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Daily Shorts: Tesla intensifies price war, 2023 to be hottest year on record, and more

The Model Y is 26 percent cheaper than at the start of this year. Image: Tesla

Tesla cut US prices for Model 3 and Model Y cars by about 2.7 to 4.2 percent, following last month's reduction in prices for the premium Model S and Model X vehicles. With the latest reductions, the standard Model 3 is now 17 percent cheaper since the start of the year, while the Model Y, a longer-range variant, costs 26 percent less. The price cuts are part of Tesla's strategy to drive sales amid slowing EV growth while also ratcheting up the pressure on rivals such as Lucid and Rivian. The company is also upgrading its factories to increase production, and is close to starting construction of a new plant in Mexico.

More good news for Tesla. South Korean carmakers Hyundai and Kia announced their EVs would transition to Tesla's charging connector. The switch will start from the fourth quarter for US vehicles, while Canadian models will come with Tesla's connector – dubbed NACS for 'North American Charging Standard' – from 2025. Tesla, which runs the largest supercharger network in America accounting 60 percent of fast chargers, has been offering its network to other EV makers. Hyundai and Kia join a list that includes Ford and General Motors among others.

The year is set to become the hottest since at least 1940, according to the EU's Copernicus Climate Change Service. According to the institute's findings, based on its records dating back to 1940, the global average temperature for January-September was 0.52 degrees Celsius higher than the average 1991-2020 reference period. That's 1.4 C higher than the pre-industrial 1850 to 1900 period, the institute said, compared with the previous hottest years of 2020 and 2016, which were around 1.25 C above pre-industrial times. Scientists have attributed the high temperatures to a combination of climate change and the El Nino weather pattern.

Chinese photovoltaic company Trina Solar announced it would invest more than $200 million to build a solar PV plant in Wilmar, Texas. The US plant -- company's first PV unit in the West -- will have capacity of produce 5 GW of modules source polysilicon locally and from Europe, the company said. The company is also set to begin producing solar panel trackers from a factory in Brazil from the end of this year. 

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