By Mia Yamauchi
10. Tesla Gigafactory to Be Largest Building In the World
According to Elon Musk Tesla’s Ggigafactory has the largest physical floor area “of any building of any kind.” And it will be a ‘net zero’ energy-use building. Tesla has refused to build a natural gas pipeline even as a backup. Bigger and better (for the environment).
9. Tesla on Track to Beat GM to 200,000 EV Mark
GM and Tesla are the two biggest EV producers in the US. GM has massive manufacturing power, a 2 year head start with the Volt, and strong Bolt sales projections. Still, Tesla is favored to beat the traditional automaker to the milestone of 200,000 EVs delivered in the US. That win also comes with the sunset of federal tax credits. Sort of a race to win…to start losing (perks). We’re still counting that as a W for Team Tesla. Full story at Plugless.com
8. Model S Gets Autonomous Charging
Plugless for Model S arrives as the first fully autonomous charger on the market for any Tesla. Because Tesla owners should make a clean break from the cords and charge ports that are all too similar to refueling a fossil-aged car. The most amazing car ever built can now charge itself and look stunning doing it. Just like it does everything else.
7. Man Says Tesla Autopilot Saved His Life By Driving Him to the Hospital
The autonomous driving system took criticism this year for an autopilot-involved crash. Several people also credit Autopilot and other Model S safety features for saving lives. A Missouri man says he owes his life to his Model S after it got him safely to the hospital during a life-threatening incident. Heartwarming!
6. Upstart Tesla Breaks Into The World’s Top 10 Most Valuable Car Brands
Tesla bumps Lexus off the list as the electric car maker breaks into the top ten highest valuation car brands. Huge nod to Tesla. Especially considering the unorthodox company is not even 14 years old. The other nine companies have had up to 100 years longer to earn their spots on the list.
5. Tesla Helps Entire Island Go Renewable
Plenty of billionaires can buy islands, but which one helped an entire island switch to clean energy? How about the one who wants to save humanity and create a biological backup drive on Mars? 5,000 solar panels and 60 Tesla power packs sustain the tiny island of Ta’u on 100% renewable electrons. The islanders are happy to avoid health and logistical problems tied to diesel generators. The project also moves American Samoa towards its goal of running on 100% renewable energy by 2040.
4. Tesla Model 3 Reservations Reach Nearly 400,000 In Just 2 Weeks
The tremendous surge of reservations surprised exactly everyone, including Tesla CEO Elon Musk. He tweeted that he was “definitely going to need to rethink production planning” at the 200,000 mark. To put Model 3 reservations in perspective, about 500,000 total plugin cars of any kind have been sold in the US, ever. Tesla stands to single-handedly double the US EV fleet with one single vehicle model. Gig-outta here.
3. Tesla Dominates US Luxury Sedan Sales With 32% Market Share
Tesla saw a year over year increase of nearly 60% last quarter. That means Tesla won nearly one third of the total US luxury sedan market in Q3 of 2016. Model S sales nearly doubled those of the next-best competitor, Mercedes Benz S-Class. It’s mind-boggling to realize that just a scarce 5 years ago, not a single Model S had ever been sold. Plenty of people doubted that a single one ever would be sold. And this past quarter very nearly one in three luxury sedans sold in the entire country was a Model S. Hats off.
2. All Tesla Cars Being Produced Now Have Full Self-Driving Hardware
If Tesla is one thing, it’s future forward. Regulators have not yet approved “level 5” autonomous driving, but Teslas will be ready when they do. Musk announced that all Teslas built after October 19, 2016, would be equipped for truly autonomous driving. If you thought Autopilot was cool, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Level 5 autonomous vehicles aren’t even required to have a steering wheel. They are that independent. Musk claims that full autonomy will be at least twice as safe as mere human guidance.
Watch a Tesla Model X’s human-free test drive:
1. New Tesla Model S P100D Now the Quickest Production Car in the World
No other car currently in production can beat Tesla’s latest sedan. Only two other production cars ever made could beat the latest Model S’ blazing 0-60 mph acceleration time of 2.5 seconds. They were both tiny, 2-seater, limited run cars with price tags over a $1M. Almost makes the $134,000 starting price on the 7-seater Model S look like a deal, eh? Just in case that wasn’t ludicrous enough, a recent software update to the P100D shaved off another 0.1 seconds.