Dealers would do Tesla a disservice

Last week, New Jersey informed Tesla it would require the California automaker to only sell cars through licensed in-state dealers, forcing it to stop selling cars through its own stores by April 1. Arizona and Texas have similar rules in place, effectively banning Model S sales in those states.

These state rules may come as a surprise to most people, but they have been on the books for a while. CEO Elon Musk, in a blog post on Tesla's site, actually defends the intent of these laws. Musk points out how, after an independent dealer built up a business, … Read more

The enchanting Tesla ad that wasn't made by Tesla

You'll see quite a few Teslas in the San Francisco Bay Area.

They're like plaid shirts for the affluent. They say: "I'm cool, but I care."

The greatest joy of the Tesla isn't that it's electric, or that you can talk to other cool, caring people as you stand at the charging station at your local organic supermarket.

It's that it's a genuinely beautiful car. It's almost a pity that it's so socially and politically correct.

Like the most beautiful products, the car is the best advertisement of all. … Read more

New Jersey joins Arizona and Texas in Tesla sales ban

The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJMVC) met today to approve a new regulation banning Tesla from selling its Model S in the state. The ban will take effect on April 1. Two other states, Arizona and Texas, enforce similar rules that prevent auto manufacturers from making direct sales to consumers.

As CNET covered in an earlier story, Tesla had been in talks with New Jersey administration officials and the NJMVC over the rule change. On Monday, the NJMVC abruptly notified Tesla that it would meet to approve the rule change at a session today, bypassing a legislative process.

The … Read more

Tesla fighting dealer rule change in New Jersey

If you were planning to buy a Tesla Model S in New Jersey, you might have to go to New York. On Monday, New Jersey fast-tracked a rule change that would effectively eliminate direct sales from a manufacturer such as Tesla to consumers. The new regulation was supported by an association of New Jersey auto dealers.

Tesla currently has two stores and one service center in New Jersey. The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJMVC) had, up to this week, approved licenses for the stores to sell vehicles. Tesla had been in discussions with the NJMVC and members of the … Read more

Tesla raising nearly $2B for battery-building 'gigafactory'

Tesla is raising up to $1.84 billion dollars to realize its plans of a massive, lithium-ion battery-producing plant -- dubbed the "gigafactory" by CEO Elon Musk -- that will, among other things, help it more quickly and efficiently develop, bring to market, and produce its cheaper third-generation electric car, the company announced Wednesday.

"Tesla intends to use the net proceeds from the offering to accelerate the growth of its business in the US and internationally, for the development and production of its "Gen III" mass market vehicle, the development of the Tesla Gigafactory, and … Read more

Tesla, Panasonic said to plan $1B investment in US battery plant

Tesla Motors, Panasonic, and other Japanese companies are planning to invest close to $1 billion in a US battery plant, according to Nikkei.

With a target date of 2017, the lithium-ion-battery facility will "handle everything from processing raw materials to assembly," Japan's largest business daily said on Wednesday.

Panasonic, which is an investor in Tesla, is inviting a number of Japanese materials makers to join the project, with a total investment estimated to reach more than 100 billion yen ($965 million), Nikkei said.

This is a non-trivial investment for an electric car maker as the battery represents … Read more

Tesla Model S wins 'best overall' car by Consumer Reports

The story of Tesla is a bit like that of "The Little Engine That Could." It's a smaller company, which makes a product different than the rest, that's been working to stay afloat in a world of giant car companies.

Well, it appears Tesla has just made it over the mountain.

The company's all-electric Model S sedan was selected by Consumer Reports as 2014's "best overall" car.

Here's what Consumer Reports writes about the car:

Sure, you can talk about this electric luxury car's blistering acceleration, razor-sharp handling, compliant ride, … Read more

Second-guessing Elon Musk is turning into an expensive lesson

Sometime, someday, the skeptics may start believing in the Tesla story. Maybe that'll be the time to dump the stock.

In the meantime, CEO Elon Musk continues to make his second-guessers learn an expensive lesson.

For months, the financial news channels have put on the air self-styled experts warning that Tesla was a house of cards -- no Netflix pun intended -- fated to collapse.

Even though Tesla's stock price quadrupled in 2013, shares pulled back on worries about the potential flammability of the Model S' batteries. Separately, Tesla announced a recall of charging equipment for a software … Read more

Apple, Elon Musk and interplanetary travel

So, about a year ago Tesla's Elon Musk reportedly met with Apple's mergers and acquisitions chief and maybe Tim Cook. What was on the agenda? The report this weekend in the San Francisco Chronicle didn't have any details on what transpired at the meeting. Perhaps Apple wanted to kick Tesla's tires.

Moving from $600 iPhones and $6,000 Mac Pros to $60,000 automobiles would be a bold move for Apple, but not a moonshot. The two companies are likely a cultural and aesthetic fit, both obsessed with creating breakthrough, eco-friendly consumer products that win design … Read more

Apple's M&A chief reportedly met with Tesla CEO Elon Musk

Apple may have been kicking the tires on Tesla, according to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, which reported that the company's chief of mergers and acquisitions met with Tesla CEO Elon Musk last year.

Adrian Perica met with Musk and "probably" Apple CEO Tim Cook at Apple's Cupertino headquarters last spring, according to the report, which cited a source whose identity was concealed to protect business relationships.

"While a megadeal has yet to emerge (for all of its cash, Apple still plays hardball on valuation), such a high-level meeting between the two Silicon … Read more