Tag archives for model s

Tesla Model S will gain range in “sleep mode” software update





Tesla figures owners of its Model S all-electric sedan will happily trade a little dashboard start-up speed for a few more miles of range. That’s the crux of a software update from the luxury EV maker that will include a so-called “sleep mode.” That mode powers everything off when the car is shut down.



The upshot is that there will be what Tesla says is a “modest increase” in the amount of time the car’s instrument panel “wakes up” from sleep mode (don’t we all have that problem?). The good news is that the car’s range increases because of sleep mode. In fact, folks willing to put their cars into sleep mode will get about eight more miles of range for every day that the car’s not used and not plugged in. In other words, a non-sleeping Model S loses roughly a mile of range every three hours its just sitting there. Tesla says the software update will also improve voice-command and media-browsing features.



Tesla said late last month that it is boosting the price of the Model S by $2,500 for US customers, putting the base price at $59,900 and the top end hit at $94,400. Those prices don’t factor in the federal tax credit worth up to $7,500. Details can be found in Tesla’s announcement for the software update below.

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By Danny King

Watch Tesla Model S get assembled, painted; find details of ‘opportunity console’

Tesla Model S in paint shop



Tesla Motors is just a few days away from handing over Model S key fobs to the first batch of customers. Yes, the company already gave investor and board member Steve Jurvetson and CEO Elon Musk their Founder Series cars, but this time it’s for reals.



While we wait to watch the sleek sedans, painted in the ten four colors of the company’s current palette Signature series, passed to their new owners – the big event will be broadcast on Tesla’s website Friday at 3:30 PDT – we can now see more of what goes into the manufacturing of this truly innovative electric car. We’ve already watched the massive metal stamping that begins the process, now we can view the whole assembly and paint application operation. Scroll below for three more videos from the Inside Tesla! series.



In other Model S news, Tesla has revealed what’s going to be so special about the area between the front seats, a space Tesla is calling the “Opportunity Console.” Based on buyer preferences, this customizable space should one day be able to be outfitted with “compartments, shelves or phone holders to make this area more organized.” Tesla will reveal prototypes of the consoles this weekend and will listen to customer input on how the final versions develop.













By Domenick Yoney

Tesla Model S Software Update Boosts Range by 8 Miles

A software update to the Tesla Model S will add a few extra miles of range according to the brand.

The update will bring a few changes, the largest of which is a new “sleep” setting. When in use, the new “sleep” setting will power down the cars display and vehicle electronics when the owner exits the vehicle,  which will add about 8 miles of range a day. The trade off is that now the screens will take longer to power up when the car is started, though Tesla says it is only a ”modest increase” in wait time.

SEE ALSO: Tesla Model S Gets $2,500 Price Increase

Along with the new screen sleep function, owners will get enhanced synchronized door handles, new voice commands, enhanced throttle response and a few other small changes.

as an interesting side note, the best part about Tesla’s software updates is that they happen over a 3G connection with minimal effort by the owner.

By Stephen Elmer

Tesla adds $6,500 ‘Performance Plus’ option to Model S; adds range, improves handling

Tesla Model S



Tesla Motors is adding a special performance package for its all-electric Model S that not only will add miles of single-charge range, but will make sure those miles aren’t driven sideways.



The automaker is charging $6,500 for its new “Performance Plus” option, which includes wider rear tires, upgraded stabilizer bars and bushings, among other goodies. Tesla says it took “hundreds of iterations affecting every detail of the suspension,” but “our vehicle dynamics team was able to achieve the rare outcome of simultaneously improving performance, comfort and efficiency.” The new rear Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 tires are 20 mm wider than previous tires and are “staggered for improved acceleration on low grip surfaces.” Folks will also be able to get between six and 12 miles of range from those new tires.



Tesla continues to move its already up-market car into the proverbial stratosphere, and for good reason. The company, which beat its first-quarter sales targets, discontinued its cheapest variant of the Model S because of lack of demand even as it has improved the financing options for the EV.

Related Gallery2012 Tesla Model S: First Drive

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By Danny King

Tesla Model S goes road tripping, drivers experience variety of charging methods





The Tesla Model S is on another cross country road trip. It’s not being driven by a Tesla team, like last year – this time it’s a long, winding tour for old friends Peter, Luba and Tina, making their way from Portland, OR, to New York. It’s been a sightseeing drive – as of day six, they’d only made it to Albuquerque from Oregon and still had a couple thousand miles to cover. Thankfully, they’re writing up their journey, so we can ride along with words.



The Model S was picked up by Peter three years and 273 days after his deposit was placed. Jared, the Tesla store manager in Portland, walked him through delivery of the new car, which was given the name “Sunrise” by the road trip crew. Even though Peter is an engineer who’s done a lot of homework on the Model S, Jared was able to teach him a few things.



An hour after picking up Sunrise, Peter drove to the airport and picked up Tina. The initial trip plan was changed on the spot, as they decided to spend some time enjoying the sunshine of Portland, along with breaking in the new car and verifying charging stations.



On day two, heading out of Portland to San Francisco, they tested out charging networks. On a ChargePoint station in Forest Park, just south of Portland, they got an error message after swiping the card, informing them to call ChargePoint. The charging station customer service rep quickly got back to them and fixed the problem – an incorrect zip code was initially entered.



In Corvallis, OR, they pulled into a local RV park, where Peter decided to test out his custom designed electric vehicle service equipment (EVSE) multi-input unit. It was his first time plugging the EVSE into a Model S, so he took it slow. He was more than pleased to see it working right away, and was able to charge at 50 amps and 240 volts.



Stopping at the Tesla factory in Fremont, CA, was almost like Charlie Bucket exploring Willie Wonka’s chocolate factory for the road trip team. Far from being a car enthusiast like Peter, Tina found herself fascinated by the size, scope, organization, teamwork and technology at plant building the Model S. As a group, they were fully entranced for about 30 minutes as they witnessed the assembly line in action.



Luba joined her friends on day five of the road trip, in the Los Angeles area, where they visited a Tesla supercharger in Hawthorne, CA, for a quick charging “top off.” Peter ended up having a fascinating conversation with Larry, a navy pilot who flew F14s and who’d also graduated from University of Maryland and owned a Model S. It was so fascinating, Peter didn’t realize until about 40 minutes later that their Model S wasn’t even charging at all. Oops! Oh, well – they’ve still got a lot of miles to drive, things to see and lots of chances to learn something new every day about Sunrise.

By Jon LeSage

Those Tesla Model S reservations on eBay? Not legal

tesla model s



You can sell the car, but not the reservation for it. That’s the gist of a Green Car Reports post about Tesla Model S reservation holders looking to “sell” their spots in line on eBay.



With the half-dozen or so reservations for the all-electric sedan being posted for sale on the auction site, Tesla confirmed to Green Car Reports that none of the approximately 14,000 reservations can be legally sold because the holders have signed an agreement saying that the reservations are non-transferable. In fact, the agreement specifically states that the only way the reservation is “transferable or assignable to another party” is with the written approval from an Tesla authorized representative. And Tesla says that no such approval has been given. That said, the car itself can be sold as soon as the reservation holder takes possession of it. Mere details.



Last month, the Model S won the Motor Trend Car of the Year Award. Tesla in November also announced that it hiked the Model S price for next year by $2,500 for US customers. That means the prices for the sedan will range from $59,900 for the base model to $94,400 for the top-end version.

Related Gallery2012 Tesla Model S: First Drive

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By Danny King

Tesla customers drive the Model S, love it!

tesla model s customers test drive



We’ve heard initial reviews of the Tesla Model S from the media as the “Get Amped” tour – a multi-city test-drive opportunity for reservation holders – kicked off at the company’s Fremont, CA factory. But what about the people who really matter? You know, the folks who’ve been waiting for as long as two years, having plunked down as much as $40,000 for a place in line. What did they think of the shiny new machines?



After reading many first-person accounts and watching a good number of in-car videos, we think it’s fair to say they absolutely love it. The sexy fastback looks, the smooth, rocket-like acceleration, the comfortable ride, and confident handling. Love, love, love, and love!



But don’t take our word for it. Scroll down for a handful of videos, starting with a relatively short one from Tesla Motors featuring footage from the official launch and customer test-drive reactions (the last in the Tesla Tuesday series), followed by full length (12-13 minutes) clips from individuals.

















By Domenick Yoney

Elon Musk explains why Tesla has its own stores, defends service program





Elon Musk is taking his argument for a different kind of customer-dealer relationship directly to the people. In this case, the Tesla Motors CEO writes on his company’s blog to list the reasons why the luxury electric-vehicle maker decided to own all of its dealerships instead of offering franchises.



Musk, who said the Tesla Model S sedan aspires to be “the best car of any kind” in his new post, says that using the traditional dealer franchise model would have created conflicts of interest withing the salespeople. The reason is that any energy used to educate the public about electric vehicles would detract from conventional-vehicle sales. “It is impossible for them to explain the advantages of going electric without simultaneously undermining their traditional business,” Musk writes.



Additionally, most buyers purchase the same make as their previous vehicle, which means there are few buyers who would walk into a multi-brand dealership and be willing to take the time to learn about Tesla. Musk added that Tesla would have 19 dealership stores in the US by the end of the year, up from 10 at the beginning of the year.



While the Model S has been universally praised, its pricey service program has not. Earlier this month, David Noland, a Model S reservation holder, wrote that Tesla’s $600-a-year service program is more than 10 times the cost of the service program for the Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in hybrid. Tesla has argued that its service plan is more comprehensive than usual because it includes an inspection, replacement parts such as brakes and windshield wipers, roadside assistance, system monitoring, remote diagnostics and software updates.



Finally, Musk addresses the recent lawsuits over Tesla’s stores. As you might expect, Musk doesn’t back down:

Regrettably, two lawsuits have nonetheless been filed against Tesla that we believe are starkly contrary to the spirit and the letter of the law. This is supported by the nature of the plaintiffs, where one is a Fisker dealer and the other is an auto group that has repeatedly demanded that it be granted a Tesla franchise. They will have considerable difficulty explaining to the court why Tesla opening a store in Boston is somehow contrary to the best interests of fair commerce or the public.

We’re sure the case will be made, though, and we’ll see how well it’s delivered.

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By Danny King

Tesla in the Black: CEO Says

Anyone close to the industry would probably agree that Tesla, of all the small EV makers, is making the biggest strides toward leaving its start-up status behind.

Agree or disagree, it sounds like that might finally be the case. Company CEO Elon Musk released a statement today through Twitter suggesting the company is in the black.

“Am happy to report that Tesla was narrowly cash flow positive last week. Continued improvement expected through year end,” Musk said. 

With orders stacked for months worth of production, and a publicized price increase that helped to clinch last-minute buyers, Tesla seems to have the formula for success figured out. In fact, Musk predicted in early October that the company would reach this target.

SEE ALSO: Tesla Model S Gets $2,500 Price Increase

It probably wasn’t very hard, though. The brand doesn’t build cars before they’re sold. Instead, it takes orders and deals with scheduling a backlog of scheduled builds. That would give a guaranteed income figure the brand can leverage.

It’s also important to remember that while Tesla might be in the black now, there isn’t any promise it will stay there. The company operates on a one-car model, building a run of vehicles before moving on to something else.

There is a buyback program for people who purchased the Roadster, but production is concluded which means buying a used one.

Provided the brand sticks to its formula for the Model X, it wouldn’t be terribly surprising to see a similar dip into debt while the brand’s crossover bites chunks out of the company’s coffers. Ideally, the Model S will sell with enough success to fund the next car without that becoming an issue, but there are many factors at play.

By Luke Vandezande

Tesla Model S Named to TIME Magazine’s Best Inventions of 2012 List

By all accounts, the Tesla Model S is a formidable offering in the electric vehicle world, a market that’s still considered to be in its infant stage.

Recently, the American automaker’s newest sedan landed on TIME Magazine‘s Best Invention of the Year 2012 list. The publication went so far as to say that the Tesla “has the lines of a Jaguar” but was mostly impressed by its range of 200-plus miles.

Of course, we loved the fact that the Model S delivers 362 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque and in our review commented that; “This might not just be the future of the electric car. The Tesla Model S could be the future of the American auto industry.”

By Jason Siu

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