Fortune: Why This Tesla Model X Owner Can No Longer Use It
Venture capitalist Byron Deeter was one of the first owners of the Tesla Model X, an all-electric crossover SUV that Tesla Motors began delivering last fall. But today he drove his 2011 Jeep Rubicon to work, following a series of software glitches that have reduced his Tesla to little more than an expensive driveway ornament.
“It had a handful of what I’d call acceptable tech glitches early on, like the falcon-wing doors not always detecting that I was ready for them to open,” explains Deeter, a partner with Bessemer Venture Partners. “But in the past couple of days, it’s gotten to where I think there are safety and usability issues.”
Deeter’s first problem was that the driver’s door wouldn’t open from the outside, prompting him to first open the passenger door and then reach across. Then the driver’s side door wouldn’t close.
“I could manually close it, but the car couldn’t sense that the door was shut, so the electric control wouldn’t latch,” says Deeter. “Yesterday, I literally drove to a meeting holding the door closed.”
The Wall Street Journal: Quality Woes a Challenge for Tesla’s High-Volume Car
Anne Carter had her Tesla Motors Inc. Model X sport-utility vehicle for a few days before the $138,000 electric vehicle suffered a mechanical malfunction.
On a recent morning, the car’s falcon-wing doors wouldn’t open as she prepared to drive her children’s carpool to school. “It’s a bummer; you spent all this money…and the doors won’t open,” she said in an interview while waiting for the Model X to be picked up for repairs. She expected some issues, but feels embarrassed that friends might think: “Look at the Carters -- they spent all this money and the doors don’t work.”
During a very critical time for the pioneering electric-car maker, its well-to-do customers are confronting not only problems with the Model X’s rear doors but other issues, including a seat latch the company has recalled. Whether the Palo Alto, Calif., company can quickly resolve these new-model glitches and avoid them in the future will be key to proving it can deliver vehicles in high volumes without a hiccup.
Politico New York: Utilities, Solar Companies Propose Solution for Net Metering
Assolarcompanies and utilities from California to Maine continue to battle over how to place a fair value on solar power, New York-based companies on both sides of the argument announced a proposal Tuesday they say can serve as a model for the state.
In hashing out its Reforming the Energy Vision plan to overhaul the state grid, the state Public Service Commission is tackling the thorny issue of setting rates that encourage renewable energy use while also ensuring a reliable grid.
In the meantime, under the proposal announced by the state's utilities and some of its bigger solar concerns, the utilities would require payment from big solar farms or buildings with large solar arrays -- rather than from individual households -- to make up for revenue lost by net-metering.
PVTech: GTM: SunEdison Road to Bankruptcy Began With Vivint
Crippled renewable energy firm SunEdison officially filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code on Thursday, with GTM analysts Shayle Kann picking out the Vivint Solar acquisition as the key turning point.
SunEdison is one of the largest non-financial companies to resort to Chapter 11 in the last decade. With its downfall ultimately being the result of its breakneck growth, a serious of consecutive acquisitions and expansion across six continents left SunEdison saddled with $16.1 billion in liabilities, according to the filing at the Manhattan federal court. In fact, the two-year, $3.1 billion acquisition binge forced SunEdison stocks to plummet, investors to flee and debt to sink to levels that now cause this to be the biggest U.S. bankruptcy of the year.