Elon Musk’s Tesla Model S electric road trip: 5 kids, 3,200 miles, 9* hours of charging

Filed under: EV/Plug-in, Green Culture, Tesla Motors

Tesla Model S

With his legions of vociferous fans, there has been no bigger champion for the electric vehicles from Tesla Motors than the man at the helm, Elon Musk. Musk’s latest promotional event to prove the power of EVs will be a cross-country drive in a Model S, using the rapidly growing network of Superchargers along the way.

Musk says the six-day, 3,200-mile trip should only require 90 minutes of charging a day.

Musk first proposed this trip back in May when Tesla announced an expansion to the Supercharger network. At the time, Musk said he wanted to retrace the route of a college road trip, but this time with his five children in the car. With the optional rear-facing seats installed the Model S can seat 7, if some are small enough. On Twitter, Musk said trip planning is done, and the six-day, 3,200-mile trip should only require nine hours of charging. He added, “At 1.5 hrs/day, we will only ever need to charge when stopping anyway to eat or sightsee, never just for charging itself.” But we assume he’s not including overnight charging in that time, since six Supercharger fill-ups – which can each provide three hours of driving – will not be enough for the entire coast-to-coast trip.

To be honest, driving across the country in a Model S – to say nothing of other EVs – is a feat that’s been done before, but when Mr. SpaceX loads up the kids and goes for a drive, people pay attention. People also noticed when, during a much shorter drive, a writer from The New York Times managed to run out of electricity last winter. In response, Tesla fans proved the drive up the East Coast could be done.

Elon Musk’s Tesla Model S electric road trip: 5 kids, 3,200 miles, 9* hours of charging originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Thu, 05 Sep 2013 18:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Elon Musk’s Tesla Model S electric road trip: 5 kids, 3,200 miles, 9* hours of charging

Filed under: EV/Plug-in, Green Culture, Tesla Motors

Tesla Model S

With his legions of vociferous fans, there has been no bigger champion for the electric vehicles from Tesla Motors than the man at the helm, Elon Musk. Musk’s latest promotional event to prove the power of EVs will be a cross-country drive in a Model S, using the rapidly growing network of Superchargers along the way.

Musk says the six-day, 3,200-mile trip should only require 90 minutes of charging a day.

Musk first proposed this trip back in May when Tesla announced an expansion to the Supercharger network. At the time, Musk said he wanted to retrace the route of a college road trip, but this time with his five children in the car. With the optional rear-facing seats installed the Model S can seat 7, if some are small enough. On Twitter, Musk said trip planning is done, and the six-day, 3,200-mile trip should only require nine hours of charging. He added, “At 1.5 hrs/day, we will only ever need to charge when stopping anyway to eat or sightsee, never just for charging itself.” But we assume he’s not including overnight charging in that time, since six Supercharger fill-ups – which can each provide three hours of driving – will not be enough for the entire coast-to-coast trip.

To be honest, driving across the country in a Model S – to say nothing of other EVs – is a feat that’s been done before, but when Mr. SpaceX loads up the kids and goes for a drive, people pay attention. People also noticed when, during a much shorter drive, a writer from The New York Times managed to run out of electricity last winter. In response, Tesla fans proved the drive up the East Coast could be done.

Elon Musk’s Tesla Model S electric road trip: 5 kids, 3,200 miles, 9* hours of charging originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Thu, 05 Sep 2013 18:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tesla sold 5,150 Model S EVs in Q2, future $35k model will have 200-mile range

Filed under: EV/Plug-in, Tesla Motors

Finally, we know the number. Tesla Motors announced today that it sold 5,150 Model S electric vehicles in North America last quarter. Divide by three and you see that the California company sold around 1,700 cars a month, which puts it right up there with the current plug-in vehicle champions, the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Volt. That’s despite the fact that the cheapest Model S, which starts at $69,900 but often sells for a lot more with better options, costs at least twice as much as the sales leaders. Tesla said it was making “almost 500 vehicles per week” in the second quarter of this year.

Tesla says its “financial position and balance sheet have never been stronger.”

The sales contributed to an overall increase in net income (non-GAAP) of 70 percent compared to the first quarter, up to $26 million. Tesla said it achieved a gross margin of 22 percent (non-GAAP), “despite significant reduction in ZEV credits” (which was no surprise) and should hit 25 percent by the fourth quarter of 2013. That number is simply a company’s sales revenue with the cost of goods sold taken out, divided by total sales revenue. Put it all together and you get the following statement: “Our financial position and balance sheet have never been stronger.” Still, there was no talk in today’s conference call of an overall profitable quarter, as there was three months ago.

With all of the good financial news, Tesla and CEO Elon Musk said the primary focus now is on “expanding production to meet worldwide demand.” Tesla started delivering the Model S to Europe this week (the first lucky countries were Norway, Switzerland and the Netherlands) and if demand there matches North America, which Musk said is likely, then the company predicts “annualized sales for Model S could exceed 40,000 units per year by late 2014.”

In China, the Model S will have an “executive back seat” instead of the current “family back seat.”

Musk said the upcoming new-market Model S versions (right-hand-drive for Japan and the Chinese model) are taking up most of Tesla’s resources at the current moment. In China, for example, the company is trying to improve the comfort level of the rear seat, because it is common for people in The People’s Republic to be driven around. The Model S was designed to be the perfect driver’s car, Musk said, but in China it will have an “executive back seat” instead of the “family back seat” the car has now. Things like this mean that work on the Model X won’t really start to ramp up until the end of this year. Deliveries of that car should start at the end of 2014.

Looking further down the road, Musk said that the next-gen Tesla vehicle, the long-rumored $35,000 (without any subsidies) EV, should be a compelling option with a 200-mile range. That vehicle is still quite far away – he wondered aloud how his company might need more battery cells than the laptop industry does if it’s making a half-million cars a year – but at least his automotive competition now has targets to shoot for if they want to beat Tesla in the longer-range EV game.

Tesla sold 5,150 Model S EVs in Q2, future $35k model will have 200-mile range originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Wed, 07 Aug 2013 18:50:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Mercedes S-Class stretch variant to command $200,000+

Filed under: Sedan, Mercedes-Benz, Luxury

Stretched Mercedes-Benz S-Class prototype - front three-quarter view

We recently spotted a stretched version of the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, but it sounds like this new ultra-luxurious version of the sedan might not be quite as much of a Maybach-replacing model that we initially expected. Automotive News says that the car has somewhat more modest targets, with the so-called “super S-Class” expected to list in the $200,000 to $250,000 range when it goes on sale in 2014. That’s hardly chump change, but it’s about $175,000 less than the now-dead Maybach 57.

After speaking with Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche, AN’s article says that this new S-Class model will be targeted at the Bentley Flying Spur and Rolls-Royce Ghost rather than more expensive models like the Mulsanne and Phantom, which makes sense since the Maybach brand was killed off due to slow sales. Of course, there is still the possibility that the three-row S600 Pullman could reach a little higher to fill in the void of those $400,000 sedans. Aside from the stretched body, Zetsche also promises cabin tech and luxury not offered on the standard S-Class, which is hard to imagine since the new S-Class has gobs of both already. During our recent first drive of the standard S-Class, we said that its interior is “going to give Bentley and Rolls-Royce night sweats,” so it sounds like Daimler will be aiming for breathing difficulties and heart palpitations with this new model.

Mercedes S-Class stretch variant to command $200,000+ originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Jul 2013 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel gets 9,200-pound tow rating

Filed under: Truck, Diesel, Ram

The current-generation Ram 1500 is entering its fifth year on the market, but Ram’s half-ton truck is not showing its age whatsoever. While we continue to wait for the fuel economy figures for the all-new EcoDiesel V6, Ram has released towing figures for trucks equipped with this new engine, as well as models fitted with the upgraded gasoline-powered V6.

The EcoDiesel – a $2,850 option – will help the Ram compete with V8-powered trucks with its max towing capacity of 9,200 pounds, which is just 50 pounds shy of the 2013 Ram 1500 with the 5.7-liter V8. The true benefit here is that the diesel should return impressive fuel economy in the process, and even though official estimates have yet to be released, Chrysler has promised that it will achieve more than 25 miles per gallon on the highway.

But even with the Pentastar 3.6-liter V6, upgrades to the eight-speed automatic transmission have resulted in an increase in towing capacity, now up to 7,450 pounds. This number is expected to be best in class for base-engine trucks.

Continue reading 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel gets 9,200-pound tow rating

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel gets 9,200-pound tow rating originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 26 Jul 2013 13:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Rumormill: Jaguar working on 700-hp, 200-mph hybrid F-Type?

Filed under: Convertible, Coupe, Hybrid, Performance, Jaguar, Rumormill

2013 Jaguar F-Type - front three-quarter view

After first driving the 2014 Jaguar F-Type in Spain this spring, we came away mighty impressed. Of course, if you had to pin us down for a top three wish list of what improvements we’d like to see, we’d probably hit you with something like: 1) Less weight. 2) Less weight and 3) Less weight. Oh, and if we’re feeling presumptuous, maybe some additional transmission choices.

Despite leveraging aluminum for the body and chassis, this Jaguar is still a bit of a fat cat compared to its rival models from Porsche. We never felt like it was lacking for power in any of its three supercharged trims, least of them the 495-horsepower V8 S, which is a genuine madman. We knew the variants would come, though – a quick look at the rest of Jag’s lineup provides all the evidence you need of that. And so we’re not surprised to see word of a hyper-powered F-Type on the horizon, an R-S version. What is surprising, however, is a new report that put its motivation at over 700 horsepower and its top speed at 200+ mph. Us? We’re just hoping the latter figure comes at least partially as a result of a hardcore diet.

This F-Type R-S news comes according to the rumormongers at AutoExpress, who expect the high-power Brit to come in coupe form, at least initially. We still haven’t seen the debut of the fixed-head F, but plenty of spy shots suggest its arrival is imminent. Wildly, AE posits that Jag won’t look for more displacement to gain power, it will instead radically downsize by using a 1.6-liter turbo- and supercharged four-cylinder and an array of electric motors. If that sounds familiar, that’s because AE suggests the high-tech powertrain will be scavenged from the defunct C-X75 supercar program (interestingly, earlier reports suggested this combination would only deliver about 500 horsepower).

AutoExpress says we’re in for a bit of a wait before the F-Type R-S checks in, likely 2016 or later. Intriguing as it all sounds, we won’t exactly be holding our breath…

Jaguar working on 700-hp, 200-mph hybrid F-Type? originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 22 Jun 2013 17:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: 2012 Hyundai Genesis priced from $34,200; new 5.0 R-Spec to start at $46,500

Filed under: Car Buying, Sedan, Hyundai

2012 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec

2012 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec – Click above for high-res image gallery

The 2012 Hyundai Genesis sedan is hitting dealer lots as you read this, and pricing has officially been set at $34,200, not including $850 for destination and delivery. The facelifted Genesis four-door was unveiled at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show, and though it received a minor facelift and some other small interior changes, the big news for the 2012 model year is what’s under the hood.

That $34,200 price point corresponds to the base Genesis 3.8 sedan, which now uses a direct-injected 3.8-liter V6, rated at 333 horsepower and 291 pound-feet of torque – gains of 43 and 27, respectively, versus the 2011 model. A new eight-speed automatic transmission is also on tap, meaning the Genesis 3.8 will achieve up to 29 miles per gallon on the highway.

Moving up in the range, the Genesis 4.6 – $44,500 – also gets an eight-speed automatic transmission, though its V8 engine remains largely unchanged. Power ratings carry over from 2011 – 385 hp and 333 lb-ft of torque.

The 4.6 used to be the range-topping Genesis, but for 2012, Hyundai has introduced the new 5.0 R-Spec model, which, as its name suggests, is fitted with the automaker’s brand new 5.0-liter direct-injected V8. Paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, the Tau 5.0 is good for 429 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque, while still returning 16/25 mpg city/highway. The R-Spec model also features unique 19-inch wheels, sportier suspension tuning and more aggressive appearance updates. The top-shelf Genesis retails for $46,500.

Follow the jump for the full details in Hyundai’s press blast.

Continue reading 2012 Hyundai Genesis priced from $34,200; new 5.0 R-Spec to start at $46,500

2012 Hyundai Genesis priced from $34,200; new 5.0 R-Spec to start at $46,500 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 25 May 2011 13:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2011 Chrysler 200 Limited

Filed under: Sedan, Chrysler, Reviews

Sebring Replacement Gets A Seat At The Big Kids Table – Barely

2011 Chrysler 200 Limited

2011 Chrysler 200 – Click above for high-res image gallery

You don’t have to take a trip to Egypt to know what the pyramid of Gisa looks like. It’s an amazing feat of engineering, the construction of which continues to confound scientists to this day. But while Gisa is a true world wonder, Egypt is also home to many structures that were never completed. Half-built pyramids, obelisks that were intricately cut out of solid bedrock only to be left un-hoisted and 1,000-ton rocks that were dragged by hand for miles and left sitting unused. Why would anyone go through all that effort without finishing what they started?

We’ve long asked the same question about the Chrysler Sebring. Engineers took the time to come up with all the components needed to craft a new sedan for Chrysler, yet the steering, chassis and engines were woefully unfinished works. When looking at the Sebring, it’s like designers threw darts at a wall to find the right sketch, and the same lack of completeness could be felt on the inside, where rubbery materials materials were assembled with the precision of a sofa cushion fort.

Luckily for Chrysler, the Sebring and those unfinished Egyptian objects have one more thing in common: They’re both consigned to history. Chrysler’s designers and engineers have worked together to right the wrongs of the Sebring, and those efforts have led to the newly named 2011 Chrysler 200. We spent a week with a nicely equipped Limited model to see if Chrysler’s mulligan can go toe-to-toe with its peers in a very competitive mid-size sedan segment. Continue reading…

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2011 Chrysler 200 Limited originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 May 2011 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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21-year-old driver survives 200-foot plunge into Grand Canyon

Filed under: Etc.

grand canyon

Veering off the road is a scary event. Veering off the road that runs around the rim of the Grand Canyon is downright terrifying. Typically, a scenario that involves the terms “Grand Canyon,” “automobile” and “plunge” usually end with the phrase “the fat lady has sung.” For one particular 21-year-old man, that luckily doesn’t seem to be the case.

Stating that he “accidentally drove over the rim,” the driver and his vehicle dropped 200 feet before winding up snagged in some trees. The man climbed back to the top of the canyon’s rim, flagged down help and was treated at an area hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. This leads us to believe the vehicle in question was either a Canyonero or the driver’s bones are made up of a mixture of horseshoes and rabbit’s feet. In any case, we’re glad he made it out alive.

[Source: AZ Daily Sun | Image: kasyhap_hc/Flickr CC 2.0]

21-year-old driver survives 200-foot plunge into Grand Canyon originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 27 Apr 2011 17:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2011 Chrysler 200 S and 200 S Convertible revealed ahead of New York

Filed under: New York Auto Show, Convertible, Sedan, Chrysler

2011 chrysler 200 s sedan and 200 s convertible

2011 Chrysler 200 S sedan and 200 S convertible – Click above for high-res image gallery

Chrysler is jumping the gun, so to speak, choosing to reveal two new family members ahead of the 2011 New York Auto Show. The 2011 Chrysler 200 S sedan and 2011 200 S convertible appear to be edgier than their non-S counterparts, which is because Chrysler has given them a shot in the styling arm, upping the visual appeal by a few degrees.

The 2011 200 S gets an S-specific Chrysler wing badge on the nose, body-colored side mirrors and door handles and a pair of headlamps with black backgrounds. Sitting underneath the fenders are four 18-inch aluminum wheels, which also all wear the S badge. Inside, the 200 S gets embroidered front headrests, heated leather front seats with suede inserts, suede door trim and a 276-watt Boston Acoustic audio system.

Under the hood, the 200 S gets the now-familiar 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine, which is good for 283-horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Paired with an automatic transmission, the duo is good for 29 miles per gallon on the highway. The fixed-roof 200 S will set you back $26,790 while the drop-top costs $32,490. Both versions are expected to show up on dealer lots sometime this spring.

Be sure to check out the full press release posted after the jump.

Gallery: 2011 Chrysler 200 S sedan and 200 S convertible

2011 Chrysler 200 S sedan and convertible2011 Chrysler 200 S sedan2011 Chrysler 200 S sedan2011 Chrysler 200 S convertible2011 Chrysler 200 S convertible

[Source: Chrysler]

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2011 Chrysler 200 S and 200 S Convertible revealed ahead of New York originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 18 Apr 2011 17:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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