Tesla-Orama!: The latest on the luxury electric sports carmaker

  • Tesla storeCEO Elon Musk posted a comment on the Tesla Motors blog that the Model S drive unit warranty has been increased to match that of the battery pack. The 85 kWh model now has an eight year, infinite mile warranty on both the battery pack and drive unit. There’s no limit on the number of owners during that period.
  • Tesla Motors is now offering a replacement battery for the 2008-2012 Tesla Roadster, its first production electric cars. Musk said that the Roadsters range will be increasing from its original range (rated at 245 miles by the US Environmental Protection Agency) to about 400 miles. The company hasn’t offered prices, schedules, and any other information yet.
  • While staff at Consumer Reports initially fell in love while driving the Model S, the honeymoon has waned. One driver had the center screen go blank at a little over 12,000 miles, and Tesla had to repair it. Other quirks needed to be ironed out and it followed a report by Edmunds.com; the Edmunds team recently reported problems with its Model S test drives that included replacing the main battery pack after incidents in which the car stalled; a frozen touchscreen; a creaky steering wheel; and difficulties opening the car’s sunroof.
  • California may exempt Tesla Motors from some of its toughest environmental regulations as part of an incentive package to get the “Gigafactory” set up in the state. Tesla may get waivers on some of California’s legendary and controversial California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), which is alarming to some environmentalists. The pitch by the governor’s office also includes tax breaks that could be worth up to $500 million, or about 10% of the project’s total costs. California is working hard to compete with Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas to bring the Gigafactory within its borders.
  • Saleen Automotive is best known for making customized American muscle cars from the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, and Dodge Challenger. The company just unveiled its first electric car, the 4Sixteen, based on the Tesla Model S. Founder and CEO, Steve Saleen, says it has him sold on electric cars.
  • Tesla stock closed at $259.94 yesterday. The price range has gone from $116.10 to a high point of $267.26 during the past year. The Consumer Reports coverage doesn’t seem to have hurt stock prices.

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