EV Community – My People

social isolation tesla
Image courtesy of Tesla battery day live stream

EV Community – My People, As Christmas approaches and we, start to join, where we can, together to celebrate a wonderful year of hell and back. 

Some of us will celebrate alone due to COVID but we are connected through the world of technology. Those of us who are able to catch up with family will celebrate hopefully will love to see each other again after such a long time. 

Evolution

This year the Electric Vehicle (EV) community evolved in their own right. 

At the beginning of 2020 a number of Youtubers and bloggers wrote and vlogged about the year ahead.

No one would have predicted what was to come. 

However, we had a wake up and a reality check that allowed us to become more focused on the mission ahead. 

COVID focused us on the betterment of our environment due to the lock downs and the ability to see the clear air around the cities. 

The community resolved to make sure that others also understood that this clear air could be achieved with the Electric vehicle being introduced. 

We love Electric vehicles for a number of reasons

  • They are cool
  • In most cases they are S3XY
  • Mostly quiet 
  • Invariably fast 
  • They have incredible technology
  • Above all others, they can help to improve our environment. 
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Passion

As a community we talked about the share price of Tesla and the amazing things that Rivian is planning. 

Sharing stories of Nikola and its many issues, smoke and mirrors. 

Wanting to understand the cybertruck and its functionality, size and where it would be street legal. 

Watching in awe of the Full Self Driving Beta(FSD) and the amazing videos the EV community published. Our excitement and desire for this to be ours became more impassioned.

Hard times, Bright Times

Of course, there are tough times and bright times and with all things we stuck together. 

We helped out when someone was down, we shared pain and hurt when COVID took a family, friend or colleague from us.

 It has been a tough year to understand and to see the possibilities. 

The EV community has been a comfort for us, to escape our lives and delve into the possibilities of what the future we all want to see could be. 

Thankful 

It is time to be thankful for those that offered kind words, who shared thoughts and gave us reason to think outside of the box. 

I am grateful to the community this year. I have interacted with people from Canada, New Zealand, USA, Australia and beyond. 

All of these people have been focused on one thing. How can we make the world better than we left it?

  • Some said it with words and others said it with actions. 
  • Some showed it with images and others showed it with their purchases. 
  • Some helped others to find the path and others shared their thoughts to influence the doubters. 

All told it has been a year where the EV community has come together to support each other and share their lives with those who have a passion for all thing’s Electric vehicles. 

My People

feet together
Photo by Ingo Joseph on Pexels.com
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The EV community is more than any other group of people that I know. 

They all in their own unique way brings experience from many and varied back grounds. 

They are full of enthusiasm and passion. 

They have an infectiousness that is stronger than any disease. 

The EV community is the nerd in all of us that is now cool. 

They are my people. 

Thanks for being there this year. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. 

Your friend

Dave

David McCann
David McCann

EV-HQ founder

DAVE’S Blog posts

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The Model Refresh is here!!!

New 2021 refreshed Model 3
New Refreshed Model 3

David McCann 13/12/2020

The Model 3 refresh is here, rumoured for many months, seen in posts on Twitter, and now finally hitting Australian shores. 

Finally, the updated 2021 Model 3 interior/exterior updated features have finally been seen in Brisbane Australia. 

Brisbane Tesla

In the carpark of the Tesla showroom I found in the car park being readied for delivery the new refreshed 2021 Model 3.

Seeing the new Model 3 refresh up close and personal shows the strides Tesla is taking to make their fleet of vehicles better. The new console looks gorgeous. These cars are stunning. The quality of the cars looks incredible with little no visible issues identified. 

The number of Model 3 s being prepared numbered in the 20-30 vehicles. This is encouraging as the popularity and uptake of electric vehicles can only be good for the environment. 

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Model Y thinking

I had an opportunity to talk to a Tesla representative who was excited for the new refresh. 

The representative advised that a lot of the model 3 buyers would have liked to buy the model Y. However they did not want to wait till the end of next year. So they decided to purchase a model 3 with the intention of trading up when the Model Y hits the shores. 

I am super excited about this type of thinking as it encourages the uptake of electric vehicles and increases the availability of used Model 3 towards the end of next year.

For those who may be looking to get into a car but cannot afford brand new, this may be the hopeful step they can look forward to. 

I was grateful for the opportunity to take some photos of the new vehicles and just want to say thanks to the representative who didn’t mind.  

Model 3 refresh images

Below you can see the white on white performance model 3 with the turbine wheels and red calipers. (on the right)

Model 3
Performance model 3 ( on right), Dual Motor (central)

Next to this is an all wheel drive model 3 white on black with the new sports wheels.

Up close the Sport wheels look much better in person.

Sports wheels
new sports wheel

Lastly there are a large number of standard range model 3 with the new aero wheels. 

Model 3 refreshed , large numbers

The chrome delete door handles and trim looks spectacular and a really nice feature to the Model 3 2021 refresh. 

Being refreshed model 3 by Tesla representative.
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Andrew the optometrist.

The Model Refresh is here!!! After seeing the vehicles I texted Andrew the optometrist. I explained that the new vehicles had arrived at Tesla in Brisbane. He advised me he is picking up his car this week. I am super excited for him. 

It is amazing to me that we live in an age when technology and beautiful design are merging to deliver incredible products that can make the world a better place to live. 

With the Model 3 refresh I know that Tesla is moving in the right direction. 

I just hope that these vehicles become more prevalent and available to the average person and allow more electric vehicles onto the roads. 

Dave  

David McCann
David McCann

EV-HQ founder

DAVE’S Blog posts

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Twists and Turns – 2020

twisted roads
Photo by John Lockwood on Unsplash

Twists and Turns – 2020 has been a year of change, pain, and sorrow. It has also been a year of new fresh innovations. 

Since the beginning of 2020 I have been confident that the year was going to be a year of change, of looking forward, of finding more and choosing to follow my passions. It turns out that 2020 had more in store than even I could imagine. 

New Year

scrabble resolutions
Photo by Breakingpic on Pexels.com

New Year’s gave me a chance to set aspirations for the year. Of course, being the person that I am I decided to set goals that I thought were realistic. 

EV-HQ.com had been going well and I thought I could aim for 500 followers on Twitter. My wife and I set our personal goals for the year and looked forward to making 2020 a happier, less stressful, and fun year ahead. 

At the time we had no idea that the year would take a massive turn left and run across the rockiest road we could have imagined. 

COVID 19 was just starting to be talked more about and was spreading like wildfire across China and into other countries, including Australia. 

Family

I remember thinking that life was good, I had a beautiful healthy wife and a handsome, fun loving son who was heading into man hood. 

One of our goals for the year was to make sure our son felt supported and confident that he could talk to us about anything. He was starting a big journey and needed to know we had his back, no matter what. 

EV-HQ.com

As far as EV-HQ, I was starting to get more involved with the community on Twitter. Asking questions, posing ideas, and getting deep into a discussion about all things electric vehicles. 

To say I was and continue to be passionate about the advantages of electric vehicles is an understatement. They are the future and I want the world to be a better place for my son and his future family. If I can play a part in that then all the better. 

Let the rollercoaster begin

black and white roller coaster
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

So, January was all about preparing for the year, back to school and work and hoping this year could be so much better than the last. 

We had been planning house renovations and they were well underway by the end of January and heading into February with one of our goals starting to take form. 

Over the next few months the renovations turned our house upside down and it was lots of fun watching the transformation. I was so very proud of my beautiful wife and her vision for what was ultimately the most amazing transformation. 

Of course, things don’t seem to happen one after the other they seem to have a cascade effect overlapping while remaining interesting. 

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Pizza and Elon

So, one day I was sitting in the pizza shop waiting for the pizza to be ready and as usual I was skimming Twitter. 

Now I have posted a lot of content over the last 2 years since starting the twitter account including around 4000 tweets. Anyway, I had sent a tweet, once again asking Elon Musk why it was so expensive for an Australian Tesla’s while USA Tesla’s, when converted to AUD dollars, seem cheaper. There seemed to be discrepancies. 

Sitting in the pizza shop I started getting lots of Twitter replies and comments. Having never had this happen before I opened Twitter and found that Elon Musk had replied to my tweet, I was shocked, amazed, and excited. (Yes, I remembered to pick up the pizza as well as my jaw).

Steve Jobs 

Let me put this in context. I have been an Apple fan for many years and have been a massive fan of Steve jobs. He had his faults, but he was a visionary and helped to make the world transition to the digital age. To say I was a fan is well and truly understating it. He was a deep thinker with a view of the world that many would never understand and unfortunately never will.

This is like Steve Jobs responding to me. Elon responded!!!!!

Over the next couple of weeks, the Twitter verse and online publications wrote about the response from Elon and quoted my tweet. It opened my eyes to the fact that I can be a voice for change and help the discussion of electrification. 

https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2020/02/elon-musk-agrees-tesla-model-3s-australian-price-seems-high/

After this I reached one of my goals a lot faster than I thought I ever would. I hit 500 followers in the April. To say I am humbled by the fact that people want to listen and read my blogs and commentary is nothing short of amazing. I thank everyone who has followed me. 

Craziness

Twists and Turns – 2020, At the beginning of the year I decided I would do something that even now I thought was craziness. I am not a professional writer or have written lots of readable things over the years but here I am. 

EV-HQ had become part of what I did last year. This year I wanted to grow it more, so I gave myself the task of writing a blog a week for the whole of 2020. 

Every week this year since the end of January I have met that promise to myself. Due to this I feel I have helped to bring the discussion of electric vehicles forward slowly within the community in some small way. 

I am very proud of the work I have done this year to achieve this goal and hope that it becomes valuable to those that may find it in time. 

My Wife

My wife has for years battled a hidden darkness (mental illness) that raises its head from time to time and once again those demons decided that they wanted to play. We spent days just being together and sitting on the couch because that is all she is able to do. 

It is hard to see someone you love, lose themselves for a time. Riding the rollercoaster of torment and despair. The only thing you can do is hope, support, and know that one of the tomorrows will bring back that light in her eyes. So my son and I make sure she feels loved, hugged, and safe. 

This time it was a short stint and we saw the signs early, so she is much better now. 

EV community

EV-HQ had taken a lot of work this year and I can tell you that the community has some amazing people to help guide and offer insights and advice about ways to meet the expectations, challenges and fun. 

There are so many, but some honorable mentions include, 

Naush (Tesla in the Gong)

Nash from Tesla in the Gong has offered advice and guidance regarding challenges and questions I had at times of uncertainty. He is a wonderful metor and advocate for the EV community.

Tom (Teslatom)

Tom from Tesla Tom who has been a great source of insights and consistency regarding anything Tesla and Beyond. He too is a wonderful advocate for the Tesla community.

Jason (Techau)

I would also like to thank Jason from Techau who also has been a great source of advice, and insights and information. He has kept me honest when I had source issues and I appreciate the advice. 

There are so many more that I can mention but please know that you have all been amazing with your questions, inputs and information sharing throughout the community. Let’s make 2021 a year that the EV community won’t forget. 

Odd

As June rolled on by, and the year started to drift away, COVID had been going crazy and the world was scrambling to figure out how to stop it in its tracks. July, August and September became a blur.  My wife and I decided we needed to eat better and lose some weight so we decided to go on a diet and relearn healthy eating habits.

It was around this time that I started feeling odd. 

As we rolled into the back of September, I had seen a number of doctors and noticed some strangeness with some of my blood tests. I was referred to a specialist. 

Thanks to the diet my wife and I lost 14 kgs and felt really good. But I still was feeling odd. 

Again

In October I once again was blessed to be responded to by Elon Musk regarding FSD and Phantom braking. I wrote a blog about this and it continues to be a well-read article. Amazing. I obviously hit a nerve. Anyway, it is great to see that I continued to have an impact that helps the EV uptake to occur.

So, I am 45 and back to the weight I was when I married my beautiful wife. I want to be a role model to my son and a great husband to my wife so that we could continue to have a happy healthy life moving forward. 

October

As October came to a close it seemed to be a month of investigations. FSD from Tesla was just about to be released in beta form and my response from Elon had re-inspired me to keep writing weekly blogs. (I Struggled around October with this) 

My work was busy and I was now starting to have symptoms that were more than odd they were hindering my ability to do certain things. 

I kept writing my blogs, loving my wife and son and helping to keep our family happy healthy and safe. This included catching up with friends that I have not seen for a while. 

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Andrew the Optometrist

We caught up with friends and had a great time chatting. During the conversation we talked about cars and EV’s especially. I showed my hand and imparted lots of knowledge about the benefits and challenges of owning an electric vehicle, and ultimately hoped that I could balance the discussion and give a different point of view. 

At no time did I think that my friend would purchase an electric vehicle. Yet a month later he called saying he had just purchased a Tesla. Andrew the Optometrist was introduced to the blogs. 

It is truly amazing to me that a single conversation had such an amazing impact. Butterfly effect, I guess. 

I have watched, listened and offered advice to Andrew the Optometrist about his car and have seen with joy his excitement for his upcoming delivery. 

If you had asked me 20 years ago what would bring a smile to my face when I was 45, I would never had said helping a friend make a difference to the world, his family and his fun factor. 

Life challenges

Twists and Turns – 2020. Not long after this, my world tipped on its head. I went and saw a specialist, had more blood tests and an MRI. That odd feeling, the reason I had been seeing the specialist and my GP alike, the fact that I could not walk outside in 30-degree (Celcius) heat without wearing jeans and a jumper was finally identified. 

I have a Pituitary Tumour. 

At the time I was stressed, tired, frustrated, annoyed and just downright spent. It is a strange reality being told news like this. I am a Nurse and have cared for people for over 20 years. I have helped people understand the reality of what they are being told about a loved one and/or themselves. Over my years I have helped to heal people who are unwell whilst showing people, empathy, compassion and dignity. 

I worked in Emergency Departments for 12 years and during this time I was very good at being able to compartmentalize the emotions I had towards upsetting situations as I needed to do my job. 

But, in this I was confronted at being on the other side and trying to understand how I felt. 

Any Nurse will tell you that Nurses don’t do being the patient very well.

Luckily if you were to get a pituitary tumour this is best of the worst-case scenarios. 

The plan on how to manage it is medication first to help reduce the size, monitor for six months with blood test and scans and if all goes well just keep track of it. This is the hopeful path, I hope I don’t have to face the alternatives.

So now I have to deal with the issues related to taking medication long term for the first time in my life. I have always been well and never had any issues so this was a blast of lightning out of nowhere. 

The medication has helped my symptoms and I am slowly starting to feel like I did many years ago. I hope it is also helping to reduce the tumour size. Time will tell. 

End of the year 

So here we are, almost Christmas time and near the beginning of a New Year. As the tumultuousness of 2020 closes. We hope for 2021. 

I believe it will be a year of great need for the world, both physically and emotionally. I know I have an amazing wife and son and extended family and friends who share my love for the world around us and the hope that things will get better. 

EV-HQ will still continue into 2021 and I have plans to grow the site, the blogs and maybe some other surprises as the year goes on. 

So, thanks for reading and being the greatest followers and community around. I look forward to keeping this going into the new year. 

Merry Christmas and a Happy new year. 

Dave

David McCann
David McCann

EV-HQ founder

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EV Chargers increasing in Queensland Australia

Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

EV Chargers increasing in Queensland Australia, this last week has seen the network of EV chargers grow in a number of locations. 

New chargers at Ikea

I visited Ikea Logan in November and noticed some construction being undertaken.

At the time I commented that it looked like new charging stations. However, there were only cables extruding from the concrete. There was no signage that indicated the exact purpose of the construction.  Recently they were confirmed to be new charging stations.

construction of chargers at Ikea Logan
Ikea Logan charger during construction,
Image by D.McCann

DFO Chargers

Mark Bailey MP recently opened the new Tritium Evie chargers at DFO shopping center.

The shopping center where they are located is close to a main thoroughfare called the Gateway Arterial Road. In close proximity to the Brisbane airport this will Ride share drivers to charge and stay available more often. 

This introduction to the Queensland EV network is an encouraging sign. This is a positive step as opposed to southern state’s taxes. Mark Bailey MP when opening the chargers was asked about the tax. He highlighted that the timing was more of an issue than the tax its self.  

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The introduction and promotion of the new charging stations is a sure sign that Queensland’s priorities are to grow the uptake of Electric vehicles not hinder them. 

Tritium Charging platform

Tritium recently introduced their new platform for Charging stations recently. This introduction occurred in Brisbane Australia and outlined a new EV charger that has the capacity to flex its capacity of how many vehicles can be charged over the long term, thus increasing the viability of charging stations.

This introduction in Brisbane is again an encouraging sign that Queensland is looking to the future of transportation and is supporting a growing industry. 

Queensland is looking to the future

I recently wrote about Springfield lakes and their vision for a future city. If Queensland Government was to introduce a tax, not only would it hinder the future city, it would also be counter intuitive to the owners of EVs, Tritium’s new platform and to the comments of Mark Bailey MP. 

Queensland has been a big supporter of the Electric highway from Cairns down to the border and beyond. This highway over the coming years will hopefully grow to include a greater range. 

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So is Western Australia

It is encouraging to see Western Australia announce a similar highway down the west coast of Australia today. 

The future is about increasing the ability for the EV drivers to charge and to have the confidence to drive distance like they do with today’s ICE vehicles. 

Last week the future was looking like taxes may delay the transition to electrification, this week I am encourages to see the future looking brighter by the day.

Dave 

David McCann
David McCann

EV-HQ founder

DAVE’S Blog posts

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Australian EV Uptake – Taxes or Incentives

old sign for taxes on cars
Photo by The New York Public Library on Unsplash

Australian EV Uptake – Taxes or incentives, the world is transitioning to renewable energy and electric transportation is a cornerstone of that transition.

Steps are being taken globally to assist populations to take the first step to start their transition to a sustainable future. 

Across many countries, there are different approaches to assist people to be able to afford to transition to renewable energy generation like solar panels and battery storage.

Transitioning to an electric vehicle is a much harder proposition as most electric vehicles, especially in Australia, are out of reach for average consumers.  

Oil Companies and governments

In combination with the high price of electric vehicles, Oil companies have for years been the power players in the world due to the demand for oil and petrol for internal combustion engine (I.C.E.) vehicles.

They have grown unfettered for decades growing wealth and not caring for the impact they impose upon the environment and the health of everyday people. 

Governments and the global economy have ridden on the back of these industries. However they have one fatal flaw, they are non renewable resources. Their impact to the environment is disastrous.

So making a step towards new thinking using renewable energy and consumers buying electric vehicles is in complete opposition to the direction that most polluting energy suppliers would want.

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Incentives approach

hand with plant
Photo by Ravi Roshan on Unsplash

A large amount of the governments of the world have made large strides to develop policies that help to drive the uptake of electric vehicles.

This incentive-based approach has assisted the transition to sustainable energy and thus helps to reduce the carbon footprint that is causing such devastation to our environment.

The environment is changing and has been for several years. In 2019 Australia had one of the worst bush fire seasons in history. It is concerning that we refer to bush fires as a season now. That should make us pause.

When did we start referring to it as a season? 

It used to be known as Summer. Yet many Politicians deny that the bush fires were caused by any environmental issues. 

Australian view

Australian’s have, for many years, prided themselves on being progressive when utilizing new technology that improves their lives. 

Australia has always been a believer in supporting good science and allowing amazing scientific discovery to be at the heart of the Australian culture. 

But it seems that this belief has been deteriorating for years when it comes to the all-important subject of climate change. 

The great barrier reef one of the most amazing natural wonders has for decades been suffering the effects of the changes to the environment right before our eyes. Yet most politicians don’t agree that it is caused by climate change.

During COVID shutdowns in April of 2020, the world paused, and the environment had a chance to breathe and show what is possible. No pollution in the air, very little temperature change, seeing the beauty of the world without fog, or smog to mask it. 

This is the future that we all want to see become reality.

Step forward

So how can we maintain our lifestyles whilst also helping the environment?

globe at night
Photo by NASA on Unsplash

The introduction of Solar power, battery storage, and electric vehicles have been the next best step. The ability for average people to help make a difference to the environment around them whilst not compromising their current standard of living has always been the goal.

Taxes

So, what is South Australia thinking when they decide that a TAX on electric vehicles is the way to go. 

When introducing taxes it is much harder for the average person to help. Buying an electric car in Australia is already an expensive proposition.

Last week, South Australia proposed, as part of their state government budget, a tax for Electric Vehicles. The amount of money that the taxes would provide is just over 1 million dollars.

This tax was mirrored in New South Wales and Victoria. An industry that could open up opportunities to new and fresh modes of transport that have a small environmental impact and do not continue to pollute once purchased seems strange to tax people willing to take that all-important first step. 

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Time to lead

australian parliment
Photo by Aditya Joshi on Unsplash

Australian EV UptakeTaxes or incentives. It is time for politicians to start listening to what the people who voted them in want, they need to pull their heads out of the sand, look at the science with fresh eyes and recognize that even with our relatively small population we have a part to play in the restoration of the environment globally. 

Australia is so far behind when it comes to the uptake of electric vehicles and the transition to a sustainable future. This first step is essential for the success of reducing co2 being sent into the environment. Adding a Tax that reduces the enticement for consumers to buy electric vehicles before they have even taken off is madness.  

We need to do more to make the direction we are taking a responsible, smart, and future-looking vision. 

Smarter approach

Australia’s car industry has suffered for decades and now when things are starting to look positive towards creating a new car revolution, governments feel that instead of incentivizing the benefits and getting consumers into EVs sooner they wish to tax them for choosing the environmentally friendly option. 

What would be smarter is to provide incentives that assist consumers to make a better choice. Australian Capital Territory (ACT), the home of the Federal Government has recently introduced incentives for the improved uptake of Electric vehicles.

The incentives include 2 years of free registration of the vehicle, increased distribution of charging infrastructure, and interest-free loans.

These incentives are part of a greater view that electrification is the next step in transportation. 

Future City

future city
Image courtesy of engie.com

I recently wrote about Springfield lakes and their plans to create a future city inclusive of electric vehicles, solar and battery storage. This vision is not as easy to execute if the governments of Australia don’t take a leading role in offering support and incentives to allow consumers to be part of the revolutionary change. 

In many countries’ incentives have allowed the uptake of electric vehicles, solar and battery storage for those that would normally not be able to afford such a change. 

Incentives are a much better way to increase uptake of electric vehicles, grow industries where none where before and have a positive effect on environmental issues. 

Old Thinking

Australian EV UptakeTaxes or incentives. The introduction of a Tax is backward, old thinking, and lacks inspiration and foresight. Surprisingly, South Australia is the state to introduce the tax. They are home to one of the largest battery storage facilities in the world.  This technology provided by Tesla has proved itself to be a money-spinner from the start and a revolution for the power industry in the state. So, it is surprising that the government has not realized the benefits these technologies can have on everyday lives. 

Old thinking that has worked for the last 50 years is slowly dying and the ground on which politicians believe they can build a future is thin as ice.

Electric Vehicle owners and future owners are not the enemy. Most people are happy to pay their rightful amount of Taxes however to isolate EV drivers seems counterintuitive to the need to address climate issues. 

Dave 

David McCann
David McCann

EV-HQ founder

DAVE’S Blog posts

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TESLA Full Self Driving BETA!!!!!

interior of model 3
Photo by Austin Ramsey on Unsplash

Tesla Full self-driving Beta!!!, It has been once again been an amazing week for tesla. They have outlined a fantastic quarter for Q3 with record profits of 8.7 Billion dollars with an end of the quarter cash position of 14.5 billion dollars  This combined with the current construction of Giga factory, Berlin, and Shanghai and Tera Factory Austin underway helps to solidify the positive outlook for the future of the company. 

FSD Beta

On top of this amazing quarter the Full Self Driving (FSD), Beta release was sent out into the wild. 

Kudos have to go out to John from “Tesla Owners Silicon Valley” and Raj from “TeslaRaj“ who had the most amazing video showing their first reactions to driving in John’s Model X.

credit to Tesla Owners Silicon Valley Twitter

The video was done late at night after the update. The camera angle showed both John and Raj as the car started to drive and navigate itself on the road. 

Both were totally blown away with the quality of the BETA and its ability to see around the vehicle and display that on the screen whilst also bringing the real world into view for the cars’ computer vision. 

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Raj also released another video with more detail the following day during day light house. 

Elon’s comments

Elon recently explained that the release of the FSD Beta is unique in that it did not need the car to be connected to the internet for the FSD to work. Due to the use of the Cameras and sensors around the car once the car had the software it should have the capability to drive itself using the FSD functionality. 

This is a very different approach to other full self-driving technology which focuses on high-density mapping, GPS, and other technologies. Tesla has prided itself on using a vision system to manage the complexity of the Full Self Driving development with their camera first approach. 

The change

This approach combined with the rewrite that has been designed to use video rather than still images has made an exponential leap forward with the quality and accuracy of the beta that is currently being tested. 

John (Tesla Owners Silicon Valley) and Raj (Tesla RAJ) released several videos over the last couple of days showing different cases where the FSD performed exceptionally well. 

One particular area of interest for Australians include roundabouts. They demonstrated that the system was able to negotiate the roundabout extremely well. 

Since they posted their original video several other Youtube videos have surfaced. Tesla understands the best testers of their systems are the people who drive their cars every day. This use of Beta testing will assist with narrowing down the unusual edge cases that exist to make the system even that more refined. 

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Challenge Status Quo

I am a little old school when it comes to driving and I enjoy the driving experience. Ownership of a Tesla currently alludes me however I have aspirations to own one someday. I understand why many will find this type of technology confronting as it is challenging the status quo. I for one would enjoy testing this so it becomes the norm into the future. 

TESLA Full Self Driving BETA!!!!! Technology is proving that it can do many things with greater efficiency and quality, however, there is always a human element that technology has yet to conquer. 

Dave 

David McCann
David McCann

EV-HQ founder

DAVE’S Blog posts

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Australian Tesla Prices Drop

Model 3 Tesla
Image courtesy of Tesla.com

Australian Tesla Prices Drop, however there is still a long way to go. 

This week has been a busy week for Tesla. It has also been a fun time for those in the EV community who follow Tesla closely. 

A couple of weeks ago I posted a blog talking about “Out of Balance”, in this blog I talked about how I had caught up with a  friend who had limited knowledge of the benefits and differences between Internal Combustion Engine(ICE) and Electric Vehicles(EV).  We spoke about the vehicles and I gave a balanced view of the EV’s including Tesla’s.

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Planted a seed

What I hadn’t realized is that I had planted a seed that had grown over the last couple of weeks. This week I received a surprise that has made me smile. I received a call from my friend Andrew the Optometrist, he said to me “I did something a little crazy this week. “I bought a Model 3.”

To say I was super excited for him and his family is an understatement. I am passionate about Tesla and the EV community and another person to join the fold is just great news. To have someone who you know and have helped to see the electric vehicle in a different light just makes me warm to the soul. 

He was very excited about the purchase. He and his family had, since we spoke, looked around at both ICE Vehicles and Electric Vehicles. The decided to take the Model 3 for a Test drive. He said that was the clincher. His wife and kids were sold, and they all fell in love with the Model 3. 

Of course, as anybody in the EV community knows, the Test drive cannot be explained it has to be experienced. 

Model 3 standard range old
Image courtesy of Tesla.com

If you are buying a Tesla Use a referral code, Andrew the optometrist referral link – https://ts.la/andrew53106

They ordered the Black Standard Range Model 3 not long after the Test drive. He explained they liked the black because they have had black cars for years and liked the look. His kids were super excited and they love the idea of putting their bags in the frunk. 

It was an incredible feeling to know before this he had not considered an electric vehicle as being an option and after our conversation, he seriously considered it. 

Of course, that is not where the week ended. 

Rumours

Rumours had started to float around over the last couple of weeks that a refresh of the Model 3 was upon us. Images of the cars missing chrome trim and a new console had started to surface thanks to Whole Mars Blog, however there had been no official word from Tesla. 

Well on Friday afternoon Australian time we understood why they had not said anything. Unannounced, the Tesla website changed. 

What a dramatic change it was, not only did it introduce the new console, but it also changed prices in some impressive ways. 

Surprise

Elon announced earlier in the week that the cost of the Model S would be reduced to USD $69420. These numbers seem random but trust me if you have been a tesla fanboy for a while, they make perfect sense. 

Any way it was in response to Lucid air releasing their price for the latest vehicle. 

This again was a surprise and many people jumped onto this price as it was a good many thousands of dollars savings. 

But Elon and tesla were not done there. On Friday afternoon, Australian time, we understood why they had not said anything about the Model 3 changes, Australian Tesla prices drop. Unannounced, the Tesla website changed. 

What a dramatic change it was, not only did it introduce the new console that had been rumored it also changed prices in some impressive ways. 

On entering the Website, you are presented with the new look Tesla Model 3 Performance with the Uber Turbine Wheels. 

Model 3 Tesla .com
Image courtesy of Tesla.com

Once you then go to the Order page for the Model 3 there are differences across the whole product line. 

Standard Range 

The Standard Range Aero wheels have been updated which gives the Model 3 a new and sportier look. Included with this refresh is the power trunk, increased range and of course the decrease in price of almost $8000 dollars depending on which state you order from in Australia. With the change to the price the standard range no longer incurs the Luxury Car Tax (LCT) that Australia imposes on imported luxury Vehicles.

Model 3 Tesla .com standard range
Courtesy of Tesla.com

Long Range 

The long-range again has a new set of Wheels with an update to the 19” sport wheels. They are very similar to the original Wheels however they have a subtle change that whether functional or not may be polarizing. The changes again included the Power trunk, Increased range, and the price difference of $6000, again depending on the state in Australia.  LCT will be incurred. 

Insert Image – highlighting changes 

Model 3 long range tesla.com
Image courtesy of Tesla.com

Performance Model 3

The performance Model 3 introduced the Uber turbine wheels when the model 3 was first introduced to the world it is wonderful to see them back again and introduced to customers. As with the standard range and Long-range Model 3 the performance also includes the power trunk, increased range and a spectacular drop in price of almost $20000 depending again which state you are buying from in Australia. 

Insert Image with changes. 

Model 3 Performance tesla .com
Image courtesy of Tesla.com

Once again Tesla has not disappointed. The new changes to the Model 3 line up were not just restricted to Australia. The range increase is particularly interesting and possibly indicates that the introduction of a heat pump may have occurred for the Model 3 as it did for the Model Y. 

It has been and continues to be a wonderful and exciting experience following Tesla as they continue to lead the EV market with innovation, passion, and a mission that inspires many. 

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Andrew the Optometrist

When I heard the news of the price drop I instantly messaged Andrew the optometrist. His response made me smile” Woooooooooo Hooooooooo”

It turns out he had ordered at the right time. He and his family saved over $8000 dollars in one night thanks to Tesla. The Model 3 they are to get will be better than it was when they ordered.

Australian Tesla Prices Drop and I am glad to help bring electric vehicle knowledge into more people’s lives. It is truly special when that information is used to make informed decisions. I hope Andrew and his family find great joy in the purchase.

Dave

David McCann
David McCann

EV-HQ founder

DAVE’S Blog posts

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Phantom braking can it be solved?

tesla model x brake light
Photo by Szymon Kita on Unsplash

Phantom Braking can it be solved? It seems that in recent years the introduction of the intelligent vehicle has been seen as a victory for the motor vehicle industry.

Sensors

The introduction provides increased safety and awareness for and around the vehicle. Using sensors, cameras and in some cases Radar or LIDAR to map the world around it the car is able to perform with greater accuracy and capability. 

The introduction of sensors to vehicles has been reserved for the higher end of the market, up till now. Due to the prices of these components coming down and technology advancing at an exponential rate the sensors are starting to be more present in less expensive models.  

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Tesla autopilot

self driving

Tesla introduced its first iteration of “Autopilot” several years ago. Since its inception and introduction to the family of Tesla vehicles, Autopilot has been applauded for its ability to manage highway driving with little intervention. Many have reported their fondness of the capability and how it makes long road trips more enjoyable. 

As a result of the new capabilities, Tesla has been proud to show that its vehicles with the use of Autopilot have increased the distance collectively between accidents.  This fact highlights the increased safety aspects which have been introduced. 

However, since the introduction of the self-driving capabilities the issue of Phantom Braking has in parallel been increasing. 

Phantom Braking

bridge underpass
Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Phantom braking occurs when a vehicle being managed by Artificial Intelligence, or autopilot in Tesla’s case, suddenly and abruptly decelerates. This sudden loss in acceleration is unexplained and inconsistent in most cases. 

As you probably have determined this puts the driver and passengers in danger including the vehicles around it. The vehicles travelling behind suddenly have to contend with an unexpected slowing of the vehicle in front. These usually occur when the vehicle is travelling at speed. This increases the chances of accidents and injury. 

Online there are numerous on social media that state the cause of accidents seems to be attributed to the phantom braking phenomenon.  

In the case of Tesla, and if Phantom braking can it be solved, it would seem this is an active problem they are attempting to solve. This week there has been a discussion on twitter regarding this very thing. Elon tweeted regarding the introduction of the new build Full Self Driving (FSD). He was responding to a tweet discussing the WAYMO approach. He mentioned that it would be beta released in a number of weeks. 

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As part of responses, I asked Elon Musk “Is the issue of phantom braking fixed in this release? Has been a number of people talking about this recently.” https://twitter.com/EVHQ2/status/1314287584105779200

Elon was kind enough to respond to me on twitter at EV-HQ.com by stating “It should be” he then followed up with some clarification

It is encouraging to see that Tesla is actively working to resolve issues like Phantom braking. What’s important is they are not just waiting for big releases like FSD. It makes sense considering not every driver has FSD as it is an opt-in function.

 It would also seem that Elon understands the issues of his company and is actively working to resolve them. His engagement with twitter followers shows he is kind enough to respond to people asking about the latest information.  

This twitter response gained momentum over the next couple of days which just highlights the importance this issue has for people.

Software updates

Phantom braking can it be solved? It would seem that the release of the upcoming software updates that drop regularly has bug fixes to address the phantom braking. The latest release may have some of those fixes but there are still reports that it is occurring. 

Let’s hope that phantom braking will become a thing of the past. Let’s hope that the use of “First Principles” can assist to find a solution to the immediate and long-term problem. 

Safety has always been at the heart of the Tesla Vehicles. Elon Musk has been very clear on this point. It is up to the manufacturers to make sure that the occupants of their vehicles remain safe and sound for their journey. 

It is refreshing to see that Tesla is working to find solutions. Tesla is actively trying to find solutions to issues that have been created by the introduction of information technology devices. 

The best advice you can hear if you love your tesla but feel unsure about the use of the autopilot system is to drive the car yourself. enjoy the experience without the use of autopilot or FSD. The cars are incredible to experience and fun to drive. 

Dave 

David McCann
David McCann

EV-HQ founder

DAVE’S Blog posts

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Tesla week in review

Image by Kathysg from Pixabay 

Tesla week in review post the highs of battery day, Tesla delivered a number of interesting additions to the Tesla almanac.  History may judge this to be another step towards Tesla’s ultimate goal of transition to sustainable energy and transport. 

A word on Tesla and the future of the Company. 

Last week saw one of the most significant steps forward for Tesla and the development of their battery technology. The new and innovative thinking demonstrated by Tesla and their team regarding the use of first principles to rethink the functions of the battery, truly set up Tesla to move into a confident position.  

Sandy Munro from Munro & Associates Inc., by his own admission seen thousands of vehicles over his life time and because of this has a unique perspective on the construction, manufacturing and innovation of vehicles. 

Munro’s perspective on the battery day and his support for Tesla, is one out of respect for  innovative products and support for the companies Goals. His perspective on the Tesla innovations highlighted the fact that Tesla is heading in a direction well ahead of any competition. He is able to provide insights to the technical aspects of the innovations. 

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The market for Tesla shares after the battery day presentation went down. Analyst thought that Tesla would announce a cheaper vehicle that would be available in the short term. Tesla did in fact announce a new cheaper vehicle which would not be available for several years. 

What it does suggest is that analysts don’t have a full understanding of the technology and how to classify tesla as a company. They believe that because Tesla have not produced an affordable vehicle with the battery technology available to use now that the value of the company does not meet their predictions. 

Tesla has always highlighted the fact that they are not just a car company or an energy company but a tech company. This difference has been a challenge for analysts as they still continue to place Tesla in the car company field. 

China Model 3

blue yellow and green lighted pagoda tower
Photo by Ruiyang Zhang on Pexels.com

This Tesla week in review also saw the introduction to the Made-In-China (MIC) Model 3 LFP or lithium ion battery technology provided by CATL. 

“Tesla’s new powertrains are expected to include a cobalt-free lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery made by Ningde, Fujian-based Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd.,” Bloomberg News. 1 October 2020, 11:46 am AEST Updated on 1 October 2020, 5:24 pm AEST

tesla tail light model 3
Photo by Damo T. on Unsplash

This innovation has been met with great excitement by the Chinese. There has been an increase in orders. In conjunction with the new battery technology there has been a price reduction and a significant range increase. The price reduction may have been expected but the range increase was something no one had expected.

The Model 3 range went from 455km to 468kms. With any electric car, range is important and an increase is always welcome. This is helping to drive sales and improve customer experience. 

Here in Australia we still have to contend with significantly high prices. 

These include:

  • Taxes on imports
  • Luxury car tax
  • Exchange rate
  • Lack of manufacturing competition

These have significant impacts on price and ability for the average Australian to enter the electric car market. 

Opportunity

With the introduction of the new Model 3 to the Chinese market, there is an opportunity for Australians and those in the southern hemisphere, to have greater access to a more affordable Tesla. 

Recently there was a rumor that deliveries from Giga Shanghai to countries like Australia would provide a more affordable Model 3. As shown this week with the introduction of the new Model 3 to the Chinese market this rumour may have some foundation. 

A recent article from Tesmanian outlined the increase in shifts within the Giga Shanghai factory. This might indicate a lift in production numbers and possibly an opportunity to export model 3’s to other countries like Australia. 

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The Model 3 range of 468kms is comparable to current petrol cars of the same size and dimensions that are sold in Australia. With the added benefit of no petrol and reduced rates for electricity, this would make the vehicle quite competitive and compelling. 

Currently in Australia the cost of the Model 3 averages approx. $74000 dollars . As this starting price it does not incur Luxury car tax LCT. However, with the introduction of the new MIC model 3 the price when convereted to Australian dollars is $61000. This would be quite a significant price reduction which could make quite an impact on the electric vehicle market.  https://thedriven.io/2020/10/01/model-3-with-cheaper-battery-on-sale-soon-price-drop-leak-4000/

India 

taj mahal india digital wallpaper
Photo by Rahul on Pexels.com

Tesla week in Review, Elon Musk is known for his use of the social media platform Twitter.  This week he responded to TCIN when asked if Tesla was going to come to India. 

Elon responded with, “sometime next year.” This is significant as it would open another country to the benefits of electric vehicles. https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1311931936261263360

This week has been a significant week for Tesla. They innovate, create, and produce some of the greatest technology we have seen for years. 

Dave 

David McCann
David McCann

EV-HQ founder

DAVE’S Blog posts

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Battery Day – Tesla

Tabless battery by Tesla
Image courtesy of Battery Day – Tesla

Battery Day – Tesla, if anyone had any doubt that Tesla is going to be the leader heading into the future of the electric car and power management this week solidified their position.

It is truly incredible the innovation that Tesla continues to deliver. The team at Tesla reviews a part of the market that has been devoid of innovation, they turn it on its head with first principal thinking. 

Battery day – Tesla was presented online and a number of lucky investors and followers of Tesla were in attendance and the unique way they socially distanced was very cool.

A picture containing car, lot, filled, person

Description automatically generated
Image courtesy of Battery Day – Tesla

First Principles

Elon has spoken a number of times regarding the first principle thinking to reframe a question regarding a current problem.

“The first principle” was conceived by Aristotle to rethink an already existing process and find another way to achieve a better outcome.

First principle thinking guided Tesla to reimagine a better battery for the future of the company.

They broke down the detail into 5 complete sections

  • Cell Design 
  • Cell factory 
  • Anode Materials
  • Cathode Materials
  • Cell Vehicle Integration
Image from battery day
Image courtesy of Battery Day – Tesla

Cell Design

Image from battery day
Image courtesy of Battery Day – Tesla

Tesla is turning the cell design on its head. They thought long and hard about the fundamentals of what constitutes the cell. The team at Tesla looked at the main features of current cells looking for opportunities to increase energy storage and output.

The introduction of the tabless 4680 cell made of silicon whilst limiting the use of cobalt has led them to achieve an innovative approach. With these changes it can increase the cells range by 16%. This range extension is truly incredible and critical to the uptake of EV’s as we move into the next couple of years.

Image from battery day
Image courtesy of Battery Day – Tesla

Cell Factory

Image from battery day
Image courtesy of Battery Day – Tesla

One of the most surprising elements regarding the cell announcement pertains to the fact that a pilot factory already exists. The fact that cells are already being produced would suggest that this is not just a theory but a revolution and real.

Taking inspiration from printing and bottling factories of yesteryear where the production line does not slow down during the whole process, Tesla has implemented a similar process that allows the cells production to increase accordingly.

Within the production of the cells there are 4 main steps

  • Electrode
  • Winding
  • Assembly
  • Formation
Image from battery day
Image courtesy of Battery Day – Tesla

Major efficiencies can be found within the process of manufacturing battery cells as opposed to the traditional processes.

The use of a “High-Speed Continuous” motion allows for a smaller footprint within factories producing more cells per hour allowing an increase in efficiencies with manufacturing and could produce a 7x improvement with possiblility 10x improvement over time.

Tesla last year purchased Maxwell which had a process for converting dry powder materials and applying that as a film onto the separator in the jelly roll of the battery. Elon explained that since this purchase, they have iterated on the process 4 times and believe that they will achieve greater efficiency by about the sixth iteration. This advancement removes the need for a wet process and thus reduces the size of the factory required exponentially.

These improvements are revolutionary to the production of cells. Once again first principles has delivered a new perspective.

Most companies rely on old solutions where as Tesla as confirmed by Elon will continue to innovate and push the boundaries of what is possible.

Currently Tesla refers to the factories as Gigafactories. As they move forward and transition to the new cell form factor the factories will be referred to Terafactories.

Image from battery day
Image courtesy of Battery Day – Tesla

Anode Materials 

Image from battery day
Image courtesy of Battery Day – Tesla

Silicon is considered a fundamental element used in most batteries. Once again Tesla has had to go back to fundamentals and find a way to improve the process of creating better density and usage of the batteries. 

When a battery is charged and discharged the movement of lithium across the membrane causes it to crack and become gooey. Overtime this causes the cell to lose the ability to manage the state of charge thus rendering the cell less effective.

Many have tried to rectify this by addressing the symptoms not the cause. The introduction of different binders and support materials have been used to lessen the impact of the heat generated during charging and discharging. This has been met with varying results.

Tesla is attempting to look at the fundamentals of what makes up the anode of the battery and see if they can eliminate cobalt whilst using Silicon in a different way. Raw silicon has been proposed as a possible solution to help with the expansion issue when charged and discharged.

  • Raw material silicon,
  • stabilize surface through elastic, non-conducting polymer coasting,
  • robust network – highly elastic binder and electrode design.

By implementing the above changes to the cell It has been shown to provide a 20% increase in range for vehicles.

A 20% increase in cell range is groundbreaking when dealing with electric vehicles. Distance is king in many cases and this could help to achieve this greater range for the same price. Or alternatively it could mean less cells with same range reducing costs.

Image from battery day
Image Courtesy of Battery Day – Tesla

Cathode materials

Image from battery day
Image courtesy of Battery Day – Tesla

A cathode provides structure to the management of lithium ions within the battery cell. Tesla has been experimenting with different cathode types that would allow cells to be more environmentally friendly and increase recyclability.

In the course of their investigations they believe a diverse range of materials will be utilised for different purposes. Tesla will implement different material across their product line to address cost, density and output.

Iron – Low level use 

Nickel Manganese – medium level use 

High Nickel – used for Long range – Cyber truck and semi

Image from battery day
Image courtesy of Battery Day – Tesla

The use of nickel as a main component gives the best dollar per kwh and wh/kg. This combined with removing the cobalt has a number of positive effects

  • Reduces complexity of the materials 
  • Continues to address the human rights issues with mining 
  • Has a good structure to hold the lithium 
  • Reduction in costs of $/kwh

Again the returned to first principles regarding the manufacturing of the cathode. This lead to an improvement in battery production and thus a cumulative effect upon the percentile shift of costs in the downward trend.

Further to this, lithium is a highly abundant material and is available within many and varied locations. It seems that the collection and processing of the material is able to be achieved within in the USA.

Mining lithium is important way forward for cell production and Tesla has found a way to extract it from clay with the use of Nacl (Salt). The outcome of this leads to highly recyclable cells and materials, that can be easily reconstructed into new cells. This leads to some impressive cost savings.

Image from battery day
Image courtesy of Battery Day – Tesla

Cell vehicle production 

Image from battery day
Image courtesy of Battery Day – Tesla

Elon announced a change to the fundamental design of the Tesla vehicles.

He was inspired by the airline industries innovation when they created a fuel tank as part of the wing which improved capacity and reduced weight. By changing the way the vehicles are constructed to achieve a similar concept Tesla’s vehicles have also had similar outcomes.

Image from battery day
Image courtesy of Battery Day – Tesla

This one design change is said to lead to;

  • 10 % in weight reduction
  • 14% range increase opportunity 
  • 370 fewer parts

Cumulative effect 

Tesla has shown that it can innovate in areas that most car companies take for granted and follow a standard view of the processes. Tesla chooses to look at the fundamentals and innovate using the first principles thinking regarding anything from the car to the power train to the battery cells and beyond.

The above innovations with cell production, cell development, anode, cathode and vehicle design allow for changes and efficiencies in their own right, but the cumulative effect it has upon the overall price and production helps to drive prices down , safety up and more people in cars everywhere.

56 % reduction in $/KWH. 

Image from battery day
Image courtesy of Battery Day – Tesla

This is a monumental step in regard to Tesla’s value as a company and value of the individual vehicles. The impact it will have on the tesla solar and battery storage costs moving into the future will be profound.

 Elon highlighted that the realization of this technology will not occur for 1-3 years but the ability to own a tesla in the coming years with a price that is reasonable is extremely exciting. 

Benefits

  • 54% Range increase
  • 56% S/KWH reduction
  • 69% Investment per GWH reduction. 
Image from battery day
Image courtesy of Battery Day – Tesla

What does this mean for Australia?

I have watched a number of Tesla presentations over the years and this presentation was the most exciting for a number of reasons.

In Australia the prices of tesla vehicle is quite significant for the average person. With a starting price of $74000 a lot of people find this price out of reach.

If Tesla was able to maximise on the 56% reduction in dollars per KWH then the possibility exists that in the future Tesla’s could be priced around $40000 – $ 50000. If this was to transpire then more Australians would be in a position to consider their next car to be electric.

If the new 4680 battery cell is adapted to the home power storage solutions it could assist Australians to increase their ability to maximise their solar panel efficiencies whilst also reducing the cost of electric and charging electric vehicle.

If this is the future in 1-3 years, then I am on board and I would encourage all Australians to investigate electric products.

One more thing….

Image from battery day
Image courtesy of Battery Day – Tesla

It would not be a Tesla event if there wasn’t something unexpected. Tesla announced a possibility of a new, smaller sedan with a price range of around $25000 USD.

The Plaid Model S

The Plaid Model S, which has been seen on the Nürburgring, with a tri motor specifications and a 0-60 mph time of 2.1 seconds is now available to be purchased online. this impressive vehicle has a starting price in Australia of $189000.

Last word

Battery Day – Tesla has shown what it is capable of and sets a high standard for all to follow. Tesla’s mission will improve the environment and accelerate the transition to a sustainable future. The information provided by Tesla has great potential to realise the possibilities.

Tesla’s philosophy of using first principles to reimagine what battery technologies can be will have positive impacts on the environment for years to come. It’s ability to continually innovate and move their mission forward is inspiring.

Dave 

David McCann
David McCann

EV-HQ founder

DAVE’S Blog posts

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