something Ferrari would never even contemplate.
Thankfully, a company called Electric GT not only contemplated the idea, but actually put together an all-electric Ferrari. The team at Electric GT managed to find a 1978 Ferrari 308 GTS that was burned in a fire and was destined for the scrapyard, the car seemingly burned beyond repair. Seizing the opportunity, Electric GT rescued the car and swiftly got to work.
Following the COP21 environmental talks in Paris, France seems determined to take action when it comes to carbon dioxide emissions, and one way to do it is to promote eco-friendly products. The country announced that it plans to develop a very cheap electric car that would be far more affordable than alternatives, such as Tesla’s electric Model S.
France’s ecology minister Segolene Royal said that the government will encourage companies to build an electric car priced under $7,000, which is an ambitious project to say the least. More →
Meet Twizy, a Renault electric car – well, better described as a quadricycle – that offers a 60-mile range at a maximum speed of 50mph… and it’s made for 14-year olds. At least, that’s the case with a special version of the new car that will be available soon in several countries.
As Wired reports, a new law in France says that quadricycles are safe for youngsters, who only have to pass a road safety certificate test to ride the Twizy, assuming they can convince their parents to spend $7,600 on one. More →
These days when we think of wireless charging we think about using an accessory for our cell phones. Not long from now we may be using the same tech to power our electric vehicles. According to CNET, Toyota has invested in a company called WiTricity that, until now, has developed wireless charging solutions specifically for portable electronics. In a recent statement Toyota said that it “believes that resonance wireless charging is suitable for automobiles and aims for its early practical use.” Using magnetic near-field, WiTricity could potentially offer a wireless charging solution for cars, too. We’re imagining a future where, instead of pulling up to the pump, or plugging your electric car into an outlet, you simply need to drive into your garage to begin charging. “WiTricity power sources and capture devices are specially designed magnetic resonators that efficiently transfer power over large distances via the magnetic near-field. These proprietary source and device designs and the electronic systems that control them support efficient energy transfer over distances that are many times the size of the sources/devices themselves,” the firm said. Other companies, like HaloIPT, also offer wireless car-charging solutions, but this is the first we’ve heard of a major car manufacturer getting on board. More →
If you thought breaking up over a text message was in bad taste, try empathizing with the Tesla employees who were just laid off… via a blog post! That’s right, 90% of the Tesla team in Metro Detroit were let go, but someone assigned to break the news didn’t have the guts to tell them. Instead, the employees found out through their own site that they were finished. What’s to become of the remaining 10%? Those who aren’t notified of their termination today (via a bulletin board at the plant, mind you) have to relocate to San Jose, CA – at least it’s brighter and the weather is more temperate in Cali, right? The problem is getting there when your company won’t help with relocation, moving costs, selling your current home or apartment, or anything else for that matter. They’re essentially being told, “Be glad we didn’t can you. Now get moving!” The official word is as follows:
There will also be some headcount reduction due to consolidation of operations. In anticipation of moving vehicle engineering to our new HQ in San Jose, we are ramping down and will close our Rochester Hills office near Detroit. Good communication, tightly knit engineering and a common company culture are of paramount importance as Tesla grows.
Yes, “good communication” and a “common company culture” are of paramount importance. We’re wondering what the schmuck who wrote this piece was thinking when writing that there would be a “headcount reduction.” With tough times and an economy suffering at exponential rates, one would think that Tesla could have been just a tad more appropriate and tactful with letting their hard working employees go.