Tesla has finally started the broad rollout of Full Self-Driving Beta v11, a significant update that is Autopilot with the Full Self-Driving Beta software stack. Tesla was supposed to release v11 to the fleet in November 2022, but the update has been stuck in testing within Tesla’s closed fleet since then.
FSD Beta enables Tesla vehicles to drive autonomously to a destination entered in the car’s navigation system, but the driver needs to remain vigilant and ready to take control at all times. Since the responsibility rests with the driver and not Tesla’s system, it is still considered a level 2 driver-assist system, despite its name. It has been sort of a “two steps forward, one step back” type of program, as some updates have seen regressions in terms of driving capabilities.
The main barrier to widespread EV adoption, from a car buyer’s standpoint, is a very simple one: they cost more to buy than legacy vehicles.
The costs of producing EVs could drop drastically over the next few years, and given the competitive nature of the auto industry, automakers are likely to pass on much of the savings to buyers by lowering prices. The main reason for the steadily shrinking cost of an EV can be found in its batteries. Battery costs have been on a steady downward trajectory ever since the advent of modern EVs, thanks to improvements in the technology, along with economies of scale resulting from higher production volumes.
By Matt Dyer, President, Wheels
It’s an exciting time in the fleet industry, as we’ve recently announced our decision to align our newly combined company, previously known as Wheels Donlen LeasePlan, under the brand name “Wheels.” I see this as an important milestone in our integration journey, as it unites our team—and our customers—under one name, one brand, one mission.
We’re moving forward with the Wheels name, but this is truly a new business we’re forming. This is The New Wheels, and I believe our name, logo, color palette, and tagline bring our new brand to life in a fresh, strong, and exciting way.
“Together Let’s Go Far.” We wanted this tagline to capture our mission—who we are, what we do and how we do it. Four simple words, but they carry a powerful message. This tagline is our commitment to help our clients succeed, and, as President of The New Wheels, I’m very excited for the road ahead.
Image: City of Detroit
The Municipal Parking Department has become the first city department to fully convert its fleet to all electric, announced Mayor Mike Duggan.
Detroit is now working toward converting the city’s active fleet of over 3000 vehicles to electric or hybrid vehicles, a key strategic initiative in our climate action plan to improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions. The announcement of 48 new Chevy Bolt EVs and 25 on-site Level 2 charging stations marks a milestone for the city. The new fleet was deployed this week and residents can spot the new vehicles by the decals outfitted to illustrate the fleet’s 100% electric, zero emissions capacity.
When J.D. Power quantified EV owner satisfaction with the public charging experience at Level 2 and DC fast chargers, it found owners unhappy about "finding the charging infrastructure inadequate and plagued with non-functioning stations."
More homes have been fitted with Level 2 permanently mounted charging stations and more BEV and PHEV buyers own Level 2 portable stations. Despite the increased convenience, the study found owners less satisfied overall with the charging experience, the overall happiness with permanent home stations dropping from a score of 752 to 740 out of 1,000. Respondents cited cost as part of the problem, public utility kWh rates climbing with the prices of everything else. Another problem comes from charging speeds that apparently haven't fulfilled expectations.