Category Archives: Energy

“Tesla biggest loser”: Chinese Sales Drop 90%

According to CarNewsChina, Tesla only registered a measly 10 (ten) “revamped” Model 3 cars in all of China during the first week in October.

Tesla was the biggest loser, with an almost 90% drop in sales… For Tesla, the first week of October wasn’t good. Their sales were down 86% week-on-week, and they sold only about 1,000 vehicles in China. That isn’t enough even for the top 10 EV makers, so you don’t see them in the first leaderboard chart. All 1000 registered vehicles were Model Y, with Model 3 registering only about 10 units.

Compare Tesla falling off a cliff with BYD Motors rocketing ahead on 51,400 new EV registered in that same period.

Not a misprint.

More than 50,000 new BYD electric cars were being registered as Tesla strained and struggled to find 1,000 people who haven’t yet heard of BYD.

Tesla wasn’t able to sell enough cars to even register on the board. Source: CarNewsChina

Tesla made a huge splash announcement recently that it “updated” the Model Y in China by changing the dashboard trim and fixing a misprint in their published range, increasing a whopping 9 whole kilometers from 545 to 554. Seriously, they just switched the numbers around. Tesla also claimed a high performance “boost” to 5.9 seconds for its 0-100km/h acceleration time.

Yawn. Is it 2013 yet?

In related news, crushing the ongoing fraud of Tesla, BYD says it is ready to begin shipping their U9 supercar, a 1,084 horsepower EV rated at 0-100km/h in 2 seconds… designed with balance so refined it can run on three of four wheels.

Source: TopGear

Despite the Tesla CEO going “prostrate” for sales in China, his low-quality rushed cars are inevitably getting pushed aside.

…Musk seems to go out of his way to prostrate himself before Chinese authorities. At the end of 2021, Tesla opened a showroom in Ürümqi, the capital of Xinjiang—the province where the Chinese government has, by many accounts, carried out mass detentions and abuses of the Uyghur community. Only days earlier, Biden had signed a law that bars products from the region from entering the U.S., to counter the use of Uyghurs as forced laborers. The office of Republican Senator Marco Rubio, who has been active in this cause, charged that companies such as Tesla “are helping the Chinese Communist Party cover up genocide and slave labor.”

What a guy.

A white South African guy raised by anti-Semitic white nationalists under Apartheid is now known for covering up genocide and excusing slave labor to sell his cars? The same guy who throws down a WikiPedia article in 2023 to help justify slavery as “standard practice”?

Source: eXtwitter

Hey, you know what else was made rare last century? Horses and carriages. Somehow the guy wanting everyone to immediately buy into future driverless science fiction and forget the present, wants to also argue that the abolition of slavery two centuries ago is oh so very recent.

Any cars that are being made that don’t have full autonomy will have negative value. It will be like owning a horse. You will only be owning it for sentimental reasons.

He said that in 2015. Since then his fraudulent “full autonomy” project is what has turned into negative value. More importantly, he revealed he has strong sentimental reasons for trying to bring back slavery.

This guy sounds like just the kind of 村中白痴 the Chinese are very wise to stop buying from. A 90% drop isn’t enough.

Can You Spot the NYT eBike Disinformation?

We often speak about disinformation like it’s a side show to news, something motivated in extremes and from adversaries outside of balanced mainstream reporting.

The NYT however gives us a good example of disinformation in the mainstream cycles (pun intended).

They’ve been caught by StreetsBlog pushing an agenda with false analysis.

To begin, the NYT blames victims.

Richtel never clarifies, though, how the mere presence of a battery and a motor on Champlain Kingman’s bike contributed to the crash, aside from the fact that he personally believes that e-bikes “tempt young riders, untrained in road safety, to think they are safe mingling with high-speed auto traffic.” (Hot take: maybe the bigger problem is the presence of high-speed auto traffic in neighborhoods where children live, rather than the fact that children feel happy and confident riding bicycles — especially ones like Champlain Kingman, who by all accounts did have strong roadway training.)

StreetsBlog is right. Simple logic says if speed is a killer, cars need to slow down to stop killing cyclists. Death was the fault of the driver, as the cyclist would have survived without the presence of the speeding car.

Then, the NYT tries to paint with a rediculously broad brush, arguing that all eBikes are bad if some of them are modified for any speed at all.

This is like saying the Nissan LEAF and Chevy Bolt (five deaths) are as dangerous as the manslaughtering Tesla (nearly 500 deaths).

Richtel’s series, which instead explores the idea that e-bikes may be inherently unsafe for young riders, regardless of how they’re designed, ridden, and regulated.

The NYT seems to lack any understanding of safety engineering let alone transit design, peddling (pun intended) feelings of baseless fear instead.

A bike modified for 30km/hr could be safer than 25km/hr because it travels at the same speed as cars. It’s a fact that the worst crashes are a function of speed difference, so if eBikes are to be made safer they either have to speed up or cars have to slow down.

You know what I’m talking about. A bike at 10mph around cars trying to go 40-50mph is recipe for disaster; just like a car going 120mph around cars going 50mph. If safety is the goal, the worry about an eBike going faster on its own without any context is like 1800s campaigns claiming people were getting dangerously sick from traveling faster than 20mph (because it was bumpy).

That’s not how anything works.

The Nissan LEAF is incredibly safe. The Tesla is a death trap. Both are EV. Both are capable of high speed, but are totally different. The same stands for the variety of eBikes (pun intended) and their engineering/quality practices.

The final point made by StreetsBlog is a killer one (pun intended) about misdirection. The eBikes when adopted widely could dramatically reduce deaths, while the NYT falsely alleges they should be feared for risk of deaths.

The frank truth is that, of all of the dangers the Times attributes to e-bikes — grisly crashes, lawless vehicle owners modifying their rides to be more deadly, lives abruptly stolen from children and teens — car drivers and the auto-centric systems that surround them are overwhelmingly more likely to be the culprit, as evidenced by the fact that nearly every crash mentioned across the four stories involves a driver. And unlike thousands of teen motorists every year, the teenagers who were brutally killed in these collisions didn’t kill anyone else in the process, nor did they contribute to the pollution, sprawl, and staggering public health crises that are part and parcel of mass car dependency.

In fact, studies show the more bikes the lower the fatalities, exactly the opposite of cars. This is a function of bikes having an interactive and social component. Cyclists around cyclists become exponentially safer.

StreetsBlog makes a crucial point that cyclists don’t kill other people. All the cyclists dying on eBikes? Mostly killed by cars. See the problem?

It’s like reading an article in the NYT that says kids can choke on easily modified carrots and broccoli so they should be smoking with their parents instead, which not only kills them but everyone around them.


Oh, but the vegetables are organic and could have a bug! NYT says chew on some tobacco instead kids because think of the risk.


NYT go get 100 eBikes, ride them in an eBike environment protected from cars, and then come back… you spoke too soon (pun intended).

Bottom line is disinformation can come from anywhere. In this case it’s a NYT writer so wrapped up in toxic car culture that he’s become nonsensical, afraid of the very best thing that could end it.

disinformation • \dis-in-fer-MAY-shun\ • noun. : false information deliberately spread to influence public opinion or obscure the truth

Fatuous Howler: Elon Musk Biography by Isaacson “misleading and even flat wrong”

An impressively astute book review has been published on Defector.

He welcomes the return of a space race, not between rival superpowers, but between capitalists indulging in healthy competition “like that of the railway barons a century earlier.” This is fatuous in a familiar way, but also wrong: The American railway boom was 150 years ago, and brought about not by “competition” but continental-level corruption, kickbacks, bribes, and unfettered monopoly—all of it built on the backs of ruthlessly abused workers. (The injury rate at Tesla’s Fremont, Calif. facility, per a report from 2017, was 31 percent higher than the rest of the industry.)


The biography lacks basic truth about history.

Oh, but then it gets so much worse. The book lacks basic truth about the present, thus enabling fraud.

Even the release of Elon Musk was marred by one of Isaacson’s howlers. The biography was launched with a much-trumpeted “exclusive” published by CNN, Isaacson’s old haunt. The story, based on reporting in the book, detailed how Elon Musk personally ordered the Starlink internet service used by the Ukrainian army to be switched off as they prepared for a strike on a naval base in Russian-occupied Crimea. If you turned that upside down and tickled its tummy, it would still not resemble an exclusive. The details of the story had been reported six months prior by Oliver Carroll in the Economist, and were repeated by Ronan Farrow in the New Yorker in late August along with the tidbit, missed by Isaacson, that Musk may have turned off Starlink after speaking to Vladimir Putin.

Isaacson subsequently issued a correction (on Twitter, of all places), clarifying that the Ukrainians “asked Musk to enable [Starlink] for their drone sub attack on the Russian fleet. Musk did not enable it.” Musk himself is now on to a third version of this event—it’s hard to parse, but he blames U.S. sanctions—but whatever was claimed in the biography is now, by its own author’s own admission, apparently untrue

“Fatuous Hitler’s Turd Reich” was suggested to me by a predictive algorithm, as I started to type the word “howler” for the headline of this blog post.

The computer algorithm isn’t far off the mark. Accurate prediction.

Please read the very sharp book review in Defector instead of the fascism fluff book by Isaacson.

2023 Hot eBike Bakeoff: QuietKat Lynx vs Talaria xXx

I’ve been asked more and more to review eBikes coming online, so in the interest of time here’s a quick comparison of two that caught my eye:

2023 Lynx. Source: QuietKat

QuietKat Lynx (cafe moto) — $3,999

  • Motor: 1000W 2 Speed Hub Drive (Variable Power Output)
  • Range: 63mi
  • Battery: 20Ah/48V/960Wh
  • Power: 83Nm Torque/1440 Peak
  • Max load: 300lbs
  • Top Speed: 28mph
  • Weight: 100lbs
  • Regenerative: No
2023 xXx. Source: Sur Ronster

Talaria xXx (stunt) — €2.400 ($2,500)

  • Motor: Interior Permanent Magnet (IPM)
  • Range: 60k (40mi)
  • Battery: 40Ah/60V/2400Wh
  • Power: 45Nm Torque
  • Max load: 165lbs
  • Top Speed: 46mph
  • Weight: 125lbs
  • Regenerative: Yes

There are a ton of eBike reviews floating around already. They never seem to appeal to me, so maybe that’s why I’m being asked to add mine to the growing pile. I’ve not yet seen these two compared. Here goes:

A simple bake-off had a surprising result for me because the winner turned out opposite to first impressions:

  • Weight: Lynx 100lbs
  • Speed: xXx 46mph
  • Strength: Lynx 300lbs
  • Range: Lynx 63mi
  • Cost: xXx $2500

3 for the Lynx vs 2 for the xXx, and if I properly weight (pun not intended) the categories I care most about the Lynx is much further ahead.

I mean on first glance (maybe it was price tag) I felt the pull of a stupid-fast and light xXx. It’s powerful and nimble for fun rides, perhaps too much fun. I could see myself breaking it.

Where the Lynx shines is engineering for things more relevant to my interests: practicality, offering durability and distance. It hints at something more like “slow and steady” Dakar and much, much less at kids doing “endless burnouts in high school parking lots” or… *shudder*, white technocrats cruising Palo Alto.

Notably, the xXx has reliability issues with its motor cutting out without warning. That’s ok on fun rides, maybe. NOT acceptable for basically everything else. A dead 125lb bike at intersections or on trails… nope. Riding wheelies on the xXx and… ugh, why am I even looking at a bike marketed as xXx? Go away SEO bots.

When you’re ready for real life with responsibilities, the Lynx seems to be thinking about much more rational features for respectable long hauls (not the LOOOONG 200 mile haul of the new Buell but 63mi is plenty).

One nagging detail that kept me on the fence is regeneration of energy. Given the utility of eBikes for remote mountainous terrain (somehow I always end up on) a regen all the way down sounds great. Really great. Speaking of which, allegedly one of the reasons a xXx motor quits and requires reset is trying to regen over 90% causes thermal trouble. I’ll take a working engine over any regen one that abruptly quits, natch.

Even so, lack of any regen feels like oversight from QuietKat, especially given how they reference a Colorado mountain test environment and promote mountain this and that in their specs. Getting up to high elevation campsite is no bother if you know you have the option of charging back down.

As a final note, linking to a trailer seems like something Talaria doesn’t even think about, yet Lynx has a beefy cargo rack already setup behind the saddle and then offers options like their “Cargo Trailer”.

100lb capacity in a sizeable trailer is more than than enough for light Nextgen Anti-Tank Weapons. Source: QuietKat

If they spell cat with a K and they call a bike the Lynx, shouldn’t this be called something more creative like the “KatBox”? I’ll be here all week.

The cargo trailer doesn’t say it works well with NLAW mounts but you get the idea. QuietKat otherwise doesn’t hide the fact that they market towards “scout ahead” and the toughest “protect and serve” riders who “mount guns, bows, and more”. Remember their “Jeep” model? Maybe they should offer a decal set for riders to show how many helicopters downed or turrets popped? On a similar note their “Game Trailer” with the picture of a deer carcass doesn’t say it can be an ambulance gurney or extract wounded… but again, you get the idea.

Old side-car thinking ruins the anti-mine singletrack sensibilities of modern eBikes

All of this brings to mind military-grade engineering, regulated (in a good way) with long-term dependability for quiet professionals. The xXx however says race-to-the-bottom throwaway nuisance toy.

Between these two eBikes I might use an xXx for a few light-duty recreational trips, as a quick replacement for gas, but the Lynx seems far more likely to be the kind of infinitely useful bike I’d want to ride and ride and ride.