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News Technology CES 2020: Fast & Furious actor Ludacris’ thoughts on Tesla as EVs have a major moment

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News Technology CES 2020: Fast & Furious actor Ludacris’ thoughts on Tesla as EVs have a major moment

News Technology

, USA TODAY
Published 7:23 a.m. ET Jan. 9, 2020 | Updated 9:49 a.m. ET Jan. 10, 2020

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Apparently, it’s pretty hard getting a free Tesla out of billionaire CEO Elon Musk.

The rapper and Fast & Furious franchise star Ludacris told USA TODAY on Wednesday that he hasn’t had much luck scoring one of the EVs, even though one of Tesla’s driving modes has a strikingly similar name. 

“We’ve been trying to get a free car out of my man Elon Musk for a long time. But ‘Ludicrous Mode’ I guess, wasn’t Ludacris mode,” the Grammy award-winning musician said before a glitzy performance hosted by Spotify during CES.

The Palo Alto-based automaker launched “Ludicrous Mode” in 2016, a powertrain that enables the Model S to sprint from 0 to 60 in less than three seconds. Ludacris hit the car scene in a big way in 2003 after the rubber cooled on the set of the crime thriller “2 Fast 2 Furious.” The next installment hits theaters this year.

The actor, who started selling off much of his car collection, said that if he goes electric, a battery-powered motorcycle is more his speed.

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All jokes aside, Tesla is a sales leader in the electric category but doesn’t show at CES, which left open space for other battery-powered rides to have a big moment. During the tech industry trade show, industry heavyweights such as Mercedes-Benz and Audi, as well as startups such as Fisker, showed the world what they’ve been cooking up. 

News Technology Fisker unveils Ocean

The alternative vehicle company Fisker showed the world its electric SUV and its a direct Tesla Model 3 competitor.

After teasing the $37,499 EV for months, the company unveiled a road-ready, production version of the Ocean crossover this week. The company said the battery will have a 300-mile electric range, and it offers a $379-a-month leasing option. 

Standout features include a solar roof and a “California mode” that rolls down the car’s windows.

News Technology Wrangler goes semi-electric

Fiat Chrysler showed off a plug-in, electric hybrid version of the Jeep Wrangler JL at CES on Thursday.

The move was part of a plan to “modernize the Jeep Brand,” the company said. Details and specs are scant, but Fiat Chrysler said all its vehicles will be electric by 2022. The company also displayed an electric Compass and a plug-in version of its Renegade.

Fiat Chrysler plans to show three plug-in hybrid Jeeps at CES 2020 — a Wrangler, Compass and Renegade — as well as the Fiat Concept Centoventi. https://t.co/gkdDnxgxST

— USA TODAY Money (@USATODAYmoney) January 3, 2020

News Technology Sony makes a car

The electronics giant Sony took tech enthusiasts by surprise when it displayed a concept car loaded with branded tech. 

#Sony Vision S Concept Car#CES2020#CES … WHAT!?!? pic.twitter.com/4Z2PxCcOVX

— Sounds Nerdy (@Soundsnerdy) January 7, 2020

The vehicle, which has yet to be named, was developed by Sony’s AI and robotics team, and it was built to showcase the company’s smart car platform called Vision-S. The car was complete with access to Sony-owned films and the company’s licensed music. 

No, Sony isn’t getting into the automaking business, at least not yet. But the car shows what’s possible. 

News Technology Audi AI:ME

The fully automated Audi AI:ME showed the brand’s plans for the future, offering rides for the first time. 

The car features level four autonomy, Audi said, but it still comes complete with a steering wheel and pedals. The company envisions a world where passengers can put on VR headsets during their daily commutes.

Germany automaker Audi is showing its concept of a car of the future at the CES technology show in Las Vegas. The autonomous AI:Me was launched in 2019, but at CES it offered rides in the self-driving car for the first time. (Jan. 8) https://t.co/PFBIg8hDq8

— USA TODAY Money (@USATODAYmoney) January 9, 2020

“Passengers can fully relax and get away from their hectic day-to-day lives,” Audi said in a news release. The hi-tech EV uses AI to get to know the driver, and it auto-adjusts so the passengers are comfortable. Audi’s concept is meant to thrive in the smart cities of the future, the company said.

Follow Dalvin Brown on Twitter: @Dalvin_Brown. 

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