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Main article: Tesla Model S

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Tesla is going back to the markets to raise more than $2 billion through stock offering

18:25 | 13 February

Tesla said Thursday it plans to raise more than $2 billion through a common stock offering and will use the funds to strengthen its balance sheet and for general corporate purposes, despite signaling just two weeks ago that it would not seek to raise more cash.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk will purchase up to $10 million in shares in the offering, while Oracle co-founder and Tesla board member Larry Ellison will buy up to $1 million worth of Tesla shares, according to the securities filing.

The automaker has also granted underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to $300 million of additional common stock. If underwriters exercise that option, Tesla could raise as much as $2.3 billion.

The stock offering conflicts with statements Musk and CFO Zach Kirkhorn made last month during Tesla’s fourth-quarter earnings call. An institutional investor asked that given the recent run in the share price, why not raise capital now and substantially accelerate the growth in production? At the time, Musk said the company was spending money sensibly and that there is no “artificial hold back on expenditures.”

“We’re spending money I think efficiently and we’re not artificially limiting our progress,” Musk said dueing the January 29 call. “And then despite all that we are still generating positive cash. So in light of that, it doesn’t make sense to raise money because we expect to generate cash despite this growth level.”

Kirkhorn added to Musk’s comments noting that the company had laid a good foundation and was not holding back on growth.

“We have two products, two vehicle products launching right now and that will consume much of the bandwidth of the company to stabilize those over the course of the year,” Kirkhorn said. “And then looking into next year, we have even more products launching, more factories. So we want to be smart about how we spend money and grow in a way that’s sustainable. So we don’t fall victim to the mistakes I think we made a year and a half or so ago.”

However, Tesla shares have risen more than 35% since the January 29 earnings call, perhaps proving too tempting of an opportunity to ignore.

This latest stock raise could prove critical to fund Tesla’s number of projects. A regulatory filing posted prior to the stock offering notice indicates Tesla’s capital expenditures could reach as high as $3.5 billion this year.

“Considering the expected pace of the manufacturing ramps for our products, construction and expansion of our factories, and pipeline of announced projects under development, and consistent with our current strategy of using partners to manufacture battery cells, as well as considering all other infrastructure growth, we currently expect our average annual capital expenditures in 2020 and the two succeeding fiscal years to be $2.5 billion to $3.5 billion,” Tesla said in its 10K filing, which was posted Thursday.

 


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Tesla closes Shanghai factory over coronavirus concerns

04:09 | 30 January

Tesla was ordered by the Chinese government to shut down its Shanghai factory over concerns about the coronavirus, a closure that will delay Model 3 production and ultimately put slight downward pressure on profits in the first quarter, the automaker’s finance chief Zach Kirkhorn said during an earnings call Wednesday.

Prior to the call, Tesla reported Wednesday $105 million in net income, or 56 cents a diluted share, compared with $140 million, or 78 cents a share, in the same year-ago period. Tesla earned $386 million, or $2.14 a share, in the fourth quarter when adjusted for one-time items. Tesla generated revenue of $7.38 billion in fourth quarter, just 1% higher than the $7.2 billion generated in the same period in 2018.

Model 3 production will be delayed by a week and a half, Kirkhorn said. Novel coronavirus, a new form of the family of viruses known as coronavirus first cropped up in Wuhan in late December 2019. Since then,  thousands of people have contracted the virus, causing the government to take measures such as shutting down transit and factories.

“We are in the early stages of understanding if, and to what extent, we may be temporarily impacted by the coronavirus,” Kirkhorn said. “At this point we’re expecting a one, to one and a half week-delay in the ramp of the Shanghai build Model 3 due to a government required factory shutdown. This may slightly impact profitability for the quarter, but is limited as the profit contribution from Model 3 Shanghai remains in the early stages.”

Tesla is also closely monitoring if the coronavirus will cause interruptions in the supply chain for cars built in Fremont. “So far we’re not aware of anything material, but it’s important to caveat, this was an unfolding story,” Kirkhorn added.

The first deliveries of Tesla Model 3 sedans produced at the Shanghai plant began in early January, one year after the U.S. automaker began construction on its first factory outside the United States.

The deliveries to customers was a milestone for Tesla and a critical step for the company in its aim to carve out market share in the world’s biggest auto market, as well as lessen the financial pain caused by tariffs.

 


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Tesla to begin deliveries of Model Y by end of first quarter

02:40 | 30 January

Tesla said Wednesday that production of the Model Y started this month with the first deliveries of the all-electric compact crossover to begin by the end of the first quarter as the company pushes to extend its profitability streak.

Production of the Model Y is at limited volume for now, CEO Elon Musk said during a call after earnings was released. Musk added that Tesla’s engineers have been able to increase the maximum EPA range of all-wheel drive version of the Model Y to to 315 miles. It was previously estimated at 280 miles.

Tesla reported Wednesday net income of $105 million, or 56 cents a diluted share, compared with $140 million, or $78 cents a share, in the same year-ago period. Tesla reported revenue of $7.38 billion, 17% higher than the third quarter, but just 1% higher than the $7.2 billion generated in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Tesla indicated in its fourth quarter report that it will turn to China and Model Y for revenue growth as deliveries of its higher profit margin Model X and Model S decrease. Tesla delivered 19,475 Model S and Model X in the fourth quarter, a 29% decline from the same period last year. Meanwhile, deliveries of Tesla’s cheaper Model 3 vehicle continued to climb. Tesla delivered 92,620 Model 3 vehicles in the fourth quarter, a 46% increase from the same period in 2018.

The Model Y is being produced at Tesla’s Fremont, Calif. factory, settling a long-running discussion within the company over where to build the upcoming vehicle. Tesla had also looked at producing the vehicle at its massive factory in Sparks, Nevada, where it currently builds battery packs and electric motors.

Tesla said it will ramp up production of the Model Y gradually as it adds machinery through mid-2020. Once these expansions are done, installed combined Model 3 and Model Y capacity should reach 500,000 units
per year, the company said.

Tesla intends to eventually produce the Model Y in China as well. The company’s Shanghai factory has capacity to produce 150,000 Model 3 vehicles. Tesla has broken ground on the the next phase of its Shanghai factory, which will produce the Model Y.

“Given the popularity of the SUV vehicle segment, we are planning for Model Y capacity to be at least equivalent to Model 3 capacity,” the company said.

 


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Tesla shares jump on profitable quarter, Model Y production

00:46 | 30 January

Tesla continued its profitability streak in the fourth quarter, earning $105 million, results that beat expectations and sent shares higher in after market trading Wednesday. according to earnings reported after the market closed Wednesday.

Tesla also announced Wednesday that production of the Model Y started this month, ahead of schedule.

Shares were 6.5% in after-market trading.

The automaker’s fourth-quarter results included $105 million in net income, or 56 cents a diluted share, compared with $140 million, or $78 cents a share, in the same year-ago period. Tesla earned $386, or $2.14 a share, in the fourth quarter when adjusted for one-time items.

Tesla reported revenue of $7.38 billion, 17% higher than the $6.3 billion generated in the previous period.

 

 


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Tesla calls claims of unintended acceleration in NHTSA petition “completely false”

23:20 | 20 January

Tesla pushed back Monday against claims that its electric vehicles may suddenly accelerate on their own, calling a petition filed with federal safety regulators “completely false.”

Tesla also questions the validity of the petition, noting that it was submitted by a Tesla short-seller.

Last week, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration said it would review a defect petition that cited 127 consumer complaints of alleged unintended acceleration of Tesla electric vehicles that may have contributed to or caused 110 crashes and 52 injuries.

The petition, which was first reported by CNBC, was filed by Brian Sparks, an independent investor who is currently shorting Tesla’s stock. Sparks has hedged his bets and has been long Tesla in the past, according to the CNBC report.

At the time, Tesla didn’t respond to requests for comment. Now, in a blog post, the company said that it routinely reviews customer complaints of unintended acceleration with NHTSA.

“In every case we reviewed with them, the data proved the vehicle functioned properly,” Tesla wrote in a blog post on its website.

The automaker argued that its vehicles are designed to avoid unintended acceleration, noting that its system will default to cutting off motor torque if the two independent position sensors on its accelerator pedals register any error.

“We also use the Autopilot sensor suite to help distinguish potential pedal misapplications and cut torque to mitigate or prevent accidents when we’re confident the driver’s input was unintentional,” the company wrote.

Here is the complete response from Tesla:

This petition is completely false and was brought by a Tesla short-seller. We investigate every single incident where the driver alleges to us that their vehicle accelerated contrary to their input, and in every case where we had the vehicle’s data, we confirmed that the car operated as designed. In other words, the car accelerates if, and only if, the driver told it to do so, and it slows or stops when the driver applies the brake.

While accidents caused by a mistaken press of the accelerator pedal have been alleged for nearly every make/model of vehicle on the road, the accelerator pedals in Model S, X and 3 vehicles have two independent position sensors, and if there is any error, the system defaults to cut off motor torque. Likewise, applying the brake pedal simultaneously with the accelerator pedal will override the accelerator pedal input and cut off motor torque, and regardless of the torque, sustained braking will stop the car. Unique to Tesla, we also use the Autopilot sensor suite to help distinguish potential pedal misapplications and cut torque to mitigate or prevent accidents when we’re confident the driver’s input was unintentional. Each system is independent and records data, so we can examine exactly what happened.

We are transparent with NHTSA, and routinely review customer complaints of unintended acceleration with them. Over the past several years, we discussed with NHTSA the majority of the complaints alleged in the petition. In every case we reviewed with them, the data proved the vehicle functioned properly.

 


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Tesla surpasses 2019 goal and delivers 367,500 electric vehicles

18:27 | 3 January

Tesla said Friday that it delivered 367,500 electric vehicles in 2019 — 50% more than the previous year — a record-breaking figure largely supported by sales of the cheaper Model 3.

More than one-third of those deliveries — about 112,000 vehicles — occurred in the fourth quarter.

The electric automaker reported production also grew 10% from the previous quarter to 105,000 vehicles.

The results pushed shares up 3.8% in trading Friday morning.

The fourth quarter caps a year that started poorly for Tesla. The company delivered just 63,000 vehicles in the first quarter, nearly a one-third drop from the previous period. The low first-quarter delivery numbers signaled what was to come: wider-than-expected loss of $702 million driven by disappointing delivery numbers, costs and pricing adjustments to its vehicles.

However, the company then rebounded, delivering 95,200 vehicles in the second quarter and then 97,000 electric vehicles in the third quarter.

The positive report comes as Tesla ramps up production of Model 3 vehicles at its new factory in China. Earlier this week, more than a dozen Tesla employees took delivery of the Model 3.

The first public deliveries of Model 3 sedans produced at its Shanghai factory will begin January 7, one year after Tesla began construction on its first factory outside the United States.

Tesla said that it has produced “just under 1,000 customer salable cars and have begun deliveries” in China. “We have also demonstrated production run-rate capability of greater than 3,000 units per week, excluding local battery pack production which began in late December,” the company added in its report.

 


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Made in China: Tesla Model 3 deliveries to Chinese customers to begin January 7

21:32 | 2 January

The first deliveries of Tesla Model 3 sedans made in China will begin January 7, one year after the U.S. automaker began construction on its first factory outside of the United States.

The deliveries to customers — which Reuters was first to report the news based on confirmation from a Tesla representative — is a milestone for Tesla as it tries to carve out market share in the world’s biggest auto market as well as lessen the financial pain caused by tariffs. Deliveries to customers will occur at the Shanghai factory. Earlier this week, more than a dozen Tesla employees took delivery of the Model 3.

“We believe China could become the biggest market for Model 3,” the company said in its third-quarter earnings report.

Producing vehicles in China for Chinese customers allows Tesla to bypass tariffs, but it’s no guarantee that this will be the revenue-generating boon the company needs to push itself into sustained profitability. EV sales have been sluggish for other automakers in China over the past several quarters as the government has rolled back subsidies on new energy vehicles.

The company and its CEO Elon Musk are jumping into the market with gusto, despite gloomy EV sales. Tesla has said the production line at the factory in China will have a capacity of 150,000 units annually and will be a simplified, more cost-effective version of the Model 3 line at its Fremont, Calif. factory.

Tesla China Model 3 parking lot

Aerial photo of Tesla factory in New Lingang District, Shanghai. The number of Model 3 cars in the parking lot is about 500.

Tesla also said this second-generation Model 3 line will be at least 50% cheaper per unit of capacity than its Model 3-related lines in Fremont and at its Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada.

Tesla struck a deal in July 2018 with the Chinese government to build a factory in Shanghai. It was a milestone for Tesla and CEO Elon Musk, who has long viewed China as a crucial market. And it was particularly notable because China agreed for this to be a wholly owned Tesla factory, not a traditional joint venture with the government. Foreign companies have historically had to form a 50-50 joint venture with a local partner to build a factory in China.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has pushed forward plans to phase out joint-venture rules for foreign automakers by 2022. Tesla was one of the first beneficiaries of this rule change.

The opening of the China factory comes at a time of rising trade tensions between China and the United States. Tesla has been particularly exposed to relations between China and the U.S., and the resulting rising tariffs. Tesla builds its electric sedans and SUVs at its factory in Fremont, Calif. and ships them to China, which subjects the vehicles to an import tariff.

 


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Tesla to begin delivering China-built Model 3 cars next week

16:49 | 27 December

Tesla will start making the first deliveries of its Shanghai-built Model 3 sedans on Monday, Bloomberg reports. The cars are rolling off the assembly line at the new Tesla Shanghai Gigafactory, which is operational but which will also be expanding in future thanks to a fresh $1.4 billion injection in local funding reported earlier this week.

The Shanghai gigafactory’s construction only began earlier this year, and its turnaround time in terms of construction and actually producing vehicles is impressive. The Model 3 vehicles built in China will provide a price break vs. imported vehicles, since cars made in-country enjoy exemption from a 10% tax applied to imported cars. Tesla Model 3s build in China will also get a government purchase incentive of as much as $3,600 per car, which should drive even higher sales.

Tesla’s Shanghai factory is its first manufacturing facility outside of the country, though there’s also a gigafactory in the works in Germany just outside of Berlin, and Tesla has teased plans for at least a fifth gigafactory with a location to be revealed later.

Tesla’s production capacity in Shanghai probably isn’t ver high-volume to begin with, although the company has said previously it was targeting a production rate of around 1,000 cars per week by year’s end, with potential to ramp up to around 3,000 cars per week. Tax breaks and incentives have helped demand for the Model 3 in China grow significantly in 2019, so any progress on production in-country is bound to help lift global vehicle sales.

 


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Elon Musk says Tesla will add Disney+ to its vehicles “soon”

16:29 | 27 December

Elon Musk spent some time over this past holiday week answering questions posed by fans on Twitter, and one addressed the growing catalogue of entertainment options available in-car via the Tesla Theater software feature: Musk said

to the list of available streaming services drivers can access in their cars. Tesla Theater was introduced in the V10 software update that went out in September via over-the-air-update, and added streaming media from Netflix and YouTube, as well as Tesla vehicle feature tutorials.

Tesla also issued a new software update that began rolling out just before Christmas, which included the addition of Twitch to Tesla Theater, as well as support for popular farming sim game Stardew Valley, the ability to set dashcam video clips to automatically save whenever you honk the horn, support for voice commands and much more.

Tesla has put a lot of effort into its continuous software updates for vehicles, which are available to all cars in the fleet regardless of generation and which really do add a lot of post-purchase value, especially when compared to the traditional automaker practice of gating new features and improvements to only current and recent model year releases.

Tesla Theater’s streaming media options are only available when the car is in park and not driving, but it’s a feature that is more valuable to Tesla owners than you might think – especially when you consider that Tesla cars require time to charge at charging stations, meaning even at a high-speed Supercharger you’ll likely be looking at a wait of half-an-hour or more depending on how much you’re looking to charge up.

Via Teslerati

 


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Tesla nears land deal for German gigafactory outside of Berlin

15:46 | 21 December

Tesla is making progress on its plan to build its European gigafactory in Berlin, Bloomberg reports. The Elon Musk-run automaker is working with state officials in Brandenburg on the contract to secure around 740 acres of land just outside Berlin in Gruenheide, and the government has agreed to the contract as currently written and is now awaiting Tesla’s final sign-off.

On top of the contract, Tesla has also filed the requisite documents with local environmental monitoring authorities that outline the impact of the factory build, a required step in order to secure approval to break ground.

Musk revealed that he had selected an area just outside of Berlin as the site of the company’s European Gigafactory during an awards acceptance ceremony in November. The location is near the new Berlin airport, which has been under construction for many years and will replace Berlin’s aging and cramped Tegel airport once completed.

The Berlin Gigafactory will be building vehicles, starting with the forthcoming Tesla Model Y compact SUV, but it will also build batteries and powertrains, Musk said on Twitter at the time. Eventually, the new facility could employ as many as 10,000 people and produce up to 500,000 new vehicles per year, Bild reported previously.

 


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