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About Jennifer Sensiba

Jennifer Sensiba Jennifer Sensiba is a long time efficient vehicle enthusiast, writer, and photographer. She grew up around a transmission shop, and has been experimenting with vehicle efficiency since she was 16 and drove a Pontiac Fiero. She likes to explore the Southwest US with her partner, kids, and animals.

Author Archives: Jennifer Sensiba

DIY Solar LEAF Project Shows The Untapped Potential Of Solar EVs

July 23rd, 2019 | by Jennifer Sensiba

After my recent article about solar electric vehicles (EVs), I came across something I didn't expect to see so fast. Since the prices of both used EVs and solar panels have fallen so much, the price is now where DIY tinkerers are willing to break out their Dremel tools and make a go of it themselves

Nissan Quietly Releases #Rapidgate Software Update For North American LEAF Owners

July 23rd, 2019 | by Jennifer Sensiba

A 2018 Nissan LEAF at Petrified Forest National Park. Photo by Jennifer Sensiba. In a July 18 Service Bulletin, Nissan quietly released a software update for North American LEAF owners. It appears to give U.S., Mexican, and Canadian customers the same improved charging rates that European customers received earlier. If it gives the same improved rates as European customers received, it will largely solve the #Rapidgate issue

With A Merger, Fenix Power Now Plans To Make Your Old LEAF More Like A Tesla

July 22nd, 2019 | by Jennifer Sensiba

As we’ve reported before, Fenix Power had plans to offer batteries for degraded Nissan LEAFs, and eventually other vehicles. Now, after a recent merger, it wants to do a whole lot more. By combining forces with Chargeshare Network and keeping the Fenix name, it plans to offer a range of services that can help an older LEAF and other EVs be a lot easier to use

Neuralink Has Made Big Progress

July 17th, 2019 | by Jennifer Sensiba

Last night, Elon Musk’s Neuralink held a media event to show us all what they’ve been doing for the last [&hellip

How Did A Nissan LEAF Beat A Tesla Model S In A Race?

July 16th, 2019 | by Jennifer Sensiba

The Nissan LEAF certainly doesn't have a reputation as a serious performance car. With far less power than any Tesla, "semi-independent" rear suspension like you'd find under a Chevy Cavalier, and many similarities with the Versa, the LEAF is widely regarded as an economy car, not a luxury or sports car. It certainly isn't seen as a real competitor to a Tesla, even an older Model

Police Still Investigating Last Year’s Uber Autonomous Vehicle Crash

July 15th, 2019 | by Jennifer Sensiba

The Washington Post reports that Tempe, Arizona’s police department is still investigating last year’s fatal accident in which an Uber autonomous test vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian pushing a bike. The investigation comes at the request of Maricopa County’s prosecutors, who want to know more about whether the accident was avoidable

Are Solar Vehicles Becoming Viable?

July 15th, 2019 | by Jennifer Sensiba

Recently, Toyota announced a special research and development project. With Sharp and the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), it has put a special test vehicle together that uses solar panels to generate almost 1 kW of energy during daylight hours, whether the vehicle is driving or sitting. 

Tech Advances Should Protect Automotive Privacy

July 13th, 2019 | by Jennifer Sensiba

Yes, it’s nice to think about the promise of emerging technologies, and the potential benefits we may get from them, but too often, the future of human rights and privacy fails to be a big enough part of the debates that come up in the transitions. There should be serious debate and serious protection for any data that could be used to jack up insurance rates, imprison you, or even lead to much worse things

Alex Roy’s Tesla Model 3 Purchase Offers Some Deeper Lessons Than “Teslas Are The Best!”

June 21st, 2019 | by Jennifer Sensiba

When a well-known critic of Tesla not only buys one, but writes a favorable review of it, that definitely gets the attention of Tesla fans. Yes, I get it — feeling like your side is “winning” is a good feeling. It’s nice to see people you disagree with change their minds, or at least appear to soften the negativity that often comes from the press. On the other hand, though, we risk missing a great opportunity if we, as Tesla’s fans and supporters, play the role of the sore winner

Mazda Might Actually Be Onto Something

May 29th, 2019 | by Jennifer Sensiba

Yes, I know. The Wankel rotary engine has a reputation for poor gas mileage, bad emissions, and even longevity issues. That’s why I was skeptical, too, when I heard that Mazda is bringing the rotary back not only as a range extender, but to provide direct power in some cases. After doing a lot of reading on recent research and development, I found that the rotary engine may really come back with its problems solved

Nissan Execs May Have Shot Themselves In The Foot

May 29th, 2019 | by Jennifer Sensiba

While Nissan’s executives deny it, many in the automotive media and even Carlos Ghosn himself think his arrest was orchestrated by Nissan executives to prevent a merger with Renault. If this is true, then the executives have indeed shot themselves in the foot

Some Hard Truths About Autonomous Driving

May 25th, 2019 | by Jennifer Sensiba

“The future of transportation is inevitably one of electric-powered fully-autonomous vehicles that you don’t own. This will all be mandated by the government, because it’s the only thing that can prevent thousands of pointless deaths every year.”Am I raising a strawman to burn here? Yes, but it’s not as fake as it appears at first glance

Selling Used EVs In A Red State

May 18th, 2019 | by Jennifer Sensiba

Oil-bought politicians, Tesla shorts, online trolls, and others with an axe to grind against EVs are always telling us things like “EVs are toys for the rich” — whenever convenient to their arguments. While it’s true that top-of-the-line Tesla vehicles are well over $100,000, there’s a small independent dealer in conservative Arizona proving that not only can EVs be affordable, but they are good for business!

Check Out This “Honda Civic”

May 16th, 2019 | by Jennifer Sensiba

One of our readers from Norwalk, California, sent us some interesting images of a "Honda Civic" he saw recently

An Open Letter To Mayor Tim Keller Re: Charging Station Locations

May 13th, 2019 | by Jennifer Sensiba

In a recent Facebook post, I saw that you were soliciting public input for where EV charging stations should be added in Albuquerque. I submitted some comments on the Google Forms link, but I wanted to share a more detailed proposal to both you and other EV owners. If done right, the money available from the Volkswagen settlement could go a lot further in helping to promote adoption of electric vehicles.I’m going to discuss low-cost/high-impact ideas for both Albuquerque and the rest of New Mexico to do this

A Better Route Planner & Other Open Source Projects Need Our Help

May 11th, 2019 | by Jennifer Sensiba

A Better Route Planner (ABRP) is a great way to plan trips in electric vehicles. Not only does it help Tesla owners like it was originally designed to, but owners of an increasing number of other vehicles can use it to find their way nearly anywhere without using a drop of gas. When I used it on a recent road trip in my Nissan LEAF, I found that it worked great whenever it had complete data available. Unfortunately, the other open source projects it relies on need your help to make ABRP all it can be

Electrify America Map Fixed. New App, Better Pricing Plans Coming.

May 11th, 2019 | by Jennifer Sensiba

Electrify America fixed the mapping issues we previously covered, and it has announced pricing plans that will address some of the issues I wrote about previously. With these changes, Electrify America is making big improvements that will help its important contribution to EV adoption in the United States

Sign This Petition Asking Nissan To Fix Early 2018 LEAFs In North America

May 10th, 2019 | by Jennifer Sensiba

Normally, as journalists, we report on things others are doing or offer our opinion in op-eds about current events. This issue is a lot more personal than usual, and I wanted to disclose that right up front. I am the owner of an early 2018 Nissan LEAF, and this petition is my petition

A 1200 Mile Journey: Testing The Limits Of The 2018 Nissan LEAF

May 4th, 2019 | by Jennifer Sensiba

This is the story of a 1200 mile journey taken in what’s basically the wrong car for the job. I decided to test the 2018 LEAF to the limits, in several different ways. Rapid charging repeatedly, going up one of the steepest interstate highway climbs in the US, some off-highway driving, and long journeys into places with no charging stations were just a few of the things I decided to take on. I thought that after more than a year with the car and almost 50,000 miles on the odometer I knew what the LEAF was made of, but it turned out that I still had more to learn

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