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Teslarati shares its experiences with the Firmware 7.1 update in a Tesla Model S without Autopilot. The Homelink automatic open/close gives the reviewer the most trouble out of the new features. The Supercharger availability information is helpful in trip planning. Also, the trip planning feature itself has had some of the bugs worked out. The reviewer is happy to see temperature back on the display. Control over individual door locks has been added. Despite the bulk of the update being focused on Autopilot, it still gives other Tesla owners some of the features that they want. Read more from Teslarati.

Teslarati also reviews front seat covers for the Tesla Model S. As a parent, the car's owner wanted to protect the leather interior, and ordered $349 neoprene seat covers made by Wet Okole through EVAnnex. Though it takes some effort to install them, they fit snugly and do justice to the shape of the seats. Due to the grip provided by the neoprene, one can't simply slide into the seat. Adjusting the seats is a bit of a chore, as the covers partially obstruct the controls. On the other hand, they make the seats more comfortable, and keep the driver in place in corners. While the seats do gather hair and debris, messes clean up easily. A pocket in the back adds some storage for rear passengers, too. Read more at Teslarati.

The California Energy Commission has awarded Andromeda Power a grant to develop a smart EV fast-charging system. The $681,693 grant will help Andromeda to create a charging system that helps to reduce grid fluctuations and to make the most of renewable energy sources. Andromeda's system can interface with vehicles using any type of charging standard via a virtual machine. Read more at Green Car Congress.

Thailand has received its first BYD electric bus. Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha inspected and praised the BYD K9 bus – which was built in Thailand – and announced that Thailand will get 200 electric buses in three months. Bangkok plans to gradually replace its aging fleet of some 3,000 internal combustion buses with new energy buses. Read more in the press release below.
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With High Praise from Prime Minister, BYD K9 Electric Bus Is Ready for Electrified Transportation Kickoff in Thailand

The year started with a rosy outlook for BYD Company Ltd. and Thailand's public transportation system. On January 8, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha boarded the first BYD K9 pure-electric bus assembled in Thailand, and paid effusive compliments on the vehicle's technology, design and comfort. Several other distinguished Thai government officials in attendance were equally impressed.

After thoroughly inspecting the bus, Mr. Prayut Chan-o-cha stated that the BYD K9 fully embodies the performance and excellence required for quality public transportation and extolled the fact that the vehicle was assembled in Thailand. He added that electrified transportation is an inescapable global trend and that Thailand won't miss out on it, thus announcing a first batch of 200 electric buses tender within three months.

Just the day before, BYD representatives and the company's local partners in Thailand gathered in front of the Ministry of Transport to showcase the K9 to the Ministry's senior leaders and professionals in the transport sector and drive them on a test ride. The bus's power, comfort and silence deeply impressed all riders, and after the test ride, the Deputy Minister of Transport Ormsin Chivapruck and the president of the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) expressed their wish that Thai commuters can start enjoying such comfort and cutting-edge technology as soon as possible.

Faced with the serious problem of an aging bus fleet, BMTA – Bangkok's public transportation authority – plans to gradually replace the city's more than three thousand internal combustion bus fleet for new energy buses. In March 2015, BYD partnered with Thailand's Loxley Group to launch the first Electrified Transportation scheme in the country with the introduction of the K9 pure electric bus. The BYD K9 has garnered high praise from all sectors not only for its technology, quality and comfort, but also for its contribution to sustainability and the serious threat of climate change. BYD's contribution to global sustainable development grows significantly year on year – currently, the company's electrified public transportation solutions can be seen running in over 167 cities in 40 countries, making BYD a key player and unmatched leader in the EV revolution.


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