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  • November 14, 2019 2:50 PM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    Karma Strikes for Pickup Truck Owner

    This week in Germany, the owner of a Ford F-150 Raptor, a gas guzzling, American pickup truck decided to block an electric vehicle charging space. Due to the decision to block the space exclusively reserved for EV’s to charge, many cars had trouble charging as a result. Luckily, the Germans take this stuff seriously, so they went all-out and used a crane to lift the vehicle out of the spot and tow it to be impounded. The Germans have the right idea about how to handle these issues and there are plenty of times where had American law enforcement done the same, it would have saved a lot of time and headache for EV owners.

    Tesla Unofficially Announces European Gigafactory Location



    Tesla already has a few “gigafactories” around the world that currently produce batteries, powertrains, and cars. Their first is currently located near Reno, Nevada and the second is right here in Buffalo, NY. Their third and most recent gigafactory is located near Shanghai, China and will start to produce cars for the vast Chinese market.



    As the European electric car market expands, Tesla has more and more interest in increasing their market share there. With this interest comes a demand to have means of production in Europe. This allows them to not need to ship cars made all the way back in Fremont, California to Europe to be delivered, which is both costly and time consuming.

    The new location announced via the above tweet from CEO Elon Musk states that the new factory will be located somewhere near Berlin, Germany. He also adds that the factory will begin its production with the Model Y and will produce everything from batteries and powertrains to whole vehicles at the factory. This will be a great move for Tesla into a country and continent dominated by legacy auto makers that is ready for a change.

  • November 07, 2019 1:05 PM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    Tesla ‘Cybertruck’ Unveil Date Announced

    After months of waiting, Tesla supporters worldwide were delighted when on Wednesday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that the new “Cybertruck” will be unveiled on November 21...



    With a mere two weeks until the event reportedly will occur in Los Angeles “somewhere near the SpaceX rocket factory”, almost no information has been released about the design or specs. The event will most likely occur at the Tesla Design Studio which is located close to SpaceX’s rocket factory.

    With the Model Y coming this summer and the pickup expected to arrive in around a year or two, Tesla will have made an entrance into the two largest car markets in the US. Of the few nuggets of information that has been released, there is one main point that all should definitely know going into the event: Elon has consistently said that he is the most excited for the pickup in comparison to all of the other great upcoming Tesla products. Everyone knows how hard of a worker Elon is and if he really wants this to be a great product, it will be.

    The release date, nickname, and design of the truck were all inspired by Blade Runner. The “Cyberpunk” name is a reference to a truck in the movie which Tesla’s truck has supposedly been inspired by. The November 21st release date is another Blade Runner reference, as the movie takes place during November of 2019 in Los Angeles. It is a daunting task to convince the millions upon millions of Americans who own pickup trucks to switch to an electric version, but if there is one thing Tesla does, it is deliver.

    New Autopilot Update Recognizes Traffic Cones

    Tesla owners received another update this week in a series of constant improvements coming to the fleet of cars. This new update gives the cars the ability to recognize traffic cones, something that has been needed for a while. Prior to this update, one would be using the autopilot system on the highway, and have to tell the system to either switch lanes, or disengage the system altogether to avoid traffic cones. Now, even when using “Smart Summon” the cars will recognize all traffic cones, even if it is just a single cone that’s not on the road! Hopefully, all of these small, almost weekly updates continue and eventually lead to automatic city street driving as well as traffic light recognition.



    One area of concern for autonomous driving experts as well as AI and autonomous driving software engineers, is that the computer will have to make the decision to either proceed or stop on a yellow light. This requires calculating the distance as well as the risk associated with being in the intersection on a red light even if it is not for long. The obvious answer here would be to always stop on a yellow light, however it will not be so easy to program the decision making of the computer in those situations. Tesla though, has shown historically that it’s up to tackling challenges nobody else is up to.

  • November 06, 2019 10:40 AM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    Aired on October 23, NOVA episode "Look Who's Driving" spends the greater part of an hour taking an in-depth view on the challenges of autonomous driving, where it needs to go, and where it is now. Here's their official description:

    After years of anticipation, autonomous vehicles are now being tested on public roads around the world. As ambitious innovators race to develop what they see as the next high-tech pot of gold, some experts warn there are still daunting challenges ahead, including how to train artificial intelligence to be better than humans at making life-and-death decisions. How do self-driving cars work?

    Click here to watch* the video "Look Who's Driving"

    * This video's availability to watch for free ends November 20, so don't wait!

    My take:

    Though it's definitely made to be understandable to the layman, they do bring up important questions of technology, safety, and ethics and dive in to each to a somewhat satisfying degree. As an admittedly biased Tesla driver, I do think that they shed of a more negative light on Teslas than perhaps is warranted. It's true that more autonomous accidents have occurred in Teslas than any other brand, but that's because there are a staggeringly greater amount of "self-driving" Teslas than any other brand on the road! This fact also leads to a glaring omission of the TV program: as the quality of the machine learning is directly tied to the amount of real-world driving experience, Tesla is millions of miles driven ahead of other autonomous driving software companies.

    Other than those drawbacks, I really enjoyed the video and thought they did a pretty good job overall in providing 1. solid content and 2. a relatively balanced tone. Even their pessimistic commentators (excepting the woman from Duke University) had valid points that I found myself sympathetic to.

    What did you think of the video? Love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

  • October 31, 2019 2:00 PM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    Model 3 Approved to be NYC Taxi Vehicle

    New York City has long relied on Japanese and the occasional American car for its taxi fleet. Generally speaking, most of the cars are hybrids with some purely gas cars sprinkled in. Although there are currently 37 car models approved to be taxis, there is only one EV and it is the most recently approved: the Tesla Model 3.

    EV’s are continuing to become more and more attractive due to the cost effectiveness of charging. This especially rings true when gas stations are not all that common in Manhattan, where most taxis spend their days picking up and dropping off passengers. On top of that, the average NYC taxi driver typically drives around 150 miles a day. This means that they could get the standard range Model 3 and still have more than enough range to get home at the end of the day. Additionally, the Model 3 is built to last. In fact, a tweet from CEO Elon Musk claims that the drive unit and body of the Model 3 can last for up to 1 million miles!



    Range, Power Boosted in New Firmware Update

    Tesla fans have become used to the regular over the air updates that improve their vehicle’s user experience, slightly change some driving characteristics, and tweak autopilot capabilities, however what happened this week is rather monumental: the firmware update consists of updates that will increase the car’s power and range.



    According to Elon Musk, the power of any Tesla that receives the update will be boosted about 5%. As far as the range update goes, it has yet to come out. This confuses many as the website indicates a 3 mile improvement in both Model X and S long range models. The Model S range gets boosted up to 373 from 370 and the X gets bumped up to 328 from 325. Musk announced that these changes are not from software, but rather just from their testing of the existing cars, which proved the range was in fact greater than they had previously thought. This range update also holds more than what appears on the surface. Previously Tesla had been advertising the range of their cars to the 5 or 10 mark (“325”), but now it seems they are being more precise (“328”).

  • October 24, 2019 12:41 PM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    One year ago TODAY Tesla Owners Club New York State officially began with our Launch Party. By the end of the night we had our first 26 members signed up and were ready to start spreading the movement to the rest of the state.

    365 days later, we have 558 members spread across NY State. Since last October, our members have...

    * No, we aren't claiming to have made this happen, but the correlation is worth noting :)

    While it's important to occasionally reflect on one's achievements, it's also important to not rest on one's laurels. After all, only 5% of NYS Tesla owners are TOCNYS members and the vast majority of vehicles on our roads are still pumping out poisonous gas - much remains still to be achieved!

    Year #1 was about growth and that won't be changing going forward, but what else can be expected for our second year? We'll be emphasizing the club becoming supported in a more sustainable manner, both in terms of:

    So thank you all for being a part of TOCNYS from its humble starting point and I'm looking forward to sharing this exciting ride with you toward its glorious destination :)

  • October 24, 2019 11:35 AM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    Astonishing TSLA 3rd Quarter Profits Reported

    Once more, skeptics of both Tesla and TSLA were proven wrong. This time it comes in the form of the Q3 earnings call, where the entirety of Wall Street foresaw losses by the company at -$0.42 a share and revenue of $6.33 billion. Tesla reported a surprising gain of $1.91 a share (Non-GAAP), but fell short in terms of revenue, coming in just shy at $6.30 billion. Tesla also made a few significant announcements along with the financial report.


    New Autopilot Information Released

    One other piece of information disclosed was the updated autopilot numbers. Throughout the 3rd quarter, the Autopilot system was involved in one accident every 4.34 million miles engaged, rather than the national average of one in every 0.5 million miles. Although these numbers are highly impressive, especially as the system continues to evolve with features such as Navigate On Autopilot and more on the way, the underlying truth is that almost every Tesla driver only engages the Autopilot system in a situation that they would deem manageable and safe for the system to take control, so there are always more factors than a simple comparison of two numbers can convey.

    In addition to the Autopilot information, there was also information about the new Smart Summon and how much it has been used. There have been over 1 million uses of the feature, according to CEO Elon Musk, and with all of this gathered data, Musk stated there will be an update coming for the feature within a week. He also mentioned that the Autopilot team, of which he recently took control, will have Full Self Driving ready for early access release by the end of the year. Elon also noted that this is just an estimation based on where they are at now, and by no means a guarantee.



    Production Announcements Made Regarding Semi and Model Y

    Although the production of the Tesla Semi, one of the least talked about of Tesla’s upcoming vehicles, was delayed recently, during the earnings call it was revealed that they are now aiming to finally begin production in 2020. There were also updates regarding the Model Y timeline, pushing the production estimate up from the previously announced fall 2020 to the summer of 2020.

    It has been really exciting to see both the Semi and Model Y spotted out in the wild, doing what they are respectively built for. All in all, 2020 stands to be a great year for Tesla fans around the world with hopefully more profitability, many autopilot updates, and the Model Y & Semi coming to life - all helping in the company’s mission to change the world.

  • October 17, 2019 12:16 PM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    Updates on the Model Y and Wheels

    Since the unveiling of the Model Y in March of 2019, there has been a constant stream of spy shots and rumors surrounding the final production specifics. One thing that is apparent is that all of the Model S, X, & 3 owners who paid for “chrome delete” at their local wrap shop will be able to save on that expense with the Model Y. The new Crossover SUV comes with black window trim, side autopilot cameras, and door handles.



    The Model Y has also been spotted several times on the back of transporter trucks near the company’s Fremont, California headquarters. Although only two wheel options are currently listed on the website, both already available on the Model 3, one more has been spotted. The other wheel configuration spotted on a horde of Model Y’s in the wild is one that we have yet to see on any Model 3 or in any previous Model Y sighting. These new wheels could potentially be used in crash testing, range testing, or any other kind of testing they might conduct prior to the mass production planned for the fall of 2020.




    Some additional wheels have been seen on the Model Y, this time coming in the form of the new “aero wheels” that are available on the Model 3 in China. These wheels were likely being tested for implementation in the vast Chinese market which Tesla has only just begun to tap into. In addition to the new sighting of Model Y wheels, there was also a sighting of new wheels on a batch of Model 3’s near the headquarters, which just this week became available via the online configurator. 


    At the beginning of Model 3 production, when they were solely focused on the production ramp-up, they limited the wheel options available plausibly in order to maintain the simplicity of the manufacturing process. Now that production is ramped and streamlined, it looks like they may be expanding the options list on the Model 3 shortly. Due to the fact that they already have the mass production aspect down, it seems on time that they would be now moving onto making more options on the car available.

    Tesla’s Subpar Auto Wiper System Will Soon Improve

    Many Tesla owners who have also driven cars from other manufacturers with an auto wiper system know all too well that Tesla’s system is lacking severely in comparison. The root cause of this issue is the mere fact that, rather than using a rain sensor to detect when and how hard it is raining, they just use the existing Autopilot camera mounted in the windshield. Using the camera poses many challenges, most coming in the form of knowing when it is raining. For many Tesla owners, the wipers will only turn on when it is raining very hard, and will not activate the wipers at a slow speed when it is just drizzling.

    In a recent tweet by CEO Elon Musk, he addressed the common issue by saying that they are developing a new neural network specifically for the auto wipers, which he jokingly calls “deep rain” as the amount of information required to process through the camera how hard it is raining and adjust the wiper speed accordingly. The good news regarding this, is that every Tesla owner will be able to receive the update, although we currently do not have a time frame on it.



    Tesla Shows Off Their “Crash Lab” in a New Video

    The three safest cars ever produced according to the NHTSA, in order are; Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model S, Tesla Model X. Making the safest car ever is not an overnight task, as explained in Tesla’s new “Crash Lab” video uploaded this week. The engineers tasked with testing the vehicle’s crash safety explained the process of creating such a safe car. They also explained how rewarding it is for them, when they find out that there has been a crash in which the occupants would have been killed, but they were in a Tesla.

  • October 11, 2019 2:59 PM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    Everything We Know About the Tesla Pickup

    Since 2012, Tesla has been steadily expanding their model line, reaching more and more segments. The expansion into the SUV and affordable sedan markets with the Model X & 3 was huge for the company and with the Model Y, they will make a splash in the Crossover SUV segment, making a small yet spacious mass-market electric SUV. The remaining highest-volume segment of the American auto industry lies in that of the pickup truck. Hence Tesla’s decision to make yet another splash in a massive automotive segment: enter the Tesla Pickup.

    We only have a limited amount of information about the Pickup as of now, but the little we do have is still enough to get any Tesla enthusiast excited. We think that it will be unveiled some time in November of this year due to a previous tweet from CEO Elon Musk, which he also recently confirmed.


    As far as styling goes, Elon tweeted that it would have a sort of Blade Runner “Cyberpunk” truck look. He also confirmed that it would look even more futuristic than the artist’s rendering above. During the Model Y event, there was a very brief teaser image that flashed after the official unveiling, which no one caught until Musk told people that they had missed it and included this picture.



    He said that the styling of the truck would be futuristic, and not for all. Seeing as most Tesla owners love the futuristic aspects of the cars, one would suspect that the styling would not limit the sales possibilities of the vehicle. Many did not know how to interpret the teaser image, questioning which part of the truck was being shown.

    Concerning pricing, it is said to start below $50,000, which would still be quite a bit more expensive than most base pickup trucks from Ford and Chevy. However, it is after all a pickup truck equipped with great performance, range, and autopilot. To make a truly incredible electric pickup truck is not an easy feat either. To compete in towing capacity, bed space and range would be very tough to accomplish for an electric truck. For one, as many Model X owners who have towed before would know, the battery’s efficiency is severely decreased when towing. For the truck to truly compete with Detroit’s best, it would have to be able to tow big loads for long distances. All in all, everyone is very excited to see what the masterminds at Tesla are able to accomplish with such a blank canvas for them to work on.

    Tesla Helps Those Affected by California Power Outages

    A big part of Tesla’s business comes from their energy division. Whether it be Powerwalls, solar panels, or utility scale battery pack installations, they always deliver a product that is much smarter than the competition and is aware of its environment. With recent intentional power shut-offs from California electric supplier PG&E, Tesla owners in the area have received messages on the screens of their cars, recommending they charge to 100% while they still have power. The power shut-offs happened in an attempt to stop another catastrophic wildfire from sweeping across California.



    In addition to the warning above message, Tesla Powerwall owners in the affected areas have noticed that once a shut-off is announced for their area ahead of time, the power storage devices go into “Storm Watch” mode, which helps them store more energy, which is then only used for essential functionality.



    Beyond the messages sent to area cars and the Storm Watch mode activation, Tesla engineers have considered evacuations as well. For those who will be evacuating their power-less homes, Superchargers will be essential. At all Superchargers in the affected areas, Tesla is currently awaiting permit approval to install “Powerpacks” which can store massive amounts of energy and allow for charging of one’s car without the grid, as well as installing solar panels at many Supercharging locations. Tesla is really going above and beyond here compared to other companies by making it easier to either remain in the blacked-out areas or escape them if need be.

  • October 09, 2019 10:15 AM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    “So you want us to park our Teslas next to the axe throwing exhibit? Ok, sounds like a good idea...”

    ‘This was going to be a fun day’, I thought to myself. After all, it’s not often that one gets to drink wine, paint pumpkins, take a hayride, squish grapes with bare feet, and watch people throw hunks of sharpened metal, many for the first time in their lives, in the general vicinity of one’s vehicle. Welcome to the 2019 Hunt Country Vineyards Harvest Festival :)



    Fortunately, it turned out we were (of course) far enough to be safe from errant axes, but still close enough to catch the attention of the ancient hobby's spectators, as they continued over to our line of seasonally-decorated Teslas. Being decked out with little hay bales, colored leaves, pumpkins, and squash helped our modern, high-tech vehicles blend surprisingly well into the agricultural setting of the vineyards.



    Though what actually made everything fit so well together was Hunt Country Vineyards itself. Led by Suzanne Hunt, this family-owned, generations-old business has been blazing a trail toward sustainability in the Finger Lakes from the top to the bottom of their operations: yes literally, from the solar panels on the barn roof to the 6000(!) feet of geothermal plumbing extending 375 feet below the ground’s surface. Standing somewhere in between are their suite of EV chargers, including Tesla Destination chargers, that were officially opened during last year’s Harvest Festival. That should allay any residual range anxiety that EV drivers might have at the thought of driving to these beautiful vineyards in the semi-remote hills overlooking Keuka Lake.



    Speaking of of EVs, around 15 of them, 10 being Teslas, were on display over the course of the day, being proudly shown off by their enthusiastic owners who also fielded the usual volley of curious questions. Some came alone, while others brought their loved ones: spouses, kids, dogs, and even pumpkins - it was quite a family affair!




    TOCNYS founding member Harry B. (and Hunt Country Vineyards veteran) had this to say of his experience at the event:

    “We had a great time! Beautiful sunny day. Several Teslas both at the display area and at the chargers. Our dogs were tired when they got home. We picked up a lot of goodies at the crafts booths and in the vineyard's shop... some for now and some for Christmas gifts. All in all, a great day.”

    Member Asa F. added:

    "We loved the Harvest Festival at Hunt Vineyards! Not only was there plenty for the kids to do, it was a beautiful location and we prefer/love to support businesses that are committed to sustainability - so it was a win all around."


    Recent TOCNYS addition David R. (from above picture) had this to say:

    "This was a great time, and a really nice introduction to the Tesla club for me as a new owner. Always fun to spend time with other enthusiasts..."

    In addition to the aforementioned, there was live music, plenty of food to choose from, wine taste-testing, and tours of the wine-making facilities (highlighting the solar and geothermal systems). There were rumors that some even went straight to the vine for some (don’t tell Suzanne) taste-testing of the grapes themselves!

    This wasn’t the first TOCNYS event at Hunt Country Vineyards, and given our overlapping green values, it won’t be the last. As a club, we were honored to be invited to attend and will be looking forward to the next opportunity to do our little part to save the planet, and if it involves a little alcohol and axe throwing, then so be it :)

  • October 04, 2019 11:06 AM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    Yorktown, NY Cars and Coffee Group Makes Amends

    After last week’s article, when it was reported that the Yorktown Cars and Coffee group took over the entirety of the Yorktown Heights Tesla Supercharger seemingly on purpose, this week the issue appears to be resolved. The leaders of the group supposedly discouraged their members from blocking the Supercharger and promised it wouldn't happen again. This Sunday morning at their most recent meeting, a Model 3 owner went to the charging location to see if they had kept their word.



    Thankfully, the group did not repeat last week’s wrongdoing, but rather went out of their way to keep the charging stations clear putting cones down labeled, “Tesla Only”. Though the Tesla community was shocked at last week’s incident, most are glad that they did the right thing and made up for it this week.

    The Tesla owner, Benswing Rich, who investigated the situation this week, even spent some time with the Cars and Coffee group. He discovered that they were not in fact “Tesla haters”, but rather many owned Teslas and just wanted to park together in an otherwise full parking lot. Perhaps if they all had Teslas they could have parked in other lots and “Smart Summoned” their cars to show each other!


    The New “Smart Summon” Feature Launches with V10 and Creates a Stir

    Speaking of Smart Summon, this new feature came with the arrival of V10, which promptly caused the masses of Tesla owners to have their cars driving themselves all over the nation’s parking lots. Of course as with any new massive Tesla Autopilot update, the media had plenty to say about it. Although only a few days after the launch of V10, CEO Elon Musk tweeted that there were over 550,000 uses of the feature, the media still was trying to sniff out every last issue.



    Despite the fact that most owners have been cautious with the feature, only using it in deserted parking lots, a few have tried the beta feature in situations difficult even for humans such as these two.

    The feature has also provided the world a glimpse into our inevitably autonomous future. One very positive use case for the feature is for mobility disabled people. Whether it be crutches or a wheelchair, “Smart Summon” will surely make one’s day easier. The controversy around the feature, as with many things concerning Tesla, has been blown out of proportion. The cars will very cautiously stop at intersections, activate their turn signals, and stop for any movement in front of them.

    In my personal use of the feature, my Model X was driving to me in an empty parking lot with a driveway to the side. The vehicle identified the parking lot and stopped in front of it, presumably letting any cross traffic go. There have been several other very positive use cases captured on video such as this one. After sifting through all of the good and bad behind this feature, one can determine that this is incredible and anyone will be impressed by it, though it has some room for improvement. One situation where the feature consistently drives much more awkwardly and even possibly dangerously, is open spaces.



    The feature does seem to prove to be highly refined in certain situations such as this one where the car navigates a seemingly double-parked car, as well as oncoming traffic which would typically involve driver communication, but is nailed by the self-driving algorithm.

    In conclusion, while the feature has a lot of progress to make, it is certainly far more advanced than anything any other automaker has released. The feature will benefit Tesla in the form of good publicity, from the fascinated and even confused witnesses. Unfortunately, the media seems to report all the negative when it comes to Tesla and only some of the positive. If someone in a parking lot ever inquires about your driverless car, take the opportunity to educate them on what the feature is and correct any misconceptions.


    Though TSLA Stock Falters, Tesla Breaks Delivery Record in Q3

    For the past 3 fiscal quarters, Tesla has broken their delivery records. Each time after, the stock analysts and shorts are quick to say that this is the highest the price can go, despite having been proven wrong many times prior. Tesla has also announced that they are entering Q4 with a larger order backlog than that with which they entered Q3. CEO Elon Musk also reportedly wrote an email to company employees highlighting that they could hit 100,000 deliveries. They fell short, but only by a little, registering 97,000 total worldwide vehicle deliveries. Although the numbers were not as high in comparison to Wall Street’s expectations, it was still a record broken and progress made. Due to falling slightly short of their expectations, the stock managed to drop 6% in after-hours trading. Articles from news sources such as CNBC have already started to downgrade the stock calling it a “demand issue”. The issue lies in production and delivery timing logistics. There were enough orders placed to shatter the expectations, however they could not keep up with the demand and only fell short by a few thousand cars. Despite all of the negativity, this is still immense progress and further demonstrates the company’s domination of the electric vehicle sector.

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