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Tesla’s Price Cut and More Car News From This Week

Happy New Year, and welcome back. 2019 is young, and we’ve already got a transportation bombshell on our hands: New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced he wants to cancel a planned subway line shutdown in the country’s largest public transit system. He says a panel of experts found a smarter way to fix tunnels damaged by 2012’s Hurricane Sandy—and according to engineers we spoke to, Cuomo might be right. But what happens now? Will the city stick with its plans, formed over the course of three years, to revamp bike and bus lanes and pedestrian spaces? Transportation advocates hope so.

Meanwhile, we’re still a little stuck on 2018, which was filled with exciting advances for Tesla, scooter-share, and even self-driving cars (sometimes). Read about the happenings, before it all fades away. It’s been a few weeks. Let’s get you caught up.

Headlines

Stories you might have missed from WIRED these past few weeks

Happy New Year: Tesla just lost access to its $7,500 electric vehicle tax credit. It’s not the electric carmaker’s fault—the federal legislation that created the tax credit only applies to the first 200,000 EVs sold by a given company, then halves the credit. But Tesla responded anyway, with a $2,000 price cut that senior writer Jack Stewart notes might be better for consumers after all.

And Jack finds that 2018 was actually a pretty remarkable year for the electric carmaker, with the Model 3 on track to become the best selling luxury car of 2018. (Tesla will unveil its latest sales figures soon.)

Sure, it would be nice if bike- and scooter-share riders always wore helmets. But the things are so burdensome to carry around. A new, packable, telescoping helmet made by Closca might make the safety thing a touch easier.

Transpo editor Alex Davies got to hop inside Arcimoto’s Fun Utility Vehicle. The FUV is an odd, electric tricycle thing without windows, doors, a steering wheel, or pedals. Odd, but fun.

Process your grief over the death of General Motors’ electric Chevrolet Volt with this oral history of the path-breaking car. Recalls one GM alum: “We actually did one of those weird smoky room dinners in December 2006, about a month before the Detroit auto show, at a backroom table, with a laptop showing us the Volt.”

On the challenges of running an Uber, but for kids.

New York governor Andrew Cuomo makes a yuge announcement: The much bemoaned, 15-month shutdown of NYC’s L subway line might not happen after all. But transportation advocates wonder what that means for the city’s progressive transit contingency plans.

The good news: Engineers seem to believe that Cuomo's new plan to fix the L-train tunnel infrastructure damaged during Hurricane Sandy will work.

Last year, scooter-sharing exploded onto the urban transportation scene, leaving both delighted riders and very contentious city council meetings in its wake. But 2019 may prove to be the make or break-your-wrist year for the new mobility option.

Autonomous vehicle developers have had some trouble living up to their bold proclamations of a couple of years ago. Turns out it’s really hard to build a self-driving car that goes everywhere—which means it’s time to start focusing on where they’ll show up, not when.

Still recovering from 2015’s Dieselgate scandal, Volkswagen unveils a mobile electric vehicle charger concept, which it pitches as a quick, easy way to patch holes in EV infrastructure.

We’re not ready to let go of 2018 yet. Check out WIRED Transportation’s most read stories of 2018.

Unexpected B-Plot of the Week

She’s baaaack! Rapper Azealia Banks makes another unexpected cameo on the transportation beat this week, as she and Elon Musk’s then-girlfriend, the art pop musician Grimes, became enmeshed in the ongoing lawsuit over the Tesla CEO’s tweets. Investors suing Musk and Tesla for market manipulation want to subpoena both women. Tesla lawyers are displeased.

Stat of the Week1.3%

The year-over-year increase in new light vehicles prices in the US, which reached $37,577 in December, according to Kelley Blue Book.

Required Reading

News from elsewhere on the internet

The New York Times finds an Arizona couple that dedicates serious time to terrorizing the Waymo self-driving vehicles testing in their neighborhood. They are not alone.

Tesla appoints two new independent board members, Oracle cofounder and executive chair Larry Ellison and Walgreens global human resources head Kathleen Wilson-Thompson. The carmaker had agreed to name new board members as part of its settlement with the SEC over Elon Musk’s tweets.

GM says it will lose its electric vehicle tax credits in April. (It sold its 200,000th US plug-in vehicle during 2018’s fourth quarter.)

General Motors product development head Mark Reuss snags the job as company president, which Dan Ammann left open when he departed to head the automaker’s autonomous vehicle subsidiary, Cruise.

Speaking of Cruise: The AV developer says it will partner with delivery app DoorDash to deliver restaurant meals and groceries to San Francisco customers.

In the Rearview

Essential stories from WIRED’s canon

Back in 2016, WIRED explored how the internet got all wrapped up in city transportation systems.

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VW's EV Chargers Make Paying for Power Easier 2019-01-09 08:00:00VW's Electrify America program is adding a capability that identifies the driver by their car and bills them automatically.

A Tesla-Robot ‘Crash’ Stunt Shows We Need Robocar 2019-01-08 21:29:41The seemingly hoax-y death of "Promobot" is a handy justification for the newly launched Partnership for Automated Vehicle Education.

HERE Is Challenging Uber by Uniting the World's 2019-01-08 10:46:00SoMo is a new app from mapping company HERE that pushes back against ride-hail dominance by giving other drivers a common platform.

A Third of Americans Use Ride-Hail. Uber and 2019-01-08 09:00:00That number has doubled since 2015, but Uber and Lyft have made little progress on their bigger goal: attracting regular riders.

Hyundai's Elevate Concept Uses Legs and Wheels to 2019-01-07 18:00:00The automaker's CES concept uses multiple modes of locomotion to move through any territory.

Bell's Nexus Air Taxi Brings Flying Cars Down 2019-01-07 16:00:00The company behind the V-22 Osprey and V-280 Valor brings its experience to the pie-in-the-sky flying car industry.

Harley-Davidson's Electric LiveWire Motorcycle Debuts at CES 2019-01-07 15:11:38Unveiled today at CES, the LiveWire will hit 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and cover 110 miles between charging stops.

Tesla’s Price Cut and More Car News From 2019-01-06 13:01:51Plus, New York cancels a much-hyped subway shutdown, self-driving cars have an interesting 2018, and we ride an odd, three-wheeled electric vehicle.

The Simple Engineering That Will Keep NYC's L 2019-01-04 21:34:49Governor Andrew Cuomo says there’s an easy way to fix the Canarsie Tunnel without shutting down the line for several years. And it’s alrea

New York’s L Train Shutdown Is Canceled. Now 2019-01-04 18:22:30Organizers and transit companies wonder how the averted shutdown will affect its silver lining: the city's plans to rethink its transportation system

VW's Mobile Chargers Could Help EVs Conquer the 2019-01-03 07:00:00These behemoths hold enough juice for 15 electric cars, and are meant to supplement areas with sub-par charging networks.

Tesla's $7,500 Tax Credit Goes Poof, but Buyers 2019-01-02 18:43:20To offset the phase-out of a federal tax credit, Tesla cut the price of its cars by $2,000—which might be better for some buyers.

Automotive News Breaking

Chevy's latest 'Real People, Not Actors' ad disputed 2019-01-11 13:50:26Chevrolet's "Real People, Not Actors" TV ad involving vehicle reliability isn't sitting well with a consumer advocate group.

Tesla uninterested in GM plants because of UAW, 2019-01-11 12:58:58GM CEO Mary Barra confirmed Friday that the company has discussed selling assembly operations -- potentially slated for closure this year -- to Tesla

Media agency Universal McCann, affiliates to cut 213 2019-01-11 11:47:44Universal McCann and affiliated agencies are laying off 213 employees in suburban Detroit, after losing their account with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

FCA recalls 1.4M vehicles in its final phase 2019-01-11 11:26:15This is the automaker's fourth and final phase of its Takata airbag recall, part of the largest auto industry recall in history.

GM sees strong '19 earnings, says Caddy will 2019-01-11 09:18:29GM says this year's tallies for earnings per share and free cash flow will top 2018's. The automaker also confirmed Cadillac will be its flagship br

Ford resigned to underwhelming profit even after Europe 2019-01-11 06:51:19For all the cuts Ford Motor Co. poised to make in Europe, it’s resigned to the region staying a drag on profitability for the foreseeable future

Elon Musk, Tesla celebrated in China 2019-01-11 06:16:22After a year to forget in the U.S., Elon Musk just had a few days to remember in China.

Lexus may get back in convertible game with 2019-01-11 05:00:00If it makes it into production, the convertible would give Lexus a direct competitor for high-performance ragtops such as the BMW 6 series and Mercede

Ghosn slapped with two more indictments in Japan 2019-01-11 03:45:41Tokyo prosecutors have indicted ousted Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn on two additional charges, further complicating the legal battle facing the jailed aut

Cadillac to introduce EV 2019-01-10 20:58:43Cadillac will become GM's lead electric vehicle brand as the company gears up to introduce a new model under the luxury marque to challenge Audi, Tes

Ford-owned Chariot shuttle service to close 2019-01-10 17:00:26Chariot, a Silicon Valley-based shuttle service that Ford Motor bought to be a key cog in its mobility future, is closing.

UAW VP condemns Mexico-produced Chevy Blazer, calls GM 2019-01-10 15:45:59UAW Vice President Terry Dittes is urging union members and their families not to purchase General Motors' Mexico-made Blazer.

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Stationnement : un PV avec l'ancien disque bleu 2019-01-11 13:00:24Dans la Minute Anti-PV, Michèle a été verbalisée pour avoir apposé son vieux disque bleu... Explications.

Exposition concept-cars 2019 : voilà le programme 2019-01-11 12:29:36Découvrez quelles seront les voitures présentes sur l'édition 2019 de l'Exposition de Concept-cars du Festival Automobile Inter

Formule E - DS Techeetah a corrigé son 2019-01-11 12:09:00Jean-Eric Vergne est convaincu que DS Techeetah a résolu le problème qui a entraîné une pénalité à Ad

Essence, diesel, hybride : on achète quoi en 2019-01-11 12:00:09Au milieu des prix du carburant, des taxes, du malus, des restrictions de circulation, Auto Plus vous aide à faire le bon choix pour votre proc

DS 3 Crossback : la vente en ligne 2019-01-11 11:35:16DS commence la commercialisation de son DS 3 Crossback (en édition limitée "La Première) en proposant un nouveau processus de ve

Le concept Mercedes Urbanetic fait le show au 2019-01-11 11:08:42Au CES 2019 de Las Vegas, Mercedes a fait une démonstration avec son concept autonome Urbanetic. Vidéo !

Palmarès français 2018 des "petits" constructeurs 2019-01-11 10:53:33Pas moins de 60 marques automobiles sont présentes en France! Comment se portent les plus petites d'entre-elles ? Réponse chiffré

Formule E - Buemi confiant pour Marrakech 2019-01-11 10:26:24Sébastien Buemi est convaincu que Nissan e.dams a un grand potentiel et il espère le montrer à l'E-Prix de Marrakech ce week-end

Formule E - Le programme de l'E-Prix de 2019-01-11 10:22:47L'E-Prix de Marrakech a lieu ce samedi en Formule E. La course sera à suivre sur Canal + Sport et Eurosport.

Dieselgate - FCA : 800$ millions d'amende aux 2019-01-11 08:22:37Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) va verser plus de 800 millions de dollars dans l'affaire du Dieselgate aux Etats-Unis.

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Dodge : Demon et Charger chez Lego 2019-01-11 07:30:15Deux Dodge très musclées sont à présent disponibles en miniatures à construire chez Lego.

Accueil

Déjà un rappel pour la Toyota Corolla Hatchback 2018-12-21 13:36:45Toyota Canada a émis un rappel de sécurité concernant sa nouvelle Corolla à hayon 2019.

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Une nouvelle Mercedes-Benz CLA arrive en 2019 2018-12-20 16:35:50La CLA de deuxième génération conserve une filiation très évidente avec le modèle de première g&eacut

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La Lamborghini du pape pourrait être à vous 2018-12-19 11:12:51Via la plateforme Omaze est organisé le tirage de la Lamborghini Huracán du pape François.

Le plaisir géant des miniatures 2018-12-19 09:35:35Tout jeune, mes jouets les plus précieux étaient mes Dinky Toys.

Voici comment bien prononcer le nom de la 2018-12-18 14:59:58Ce n’est pas tous les jours que Porsche lance un nouveau modèle. Et quand ça arrive, le constructeur de Stuttgart travaille fort p

La nouvelle vidéo de Ken Block est en 2018-12-18 10:12:50Pour une dixième fois, Ken Block fait plaisir aux amateurs de voitures avec la parution d’une nouvelle vidéo de sa série Gy

Meilleurs achats 2019 du Guide de l’auto: Nissan 2018-12-18 07:18:49Dans la catégorie des voitures sous-compactes, Le Guide de l’auto 2019 a remis à la Nissan Micra le titre de meilleur achat de sa

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Ce pickup Mercedes à six roues est un 2018-12-17 09:09:48Vous vous souvenez du Classe X, cette camionnette présentée par Mercedes-Benz l’année dernière?

Mazda CX-5 Signature: enfin un moteur turbo 2018-12-17 07:27:21Depuis des années, Mazda joue la carte du plaisir de conduire pour se démarquer de la concurrence dans le monde automobile.

Motor Trend

Bentley Reportedly Developing a 650-HP Bentayga Speed 2019-01-11 14:05:50As you’d expect with a vehicle that starts around $165,000, the Bentley Bentayga makes a whole lot of power. And if the base model’s&

2019 CES Highlights: News Made by Ford, Toyota, 2019-01-11 13:08:51Ah, the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show. The show auto writers love to hate has undeniably become an “It” show that can’t be missed,

2019 CES Highlights: Biometrics – Future Cars May 2019-01-11 13:08:12Whether for driver identification/authentication or for monitoring of the driver or occupant’s health and comfort, expect cars of the future to

2019 CES Highlights: Artificial Intelligence Tech for Our 2019-01-11 13:07:58Steven Spielberg’s HAL 9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey taught us to fear and loathe the concept of artificial intelligence, but the autonomous fut

2019 CES Highlights: Innovations in Enviro-Sensing for Robocars 2019-01-11 13:07:37As imminent as full autonomy can seem to hear many 2019 CES exhibitor companies tell it, there remain challenges to be overcome in terms of establishi

Cadillac to Become GM’s Lead EV Brand 2019-01-11 11:56:05Cadillac will become the lead electric vehicle brand of General Motors, the automaker announced today in an investor report. The news was first report

Lexus LC Convertible Concept Drops Its Top Ahead 2019-01-11 05:00:17When we first sampled it, the Lexus LC coupe impressed us with its bold exterior design, unique and luxurious interior, and surprising fun-to-drive fa

Celebrity Drive: Ted Nugent, and Why He Loves 2019-01-11 04:00:59Quick Stats: Ted Nugent, singer-songwriter/TV host Daily Driver: 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat (Ted’s rating: 20 on a scale of 1 to 10) Othe

2019 Nissan Murano First Test: Hitting What Counts 2019-01-11 04:00:28We like the Nissan Murano. The crossover was victorious in a three-way battle with competitors from Ford and Hyundai back in 2015, and after an entire

Here’s Your Chance to Own a Clean LS-Swapped 2019-01-10 18:00:45Nearly five decades after it first appeared in the U.S., the Datsun 240Z still looks fantastic. But if you want your 240Z to be anywhere near as quick

2020 Ford Explorer: 6 Cool Features 2019-01-09 19:30:51Mercedes introduces its latest/greatest tech in the S-Class; Ford rolls out its best and brightest features in top sellers like the Explorer (best-sel

How the 2020 Ford Explorer Gained Interior Space 2019-01-09 19:30:42Ever since Sir Alec Issigonis launched his miraculous Mini, popular wisdom holds that a sideways engine and front drive is the surest-fire way to maxi

Automotive news - from

Ford China sales tank in "challenging" 2018 2019-01-11 11:03:00Ford sales in China fell 36.9% year on year to 752,243 in 2018, reflecting the overall market plunge.

Honda UK plant plans 6-day Brexit shutdown 2019-01-11 10:01:00Honda's Swindon plant in the UK will shut down for six days in April as part of the company's Brexit planning measures.

Ghosn faces two new charges 2019-01-11 08:44:00Ex-Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn is seeking bail after being indicted in Tokyo on two new charges.

Renault slams 'destabilisation campaign' on Ghosn affair leaks 2019-01-11 06:37:00Renault has slammed what it describes as a 'purposefully orchestrated destabilisation campaign' after the Reuters news agency published a story clai

After a good year, Brazil automakers expect a 2019-01-11 06:19:00Sales of cars and light commercials in Brazil in 2018 topped 2.56m units, up 14.6% from the 2.24m units sold in 2017.

Japan sales fall in December, full year inches 2019-01-11 06:01:00Japan's new vehicle market declined by 1.7% to 387,525 units in December from 394,253 units a year earlier, according to registration data released b

Skoda global sales up 4.4% in 2018 2019-01-11 05:31:00VW Group-owned Skoda has achieved a record number of deliveries for the fifth consecutive year.

PPG to present new coating technologies for future 2019-01-11 05:29:00PPG has announced that it will highlight its latest developments in coatings technology for autonomous, connected, electric and shared vehicles during

Hyundai Mobis develops new Communication Lighting concept for 2019-01-11 05:23:00Hyundai Mobis has showcased its latest Communication Lighting concept at CES in January 2019.

BMW sells over 140K electrified vehicles in 2018 2019-01-11 05:21:00The BMW Group sold more than 140,000 electrified (battery-electric and plug-in hybrid) vehicles in 2018. In total, 142,617 (+38.4%) electrified BMW an

Ford ride-sharing operation to close 2019-01-11 04:52:00More bad news for Ford, which yesterday detailed its plan to restructure its European operations and shed potentially thousands of jobs - its rid

VW-Audi return boosts South Korean import sales in 2019-01-11 04:25:00Sales of imported light vehicles in South Korea were flat at 20,450 units in December 2018 compared with 20,428 a year ago, according to the Korea Aut



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