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Tesla top 5: Week in review, February 4

Tesla Model S real-world safety demonstrated after violent rear-end collision

Model S rear end collision

A Reddit user recently posted photos of a Tesla Model S that had a rear-end collision with a Volvo truck. The post concurred with an Insurance Institute of Highway Safety crash test result for the Tesla Model S in which it earned only an “acceptable” rating on its rear crash test. To look at the Reddit photo, one might think that the Tesla Model S does quite well. With a curb weight of 4,647 pounds, the Model S has mass that helped it stand up to a 10-ton truck. The 1,200-lb. flat battery pack strapped to the frame likely was a positive factor, as it reinforces the structural integrity of the vehicle. The Reddit post’s author reported that the driver of the Model S walked away from the collision safe and believes the Tesla saved his life.

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Welcome to Tesla, Inc.: We’re more than just electric cars

Tesla announced a corporate name change this week from “Tesla Motors” to “Tesla.” At the time of the company’s founding, the company was positioned as an alternative automobile company. Now, over a decade later, much has changed. With the revised moniker, Tesla confers a broader range of products and services, so that its market reach is much more extensive. Whether it is solar roof tiles, residential and commercial battery systems, or future endeavors such as semi-trucks, electric buses, ride sharing, and tunnel boring, the name Tesla speaks to the company’s overarching goals of clean energy efforts. Musk has repeated how his company will “create stunning solar roofs with seamlessly integrated battery storage, expand the electric vehicle product line to address all major segments, develop a self-driving capability that is 10X safer than manual via massive fleet learning, [and] enable your car to make money for you when you aren’t using it.” The name change now represents that social justice sustainability mission.

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Tesla will release 4Q and ’16 full year financial result on February 22

Tesla has announced that on February 22, 2017, it will release Q4 2016 and full year 2016 financial results. First, Tesla will issue a brief advisory, which will include a link to the Q4 as well as a full year 2016 update letter. Each will be posted on the Tesla IR website. To accompany those data releases, the Tesla management will hold a live question and answer webcast that day, scheduled at this writing for 2:30 p.m. Pacific Time (5:30pm Eastern Time). Topics will include the company’s 2016 financial and business results and 2017+ outlook.

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Tesla Model S crash test result misses top safety rating by IIHS

The Tesla Model S large luxury sedan earned good ratings in all Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) “crashworthiness evaluations” except one: the challenging small overlap front crash test. In that evaluation, it earned just an acceptable rating. Even through Tesla had lengthened the side curtain airbags to improve small Model S overlap protection, it confronted testing issues when the safety belt allowed the dummy’s torso to move too far forward. The results indicated that duplicated real-world injuries would be “possible.” The ratings for the Model S apply to 2016 and 2017 cars built after October 2016. Tesla did make a production change on Jan. 23, 2017 to address the head-contact problem, so IIHS has said they will test the updated vehicle for small overlap protection.

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Tesla Gigafactory in Lithuania reimagined within Minecraft game

Tesla’s mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy requires production of lithium ion batteries to power their electric vehicles. The Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada began construction on November 4, 2014 and is expected to begin battery cell production by the end of this year. Even before that target production goal, however, Tesla is surveying European locations for a second Gigafactory. Lithuania would like to be chosen as that illustrious manufacturing site, so, to persuade Tesla it is the right fit, a team of Minecraft designers spent two days building a virtual model of Tesla’s Gigafactory. They envisioned Kruonis, Lithuania as the ideal spot for construction due to its “free economic zone, close to two international airports, within close radius of 1.3 million inhabitants.” Sustainable energy sources such as wind power were noted as a perk. Teams from several other European nations are also pitching their concepts to Tesla in the hopes that the next Gigafactory, with its associated job creation, will be in their neighborhoods.

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