Transit Agency To Use Tesla Motors Inc Cars For Ride-Hailing Service

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Tesla is reportedly entering into a partnership with a transit agency based in Florida, the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART). The partnership reportedly aims to create a ride-hailing service for transit users. As of now, it seems like Tesla vehicles will be used for a local ride-hailing service, but there seems to be no connection with the anticipated “Tesla Network,” reports Electrek.

No apparent relation to “Tesla Network”

The “Tesla Network” – an upcoming ride-hailing service using Tesla’s self-driving vehicles – was recently revealed, so claims from a transit agency regarding working with Tesla on implementing a ride-hailing service does raise eyebrows. However, Tesla told Electrek that though it is true that HART is working with it to lease a fleet of vehicles, the relationship is only of a transactional nature.

The Tampa Bay Business Journal reported about HART CEO Katharine Eagan announcing the service yesterday.

Eagan said, “The new feature called HyperLINK is the first of its kind worldwide, according to HART. It uses rideshare technology including demand response dispatch, a smartphone app and credit card payments, all with the guarantee of transit.”

She added that the service will be available almost all day, and the partnership with Tesla “is part of a first/last mile solutions project within the innovation district.”

This is an interesting new service for transit agencies. Tesla will soon reveal a “minibus” built on a Model X chassis which would likely be a good fit for a project of this kind, says Electrek. It is expected to feature a self-driving system as well, and Musk said when he announced it that the vehicle will serve as a solution for transit applications.

Powerback 2 has double energy density

Ahead of its event tonight, Tesla posted an appetizer of sorts via a blog post focusing on the second iteration of its commercial and utility energy storage solution, the Powerpack 2. The company started shipping it quietly in September, reports TechCrunch.

It has a new energy module that is capable of achieving double the energy density or around 200 kWh of storage. The EV firm has designed and built a new inverter for the Powerpack 2 which, according to the company, is the “highest efficiency and highest power density utility-scale inverter on the market.”

A remarkable achievement for Tesla is that it has delivered batteries adding up to more than 300 Mwh in total energy storage capacity in the U.S. An average home consumes around 11 Mwh annually.

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