Will Michigan ban direct Tesla sales?

Tesla Model S 3388564188_4427beac12_b

One of the lamer trends we’re seeing these days involves states banning the direct sales of Tesla cars by implementing laws to protect the dealer model. This is a pathetic example of crony politics and standing in the way of innovation and free markets.

These bans are already in place in New Jersey, Maryland, Texas and Arizona. Now Michigan is poised to do the same, and Tesla is legitimately crying foul.

  

Another Tesla Model S fire

Here’s the latest news on the third fire reported for the Tesla Model S. Tesla has sold over 19,000 of the all-electric Model S sedans but this news threatens to change the mostly positive image the company has created over the years.

  

Video of burning Tesla S

In today’s world of YouTube and social media, one viral video can instantly create a PR nightmare for a company. Tesla is dealing with that now, as the video above showing a Tesla S on fire is getting tons of views and is reportedly affecting the Tesla stock price today.

Of course, we have no idea whatsoever as to why this car was on fire and as to whether this gives any indication of real problems with Tesla vehicles. But the company needs to respond and address the issue.

  

Porsche introduces the new 918 Spyder in Frankfurt

I was able to snap these photos at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show as Porsche unveiled the much-anticipated 918 Spyder supercar. As you can see it’s a beautiful vehicle, but the real story here involves the plug-in hybrid engine and performance elements.

This concept was designed to be a high-performance hybrid, with 887 horsepower and the ability to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in less than 2.8 seconds. Like the Ferrari supercar announced earlier this year, the 918 Spyder features a combustion engine combined with an electric motor-based drive to optimize the dynamic performance of the vehicle. The electric motor allows for the faster acceleration from zero and then the gas motor kicks in.

This is the new reality of supercars. They are obviously becoming much more exotic, and in a way we’re seeing a real departure from traditional sports cars with a traditional stick shift. For that reason, cars like the new Corvette that still embrace the stick shift and powerful gas engine will probably still command a legion of fans.

But for sheer performance, these new hybrid supercars will be a beast on the track.

  

Volt batteries to the rescue!

From the Detroit Bureau.com:

If all goes according to plan, General Motors will be producing tens of thousands of plug-in hybrids annually in the coming years. So, what to do with the batteries when it comes time to sent vehicles like the Chevrolet Volt to the scrapyard?

Even after a decade of use, the lithium-ion battery pack in the typical Volt should have 70% of its capacity left, according to Pablo Valencia, GM’s senior manager for battery lifecycle management. And that means that even as the old Volt is melted down for scrap, those batteries could find new life propping up the nation’s electrical grid.

Starting next year, GM will partner with energy systems giant ABB to begin testing the use of Volt batteries as an energy storage solution that could serve a variety of purposes from preventing blackouts to helping level out the ups-and-downs of alternative energy sources like wind and solar.

Read the entire article.

  

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