Tesla Selects Nevada for Site of New Battery "Gigafactory"

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Tesla Motors and the state of Nevada have jointly announced that the company has selected Nevada for the site of its new "Gigafactory," a manufacturing plant that will supposedly supply the electric vehicle automaker with enough batteries to build 500,000 cars annually by 2020. Speculation has been rampant for months about where the site of the new plant would be, ever since Tesla began courting several Southwestern states for tax and construction incentives in exchange for locating the plant in their state.

Related: Glitches Call Reliability of Tesla Model S Into Question

The plant itself will be a joint venture between Tesla and the company's battery supplier Panasonic, which has agreed to produce cylindrical lithium-ion battery cells there, providing machinery and manufacturing equipment while Tesla provides the land, facility and building management. Half of the plant will be used by Panasonic to manufacture lithium-ion cells, the other half of the facility will be used by Tesla's various suppliers to create battery packs and ancillary support systems for the packs.

Tesla maintains that the plant will eventually produce enough battery packs to support the Model S, Model X SUV (concept shown above) and the recently announced smaller Model 3 sedan, Tesla's less expensive, more accessible EV luxury car. The 500,000 claim is a bit staggering as no luxury brand sells nearly that many cars in the U.S., and Tesla has only just begun exploring sales in China. The company claims that the plant will eventually employ 6,600 people, and Nevada is expecting the plant to generate more than $100 billion in economic impact for the state over the next 20 years.

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By Aaron Bragman | September 5, 2014 | Comments (1)

Glitches Call Reliability of Tesla Model S Into Question

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Automatically extending door handles that don't extend, a multimedia screen that blanks out, a creaky roof, difficulties with the trunk latch. These are just some of the glitches with Tesla's long-range-electric luxury sedan, the Model S, that have resulted in backlash from Consumer Reports after initial praise of the vehicle, USA Today reported. We at Cars.com noted these and other quirks during our tests of the 2012 model. How might this affect the Model S' reliability ratings in the future? Get the full USA Today story here.

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

By Matt Schmitz | August 12, 2014 | Comments (9)

Tesla Promises Safety Upgrades to Model S After Fires

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced Friday in a blog post that the automaker would upgrade its Model S electric luxury car with a titanium shield on its underbody and aluminum deflector plates. These safety measures come in the wake of three battery fires in North America last fall, which prompted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to open a formal investigation in November into 15,800 model-year 2012-2013 Model S EVs, the Detroit News reported. After the Tesla announcement, federal safety regulators announced they were closing their probe without seeking a recall, the newspaper reported.

"We felt it was important to bring this risk down to virtually zero to give Model S owners complete peace of mind," Musk stated. "There is no safer car on the road than a Tesla."

Get the full story from the Detroit News, here.

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By Matt Schmitz | March 28, 2014 | Comments (0)

More Electric Cars Than Ever, Still Not Available Everywhere

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As more manufacturers introduce electric cars, these battery-powered vehicles are becoming something people see on the road every day. At least in some parts of the country, they are.

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The number of purely electric vehicles offered in the U.S. will grow to a dozen by the end of this year. Many of those EVs are available only in a small number of states, however, with California being the epicenter of electric-car sales.

By Rick Popely | March 11, 2014 | Comments (4)

Recall Alert: 2013 Tesla Model S

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Vehicles Affected: Approximately 29,222 model-year 2013 Model S electric cars equipped with 240-volt NEMA 14-50 Universal Mobile Connector adapters.

The Problem: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is reporting that during charging, the adapter, cord or wall outlet could overheat.

By Jennifer Geiger | January 14, 2014 | Comments (0)

How Quickly Does the Tesla Model S' Battery Charge?

"How quickly does the Tesla Model S' battery charge?"

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By Rick Popely | November 9, 2013 | Comments (7)

2013 Tesla Model S: More Photos

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It's been a few months since we've tested the Tesla Model S, but the electric car continues to grab headlines. Fires, recalls and controversy aside, Tesla's electric sedan is gorgeous, impressively quick and full of innovative features. However, a few big issues crept up during our test, causing Cars.com reviewer Joe Wiesenfelder to call the Model S a "work in progress."

Click here for the full review and continue below for the Cars.com photos by Evan Sears.

By Jennifer Geiger | October 17, 2013 | Comments (3)

How Do I Find Tesla Charging Stations?

"How do I find Tesla charging stations?"

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By Rick Popely | October 6, 2013 | Comments (4)

Tesla Model S Safest Car Overall? Not So Fast

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On Aug. 19, Tesla announced it had the safest car in America with the 2013 Model S, which earned the top score, five stars, across six different crash tests from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Just 1% of cars tested earn five stars across all six grades, Tesla said, and the agency's overall vehicle safety score, which automakers receive from the agency, captures a rating above five stars — in this case, 5.4 stars. That makes the Model S the safest car ever tested by NHTSA under its tougher 2011 standards, Tesla said.

The Model S earns an overall vehicle safety score of 0.42 (lower is better), which beats other five-star cars like the Buick Verano (0.5) and Cadillac ATS (0.53) sedans. Tesla says that translates to 5.4 stars. But NHTSA demurred: "NHTSA does not rate vehicles beyond five stars and does not rank or order vehicles within the starred categories," the agency said in a statement to The New York Times. What's more, a number of other cars — from the ATS to the Honda Accord coupe — also get five stars across the board.

Dig into the details, and the stars reflect assessments of specific crash data — the individual readouts from various sensors on a crash-test dummy. Tesla argues, for example, that the Model S beats the Volvo S60 sedan (another car with five NHTSA stars across the board) because it preserved more driver space in NHTSA's side-pole test.

By Kelsey Mays | August 26, 2013 | Comments (3)

NHTSA: 2013 Tesla Model S Earns Five Stars

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Tesla's electric sedan aced the government's crash safety test. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that the 2013 Model S earned an overall score of five stars and five stars across all areas of testing, including front, side and rollover tests.

While the five-star rating is impressive, the road has not entirely been smooth for the sedan. Earlier in the summer 1,228 Tesla sedans were recalled for improperly welded seat brackets. Tesla did not receive any reports of related accidents or injuries. Despite the recall, the news has been mostly good for the plug-in electric sedan maker; it recently announced that it sold a healthy 5,150 Model S electric vehicles in North America last quarter.

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2013 Tesla Model S Review
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By Jennifer Geiger | August 9, 2013 | Comments (2)

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