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People Are Modding Their Teslas and It’s Awesome

When the Tesla Model S was new, it seemed like nobody would dare tarnish such an prestigious and technologically advanced automobile.  Like you wouldn’t put a spoiler on a Ferrari or a body kit on a Lamborghini, right?  But nowadays, it’s possible to find a used Tesla Model S for under $30,000, so younger and younger people are starting to get their hands on it. More and more owners are tinkering with rims, tinted windows, body kits, and body wraps. Some rental companies are using modded out Teslas to promote their business as well. Particularly in the middle east, well endowed people in the oil rich nations are getting really creative with their Teslas. Below are some of the more notable, wild, and/or insane Tesla modifications I’ve seen on Instagram.

A matte black Tesla Model S with red accents.

That I don’t know what you call it metallic pearl color changing purple blue chameleon paint job with rims on a Tesla.

A Tesla Model S with a body kit and sport rims with red brake calipers.

A matte black, murdered out, rest in peace Big Black Boykin, Tesla Model X.

Follow the rainbow paint job, Tesla Model X.

Rainbow 6 Winter camo wrap, Tesla Model S.

Wannabe internal combustion engine exhaust pipes, Model S.

Ketogenic diet body wrap, Model X?

Pretty mean body kit, Tesla Model S.

Super conceptual design, Model S.

You’ve gotta be kidding me, an all electric hearse, Tesla Model S.

Electric Vehicle Ownership is on the Rise, Tesla Dominates the Market

Via Teslanomics:

As sustainability becomes increasingly important to car owners, more and more people are exploring purchasing an electric vehicle. As a result, EV sales in the U.S. are soaring. In week’s episode, we explore the electric vehicle sales market, including its overall change, plugins vs. batteries as well as the Model 3 and Tesla overall.

Diving into the data, electric vehicle sales were up 47% in Q1. This is a big leap for electric vehicle sales, especially when you compare it to overall vehicle sales – a market that isn’t doing so hot. This suggests a tread towards more sustainable forms of transportation, including both plug-in electric vehicles and battery plug-in EVs, like a Tesla.

Tesla dominates the battery electric vehicle (BEV) category – accounting for half of all electric vehicle sales in Q1. From January – March, 40,7000 plug-in electric vehicles were sold in the US. These sales have been driven largely by longer range EVs coming to market, like the Chevy Bolt. With the release of the Tesla Model 3, the Nissan Leaf and similar vehicles coming to market, sales will likely continue to trend upwards, especially as affordability and accessibility also increases.

Worldwide the overall growth of electric vehicles sales was 72%, with China leading the way with a 140% jump in EV sales. While the numbers in the US aren’t as strong, the significant jump in Q1 shows the increasing desirability of electric vehicles in the US.

The Tesla Model 3 has a lot to do with EVs popularity in 2017. EV Volumes are predicting that 50,000 Model 3 will be delivered in the US this year. From a production standpoint, Tesla recently reported that they’ll be producing approximately 5,000 per week – putting them in good shape to meet the demand.

A big question about the Model 3, and one that you’ve asked me, is: what about the tax credit? According to Clean Technica, it’s likely that anyone who purchased a Tesla this year will receive the $7,500 tax credit. But it’s important to remember that after 200,000 Teslas are sold, the phase out begins. I dove deeper into the electric vehicle tax credit in a previous video, you can learn more here:…

As I previously mentioned, Tesla dominates US electric vehicle sales. When you combine the Model S and Model X, Tesla accounted for nearly 48% of US BEV sales. This is huge! There isn’t really any other industry where one brand dominates the market so highly. And looking forward, while the other players will make an impact, Tesla is likely to continue ruling the electric vehicle market.

You can check out the sources I mentioned via the links below.……

As always, for the latest Tesla news, visit us at is on social and Patreon, too. Join the conversation:

Google Reveals Street Level Pollution Data, and It’s Worse Than You Thought

There have been pollution monitoring sensors and stations for a while now, which measure particulate matter, ozone, NO2, carbon monoxide, and a few other hazardous emissions. You can view global pollution data readings in real time, and that is great news if you are sensitive to toxic air. However, there is a very big drawback to the ways these numbers are collected. Geography, wind, buildings, proximity to traffic all add a lot of variability to readings. The air at the top of a US embassy building might be fair, but the air at the intersection down the street among the buses, diesel delivery trucks, and street vendor stoves can be absolutely noxious. Height of the sensors is extremely important, especially when gases tend to settle low in avenues and streets, among the bikers, commuters, and baby strollers. Air quality sensors have been a topic of debate in Delhi, India, as the uniform height mandates caused the true level of pollution in the city to be underrepresented and misunderstood.

The map shown above is part of Google’s recent project to show the air quality right down to the block you are standing on in Oakland, California. The project is in partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and Aclima, a pollution sensor startup it has been working with to map environmental changes in the Bay Area, Central Valley and Los Angeles since 2015.

Google strapped Aclima sensors to its StreetView cars shortly after it began working with the company and its maps can now give you street-level data in areas with higher amounts of nitric oxide (NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and black carbon particulates — all pollutants coming from car exhaust, all very hazardous to lung tissue and carcinogenic.

The project was able to identify local hot spots of pollution, which was critical to modelling what how intersections, congestion patterns, and street setups affect the air that we actually breathe every day.  They also plan to correlate the data to medical histories of asthma attacks to better understand how pollution afflicts sensitive lungs.

One good example of how the map can help environmental scientists in the Bay Area is the ability to track higher pollution due to cars speeding up near the Bay Bridge to cross under or merge onto I-80, which is a freeway with frequent traffic congestion that goes beyond just rush hour and can sometimes even be affected on the weekends.

In a Google blog post, out today, Google claimed its pollution data set to be the largest ever published, “With nearly 3 million measurements and 14,000 miles captured in the course of a year,” and said it could apply the data to other cities in the future.

Hopefully, this data will provide even more incentive to invest in clean transportation solutions.  Whatever your feelings on climate change, protecting the air that we actually breathe in our city streets, stores, and homes should be a national and global undertaking.  It’s nice to see Google assuming a leadership role.

Norway Is Rich with Oil, but They All Drive Teslas

On Vox Borders this week, I couldn’t help but think of a quote from Scarface,”Don’t get high on your own supply.”

Journalist Johnny Harris described Norway as “full of Teslas”.  While he doesn’t know much about the popular electric plug in, “0-60 in like… 5 seconds”, he does bring up an interesting observation about environmental and economic policies working together to affect change. In 2014, Tesla broke a record for number of cars sold in a month for a single model, of any kind of car, not just electric cars. In America, we’ve all seen the occasional electric vehicle, but in Norway, other Scandinavian countries,  and Iceland, electric vehicles are becoming omnipresent on all city streets. This is partly due to forward thinking politicians, and their fortunate access to renewable resources to generate electricity, like geothermal generation.  This renewable electricity makes electric vehicles much more beneficial over internal combustion cars, so it makes more sense to go all-in on a plug-in transportation future.

In 2016 in the United States of all the new cars that were purchased about 1% were electric, more like 0.9%. In Norway it was 29% and that trend is only speeding up: in January this year[2017] the share was like 37% or something of all the cars purchased being electric.

Many countries are adopting policies that make it cheaper for someone to buy a Tesla or any other electric car than to buy one in the United States.  In Norway, you get free parking if you drive an electric car, you get access to the HOV Lane, which has way less traffic, you don’t have to pay registration fees, you get tax deductions on your income tax, and perhaps the biggest incentive of all is on the business side: companies like Tesla don’t have to pay sales tax for selling in Norway.

Furthermore, you don’t have to pay for gas to drive an electric car in Norway, and you don’t even have to pay for electricity because that is on the house.  It’s all payed for by the sovereign wealth fund, which is comprised almost entirely of oil and gas money. Norway’s a huge producer of fossil fuels and they sell that to other countries.

While some might disparage Norway for funding their sustainable, clean future with dirty money, when you look at the situation objectively, they are still reducing their carbon footprint and fueling their own economic good compared to a business as usual approach. Using profits from older fossil fuel resources to improve the environment and wellbeing of their citizens is possibly the most beneficial way to spend tax dollars in the long and short term.

An most Norwegians are simply unapologetic for this caveat of their economy.  And why should they be?  If somebody else will pay their oil and natural gas, the Norwegian economy is much obliged to take their dollars, bitcoins, or yen and invest it in their transportation projects.  If it worked for Tony Montana, it works for Norway (I don’t remember the full plot to Scarface).

Top 5 Safe Cars of 2017

Photo Credit

The modern car is built with safety very much in mind. Endless tests are done to help prevent accidents from happening in the first place, and if they do, protecting the driver and passengers in the vehicle is a priority. Though all manufacturers now make safety their aim, some cars are better than others. So, let’s take a look at some of the safest cars on the market these days and what it is that makes them so great.

Hyundai Ioniq

When it comes to small family cars, the Ioniq stands up there with some of the very best on the market. Many people will be impressed to read that it boasts a five-star Euro NCAP rating which is very difficult to obtain. It is available in three distinct models: standard hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure electric model. The looks are fairly standard, but beneath the surface, it is a car that has safety at its very core.

Toyota Prius

It would be hard to write an article about the safest cars on the market without giving the Toyota Prius a mention. The original car that popularised the hybrid trend, the Prius is now in its fourth generation and safety is very much a priority. The main advantage of the Prius is that it is packed with the latest technological features including an autonomous braking system and lane-keeping assist. Not only this, it was voted Euro NCAP’s safest large family car in 2016.

Honda Jazz

If you are looking for a small vehicle that is also very safe, look no further than the latest Honda Jazz. Though this is a car that is targeted at a younger market, it may well be parents who are impressed by the safety features and suggest this as a perfect first car. For added peace of mind, it is worth having them take a defensive driving traffic school online. Spaciousness and practicality are two features that have always been focused on, but now the five star Euro NCAP crash test rating is an added bonus.

VW Touran

With a comfortable interior and good level of driveability, the VW Touran is an excellent choice for family buyers. The engine is economical, meaning that running costs are relatively low. And with regards to safety, it has scored well across the board. It scored particularly highly in the Child Occupant category which means that children ride in the safest seats possible.

Ford Galaxy

Those who after a large vehicle that is also safe, the Ford Galaxy comes right near the top of the list. It performed very well across all categories of the Euro NCAP which means that it is a very safe car indeed. New additions include better quality materials and a touchscreen infotainment system. Despite its large size, the steering and suspension are good which means that it is fun to drive as well as being practical and safe.
These are just five of the top safe cars on the market. The general rule of thumb is that the newer the vehicle, the safer the car tends to be.     

Beijing to Replace All Taxis with Electric Vehicles

This is news very near and dear to my heart and lungs. Reducing toxic air pollution in urban environments is crucial to improving public health. If you live in an urban city, you may or may not be familiar with AQI, the air quality index. This measures the amount of ground-level ozone, particulates, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide in the air. Depending on where you live, the AQI will exclude some of these measures. But ground level inhaled particulate matter and other toxins spewed from internal combustion vehicles have adverse affects on local lives, including asthma, bronchitis, sinus infections, cancer, and death. Especially in Asia, which has developed so much industrially and socioeconomically, pollution is a very big, very visible problem. Many months of the year, citizens are encouraged to wear face masks, and you can forget about exercising outside unprotected. So it is great to see China taking action against localized deadly pollution.

China will begin to replace all taxis in Beijing with electric vehicles. All new replacement models for decommissioned taxis will have to be electric starting in 2017. Hopefully, China will make a serious push to lower their toxic emissions, because as of right now, the smog can reach as far as the west coast of the United States, thanks to prevailing wind patterns. But the most harmful pollutants are happening on the streets, as localized emissions are trapped between buildings and hover on the sidewalks and windows where people live, work, and play. This type of pollution is usually not expressed by AQI indexes because of where the monitors are set up, so the harmful effects are much worse than indicated.  Electric vehicles are the best way to reduce localized air pollution in urban environments.