According to a study by Consumer Reports, around 1,500 people have been injured in accidents involving electric kick-scooters in the USA since the end of 2017. The article is based on estimates from hospitals in 47 US cities in which either Bird or Lime operate.
The Tesla price carousel continues to turn: In the US, the Californian electric car manufacturer has now lowered the price for the Model 3 by 1,100 dollars. The entry-level model with a mid-range battery now starts at 42,900 dollars.
Tesla has sent an over the air update for the Model 3 that has improved the electric car’s braking performance considerably. Enough in fact for Consumer Reports to change their mind so that they now recommend the Model 3.
Tesla’s Model 3 did not receive a purchase recommendation from the Consumer Reports magazine published by the consumer watch group. The testers did make some positive remarks, but particularly the breaking distance did not measure up to expectations, prompting Elon Musk to promise improvements.
Video tip I: Consumer Reports reenacts its love-hate relationship with Tesla as it inspects the latest Autopilot update. It finds version 8.0 better but sees room for improvement. youtube.com via insideevs.com
Video tip II: Take a look inside the racer Regera together with its creator Christian Von Koenigsegg, who explains how the 1,500-hp hybrid works. He uses a disassembled model. youtube.com
Tesla fast lane: As Model X deliveries increased, so have the service requests. As a reaction, Tesla introduced fast lanes at service centres to prioritise minor problems. For further deescalation, Tesla president Jon McNeil and team offer to take very urgent requests themselves via the blog. electrek.co, teslamotorsclub.com
eMTB motor by Yamaha: The PW-X e-bike drive is specifically designed for electric mountain bikes. Based on the 2016 PW, the new system is lighter, smaller, and features a 500 Wh battery plus an additional power mode. The HMI as seen in a Haibike is neater with the display integrated into the stem. fullycharged.com
Tough love: Consumer Reports is asking Tesla to disable hands-free operation of the Autopilot and to come up with a new name. The organisation deems the feature dangerous and its branding misleading. Tesla denies that but vows to improve both functionality as well as consumer education. consumerreports.org, electriccarsreport.com, insideevs.com
More range for i3: BMW now offers a battery upgrade for its electric car. In Germany, the new power pack with 33.2 kWh (94 Ah cells) will cost owners 7,000 euros when turning in the old pack. While it will hit in other European markets like the UK, it is not scheduled to come to the States. insideevs.com
BMW i3 first drive: Despite being a veteran automotive journalist, it was Arthur St. Antoine’s first time in a BMW i3. Not a virgin to electric rides – Antoine is an i8 fan – the i3 REx “pulverised” his expectations. After one week with the crude cutie, he concludes the i3 to be “a total charmer.” automobilemag.com
Click tip: Take a tour of the BYD bus factory in Californian Lancaster, located 75 miles from LA. The electric buses are build from the bottom up, starting with steel frames over panelling, wiring, painting, assembly of batteries and motors and testing. cleantechnica.com
Reading tip: Consumer Report’s reliability study considers hybrids without a plug to be more reliable than EVs and PHEVs. One must note however, that the report did not include the VW e-Golf, Chevy Spark, Ford Focus EV and Kia Soul EV. hybridcars.com
Video tip: Consumer Reports tested the Tesla Model S P85D and found out that acceleration is not quite as fast as Tesla claims. It took 3.5 seconds to get to 60 mph in “Insane” mode, a blink of an eye more than the advertised 3.1 seconds. youtube.com
Reading tip: Tesla ranks first on Forbes’ new list of the world’s most innovative companies. Read more about the four main differences between Tesla and other carmakers. forbes.com
Presentable 98 percent of Tesla drivers are happy with their Model S and would buy it again. That´s according to a new survey by Consumer Reports. The average satisfaction rate across all vehicles was only around 70 percent. insideevs.com
Light-weight farming: The joint project POLY-LAB.NET is coordinated by the Fraunhofer IWU and funded by federal funds. Their development is a electric concept vehicle destined for farming. The KULAN only weighs 300 kilos but is said to be able to carry loads of up to a ton. It will be presented in Germany at the IAA for commercial vehicles at the end of this September. elektronikpraxis.vogel.de, poly-lab.net (both in German)
Low-cost energy storage: A new report by Lux Research points out silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) as materials fit to reduce cost for EV batteries considerably. The example being used is a Tesla Model S, which could save more than 6,000 dollars. greencarcongress.com, marketwired.com
Consumer Reports gives an update on its long-term test with a Tesla Model S. While it found “many minor problems that merit some reflection” occurring after 15,743 miles of testing, it still got reviewers “raving,” EV fans or avid car heads alike. For Tesla, these recent tests and reported problems with whole drive units being exchanged rather regularly, has led them to rethink their strategy and the company is now looking into fixing rather than replacing parts. consumerreports.org (long-term test update), transportevolved.com (Tesla’s repair policy)
Thinking ahead of Audi: The press has been pondering a premium Audi A9 for quite some time. Spanish designer Daniel Garcia has now taken things into his own hands and came forward with a concept that features in-wheel motors as well as self-repairing nano materials. homes-design.com, parentesis.com (in Spanish)
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Most clicked link on Tuesday were the spyshots of BYD’s all-electric lorry for the city. carnewschina.com
Venucia e30 ahead of schedule: The Chinese ‘Leaf’ by Dongfeng-Nissan will go on-sale as Venucia e30 in China this September already and not by the end of 2015 as originally announced. The launch follows EV pilot programs in Guangzhou, Xiangyang and Dalian with 300 EVs driving one million kilometres. green.autoblog.com
VW means business: Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn has specified what he calls “the biggest initiative for e-mobility in China’s automotive history” (we reported). Until 2018, VW will invest 25 billion dollars and create about 20,000 jobs in China. green.autoblog.com
Hybrid Land Rover for China: Land Rover is presenting its Range Rover Hybrid Long Wheelbase at the Beijing Autoshow. According to the Brits, it will be the first diesel hybrid to be offered in China and can be ordered from May. A 292 hp diesel engine is coupled with a 35 kW electric motor which enables electric driving for one mile at speeds of up to 30 mph. greencarcongress.com, hybridcars.com
Secret shopping for EVs: The American Consumer Reports send 19 secret test shoppers to 85 car dealers in the U.S. to buy an electric car. It turned out that the more a sales person knew about EVs, the more he or she encouraged the secret testers to buy one while poor knowledge even led to outright discouragement. consumerreports.org via transportevolved.com
EV vs hybrid buyers: A study of Experian Automotive showed that buyers of electric cars were younger and wealthier than those buying hybrids in 2013. Furthermore, EV sales grew by 245% compared to 2012 while hybrid sales only increased by 19%. nytimes.com, electriccarsreport.com, thegreencarwebsite.co.uk
Best pick: Consumer Reports has fallen in love with the Tesla Model S once again and names it the Best Overall vehicle in its latest annual report. Non-surprisingly it is followed by the Toyota Prius as Best Green car, which is now holding this title for eleven consecutive years. greencarreports.com, electriccarsreport.com, puregreencars.com
For all it’s worth: Even though carmaker Coda went bankrupt last year, its products are still available through Coda Cars trading mainly online. An Ebay auction of a Coda EV ended rather sadly with the highest bid being just 14,000 dollars for a new car once priced at 44,900 dollars. green.autoblog.com, greencarreports.com, ebay.com