Tesla unveils coronavirus ventilator prototype that uses Model 3 parts

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The Model 3 infotainment system provides the basis for Tesla’s ventilator, hastily designed to combat device shortages around the world.

 

Ventilators are one of the most important medical devices in the battle against the coronavirus, helping keep patients with critical COVID-19 infections alive. But as the coronavirus pandemic has spread, hospitals in the worst-hit nations have found the devices in short supply. Fortunately, a handful of manufacturers have been trying to plug the shortfall including Tesla, the electric vehicle giant led by Elon Musk, which is using its New York gigafactory to help produce ventilators.

On April 5, Tesla engineering provided an update on the company’s own ventilator, which is “heavily based on Tesla car parts,” according to engineering director Joseph Mardall. A four-minute-long video was posted to YouTube revealing a prototype ventilator powered by many of the same components used in the Tesla Model 3.

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Tesla produces its 1 millionth electric car

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Tesla announced that it produced its 1 millionth electric car — becoming the first automaker to achieve the milestone.

 Only a few years ago, many people didn’t believe that Tesla could produce electric vehicles in any meaningful numbers, but the automaker managed to ramp up three electric vehicle programs: Model S, Model X, and Model 3.

Now it is about to launch its fourth electric vehicle, the Model Y, and it is doing it on the momentum of a new milestone.

Today, CEO Elon Musk announced that Tesla produced its 1 millionth car and released a picture of the car, a Model Y, and the team who made it:

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Hackers stuck a 2-inch strip of tape on a 35-mph speed sign and successfully tricked 2 Teslas into accelerating to 85 mph

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McAfee researchers were able to trick a Tesla’s autonomous systems.

Researchers at McAfee were able to trick two Teslas into autonomously speeding up by 50 mph.

The researchers stuck a 2-inch strip of tape on a 35-mph speed sign, and the car’s system misread it as 85 mph and adjusted its speed accordingly.

The safety of Tesla’s autopilot features has come under close scrutiny, but CEO Elon Musk has predicted the company will have “feature-complete full self-driving” this year.

It turns out all it takes to fool a Tesla’s camera system is a little tape.

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Shanghai-built Tesla popular in China after new tax break

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Tesla stores across Shanghai have been crowded with customers after a new tax break earlier this month, with most orders coming for the most affordable electric vehicle, the Model 3 sedan built at the city’s Gigafactory.

The Model 3 orders spiked amid a cooling electric vehicle market in China after authorities gave dozens of electric vehicle makers a new tax break which lowers the cost of buying a Tesla in China to less than 300,000 yuan (about 43,745 US dollars).

“We have more customers these days looking for test drives and more information,” said a salesperson in a Tesla store in Shanghai.

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Tesla patents new chemistry for better, longer-lasting and cheaper batteries

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Tesla has made a lot of battery moves this year and it is closing the year by filing a patent on a new chemistry for better, longer-lasting and cheaper batteries.

Earlier this year, we reported on Tesla’s battery research partner, Jeff Dahn and his team at Dalhousie University, unveiling the impressive results of tests on a new battery cell that could last over 1 million miles in an electric vehicle.

The new battery tested is a Li-Ion battery cell with a next-generation “single crystal” NMC cathode and a new advanced electrolyte.

Since then, Tesla has been filing US and international patents on the new battery chemistry.

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Tesla Semi electric truck to be turned into mobile music studio by Deadmau5

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Deadmau5, a DJ and music producer, announced that he is getting a Tesla Semi electric truck to turn into a mobile music studio for his 2021 tour.

When launching Tesla Semi in 2017, the automaker said that the production versions of electric truck, which is a class 8 truck with a 80,000-pound capacity, will have 300-mile and 500-mile range options for $150,000 and $180,000, respectively.

Tesla expects that the price and specs will enable a cost of operation of $1.26 per mile, which should result in Tesla Semi providing $200,000+ in fuel savings and a two-year payback period.

Those numbers would revolutionize the transport industry in a big way, but several people have also seen an opportunity to use the electric truck for other purposes than just normal freight.

Deadmau5 is one of those people now.

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Tesla offers insurance to car buyers in California, with eye toward driverless future

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Tesla owners in California can now buy insurance from the electric car company in what may be the first step toward the unconventional automaker providing coverage for a fleet of driverless taxis.

The expansion announced Wednesday comes four months after Tesla CEO Elon Musk told analysts the company would branch into insuring its own cars for people who buy or lease them.

Musk believes Tesla has learned so much about its cars that it will be able to offer rates 20% to 30% below those offered by traditional insurers. That will likely to appeal to Tesla owners who have been complaining about being charged too much for coverage.

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Tesla battery researcher unveils new cell that could last 1 million miles in ‘robot taxis’

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Tesla’s battery research partner has released a new paper on a battery cell that could last over 1 million miles, which they say is going to be particularly useful in ‘robot taxis’ — something that Tesla wants to bring to market.

When talking about the economics of Tesla’s future fleet of robotaxis at the Tesla Autonomy Event, Tesla CEO Elon Musk emphasized that the vehicles need to be durable in order for the economics to work:

The cars currently built are all designed for a million miles of operation. The drive unit is design, tested, and validated for 1 million miles of operation.

But the CEO admitted that the battery packs are not built to last 1 million miles.

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U.S. to test mirrorless, camera-based systems in autos

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An Audi 55 e-tron is seen ahead of the company’s annual news conference at its headquarters in Ingolstadt, Germany, March 14, 2019.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration plans to test how drivers could use cameras to replace traditional rearview mirrors in automobiles, a technology already allowed in other countries, the agency said on Tuesday.

The planned test by the agency known as NHTSA would examine “driving behavior and lane change maneuver execution” in cars with traditional mirrors and camera-based visibility systems, the department said in a notice offering the public a chance to comment.

In March 2014, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers — a trade group representing General Motors Co, Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE), Toyota Motor Corp and others, along with Tesla Inc, petitioned NHTSA to use camera-based rear or side-vision systems. A similar petition was filed by Daimler AG in 2015 seeking approval for camera use instead of rearview mirrors in heavy-duty trucks. Those petitions are still pending.

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Tesla’s Megapack battery is big enough to help grids handle peak demand

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A new industrial storage product coming as the company’s lost its lead in home solar

Tesla announced a new massive battery today called Megapack that could replace so-called “peaker” power plants, which provide energy when a local electrical grid gets overloaded. Tesla says that Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) will deploy several Megapacks at Moss Landing on Monterrey Bay in California, which is one of four locations where the California utility plans to install more cost-effective energy storage solutions.

Each Megapack can store up to 3 megawatt hours (MWh) of energy at a time, and it’s possible to string enough Megapacks together to create a battery with more than 1 GWh of energy storage, Tesla says. The company says this would be enough energy to power “every home in San Francisco for six hours.” Telsa will deliver the Megapacks fully assembled, and they include “battery modules, bi-directional inverters, a thermal management system, an AC main breaker and controls.” Tesla says the Megapack takes up 40 percent less space, requires a tenth of the parts to build, and can be assembled 10 times as fast as alternative energy storage solutions.

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Tesla launches its Megapack, a new massive 3 MWh energy storage product

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Tesla is launching today its ‘Megapack’, a massive new energy storage product that combines up to 3 MWh of storage capacity and a 1.5 MW inverter.

Electrek exclusively reported last year that Tesla has been working on a new energy storage system called ‘Megapack’.

We found out that Tesla was going to use the Megapack at a giant new energy storage project in California.

Today, almost a year later, the company is now officially launching the product.

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Tesla to charge $1,000 more for ‘full self-driving’ Autopilot package in August

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A reminder, though, that Tesla’s cars still aren’t fully autonomous

Tesla will increase the price of the “full self-driving” version of its Autopilot driver assistance system by around $1,000 starting August 16th, according to CEO Elon Musk. The higher-tier package currently costs $6,000 if customers choose the option when buying a car, but Tesla charges $8,000 if they decide to upgrade after taking delivery. It’s not clear if Musk was referring to increasing both those price tags, and Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Tesla brought back the “full self-driving” package earlier this year after shelving the option in late 2018 amid criticism that the company was overselling the autonomy of its vehicles. While Tesla sells the package under the name “full self-driving,” it should be noted that Tesla’s cars still cannot operate autonomously. Musk has said the company will make that possible by the end of 2019, and earlier this year he showed off the custom chip that Tesla will use to tackle this tall task, though he is well-known for missing deadlines.

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