For fun, we decided to make our fifth episode about chewing the fat and spinning some yarns about what we write and how we get our ideas. Then again, maybe that sounded pretentious. After all, here I am talking about how I love #CO2Fre, my Tesla #P三D. But then, what folks don’t know I spent over a decade writing about electric cars on the Affordable Electric Car NOW site. I struggled and even had to quit my job to afford the car I drive now. It was through a lot of pain and suffering that gave me the chance to drive my dream car—or, more to the point, have my dream car drive me.
Of course, that’s all non-fiction, and these days I prefer to write fiction. Indeed, I’ve been writing published fiction since 2013, and I have so much more left to write.
Anyway, have a drink with us, be it beer, whine, spirits, tea, or just plain Hydrogen Hydroxide, also known as water. Stay thirsty my friends and see you next week.
Today, I attended two, virtual Electric Car events. First, my friend Mark Czajka hosted the first MDVolt virtual meetup. We met Tom Moloughney from InsideEVs. Unfortunately, I was multitasking though this meeting as I also host the Loudoun County Writers Group (LCWG) on Saturday mornings. Normally, I would skip my writing group on Saturdays for one of Mark’s MDVolt events, but this time, I could cheat and attend both, because they were both virtual.
I haven’t spoken much about the Mini-E — so far only in my EVSE installation post — but this car has been on my mind a long, long time. When the leases were announced for 2009, I jumped on the chance to get one of the 500 East Coast orders. But alas, my region wasn’t one of the privileged ones, so there was no Mini-E for me. On the bright side, at least I saved over $800 per month for the last 2 years!
I’m so jealous Tom got one of those Mini-Es. I was very desperate to get one back in 2011, when I wrote about it on the Affordable Electric Car Now site, as you can see from the quote above. Tom and I have both been writing about electric cars since 2009 so it’s nice to hear from a kindred spirit. One of these days, I hope he invites me to one of his barbeques.
It was also wonderful seeing my friend dear friend Vanessa Thomas at Mark’s event. She was nice enough to come to my virtual demonstration of #CO2Fre and it was wonderful seeing her here, even if it was hard to see anyone on my tiny phone—LCWG got the computer. Fortunately, Mark uploaded to YouTube, so I could finally the event and focus fully on the content. Check me out in the Pinball video.
I’m off Uber for a few more months—until the next catastrophic tyre failure—and finally able to enjoy the so-called Full Self-Driving hardwire. For the most part, the driving experience is unchanged. I did have to reconnect bluetooth and was told my phone wasn’t smart enough to send Texts—even though an earlier Tesla software edition could!—and update my autopilot settings. Fortunately, it seemed my HomeLink was still intact—though I’ll have to verify this when next I use it—as well as my Address Book and comfort settings.
I didn’t have long to wait for the computer to be back up and running and was able to use Navigate on Autopilot almost immediately and right away there were traffic cones—and fire hydrants—coming up as orange cones on my screen. Stop lights hung from the screen as well, with any stoplight which was red, correctly marked.
…don’t get my started on my plan for the Affordable Self-Driving Electric Car NOW!page I’m planning to start in about 8 years…
Overall, it’s not much of a change but I am quite satisfied. I still think we are close to a mostly autonomous vehicle in the year 2020, and have been saying as such for the past 9 years, as you can see from the pull-quote above.
Did you know that as of today I have officially been writing about electric cars for 11 years. Over a decade of Electric Car knowledge dispensed, that’s three times longer than I’ve advocated for the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact and four times longer than I’ve been lobbying in Richmond for the Equal Rights Amendment!
I started writing about electric cars with the Affordable Electric Car NOW! page. While I still write to that page from time to time, I find it hard to keep up with all the EV news these days, especially with so much going on (just look at my site header). And of course, #CO2Fre isn’t at all an affordable electric car, it’s a Tesla #P三D and believe me I still owe a lot of money on her! I love her and highly recommend her, but she’s by no means affordable.
That said, I never stopped advocating for affordable electric cars like the Nissan LEAF or Chevy Bolt and have lobbied for electric car changing access at apartments and condos #RightToCharge (VA SB630) and new and used electric car rebates (VA HB717) many times just this year.
I began my page with that simple question. Truth is, I’m not rich. Eleven years of writing about electric cars has not made me by any means famous. I’m no PlugInSites or Transport Evolved. I doubt many, even electric car folks, know who I am. I am, by any stretch, neither famous nor sought after.
But today, I can safely answer No to that initial question! Not only are there a number of consumer level Electrics, including the many Nissan LEAFs [proper plural] I drove. You can even get a used LEAF for under $10,000, and maybe even under $5,000, if you’re lucky. I’m still waiting for the Electric Car under $1,000, but it will happen…
The other thing that I didn’t get to talk about Yesterday as I was finishing summarizing the events from Tuesday is that I got a call yesterday seeing if I’d like the Tesla Hardware Version 3.0 upgrade.
I currently have the NVIDIA 2.5 hardware chip in my Tesla. That chip is nice, but it currently can’t see traffic cones or stop signs. Tesla’s own HW3 is supposed to add that support.
I dropped #CO2Fre off this morning at the Tesla Service Center, Tyco Rd. and hope to have the new hardware installed when I pick it up in a few days. I do plan to vote this weekend, so I hope it’s back by then. I also hope it will fix the problem I’ve been having recently with autopilot fails in the rain. Oh, the anticipation!
I joined Toastmasters last year to both practice my public speaking and to lear to be a better performer when acting. I enjoyed answering Table Topics and being challenged to come up with a spontaneous speech—at least when I knew what the topic was—but when it came to my own Ice Breaker speech, I kept putting it off.
The thing is, I don’t like talking about myself. I love writing fiction and talking about Science but when it comes to my personal life, I get embarrassed and ashamed. Much of my personal story is really not for public consumption and is rather confounded with emotional difficulty and lack of self-worth. I do hope through Toastmasters, to overcome that, just as I have found Cosplay to help with my self-image, but that journey isn’t the subject of this post.
Instead, I want to talk about my Ice Breaker.
I decided to cover my digital self. As you can see from the side menu in the upper-right corner of my site, I have a lot of social networks accounts! Indeed, the currently 26 or so I have listed there are only a fraction of the dozen or so twitter accounts I have, the half-dozen Facebook pages I run, the three instagram accounts I control, the dozens of meetups I’m in with my two accounts, one professional, one personal. Or even the fact that I have a separate blog for Reston Writers and one for the Affordable Electric Car NOW!
Of course, seasoned ToastMasters will know that your Ice Breaker is actually 4–6 minutes, not 5–7, so my speech ran long. And I did tend to lose my place as I spoke, having had no time to memorize it word for word. Nonetheless, I did my best and delivered my speech and got some great advice from my friends and colleagues at the Loudoun ToastMasters, club 5154. My mentor Jonathan gave me some amazing and helpful advice and I am so thankful to all of my fellow Toastmasters!
I have been writing about electric cars for almost 11 years and been driving them since 2 November 2011. In that time, I’ve had 4 Electric Vehicles, a Red, 2012 Nissan LEAF, #CO2Fre3, a Red, 2013 Nissan LEAF, #CO2Fre2, and a White, 2015 Nissan LEAF, #CO2Fre1.
Now, of course, I drive a 2018 Tesla Model #P㆔D, the current #CO2Fre and with nearly 300 miles range, I can go much farther. With #CO2Fre3, I 42,282 miles in 27 months, and with #CO2Fre2 I drove 50,030 miles in 30 months. I then drove #CO2Fre1 43,326 miles in 25 months.
The current #CO2Fre I’ve had for 20 months and as of this afternoon I have 41,111 miles on her. This puts my grand total at a over 175,000 lifetime electric miles and one of the highest electric mile accumulation in the Mid-Atlantic, and even then, all those miles driven by myself, not shared among any two or more electric car driving family.
We won’t be so much comparing miles as we try to crack 4 million electric miles total at the Electric Vehicle Association of Greater Washington DC meeting tonight. I won’t update my account on the Wild Apricot servers until we meet as I will be putting a lot more miles on to get to the meeting.