The newest TESLA coming is the TESLA Model Y. The plan will be that it available in about 18 months, in 2020, You can put down $2500 fully refundable deposit to reserve it when it launches. Sam says it's not really worth putting a deposit down becauase it really doesn't give you an advantage over anyone else to get the car when it comes out. The Model Y is a hatchback version of the Tesla Model 3, sharing about 70% of the same components.
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.
April has been a bad month for self driving cars, as both a driver and pedestrian have died from accidents. Leo says that California is giving Google a permit for a self driving car called WayMo, which will have no safety driver. The irony isn't lost on Leo, and while he believes that self driving cars are better than human control, they're never going to be 100%. There's more testing that needs to be done and they should have a safety driver until the bugs are ironed out.
The driver of the Tesla Model X that crashed on March 23rd did have the autopilot mode engaged. This comes after Uber's deadly crash with a pedestrian, where it has been determined that the self-driving car had not been operating safely. Tesla responded that the driver should have put his hands on the wheel to intervene. Strange curves and barriers can cause problems for the autopilot mode. It's important that any safety driver stay alert when the car is in self-driving mode.
Leo says that the Space X Falcon Heavy rocket launch, with two boosters automatically landing afterwards, was a triumph of engineering (even though one crashed in the ocean). The fun part was using Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster as ballast with a mannequin dressed in a spacesuit, playing Bowie's Space Oddity on the stereo. What a great test, and the PR stunt of the century for Tesla, with hundreds of thousands watching the live stream of StarMan orbiting the earth before heading off to Mars.
Tesla founder Elon Musk has announced a new Roadster and an electric semi truck. Elon made a lot of money in his youth by creating an e-payment system that eventually merged with Paypal. He then used that money to fund a couple of other ventures, including SpaceX, with plans for colonizing Mars in the next ten years or even sooner. The other company he founded was Tesla which started with the Model S electric car. He then added other models like the Model X and more recently the Model 3.
Wally recently bought a Tesla Model X. It's a great car, but he can't get AM radio. Leo says that electric motors in the car generate too much interference, according to Tesla. But Leo doesn't buy that since the Model S has an AM radio. It also has streaming radio through the car's LTE connection and he can listen to TWiT's live stream before the radio station even gets it. It's on TuneIn. He could also connect his iPhone via Bluetooth and stream iHeartRadio.
On Friday, Tesla launched its more affordable $35,000 car, the Model 3. The thing that's been keeping these cars so expensive is because of the batteries it requires. Teslas have a long range of 200+ miles, which means it needs bigger batteries. Tesla has put batteries in the chassis for this, which is a good place to put them because it gives the car more stability and keeps it out of the way. The price of these batteries has been dropping considerably, though.
Sandra hears that the lithium ion batteries in Tesla cars aren't recyclable and that Tesla simply dumps them in the ocean. Leo says that isn't accurate. They are recycling, but they can be difficult to recycle because if they're exposed to the air, the inside of the batteries can catch on fire. They are recyclable and it takes about a decade or two before they will be replaced. By then, the recycling technology will have improved as well.