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05.26.17 | 6:26 am

It’s more dangerous to work in a Tesla factory than other automotive factories

That's according to a new report that analyzes data from three years of federal records, reports the Verge. According to the report, the Fremont, California-based Tesla factory:

• had injury rates 31% higher than the industry average in 2015.

• 8.8 workers were injured per 100 workers. That's compared to 6.7 injuries per 100 workers across the industry. The Fremont factory has 10,000 workers.

• For 2016, Tesla's injury rates were 8.1 per 100 workers.

05.23.17 | 9:19 pm

Now you can control your Tesla via a chatbot named Elon 

Sahas Katta, the CEO of a startup called Smartcar, has been thinking about inventive ways to control Tesla's cars for a while. A few years ago, he created a Tesla app for Google's ill-fated Google Glass. And now he's back with Teslabot, which lets people lucky enough to own a Tesla S or X talk to their car via Facebook Messenger.

Teslabot lets you do anything from unlock the doors to vent the sunroof to monitor charging. And Katta gave his bot a human name that—though uncommon among actual humans—is ideal for this particular product: "Elon."  


05.23.17 | 9:36 am

A Waymo spin-off could compete with Tesla, say analysts

Waymo may be primed to become a stand-alone company, say analysts at Morgan Stanley, noting that it could be worth more than $70 billion if it can grow to approximately 1% of global miles driven. That's assuming the Google unit can put 3 million cars on the road, each driving 65,000 miles a year and earning roughly $1.25 on each mile. 

The Lyft partnership could help it get there, they add. Waymo could reach operating profitability by 2022 with its operating margin hitting 8% by 2030, say analysts. Currently, Morgan Stanley's Brian Nowak doesn't believe this opportunity is reflected in Google's share price. But that's not necessarily a bad thing: It gives Google room to test its technology before possibly spinning out Waymo.   

05.22.17 | 2:49 pm

Tesla’s Elon Musk says new autopilot software is coming in June

On Sunday evening, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to discuss Tesla's new autopilot software, set to be released next month. According to Musk, the control algorithm in the new release is safer, but also feels "smooth as silk." June's update will also "hopefully" add perpendicular parking and rain sensors, according to his tweets.

05.18.17 | 2:25 pm

Elon Musk on Tesla factory working conditions: We lose money

In a long read from the Guardian about workers collapsing from overwork at Tesla's Fremont factory, CEO Elon Musk let himself and his company off the hook: 

"We're a money-losing company," Musk added. "This is not some situation where, for example, we are just greedy capitalists who decided to skimp on safety in order to have more profits and dividends and that kind of thing. It's just a question of how much money we lose. And how do we survive? How do we not die and have everyone lose their jobs?" 

The sentiment here is that because Tesla starting a car company from scratch, that putting workers through the ringer is to be expected. But that is a dangerous narrative to feed into, one that other founders have evoked to explain their way out of having a human resources department or underpaying employees. It becomes especially harmful in a circumstance where people's physical health (read: ability to earn wages long term) is put at risk.

05.16.17 | 5:52 am

Elon Musk’s cousin and former SolarCity CEO is leaving Tesla

Lyndon Rive will leave Tesla in June in favor of starting another company of his own. He told Bloomberg:

"My skill set and what I love doing is starting and running companies. I can hand off the baton to somebody else and give myself the opportunity to do something else that could also have another impact."

05.10.17 | 6:58 am

You can preorder Tesla’s solar roof tiles today

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted the impeding commencement of preorders, though only two of the four types of models of the solar tiles will be available at launch—the Black Glass Smooth and Textured tiles will be available first with the Tuscan and French Slate tiles being available "in about six months."

05.03.17 | 4:29 pm

Tesla losses were worse than expected in Q1, but the Model 3 is still on track for July

In its earnings statement today, Tesla announced revenues of $2.7 billion for the quarter, above the estimated $2.6 billion. Losses came in at $1.33 per share, much greater than the anticipated 81 cents per share. In after-hours trading, TSLA shares spiked up a percent before trending downward. In its shareholder letter the company revealed a few key items: 

 • Vehicle production is up 64%  year-over-year and deliveries were a record 25,051 for the quarter

• The company is planning to manufacture 5,000 Model 3s per week later this year. Sometime next year, Tesla wants to boost that number to 10,000 vehicles per week (this is something of an explanation for how it plans to ramp up production to meet its goal of 500,000 cars in 2018)

•  Expect 100 more retail, delivery, and service locations to come this year globally

• 25,000 new charging stations are coming in 2017

• This quarter Tesla brought its computer vision and self-driving tech stack entirely in-house to build the technology more rapidly 

Good news for solar: Roughly a third of new residential deployments were to purchasing customers rather than leasing ones

• In its forward-looking guidance Tesla says that by July capital expenditures will spill over $2 billion with more investment coming later in the year. 

[Photo: courtesy of Tesla]

04.13.17 | 4:49 pm

Elon Musk promises Tesla semi and pickup trucks 

Sounds like 18-wheelers and pickups are about to get a lot cooler. In a tweet today, Elon Musk dropped a few interesting tidbits: Tesla's got a semi truck in the works, and we'll get to lay our eyes on it in September. "Team has done an amazing job," Musk said. "Seriously next level. And, it's got a pickup truck coming within the next two years.

Not only that, but Musk also promised that the next-generation Tesla roadster will be a convertible. Oddly, Musk's tweets about the pickup truck and the roadster were replies to people's responses to his semi truck tweet. It's funny that someone like Musk would drop details like that in such a way.

[Photo: piccaya/iStock]

04.10.17 | 12:20 pm

Tesla introduces new solar panels for eco-warriors with commitment issues

If for some reason you're not interested in using Tesla's technology to transform your roof into a solar-powered factory that can suck energy from the sky to power your entire home, the company won't sic Captain Planet on you. Instead, they'll sell you something else. As Electrek pointed out yesterday, Tesla has just unveiled its new solar panels that are perfect for eco-warriors with commitment issues. The new panels are mounted on your existing roof with a sleek, low-profile design that will impress your neighbors. The panels will go into production at Tesla's Gigafactory 2 this summer. 

04.03.17 | 10:47 am

Tesla’s market cap is now bigger than Ford’s

Tesla's stock is up 14% a day after the company announced the delivery of 25,000 Model S and Model X cars in Q1. Tesla says that represents a 69% increase from the same period a year ago. The company also produced 25,418 vehicles this quarter—another record. The stats are particularly notable as Tesla's worth is increasingly compared to that of older auto manufacturers. While it may still lag very far behind the likes of GM and Ford in terms of production, its market capitalization is sidling up alongside them, and recently overtook Ford's.

04.03.17 | 6:50 am

Tesla just delivered a quarterly record of 25,000 vehicles

The electric carmaker said on Sunday that it delivered 25,000 vehicles to customers in Q1 2017, reports Reuters. Of that, 13,450 were Model S sedans and 11,550 were Model X sports utility vehicles. In the previous quarter, deliveries had been hit due to production problems due to new autopilot hardware. Production in the most recent quarter bounced back too, hitting a quarterly record of 25,418 vehicles.

Image: Tesla