TIME cars

Feast Your Eyes on Tesla’s Powerful New Car

The base price is $120,000

HAWTHORNE, Calif. (AP) — Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk unveiled a new version of the luxury electric car maker’s Model S sedan that includes all-wheel drive and self-driving “auto pilot” features.

The open-to-the-public event Thursday night included free alcohol and test rides on an airport tarmac.

With more than 1,000 Tesla fans in the audience, Musk explained that the current Model S is a rear-wheel-drive car with one motor, but a new version will have two motors — one powering the front wheels and one powering the rear wheels.

All-wheel drive helps grip slippery roads and is standard on many luxury sedans. Analysts have said Tesla needed it to boost sales in the Northeast and Midwest, as well as Europe.

The company sold 13,850 cars in the U.S. this year through September, down 3 percent from a year ago, according to Autodata Corp.

Unlike all-wheel-drive systems on gas-powered cars, Tesla’s system improves speed, acceleration and mileage by optimizing which motor is used, Musk said.

The dual motor version of the P85 performance sedan will have a top speed of 155 mph, compared with the current 130 mph. It will accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds, akin to exotic sports cars.

“This car is nuts. It’s like taking off from a carrier deck,” Musk said at the municipal airport near Los Angeles where another of Musk’s companies — the commercial rocket firm SpaceX — is based. The crowd obliged with cheers and applause.

Tesla is also significantly upgrading its safety features through a combination of radar, image-recognition cameras and sonar.

The Model S will right itself if it wanders from its lane and brake automatically if it is about to hit something. Those features are offered on luxury competitors, as well as mainstream brands such as Ford, Hyundai and Toyota.

But Tesla is going a step further. Its new system will move the car over a lane when the driver uses the turn signal. It will also use cameras to read speed limit signs and decelerate accordingly. Volvo has a system that reads signs and alerts drivers if they are over the limit but does not change the speed.

Musk said “auto pilot” does not mean the car could drive itself — as he put it, a driver cannot “safely fall asleep.”

Pulling together all the driver-assist features impressed Brian A. Johnson, an analyst with Barclay’s. “It’s a year ahead of the timeframe I was expecting,” he said.

Raj Rajkumar, a pioneer of self-driving cars with Carnegie Mellon University, also was impressed but wondered how the “auto-pilot” would perform in different weather and road conditions.

The dual motor will be a $4,000 option on the base and mid-range Model S, which start at $71,000. The base price of the P85 with all-wheel drive — which will be known as P85D — is $120,000.

___

Associated Press Auto Writer Dee-Ann Durbin in Detroit contributed.

TIME Automakers

Tesla Motors’ New ‘D’ Cars Are All-Wheel Drive, Not Self-Drive

US-AUTO-IT-TECHNOLOGY-ENEGY-TESLA
Tesla founder and chief executive Elon Musk unveils a new dual-engine chassis at the Hawthorne Airport in Los Angeles on Oct. 9, 2014 Mark Ralston—AFP/Getty Images

The “D” in Tesla’s big reveal stands not for “self-driving," but for “dual motor”

Tesla Motors on Thursday night disappointed some auto-market watchers’ expectations that it would put out a self-driving car — but the electric car juggernaut did announce the release of a higher tech version of its Model S car, with all-wheel drive and rapid acceleration rivaling that of luxury vehicles, USA Today reports.

The tripped-out new Model S will have all-wheel drive, plus acceleration of 0-60 mph in just 3.2 seconds, says the newspaper. It can also reach a top speed of 155 mph, up from the Model S’s peak velocity of 130 mph.

“This car is nuts. It’s like taking off from a carrier deck,” Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, told press assembled at Los Angeles’ Hawthorne airport, where his commercial space travel company SpaceX is also based.

The “D” cars will also come with a package of new safety features, including the ability to read speed-limit signs and shift speeds, USA Today says.

Tesla will release three versions of the upgraded car under the “D” designation. The all-wheel drive version without the acceleration boost will be a $4,000 add-on to the basic and mid-level models of the Model S, which starts at $71,000, says the Associated Press. The base price for the all-wheel drive car with boosted acceleration, dubbed the P85D, is $120,000.

The P85D will go on sale in December, while the other versions will go on sale in February, the Associated Press reports.

Musk had fueled speculation about the announcement in Los Angeles with a tweet that the company would roll out something he referred to just as “the D,” plus “something else.” He also tweeted a photo that appeared to be of Tesla’s Model S car.

Some Tesla fans had speculated that the unveiling might be of a ramped-up version of the Model S — but observers had debated if the “D” referred to an automated driving feature, or all-wheel drive.

TIME Autos

What to Expect When Elon Musk’s Tesla ‘Unveils the D’

Elon Musk hinted last week that Tesla would be announcing something big

Elon Musk, CEO of renowned electric car and battery maker Tesla and pronouncer of cryptic hints, tweeted last week that his company would be announcing something enigmatically called “the D” on Thursday. And also, “something else.”

Speculation about what “the D” and “something else” could possibly be has run the gamut, but there are a few salient theories that seem to make sense. Here’s a rundown of the two most likely things we’ll see Musk and Tesla reveal at 7 p.m. PST Thursday:

Tesla Model S with All-Wheel Drive

The vast majority of high-end luxury cars in the price range of the Tesla Model S (which is priced from $71,000 before tax credits or rebates) offer all-wheel drive, something the Model S lacks. Most luxury car shoppers expect all-wheel drive and are willing to pay a premium for it. The Model S is in the prime market for all-wheel drive, and the feature could add sales to its forecasted 35,000 deliveries this year.

Practically speaking, the added feature would be feasible as well: the company’s forthcoming Model X SUV will be all-wheel drive, which means that Tesla knows it’s a feature people want. Plus, there’s physical space in the Model S to fit a second drive unit in the front. Does “D” stand for “dual-motor”? We’ll find out soon.

Driverless Capability

Another rumor is that Tesla will announce some form of automated driving technology for the Model S. In a note to investors, Barclays analyst Brian Johnson said he expects a lane-keeping system for highway driving, and an unnamed source told Automotive News that Tesla will also add cruise control that matches the speed of other vehicles. Tesla doesn’t yet have collision avoidance technologies or pre-collision braking, features that could be added to the already high-tech Model S to make it even safer. And Bloomberg reported last year that Musk was discussing driverless technology with Google.

Like an all-wheel drive function, Tesla is in a pretty good position to add automated driving: “Also, it’s interesting that Tesla has a technical relationship with [Mercedes-Benz parent company] Daimler, which is pretty much on the forefront of autonomous systems,” said Matt DeLorenzo, managing editor of Kelley Blue Book, the LA Times reports.

Both of the Above

After all, it is “The D” and “something else.”

Neither of the Above

The rumors get a little out there, too, which is probably exactly what Musk wants from a marketing perspective. The “D” could stand for “drop top,” as in a convertible, said one analyst to the San Jose Mercury News. Another analyst said it could stand for “delivery,” like a truck for pizza or flower deliveries. Or ice cream!

Stay tuned for the announcement on Thursday at 7 p.m. PST.

MONEY Autos

The Tesla Model S Won’t Be Out of Your Price Range for Long

Tesla Model S
courtesy of Tesla

The ability to buy a used car is hardly hot news. But we're talking about Tesla here, and how the automaker will soon be selling certified pre-owned versions of the prized Model S for a fraction of the sticker price.

Last week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that the company would be making a big announcement on October 9. “About time to unveil the D and something else,” Musk said cryptically. No one is sure about what “the D” is, let alone “something else,” though some have speculated that the former could be a faster all-wheel drive version of the Model S, or perhaps even a Model S with self-driving features.

It’s also unclear if some or all of Musk’s “something else” has anything to do with the company’s forthcoming certified pre-owned (CPO) program, word of which was broken on Monday by Automotive News. Virtually every automaker sells CPO vehicles, which are basically just used cars with the warranty extended beyond the norm by the manufacturer, giving the buyer extra peace of mind compared to the purchase of any old jalopy on a used car lot.

CPO programs are hardly sexy. Yet for Tesla, which roared to success last year with strong sales of the Model S, even as the brand has been out of the question for the vast majority of drivers because the cars can cost in the neighborhood of $100,000, this is pretty big news.

Starting in the spring of 2016, many Model S’s will be three years old, a point at which Musk had guaranteed customers he would buy vehicles back at or near 50% of their original price, should the customer be interested. The expectation is that many early Model S buyers will take Tesla up on its trade-in option (presumably to buy a new Tesla, the automaker hopes). Tesla will service these used vehicles and then resell them at prices probably in the range of $35,000 to $50,000—pricey by used-car standards, but a deal compared to the sticker price of a new Model S, which starts at around $70K.

Anyone buying a CPO Tesla also benefits because it’s being sold directly by the automaker. Though the particulars of the program remain unknown, Tesla will presumably make the purchase less worrisome by including certain warranties. One would hope that includes a guarantee on the strength of the battery, which is essential for an electric car to remain a practical vehicle that can be driven long distances without needing a recharge.

What’s interesting is that by the time Tesla is ready to start selling three-year-old Model S’s for maybe $40,000, it will probably simultaneously be gearing up to sell a brand new model expected to be priced at around $40,000. This past summer, Musk said that the next generation of Teslas, due to be available for sale by around 2017, will sell for around half the price of a current Model S—and could start for as little as $35,000.

TIME Tesla

Tesla CEO Elon Musk Builds Buzz Before Big Reveal

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has something big up his sleeve.

The electric car company is making an announcement October 9th, and cryptic tweets from the company’s founder have sparked debate among tech lovers everywhere about what may be revealed.

Musk tweeted that he would be releasing the ‘D’ as well as “something else”. Some are speculating that the ‘D’ may be a driverless version of Tesla’s Model S.

The mystery boosted Tesla’s stock by more than 4% in one day.

Here’s the tweet that ignited the frenzy:

We’ll find out exactly what Musk has in mind in just a few days.

MONEY Environment

Why “Green” Cars Are Still Destroying the Earth

Tesla Model S.
Tesla's battery makes it cleaner than gas-guzzling alternatives—but think about what else it's made of. Tesla

In 2013 Tesla‘s TESLA MOTORS, INC. TSLA -0.238% Model S won the prestigious Motor Trend Car of the Year award. Motor Trend called it “one of the quickest American four-doors ever built.” It went on to say that the electric vehicle “drives like a sports car, eager and agile and instantly responsive.”

What is remarkable about the car’s speed and agility is that it’s powered by a battery and not an internal combustion engine. Because of that it produces absolutely no tailpipe emissions, making it both better performing and cleaner than its gas-guzzling peers. That said, the company does have one dirty little secret: It’s not as clean as you might think.

The secret behind Tesla’s success

While the power driving Tesla’s success might be its battery, that’s not the real secret to its success. Instead, Tesla has aluminum to thank for its superior outperformance, as the metal is up to 40% lighter than steel, according to a report from the University of Aachen, Germany. That lighter weight enables Tesla to fit enough battery power into the car to extend the range of the Model S without hurting its performance. Vehicles made with aluminum accelerate faster, brake in shorter distances, and simply handle better than cars loaded down with heavier steel.

Even better, pound-for-pound aluminum can absorb twice as much crash energy as steel. This strength is one of the reasons Tesla’s Model S also achieved the highest safety rating of any car ever tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

But it’s not all good news when it comes to aluminum and cars.

Aluminum’s dirty side

Aluminum is the third-most abundant element in the world, behind oxygen and silicon. In fact, it makes up 8% of the Earth’s crust by weight. However, despite aluminum’s abundance, it’s not found in its pure form because it’s so reactive; instead, it is found in combination with more than 270 different minerals. Aluminum wasn’t even isolated until the 1800s when the predecessor company to Alcoa ALCOA INC. AA 0.8005% discovered how to transform a raw form called alumina into the metal.

Before alumina can be converted into aluminum its source needs to be mined. That source is an ore called bauxite, which is typically extracted in open-pit mines that aren’t exactly environmentally friendly. Bauxite is then processed into the fine white powder known as alumina, and from there alumina is exposed to intense heat and electricity through a process known as smelting, which transforms the material into aluminum.

Aluminum smelting is extremely energy-intense. It takes 211 gigajoules of energy to make one tonne of aluminum, while just 22.7 gigajoules of energy is required to produce one tonne of steel. In an oversimplification of the process, aluminum smelting requires temperatures above 1,000 degrees Celsius to melt alumina, while an electric current must also pass through the molten material so that electrolysis can reduce the aluminum ions to aluminum metals. This process requires so much energy that aluminum production is responsible for about 1% of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Carbon Trust.

There is, however, some good news: Aluminum is 100% recyclable. Moreover, recycled aluminum, or secondary production, requires far less energy to produce than primary production, as the following chart shows.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

Recycled aluminum, which in the U.S. primarily comes from beverage cans and automotive parts, doesn’t require as much energy because the aluminum is simply melted down in a furnace that is usually fired by natural gas. As illustrated in the chart, this segment’s energy consumption is just a fraction of that of the aluminum sector as a whole.

Still, Tesla, which doesn’t specify whether its aluminum is from primary or secondary production, is using a very carbon-intensive metal for its Model S. Moreover, even if it did use purely recycled aluminum, Tesla is still creating demand for aluminum by taking supply from the metals marketplace to make its cars. One way or another, new primary aluminum production will be required to increase overall supply, which will only create more emissions. This means Tesla’s success will require more aluminum to be produced in the years ahead.

Investor takeaway

While green technologies might be better for the environment, none is completely clean yet. Somewhere down the line a dirty material is being used to make green technology. Aluminum production could be a lot greener given how much less energy is required for recycled aluminum. That’s why Tesla and other automakers looking to the material to reduce weight and increase performance need to make an effort to push for increased aluminum recycling. Otherwise, we could be replacing one dirty technology with another.

Matt DiLallo has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Tesla Motors. The Motley Fool owns shares of Tesla Motors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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MONEY Autos

Why Hybrid and Electric Cars Have Lost Their Spark

2015 Nissan LEAF
To entice buyers to purchase a Leaf, Nissan launched a free charging promotion this past spring, promising new owners access to public charging stations at no cost for two years. Nissan—Wieck

The Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt, Toyota Prius, BMW i3, and other electrified cars were projected to take over an ever-increasing chunk of the auto market. Only sales have gone flat in 2014. What happened?

At first glance, the electric car market appears to be pretty darn electrified. Tesla just chose Nevada as the site for its $5 billion “gigafactory” to produce batteries needed for EVs, and Tesla shares hit an all-time high this week after the company was praised by analysts. What’s more, Nissan reported that August was the best ever month for sales of its plug-in Leaf, with 3,186 units sold. Sales of BMW’s new plug-in, the i3 were also strong in August—1,025 sold, which just about matches the total of the previous three months combined.

At the same time, however, the overall electrified car market appears to be flat, even in a bit of a slump. Auto sales are booming in general through 2014, and last month reached the highest sales pace since before the Great Recession. Yet hybrids and fully electrified plug-ins haven’t kept pace with the rest of the field. “The whole automobile market has grown,” Edmunds.com analyst Jessica Caldwell explained to the Los Angeles Times. “We’re not seeing electric vehicles as part of that growth.”

According to Edmunds data, through August 2014 hybrids and electric vehicles captured 3.6% of all auto sales this year. For the same period a year ago, hybrid and EV sales represented 3.7% of the overall market. That wouldn’t seem like a big deal except for the fact that for years analysts have been forecasting that hybrid and EV sales would rise steadily, more or less indefinitely—reaching 7% of global auto sales by around 2020.

How can all of this be explained? First off, the increase in sales of the Nissan Leaf is mostly an anomaly. Nissan launched a free charging promotion this past spring, promising new buyers access to public charging stations at no cost for two years as an incentive for the purchase of a Leaf. Local subsidies in states such as Georgia, which provides a $4,000 tax credit for EV purchases and boasts inexpensive electricity to boot, have helped juice sales. (Federal tax credits for plug-in purchases amounting to up to $7,500 off are still around as well.)

Even in Atlanta, however, which has become the #2 urban market for electric cars (after San Francisco), EVs account for only 2.15% of new car registrations. Nationally, EVs constitute only 0.38% of new car registrations. Hybrid vehicles, which are more practical because they run on gas as well as battery power, have regularly sold in far higher numbers than pure electric-powered plug-ins. And sales of many hybrids and non-Leaf EVs aren’t faring well in 2014. MarketWatch reported that through August, sales of the Chevy Volt, Toyota’s plug-in and hybrid Prius, and Honda’s lineup of hybrids and plug-ins were all down at least 10% compared to the same period in 2013. Tesla doesn’t provide sales data, but according to estimates from InsideEVs.com, sales of the Model S totaled approximately 500 and 600 in July and August, respectively, after hitting 1,000 or more monthly from February to June.

What’s been holding sales of hybrid and electric cars back? Reasonably flat, reasonably inexpensive gas prices have certainly played a role. A survey from a couple of years ago indicated that the majority of Americans wouldn’t alter their lifestyles until gas hit $5 per gallon. Not only are we still far off the $5 mark, but prices at the pump have actually been on the decline, recently dipping to the lowest Labor Day gas prices in years.

Edmunds.com’s Caldwell also told MarketWatch that sales of EVs and hybrids may be down because they’re no longer new and novel in the marketplace, and the fascination with owning one is quickly diminishing. “Stable gas prices have a lot to do with it, but there’s also a possibility that the prestige of owning an electric vehicle or hybrid has died down,” she said. “This year may not be able to top last year, which is kind of sad given how well the overall market is performing.”

With the novelty of owning an electrified vehicle disappearing, consumers are left considering the issue as a purer matter of dollars and cents. Hybrids and EVs generally have higher sticker prices than their gas-powered counterparts, so the hurdle electrified cars must clear is convincing drivers that they’re worth the extra money. Lower gas prices obviously mean lower potential cost savings from owning a car that runs on electricity, so the state of gas prices is a strike against EV sales. Traditional gas-powered vehicles have made great strides increasing their fuel economy, which again hurts the argument for opting for an electric-powered car for the purpose of saving money.

Even the improvement in the economy seems to be hurting sales of EVs and hybrids. As the Associated Press noted, consumer demand for SUVs and crossovers has been particularly strong, at least partly because buyers have felt comfortable enough financially to afford larger, pricier vehicles. (The rise in subprime car loans is surely a factor too.) Because so many drivers are interested in SUVs, automakers and car dealerships have felt forced to offer larger-than-usual discounts and incentives on compact and midsize vehicles to convince customers to bite.

And when a gas-powered compact with excellent mileage and no need to ever worry about running out of battery power or finding a recharging station is available at an especially cheap walk-away price, that’s one more reason that many consumer are finding that the math isn’t adding up for the purchase of an electric car.

TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: September 2

dv1940073
Teacher Standing in Front of a Class of Raised Hands Digital Vision.—Getty Images

1. As we approach the 20th anniversary of AmeriCorps, President Obama should make good on his promise to expand this vital program.

By the Editorial Board of the New York Times

2. Journalists still believe they’re writing for the same old reasons, but the data shows they’re chasing clicks, changing the nature of their work.

By Angèle Christin at the Nieman Journalism Lab

3. A dangerous new trend of policing faculty speech at American universities is threatening academic freedom.

By David M. Perry in the Chronicle of Higher Education

4. “Infoladies” bring digital services – from filling online forms to collecting health data – to the people of Bangladesh, and could be expanded to serve many more.

By Syed Tashfin Chowdhury in Al Jazeera English

5. The new batteries coming from Tesla’s “Gigafactory” should remove the final barrier to mass-produced electric cars.

By Daniel Sparks in The Motley Fool

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

MONEY Investing

13 Things to Do with $100,000 Now

domino stacks of $10,000 bills
Ralf Hettler—Getty Images

Oh, if only six figures landed in your lap tomorrow. Hey, you never know. In case it does—or in case you're lucky enough to have 100 grand put away already—you'll want to have these smart moves in your back pocket.

1. Say “yes” to a master
Unless you live in one of the few areas where the real estate market hasn’t come to life, the decision of whether to move or improve is likely tipped in favor of remodeling, says Omaha appraiser John Bredemeyer. A new bedroom, bath, and walk-in closet may cost you $40,000 to $100,000. But it’s unlikely you’d find a bigger move-in-ready abode with every­thing you want for only that much more, especially after the 6% you’d pay a Realtor to sell your current home.

2. Burn the mortgage
If you’re within 10 years of retiring, paying off your house can be a wise move, says T. Rowe Price financial planner Stuart Ritter. You’ll save a lot of interest—$24,000, if you have a $100,000 mortgage with 10 years left at 4.5%. Eliminating the monthly payment reduces the income you’ll need in retirement. And as long as you’re not robbing a retirement account, erasing a 4.5% debt offers a better return than CDs or high-quality bonds, says Ritter.

3-5. Buy a business in a box
One hundred grand won’t get you a McDonald’s (for that you’ll need 10 or 15 friends to match your investment)—but there are a number of other good franchises you can buy around that price, says Eric Stites, CEO of Franchise Business Review. Here are three that get top raves in his company’s survey of owners:

  1. Qualicare Family Homecare (a homecare services firm)
  2. Window Genie (a window and gutter cleaning service)
  3. Our Town America (a direct mail marketing service)

6. Tack another degree on the wall
On average, someone with a bachelor’s degree earns $2.3 million over a lifetime, vs. $2.7 million for a master’s and $3.6 million for a professional degree. The payoff varies by field: In biology a master’s earns you 100% more, vs. 23% in art. So before applying, find out how much more you could earn a year, research tuition, and determine how long it’ll take you to recoup the investment.

7. Make sure you won’t be broke in retirement
More than half of Americans worry about running out of money in retirement, Bank of America Merrill Edge found. Allay your fears with a deferred-income annuity: You pay a lump sum to an insurance company in exchange for guaranteed monthly payments starting late into retirement. Because some buyers will die before payments start, you get more income than with an immediate annuity, which starts paying right away. A 65-year-old woman who puts $100,000 into an annuity that kicks in at age 85 will get $3,500 a month, vs. $600 for one that starts this year. In the future you could see deferred annuities as an investment option in your retirement plan; the Treasury Department just approved them for 401(k)s.

8. Get a power car that runs on 240v
For just over $100,000 (after a $7,500 tax rebate), you can be the proud owner of an all-electric Tesla Model S P85, with air suspension, tech, and performance extras. Yes, that’s a pretty penny. But you’ll help the planet, eliminate some $4,000 a year in gas bills—and get a ride that gets raves. “The thing has fantastic performance,” says Bill Visnic of Edmunds.com. It goes from 0 to 60 in 4.2 seconds and drives 265 miles on a charge, which requires only a 240-volt outlet.

9-12. Put hotel bills in your past
Think you missed the window on a vacation-home deal? True, the median price has jumped 39% since 2011, according to the National Association of Realtors. “But while you can’t buy just anything, anywhere, for 100 grand anymore, there are still decent deals out there in appealing ­places,” says Michael Corbett of Trulia.com. Here are four markets where the price of a two-bedroom condo goes for around that amount:

  • Sunset Beach, N.C./$96,000
  • Fort Lauderdale/$116,000
  • Colorado Springs/$117,000
  • Reno/$117,000

13. Tone up your core
The average American saving in a 401(k) has nearly $100,000 put away ($88,600, to be exact, according to Fidelity). With this core money, you’re likely to do better with index funds vs. active funds, says Colorado Springs financial planner Allan Roth. “The stock market is 90% professionally advised or managed, and outside Lake Wobegon, 90% can’t be better than average.” His three-fund portfolio: Vanguard’s Total Stock Market Index, Total International Stock Index, and Total Bond Market.

Related: 35 Smart Things to Do With $1,000

Related: 24 Things to Do with $10,000

Tell Us: What Would You Do With $1,000?

TIME Autos

Tesla’s New Models Will Be Around 50% Cheaper

CEO Elon Musk said the next generation of Teslas would retail for as little as $35,000, around half the price of existing models

Tesla Motors founder and CEO Elon Musk revealed that the company’s next generation of vehicles would retail for as little as $35,000, or roughly half the price of existing models.

Musk unveiled the price as well as the name of the new electric vehicle, Tesla Model 3, in an interview with Auto Express.

The savings, he said, would come out of a thorough redesign of the vehicle that will cut the size down by 20% and install lighter, cheaper batteries from Tesla’s upcoming Gigafactory. It would also limit the range of the vehicle to roughly 200 miles, compared with a range of 265 miles for the Model S.

Tesla tapped British engineer Chris Poritt, formerly of Aston Martin, to oversee the design of the new vehicle, and most essentially its new battery technology, which could put electric cars in the same cost bracket as gas guzzlers.

Tesla expects the Model 3 to launch by 2017.

[Auto Express]

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