Model X, Tesla’s first SUV is going to sell for $132K

Tesla Model X


Now that Tesla’s Model S has the world warmed up to the idea of classy-looking electric cars, it’s ready to do it all again with a different form factor. After delays (and more delays), CEO Elon Musk announced the Model X in full specific detail — much to the delight to those that put down some heavy deposits years back. A cheatsheet for what you’ll get for waiting? Falcon wing doors to access the back, a scooch slower than the Model S, but also a higher and bigger interior than its forebear. It’ll come in two models (at two prices): crossover SUV will be initially offered in two models: Reuters reports prices as $132,000 for the P90D Signature and $142,000 for the P90D Founder edition. (Update: The company has not said when the cheaper versions of the X will be available, but when they do the CEO said that they will cost roughly $5,000 more than a comparable Model S).The future isn’t cheap, but let’s take a look what alleged time-traveller Musk has crammed underneath those falcon wings.

Let’s start with safety. Because, well, it’s a car. No kidding, the Model X has a bio weapon defense mode button — one that seals the car with true HEPA filters that are ten times larger than a regular car. At the launch event, Musk described that interior of the Model X was “like a hospital.”

Tesla calls the Model X the safest car in world: the company even states it’ll receive a 5-start safety rating — before it’s even taking the test. That’s brassy… and it would made the car the first ever SUV to do so. Active safety is at the core of all of this: automatic emergency braking and side collision avoidance is built-in. That emergency braking even works at high speed — another Tesla-only feature. There’s forward-looking cameras, radar and even a 360-degree sonar for autopilot features. The company is promising to update the vehicle through software with even more lazier features including, yes, Autopark.

Model X Wing Doors


Those wings. The Tesla Model X’s falcon doors are actuated on a pair of hinges. It can cheekily open itself while being crammed between two parked doors — you’ll need only 30 cm (around 12 inches) of space to open up. Sensors can also detect the roof height to decide how far to open the doors. Oh, and those doors automatically open when you get near them. Inside, seats move by reading your mind independently of each other for easy access to the back seat. As you might be able to tell from photos, that huge windscreen pretty much reaches the head of the driver and shotgun passenger. Naturally, it’s solar-tinted.

If the giant view of the road ahead bores you, there’s a 17-inch touchscreen that’ll pull together media playing, navigation and cabin control. (We think the latter means air-con). In other firsts, the Model X is the first EV to have a 5,000-pound tow capacity. It’s a proper SUV, yet promises a rush of 0-60 mph in 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph. The built-in 90 kWh battery on the signature model promises a run of 250 miles on a single charge. As long as you’re not playing with the doors all day, presumably. We’re at the big, hectic event to get a closer look at the Model X — expect more impressions soon!

Via Mat Smith @

Institutions worth $2.6 trillion have now pulled investments out of fossil fuels

Leonardo DiCaprio and over 2,000 individuals and 400 institutions are now committed to pulling their money from fossil fuel companies, together representing a remarkable $2.6tn of investments, it was revealed on Tuesday.

A new analysis shows the value of the funds committed to selling off their investments in coal, oil and gas companies has rocketed in the last year, rising 50-fold. Major pension funds and insurance companies have joined the universities and churches that founded the divestment movement, all of whom fear the impact of climate change on both the world and the value of their investment portfolios.

Among the biggest divesters are the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund, held by Norway, and two of the world’s biggest pension funds, in California. The campaign, now active in 43 countries, was backed on Tuesday by the UN’s climate chief, who will lead negotiations for a global climate deal at a crunch summit in Paris in December.

Christiana Figueres called for the shift of investment from fossil fuels to meet the $1tn-a-year need for clean investment and to create momentum ahead of Paris. “Investing at scale in clean, efficient power offers one of the clearest, no regret choices ever presented to human progress,” she said at the launch of the report in New York.

DiCaprio, who on Tuesday revealed the divestment of his personal wealth and his charitable foundation’s funds, said: “Climate change is severely impacting the health of our planet and all of its inhabitants, and we must transition to a clean energy economy that does not rely on fossil fuels. Now is the time to divest and invest to let our world leaders know that we, as individuals and institutions, are taking action to address climate change, and we expect them to do their part in Paris.”

Bill McKibben, of the climate campaign that started the divestment movement, said: “In the hottest year we’ve ever measured on our planet, big institutions and organisations are finally stepping up to say: we won’t participate in this charade, and we will stand up to the fossil fuel companies that are causing it. A 50-fold increase is a sign that civil society is finally fully on the move in the battle against climate change.”

Connie Hedegaard, former EU commissioner for climate action, said that divestment from fossil fuels not only helped tackle climate change but was also “sound economics”. She said the KR Foundation which she now chairs would divest it own funds, to “put our money where our mouth is”.

Scientists agree that most existing coal, oil and gas reserves must remain in the ground if global warming is to be kept below the internationally-agreed danger limit of 2C. This means that, if action on climate change is successful, the vast majority of fossil fuels will be un-burnable and the companies owning those reserves could crash in value. Many coal companies have already seen their share prices crash as limits on carbon emissions get stricter.

The World Bank, along with analysts at Citigroup, HSBC, Mercer and the Carbon Tracker Initiative, have all warned of the financial risk climate action poses to fossil fuel investments. The Bank of England and G20 are examining the risk this poses to the global economy.

The fossil fuel divestment movement, aimed primarily at stripping legitimacy from fossil fuel companies, has grown faster than even the divestment movement that targeted apartheid South Africa and it is backed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

The new report, by Arabella Advisors, shows that the number of institutions committed to fossil fuel divestment has soared from 181 in September 2014 to 436 today. These institutions, which include local government, health and education bodies, represent more than 646 million individuals around the world.

Pension funds and private companies now represent 95% of the assets committed to divestment, but university commitments have also risen rapidly, tripling in the last year, with notable announcements coming from the universities of California, Oxford and Syracuse.

The Guardian, whose parent group has committed to divest its £800m fund, launched a campaign in March calling on the world’s biggest medical charities – the Bill and Melinda Gates’ Foundation and the Wellcome Trust – to divest from fossil fuels. It is estimated that the Wellcome Trust has lost £175m on its fossil fuel investments in the last year.

VIA The Guardian

UK Government Names Clean Energy Cabinet Members

With the UK general election now over and a majority Conservative Party government in place, the re-elected Prime Minister David Cameron has now named key members of the government charged with steering the UK’s clean energy policy over the coming years.

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Coast to Coast and Across Electric Systems, Microgrids Provide Benefits to All

At the most obvious level, microgrids could disrupt today’s utilities and their regulated-monopoly business model, because they challenge the centralized paradigm. In a nutshell, microgrids are localized power grids that have the ability to disconnect from the main, centralized grid to operate independently when the main power grid experiences disturbances. This significantly boosts grid resilience. For almost a century, large centralized power plants have generated electricity and delivered that energy over high-voltage transmission lines to customers. But with microgrids, all that could change.

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UK Prime Minister Appoints Wind Farm Opponent to Energy Post

Prime Minister David Cameron named a vocal opponent of onshore wind farms to a junior post in the U.K. energy department, reinforcing his Conservative government’s effort to halt the spread of turbines in rural areas.

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Experts Agree: Electric Grid Will Stay Ahead of the Curve on the Clean Power Plan

In a timely new report, three prominent electric grid industry experts refute claims that the president’s proposal to cut carbon pollution from power plants will jeopardize electric grid reliability. The authors, Susan Tierney, Eric Svenson, and Brian Parsons, explain that those claims undervalue the grid’s strengths and the Clean Power Plan’s flexible design. They also chart a role for grid planners to help states develop their plans to cut carbon pollution.

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Germany’s Powerhouse Feels Pinch of Merkel’s Shift to Renewables

North Rhine-Westphalia, the German state that’s home to utilities RWE AG and EON SE, is losing its standing as the country’s powerhouse as wind and solar energy begin to displace conventional sources.

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Brazil-based Renova’s Partnership with SunEdison Shows Shift in Strategy

Instead of owning and operating power plants, which deliver long-term, steady revenue streams, Renova Energia SA’s Thursday deal to sell assets to TerraForm Global Inc., a newly formed unit of U.S. developer SunEdison Inc., is the first step toward selling all its operating assets, according to a person involved in the deal who asked not to be identified because the plans are private.

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UK Conservative Victory Sparks Climate and Renewable Energy Concerns

Amber Rudd was named to serve as the U.K. Cabinet minister in charge of energy and climate, easing concerns that the Conservative government would quickly backtrack on pledges to reduce fossil-fuel pollution.

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The Fantasy of Electric Rates: Time to Educate Ratepayers

Many electric utilities are flexing their political muscles against solar net metering and state renewable portfolio standards (RPS). Their main issue is that other consumers are subsidizing solar (and renewables), particularly pointing to lower-income consumers. I have already written about the numerous studies that disprove those allegations, but that is not what this article is about.

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