11 Years of Electric Cars

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.

11 Years
Taking #CO2Fre in for HW3.0 Upgrade at the Tyson’s Corner Service Center on the anniversary of 11 Years of writing about Electric Cars. © 2020, Jeffrey C. Jacobs

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.

Electric Cars only for the Rich and Famous?

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…

Hardware 3.0

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.

Yes!

Tesla HW 2.5
This is #CO2Fre’s current configuration. Clearly shown, just before the upgrade, the Computer is using 2.5 (NVIDIA) version of hardware. Over the weekend, #CO2Fre should be upgraded to 3.0 (Tesla). © 2020, Jeffrey C. Jacobs

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!

Thanks for reading. Here’s to another 11 years!

230kW Charging—bliss

As you read yesterday, I had a crazy-busy day in Richmond yesterday but all the events at the State Capitol weren’t the end of it. That post was long and probably should have been broken up into two posts but actually it was three and here is the third.

Before I got to the capitol, I called the Richmond Omni Hotel to reserve the EVSE so that I could be mostly charged when I left and I wouldn’t be late for my Author Meetup in Ashburn. The Valet assured me the spot was opened but when I got there some Volkswagen Plug-In Hybrid took the spot and I couldn’t charge. I left my key with the Valet but couldn’t do anything more as I had to get to the Committee meeting.

When my bills had been heard and I got back to the car and met the Volkswagen driver. The Valet couldn’t contact him so he was just finished charging and since I needed to go I couldn’t charge at all. $20 parking, down the drain. But I did thank him for driving an electric car.

As it was, I had to charge in Glen Allen, VA SuperCharger for about 15 minutes. I was very said I couldn’t find any of Margie Hunter’s Tchotchkes. I looked everywhere but to no avail. I met a couple of nice Tesla drivers, but because I was running late and wanted to try the SuperCharger at Broadlands, I needed to be on my way.

Low Battery Warning
#CO2Fre is giving me a Low Battery warning just as I arrive at the SuperCharger. © 2020, Jeffrey C. Jacobs

I finally got to the SuperCharger in Ashburn and as soon as I parked, I got the Low Battery warning!

No matter, I was at a V3 SuperCharger, not even on #CO2Fre‘s map yet! I plugged in and peaked for a fraction of a second at 230kW, then started to slide backward. I took this photo a fraction of a second after the high point.

230kW SuperCharger
A fraction of a second after displaying 230kW the power meter was still at 225kW and falling. © 2020, Jeffrey C. Jacobs

I charged for about fifteen minutes, until my battery reached about 75% and the power was down to 125kW or so. I then drove to my meeting.

I was 45 minutes late.

PSA: If you charge your car at the Richmond Omni, please leave the Valets a way to contact you!

I got home after the meeting and rushed to complete yesterday’s post before midnight yesterday (posting it a bit before it was finished with final update about 10 minutes after midnight).

Phew!

And do you know what Tomorrow is?

V3 SuperCharging, Kind of…

After Loudoun County Writers Group, I decided to visit the new Tesla V3 SuperChargers that just opened up in the Broadlands, outside of Ashburn, VA, two days ago.

The stations are across from a Harris Teeter.

Harris Teeter, Broadlands
This Harris Teeter is the home to one of the first V3 Tesla SuperChargers. © 2020, Jeffrey C. Jacobs

I pulled in and all the stalls were opened. Of course, you can see the price of Petrol, but #CO2Fre rides this fuel, free for life!

Broadlands Charging with Gas
8 Stalls at Broadlands, all V3 SuperChargers. Since #CO2Fre has free, unlimited supercharging, what do I care the price of Petrol? © 2020, Jeffrey C. Jacobs

I pulled in straight, and plugged right in.

Broadlands Charging
The Broadmands Chargers just opened up two days ago; no-one was there so I had the the V3 SuperChargers all to #CO2Fre. © 2020, Jeffrey C. Jacobs

The nice thing about the Broadlands SuperChargers, besides being 250kW max, is that it has dedicated, Handicapped parking.

Broadlands Charging for Handicapped
The Broadlands SuperCharger even has parking for Teslas needing Handicapped Parking! © 2020, Jeffrey C. Jacobs

I decided to check how far #CO2Fre was charging. Just 20kW, but then, I was almost full when I got there. I’ll have to try again on Wednesday when I drive to work, then Bowie, and back for the Bowie Bevy of Brainy Books when my Charge Level will be much, much lower.

20kW at Broadlands
In theory, these units can go more than 10 times that fast, but since I was almost full, 20kW was the best #CO2Fre could do. © 2020, Jeffrey C. Jacobs

I wanted to see if I could get a view of #CO2Fre and the Harris Teeter so I stepped behind this car and took this shot.

Broadlands Charging From Behind
This is the back of the Charging Station at Broadlands. You can see Harris Teeter in the background. © 2020, Jeffrey C. Jacobs

And what do I find, sitting behind one of the trees, but one of my good friend Margie Hunter‘s Tchotchke to promote the Northern Virginia Tesla Owners Group. How Flatulaless!

Margie Scavenger Hunt Broadlands
Margie Hunter is a very creative friend who has hidden a number of Tesla Tchotchkes at area SuperChargers with a QR code for the Northern Virginia Tesla Owners Group. It says Flatulaless! © 2020, Jeffrey C. Jacobs

Thank you to Lanny Hartmann at Plug-In Sites on twitter for bringing this new station to my attention! Check out his amazing site for all kinds of Electric Car news.

Have an eclectic, electric Day my friends!