As much as we obsessively cover electric vehicle news, we can’t get to everything that I think is worth sharing. Here’s a roundup of some top electric vehicles news and commentary from around the interwebs. Enjoy.
So says CAP Automotive, a heavy-hitter in car pricing data. This mirrors findings by NADA. Don’t forget that a couple years ago, Musk enacted a resale value guarantee, backed by his own personal assets. Eeeek! But all is well.
Seeing a Tesla Model X electric SUV on the roads at all is still a rare occurrence; seeing one in flat black is even rarer. That’s because there’s only one that looks like the Model X in these photos, snapped at a Supercharger site 10 days ago by our Tesla-owning author George Parrott.
Want to buy a Tesla but worried about whether there are improvements coming soon? Calm your fears. The best time to buy a Tesla is always right now.
I know that Tesla uses Mobileye sensors, but I had thought that Autopilot was Tesla’s own proprietary software for the sensors. The video in this link looks very similar to Autopilot to me. So I was wondering is Autopilot essentially just the rollout of off the shelf Mobileye package with some tweaking, or is it truly unique software that Tesla is writing to utilize the sensors?
If you park your car outside in the sun, the door handles can get HOT! In fact, I think I burned off some fingerprints yesterday when I went to open my S after an afternoon at the farmers market. Ouch. That said, I’m 100% sure I’m not the first one to discover this “design flaw,” and as such I’m wondering if anyone has any solutions that doesn’t require gloves?
So, here’s the problem. I am, or was, a gear head. My Model S… has ruined all other cars, and possibly myself. If it was mechanical or technical, I had to tear it down, inspect it, and understand every nut, wire, carburetor, pump, display and more. This story will be long enough without a back story, so I’ll keep it short. I’m a Tesla Model S owner. For the past nine months I’ve been enjoying my incredibly quick, quiet, safe, intergalactic space boat of light and wonder. Until one day when a mean old Ford Escape merged in a gap that would only fit an even older, and even meaner, Geo Metro. I thought I loved my car. I thought it was the most amazing thing since the iPhone, with sliced bread being invented long before I was born. Then my world was torn apart by the damage to my S. A bumper. I think. Maybe some other parts, don’t know, don’t particularly care. The point is I have been without my space boat for almost two weeks and like a heroin addict looking for that quick fix, I’ve been slowly rotting away inside. My soul has been crushed. Defeated if you will by the horrendous act of operating a gasoline fueled automobile. I won’t go into specifics of the make and model of this antique transportation device, as it’s not its fault it’s broken.
Going by the number of stories that we’ve published concerning Tesla owners racing various gas-powered cars over the last few years (sorry to those who don’t like this aspect of our site, but numbers are considerably against you…) it should be pretty obvious that a lot of people, when they see a Tesla Model S or Roadster, just can’t help but want to issue a challenge.
The one feature of the much-anticipated Autopilot update that perhaps gets the least attention is Autopark. If you live in NYC and are a parallel parking pro, maybe you aren’t impressed. But if you’re someone that does not regularly parallel park, this feature may be a savior. It is also quite efficient, so even the best parkers may prefer it on busy city streets when the impatient motorist waiting behind you inevitably causes so much pressure that you misalign yourself and have to start over. Whatever your case, here are some unseen tidbits behind the Tesla Autopark feature.
Autopilot has now been live for over a month. Some 40,000 Autopilot-enabled Teslas are currently on the road and combine for roughly a million miles of driving per day. I don’t believe it was clarified if those miles were Autopilot or in total but If we assume that just 10% of those miles are spent using Autopilot, Tesla would have already gathered data from 3,000,000 miles of driving. Fleet learning, the concept that when one car learns something the whole fleet learns something, is one of the many things that makes Tesla’s model of incremental improvements so revolutionary. Changes can be made quickly and the software can be refined using data that would be otherwise impossible to collect. They are even creating incredibly detailed maps using the data collected from these cars.
Representatives from Tesla Motors, Toyota, and GM spoke before a Subcommittee on Information Technology about the safety, security, and driving benefits of increasingly connected vehicles.
The January 2016 issue puts Model S reliability into some context. Here are the reliability ratings for models that could be construed as Tesla competitors.
I wanted to take a moment and provide an update to my ownership experience after two years and 35,000 miles. Actually two years and 3 months, to be exact. I ordered my “classic” P85 in June of 2013 and received it two months later in August. At the time, Tesla’s Arizona service center was being operated out of a small, temporary facility. I ordered my car without ever having test driven a Model S and solely on what I read in the forums.
I need a minivan for practical reasons, kids, family, moving stuff picking up their friends
I need an SUV for work due to driving safety and handling
I need space because my vehicle is a mobile office at times
I need built in technology to increase my efficiency
I need all wheel drive for winter safety
I need a car that does not cost me 800.00 a month in gas
I need all this utility in one vehicle
I need one car for all seasons
I need a car that is low maintenance
I dont have time for oil changes where they try to upsell me to synthetic on my 8-year-old SUV
I only want to pay insurance on one car
I want a car that is fun to drive
For once in my life I want a cool looking car!
I want an innovative car, because thats who I am
I want a car that gets better with age because thats what I strive for
I want a car thats more exhilarating to drive than anything out there
I want to do something good for the environment
I want the safest car available
I want to be able to say, Its in the frunk. Oh, you dont know what that is? Let me show you?
I want to be able to say, Now I am going to touch the Ludicrous Button, are you ready?
I want to do something for myself that may be considered an indulgence but when you look really deeply is probably the most practical car decision I ever made
I am tired of compromise vehicles.
Roomy often means poor fuel economy or bad handling
Quick often means room for one more person and a bag
Fuel-efficient often means small
Exotic often means impractical for all seasons (spring, winter and fall not appropriate for driving)
As a family man having two kids or more means pretty much every ICE vehicle is a compromise in one of these areas
Having weighed all the pros and cons, there is only one car for me.
The Tesla Model X
Now that Tesla is apparently taking general orders for Model X, which starts at $80k before incentives, we’re counting down to the Samsonite Gorilla* test — the moment when laymen get their mitts on the X and start monkeying around with the falcon doors, just to see what happens. Can they be fooled into hitting anything? If you hang on them, will they lift you? That kind of thing. Monkey business abounds with Autopilot, as YouTube videos attest, but we ain’t seen nuthin’ yet. Those fascinating doors will invite more shenanigans. Like primates to orange suitcases, so will humans screw around with poor Model X. It’s only natural.
During this week’s episode of the TV show Blackish the father tries to convince his daughter to attend a less expensive college. He said that if she does he’ll give her a Tesla and she excitedly replied asking if it would be the one with the falcon doors.
Those who missed out on seeing Tesla CEO Elon Musk on the television program “The Big Bang Theory” on the 20th, I’ve got you covered. Here’s the scene for those that missed it. Enjoy.
By offering everything you ever wanted to know about Tesla cars, the newly-launched Teslapedia site promises to be your one-stop shop for all things Tesla.
Mainstream EV Manufacturers
The i3 is a really nice car. In some ways, the i3 is better, in other ways, the Tesla Model S is better. Both cars are highly recommended — for details, read on.
We don’t have much to go on, but the pre-EICMA reveal of the eRR electric motorcycle makes one thing clear: BMW motorrad wants in on the EV act.
How will a stock BMW i8 — given only minor cosmetic changes by Manhart — do in a race against a McLaren 12C, a BMW 1M Coupe, and a GT-R?
Chris Harris assembled a Porsche 918, a McLaren P1, and a Ferrari LaFerrari at the Portomao race track in Portugal to find out which one is best. Who won?
How to survive a car wash in a BMW i3.
Enjoy this adventure & ad by Nissan, featuring one of the company’s pure snow-like white LEAFs, accompanied by pretty skies, evening glows. The fresh, all-electric 2016 Nissan LEAF takes to the mountains for a cool evening outing driving up into the skies outside the city, highlighting its “class-leading” 107 miles of range on a single charge.
Here’s a tale of two countries and how they plan to put more EVs on their roads. In the US, federal subsidies are designed to make EVs more cost competitive with conventional cars, but the charging infrastructure is left to the manufacturers to figure out. In China, the government is taking the lead on building EV charging infrastructure and doles out so many incentives and perquisites to EV buyers, it makes little sense to buy anything but an EV.
Honda says its fuel cell powered car, the Clarity, will begin US sales in 2016. The same chassis will be used for a plug-in and an electric car by 2018.
Mercedes has finally joined the EV bandwagon, with four models to choose and a couple more coming in the coming months, I thought it was time to do a little mystery shopping and see how Mercedes sales force handle EVs and their potential buyers.
2016 is faster, lighter, quieter and better in almost every way. Here are some differences.
More than seven years ago, President Obama called for one million electric cars to be on the road by this year, and the vehicles have gained a large fan club. Environmentalists promote them as a smart way to cut dangerous emissions. Owners love their pep and the gas money they save. Apple and Google have jumped into the race to build next-generation battery-powered cars. So why are only about 330,000 electric vehicles on the road? One answer lies in an unexpected and powerful camp of skeptics: car dealers. They are showing little enthusiasm for putting consumers into electric cars.
Audi wants a network of 150 kW chargers by the time the Q6 e-tron goes on sale in 2018. But it doesn’t know who will build them or who will pay for them.
A new amendment will allow government employees access to GSA charging stations, allowing them, finally, to commute to work in EVs at no cost to taxpayers!
A new study by NRG’s EVgo division finds that EV drivers who use a public charger while away from home prefer a DC fast charger 12 to 1 over a Level 2 charger. According to Electric Car Reports, EVgo came to that conclusion after monitoring usage at its charging stations in the San Francisco area.
A patent was apparently taken out by Ford for a system utilizing the “puddle light” of an electric vehicle to display the charging status of the vehicle in real-time, according to recent reports.
Back in August I posted an article that announced the opening of the first DC fast charger in the East Coast Express Charging Corridor. That station was installed in Hartford, Connecticut. The Express Charging Corridor when completed will connect Washington, DC to Boston, Massachusetts with CCS DC fast chargers, located no more than 50 miles apart, and is being funded by a joint venture between BMW, Volkswagen and ChargePoint.
If one doesn’t need or want a fancy supercar like the Tesla Model S, or even a relatively “normal” car like the Nissan LEAF, but still desires to go electric, what can one do? Get one of the smart cars that are becoming a more common sight in many large cities perhaps? Or a Renault Twizy if in Europe? On that note, I was recently made aware of the “Spira” — which is a rather interesting-looking, low-cost vehicle that can be purchased as either an electric or a gasmobile.
Scott Harden of Zero Motorcycles says his company makes the best electric vehicle batteries in the world, mostly because of its innovative packaging model.
Teams from the Netherlands won the top prizes in the 2015 World Solar Challenge in Australia. The cars run primarily on solar power during the competition.
Police in Mountain View stopped a Google Car for driving too slow. The cars are programmed to not go over 25 mph and to wait 1.5 seconds at a green light.
The BlueIndy electric car sharing service in Indianapolis reports that it has signed up 500 subscribers during its first two months of operation. According to Autoblog, those subscribers have used the service more than 3,000 times. The program has the enthusiastic support of Indianapolis mayor Greg Ballard, but has run into significant political headwinds from the city council. It has also been opposed by the local electric utility company.
The electric car sharing service Share’NGo is now available in the Chinese city of Shenzhen, according to recent reports — thereby giving residents there access to a relatively cheap means of travel.
At the present rate of California plug-in hybrid owners applying for green solo-access High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) stickers, the 4,000 remaining could all be gone in a couple of months or so. This is true unless the state legislature raises the cap again from the present 85,000 sticker limit by 15,000 more – as it has done three times already.
The economists call them “externalities.” They’re the costs of people’s actions on other people or communities–but the people taking those actions don’t have to pay for those costs, even though they harm others. And the emissions from combusting fossil fuels are clearly a prime example.
In a bid to buy back trust from US diesel buyers, Volkswagen is offering a $500 Visa gift card to qualifying 2.0 TDi owners.
Things just keep getting worse and worse for Volkswagen- and now the company has admitted to cheating EPA emissions tests with its V6 diesels, as well!
The 1.6 liter diesel engine found in many European Renault-Nissan vehicles has been caught cheating emissions tests, with nox emissions 25x the limit!
The German automotive manufacturer Audi is utilizing one of Alstom’s 1,000-horsepower plug-in hybrid shunting locomotives at its facility in Ingolstadt, according to recent reports. The new 3-axle Alstom H3 plug-in hybrid locomotive is capable of running on about 50% of the diesel required by a conventional counterpart (thereby lowering emissions, reportedly), and is, of course, often considerably quieter.
Say what you want about strong central governments, they do get things done. In Italy, Mussolini made the trains run on time and in China, the Communist Party can make the sky turn blue — when it wants to. Recently, the Chinese government planned a celebration to mark the end of World War II. The only problem was, it wanted clear skies for the occasion, rather than the heavy smog that usually hangs over the city.
After successfully driving from Melbourne to Sydney on one charge, Brighsun’s all-electric bus has clocked a Guinness World Record of 1,018km on one charge.
Scheduled to being operations in 2017, the new Miami-Orlando high speed rail project will carry passengers between Florida’s two largest, most international cities and link the state’s two tourist-y-est destinations. The group behind the project, previously known as “All Aboard Florida,” recently unveiled what their new trains would look like — as well as renderings of what the new, highly anticipated train terminals will look and feel like once they’re done.