Tesla’s Price Cut and More Car News From This Week


Meanwhile, we’re still a little stuck on 2018, which was filled with exciting advances for Tesla, scooter-share, and even self-driving cars (sometimes). Read about the happenings, before it all fades away. It’s been a few weeks. Let’s get you caught up.


Stories you might have missed from WIRED these past few weeks

  • Happy New Year: Tesla just lost access to its $7,500 electric vehicle tax credit. It’s not the electric carmaker’s fault—the federal legislation that created the tax credit only applies to the first 200,000 EVs sold by a given company, then halves the credit. But Tesla responded anyway, with a $2,000 price cut that senior writer Jack Stewart notes might be better for consumers after all.

  • And Jack finds that 2018 was actually a pretty remarkable year for the electric carmaker, with the Model 3 on track to become the best selling luxury car of 2018. (Tesla will unveil its latest sales figures soon.)

  • Sure, it would be nice if bike- and scooter-share riders always wore helmets. But the things are so burdensome to carry around. A new, packable, telescoping helmet made by Closca might make the safety thing a touch easier.

  • Transpo editor Alex Davies got to hop inside Arcimoto’s Fun Utility Vehicle. The FUV is an odd, electric tricycle thing without windows, doors, a steering wheel, or pedals. Odd, but fun.

  • Process your grief over the death of General Motors’ electric Chevrolet Volt with this oral history of the path-breaking car. Recalls one GM alum: “We actually did one of those weird smoky room dinners in December 2006, about a month before the Detroit auto show, at a backroom table, with a laptop showing us the Volt.”

  • On the challenges of running an Uber, but for kids.

  • New York governor Andrew Cuomo makes a yuge announcement: The much bemoaned, 15-month shutdown of NYC’s L subway line might not happen after all. But transportation advocates wonder what that means for the city’s progressive transit contingency plans.

  • The good news: Engineers seem to believe that Cuomo's new plan to fix the L-train tunnel infrastructure damaged during Hurricane Sandy will work.

  • Last year, scooter-sharing exploded onto the urban transportation scene, leaving both delighted riders and very contentious city council meetings in its wake. But 2019 may prove to be the make or break-your-wrist year for the new mobility option.

  • Autonomous vehicle developers have had some trouble living up to their bold proclamations of a couple of years ago. Turns out it’s really hard to build a self-driving car that goes everywhere—which means it’s time to start focusing on where they’ll show up, not when.

  • Still recovering from 2015’s Dieselgate scandal, Volkswagen unveils a mobile electric vehicle charger concept, which it pitches as a quick, easy way to patch holes in EV infrastructure.

  • We’re not ready to let go of 2018 yet. Check out WIRED Transportation’s most read stories of 2018.

Unexpected B-Plot of the Week

She’s baaaack! Rapper Azealia Banks makes another unexpected cameo on the transportation beat this week, as she and Elon Musk’s then-girlfriend, the art pop musician Grimes, became enmeshed in the ongoing lawsuit over the Tesla CEO’s tweets . Investors suing Musk and Tesla for market manipulation want to subpoena both women. Tesla lawyers are displeased.

Stat of the Week


The year-over-year increase in new light vehicles prices in the US, which reached $37,577 in December, according to Kelley Blue Book.

Required Reading

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In the Rearview

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Back in 2016, WIRED explored how the internet got all wrapped up in city transportation systems.