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  • May 26, 2020 11:55 AM | Stephen Pallotta (Administrator)

    As TOCNYS nears the 1,000 member mark, it became heavily apparent to me that there was a need for delegation of local leaders  from all parts of New York State. The need for action became even more evident once I created a map of Registered Teslas in New York State. While the majority of registered Teslas are in located in the downstate area of New York, there are regions that are growing at a rapid pace such as: Finger Lakes, Niagara-Frontier, and Capital-Saratoga. It's crucial that as a club we have access to this data, as well as make plans on how to act on it. 

    Over the past few weeks I have been working with new Regional Organizers and Key Members to make plans for the future of TOCNYS and sustainability in New York. As some of you may have heard me state in the past, each region of our state has their unique components to offer, and having leaders who understand these components are key to the success of their region. 

    Our current Regional Organizers & Key Members are:

    1. Capital - Saratoga Region: Regional Organizer- Howard V. Kibrick / Key Members- Edie Houle

    2. Finger Lakes Region: Regional Organizer- Rick Cognata / Key Members- Don Wilcox & Harry Burch

    3. Long Island Region: Regional Organizers- Keith Spiro & Carson Gallo ( looking for 1 more R.O. ) / Key Members- Luis Alicea, Steve Fabrikant

    4. Niagara Frontier Region: Regional Organizer- John P. Weiksnar  Key Members- Anthony Cancemi & Joe Bockus

    5. Chautauqua - Allegheny Region: Regional Organizer- Brandon Gary 

    6. Hudson Valley Region: Regional Organizers- Eugene LeedsLloyd Trufelman ( looking for 1 more R.O ) Key Members- Rich Hargrave & Jen Reimer

    I am currently looking for Regional Organizers in the following regions

    1. Adirondacks Region ( 1 )

    2. Catskills Region ( 1 )

    3. Central Region ( 1 )

    4. Thousand Islands - Seaway Region ( 1 )

    5. ***New York City ( 3-4 R.O.s )*** Key Members: Brian Swails & James Noto

    To see what region you are in, click here or the following link- https://www.tocnys.org/regions

    In the near future, I will be adding a permanent page to our site that displays our Regional Organizers and Key Members; for the meantime I would like to provide and update on our current list. If there is vacancy as a Regional Organizer in your region, or you are interested in becoming a Key Member, please email me so that we can further discuss the role; you can find more information about becoming a Regional Organizer or Key Member by reading this blog

  • May 22, 2020 6:29 AM | Stephen Pallotta (Administrator)

    Tesla Brings Bidirectional Charging to Teslas -

    Electric vehicles are good in almost every way imaginable… but they can put a lot of strain on the power grid. Fortunately, it turns out that EVs can actually help the power grid. A recent study shows that fleets of EVs could actually help save owners money by only charging their cars during off-hours. Many electric companies bill customers a different fee per kW depending on when they use their electricity. Peak hours of electricity use is typically in the early evening, when people are getting home from work, cooking, and using their HVAC systems. Teslas currently give owners the ability to plug the car in, and have the car be plugged in, but not charging except for certain hours. This can help EV owners save even more money on powering their cars. Additionally, the study found that if EVs could actually send power back to the grid, it would be even more beneficial. If there is a hurricane, or another event that causes a blackout, utility companies could potentially pay homeowners for feeding electricity from their car to the grid. This would also be more beneficial for the individual owner if they have a Tesla Powerwall because this means that they can power their own house during a power outage. 


    The First Convertible Model 3

    Although Tesla once made the roadster, and will soon make another one, there is not currently a convertible Tesla model available for purchase. Luckily, a company called Newport Convertible Engineering has made the dreams of EV convertible fans come true. The conversion isn’t very cheap though- it is $30,000 on top of the price of the original car. The converted cars do go through rigorous road and water testing to ensure that it can function as a normal car, without sacrificing the car being waterproof or having ridiculous amounts of wind noise while travelling at higher speeds. Thankfully for safety, Newport Convertible Engineering claims that there is no structural rigidity sacrificed in the conversion. Although the car might not be the prettiest, nor what Franz von Holzhausen and Elon Musk envisioned, it is fun to see something new in the otherwise relatively plain design of the Model 3. 



  • May 14, 2020 6:30 PM | Stephen Pallotta (Administrator)

    Tesla Owner Stops Carjacking With Their Phone - 

    This week, in Barstow California, a Tesla owner was sitting in the driver’s seat of their Model 3 when a man reportedly came up to the car and demanded he get out. What the thief did not know is that the Model 3 owner got out of the car, he had his phone with him. Due to the fact that the Model 3 either needs the phone of the owner in the car, or the car’s keycard touching the center console to shift into gear. The Model 3 owner then pulled out his phone, and with the thief still baffled as to why the car wouldn’t drive, locked the doors. Unfortunately the thief did not do their research as they did not realize they could simply get out of the car using the manual door pull. When the police quickly arrived on scene, the carjacker was still mashing the door open button to no avail and the car was saved, and the criminal caught. Although this one instance seems funny and odd, it points out a much larger safety factor that Tesla’s have. As most Teslas are more expensive than the average car, it would be easy to think that there would be more attempted thefts of them. Fortunately, this is not the case. Thanks to the fact that every Tesla can always be tracked, whether via the owner’s phone or the company, there are very few attempted thefts on Teslas. For example, from the start of 2011 to May of 2018, there were 115 attempted thefts of Teslas and 112 of those thefts were recovered. A 97.3% recovery rate is very impressive seeing as only 59.1% of all cars are recovered.  


    Tesla Gives Slight Update to Model 3 Interior -

    This week in China, Tesla made a change to all the new Model 3 cars that are being produced in their new Shanghai factory. The change is not much of a surprise and many expect it to happen in the US once production resumes at full speed. The change is that the Model 3 interior now has some of the same features as the new Model Y. For example, there is now a Qi wireless charging pad in the car and there are now USB-C ports in the car as opposed to the traditional USB-A ports.



  • May 11, 2020 12:15 PM | Stephen Pallotta (Administrator)

    Driving means freedom; for Tesla owners, freedom means driving. Nothing is more exciting to an owner than getting behind a wheel of a car that can out accelerate, and outperform almost any car on the road; while doing it in an environmentally friendly way.

    When you earn your driver’s license and purchase your first car, they are two of the most empowering and exciting moments in your life. However, as time goes by and as we mature, driving becomes less and less exciting. Before you realize it, driving all of a sudden becomes a chore. That initial excitement and love for driving, suddenly, ceases to exist.

    I think I can safely say, the day a new Tesla owner receives delivery is the day the new driver excitement gets rekindled. For each Tesla owner, unlike owners of ICE vehicles that thrill of the drive never ceases to exist. Tesla owners look for the thrill of the drive. 

    Since quarantine began over a month ago, many TOCNYS members were eager to experience this thrill again. In a safe, social distancing way and in the safety of our Teslas TOCNYS sought to re-experience “the thrill.” On Sunday May 3rd, fifteen Teslas from Long Island, Westchester county, NYC, and New Jersey met at the Tarrytown NY Supercharger station. Their quest, to reach the summit of Bear Mountain. After a much needed recharge, one by one each Tesla exited the charging station. In single file, all fifteen Teslas that included thirteen model 3s, a model S, and Carson’s model X all headed towards the Sprain Brook Parkway. From the Sprain Brook we headed to the twisty and winding roads of the Taconic; a perfect stretch of road for Tesla’s low center of gravity cars. 

    As we cruised through each twist and turn of the Taconic, we couldn’t help but admire the scenic view it had to offer. One could not help but loose oneself in such a beautiful scenery on a perfect warm sunny day. Just before reaching route 9 we took the tight turn of Annsville circle and one by one each Tesla drove into a nearby gas station; all parked in single file.

    To our misfortune the road to Bear Mountain was obstructed due to a motor vehicle accident. As we reoriented ourselves we took the opportunity for some photo and video shoots. Once we confirmed an alternate route the long caravan of Tesla’s exited the gas station and headed down route 9. From route 9 we headed down to the 409. To our misfortune we soon learned the gate to Bear Mountain was closed.

    We pulled into a nearby parking lot of a funeral home where we came across, what looked to be, a beavers nest. One by one each Tesla took a parking position, a much needed break to stretch our legs. Unfortunately, that was the end of our run to reach the heights of Bear Mountain. Although Bear Mountain was closed, again; all was not lost, the drive itself was well worth it. The exhilaration of driving our Teslas through the scenic, twisty, windy turns of the Taconic was bliss. 

    This was the first cruise my wife and kids participated in. My eight year old twins and my six year old, all boys, are all big Tesla fans. They too, like me, were eager for this cruise. They have never seem so many Teslas in a caravan. They even had the opportunity to see the Model X dance – thank you Carson! My kids enjoyed it. This was truly a memorable cruise for all.



  • May 08, 2020 2:37 PM | Stephen Pallotta (Administrator)

    2020 Tesla Roadster Likely Delayed-

    In a recent interview of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, conducted by Joe Rogan, Musk alludes to the fact that the upcoming Tesla Roadster (which was expected in 2020) may be delayed. After mentioning that the Model Y production, Cybertruck production, as well as opening the new factories in Shanghai and one in the US all take priority over the Roadster; signs are showing that the Roadster will likely not enter production until 2022. Although Tesla wants to build the Roadster, it simply does not make sense for it to be prioritized over so many important projects that will further expand the control over the market that Tesla already has.


    Tesla Releases New & Exciting Software Update

    This week, Tesla released the new software version 2020.16 which includes some minor, but impactful changes. The new and notable features include a Toybox update, a Dashcam update, and a Charging Map update. The release notes for each of the above are as follows:

    Tesla Toybox

    The Tesla Toybox has been redesigned to make it easier to view and play. Simply scroll through the toys and adjust the associated controls. As before, to access the Tesla Toybox, tap the Toybox icon from the Application Launcher.

    Dashcam Improvements

    Dashcam is now easier to setup or erase. After plugging in a USB drive, tap Controls > Safety & Security > FORMAT USB DEVICE to format and create the associated folders for Dashcam. Note: Formatting the USB drive will also delete any existing clips.

    Nearby Charging Stations

    The charging list has been improved to easily filter nearby charging sites based on max power. Simply tap the charging icon on the map and filter by selecting the associated lighting bolt icons.



  • May 05, 2020 12:50 PM | Stephen Pallotta (Administrator)

    On May 1st of 2020, I had a conversion with Rick Cognata (Regional Organizer), and Don Wilcox (Key Member), about some of our short and long term goals for TOCNYS for the Finger Lakes Region. Rick Cognata had many weeks upon weeks of events and meetings planned, but due to the recent and current circumstances, they have been postponed.

    While many great ideas were shared during our conversation, there is one in particular that I would like to start working on with some of you. Like many of us, Don Wilcox (who has a background in mechanical engineering), is passionate about discovering what makes something tick. Our idea is to assemble a team of club members who are interested in building a simple EV from the ground up. We will start to put our ideas and design together online, and then slowly transition to working together in person, when the time comes. 

    If you are interested in helping plan, design, construct, assemble, etc., please respond to this email and CC both Rick Cognata ( cogs5150@gmail.com ) and Don Wilcox ( wilcoxmodel3@gmail.com ). In order to best plan and organize for this project, please add the following information to your response : 

    1.) First / Last Name

    2.) Email address 

    3.) Phone Number

    4.) What skill(s) you may be able to offer: (design, CAD, welding, battery management, parts, assembly, or anything else that you may be able to offer). 

    --

    Stephen Pallotta

    Club Manager

    TOCNYS

    stephenp@tocnys.org

    Source: https://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/this-tesla-powered-electric-go-kart-has-600-horsepower/

  • April 30, 2020 7:20 PM | Stephen Pallotta (Administrator)


    Model S Should Supposedly Have 400 Mile Range 

    Wednesday, with the release of the Tesla Q1 earnings, came the Earnings Call, which they have each quarter and stockholders can ask questions to some of the high up employees and board members at Tesla. In mid-November Tesla released a new “Long Range” version of the Model S which had an EPA rated 391 miles of range. On the earnings call, Tesla CEO Elon Musk stated that the company already has a 400 mile range car. Musk claimed that during the EPA range testing for the Long Range Model S, while the car was stopped, the key was left inside the car and the door was left open. This caused the car to stay on whereas if the door was closed and the key was taken out of the car, it would have powered off and not lost any range during this time. Musk also claimed that once this pandemic passes, the EPA will retest the car, likely finding that the range is 400 miles or above. 



    Cybertruck Factory Location to be Announced Shortly -

    It was announced last month that Tesla was scouting possible locations for the Cybertruck factory in the Midwest. It was revealed on the Earnings Call that Tesla will be announcing the location of the upcoming factory as soon as next month. The company is known to have scouted Nashville Tennessee, Joplin Missouri, and Wichita Kansas. 



    Elon Musk Hypes Tesla “Battery Day” - 

    During the 2020 Q1 earnings call, Tesla CEO Elon Musk was massively hyping up the upcoming Tesla Battery day in which the company will show their progress in battery technologies. The presentation will be held at the Gigafactory in Buffalo, NY and will be livestreamed on Tesla’s website. On the Earnings Call, Musk said that the day would be “one of the most exciting days in Tesla’s history.” The automaker will likely present their plans moving forward with batteries as well as all of their progress up to date.



  • April 23, 2020 6:53 PM | Stephen Pallotta (Administrator)

    Tesla Releases More Autopilot Data - 

    This week, Tesla continued the tradition of releasing data gathered from its fleet of cars. Each Tesla on the road, while using Autopilot, is constantly gathering data that is being shared nonstop with the Autopilot team at Tesla. Tesla’s goal by gathering the data, is primarily to help them improve the driver assist system, and work toward the goal of full autonomy. By gathering this data, Tesla also hopes to show lawmakers that cars being driven by computer systems can be more reliable and safer than those being driven by humans. 

    At this point in time, Tesla has amassed a surprising three billion miles of Autopilot data gathered from drivers around the world who use the system. In addition, the more advanced Autopilot system, Navigate on Autopilot, is accountable for one billion of the three billion total miles driven. In addition, there have been over 200,000 fully automated lane changes made by the cars, where the cars must determine whether or not it is safe or necessary in a given situation to change lanes. Another figure the public was updated on is the number of Smart Summon sessions by Tesla owners. Smart Summon is a system designed for people to summon their cars from one side of a parking lot to another. Some have ruled the system as untrustworthy and potentially dangerous, which manifests itself in the fact that 500,000 of the 1.2 million smart summon uses were within the first two weeks of the feature being widely available. Since then, there have been six months passed with only 600,000 sessions of Smart Summon being used. This indicates that the feature is not one used on a daily or near daily basis, such as the standard Autopilot system. 


    Tesla App to Gain Security - 

    It has long been a fear of Tesla owners that someone could simply drive off in their car, with only their email and password to their Tesla account. This would be possible via the Tesla app, where with only your email and password, one can log in to the app to unlock your car and drive off. This is especially concerning considering that several people use the same email and password for different websites, and many websites have been compromised. (You can visit this website, and enter your email address to see if your data and passwords have been compromised) Considering the fact that over 9.5 billion accounts and passwords for websites have been compromised, the security on the Tesla app begins to look scarce.

    The best way that companies can protect their users from theft like this is to use two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a system where to log in somewhere, one has to enter a password, then a code that is texted or emailed to them. This process is to ensure that it is in fact the owner of the account who is logging in, and not someone with malicious intent. Tesla owners have been wanting Tesla to incorporate 2FA into all Tesla accounts for quite a while now, and it seems that it is finally going to happen. In a recent tweet by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, he stated that a 2FA system will soon be implemented in Tesla.



  • April 23, 2020 1:18 PM | Stephen Pallotta (Administrator)

    Just behind California and Texas, New York is the most populated state in the United States, with a total of roughly 19.5 million residents. While Texas ranks second for land size with 261,914 square miles, and California ranking third with 155,973, New York State ranks 30th with just 47,224 square miles. In the state of New York, Teslas make up roughly 69% of all BEVs, with many of them being registered in the counties of: Suffolk, Nassau, Westchester, Queens, New York, and Monroe. 

    With the continuous and rapid growth of Tesla owners in the state of New York, I am putting out a call for leadership of TOCNYS members. Tesla released the first few Model 3s to early customers in mid-2017, and an influx of owners have taken delivery ever since then. Observing this ever-continuing positive growth in our state, I am seeking Tesla owners and enthusiasts from all parts of New York State that are passionate about both Tesla and the community behind it. With that being said, there are two classes of leadership positions that I am looking to fulfill: Regional Organizer and Key Member. 

    The Regional Organizer (R.O.) is someone who: has the time, passion, and knowledge to lead their specific region of New York. They will lead in the creation and administration of events and meetups, grow club membership in their local region, build relationships with community / businesses / government, and will be able to maintain communication with me. I will be working closely with R.O.s in every way possible to support and assist them, if they need me, I am there. While some regions may only have one Regional Organizer, others may have three or more, depending on the population of Tesla owners and residents in that region. Each Regional Organizer will be working with, and continually building, a team of Key Members in their particular region.

    Key Members are TOCNYS members from all parts of the state that will be working closely with Regional Organizers. Unlike R.O.s, there isn’t an exact limit on how many Key Members that can sign up for the position, the more the merrier! For those who wish to support the club, but may be concerned about time commitments, this role may be a better fit for them. Key Members will help in the process of: facilitating and fostering events, bringing ideas to the R.O.s, sharing concerns and thoughts from club members, and helping make the club the best it can be.

    Our current Regional Organizers are:

    1. Capital / Saratoga Region- Howard V Kibrick

    2. Finger Lakes Region- Rick Cognata

    3. Long Island Region- Keith Spiro ( looking to add 1-2 more R.O.s )

    4. Niagara Frontier Region- John P. Weiksnar

    I am currently looking for Regional Organizers in the following regions

    1. Adirondacks Region ( 1 )

    2. Chautauqua - Allegheny Region ( 1 )

    3. Catskills Region ( 1 )

    4. Central Region ( 1 )

    5. Thousand Islands - Seaway Region ( 1 )

    6. Hudson Valley Region ( 2-3 R.O.s )

    7. New York City ( 3-4 R.O.s )

    To see what region you are in, click here or the following link- https://www.tocnys.org/regions

    Taking on one of these leadership positions is a great way to: help accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy, give back to the community while making a significant difference and impact, develop new skills while building on existing experience and knowledge, build and strengthen the Tesla community throughout New York, create relationships with individuals that share the same passions as you, provide your region with a powerful voice, create partnerships with businesses that will offer club members discounts and incentives, and to overall maximize fun in life. Ultimately, the position is what YOU make it, and that’s what I’m most excited about!

    If you can’t decide if the position is right for you, flip a coin, I find that this is truly the most effective way in making decisions in life. Not because you will respond to the outcome of the coin, but because while the coin is flipping and turning through the air, your heart will have made its decision. Once you have made your decision, please send an email to stephenp@tocnys.org to inform me on the position that you're interested in, and the region that you would be representing. From there, I will be reaching out to you to discuss further. I look forward to hearing back from you, and working with you to help make TOCNYS the best that it can possibly be!

    Stephen Pallotta

    Club Manager

    TOCNYS

    stephenp@tocnys.org



  • April 16, 2020 1:33 PM | Stephen Pallotta (Administrator)

    Teslas Will Be Able to Drop You Off and Park - 

    Tesla’s autopilot system received a big update last summer with the release of Smart Summon, a system that would allow one to summon their car from a parking spot to anywhere else in the parking lot. As of now, it appears that this summer we will receive a similar update, allowing Tesla owners to exit their vehicles at the front of a store and then send the car to go find a parking spot for them. It was revealed via a tweet from Tesla CEO Elon Musk that this feature will be part of the “core autopilot software update for FSD later this year.” Seeing as the amount of good (and bad) press Tesla got when they released the Smart Summon feature, it would be safe to guess that this feature will have to record a lot of real world information from Tesla owners around the world who will be using it, in order to improve the situational awareness of the software. 


    Cybertruck Updates - 

    Tesla CEO Elon Musk previously stated that the Cybertruck would be available in a matte black paint option, although now it has been brought into question whether or not Tesla will be painting the cars at all. Seeing as the “exoskeleton” of the Cybertruck is made from a “ultra-hard 30X cold-rolled stainless-steel” there have been questions as to the paintability of the truck. Although the strong exoskeleton provides rigidity, durability, and safety, it is looking doubtful that it will be painted by Tesla. Most of the prototypes seen to date are only sporting the unpainted stainless-steel and it is beginning to look like that is the only color buyers will be offered directly from Tesla. This week, Musk stated that “you will be able to wrap it in any color or pattern” which appears to allude to the fact that owners will have to pay to get their Cybertrucks wrapped by a third party, rather than from Tesla itself. 



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