AD #2955 – Virgin Hyperloop Completes 1st Passenger Test; Telsa Taxis Hit NYC Streets; GM Battery Plant Ahead of Schedule

November 9th, 2020 at 11:46am

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Listen to “AD #2955 – Virgin Hyperloop Completes 1st Passenger Test; Telsa Taxis Hit NYC Streets; GM Battery Plant Ahead of Schedule” on Spreaker.

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Runtime: 9:44

0:16 BMW Helps Add ePower to Wingsuit
1:15 Virgin Hyperloop Completes 1st Passenger Test
2:06 Tesla Taxis Hit NYC Streets
3:38 GM Battery Plant Ahead of Schedule
4:08 GM Plant Reopening to Make Room for EVs?
5:24 Honda Consolidating North American Operations
6:24 Mopar Adds Redeye Crate Engine to Catalog
7:13 Dodge Durango Hellcat Order Books Open
7:47 How Lucid Improved Aerodynamics

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32 Comments to “AD #2955 – Virgin Hyperloop Completes 1st Passenger Test; Telsa Taxis Hit NYC Streets; GM Battery Plant Ahead of Schedule”

  1. Kit Gerhart Says:

    If the electrified wing suit guy can take off with a couple steps from flat ground, I’ll be impressed. Dropped from a helicopter, not so much.

  2. Larry D. Says:

    The disaster with the Leaf taxis in NY was entirely PREDICTABLE, as their ranges were MINISCULE, the first gen got what? 100 miles at best? SO Why did the lazy MORONS who made the investment did not TEST it before they ordered the ugly things?? (the 2nd gen leaf looks much better AND has far better range than the 1st).

    The Model 3 does NOT have a spacious rear seat, I read it can barely fit an adult. AND as NONE of the savings will be passed to the guy who hails a taxi, just like the case of the MANY Prius taxis, IF I ever wanted to take a taxi in NY, it would NOT be a Model 3, UNLESS i was allowed to sit up front (maybe they will have autonomous ones soon.. LOL)

    In other news,

    MARKETS are EXPLODING today, they were up 4% in Europe (very pleasing to me because I got lots of $ in international funds) AND the DOW also is up 4% currently, all thanks to a PFIZER announcement about their CV vaccine. I’ll give you the sordid details tomorrow.. crying all thw way to the bank again.. I know you can;t wait.

    AND from the brilliant Pfizer Scientists, to the BLITHERING Idiot Joe Biden: I don’t know to whom (maybe even bigger idiots, but how is this possible?) he was speaking, but he claims ‘he’ will create one million jobs in the AUTO industry alone. The Jobs fairy, complete with wand. He will hit you over the head and presto, you will have a boring, poor paying job.

  3. Kit Gerhart Says:

    2 The election is over, and your guy lost. Can’t you STFU about it now. This isn’t supposed to be a political forum.

    As far as the Model 3 taxis, they have Prius-like rear seat room, and should be fine for short trips for most people. Yeah, a taxi ride in a Model 3 or Prius should be cheaper than in something roomier, but with my limited taxi use, I take what is available. That’s what matters to me, if I’m taking a 15 minute trip. As far as NYC, I’ve only been there twice, but mainly used the subway and walked. Now, with covid, I’d walk more and ride less.

  4. Larry D. Says:

    The ideal taxi is a WAGON, not a sedan, so it can take people and their luggage. Even better, a Van.

    There were tons of Model S taxis in some European cities and they did huge hundreds of thousands of miles each in Amsterdam and else.

    The 3 is much cheaper than the S and even more than the X, which is the most appropriate Tesla Taxi. ANd if cost is really an issue, (I doubt it because the medallion itself in NY is several hundred thou $, the permit.), they can get a Model Y for a few thou more than the 3

    The Model Y is a far better taxi than the 3. it is much taller, has more passengeer and cargo space. In fact you can even order it with 3 rows of seats, I imagine the third is mostly for kids under 12.

  5. Kit Gerhart Says:

    A Model Y would make a good taxi, but costs more than a 3. I suspect they will be used as taxis in NYC and elsewhere in the near future.

  6. MJB Says:

    1. Those guys usually base jump from mountain tops. I rarely see them dropping in from helicopters or airplanes as this video shows.

    I’m interested to know how much benefit there is in the under-belly placement of the jetpack versus having it on the back though.

  7. Lambo2015 Says:

    I could see the BMW ePower being used for all sorts of things, like Hang gliders, skateboarders, bicyclists, maybe even RC airplanes. Although 5 minutes is a pretty short period I’m sure on things like a bike they could add more battery capacity.

  8. GM Veteran Says:

    While I understand why taxi companies would be interested in using Tesla models as taxis, especially the Model 3 since they are now more affordable thanks to competition and slowing sales, I don’t know why Tesla would want any of their cars used as taxis. It doesn’t enhance their “futuristic luxury EV” brand. Who wants to buy a car that is used as a taxi? Its one of the primary reasons that Crown Victorias were rarely purchased by consumers. They were nearly all purchased for taxi and police duty.

  9. Kit Gerhart Says:

    6 That’s what I thought, that they usually jumped from mountain tops, rather than being dropped from helicopters. That would have been an expensive video to make.

    7 I suspect those motors/fan units are “borrowed” from ones used on very large R/C airplanes, maybe something like this:

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    9 Looking at the specs, that unit I linked is probably bigger than the ones with wingsuit setup. It is about 13 kW in, so should be around 10 kW at the motor shaft.

  11. ChuckGrenci Says:

    Virgin’s Hyperloop isn’t leaving me with warm and fuzzy thoughts. I read the release and they seem in the very preliminary phase, and while they have a working model, it is currently just that, a working model. They aspire to offer city to city service (L.A. to San Francisco on their web page) but with only drawings and 500 meters of actual track, I can’t help but think this a very expensive option to convey people from place to place. They are not up to advertised speed yet either; claimed possible 1000 kph, test at 387 kph; and I don’t think it will be linearly scalable (but I could be wrong). This and Elon’s tunnel may be in our future, but I’ll be standing by at this point.

  12. stryder13 Says:

    Please don’t forget the closed captioning for those of us who are hearing impaired. Thank you!

  13. Lambo2015 Says:

    I thought hyperloop was a development project under Elon’s Space X. Is it in collaboration with Virgin?

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    12 I usually just read the transcript, even though my hearing is ok.

    13 Little did I know that hyperloop was a generic term. Apparently both Elon Musk and Virgin use it, for two different projects.

  15. cwolf Says:

    I think Hyperloops have merit. If they can operate with efficiency, communities may develope around them. I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing.

  16. cwolf Says:

    Kit, I drove a hybred Fusion loaner car for a couple days. The ride was fine, quiet and MPG’s were great, but overall the car felt like a turd to me. My golf clubs wouldnt fit in the trunk. I wasn’t fond of the dial gear shifter and really disliked the regenerative breaking. I suppose it is good for basic transportation, but not for me.

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    16 Have you tried a hybrid Camry, which is what I have? It has the same trunk as other Camrys, with a split fold down back seat, and has a shifter about like a Corvette. I don’t know how the regen feels compared to a Fusion hybrid.

  18. Sean Wagner Says:

    I hate to break it to the guys over in Munich, but that’s not how over-the-air updates are done.

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    16,17. What I said in #17 applies to 2018 and later Camry hybrid. I don’t know about earlier ones, but I think the battery takes up trunk space in 2017 and earlier ones.

  20. DanaPointJohn Says:

    2 Let it go. Biden is not an idiot. Grow up!

  21. Bobby T Says:

    What is a hyper loop? I couldn’t find anything in the article that explains what it is, or how it is powered. I did my Masters thesis on a vacuum (low pressure) powered subway based on experiments that I conducted. That was in 1968!
    #8, I agree. After WW2, Packard sold 6 cyl taxis for a few years. Most observers these days think that tarnished their image and was a mistake, especially during that 1946-1949 sellers market.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    21. Packard never recovered at all after WW II. They were in the same class with Cadillac and Lincoln in the ’30s, but after that, they declined sharply. I suppose selling them as taxis didn’t help the image, but they were doomed at that point.

  23. Sean Wagner Says:

    I must read up on Packard. They built so many Rolls-Royce Merlins under licence during WWII that I doubt their financial position suffered. Curious to know why they couldn’t make it in the following sellers’ market.

    Incidentally, it’s interesting that Lucid’s team is quite international in experience and presumably outlook.

    Although I’m not so sure launching a sedan is the way to go nowadays that battery cells have progressed so much in all relevant metrics, with further steady accumulation of small improvements coming.

    Access to sufficient supplies may be more of a challenge.

  24. Sean Wagner Says:

    Just one more thing – Tesla is driven by its mission. The unique challenges they take on are a result of that focus. I doubt Tesla taxis will be seen as detrimental by people who support it.

  25. ChuckGrenci Says:

    22,23 I don’t know the answer but found a link if you are interested on why Packard failed (by Hagerty):
    In a nutshell it appears bad choices, reduced quality and better competition.

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    25 Good article with some things that I knew, and some that I didn’t. I grew up about 100 miles from South Bend, home of Studebaker, so heard some news about the decline and fall of Studebaker-Packard from semi-local sources.

    23 Packard made Merlin engines, and Studebaker made made some of the Pratt and Whitney radial engines for B-17s. I didn’t know that until I saw the Studebaker tag on an engine at an air show 20-25 years ago.

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    26 Correction. The Studebaker-built engines were Wright R-1820, not P & W.

  28. Sean Wagner Says:

    25 Thank you Chuck, that was an instructive article interspersed with fantastic pics. The 1932 Packard Light 8 coupe roadster is a jewel.

    Quite amazing how rapidly the fundamentals of styling changed between that and the 1950 Custom 8, keeping in mind the intervening years of commercial deep sleep.

    Later on, the connections to world markets were generally lost due to the growing differences in size and relative affordability.

    I remember reading Akio Morita’s autobiography (the founder of SONY), were he mentioned his father’s Buick.

  29. Sean Wagner Says:


  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Another thing thing that hurt Packard after WW II, was that they wasted a lot of money developing their own not-too-good automatic transmission, rather than using Hydramatic or Borg-Warner tranmissions. The Packard “Ultramatic” had a locking torque converter, unique at the time, but other than that, didn’t offer much. In normal drive, it was one speed, with a manually selectable low gear for better acceleration and hills.

  31. Lambo2015 Says:

    These hyperloops could very well provide a much needed mass transit system. However the only way to make them cost affectively would be to utilize the already mass highway system we have and use the median space or elevate over the existing highway. Im thinking the amount of property in California that would need to be purchased to run a route from LA to SF would put the cost too high. The problem with that though is it is likely not strait enough. If they truly want to travel at speeds close to air travel @600 mph they cant have any tight curves. Even changes in altitude will have to be slight.
    I had read the goad at least for Elon’s hyperloop was to develop a route from LA to NY and doing it at speeds faster than air travel.

    21 I don’t know the exact definition of hyperloop but I believe both Virgin and Space X versions are electrically elevated “trains” and move using electro-magnetic propulsion. I also believe they are using it in conjunction with a vacuum tube concept for the purpose of eliminating wind resistance.

  32. Bobby T Says:

    #25, Chuck, thanks for that very interesting article. I’ve been a member of The Packard Club for nearly 60 years, and have read innumerable articles about why they failed. Packard was the top selling luxury car until WW 2, but their move into the medium priced field in the mid thirties cost them a lot of their prestige even though it saved their life (every other independent luxury car maker went out of business during the depression).