Tesla’s electric Semi truck starts at $150,000, reservations now live

The Tesla Semi, the automaker’s all-electric transport truck, will retail starting at $150,000 for a version with 300 miles of range, and will also be available in a $180,000 version with 500 miles of scope. Interested parties can pre-order them with a base reservation cost of $20,000- or, if they want a “Founders Series, ” they can get one for $200,000, with the entire balance due for a reservation to be among the first in line to get one of the initial 1,000 production Semis.

This pricing, newly uncovered via the Tesla website, is actually unbelievably competitive when measured against diesel truck costs. Entry level diesel trucks star at around $100,000, and Tesla promises cost saving of upwards of $200,000 over the life of the truck, based on ga consumption and energy vs. diesel costs.

Tesla also touts its Semi’s performance benefits, including a 20 second 0 to 60 mph day with an 80,000 lb load attached, and the ability to drive up a 5% grade at 65 mph, which is much faster than is possible in a diesel equivalent towing the same loading. The Semi also boasts industry-leading security fealties, according to Tesla, including a total inability to jackknife, improved Autopiilot features and glass that’s designed to defy even the most serious impacts.

These are base costs, so additional features or packages could increase the final purchase expense, but we don’t yet know the configuration alternatives that Tesla will offer on the vehicle, which is targeting an initial release timeframe of sometime in 2019.

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How to go camping in the trunk of a $145,000 Tesla

As the sunlight defined beyond the long-needle pines and emerald water of Lake Tahoe, I seemed across the campfire and chuckled out loud. I was about to go camping in the back of a $145,000 electric car because, well, it’s become a thing.

Tesla Camper Mode, as its often called, may not be sanctioned by the company, but their home communities of drivers is devoted to the practice. There are forums and YouTube videos that praise the virtues of Tesla camping and investigate the hackers youll need to make it run. Theres even a third-party Tesla automobile app, with a Camp Mode function that will optimize the cars systems for a good nights sleep. This is a quirky, little Tesla subculture, and of course I had to try it myself.

A hotel on hot wheels.

Image: Tom Randall

I know what youre thinking( because it was my first believed, too ): Why would someone who can afford a Tesla need to bed down inside one? The last time I slept in a automobile was on a college road journey from Iowa to Florida, and it was a night of eternal torment, with cramped seats, suffocating hot, and mosquitoes that swarmed when we cracked the windows. Who would choose that again?

But Tesla camping promised something different. The sapphire blue Model S I was driving for the week has a 90 -kilowatt-hour battery the largest you can find in a auto on the road today. In hypothesi, it should be able to handle a night of climate control and HEP-Alevel air filtration without much limit of the vehicles range. Also, electric cars are virtually silent and release no tailpipe emissions( they dont have tailpipes) so they wont suffocate the camper or disturb the local fauna. As for the Model Ss panoramic glass roof, well , no tent can compete with that.

Theres also something romantic about the idea that you slide into a auto to enjoy the solitary pleasures of life on the road and you need to stop only when you, or the car, need to recharge. And Camper Mode could be a real draw for Teslas next automobile, the more affordable Model 3, which is headed for production in 2017. According to a person familiar with the final design, which hasnt been made publicly available, Camper Mode will indeed is a possibility.( More specifics below .) Tesla is hoping to make at least 500,000 Model 3s a year, beginning in 2018. In doing so, it may open up a whole new approach to road tripping for 21 st century Jack Kerouacs.

Image: Stephanie Davidson

Step one: Park it

One beauty of the Model S for camping is that the back seats fold flat, creating an impressive field that can accommodate someone more than six feet tall, or even two people side by side, as Norwegian Tesla enthusiast Bjrn Nyland indicates in this video from April 2015. But what I didnt realize is that the 2016 Next Generation rear seats dont fold totally flat. In fact, they leave a hump of several inches that could be a real ache in the backside.

My solution: I stopped by a sporting goods store and picked up a few leftover cardboard boxes. It took only a minute to even out the hump, but its an riling extra step that somehow feels like cheating. Cardboard in place, I unrolled a self-inflating sleep pad and made up my bed with a sheet, pillow, and light blanket. The parking place at my Lake Tahoe campsite was slightly inclined, so I backed the car in to level it out, accounting for my cardboard task. There. Now it was time for a campfire.

This hump couldve been a back-breaker.

Image: Tom Randall

Why they call it Camper Mode

Driving a Model S takes some get are applied to. Theres little discrepancies between having the car on or off. When you approach it with the key fob in your pocket, it unlocks itself and the climate control engages, ready to drive. When you leave the car, everything shuts down and locks up automatically. You can even use the official Tesla phone app to pre-heat or pre-cool the car from a distance. Theres no key or ignition button.

Unfortunately for campers, when the drivers seat sits empty for more than half an hour, the car wants to turn itself off. Here are the steps to trick the car and get onto ready for camping 😛 TAGEND

1. Put the car in neutral and manually engage the parking brake on the touchscreen. This will prevent the cars systems from turning themselves off.( Dont worry: You cant accidentally disengage the emergency brake without having your foot on the brake pedal .)

2. Turn off the headlights, though the daytime operating lamps( a thin outline of LEDs) will remain on when the car is in neutral. For stealth mode, I cut out squares of cheap backing for blackout curtains and hung them like sunglasses from the cars front hood.

3. Set the temperature, fan, and air filtration to your preferred levels for sleeping.

4. Manually lock the car via the touchscreen.

5. Change the screen to the nighttime situate and dim it to the lowest defining. If thats still too much sunlight, you can also set the screen to cleaning mode, which blacks it out, though I preferred to maintain instant access to the controls. I threw a towel over it.

6. Do yourself a favor and pick up a portable electric espresso manufacturer or kettle. They plug right in to the car, so in the morning you can recharge before making the road again.

The Camp Mode option on the unauthorized iPhone Tesla app works differently. Instead of changing to neutral, the app checks in with the car every 30 minutes to re-engage the climate control when it would otherwise turn itself off while parked. This has the added advantage of allowing you to charge the car while you camp and to turn off the headlights altogether, but it disengages if you ever use your phone. I wasnt able to exam it because theres no Android version of the app yet.

Coming Soon to the Model 3?

Short of a literal camper, the Model S may be the only vehicle in the world ready for full Camper Mode. Other electric carsthe Nissan Leaf or BMW i3, for instancedont yet have the battery range to drive to a remote destination, park, leave the cars HVAC system running overnight, and return home. After driving the car from Reno, Nevada, to the south shore of Lake Tahoe( mostly on Autopilot ), the cars navigation system told me I had enough power left to make it to the next Supercharger station on my route with 40 percent of my 270 -mile range to spare. A night of camping ultimately sapped that range by about 7 percentage points.

Surprisingly, the Model Ss bigger brother, the Model X SUV, makes an unsuitable camper because the unique monopost second-row seats dont fold down. The Model Ss little brother, the Model 3, is likely to be camp-ready, if a little bit cramped.

The Model 3 seats will fold flat, and the storage well at the lower end of the trunk will have a leveling cover-up, similar to the setup on the Model S, according to the person familiar with the final design. However, the flat bed on the compact Model 3 is long enough to accommodate only someone who is about 5 1/2 feet long, stretched out. Anyone much taller than that would need to bend their knees or sleep at an angle.

The Model 3 Bed5 Feet Long

Better for side sleepers

Confirmed: The seats will fold flat.

Image: Stephanie Davidson

After a meal of brats and beans, roasted marshmallows, and a few nips of bourbon before bed, it was time for me to set camping mode to the real exam. The campground was still noisy with late arrivers and late-night revelers, but when I closed the doors, all was stillness. I stretched out on my Tesla bed and realise for the first time that I was in a room of windows, with a panoramic view of the mountains and trees and the stars beyond.

It took a century of human technology to create this fully connected pod of an electric camper. Teslas Autopilot removes the physical stresses of long-haul driving, and the large-screen maps and integrated Supercharger navigation leave the traveler to think about the bigger picture. The great American road tripper, Jack Kerouac, drove a 1949 Hudson Commodore made by a scrappy U.S. vehicle company and priced a step above the average auto at the time. If he were alive today, hed likely be checking out a Model 3.

Camping selfie.

Image: Tom Randall

Sometime after midnight, I awoke in a climate-controlled sleep bubble beneath a position of the Milky Way. New to electric driving, I had a bit of range anxiety and checked the battery gauge. The auto was scarcely sipping juice, confirming what a Tesla salesperson once told me when I asked how long the car could keep me comfy in gridlock. His answer, which I now believe: Days.

Tesla camping is still an imperfect experience, but it doesnt required to. The company clearly didnt design the Model S with the camper in intellect, given the hump, the cardboard boxes, the automobile shut-off, the daytime operating lights, and the inability to turn off the dash. It wouldnt take much for Tesla to code a sweet official version of Camper Mode and to ensure a big enough flat bed in the Model 3. I hope it does, because I could get used to this.

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New acceleration test sees Tesla beating its own expectations on Model S P100D velocity

Tesla Model S P100D
Image: Tesla

The Tesla Model S P100D has hit a new acceleration record, according to one exam by Motor Trend .

The test was performed in Tesla’s “full-on Ludicrous Easter egg mode, ” and watched the car made 60 mph in 2.28 seconds. According to Motor Trend , that induces it the first production auto to reach 60 mph in under 2.3 seconds, beating out the Porsche 911 Turbo S and Ferrari La Ferrari.

A software update last December let the S P100D to reach 60 mph in merely 2.4 seconds, according to a tweet from Tesla CEO Elon Musk. He subsequently hinted that “promising test results” might stimulate 2.34 seconds from 0 to 60 mph possible. As pointed out by BGR , the recent record exceeded Tesla’s own expectations.

The Tesla Model S P100D on Ludicrous Mode has a base price of $135,700, according to Motor Trend . By comparison, the Porsche 911 Turbo Shas a base cost of $188,100 and the Ferrari La Ferrari costs a whopping $1.7 million.

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Tesla could upgrade client computers to meet self-driving requirements

Elon Musk had some thoughts to share on Tesla’s Q3 earnings bellow regarding full freedom and how the automaker is preparing to deliver this to clients down the road. The company announced that its new vehicles had all the hardware on board they needed to achieve full independence last year, and offers customers the options to buy an upgrade that would deliver autonomy via software update once it was available.

Musk noted that he still definitely believes Tesla is able to “achieve full autonomy with the current hardware, ” but also cautioned that the question will be what qualifies as full freedom in the eyes of regulators and what is eventually decriminalize for employ on roads. Musk used to say current Tesla vehicle computer and sensor hardware would allow for “roughly human-level autonomy, ” but also noted that regulators might require a higher level, with potentially systems requiring many multiples of human efficacy to be deemed legal to operate.

“We’ll have more to say on the hardware front soon, we’re simply not ready to say that now, ” Musk said. “But for customers that have purchased the full independence option, if it does turn out that it requires computer upgrade for full autonomy, we will replace their computer — it’s simply a matter of unplug the old computer, plug the new one in.”

Musk also said he believes that Tesla’s hardware in terms of autonomy is better than any other alternative out there by a lot, which, combined with his earlier remarks considering hardware news to come soon, could indicate details on upgraded equipment to be revealed in the future.

Tesla did not commentary further on the schemed coast-to-coast driverless exam ride planned for its autonomous system, beyond noting in its investor letter that it still plans on conducting such a test — though at this stage, it seems unlikely to occur before the end of the year.

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Jaguar reveals the new all-electric I-PACE SUV

Jaguar has finally fully revealed the official I-PACE all-electric SUV, a vehicle with just under 240 miles of range and a 0 to 60 mph time of under five seconds. The car can also charge to 80 percent from empty in 40 minutes using special quick charger hardware, and a 15-minute top-up is good for around 62 miles of additional range.

The I-PACE looks like Jaguar’s best attempt to do a Tesla impression in more ways than the electric powertrain, however: The automaker is also promising over-the-air updates for the car, and connected controls that tie in to a mobile app for your phone, including charging status information. OTA is a first for Jaguar with this new EV offering.

In the cabin, there are touchscreens for infotainment readout, along with standard physical controls for additional cabin control options. The vehicle has the silhouette and physical footprint of a crossover or compact SUV, but it’s also designed to make the most of its interior and luggage space, with fold-flat rear seats and nearly 400 gallons of total interior volume with that configuration.

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The car’s battery is located centrally in the base of the car, which provides a 50/50 weight distribution split between the back and front of the vehicle according to Jaguar. Those batteries power front and back axle motors, which means it’s also an all-wheel drive vehicle, and of course emits zero emissions.

Pre-orders for the car start today, and the SUV will begin being delivered to buyers in the second half of 2018. We’ll find out about U.S. pricing, and get a closer look at the car, next week at the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland.

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Elon Musk exposes more details about the Model Y crossover

Tesla is building a new vehicle platform for its upcoming crossover vehicle. Instead of repurposing the underpinnings of the Model 3 or Model S, Tesla is building something completely new for the Model Y. This comes from Elon Musk be talking about the companys investor bellow. Constructing a new platform takes time; Musk said the Model Y is expected to hit assembly lines in 2020, but could be as early as 2019. And yes, with the Model Y, Teslas model line will look like this: S, 3, X, Y.

Building a new platform is a long game for automobile manufacturers. It allows for vehicles to share key components, thus improving margins and manufacturing expenses when applied to more vehicles. Like most auto makers, Tesla already does this. The Tesla Model X SUV is built on the Model S platform. By constructing another platform, Tesla is preparing for its next generation of vehicles. Said another way, dont expect a new Model S or Model X before the Model Y.

Musk said today during the course of its earnings call that his company intends to ditch the 12 -volt battery architecture being implemented in Teslas vehicles. This is said to reduce the amount of wiring, reducing the manufacturing process and hopefully improving expense. Tesla and other EV makers are still reliant on many of the systems and components heating, powered seats, infotainment used in traditional automobiles and all of these systems run on a 12 -volt system. If Musk is successful in moving away from this platform, he would have to move convince auto suppliers to move with him or construct more of the systems in-house.

Musk has teased the Model Y for months. Before Tesla gets to the Model Y, it needs to deliver the Model 3, which it said today is on track to reached production lines in July.

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German report calls Tesla’s Autopilot a “hazard”

A new examine from Germanys Federal Highway Research Institute( BASt) found that the autopilot feature of the Tesla Model S constitutes a considerable traffic hazard, according to a report in Der Spiegel.

Unsurprisingly, Tesla CEO Elon Musk doesnt agree and today said in a tweet that those reports were not actually based on science, and repeated thatAutopilot is safer than manually driven cars.

Tesla reports that its vehicles drove more than1 30 million miles with Autopilot engaged before one was involved in a fatal accident .Statistically, that beats the safety record for manually driven autoes which are involved in a fatal crash every 100 million miles in the U.S ., according to data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety .

We reached out to Tesla Motor forfurther information. Executives were not immediately available to comment.

Its worth noting that Der Spiegel reports that the study was an internal one, and did not represent a final evaluation.

The new report was commissioned after an accidenton a German highway late last month. A Tesla Model S with the Autopilot engaged crashed into a bus. Nobody was hurt in the accident, but it did spur the agencyto take a closer look atTeslas Autopilot.

The report quotes a number of issues the testers procured with Teslas systems. Among other things, the car didnt follow the right road commemorates in a building zone and when there were no road commemorates, the car simply followed the vehicle in front of it.

Another problem the Tesla faced was due to the simple fact that there are still plenty of stretches on the German Autobahn where there are no velocity restrictions. The report says the cars sensors only look about 40 meters behind it.If the Tesla is going the standard Autobahn speed of 80 miles per hour but somebody is going 125 miles per hour in the left lane( or even faster ), thats not nearly enough.

Teslas Autopilot feature is billedas driver assistive , not fully autonomous, technology, but the German report notes that the name suggests otherwise. The company lately launched an Autopilot update and is expected to unveil more product news on October 17 th.

The writers of the German report actually argue that the Model S should be banned from German streets. The Transport Minister, though, is likely to ignore this according to Der Spiegel and instead plans to provide Tesla with a to be given to test the Autopilot in Germany.

While Muskdefended his companys technology against the German report on Twitter today, healso praised German lawmakers new resolution to prohibit gasoline and diesel vehiclesby 2030.

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