I’ve decided to change up my “link drops” a bit. Rather than once a week and simply a list of titles, the plan is to go back to ~daily and include initial snippets from the articles. Also, I intend to be a little pickier, and instead of reposting a bunch from our sister sites, I’ll include them in these “highlights.” Here’s the first “Clean Transport Highlights” post. (Click the subheadings to read the full articles.)
Following every post in the Tesla Motors Club forum, there’s a lot of stuff that simply isn’t interesting (as is the case with any product forum). But it’s well worth it for all of the interesting gems I find there (and as a potential future Tesla owner and a current Tesla investor). One of the recent finds I found super interesting was a thread about the cars Tesla owners upgraded from, and how much more or less they paid compared to their previous car. If it is representative, it shows that Tesla owners, for the most part, massively upgraded when they switched to Tesla….
I wrote about this years ago when summarizing and discussion this wonderful presentation from Tesla cofounder Marc Tarpenning, and I’ve brought it up in numerous comment threads, but it is still something that is little understood and very infrequently discussed. I’m talking about what I think is the #1 reason why large automakers are not throwing themselves into the EV revolution, why their electric offerings and electric programs don’t match Tesla’s. That is: the competitive advantage of large automakers is almost entirely in their knowledge, experience, and intellectual property (IP) surrounding the internal combustion engine (which, of course, is not a component of a fully electric car)….
I’ll admit it — I’m an electric vehicle nut. Generally speaking, I’m well aware that cars ruin cities, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being car-free for over 11 years (the quality of life is certainly higher than with a car commute), but if we’re going to drive, it’s got to be electric (or else we may make this planet completely unlivable for human beings). After years of writing about electric cars, when I finally drove several in 2013, I was shocked (not literally, of course) by their drive quality. No doubt about it, electric cars are better consumer products than gasoline-powered cars — even if you remove all of the health, climate, and environmental benefits. Nonetheless, technological transitions or revolutions don’t happen overnight. In fact, it can take a long time for the masses to even hear about a new technology, let alone use it and buy it….
In order to manufacture a lithium-ion battery, you must first have a supply of lithium. Duh. 5 years ago, when all this electric car hoopla was just getting started, China was rushing around, locking up the rights to all the major lithium supplies in the world. No doubt it felt that cornering the market for lithium would give it a significant competitive edge in the battle for electric car supremacy….
Another recent poll on the Tesla Motors Club (TMC) forum is super interesting to me. The pollster asked about whether respondents’ households were 100% electric or included gasoline-powered cars as well. Being a survey on the TMC forum, I’m sure the majority of respondents were Tesla owners, and that means they have much longer electric driving ranges than most electric car owners, as well as access to the Supercharger network. So, you can’t really extrapolate the results for all EV owners. But even if it just applied to Tesla owners, the results are super interesting….
Electric car benefits are great enough now (after 100+ years of history and development) that I think most car owners would be better off with an electric car. But transitions take time and can be quickened with good incentives. As we inch into the electric vehicle revolution, some cities and countries are clearly doing more than others. While it makes sense for basically all cities to incentive zero-emission transport that will keep their air cleaner, their citizens healthier, and their climate more livable, only a handful have strong foresight around this matter right now. In this article, I want to highlight some of the strong leaders….
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