About the Author

Jameson Dow

Jameson has been driving electric vehicles since 2009, and has been writing about them and about clean energy for electrek.co since 2016.

You can contact him at jamie@electrek.co

Jameson Dow's Favorite Gear

July 12

Watch the all-electric, driverless Robocar at the Goodwood hillclimb in this 360º video

Roborace, the planned driverless racing series which will act as a support race for the all-electric Formula E championship, has been taking their fully autonomous Robocar to various tracks over the last year to showcase their technology.  This weekend they’re at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in Chichester, England, which holds an annual hillclimb event with all sorts of interesting cars, old and new alike.

July 5

Today, in response to the myriad of self-induced scandals which have plagued him ever since he took the job, Scott Pruitt resigned his position as chief saboteur Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

He will be replaced by Deputy Administrator Andrew Wheeler as acting administrator, a former coal lobbyist who worked with Murray Energy CEO Bob Murray; was an aide for Jim Inhofe, the top climate science denier in the Senate; and who helped craft the Bush administration’s ironically-named “Clear Skies” initiative, an effort to destroy the Clean Air Act.

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June 19

Today, in response to the EPA’s recent rollback of agreed-upon 2022-2025 fuel efficiency standards, Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado issued an executive order for his state to develop a Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) standard similar to California’s current standard.  The executive order explicitly calls out California as a model, and notes the twelve other US states which have adopted similar programs.

Gov. Hickenlooper previously issued an executive order in 2017 for the state to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26% by 2025.  Today’s order is one step towards that goal.

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June 5

The Model 3 production ramp is chugging along, with all production lines demonstrating the capability to produce 500 cars per day, according to CEO Elon Musk in today’s Tesla shareholder meeting.  So now that the supply of cars coming out of the factory isn’t so scarce, the next question is: when will stores get them? expand full story

May 24

In response to a twitter query tonight, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced a reveal date for the Model Y: “March 15.”

Soon afterwards, he claimed that he “just made it up, because the Ides of March sounded good,” but added that we should “consider it real” since that date falls within Tesla’s rough target for unveiling the car sometime between late 2018 and mid-2019 anyway.

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May 22

In response to Consumer Reports’ first review of the Model 3, and our article about issues they had in their braking tests, Tesla CEO Elon Musk swiftly promised that if an issue is found with Model 3 braking, it would be fixed at no cost to owners, even if a physical upgrade is required.

Just a few hours later, Musk gave us another update: Tesla seems to have isolated Model 3 braking issues to calibration of the anti-lock braking system. Thankfully, this is solvable through a firmware update, and Musk promised one in the coming days.

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May 21

In a discussion on Twitter over the newly-announced dual motor and performance Model 3 options, Tesla CEO Elon Musk stated that the $35,000 base model of the Model 3 would not ship for “3 to 6 months” until after hitting their planned production goal of 5,000 cars per week, primarily to ensure that Tesla will be able to produce the car profitably.

Tesla plans to hit 5,000/week in July, which puts the base model’s earliest deliveries in the 4th quarter of this year, though possibly not until 2019.

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May 11

Roborace is an electric car racing series with a twist – there will be no drivers.  It’s planned as a support race for Formula E, the all-electric racing series, where teams will compete primarily through software – writing autonomous driving programs and seeing which algorithms can race the best.

So far, though, the series is just in development mode, so there is only one “team” developing software for their DevBot development car, trying to see if this is even feasible, and occasionally doing fun stunts, like pitting man vs. machine as they did at the recent Rome race, to get people ready for the series.

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May 1

In the wake of the EPA’s move last month to eliminate federal fuel efficiency standards for 2022-2025 model year cars, California has filed a lawsuit against the EPA to stop the move from happening.  The lawsuit was filed today with California Governor Jerry Brown, Attorney General Xavier Becerra, and the California Air Resources Board as plaintiffs, with 17 other states joining in.

In total, the states filing the lawsuit represent 140 million Americans and about 43% of the country’s car market.

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April 23

A federal court ruled today that the Department of Transportation must implement a new, inflation-adjusted fine for failure to comply with federal fuel efficiency standards.

This ruling confirms that automakers will have to pay the full, updated fine for failing to meet efficiency standards.  The Department of Transportation’s attempted rule would have let them pay less than 40% of the legally required fine.

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April 11

In the midst of the Tesla Model 3 rollout, where Tesla is now producing about 2,000 cars a week, the company is apparently not letting that slow down its future plans.  Today, Reuters reported that automotive suppliers have received a Request for Information (RFI) from Tesla about Model Y parts.

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March 20

Tesla’s Siri integration now works with Model 3

In version 3.3.3 of the Tesla iOS app, released today, Siri integration now works with the Model 3.

The changelog states that it’s only “minor fixes and improvements,” but I’d argue that this is more than just a minor improvement.

Tesla has had Siri integration for the Model S and X since November, but this is the first time it’s been possible to control the Model 3 with Siri.  This merely gives access to much of the information and controls which are currently available in the Tesla app, but it’s still nice to be able to use many features of the app without having to launch it.

Spring is here, it’s time to ditch those winter tires – and Tesla has just the way to do it, if you’re lucky enough to have a Model 3 and ready to spend $4,000.  After hints at the possibility of 20 inch sport wheels coming to the Model 3, Tesla updated their shop site with a 20 inch wheel and tire package for the car overnight.

The package includes installation by Tesla at your local service center and comes with tires and wheels, plus new suspension links to better take advantage of the higher levels of grip provided by these sport tires.

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March 15

Volvo’s recently unveiled Polestar 1 plug-in hybrid just got one step closer to reality, as they started taking pre-orders today and posted an online configurator allowing interested customers to check out the various color and wheel options available on the car.

We don’t yet know much about the buying process, as Volvo recently said cars from the Polestar brand would primarily be available as a “subscription service” (similar to a lease).  When pressed, Volvo stated that the Polestar 1 would target a price of “130-150,000 Euros” ($160k-$185k).

The deposit is $2,500/€2,500/20,000RMB and is fully refundable.  Pre-orders are available in 18 countries: China, United States, Sweden, Germany, Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Portugal, Poland, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and Canada.

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March 14

Trump’s embattled EPA head Scott Pruitt has come down on the side of polluters on just about every issue that faces the US, so it is with little surprise that in a recent interview he signaled that he may try to fight back against California’s fuel economy requirements.

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March 12

In a live podcast recorded on stage at SXSW, California’s former Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger told Politico that he is in talks with several private law firms to sue the oil industry for what he calls “first degree murder.”

Schwarzenegger alleges that because the oil industry has known since 1959 about the climate and health damage their products cause, they should be held liable for that damage. “I don’t think there’s any difference,” says Schwarzenegger, “If you walk into a room and you know you’re going to kill someone, it’s first degree murder; I think it’s the same thing with the oil companies.”

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March 6

Here’s something you don’t see every day: an electric autonomous rideshare concept car from a major automaker.  Oh wait, nevermind, it’s the Geneva Auto Show.  That’s exactly what you see every day.

But this one, Renault’s newest effort, doesn’t seem like it’s just more-of-the-same.  While it’s obviously a concept car, with extra emphasis on “concept,” it truly embraces that concept nature and steps away from the realm of “normal” and into a totally different driving future which actually looks fairly palatable, and even realistic.

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The concepts keep coming out of the Geneva Auto Show this week, with Porsche unveiling a new one this morning – a fully electric sport crossover SUV adaptation of their not-yet-released Mission E.

The headline specs?  Porsche claims that the car will have 600 horsepower, do 0-60 in under 3.5 seconds, go more than 500km/310 miles on a charge, and charge at a rate of 400km/250 miles in 15 minutes.  Like many European announcements, though, these range numbers are based on the NEDC rating system, which is significantly more lenient than EPA numbers – the range would probably be something closer to 240-260 by EPA testing.

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February 28

Hot on the heels of a German court’s decision to allow cities to enforce diesel bans, Italy is also getting into the game.  Rome mayor Virginia Raggi annnounced “Rome has decided to ban the use of diesel cars from its historical center from 2024” at the Women4Climate conference in Mexico City this week.

The primary reasons for the ban are to cut down on pollutants which cause damage to Rome’s important historical landmarks and, of course, to do what Rome can to help stop climate change.

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February 26

Bernie Ecclestone is no stranger to controversial statements.  The 87-year-old former Formula One executive who ran the series for decades can’t go more than a few weeks without voicing an idea about the trajectory of the series which leaves people scratching their heads.  Once, he floated an idea to install sprinklers on tracks to simulate rain-affected races.  More recently, he’s had several complaints about engine noise – he thinks they need to be louder.

But Ecclestone’s most recent statement is the first we’ve found worthy of coverage on Electrek: he now thinks that F1 should go electric, by 2021.

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