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Electrically Engineering a T into a 3

gallery-1459487318-model-3-unveil

(Tesla Model 3)

Tesla Motors is the conservative argument for positively responding to climate change/global warming/global cooling/environmental issues.

Tesla announced Thursday that it has received 325,000 preorders for its recently unveiled Model 3. If it sells every car that’s been reserved, the company says it will earn enough revenue to make this the “biggest one-week launch of any product ever.”
–Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge

One single car using gas or one single power plant is not the problem, but it’s the cumulative effect of millions of drivers or hundreds of power plants that has a meaningful impact on the release of carbon emissions into the air. Therefore, with cars, the goal is to present the marketplace with affordable, high-quality options.

Enter Elon Musk and his burgeoning company, Tesla Motors, that’s appropriately named after famed inventor Nikola Tesla.

This tech-driven company (see what I did there) is clearly being rewarded by anxiously excited followers for its ingenuity, hard-work, determination and recognition of a demand that’s marketed to a large portion of the American people to consider and even reserve for purchase next year.

Innovation is and has always been the right path towards a bright future that empowers the individual and then, as a result, empowers the collective. One electric car will not make a difference, but millions of electric cars on the road will change the carbon emissions equation. The power of individualism, innovation and opportunity must be taught and encouraged to this generation and future generations because of the incentives and the how inventiveness has benefited societies throughout history.

The iPhone was not dreamed up because of a tech regulation. Neither was the transportation revolution known as Henry Ford’s Model T, which was the first affordable automobile designed, built and produced for the American people roughly 100 years ago.

The close rhyming between 3 and T was a nice touch, Mr. Musk.

Conversely, what sense does it make to penalize consumers/the public with environmentally strangling regulations (especially without a Kung Fu grip on Mother Nature) and policies that punish people and companies? Photo-ops at these high-profile gatherings, where the focus is to cast blame and then reward a relatively select few participants with control and influence over the many, doesn’t project a hopeful future, especially when the measures taken amount to a gesture instead of a silver bullet.

Fiscal pain and high-minded barriers will not solve substantial problems. By high-minded, that refers to opponents of industries some deem unacceptable (like coal), but who have no better or ready alternatives for those workers who need to feed and provide for themselves and/or their families. Nobody likes pollution and some regulations are good and necessary, but, like government, figuring out policies to keep the regulatory code as small as possible is best.

There’s a paramount difference between idealism rooted in reality (conservatism) and idealism floating around in fantasy (liberalism).

Regardless of the extent that people across the political spectrum believe in global warming or global cooling (100%, 50%, 25%, 7.4%), the most important issues going forward are agreeing on a common goal and determining the most intelligent and economical approach.

We should strive for a carbon emissions-free future, achieved through empowering the engine of innovation.

In many cases,

  • Innovation = Revolutions by and for the people
  • Regulation = Power, control and influence over the people by and for a select few

$27,500 for the Tesla Model 3 (with $7,500 tax credit).

This inviting price point will attract car buyers in the 5-Star safety rated, 5-seat sedan in the $25K-$35K market, which will directly challenge car models from household names Toyota and Honda and even Lexus, Mercedes and Audi. If the Model 3 is successful and proves to have a reliable re-charging infrastructure and if (the recommended) nightly charging pattern for the 215-mile battery range like your smartphone results in a future worth the investment, then the conversation to join the names Elon Musk and Henry Ford in the same sentence in history books will begin.

People, once again, have an opportunity to change the world by buying a car.

Tesla Motors is a prime example of dreaming big, showcasing the power of the individual, American ingenuity and supplying a demand that could very well revolutionize cars, the transportation grid and solving a problem with carbon emissions in the environment with a positive, captivating solution that’s generating a magnetic appeal to its products and brand.

The Model 3’s engine may be nearly silent, but it still sounds like a revolution…

America’s Next Top Model?

There’s no Flux Capacitor, but…

Business Insider is reporting that electric car company Tesla, led by innovator Elon Musk, will be making the Model 3 that will be built by year-end 2017 (or possibly the beginning of 2018) and will not exceed the $35,000 mark. Usually tens of thousands of dollars more expensive, this appears to be the hyped-about (and necessary) next step towards an emissions-free car market.

A small step, yes, but it’s a step forward that leaves a smaller footprint burnout.

$35,000 is an expensive price tag, but it’s at least within range and consideration of people who buy luxury SUV’s and luxury sedans and the Toyota Avalon. Business Insider also reported that applicable tax breaks and incentives could spark a price plummet of nearly $10,000.

Ladies and gentlemen, that’s Toyota Camry territory.

The point is that Tesla’s forthcoming innovation towards a more affordable electric car, with their current models receiving sensational reviews, should expand their marketplace and improve their target demographics. People will be able to invest in a car and a renewable future. With the Millennial generation that focuses on (and responds to) business pursuits that simultaneously promote social good, Tesla’s Model 3 could become the next iPhone in the sense that the next versions will be followed by the masses with anticipation and an infectious energy for its new gadgets and groundbreaking features for the road.

Let’s not dive into Musk’s sour feelings of Steve Jobs and Apple right now. The above hypothesis was just a general observation.

The Model 3 will shine its lights on March 31, 2016: Plug it into your calendars.

Steering the Future with an Apple?

Are Tesla Motors & Apple joining forces?

If you’re betting any real money, it’s probably best to keep Benjamin Franklin housed comfortably in your wallet or money clip. The answer appears to be no, according to analysts. Jerry Hirsch of The LA Times cited one specific reason for the unlikely alliance between the tech giant and the electric car company in his article, “Tesla Motors closes at record after Apple merger rumor surfaces.”

Tuesday’s closing stock price left Tesla with a market valuation of $25 billion, about $1.1 million for each of the 22,450 Model S cars it sold last year. The cars sell for $70,000 to $100,000, depending on options.

And that market valuation doesn’t include any premium Apple would have to toss in as part of an acquisition.

“Apple does not have a history of paying massive premiums,” Irwin said.

While this partnership seems like a futuristic dream amongst tech geeks and visionary opportunists, it doesn’t hurt to ponder how this relationship could be translated into a feasible vision…

Cost would undeniably be one of the primary concerns surrounding the design, construction and maintenance of a car that would feature high-quality and cutting-edge components from both Tesla and Apple. These two companies prefer to only the best materials. That’s okay, but there needs to be an outlet for those who don’t live a Hollywood lifestyle.

Speaking of outlets and lifestyle…

One solution (just one) to the cost issue is to require the user of the car to own an iPhone or an iPad (or, for convenience and price, both).

Why?

Imagine a car that is immediately personalized to the driver with the simple plugging-in of your phone and/or tablet? The center console would be partially empty, ready for the driver to insert his or her iPhone and/or iPad in the appropriate spots to function and bring to life the center console/the “heart” of the car. All of the music and preferences would instantly download from the connected phone and/or tablet (if you don’t own either a phone or a tablet, then that could be inserted and preset for your preferences by Tesla’s Apple or whatever name they decide on for their joint venture). The temperature, seat warmers, air conditioning system, etc. would be built in around the vacancy left for the phone and tablet.

Of course, with this being a car, there would be voice-activation control and navigation capability to strongly encourage and help prevent people from scrolling and tapping with their fingers while driving. Still, the usual functions of Apple products would apply with the touch features.

Here’s the catch:

An iPhone and/or iPad must be preset for the car to recognize that specific device(s) with a sign-in requiring a preset finger print scan. There would likely be many more additional safety and identity precautions (passwords, firewall features) and protections, but these are just two necessary starting points.

Plus, like any Apple device, it will charge when it’s plugged in, which resolves the problem of a phone or tablet running out of battery life while driving.

Admittedly, this would certainly accelerate the prospect of cars virtually becoming computers on wheels. Is that good or bad? There are valid points for both.

Regarding the fuel aspect, that is still obviously “TBD.” The assumption is that Tesla and Apple would create an emissions-free, electric battery of some sort. This is where the equation (predictably) gets cloudy and pricey at the inception of development. Plus, there are the questions of testing, safety, performance, infrastructure and so forth.

For right now though, imagine the iPhone and iPad concept.

Talk about each person driving their own iCar/iJimmy/iYour Name

The Double-Edged Gear Shift

The key-less entry. The navigational system. The centralized command center. The GPS key with a push-start engine. The electronic clock.

All of these are examples of the continuously evolving digital revolution within the automobile. As Jay Leno could passionately profess about, for hours, cars were first built so that everything had a specific purpose. If a car did not work properly, it was a certainty that something literally was too loose, too tight, missing, burned out, not filled up, etc. If a tire went flat, it was as simple as getting out a jack, a safety stand, a tire iron and screws to then manually use our own muscles to take off the busted tire and take out the spare from the trunk and fit it onto the axle. And yet, in 2013, these garage shop truths are changing. Despite being only a little more than a decade into the 21st century, progress is moving quite fast towards the automobile’s new skeleton and vital organs.

Ladies and gentlemen, the geeks are now taking over…cars. Yes, you read that correctly. Vroom-Vroom! (a sound effect downloaded from the iTunes installed in the car).

For the majority of the 21st century, it is safe to presume that cars, or whatever their new name becomes, will undergo a manufacturing transition from the garage to the lab…a computer lab to be more specific. As mentioned above, subtle upgrades have been occurring for many years now. For instance, just ponder the first car you remember sitting in with a digital clock. This minor observation deserved no spectacular reaction, but it was the first step towards the current car revolution. Substitute the crescent wrench for the USB cable.

While transitioning from one era to another can be overwhelming and even unnerving, there too are tremendous upsides. Replay the above clip and notice again how amazing the BMW prototype used in the movie, “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” was in the scenes it starred. For starters, it showcased a windshield that served as a transparent iPad with blazing speeds and an instantaneous navigational system. Just the fact that movie writers dreamed that as a reality is a sign of how cars are being perceived by today’s imagination. For better or worse, mankind has become attached to his and her smart device(s), so it only seems appropriate, and evolutionary, that we innovate towards a technologically advanced car.

Hmmm, this seems familiar?

Mr. Feeny as the voice of my car? Where is that in the App Store!?

The Age of the Electric Car is closely upon us. To the next generation, the internal combustion engine could become an artifact of the past. The tipping point of the automobile’s next phase has been determined and is currently being implemented in small steps as to test its reliability and compatibility with the public. The touch screen in the middle of the front seats is a type of computer, as is any navigational system included with the car or added separately. The sensors that measure the weather outside also qualify. Now a button or the light tap of a foot opens the rear door of an SUV. The key for a new Lexus RX 350, for example, only needs to be in possession of a person to enable him or her to lock, unlock and start the designated car. This key already possesses a wireless feature. Is this just the tip of the iceberg of inventing more wireless devices and features? What’s next?

Technology is proving to have virtually no boundaries and cars are just one of its projects. But as Jay Leno has pointed out in the past, “I’ve got an electric car. It’s quite advanced, it goes 100 miles on a charge, it’s fully electric and it was built in 1909.” Perhaps, we are just living in the electric car’s renaissance a century later?

As the body of the car changes, so does the car culture. The more computer developments that are added means, consequentially, that fewer traditional mechanics will be needed and tech “geniuses” (like at Best Buy and the Apple store) will therefore be in higher demand. The free market will add this dynamic and society will adapt. Will the absence of mechanics and their hands-on skill, knowledge and brawn be a good thing?

The “do it yourself” option is gradually disappearing. The days of people spending hours working on their cars with their tools on a warm Saturday afternoon may be in the beginning phase of being numbered. How many of us rebuild and add parts to our laptops on the weekend? Also, consider that Apple, for example, makes their products in such a fashion that no consumer can make changes on their own and that it has to be sent to one of their tech specialists for help. Will this be a ‘smart’ way to manufacture a car? And you thought customer service was slow when you asked questions about your laptop. What happens when your car breaks down in the middle of a snow storm out of cellular range in the mountains?

On the other hand, pollution from gas would be greatly reduced with the popularity of reliable and, let’s face it, cool looking electric cars (Yes Prius, I’m looking down at you). Fisker, Tesla, BMW and others are designing sleek cars of the future, even if their concepts are just for the wealthy at this point. Plus, iPads, tablets and smart phones continue to sell with wild popularity, so these prototypes are likely here to stay for the time being.

However, the malfunctioning cooling fan of a particular electric model does need to be resolved, and fast, if the makers of the Fisker Karma intend to gain any trust with the American people. Fires and cars do not mix!

Hybrids seem to be the realistic “next car” of the here and now, ranging from the 2013 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid to the stunning BMW i8 from “Ghost Protocol.” According to Manuel Sattig, the lead man of Communications for the i8 concept, said this car will premiere to the world in the very near future. “I can actually promise you that 80% of what you see here will be on the streets at the beginning of 2014 and you can buy it.”

I wonder what Billy Joel has to say about all this?