About the Author

Seth Weintraub

@llsethj

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

[twitter-follow screen_name=’llsethj’ show_count=’yes’]   +SethWeintraub (850,000)

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 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 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.

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 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.

Tips: seth@9to5mac.com, or llsethj on Wickr/AIM/Skype

Seth Weintraub's Favorite Gear

June 20

SunPower isn’t just powering roofs and solar farms these days. The company, which touts its solar panels as the most durable and efficient on the market, is looking at other applications. I’d be hard pressed to find one as awesome as the upcoming Mission SolarStratos expedition which will be powered by its 22-24% efficient Maxeon™ solar cells. expand full story

Things are never dull in Tesla-land. After we heard on Monday that Tesla’s Production line was sabotaged, today the automaker filed a lawsuit against Martin Tripp. The Gigafactory Process Engineer was accused of not only writing software that extracted data from Tesla’s Manufacturing Operating System which sent gigabytes of proprietary data to outside entities but also making false negative statements to the media.

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Home Solar Power

June 14

…except a Tesla killer

The first reviews of the Jaguar I-PACE came out last week and there’s a lot to digest. I won’t go through most of the information for the sake of repetition but when it was my turn this week to be in a group of 20 journalists to test the car, I noticed that I was one of the only folks with any EV experience. So we’ll talk below about the I-PACE experience from a Tesla and Chevy Bolt EV owner and electric car expert.

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June 11

  • 2018 E-JOE EPIK SE Sport Edition Electric Folding Bike 500-700W/48V – under $1500
  • 50lb foldable bike with enormous range and power, 2x competitors or more
  • Includes premium components: oversized 180mm disc brakes, lights, rack
  • Downsides: soft front suspension, sticky throttle, too much speed

Folding bikes are a curiosity for most. They imply that they need to be packed up whether on a plane, train or automobile (or boat, RV etc.). They are great for commuters in their last miles and if you live far from a rideable habitat, they are great companions. A foldable bike allows you to forego that air resistant bike rack on the back or top of the car. But they do have their downsides. They aren’t great for long distances, their often small wheels and multiple piece frames aren’t great for long trips and they are more heavy and complex than equivalent traditional bikes. Also, you often ride higher and less aerodynamically because of the different geometry.

Electrified folding bikes are no different. While the battery and motor add significant weight to the equation, they also obviously add propulsion that helps get you to speed on hills and from a stop. There are a ton of these which have 200 or so watt motors and about 10 miles of range. Usually they start at around $1000.

The 2018 E-JOE EPIK SE takes this idea and nukes it with a 48V 500W or 700W burst rear brushless geared hub motor and 500Wh battery, both of which are at least double the standard you see on typical foldable ebikes. Even better, it looks and feels like a mild-mannered foldable bike that no one would suspect hides a moped level turbo boost. Let’s dive into this… expand full story

June 6

Cadillac announced today that its Super Cruise level 2/3 autonomous driving system will be expanding into its other vehicles and to the wider GM lineup of vehicles in 2020. Cadillac calls it the only truly “hands free” autonomous system though other makers might argue semantics.

Cadillac’s Super Cruise is a Tesla (or Mercedes Drive Pilot, Nissan Propilot, etc) Autopilot-like level 2 software that GM puts in its top end CT-6 only for now. GM gave us a demo CT-6 which we did a quick review of, below.

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June 4

Here’s an avalanche of early I-PACE reviews from mostly European publications. Electrek has been cordially invited along with a few other US publications to beautiful Portugal on Jaguar’s dime to review the I-PACE next week. So it’s a little bittersweet that we aren’t able to give you our opinion of the new EV yet, but here are some observations on the I-PACE going into our review based on these early look videos below…

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May 31

Norway is at the forefront of electric vehicle usage with the largest per capita Electric Vehicle adoption rate which is already putting the squeeze on the local oil industry. That’s why it’s not surprising to see global EVs debut there early and because of that, we now have a lot more information on the enticing Hyundai Kona EV expand full story

April 18

In a press release today SunPower (SPWR) announced it had agreed to buy the American wing of the insolvent German solar panel manufacturer SolarWorld for an undisclosed sum. The move would add around 500MW to SunPower’s production capacity putting it near First Solar as the biggest US maker of Solar Panels. expand full story

April 16

Bosch today announced that its PowerTube 500 batteries would be coming to US bikes. As the name implies, these are 500Wh batteries that will be integrated into the down tubes of bikes by manufacturers. As Bosch is the leading supplier of high-end ebike powertrains, the news will likely signal a shift to a more integrated look for “bike shop” quality ebikes.

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April 9

Announced by the company today, Uber has bought the ebike sharing company Jump for reportedly around $100M to $200M.  This could be a boon for ebike sharing and it has everything to do with Uber’s *uber* popular app and the integration of “ebiking” as a cheaper, more fun, and often quicker option than calling a car. Oh, and without fossil fuels…

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March 23

Amazon Link/ CodeAZBF7HCC at checkout $585.19+$10 <week ground shipping

I know a high-end ebike when I see one and this Ancheer 250W is absolutely not high-end. In fact, it would probably be a bit of a stretch to call this a mid-tier electric bike. Ancheer, a Chinese company that also sells USB peripherals, Fitness equipment and other knick knacks, took a bunch of base level components and put them on a Huffy-level all aluminum bike frame and out of this concoction got a good sub-$600 ebike. So how good/bad is it? Let me tell you…

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March 16

The Swiss know long-term cost of ownership well and one police force in Basel figures it will save a significant amount of money over the life of their police cruisers by swapping out diesel vehicles with all-electric Model X 100D SUVs, which Tesla claims is the “World’s fastest, safest and most versatile SUV”.

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March 13

The flying taxi company Kitty Hawk last night launched ‘Cora’, a Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) personal airplane/helicopter drone hybrid that will carry a passenger. Kitty Hawk is funded by Google co-founder Larry Page and CEO-ed by Sebastian Thrun, the self-driving car pioneer who is the founding director of Google’s X lab. expand full story

March 1

Pacific Gas and Electric customers in California can (now until May 31st) receive an additional $10,000 off the price of a BMW i3 via the instructions on the press release below. They join Southern California Edison customers and New Jersey’s PSE&G customers in getting the $10,000 rebate.

That’s in addition to the $7500 federal tax credit and the $2500 California State EV credit for eligible incomes as well as use of the HOV lanes and other incentives. PG&E throws in a $500 Clean Fuel rebate as well. That’s a total of $20,500 off the price of the BMW i3 which starts at around $44,500 making the final base cost of the i3 $24,000. Find BMW i3 inventory and lowest prices using this link.

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EVgo today announced price drops, a simpler scheme and longer charge windows to “the nation’s largest network of public electric vehicle (EV) DC Fast charging stations”. EVgo says that the new rates match or beat gasoline on a per mile basis and the new service will be a boon for apartment dwellers and current/prospective EV buyers who need to take trips outside of their EV range. However, there are some important details to consider.

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February 16

You know that argument that comes up when someone sees your electric car and says something like, “it is way worse to mine lithium needed for batteries than oil and what happens when the lithium runs out? I saw a Meme on the internet so I know it is true.”  Well… expand full story

January 12

Google this week announced that it was putting Google Assistant on Android Auto which basically means that your Android phone is now a Google Home/Amazon Echo type of device in your car that you can talk to. This, as opposed to having to push the button on the steering wheel, is great for passengers who want to ruin my music vibe.

Unfortunately, my Chevy Bolt was on an older version of the firmware which apparently isn’t OTA upgradable and cut out Android Auto on my Google Pixel every few minutes. To properly test and use Google Assistant, I was going to need to get a firmware update. Off to the Chevy dealer, right?

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January 10

Virginians will get 10% up to $3500 back on EV purchases if new law passes

Virginia lawmakers have put forward House Bill 469 which would allow for a 10% State tax refund on the purchase of an electric vehicle up to a $3500 maximum.

January 9

iDevices and Hubbell introduce Google Assistant/Amazon Alexa based Wi-Fi EV charger at CES 2018

iDevices is launching several new products at this year’s CES in Las Vegas, including a new smart EV charger with its recently announced parent company Hubbell.

With the relative success of its Chevy Bolt EV and the hunger for EVs in China, GM is one of the few big automakers actually trying to build a business around electric vehicles. CEO Mary Barra has committed separately to 5 crossovers, 2 minivans, 7 SUVs and 10 new electric vehicles by the end of the decade in China.  But with the Bolt EV reportedly losing up to $9000 per vehicle initially, how does the company get to real profitability with these vehicles?

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