GMC just unveiled its $100,000 Hummer EV SUV with 830-horsepower that will hit streets in 2023

[EMBARGO APRIL 3 5PM DO NOT USE] GMC Hummer EV SUV
2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV.

  • GMC on Saturday unveiled its first electric SUV – the 2024 Hummer EV SUV.
  • The “Edition 1” Hummer EV SUV will hit streets in early 2023 and cost roughly $106,000.
  • By 2024, GMC plans to sell an $80,000 version with a 250-mile range and more than 600 horsepower.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

General Motors has teased for months that its upcoming electric pickup truck, the GMC Hummer EV, would gain an SUV stablemate at some point down the line. Now it’s finally here.

GMC offered the first real glimpse of the 2024 Hummer EV SUV on Saturday in a commercial that aired during the NCAA Final Four. The so-called “supertruck” is available to reserve now, and the first models will hit streets in early 2023, GMC said.

Like its pickup sibling that debuted in October, the Hummer EV SUV comes packed with features targeted at off-roading. Saturday’s LeBron James-narrated spot highlighted capabilities like “extract mode,” which lifts the vehicle by several inches at the push of a button, and “crab walk,” which turns all four wheels so the SUV can drive diagonally.

[EMBARGO 4/3 5PM DO NOT USE] GMC Hummer EV SUV 3
2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV.

The Hummer EV SUV debuts with a roughly $106,000 “Edition 1” model that will be available in early 2023, and an available off-road package brings the Edition 1’s MSRP to just over $110,000. The Edition 1 will deliver up to 830 horsepower and a range of at least 300 miles, GMC said.

As with the pickup version, GMC plans to sell a series of more affordable Hummer SUV models following the Edition 1’s launch.

Read more:The president of the Environmental Defense Fund explains his surprising alliance with GM as the carmaker goes electric

The EV2x and EV3x versions, which will cost $90,000 and $100,000, respectively, will hit the market in spring 2023. A base-model EV2 version will sell for $80,000 starting in 2024, offering at least 250 miles of range and up to 625 horsepower, GMC said.

[EMBARGO 4/3 5PM DO NOT USE] GMC Hummer EV SUV 3
2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV.

Those high price tags mean that despite its promises of off-road capability, the Hummer EV SUV is more likely to steal shoppers away from a high-end Mercedes G-Wagen or Range Rover than from a rugged Jeep Wrangler.

GMC said it will release additional information about the new model on Monday.

GM shuttered the Hummer brand in 2010 amid rising gas prices and a global recession, but it’s given the gas-guzzling nameplate an unexpected second life as a brand for upscale, off-roadable, zero-emission vehicles. Hummer’s resurrection comes as part of GM’s larger electrification push.

The Detroit automaker announced in January that it won’t sell any gas-powered vehicles after 2035. In November, it said it will commit $27 billion toward the development of electric and autonomous vehicles.

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Tesla is on a collision course with Germany’s biggest union and neither side is likely to back down

Tesla Berlin Gigafactory
Tesla’s Berlin Gigafactory will be the cornerstone of its European strategy.

  • Tesla is building a giant plant in Germany, but it hasn’t yet made nice with the mighty auto union there.
  • IG Metall will likely make life difficult for Tesla, which hasn’t agreed to the industry’s collective wage agreements.
  • A battle with the union could threaten Tesla’s ambitious plans for the European market.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

As Tesla works to get its mammoth new factory in Germany up and running by the summer, disturbing delicate reptile habitats may be the least of Elon Musk’s worries.

After sparring with locals over everything from water supply to deforestation, there may be an even larger threat looming: Germany’s largest union.

Tesla hasn’t made many friends of labor activists in the US, and the 2.2-million-strong IG Metall isn’t likely to go down without a fight, experts told Insider. A prolonged battle over contracts with the group – which wields considerable political influence and social capital – could derail Tesla’s ambitious plans for the European market.

A standoff over contracts

Virtually every car company operating in Germany is a member of an employers’ association, and IG Metall – which represents metalworkers in the auto industry and other sectors – negotiates industry-wide contracts with the group instead of bargaining with each company individually. That system gives the country’s unions considerably more negotiating power than their US counterparts, which vote to unionize plant by plant.

But there’s a catch – joining the association isn’t required by law, it’s only customary. And Tesla has made every indication it’s not interested in following that deep-rooted norm.

Gigafactory Berlin getty 1
Tesla aims to complete Gigafactory Berlin by July.

The carmaker has caught heat for union-busting tactics in the US – the National Labor Relations Board ruled in March that Musk must delete an anti-union tweet and reinstate a fired employee who was part of an organizing drive – and it has signaled it’s not keen on working with unions in Germany either.

Tesla ignored a letter from IG Metall inviting a dialogue last year. And it went to great lengths to pacify disgruntled union members at Tesla Grohmann Automation, an engineering firm it acquired in 2016, without entering the industry’s collective agreement. Instead, the carmaker fended off a strike by giving workers a deal that was comparable to the industry-wide wage (plus stock options).

It could try to pull the same play at Gigafactory Berlin.

The stakes are high for IG Metall

But IG Metall likely wants to avoid that scenario at all costs, Stephen Silvia, a professor at American University whose research focuses on comparative labor relations, told Insider.

Allowing a massive non-union plant to build cars in Germany would set the dangerous precedent that companies don’t need to engage in collective bargaining, he said. It would also mean thousands of members would potentially go without the contractually enforced job security, wages, and benefits the rest of the industry enjoys.

Read more: The true disrupter in the auto industry isn’t Tesla – it’s Fisker

Moreover, IG Metall stands to lose bargaining power with other automakers if it can’t get Tesla to play ball, said Arthur Wheaton, an automotive industry expert at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations. It’s especially crucial that IG Metall preserve all the sway it can at a time when carmakers are pivoting to EV production, which, Wheaton said, requires roughly 30% fewer workers than traditional auto manufacturing.

“It’s all about labor density,” he said. “Every plant that opens that’s not unionized hurts [IG Metall’s] power.”

The union can make life difficult for Tesla

Given the stakes, IG Metall is likely to employ a whole menu of strategies to bring Tesla to its side. And there’s no guarantee that any of it will bear fruit. Amazon, for example, has for years resisted calls from Germany’s service-sector union, Verdi, to recognize collective bargaining agreements.

Silvia, who has spoken to the union about its plans, anticipates a public relations campaign and protests to exert political and social pressure on Tesla to “be a good corporate citizen.”

“It’s very difficult to force a completely unwilling company,” Silvia said. “They’ll just have to make [Tesla’s] life as uncomfortable as possible.”

Gigafactory Berlin Getty
Tesla plans to manufacture 500,000 cars per year at the factory.

IG Metall could also organize rolling strikes, though there are restrictions on how long they can last and when they can occur. Grey-area “guerilla actions” – like slowing down work at a Tesla supplier where IG Metall might have members – may also be in the union’s playbook, Silvia said.

IG Metall may also try to influence Tesla’s leadership from within. The carmaker will be required by law to allow Gigafactory Berlin employees to form a works council – a group that represents the interests of the factory’s workforce – and IG Metall could make sure it’s stacked with members, according to Silvia.

Wheaton, however, thinks IG Metall’s main weapon for putting the squeeze on Tesla is blocking the completion of the factory altogether. IG Metall could work with environmentalist groups to slow down construction, he said.

Since beginning work on Gigafactory Berlin in early 2020, Tesla has faced setbacks from environmental activists and regulators over issues like deforestation, water usage, and the well-being of wildlife surrounding the construction site. And it has encountered delays over procedural problems having to do with work permits and deposits.

The stakes are high for Tesla, too

The carmaker likely wants to avoid any more stumbles as it looks to get the plant, which forms the cornerstone of its European strategy, online by July. Tesla aims to eventually build 500,000 European-market cars per year and produce its next-generation battery cells at the facility, and a protracted struggle with IG Metall could impede those plans.

Getting the factory up to speed as quickly and as smoothly as possible is critical for Tesla as it works to scale production worldwide and defend its market share from a growing number of EV-making rivals, most notably German automaker Volkswagen.

Tesla did not return Insider’s request for comment on whether it is open to joining the collective wage agreement.

Gigafactory Berlin
Tesla is “just another company” to IG Metall.

IG Metall, for its part, said it’s approaching Tesla as it would any other manufacturer looking to open up a facility in Germany. Union representatives did not respond to Insider’s request for an interview but the chairman of IG Metall Berlin Jan Otto told Insider in an emailed statement that he doesn’t “feel any frustration towards Tesla and the new Gigafactory in Grünheide.”

“It is our job to organize people and negotiate collective agreements once we have reached more than 60/70% of the workers. In the past, we have organized thousands of workers in new and old companies,” Otto continued. “Tesla is a big player, but for us, it is just another company.”

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Tesla reveals record quarterly sales despite supply chain struggles

Tesla Shanghai China Factory
Tesla TKed Wall Street’s expectations.

  • Tesla sold 184,800 vehicles in the first three months of 2021.
  • The number is slightly above what analysts on Wall Street had expected.
  • The carmaker battled supply-chain snafus including a worldwide shortage of semiconductor chips.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Tesla on Friday announced better-than-expected car sales for the first three months of 2021, despite major production and supply-chain headwinds.

The electric-car maker delivered 184,800 vehicles in the first quarter, topping Wall Street’s expectations. The carmaker sold 182,780 of its Model 3 and Model Y, along with 2,020 of its higher-end Model S and Model X. Tesla does not break down its sales by individual model.

Tesla said it saw strong demand for the Model Y in China and that it will continue to speed up production of the refreshed Model X and Model S.

Shares of the automaker sank slightly, about 0.5% in extended trading Friday, though most major stock exchanges were closed for Good Friday. The stock sold off just shy of 1% on Thursday in the lead-up to the announcement.

Analysts largely expected Tesla would continue the rapid pace of production it achieved during the last three months of 2020, as it pulled out all the stops to deliver 499,550 cars before the year’s end. Consensus on Tuesday stood at 173,800 units for the quarter.

Overall production numbers came in at 180,338, Tesla said. Both figures could change slightly, about 0.5%, as paperwork is finalized.

The carmaker faced major headwinds in the first quarter including a global shortage of semiconductors that has kneecapped auto manufacturing worldwide, idling production lines and forcing automakers to build cars without certain components as they await chips.

Read more:The CEO of a top battery startup shares what he learned about business from joining Tesla as employee number 7

In January, Tesla CFO Zach Kirkhorn warned of obstacles Tesla would face in the first quarter, including the semiconductor issue.

“Specifically for Q1, our volumes will have the benefit of early Model Y ramp in Shanghai,” Kirkhorn said on a conference call. “However, S and X production will be low due to the transition to the newly architected products. Additionally, we’re working extremely hard to manage through the global semiconductor shortage as well as port capacity, which may have a temporary impact.”

In February, Tesla temporarily halted production at its Fremont, California, factory, and CEO Elon Musk attributed the break to “parts shortages.” Production stoppages aren’t uncommon for carmakers, and they’ve become more frequent as the chip shortage drags on.

Wall Street expects Tesla to sell more than 800,000 vehicles in 2021, with production capacity aided by new factories that are set to come online in Germany and Texas.

Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives said in a Friday note that he now expects Tesla to deliver more than 850,000 cars in 2021, as demand for EVs grows globally and as President Joe Biden signals a commitment to green infrastructure.

“We believe these delivery numbers are a paradigm and sentiment shifter for the space going forward. Its been a brutal sell off for Tesla and EVs, but we believe that will now be in the rear view mirror,” Ives said.

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VW won’t rebrand its US arm as ‘Voltswagen’ after all, reports say

Volkswagen ID.4
Volkswagen reportedly jumped the gun on an April Fools’ prank.

  • Volkswagen said Tuesday its US arm would rebrand to Voltswagen, but its parent now reportedly disputes that.
  • The announcement was a marketing stunt and will be retracted Wednesday, multiple outlets reported.
  • Volkswagen accidentally published the announcement on Monday before reposting it Tuesday.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Volkswagen of America may not rebrand to “Voltswagen” after all, multiple outlets report.

The brand – a subsidiary of Germany’s Volkswagen Group – announced plans Tuesday to rename its US operations “Voltswagen of America.” It said the brand’s battery-powered vehicles will have exterior “Voltswagen” badging, while its gas-powered cars will come with just the traditional VW emblem.

Now Volkswagen appears to be walking back the statement, according to multiple outlets citing sources familiar with the move.

The press release announcing the name change, published to VW of America’s website on March 30, was an April Fools’ joke, a Volkswagen spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal. The announcement was made up to drum up attention for VW’s upcoming electric vehicles, Reuters reported, citing three sources familiar.

The carmaker will officially retract the name change on Wednesday, multiple outlets report.

“We might be changing out our K for a T, but what we aren’t changing is this brand’s commitment to making best-in-class vehicles for drivers and people everywhere,” Scott Keogh, president and CEO of Voltswagen of America, said in a statement Tuesday. “This name change signifies a nod to our past as the peoples’ car and our firm belief that our future is in being the peoples’ electric car.”

CNBC initially reported the name change Monday, after a draft of Tuesday’s press release was accidentally posted to the brand’s website a month early. It was dated April 29, CNBC said, and was briefly online before being removed from VW’s website.

Volkswagen of America and Volkswagen Group representatives did not immediately return Insider’s requests for comment.

Read more: The CEO of a top battery startup explains how working for Elon Musk upended his assumptions about his industry

Volkswagen began delivering its first EV for the US market, the ID.4, in March. During a presentation in March, the Volkswagen Group laid out a wide-ranging strategy to overtake Tesla in the EV space. The plans included six European battery-production plants, new battery technology, and investments in charging infrastructure.

In January, General Motors unveiled a new logo amid its own accelerated electrification push.

Read the original article on Business Insider

From the Cybertruck to new Roadster, these are Tesla’s 7 future vehicles and when they’re set to arrive

Tesla Roadster.
Tesla could double its lineup in coming years.

  • Tesla plans to roll out several new vehicles in the near future.
  • Elon Musk’s automaker is planning a pickup, a tractor trailer, a supercar, and a $25,000 EV.
  • Tesla also is planning a van that might end up transporting people in Musk’s future tunnel networks.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Despite being the most valuable automaker on the planet, Tesla has a relatively spare vehicle lineup as compared with other car companies.

The company – by far the most successful purveyor of electric vehicles – sells just four models: the Model S and Model 3 sedans along with the Model X and Model Y crossovers. Ford sells double that number of SUVs alone.

But Elon Musk’s automaker has grand plans to expand its offerings in the near future. A semi truck, pickup truck, supercar, and high-performance sedan are all supposed to arrive by 2022, and Musk has said an electric ATV, a $25,000 car, and a van are in the works as well.

Cybertruck

FILE PHOTO: Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveils the Cybertruck at the TeslaDesign Studio in Hawthorne, Calif. The cracked window glass occurred during a demonstration on the strength of the glass.Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY/File Photo
Tesla Cybertruck.

Tesla’s Cybertruck caused a stir upon its reveal during a splashy event in 2019 – and not just because its supposedly bulletproof windows shattered on stage (twice).

The pickup’s unconventional design polarized onlookers, with fans describing it as futuristic and daring and critics saying it looked like something out of a primitive video game. Some wondered what its sharp corners might do to pedestrians in a crash.

Yet the Cybertruck has attracted more than 500,000 non-binding preorders, according to Musk. It will come in three configurations – single-motor rear-wheel drive, dual-motor all-wheel drive, and tri-motor all-wheel drive – and will offer up to 500 miles of range, according to Tesla.

Pricing will start at $39,990, Tesla said in 2019, and volume production will likely begin in 2022, Musk said in January.

Roadster

Tesla Roadster.
Tesla Roadster.

When Tesla revealed the new Roadster in 2017 – aiming for a 2020 launch date – Musk said it “will be the fastest production car ever made, period.”

Tesla claims the four-seat supercar will sprint to 100 mph in 4.2 seconds on its way to a top speed of more than 250 mph. According to the EV maker, the Roadster will be able to travel 620 miles on a charge – farther than any EV on the market today.

Musk has also said he wants to equip the Roadster with compressed-air rocket thrusters to boost acceleration and, potentially, give it the ability to hover short distances. Needless to say, a flying Tesla probably won’t fly with regulators.

The new Roadster is priced starting at $200,000 and is slated to enter production in 2022.

Read more: Tesla is ideally positioned to become the world’s most important Bitcoin bank

Semi

Tesla Semi
Tesla Semi.

Like the Cybertruck and Roadster, the Tesla Semi – the carmaker’s class 8 truck – has remained in vehicle-development purgatory since it was announced in 2017. Tesla initially eyed 2019 for the big rig’s launch, but later pushed that date to 2020 and finally to 2021.

Over the years, the prospect of a battery-powered tractor-trailer has attracted lots of attention from major retailers and shippers eager to spend less on fuel and maintenance. Tesla says the Semi will eventually be fully autonomous, meaning that fleet owners could theoretically run trucks for longer hours and save on labor costs.

Pepsi, Walmart, Anheuser Busch, UPS, and FedEx have all placed reservations for the Semi, which Tesla expects will cost $180,000 for a model with 500 miles of range. A 300-mile range truck will also be available for $150,000.

Model S Plaid Plus

Tesla Model S
Tesla Model S.

Quietly added to Tesla’s site in January, the Model S Plaid Plus is set to be the most off-the-wall version of Tesla’s long-running luxury sedan. Tesla used to sell a sporty “Performance” Model S but updated its lineup to include two high-powered Plaid versions instead.

The regular Model S Plaid is available now and offers up 390 miles of range, a 200 mph top speed, and a 0-60-mph time under two seconds, according to Tesla. The automaker says the Plaid Plus will be even quicker to 60 mph and will travel more than 520 miles on a charge. Tesla says it will generate more than 1,100 horsepower from three motors.

The Model S Plaid Plus will run $149,990 and starts shipping in the middle of 2022.

Read more: 7 jobs that can earn you a 6-figure salary in the $4 trillion auto industry

$25,000 car

battery day 25,000 ev
Elon Musk announces a future $25,000 EV at Tesla’s Sept. 22 “Battery Day” event.

Tesla has been steadily decreasing the price of its vehicles for years, but the EVs are set to get even cheaper in the near future.

At the company’s Battery Day event in September 2020, Musk promised that a $25,000, fully autonomous Tesla would hit the market “about three years from now.” Musk has admitted himself that punctuality isn’t his strong suit, so it’s fair to take that timeline with a grain of salt.

But Tesla appears to be making headway on the plans. The company aims to complete a research and development center in China that will develop the budget EV by the end of 2021, Tesla China President Tom Zhu said in a February interview with Chinese media.

Cyberquad

Tesla Cybertruck and Cyberquad.
Tesla Cybertruck and Cyberquad.

The Cyberquad hit the scene as a last-minute, surprise announcement during Tesla’s Cybertruck unveiling. And we haven’t heard much about it since.

Tesla hasn’t discussed pricing, a launch date, or any specs. But some sleuthing by automotive journalist Bozi Tatarevic appears to have uncovered that the Cyberquad – at least the one shown during the Cybertruck event – shares a platform with the gas-powered Yamaha Raptor ATV.

Musk has said Tesla is aiming to roll out the two-person electric ATV at the same time as the Cybertruck, and that the quad will at first be available as an option for the pickup.

Van

UPS Cybertruck   LeaseFetcher
A rendering of what a Tesla delivery van could look like.

Musk has floated the idea of a Tesla van more than once, most recently during a February interview on Joe Rogan’s podcast in which he said it’s possible the EV will have an array of solar panels on it. Before that, Musk said on a conference call in January that it plans to build a van “at some point,” but that it’s been held back by a lack of battery cell supply.

It’s possible that a future high-capacity Tesla would be used to shuttle passengers along networks of subterranean roadways built by The Boring Company, a tunneling firm that Musk also runs. A San Bernardino County transportation official let it slip in June that the county is working with Tesla on a 12-person van for a future Boring tunnel there, but Tesla hasn’t officially announced any such vehicle.

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Elon Musk said Tesla wouldn’t exist without a little-known electric convertible called the tZero. Here’s how the prototype car led to the formation of Tesla and paved the way for electric vehicles.

Elon Musk tZero
AC Propulsion’s tZero.

  • Elon Musk test drove a tiny, yellow electric car called a tZero in 2003.
  • While Musk didn’t know it then, the tZero would directly lead to him becoming CEO of Tesla.
  • The tZero also led the way for Tesla’s first car, the Roadster, which hit the market in 2008.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

It’s hard to remember a time when “Elon Musk” and “electric cars” didn’t go hand-in-hand.

But back in the early 2000s, the dream of mass-market electric cars with long range and rapid acceleration was still a long way off for Musk, who had already cofounded and sold Zip2 and PayPal and was working on SpaceX. That changed with a fateful test drive in 2003.

At the behest of the person who would go on to become Tesla’s first chief technology officer, JB Straubel, Musk took a ride in AC Propulsion’s tZero, a tiny electric car that was built as a prototype. Musk was so wowed by the car he tried to get the company to commercialize it – it didn’t want to, which in part led to the birth of Tesla.

Musk described driving the tZero and the events the followed on the Third Row Tesla podcast in February, which was spotted by CNBC’s Taylor Locke.

Here’s how the tZero led the way in electric cars, sparked Elon Musk’s interest, and inspired the Tesla Roadster.

The tZero was designed by a company called AC Propulsion, which in the early 2000s, was run by cofounder Alan Cocconi and CEO Tom Gage. AC Propulsion wasn’t an electric carmaker – it worked with car manufacturers to produce electric vehicle drive systems.

Tom Gage AC Propulsion
Tom Gage, then-CEO of AC Propulsion.

Source: Clean Technica

The tZero was a prototype vehicle built by hand in 1997. The body and the chassis of the vehicle were based on a kit car called the Piontek Sportech. The car was estimated to cost $220,000.

tZero car

Source: Car and Driver

The tZero ran on lithium-ion battery cells, which – thanks to their light weight – made the car surprisingly fast: it reportedly went from 0 to 60 in 3.6 seconds. The tZero also had a range of more than 200 miles.

tZero car

Source: Car and Driver, Wired

While the tZero had an outwardly stylish design, its interior was described as “Spartan.”

tZero car

A Forbes article from 2003 described the interior of the vehicle as “like a science project”: 

“… most of the controls apart from the CD player are gadgets to monitor the battery and tiny 110-lb. motor. Drivers get an analog current meter, voltmeter, altimeter, and battery-voltage display with LED lights that measures temperature and charging limits.

Remember, though, this is more of an experiment than a traditionally appointed car. The tZero does not come with air-conditioning. And to lower its top and windows, you detach them and store them in the trunk.”

Only three tZeros were ever produced, and there is reportedly only one left in existence. One of the vehicles was incinerated in a garage fire in 2017, and it’s not clear what happened to the third.

tZero car

Source: Electrek

Elon Musk came into the picture in 2003 after he was encourage to test drive a tZero.

Elon Musk 2004

Shortly after founding SpaceX, Musk was having lunch with satellite pioneer Harold Rosen and JB Straubel, who went on to become Tesla’s chief technology officer. Straubel suggested they take a ride in a tZero and Musk agreed. 

“It literally didn’t have doors or a roof, or any airbags, or an effective cooling system for the battery and it was not safe and was very unreliable,” Musk on the Third Row Tesla podcast in February. “It needed to be babied by an engineer or … you couldn’t use it.” 

Still, Musk was excited about the concept and tried to convince Cocconi and Gage to commercialize the car.

“I really pestered them a lot to commercialize the tZero, and they just did not want to do it,” Musk said. 

Musk said he asked the team, “If you’re not going to commercialize the tZero, do you mind if I do it?” The team said yes, and introduced Musk to another group looking to do the same: Tesla Motors’ Martin Eberhard, Marc Tarpenning, and Ian Wright.

In 2004, Musk invested $6.3 million in Tesla. For the next four years, the company worked on its first car, the Tesla Roadster.

Tesla Roadster
Tesla Roaster

While the Roadster ended up only slightly resembling the tZero, it carried the DNA of the prototype car: it had the first lithium ion battery in a vehicle put into production, could go from 0 to 60 in 3.9 seconds, and had a range of up to 300 miles. 

The company sold around 2,500 Roadsters in total — by the time Tesla retired the car, it cost $150,000. 

Musk has since said that without the tZero, “Tesla wouldn’t exist.”

 

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China is reportedly restricting use of Tesla cars by its military and government workers

Tesla Model 3
Some government agencies were told their employees should stop driving Teslas to work.

  • China is cracking down on the use of Teslas among military and other state workers, multiple outlets report.
  • Military personnel were reportedly instructed to park Teslas outside of their housing compounds.
  • Reports say Chinese officials are concerned that cameras on Tesla’s cars could gather sensitive information.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

China is cracking down on the use of Tesla cars by state personnel over security concerns posed by the vehicles’ cameras, multiple outlets report.

A directive from the military issued this week banned Tesla owners who live in military housing compounds from driving their cars onto state property, Bloomberg reported, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter. The new restrictions on where Teslas can be driven also apply to personnel working at key government agencies and at state-owned companies in certain industries, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the rules.

The government told some agencies to instruct their employees to stop driving a Tesla to work, people told the Journal.

The new rules stem from concerns that cameras on Tesla’s vehicles could covertly record their surroundings without the Chinese government’s knowledge, both outlets said. Officials are also concerned that Tesla’s vehicles could gather sensitive data like a driver’s identity and their phone’s list of contacts, sources told the Journal.

Teslas, like many other new cars, have an array of external cameras that are necessary for the cars’ driver-assistance system, Autopilot. Like on other vehicles, the cameras can also help with parking and lane changes. The Model 3 and Model Y also have an internal camera mounted above the rear-view mirror that can capture video in the event of a crash or an emergency braking situation.

China’s State Council Information Office and Tesla did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Read more: Apple reportedly wants to build a car the same way it manufactures the iPhone. Experts explain why the upside outweighs the risk as long as it finds the right partner.

China is the world’s largest market for EVs and an increasingly crucial one for Tesla as it looks to drastically boost sales in the coming years. The company started production at its Shanghai Gigafactory in late 2019, less than a year after breaking ground. The EV maker now manufactures the Model 3 sedan and Model Y crossover at the factory.

In its ventures outside the US – both in Berlin, Germany, and in Shanghai – Tesla has largely played ball with authorities. But the company’s relationship with the Chinese government has gotten testy lately. The country’s regulators asked for a meeting with Tesla in February to discuss issues with its vehicles like battery fires and unintended acceleration.

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BMW just showed off its first electric sedan with 530 horsepower and a 300-mile range

BMW i4.
BMW i4.

  • BMW on Wednesday showed off its first electric sedan, the 2022 i4.
  • It will have up to 300 miles of range and 530 horsepower, BMW said.
  • The new model comes amid an accelerated push into electric vehicles by BMW.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

BMW on Wednesday took the wraps off of its latest electric vehicle, the 2022 i4. The model will help pave the way for a new electric era for the automaker, which has largely sat on the sidelines of the EV rush over the last decade.

BMW’s first fully electric sedan (BMW calls the i3 a sedan but it’s really more of a hatchback), the i4 will deliver up to 530 horsepower and an EPA-estimated range of 300 miles, the company said. It will hit 62 mph in roughly four seconds.

BMW i4.
BMW i4.

For comparison, the base Tesla Model S – the model to beat in the high-end electric sedan segment – has a range of 412 miles. More than 500 horsepower in its top configuration gives the i4 more power than the M4, which appears to be its gas-powered counterpart in BMW’s lineup.

The i4 will hit the market in 2021, and BMW says a performance model is on the way. BMW has yet to release pricing details or additional specs for the car.

BMW i4.
BMW i4.

BMW, at one point a pioneer in the EV space with its quirky i3, has fallen behind some other legacy automakers when it comes to electrification. But it’s picked up the pace as of late.

Read more: The true disrupter in the auto industry isn’t Tesla – it’s Fisker

In November, the brand unveiled its upcoming flagship electric SUV, the iX. It also launched an electric version of the X3 SUV, the iX3, but it’s not available in the US.

BMW i4.
BMW i4.

During a presentation on Wednesday, BMW followed in the footsteps of several other automakers by announcing an accelerated timeline for its EV program.

The company now plans to sell roughly 12 electric models by 2023 and aims to have electric cars account for at least half of its global sales by 2030. Mini, it said, will phase out gas-powered offerings in the early 2030s.

BMW i4.
BMW i4.

In 2025, BMW plans to launch a new EV platform called the “Neue Klasse” that will underpin future vehicles.

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Porsche just debuted a taller, more rugged Taycan EV with matching e-bikes – tour the $91,000 Cross Turismo

2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo._6
2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo.

  • The Taycan Cross Turismo is the wagon version of Porsche’s Taycan EV sedan.
  • It has additional ground clearance, more cargo space, and a Gravel Mode.
  • Prices start at $90,900, not including the $1,350 delivery fee.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

The Taycan, Porsche’s first EV, has been a hit so far. Riding on that popularity, Porsche introduced its much-anticipated wagon variant on Thursday.

Meet the 2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo, a car that Porsche calls a crossover in its press release but is most certainly a wagon. The Cross Turismo version of the Taycan is intended for slightly more utility; it has more cargo room than the sedan and additional ground clearance. 

Four versions will be available at launch: the Taycan 4 Cross Turismo, Taycan 4S Cross Turismo, Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo, and Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo. There will not be a rear-wheel drive version like with the regular Taycan. All Taycan Cross Turismo models will come with a dual-motor setup and all-wheel drive.

Pricing starts at $90,900 before the $1,350 delivery fee. You can expect them at US dealerships this summer.

Keep reading to see more – as well as the two electric bicycles that Porsche’s also launching.

The 2021 Taycan Cross Turismo is the wagon version of Porsche’s Taycan EV sedan.

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2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo.

The Taycan Cross Turismo will come in four variants.

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2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo.

They are the Taycan 4 Cross Turismo, Taycan 4S Cross Turismo, Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo, and Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo.

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2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo.

It’s designed to be the more utilitarian Taycan.

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2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo.

Porsche gave it additional ground clearance and extra cargo room.

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2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo.

The Cross Turismo rides 0.8 inches higher than the sedan version.

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2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo.

The rear cargo space has been increased to 15 cubic feet in the Taycan 4 Cross Turismo and Taycan 4S Cross Turismo.

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2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo.

The 14.3 cubic feet in the Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo and Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo is the same as in the Taycan sedan, however.

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2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo.

Source: Insider

A small trunk was one of our chief complaints about the Taycan sedan, so it’s good to see a couple of versions of the Cross Turismo address that.

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2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo.

Source: Insider

You still get the 2.9 cubic-foot front trunk, too.

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2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo.

You can option it with Cross Turismo-specific details, like different packages and wheel choices.

2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo._1
2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo.

There will be no rear-wheel drive, single-motor version.

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2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo.

All of the Cross Turismos will have the dual-motor, all-wheel drive setup.

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2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo.

Other standard features include air suspension, Porsche’s Adaptive Suspension Management system – or PASM – and the more powerful Performance Battery Plus.

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2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo.

Basically, features that are optional on the Taycan sedan will be standard on the Cross Turismo.

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2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo.

There’s a Gravel Mode that adds 10 millimeters to the ride height and sets the suspension system to handle low-traction surfaces more easily.

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2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo.

Porsche even gave the Cross Turismo extra body cladding for this purpose.

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2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo.

Alongside the Taycan Cross Turismo, Porsche is also launching the eBike Sport and eBike Cross.

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2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo.

Both are electric bicycles, one for the street and the other for off-roading, and have carbon wheels “inspired by the roofline of the Taycan.”

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2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo.

No EPA range figures were provided at this time.

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2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo.

They’ll start at $90,900, which doesn’t include the $1,350 delivery fee.

2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo._5
2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo.

The Taycan 4 Cross Turismo will start at $90,900, the Taycan 4S Cross Turismo at $110,300, the Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo at $153,500, and the Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo at $187,600.

And you can expect the Taycan wagons to arrive at dealerships this summer.

2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo._18
2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo.

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Tesla has partnered with a nickel mine after Elon Musk said the metal was the group’s ‘biggest concern’ amid shortage fears

Tesla Solar Battery
Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla.

  • Tesla may become an adviser of a nickel mine in New Caledonia, a deal seen by Reuters showed.
  • The agreement may allow Tesla to buy nickel for its battery production amid concerns of shortages.
  • Elon Musk tweeted previously, “Nickel is our biggest concern for scaling lithium-ion cell production.”
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Tesla on Thursday agreed to partner with a nickel mine in New Caledonia in an effort to secure more of the resource, which is key in the production of lithium-ion batteries in electric cars, Reuters reported.

Tesla is expected to become an industrial adviser at the Pacific island’s Goro mine, which is owned by Brazilian mining giant Vale and is a French overseas territory.

Reuters reported that the electric-car maker is set to help with product and sustainability standards and buying nickel for its battery production, an agreement with the New Caledonian government showed.

The move comes amid growing concerns about the demand for nickel, as the acceleration of electric-vehicle production could lead to low supplies.

“Nickel is our biggest concern for scaling lithium-ion cell production,” Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, tweeted February 25. 

This echoed his tweet from July: “Nickel is the biggest challenge for high-volume, long-range batteries.” Musk added that nickel production in Australia, Canada, and Indonesia is going well, but in the US it’s “objectively very lame.”

There has been large unrest in the region since Vale and the French state decided to sell the nickel mine to Swiss commodity trader Trafigura in early December. This triggered strikes and protests from pro-independence groups, which forced Vale to shut down the site in the same month.

The agreement cited by Reuters showed that the new deal means a 51% stake in the Vale operations may be held by New Caledonia’s provincial authorities and other local interests. Trafigura is expected to hold a 19% stake – less than the 25% planned in the original sale agreement with Vale, the outlet reported.

Tesla won’t have a stake, just a partnership that will secure its electric-battery supply chain as it ramps up production. “Our task now is to complete any and all outstanding items to allow the transaction to formally conclude,” Vale said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

New Caledonia is the world’s fourth-largest nickel producer. The material is also mined mostly in Russia, Canada, and Indonesia.

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