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February 19 2014

21:46

Tesla financial Q4 results in record Model S sales

This afternoon Tesla shared the results of their financial fourth quarter for 2013, making clear their successes in selling their electric Model S vehicle worldwide. Tesla made clear that this … Continue reading

November 18 2013

02:07

NASA shelves fuel-efficient tech, effectively slashes outer planet exploration

NASA this weekend all but abandoned a money-saving technology due to a lack of money. You read that correctly. The space agency’s budget woes are so suffocating that it can’t even get the funding to develop ways to make missions more efficient. In this case, the efficiency would have been massive: the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope […]

August 12 2013

21:52

Hyperloop Alpha: Elon Musks’ high-speed train begins is journey in detail

After a bit of a foot-in-mouth mention of a high-speed transit system between the two ends of the country earlier this year, Elon Musk is today ready to bring a bit more heat to the very real possibility of this Hyperloop system. In a release made through Tesla Motors, Musk suggests that this next-generation system […]

May 22 2013

20:47

Tesla becomes “only American car company to have fully repaid the government”

In an announcement let loose today by Tesla Motors, they’ve made it clear that they’re claiming to be “the only American car company to have fully repaid the government.” As over the past several years it’s been a big subject of controversy that the government gave “bailout” funds to companies in many different industries, it’s important to note that this particular loan was not part of the so-called “bailout” rounds given to GM and Chrysler.

tesla-model-s-undergoing-assembly_100393601_m

Instead, Tesla was part of the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing program, a program signed into law by Bush in 2008. The loan funds were awarded under the Obama administration in 2010 as well as “in the years that followed”. Tesla has made clear that both GM and Chrysler were given bailouts because they were bankrupt, while the ATVM program was only available to Tesla Motors because they were in good financial health.

According to Elon Musk:

“I would like to thank the Department of Energy and the members of Congress and their staffs that worked hard to create the ATVM program, and particularly the American taxpayer from whom these funds originate. I hope we did you proud.” – Musk for Tesla

This move to repay the loans given to Tesla by the Department of Energy has made Tesla once again a totally privately funded organization. This is the first time since 2003 that the company has been funded entirely with private funds, mind you, and and this final payment was made using “a portion” of the approximately $1 billion raised last week by the company.

UPDATE: Clarified by a helpful reader, it’s not since 2003 that the company was entirely privately funded – instead it was privately funded from 2003 until 2010, then between 2010 and 2013 (now), it was funded in part by this government loan – now again it’s entirely privately funded.

This $1 billion came from a concurrent set of offerings of common stock and convertible senior notes – and $100 million of common equity was purchased by Elon Musk himself. Today’s payment – the final one, at that – equaled nearly a half-billion at $451.8M in all. This repays Tesla’s loan cash in full, with interest.

For those of you wondering – both GM and Chrysler have paid back their loans, too. But that’s not all the cash they got from the government, depending on how you look at it. Back about a year ago, President Obama mentioned that both company’s loans had been repaid in full.

According to Politifact, while the companies that were formed when the bailouts were made did, indeed pay that money back, the “old” Chrysler and “old” GM have not necessarily made that move – it may be that, all things considered, there will be no complete payment by the auto industry back to the government. But again, it’s all about your point of view.


Tesla becomes “only American car company to have fully repaid the government” is written by Chris Burns & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.

April 12 2013

15:13

Cadillac ELR introduces “Regen on Demand” for extended electric range

With the Cadillac ELR we saw the company blend luxury with electricity in a vehicle ready for sale in early 2014 – this week we’re being introduced to the vehicles Regen on Demand feature. This feature allows you to regenerate energy and store it as electricity for later use in the vehicle’s battery pack. This is done with the vehicle’s paddle shifters, an alternative to traditional performance vehicles use of steering wheel mounted paddles for upshift and downshift of their mechanical transmission.

ELR_Shift-medium

With this new system, the driver will be taking part in the driving experience like never before – imagine being able to extend the length of time you’ll be able to drive without stopping to refuel or re-charge your car while you’re driving. How unimaginably far we’ve come from the crank-start cars of the past – how long until we just hop in and the car brings us wherever we want to go, no effort included?

“Regen on Demand enables ELR drivers to actively re-capture energy when slowing down, such as when approaching slower traffic or setting up for a tight turn. This allows the driver to take more active role in the electric vehicle driving experience.” – Chris Thomason, ELR chief engineer

cq5dam.web.1280.1280

Engaging Regen on Demand is simple: the driver simply takes his or her foot off of the accelerator and presses one of the vehicle’s two steering-wheel paddles. These paddles both generate energy and begin to decelerate the car – Regen on Demand will not bring the car to a full stop, but this feature is meant for coasting or, as Thomason mentions, setting up tight turns. This is also known as regenerative braking.

“Pulling back on the paddle to slow down allows the ELR driver to keep their foot close to the throttle, ready to accelerate. It provides a more engaged, satisfying driving experience, and when you consider the added benefit of re-capturing energy, it’s also a smart thing to do.” – Thomason

In addition to the Regen on Demand paddles on your steering wheel, you’ve also got a blended regenerative braking system. With this system you’ll be recapturing energy when your brakes are applied and your vehicle slows. At the point at which you need a massive amount of brake power, this vehicle blends in friction brakes so you can stop quick.

The Cadillac ELR works with an estimated range of about 35 miles (56 km) of pure electric driving and uses an advanced electric drive unit capable of 295 lb-ft of instant torque (400 Nm). The energy is stored in a lovely T-shaped battery pack, this pack charged up by the Regen on Demand system you’re reading about today, a standard 120V electrical outlet, or a dedicated 240V charging station. Depending on outside temperature, you’ll be able to completely recharge your battery in about 4.5 hours using a 240V outlet.

2014 Cadillac ELR battery and propulsion system technology

Have a peek at our Car Hub as well as the timeline below for more Cadillac excellence through the future – and keep on regenerating that electricity with the power you already generate. Let nothing go to waste!


Cadillac ELR introduces “Regen on Demand” for extended electric range is written by Chris Burns & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.

April 10 2013

22:55

Gtech AirRam Cordless Vacuum Cleaner revolutionizes vacuum cleaning

Gtech has just released its Gtech AirRam High-Power Cordless Vacuum Cleaner, and its going to make vacuuming up your house more easier than ever. The AirRam vacuum is cordless, but possesses just as much power, if not more, than a corded vacuum. It boasts a 3-inch, slim profile and only weighs 7.7 pounds, making it easy to move around, even around the trickiest places like under your couch.

Gtech AirRam high-power Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

The Gtech AirRam vacuum is much more energy efficient than most vacuums. It only uses 100 watts of electricity compared to other vacuums that use an average of about 2,000 watts. It takes about 4 hours to charge the vacuum, however, it can run up to 40-60 minutes on a single charge, which is much longer compared to the other, cordless vacuums currently on the market.

The vacuum works on any floor surface, including carpets, rugs, hard wood, tile, and many more. The AirRam doesn’t have a bag or a canister. It’s direct Dirt-to-Tray technology lifts up dirt, dust, and debris and compacts it into easy-to-dispose “bales” that you can just empty into your trashcan. Also, with AirRam’s Data Bridge, you can connect the vacuum to your computer via USB cable to find out how much electricity you’ve saved, and how many calories you’ve burned while vacuuming.

According to Gtech, the AirRAM vacuum cleaner “represents the biggest evolution in vacuum development over the last 20 years.” You can purchase the Gtech AirRAM Vacuum Cleaner off Amazon, or at your local Brookstone, for $349.95. It’s available in both White and Graphite, and you have an option of purchasing a spare battery if need be, just for those of you who want to get all your cleaning done in one go.


Gtech AirRam Cordless Vacuum Cleaner revolutionizes vacuum cleaning is written by Brian Sin & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.

August 18 2012

20:52

Fisker lends official statement to Karma fire

An official statement has been released regarding the Fisker Karma roadside fire incident that occurred back on the 10th of August. This incident has been provided with a detailed account by none other than Fisker representatives who speak in detail on what caused the fire and how a recall on a cooling fan inside the vehicle will be conducted. At the moment it appears that the recall campaign will not have a financial impact on Fisker.

The incident at hand has been described as a fire in the left front of the vehicle which sat specifically forward of the wheel and started near the low temperature cooling fan. This fan has been accused of starting the fire, and will be the subject of a recall. Fisker has decided that the sealed component here had an internal fault, this causing it to fail and overheat, starting a slow burning fire.

A part of the full Fisker statement on the subject included how the recall will take place and how the owner of the vehicle involved in the incident has responded as well.

Fisker has already contacted its retailer network. Customers are expected to be contacted by retailers, ahead of their receiving formal notice from the company by mail, to have the cooling fan replaced with a unit that meets the required specifications. At the same time an additional fuse will be installed for added protection.

In their investigation, independent experts established that the incident was not caused by the Lithium-ion battery pack, new technology components, engine component packaging or unique exhaust routing of the Fisker Karma.

“We are committed to responding swiftly and decisively to events such as this to ensure total customer satisfaction,” says Executive Chairman and Co-Founder, Henrik Fisker. “This incident resulted from a single, faulty component, not our unique EVer powertrain or the engineering of the Karma. As this situation demonstrates, Fisker Automotive is dedicated to doing whatever is necessary to address safety and quality
concerns.”

The owner of the car involved in the Woodside incident, Mr. Rudy Burger commented: “I have been incredibly impressed with the way Fisker has handled this incident. I have personally started seven technology companies and know from direct experience that the US needs more innovative companies of this type, especially in the automobile sector.

“Fisker is a great company and one that I am personally planning to invest in. I look forward to getting behind the wheel of my next Fisker.”

Check out our timeline below to see recent information on this subject as well as our Fisker portal to keep up to date on all things related to the next-generation automobile company.


Fisker lends official statement to Karma fire is written by Chris Burns & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.


August 16 2012

21:53

Nikola Tesla Museum crowd-funded project gets Elon Musk bump

This week Matthew Inman from the illustrated blog and comic The Oatmeal initiated a funding project which would help pay for the public purchase of Nikola Tesla’s original laboratory site for use as the first USA-located Tesla museum. In Inman’s request (which of course took the form of an illustrated comic-like plea), he suggested that the Tesla auto company donate to the cause. The auto company is owned by none other than Elon Musk, who the folks at Jolopnik got in contact with, who agreed just this morning to donate online.

Whats perhaps just as important as the idea that Musk will be donating is the fact that Musk’s promise included the idea that he’s be “happy to talk to Jane.” This Jane character is Jane Alcorn who runs the non-profit organization responsible for running the fund-raiser that will make this all happen, and Inman’s suggestion that Musk speak with her included that it be if he were planning on donating “a large amount.”

So what are the logistics here?

The Elon Musk laboratory site is up for sale for $1.6 million dollars – the non-profit in charge of fund-raising to purchase the land for later construction of a Tesla museum has received a matching grant (given only if the amount is matched, of course), for $850,000 USD. This means that the non-profit must raise $850,000 and the land will be preserved! Of course that’s just one step. There’s still a need for more donations to come in and fund a museum of the future.

Elon Musk comes in at a great moment when they’ve already got $400,000 USD donated after just a bit over a day. With his help, we’ve got no doubt that the project will at least reach its goal of preserving the site. Head over to the Tesla Museum post on The Oatmeal to find out how you can get in on the awesomeness now. And if you know anyone with connections in all the right places, feel free to tell them there’s a museum that needs building!

ALSO If you have no idea who Nikola Tesla is, The Oatmeal also has a comic you need to read that will tell you everything you need to know. Have a peek at the emails that went back and forth between Jalopnik, The Oatmeal, and Musk himself right here, and jump for joy at it all:


Nikola Tesla Museum crowd-funded project gets Elon Musk bump is written by Chris Burns & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.


August 14 2012

22:38

Fisker investigates second Karma auto fire

This week the folks behind the Fisker Karma electric car have begun investigating the second auto fire since the launch of the next-generation vehicle. The incident occurred on Saturday in Woodside California for yet-unknown reasons, but Fisker has made it clear that they know it was neither “the lithium-ion battery pack, new technology components nor unique exhaust routing.” No injuries were recorded and no deaths occurred, and the statement from Fisker lends a small amount of information to the case as it stands now.

The first incident with this vehicle line occurred earlier this year in Sugar Land, Texas. The Texas fire is still part of a US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation now, and no cause has yet been determined. This vehicle has also been part of two manufacturer recalls thus far in its short lifespan. The statement released today from Fisker read as follows:

“The area of origin for the fire was determined to be outside the engine compartment. There was no damage to the passenger compartment and there were no injuries.” – Fisker

This plug-in hybrid vehicle works with 50 miles to the battery before it needs to switch to a normal gasoline engine. There are just about 1,000 of these vehicles out on the streets at this very moment, with no less than a $103,000 USD price tag attached to each. Have a peek at the timeline below to see the short history of this vehicle and its exploits galore.

[via The Register]


Fisker investigates second Karma auto fire is written by Chris Burns & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.


August 09 2012

18:49

Hiriko Electric car folds up for ultra-tiny sharing

The Folding Hiriko electric car has been introduced to the world firmly intent on taking up only a fraction of the space a conventional automobile does. This beast is made not only to be friendly to the environment, but friendly to the auto sharing community popping up around the globe as well. You’ll see this vehicle floating around Europe at the moment, but we’d certainly welcome it into our own homes here in the USA should they ever decide to bring it on in – it’s small enough, after all!

This vehicle has been made by the manufacturers who designed it to work on “first and last mile” problems. This means that it’s specifically tuned to be fabulous for the mile you drive between your house and the train or bus as well as the space between you getting to your parking spot before you head to work. In other words, this vehicle aims at being your transport to your transport!

Once you’ve gotten off the train, you’ll see a Hiriko vehicle nearby and you’ll be able to rent it to drive the rest of your way to your destination. Similarly, you’ll be able to pick a Hiriko up once you’ve gotten done with your work day and have jumped off the train once again – keep it overnight!

This vehicle will be available in Fold, Alai, and Laga iterations, the first being the one you see above and below, the second being a convertible model (top off!), and the third is closer to a pickup truck. Each of the wheels on this vehicle turn 60 degrees left or right, and their range is always right around 75 miles. With 20 horsepower behind the wheels you’ve got a top speed of 31 miles her hour as well. Let’s get this little beast on the road quick!

[via New York Times]


Hiriko Electric car folds up for ultra-tiny sharing is written by Chris Burns & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.


July 25 2012

17:28

One million dollar Jaguar C-X75 set for four-cylinder turbo and 500 horsepower

This week the folks at Jaguar are letting the car-loving world know that they mean business when it comes to limited-edition vehicles. The auto you’re seeing here is the Jaguar C-X75, part of an edition of 200 vehicles that’ll ring in at around $1 million USD each when they go up for sale. Each C-X75 will have four-cylinder turbo and more than 500 horsepower so you can beat up the streets in heavy style

This vehicle will debut late next year complete with a plug-in hybrid system along with a conventional internal combustion engine for good measure. The original concept for this vehicle featured a fabulous bit of jet-turbine technology while this near-final model is ready for a slightly more tried and true solution. That’s not to say that the vehicle isn’t unique, of course.

Inside this beast you’ll find more than 500 horsepower with a four-cylinder unit displacing just 1.6 liters. It’s also got an impressive bit of revving up with more than 10,000-rpm to its name if you’d like it to show you such a thing. Supercharging, turbocharging, and direct fuel injection are also pieces of this muscular monster’s technology collection.

You’ll see multiple driving models produced inside the limited edition of 200, with all-electric and hybrid being one of these – but with no gas-only model on the books. In electric-only mode, this vehicle has been recorded as grabbing a range of 37 miles and hitting 0-60 miles her hour in less than 6 seconds.

With a combination of gas and electric modes, this vehicle has been recorded as getting 0-60 MPH in under 3 seconds, speeding along at over 200 MPH when at its fastest.

Good luck catching one of these rare machines in the next year – we’ll be keeping an eye or two out as well!

[via MotorAuthority]


One million dollar Jaguar C-X75 set for four-cylinder turbo and 500 horsepower is written by Chris Burns & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.


January 24 2012

13:44

OnStar system helps Volt drivers recharge using renewable power

Many of the Chevrolet vehicles on the road have OnStar inside. This is the system that has been around for years that allows the driver to make phone calls and alerts emergency services in the event of an accident. That OnStar system will do other things too, and one of the other things is to help the Volt driver recharge their car with renewable energy.

OnStar is working with electricity provider PJM Interconnection and developing a technology that could give drivers the ability to choose what sort of power they want to use when they recharge. The drivers would choose their energy preference, and then the PJM company would look at the percentage of renewable power on the electrical grid and ensure that the Volt only charges using that power.

That doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. For example, if you have power running through wires in a particular city with 80% coming from something like coal and 20% coming from wind or solar; how is it possible to ensure that only the wind or solar power generated is used for a Volt? The app will encourage the user to plug in when the renewable sources are at peak apparently rather than guaranteeing the driver is getting only renewable energy from what I can tell.

[via CNET]


OnStar system helps Volt drivers recharge using renewable power is written by Shane McGlaun & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.


January 13 2012

20:46

Cockroach RoboBugs could be coming soon — espionage at its finest

These might not be interstellar cockroaches like we saw on Men in Black but they are what many call RoboBugs, or Cyborg bugs. Since cockroaches are basically indestructible and seem to live forever what better bug to make our robobugs with right? You might not know much about this but scientists have been working on these type of bomb-sniffers, espionage, and search and rescue bugs for long time and might have finally made a break-through.

Case Western Reserve University has recently published some research papers outlining how these electronic sensor packing bugs might soon become a reality. One major issue has always been the power source for something of this caliber being so small. New research has been lightly detailed outlining a new process where researchers can harness power from insects movement, and even from the chemical reaction as they eat.

Chemistry professor Daniel Scherson and his team has found a way to create power from the bugs food intake. Converting food into electrons and then using this for electricity and power the little sensors and everything else. Creepy crawly gross indeed, but cool nevertheless. Previous advances in this unique research has needed movement to create power but being able to use those techniques along with what we are seeing with this report would give our Cyborg bugs and beetles plenty of power.

Obviously these are still from a reality but are definitely a work in progress. All we need now is to figure this technique out, get a few cockroaches and a trail of crumbs and they are good to go.

[via Huffington Post, via Engadget]


Cockroach RoboBugs could be coming soon — espionage at its finest is written by Cory Gunther & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.


January 11 2012

02:53

SafePlug offers remote control of you home’s electricity

SafePlug offers a way to remotely access the outlets in your home. The SafePlug outlet can be mounted like a normal outlet, or just plug into an existing one. Through an included program, owners will be able to see precisely how much power is used – and from what is using it. Paired with the Nest home thermostat monitoring system, this could really help save some money.


The ability to toggle devices or appliances remotely is a great feature for people that travel often, or even live in multiple homes. The software will can also tell what is plugged into the outlet. Through an ID chip placed over the head of the plug, anything can be named/configured. This will help you differentiate between multiple appliances.

When it comes down to it, the SafePlug could really protect your household. There have been countless times when a severe thunderstorm was passing over my house and there wasn’t a way to unplug my desktop computer. Installation is extremely easy, and their general ‘Bedroom Kit’ retails for $189.95.


SafePlug offers remote control of you home’s electricity is written by Sam Koutroulakis & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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