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evR450:Australia's first electric supercar

Australia is getting in on the current eco-friendly trend with its first Australian electric supercar, which was unveiled at the third Australian electric vehicle conference in Brisbane, Australia, on October 26, 2011. The evR450 will go on sale as early as January 2012, and there is a remote possibility that it will be available for export to other markets. The evR450 has a similar style and price as the Telsa. It even matches the Roadster’s performance: The evR450 can do 0–60-mph acceleration in about 3.8 seconds and top out an an electronically limited top speed of 124 mph. Unfortunately, it will have a shorter range than the Tesla. The evR450’s base package has a range of about 95 miles, and for those who would prefer a longer range, Varley Electric Vehicles will also offer a 185-mile battery option. In comparison, the Tesla Roadster can go up to 245 miles per charge.

According to GTSpirit, the evR450 is believed to be running two 200-hp Ultramotive electric motors, offering 385 lb-ft of peak torque. It also states that the motors weigh about 88 pounds each, so the total output of 400 hp and 737 lb-ft of torque will have little car to move.

Varley’s Electric Vehicles Divisional Manager John Bettini states “the evR450 is expected to be hand built in limited numbers but will make an exception if customer’s interest dictates production volumes.” The evR450’s estimated retail price is below $200,000 AU (or approximately $213,000 U.S).

Varley evR450

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Posted by: Tabitha Foss
Posted on: 11/15/2011 at 9:58 AM
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Categories: General News | Tesla
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Top Gear did not libel Tesla, but did it make maliciously false claims?

We already knew that Tesla was holding Top Gear liable for what it sees as libel during its review of the Tesla Roadster. But, the Guardian’s title “Top Gear did not libel carmaker Tesla, high court rules” stood out for us not only because of its content but also because of use of the word libel as a verb. Use of the word libel in that construction made the sentence sound awkward. After review, however, we found that the word libel is both a noun and a verb. As a noun, according to Merriam-Webster, it is a written or oral defamatory statement or representation that conveys an unjustly unfavorable impression. As a verb it means to make or publish a libel against. Therefore, to put the Guardian’s title in a different perspective, Top Gear did not make or publish a written or oral defamatory statement or representation that conveys an unjustly unfavorable impression against Tesla, a high court has ruled.

For Tesla to prove that Top Gear libeled it, it had to prove the comments made in the show are defamatory. There is no single definition of what defamatory means, but some texts citing case law say that a statement will be defamatory if it “tends to lower the person (or company) in the estimation of right-thinking members of society.” In his ruling to dismiss the libel charge, Mr. Justice Tugendhat said the contrast between the driving style on a track compared to the driving style on public roads is significant enough that no reasonable person would parallel the performance presented on Top Gear with that of the normal public.

But this is just a part of the case against Top Gear from Tesla, which is also seeking damages under a malicious falsehood claim. The differences between libel and malicious falsehood appear to be subtle and nuanced. We called a couple lawyers involved in this type of law in the U.S. and they couldn’t think of any distinct differences without investigating the matter further (i.e., they wanted to get paid). Looking at some Internet resources, it appears that in malicious falsehood, the statements do not have to be defamatory in nature, like libel, but are false, made either knowing they were false or with recklessness, and caused damages. Although Top Gear has no obligation in the court system to disprove Tesla’s claims (innocent until proven guilty), it may want to substantiate claims it made in the episode to counter any proof that Tesla can provide to the contrary. If Tesla can prove Top Gear’s claims in the episode are not true, it aired the comments despite them not being true, and Tesla can show damages, Top Gear could be liable for malicious falsehood.

So will the differences between libel and malicious falsehood be enough to keep BBC, which produces Top Gear, executives up at night? Well, if the judge's recent words are any indication of what Tesla's case is missing, BBC may be off the hook. In a recent ruling, Tugendhat said that unless Tesla Motors can prove financial damages, he will dismiss the charge of malicious falsehood. In the original complaint, no specific damages were cited. So unless Tesla restates its case with proof it lost orders or investors or orders were canceled because of what people saw on the Top Gear episode, it will also lose its malicious falsehood claim.

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Posted by: Benjamin Greene
Posted on: 10/28/2011 at 6:05 AM
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Categories: Tesla
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Tesla sues BBC's Top Gear for falsifying scenes during its Roadster review

Tesla is suing BBC’s Top Gear for libel and malicious falsehood. Tesla claims that in December 2008, the show aired a review of the Tesla Roadster and faked a scene where the Roadster was pushed into an airport hangar, making it appear as though its battery had run out of juice. Tesla claims that the Roadster pushed into the hangar was not out of power. According to a transcript of the show also filed, one of the show’s hosts, Jeremy Clarkson, is quoted as saying that “although Tesla says it (the Tesla Roadster) will do 200 miles, we worked out that on our track it would run out after just 55 miles.” Tesla says those comments grossly misled potential purchasers of the Roadster. BBC says it stands by the program.

The court case reveals a thin line between entertainment and factual accounts. Top Gear (like most television programs) is designed to entertain. Top Gear uses over-the-top examples to provide a better understanding of the nuances it finds in the cars it drives. The Tesla Roadster may have never actually run out of battery power and, while pushing the car, Top Gear could have disclosed that this was just a dramatization. But doing that would not make the show nearly as entertaining.

Top Gear has a U.K. audience of around six million viewers and an international audience of 350 million.

[via Bloomberg]

Top Gear U.K. Hosts

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Posted by: Benjamin Greene
Posted on: 3/31/2011 at 4:28 AM
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Categories: Tesla
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Aston Martin, Tesla, BMW, Rolls-Royce recalls

Ferrari and, of course, Toyota have been garnishing a lot of attention lately with some major recalls making big headlines. Now it is time for Aston Martin, Tesla, Rolls-Royce, and BMW to steal some of the spotlight with a round of their own recalls hitting the auto blogs.

Aston Martin is recalling its entire 2007–2008 lineup due to a suspension malfunction that could result in a crash. Affecting the 2007–2008 V-8 Vantage, DB9, and DBS, a cam bolt in the front bottom suspension arm could crack and allow the lower control arm to move. Movement of the lower control arm could result in a crash due to the influence it has on the driver’s control of the steering wheel.

Tesla is recalling its new 2.0 and 2.5 Roadster models due to a possible fire hazard. Behind the front headlamp is a low-voltage cable that could short circuit and ignite a carbon fiber panel nearby. In total, 439 Roadsters are affected by the recall.

BMW is recalling some recently manufactured V-8 and V-12 powered sedans and coupes due to a leak that could develop in the hydraulic braking system and lead to a loss of braking power. The defective brakes affect 198,000 5-, 6-, and 7-Series models and all 2003–2010 Rolls-Royce Phantoms and 2007–2008 BMW Alpina B7 sedans.

Rolls-Royce Phantom recall due to brakes

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TSLA (Tesla) does well first day on exchange

With a starting price at $17 a share—opposed to the $14–16 originally planned—and an increase in the number of shares offered from 11.1 million to 13.3 million, Tesla Motors initial public offering raised more than $200 million for the electric-car company, enough to keep it viable for the next two years. The increases show that Tesla believed it would have a strong investor backing its first day on the NASDAQ exchange.

The company went on to do well its first day of public trading, rising to $19 by midday Tuesday and closing at $23.89 for a 40 percent gain.

[via New York Times]

Tesla Roadster

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Posted by: Benjamin Greene
Posted on: 6/30/2010 at 3:13 AM
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Categories: Tesla
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Tesla unveils future product plans

Tesla, in an attempt to churn up excitement before the company goes public, has unveiled to investors the products the company hopes to be able to market in the future. Using the same principle as GM’s Autonomy Skateboard (sort of), Tesla hopes to offer a variety of products that will all use the same basic underpinnings, architecture, and technology. Besides the upcoming Model S sedan, Tesla may look into a four-seat convertible (think Fisker Sunset), a minivan (think a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter), and a crossover SUV (think Acura ZDX).

Tesla is upfront with the difficulties it is going to face, mentioning everything from its sole ability to survive being dependent on customer’s willingness to purchase an electric vehicle to the company’s history of losing loads of money—net loss of $290.2 million from its inception to March 2010. The company hopes the Model S, and the $177.6 million it wants to gain when the company shows up on the NASDAQ, can put the company in the green and from there it can move into these new models.

Tesla Future Autos

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Posted by: Benjamin Greene
Posted on: 6/22/2010 at 12:14 PM
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Categories: Tesla
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Telsa Roadsters gather for juant

Pomponio State Beach in Half Moon Bay, California, hosted a gathering of thirty customer-owned and four dealer-owned Tesla Roadsters—out of the 1,000 or so units currently in the world—in what is being hailed as the largest gathering of Tesla Roadsters yet. Not content with sitting still and talking electric motor, the group set out on a drive. Check out our video of the 2010 Tesla Roadster Sport along with a video of the Tesla meet below.

[via AutoBlog Green]

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Posted by: Benjamin Greene
Posted on: 4/29/2010 at 5:13 AM
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Categories: Tesla
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Tesla strikes deal with Lotus to keep the Roadster

Tesla Motor Inc. has made a deal with Lotus for it to continue to provide it with “gliders,” or partly assembled Roadsters without the powertrains, until December of 2011. The new plan will allow Tesla to produce another 700 units for a total of 2,400. The original deal with Lotus to provide the basis for the first 1,700 Roadsters was to end in March of 2011.

This will allow Tesla to continue to produce automobiles, and make money, while it irons out the details of the Model S, which is set to go to market in 2012.

[via Business Journal]

Tesla makes deal with Lotus


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Posted by: Benjamin Greene
Posted on: 4/2/2010 at 9:56 AM
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Tesla shows Roadster Sport at Detroit 2009

Tesla lifted the curtain off its newest creation, the Roadster Sport, at the North American Auto Show on Sunday. Not much is known about the new car except that it capable of going zero to sixty in 3.7 seconds, comes with adjustable dampers and anti-roll bars, and has more torque on tap from its all-electric power plant. The Tesla Roadster S will set you back $128,500—a $19,500 increase over the base car.

[via GreenTechMedia]

Tesla Roadster Sport

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Posted by: Benjamin Greene
Posted on: 1/12/2009 at 4:43 AM
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Categories: North American International Auto Show | Tesla
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Tesla deathwatch?

Fox News is reporting that the big three auto manufacturers are not the only ones asking for a bailout. Tesla Motors is seeking a piece of that $25-billion auto-loan pie. The $400 million they are asking for would primarily be used for two projects; most likely finishing production of the Tesla Roadster and to start production of their cheaper, four-door electric sedan. If Tesla closed down it would not have near the widespread impact like the big three would, but Congress may want to give it a helping hand since its environmentally friendly vehicles are now seen as the future.

[via Truth About Cars]

 

Tesla Dealerships

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Posted by: Benjamin Greene
Posted on: 11/21/2008 at 4:57 AM
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Categories: Tesla
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