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Inside Automotive (Aug 23rd, 2019)

1. Tesla has agreed to buy batteries from LG for its upcoming Chinese production facility. Bloomberg, who spoke to people close to the situation, reports LG Chem’s batteries will be used for Model 3s produced in the plant. LG’s batteries will also be used in the Model Y when production begins in China. But the arrangement is non-exclusive, as Tesla CEO Elon Musk has indicated the factory would source batteries from different sources. Tesla has also reportedly held battery discussions with Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. (CATL) for the Chinese factory, while the automaker has also considered producing its own batteries. — BLOOMBERG

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2. The refreshed Chevrolet Bolt has received a range upgrade from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The automaker said the range upgrade is linked to a tweak in battery chemistry, in which the EPA officially upgraded the vehicle's range from 238 miles to 259 miles of range. The refreshed Bolt will also be available in two new colors, “oasis blue” and “cayenne orange metallic,” and will receive an upgrade to a high-definition backup camera. — THE VERGE

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3. Follow Friday: The Model 3 Guy 

I think one of the things that makes the Tesla owner community truly special is that they are truly passionate about their cars. There are many awesome fan social media accounts — and one I have been liking recently is The Model 3 Guy. 

You can find The Model 3 Guy on Twitter and on YouTube, and beyond just profiling modifications to his Model 3, he also reviews different accessories and in-vehicle features, like trunk mats. He shared a very cool road trip video of him taking his Model 3 to Mont Tremblant, a resort town in Montreal. He also shared a reflection, while posting a picture of his kids playing "Beach Buggy Racing 2" on the Model 3's in-vehicle screen, saying "It’s amazing to think in 20 years from now how will kids look back on their childhood. We were never this lucky." 

Beyond the internet, he hosts Tesla meetups for Toronto, Canada area drivers. A very cool account that you should be following! 

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4. Volkswagen denied reports it is acquiring a stake in Tesla. The automaker denied a report from the German publication, Manager Magazin, which said Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess was interested in acquiring shares of Tesla. The publication reported that Volkswagen was reportedly interested in acquiring access to Tesla’s software and battery technology. The report also said Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Diess have regular meetings on the topic, but Tesla has rebuffed Volkswagen’s efforts. Volkswagen says the report is without merit. — REUTERS

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5. Tesla initiated a secret project last year to replace solar panel components that could cause fires. This comes after Walmart filed a lawsuit against Tesla over “widespread negligence” over solar panel maintenance that reportedly caused solar panel system fires. Tesla named the operation “Project Titan” (not to be confused with Apple’s self-driving car project) and focused on replacing connectors and optimizers, which are meant to regulate the energy flowing to a solar panel. Tesla confirmed the part replacements. — BUSINESS INSIDER

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6. Porsche has finally released interior photos of its upcoming Taycan electric vehicle. The all-electric four door vehicle has a dashboard inspired by the 1963 Porsche 911, but features an array of digital displays that extend from the driver’s side of the vehicle to the passenger’s side. The center console also features a screen, where drivers can control basic functions of the vehicle. — MOTOR TREND

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7. Porsche tested its Taycan electric vehicle at the automaker’s Nardò Technical Center. The vehicle traveled over 2,000 miles over 24 hours. Porsche reopened the Nardò Technical Center last month, after renovating the tracks, with the automaker investing about $38 million on the project. — THE NEXT AVENUE

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8. Fiat offered more details on its future electrification plans. The automaker expects to launch its all-new electric 500 sedan in the middle of 2020. Fiat says that the vehicle will carry “premium pricing” in its segment to absorb the cost of the added all-electric drivetrain. The automaker also expects to launch new SUV-style vehicles, with one possibly being based on the Jeep Renegade platform. — AUTOCAR

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9. A new ride-hailing startup promises to give its drivers the full fare. Nomad Riders, which is backed by the prominent Y Combinator accelerator, charges riders a flat monthly fee of $25 per month. As a result, riders pay 20 percent less, while drivers make 20 percent more. The app has launched at Indiana University Bloomington earlier this year, where the company says it has received over 9,400 ride requests. — FORBES

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10. Redditor /u/Ninjaneer captured this picture in Cupertino, California of a very high usage Tesla Supercharger. Other Redditors in the thread wrote about how Superchargers are being crowded around the Bay Area, although I would say Superchargers are crowded all throughout California. I have noticed a queue of up to 10 cars waiting for a Supercharger spot at my local charger in the Orange County, California area. What do you think? Hit reply and let me know! — /R/TESLAMOTORS/REDDIT

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This newsletter was written and curated by Johan Moreno. Johan is based out of Los Angeles, CA and has covered technology and automotive extensively for a variety of publications, including Forbes and The Orange County Register. Follow him on Twitter @dudejohan

Editor: David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology).

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