- Tesla has announced new powertrains for the current Model S and Model X lineups. The batteries will remain the same in each car, but all variants will now feature more efficient front motors, wheel bearings and tires, amongst other efficiency improvements. In turn, this increases the electric range of each model by 10%-12%. As a result, the electric range of the ‘Long Range’ variant of the Tesla Model S now has now increased from 335 miles to 375 miles.
- Tesla also announced this week that all of its new cars now feature an updated artificial intelligence chip, which is claimed as being powerful enough to allow the cars to fully drive themselves without any input or supervision by the driver. CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, says ‘full self-driving’ features are expected to come with an over-the-air software update due out by the end of 2019.
Tesla’s can currently use partial autonomous features through their ‘Autopilot’ function, which allows the cars to steer, accelerate and brake automatically for other vehicles on motorways. The new ‘full self-driving’ update will now allow the cars to stop at junctions and traffic lights, enter and exit motorways and drive on suburban roads, all without the driver being required to touch the wheel. Elon Musk says he is so confident in Tesla's self-driving software that he expects the firm will get rid of steering wheels and pedals altogether 'probably two years from now’.
- Reservations have opened up for the upcoming All-New Peugeot 208. Available online, eager customers can reserve a 'GT Line’ 208, available with petrol or diesel engines, as well as the all-electric e-208. The e-208 comes with a 50kWh battery and 100kW motor, which is capable of up to 211 miles from a full charge.
Actual orders for the upcoming 208 range can be placed from late summer 2019, with the cars then going sale in early 2020.
- Ford is investing $500 million in electric vehicle startup Rivian, with plans to collaborate with the company to build a new electrified Ford model. Ford is already developing an electrified “Mustang-inspired” SUV and an electrified version of the F150, which is the best-selling vehicle in the US. Ford has not yet revealed any details on the product it will build with Rivian.
Rivian revealed their all-electric ‘R1T ‘ pickup truck and ‘R1S’ SUV, at the Los Angeles Auto Show last year, both of which use the companies flexible ‘skateboard’ platform and are claimed to each have a 400-mile range. In February this year, Amazon then announced they had invested $700million in Rivian to develop an electric delivery vehicle.