New images of the Tesla Model 3 have leaked online. The first photo shows the interior, including the minimalist dash with no instrument clusters, a "floating" touchscreen, and a flat-bottom steering wheel. Another image shows the open rear trunk giving a good sense of its size, while a third photo catching the closed rear of the car with a "Model 3" vanity (novelty?) plate. Additionally, a driver caught a Tesla Model 3 (perhaps the same one as in the photos, though it's sporting a different plate) on video escorted by two Model S cars on a California highway. See the video above, the photos on Reddit, and read more at BGR.

Shortly after a campaign urging Tesla to build a factory in Spain, the automaker is expanding its Supercharger network in the country. The city of Paterna, outside of Valencia, has been courting Tesla as the company looks for a production site in Europe. Now, citizens are posting photos of a new Supercharger site in Murcia, Spain, where six chargers are being installed, rather than the four planned originally. While the timing is likely coincidental, having a robust network to support Tesla EVs would go a long way toward supporting a larger presence there. Tesla is currently expanding its charging network across Europe to make it easier for its customers (including future Model 3 drivers) to travel from country to country. Read more at Teslarati.

The United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC) and the US Department of Energy (DOE) are providing $7 million in funding to battery maker 24M Technologies. The A123 Systems spinoff will use the funds to demonstrate the scalability to mass production of its cheaper lithium-ion automotive batteries. 24M has previously said that its semi-solid batteries could cut costs in half by 2020. "Programs like this are critical to advancing the technology needed to meet both near- and long-term goals that will enable broader scale vehicle electrification," says USCAR Executive Director Steve Zimmer. Read more in the press release below.

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USABC AWARDS $7 MILLION CONTRACT TO 24M TO DEVELOP LOWER COST EV BATTERIES, MANUFACTURING PROCESS

SOUTHFIELD, Mich., June 27, 2016 – The United States Advanced Battery Consortium LLC (USABC), a collaborative organization of FCA US LLC, Ford Motor Company and General Motors, today announced the award of a $7 million contract to 24M Technologies Inc. in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to leverage its breakthrough cell design and manufacturing process to deliver lower cost, automotive lithium-ion batteries, demonstrating their potential for mass production.

The competitively bid contract award is 50 percent cost share-funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

The 36-month program will enable 24M Technologies to demonstrate that its novel electrode, cell and manufacturing approach can be scaled to mass production of automotive-capable, prismatic Li-ion cells that meet the USABC 2020 battery targets for electric vehicle applications. The 24M approach leverages proven and emerging chemistries to produce Li-ion batteries with lower cost and less inactive materials content than existing Li-ion cells.

USABC is a subsidiary of the United States Council for Automotive Research LLC (USCAR). Enabled by a cooperative agreement with the U.S. DOE, USABC's mission is to develop electrochemical energy storage technologies that support commercialization of hybrid, plug-in hybrid, electric and fuel cell vehicles. In support of its mission, USABC has developed mid- and long-term goals to guide its projects and measure its progress. For more information, visit http://www.uscar.org/usabc

"The 24M Technologies contract award is part of USABC's broad battery technology research and development programs," said Steve Zimmer, executive director of USCAR. "Programs like this are critical to advancing the technology needed to meet both near- and long-term goals that will enable broader scale vehicle electrification."

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