We've covered our friends at Revel a few times before when they launched the plans for their charging Superhub (EVU issue #17) and announced the all-electric quality rideshare service in New York, starting with 50 Revel-blue Teslas (#28). Now, we've got an update on both - a good one, and a "wtf" one.
The Superhub is ready
The 25 Tritium fast chargers are now open 24-7 to use for $0.39/kWh, without parking or entrance fees, in the heart of NYC.
These are brand-agnostic, meaning you can charge any EV there. This makes it the largest universal charging station in North America. It's also future-proof because the old Pfizer site has 7MW of power, so scaling the chargers up to 350kW wouldn't be a problem.
The 50 ride-hailing Teslas would charge on the site also, giving the jump-start on utilization a charging hub needs to operate.
On that note, there's the "wtf" news:
NYC blocked the 50 Revel Teslas
New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) voted five-to-one* to block the issuance of new for-hire vehicle licenses for electric vehicles.
*cheers to Bill Aguado for the "yes" vote.
The idea behind capping the new licenses was initially to stem the tide of new Uber and Lyft vehicles flooding the streets, but the EVs were left as an exception to improve electrification.
Now, TLC says there are nearly 100,000 vehicle licenses, which is too large a supply for current passenger demand.” So now the EV licenses go through the same semi-annual process for validation as other vehicles. (link)
The New York Post refutes that and reports the for-hire vehicles in the city have fallen by 15k since 2018, leaving many New Yorkers struggling to find rides.
Interestingly enough, the TLC said Revel has the opportunity to "buy 50 gas vehicles, take them out of service, and replace them with Teslas" to overcome the licensing problems. (link)
Even Elon Musk left his mark on the news, tweeting out "??" as a response (tweet).
Quick conclusion through my eyes:
- 🦸 The climate hero, Revel, invests in charging infrastructure, all-electric ride-hail fleet and employs drivers with benefits, instead of going the Uber-way. The Biden administration gives heartfelt thanks to the hero for what it does for the world.
- 🦹 Then comes the villain, the TLC of New York, trying to kill the hero's efforts, all while relying on antiquated views of the world. Says it would be OK to buy 50 gas cars for it, then scrap 'em and replace them with EVs. WTF?
Having fought against the old-timers' bureaucracy myself on EVs, I wish the Revel team a lot of resilience. Thank you for pushing the electrification forward!
PS! Want to help Revel and other EV fleets? Here's a petition on Change.org to reverse the ban on EV taxi licenses: (link).
📺 What I'm watching
- Volvo launched its Concept Recharge, a manifesto, and new design language for the second generation of EVs (link):
- TIL: Tesla's Giga Nevada is aligned by true North so they could map out where the equipment is going to be by GPS (video).
- Chipotle created the 'race to rewards' game, where the top score wins a Tesla M3 (video).
- Ford put its e-Transit under a lifetime's worth of "torture tests" (video).
- This guy smashed the Tesla M3 touch screen with a hammer, in the name of science:
Here's my quick +/- after testing the Opel (Vauxhall) Mokka-e:
I uploaded some pictures (here) if you want a more detailed look.
Here's what I think of the car:
✔️ Sporty design. I was pleasantly surprised about the overall looks of the compact SUV. It looks like a nice car to rally through the city.
✔️ A smallish turning circle makes it easier to maneuver in the narrow city streets. Nothing can beat the Honda e though.
✔️ The car is able to charge with 100kW: 0-20% 100kW, 20-50% 75kW and 50-65% 50kW. Not bad.
✔️ The real-world range seems to be around 250km, which is OK for a 45kWh usable battery (50kWh total) and covers most needs.
❌ Boot opening and camera location. I thought it isn't possible to put the rear camera in a worse position than it is on a Nissan LEAF. Achievement unlocked. Here's where you open the trunk, the rear camera is there too:
This camera will get schmutzig reaaaal fast.
❌ Cost. The Mokka-e starts at ~ €32.4k (about $38.5k), which is... funny to me. The petrol version is about €18k (~$21.4k), starting the EV version of the car at almost twice the price. I still see this one as a compliance car from Opel.
❌ Like several other EVs, the Mokka-e has purposely put in a delay between hitting the gas pedal and accelerating. This is so weird to me, why take away one of the key things that make EVs so enjoyable - them being a part of you? I'd assume they are trying to protect the battery pack somehow.
❌ Mokka-e uses the same e-CMP platform the Peugeot e-2008 does and looks to have inherited one of the core problems - seating in the back. More precisely, getting in and out of the back seat, which is really made difficult. And if you do get out, you're almost guaranteed to get dirty because you've rubbed yourself on the side of the car. This is all due to the 'pit' that you sit into, leaving a high step between the floor and the body of the car and a small doorway.
I've timestamped a video from Nicholas for you, where he shows the problems getting in and out of the car (video). Although, once you sit inside the car, it's spacious enough thanks to this drop for the feet.
❌ Ignition. It might be my pet peeve, but... you've got to hold the "engine start/stop button" for about 3 seconds before the car starts. In the age of technology, why do we try to mimic the old gas guzzlers? Also, engine?!
Since my reviews are a bit biased anyway, clouded of my own experiences and opinions, I'll leave the verdict to you.
* Thanks Erki, for getting me behind the wheel of this one.
* Zaps are the new Snippets
- Volkswagen will ditch ICE cars in Europe by 2033-2035 (link).
- Canada bumped the new light-duty cars and passenger trucks sales to be electric by five years, now at 2035. (link)
- Tesla had a "major recall" affecting 285k vehicles - or so the news said. Luckily for Tesla owners, it was an online, over-the-air update that's helping users make sure they know they have activated the cruise control. So now there's a 'chime' when activating it. (link)
- Nissan announced a new EV and Battery factory in Sunderland, UK. Called the EV36Zero, the £1B ($1.38B) investment will go towards a 9GWh/year battery production and up to 100k/year production of a new-generation all-electric crossover (live-stream video). Here's a teaser of the new car:
- Stellantis will host it's EV Day 2021 on the 8th of July. The CEO, Carlos Tavares, will share Stellantis' electrification strategy. Here's the invitation (link).
- Tesla will host its AI Day 'in about a month or so' (tweet).
- Panasonic sold its stake in Tesla for $3.61B, having multiplied its $30M investment in 2010 by 120 times (link). Panasonic has been a real HODLer.
- Elon Musk's 50th birthday was on June 28th. And the World celebrated. Here's the Giga Berlin gathering (video), Public.com giving away 100 mini-Elon statues (tweet), and the Dogs of Tesla video:
- BMW will stop selling the i3 electric hatchback in the US (link).
- EV owners in Victoria, Australia are obligated to send in a photo of their odometer readings from July 1st to comply with the new EV road tax (link).
- The first spy photos of the ID Buzz prototype body are out, and I'm hugely disappointed if it doesn't move back closer to the concept. (photos)
- Lordstown Motors opened up its factory doors for investors and analysts to show progress (link).
- Tesla opened the longest Supercharger route in China, covering over 3k miles via the Silk Route (tweet).
- A Mcdonald's in Firebaugh serves you the Big Macs to the car at the Tesla charging station (link).
📚 What I'm reading
- A study shows owning a Tesla can increase your online dating success by 110% (link)
- Ernst & Young (EY) analysis puts EV domination in sales to 2028 in Europe, 2033 in China, and 2036 in the US (link). I haven't got AI-powered forecast modeling tools behind me, but my guts say all of it will happen a bit faster than that. The exponential curve always surprises.
- A bit of history of the EVs: The Golden Age (link)
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