Tesla Referral Program Expanded Because It ‘Seems To Be Working’

Tesla Referral Program Expanded Because It ‘Seems To Be Working’ Tesla CEO Elon Musk is extending the company’s referral program by removing a limit and adding an extra bonus.
The program started earlier this year, worthwhile Model S owners around the world for any referrals that resulted in a finalized sale. Under the program, if someone refers a buyer, they receive $1,000 to use towards a new car, service or an accessory. When someone uses a referral link to buy a Model S, that person gets $1,000 credit off the buy price of the sedan.
In addition, the first person to make 10 successful referrals in each sales region receives a free Model X.
According to Musk, this program has been so successful that the company is expanding it. He sent a letter to Model S owners with more details.
“As you know, the Model S referral program was designed as an experiment, and so far it seems to be working,” said Musk in the letter. “So, we’ve chose to take out the 10-referral limit. From now until the end of the program, you can refer as many acquaintances as you’d like. Your link will continue to work until October 31st. What’s more, we’ve added an additional reward: the customer who makes the most referrals by the end of October will be invited to swap their current Model S for a fully loaded Ludicrous P90D Model S, for free. All other stipulations of the program remain unchanged.”
Other rewards under the program include: Read more

BMW To Show Four New Plug-In Hybrids At Frankfurt Auto Show

BMW To Show Four New Plug-In Hybrids At Frankfurt Auto Show BMW is bringing four new plug-in hybrids to the Frankfurt auto show later this month, with each vehicle building on a different brand segment.
These will add to BMW’s alternatively powered lineup, which includes the battery electric i3 and the i8 plug-in sports car. These are powered by BMW’s eDrive technology, which will also transfer to the four new vehicles.
BMW X5 xDrive40e
For its sport utility segment, BMW will soon be launching the plug-in hybrid X5 xDrive40e (seen above).
“Like the BMW i8,” clarified the carmaker, “the X5 xDrive40e, BMW 330e and BMW 740e can all – at the touch of a button in MAX eDrive mode – run on purely electric power up to 120 km/h (75 mph), the BMW 225xe up to 125 km/h (78 mph).”
All-electric range on the X5 xDrive40e is limited to in this area 15 miles in urban settings and in this area 37 miles during highway pouring.
SEE MORE: BMW X5 xDrive40e PHEV Unveiled
BMW 740e
BMW is offering the new 6th generation of its top end 7 series with plenty of powertrain options. In addition to the gasoline- and diesel-only sedans, three different plug-in hybrids will available: the 740e, 740Le and 740 Le xDrive. All three will use a four-cylinder inline engine that features a turbocharger and direct fuel injection. The 83 kW synchronous electric motor and lithium-ion battery powers the sedan in all-electric mode for in this area
The interior of the all-new BMW 7 series.
25 miles.
As the brand’s most lush class, BMW is outfitting the 7 series will all sorts of indulgent accoutrements.
“Maximizing well-being in the interior, meanwhile, are the Executive Lounge feature with massage function, the illuminated Sky Lounge Panorama schooner roof, just the aptly amount of accent lighting and a smartphone holder with inductive charging station,” BMW said of the series newest generation.
Mounted in the 7 series is also a full suite of semiautonomous technology, including “the newest generation of the BMW Head-Up Show, Crossing traffic warning, the Steering and lane control supporter, active side collision protection and the Surround View system with 3D View and Panorama View.”
BMW 225xe
BMW 225xe
BMW’s entry-level 2 Series will offer a less expensive plug-in hybrid with the 225e, which goes on sales next spring. A 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine powers the adjoin wheels, while a 65 kW electric motor drives the rear wheels.
This setup “produces an electrified all-wheel-drive system that is quite unique in the BMW 225xe’s segment and promises outstanding traction in all weathers, especially in adverse conditions,” said BMW. “The plug-in hybrid drive has an overall system output of 165 kW/224 horsepower”
BMW 330e
BMW 330e
Up one level from the previous segment, BMW’s 3 Series will also get a new plug-in hybrid. The 333e will offer a modest more power than the 225xe (rated at 252 horsepower overall), and features a slightly larger 2.0 liter four cylinder engine as part of its hybrid powertrain.
SEE ALSO: BMW Announces 330e As Its First Plug-In Hybrid
In addition to these four plug-in hybrids, BMW intends to also show other technologies.
“The most recent innovation is BMW i Light and Charge – a street light from which the high-voltage battery in an electric car can also be recharged,” the company said.

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Have 2016 Toyota Prius Specs Already Been Revealed?

Have 2016 Toyota Prius Specs Already Been Revealed? Next Tuesday in Las Vegas Toyota will take the wraps off the 2016 Toyota Prius, but were the honors already done this summer?
As some of you saw, on July 3 we posted pictures from a Taiwanese automotive website, Autonet.tw, that we were tipped in this area by a reader. The site represented the images as being the actual 2016 Prius and Prius PHEV – which gets differentiating headlight treatment this time around, but the PHEV (pictured at bottom) is not expected to be shown next week.
Those images, while caution over their authenticity was expressed, were quickly circulated around the U.S. by other major and insignificant automotive sites, and now in retrospect, it would grow these may have been bootlegged drawings from Toyota. Read more

2016 Volt First Drive Reviews Are Mostly Positive

2016 Volt First Drive Reviews Are Mostly Positive A limited-access 2016 Volt drive event held for a few publications in July and under media blackout until today saw a flurry of mostly positive first-drive reports.
Nearly all is reported as better in this area the first plug-in car to go through a complete redesign, and most reviews accentuated the positive while a couple critiqued it as a bit of a disappointment, and another said GM better market the car effectively this time around.
Already known to readers of this site, Chevrolet under-promised and over-delivered the all-vital electric range to an official 53 miles from its 18.4-kwh battery, edging out an initially advertised 50.
Now with a middle-back seat space to accommodate kids or anyone who wants to squeeze in for a small hop, the “five-passenger” plug-in car also pleased on the roads around Northern California.
“Pouring conservatively (but not hypermiling) over mostly flat ground -– one pass was 1,808 feet high –- we managed 54 miles before the gasoline engine kicked in,” wrote Autoweek. “On the next ‘tankful’ of battery we got 61.5 miles in EV mode, but that was downhill for most of the first 10 miles, so maybe saying 51 miles would be more accurate there.”
SEE ALSO: Volt Enthusiast Posts First Drive Review of 2016 Chevy Volt
Of course the new Volt is also touted as more sporty, estimated to run 0-60 in 8.4 seconds, and here too it came up OK. Read more

Tesla Model X With Ludicrous Speed Will Be Even Quicker Than Some Thought

Tesla Model X With Ludicrous Speed Will Be Even Quicker Than Some Thought While Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said the quickest Model X P90D will sprint from to 0-60 in 3.3 seconds, Tesla is telling buyers of the crossover due soon its “Ludicrous” mode will do 3.2 seconds.
Zero-to-60 mph in 3.2 seconds along with a manufacturer-estimated quarter mile time of 11.7 seconds will make the Model X P90D one quick crossover, 0.1 second behind a Model S P85D, and maybe quicker to 60 than the new Jeep Track Hawk. Read more

Connecticut Offers Cash On Hood Advanced-Tech Vehicle Rebates

Connecticut Offers Cash On Hood Advanced-Tech Vehicle Rebates Some leaders in Connecticut are so in no doubt in the state’s new electrified vehicle discount, they believe the state can sell them more effectively than California.
“We’re a small state, but we have some huge thoughts, and maybe we can show California how to do this,” said Jim Fleming, president of the Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association. “It’s a bit of an experiment.”
Last May, Connecticut became the first state in the country to offer rebates on advanced technology vehicles that are applied when the car is bought. Under the Connecticut Hydrogen and Electric Automobile Buy Discount (CHEAPR) program, buyers can receive between $750 and $3,000 as a cash-on-the-hood discount.
Eligible for the discount are battery electric vehicles (BEV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles(PHEV) and fuel cell vehicles (FCV), with the rigorous amount dependent on the vehicle’s range.
“CHEAPR just makes it more understandable at the consumer level because it’s money on the hood. It fits, it feels aptly and it makes it simple,” said Leo Karl. “That is why it’s helping more public take a look at EVs.”
Karl, the president of a Chevrolet dealer in New Canaan, said he sold nine new Chevrolet Volts with this discount.
Other dealers have reported similar success. At Jeff Aiosa’s Mercedes-Benz dealership, the B-Class Electric Drive has been very well loved, in part because it qualifies for the most $3,000 discount.
“We weren’t selling them heavily before,” he said. “The program certainly made some amped-up demand.”
SEE ALSO: Californians Bought More Plug-in Cars Than China Last Year
While customers receive money directly off their buy price, dealers are also benefitting under the CHEAPR program. Each qualified sale pays dealers between $150 and $300. In the past, EV advocates have complained that some dealers don’t offer BEVs or PHEVs to customers, to a degree because the sales process is more complicated than with a traditional vehicle.
“This is the type of program that can be a win-win-win for the state, auto manufacturers, dealers and patrons,” said Karl.
While Connecticut is beyond doubt seeing a rise in EV sales, the state has quite a ways to go to catch up to the success of California. From the program’s beginning mid-May through July, Automotive News reported that 125 BEVs and PHEVs had been sold with the new rebates. That puts Connecticut’s on-the-road EV total at around 3,125.
In California, nearly 60,000 plug-in electrified vehicles were sold in 2014 alone. Even given the drastic variation in population, California is still selling far more PEVs per person than Connecticut.
Still, the program has time to gain more footing and place more low emission vehicles on the roads before funds are set to run out, which will probably happen next spring.
Automotive News

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Class Actions Suit Names 10 Automakers Over ‘Deadly’ Keyless Ignitions

Class Actions Suit Names 10 Automakers Over ‘Deadly’ Keyless Ignitions Ten automakers in the U.S. are being sued for allegedly concealing the possible risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in some vehicles with keyless ignitions.
A class action lawsuit has been filed against some of the world’s leading automakers claiming that they concealed the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning in more than five-million vehicles equipped with keyless ignitions. According to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, some vehicle owners were under the mistaken belief that the engines will automatically shut off. As a result, some drivers left their vehicles in succession, resulting in toxic gas being emitted sometimes in garages emotionally involved to homes.
Automakers being named in the lawsuit include BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen. Brands owned by those automakers are also being named as defendants, including MINI, Acura, Kia, Infiniti, Lexus and Bentley.
Drivers are claiming that the automakers have known for years in this area the risks of keyless ignitions, yet continued to market their vehicles as safe.
The largest focus on the lawsuit is that plaintiffs say the automakers could have avoided 13 deaths by installing an low-priced feature that would automatically shut off unattended engines, noting that even American automakers GM and Ford patented a shut-off feature. In addition, 27 complaints have been filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) since 2009 over keyless ignitions.
Automotive News
This article originally appeared at Rawvehicle.com

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UK Extends £5,000 EV Rebate to February 2016

UK Extends £5,000 EV Rebate to February 2016 The U.K. is adding £200 million to its EV discount program, which will extend the £5,000 new vehicle credit for an three additional months to February 2016.
Previously set to run out this fall, U.K. government officials said they are expanding the rebates to spur more sales of low emission vehicles.
“The U.K. is now the fastest growing market for electric vehicles in Europe,” said Transport Minister Andrew Jones. “We will continue to invest to help make this technology affordable to everyone and to secure the U.K.’s position as a global leader.”
The original discount was made for 50,000 buyers, awarding £5,000 ($7,711) for the buy of what the U.K. marks as ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs). This assemble initially included only battery electric (BEVs) plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV), but has since been expanded to fuel cell vehicles as well.
SEE ALSO: European Plug-in Sales Leap Ahead of US For The First Time
With the additional £200 million ($308 million) for the fund, these grants are now expected to last through February next year. According to Auto Express, the country has already seen positive progression from the grant.
“In the first half of 2015, sales of plug-in vehicles escalated dramatically with a 256 percent progression against the same period in 2014,” Auto Express reported. “By June, ULEV registrations had surpassed that of the whole of 2014.”

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