Docs Reveal: Tesla’s Production Capacity Limited To Less Than Half Of Its 500,000 Vehicle Target

Capacity constrained: Monitors at Eisenmann paint shop in Volkswagen's Chattanooga plant (Picture: Bertel Schmitt)

Capacity constrained: Monitors at Eisenmann paint shop in Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant. A similar shop is at Tesla (Picture: Bertel Schmitt)

When Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced plans to produce 500,000 electric vehicles per year by 2018 and a million units per year by 2020, he set his young company on the most ambitious course of expansion the auto industry has ever seen. Without a clear historical precedent for Tesla’s meteoric trajectory and unconventional methods, it can be quite difficult to predict all the challenges this unique automaker might face or how it might approach them. Only one such challenge stands out as being as foreseeable as it is implacable: the environmental regulations that Tesla must navigate as it seeks to expand its Fremont, CA plant.

Because Tesla’s only factory is located in California’s densely-populated San Francisco Bay Area, the electric automaker’s manufacturing operations are subject to some of the toughest environmental regulations found anywhere in the US auto industry. The Daily Kanban has already reported on one instance of environmental permit non-compliance at Tesla’s Fremont plant, and our ongoing investigation in consultation with air quality permitting professionals reveals that Tesla’s unprecedented expansion plans will create equally unprecedented regulatory challenges. [Continue Reading]

Thursday morning car news roundup, September 29, 2016

Today is Thursday

Top News:

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Renault Beats Tesla And GM To The Punch With 250 Mile Range EV “Available Now”

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There is one thing Tesla can be proud of: Automakers around the world are getting off their duffs. Today, French carmaker Renault announced at the Paris auto show that its fully electric “ZOE will be available for immediate sale with the Z.E. 40 battery enabling it to travel 400km NEDC.” The car is just one in a wave of longer range EVs, launched by major automakers to compete with Tesla’s Model 3, which is not expected to appear in serious quantities before 2018.

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Nissan’s Two-Pronged Attack On Obsolete Diesel

More than 20 years in development, Infiniti’s new four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline VC-T engine represents a major breakthrough in internal-combustion powertrain technology. VC-T technology signifies a new chapter in the story of the internal combustion engine – engines are no longer limited by a fixed compression ratio.  The ingenuity of VC-T engine technology lies in its ability to transform itself and seamlessly raise or lower the height the pistons reach. As a consequence, the displacement of the engine changes and the compression ratio can vary anywhere between 8:1 (for high performance) and 14:1 (for high efficiency). The sophisticated engine control logic automatically applies the optimum ratio, depending on what the driving situation demands.

EU carmakers race to replace discredited diesel engines with something more palatable, and today’s flurry of electric car announcements at the Paris auto show are testament. Japan’s Nissan embarks on a pincer attack against diesel. Nissan leads world markets with its all-electric LEAF. Today however, the company showed something more conventional, and yet revolutionary, that might hasten diesel’s demise: An engine with all the power, but none of the NOx.

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World’s Largest Automakers 2016: Toyota Pulls Ahead Of Volkswagen — By A Hair

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Who will be the world’s largest automaker by the end of the year? As the race between global giants Toyota Motor Corp and Volkswagen AG gets increasingly tighter, the answer likely will remain in doubt for months to come. Earlier in the year,  Toyota … [Continue reading]

Wednesday morning car news roundup, September 28, 2016

Today is Wednesday

Top News: Mercedes mulls PHEV battery plant in Thailand - Just-auto: Mercedes-Benz is considering investing in a battery plant in Thailand to meet growing demand for plug-in- hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) in the country. Elon Musk outlines … [Continue reading]

Defenestration Of Audi’s Top Engineer Seemingly Engineered By Labor

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“Stefan Knirsch is well acquainted with the Volkswagen Group and Audi ’s technical development” said Audi CEO Rupert Stadler late last year when Knirsch was chosen to become a board member in charge of Audi’s R&D, and to replace the ousted … [Continue reading]

Tuesday morning car news roundup, September 27, 2016

Today is Tuesday

Top News:   VW scandal spreading to Audi? Reports suggest so - Just-auto: Bloomberg said Audi had already been implicated in the year-long drama, but on a ... Fixing that issue, encompassing about 85,000 vehicles, remains... Renault to … [Continue reading]