Automobile: Porsche Really Wants the Mission E to Stomp Tesla

The Tesla Model S has enjoyed a lot of success over the last half-decade, racking up accolades and fervent supporters with every new announcement and development. Like the rest of the world, Porsche has watched closely as support and enthusiasm for electric cars has grown. And as we’ve seen with the seductive and futuristic Porsche Mission E concept, it thinks it can do better.

How much better, though? A Porsche engineer not working directly on the project tells Automobile that the Mission E will be “something special,” and that a crazy amount of work is being done to make sure it’s “a true Porsche through and through.”

“It’ll be something entirely different than any of its competitors, across the board” a product manager from Porsche adds. “The thing about [Tesla’s] Ludicrous mode is that it’s a façade. Two launches saps the whole battery. That won’t be the case with the Mission E. You’ll be able to run it hard, over and over; the battery will not overheat, the power control module will not overheat, and the seats will not suck.”

Los Angeles Times: BMW Wins LAPD Electric Car Contract, Beating Tesla

German automaker BMW has beaten California-based Tesla Motors Inc. by winning a contract to supply the Los Angeles Police Department with 100 electric cars.

BMW is leasing 100 of its i3 all-electric plug-in vehicles, which the LAPD plans to use for community outreach and other police business -- but not patrols or car chases.

That will bring to almost 200 the number of electric vehicles the city is using in its various departments.

Electrek: NASA Will Spend the Next 4 Years Innovating Electric Passenger Plane Transport

NASA unveiled plans to spend the next decade working on electric planes under the ‘X-57’ moniker. The X-Plane program has traditionally been used by NASA to further aviation so this is a big deal -- more than just a pet project or some 3-D renders.

The plane which is also called ‘Maxwell’ to honor James Clerk Maxwell, the 19th century Scottish physicist who did groundbreaking work in electromagnetism, will be based on the Italian Tecnam P2006T, a very efficient four-seat light aircraft. NASA will do away with the wing and petrol engines and replace them with a super-efficient thinner wing and 14 electric motors. The smaller 12 motors will only be used for takeoffs and what we can probably assume is regen during landings. The larger two engines on the end of the wings will propel the plane during cruising, which is expected to be a solid 175 mph. The Tecnam has retractable wheels and a 1,500-foot takeoff distance, which should make it a good base for an EV makeover.

Vox: Sweden Decides It's Not So Easy to Give Up on Nuclear Power

Nuclear power has been falling out of favor in Europe ever since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. Italy has closed all its reactors. Germany, Belgium and Switzerland are in the midst of retiring their fleets. Even France, which gets 77 percent of its electricity from nuclear, has been discussing a partial phaseout.

Yet for a continent that prides itself on being a leader on global warming, shutting down a major source of reliable, carbon-free electricity isn’t always easy. And Sweden is a great case study here.

Until recently, Sweden's nuclear reactors -- which provide 40 percent of the nation's electricity -- were on track to close prematurely in the coming years, as government policies favored renewables. But last week, the country switched course.

Fuel Fix: SolarCity Sees Bright Future in Houston

The nation’s largest residential solar company is about to enter the epicenter of the world’s oil and gas industry.

SolarCity on Monday will begin offering its rooftop solar systems in the Houston area, the California company’s third Texas market, after Dallas and El Paso. The company said it will open a Houston warehouse soon and hire about 100 people for sales and installation.

“This is a big deal for us,” said Lyndon Rive, SolarCity’s co-founder and chief executive. “We’ve been eyeing the market for awhile.”