What Drives Us episode

#367 Tried and Died

23 May , 2020   Video

  1. General Motors and LG Chem have formed a joint venture to create batteries for EVs. They are calling it Ultium. The factory will be in Lordstown, OH. It’s expected to employ more than 1,000 people. This could be a really big thing. Here’s hoping.
  2. Toyota introduced two new hybrids to their fleet: Venza and Sienna.
  3. Russell just finished spending a week with the 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid. There are things he really liked. And then there are other things.
  4. In case you didn’t know, Dyson (yes, the vacuum company) announced a while ago that they were developing an electric vehicle. After actually creating a very nice looking prototype, they have announced that they are abandoning the effort. Reportedly, Dyson realized there was no way to manufacture and price the car such that it would be even remotely profitable. Let’s hope they continue the idea and work on a lower-priced car they can bring to market.
  5. GM had created an e-Bike called the Ariv (pronounced ‘arrive’). They had a standard version and a folding version. Sure it looks a little quirky, but in a time when e-bikes are seeing a huge uptick in sales, GM kills theirs.
  6. We’re about more than just vehicles. We like the whole circular lifestyle of generating your own electricity, storing it in your own batteries, and using that electricity to power your house and/or charge your car. However, far too many utility companies few residents with solar panels as competition. They work very hard to make going solar difficult and fins ways to punish the homeowner after the panels are installed. We decided to take a little time and talk about how utilities companies can be real jerks.

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audio only,Chicago Auto Show,What Drives Us episode

#353 AWD and the Chicago Auto Show

13 Feb , 2020   Video

1) Russell has just returned from a Toyota event in which he was driving their brand new AWD systems they are introducing in their sedans.

2) Tony and Jon B spent two days at the Chicago Auto Show and provide their impressions of what they saw.

3) Jon B provides speculative insights as to what the upcoming RAV4 Prime might reveal about possible changes coming to the Prius Prime.

4) Jaguar is having to temporarily stop production of the I-Pace due to a battery shortage.

5) Why is it extremely possible that ICE vehicles are not going away anytime soon?

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audio only,What Drives Us episode

#352 EVs Everywhere!

7 Feb , 2020   Video

1) Russell teases that he’s been invited to a Toyota AWD event. More details in a future show.

2) Simon Wecker, a guy in Berlin, Germany, pulled 90 cell phones – all with Google Maps active – through empty streets. Why? Because Google interpreted all that data to mean that the streets were congested with 90 cars, all barely moving along. The result was empty streets thanks to Google routing everyone around Wecker and his wagon of phones.

3) Hyundai is doubling their Kona EV production be adding a second factory. This is in response to the Kona’s massive demand, which Hyundai is not able to keep up with.

4) The new US Building Codes will call for new homes in the US to be manufactured “EV Ready”.

5) Rivian and Amazon are designing and building a custom EV Amazon delivery van. It’s kind of cute.

6) We’re relatively excited to see that there are EV trucks coming to market. Americans love their trucks so if we want to win them over we’re going to need electric trucks.

7) Toyota is introducing new technology to safe stupid people from themselves. This new software will detect when someone mashes the accelerator rather than the brake and make sure the car doesn’t surge forward. Because, let’s face it, unexpected acceleration was really human error all along.

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What Drives Us episode

#349 Whose Data is it, Anyway?

16 Jan , 2020   Video

In this week’s show:

1) The current NTSB requirements for black box data is woefully short of all the data required to determine the actual situation of a modern-day crash. Manufacturers are not required to hand over additional data. Should owners be able to pull the data themselves to turn over to the police? Should they be able to pull data from a used car prior to purchasing it?

2) Tesla’s stock has soared recently to the point that the company is now valuated higher than GM and Ford, combined! It doesn’t help that Ford and GM have seen their own valuations dropping in the recent months.

3) The Boring Company’s 0.8 mile tunnel is completed under Las Vegas between convention centers. It’s likely not going to reach 140mph like previously advertised, it might use skates to move cars or not. Details are few and far between.

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What Drives Us episode

#348 Dieselgate Saves VW

14 Jan , 2020   Video

This week:
1) States face roadblocks on path to lower tailpipe emissions.
2) BMW remains committed to ICE cars for at least 30 more years.
3) The Prius is no longer Toyota’s top-selling hybrid.
4) Sony shocks CES by unveiling a car.
5) The Fisker Ocean might actually be areal thing.
6) Tesla’s Gigafactory 4 has to tread lightly in the forest.

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Review

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid – Ride-along Review

3 Jan , 2020   Video

Totally redesigned in 2019, the RAV4 feels as familiar as ever. Toyota’s hybrid system delivers seamless hybrid functionality and absolutely stellar miles per gallon. If you’re looking for an affordable SUV that can comfortably seat four, lug a bunch of stuff, and save gas money, the RAV4 Hybrid is your reliable option.

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Review

RAV4 Hybrid – Walk-around Review

3 Jan , 2020   Video

Totally redesigned in 2019, the RAV4 feels as familiar as ever. Toyota’s hybrid system delivers seamless hybrid functionality and absolutely stellar miles per gallon. If you’re looking for an affordable SUV that can comfortably seat four, lug a bunch of stuff, and save gas money, the RAV4 Hybrid is your reliable option.

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audio only,What Drives Us episode

# 347 Robot Replacements

3 Jan , 2020   Video

1) Tony reviewed the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. Be sure to check out his two separate reviews:
Ride-along review: https://youtu.be/ed4CUB73QWE
Walk-around review: https://youtu.be/hty_KFkWZMY

2) At the beginning of the 2010s, Lithium-Ion batteries were projected to herald in the era of the electric vehicle. We discuss accessibility of battery components and the drop in prices.

3) Volkswagen has released conceptual animations of very cute little battery charging robots. You park your car anywhere in a parking garage and the robots will not only bring a mobile battery pack, the pack will plug itself into your car.

4) December saw a flurry of Tesla software updates. We pick them apart.

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audio only,What Drives Us episode

#346 Last Episode of 2019

3 Jan , 2020   Video

In this, the final episode of 2019, we discuss:

1) The environmental impact of our instant gratification economy. Is it better or worse when we can order almost any amount of almost anything online and have it delivered to our house?

2) The US House passed a new spending bill that extends credits for EV chargers, motorcycles, and fuel cells but fails to extend credits for EV cars. Also, coal plants owned by Native Americans are subsidized.

3) The E-RV is a pretty awesome 5th Wheel camper that has a huge battery for full off-the-grid living. The battery can be recharged by plugging in, solar on the roof, and/or regeneration while being towed.

4) Portland, Oregon, is really stepping up their mass transit game by implementing impressive measures with their Trimet system. From green buses to renewable diesel and free rides for minors, this is mass transit done right.

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audio only,What Drives Us episode

#346: Last Episode of 2019

23 Dec , 2019   Video

In this, the final episode of 2019, we discuss:

1) The environmental impact of our instant gratification economy. Is it better or worse when we can order almost any amount of almost anything online and have it delivered to our house?

2) The US House passed a new spending bill that extends credits for EV chargers, motorcycles, and fuel cells but fails to extend credits for EV cars. Also, coal plants owned by Native Americans are subsidized.

3) The E-RV is a pretty awesome 5th Wheel camper that has a huge battery for full off-the-grid living. The battery can be recharged by plugging in, solar on the roof, and/or regeneration while being towed.

4) Portland, Oregon, is really stepping up their mass transit game by implementing impressive measures with their Trimet system. From green buses to renewable diesel and free rides for minors, this is mass transit done right.

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