Protests in France reinforce that most people just don’t get it.

The president of France, Emmanuel Macron, was rebuked this week by thousands of protesters, who are angry with a new carbon tax on gasoline and diesel.  The Champs-Élysées looked a bit like a war zone yesterday after protesters set vehicles on fire.

President Macron justified the tax by saying that France needs to move to clean, renewable energy and not to rely on fossil fuels.  I think his justification is sound.  The problem is that most people don’t agree that the use of fossil fuels is bad.  Personally, I’m surrounded by people, who have no interest in abandoning their use of fossil fuels.  They see no need.  Putting gasoline in their cars is how they’ve always refueled and they are not interested in changing.

An analysis from President Trump’s own administration this week reported that climate change will continue to fuel weather extremes, which will result in bigger disasters from hurricanes, floods, wild fires and droughts.  Most people just don’t get it.  It is not logical that we now have wild fires that wipe out whole cities and that is the new norm because people want to continue to use fossil fuels instead of a clean alternative.

I started driving an electric vehicle in July of this year.  My electric car is mostly powered by electricity generated from solar panels on my house roof.  If I were not using solar power for my car, a month’s worth of electricity would cost me around $25 for my normal driving.  The only regular maintenance I have to do with the car is to rotate the tires every 6,000 miles.  There are no oil changes.  The car’s electric motor is more powerful than most internal combustion engine cars and the power is instantly there when I hit the accelerator.  Electric cars are so much more efficient than gasoline or diesel cars, and yet, most people prefer driving a car that runs on gasoline or diesel.  The choice of the majority has sentenced all of us to the climate future we face.

Oil interests will not go quietly

The relentless attacks on Tesla continued this morning with a report from the Swiss investment banking firm UBS claiming that the base model of the Model 3 will not be profitable.  Over a year ago, UBS did a tear down of a Chevrolet Bolt EV and, using that examination, determined before the Model 3 was even in production that the Model 3 would not be profitable.  UBS said they recently did a tear down of the Model 3 long range battery pack and they have concluded that, at best, the Model 3 will be a break-even product.

It’s interesting that 2 other research firms have dissected the Model 3 and concluded that the Model 3 would be very profitable to produce.  What is also interesting is that I don’t remember seeing any mainstream media coverage of the positive reports about expected Model 3 production costs.

The problem for the big oil interests is that the Tesla Model 3 is a game-changer.  I own a Model 3.  Long before I bought my Model 3, I’ve wanted to drive a car that does not use gasoline.  After driving the Model 3, it is beyond me why anyone would want to continue to drive an automobile that is not an electric vehicle.

The cost for electricity for the Model 3 is less than half what I was paying for gasoline for my Toyota Prius.  I have a charging station in my garage, so my car is charged mostly at home.  When I take long-distance trips, I use the Tesla Supercharger network, which is also less than half the cost of gasoline.  The Model 3 does not pollute the air, it is always powered by the Sun when I charge at home, and the car’s performance is well beyond anything I have ever driven.

After the UBS report, Telsa stock plunged by nearly 10%.  It apparently doesn’t matter that Tesla is selling thousands of Model 3’s a week.  The negative press aimed at Tesla is not surprising.  Tesla is threatening the century-old cash cow that is big oil.

This past week on Epic Homes, a TV show on the Discovery Channel, a $43.5 million home was showcased.  The owner was an oil trader.  Need I say more.  The oil interests will not go quietly.

Why Tesla is the only EV game in town

This past week, Tesla reported an increase in their production rate for the Model 3.  At about the same time, Goldman Sachs set a target price for Tesla stock at $195 per share, even though Tesla stock closed up at $300.34 per share on Friday.  The financial media keeps hitting Tesla with dire news reports, which causes people, who apparently can’t think for themselves, to panic and sell, before buying back again.

There are signs that Tesla is definitely making progress in their ramp-up of the production rate for the Model 3.  In the past week, there have been 3 rounds of invitations sent to reservation holders, something that hasn’t happened previously.  Normally, there is one batch of invitations sent during any week that they have been sent.  Tesla sent invitations on or about April 6th, April 10th and April 13th.  Some of the reservation holders that received invitations on April 13th had estimated configuration windows starting in May.  That’s good news because perhaps my window, set to start in June, may actually be in May.

While much of the financial world is trying to beat down Tesla, they should be doing the opposite.  Clearly, we cannot and should not be continuing to use 19th century technology to power our transportation in the 21st century.  It is unfathomable to me why there are people who still believe that it is fine to pollute the Earth’s atmosphere by driving gasoline and diesel vehicles when a clean alternative exists, today.  All car companies should be making the switch to electric-powered vehicles, but they are not.

Some car companies, like General Motors, sell electric-powered vehicles.  However, the only car company, selling cars today, that is producing only electric vehicles is Tesla.  General Motors makes the Bolt EV, but they make a lot more gasoline and diesel vehicles than electric.

Even if you choose to buy a car like the Bolt EV, you will have a difficult time using the car in the same way that a gasoline car is used, unless you never plan to drive farther than short commutes for work or shopping.  With the exception of the Tesla Supercharger network, there is almost no infrastructure for charging EV’s.

Part of my morning routine is to scan YouTube for videos that pertain to EV’s.  I watched a video this morning that was posted on the News Coulomb YouTube channel.  This YouTube channel is maintained by a guy, who owns a Chevrolet Bolt and he posts videos about his experiences with the car.  This video he posted in January really demonstrates why Tesla is the only game in town.

In the video, News Coulomb documented his charging session at an EVgo fast DC charger at the Oaks Mall in Thousand Oaks, California.  When he arrived at the charger, his battery charge level in his car was at 1%.  Clearly, he was in need of a charge.  There are 2 charging stations at this fast charger.  When he tried to use one of the chargers, the CCS connector, which the Bolt utilizes, was not working.  He went to the second charger and was able to start a charging session.  The charging station started supplying his Bolt with about 44 kW of power.  In about 30 minutes, his car charged to 37%, at which time the charger stopped charging.  Apparently, at least in January, if you charged at EVgo, it limited you to only 30 minutes of charging.  How would you like it if you went to a gasoline station, intending to fill up your 15-gallon tank, you start pumping, and when you reach 5 gallons, the pump shuts off and says you can’t buy any more gasoline?  In the video, News Coulomb reasoned that he didn’t need any more of a charge than that and he headed on his way.

Compare that charging session at the EVgo DC fast charger with a charging session at any one of the hundreds of Tesla Superchargers around the country.  The EVgo charger dispenses a maximum power level of 50 kW and limits the charge to 30 minutes.  Tesla Superchargers dispense a maximum power of 120 kW and you are not limited to how long you can charge.  Even the Tesla Urban Superchargers provide more power at 72 kW.  If you want a full charge, you let your car charge until it is full.

If you want to do the occasional road trip in your EV, having anything but a Tesla means road trips will be a serious challenge.  Until someone, other than Tesla, installs a usable EV charging infrastructure, Tesla really is the only EV game in town.  This is not a problem for me because I choose to drive 21st century technology and Tesla is my choice.

 

The Power of the Media

Most people I know are aware of Tesla because of my interest in the company and the fact that I am waiting for my turn to buy a Model 3.  Yesterday, I visited one of my friends, who needed help installing a streaming device on his TV.  His first comment to me reinforced what I already know about the news media.  People believe what they see or read in the news media, regardless of the truth.

My friend asked me what I was going to do for a new car now that Tesla is going bankrupt.  He was not joking, but was very serious.  He had read or seen one of the numerous stories about how Tesla is faltering and had not considered that, perhaps, what he was being told was not true.

What my friend didn’t see in the news is that the Tesla Model 3 was the best selling electric vehicle in the United States during the first quarter of this year.  The only news he saw was that a Tesla was involved in a fatal traffic accident here in California and that Tesla is going broke.

It’s unfortunate that someone lost their life in the accident while driving a Tesla Model X.  Why does the media focus on the fact that the vehicle was a Tesla?  This morning, I saw a news report of a 10-car traffic accident in my area where there were 2 fatalities.  There was no mention of what car makes were involved in this accident.

During the week leading up to the end of the last quarter, there were a number of news stories that attacked Tesla’s viability.  As a result, Tesla stock fell at one point by about 15%.  Tesla is making and selling cars that people are lined up to buy.  The news media doesn’t report this and people believe what the news media is telling them.

I have drastically changed how I keep up with what is happening in the world.  The news broadcasts on major networks are more show than news.  When the subject of Tesla is raised, I rely on these 2 facts.  Tesla is the only major car maker building only EV’s and they have a large number of people as owners and owners-in-waiting, who believe in what the company is doing.  Anything negative, designed to keep us driving internal combustion engines, is just static.

Goodbye to Facebook

Recently, Facebook has been front-and-center in the news, concerning the data they collect on their subscribers.  It was reported that, during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, a company connected with the Trump campaign was allowed access to a huge amount of personal data maintained by Facebook.

This Facebook news got me thinking about what Facebook was saving about me.  I started looking at my own Facebook account to see what was there.  I discovered that I had joined Facebook 8 years ago in 2010.  That was so long ago, I had forgotten how long I have been on Facebook.  I started digging around my account and found that I had hundreds of photos that were visible to anyone who went to my account online.  I also had thousands upon thousands of posts, likes, shares, tags, and so on.  These individual items spanned all the way back to 2010.  Like many Facebook users, I didn’t consider the fact that everything I was doing on Facebook was being saved, and I mean everything.

I had considered purging what wasn’t relevant to what is going on today.  I discovered that it wasn’t that simple.  Facebook clearly doesn’t want you to delete stuff.  There was no setting allowing the bulk deletion of individual activity items.  Over about 2 hours, I began systematically deleting photos, clearing search histories and location histories.  Yes, every time I checked in somewhere, all the way back to 2010, there was a notation of that in my Facebook account.

This morning, there was a segment on the Today Show on NBC about this topic.  After watching the segment, I learned that there is no way to delete things in the Activity Log unless they are delete one-by-one.  That was discouraging.  The report stated Facebook issued a statement that they would be making it easier for users to delete their content.  My question is, why did they make so difficult to delete content in the first place?

Ultimately, after reading a number of articles online, I came to the conclusion that the only way to delete stuff was to completely delete my account.  It felt a little odd contemplating the complete deletion of my Facebook account.  After all, I had been using Facebook for 8 years and there are people I maintain contact with through Facebook.  However, when I looked at the totality of all of the people listed as friends on my account, I came to the conclusion that most of the people listed as “friends” were people I hadn’t had contact with in years.  Many were people I had worked with during my working career.  Most of them were people who likely don’t hold the same political views as I hold.  I could not come up with a good reason to continue my Facebook account.

When you tell Facebook to delete, it doesn’t delete stuff right away.  Photos are deleted in 90 days.  When the command is sent to Facebook to delete an entire account, a notice advises you that your account will still be there for 2 weeks and that you can go back in and reactivate it, should you choose to do so.  Well, hopefully, in 2 weeks, I will be gone from Facebook.  I already feel a sense of relief.  Now, when I go some place, I won’t feel the conflict of whether or not to check-in on Facebook.  Freedom feels pretty good.