Tag Archives: electric car

Tesla Model 3 First Impressions

Marques Brownlee, YouTube tech reviewer extraordinaire, had the chance to do a short test drive of the Tesla Model 3. He already owns a Tesla Model S, so he provides a pretty reserved review of Tesla’s new affordable option.

Marques praises Tesla for retaining the spirit of their brand in the minimalist Model 3, but expresses concerns about how everything is controlled on the 15 inch touchscreen, even the glove box. Judging by the top voted YouTube comments, this is a shared worry among the general population:

“Everything is simple” (Needs software to open the glove compartment)
That monitor goes out for any reason, I mean, it’s a single point of failure. Doesn’t seem safe at all. I could be wrong. Please tell me I’m wrong.
Putting everything on the touchscreen with no physical buttons and a speedometer in front of the driver is a big mistake IMHO.What happens when the screen fails for some reason,you are totally screwed!! You don’t know what the hell is going on ! Epic fail !
Even though Tesla has likely made plenty of safety measures to prevent any sort of problem with touchscreen malfunctions, popular perceptions can influence whether or not the Tesla Model 3 will be adopted by the masses.  So I hope Tesla shows more ride alongs and tutorials on navigating the touchscreen, as well as reassuring electric car novices that a car can be safely operated without physical buttons and a traditional dashboard.
Marques also talks about options like colors, wheels, and automation packages.  $5000 will get you semi automation with self parking, lane holding, and speed changing autopilot.  For $5000 more you can basically just tell your car where to go from point A to point B, which is full-automation.  The safety sensors will be on the base model with no extra charge.  This brings up an interesting issue as to why the software is so expensive when the hardware is standard, as it isn’t physical, but digital script that could be copied and distributed, or even pirated.  However, I’m not sure if anyone is daring or stupid enough to trust their lives to bootleg PirateBay Uber.
As a successful YouTuber who already owns a Model S, Marques Brownlee represents the middle class Tesla owner, whereas most of his viewers seem to be younger people, highschoolers and young adults.  To him, it seems the Model 3 is kind of meh, to his audience, the Model 3 is hardly “affordable”.  In fact it’s about the same price as a C class Mercedes, so many could consider Elon Musk’s idea of an affordable people’s car rather condescending.  So Tesla has to find a way to manage these views as the hype train slows down in the next couple years, though they have time to think about before their supply can match the unprecedented initial demand.

Tesla Model 3 Launch Event in 5 Minutes

On July 28th, 2017 Tesla CEO Elon Musk delivered the first 30 Tesla Model 3s at an emotional handover event. The $35,000 electric car delivers on the promise Elon Musk made 14 years ago, to deliver an affordable, mass production electric vehicle to the world.

The Tesla Model 3 has an interior like no car you’ve seen before. Tesla went for a simplified dashboard that focuses on the central display unit. This is better suited for autonomous drive mode, when people will be able to watch movies and other media.

Tesla’s Model 3 design takes aspects the company learned from the Model X to give more headroom to rear seat passengers. The high hatchback and large rear window give the space more room and visibility.

Tesla intends to make the Tesla Model 3 the safest in the world, as well as expand the Tesla charging network 3 fold by next year.

The major hangup with the Model 3 right now is production. If you order the compact electric vehicle today, you will have to wait until late 2018 at the earliest to receive your car. Elon Musk assures customers that his company is grateful for its early adopters and Tesla will continue to support Model S, X, and 3 buyers who took the risk to embrace their innovative company.

New Video and Pictures of the Fisker EMotion

Fisker Inc. recently released some new pictures and videos of their $130,000 fully electric sports car, the Fisker EMotion. The EMotion will feature a 400+ mile range, 9 minute fast-charging time for 125 additional miles, LIDAR for full autonomy, and all wheel drive.  No information yet on the 0-60 mph time but the all wheel drive and battery capacity should propel it in under 5 seconds. The EMotion’s top speed is 161 mph.

According to Henrik Fisker’s official Instagram, the EMotion will utilize a flat, solid state, LG battery pack beneath the cabin.

The car looks very nice from the back, although the front end is a little too snake-like.  It looks like a literal cobra, not a Shelby Cobra, the car has snake eyes and a tongue sticking out of the faux grill.

Fsiker EMotion

The California company, Fisker Inc. has a partnership with Hybrid Shop and their nationwide network of service and maintenance for all hybrid (HEV) and electric vehicles (EV).  This is good, as the earlier range extended hybrid from Fisker, the Fisker Karma, was plagued with maintenance problems. Hopefully Fisker’s first foray into the full battery electric vehicle will simplify things and reduce the amount of problems.Fisker EMotion Side
Fisker Emotion Back

You can reserve a Fisker EMotion for $2000 down and deliveries are expected to start mid-2019.

Without Electronic Limiter, Lucid Air Hits 235 mph Top Speed

The Lucid Air Alpha Speed Car, was first tested at the large oval track of the Transportation Research Center of Ohio in April 2017. The car was given aerodynamic aids and a parachute to slow the car abruptly in case the straights didn’t prove long enough to reach desired speeds and slow down sufficiently for the next turn. For the first test, the top speed was software limited to 217 mph (350 km/h).

This July. the Lucid team recently returned to the Transportation Research Center facility for the next round of testing with the Lucid Air Alpha Speed Car. The Lucid team tackled the high-speed oval again, this time with the software speed limit removed so they could evaluate performance at even higher speeds, up to 235 mph.

That morning there was a rain delay, but it was clear to the spotters standing hundreds of meters away that the car was moving faster coming off the banking than during the last test. And they were right. This time the Air came off the high banking at 215 mph and reached an ultimate GPS confirmed speed of 235.44 mph.

The Lucid team made a few adjustments based on what they learned to improve upon their first time. The air suspension required a software update to improve responsiveness when loaded heavily. The front motor required updates to coolant flow and ventilation. New, aerodynamically efficient wheels were fitted. Finally, they removed the speed limiter to see what a Lucid Air alpha prototype was capable of achieving.

Lucid Motors intends to start production of the Lucid Air by 2018, with a base model priced at between $50,000-$60,000 dollars.

Features of the base Lucid Air include:

  • 240-mile range
  • 400 horsepower (rear-wheel drive)
  • All hardware necessary for autonomous driving
  • Huge interior space in an efficient package
  • Two trunks, one in the front and one in the rear, with a combined storage capacity of over 32 cubic feet (similar to the volume of a 4-person hot tub)
  • 12-way power front seats
  • LED multi-lens array headlights
  • Four screens, with interactive-touch surfaces on three
  • 5-seat configuration with a rear bench seat
  • 10 advanced airbags
  • Aluminum roof
  • 19-inch wheels
  • 10-speaker audio system
  • Over-the-air software updates

The price of a fully loaded Lucid Air will likely be above $100,000.

Features of the fully loaded Lucid Air include:

  • 315-mile and 400-mile-range battery options
  • Up to 1,000-horsepower twin-motor configuration, with all-wheel drive
  • Fully active suspension, delivering a world-class ride
  • Glass-canopy roof
  • Rear executive seats that recline up to 55 degrees
  • 22-way power front seats with heating, ventilation, dynamic bolsters, and massage
  • 21-inch Lucid-design wheels
  • 29-speaker audio system with active noise cancellation
  • Expanded leather trim with corresponding material upgrades

The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt Review and Road Test

America’s largest automaker, GM, is manufacturing its most affordable, consumer friendly electric vehicle since the GM EV1. Better equipped than the Nissan Leaf and cheaper than the BMW i3, the 2017 Chevy Bolt packs a 60 kilowatt hour lithium ion battery that has an EPA estimated range of 238 miles on a charge. While Car and Driver observed a 190 mile highway range, that should still be more than enough for anybody’s expected and unexpected daily driving needs. This tiny four door hatchback has the type of mass appeal that GM hopes will make it a major player in the electric automotive market. The Bolt will have to compete with the highly anticipated Tesla Model 3, Elon Musk’s “Model T” of sorts, an affordable Tesla for Joe Sixpack, and Jill Sixpack.


The Bolt starts at $37,495, but a $7500 federal tax credit will put the price under $30,000. Further, climate minded municipalities might have extra incentives to push that price down as well. If you want all the trimmings, you can get the Bolt Premier with a starting price of $41,780. It adds leather, heated front and rear seats, roof rails, a 360-degree-view camera system, a rearview camera mirror, rear parking sensors, and blind-spot monitoring. Options included an upgraded Bose stereo, wireless phone charging, and two USB ports in the rear for $485, and a Driver Assistance package with forward-collision alert with pedestrian detection, lane-keeping assist, and automatic high-beams for $495.

The Bolt has a lot of pop on the road. The instant electric torque accelerates the Bolt from zero to 60 mph in 6.5 sec. The top speed is limited to 93 mph.

Other than that the Chevy Bolt is very similar to your average compact hatchback. Test drivers have mentioned it is quite cramped inside, with a lot of plastic trim. But you do get a state of the art infotainment system and heads up display, which adds to the futuristic experience. Overall, if you are really inclined to get of petroleum for your transportation needs, the Bolt is a great option that is now in the feasibility price range for many of us.

Nio Unveils the Electric Autonomous Eve

In our fast paced ADD laden society, the simple joy of driving is falling by the wayside to texting, browsing Reddit, and YouTube and Netflix binges.  Of course, you could also be reading, learning a new language, or catching up on your work emails, but life is too short for arduous productivity.  The technology of the near future will give us more free time, make us more productive, and hopefully help us live healthier lives.

At the 2017 SXSW in Austin, Texas, a new player in the electric automotive game, Nio, unveiled the Eve, a fully autonomous, electric vehicle.  In fact, the Eve doesnt even seem to feature a steering wheel.  Not sure if they will add that feature later, in 2020, when the startup plans to roll out the model.  The Eve is basically a comfortable living space for you to spend your newfound free time while the car takes you to your destination.

Imagine having your own taxi on call without the Marlboro smelling operator at the wheel. Eve will feature Nomi, an interactive AI system that will allow you to interface with the car.  Hopefully, in 2020 it will be more precise than Siri is when you are trying to order pizza.  The Eve will also feature active glass, so you can learn constellations while you ride, an innocent example included in the promotional video.
The Eve also features sliding passenger doors and hopefully a 600 mile range.  Nio thinks by 2020, this will be possible with a charging rate of 200 miles per 10 minutes.  While Nio debuted the NIO EP9 late last year, the “fastest electric vehicle” with a 0-60 mph of 2.7 seconds, they have yet to manufacture the car. Their autonomous concept is still very much in the ether until we get closer to 2020.