Last week I had the great pleasure of hosting one of the most well-regarded Tesla Podcasters out there. I talk of none other than Ryan McCaffery the host of Ride the Lightning the unofficial tesla podcast. It was a surreal and fun chat that both myself and Nash from Tesla in the gong enjoyed immensely.
I first heard about Ryan in 2016 when I visited USA and experienced the Tesla Model X. The driver of the Model X mentioned Ryan’s podcast. I was hooked. I listened to all his past episodes and truly had a crash course in all things Tesla.
This education only enhanced my passion for the vehicles. When I arrived back in Australia, I booked a test drive of a model S. My wife who did not really know much about the vehicles was an instant convert.
Like Ryan explained last week, you don’t really understand the difference from Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles until you test drive a Tesla. Once you do, you are hooked and, in most cases, never go back. This was true for Andrew the optometrist, my friend, and is true for so many more people in Australia and globally.
So, last week, was a bucket list item that I can tick off. Ryan was a wonderful guest and very giving of his time and knowledge to all those that joined the chat. He is such a wonderful advocate of Tesla and by his own admission he loves the vehicles and their mission.
Lots to cover
Ryan, Nash (Tesla in the gong, and my cohost) and I delved into the world of Tesla by exploring subjects like the new refresh of Model S including the new steering wheel yoke. We also discussed the possibilities and challenges the new gear shifting could bring forward.
Ryan recounted his origin story and talked about his co-host on the podcast “Daisy the Boxer Puppy”. He explained she had recently had some medical issues. Ryan was able to update us on how she was doing, and I am happy to say she is improving.
Our discussion included Australia and a role that our country could play. Australia could help to produce batteries using the natural resources our country possesses.
But as Ryan pointed out when asked regarding if Australia would be a possibility for a Giga factory, he aligned with current thinking in Australia and felt that the population would not support a Gigafactory, but a smaller battery production facility might be possible.
Australia is a country rich with natural minerals and resources and the idea that we could play a part in production of batteries for the future battery packs would be a major step forward. However, nothing has been reported that this is occurring so we will just have to see.
The audience also joined the discussion with their questions regarding Tesla India, Ryan’s day job at IGN and the crossover of video games into the vehicles of Tesla.
Ryan oozes exuberance when talking about Tesla and it is without a doubt infectious for all those who surround him. We were swept up in the discussion and time certainly was not enough to dive into all areas of EV’s and Tesla.
Nash and I both were truly thankful to Ryan for taking the time to talk with the Tesla and EV community in Australia and the audience were rewarded with great conversation and information.
Clubhouse provided a great platform that allowed all to hear and as Ryan pointed out to us, we enticed him onto another social media platform.
What today’s events showed is that the Tesla, and by extension, EV community is passionate about Tesla, they understand and are passionate about what the vehicles can do and how they are changing the world.
Ryan is a genuinely nice and passionate guy who is happy to talk for hours about Tesla, his passion project. His podcast Ride the Lightning the tesla unofficial podcast has been a great source of information and fun for those of us in the community.
I am very grateful for the opportunity to talk with Ryan today and I hope we have future chance to cross paths.
EV-HQ founder, passionate about sharing the passion for Tesla and Electric Vehicles everywhere.
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.
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
They have incredible technology
Above all others, they can help to improve our environment.
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.
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.
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.
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’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.
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.
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
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.
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).
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.
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.
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 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-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,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Take a breath and you will fill your lungs with clean pollution free air. If electric cars impact the environment it may be the same.
3 months ago, we worked, we played, we drove, and we enjoyed life. We had become immune to the subtle changes around us. So subtle that even the air had changed, and we didn’t really care.
The environment had gone through a significant change and we had been enjoying our lives we didn’t really notice. Many scientist and climate change advocates had been talking about the levels of pollution that had become over whelming for the earth to manage for years. Were we not listening? Did we not want to listen? or Were we to ignorant to listen? Why worry? nothing is going to happen to me! I am having a great life this is something I don’t need to worry about.
Then something happened that will forever have an impact upon each of our lives. A small city in China, a place no one really had ever heard of until it became ground zero for one of the worst virus outbreaks in the last 50 – 100 years.
Many countries had to shut down, close the doors and turn the wonderful life off. Many people complained, many people didn’t understand and many more felt that their god given right to do whatever they want was being taken away.electric cars impact the environment
Regardless of how people felt, within a couple of weeks something truly amazing started to occur. Blue sky returned to large cities, beautiful mountain ranges thought lost from view started to reappear, all sorts of animals, dogs, deer’s, tigers, lions, badgers and birds all returned to take the place of the humans that disappeared.electric cars impact the environment
The air smelt different and clean and the sun beat down like never before. The blue of the sky was more beautiful than could be recalled. The scents of the plants and flowers were now more pungent and enticing than ever.
Pollution not only dropped, it disappeared, to levels not seen for over 2 decades. Cities that were usually covered in a thick toxic SMOG had clear skies above them.
Unfortunately, this is only temporary whilst people are stuck in doors and not driving combustion engines and polluting the air with nitrogen dioxide and Co2.
But it can change, you see this is exactly how our modern cities could be if only we made some changes.
Converted cars to electric
Stopped factories from burning oil, gas and coal
Changed the way we look at our environment around us
Replaced the trees we have cut down.
The industrial revolution gave us many and varied wonderful things. Although it has also been pumping pollutants into the air for a couple hundred years and now we are the recipients of the negative effects. But we are at a tipping point! With the shutdown we are getting glimpses of what it could be like if only we lift our heads and start to make some changes.
You see we almost had the opportunity 100 years ago to make the start of that change when electric vehicles were the dominant vehicle. However when the combustion engine, that Ford popularized with the Model T, was introduced the electric engine lost that battle. The idea however continued to sit in the background and every so often have a shot at being more than an afterthought.
Tesla in recent history has with their passion to convert the world to sustainable energy taken the electric vehicle to a level never before realized. In doing so they have again given us a shot as retribution and a possible solution to the current issue with pollution.
Introduction of electric motors, battery storage and renewable energy capture gives us the ability to make significant individual changes to the environment around us. But Governments also need to see the impacts and start to make significant change.
Recent events should give us a wakeup call!!!!!!! We are Vulnerable! We need to appreciate the world that we are missing because we have not noticed the subtle negative changes that have impacted our environment and lives.
Let’s choose to buy electric cars, solar, wind and water energy solutions.
Lets choose to store that energy in batteries.
Let’s choose to influence our elected officials to make smarter choices that help people to breath fresh air and improve the skies around us.
Let’s choose to take an opportunity that came from a horrible situation and see what mother earth has to offer.
Let’s put back what we stole and bring light back to the cities we love.
Let’s start with a small step to recovery
I have started my own journey by purchasing solar and had it configured to accept a battery. I back Tesla with my website as I believe they have the right attitude and philosophy. I look forward to the day when I can purchase a Tesla battery and I am passionately looking forward to the look day I cannot wipe the smile off my face when I take delivery of a Tesla vehicle.
People are Important! In difficult times like we find ourselves, we, as a global community are being told to isolate, to keep ourselves safe and avoid contact with other people.
We need to keep a distance of 1.5 -2 meters if we have to go out to do essential things like buying food. I am sure as most people will have found that attempting to do this is not as easy as it sounds.
Yet people are important! They are important to our wellbeing, our social interactions and our mental health. In the technological world we find ourselves we can still remain connected.
We have interactions thousands of times a day when not socially isolated. So, it is only fair that we try to replicate this with technical applications like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, House Party and more. Without this innovation we would be finding it a challenge to isolate as effectively as most countries have.
Where this becomes problematic is when companies need to continue to grow and develop in these hard times. Tesla has made inroads prior to this virus to make sure that it has residual, sustainable systems that allow for ongoing production and growth of the brand.
Tesla has had to shut down the Fremont Factory at a time when they were hitting their stride for the beginning of 2020. In doing so they ultimately cannot produce the Model X, Model S, Model 3 or Model Y in the United States.
They still had deliveries of stock that they have been able to make over the last month using the social distance no touch delivery. Something that any other car dealer may find challenging. How have they achieved this? Software! They have the capabilities to control the car remotely and transact with little interaction face to face. Talk about great innovation.
More importantly, Tesla built factories in China Shanghai to help with the local production of the Model 3 and Model Y into the future. This foresight of manufacturing is proving to be a much smarter choice than probably ever realized.
With the recent events China, who has been dealing with the Virus since early December, are now coming out of their quarantine period and starting to ramp back up to full production of the Model 3 and beginning to make good progress on the Model Y factory.
If it turns out that Fremont Factory is not open in the foreseeable future, then is there a possibility for the Shanghai Gigafactory to send some model 3’s to the USA to sell. Granted there is a lot of hurdles that would need to be jumped before ever entering that market but the fact that another factory can produce Tesla Vehicles is important to the company’s survival.
They could send maybe 10% of their production abroad just to keep the supply trickling out to satisfy a variety of countries. It highlights that Tesla is still working to achieve its goals especially in tough times.
So, what can Tesla do during the time when the factories have been closed?
Elon Musk has in recent times with a team of his engineers turned their minds to helping the people most affected, those requiring ICU beds and ventilation. They have looked at what they create with the Tesla vehicles, looked at the parts and the HVAC knowledge and built a ventilator. Just incredible.
A video recently emerged from the engineers at Tesla that outlined the progress they have made. Their progress is nothing short of amazing when you consider they have never worked with medical equipment and, they, within a couple of weeks created a working prototype.
Adaptability in adversarial times helps to grow the brand but also shows compassion for the world around us. Tesla’s mission is to transition the world to sustainable energy and in doing so to help people across the globe to enjoy a world with a better environment than before. This philosophy seems to inspire and extend beyond vehicles when times are tough and change of focus is required.
So, I guess the message is simple, stay in touch, keep family safe and in contact, Tesla can survive during this tough time and continue to support all EV’s as the environment needs them more than ever.
Finally, I just want to say Happy Birthday to my Dad. You are an amazing person and we love you very much.
People are important, family is sacred and the world around us is precious.