Model S Dual Motor

Tesla Model S Dual Motor or Saleen FourSixteen?

Model S Dual Motor, Saleen FourSixteenA few weeks ago, Tesla Motors invited Teslarati and I to the official unveiling of the Model S Dual Motor. Today, we take a look at the difference between a Model S “D” and a Saleen FourSixteen.

 Model S Dual Motor or Saleen FourSixteen?

Two similar, yet very different cars, the Tesla Motors Model S Dual Motor was introduced a few weeks ago, sporting exotic car acceleration, 0 to 60 in 3.2 seconds and an auto pilot system that is 80% of an autonomous driving car.

Although our initial test ride of the Model S Dual Motor was very exhilarating, we now wonder about the Saleen FourSixteen. A few months ago, again with Teslarati, I was invited to see the Saleen Model S, as it was then known, on a track here in California. I was privilege to have Steve Saleen take me for a few laps in the highly modified FourSixteen. Steve showed me how much more the Model S had to give.

Saleen FourSixteen, Track ready Model S

If you still question what a Saleen FourSixteen is, just think about as a Model S that is track ready, period. Whereas a regular Model S will sprint the first track, taking by surprise even the best gasoline sports car, it will also overheat and severely limit power the second time around. The Saleen FourSixteen won’t penalize you like that. Saleen made sure his team reworked the car from the bottom up, starting with the suspension to the thermal management. The result is an amazing track ready Model S

Tesla Model S Dual Motor

On the other corner of the arena, the Model S Dual Motor sports two electric motors, almost perfect traction control, 691 HP ready to be unleashed to frazzle your local Porsche or Ferrari enthusiast.

Still, both cars couldn’t be any more different. One is track ready, the other is an everyday car with exotic performance. So why has the public turned their back on the Saleen FourSixteen when it is clearly a track car and fell at the feet of the Model S Dual Motor?

We feel both the Tesla Motors Model S Dual Motor and the Saleen FourSixteen break records in many ways and deserve a second look and chance

Electricnick, an introduction

Podcast, Electricnick, an introduction

Electricnick, an introductionAlthough Electricnick has been around since 2007, it has morphed from a blog into a content provider for electric vehicles, EV, energy storage and renewable energy.

Electricnick, Then and Now

It was seven years ago when I mentioned to my then business partner about how there were nowhere on the Internet to gather relevant electric car information. On a whim, we started Electricnick.com.

That was 2007, and today is a much different story. Things were simpler then. Four posts a day would get you to rank high on Google. Although I chugged away at writing as much as I could cover, I was never trained as a writer, let alone, a journalist. Suffice it to say, quality wasn’t our main concern and bringing you news about EVs was the top priority. I cringe reading the early articles. In fact, I don’t.

Electricnick is a Content Provider

Today, we take a look at what started the Electricnick.com project and where it is heading now.

As we continue to evolve, we will bring on guest writers and more podcasts. Since I feel more comfortable than writing, why not do podcasts.

Enjoy!

Tesla Model D

Tesla Model D Upsets Exotic Carmakers

Tesla Model DTesla’s new Model D, or technically the Model S 60D, also available in 85D or P85D is not just a simple update to the Model S platform, it is a serious boost in electric vehicle EV credibility that will force traditional gasoline car makers to react.

Tesla Model D Ups The EV Ante

I don’t think many fully realize or appreciate the meaning of the Model D, nor do most understand what an incredible bump on the road this car is for the automotive industry. An electric sedan with exotic car performance at a fraction of the cost? Surely the automotive world is in upheaval.

Tesla Model D

The Tesla Model D specs in a nutshell

Tesla’s Model D, or the Dual Motor Model S, as the company calls it, comes with both 60 kWh and 85 kWh battery pack. The difference is that there is a motor on each axle, independently controlling torque to the front and rear wheels. My initial test ride proved that even with four people in the Model D, the performance was outstanding. The 0 to 60 happens in 3.2 seconds and the horsepower peaks at an astonishing 691! This is clearly beyond muscle car territory and well into exotics.

Tesla Model D

With a refined torque delivery, the Model D manages to improve its highway range with 10 extra miles, compared to  normal Model S.  It also innovates on the auto pilot theme, precursor of the driverless car.

Tesla Model D

The Tesla Model D Test Ride

Our initial test ride proved two things. One, that the Model D does accelerate like a bat out of hell. Two, that Tesla is much closer to an autonomous driving car than others.

The auto pilot, as Elon Musk explains, means Tesla is very close to offering a driverless car. In fact, it is the 85% of what a future Tesla Motors driverless car should be. Our initial ride showed it was mature and ready for primetime. The car recognized the speed limit on the street limit signs and adapted accordingly. It slowed down or sped up, according to what the signs showed, and according to real life obstacles, such as other cars or pedestrians. Musk says it works so well, it will achieve the same in a sand or snow storm.Tesla Model D

Pull the blinker to the left and the Model D first checks to see if there are any obstacles, then precedes to change lanes. A car stops in front of you and you are fiddling with those gorgeous and generous displays? Not a problem. The Model D simply comes to a stop. Musk even joked you could park somewhere, forget where it is and the Model D will come to you. Don’t want to park in the garage? It will do it for you, soon enough. Tesla Model D

Tesla Model D Price

This is probably the part that should leave any rational being scratching their heads. The price hike for both 60D, 85D or P85D is only $4,000 over their Model S equivalents. Model D price

Is the Tesla Model D the best car ever?

This is the multi-million dollar question. Tesla’s Model D raises the performance bar level so high, especially coming from an EV, that it has to leave other car makers scrambling. You can bet you will soon see a flurry of counter marketing attacks. Judging by the picture below, Tesla Motors has taken the right cue from Apple. This event was bigger and the crowd more worked up over the announcement than ever before. If there was an Applemania, welcome to Teslamania.

Tesla Model DIn the meantime, here are the final questions. Does this hint at the possible demise of gasoline-powered exotic cars? And also, what do we now make of the Saleen FourSixteen?

Geothermal energy

A Case for Geothermal Energy, the Constant Sustainability

Geothermal energy The more I think about Geothermal energy, the more it becomes obvious it is the most sustainable energy system we currently have. The problem is that despite geothermal’s obvious advantages, little has been done to facilitate the energy system. However, a few bills are changing that.

The geothermal energy potential

When you boil it down, geothermal energy holds tremendous potential. It has a relatively low footprint and is always on. It doesn’t depend on time of day or year. It works all the time, despite atmospheric changes, and that makes geothermal one of the most constant sustainable system. It works very simply. Drill down to tap into the earth’s molten layers, pour water, which turns into steam driving generators. Voila, you now have a continuous source of renewable energy. Still, for how great geothermal energy is, it only accounts for 16.9 million megawatt-hours, or 0.41% of the total US electricity produced as of April 2013, according to Wikipedia:

Promising geothermal energy bills

While solar energy has taken off tremendously, geothermal has inched along slowly. The few energy companies that planed to install geothermal energy in the US were confronted with lack of support and lengthy yearly permits. Most of these projects have migrated to China, East Africa, and Turkey. Still, all is not lost. A few bills are making their way to federal level making a strong case for geothermal energy.

RenewableEnergyWorld reports that three bills and two hearings in U.S. Congress subcommittees are pushing for geothermal energy. The first one is the Geothermal Energy on Federal Lands Act, HR 1363, which aims to streamline the NEPA process for a geothermal test project which will allow a geothermal project to quickly move forward if resources are found. The other is the Geothermal Production Expansion Act HR 2004, which would allow for non-competitive geothermal leasing on federal land adjacent to private lands. The third is the Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act of 2013, HR 596, which aims to promote the development of renewable energy on public lands.

Meg Cichon, Associate Editor, RenewableEnergyWorld.com reports that on a panel conference call during the Geothermal Energy Association’s (GEA) National Geothermal Summit held in Reno, Nevada, GEA executive director Karl Gawell said: “The geothermal industry is poised for really strong growth in the years ahead, the question is what happens at the state level. We can’t count on Congress any time soon, so we’re relying on states like California and Nevada.”

California is introducing the geothermal bill, SB 1139 calling for 500 MW of geothermal procurement by 2024. What is special with SB1139 is that it separates the state renewable portfolio standard (RPS). It would mean 1,700 MW of geothermal in the area by 2032. Nevada is looking into updating its RPS that has surpassed its previous goals of 20 percent geothermal energy by 2020 and 25 percent by 2025 set in 2007. To sweeten the deal further and boost the economy, Nevada is enticing companies to purchase renewable energy, something Apple jumped on by moving some its data center in the state.

What’s holding back geothermal energy?

You might have guessed that congressional inaction and a focus on wind and solar have slow down the advance of geothermal. It takes an average of 1.5 years for a wind or solar project to become a reality. However, it takes five to seven years for a geothermal project, compared to three to five years for oil and gas projects.

Click here to understand more about geothermal energy.

And for those who will be rightfully quick to point to the fact that we don’t have enough water in the state, there are closed loop systems now that reduce water intake to almost none. Geothermal energy will grow in leaps and bounds in the next few years.

Energica Ego – The new Electric Superbike Beast

energica ego

This is a guest post courtesy of Baltimore Auto Repair

Have you heard of the Energica Ego?  You probably haven’t as the company is just getting started and hasn’t even sold any models of it’s electric motorcycles yet.  However, you should take note as this Italian superbike is a hell of a beast.   Some quick stats;

  • Top Speed of 150mph
  • A permanent magnet oil cooled electric motor that pumps out 195 Nm of Torque, from 0 RPM all the way to the redline
  • 0-60 of under 3 seconds
  • 11.7 Kwh Battery good for 1,200 charge cycles
  • 30-minute DC mode Fast Charge, 3.5 hours to full charge
  • 120 miles of real world riding
  • Marchesini Forged Alloy wheels
  • Pirelli Diablo Roselli tires
  • A frame made of lightweight Aluminum
  • Brembo brakes, front and rear

Sounds like the Energica Ego is pretty cool right?  On top of all these performance features on this electric motorcycle the bike is also going to have Bluetooth and internet connectivity.  Just what a web obsessed world would want right?  This is so you can tell all your friends about the cool rides you have on the Ego, boosting your ego.

CRP, the European company behind the Ego, also want you to know that they are using F1 and Aerospace grade technology on the superbike.  The Italian motorcycle company also has showcased that the bike will use innovative 3D printing technology in the production process.  Best part of the bike?  It has no emissions so you could ride it inside.  That is if you find somewhere that will let you. :)

I should say that charging does technically produce emissions but it is minimal compared to a gas powered motorcycle.  Also the cost to run an Energica Ego is waaaay lower than the gas bike counterparts.  Even in the most expensive parts of the US where electricity rates are high it might cost  only $8-$10 maximum a month to charge and ride an electric motorcycle.

Energica recently announced a partnership with Chargepoint, the largest open charging network in the world.   This should make it easier for Energica riders to utilize charging stations so they don’t worry about “range anxiety” like so many electric vehicle owners.

The company is trying to utilize slick marketing to cater to consumers too.

Energica just finished a tour in the US called “Where is My EGO?”  Jay Leno, a well known auto and motorcycle enthusiast, even made it out to see the next generation of motorcycles.

jay leno

While electric motorcycles are a very tiny fraction of the bike market currently, there is hope.  Even big and bad Harley-Davidson is touring an electric bike concept called the LiveWire.  Harley-Davidson hopes is to attract a younger crowd to it’s motorcycles… that is if forward thinking companies like Energica don’t get there first.

Are you convinced?  So you do you buy one?  Unfortunately the Energica Ego will not be available for sale until the beginning of 2015.  That means if you want to buy this electric motorcycle you will have to wait.  We will have to see whether the wait is worth it but our feeling is it definitely is for this Italian electric motorcycle superbike.

Thanks to auto repair blog and auto repair site.