More Tesla, electric car, and public transit news highlights from the past day:
Earlier this year, someone discovered a Lotus Esprit Submarine “Easter egg” hidden in the Model S firmware system (note that CEO & Product Architect Elon Musk bought the Lotus Esprit at auction for $1 million). Elon Musk subsequently tweeted that they’d hide a new Easter egg in the code that wouldn’t take so long to find. Now, it’s been found.
We are all aware of the financial argument for using public transportation — it is way, way cheaper. Weighing out the costs and benefits is tricky, but the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) monthly Transit Savings Reports have made it beautifully clear. Ranking the savings for the 20 cities with the highest rates of public transportation use, the latest report finds that they span from $1,343 per month (New York, #1), to $877 per month (Dallas, #20). These figures are calculated by comparing the cost of a monthly transit pass to the cost of gas, parking, and other variables such as insurance, tires, and maintenance. Parking costs alone average almost $2,000 annually, according to APTA.
May 7, 2015: Porsche CEO Matthias Müller: “I cannot say anything about Tesla,” he said. “I don’t know anything about Tesla.”
Sept. 14, 2015: Porsche CEO Matthias Müller: “We have great respect for Tesla,” Mr. Müller said. “They are the only one who have brought an electric vehicle on the market that you have to take seriously.”
In a very interesting move, the Chinese auto manufacturer Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Company (BAIC) has apparently opened up a new electric vehicle (EV) research and development (R&D) center in Silicon Valley.
Google has sent several dozen of its Roush-built autonomous cars off to Austin, Texas, for testing on public streets outside of California. The company incorporated Google Auto earlier this year and has been talking to several car companies about building the Google Car. So far, none of those companies has stepped up, and so the possibility that it will produce the Google Car itself is getting closer to reality, according to The Guardian.
Probably the biggest unveiling from Volkswagen Group at the Frankfurt Motor Show was the Audi E-Tron Quattro, but the Volkswagen Tiguan GTE is another big new plug-in concept car from the German giant that is also worthy of a full article.
What kind of car owners would actually throw a party for the car dealership/store that they bought their vehicles from? Tesla owners, of course. Who else?
Drone technology has given a man the awesome opportunity to snoop on the Tesla Gigafactory’s construction site from a great vantage point — above! Once nothing more than a set of metal bars, the Gigafactory is now starting to come together in a mountainous (but somewhat desolate) area in Nevada. Construction of the outer walls and roof has already progressed quite a bit.
When the second Formula E season begins in Beijing on October 24, the batteries the race cars use will have 170 kW of power, up from 150 kW last season. The extra power will help the cars accelerate faster and attain higher top speeds.
The cornerstone-laying ceremony for BMW’s new Lightweight Design Center under construction at the Landshut site was recently held by the company, bringing the research center one step closer to reality.
Three urban planning scholars of Arizona State University and MIT have published a study critiquing the American Planning Association’s selection of “Great Neighborhoods.” The study’s writers take issue with the fact that these “great neighborhood” rankings fail to take into account affordability or social diversity, while being lauded as a definitive voice in the field. Looking at the data, it is apparent that the places the APA applauds for ‘revitalization’ may actually just be heavily gentrified.