Tesla Opens First Supercharger In Alaska, A Milestone For Fast-Charging Infrastructure in the US

Tesla now has Superchargers in Alaska. A 4-stall high-speed Supercharger was installed in Soldotna, Alaska, a town on the Seward Peninsula, about 150 miles south of Anchorage. This means that Tesla now operates Superchargers in 49 of the 50 US states, with Hawaii still lacking one (unless the rumors of a secret station in Lanai are true). This charger in Alaska will most likely be used by Alaskan Tesla owners, as driving to Alaska with an EV is very difficult due to the lack of charging infrastructure in Northern British Columbia and the Yukon Territories. However, Superchargers connecting the West Coast to Alaska are likely in the works. Hopefully this Supercharger station will stand up to Alaska’s extreme weather and persuade Tesla to install more stations in The Last Frontier.


VW’s Renaming Turns Out To Be A Fib

On March 29th, Volkswagen announced that their North American branch would be renamed to Voltswagen, to honor their efforts to become largely an electric vehicle company. Although many people thought this was an early April Fool’s prank, Volkswagen continued confirming their name change was legitimate. But on March 31st, one day before April Fool’s day, Volkswagen of North America announced that they would not be changing their name. Although they surely did this for free publicity and advertising, it further confirms what an untrustworthy brand Volkswagen is and can be.

Biden Administration Announces East Coast Offshore Wind Plan

On Monday, the Biden administration announced a plan to deploy 30,000 megawatts of offshore wind turbines by 2030, creating tens of thousands of jobs and creating enough energy to power over 10 million homes. To meet that target, the government will speed up the permitting of offshore wind projects off the Atlantic coast. This is a big step for the Untied States, as its renewable energy efforts have not been nearly sufficient, especially under the Trump administration. Many other countries with lots of coastline have had offshore wind projects in the works for many years now, but the US was running behind, even with thousands of miles of coastline. Our country still needs trillions of dollars of investments to be even half powered by renewable energy, but this is a great start.

Tesla Now Accepts Bitcoin As Payment For Cars

Early this morning, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that it is now possible to buy a Tesla car with bitcoin, the famous cryptocurrency. Last month, the company bought around $1.5 billion of bitcoin and announced its plans to start accepting the online currency. The automaker expects about 5% of transactions to be using bitcoin, but they are hoping for this to grow as cryptocurrency use becomes more widespread. It makes sense that Tesla, a futuristic company, would accept such a futuristic currency. But for Tesla, a company that makes such environmentally friendly products, accepting bitcoin seems like a step backwards. With millions of computers mining bitcoin nonstop, the annual carbon footprint of the bitcoin mining industry is larger than all of Argentina’s. And Argentina is a country of nearly 50 million people. Tesla has prevented hundreds of millions of pounds of CO2 from being pumped into the air, but accepting bitcoin as currency goes against what Tesla is as a company.

Pennsylvania Governor Announces Plan To Produce 50% of State Government Electricity Through Solar Energy

Governor Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania announced a plan to produce 50% of the state government’s electricity with energy from the sun. The governor said Pennsylvania PULSE (Project to Utilize Light and Solar Energy) will begin operating on January 1, 2023. The project is the largest solar commitment by any US government so far. For the project, seven solar arrays will be built in six Pennsylvania counties. The project is estimated to be a total of 191-megawatts, producing 361,000 megawatt hours of electricity every year. According to Curt Topper, General Services Secretary, when PULSE goes into effect, utilization of solar energy will lower Pennsylvania’s annual carbon emissions by 157,000 metric tons, the equivalent of taking 34,000 gasoline-powered cars off the road. The project will also create over 400 jobs.

Milwaukee Completes New Solar Energy Farm

The city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin completed their largest ever solar farm, near the city’s airport. More than 7,000 solar panels are being used to power homes in the area. The solar panels, which cover nine acres of a former landfill owned by the city, are expected to produce enough electricity to power around 500 homes.

Tom Metcalfe, President of Wisconsin Utilities says, “We expect to save customers about $1 billion over a 20-year period.”

The city doesn’t know exactly how much customers will save thanks to the solar farm, but officials do say that they will see a drop in their energy bill.

Although much of Wisconsin is very forested and has many state parks and state / national forests, only 10 percent of the state’s energy is green. Of this green energy, around 40% comes from hydroelectricity, 33% is generated using wind, 25% comes from biomass (which really is not green), and just 2% comes from solar energy. So, 0.2% of Wisconsin’s energy comes from the sun. This new solar farm will hopefully change that low number.

The state of Wisconsin has reduced its emissions by 50% since 2005, and is on track to reduce them even more in coming years. City officials say that the solar farm will push Milwaukee closer to its “25 by 25” goal of having 25% of its electricity produced by renewable energy sources by the year 2025.

Tesla using Autopilot crashes into Michigan State Police car

A Tesla Model Y driver with a suspended license crashed into a Michigan State Police car parked on the side of I-96 early this morning. The car was on autopilot, Tesla’s famous driver assistance feature.

The police were investigating a crash involving a deer and a car when the Model Y struck their cruiser. Fortunately, no one was injured in the accident. Both vehicles were damaged, however, and the 22-year old man in the Model Y was issued a citation for violating Michigan’s Move Over Law, and for driving with a suspended license.

“Michigan’s Move Over Law requires motorists to slow down and move over for stationary authorized vehicles with flashing, rotating, or oscillating lights activated,” according to the Michigan Office Of Highway Safety Planning.

Crashes like these most often happen when someone puts too much trust into the Tesla Autopilot system. Autopilot is a driver assistance feature, and does not currently offer fully autonomous driving. People are very excited about Autopilot and its features, (it is new technology after all) but it is easy to forget it is not yet meant to be what gets you from Point A to Point B.

Elon Musk is officially named the ‘Technoking of Tesla’

Elon Musk has officially given himself the title of ‘Technoking of Tesla,’ with the CFO of the company, Zach Kirkhorn being named ‘Master of Coin.’ They both will keep their positions of CEO and CFO of the company, however. Although it is unclear exactly the inspiration of the new titles, they are probably related to the multi-billion dollar bitcoin purchase the company made last month.

Tesla Kills Model Y Standard Range, Just After Introduction, Lowers Model 3 Price

Just days after Tesla lowered the price of both the Model 3 and Model Y Standard Range models by $1000, Tesla has omitted the option for the Standard Range Model Y. The Standard Range Model Y was just introduced a few weeks ago, despite Elon Musk saying the range was impractical. It was likely removed because of low interest, as the company expected.

This is a surprising move, because the low price of the Standard Range Model Y would have made it more of a direct competitor to new EVs, like the redesigned Chevy Bolt, VW ID4, and the Ford Mustang Mach-E. But it makes sense that Tesla would want to streamline the production process with fewer options, to hopefully prevent further quality issues and to continue lowering the production price of its vehicles.

Tesla To Join S&P 500

Tesla Inc. (TSLA) is set to join the S&P 500 on Monday, December 21. With the news, which was announced on Monday, November 16, shares of the company spiked 13%, largely because fund managers tracking the S&P 500 had to buy shares of it. When Tesla joins, it will be in the top 10 most valuable companies on the S&P. Tesla has been valuable enough to join for quite some time (the market cap requirement is only $8.2 billion, and Tesla’s is around $387 billion, higher than Toyota, Disney, and Coca-Cola, just to name a few), but is only getting in on it now.

Will The Election Have An Impact On Tesla (TSLA) Stock?

With the presidential election in progress, I’ve been led to wonder what impact it will have on Tesla (TSLA) stock. Tesla shares have been “supercharged” and rallied over 425% since the beginning of 2020, despite the Coronavirus pandemic, and the company is worth more than Toyota, Volkswagen, and Ford combined, and I wonder if they will continue this trend or tank.

What do you think?

Tesla Receives New Order Of 150 Electric Semi Trucks

Pride Group Enterprises, a truck-leasing company just ordered 150 Tesla Semi Trucks, with the possibility they will order 350 more. This might just be the largest Semi order yet. Depending on how many trucks Pride Group Enterprises orders, Tesla will receive a huge profit, between $22 and $100 million dollars. Pride would have had to place a deposit of at least $3 million. The group operates 12 locations in the US and Canada and plans to make the trucks available based on demand. Tesla will offer the Semi with either 300 or 500 miles of range on a full charge, with the trucks using only 2 kWh per mile. Each semi will cost between $150,000 and $180,000, a comparable price to a gas or diesel semi. Over the life of each semi, Tesla projects that Semi operators will save up to $200,000 in gasoline and maintenance, along with helping preserve the environment.

The Economics Of Owning A Tesla

I’ve done lots of research on the economics of owning a Tesla, because I realize how affordable Teslas can be for normal, middle-class people, especially compared to their gas-powered luxury competitors. When you own a Tesla, you save thousands upon thousands of dollars on gas. You also save money on maintenance. Teslas are so much more reliable than their competitors. Consumer Reports says that the average ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) vehicle costs twice as much to maintain as an EV over 200,000 miles. This is mostly because EVs have so many fewer moving parts. A Tesla drivetrain has 17 moving parts, versus the 200 or so moving parts the average ICE vehicle has. Another large factor is that EV brakes last so much (about 3 times) longer that an ICE vehicle’s because of regenerative braking. Last but definitely not least, driving a Tesla does so much to save the environment – while you may think that just one more Tesla will make no difference, it really does. Driving an ICE car that gets 25 MPG (and many get much worse) for 200,000 miles will pollute 160,000 lbs of Co2 into the air. After all these savings, a Tesla, especially a used one, would cost about the same or less than a new Toyota Highlander or top-of-the-line Camry.

Here’s my proof:

Tesla vehicles are so much more affordable than their luxury ICE competitors, even though their base prices are similar to so many of them. Here are some examples:

VehicleBase PriceMaintenance / repair COst over 200kFuel typempg*Fuel Price Over 200K**
Tesla Model X$80,000 Approximately $6,000 USD Electric96 MPGeAbout
$8000 or less
Lexus LX$86,580 Approximately $12,000 USDPremium14 MPGAbout $40,000
Land Rover Range Rover$92,000 Approximately $20,000 USD or morePremium20 MPGAbout $28,000
Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class$76,000 Approximately $20,000 USD or morePremium22 MPGAbout $25,000
Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon$131,750 Approximately $25,000 USD or morePremium15 MPGAbout $37,000
BMW X7$74,900 Approximately $20,000 USD or morePremium21 MPGAbout $27,000
Infiniti QX80$69,050 Approximately $15,000 USD or morePremium17 MPGAbout $33,000
Lincoln Navigator$76,185 Approximately $12,000 USDRegular18 MPGAbout $31,500
Cadillac Escalade$76,195 Approximately $20,000 USD or morePremium17 MPGAbout $33,000
*Combined MPG rating **Based on gas at $2.80 per gallon

VehicleBase priceMaintenance / repair Cost Over 200kFuel TypeMPG*fuel price over 200k**
Tesla Model S$69,420 USDApproximately $5,000 USDElectric116 MPGe$8,000 or less
Mercedes-Benz S-Class$94,250Approximately $25,000 USD or morePremium22 MPGAbout $25,000
BMW 7-Series$86,800Approximately $20,000 USD or morePremium25 MPGAbout $22,500
Audi A8$86,500Approximately $18,000 USD or morePremium21 MPGAbout $26,600
Lexus LS$75,450Approximately $12,000 USDPremium29 MPGAbout $19,500
*Combined MPG rating **Based on gas at $2.80 per gallon
VehicleBase PRiceMaintenance / repair Cost Over 200kFuel typempg*fuel price Over 200K**
Tesla Model 3$35,000Approximately $5,000Electric140 MPGeLess than $7,000
Lexus IS$39,000Approximately $12,000Premium26 MPGAbout $22,500
Lexus ES$39,900Approximately $12,000Regular27 MPGAbout $21,000
BMW 3 Series$41,250Approximately $18,000Premium31 MPGAbout $18,500
Mercedes C-Class$41,600Approximately $16,000 Premium29 MPGAbout $19,500
Audi A4$39,100Approximately $15,000Premium27 MPGAbout $21,000
Volvo S60$37,750Approximately $14,000Premium28 MPGAbout $20,000
*Combined MPG rating **Based on gas at $2.80 per gallon
Vehiclebase pricemaintenance / Repair cost over 200kfuel typempg*fuel price over 200k**
Tesla Model Y$49,990Approximately $5,000Electric120 MPGeLess than $8,000
Lexus RX$45,070Approximately $12,000Regular22 MPGAbout $25,000
Lexus NX$37,510Approximately $12,000Regular25 MPGAbout $22,500
BMW X4$51,600Approximately $16,000 or morePremium26 MPGAbout $21,500
Audi Q5$43,300Approximately $15,000 or morePremium25 MPGAbout $22,500
Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class$54,250Approximately $20,000 or morePremium22 MPGAbout $25,000
Acura RDX$37,800Approximately $12,000Regular25 MPGAbout $22,500
Volvo XC60$41,700Approximately $13,000Premium (Regular for T5)25 MPGAbout $22,500
*Combined MPG rating **Based on gas at $2.80 per gallon

Savings with a Tesla:

Model X: Over 200,000 miles, expect to save between $20,000 and $35,000 on fuel. Expect to save between $6,000 and $20,000 on repairs and maintenance.

Model S: Over 200,000 miles, expect to save between $12,000 and $16,000 on fuel. Expect to save between $7,000 and $20,000 on repairs and maintenance.

Model 3: Over 200,000 miles, expect to save between $12,000 and $16,000 on fuel. Expect to save between $7,000 and $13,000 on repairs and maintenance.

Model Y: Over 200,000 miles, expect to save between $14,000 and $18,000 on fuel. Expect to save between $7,000 and $15,000 on repairs and maintenance.

Thanks for reading Our Electric Future! I hope this post may open your mind to buying an electric vehicle instead of an expensive gas-guzzling ICE car!

Is Your Model X a Good Tow Vehicle? This Family Finds Out.

The All Electric Family is a great YouTube channel I came across earlier in this pandemic looking for Tesla towing videos, something I’ve always been curious about. I’ve seen tests with a Model X towing a horse trailer, or a tiny travel trailer, but I’ve never seen a channel where people tow a camper with a Tesla as not just a test, but somewhat permanently. This family switched from towing a 37′ Travel Trailer with a large truck to towing a 22′ Travel Trailer with a Model X. I recommend checking out this channel. They post great videos very often, and they test all kinds of trailers, from Airstreams to cargo trailers to conventional travel trailers. I also hear they are going to be testing a pop-up trailer sometime in the future. It’s fascinating to watch how consumption can vary so much, between 350 or 400 Wh/Mi towing a 22′ Airstream, to 1000 Wh/Mi towing a 22′ Travel Trailer by Coachmen.

Thanks for reading Our Electric Future! I hope you enjoy this family’s great videos!