Volkswagen of America is no more. No, it hasn’t filed for bankruptcy, but you are now expected to refer to the same company as Voltswagen, believe it or not, according to a recent press release published by the German giant. And no, we know March 30 isn’t the first day of April, known for jokes and shenanigans, so this piece of news is 100 percent real and official.
We too thought it was a joke, as many people even in the comments below our articles about electric Volkswagens often came up with variations of the formula. We’re not sure where VW got the idea – it may have been from one of our dear readers’ comments – but Voltswagen is now the official name.
Still don’t believe us? Check out VW.com, then, and you will see that all mentions of Volkswagen have been replaced with Voltswagen. And with the reference to volts, you’d think the name would only be applied to the automaker’s electric offerings, but no – the Jetta, Atlas, Tiguan, Touareg are all Voltswagens now.
You don’t even need to read the press release to understand why the company took this frankly quite bold and unusual rebranding decision. It wants to be perceived more as a manufacturer of electrified vehicles, and to try to help Dieselgate be forgotten – the company’s image suffered massively as a result of that scandal and it has probably not fully recovered to this day, but it’s slowly changing as the manufacturer launches more dedicated EVs, like the ID.3 and ID.4.
Officially, the president and CEO of Voltswagen of America Scott Keogh, explains that
We might be changing out our K for a T, but what we aren’t changing is this brand’s commitment to making best-in-class vehicles for drivers and people everywhere. The idea of a people’s car is the very fabric of our being. We have said, from the beginning of our shift to an electric future, that we will build EVs for the millions, not just millionaires. This name change signifies a nod to our past as the peoples’ car and our firm belief that our future is in being the peoples’ electric car.
We wonder if this rebranding will be applied to the rest of the company in the not too distant future. Now that they’ve done it for their US business, it’s by no means a stretch to see it become a companywide change. So far no announcements have been made outside VW’s US sites, but it’s definitely not out of the question in the future.
Tesla claims former employees provided Rivian with trade secrets that it could use in its upcoming EVs.
You may remember, last July, Tesla filed a lawsuit against Rivian claiming the startup electric automaker stole trade secrets. More specifically, Rivian has hired a long list of ex-Tesla employees, who, Tesla says, revealed secrets that the automaker could potentially use in its upcoming electric pickup truck, the R1T, and other vehicles.
Rivian retaliated against Tesla’s claims by filing a motion to say that Tesla’s lawsuit is impacting its reputation. However, in recent news, a judge ruled in favor of Tesla. The Silicon Valley electric carmaker now has permission to move forward with not only the suit against Rivian, but also claims against some former Tesla employees.
Before proceeding, we should make something very clear. Tesla and Elon Musk have often said they’re willing to share Tesla’s tech, platform, patents, and even Supercharger network with other automakers. The goal of this is to accelerate the adoption of EVs. However, Tesla didn’t say that any company can just use whatever it chooses without permission, a partnership plan, or a licensing agreement.
While the details surrounding Tesla’s willingness to “share” are not completely clear, what is clear is that if employees from any company depart and go to another related company, they can’t divulge proprietary information without permission from their previous company. Well, they can, but they may eventually get called out for doing so.
Automotive News reported:
“In a tentative ruling Monday, Santa Clara, Calif., Superior Court Judge William Monahan declined Rivian’s request to throw out a misappropriation of trade secrets claim. Monahan agreed to dismiss Rivian’s intentional interference in contract claim, saying the trade secrets part covered that.”
According to Tesla, Rivian has hired at least 178 former Tesla employees. Of those, Tesla has made claims against seven. The judge also declined to dismiss the allegations against these former employees.
With the ever-expanding network of Tesla Supercharger stations, it’s safe to say as a TMC member you’ve probably spent hours playing around with the map at tesla.com/findus. We know we have. And while everyone will travel (eventually right?) to the Kettleman station, there are so many other places to go!
And with summer road-trip season well in our sites, we’ve been dreaming, scheming, and planning our own road trips.
Which got the team here at CNCT Coolers thinking:
What are some of the most interesting Supercharger locations in North America? You know – places we could road trip to.
If we were to plan a theoretical road trip anywhere in the world, where would we want to go?
And with that, we got to work.
Here are the 8 MUST SEE Supercharger locations you would want to visit, if a Supercharger Station-Vacation was a real thing.
1. Enfield, Nova Scotia, Canada
Located just outside Halifax, this station takes the title of the eastern-most location in North America.
Did You Know? Grants of land around what is now Enfield were given after 1760. The first was given to Benjamin Franklin, a parcel of land on the side of the Shubenacadie River opposite the main part of the present village. A Mr. Hall was hired by Franklin to take charge of the grant, and to operate a Wayside Inn. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enfield,_Nova_Scotia)
Further Down the Rabbit Hole: In an excerpt from the book, William Franklin: Son of a Patriot, Servant of a King, it’s said that Benjamin Franklin re-wrote his will 2 years before his death – effectively cutting his only living son out of the estate. What was he left? “Some worthless land in Nova Scotia” as well as whatever books and papers he had in his possession at the time of this death.
6757 Highway 2 Enfield, NS B2T 1C8
8 Superchargers, available 24/7, up to 150kW
Irving Big Stop
The Crossings – Enfield Big Stop Restaurant
Irving Big Stop
2. Galerías Chilpancingo, Mexico
If you got in your Tesla and drove south, this is as far as you could go and still get a charge.
Did You Know? Located 3.5 hours south of Mexico City, Chilpancingo is a town of roughly 200k people, tucked in the Sierra Madre del Sur, on the bank of the Huacapa River.
Further Down the Rabbit Hole: Honestly, it looks like a picturesque little town – but keep in mind it’s located in one of the 5 Mexican states that the US has issued travel warnings for – so if you’re going to go down there be safe.
Chilpancingo de los Bravo, GRO Supercharger Galerías Chilpancingo Blvd. René Juárez Cisneros #130 Chilpancingo, Aguascalientes 39010
6 Superchargers, available Monday – Sunday 11:00am – 10:00pm, up to 150kW
3. Honningsvåg, Norway
What will be the northernmost Supercharger in the world? Why, it’s located in Norway of course. Honningsvåg is a stunning little town, surrounded with green hillsides.
Did You Know? It sits on a bay on the large island of Magerøya. The 260-acre town is also one of the smallest cities in Norway with a population of 2,484.
Just be sure to come in the summer because in the winter it can get below 0 fahrenheit.
Target opening in Q2 2021
4. Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan
Formally known as Astana, Nur-Sultan is the capital city of Kazakhstan. Now, we don’t want to be rude, but what do you think of when you hear Kazakhstan? Exactly.
Did You Know? So you’d be surprised to learn that this city with over 1mm people is the second-coldest national capital in the world after Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia – so that’s pretty neat.
But it’s also home to the Baiterek, the main attraction and symbol of Nur-Sultan, museums, sport teams, and all the stuff you’d expect from a major modern city. Oh, and it has a Ritz-Carlton so that says something.
Nur-Sultan Supercharger Dostyk Street 16 10016 Nur-Sultan Kazakhstan
6 Superchargers, available 24/7, up to 150kW
5. Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
We’ve heard it called the Jersey Shore of Australia, the Gold Coast is a huge tourist destination because of its sunny, subtropical climate, its world-class surfing beaches, high-rise dominated skyline, theme parks, nightlife, and rainforest hinterland (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_Coast,_Queensland).
Did You Know? The Gold Coast is the major film production area and is the third largest production centre in Australia behind Sydney and Melbourne (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_Coast,_Queensland).
Further Down the Rabbit Hole: It is the location of major motion pictures including Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017), Kong: Skull Island (2017), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018), Aquaman (2018), Dora the Explorer (2019) and Godzilla vs. Kong (2020).
Wyoming? Really? Well, what’s a road trip without passing through a sleepy 1-horse town? So we set out to try to find the most isolated and frankly, kind of borning Supercharger we could. And what’s more ordinary than Gillette?
Did You Know? Originally a miners town, it was originally known as “Donkey Town”, named after Donkey Creek, and then later was moved and called “Rocky Pile” after Rocky Draw. When it was officially founded in 1891 as Gillette, it was a major railway stop on the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad. Today, it looks like a sleepy mid-west town with a population of roughly 32k people.
Down The Rabbit Hole: LOL – there’s not really any rabbit hole to go down.
Gillette Supercharger The Hampton Inn Gillette 211 Decker Court Gillette, WY 82716 Roadside Assistance (877) 798-3752
4 superchargers, available 24/7, up to 150kW
The Hampton Inn Gillette
The Hampton Inn Gillette
7. Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates
Jebel Ali is a port town 22 mi south-west of Dubai and it’s the home of the Palm Jebel Ali, the half-finished man-made palm-like island off the coast.
Did You Know? Jebel Ali is a large commercial port and business hub. Known for its sandy beaches and busy harbor, the area is also home to a golf resort and dive centers. The waters of the gulf are full of marine life and submerged wrecks. And if you’re into horses, nearby Ghantoot Racing and Polo Club in Abu Dhabi has tournaments and events open to the public.
Wine anyone? Located about an hour east of Portugal’s hilly, coastal capital city Libson, this Supercharger happens to come with an exclusive retreat attached to it – at the L’AND Vineyards. L’AND Vineyards is a hotel with “30 suites and villas that blend modern architecture with nature, providing an atmosphere of sober luxury, natural beauty and tranquility.”
Did You Know? Montemor-o-Novo is a tiny little town of 8k people. It features the Castelo de Montemor-o-Novo which has become a national monument. This area falls within the Alentejo wine region of Portugal. The region is noted for its cork production but has also garnered attention for its table wine production.
Montemor-o-Novo Supercharger Resort L’and Vineryards 4 Estrada Nacional, Herdade das Valadas Montemor-o-Novo Portugal Roadside Assistance +351 308 805 628
8 Superchargers, available 24/7, up to 150kW
Available inside the Hotel
Resort L’and Vineryards
Resort L’and Vineryards – Michelin Star Restaurant
Resort L’and Vineryards
A QUICK WORD ON THE CNCT COOLER
Perfect for any road trip or even a run to the supermarket – the CNCT Cooler is stunningly designed and carefully crafted to fit seamlessly inside the rear trunk well of your Tesla Model 3 (and also fits in the trunk well and frunk of the Model Y).
It’s Made in America from premium materials.
It’s also a super-durable premium cooler that keeps ice, food, and beverages cold for up to 2 days (probably longer actually, but we stopped the test after 2 days) while blocking out heat.
The CNCT Cooler is here to help you make the most of wherever you find yourself.
A test of SpaceX’s Starship rocket ended Tuesday with an explosion.
The SN11 prototype climbed to its target altitude of about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) above SpaceX’s Boca Chica, Texas launch site, but suffered an explosion during some part of the test.
Cameras covering the broadcast cut out before it was clear what happened.
“Looks like we’ve had another exciting test of Starship Number 11,” the commentator said during the broadcast. “Starship 11 is not coming back, do not wait for the landing.”
“Something significant happened shortly after landing burn start,” Chief Executive Elon Musk tweeted. “Should know what it was once we can examine the bits later today.”
SN11 went the way of its predecessors. SpaceX has conducted four successful launches, that have all ended with an explosion during the landing attempt.
The Starship project is significant for SpaceX, as it’s the vehicle that the company plans to use to transport humans into space and make the long trek to Mars and the moon. Musk has said that Starship could carry as many as 100 people into space.
Musk said the company is already readying another upgraded prototype for a test. “Hopefully, one of those improvements covers this problem,” he said.