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This Week in the Future of Cars: The Inside Look

Every so often, WIRED gets to take a good, long sojourn behind the scenes, to observe what the people we write about are doing all day. This was one of those nice weeks. Editor Alex Davies hopped a plane to Winnemucca, an isolated mining town in northern Nevada that’s hosting Alphabet’s latest moonshot: its effort to spread the gospel of internet via broadcasting balloons. Senior writer Jessi Hempl got under Uber’s hood after the announcement that HR chief Liane Hornsey—the woman brought in to fix the unicorn’s culture—resigned for improperly…

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The Terrible Timing of Tesla’s Expiring $7,500 Tax Credit

Just a few weeks after finally reaching its goal of building 5,000 Model 3 sedans in a week, Tesla has hit another threshold: Earlier this month, it sold its 200,000th car in the US. This milestone, however, is more cause for concern than celebration: From here on out, Elon Musk's customers will start to lose access to the $7,500 federal tax credit that softens the blow of buying an expensive electric. The tax credit scheme dates to the 2008 Energy Improvement and Extension Act, which boosted the budding electric car…

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Elon Musk visits Shanghai to announce first Tesla factory outside U.S.

Right after Tesla raised the prices of its cars by at least $20,000 each due to China's increased import tariffs on American-made cars, the company announced it would open its first international factory in Shanghai today. This will allow the car manufacturer to circumvent the newly imposed taxes.Image: Shanghai Municipal People’s government A looming trade war with China hasn’t slowed down Elon Musk or his beloved brainchild Tesla. Right after the car company was forced to raise the prices of its cars by at least $20,000 each due to China’s…

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The $4,000 Tesla iPhone X claims to charge your phone with solar panels

Image: caviar Remember the company that created the iPhone 6S with Putin’s head encrusted in gold? Well, they’re back with a raaaaather different homage—this time, to Elon Musk.  Russian phone accessory maker Caviar—renowned for its ultra-expensive and over-the-top iPhone cases—has created something called the iPhone X Tesla, which it claims “is able to charge from light.” SEE ALSO: A $3,200 iPhone 6S has Putin’s head encrusted in gold Oh, and it’s all yours for a whopping $4,590 (£3,392). A bargain!  “iPhone X Tesla by Caviar is equipped with a solar…

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Odds and Ends 

Tesla Semi does its first production cargo run with batteries on board

Tesla is putting its new electric Semi to work, with its first run as a “production” vehicle — for a familiar client. Tesla itself is the customer, as the trucks were equipped with trailers loaded up with battery packs fresh from the Gigafactory assembly line, heading to the Tesla Fremont car factory in California. Elon Musk shared an image of the trucks at work, with both the matte black version and the silver one with the aero hood, which presumably are the same they showed off at the official unveil…

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Elon Musk shares the last image of his Tesla Roadster in space

Unless you spent your day under a rock on Tuesday, you probably already know that SpaceX successfully launched its largest rocket ever, the Falcon Heavy. Oh, and on that rocket was a Telsa Roadster, because why not? Elon Musk shared the last image of the Roadster — equipped with a “Starman” at the wheel — before it spends the rest of eternity somewhere in space. Kind of haunting, kind of beautiful. May he ride forever, and not be blown to bits.  SEE ALSO: Watching SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy launch to space…

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Why Tesla’s Autopilot Can’t See a Stopped Firetruck

On Monday, a Tesla Model S slammed into the back of a stopped firetruck on the 405 freeway in Los Angeles County. The driver apparently told the fire department the car was in Autopilot mode at the time. The crash highlighted the shortcomings of the increasingly common semi-autonomous systems that let cars drive themselves in limited conditions. This surprisingly non-deadly debacle also raises a technical question: How is it possible that one of the most advanced driving systems on the planet doesn't see a freaking fire truck, dead ahead? Tesla…

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Fisker EMotion electric car debuts at CES, immediately inspires drooling

Picture the Distracted Boyfriend internet meme, where the boyfriend is a Tesla owner and the girlfriend is the Model S. The other woman? That’s gotta be the Fisker EMotion. SEE ALSO: 7 tech trends that will rule CES 2018 The all-new Fisker Inc. debuted its luxury electric car, the EMotion, at CES 2018, and it’s a beauty. Fisker’s sporty sedan would look completely in its element pulling up next to a Corvette or Porsche. But this a car made for the future, with equal attention paid to brains as well…

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Odds and Ends 

Walmart plans to pilot test the new Tesla Semi

Walmart says that it intends to be among the first companies to pilot Tesla’s new all-electric Semi heavy-duty truck. The retailer told CNBC that it’s “excited to be among the first” to test the new vehicle, and to see how it might help them achieve “long-term sustainability goals” including decreasing their overall emissions footprint. The retailer will pilot the Tesla Semi across both U.S. and Canada, the company says. Walmart operates around 6,000 of its own trucks currently to transfer stock from distribution centers to its stores. This is a…

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Elon Musk is putting his personal Tesla into Mars orbit

SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy, its most powerful reusable rocket to date, might have its first launch before the end of the year after all — and it’s going to include Elon Musk’s very own Tesla. Following reports that time was up for the launch in 2017 — it had originally been schedule for November — SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has seemingly confirmed that it will take place sometime in December. And, in true Musk style, there is more. Musk revealed that the payload inside the rocket will be his own Tesla…

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South Australia turns on Tesla’s 100MW battery: ‘History in the making’

Jay Weatherill marks the official launch as Elon Musk delivers on his promise to complete project within 100 days The worlds largest lithium-ion battery has officially been turned on in South Australia promising to usher in a revolution in how electricity is produced and stored. Tesla boss Elon Musk has after blackouts last year that critics of the states Labor government

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Elon Musk had 100 days to build the world’s biggest battery. He’s done.

Done and done. But now's the test.Image: tesla Elon Musk made a bet to build the world’s biggest battery in 100 days or he’d pay for it. And he’s done. Tesla has completed installing its colossal lithium ion battery in South Australia, a Powerpack system with 100 megawatts of capacity. But now comes the test. SEE ALSO: This isn’t the first time Elon Musk made big promises Regulatory testing will begin in the next few days to ensure the battery is optimised and meets AEMO and South Australian Government requirements,…

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Odds and Ends 

Canadian grocery chain orders 25 Tesla electric Semi trucks

Tesla’s Semi is off to a promising start, despite there being no official pricing information available yet: In addition to a Walmart pilot, Canadian grocery giant Loblaw is purchasing 25 of the heavy duty all-electric transport trucks (via Canadian Press), with a $5,000 deposit for each upfront even though pricing is TBD for the vehicle, which is supposed to start shipping in 2019. Loblaw has a target of running a fully electric vehicle fleet to support its stores, as part of a goal of reducing its emissions impact by 2030.…

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What Does Tesla’s Automated Truck Mean for Truckers?

On Thursday night, Elon Musk rolled out Tesla's biggest gizmo yet: a fully electric semitruck. The Semi can go a whopping 500 miles between charges, hauling 80,000 pounds along the way. And it can sorta, kinda drive itself—on highways, anyway. The truck comes with Enhanced Autopilot, the second generation of Tesla's semiautonomous technology, equipped with automatic braking, lane keeping, and lane departure warnings. "Every truck we sell has Autopilot as standard," Musk said of the Semi, which goes into production in 2019. "This is a massive increase in safety." That…

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