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The Week in Tesla News: Smart Summon on Its Way, New Battery Buddy, VW Denies Buy-in and More

2018 Tesla Model 3

Another week, another Tesla fire (though this time it isn’t car-related!) as we bring you another round of news from the headline-generating luxury electric automaker. This week, Tesla isn’t alone in making waves in the EV space — it had plenty of competition from more mainstream rivals like Ford and Mercedes-Benz.

Related: Which 2019 Electric Cars Have the Greatest Range?

Here’s your weekly roundup of all the juiciest Tesla tidbits in the news:

Full Self-Driving Postponed

Telsa’s Full Self-Driving option was set for a $1,000 price hike on Aug. 16, but that has been postponed to allow for the addition of Smart Summon to the features portfolio. Musk previously indicated the price of Full Self-Driving will increase as the company adds features, and this delay is ostensibly in anticipation of an upgrade.

Smart Summon is designed to allow owners to summon their vehicle in parking lots. It’ll have a top speed of around 5 mph, so get ready to hear other cars honking at slow-moving Teslas only to realize there’s no driver inside.

Tesla Vs. Everybody

Ford and Mercedes-Benz both shed some light on their future electrification plans this week. Mercedes dropped an electric van concept named the Concept EQV — and if EQ sounds familiar, that because it’s the name of the sub-brand that comprises Mercedes’ electric vehicles. Though this is a concept, Mercedes has indicated that it will soon offer a production model based on this vehicle, so van lovers should keep an eye out. Here are the vitals: A front-axle-mounted electric motor makes 201 horsepower, top speed is 99 mph and it has a range of around 250 miles.

On the Ford front, plans are also firming up as the automaker plans to build two new mid-size crossovers at its Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan, Automotive News reported. The two vehicles don’t even have names yet, just code names (CDX746 and CDX747, reportedly), but with a 2023 model-year release, we won’t find their real names out for some time. Spy photographers also caught what is likely Ford’s Mustang-based electric crossover rolling around public roads, so even though Ford may not make many cars for America anymore, its new vehicle and electrification plans are in full swing.

2018 Tesla Model 3

Tesla Finds New Battery Partner

Telsa has reached an agreement with LG Chem to buy batteries from the Korean company that will be used to power vehicles produced at Tesla’s new plant in Shanghai, according to Bloomberg. The batteries themselves, though from a Korean company, also will be produced in China at LG Chem’s factory in Nanjing.

It’s important to note that this agreement isn’t exclusive; Tesla could also turn to other battery makers as needed to meet demand, as the company looks to aggressively expand in China. Tesla broke ground on the factory in Shanghai earlier this year and hopes to begin production there before the end of 2019. The LG Chem batteries are destined for Model 3 sedans and then, eventually, the Model Y compact crossover when it’s released.

It’s also worth noting that the Shanghai plant represents Tesla’s first factory abroad, although the company is also looking at locations in Germany for another plant.

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Deny, Deny, Deny!

After rumors surfaced that Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess was interested in acquiring a stake in Tesla, the company came out firing and strongly denied the report to CNBC, calling it “completely unfounded” and “pure speculation.” So it looks like for the time being, Tesla will continue to go it mostly alone … much like myself at a middle-school dance.

2018 Volkswagen Atlas

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