Robots Building Teslas

“What’s casual for a robot isn’t necessarily what’s casual for a human.”
—Alan Tudyk

I love electric cars. I currently drive a hybrid (a Lexus RX450h to be precise), because I need all-wheel drive to contend with our Canadian winters. I purchase carbon offsets for the fuel I use. But I’ve been dying to get my hands on an electric car. Only problem was that I had to wait for a Tesla that’s all-wheel drive.

Thank goodness my Tesla Model X is on its way, likely to arrive in the next couple of months. I’ve been very impressed with Tesla vehicles and their champion Elon Musk. Just last week the very affordable Model 3 was launched with over 275,000 pre-orders to date so clearly I’m not the only one. And don’t forget that the Tesla Model S won Motor Trend’s “Car of the Year” award for 2013, the first time an electric car ever got that distinction.

This brief video shows how robots puts the Tesla Model S together. The innovation isn’t just in the design of the vehicle, but also in its manufacturing. Watch the dance and behold our future. Not just the future of robotic manufacturing to the extreme, but the future of the electric vehicles we will be driving exclusively one day.

Ontario Increases Rebates for Electric Vehicles

“I think there are more politicians in favor of electric cars than against. There are still some that are against, and I think the reasoning for that varies depending on the person, but in some cases, they just don’t believe in climate change—they think oil will last forever.”
Elon Musk

My home province of Ontario has announced that it is offering some major incentives to people who buy electric vehicles up to a whopping $14,000!

There have already been incentives in place for some time that give anywhere between $5,000 to $8,500 to those who purchase electric vehicles, but this week the Ontario provincial Liberal government formally announced that it will be increasing that range up to between $6,000 and $10,000. In addition, drivers could even get another $3,000 if their electric vehicle has a larger battery capacity, as well as an additional $1,000 if the vehicle has five seats or more.

Higher-priced electric vehicles—defined as having a sticker price between $75,000 and $150,000—do have a cap on the incentive at $3,000. This makes sense since folks who can afford such vehicles really don’t need extra money back from the government. It ceases to be incentive.

What’s particularly nice is that these new incentives are actually retroactive to January 1st, 2016, so anyone who already bought an electric vehicle earlier this year before the announcement came out will still benefit.

As it stands, Ontario has about 5,800 electric vehicles on the road. These incentives will surely help to increase that number.

The New Chevy Bolt (Step Aside, Tesla?)

“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”
Henry Ford

This past week, Chevrolet introduced its new 2017 Chevy Bolt electric vehicle and to the surprise of some, it’s worth a second look. Some men wonder if Chevy has managed to outdo Tesla in the EV market. Given that I’ve already invested in Tesla, I wanted to take a good look at this one.

The Bolt has a range of about 320 kilometres (200 miles). Not quite what my car promises but still pretty impressive. Perhaps its most attractive feature is the price tag: $37,500 US, nearly $100,000 less than the Signature Edition Model X. (Prices drop when tax incentives are taken into account, though.) And to be honest, the Bolt EV isn’t bad looking.

Justin Westbrook from Jalopnik says this of the Bolt:

It’s not all about Tesla though, as the Chevy Bolt looks to be a serious attempt by the company to grow the electric vehicle market, and with a price of around $30k and a range of around 200 miles — and maybe more importantly a design that will be acceptable to the mainstream automotive customers — Chevy’s EV has a serious shot at being a hit.

To no surprise (t least to me), Tesla has seemed pleased by Chevy offering this kind of competition, stating:

Commitments from traditional car makers to build electric vehicles advance Tesla’s mission to accelerate the advent of sustainable transportation. We hope to see all those additional zero-emission vehicles on the road.

Makes sense. The more that bigger automotive manufactures get into the EV game, the more these vehicles are validated as mainstream and ready for prime-time.

I’m happy the Bolt is coming, but I’m still very happy with the Tesla I’ll be getting. In the style and design category, I don’t think there’s any competition. One drawback for the Bolt EV is that it takes a full nine hours to charge with a 240-volt charging unit which requires professional installation. Tesla’s Supercharger network on the other hand takes just 30 minutes of charging to get a range of 275 kilometres (170 miles) on the Model S.

So I’m happy. Tesla is happy. Chevrolet and its customers are happy. And our planet is happy.

Tesla!

“What’s casual for a robot isn’t necessarily what’s casual for a human.”
—Alan Tudyk

I love electric cars. I currently drive a hybrid (a Lexus RX450h to be precise), because I need all-wheel drive to contend with our Canadian winters. I purchase carbon offsets for the fuel I purchase. But I’ve been dying to get my hands on an electric car. Only problem was that I had to wait for a Tesla that’s all-wheel drive.

Thank goodness the Tesla Model X is coming. I’ve been very impressed with Tesla vehicles, and their champion Elon Musk. And I’m not the only one: fact is that the Tesla Model S won Motor Trend’s “Car of the Year” award for 2013, the first time an electric car ever got that distinction.

This brief video shows how robots puts the Tesla Model S together. The innovation isn’t just in the design of the vehicle, but also in its manufacturing. Watch the dance and behold our future. Not just the future of robotic manufacturing to the extreme, but the future of the electric vehicles we will be driving exclusively one day.

Thank You Tesla Owners!

Last week Tesla Model S owners reached a significant milestone: they have cumulatively driven a total of one billion miles in their vehicles.

That’s equivalent to:

  • 4,186 trips to the Moon
  • 2,000 years of highway travel

Together they have prevented a total of 570,000 tons of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere compared to if those miles had been driven with gasoline-powered vehicles.

Some day news like this will be no big deal. But for now while we’re living through the slow and painful transition from fossil fuels toward renewable sources of energy, this is a significant achievement.

Well done, Tesla owners!