Clean Transport News Roundup

by Derek Markham 

In this edition of clean transport news: a Faraday Future mule is spotted, unlocking the Elon Musk Ethos, Nissan will unplug its battery production, cheap Tesla lease offers extended…

[CleanTechnica isn’t the only Important Media site to cover clean transport news, and if you’re looking for more stories on electric mobility, bicycles, and other related issues, we’ve got them at sites such as Bikocity, Gas2, and EV Obsession. We also host a large cleantech group on LinkedIn, called CleanTechies Around The World.]

Faraday Future mule spotted with rooftop-mounted LIDAR sensors:

What appears to be a Faraday Future Lincoln-MKZ-based prototype/mule outfitted with rooftop-mounted LIDAR sensors was recently spotted outside of the company’s California headquarters, according to recent reports.

Nissan will pull the plug on its own battery production:

While Tesla is busy building its enormous Gigafactory in Nevada, Nissan has started talks with Japanese and Chinese companies to sell its stake in the battery production joint venture it created with NEC a decade ago. It says buying batteries from outside suppliers will help it hold prices down.

Cheap Tesla leasing rates extended:

Tesla’s relatively recent introduction of “low/cheap” leasing rates will run through the end of September, according to recent reports. Of importance to those looking to get a new Model S without spending a fortune, these low rates will continue to apply to the Tesla Model S 60 — which is, of course, the cheapest option available from the company, featuring “only” a 60 kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery pack (which is actually a software-limited 75 kWh pack).

Seeking Alpha’s institutional bias:

Going by the number of seemingly poorly researcher articles with an anti-Tesla bias published at Seeking Alpha, one has to wonder, is there an institutional bias at work? To be clear here, well researched and argued articles on Tesla with a negative slant aren’t an issue on their own — the company certainly has its faults. But the very poorly researched, and sometimes incoherent, anti-Tesla articles that have been published on the site in recent years does make me wonder…

The key to autonomous driving is…

People love it when Elon Musk speaks during quarterly earnings calls because he simply cannot resist letting information slip that is really supposed to be confidential. The analysts ask targeted questions. Musk tries to avoid giving an answer, then blunders ahead and spills the beans anyway. It’s fun to watch.

Inhaling the musk of Musk:

After selling Paypal for $1.5 Billion to eBay and transforming the financial industry with its online payments platform, Elon Musk has gone on to revolutionize three other massive industry sectors: energy, automotive, and aerospace. What are the keys to his success?

DSV CEO ready for autonomous semis:

Andersen believes the first step will probably be to allow self-driving trucks on highways, possibly in a lane reserved for other autonomous vehicles. It will probably take a lot longer before the technology is used in cities, he said. He expects long-haul heavy-duty trucks that can drive themselves to be on the road within 5 to 10 years. His company could be one of the first customers for the Tesla Semi with advanced Autopilot technology.

Strong demand for Kia Niro will lead to PHEV & electric versions:

On the theory that the best sales strategy is to give the people what they want, Kia expects to add plug-in hybrid and full battery electric versions of the Niro to the lineup in the near future.  “This year globally, eco-friendly cars are around 2 million vehicles, with electric vehicles just 100,000,” Oh explained. “By 2020, we expect eco-friendly to rise to around 600,000 with 42% hybrid, 32% plug-in hybrid and 27% electric. That is a significant increase and it makes sense to combine the technology with vehicle types that customers want to buy.”

More motorcycles getting touchscreens:

This week, Polaris Industries, which manufactures both Indian and Victory motorcycles, unveiled a new 7 inch touchscreen system dubbed Ride Command. It is capable of giving turn-by-turn directions, syncing to smartphones, and finding the nearest gas station when the tank is low. The handlebar computer, which can be “pinched” just like an i-Phone, will come standard on Indian’s new Chieftain and Roadmaster bikes. Together, they account for about half of the company’s motorcycle sales.