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  • September 20, 2019 2:44 PM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    Tesla Strives to Beat Porsche at the Nürburgring

    At the launch of the new Porsche Taycan, Porsche knew that Tesla and their eleven year old technology had them beat, except for one category. Porsche was dead-set on having their Taycan be faster around the track and thus sell it as more of a driver’s car.

    Of course anyone who’s sat in the driver’s seat of a Model S (especially the Raven cars) would know that with their low center of gravity, they can corner at neck-snapping velocities. Porsche confidently came out of the gate at the Taycan launch with their relatively quick 7:42, but after a tweet received by CEO Elon Musk, he and his team became determined to prove that with their superior technology, they could beat Porsche’s time.

    They began at home, in Monterey County at the EV proving ground, The Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway. On that track they claim to have set the record for the four door sedan segment, which is a very impressive feat considering Teslas have been known for their temporary reduction in performance only after a few minutes on the track. The epic then continued, this time taking a red and a blue Model S “Plaid” to the Nürburgring track in Germany, in hopes to defeat the Taycan on its own soil.

    Upon their arrival in Germany, Tesla was seen testing both cars on the track and these “Plaid” variants had some notable differences. As one can see below, the opening in the front bumper is bigger, most likely to allow for better cooling. In addition, the fenders are flared to accommodate the wider racing tires. These fender flares look to me like just some plastic pieces, most likely tacked on in the tent in which they used to build Model 3s. There is also a rather large plastic rear wing attached, presumably for more downforce around corners.

    In addition to all of this, it earns its “Plaid” name through the new Roadster powertrain which uses two rear motors and one in the front, instead of the previous one in the rear, one in the front configuration.

    Eyewitnesses said to have timed the car going around the famous track at 7:23, about 20 seconds faster than the Taycan. Due to the fact that this lap was not during a time where Tesla had the track all to themselves, most suspected that they could do even better. Well, good news speculators, you were right. In a recent tweet by Tesla they expand upon the previously hand timed 7:23 and say,

    “Data from our track tests indicates that Model S Plaid can achieve 7:20 at the Nürburgring. With some improvements, 7:05 may be possible when Model S returns next month.”

    If you weren’t excited enough before, now’s the time to get pumped; The possibility of a 7:05 lap time would put the Model S well above even super-limited cars like the Jaguar XE SV Project 8 which ran an impressive 7:21. Tesla’s new lap time isn’t official as the German track doesn’t allow official times to be clocked in during these “Industry Pool” sessions. Speculators also argue that the “Plaid” variant isn’t a production car as it hasn’t gone into production. Well to that I say that Tesla has stated that it will go into production and while the Taycan was doing it’s lap it was not in production either. If you’re not willing to sell your house and children for this car now, I suspect you will be in a month or so when Tesla will have the track all to themselves!

    Tesla’s V10 Software Enters Early Access Testing

    Ever since Tesla has gotten onto the Fall massive software update schedule, the holiday’s have consistently come early for us Tesla owners. This new Version 10 update packs a much bigger punch than all of those little “bug fixes” updates we see throughout the year. From your cars’ favorite food to Netflix and chill at a supercharger, V10’s release notes are sure to become a piece of classic literature, here are only three of the best features:

    1. I’m feeling lucky/hungry

    When us peasant V9 users tap on “Navigate” at the top of the screen we only see two options; work and home. With V10 two new options will be added, I’m Feeling Lucky, and I’m Feeling Hungry. “Hungry” will take you to a nearby restaurant which is frequently navigated to by other Tesla owners, and “Lucky” will take you to a cool place nearby that you may have not known was there. The introduction of both of these new features are just another great example of why owning a car from a company founded in the 21st Century has a surplus of benefits.

    2. Tesla Theater

    A feature that has been tweeted about endlessly for months is the ability to watch Netflix and Youtube while your car is parked. Although for the lucky few Early Access members who already have V10, they can stream endless video through the satellite connection through the car, once released, it will only be available while on Wifi. The feature will also allow you to watch Tesla’s very own tutorial videos if you are a new owner or just want to obtain a deeper understanding of your personal laptop on wheels. Elon Musk also mentioned a while ago that Wifi connections would be installed at more Superchargers, however we have yet to see this fully come to fruition.

    3. Sentry Mode Refinements

    As an avid user of the Sentry Mode and Teslacam features, I find it immensely annoying how every three or four weeks, I have to unplug the USB stick and clear the memory. If you don’t you’ll have that pesky red exclamation mark at the top of the screen, where every time you get in you fear that something has gone wrong, but then you realize that you just can’t save the video of that cute bunny that ran across the road while you were driving. With a new V10 feature, it will automatically clear old Sentry footage from your drive once it is full, which means that you will almost never have to manually clear it again. This feature is a massive streamline to the somewhat difficult to figure out Sentry and Teslacam features.

    Mack Trucks is Bringing Electric Garbage Trucks to NYC

    As a person who lives in New York City, I not only have to breathe the toxic air, (when I’m not in my HEPA filtered Model X of course) but listen to the loud and polluting noises of trucks as they drive by at all hours of the night. One of the culprits is garbage trucks, with their constant stops and droning of the exhaust, they drastically take away from the overall charm of the city, while polluting the air and atmosphere. According to Mack Trucks, these new electric trash-haulers will use their own developed electric powertrain specifically designed for city use. Beginning in 2020, they will be testing these new trucks in the five boroughs and eventually roll them out of the testing program and into implementation. Even though they’re not as nice to look at as the Tesla Semi, this would definitely help the city in their 80% reduced emissions by 2050 goal and all residents should be excited about these positive steps taken.

  • September 18, 2019 11:32 AM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    Since launching Rich Rebuilds, the Tesla and EV-centric Youtube channel has become very popular, garnering 54 Million views and over half a million subscribers. In a recent episode, it wasn't Rich's entertaining personality in the spotlight, but rather TOCNYS' very own Long Island member Carson Gallo, his Tesla Model X, and his home - but I repeat myself...

    No matter what your opinion of Carson's chosen living situation (and indeed the Youtube comments are polarized), nobody can accuse him of lacking creativity or enthusiasm for Tesla! For that we're proud to count him as one of our own.

  • September 17, 2019 1:32 PM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    As many TOCNYS members attend National Drive Electric Week events all across the state this week, Sierra Club (its sponsor) has launched another effort on behalf of the planet's well-being focused here in NY State. Let's hear about it in their own words...

    The transportation sector is the largest source of greenhouse gases in New York’s economy, accounting for 36% of emissions, but New York has not identified an interim target for reducing these emissions. New York State has committed to achieve 100% net-zero emissions by 2050 and under Governor Cuomo's leadership has made near-term targets to aggressively develop renewable electricity and improve energy efficiency.

    In order to get to 100% clean energy, we need bold targets not only in the electric sector, but also in the transportation sector, which presently lacks adequate interim targets to ensure we are on track to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. That’s why we’re calling on Governor Cuomo to adopt a bold interim target to reduce climate emissions from on-road transportation by 55% by 2035.

    Achieving a 55% reduction in motor vehicle emissions would provide massive benefits to New York. Increasing electric vehicles and decreasing reliance on cars would provide billions in public health and economic benefits, keep tens of billions of transportation fueling dollars in the New York economy, increase mobility, and benefit communities most overburdened by air pollution.

    And it would ensure that New York is on track in 2035 for our 2050 climate protection goals. Send a message to Governor Cuomo and let him know that New Yorkers want to lead the nation on transportation goals.

    Click here to tell Gov. Cuomo that NY needs to lead on transportation

  • September 13, 2019 9:58 AM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    Way back in the beginning of TOCNYS, last October specifically, we would reach out to all kinds of organizations in an attempt to make connections and amplify the club's voice. Fast forward several growth-filled months and the organizations have begun to reach out to us!

    "Hi, this is Amanda from channel 13 WHAM news. Would you guys have time for an interview this afternoon?", was the voice message that was waiting for me at my desk on Wednesday. After carefully weighing the pros and cons of this hard decision for 1.4 seconds, I was dialing the phone to confirm the interview time :)

    Click here to see the recording of the news segment

    It proved to be a fun opportunity to talk about our experience as Tesla drivers, where the industry is at, and where we're headed in the future. I noted how much we said to how little actually got in the finished news piece, but that just goes with the territory ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    So check out TOCNYS President Patrick Ho and myself (Joe, Club Manager) at the link above. As always, love to hear your comments!

  • September 12, 2019 4:46 PM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    Since listing the evSmartParts.com mud flaps custom made for the Model 3 on our TOCNYS Products page, we've gotten more than a few orders. We figured it was time that we put on a pair first-hand and see if it was really as easy as claimed to install...

    And the jury says... yes, they're actually pretty easy to install. The best part being that there's no drilling required, so even if one decided to take them off later, the car would return to the same shape that it was BMF (Before Mud Flaps)!

  • August 29, 2019 12:28 PM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    On Saturday August 24, the Rochester suburb of Fairport was rocking as it hosted the annual Fairport Music Festival. While there was electricity in the air from the music, there was also electricity on the streets as Electric Car Insider and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) teamed up to show off some of the latest electric vehicles! Four TOCNYS members brought their Teslas to be part of the exhibit.



    Altogether, there were 6 vehicles on display: 3 Tesla Model 3s, a Tesla Model S, a Mitsubishi Outlander (Plug-in Hybrid), and a Honda Clarity (Plug-in Hybrid).


    Tesla Models 3 and S, Mitsubishi Outlander, and Honda Clarity (L to R)


    According to our admittedly biased observation (we are the Tesla Owners Club NYS, after all), the Teslas got the lion's share of the attention from passersby. Among the Teslas, interestingly enough, the Model 3s seemed to attract more interest than the Model S. This seems to indicate that more and more people are seriously considering investing in an EV, as they focus on the more affordable over the faster, more flashy model.



    More than a few people expressed that though they may have seen Teslas on the road before, this was their first chance to see one up close and to ask questions of an owner. The most popular questions people had were not surprises: How much (to buy)? How far (is the range)? and How fast (does it take to charge)? The answers to these questions are becoming attractive to the listener as time goes on, which bodes very well for the future of Tesla, EVs, and the planet!


    Thanks to TOCNYS members Patrick H, Rick C, Michael S, and Philip L. for volunteering to share their knowledge and love of EVs and Tesla!

  • August 28, 2019 5:13 PM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    Anyone that has spent time with kids knows how their curiosity and sense of wonder about the world is contagious. Now what kind of magic could happen when you introduce one to a Tesla?

    TOCNYS member John W. from Buffalo found out recently when he was reviewing some of his Sentry Mode footage....and we are so glad he shared it with all of us!

  • August 27, 2019 4:32 PM | Joe Moore (Administrator)


    Thanks to events like TOCNYS’ recent Cruise to the Beach, the term “Sunday drivers” is taking on a whole new meaning. Contrary to the inexperienced, slow drivers of yesteryear, on Sunday, August 18 on Long Island over 25 people in over a dozen Tesla vehicles, some of which were driving themselves, made a caravan truly fit for the 21st century.



    Assembling at the Valley Stream, NY Tesla Supercharger starting around 8:30 AM, the cars had a chance to swap stories and take pictures as they let their cars top up their batteries. There was even a demonstration of the latest version of Enhanced Summons, where one’s car drives itself (with nobody in the car, mind you) from its parking spot over to its waiting owner - like an invisible valet service.


    At 9:30 AM the caravan officially commenced on Sunrise Highway to the Richard L. Brooks Memorial Park, about a 45-minute drive to the southeast. A general strategy was employed in attempt to “manage” the ¼ mile long caravan: "I and my co-pilot Warren were in the first car, while the last car in line would notify me if anyone got stuck at a traffic, in which case we, the front-runners, would pull off to the side. Which worked out well."





    Not wanting to pass up any photo ops, there was a brief stop at the Jones Beach water tower to get some videos, stills, and drone shots of the caravan.

       


    Eventually everyone arrived at the Richard L. Brooks Memorial Park. This "park" is actually a large parking lot informally known to locals as OBI East, where car enthusiasts gather every Sunday to show off their rides against a beautiful ocean backdrop.

    *****

    Did you know? OBI East takes its name from the old Oak Beach Inn East, one of four enormously popular (and controversial) nightclubs that lasted from the 1969 to the late 90’s.

    Source: Wikipedia

    *****

    Lastly, the event was concluded by the a few remaining TOCNYS members heading to a local Captree State Park Tiki bar for a meal.



    Event organizer Keith S. summed everything up very well: "It was a fun day and cruise that must, I repeat, must be done again. Everyone responded well and loved the event entirely."

    *****

    The Cruise to the Beach event also represented a milestone for TOCNYS as it was the first club event on Long Island, which is the NYS region with the highest amount of Tesla ownership (~3,500). Though club membership on the Island is still a relatively small percent of that number (1.7%, 60 members), both membership and activity is on the rise.

    *****

    Thanks to the following members for their effort in making the event possible:

    • Keith S. the visionary for Cruise to the Beach and on-the-ground MC during the event
    • Warren & Kamal S. expert caravan management team
    • Stephanie D. who, unfortunately couldn’t be in attendance, helped coordinate the event with TOCNYS HQ & handled emails
  • August 22, 2019 9:27 AM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    The EV charging infrastructure has come a long way in the past 20 years - to the point where many say that range anxiety is a thing of the past. But what about a trip of thousands of miles, including vast stretches through sparsely populated North Dakota and Manitoba, Canada? Also, how well is Tesla's Autopilot coming along - is it ready enough to make a significant difference in how we experience a long drive?

    Thanks to TOCNYS President Patrick Ho and his latest trip, we have an opportunity to answer just such questions. And now we turn it over to him...

    -Joe M.


    Overall Stats

    • Total distance driven: 3,304 miles
    • Total energy used: 1,027.8 kWh
    • Average energy used per mile: 311 Wh
    • Total Paid on charging: $21.07 CDN ($15.94 USD)

    Conditions*

    • My Model S has free lifetime charging at Superchargers

    • While on the road, I charged the car enough so that it would have 5% battery power remaining upon arrival at the farthest reachable Supercharger or destination

    • I charged to 100% when charging overnight

    • I used Navigate on Autopilot as much as possible while on the highway (~98% of the time)

    • I set the car to cruise at 10 mph over the speed limit

    • I rigged adjusted the steering wheel for total hands-free driving to allow the car self-drive on Navigate on Autopilot

    *This was an observational, rather than a prescriptive experiment. It wasn’t about doing things the right or wrong way, nor was it about what was necessarily good or bad for the car.

    Stops


    Outgoing

    • Origin Charged 100% Rochester, NY
    • Erie, PA (Supercharger)
    • Maumee, OH (Supercharger)
    • Mishawaka, IN (Supercharger)
    • Overnight in Comfort Inn at O’Hare Airport, Chicago, IL (Destination charger)
    • Mauston, WI (Supercharger)
    • Overnight in Residence Inn in Minneapolis (Destination charger)
    • Clearwater, MN (Supercharger)
    • Moorhead, MN (50kW CHAdeMO charger)
    • Destination Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

    While in Winnipeg

    • First went to CHAdeMO charger at Red River Campus (Free) - Not working
    • Went to Polo Park used 50kW Flo CHAdeMO charger - Paid $15.94 USD
    • The rest of the time used level 2 charger at CAA (Canadian Automobile Association), Manitoba (10 minutes’ walk from hotel) - 20A 240V (under 5kW, charging at 8 miles an hour)

    Return

    • Origin Charged 100% Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
    • Moorhead, MN (CHAdeMO charger)
    • Clearwater, MN (Supercharger)
    • Overnight in hotel in Minneapolis, MN (Destination charger)
    • Mauston, WI (Supercharger)
    • Overnight in Hotel at O’Hare Airport, Chicago, IL (Destination charger)
    • Maumee, OH (Supercharger)
    • Erie, PA (Supercharger)
    • Destination Rochester, NY


    *****

    Did you know? Winnipeg is the geographical center of North America!


    *****

    Charging Experience & Range Anxiety

    Along the way there was a sufficient number of Tesla Superchargers for the car/me to choose from. Allowing the car to plan the charging stops (rather than myself) would have actually resulted in many more stops as it seems programmed to keep the battery level from dropping below 20% between Supercharger stops.

    This arrangement is not efficient and is time consuming because between taking a detour to charge and “finding” the Superchargers was not easy in HUGE shopping center parking lots and truck stops. The navigation map would only take you to the general area. (Suggestion: It would be nice if Tesla added tall signs at the Supercharger location so they could be seen at a distance.) Also the lower the battery level, the faster the charging rate was.

    I experienced none of the dreaded range anxiety until I finished my stay in Minneapolis. The last Tesla Supercharger was in Clearwater MN and from there to Fargo ND/Moorhead MN to Grand Fork ND to Winnipeg MB, there is only one DCFC CHAdeMO charger! There are plenty of level 2 and Tesla Destination chargers along the way, but all of them would have taken many hours, if not overnight, to charge.

    *****

    CHAdeMO adaptor now available for TOCNYS members to borrow


    *****

    My anxiety came from not knowing if that lone DCFC CHAdeMO charger would work. (Reading online, they are notoriously unreliable as in the case of the CHAdeMO charger on the Red River College campus in Winnipeg). It didn’t matter to me if it charged a fee or not, as long as it worked.

    When I got to the Moorhead CHAdeMO charging station, the charger looked operational. I hooked up the CHAdeMO adapter to the charger and proceeded to insert credit card into the reader as instructed. My heart sank as it came back with a “communication error” and several other credit cards had the same result. As I tried to explore options on the tiny LCD screen, I hit the “Start” button and Voilà! the charger started charging without even processing my credit card! I immediately checked the car to see if current was flowing and it was indeed - at about 45 kW. What a relief from my anxiety…. I used the same CHAdeMO charger on the way back without worry.

    Here are pictures of that CHAdeMO charger that saved my trip...

    Self-driving Experience

    Interventions

    • 5 interventions during road construction

      In one instance where the highway was coned off to direct traffic to the right, Navigate on Autopilot would have run straight into the cones had I not taken over.

      In another instance where the right lane ahead was closed and Navigate on Autopilot would change into the right lane. In both instances I wouldn’t really blame the car because sometimes even humans would make these kinds of mistakes. I can see why it is really really difficult to achieve Full Self Driving without certain exclusions like road constructions and bad weather.

    • 3 interventions from sudden reduction in cruising speed setting

    • 2 interventions with merging traffic

    • 1 highway exchange needed intervention (no lane lines, Autopilot got confused).

    Observations

    Other than the few situations mentioned above, the car pretty much drove itself, made the decisions when to pass, what lane to stay in, when to slow down, when to accelerate, and to take all the interchanges. I was really impressed in how Navigate on Autopilot took the multiple interchanges outside of Chicago going from I-94 to I-90 from Illinois to Indiana. It did everything from turn signals to change lanes in between other moving vehicles to taking the multiple ramps. I basically sat in the car with my hands crossed and eyes on the road.

    On a stretch of highway when traffic was light, I took Navigate on Autopilot to its maximum speed of 80mph. It functioned well and the ride was comfortable. Of course, I didn’t want to do it for too long as it would both reduce the range and increase the chances of getting a speeding ticket!


    Potential Improvements

    There are several needed improvements that this trip highlighted for me:

    • Better lane merging  Seemingly unseen merging traffic resulted in my car hard braking to allow merging vehicle to enter into my lane.

    • Better exiting to off ramp  The car had a tendency to change to the right lane too early (over one mile in advance), which often put me behind sluggish trucks and other slow-moving vehicles.

    • More appropriate speeds while taking highway interchanges  The car would slow down significantly, to even like 20 to 25 mph. I understand that Tesla might have programmed it for extreme caution but it also could be dangerous when other vehicles were taking the same turns safely at 40 to 50mph.

    Conclusions

    In summary, this is the MOST relaxed I have EVER been while on an extended road trip (at peak about 650 miles, 10 hours on day 1 to Chicago). I used to dread taking the drive from Rochester to Chicago, but now I wouldn’t even blink taking a trip like that again. I consider this experience a taste of what future Full Self Driving will be like.

  • August 21, 2019 10:59 AM | Joe Moore (Administrator)

    It's taken a while, but in mid-July TOCNYS got its first member that owns an original Roadster, which in turn made its first appearance at a club event on August 10 at Buffalo's monthly "Second Saturday at the Supercharger" Meetup!

    This particular Roadster is production #995 out of only ~2,400 ever produced, so it is indeed a rarity.

    (Author's note: I used to think the Model 3 was small-ish, but check out how small the Roadster is compared to its Model 3 neighbors!)

    Thanks to member Anthony C. for the following pictures:

    *****

    Did you know?
    On Earth Day in 2010, an original Tesla Roadster became the most expensive prize ever to be offered on The Price is Right.

    Check out the Youtube video here to see if they won it or not :)

    *****

    In another famous reveal, the Roadster 2.0 made a surprise appearance at the Tesla Semi Unveiling in November, 2017. The future Roadster, which is supposed to go into production in 2020, boasts some stats that are nothing short of breath-taking & record-breaking:

    • 0-60 mph: 1.9 seconds
    • 0-100 mph: 4.2 seconds
    • Top speed: +250 mph
    • Highway range: 620 miles

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