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Musk Plans $100M Award for Carbon-Capture Tech

Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk plans to award $100 million for the “best carbon capture technology.”

Musk announced the plan for the prize Thursday in a tweet, saying more details will come next week. 

Carbon-capture could be an interesting tool to combat climate change. The idea is counter to many methods today that aim to reduce carbon. Carbon-capture actually extracts carbon from the air.

While it’s obviously an interesting idea, there has not been a breakthrough that advances the technology in a significant way.

Musk has dedicated his time and money to reducing carbon emissions. In many ways Tesla has forced the auto industry into an electric future. Tesla’s cars have actually helped save 3.6 million tons of CO2.

It will be interesting to see if Musk’s prize will accelerate carbon-capture tech.

The post Musk Plans $100M Award for Carbon-Capture Tech appeared first on Tesla Motors Club.

Rivian Brings Total Funding to $8 Billion

Rivian, which is expected to deliver its debut EV this year, announced it has added $2.65 billion to its war chest. The company has attracted $8 billion in investment since 2019.

The financing was led by funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. and included Fidelity Management and Research Company, Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, Coatue and D1 Capital Partners, “as well as several other existing and new investors,” Rivian said in a release.

“This is a critical year for us as we are launching the R1T, the R1S and the Amazon commercial delivery vehicles,” Rivian Founder and CEO RJ Scaringe said in a release. “The support and confidence of our investors enables us to remain focused on these launches while simultaneously scaling our business for our next stage of growth.”

Rivian said in November that the Launch Edition of its R1T pickup and R1S sport utility vehicle is sold out. Customers with preorders were given early access to the configurator on November 16. And preorders were strong enough to make the first batch of Rivians unavailable ahead of a general release.

The company said the Launch Edition of R1T pickup will cost $75,000 and the R1S SUV will be priced at $77,500. Both versions will have more than 300 miles of range on a single charge.

The post Rivian Brings Total Funding to $8 Billion appeared first on Tesla Motors Club.

GM Considering All-Electric Corvette SUV

GM is considering building a family of all-electric vehicles with Corvette badging, according to a report from Bloomberg.

According to the report:

GM has designers working on several Corvette-brand concept vehicles that target a wider range of buyers, said the people, who asked not to be named because the plan has not been publicly unveiled. These seek to blend Corvette’s reputation for high-performance driving and rakish styling with creature comforts such as more interior room and storage, the people said. They added that the program is referred to internally as Project R or Brand R.

A Corvette SUV could go on sale as soon as 2025 but probably after that, Bloomberg reported.

Ford may have started a trend when it borrowed the nameplate from the iconic Mustang sports car for its all-electric crossover called the Mustang Mach-E.

Will Corvette fans be accepting of the model expanding into SUVs?

Photo: Chevrolet

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Tesla Releases New Video on Battery Manufacturing

Tesla has released a new video that teases its battery manufacturing efforts in an effort to recruit talent to its cell team.

The video shows mesmerizing shots of Tesla’s battery cells moving through the production process. The music of Don Hinton’s 1960 tune “Honey Bee” accompanies the images, including the lyrics “You gave me a charge and it felt so fine, Shivering up right through my spine.”

Tesla unveiled in September at its Battery Day event a new 4680 battery cell, a larger form factor that would increase range by 16%.

Tesla said the new cells will have a 5x increase in energy and a 6x increase in power capacity. The new cell is 46mm by 80mm, featuring a “tabless” design that enables the efficiencies.

The new YouTube video links out to a page on Tesla’s website advertising jobs.

“At Tesla, we build cars and factories from the ground up,” the webpage says. “Now we do the same for batteries. Join us to solve the next generation of cell engineering, manufacturing, materials, equipment, and operations challenges ahead—all in one vertically-integrated team.”

Check out the video above.

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Apple and Hyundai Considering EV Partnership

A new report says that Apple and Hyundai Motor Co. have agreed to partner on an autonomous all-electric car.

Korea IT News first reported the potential partnership, which would aim to put a vehicle into production by 2024.

Apple has been working on a car project since as early as 2014. Dubbed “Project Titan,” the company explored building its own car from scratch. However, the company reportedly abandoned those efforts to focus on automotive software. In 2018, Apple tapped former Tesla employee Doug Field to manage the project.

Last month rumors of Apple’s efforts to build a car started up again. And, the car is expected to feature a breakthrough battery technology. A Reuters report called the battery tech “next level, like “the first time you saw the iPhone.”

A Reuters article noted that a previous version of the Korea IT article said the companies planned to build the cars at Kia Motors’ factory in Georgia, or invest jointly in a new factory in the U.S. to produce 100,000 vehicles around 2024. “The full annual capacity of the proposed plant would be 400,000 vehicles,” the report said.

Photo: Wikipedia

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Report: Tesla Hiring Design Director in China

Tesla is ramping up its efforts to design and build vehicles specifically for the Chinese market, according to a Reuters report.

The company is currently looking to hire a director in China to lead a “full-function” studio in Shanghai or Beijing. Candidates have been interviewed by Tesla’s global design chief Franz von Holzhausen, according to Reuters sources. 

Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk said on Twitter in September that the company  plans to build two newly-designed vehicles to be produced at the company’s Berlin and Shanghai factories

The comment came shortly after Musk told investors at Battery Day that the company intends to build a new vehicle with a $25,000 price tag. Reuters spoke to two sources that said one vehicle to be considered by the design studio will be a “China-specific” model will be a “lower-cost volume generator such as a $25,000 electric car.”

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