About the Author

Seth Weintraub

@llsethj

Founder, Publisher and Editorial Director of the 9to5/Electrek/DroneDJ sites.

Seth Weintraub is an award-winning journalist and blogger who won back to back Neal Awards during his three plus years  covering Apple and Google at IDG’s Computerworld from 20072010.  Weintraub next covered all things Google for Fortune Magazine from 2010-2011 amassing a thick rolodex of Google contacts and love for Silicon Valley tech culture.

It turns out that his hobby 9to5Mac.com blog was always his favorite and in 2011 he went full time adding his Fortune Google followers to 9to5Google.com and adding the style and commerce component 9to5Toys.com gear and deals site. In 2013, Weintraub bought one of the Tesla’s first Model S EVs off the assembly line and so began his love affair with the Electric Vehicle and green energy which in 2014 turned into electrek.co.

In 2018, DroneDJ was born to cover the burgeoning world of drones and UAV’s led by China’s DJI.

From 1997-2007, Weintraub was a Global IT director and Web Developer for a number of companies with stints at multimedia and branding agencies in Paris, Los Angeles, New York, Sydney, Hong Kong, Madrid and London before becoming a publisher/blogger.

Seth received a bachelors degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University of Southern California with a minor in Multimedia and Creative Technology in 1997. In 2004, he received a Masters from NYU’s Tisch School of the Art’s ITP program.

Hobbies: Weintraub is a licensed single engine private pilot, certified open water scuba diver and spent over a year traveling to 60 cities in 23 countries. Whatever free time exists is now guaranteed to his lovely wife and two amazing sons.

More at About.me. BI 2014 profile.

Tips: seth@9to5mac.com, or llsethj on Wickr/Skype or link at top of page.

Seth Weintraub's Favorite Gear

November 19

Today GM had a lot of new EVs on display at a Barclays investor event but far away, a realtor doing YouTube videos happened to catch the first public glimpse of the 2022 Bolt EV out in the wild. This is the same pre-COVID 2021 Bolt EV that we saw at GM’s EV Day in Detroit in February.

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October 18

As more and more people are retiring their old gas-powered leaf blowers for superior electric alternatives, they are finding a growing number of brands with different power, capabilities, and price points.

Today we take a look at the two of the highest-powered 40cc-equivalent hand-held options: The EGO LB6504 56V ($299) — that my neighbor recently purchased — and my own year-old Greenworks 80V ($229).

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October 13

Tesla made a significant update to its phone-charging setup in Model Y by not only going to USB-C in the rear, but also adding a higher-power 19W USB-C PD port in the front. But with all the new features of Tesla’s constantly updating OS including USB Game controllers, USB TeslaCam and Sentry storage, and Qi charging, are just two USB ports enough? Of course not. And that’s why Jeda’s USB Hub is a must-have for any Model Y owner.

Coupon Code “Electrek” drops $15 off the price of the USB hub ($65) and anything on Jeda’s site using this link.

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October 8

Polestar is a bit of an enigma as far as auto companies are concerned. The company, which is a joint venture between Geely and Volvo (which, in turn, is also owned by Geely), operates independently on some fronts from either Geely or Volvo in order to remain nimble. But it also leans heavily on its incestuous parents for infrastructure, talent, and support. I spoke to its North American head, Gregor Hembrough, who incidentally came from two decades previous at Volvo in 2018, to find out why.

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September 23

I was on hand yesterday for the ribbon-cutting of EVolve NY’s first operable electric vehicle fast charging station in LaGrangeville, New York. The location, at a Tops supermarket adjacent to the Taconic Parkway, is about halfway between New York City and the state capital in Albany. NYPA plans to blanket the state in these DC fast charging stations which will allow New Yorkers to travel within the state on electricity without excuses.

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September 14

Not everyone has a few thousand bucks to drop on an electric bike so today I wanted to take a look at two of the least expensive, full-sized ebikes from Ancheer in both mountain bike and foldable formats. At around $600+ at Amazon, what compromises were needed to get to this price, and are they still a good fit?

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September 4

If you are an EV owner with a dryer in your garage, you’ve probably dreamed up the NeoCharge product already. And if you have a second EV, you’ve surely needed one rather than calling an electrician to run a second 240V line. What is this black magic device, exactly?

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August 20

Last year, I reviewed the Gazelle CityZen T9 ebike and thought it was a fantastic offering for those people content with 20mph assist speeds on smoother roads. But as someone who commutes on rougher backcountry roads, I much prefer getting close to 30mph before the electric assist cuts off. That not only means a Class 3 capable motor but some other improvements are necessary to the bike.

Today we are looking at the answer to most of my concerns with the T9: Gazelle’s Medeo T10+

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August 2

This is an ongoing journal of my first few weeks with Model Y. Check out Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3, too.

One of the most important jobs for our Model Y is getting the whole family up to our summer/ski condo in Vermont from our home outside of NYC. The trip is around 180 miles. Our Model X 90D would get such poor range that we’d almost always have to make a Supercharger stop along the way in order to make it with confidence. I should note that the route is quite curvy and hilly, and the last leg is climbing a mountain, so it isn’t a straight shot by any means.

So one of the things I’m hoping to get from the Model Y is the ability to make it the whole way comfortably, without charging. To make it more interesting, we added bikes to the back, using our freshly installed tow hitch. Would the Model Y be able to make it?

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July 31

This is an ongoing diary of my Model Y purchasing experience. Day 1 and Day 2.

One reason I wasn’t too worried about the panel gaps on my Model Y was that I was going to be taking the whole back end apart to install a 3rd party tow hitch. I would obviously rather have Tesla do it but their tow hitches weren’t available with the delivery of my car. They are available now to order though.

What’s my hurry? We’re heading up to Vermont this weekend and we wanted to bring the bikes…

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July 29

This is an ongoing journal of my first week with Model Y. See Day 1 here.

Getting the Model Y was super easy, and you could tell this was a well thought out process on Tesla’s part. All of the money had been taken care of beforehand, and I even had a pretty significant credit since Tesla dropped the price by $3,000 between payment and pickup. Like I said before, I tried to get FSD for $7,000, but Tesla charged me $8,000, so I’ll decide later if I want that.

Compare that to my Chevy experience where it took two full days to get the Bolt sold to me at MSRP, and I’m pretty sure I’ll never visit a traditional dealership again. Oh, and don’t get me started on the local Toyota dealer.

With COVID-19, there are some nuances to the delivery experience, but here’s how it went down:

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July 28

Over the next week or so, I’ll be documenting my Tesla Model Y buying experience along with first impressions of the car.

The end of my 2017 Model X three-year lease would have been August 11, and I tried to line up my Model Y delivery time as close as possible. However, Tesla representatives said my Model Y would arrive on July 19, and if I didn’t pick it up then (or within a three-day window), I’d have to jump to the back of the queue and wait until September or later. I agreed to take delivery on Sunday, July 19.

Tesla called me on the 17th to tell me my Model Y was a week late…

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July 27

When BMW’s Mini announced that it would finally bring back the Mini Electric a full decade after the car had been previewed in limited release for potential EV owners, there was some excitement in the air. The Mini has always represented a fun, exciting, and compact car that could be quite popular in an EV form.

The record scratch moment came when it announced a range of barely 110 EPA miles and that its 32.6 kWh battery size was actually smaller than the Mini E demonstration car that people loved a decade ago.

Fast forward to this week when I finally got to drive, and to my surprise, really enjoy, the Mini SE…

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July 9

VanMoof, the Dutch company that specializes in very futuristic Dutch-style electric bikes has a new $2,000 S3 model that we’ve had a few weeks to take for a spin. While we marveled at a lot of the design and technology of this prototype bike, I can conclude that it isn’t for everyone, particularly if you’ve got long steep hills to conquer or want to travel above 20mph. expand full story

June 29

Porsche today in China announced the Taycan RWD base model and was surprisingly tight-lipped about whether the car would ever make it to the US or even Europe. The car is Porsche’s longest-range electric vehicle with 489 km of NEDC range, which is equivalent to just over 303 miles, but NEDC is notoriously lenient on miles compared to EPA, so we’d expect closer to 250 miles here… if it actually comes to the US market(!!)

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June 25

Like a lot (2) of early Chevy Bolt owners, I gave up my three-year lease recently and surrendered the 238-mile compact EV to my local Chevy dealer. It is the first time I’ve been back to the dealer since I picked up the car and nothing had changed. Mine was, again, the only EV on the lot.

I got an extra month because NY car dealers were closed for the pandemic, but I didn’t do much extra driving, and GM Financial has been wishy-washy on whether they are going to bill me extra for not being able to turn it in. I asked both GM Financial and the dealer if I could buy the car out at a reasonable price months ago. Both only offered me the sticker price, which was a non-starter at more than a new 2020 Bolt.

And that’s a theme I encountered with GM and the Bolt. I really loved the car, but the company behind it was a whole lot harder to love.

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May 30

There are a ton of low-end and mid-tier home EV chargers on the market and frankly most will do the job of getting your EV charged without burning your house down. But on the high end, there are really only two I would consider buying today: The Enel X JuiceBox($599) and ChargePoint Home Flex($699).

Both of these products come from established EV charging product makers and have Wifi connectivity for updates and monitoring your charge. Spoiler alert, I can easily recommend either but they do have some significant differences so prepare for a deep dive. And if you are a Tesla owner, a Tesla wall adapter might make more sense but these can save you money…

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April 30

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been quite vocal both on Twitter and at last night’s earnings call about the COVID-19 shutdown. Musk is in favor of reopening the US immediately and thinks the positives in doing so outweigh the negatives. There has been both positive and negative reaction to this, but we wanted to see how our readers felt.  Please vote and comment below.

If you’ve somehow missed the Tweets or commentary from last night’s earnings call, we’ve summed up below.

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April 9

The 2019 US energy flowcharts released by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) came out last night, and there are some notable changes and things we should discuss. expand full story

April 8

Musk OK’s drone flights over Tesla Gigafactory in Germany

Elon Musk’s revolutionary companies Tesla and SpaceX inspire devoted followers who want to know every aspect about them. Videos of a SpaceX Starship blowing up during tests in Texas are certainly dramatic. But Musk fanatics are hungry for any images of his operations — even the construction site of Tesla Gigafactory in Germany.

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