What Drives Us episode

#368 Let’s Return to Better

30 May , 2020   Video

  1. Russell spent some time with a Tesla Model Y and a Toyota Highlander Hybrid. Both reviews are available in our “Car Reviews” playlist. Make sure to check out “The Tesla Life” to get Russell’s full Model Y review.
  2. Toyota recently introduced the PROACE van, offering a warranty of 15 years or 1,000,000 miles, whichever comes first. After that time, they promise the battery will still have 75% or more capacity remaining.
  3. People will only return to riding the bus when they feel safe doing so. We spend some time discussing how buslines can maintain ridership by helping people feel safe.
  4. BloombergNEF predicts that by 2040 new car sales will favor EVs over ICEs. Interesting side topic, they also predict that ICE vehicles peaked in 2017.
  5. Volvo has taken the bold step of limiting the top speed of all new vehicles starting next year. This will be done in the name of safety, referencing the amount of vehicular fatalities attributed to high speeds.

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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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What Drives Us episode

#365 The Rise of the EVs

8 May , 2020   Video

  1. Paul talks about the ground-level pollution created by gasoline powered lawn equipment. It’s better for you and the environment if you swapped them out for something with a plug or battery.
  2. Tony discusses that Lincoln has cancelled their anticipated partnership with Rivian to produce a luxury SUV EV. We would like to think that this is just a temporary thing.
  3. Kacey tells us about Tesla’s latest software update and how it improves stoplight recognition and smart summon mode.
  4. Georgia talks about a JD Power survey indicating people’s heads are still stuck in the sand when it comes to alt fuel vehicles.
  5. Mark talks about Rivian declining to accept a $1 million grant that was guaranteed to them from Normal, IL where they have their factory. Normal promised that if Rivian invests $22 million the town would kick in $1 million. Since then, Rivian has secured Billions in funding and decided the town could put the money to better use.

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audio only,What Drives Us episode

#356 – Three Fifty Something

7 Mar , 2020   Video

1) The Union of Concerned Scientists have completed their study and concluded that ride sharing (such as Uber and Lyft) introduce almost 70% more pollutants than the rides they are replacing. Not only the rides they are replacing but taking people off mass transit.

2) A study of vehicles interacting with pedestrians at a crosswalk showed that there is a direct correlation between how aggressive the vehicle is towards the pedestrians and how much that vehicle costs. So yeah, rich drivers are bigger jerks and the data backs it up!

3) The coronavirus is impacting the supply lines of vehicle manufacturing along with other appliance manufacturing. Couple this with Ford’s continuously declining stock price and market share and we’re starting to wonder whether Ford can avoid a bankruptcy or total liquidation.

4) Continuing our discussion about Tesla’s Buffalo, NY, factory, the state of New York is looking to sell some manufacturing equipment it had purchased for Tesla but was never used.

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What Drives Us episode

#355 Solar Shakedown

26 Feb , 2020   Video

  1. The guys get into a tussle over Tesla’s Gigafactory in Buffalo New York now that Panasonic has pulled out of the location. Will there ever be Solar glass?
  2. After 40 years of trying to figure it out, scientists have finally figured out why solar panels experience a 2% efficiency drop within the first hour of operation.
  3. Hyundai released images of a concept vehicle that is supposed to serve as inspiration for their upcoming EV vehicles.
  4. Ford allows drivers to sign up for insurance and use their connected cars to track their driving habits. Spoiler: if you’re being paid, you’re the product.

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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

#342: Clean Coal Powered Station Wagons

30 Nov , 2019   Video

russell (and everyone)
Ford Mustang Mach-E debut https://www.forbes.com/sites/samabuelsamid/2019/11/17/2021-ford-mustang-mach-ethe-pony-goes-electric/

mark
VW May Toughen Up Production ID. Space Vizzion With Alltrack-Like Looks

Tony:
Did they really think they could take sides and not encounter fallout? https://www.reuters.com/article/us-autos-emissions-california/california-to-stop-buying-gm-toyota-and-fiat-chrysler-vehicles-over-emissions-fight-idUSKBN1XS2B2

russell
you guys are killing me
https://techcrunch.com/2019/11/13/jetpack-aviation-raises-2m-to-build-the-prototype-of-its-flying-motorcycle/ russell Lyft scaling back dubious scooter ops in six cities https://techcrunch.com/2019/11/14/lyft-is-ceasing-scooter-operations-in-six-cities-and-laying-off-20-employees/

russell
Just plain get out of here https://www.theverge.com/2019/11/12/20961812/elon-musk-berlin-tesla-ceo-fourth-gigafactory-construction

Tony
Even if all these things are true, my guess is that people will hate them. http://theconversation.com/smart-tech-systems-cut-congestion-for-a-fraction-of-what-new-roads-cost-125718

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What Drives Us episode

#341: Special Guest: Asaf Ashkenazi of Verimatrix

15 Nov , 2019   Video

Asaf Ashkenazi is the Chief Strategy Officer of Verimatrix. He joins us this week to discuss cybersecurity in vehicles and how Verimatrix works with OEM manufacturers to increase the security of their software.
It’s an enlightening – and sometimes a little scary – discussion about software vulnerabilities and how hackers work to exploit them. It’s always good to know there are people working to keep our connected devices safe.

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