Author Archive


20
MAY

John Olver says:
Tesla Tour of America`s South West – Part 2


Category: Electric Transport, Energy Efficiency, Solar Energy, Sustainable Energy Stories, Uncategorized
Tags: , ,


Tesla Tour of America`s South West – Part 2

Roger Manley bought his Tesla Model S about six months ago and has put quite a few miles on it since then. He and his wife and son are adding a lot more miles while touring America’s National Parks in Arizona and Utah. I’ll let Roger continue his tale.

After 2,560 miles driving in the Tesla Model S, my son Brian and I are now home. We had a great trip and saw natural wonders in Arizona and Utah that everyone should plan to see one day. During the trip we used 787 KWh and averaged 307 wh/mi. We made 17 Tesla Supercharger stops, two charges at BLINK 25 AMP stations in Scottscale, AZ., one HPWC 100 AMP charging station at the Tesla Sales location in Scottsdale, and used two 50 AMP charging stations at RV parks in Utah. In general charging was easy and quick at the Tesla Supercharging infrastructure. The BLINK 25 AMP stations were slow, but available, only charging at approximately 20 miles per hour. Charging at the Tesla Superchargers and HPWC is free. The BLINK chargers cost $.02 per minute and I spent about $13 total, plus $8.50 at one of the RV parks.

The Tesla Model S ran perfectly. The first part of the trip featured in the last post I checked the mileage at every stop to make sure I understood how the car was performing. I had printed out detailed spreadsheets from evtripplanner.com and compared actual to planned from Monterey to Scottsdale. After that I just used the navigation and trip software in the car. The last post was from Monument Valley, about 300 miles north of Phoenix on the Utah and Arizona border. After staying overnight at Goulding Lodge and RV Park we took a 3.5 hour guided tour narrated by a local Navajo an. He drove us through amazing scenery in Monument Valley, all off the main roads and completely on reservation lands. He talked about Navajo traditions and culture. After the tour we headed to Blanding, Utah and plugged in at the Tesla Supercharger. Blanding is a small town and relatively closed up on a Sunday afternoon. We ate lunch at the local A&W and headed off to stay the next two nights in Moab, Utah. On the way I had researched a stop called “Newspaper Rock Monument” just a few miles from the south side of Canyonlands National Park.

Newspaper Rock is a large rock wall with a dark patina that has petroglyphs carved in the face. It is estimated these were carved by Native Americans between 2,000 BC and 1,300 AD. An hour later we stopped in Moab at the Best Western Plus Canyonlands hotel. A Tesla Supercharger is located in the parking lot of this hotel making it an easy choice. Moab is a small vibrant town with tourists visiting many local attractions including Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park. The next day we drove through Arches National Park making many stops and taking two different hikes. The first was to the lower viewpoint for Delicate Arch. The second at Devils Garden where we hiked to many different arches including Landscape Arch and Double O Arch. The scenery was amazing and we were tired after 10 miles of combined hiking. On the way out of Arches we stopped at Park Avenue and were blown away by the beauty of this small valley at dusk. Needless to say there is lots to see at each of the stops we made. The next day we were off to Bryce Canyon National Park.

We made two Supercharger stops along the way and reached the Best Western Ruby’s Inn at the entrance to the park. The rim of this park reaches over 9,000 feet and we could feel a big difference in elevation as we hiked up to Inspiration Point at dusk. The weather was cloudy with a few rain showers, but the clouds parted and sunshine filled the valley right before sunset. The next morning we stopped at the Visitor Center. Each of the parks we visited had a theatre that shows a 20 minute film on the history and geology of the areas. We hiked down into Bryce Canyon at Fairyland Point and got a different perspective down among the “hoodoo’s”. Later that afternoon we drove to Zion National Park with an elevation of 3,500 feet and only used 15 KWh over 88 miles. Zion National Park has many outstanding features, one being cars are not allowed into the park, unless you are staying at the National Park Lodge. Everyone else parks at the Visitor Center and uses a free shuttle that is very convenient. Again more hiking to Weeping Rock, The Emerald Pools, and the Riverside Walk.

That night we blindly ran into two friends coming off the shuttle bus we have known for thirty years and had a nice dinner at “Wildcat Willies” in Springdale, Utah. What a surprise!

The last day of our trip was Friday April, 24th. We left Zion National Park at 6am and drove 680 miles to home in Monterey. I thought it was quite a feat in an electric car given we stopped to charge in St. George, Utah; Primm, Nevada; Barstow, Mojave, and Harris Ranch in California before arriving home at 10pm. The Tesla Model S was flawless the whole trip and both my son and I agreed the miles went by faster because of the quiet, smooth ride.

I decided to make this trip last September after seeing an article in Sunset Magazine about the national parks in Utah. I hadn’t taken a long road trip in the Tesla and thought this would be an excellent journey especially since I was turning 60 this year. My wife and I spent a week in Scottsdale, AZ and then my son joined me in Flagstaff, AZ for the rest of the trip. The national parks were even more than what I could have imagined, having never been to these previously, and definitely left me wanting to spend more time there in the future.



27
APR

John Olver says:
Tesla Tour of America’s Southwest


Category: Electric Transport, Green Electricity, Sustainable Energy Stories, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,


Tesla Tour of America’s Southwest

Roger Manley bought his Tesla Model S about six months ago and has put quite a few miles on it since then. He and his wife and son are adding a lot more miles while touring America’s National Parks in Arizona and Utah. I’ll let Roger tell the tale.

Hi John, I’m sitting in my Tesla charging at the Buckeye supercharger. I am meeting Carolann at airport at 3 PM this afternoon. We’re staying in Scottsdale for the week. My son Brian is flying into Flagstaff next Saturday and we are driving a loop around southern Utah to see the national parks. I left yesterday and stayed Needles last night. I’ve driven seven hundred and 20 miles to the Buckeye charging station. I didn’t have to wait anywhere except for Barstow because there is a lot of traffic going to Las Vegas for some major convention. Thought I’d let you know that I’m taking the Tesla on the trip! The Tesla is working perfectly and getting the mileage that I expected based on evtripplanner.com.

The goal of this trip was to try out the Tesla on a long drive, using supercharger capability where possible and a few RV parks along the way. The first leg of the trip was driving from Monterey to Phoenix. The second leg from Phoenix through Southern Utah with stops in Monument Valley, and then four National Parks including Arches, Canyon Lands, Bryce Canyon, and Zion. I also planned the entire trip on Evtripplanner.com. This allowed me to select the route with energy usage estimates for the various charging legs. Overall, I found this tool to be fairly accurate and would recommend it highly. In addition the 6.2 release from Tesla was received the week before I left and it promised “the end of range anxiety” with its new trip planner software. However, it is a beta version currently. It worked fine until I got to the first stop and then I couldn’t get it to recognize my second planned stop at Mojave. There weren’t a lot of directions on usage so maybe it was pilot error on my part. After I finally got it to cancel, I went back to using the Energy Usage App showing the Trip Leg planned in Navigation which estimates battery usage at the finish point. I find that works really well and matches closely to Evtripplanner estimates. I’m sure the new software will get better with the next OTA release.

The first day my goal was to drive from Monterey to Needles. Initially I had planned to drive through Los Angeles and Palm Springs, but found the Coachella Music Festival was going on at that time and there wasn’t a place to sleep within a 100 miles of the Indio Supercharger. So with the Mojave Supercharger just opening I decided to go north and stay out of the traffic. My first stop was Harris Ranch in Coalinga after a beautiful drive over highway 198 from just south of King City. It was 127 miles. I used 40.4 kWh at 318 W/m with 44% battery left. I was a bit surprised that I used 144 rated miles. But, I figured out it was 46 degrees that morning which probably increased energy usage slightly.

Harris Ranch is a huge beef “CAFO” with restaurant and Inn. There were 8 superchargers and space when I arrived, but within a few minutes all were full. Most of the time I was charging at 87 to 120 amps. I believe this is one of the original superchargers and isn’t as fast as the new ones which are much more powerful. Next stop was the Mojave Supercharger. Actual mileage was 164 and rate miles used was 185. I used 51.5 kWh at 315 W/m. Arrived at Mojave with 57 rated miles left. The rated miles are higher on this leg because of the approximate 3000 foot climb up the mountains out of Bakersfield. The Mojave Supercharger is brand new and charges very fast. It is located in a small shopping center next to a cafe that serves Mexican food, a grocery store, and a few other various shops. Third stop of the day was in Barstow, only 73 miles from Mojave, but I wanted to top off for the longer drive to Needles. Barstow was very busy on this Friday afternoon. All eight superchargers were full and I had to wait about 10 minutes for an open stall. Barstow is a huge freeway crossroads with lots of traffic from L.A. to Las Vegas. Apparently there were some big conventions in Vegas that weekend. There were several new P85D’s there and that was the first time I had seen one. The Barstow Supercharger has a solar platform over 4 of the charging stalls that also provides shade. I used 76 rated miles, 20.7 kWh at 284 W/m.

I left Barstow and set out to Needles, my last stop of the day. I arrived around 6:15 pm after starting the day at 7am. The last leg was 149 miles and I used 152 rated miles. I used 43 kWh at 288 W/mile. I arrived at Needles with 35% battery left. Needles has 4 superchargers at a Shell station and I was the only one charging there. It was right next to the Rio Del Sol Motel where I stayed that night. Total mileage that day was 515 miles. I made 3 charging stops that day which added about 2 hours and 45 minutes. I actually enjoyed having an hour off every couple hours so I could eat or stretch. I charged in Needles for about 45 minutes that evening. One other note, the first leg of the drive was cool under 50 degrees so I had the air conditioning off and just used the fan. The rest of the day had warmed up, mostly high 70’s to low 80’s and I used the air conditioner the whole way and still achieved the efficiencies as listed above. I was pretty happy that the EPA numbers for the car were pretty accurate and Evtripplanner was a great tool.

The next morning I was and on the road to Phoenix via the Quartzsite and Buckeye supercharger stops. The first leg to Quartzsite was straight south from Needles about 100 miles. I saw about 4 cars the entire way and desert landscape was beautiful. Arrived in Quartzsite at 8:30am after driving 105 miles. I used 110 rated miles, 32.1 kWh at 303 W/m and 45% battery left. There were 6 superchargers there and I was the only one charging. The last leg to the Buckeye Supercharger was 101 miles. I arrived at 11am, using 119 rate miles, 34 kWh, and 336 W/mile. The speed limit was 75 and I ran at 77 mph the whole way. I arrived with 42% battery left. It was 79 degrees. Each of the superchargers is located with restaurants or shopping near by, some better than others. I made one stop each day at a Rest Stop on the side of the road. California and Arizona have quite a few along the way.

From Buckeye I drove about 30 miles to the Phoenix Airport to pick up my wife and then off to the Westin Kierland Villas where we are spending this week. The total trip was 763 miles. I stopped at 6 superchargers along the way. I may not have needed to stop in Barstow, but I didn’t want to take a chance since this was my first voyage out in the Starship Teslaprise, yes, that is what I named my car. The Tesla ran perfectly the whole way. For the most part it was uneventful and I saw some beautiful scenery and learned a lot how the car really operates on the open road. Everyone should take a trip in a Tesla! On Saturday I will pick up my son in Flagstaff and be off to Utah. More to come.

Roger’s son and Starship Teslaprise at the Blanding, Utah charging station

Roger’s son and Starship Teslaprise at the Blanding, Utah charging station

Oh, in Phoenix I had the Tesla washed and detailed to remove all the bug art! Blink Network has charging stations all around the area. They are only 25amps and charge at 15 mph at a cost of about $3 per hour!! No wonder they all show available. I talked with the Tesla Sales Center at Scottsdale Fashion Mall and they let me use their HPWC at 80amps. This bye the way, was the spot I took my first test drive last year before ordering the car.

Blanding, Utah Tesla station, 44 panels @ 230 watts each

Blanding, Utah Tesla station, 44 panels @ 230 watts each

Stayed in Monument Valley last night and added 50 miles of charge at Gouldings Lodge RV Park via NEMA 14-50. Monument Valley was awesome and took tour this morning. In Moab now to see Arches and Canyonlands over next two days, then on to Bryce an Zion!

More to come….



15
APR

John Olver says:
Electric Vehicles, An Unstoppable Market Force


Category: Electric Transport, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,


Electric Vehicles, An Unstoppable Market Force

Worldwide increase in demand for EV’s.
The Nissan Leaf is the world leader in number of cars on the road and increase in sales but all makes are up. Although total numbers are small, less than million worldwide, EV’s arre coming on market in a world dominated by ICE’s for a hundred years. The infrastructure for EV’s is just beginning and the technology is in it’s infancy. What is evident is that there is a market demand for EV’s and that demand is growing as consumers become familiar with EV’s, the number of models grows and the infrastructure comes on line.

http://cleantechnica.com/2015/03/28/ev-demand-growing-global-market-hits-740000-units/

Battery costs are falling more rapidly than predicted.
In 2007 lithium-ion batteries were priced at US$1000 per kWh. By 2014 the price ha fallen to US$300 per kWh. This has been due to increased demand and technological improvements in both the batteries and the manufacturing process. At this pace the US$150 price should be reached within the next few years as Tesla and Nissan bring their mass battery production facilities on line and further improvements are made to the batteries themselves. EV’s will be price competitive with ICE vehicles when the US$150 range is reached. At that same time consumers will be over the range phobia that has held up sales, the EV’s offered will have increased range and probably recharge more quickly. Those that own or rent a living space that makes charging at home possible will find it hard to resist a vehicle that is much cheaper to operate than an ICE vehicle.

http://www.rtcc.org/2015/03/23/falling-battery-prices-boost-outlook-for-electric-vehicles/

Environmental benefits of EV’s will lead to faster adoption.
Mass adoption of EV’s would lead to less environmental devastation caused by fossil fuel extraction and transport, less smog in densely populated areas and cooler cities as well as other benefits. Certainly there is an environmental impact to manufacturing EV’s but the vehicles themselves have far fewer parts than ICE vehicles and therefore manufacturing impact should be less and the battery manufacturing process can be made nearly pollution free if we wish it to be. A recent study at Michigan State University found that EV’s produce only 20% of the heat that ICE vehicles produce. This translates to cooler cities and lower air conditioning costs.

http://www.rtcc.org/2015/03/23/falling-battery-prices-boost-outlook-for-electric-vehicles/

Will other technology jump ahead of EV’s?
Toyota is pushing hard for hydrogen fuel cell powered EV’s but to date they haven’t solved all the technical problems needed to make the fuel cells practical and cheap and the infrastructure is a long way behind the battery infrastructure. But in the end there will be room for both formats. The biggest breakthrough that put a stop to individually owned EV’s is the driverless vehicle movement. If we all have multipurpose hand held device and a driverless vehicle can be summoned with the push of a button to drive us to our destination it would seem far cheaper to have the vehicles owned by a transportation company and just call a car as needed. Of course these vehicles are likely to be either battery or hydrogen EV’s.

Cleaner transportation is inevitable.


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • vince comments:
    "At an election hustings last night the failure to grasp the need to focus and do something now about climate change was so obvious from the key parties.
    Sure they all make noises but it needs real guts to pioneer and challenge the status quo that is the political classes today.
    Right now you have a chance to insist even demand that if any candidate wants your vote then they must champion carbon reduction at far higher levels than the current Dorset target.
    Other countries will be mainly renewable before we even achieve modest targets and why ? Old thinking, attachment to fossil fuels, dependance on Nuclear and all totally un-necessary.
    Listen to your conscious and vote independently of old baggage or misplaced loyalty.
    Vote for the future of generations to come and the Planet. "

    April 16, 2015 a 3:29 pm


25
MAR

John Olver says:
Argument over solar subsidies in the UK


Category: Climate Change, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy, Uncategorized
Tags: , ,


Argument over solar subsidies in the UK

The UK, as with the rest of the world, has seen a dramatic surge in solar power generation over the past few years. the cost of solar panels has dropped quickly and governments have subsidized the industry. Now governments are considering cutting these subsidies because solar is beginning to be competitive with fossil fuels. I would agree with this action if governments would also cut the subsidies they have been giving to fossil fuel companies since the inception of that industry.

Fossil fuel companies have never had to pay the cost of the environmental damage they do when extracting or burning their products. Neither have fossil fuel companies had to pay for the damage to human health caused by their products. Paying these costs would make sustainable energy sources more than competitive and that’s why the fossil fuel industry contributes so much to political campaigns around the world. Consumer prices would go up for fossil fuel energy but come down for sustainable sources and that would bring a cleaner world sooner rather than later.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-32028809


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Bristolboy comments:
    "In terms of UK solar I would say the feed in tariff cuts for small scale solar (eg building mounted) are suitable and the new way in which cuts are relative to install rates are suitable. This is shown by install rates being very constant, indicating that the feed in tariff cuts correspond well to install cost reductions. The major issue at the moment is that the subsidy cuts for large scale solar that were effective from 1st April have been too extreme. Previously such projects were getting 1.4 ROCs/MWh which was probably too generous following capex falls, hence the large number of solar farms appearing over the last year or so. However, they now have to compete for Contracts for Difference (CFDs) against onshore wind projects which is something solar is unable to do until further capex reductions occur. "
    April 12, 2015 a 5:23 pm


13
MAR

John Olver says:
EV’s are not good for the environment!


Category: Electric Transport, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Living
Tags: , , ,


EV’s are not good for the environment!

That headline or similar claims have been floating about the media for some time now. A 2014 study by the University of Minnesota among others found that EV’s can contribute to global pollution if the source of the electricity they use is not clean. Why the headlines don’t read, “Coal Fired Power Plants are a Threat to Civilization” instead of lambasting EV’s is no mystery. Most of the articles quickly get to this point but headlines lambasting coal fired power plants don’t draw the eyeballs that anti-EV banners do and media of all sorts depends on attracting eyeballs for validation. The potential number of EV’s on the road is far greater than the number of power plants so why not focus the cleanup at the source.

The fact is that EV’s are good for the environment. You can power them with wind, solar, hydro, nuclear and yes, fossil fuel. But whatever the source EV’s don’t go around spewing CO2 and other pollutants into cities towns and the countryside. If clean up is required it can be done at the source.

Additionally, if you choose to power your EV with sustainably derived electricity you do away with the need to transport explosive and toxic materials around the world in ships, trains, trucks and pipelines and avoid all the spillage associated with that transport. EV’s don’t require mountaintop mining, deep sea oil drilling or other destructive extractive processes.

100605091242BP_Gulf_Oil_Spill_Affected_Wildlife_Images30

Technologies are already available to scrub pollutants from power plant stacks but that would add to the cost of electricity. Most consumers would rather pretend that the hundreds of billions of dollars, pounds, rand, yen, etc. added to global health costs by the fossil fuel industry do not exist and that the rise in power cost would be far more onerous than the heart disease, lung disease, lower intelligence in offspring and many other problems associated with fossil fuels.

And by the way, if fossil fuel companies were required to clean up their messes the price of fossil fuels would be quite a bit higher than the price of sustainable energy. This cost adjustment would drive the sustainable industry, technological improvements would follow rapidly due to the increase in research funding and the world would be a much cleaner place.

EV’s are not the problem, the problem our insistence on “cheap” energy no matter what the true cost.


2Comments | Post your own comment

  • Bristolboy comments:
    "I agree fully with your smmary that it ultimately depends on the source of the electricity. In the UK the carbon emissions associated with electricity generation for a typical electric car like the Nissan Leaf are as good or better than the best diesels. However, this is getting better all the time due to higher renewables penetration. I would also estimate that those with electric cars are much more likely to be on “renewable” supply tariffs or have solar panels on their house and therefore will have lower emissions than the UK average. Of course, electric cars produce no emissions (other than manufacture) in countries where grid electricity is 100% renewable such as Norway, Iceland and Costa Rica and in these countries electric cars win hands down. "
    April 12, 2015 a 5:13 pm

  • vince adams comments:
    "Get the message, we are being feed rubbish from the Media to protect the existing forces of power, its time to wake and see whats happening before our own eyes or it will be to late. "
    March 15, 2015 a 10:12 am


02
MAR

John Olver says:
Will.i.am, Joanna Lumley and the Future


Category: Electric Transport, Green Electricity, Sustainable Energy Stories, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,


Will.i.am, Joanna Lumley and the Future

Several months ago British journalist Joanna Lumely recorded a four day interview with Will.i.am, formerly of the Black Eyed Peas. Much of the interview was done while Will drove Joanna around to several Los Angeles locations that were of importance in his life. Will drives a Tesla Model S as do many other California celebrities. In many ways Will’s life and the interview itself provide a clear image of the near term future.

First of all the interview was not filmed, it was recorded digitally. It could very well have been recorded using a smart phone but was probably done using a digital device that could easily fit in someone’s carry-on luggage. Compared to similar efforts just 20 years ago this ability is almost magic.

One feature of the interview focused on Will and Joanna in Will’s recording studio while he created a song. The process by which Will composed, recorded, edited and mastered a complete song in just four hours would have mystified studio engineers from just a few decades ago.

Technology is evolving at an ever increasing pace. Wrist watches are soon to be on the market that will provide most of the functionality of today’s smart phones.Glasses can now serve as full motion high definition video cameras. How long before phones become implants? The point is that what we see as cutting edge now will be old news in just a few months and the pace is quickening.

That brings us to Will.i.am’s Model S and EV’s in general.

Will.i.am with his Model S

Will.i.am with his Model S

There are still many people who insist that the technology for practical, affordable EV’s just doesn’t exist. Not enough range, batteries are too expensive, charging time is too long….. The list goes on. These naysayers can be countered with sound arguments. Most major auto manufacturers already produce hybrid vehicles, sort of half EV’s and consumers really like the better gas mileage. Most major manufacturers are working on delivering plug-in EV’s within the next few years and the auto industry has lots of money and employs lots of great engineers. Does anyone really believe battery range won’t be extended, charging times reduced and costs brought down when major corporations are throwing money and expertise at the problem?

This one interview that Joanna did for the BBC provides a very good lesson about the pace of technology as well as a peek at the future. Are practical, affordable EV’s a part of our near term future? Without a doubt.

Here a link to the interview – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOJUv1Kh47E


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • vince adams comments:
    "Thanks to John for his coverage of the Joanna Lumley – Will-I.am documentary. John gives us an American eye view of the issues and I echo his thoughts about the future of electric transport. Once you have driven electric you never want to go back to the old technology, smell and rage of the petrol engine. Its yesterday as they say, electric is tomorrow. This weekend talk to Nissan or your favourite car deal about what the options are to test drive and see the future for yourself. "
    March 4, 2015 a 9:42 am


06
FEB

John Olver says:
Why did we get an electric vehicle (EV)?


Category: Electric Transport, Sustainable Energy Stories, Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,


Why did we get an electric vehicle (EV)?

The most compelling reason for the purchase is that we strongly believe fossil fuel use must be reduced for many reasons and EV’s are one of the biggest changes we can make at the individual level to meet that need. The UK’s Department of energy and climate change says that to hold global warming to less than 2C, among other things “There would need be hundreds of millions of electric cars on the road by 2050, and the amount of CO2 emitted per unit of electricity would need to fall by at least 90%.” (BBC News 28Jan2015) So the need for EV’s and the need to power them with solar is obvious

By coupling our EV to a few solar panels we have decoupled ourselves from the corner gasoline station and from the gas fired power plant that provides electricity to the Monterey Bay area. Since we were going to buy a new car the decision to go EV translates to a much smaller carbon footprint for our household.

We also wanted to press for change at the societal level and supporting the budding EV industry seemed like a good way to achieve that goal. Nissan’s Leaf is an excellent EV and hybrid’s are certainly a step in the right direction. But neither of them caught the public’s attention the way Tesla has with the Model S. It’s been just three years since the Model S came on the market and major auto builders around the world have been forced to respond with EV’s of their own. Porsche, Kia, Volkswagen, Fiat, Mitsubishi, Diamler, Honda, BMW, Ford, Toyota, GM, Nissan as well as new auto companies either have entered the EV market or are just about to do so. The first company to offer a 200 mile per charge car for under $40K US will sell a lot of cars.

Not many years ago Toyota came out with the Prius. Nay sayers scoffed but now every manufacturer has a line of hybrid vehicles. The Nay sayers are at it again but the industry seems to be saying that EV’s are here to stay. Battery technology will advance and so will solar power technology. As these technologies advance the prices will fall and sales will rise.

The future of driving is as bright as the sun

Mini E recharging in the UK

Mini E recharging in the UK


4Comments | Post your own comment

  • Jack Olver comments:
    "I second all of Roger’s reasons. Next month it will have been a year since I visited a gas station – don’t miss it a bit. Yes, the regenerative braking is great. It’s amazing how little I use the brake pedal. I’m due to bring Mr. T in for a yearly check up in late March. The service folks will probably refill the windshield washer fluid for me. And by the way, having Mr. T’s abilities upgraded from time to time while I sleep is very nice. "
    February 13, 2015 a 8:43 pm

  • vince adams comments:
    "Roger what colour is yours and where do you charge it ? "
    February 7, 2015 a 11:19 am

  • vince adams comments:
    "as a leaf owner I can only echo the story that ev is here to stay and will grow hugely as all the technologies improve.
    By the way in the UK we have gone in 18 months from 500 to over 5000 charging points to make the ELECTRIC HIGHWAY a reality. "

    February 7, 2015 a 11:16 am

  • Roger Manley comments:
    "Hi John, beyond the reasons you mentioned I also bought the Tesla Model S for a few others. My 5 KWH photovoltaic system provides lots of power etc. But it is an awesome car. It looks great, drives well, and just puts a smile on your face as you pass by the gas stations. I have just under 8,000 miles and had no scheduled services since there isn’t anything specifically to service on an EV on a regular basis. I doubt I will ever have to replace the brakes because of the regenerative braking system, but I may have to add windshield wiper fluid and have to change the tires a few years down the road. So besides doing it for all the “right” reasons you can still have a very safe automobile that is very fun to drive. "
    February 6, 2015 a 4:20 pm


24
JAN

John Olver says:
Life with Mr T – the Tesla


Category: Electric Transport
Tags: , , ,


Life with Mr T – the Tesla

Here are two pictures. One of our Model S charging in our carport and the other of the solar panels on the roof of our house. Perhaps this will be a good starting point from which to discuss the experiences of my wife and I as well as other electric car owners.

Tesla S

 

Tesla S - charging

We picked up our Tesla Model S 85 on March 28th, 2014 at the Tesla factory in Fremont, California. I had ordered the car through the Tesla web site and expected the car to be completed and ready for pickup during the first week of April but it was ready a week early. When the Tesla rep called us with the good news I shocked her by telling her we’d already arranged for public transportation to get us the 110 miles from our home to Fremont for the following week and we’d rather wait than change our plans. It turns out they don’t like having cars sitting on the lot so after a bit of haggling and three calls from the rep we agreed to accept a free taxi ride to Fremont on the 28th.

The Tesla dealership experience is different than any other auto dealership I’ve ever dealt with. Since every customer coming in the door has either already bought their car or desperately wants to order one there is no salesperson trying to make as much money from the deal as possible. The price is the price and that’s it. We were seated in a very nice lounge where we could examine a Model S platform. Without the body and interior there is very little to a Tesla. A watermelon sized electric motor, the axles, wheels and a 4’X 8’X 4″ (approximately) battery pack. Nice and clean, not a lot of moving parts. We had a cup of coffee and talked with the other excited soon to be new owners while waiting for our tour of the factory.

The factory tour can be found on U-Tube.

After a forty minute hands on session with a tech to explain how to operate our Model S we drove home to Pacific Grove, first through heavy Silicon Valley traffic and then to highways 101, 156 and 1. I was recovering from a heart operation so my wife drove. She was a bit nervous at first but the Model S put her at ease within the first few miles. It is the smoothest, most easily controlled car either one of us has ever driven. During the month before we picked up our car, we’ve named it Mr. T, I’d had a 50 amp, 240 volt circuit installed in the carport. This charges Mr. T at a rate of 30 miles per hour of charging. So the 110 miles from the factory was recharged in a little less than four hours. I programmed Mr. T to start charging at 11pm so it was charged by the next morning.

We have solar panels on the roof of our house that reliably generate 15kW a day. That translates to a full charge, 85kW or 265-300 miles depending on how and where you drive, every five and a half days. Since we seldom drive more than fifty miles a day we are almost always driving on sunlight. Our electric bill, Mr. T included, was about $39.00 US for all of 2014.

Although we’ve only had Mr. T for a bit less than ten months my wife and I both agree it is the best car we’ve ever owned and one of the best purchases we’ve ever made.

I have some friends that own a Leaf as well as several friends that have Teslas. I’ll find out what their experiences have been and would be interested in reading the experiences of other electric car owners.

This a blog post by guest energizer John Olever


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • vince adams comments:
    "I just talked to Tesla UK and what do you think about having the opportunity to test drive the worlds best electric car down here in Dorset. Special event for the Spring and idea’s what would make a good venue ? "
    January 28, 2015 a 10:53 am


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