Primack said while the Mustang Mach-E, which has an estimated range of about 230 miles per full charge, has been efficient for short drives, he faced some difficulty on the over 200-mile commute to New York City. During what should have been a simple drive, he was forced to pull over at four different charging stations in order to find a station that he could use to recharge his Mach-E.
At two of the four stations, he was only able to find Tesla chargers, and at one there were no chargers. He said he was not able to recharge his car until he found the fourth station in a parking garage.
Primack said he felt “panic” during the experience – a feeling he had not expected to experience in an area of the country that had prioritized electrification. He pointed out that his trip cut through high traffic roads in the northeast – an area that was known for being early EV adopters.
His account raises the question of how much more stressful his trip could have been, had it taken place in a more rural area.
Efforts to expand the charging infrastructure in the US
As of February, there are just under 100,000 electric car charging stations in the US, according to a report from I. Wagner, a researcher on traffic and motor vehicle manufacturing. To date, Tesla supercharging stations alone account for over 25,000 stations, according to data from the company’s website. While regular Tesla stations can be used with non-Tesla EVs through a special adapter, supercharging stations are not yet compatible with other electric cars.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter earlier in July that he plans to make Tesla’s entire charging network accessible to all EV drivers by the end of the year. Though, the CEO said during the company’s earnings call on Monday that non-Tesla drivers will have to pay extra to use the company’s supercharging network and would likely have to purchase an additional adapter.
“It is our goal to support the advent of sustainable energy,” Musk said at the meeting. “It is not to create a walled garden and use that to bludgeon our competitors, which is sometimes used by some companies.
For now, Primack’s story highlights the need for greater charging infrastructure in the US, as well as the advantage Tesla holds over its competitors when it comes to EV charging.
Tesla on Monday posted its most profitable quarter yet, beating Wall Street’s expectations even as a microchip shortage and other supply-chain troubles complicate car production.
Here are the important numbers:
Revenue: $11.958 billion, compared to an expected $11.36 billion
Earnings: $1.45 (adjusted) per share, compared to an expected $0.974 per share.
Elon Musk’s automaker reported $1.14 billion in (GAAP) net income, more than double the $438 million it made during the first quarter of 2021.
For the first time, Tesla’s quarterly profits exceeded $1 billion. It’s also the first quarter that Tesla turned a profit even without counting sales of zero-emission credits to other automakers, a revenue source it has historically relied on to stay in the black and which tallied $354 million for the quarter.
Tesla said it was able to grow its operating income mainly by increasing volume and reducing costs. That growth was offset by factors including a $23 million depreciation of its bitcoin holdings.
The company has posted strong sales figures in 2021 even as a global chip shortage hobbles vehicle production worldwide and forces automakers to idle production lines.
“Supply chain challenges, in particular global semiconductor shortages and port congestion, continued to be present in Q2,” the company said. “The Tesla team, including supply chain, software development and our factories, worked extremely hard to keep production running as close to full capacity as possible.”
However, Tesla said it has shifted production of its electric semi-truck to 2022 due to “global supply chain challenges” and to focus on ramping up production at upcoming factories in Berlin and Austin. The company said it expects to start production at both plants in 2021. The Berlin facility was supposed to open July 1, but bureaucratic hurdles and environmental concerns have delayed those plans indefinitely.
The electric automaker delivered 201,250 cars during the second quarter, smashing the 184,800-vehicle record it set during the previous three months. That put Tesla on the path toward selling more than 800,000 vehicles in 2021, a significant increase over the 500,000 it sold in 2020.
Shares moved higher by about 1.5% in late trading Monday following the release.
Range anxiety is almost always cited as one of the biggest hurdles to widespread adoption of electric vehicles.
Today, most people would rather own a car that they can drive vast distances and fill up with dinosaur goo in a matter of minutes over a battery-powered vehicle with limited range and a slower charge.
But the fear of running low on electrons without a plug nearby may soon be a thing of the past.
Battery technology is improving quickly, and there are several electric cars on the US market that can travel well over 200 miles between charges – plenty for most short or medium-length trips. The best of the best can go more than 300.
Here are the 10 longest-range EVs you can buy in the US today.
10. Kia Niro EV – 239 miles
Starting at $39,000, Kia’s electric crossover offers solid range for less than the price of the average new car in the US. Plus, when you factor in the $7,500 federal EV tax credit, the Niro becomes even more of a bargain. There’s also a fancier trim on offer for around $45,000.
9. Chevrolet Bolt EUV – 247 miles
For 2022, Chevrolet launched a compact crossover version of the Bolt EV – the Bolt EUV, standing for “electric utility vehicle.” The $33,995 EUV is a bit bigger and rides a bit taller than its cousin, giving it a slightly shorter range.
8. Hyundai Kona Electric – 258 miles
The 2021 Kona Electric retails for $37,390 and puts out 201 horsepower. It’s built on the same platform as the Kia Niro. An Ultimate trim is available for around $46,000.
Chevy gave the Bolt EV a radical redesign for the 2022 model year, keeping the hatchback’s egg shape but bestowing it with sharper looks all around. The new model has an identical range to its predecessor, but a reduced starting price of $31,995. That makes it one of the cheapest EVs you can buy.
6. Volkswagen ID.4 Pro – 260 miles
Volkswagen is trying hard to catch up to Tesla, far and away the dominant force in EVs. And although its rebrand to “Voltswagen” turned out to be a badly timed April Fools’ Day joke, the company is making strides toward that goal. The ID.4, its first US-market EV, launched in early 2020 for $40,000.
5. Ford Mustang Mach-E – 305 miles
The Mustang Mach-E came on the scene in late 2020 as Ford’s first EV. Its California Route 1 trim has the most range, while the base Select model delivers 230 miles. Other ranges are available depending on whether customers choose a larger battery or all-wheel drive.
The Mach-E California Route 1 will run you $50,400 to start.
4. Tesla Model Y Long Range – 326 miles
The Model Y ranks at the bottom of Tesla’s lineup in terms of range, but it still beats out every other EV on the market. The Long Range model will run you $53,990. As with other Teslas, a pricier high-performance model is available with less range.
3. Tesla Model 3 Long Range – 353 miles
The Long Range Tesla Model 3 delivers more than 350 miles of range for $50,000. The base model, by comparison, delivers 263 miles of range for $10,000 less.
2. Tesla Model X Long Range – 360 miles
The $95,000 Model X crossover is Tesla’s second-oldest model behind the Model S. The burly family SUV not only has one of the most impressive ranges in the industry, it also claims to hit 60 mph in 3.8 seconds.
1. Tesla Model S Long Range – 405 miles
Tesla’s flagship Model S has been the EV to beat for years. The sleek sedan leads the industry in range, and its most souped-up variant – the Model S Plaid – launched last month as the quickest production car in existence.
A handful of future EVs – notably the Lucid Air sedan – promise to go further than the Model S, but for now, Tesla remains the clear choice if range is your top concern.
Tesla has reigned supreme as the lord of electric vehicles for years, even as established manufacturers and scrappy startups attempt to come for its crown.
Two of the most promising upstart EV makers – Rivian and Lucid Motors – were on the brink of launching their first vehicles onto the US market this year. But the pandemic had other plans.
Rivian earlier this month told customers who had reserved Launch-Edition models of its adventure-focused SUV and pickup that they’d have to wait a few extra months to take delivery. The R1T truck’s launch was postponed from July to September, while the R1S SUV will now arrive later in the fall, Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe told customers in an email.
“The cascading impacts of the pandemic have had a compounding effect greater than anyone anticipated. Everything from facility construction to equipment installation, to vehicle component supply (especially semiconductors) has been impacted by the pandemic,” he said.
Rivian first pushed R1T deliveries by a month in May due to hurdles like shipping delays and the ongoing microchip shortage, a spokesperson said.
Similarly, Lucid in February delayed the launch of its debut luxury sedan – the Air – to the second half of 2021. Customers were supposed to receive their cars in the spring. In a letter, Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson chalked up the delay to the pandemic’s impact on the startup’s testing activities, supply chain, and its preparations for sales and service.
That was the second time Lucid shifted its plans due to the pandemic; the startup first planned to start producing the Air in late 2020.
With a claimed range of more than 500 miles and a starting price of around $77,000, the Air is set to give the Tesla Model S a run for its money when it hits streets – on paper, at least. Tesla has led the industry in range for ages with its 400-plus-mile Model S.
Lucid and Rivian represent two of the EV startups furthest along in their development. Both have operational factories, showrooms, and heaps of binding preorders, which can’t be said of most new companies trying to replicate Tesla’s success. Rivian has amassed several billion in funding from investors like Amazon and Ford. Lucid is preparing to go public through a reverse merger in a deal that will give it $4.5 billion in fresh funding.
Although Lucid is on track to start shipping cars this year, the pandemic has made the final stretch more difficult, Rawlinson told Insider. Lucid has run up against quality issues with some of its suppliers – problems that, under normal circumstances, would’ve been addressed long ago with trips to suppliers. The pandemic ruled that out.
But Rawlinson wants to get every detail spot on, and that’s why he pushed the Air’s launch.
“This is a one-shot deal to get it right. Why don’t we go really conservative?” he told Insider.
The subscription, which Elon Musk had been promising for months, is huge for some Tesla owners as it allows them to test out Full Self-Driving without blowing the college fund. Moreover, buyers can cancel at any time if they don’t think the feature – which automates some driving tasks but doesn’t make cars autonomous – is worth the cost.
But there’s an expensive catch that’s peeving some long-time Tesla owners.
People who bought their Tesla before the middle of 2019 need to fork over $1,500 to upgrade their vehicle’s computer if they want to subscribe. That directly contradicts the automaker’s 2016 announcement that all vehicles built from that point on would come equipped with the hardware to run Full Self-Driving.
“It feels like Tesla is screwing over its earliest supporters,” Arjun, who bought a Model 3 when it launched in 2018 and described himself as a “long-time Tesla supporter, stockholder, and fan,” told Insider. “We are not asking for a quick buck or a discount, we are just asking for the hardware we were told came preinstalled on our vehicles.”
Arjun, who asked that Insider not use his full name, said it was a “huge selling point” that his Model 3 came with Full Self-Driving hardware, given that he intended to purchase the software at some point down the line. He called Tesla’s move a “blatant bait and switch.”
Other Tesla owners in similar situations aired their grievances on social media.
“Would be nice to get a cheaper installation or something, considering we were helping them when dying was a real possibility for Tesla. However, I expect nothing,” one Reddit user said.
“I have a 2018 M3 and I’m furious,” another person said, referring to the Model 3 sedan. “I’d love to see some legal action taken.”
Some also lamented that in order to subscribe they have to buy Autopilot, a the company’s driver-assistance system that used to cost $3,000 but became standard on all Teslas in 2019.
Tesla didn’t return a request for comment.
When Tesla launched its latest-generation Full Self-Driving computer in 2019, it began offering free upgrades to owners who had paid full fare for the feature. But those who held out for the subscription are on their own.
Tesla has a shaky history of not delivering on its automated-driving tech. Musk has been saying since at least 2016 that full autonomy is right around the corner. He promised that by 2020, owners would be able to generate passive income by turning their cars into robotaxis.
But Full Self-Driving is still far from living up to its branding. The most advanced beta version of the software – currently in the hands of a couple thousand Tesla owners – requires full driver attention and still has major flaws.
Arjun says Tesla should cover the hardware upgrade costs for vehicles that Tesla claimed had the right computers to begin with.
“I love my Model 3 and continue to believe in the tech behind Tesla, but they’re no longer a start up and they have to behave like a company who stands behind their word,” he said. “I believe Tesla should waive the fee/absorb the cost, and then I’d be happy to try out the service. Until then, I’ll stay on my obsolete hardware.”
The P5 has a top speed of 105.6 miles per hour and can accelerate from 0 to 62 miles per hour in 7.5 seconds. Its estimated cruising range starts at 286 miles, rising to 373 miles for the more expensive models.
Xpeng launched pre-orders for the P5 in April and said that it expects to start deliveries in the fourth quarter of 2021.
The P5 is Xpeng’s second sedan. It started deliveries of its pricier sports sedan, the P7, in June 2020. It also sells the G3, a long-range smart SUV.
The P5 pricing announcement from Xpeng comes as Elon Musk’s electric vehicle giant Tesla struggles in China.
Tesla’s sales bounced back in May – but it then had to recall 285,000 cars in June for a remote software update because drivers were accidentally turning on its Autopilot feature.
While Tesla is struggling with its reputation in China, Xpeng is reporting record growth.
Xpeng said that it delivered 30,738 vehicles between January and June, an increase of 459% year-over-year, including record monthly deliveries of 6,565 vehicles in June. This was made up of 4,730 P7s and 1,835 G3s.
Earlier this month, Tesla rolled out a long-awaited update to its Full Self-Driving software for beta testers. It’s impressive – but it still doesn’t make cars autonomous.
The electric-vehicle maker first beamed out access to the pre-production tech in October, and it’s now in the hands of a couple thousand loyal Tesla owners. It takes Tesla’s existing driver-assistance system, which is mainly suited for predictable highway driving, and adds the ability to automate driving tasks on more complicated non-highway streets.
Videos of the new-and-improved software in action show that it can impressively navigate some tough driving situations, but there are plenty of dangerous flaws and glitches too.
In one clip, a Tesla confidently handles a tight, unmarked road with an oncoming car. The computer does pretty much exactly what a human would do: slow down and pull over to let the oncoming car go first, then pull forward once it’s clear that the other driver is giving right of way.
But the system still struggles with utterly basic driving tasks, putting drivers and bystanders in dicey situations. In one clip documenting a drive in downtown San Francisco, the car drunkenly swerves into a striped median, forcing the driver to take control.
In the same video, the car stumbles through a left turn and nearly oversteers into a parked car.
In a clip set in Chicago, the car slowly creeps through intersections, comes to random stops, and only notices a road closure at the last second. A bunch of orange barricades is something any average human driver would recognize before actually attempting a turn.
All of these dangerous hiccups show just how far Tesla is from replicating human driving. But one particularly alarming clip out of Seattle takes the cake.
In the nighttime video, the beta fails to recognize the massive concrete columns supporting the city’s monorail – and the car nearly steers into them twice in an attempt to change lanes.
If a highly automated car should be able to do one thing, it’s recognizing large stationary objects and avoid them. But it appears that the car had no idea the pillars were even there, judging by the visualization displayed on the center screen.
The people in the car wonder whether the failure is a result of Tesla shifting to a camera-only system that doesn’t use radar. And that’s certainly a possibility. Car companies, Tesla included, have relied on radar for years for features like emergency braking and cruise control. But Tesla in May decided to stop using the sensors and take them out of its future cars.
Tesla has adopted a fast-and-loose approach to its automated-driving tech that other automakers aren’t taking. And safety advocates have taken issue with Tesla’s strategy of having amateur drivers test unproven technology on public roads. Pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers didn’t sign up to be subjects in this lab experiment, they argue.
But the company is under mounting pressure to deliver a final version of Full Self-Driving to customers, who have shelled out up to $10,000 over the years for the add-on under the promise that it would eventually enable Teslas to drive themselves. It’s increasingly looking like that’s not happening anytime soon.
General Motors shares could jump by nearly 50% over the next year as the automaker’s plans for producing more electric vehicles sets the stock on course to trade as disruptive tech play, according to Wedbush.
The assessment comes as the company behind the Chevrolet, Buick and AMC brands in June pledged to increase investment to $35 billion toward research and development for electric vehicles through 2025.
“With [GM CEO Mary] Barra & Co. developing game-changing battery technology under the Ultium Platform, GM is in a great position to take advantage of a $5 trillion market emerging over the next decade. By leveraging this technology, the legacy auto will be able to eat up market share against pure-play EVs in all aspects of the industry,” said Wedbush analyst Dan Ives in a note published Thursday initiating coverage of GM with an outperform rating.
He set a 12-month price target of $85 from Tuesday’s close at $57.46, representing a possible climb of 48% in the stock. Shares during Friday’s session bounced up by more than 4% to trade above $58 each.
“We believe as GM proves out its EV vision over the coming years the stock will be re-rated more as a disruptive technology and EV play, rather than its traditional auto valuation,” said Ives.
2021 is setting up as an inflection point for GM as it works on delivering at least 20 new EV models within the next two years and 30 in the next three, that analyst said.
Meanwhile, the “software and services business attached to the EV shift, as autonomous/assisted driving capabilities and battery technology improves, represents a potential gold mine for the company bringing in $20 billion to $30 billion of incremental services and software we see over the next 5-7 years,” he said.
“Deutschland rocks,” Elon Musk told reporters during a September 2020 visit to the construction site of Tesla’s first European car plant. Nearly a year later, Gigafactory Berlin’s planned July 1 opening date has come and gone, and there’s no word yet on when it will open.
Since beginning work on the sprawling plant in early 2020, Tesla has faced setback after setback over issues like environmental impact and permitting. It all means that Tesla is way behind schedule in opening up the factory, the cornerstone of its European strategy where it plans to churn out half a million cars annually.
With traditional carmakers like Volkswagen, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz doubling down on electric cars and breathing down Tesla’s neck, the company likely wants to avoid any more stumbles. But it remains unclear when the plant will open its doors.
Elon Musk vs. German bureaucracy
Tesla has hit one bureaucratic slowdown after another since it broke ground in the small town of Grünheide, near Berlin.
This whole time, Tesla has been building the factory under a series of provisional permits – at its own financial risk – as it waits for full approval from the environmental authority in Brandenburg. Theoretically, it would have to dismantle the plant if the project isn’t given the green light, and it’s unclear when Tesla will get full authorization.
Tesla has gotten fed up with the delays. In April, the company sent a letter to the Brandenburg state government complaining about the “irritating” approval process that had begun 16 months earlier, Bloomberg reported.
The problems haven’t gone unnoticed by Musk, either.
“I think there could be less bureaucracy, that would be better,” the CEO told reporters at the Grünheide site in May.
A battle over lizards
Tesla has also met fervent opposition from environmental groups who are concerned about the mammoth plant’s impact on the local wildlife and water supply. Activists have mounted demonstrations and gone through the courts to make their voices heard.
In February 2020, as Tesla prepared the site for construction, a German court ruled that the company had to temporarily stop clearing trees while it considered objections from the Green League. Courts told Tesla to suspend deforestation efforts again in December after activists complained that construction was disturbing the habitats of hibernating snakes and lizards.
Environmentalists are also worried about the plant’s effect on the local water supply since part of it is located in a drinking-water protection area. Tesla has revised down its water demands.
A delayed opening
While Tesla’s sky-high share price makes it the most valuable car company on the planet, it didn’t earn that title by selling the most cars. Far from it.
The company moved a record 500,000 vehicles in 2020. Some of the world’s largest automakers sell that many of a single model. Expanding production volumes and ramping up sales is crucial to Tesla’s future profitability, especially as legacy manufacturers and startups begin to flood the market with new EVs.
So when will Gigafactory Berlin get up and running?
In April, Musk said Tesla could start limited production at the plant by the end of the year. But, as Musk himself admits, he’s not the best with predictions.