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Tesla Model Y. Tesla

Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled the company's second mass-market electric vehicle at its Southern California design studio Thursday night: the Model Y.

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A new plug-in electric truck is in development, along with an electric SUV. Richard Truesdell / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

By Venkat Viswanathan and Shashank Sripad

Electric vehicles — specifically, the Tesla Model 3 — are dominating the U.S. market for premium sedans, but are barely even on the radar in the busiest automotive category, which includes SUVs and pickup trucks.

The immediate reason is economics, but it has a lot to do with physics as well: Larger, heavier, less aerodynamic electric vehicles need larger, heavier, more expensive batteries to power them. Our research has looked at the energy needed to move cars and trucks along the road, and has identified the important factors that affect power usage.

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Tesla Model 3 cars arriving at a port in Shanghai. Zhao Yun / VCG via Getty Images

Three years after it was first announced, Tesla's Model 3 is now available for $35,000 in the United States, The Verge reported Thursday.

"We are incredibly excited to announce that the standard Model 3, with 220 miles of range, a top speed of 130 mph and 0-60 mph acceleration of 5.6 seconds is now available at $35,000!" the company announced in a blog post. "Although lower in cost, it is built to achieve the same perfect 5-star safety rating as the longer-ranged version, which has the lowest probability of injury of any car ever tested by the U.S. Government."

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Toyota Yaris hybrid 2017.

Kārlis Dambrāns / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

One of the biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. is from burning fossil fuels for transportation, so accelerating the electrification of our planes, trains and automobiles is crucial in a clean energy future.

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150-megawatt energy storage system (ESS) for Korea Zinc. Hyundai Electric

South Korea's Hyundai Electric & Energy Systems will soon complete a massive lithium ion battery in the industrial city of Ulsan.

When it goes live in three months, Hyundai's 150-megawatt system will overtake Tesla's 100-megawatt facility in South Australia as the world's largest industrial energy storage system, Independent.ie reported. Sorry, Elon Musk.

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Max Pixel

By Dana Drugmand

Koch Industries is calling for the elimination of tax credits for electric vehicles (EVs), all while claiming that it does not oppose plug-in cars and inviting the elimination of oil and gas subsidies that the petroleum conglomerate and its industry peers receive.

Outgoing Nevada Republican Senator Dean Heller introduced a bill in September that would lift the sales cap on electric vehicles eligible for a federal tax credit, and replace the cap with a deadline that would dictate when the credit would start being phased out.

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Solar energy panels and wind turbines in Shanghai, China. Chinaface / Getty Images

Facebook announced Tuesday it will slash greenhouse gas emissions by 75 percent and transition global operations to 100 percent renewable energy by the end of 2020 in efforts to "help fight climate change."

Similarly, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted over the weekend that his company's enormous Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada will run entirely on Tesla Solar by the end of 2019.

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Powerwall residential battery with solar panels. Tesla

Tesla's plans to build the world's largest virtual power plant in South Australia will proceed after all.

The $800 million (US $634 million) project—struck in February by Tesla CEO Elon Musk and former South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill—involves installing solar panels and batteries on 50,000 homes to function as an interconnected power plant.

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Nissan Energy Solar

Nissan, the maker of the world's top-selling electric vehicle, officially rolled out on Thursday a seamless solar energy and battery storage system for homes in the UK.

The venture, called Nissan Energy Solar, allows homeowners to generate, store and charge EVs with their own renewable energy, which can reduce household energy bills by an estimated 66 percent, the company touts.

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Tesla's Powerpack battery system in South Australia is charged by a nearby wind farm. Tesla

Since switching on in December, Tesla's massive battery in South Australia has already drastically lowered prices in the region's frequency and ancillary services market (FCAS) and has taken a major share of that market, Renew Economy reported.

During Australian Energy Week, McKinsey and Co. partner Godart van Gendt boasted about the stunning efficiency of the 100-megawatt Powerpack system, which is connected to Neoen's Hornsdale wind farm.

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Tesla's Powerpack system in South Australia. Tesla

Tesla has already built the world's largest battery in South Australia, a lightning-fast system that switched on in December and recently saved the energy market millions during an outage.

Now, the Elon Musk-headed venture is vying to build another massive Powerpack system in Colorado for Xcel Energy Inc., an electric utility operating in eight Western and Midwestern states.

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