Saturday, October 21, 2017

Tesla Model 3 Owners Get No Free Supercharger Access

Originally, all Tesla owners were entitled to use the company’s Supercharger network of fast chargers free. Roll in, charge up, roll out any old time and as often as you like. After a few years, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced during an earnings call that Superchargers were intended for those travelling away from home and not for daily use. There was some dark muttering from the Tesla faithful, but life soon got back to normal.
Tesla Supercharger location
Recently, Tesla announced new owners would be eligible for up to 400 kWh of free charging a year — enough to drive about 1,000 miles, although certain cars purchased through the company’s owner referral program still qualified for a lifetime of free Supercharger access.
And what about the Model 3? How much free Supercharger time would its owners be entitled to? Tesla never really said much about that. But a few of those cars are out driving around on public roads now and the answer appears to be “none.” As in “not any.” That’s according to Model 3 owner PTFI, who tweeted about his recent experience using the Tesla Supercharger located at the popular Harris Ranch facility located halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
The amount charged for electricity at a Supercharger facility is fixed in each state in the US. The customer is charged for each minute of use and the rate varies according to the state of charge of the battery in the car at the time. In PTFI’s case, the 43 kWh of electricity used is enough to drive about 170 miles.
For comparison purposes, a conventional car that gets 25 miles per gallon would need roughly 7 gallons of gasoline to go the same distance. Assuming a price of $3.00 a gallon (Californians tend to pay more for gas than the rest of Americans), that works out to $21.00 to travel the same distance — nearly three times the cost of electricity.
So don’t be too disappointed if you are a Tesla Model 3 owner waiting for your car to be delivered. Your cost of electricity will still be much less than your neighbor with that gasmobile will pay for fuel. Plus, every mile you drive will be emissions free. The icing on the cake is that Tesla is committed to getting the electricity for its Supercharger locations from the greenest source available in the area. Eventually, the company intends for all of them to be solar powered.
Some may carp that Tesla should have been more forthcoming with its Model 3 customers. Finding out about the change from a Tweet instead of directly from the company does not reflect well on Tesla’s customer relations policies.
But Tesla continues to expand its Supercharger network aggressively. Owners in North America have access to many more fast chargers than drivers of any other electric car. So weep if you must for the end of the Tesla free charging era, then pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and go drive your Model 3 with pride knowing you own the most coveted automobile on the planet.

Source: Teslarati

600 HP Hybrid Super Car: Polestar 1 Revealed

Earlier today, Polestar launched its very first model. It’s called the Polestar 1, and it is a real statement of intent that Polestar will be taking the fight directly to Tesla, BMW, and Mercedes-AMG.
Putting cars like the Tesla Model S, BMW’s 6 series, and Mercedes-Benz’ S class squarely in its crosshairs is a bold move. Polestar is seems to have the goods, though, packing 600 electrified horsepower and nearly 740 lb-ft of torque into a lightweight carbon body shell and putting that power to the ground via all four wheels.
Acceleration, according to Polestar, should be on par with other cars in its class, even as its 90 mile all-electric range will set it apart from the German gas-guzzlers. The Volvo-derived, 2.0 liter four-cylinder gas engine under the long hood, meanwhile, sets the Polestar 1 apart from Tesla’s EV-only options. Options which- much as Tesla fans might wish to deny it- still induce range-anxiety in the general public’s mind.
You get ZERO points for guessing that I’m going to get some comments from the “Ew- internal combustion! Tesla will build 400,000 cars next year!” crowd. LOL!

Anyway- in addition to the Polestar 1 hybrid, the company also announced the shape its next two models would likely take. Those will be both more accessible than the flagship Polestar 1- which, itself, will only be offered through an innovative subscription program to prevent buyers from “flipping” the extremely rare cars- and fully electric. In fact, ALL future Polestar models will be EVs. The Polestar 2 will reach volume production in 2019, and is expected to be based on Volvo’s next-generation S60 model. Next, Polestar plans a larger, SUV-style EV that will be called Polestar 3, which will likely use the Geely SPA platform that underpins both Lynk & Co. and Volvo XC60 SUVs.
While you wait for those, check out 31 official press photos and the official Polestar press release, below. Of course, we fully expect to hear what you think of this new brand/model in the comments section at the bottom of the page. Have fun- and play nice!

Polestar Unveils its First Car – the Polestar 1 – and Reveals its Vision to be the New Electric Performance Brand

Polestar Unveils its First Car – the Polestar 1 – and Reveals its Vision to be the New Electric Performance Brand

Polestar, Volvo Car Group’s performance brand, has today revealed its future as a new standalone electric performance brand. Polestar confirmed plans for its first three models, a new purpose-built production facility in China and a customer-focussed route to market that will set a new industry benchmark for performance vehicles.
Polestar also unveiled the 600hp Polestar 1, the company’s first car, which is set to roll off the production line in mid-2019. Polestar’s technology and product offering benefits from synergies and economies of scale enabled by the Volvo Car Group, helping Polestar to accelerate design, development and production processes at fraction of the time it takes other new entrants.
Thomas Ingenlath, Chief Executive Officer of Polestar said; “Polestar 1 is the first car to carry the Polestar on the bonnet. A beautiful GT with amazing technology packed into it – a great start for our new Polestar brand. All future cars from Polestar will feature a fully electric drivetrain, delivering on our brand vision of being the new standalone electric performance brand”.

Polestar 1 in Black

The Polestar 1 will form a halo for the future Polestar brand. The Polestar 1 is a two-door, 2+2 seat Grand Tourer Coupé with an ‘Electric Performance Hybrid’ drivetrain. An electric car supported by an internal combustion engine, it has a range of 150kms on pure electric power alone – the longest full electric range of any hybrid car on the market. Its output of 600hp and 1000Nm of torque places the car firmly in the performance car segment.
The Polestar 1 is based upon Volvo’s Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA) but approximately 50% is new and bespoke, created by Polestar’s engineers. To reinforce its dynamic driving characteristics, Polestar 1 benefits from a host of new technologies, all aimed at making it a true driver’s car. Polestar 1 is the world’s first car to be fitted with the all-new class-leading Öhlins Continuously Controlled Electronic Suspension (CESi) advanced chassis technology. A carbon fibre body reduces bodyweight and improves torsional stiffness by 45%, as well as lowering the cars’ centre of gravity. Additionally, Polestar 1 uses a double electric rear axle which enables torque vectoring. This supports the driver with precise acceleration on each wheel to keep the maximum road grip and maintain speed while cornering.
The Polestar 1 will be built in the state-of-the-art, purpose-built Polestar Production Centre in Chengdu, China. Currently under construction, it is due for completion in mid-2018.
Polestar will also move away from today’s traditional ownership model. Cars will be ordered 100% online and offered on a two or three year subscription basis. The zero-deposit, all-inclusive subscription will also add features such as pick-up and delivery servicing and the ability to rent alternative vehicles within the Volvo and Polestar range, all incorporated into one monthly payment.
The flat rate subscription means that having a Polestar car becomes a hassle free experience for the customer. This is facilitated by Phone-As-Key technology. It allows the owner to share a virtual key with a third party, and also enables access to a host of other on-demand features. This concierge service ensures that the customer only needs to focus on the enjoyment of driving.
All future cars from Polestar will have a fully electric powertrain. Polestar 2 will start production later in 2019 and will be the first battery-electric vehicle (BEV) from the Volvo Car Group. It will be a mid-sized BEV, joining the competition around the Tesla Model 3, and with consequently higher volumes than Polestar 1. The initial phase of the Polestar product roll out will then be completed by the subsequent arrival of a larger SUV-style BEV, the Polestar 3, which will create a modern expression of electric performance and driving dynamics.
The ordering and configuration of Polestar cars will be conducted online via a Polestar app or online portal. However, Polestar also recognises that customers still want to physically engage with the brand so Polestar will open a network of Polestar Spaces around the world. This is where future Polestar customers can interact with products and the brand. Polestar Spaces will be standalone facilities and not within existing Volvo retailer showrooms.
The order books for the new Polestar 1 open on 17 October 2017, with Polestar able to take expressions of interest from prospective customers immediately.
Source | ImagesVolvo Cars.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Yamaha Teases Motoroid Electric Motorcycle AI for Tokyo

Yamaha first announced its intentions to launch an all-electric, 2-wheeled ecosystem for years– and it’s taken several steps to deliver on its promise. Its electric eVino scooter is already here, and the PES1 proved Yamaha is serious about developing a lightweight bike platform to compete in the 125-250cc ranges. Now, Yamaha is teasing the next step in its electric reinvention: the Motoroid.
Yamaha’s two-wheeled electric motorcycle concept bike will- according to the company- inspire a feeling of true connection between bike and rider, but the model is more “it’s a pony!” than “Robotech Cyclone”. Even so, people like their horses, so bike being able to interact with its human owner could, maybe, generate a genuine bond (on the human’s part, at least). And …
Well, that’s it, really. All Yamaha has given out, so far, is the pictures you see here- which feature a Bimota Tesi type suspension– and the following statement: In order to bring people new experiences of Kando,* this experimental machine employs artificial intelligence and explores the feasibility of concepts for creating new forms of personal mobility in which the rider resonates harmoniously with machine. MOTOROiD’s development concept was an “Unleashed Prototype,” and it is capable of recognizing its owner and interacting in other capacities like a living creature. By undertaking these kinds of development challenges, Yamaha is aiming to acquire technology for creating new value for our customers.
Make of that what you will, I guess. In the meantime, check out the pictures of this electric motorcycle cyberpet hybrid thingy, below, and check back again after the Tokyo Motor Show launch on October 27th.

Yamaha Metroid | 2017 Tokyo Auto Show

Source | ImagesYamaha, via Asphalt and Rubber.