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    Leaked Tesla report shows Cybertruck had basic design flaws / ArsTechnica · Friday, 9 June - 18:00

Illustration showing blueprints for cybertruck

Enlarge (credit: Jacqui VanLiew; Getty Images)

In November 2019, Tesla CEO Elon Musk stepped onto a stage in California to launch a new kind of EV: the Cybertruck, an angular cyberpunk-styled pickup with bodywork made of brushed stainless steel and “unbreakable” glass. What happened next has entered into public relations folklore. Under the glare of the cameras, the demo truck’s windows smashed not once, but twice during a demonstration of their strength. Musk first swore, then joked: “There’s room for improvement.” That off-the-cuff remark could have been a fitting mantra for the entire project.

Not that this faltering start has deterred Tesla’s devoted fans, of course. Since then, an estimated 1.8 million customers have put down their $100 deposits to reserve a Cybertruck. The vehicle was supposed to start rolling off production lines in 2021. But two years on, the trucks still haven’t been delivered, and for most customers, they won’t be until 2024 at the earliest.

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    Welcome to Normal: The town that holds the keys to Rivian’s future / ArsTechnica · Monday, 8 May, 2023 - 14:57

Rivian assembly line

Enlarge / Rivian pick-up trucks on the assembly line in Normal, Illinois. (credit: Bloomberg )

Spotting an electric truck on the road remains a novelty in most of the US, but not Normal, Illinois.

The town in the Midwestern corn belt is home to the manufacturing operations of Rivian, the battery-powered vehicle start-up worth more than Ford or Volkswagen soon after it listed 18 months ago.

Rivian’s market capitalization has since crumbled from a peak of $162 billion to $12.5 billion in the face of production shortfalls and intensifying competition from carmakers both established and new. It is expected to report a $1.7 billion operating loss on $654 million in revenue in first-quarter results due on Tuesday, according to a compilation of analysts’ estimates.

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    Fatal Tesla Model S crash unlikely to involve Autopilot, according to NTSB / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 11 May, 2021 - 13:57 · 1 minute

A red sedan cruises down a tree-lined highway.

Enlarge (credit: Andrei Stanescu / Getty Images )

On Monday afternoon, the National Transportation Safety Board released a preliminary report for its investigation into a crash of a Tesla Model S that killed the driver and passenger in Texas earlier in April. The crash made headlines because no one was found in the driver's seat , raising suspicions that Tesla's Autopilot driver-assistance system was involved in the deaths. This now seems unlikely—the NTSB says that video footage shows the occupants getting into the front seats of the car shortly before the crash. Additionally, the NTSB was unable to engage a component of Autopilot on the stretch of road where the crash happened.

The crash occurred on April 17 in Spring, located in Harris County, Texas. According to the NTSB report, footage from the owner's home security system shows that the driver and a passenger entered the car at the owner's house. They then traveled approximately 550 feet (167 m) "before departing the road on a curve, driving over the curb, and hitting a drainage culvert, a raised manhole, and a tree." At this point, the Tesla's lithium-ion traction battery was damaged and caught fire.

The fire also destroyed the on-board storage of the Tesla's infotainment system, but the NTSB says it recovered a fire-damaged restraint control module that can "record data associated with vehicle speed, belt status, acceleration, and airbag deployment." This module has been taken to the NTSB's recorder laboratory for further testing.

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