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Tesla pushes hard against Michigan's anti-direct vehicle sales bills

Asks Consumers To Contact Gov. Snyder

Posted Oct 17th 2014 2:15PM

Tesla Tyson's

While Tesla has been fighting against direct-vehicle sales bans in a number of states, the California electric vehicle company doesn't ask for help every time it finds itself in a skirmish. Last year, it did send out some ravens calling for assistance in Ohio. It has done so again to deal with a fast-moving situation in Michigan.

A new bill, House Bill 5606, would not allow a vehicle manufacturer to "directly or indirectly own, operate, or control a new motor vehicle dealer." It would also prevent Tesla from opening one of its we're-not-selling-cars-here 'galleries' in the Mitten State. Local news station WSJM talked to State Representative Aric Nesbitt (who introduced the bill) and he maintains that the bill is not "anti-Tesla at all." It just clarifies other laws, he said, adding that "if Tesla wants to have a real debate on current structure and state statute, I look forward to sitting down and meet[ing] with them, but them spreading lies about my bill, that's not a constructive use of their time."

Lies, eh? Tesla did call the legislation "harmful to consumers" and described the way it says the bill came about in somewhat conspiratorial terms:

On the last day of the legislative session, the dealers managed to make a last-minute change to the bill in an attempt to cement their broader retail monopoly. Using a procedure that prevented legislators and the public at large from knowing what was happening or allowing debate, Senator Joe Hune added new language in an attempt to lock Tesla out of the State. Unsurprisingly, Senator Hune counts the Michigan Automobile Dealers Association as one of his top financial contributors, and his wife's firm lobbies for the dealers.

A number of Michigan auto dealers are big contributors to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, who has yet to announce if he will sign the bill. He has until Tuesday to decide. You can read the full text of Tesla's call for help below.

News Source: Tesla Motors, WSJM

Image Credit: joeymink / Flickr

Watch Jimmy Kimmel become an Uber driver for an afternoon

Posted Oct 17th 2014 12:45PM

Jimmy Kimmel becomes an Uber driver

Despite red tape and outright bans in some areas, on-demand taxi services like Uber and Lyft are becoming hugely popular ways to get a ride in bigger cities. So what's it like to drive for one of these services? Late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel wanted to find out with a dash of humor thrown in. He became a registered Uber driver and started picking up fares ... at least one, anyway.

Becoming an Uber driver requires owning a new-enough insured vehicle and passing a registration procedure that includes a background check. None of that was too daunting for Kimmel, and he hopped into something suitably innocuous – a Chevrolet Cruze – to try out an afternoon on the job.

We only get to see Kimmel interacting with one person, but his fare seems suitably surprised when he notices the celebrity driver. This isn't a bad idea for a bit, but we wouldn't mind seeing it go to the next level with someone like Jay Leno picking up people in some crazy machine from his garage. Check out the video to watch Kimmel trying out a new job.

News Source: Jimmy Kimmel Live via YouTube

Ford's first PHEV in Europe could be C-Max

VW, Mitsubishi, Toyota Already Selling Plug-In Hybrids In EU

Posted Oct 17th 2014 10:28AM

Ford Fusion Plug-in Hybrid

Ford could start selling a plug-in hybrid in Europe pretty soon, according to at least one of its executives. Whether it's willing to do so is another story. But if the market perks up, so will the company.

The automaker can "quickly" develop a plug-in hybrid version of its Mondeo, the sister car to the Ford Fusion, Automotive News Europe says, citing Ford executive Uli Koesters. The subject of Ford selling plug-in hybrids in Europe is more vital than ever since Volkswagen recently started selling its first PHEV (a Golf) there. VW will also debut a Passat PHEV next year.

Koesters was less certain about whether there was sufficient European demand to warrant a production PHEV from Ford. Europe's biggest-selling plug-in hybrid through the first half of the year was the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. That model, according to JATO Dynamics, moved almost 9,000 units through June. Toyota sold almost 4,300 Prius Plug-in Hybrids in Europe during that time period.

And we can't be sure Ford's first European PHEV will be the Modeo/Fusion, either. In fact, Ford's first plug-in hybrid for Europe is more likely to be the C-Max, John Gardiner, a Ford spokesman in Europe, told AutoblogGreen. He would only say that it would be sold "in selected markets soon," without being more specific.

Ford's two PHEVs in the US have been selling well this year. Through September, sales of the Fusion Energi PHEV almost tripled to 9,323 units, while Ford C-Max Energi PHEV sales were up 51 percent to 6,486 units.
Related Gallery2013 Ford Fusion Energi
2013 Ford Fusion Energi2013 Ford Fusion Energi2013 Ford Fusion Energi2013 Ford Fusion Energi2013 Ford Fusion Energi2013 Ford Fusion Energi2013 Ford Fusion Energi2013 Ford Fusion Energi

Recharge Wrap-up: Toyota FCV ready for production, Nissan tests Leaf-to-Home energy management

Honda Scores Perfect Climate Disclosure Score; Stanford Creates Overheating Warning For Batteries

Posted Oct 17th 2014 7:55AM

toyota fcv

Toyota will begin selling its hydrogen fuel cell vehicle (FCV) in Japan in December. The US and Europe can expect to see the car become available next summer. The FCV, which will likely be called "Mirai" (meaning "future") in Japan, is ready for production ahead of its initial deadline at the end of the fiscal year in March. Toyota planned for annual production of 700 units, but might increase output to meet higher-than-expected demand, which is currently nearing 1,000 units. The cars will mostly be sold in the four cities where a hydrogen fueling infrastructure is already being put in place: Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka. Read more at Nikkei Asian Review.

Nissan is testing the Leaf EV as part of an energy management system including "Leaf to Home" technology. The system allows the Leaf to help support the power grid during peak energy usage, or provide backup power to a home or building during outages, particularly in emergencies like natural disasters. Using the Leaf's battery to provide electricity during peak hours would lessen the demand on the grid and make the system work more efficiently. Furthermore, if consumers are compensated for the energy saved by using the Leaf for power during periods of high demand, it could encourage more people to adopt the EV. Learn more in the press release below.

CDP has given Honda a perfect climate disclosure score in its Global 500 Climate Change Report for 2014. CDP keeps track of how much companies are disclosing about their impact on global climate change. "The need for data on corporate climate change impacts and strategies to reduce them has never been greater," says CDP CEO Paul Simpson. "For this reason we congratulate those businesses that have achieved a position on CDP's Climate Disclosure Leadership Index." Other perfect scores were earned by Nissan, BMW, Daimler and General Motors. Read more in the press release from Honda below.

Scientists at Stanford University have developed a lithium ion battery that can warn users before it overheats. A thin layer of copper between the anode and the layer separating the anode from the cathode acts as a sensor. When it detects lithium buildups from overcharging are approaching the separator, it sends an early alert long before it gets to a point where it would cause a short (which could lead to a fire). The new safety measure could be used in all sorts of battery applications, and not be limited to EVs. Learn more at Phys.org.

News Source: Nikkei, Nissan, Honda, Phys.org

Image Credit: Toyota

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder hasn't yet signed anti-Tesla legislation

But State Car Dealers Some Of His Biggest Donors

Posted Oct 16th 2014 7:56PM



The nation's auto dealers are taking their fight against Tesla and its direct method of selling cars to consumers to the symbolic heart of the auto industry. In Michigan, a bill that would entrench the existing dealer networks and prohibit direct car sales to buyers has passed both the state's house and senate, and awaits Gov. Rick Snyder's signature.

A spokesperson for Snyder says a determination on whether he'll sign the legislation has not yet been made. "Right now, the staff is doing its due diligence and studying the bill," spokesperson Dave Murray said. Snyder has until Tuesday to act on the bill.

Fighting this sort of legislation is nothing new for Tesla, which has already lost such legislative fights against auto dealers in Texas, New Jersey, Maryland and other states. "We're fighting these actions as they come up," said James Chen, vice president for regulatory affairs and associate general counsel at Tesla.

Image Credit: Associated Press

Musk: Tesla's first battery swap station to open before end of year

Only One Year Behind Schedule

Posted Oct 16th 2014 5:57PM

Tesla Model S battery swap graphic
For us, the lede was certainly buried in this Automotive News post about the new Tesla D models. In a casual way, AN lets us know that, Tesla CEO Elon Musk "said that Tesla plans to open its first [battery swap] station, between Los Angeles and San Francisco, within the next two months." Well, that's news, isn't it?

The last time we hear anything official about the Model S swap stations, which can replace an empty battery pack with a full one in just 90 seconds, was a long time ago. Tesla first showed off the technology in June of 2013 and claimed that the first station would open in California in the fourth quarter of 2013. Since then it's been ... quiet as the electric vehicle company was busy with other projects. In fact, while Tesla was busy getting the D ready, starting to sell the Model S in a number of new countries and working on the Gigafactory as well as new models, some people were thinking that the whole battery swap stations were a hoax, despite that demonstration with journalists in attendance and a series of questions answered. Now that we're 60 days away from the first battery swap station – available, as always, in California first – we're excited to see how it actually works in the real world.

How EVs changed, and didn't change, Elkhart, IN

Posted Oct 16th 2014 2:44PM

Think electric-vehicle factory in Elkhart, IN

Two stinking electric vehicles. That's what Elkhart, IN, has to show for the trio of electric-vehicle makers that were going to create thousands of jobs in town during the past decade but ultimately went bust, the Elkhart Truth reports. Of course, the real "truth" is a little more complicated than that.

Electric Motors Corp. (EMC), Navistar and Think all announced big plans to take a town whose receding RV manufacturing industry left it with a 20-percent unemployment rate and put it at the forefront of electric-vehicle manufacturing in the US. President Barack Obama even visited Elkhart in 2009 when Navistar received $39.2 million in federal grants for electric delivery truck manufacturing. And, in late 2010, the local Think factory was assembling 20 electric vehicles a day, though most of those parts were actually made in countries such as Finland and Turkey.

But then came the dark times, and the companies all lacked the funds to support production once the grants ran out. By 2011, Think parent Think Global had filed for bankruptcy for a second time, while Navistar's switch over to natural-gas vehicle production didn't take, either. Now, the town, which is about 150 miles north of Indianapolis and about 110 miles east of Chicago, has little to show – except fot two Think EVs that are used by the municipal government. Read the whole story
.

News Source: Elkhart Truth

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Sebastian Blanco / AOL

2015 Kia Soul EV

Posted Oct 16th 2014 11:57AM

2015 Kia Soul EV

You'd be forgiven if you weren't fully aware of this vehicle's existence. While the Soul EV is a big deal for Kia, as it marks the Korean brand's first foray into the world of pure electric vehicles here in the US, it simply has not a been able to garner much regard from the average car fan or, really, the automotive press.

As a green car, it has to be tough to compete with Elon Musk's remarkable ability to consistently hold our attention with nearly everything he touches at Tesla. Add that to the fact that the Soul EV doesn't offer a ton in the way of aesthetics to differentiate itself from its gasoline-powered sibling – save a few tweaks here and there – and its limited initial availability (CA only for now), and you end up with a vehicle that just isn't on a lot of people's radar. And that's too bad.

You see, none of the above is meant to imply that this is a bad car. In fact, as you read through our driving notes, you'll see that the reality is actually the opposite: Kia has a genuinely solid product on its hands.

Driving Notes
  • Those limited exterior changes we spoke of include a larger, sealed-off 'Tiger Nose' grille with integrated charge port, blue-tinged lighting, unique front fascia, ultra-aerodynamic Cuisinart-spec alloy wheels, plus the obligatory badges and unique color and trim options.
  • The Soul EV employs an 81.4-kW electric motor fueled by a 27-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack. The latter weighs a whopping 620 pounds with its warming system, taking the car's overall curb weight up to about 3,400 pounds. Considering that the regular Soul comes in at just 2,784, that added mass makes the Soul EV pretty hefty for a hamster.
  • In spite of the car's added weight, the instant torque provided by an electric powertrain means that acceleration is a hoot. It doesn't take much to get the tires to chirp when starting from a dead stop, and even though the 0-60 time isn't anything to write home about, the initial boost of power that the car experiences off of the line is enough to make scooting around town an enjoyable affair. All told, the powertrain makes 109 horsepower and 210 pound-feet of torque.
  • Electric vehicles have progressed in many ways over just the past few years, but one thing that impresses here is how much the feel of regenerative braking has improved. The Soul still suffers from a noticeable sharp-bite-then-fade when stopping or slowing down, but it's not nearly as jarring as EVs we've experienced in the past. This makes driving in traffic especially nice, which is particularly important since that's where the vast majority of EVs live.
  • Like the regular gas-powered Soul, this EV isn't really intended for aggressive drives along winding mountain roads, but I did it anyway, and I have to admit that I walked away impressed with its handling. Its electric power steering is on the heavier side, and is responsive to quick and minute inputs. The aforementioned weighty battery pack keeps the center of gravity very low, which inspires confidence when taking a turn at speed. All in all, the Soul EV is more about efficiency, and that's evidenced in its small wheels and super low rolling resistance tires that are geared more towards extending range than spirited handling. Even so, we'd venture to call this a fun little hatch to drive.
  • The Soul EV has a range of 93 miles, depending on how you're driving. That's a solid number – in fact, the Tesla Model S is the only electric that beats it, according to Kia – but there's still a limit to this vehicle's utility. Buyers in urban areas with short commutes should be able to get by owning just this vehicle, but for anyone in the suburbs, the Soul EV will likely serve as an addition to any potential buyer's existing fleet.
  • The Soul EV offers both an SAE J1772 port for Level 1 and Level 2 AC charging as well as a CHAdeMo DC fast-charging port (480v). Charging takes five hours with a 240-volt outlet, and using a 50-kW quick charger will give the batteries an 80-percent charge in as few as 33 minutes.
  • In many EVs built on an existing internal-combustion platform, there are noticeable bumps and/or indentations carved out for the battery pack – as a result, there's less room in the rear seats or the trunk. Hats off to Kia engineers, though, who have managed to shoehorn all of the cells into this model without sacrificing any interior space. Since a big selling point for the Soul has been the versatility of its spaciousness and cargo room, that's a big, big win.
  • Speaking of this Soul's interior, it's a really nice place to be. The new version of the gasoline-powered Soul has made tremendous strides in its improved cabin materials, ride and noise levels. Since this vehicle eschews the normal rumble of an internal combustion engine, it's even quieter, leaving only faint traces of road and wind noise to experience. Additionally, the seats are comfortable and Kia's newest iteration of its UVO infotainment system makes controlling media and other functions easy. Its EV-only digital instrument cluster is crisp and easy to read.
All told, this is one of the better EVs we've driven over the past couple years. That speaks to both Kia's aptitude for making a green vehicle, and just how much the genre has improved in a relatively short period of time in regards to their range, cost and overall driver experience. Heck, compared to the Nissan Leaf, this thing feels downright posh.

The Soul EV is not going to change the landscape of alternate-fuel vehicles, but it's a legitimately nice vehicle. For a driver in an urban area or for someone outside the city who wants something a little greener for grocery runs, this is a sensible and enjoyable option.

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Michael Zak / AOL

Americans could waste $2.8 trillion being stuck in traffic by 2030

Posted Oct 16th 2014 11:31AM

Washington Rain

Traffic Congestion Cost StudySitting stopped in congested traffic might be one of the most frustrating feelings imaginable. You're trapped in your car unsure when things might pick up again, when all you really want is to get to your destination. Not only is this exasperating, it might be costing us all a huge pile of money.

A study from the Centre for Economics and Business Research and the company Inrix Inc claims to be the first to assess the "economic and environmental costs of US traffic." It reports that cumulatively between 2013 and 2030 traffic congestion could cost the US $2.8 trillion (graph right).

According to the study's calculations, Americans wasted wasted $124 billion sitting in traffic in 2013 and it cost the average household $1,700. Los Angles drivers had it the worst with $23.2 billion lost, nearly a fifth of the national total. The average drivers sat in 65 hours of traffic during the year. By 2030, the national figure is predicted to increase by about 50 percent to $186 billion squandered in gridlock annually.

Inrix claims that the amounts are based on an analysis of direct costs like people's wasted time and fuel and indirect factors like the higher price of goods that congestion causes. It also predicts there being 30 million more vehicles on the roads over the next 17 years.

The study's conclusion somewhat mirrors another analysis predicting increases in traffic for certain areas around the country. However, other recent evaluations find people to generally be driving less, especially the young.

Inrix is a company that collects driving data and sells transportation inspiration services to automakers and cities. Scroll down to read more about the study it commissioned.

News Source: Inrix

Image Credit: Elaine Thompson / AP Photo, Inrix

Sunswift solar-powered car smashes 26-year EV speed record

Australian Students Impress FIA In 300-Mile Drive

Posted Oct 16th 2014 10:13AM

Sunswift Solar EV moving

We're not sure which is more impressive: that a team of Australian students set a new distance-speed record for an electric vehicle or the fact that the driver got that little solar-powered bad boy up to 82 miles per hour. Either way, the Sunswift team at University of New South Wales (NSW) has earned the right to crow about their solar-powered EV. It broke a record that stood for 26 years.

The team performed the feat a few months back, but it has now been officially verified by the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile governing body. The 700-pound car ran at an average speed of more than 100 kilometers per hour (62 mph) over a 500-kilometer (311-mile) stretch. To put those numbers another way, the Sunswift made a Chicago-to-Detroit-equivalent drive using about 44 cents worth of electricity, and it even had a few miles to spare. G'day, indeed.

It's pretty heady stuff for a bunch of undergraduate students who've been continuing a great tradition since the Sunswift team was founded way back in 1995. Next, they'll be working to get their vehicle street-legal by next March, adding things like headlights and windshield wipers. We like their chances. You can check out a news video of their achievement below.
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News Source: Sunswift via Sidney Morning Herald

Image Credit: Sunswift

Recharge Wrap-up: BYD unveils 60-ft electric bus, Honda sticking with hybrids in Europe

Pennsylvania Permits Per-kWh Pricing; UK Announces Hydrogen Funding; CARB Allows XL Hybrids Conversion; Sony Pictures Installs 60 Chargers In Culver City

Posted Oct 16th 2014 8:00AM

byd 60-foot eletric bus

BYD has debuted a 60-foot electric bus at the American Public Transportation Association Expo in Houston, TX. The Lancaster bus, as it is called, has a 120-passenger capacity and can drive over 170 miles on a single charge. The articulated bus features low floors and no steps, thanks to in-wheel hub motors. BYD also displayed a 40-foot electric bus that drove the 1,500 miles to the show under its own power (recharging along the way, of course). Read more in the press release below.

Honda says it will continue to sell hybrids in Europe, despite the fact that it has stopped selling the CR-Z and Insight due to slow sales. "Our focus at the moment is on our 1.6-liter diesel but we haven't forgotten about hybrid technology," says Honda Europe's Philip Ross. Honda will sell the next-generation Fit (badged as the Jazz) in Europe when it launches next summer, and will sell the next-gen hybrid version beginning in 2016. Honda sold 4,500 of the Jazz hybrid in Europe last year. Read more at Automotive News.

XL Hybrids is selling its XL3 Hybrid Electric Drive System in California. The news comes after the California Air Resources Board issued an executive order allowing the aftermarket hybrid conversion for 2012-2014 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vans. The XL3 Hybrid regenerative braking conversion increases real-world mpg by about 25 percent. Read more in the press release below.

NRG eVgo has finished installing 60 charging stations at the Sony Pictures Entertainment studio lot and offices in Culver City, California. The Level 2 chargers, which will be managed by NRG eVgo, allow employees to charge their EVs during the workday. An average of 90 EVs and PHEVs park at the studio headquarters every day, thanks in part to Sony Pictures' Alternative Vehicles Incentive program for its employees. Learn more in the press release below.

Pennsylvania's Public Utility Commission will allow operators of EV charging stations to set prices based on kilowatt hour usage. This change ensures that drivers pay for the actual energy they use, rather than the time they spend charging, since different cars can charge at different speeds. Car Charging Group has already begun using the per-kWh fee structure at its charging stations throughout the state. Other states that allow kWh pricing are California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Virginia and Washington. Read more in the press release below.

The UK is putting £11 million (about $17.6 million US) toward getting hydrogen cars on its roads. The money will be used to create a network of hydrogen fueling stations by the end of next year, and for public sector fleets of hydrogen vehicles. Business Minister Matthew Hancock announced the funding, which will come from the government and from industry. "Hydrogen cars present us with a huge economic opportunity and can bolster our internationally renowned automotive industry," says Hancock. "We want to make the UK one of the best places in the world to design, manufacture and sell ultra-low emission vehicles." Learn more in the press release below.

News Source: BYD, Automotive News Europe, XL Hybrids, NRG eVgo, Car Charging Group, Gov.UK

Image Credit: BYD

Whoa, that's fast: researchers working on cheap 2-minute-recharge EV battery

Nanyang Technology University Touting Some Incredible Specs, Including 20-Year Life

Posted Oct 15th 2014 7:55PM

Nanyang Technology University (NTU) researchers and 2-minute EV

We've heard similar promises before, but given the magnitude of change that these ultra-fast charging technologies are talking about, we're always game for one more. Especially when the latest promise includes a two-minute charging time (to 70 percent full), a lifespan of 20 years and a pack that will be easy to manufacture. A large-scale battery prototype does not yet exist, but that's supposedly coming soon.

The fast-charging tech 'is on par with the time needed to pump petrol for current cars.'

Those highlights come from a new announcement from Nanyang Technology University (NTU) School of Materials Science and Engineering researchers who claim to have developed a battery that could work well, "especially for electric vehicles." The big change in the battery comes from replacing the traditional graphite anode with a new gel material that is made from titanium dioxide that has been turned in to "tiny nanotubes" that are "a thousand times thinner than the diameter of a human hair." A detailed paper on the development was published in Advanced Materials.

The researchers were NTU associate professor Chen Xiaodong, research fellow Tang Yuxin and PhD student Deng Jiyang. In a statement (available below), Chen said that EVs would, "be able to increase their range dramatically, with just five minutes of charging, which is on par with the time needed to pump petrol for current cars." Of course, a suitable charging station will also be required.

A brief history of the similar announcements mentioned above include the Hydro-Quebec utility researching five-minute EV charging in 2012 and an even faster two-minute charging time using nanostructure-based cathodes that was under development at Illinois University in 2011. Too bad these speed batteries can't get here faster.

Researchers halfway to cutting carbon fiber costs by 90%

Posted Oct 15th 2014 6:30PM

BMW i3

Carbon fiber has been utilized for decades to build racecars, as a means to cut weight while maintaining strength. But until recently, the space-age material has been largely absent from the street on anything but supercars because of the expense to use it. Recently, BMW signaled a major shift in that trend when it starting using carbon fiber reinforced plastic panels on the i3 and i8. This relatively small scale start might be just the beginning; the German company believes that a breakthrough to inexpensively manufacture the lightweight stuff is just on the horizon.

MAI Carbon Cluster Management GmbH counts BMW, Audi, Airbus, the German government and many other organizations as supporters, and it's researching how to make carbon fiber cheaper to produce, according to Automotive News Europe. The company thinks it can reduce costs by 90 percent in the near future. "We've certainly reached a halfway point on our cost-cutting target for suitable carbon-fiber parts," said project head Klaus Drechsler to Automotive News Europe.

Unfortunately, it isn't entirely clear just what MAI Carbon is doing to make such a huge leap possible. However, a recent post on the company's website talks about a new form a carbon fiber using a thermoplastic matrix that could be cured in less than three minutes. That's compared to about 90 minutes in the traditional process with an autoclave.

The news of cheaper carbon fiber is especially welcome to companies like BMW that are already pushing its use forward. The automaker is already investing $100 million to triple capacity at its Moses Lake, WA, joint venture factory through 2015, and promises to bring the lightweight material to more models in the future.
Related Gallery2014 BMW i3: Live
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News Source: Automotive News Europe - sub. req. , MAI Carbon

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Sebastian Blanco / AOL

Elon Musk hints at need for franchised Tesla dealerships

Posted Oct 15th 2014 5:00PM

Tesla model s in store

Autoline Daily quoting Elon Musk on Tesla DealershipsThe auto dealers around the US, the ones who are frantically trying to stop Tesla Motors from selling its cars directly to consumers, might just need to wait things out. The latest state to take an aggressive stance against Telsa's dealer-free policy is Michigan, but in an new interview with Autoline Daily, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that as the company grows, it may need to introduce franchised dealerships into its sales model.

Currently, Tesla only sells vehicles directly to customers through a network of Tesla Stores. But that may not be enough once more vehicles – the Model X and the Model 3 – arrive and demand for the electric vehicles grows in all fifty states. According to Autoline Daily host John McElroy, when he asked Musk about future growth, Musk admitted that, "We may need a hybrid system, with a combination of our own stores and some dealer franchises." That's a big turn around from Musk's previous claims that normal dealerships can't properly sell electric vehicles and that, if necessary, Tesla would try to change the laws nationwide to allow direct sales, a strategy that has had its share of successes, including surprising support from the FTC. Still, selling a few thousand vehicles a month is a lot different than selling tens of thousands, and that's the sort of thing that Tesla's legislative director Jim Chen may have been thinking about when, in a closed-door regulatory meeting in the fall of 2013, he reportedly said that Tesla would stop its factory-direct-only policy once sales increased to some unspecified level, according to Hybrid Cars. You can see the AD video below. The Tesla news is first in the line-up.

News Source: Autline Daily via Hybrid Cars

Image Credit: Rick Bowmer / AP

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