Sam joins Leo from the back seat of a new electric vehicle called the Byton, founded by former executives from BMW and Nissan. Sam says it's a decent design with a nice interior. But the key design is a massive 48" display that spans the entire dashboard. The screen, which isn't a touchscreen, is too far away to touch it, so you use a touch interface to manipulate it. Because it's so far away, it's closer to your line of sight, making it easier to keep it in focus and prevents you from looking away from the road. Leo says it's pretty weird.
Sam joins Leo to talk about how the electrical architecture of E Vehicles is evolving. The wiring of modern electric vehicles can have as much as 2 miles of copper wire built into them. Hundreds of sensors. Connectors, and more. Manufacturers are trying to simplify it. Now they're starting to use CanBus, which is essentially like Ethernet, that allows computers in your car to talk to each other. So the modern electric vehicle is essentially a computer network.
Leo just got a Chevy Volt and it takes forever to charge on the 110 volt connector. Sam says you can use the 220 volt NIMA 1450 dryer recepticle and it'll charge a lot faster. Sam also says Leo needs to get a 240 volt wall charger and they cost about $450. You'll also need a level 2 adapter. Seimens makes one, but there are several brands available.
Sam recently completed his test drive of the Audi eTron, a mid-size electric crossover vehicle. It's Audi's first all-electric vehicle. Audi expects by 2025, that 30% of all sales will be electric vehicles. Sam says that it also charges about 30% faster using an Electrify America charger, vs. a standard charger. Very fast charging. Up to 80% in 30 minutes. The eTron drives very well, smooth ride with almost no wind noise. Exceptionally quiet. If you love driving Audi's this car is for you.
Steve is traveling to Mexico and wants to know what's the best way to stay connected with data. Leo recommends PrepaidwithData.wikia.com. It'll also tell you the best hotspots. Get a MyFi card and you get LTE with up to five devices connected. What about phone calls? Leo says that most companies actually offer you a better deal by adding Mexico and Canada to your plan.
Sam is going to be driving Audi's first electric vehicle this week. Sam is also looking at Amazon's secure delivery service, which is being tested. Through a special lock, Amazon delivery will be able to deliver your packages when no one is home, by placing the package in the garage or into a locked car. Amazon will send a signal, that can open the garage or car door, and then drop off the package, locking it automatically behind them. Leo says that the next thing will be drone delivery, where it'll just drop the package into your yard.
This week, Dickie D was at the 2019 NY auto show and saw an interesting electric truck concept by Rivian. But it became a lot more interesting with an article about Ford in Thursday's (4/25/19) New York Times. Seems Ford is VERY interested in this truck and this company and is investing $500 million in it. That's after Amazon's $700 million investment, so Rivian must be on to something big! Amazon reportedly wants them to build electric delivery trucks for them. Rivian has introduced the first fully electric truck Dickie D has heard of: the Adventure R1T.
Sam joins Leo to talk about the etiquette of charging an electric vehicle. Sam says that some EV users believe it's OK to park next to a charger, thereby making that charger unusable for hours. Tesla has addressed this issue by charging people after their car has been filled up. Users now get a 5 minute grace period. Leo says while that's true, if you're traveling and are parking at the airport, you don't really have a choice. While that's a special case, most EV owners are just using charging spots at the mall and other locations as parking spots.
This week's EV car news is that TESLA is shutting down all of their dealerships, in the hopes that reducing the overhead will translate into reducing the price tag on their vehicles. Now if you want to buy a Tesla, you can do it online and Tesla will deliver it to you. As for servicing, Tesla will likely have some service centers open in major areas, but they may also do a service at home program where they come to you to do any servicing. In other Tesla news, Elon Musk says that Tesla will have full self-driving by the end of the year.
This week's topic is high capacity chargers for electric vehicles. Battery range and charging are the biggest challenges facing EVs. Where are the charging stations? Sam says that navigation systems often have charging stations built into the route your driving, and based on your EV, they will also draw a circle around the usable range of your electric vehicle before you need to get a charge. But Sam says that it costs a lot of money to install high capacity, high power charging stations, especially in rural areas. The Tesla Supercharger is coming with 120KW charging capacity.