Apple’s former design chief Jony Ive is reportedly helping Ferrari design its first electric car

Jony Ive
Jony Ive is the designer behind many of Apple’s most recognizable products.

  • Ex-Apple designer Jony Ive’s firm is collaborating with Ferrari on its first electric car, FT reports.
  • The luxury carmaker plans to introduce its electric vehicle in 2025.
  • Jony Ive designed iconic Apple products like the iPhone, Mac, and iPod.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A design firm headed by Jony Ive, Apple’s former chief design officer, and industrial designer Marc Newson is collaborating with Ferrari to create the luxury carmaker’s first electric vehicle, the Financial Times reported.

Exor, the parent company of Ferrari, announced the partnership with Ive’s design company, LoveFrom, on Monday, but was light on details of the firm’s specific work. But FT reports the firm will work with Ferrari on a range of cars, including its first-ever electric vehicle, which has a planned 2025 release.

Ferrari has been working on developing an electric car for years. The collaboration with Ive and Newson could expand to include other companies in Exor’s portfolio in addition to Ferrari.

“The first expression of this new partnership will bring together Ferrari’s legendary performance and excellence with LoveFrom’s unrivalled experience and creativity that has defined extraordinary world changing products,” Exor wrote in a press release. “Beyond the collaboration with Ferrari, LoveFrom will explore a range of creative projects with Exor in the business of luxury.”

A Morgan Stanley analyst estimated that Ferrari releasing an electric vehicle could drive the company’s shares up to $350. Shares are currently priced at $211.5.

Ive left Apple in 2019 after working at the company for 27 years, where he led the design of some of Apple’s most recognizable products, including the Mac, the iPhone, iPad, and iPod.

After leaving Apple, he announced he and Newson were starting their own design firm named LoveFrom, a reference to a conversation Ive had with Steve Jobs, where they talked about creating products with love. His firm’s first client was also Apple.

LoveFrom has previously partnered with Airbnb to overhaul the company’s website and revamp the company’s rating system for hosts and guests.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Take a look inside Mini’s one-of-a-kind EV featuring see-through airbag compartments and a panoramic roof

The gray and black Mini Strip.
The Mini Strip.

  • The Mini Strip is a one-of-a-kind Mini EV in collaboration with British fashion designer Paul Smith.
  • It might not look loud and flashy, and that’s the point – it’s a stripped-down car.
  • Transparent paint shows imperfections from the factory, and the interior features recycled material.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Meet the Mini Strip, a one-off concept car designed to show what you can get away without. A collaboration with British clothing designer Sir Paul Smith, who previously teamed up with Mini on a full production car in the ’90s, it’s dripping with pared-back style.

The Mini Strip is, as the name suggests, a stripped back, all-electric Mini Cooper SE. The theme of the collaboration is “Simplicity, Transparency, Sustainability.” Finished only in a thin coat of transparent paint, its bare metal body leaves any abrasions from the production process for all to see.

The gray and black Mini Strip.
The Mini Strip.

The “Strip” in the name isn’t lip service. Anything that can be removed has been.

Elements of the Mini black band have been produced using 3D prints made from recycled plastic, left untreated and raw much like the body. Parts made using a 3D printer are incorporated into the front and rear apron inserts, while the blanked-off radiator grille trim (after all, an electric motor doesn’t need traditional cooling, so why would it have an aerodynamically unfriendly air intake?), aerodynamic wheel covers, and panoramic roof are made from recycled Perspex.

The gray and black Mini Strip.
The Mini Strip.

As you’d expect from a design-led concept, there are some hidden touches. Speaking to Insider via email, Oliver Heilmer, the head of Mini Design, said the company “mixed automotive knowledge with a fashion designer’s way of thinking.”

“The green spots on the wheel are reference to Paul’s love for biking and being able to dismantle everything with ease, and of course the stripes are the artistic signature as a reference to Paul Smith,” Heilmer said. “The green on the inside of the charging cap is also a lovely surprise and delight – a fun, hidden detail from Paul and a nod to how he likes to always have some hidden fun in his clothing designs.”

The gray and black Mini Strip.
The Mini Strip.

Inside, the Mini Strip is as bare bones as they come.

The exposed metal, painted blue at Sir Paul Smith’s request, is the cabin’s dominant feature. Recycled seat coverings, rubber floor mats, and cork dash toppers, door shoulders, and parcel shelf make up much of the interior. Cork is a novel choice for trim, and Heilmer said it adds more than just eco cred to the car.

The gray and black Mini Strip.
The Mini Strip.

“We chose cork because it’s such a fantastic material; good climate characteristics, a natural look and smell,” Heilmer said. “I love the authentic, smoky smell it gives in the car, adding further to the experience.”

The steering wheel rim is covered in bicycle handlebar tape, while the mesh covering shows the wheel’s airbag behind, and exposed screws on the wheel itself mirror those found on the outside of the car and showcase the car’s rougher, more utilitarian image.

The gray and black Mini Strip.
The Mini Strip.

Rolling even harder with the “simplicity” theme, the door cards are replaced with mesh, the door pulls are made of wound climbing rope, the bare minimum of switchgear is present, and the dashboard is a semi-transparent panel. Infotainment is provided by a smartphone that sits in the dish where Mini’s usual fare would be.

Heilmer didn’t say whether it’s an indication of future Mini infotainment design, instead pinning it on his collaborator.

“This was Paul’s playful way of looking at things differently, but it’s certainly an interesting concept, with phones being such an integral part of everyone’s lives,” Heilmer said.

The gray and black Mini Strip.
The Mini Strip.

While putting such a stripped-out car on general sale would be legally tricky to say the least, the Mini Strip is a high-profile nod to the British firm’s future intentions.

“The process was an invaluable learning experience,” Heilmer said. “You constantly ask yourself about what is really necessary and what is not, if you think it is – why? With every item, you choose if it stays or if it goes, and it provides you with a fresh new view on a given space.”

The gray and black Mini Strip.
The Mini Strip.

But one thing is for sure: Electrification is firmly in the brand’s future, and buyers are increasingly looking for more environmentally friendly options.

“We look at the values Generation Z have, which is different in terms of travel, sustainability and the desire to shape the world they want to live in,” Heilmer said.

Will there be another production version of the Paul Smith Mini? Heilmer remained tight-lipped. But as far as a statement of intent for the brand’s green future goes, this is a strong one.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The game console inside the new Tesla Model X and S is powered by the chipmaker behind the PlayStation 5 and Xbox

Tesla Model S interior
Tesla Model S interior.

  • AMD’s CEO said the company made the computer chips that power Tesla’s new in-car gaming system.
  • Elon Musk has said the system will have processing power that’s similar to the Playstation 5.
  • The new gaming system is expected to debut later this month when Tesla releases its Model S Plaid.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

AMD – the company known for making the computer chips that power the Playstation 5, as well as Xbox Series X and S – announced on Tuesday that it worked with Tesla on its infotainment system.

The system will have gaming-console-quality graphics with processing power just below Sony’s PS5, AMD CEO Lisa Su said during the company’s annual Computex keynote.

“We look forward to giving gamers a great platform for AAA gaming,” Su said.

She also said that higher-powered processors would only kick in when the infotainment system was running the AAA games that require more power, which would allow the systems to save battery power when playing games that require less processing power.

In January, Tesla announced its upgraded Model X and S cars would come with a new high-powered gaming system that would rival top gaming consoles like Playstation and Xbox. The company’s website said the system would have up to 10 teraflops of power, just 0.3 teraflops shy of the PS5’s processing power. Su confirmed that the chips which incorporate CPU and GPU into a single chip would have up to 10 teraflops of processing power.

The games can be played on two Tesla screens in the new Model S Plaid, which is expected to be released later this month. There is a 17-inch screen at the front of the vehicle, as well as a smaller rear screen for passengers.

On Saturday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the new car would start deliveries on June 10. The car’s release was delayed by several months due to the global shortage of computer chips that power the gaming console, as well as the vehicle’s navigation system, Autopilot, and bluetooth, to name a few.

Last month, Musk told investors at the company’s quarterly meeting that pandemic supply-chain issues had caused “insane difficulties” for Tesla. Tesla is even reportedly toying with the idea of buying chips for its cars in advance.

Last month, AMD said it anticipates at least another six months of video game chip shortages.

It won’t be the first Tesla to feature video games. Musk has been bolstering the gaming opportunities in his electric cars for years, but it will be the first car to essentially become a sophisticated video gaming console on wheels.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Elon Musk says Tesla prices are increasing because of supply chain disruptions across the auto industry

Tesla Model Y.
Tesla Model Y.

  • The prices of some Tesla models are going up because of the supply chain issues, CEO Elon Musk said.
  • Tesla earlier this month boosted prices on its Model 3 and Model Y.
  • The global auto industry has been hit hard by supply chain issues, notably a shortage of computer chips.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Prices on some Tesla models are increasing due to global supply chain disruptions in the auto industry, particularly with raw materials, Elon Musk said on Twitter Monday.

Musk’s explanation came in response to a Twitter user who said he didn’t like the “direction” the company was going in by “raising prices of vehicles but removing features like lumbar for the Model Y.”

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO responded: “Prices increasing due to major supply chain price pressure industry-wide. Raw materials especially.”

Tesla earlier this month boosted prices on its Model 3 and Model Y, Electrek reported. It was the fifth price increase on the models in a matter of months.

The global auto industry has been hit hard by supply chain issues, notably a shortage of computer chips, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The semiconductor shortage is expected to cost the global automotive industry $110 billion in 2021. Carmakers including Ford and GM have cut their earnings expectations by billions of dollars.

Tesla has not been immune to the impacts of the shortage. Last month, during the electric car company’s earnings call, Musk said supply chain issues were causing “insane difficulties” and the chip shortage had impacted Tesla’s manufacturing goals. Musk recently tweeted that the delivery date for Tesla’s Model S Plaid, the carmaker’s quickest vehicle, was pushed back by one week to June 10.

Tesla is now in talks to pay supplies upfront for computer chips, the Financial Times reported. Musk has also shown interest in vertical integration. Last year, the company announced plans to make its own battery cells and even bought land in Nevada to mine for its own battery-grade lithium.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Ford unveils a ‘Pro’ version of its F-150 Lightning electric pickup. It starts at $40,000, is aimed at commercial customers, and can tow up to 7,700 pounds: take a look.

Picture of Ford's F-150 Lightning Pro electric pickup truck
Ford’s F-150 Lightning Pro electric pickup truck

  • Ford on Monday revealed the F-150 Lightning Pro, the newest version of its electric pickup truck.
  • The Lightning Pro is aimed at commercial customers, unlike the F-150 Lightning, which is aimed at the general public.
  • The main difference is that the Pro comes with telematics software so managers can keep track of their vehicle fleet.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Ford on Monday unveiled the F-150 Lightning Pro, a version of its newly announced electric pickup truck. This version is aimed at businesses.

Ford revealed its first all-electric pickup truck, the F-150 Lightning, on Thursday. The Lightning starts at $39,974 and its extended-range battery has a driving range of up to 300 miles.

The Lightning Pro is a very similar vehicle, but tweaked to appeal to commercial customers rather than the retail market, according to Ford’s press release. The main difference is that the Pro comes with telematics software so managers can keep track of their fleets and reimburse employees who charge the electric vehicle at home.

Ford's F-150 Lightning Pro electric pickup truck - interior

Ford said commercial businesses could use the lockable space under the hood to store tools, while saving the rear-end cargo bed for other equipment.

Ford F-150 Lightning Pro electric pickup truck
You can store tools in the lockable space under the truck’s hood.

The most basic model of the Lightning Pro starts at $39,974, the same as the Lightning, with an estimated range of 230 miles. Models with 300 miles of range will start at $49,974, according to Ford.

Shipments of the Lightning Pro will kick off in 2022, Ford said.

The basic version of the truck will be able to generate 426 horsepower and tow up to 7,700 pounds. It also comes with a 32-amp charger which Ford said makes “the transition affordable for small and medium-size businesses.”

Ford's F-150 Lightning Pro electric pickup truck  towing machinery
The Lightning Pro can pull up to 10,000 pounds with the optional Max Trailer Tow Package.

In comparison, the extended range can pull up to 10,000 pounds with the optional Max Trailer Tow Package, generates up to 563 horsepower, and comes with both an 80-amp Ford Charge Station Pro and onboard dual chargers.

Read more: The chip shortage has left US car buyers scouring empty dealerships. That won’t change anytime soon.

“F-150 Lightning Pro represents so much more than an electric workhorse – it’s made for commercial customers inside and out, it gets better over time, and it’s totally plugged into always-on services that can help business productivity,” said Jim Farley, Ford’s president and CEO, in the press release.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Elon Musk says pandemic supply-chain issues and a global microchip shortage resulted in ‘insane difficulties’ for Tesla

elon musk
Elon Musk

  • Elon Musk said Tesla experienced significant supply chain hurdles in the last quarter.
  • Musk cited the global chip shortage, as well as port delays, and COVID-19 restrictions in China.
  • Supply-chain disruptions have impacted many US companies, causing shortages and price hikes.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Elon Musk told investors during the Tesla’s quarterly earnings call that the automaker has been forced to reckon with numerous supply chain issues in 2021.

Musk said the company has had “insane difficulties” with its supply chain over the last quarter. “We’ve had some of the most difficult supply-chain challenges that we’ve ever experienced in the life of Tesla,” he said on Monday.

The CEO said the global semiconductor chip shortage, which has rocked the automotive industry, as well as port delays impacted manufacturing goals.

In February, Tesla briefly halted production on its Model 3 at its car assembly plant in California, citing supply-chain issues caused by backlogs at ports and severe snowstorms slowing down ground deliveries.

The global semiconductor shortage has wreaked havoc on tech and automotive companies. In January, Bloomberg reported the chip shortage could cost car companies to lose as much as $61 billion in revenue.

Many automakers have since been forced to shut down manufacturing plants and prioritize the most profitable car models they produce as a result of the shortage. Computer chips account for about 40% of a new car’s cost, according to a report from Deloitte, and are used in navigation, bluetooth, and collision-detection systems.

Musk also said the company has had trouble scaling its production in China due to the pandemic, as COVID-19 restrictions in the country have made it more difficult for Tesla to bring in engineers for its plants.

Port delays and the global container-ship shortage have also impacted Tesla’s manufacturing supplies in the US.

Zach Kirkhorn, Tesla’s chief financial officer, said the company is facing high expediting costs, despite “tremendous work” from the company’s team and suppliers in keeping the plants running.

“We continue to work through the instability of the global supply chain, particularly around semiconductors and port capacities,” Kirkhorn said.

Port delays and a global container-ship shortage have set many companies back in recent months, pushing shipping costs even higher and leading to shortages of goods. Delays at southern California ports have caused nearly 20 ships to wait weeks to dock and unload.

Earlier in the year, Nike , Costco , Toyota, Honda , and Samsung said supply-chain issues are harming business this past quarter and would likely have an impact going forward. Last week, several companies, including Procter & Gamble and Coca-Cola, announced they would hike prices to combat increased shipping costs.

Overall, Tesla had a profitable quarter, after announcing it had sold the most cars in its history. During the first three months of the year, the company delivered 184,877 vehicles – a number that was largely driven by strong demand for electric vehicles in China.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Toyota has unveiled the first of 15 new electric vehicles it plans to sell by 2025

Toyota_bZ4X_Concept_004
  • Toyota unveiled its new electric SUV at the 2021 Shanghai Auto Show.
  • The car is similar to a RAV4 in design, but rides lower and has a yoke steering wheel.
  • The new EV is one of 15 the company plans to make by 2025.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Toyota debuted its new all-electric SUV concept car on Monday at the 2021 Shanghai Auto Show.

The Toyota bZ4X is the first electric car under the company’s new Beyond Zero (bZ) lineup of cars with zero carbon emissions. It is the first of 15 fully electric cars the company plans to make by 2025 and one of seven under the bZ badge, according to a statement from CTO Masahiko Maeda.

The car is a compact SUV that looks similar to Toyota’s RAV4, but rides lower to the ground and features a longer wheelbase.

It’s the first car to be built on Toyota’s new electric e-TNGA BEV platform that the company created jointly with Subaru. Subaru is expected to unveil its own electric car on the platform shortly.

Toyota_bZ4X_Concept_006

The new car has several distinctive features, including a system that can use solar power to alleviate the impact of cold weather on the vehicle’s range, as well as yoke instead of a typical steering wheel. The car’s interior also has a large touchscreen.

The car company plans to manufacture the car in Japan and China. It should be available globally by the middle of 2022, according to the company.

Interior concept design of bZ4X

Toyota has not announced how far the car will be able to travel on a full charge, but it will likely be competitive with other EVs on the market, including the Ford Mustang Mach-E which has a range of over 300 miles.

Toyota also did not attach a price estimate to the car, but CarandDriver.com reported the vehicle may sell for about $40,000 – a similar price to Toyota’s RAV4 hybrid.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Tesla raised the prices of its Model 3 and Model Y cars by $500, its 4th price change of the year

elon musk
Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

  • Tesla lifted the prices of its Model 3 Standard Range Plus, Model 3 Long Range AWD, and Model Y Long Range AWD by $500.
  • It also raised the price of its Model 3 Performance by $1,000, to $56,990.
  • It’s the fourth price change of the year for Tesla vehicles.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Tesla can’t make up its mind on how much its electric vehicles should cost.

Electrek first reported Friday that Tesla had once again hiked up the US prices of its Model 3 and Model Y cars – marking its fourth price change in 2021 so far.

The Model 3, its cheapest sedan, has been hit by the most price changes this year. In the latest change, Tesla raised the price of the Standard Range Plus from $37,990 to $38,490, and the Long Range AWD from $46,990 to $47,490. The Performance version had an even bigger increase, from $55,990 to $56,990.

Read more: Apple will never deliver a car because it can’t figure out how to work with the automakers who could make it happen

The automaker also raised the price of its Model Y Long Range AWD from $49,990 to $50,490.

Electrek also noted that the Model 3 price hike was accompanied by a small design update, adding a new wooden door trim, which Tesla had already rolled out on Model 3 vehicles produced at its Shanghai, China Gigafactory.

Tesla Model 3 trim
Tesla Model 3s in the US now come with a wooden door panel.

Customers told CNBC that Tesla had double-charged for new cars in mid-March, leaving them with bills of up to $142,000.

A Tesla customer, Terry Oelschlaeger, told Insider’s Kate Duffy he was double-charged for a Tesla Model Y costing nearly $54,000 on March 25, and that a Tesla service center employee told him the error had affected “many” buyers.

The company has since refunded the customers, including Oelschlaeger, and offered them $200 in credit at its online store.

Tesla posted record sales in the first quarter of 2021 despite a worldwide shortage of semiconductor chips. It sold 184,800 vehicles in the first three months of 2021, and Wall Street now expects the electric-vehicle company to sell more than 800,000 cars this year.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Tesla refunded customers who were overcharged up to $71,000 on new cars, and gave them $200 to spend at its online store

GettyImages 1288827259
Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

  • Tesla customers who were charged twice for a new car were refunded the extra money a week later, CNBC reported.
  • Tesla offered the customers $200 in credit to spend at the company’s online store.
  • The buyers were left with bills of up to $142,000, and were charged for overdraft fees.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Tesla has refunded customers who were double-charged for new electric cars in mid-March, and has offered them $200 in credit at its online store, six people told CNBC on Wednesday.

Tesla refunded the extra money about a week after the customers told CNBC that Tesla had charged them twice without authorization and left them with bills of up to $142,000.

The customers said they received the money back on their double charges on or before April 1, but that they also had to pay for overdraft fees from their large bills.

Elon Musk’s car company sent the overcharged customers an email, which they shared with CNBC, that apologized and gave them $200 in credit. Tesla said the credit must be used in a single transaction, would expire on January 30, 2022, and couldn’t be spent on Tesla Tequila.

Tesla didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Three California-based Tesla customers first shared their stories with CNBC in March. CNBC’s journalists reviewed their purchase agreements, correspondence with Tesla, and bank statements.

Clark Peterson, Tom Slattery, and Christopher T. Lee initially told CNBC they had purchased Teslas ranging from $37,000, the price of a Model 3 sedan, to $71,000, the cost of a Model Y crossover SUV with premium features.

A former banking executive from North Carolina, who wanted to remain anonymous for privacy reasons, also told CNBC he was charged twice for a new Model Y costing about $54,000.

Read more: DeepMind’s cofounder partied with Elon Musk for his raucous 40th birthday party on the Orient Express, a new book revealed

These buyers all authorized the payment of their brand-new electric vehicles through ACH direct debit, but the next day found that the money had been taken from their account twice, meaning in total they had spent between $74,000 and $142,000 on the cars.

Now they’ve been refunded, they said Tesla customer service needs to improve.

Peterson told CNBC: “While happy to have the whole situation sorted, I still feel that the response time was inadequate. It took days before Tesla had any kind of response, and they were holding our significant funds the whole time. And it took them five minutes to take those funds from our account.”

Another Tesla customer, Terry Oelschlaeger, told Insider he was also double-charged for a Tesla Model Y costing $53,993.70 on March 25. He shared his bank statement with Insider, showing a duplicate charge for a new car.

Oelschlaeger said he phoned the company three times to complain and drove to a Tesla service center in California, where an employee told him the error had impacted “many” buyers.

The company told him the refund would arrive in his bank account in one to three business days. He eventually received a payment in full from Tesla on March 31.

Read the original article on Business Insider