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  • January 06, 2019 8:08 PM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    Hear what Oracle co-founder AND recent addition to the Tesla board, Larry Ellison has to say about his friend Elon's company.

  • December 26, 2018 3:10 PM | Joe Moore (Administrator)
    On December 14, TOCNYS President & Co-founder Patrick Ho was interviewed on WYSL radio's "Wall Street to Main Street", hosted by Tom Hamilton of Hamilton Wealth Management. The conversation took a deep dive on many EV-related issues, from the inevitable rise of electric vehicles and Teslas in particular to the resistance from the entrenched incumbents in the declining gas-powered automobile industry.

    At one point (10:25), Patrick goes on the offensive, calling out politicians Assemblyman David Gantt and Senator Joe Robach on their failure to act in the face of blatantly unfair laws still on the books in NY State limiting the amount of service centers Tesla can open. By law Tesla is only allowed 5 service centers in all of NY State and they are all located near New York City, leaving all Upstate consumers severely under-served and under-represented.


    Listen below for the edited interview:



    Link to full, unedited interview (42:50, includes topics of international trade and immigration)


    Audio Highlights Outline:

    • 00:06 Show introduction
    • 00:32 Patrick's introduction
    • 03:38 Tesla conversation begins
    • 04:30 Roadblocks to EV adoption
    • 07:18 Advantages of EVs
    • 10:00 NY State legislative roadblocks to Tesla
    • 16:50 Upcoming Tesla Test Drive Weekend
    • 18:28 Can a Tesla carry a Christmas tree?
    • 19:03 Conclusion


    Full Transcript:

    00:06 Announcer: Wall Street to Main Street with Tom Hamilton

    00:12 Tom: Hey, good afternoon and welcome and welcome to Wall street to Main Street. Tom Hamilton here, president of Hamilton Wealth Management. Of course, host of Wall Street to Main Street, or else what the heck would I be doing here? We got Dr. Bob savage across the console. Bob, what's going on man?

    00:26 Bob: What's going on? It's Christmas tree shopping season.

    00:29 Tom: Yeah, we were just talking about that.

    00:31 Bob: Or so I'm told.

    00:32 Tom: We're a little bit late on that one... And today we have a special guest. So normally when I have guests on, I bring them on for the second, sometimes the third segment. But today we have Patrick Ho who is the president and CEO of Rochester Optical in Upstate NY. Patrick is also an immigrant citizen here in the US from Hong Kong. I figure with Patrick here, we're going to do three segments here with him covering economic and trade topics and things that he'll have a unique perspective on, know more about than I would know, than most listeners would know. So Patrick, welcome to Wall Street to Main Street!

    01:16 Patrick: Thank you for inviting me.

    01:17 Tom: So can you just give us a brief background for the listeners where you grew up, how you wound up to be an entrepreneur here in the upstate/Rochester area?

    01:29 Patrick: Well, I was born in Hong Kong, grew up in Hong Kong and went overseas to study for college when I was 15 years old. I moved to the US back in 1986 and been here since then. Starting a business is, as everybody says, is the American Dream, right? So I said, "What the heck, I'll give a shot." And by the grace of God I am who I am right now and where I am right now and it's doing good.

    02:02 Tom: So Patrick's a very humble man. Rochester Optical is one of the outstanding, fast-growing companies in Rochester, a very innovative company. Now how long have you owned and run Rochester Optical?

    02:15 Patrick: Since 1986, so 30 some years. Time just flew by.

    02:21 Tom: And Rochester Optical does retail like glasses and that type of thing, but you also do lots of innovation. You do work for the military and a bunch of other markets, right?

    02:35 Patrick: So actually we are a very vertically-integrated company. We manufacture and we also do lens fabrication and we also have some retail locations in Rochester only. One of the things that I feel as an entrepreneur is that in order to stay ahead of the curve, innovation is the key. This is the way you can distinguish yourself from your competitors. Back about 5 years ago when Google Glass first came out, we started a venture thinking there may be an opportunity. Since then we've carved a little niche in the wearables, smart-glasses space, where we make and design prescription lenses for the use of smart glasses.

    03:25 Tom: You had your smart glasses on last time you were on this show.

    03:28 Patrick: Last time was with Google Glass.

    -----

    03:38 Tom: Hey welcome back to Wall Street to Main Street. Hope your weekend's off to an outstanding start. We're talking with Patrick Ho, the president of Rochester Optical, but also the president of the Tesla Owners Club here in New York State. A 4 or 5 year Tesla owner and an electric vehicle enthusiast. Patrick and I on the whole drive down here, we talked electric vehicles... My first question for you is, Patrick, you're big into innovation, you like to see new technology... Looking out 10 years, what percentage of the world-wide and then the US vehicles do you think will be electric? 10 years, so a pretty long time frame.

    04:21 Patrick: 10 years? I would say more than 50%.

    04:26 Tom: World-wide, US, even both?

    04:28 Patrick: I would look at world-wide it's more than 50%.

    04:30 Tom: You're a Tesla owner, so you're a fan of the Tesla model. You and I talked about how they have a huge advantage in the longer-range trips because they have a bigger buildout of charging stations. We see then all the time. Even 3 years ago, we're used to seeing them. But generically electric vehicles, what's the big stumbling block do you think to adoption here in the US?

    05:01 Patrick: Talking about adoption, there's a number of factors involved. Now just talking about world-wide adoption or even just here in the US, just to let you know there's a lot of countries like Norway that have already legislated into law, by I don't know what year it is, there's going to be no more diesel or gas-burning vehicles on the road. And the same thing in Europe, there's a lot. There's similar talk in the US, but it's going to be a challenge putting it through. But the direction in a lot of places, a lot of countries, it's going to phase out the gas-burning vehicles into electric. That's why the adoption's going to be there.

    05:44 Tom: Well let me ask this though: at some point I would hope here in America, where I live... I don't want any government phase-out, I'd like to have option at some point where the cost-benefit of the electric vehicle without any subsidies makes it a fair, 50-50 option or better for enough people adopt it. Do you think 10 years time that's where we'll be on that, where you don't need to be told you have to or be paid an incentive to buy one?

    06:21 Patrick: Yeah, I don't think you even need 10 years to be honest with you. It's just right now because in the US - let's just talk about the US for now - there is not sufficient infrastructure to support the EV or electric vehicle to be the primary vehicle of the family. Right now, there's a bit of restriction of the range or restriction of the certain charging locations and also the speed of the chargers is going to be the limiting factor. Once that infrastructure is built up, kind of like gas stations where you would have two or three gas stations on the corner, people would not have have the concern about where am I going to get charged, how long do I have to spend charging my car... When those are out of the way, electric vehicles have so many clear advantages, they're going to take over the gas-burning vehicles.

    07:18 Tom: From a performance standpoint, we drove down in your newer 2018 Model S Tesla. The thing accelerates like crazy, even when it's going 75 it accelerates quickly... Little note to NYS troopers out there btw: How do I know that? How would I know that? So anyhow, fun to drive, accelerates quickly. You were showing me how the regenerative braking works... What do you see as the biggest advantages to having an EV? Having owned one for 4 years and now you guys own two.

    07:58 Patrick: It's cheaper to operate, cheaper to own. There's economic incentives right there.

    08:06 Tom: Right, no oil changes...

    08:07 Patrick: No oil changes - I don't have to add any oil, I don't have antifreeze...

    08:12 Tom: No transmission fluid.

    08:14 Patrick: I don't have to change air filters, oil filters. The only fluid that I have to add to the vehicle is windshield wiper fluid. So you have a lot less maintenance and the result of that is a lot less spending. And electricity, basically my car for driving of course is a consumption of energy, it would be equivalent to around 70 miles per gallon. That is with the dual-motor, I have a little bit of a lead foot...

    08:45 Tom: Higher-powered, right.

    08:46 Patrick: There are plenty of economic incentives to own an EV. And obviously there are other incentives, if you are concerned about the environment, carbon footprint, warming of the temperature of the world, ice cap melting. All these kind of things as a citizen is like, hey, I want to think for my next generation. What am I going to be able to do to make the world a better world for my son, my daughters, my grandkids, and so on and so forth. I think there's a responsibility for each one of us to take care of the Earth that's been given to us that we have taken so much out...

    09:30 Tom: I don't believe that that's going to have that much impact at all on the electric vehicles because everybody can say that, but the bottom line is that 'I've got $30,000 to spend on a car. I need to get my family, me to work, my kids to school...' So I think the practicality is really what's going to be the bigger differentiator in adoption of a vehicle.

    So here in NY State, you and I talked about the fact that you go to California, there's service stations all over the place. Why are there so few service stations for a Tesla or a... I guess Tesla would be the one because the other ones are manufacturers that have dealerships and service. Why don't we have more service areas for Tesla here in NY?

    10:25 Patrick: This is because of certain antiquated laws in the state of NY, which limits how vehicles are being sold. Right now the law states that vehicles have to sell through a network of dealers, therefore automakers are not allowed to sell directly to consumers.

    10:45 Tom: Are most states like that still or are most of them changed that?

    10:49 Patrick: Yeah, most states have that and a lot of states have already changed that just because Tesla is here to stay. They are not going to go away. Every 10 EV that are sold, 8 or 9 of those are Tesla vehicles.

    11:04 Tom: So there's going to be consumer demand to open that up.

    11:08 Patrick: Exactly, so right now really as a Tesla owner in Upstate NY we have to get the service done either in Pittsburgh PA, Cleveland OH, or even Toronto. The inconvenience aside, the sales tax from that revenue went to other places.

    11:32 Tom: The service work, the employees, all of that.

    11:35 Patrick: And the matter of fact is we are creating jobs for other cities instead of creating jobs here in Rochester or Syracuse or Buffalo or Albany. Also, one of the things is that the electric vehicle is here to stay. Having a Tesla service center here would also be a platform for MCC, RIT - for the students to learn about...

    11:58 Tom: The technology...

    11:59 Patrick: Right. So those are the things that we are really missing out on because of that. If you don't mind, I'll just take this opportunity to call out Assemblyman David Gantt and Senator Joe Robach being in the leadership position in the Transportation Committee to take some action to change the law and make the law permissible for Tesla to open up service stations up here.

    12:28 Bob: Patrick, what is the rationale behind this rule that prevents Tesla from having dealerships in NY State? I don't understand why that rule's there.

    12:38 Patrick: Yeah, a lot of people are scratching their heads too. Basically, in a way it's from way back when - I don't know the exact history of that - probably many years ago - 30, 40, 50 years ago - that's how they protected the interests of the dealer. They are saying that for the sake of the consumer, maybe back then they needed this network to take care of the consumer.

    12:58 Tom: Right, clearly that's not needed now. It's kind of a nonsense issue. So do they have service centers Downstate?

    13:06 Patrick: Yes. Right now the legislation or the law permits Tesla to set up 5 service stations and they are all Downstate by New York City, south of us.

    13:16 Tom: Upstate gets screwed again. What the heck?!

    13:18 Patrick: There you go...

    13:19 Tom: By the way, whenever you're on the show Patrick, you feel free to call out any politician's you want.

    13:26 Bob: We're not the shy, retiring type.

    13:28 Tom: What are you doing for us, folks? You gotta do something for us here in Upstate - something, we'll take anything.

    13:33 Patrick: The way I see it here is your constituents need the service. The thing right now is we put them in this position and we want to change with time and change with technology and this is what it's all about. I really hope that in the next session they can introduce bills to change that kind of stuff because I can tell you that it's going to be a platform that voters care about. And we want to talk about and pay attention to who's going to be helping us to make it a possibility for more Tesla service stations in Upstate NY.

    14:11 Tom: Let me ask you a question now with regard... with gas-powered automobiles, when we go to the pump, a big chunk of what we're paying per gallon goes to taxes. How would electric vehicles pay for their share of road use?

    14:35 Patrick: There are other forms that - I don't know, I'm not a legislator... There are other ways that maybe, say for example from the service side of that.

    14:46 Tom: There you go, right.

    14:48 Patrick: If you allow service stations, there's a spill-over effect from those because there are so many more EVs out there and especially Teslas. Those are not cheap vehicles and that's the spending that is going to be benefiting the economy of the local economy.

    15:07 Tom: We're going to a hard break here. We're talking to Patrick Ho from Rochester Optical. You're listening to Wall Street to Main Street. We'll be right back.

    -----

    15:28 Tom: Hey, welcome back to Wall Street to Main Street. What the heck, is it dark out already?!

    15:33 Bob: Yeah, shortest day of the year coming up.

    15:35 Tom: Are we reducing the power already?

    15:38 Bob: I did that about 5 minutes ago.

    15:40 Tom: Not on the FM though.

    15:41 Bob: Nooo!

    -----

    15:44 Tom: Not on the FM. Alright, welcome back to Wall Street to Main Street. We're talking with Patrick Ho from Rochester Optical in Rochester in Upstate NY. So Patrick is an immigrant from Hong Kong, an entrepreneur, of course a citizen of the US now. We talked about the trade with China. We're going to get into the general topic of immigration here in a few seconds. I just want to wrap up with the electric vehicles.

    A disclaimer for the attorneys and for anybody out there: we make no recommendation to buy or sell any specific company's stock ever on the show. When we're talking about products that a company makes, we're talking about it from a general standpoint and information. It has nothing to do with the investment end. We only do that individually with clients, just to be clear on that.

    But Patrick being the President of the New York State Tesla Owners Club, he mostly was talking about Tesla when we were talking about electric vehicles - 'cause that's the one that he owns a couple of and knows. So you were telling me on the drive down you're doing a test drive opportunity for people for Teslas this weekend?

    16:59 Patrick: Tesla Owners Club New York State and Rochester Optical is partnering with Tesla in Downstate NY and also NJ. They'll be bring 5 Teslas up here, making them available for people to test drive. So if you haven't driven a Tesla before and you want to test drive a Tesla, this is the opportunity. Tomorrow at the Lyell Avenue campus from 9:00 to 5:00, Saturday and Sunday.

    17:34 Tom: So it's both weekend days, 9 to 5?

    17:36 Patrick: Correct, correct.

    17:37 Tom: And it's at your campus, the Rochester Optical campus where, on Lyell?

    17:41 Patrick: Yes, exactly.

    17:42 Tom: And if you need directions or the address, you just need a Tesla and more because it should be on your navigation screen, right?

    17:51 Patrick: Basically, you can register at the Owners Club website, tocnys.org. And you register or you can find details about that Test Drive Event.

    18:04 Tom: Can people just show up and sign in or whatever?

    18:06 Patrick: Yeah, they prefer people to register.

    18:09 Tom: So what is it, toc...

    18:11 Patrick: nys, Tesla...

    18:12 Tom: No dots in that, tocnys... because I'm going - I'm taking a drive. Bob, you gonna be there?

    18:15 Bob: I'm going to try to get over there.

    18:19 Tom: tocnys.org? And then you sign up, so it's either day: Saturday or Sunday this weekend?

    18:26 Patrick: Correct, correct.

    18:28 Tom: Now can a Tesla carry a Christmas tree?

    18:30 Patrick: Yeah, actually they have a Model X, which both doors open up like gull wings. You can have a tree go right through, sideways!

    18:38 Tom: That would be a sight driving on the highway.

    18:42 Bob: I could see Tom Hamilton doing that.

    18:43 Tom: So again if you're interested - and I'll tell you what, I'm going to go drive one - it sounds like a great thing... Just to ride in it, it's pretty exciting just to ride in. This weekend, which is the 15th and 16th, 9 to 5 at Rochester Optical on Lyell Avenue.

    -----

    19:03 Patrick: Granted, you can Tesla opened up a Gigafactory 2 in Buffalo making solar roofs, which is good for Upstate.

    19:14 Tom: We need more.

    19:15 Patrick: Exactly.

    19:16 Tom: We're gonna wrap up. Again our guest, and thanks very much, Patrick Ho from Rochester Optical. You can go drive a Tesla this weekend. Go to tocnys.org and sign up and I hope to see you there. I'll talk to you next week on Wall Street to Main Street.

  • December 26, 2018 1:32 PM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    Enjoy this video recap of our recent Tesla Model 3 (& X) Test Drive Weekend! For many, this was their first exposure to the car that's taking the industry by storm. In addition to the Tesla Marking team from Paramus, NJ, members from the Tesla Owners Club New York State were in attendance, interacting w/ the public.

    It's estimated that there were...

    • 60+ total people in attendance (members + public)
    • 30+ test rides given
    • 40+ donuts consumed (ok, not proud of this one!)

    This event was particularly important as it was TOCNYS' first collaboration w/ the good folks @ Tesla. And it will not be the last either, but more details on that to come... In the meantime, enjoy the video from the event!

  • December 20, 2018 10:10 AM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    Watch as earlier this month, driver Cameron Rogers drove his Tesla Model 3 Performance to a record time of 1:41:28 on the historic Laguna Seca racetrack.

    This breaks the previous record of 1:43:06 by a Tesla Model S P100D, set in September, 2018.

  • December 19, 2018 2:22 PM | Joe Moore (Administrator)
    Here at Tesla Owners Club New York State we don't just talk the talk, but we walk the walk as well.

    That's why we've installed eight new level 2 charging stations at the TOCNYS headquarters at Rochester Optical, Lyell Campus! The brand of the chargers is EVBox and the app is call EV Connect.

    This makes this location even more ideal for hosting club meetings, Tesla test drives events, and Tesla delivery events. Tesla and other EV owners can charge their cars while they hang out with other awesome owners :)

        

  • December 11, 2018 11:29 AM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    How does one get the most out of this super-unique, yet fleeting driving experience?

    It's not uncommon for the typical test drive to last about 15 minutes and most find that to be an adequate amount of time to grasp the nuances of the particular vehicle that's being driven. However, that's much more the case for "normal" ICE (gas-powered Internal Combustion Engine) vehicles that we've grown up riding in and driving. For all the variations between brands and models, the experience is far more similar than it is different. And then there are EVs (Electric Vehicles) and Teslas in particular...

    The following suggestions will help you to get the most out of your time spent in the cockpit of this revolution on wheels:

    1. Prepare your heart

      Weird thing to hear about "simply" a test drive perhaps, but it's not without its peers: Tech Crunch concludes "The Tesla Model 3 is a love letter to the road" and Fortune says "Driving a Tesla was the best and worst thing I've ever done". Bottom line is that it will be a permanent, perspective-changing experience and it will ruin you for traditional ICE vehicles thereafter - basically it's taking the red pill for driving. Some have gone so far as to discourage those who can't afford a Tesla from taking a test drive as it very well might lead to certain unwise, emotional financial decisions!

    2. Do your homework

      Having a basic knowledge of the key distinguishing features of EVs and Teslas will mean the difference between becoming more knowledgeable, connecting experience/feeling with facts and simply being sensorily overwhelmed with no mental reference-box in which to put things.

      From the silent ignition-less start (akin to waking your computer), the instant torque of the electric motor(s), to the uber-minimalist dashboard with only steering wheel and touchscreen, there are definitely key paradigm-shifts needed to help one make sense of it all.

      I highly suggest reading this post over at Wait But Why, which dives head first and just keeps swimming deeper into all things EV and Tesla.

    3. Show up early

      It's recommended to show up at least 10 minutes early for your test drive. This suggestion is part courtesy and part just giving yourself the opportunity to get in the zone before your big drive :)

    4. Drive like yourself and not Mario Andrietti

      Perhaps I'm dating myself (sorry, Mario!), but it's important to understand that the purpose of a test drive isn't for testing the physical limits of the car (ahem... "0-100mph in how many seconds?") , but rather to see if it fits you and your family, as you would drive it everyday. Acceleration does have its place in everyday life of course, but chances are how many inches of headroom might just have a bigger impact overall on your experience than how many seconds from zero to whatever (just ask this guy).

      This all goes back to step #2. Everyone's needs are different and it would be super helpful to have already prepared by making a list of just what are the essentials that you're looking for in a vehicle. That way, you can have a rough outline of what to mentally take note of during your time behind the wheel.
       
    5. Ask questions

      Don't be shy and don't hold back. If you've done your homework from step #2, you should have a bunch of (reasonably) intelligent, relevant questions for your Tesla agent. You are hanging out a Tesla expert whose job it is to make you a junior Tesla expert - make them earn their pay!

    6. Reflect on your drive

      Since writing down notes is not among the list of recommended things to do while you're driving (even with Autopilot engaged), the second best way to capture your key takeaways from your driving experience is to review and record your thoughts as soon after your test drive as possible. Writing a response to each previously noted make-or-breaker list would be golden here.

    7. Choose wisely (and don't forget your budget)

      Finally, you inevitably come to the point where you feel the need to make a choice: either pursue a purchase of your own Tesla or officially put it off for now (or ever). This is where step #1 is especially important. You knew in advance that there was a high probability that your emotions would be kindled, so remind yourself of that fact as you stoically only go forward if the numbers add up for your situation.

      If they do, then congratulations and welcome to the club! If not, then it's true you'll probably never really be able to enjoy your traditional ICE car again. Hopefully though, you'll have new-found motivation for working/earning/saving hard until you're behind the wheel of a Tesla again - and this time, it won't be just for a test drive!
  • December 03, 2018 11:54 AM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    Last week, we reported on the Model 3 having some issues in cold weather and Tesla said they were investigating the situation.

    The automaker is now already pushing a new software update to address some of those cold weather issues...

    Read full article can be read here on the Elektrek website.

  • November 29, 2018 12:33 PM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    Tesla's vehicles on autopilot have far surpassed the miles driven by all self-driving cars combined.

    The article can be read here on Engadget's website.

  • November 27, 2018 2:35 PM | Joe Moore (Administrator)
    On November 5, TOCNYS's own co-founder Roger Dube was interviewed on WXXI radio's "Connections". Also making a surprise appearance was Brad McAreavy, president of the Rochester Automobile Dealers Association. The dialogue that followed is indicative of the resistance to competition by the entrenched dealerships whose business model is threatened by Tesla's revolutionary direct-to-consumer approach.

    The interview can be heard here on WXXI's website.

  • November 26, 2018 10:15 AM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    It's a good thing that a car that can travel speeds up to 155 mph happens to have the highest safety ratings (including rollover resistance) of any car ever tested!

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