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Tesla launched the delayed battery-electric Model X SUV at an event at its Fremont factory Tuesday night (the launch event itself running behind schedule as well) with an emphasis first on the safety of the vehicle; second on the innovative falcon wing lifting rear doors and second row seating; and third on performance. The base all-wheel drive Model X 90D has a range of some 257 miles (414 km), with a 0-60 time of 4.8 seconds; a “Ludicrous” P90 version of the SUV (earlier post) takes 3.2 seconds, said CEO Elon Musk.
Musk said that Tesla expects the Model X to receive 5 star safety rating from NHTSA in every area—the first SUV to do so. Indeed, Musk said, were there such a rating, the Model X should receive a 6-star rating based on the low probability of overall injury.
Musk emphasized that basic design of car contributes to the overall safety. As one example, the small electric motor down low by the battery pack enables a longer distance for the crumple zone. The low center of gravity resulting from the low battery pack results in half of the rollover propensity of any current SUV or minivan, Musk said.
Further, the pack acts as a stiffening member for the whole, lowering the center of mass and serving as a low transfer medium for the rest of the vehicle.
Active safety features such as automatic emergency braking and side collision avoidance help reduce the chance of accident in the first place. The Model S uses camera and radar to brake automatically before an accident. Ultrasonic sensors help steer the SUV away from side collisions.
Musk also emphasized Model X’s oversized HEFA filters, which provide “air cleanliness comparable to hospital operating room.”
We can’t even detect any viruses or bacteria or spores. Zero come through. If there is ever an apocalyptic scenario, just press the bioweapon defense mode button. —Elon Musk
In addition the falcon wing rear doors, the Model X front door is auto-sensing; it can detect the driver’s approach, open itself without driver touch, and then close once the driver is in the vehicle. The panoramic windshield feels like a helicopter cockpit, Musk enthused, and helps deliver the Model X’s “transformative driving experience.”
The Model X also features a blind holster for smartphones—i.e., a slot into which any popular phone can fit an connect and charge simply by the driver sliding the phone into it (Model X offers adapters) instead of “fiddling with a bunch of wires.”
The Model X, which shares powertrain elements with the Model S (90 kWh battery pack and front and rear drive motors, earlier post) has a 5,000 lb towing capacity. The dual motors digitally and independently control torque to the front and rear wheels. Unlike Audi’s e-tron quattro concept, which uses dual motors on the rear axle, Tesla opts for a single motor approach there. (Earlier post.)
At the event, Musk handed over the keys to the first six (well, five, the sixth was his) Founders Series models, which start at $132,000 for the base Model X 90D; the “Ludicrous” P90D costs $142,000, with slightly less range. No word yet on the availability of less expensive models.
Author: Air Transport Action Group (ATAG)
ATAG – The global aviation industry is taking wide-ranging and positive action to reduce the level of CO2 emissions connected to its operations. Airlines, airports, manufacturers and navigation service providers all know they have a responsibility to ensure that their operations produce as little carbon as possible. Some of the measures, such as new, more efficient aircraft and engines are fairly well known amongst the general public, but there are many smaller scale, individual projects taking place that are perhaps not so well publicised.
To showcase this variety of innovative climate actions taking place across the global industry, the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) has launched a publication called the Aviation Climate Solutions. The 100 case studies covered in this report show the diversity of climate action across the sector. Carbon emissions reduction projects by over 400 organisations in 65 countries are represented. But this is only a snapshot of the projects underway. The most impressive realisation is the sheer amount of collaboration taking place between industry partners, helping to drive efficiency. Action is taking place in all parts of the world: not only at large organisations, but also through partners in emerging economies.
The publication and its case studies can be accessed at www.enviro.aero/climatesolutions
Not only will the publication help raise awareness of the good work taking place throughout the globe, but will also act as inspiration to other members of the industry, who will be able to learn from the experiences of their peers. Through effective communication and information sharing like this, the aviation industry is well prepared to achieve its ambitious carbon reduction goals of carbon neutral growth from 2020 and the halving of CO2 emissions by 2050 (using the 2005 baseline).
With the UNFCCC COP21 negotiations taking place in Paris in December, the Aviation Climate Solutions will be a great way of demonstrating to governments the commitment of aviation towards making our operations more sustainable.
In light of the ongoing scandal, the suspicion grows. Is Volkswagen the only manufacturer to have manipulated exhaust emissions? For years, dozens of studies have concluded that there is a significant difference between laboratory emissions tests and those conducted in real world scenarios.
France has pulled out all the stops in its effort to boost the level of international ambition ahead of the United Nations Climate Conference, which will take place in Paris this December.
Six African nations have agreed with donors on a plan to protect the tropical forests of the Congo basin, the second biggest in the world, after the Amazon's, to help ease poverty and combat climate change.
As part of its restructuring, Volkswagen Group is combining its activities in the US, Mexico and Canada into the newly formed North American Region (NAR). The Supervisory Board has appointed Prof. Dr. Winfried Vahland, since 2010 the CEO of Group company ŠKODA, to take over all responsibility for the North American Region. In this new role as President and CEO of Volkswagen NAR, Prof. Dr. Vahland will be responsible for all Group activities in the newly formed region from 1 November 2015. Michael Horn remains as President and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, and will report to Dr. Vahland.
Volkswagen said that the creation of NAR is a further measure in the process of decentralizing managerial responsibility, and creates another pillar in the global structure of the group, in addition to the European and Chinese regions.
The aim among other things is to have the ability to react better to customer demands and tastes in the future; closer proximity to the markets and their customers will enable this, the Group said. In addition to leading ŠKODA, Vahland was also Group CEO for China.
As NAR President, he will be a member of the Volkswagen Passenger Car brand’s Board of Management. The exact structure of the NAR is currently being developed.
Prof. Dr. Winfried Vahland graduated from the Technical University Darmstadt with a major in Mechanical Engineering and Economics, and began his professional career with GM in 1984. He joined Audi AG in 1990 and Volkswagen AG in 1993. From 1997, he was Vice President for Volkswagen in Brazil. He was appointed Member of ŠKODA AUTO’s Board of Management in 2002, and became Vice Chairman one year later. In 2005, he assumed the position of President and CEO of Volkswagen Group in China.