Category Archives: Energy

SF Recognized for Prioritizing Pedestrian Safety

San Francisco gets a nod from the BBC as one of four cities in the world that are making positive change by actively reducing vehicle traffic, which of course increases quality of life.

This northern California city moved quickly during the early pandemic to launch Slow Streets – a programme that used signage and barriers to limit car traffic and speeds on 30 corridors in an effort to make them more pedestrian- and cyclist-friendly. According to data collected by the city, the programme saw a 50% reduction in vehicle traffic, a 17% increase in weekday pedestrian traffic and a 65% jump in weekday cyclist traffic.

Bike lane “guerrilla” action by the SFMTrA catalyzed change in SF after its Critical Mass rallies became too controversial

Tesla Pushes Censorship

Tesla is drunk. Someone take its keys away.

The car company has fired up its lawyers in a completely tone-deaf and self-defeating missive in an attempt to censor people their CEO doesn’t like.

Tesla is demanding an advocacy group take down videos of its vehicles striking child-size mannequins, alleging the footage is defamatory and misrepresents its most advanced driver-assistance software.

Arguing that reporting on a crash test dummy in a car safety test is a defamatory act, has to be one of the dumbest arguments I’ve ever heard.

It’s a test.

It’s a test using a crash test dummy.

The test results of testing with a crash test dummy are real facts.

Even worse is when you put this nonsense about test accidents in context of Tesla trying to chill speech about real accidents; saying their safety failures shouldn’t be counted when the car is damaged in an accident. So they don’t want you to talk about safety before an accident, and they don’t want you to talk about safety after an accident.

Guess where that leaves safety for a Tesla?

Also I must point out that I’ve given many, many talks over many years about Tesla safety shortcomings where I specifically call out their inability to see pedestrians. In many of those I clearly advocated strongly for this EXACT TEST using a crash test dummy (inflatable balloon, etc) in a street because it reveals the truth by reporting Tesla failures.

We’re talking here about an infamously outspoken unfiltered CEO who aggressively pretends to believe in absolute free speech, while in reality he sends out huge legal teams to censor people.

It reminds me of Peter Thiel (South African like Elon Musk) pretending to want absolute free speech and then sending armies of lawyers to censor people he doesn’t like.

Lightyear Solar Electric Car Range is in Months Instead of Miles

Answering the obvious question of “why don’t electric cars have solar panels” the new Lightyear wants you to take a look at theirs:

In optimal conditions, the solar panels can add up to 44 miles a day to the 388-mile range the car gets between charges, according to the company. Tests carried out by Lightyear suggest people with a daily commute of less than 22 miles could drive for two months in the Netherlands without needing to plug in, while those in sunnier climes such as Portugal or Spain could go as long as seven months.

That 44 miles estimate might just be related to the fact that an average round trip to and from work in the U.S. is around 40 miles a day. And in many cases cars just sit all day in a sunny parking lot.

Going seven months between charges might also be expressed in time saved.

If people spend 10 minutes a week filling up gas (including time getting to/from stations), or more recently time spent finding a plug and then waiting for batteries to charge, then that seven months figure could turn into hours of life not wasted.

I suppose we could argue whether it’s far more efficient to run a giant array of stationary panels with a plug, yet this misses the point about classic problems of ownership, bureaucracy and “right of way” related to infrastructure.

The U.S. has around 145,000 gas stations, but only about 6,500 fast-charging stations that can power up a battery quickly for a driver on the go.

It can take some people months just to get a charger wired into a house, let alone months or years to get solar panel plans approved by utilities who hate them.

Thus someone with a simple apartment or condo in Florida (no rights to put a charger or panels anywhere) might still want to keep a car sitting around for a week or two at a time in a sunny parking lot charging WITHOUT DEPENDING ON CENTRALIZED OR MANAGED INFRASTRUCTURE THAT MAY NEVER COME… and then drive it short distances to the grocery or hardware store.

Lightyear makes a lot of sense in places like Florida, or even Wyoming for that matter.

Tesla Announces Bleeding Its Customers Dry Before They’re Killed in a Fire

What if I told you Tesla is a giant Ponzi scheme?

1920 headline showing Ponzi confidence levels in his schemes

Hopefully you’d correct me and say no, it’s actually much worse, and then explain the big difference:

In classic Ponzi scheme analysis people will lose all their money.

Ponzis of today are a whole lot more complicated and a whole lot more careful about how they dupe investors into giving them money. Tesla is a perfect example…

Or as others put it:

So long as Tesla’s stock continues to rise, they can continue to lose money doing business every year, and still profit – for themselves and previous investors – from the proceeds of new investors. And they can do this indefinitely, so long as they get continued investment. Sure seems like a Ponzi scheme.

In the Tesla case, however, people not only give away their money and fail to see it return but also may suffer from an awful result of slow asphyxiation before being burned to death.

Accountability? Too late for victims who unfortunately agreed to cough up money into a car-maker’s fear-driven scheme, then die abruptly while waiting for safety promises that can never come.

Musk stated that any Tesla bought today [in 2019] is an “appreciating asset” due to its potential to be used to generate revenue in the future.

Appreciating asset? Seriously?

Such a market-juicing statement was only three years ago yet hundreds already are dead. Even more to the point, value of a 2019 Tesla (assuming of course it hasn’t abruptly caught on fire or crashed into a police car) has depreciated at least 25%.

Dark blue line on bottom shows a 2019 Tesla depreciated more than Industry Average and Popular Brands. Apparently any pickup (green line on top) retains higher value than any Tesla. Source: CAREdge.com

Tesla will only be a depreciating asset. It delivers engineering quality basically on par with a 1990s Kia; how many of those saw valuation go up?

And Tesla is worse because doesn’t just fail to appreciate, it depreciates faster than the industry average while killing people who invest (or those around them). Failure looks like cars being destroyed completely and/or unnecessary deaths.

Tesla owner blows up Model S instead of footing $22,600 repair bill. This Tesla owner has had enough.

Furthermore, Musk has openly criticized early victims in his scam, calling them fools for investing in his notorious inability to deliver.

“The early Model S’s probably had the worst seat of any car I ever sat in,” Musk said.

It doesn’t get any better, if that’s what you’re thinking comes next. Even when you agree with the CEO his seat is the worst of any car, Tesla replaces it under warranty with… the same failure.

My driver’s seat bottom, Model S, 2017, was very uncomfortable and made my legs ache if I drove more than 1 hr. I took it into the service center and they said they couldn’t do anything. It just so happened that the Service Manager was walking by and heard the discussion. He told the techs to replace the entire seat. Several day later Mobile Service came to my house and replaced the seat. The new one was exactly the same as the one I had, painful. SIGH!

So here’s the latest update on this financial scheme pretending to be a car company, which has seen an increasingly mounting fatality rate from false safety statements (as I have predicted here since at least 2016) and over a decade of obviously failed promises.

Tesla stands accused of aggressively posting bald faced lies about what is ahead; apparently a new variant of the insidious “advance fee fraud” (AFF).

Imagine getting a “419” email from a prince in Africa (Bazillionaire CEO Elon Musk is from South Africa) who not only falsely promises riches in exchange for a small investment, but that his greedy ruse will magically make driving safer (when in fact it makes it more dangerous).

The tech mogul took advantage of [baseless claims of future enrichment from] software update to increase the price of FSD, which now will cost $15,000 in North America, up 25% from $12,000 previously. […] To be sure, [Full Self Driving] does not make Tesla cars self-driving. […] The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating almost 40 crashes involving automated driving systems since 2016. Of those, more than 30 involved Teslas…

I’ve studied the “419” phenomenon for decades and often written about it here.

The mere fact software was negligently branded as “self-driving”, while being far from able to provide the basic requirements of self-driving, surely says it all for fraud investigators.

The “419” reference actually comes from the Nigerian criminal code. It is illegal to beg advance fees in a deceptive advertising campaign, a fraudulent scheme based on enrichment promises of buying into some bogus “appreciating assets” that will never come.

Any person who by any false pretence, and with intent to defraud, obtains from any other person anything capable of being stolen, or induces any other person to deliver to any person anything capable of being stolen, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for three years.

It also is surely illegal to take your money into a system so unsafe that engaging with it makes your likelihood of death dramatically higher (loss of life, not just stolen money), but I don’t yet know the Nigerian criminal code for that.

In other words, just like with any Nigerian 419 scam, we see a Tesla CEO lie about an amazing return from advance fees yet deliver nothing even remotely close to what was promised. Tesla put its customers and everyone else in harms way as it caused more crashes, more fatalities, than it should… basically the company rushed poorly engineered updates and accelerated failures/devaluation all the while begging for money in advance based on false promises of safety.

If the Tesla car were an email message it obviously would be emotionally florid tales purporting to be from a wealthy African with too much money who makes very basic errors, yet somehow attracts intelligent and wealthy targets (which is exactly what Tesla has been as a company).

Primarily, she said, the victims have been well-educated westerners, such as such university professors, doctors, lawyers, financial planners and bankers.

Back in 2019 the world not only was falsely promised by Elon Musk that he would deliver self-driving by the end of that year but that he also would deliver the utopian robotaxi to roads by 2020.

Both were lies.

Again, I have to point out that the Tesla appeal for money in 2019 was tied directly to a CEO making fraudulent promises of personal enrichment.

A Tesla “semi” was promised by 2019, a “roadster” was promised to launch in 2020 and a “truck” was promised to launch in 2021.

People were begged to put advance payments down yet none of these vehicles launched. None. Instead “appreciation” for those advance fees saw only the depreciation of Tesla cars at a rate faster than the industry average.

This fundamentally is not just about a Ponzi like scheme, not just about taking all this money on false pretense, but again much more about untimely deaths of those who unfortunately fell victim to what seems to have hallmarks of a known life threatening fraud.

CA Firefighter Loses All Three Children in Tesla Crash. […] They were all killed at the scene when the vehicle swerved from the westbound lane of Highway 156 into the eastbound lane over solid double yellow lines, colliding with a tractor-trailer, the California Highway Patrol said. It’s unknown why the Tesla swerved into the lane with oncoming traffic, CHP said.

Unknown? I’d argue there already is plenty of research explaining how and why a Tesla is so unsafe, and moreover research why some people ignore all the warnings.

This paper discusses the linguistic pattern used by scammers, revealing language ideologies in question. It also demonstrates how linguistic anthropology can be applied to the challenge of developing linguistically and culturally adaptive controls for communication security.

R.I.P. Tesla owners. They don’t just lose money as if victims of Ponzi, they actually may be killed or see their whole family die in an elaborate Advance Fee Fraud.

July Tesla Sales Crashed in Germany and Norway: Not Even on Chart

I was surprised to read German news from July about Fiat having a huge win in battery electric vehicle (BEV) sales.

The Fiat 500 electric remains the top-selling all-electric car in Germany, with 2,170 new registrations in July. For reference, the Volkswagen ID.4/ID.5 (counted together) noted 1,600 units, Opel Corsa-e was at 1,406, while the ID.3 was at 1,383.

Fiat is crushing BEV sales in a country known for worshiping cars and skilled driving?

Their 500e model didn’t just have a good month, it ranks highest for the entire year in total German BEV sales with an impressive 13,448.

Can you guess who is notably absent from the July rankings, selling many thousands fewer BEV in 2022 than Fiat?

The answer is an American BEV brand better known as “Worst Electric Car You Should Never Buy“. It couldn’t sell enough cars in July to even make it to the list in Germany.

Tesla sales, like their cars… crashed.

Combine plug-in hybrid sales with BEV and the German numbers get a bit more interesting.

Back in 2021 we saw the “Stellantis NV” group land four models in the European car top 10 list. All four of those top sellers have BEV variants, which is what seems to be happening in Germany in 2022. The Fiat 500 is a perfect example, having a BEV variant for a decade that has achieved clear superiority over its dirty oil burning cousin.

My time spent with the 500e was unexpectedly pleasant. I picked it up expecting it to have some of the same flaws as the ICE 500, but the more I drove it, I realized they had been addressed and the 500e was a much more accomplished vehicle. And since Fiat didn’t mess with the shape of the vehicle too much, it has every chance to be popular, as it should be, because it’s a very good small EV.

Think about the following list like a smooth brand loyalty transition into electric technology, so the total numbers are something of a prediction.

According to the official data, Volkswagen once again sold the highest number of plug-in electric cars – over 7,500 units in July. BMW and Audi were the next two most popular plug-in brands, by the number of registrations, both above 4,000. Plug-in car registrations by brands (at least 2,000) last month:

Volkswagen 7532: 4364 BEVs, 3168 PHEVs
BMW 4608: 1829 BEVs, 2779 PHEVs
Audi 4086: 2307 BEVs, 1779 PHEVs
Hyundai 3866: 2587 BEVs, 1279 PHEVs
Mercedes-Benz 3578: 1090 BEVs, 2488 PHEVs
SEAT 3273: 1012 BEVs, 2261 PHEVs
Opel 2711: 2635 BEVs, 76 PHEVs
Kia 2449: 501 BEVs, 1948 PHEVs
Fiat 2176: 2176 BEVs

Again, Tesla sales are so low they are absent entirely from that article’s list of top brands. It begs whether anyone would even notice if Tesla was banned due to its negligently unsafe practices.

In Wirklichkeit stoße der Tesla zwischen 156 und 181 Gramm CO2 pro Kilometer aus und damit deutlich mehr als ein vergleichbarer Diesel-Mercedes.

Translation: In reality the Tesla design emits between 156 and 181 grams of CO2 per kilometer, significantly more than a comparable diesel Mercedes.

Germans see this clearly.

A refined and improved Fiat 500e sells because it’s so much better than combustion engine versions of the same car, while Tesla’s sloppy and rushed product comes in “significantly” worse than dirty diesel.

Seriously, we’re at a point where Tesla has demonstrated year-over-year such sub-par engineering and safety practices that it deserves to lose access to roads, as California’s Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) has recently suggested.

Extracting only BEV numbers from the article source perhaps makes the point more clear about Germany.

Registrations for a Tesla simply fall too low to make it on the chart, even below Peugeot:

4634 Volkswagen
2870 Renault (includes Dacia)
2635 Opel
2587 Hyundai
2307 Audi
2176 Fiat
1829 BMW
1302 Peugeot

Let’s flip now to Norway numbers for July, where Tesla was reportedly supposed to dominate the country’s plan to be all BEV by 2025.

Here are the July numbers in a country reporting BEV sales as 78% of their car market:

673 Skoda Enyaq iV
649 Volkswagen ID.4
279 Hyundai Ioniq 5
238 BYD Tang
253 Audi e-tron
236 Ford Mustang Mach-E
145 Kia EV6
130 Audi Q4 e-tron
114 Nissan Leaf
113 BMW ix
74 Polestar 2
57 BMW i4

Aaaaand eventually Tesla shows up with just 38 cars registered… it’s a curious thing unless perhaps you read the 57 pages of official complaints to the NHTSA about the 2022 Model Y.

Incredible number of serious safety issues and recalls for the car only a few months old. Source: NHTSA

Look at the stark difference in those numbers! Many of these complaints in 2022 are in fact a serious safety problem called “phantom braking”.

Tesla in late 2021 rushed out a recall due to massive brake failure causing fatalities (violent stops, abrupt speed changes)… and the problem seems even WORSE in 2022 after the “update”.

Let me say that again, because surely there is no other car company in history this awful.

Buying a Tesla in 2022 after they rushed out an emergency safety recall last year seems like an even worse decision than before.

Tesla quickly rolled out an over-the-air update to address the issue, yet, since that recall reports of phantom or unintended braking are higher than ever. In fact, the single highest reported cases of phantom breaking analyzed by the Post occurred just one month after the recall.

As a footnote to brand comparisons, while Stellantis surges ahead in the European clean vehicle market they’re also running dead last in America grotesquely flogging big and dirty oil burners.

Stellantis ranked last among major U.S. automakers in corporate average fuel economy in 2021, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. U.S. regulators earlier this year said they would increase penalties for failing to hit CO2 emissions targets, a decision that could cost Stellantis as much as $572 million.

So Tesla maybe is like Stellantis in America, an electric expression of the American DGAF buyer brutally flaunting danger to self and the planet: an overly hyped status object for “collectors” and “posers” like firing a gas flamethrower during a gas shortage with no real practical or safe application in society.

While Stellantis obviously gets such stark market differentiation across an ocean by offering completely opposite models to drivers on either side, Tesla clearly does not.

That being said, the ice in America (pun not intended) may be thawing finally. Idiocy of wanting to waste even a minute in a Tesla (e.g. registering complaints about wheels falling off, smoke pouring out of the vents, destroyed in a fire days after delivery) may finally be over.

Tesla fires in cold and wet Norway are especially stupid. Source: vg.no

The 500e has in fact been a cult favorite with Bay Area track heads and car nuts for years now, who offered a simple phrase to describe why 100s of them were drawn to it.

How does Wetzler feel about his 500e, given his own racing pastime? He says the 500e “is very torquey, and from 0-30 spoils you with instant throttle response and a good belt of acceleration. The regen braking to actual braking transition is very smooth and natural feeling, something many lower priced EVs can’t claim. It cruises nicely on the freeway, and is decently fun to drive… I can drive the Fiat and not hate life.

It’s a car for people who don’t hate life.

Sounds like driving such a brilliant car designed for actual living, helps them fall in love (again) with the most important reasons for driving.

Or as Fiat themselves put it ten long years ago in a 60 second advertisement about their BEV track times…