Tesla leads in test driving

Tesla delivers on its promise of a safe, touchless test driving experience.

BY GUY HALL, ELECTRIC AUTO ASSOCIATION SECRETARY

Now that Tesla is delivering the Model Y, I thought I would check into a test drive. But given the global pandemic, and the inability to go to a dealer, what are the options for a prospective customer? 

I visited Tesla’s website, specifically set up to reserve test drives, and  a couple of clicks later, I was scheduled for 4 PM that afternoon. As my wife and I drove to the Tesla store, I was eager to see how Tesla technology is used to support their “Touchless” test drive. I expected a low touch experience, and it was, aside from exchanging my driver’s license with the advisor and using one finger to sign an insurance agreement. We were told that the Model Y interior surfaces had been wiped down, and that it was ready for my wife and I to take for a spin. So far, pretty standard treatment, not unlike any other dealership.  

Touchless also meant no key to hand to me.  The sales rep had not only started the car with his phone, he had programmed the route into the navigation. There was a caveat; because the Tesla is keyless, it was important to leave the car running, even when switching drivers. Of course,  the sales rep was able to monitor our test drive on his phone (including our speed), so it is likely he would have noticed our mistake and remotely started it up again.

It is interesting to note, that with their dynamic “over the air” updates, Tesla can add special capabilities, if necessary, to deal with touchless test drives and deliveries. With other electric vehicle brands, each dealership must invent its own process, and it would not include the tightly-coupled level of support from the Tesla engineering team. The results are pretty clear given the most recent overall sales statistics.

So off we went. We were driving the car while ‘under surveillance’ from afar.  As most readers know by now, Tesla has really cool technology.  Because they are the only auto manufacturer that owns the entire delivery chain, from engineering to manufacturing to showroom to final delivery, they can tweak any part of the car or process with helpful improvements. 

 Need room for the kids?

Considering a Model Y for the family? EV Vlogger Ben Sullins who has spoken at some of our Electric Auto Association events shared this video of his family’s entertaining experience test driving the Model Y.

New Cure for Corona Virus

Ecurie Horse Heaven Stables

Stay Safe

June 8 at 3:42 PM

It has been scientifically proven that horse manure protects you from coronavirus. 

Take the fresh horse manure and rub your hands 

It has the following actions: 

1. It prevents you from bringing your hand to your nose, eyes, mouth. 

2. People will keep at least 2 meters away from you 

3. No one will want to shake your hand 

4. You will safely wash your hands well before going to lunch.

5.  I swear it works

Beyond Exciting!

June 9 ,2020

The first Canadian delivery of the Tesla Model Y

Paul Carter, Founder/President of Tesla Owners Club of British Columbia. Programmer/Instructor, Sustainability Advocate & Baker*

#StartWith1Thing #DifferentTogether🏳️‍🌈

⚡️ 🔋 🚙 🚗 🏍️ #GoElectric

The moment the happy family who became the first proud owners of a new 2020 Tesla Model Y in Canada. Along with their new Tesla family, the Tesla Team and Owners all shared in this momentous occasion. The delivery was arranged for June 9 after the vehicle arrived during the weekend to prepare for the awaiting owners. Orders first started during the night of the reveal nearly 18 months ago.

In May 2020, Tesla again moved up the timeline to the delight of customers who’ve had orders placed since the reveal or since. Initially slated to begin production in the United States in 2021, Tesla moved it up to Summer 2020 in October 2019. Tesla has again delivered ahead of schedule for its two latest vehicles. Something that had been a bit of frustration with prior reservations holder anxiously waiting for the car of their dreams and perhaps the most enjoyable and safest cars on the planet.

On delivery day at the Tesla West 4th Sales, Service, and Deliver Center in Vancouver, BC, Canada, everyone gathered around to witness the 5th Tesla vehicle to hit the roads in Canada. The excitement was so energizing. Everyone expects the Model Y to be a huge hit. After all the crossover segment in the auto industry and 2nd to pickups for light duty vehicles. Tesla and friends posing for the camera to capture this great occasion gave the camera the number one salute and me, the club President, in an exciteful Y stance. I’ve been fortunate to experience a few times before, first being an owner in 2014 of a Tesla Model S 60, trading up to a Tesla Model S P90D and now has two (a Model X P100D and a Model 3 Performance). I was so ecstatic for the owners for their own Model Y it felt I just got a new car too! So hang onto your shorts, the Model Y could very well become the highest selling vehicle in the Tesla S3XY line-up!

I’ve created a story to welcome the Tesla Model Y to Canada around a theme. It’s “Y We 💙U” (“Why” We love You), a play on Model Y letter: why. Check out the presentation below. Don’t worry, it’s mostly full of wonderful photos I took along with a few Tesla stock photos.

Future Tesla Owners

The Model Y is now also available for the Tesla referral program, where the soon to be owner, is sometimes eligible for incentives. In most places the owner who refers you also gets some referral rewards like small perks, a chance to win some great prices, invites to events, and earn their way into a free car! However in a few places (like BC and 2 States), it’s against the law. Write into your MLA and tell them it’s unfair as virtually everything you can buy these days has perks like this (if you agree).

Likely, by now you’ll probably know someone who owns a Tesla or chatted up a total stranger and about theirs! So before you buy, reach out to an existing owner who you know or has helped you and ask for their code.

If your curiosity is now peaked, go up to any owner, they will be more than delighted to answer any questions you have. That’s one of the great things about the Tesla family. Owners who have seen the community around Tesla foster kinship and community. Chances are they will also know about the benefits of other electric vehicles, not just Tesla. Some are advocates like myself who help educate the benefits of the performance, time, costs, and environmental savings that come along with it also be extremely fun to drive due to the instant torque that all electric vehicles provide that joy.

Current Incentives

Check for electric vehicles incentives and do the math on total cost of ownership. The extra upfront costs for this state of the art technology and battery

The current referral program gives the new owner 1,500 free Supercharger enabled kilometres. The Supercharger network allows for very fast charging while on long distance travel and fast charging while shopping at some malls.

You’re now free to go about the country (Well via Highway 1 from Victoria to Nova Scotia with a few detours available on you trek in a great piece of high tech!

As of June 2020 there are 100 Supercharges in Canada allowing you to go from Vancouver Island to Nova Scotia via the Trans Canada Highway. In the USA there are 824 in which covers nearly the entire United States.

Happy Hypermiling or dreams of never going to the gas station again!

Paul CarterTesla Owners Club of British Columbia

Web: bcTeslaOwnersClub.ca | Twitter TeslaOwnersBC | Instagram bcTeslaOwners

Personal: http://WithSparkle.ca | Paul@WithSparkle.ca | Twitter: @ShuttleAkajor

Tesla’s Andrej Karpathy talks Autopilot

Tesla’s Director of Artificial Intelligence and Computer Vision is training Autopilot to allow faster and more accurate image detection.

BY RON FREUND, ELECTRIC AUTO ASSOCIATION BOARD MEMBER

Tesla moves toward full self-driving

For over three years now, all new Tesla models have included cameras, along with radar and ultrasonic proximity sensing, to provide more than just driving assistance. What the company terms full self-driving has been slowly evolving with incremental improvements.

Tesla’s approach is based on advanced artificial intelligence for vision and vehicle movement planning, supported by efficient use of their on-board inference hardware. The company believes this is the only way to achieve a general solution to full self-driving, and coupled with GPS and map data, it has seen impressive results.

Karpathy offers insights

In mid-April, Andrej Karpathy, Director of Artificial Intelligence and Computer Vision on Tesla’s Autopilot Team, spoke at the 5th Annual Scaled Machine Learning Conference 2020. In his talk, Karpathy explains how Tesla trains Autopilot with its customer-collected data feed using long tail examples such as stop signs painted on buildings or occluded by tree branches. To improve Autopilot’s reaction in these instances, Tesla uses an over-the-air software detector sent to each of its 800,000+ roving vehicles to know whether or not owners have purchased the software. This detector, for example, can identify images of occluded stop signs.

In contrast, GM’s Cruise Automation and Waymo have limited access to such data for their fleets that operate in the hundreds in several cities instead of Tesla’s hundreds of thousands operating across the country.

As described by Karpathy, the clever use of a growing fleet to gather data bodes for an impressive head start. These cars sense and are robots networked together to gather data from the remote corners of wherever the car takes its driver. This entire new fleet already includes enabled active safety emergency braking capabilities to warn drivers in case of need.

Karpathy explains how Tesla bridges the gap between cameras and LiDAR, and plans a major foundational core system rewrite to allow the “neural net to absorb more and more of the problem.”  The rewrite also enables rapid updates, including the use of 3D video labeling (as opposed to 2D image labeling), which in turn allows faster, more accurate image detection and vehicle path planning.

In this new version, LiDAR will better recognize images, and assess direct depth of objects, with a higher level of accuracy than is achieved with cameras. In an effort to clarify the difference here, Karpathy explains that cameras use a two-step indirect process, first taking a shot of an image and then employing software to improve the outcome by gauging depth through   analyzing changes in the pixels. Mistakes involving a few pixels can translate into meters or yards of inaccuracy. By  labeling 3D videos of driving scenes, Tesla is compensating for the camera’s weakness as the primary image sensor. With the recent upgrades to on-board processing software, this can apparently be accomplished in a more timely fashion.

Local mapping with lower definition

Tesla uses far less detail than the high definition maps employed by its competitors. While a Waymo vehicle drives with preloaded information about the exact location of a stop sign, within centimeters of accuracy, a Tesla would detect only the presence of a stop sign somewhere in the vicinity. In addition to vague local maps and its camera-based approach, 3D video labeling separates Tesla from its competitors, enabling improved recognition of corner cases in solving for full autonomy.

This approach of using ‘curated unit test sets’ definitely “sets” Tesla apart (pun), making it nearly impossible for a competitor to replicate. While autonomous driving is an extremely complex problem to solve, Tesla could enjoy a near-monopoly in autonomous ride hailing if it is successful. The most recent rollout of stop sign and traffic light recognition has been seen as a significant improvement, yet drivers should still remain vigilant and cautious. Carelessness could easily bring the same results as Covid-19!

Even those lacking significant skills in software may want to check out Tesla’s recruiting webpage. There, one can view live images of what the car’s system “sees.” 

Tesla Model Y earns Motor Trend’s respect: “(It) delivers the ultimate glory of a performance SUV”

By Joey Klender Posted on Teslarati.com on May 27, 2020

The Tesla Model Y Performance recently underwent a detailed first drive review from MotorTrend, which highlighted several points of modern ingenuity that the electric automaker incorporated into its first mainstream crossover. The analysis does not cover the straightforward aspects that the Model Y has, like Autopilot capabilities, battery capacity, or range. It is a clear and concise explanation of why the car won over MotorTrend’s staff.

“The Model Y Performance delivers the ultimate glory of a performance SUV,” the esteemed motoring publication stated.

Labeled as “the most convincing American sport luxury SUV” that MotorTrend’s Christian Seabaugh has ever driven, the Model Y Performance packs 456 horsepower and just one mile less range than the Long Range AWD variant of the vehicle. With performance upgrades like a more robust rear motor, revised powertrain software, a rear spoiler, and performance brakes, the Model Y Performance’s power was undoubtedly a point of approval for the reviewer.

Even though the Model Y doesn’t pack Ludicrous Mode or a dedicated launch system, which are both exclusive to the Model S and Model X, the all-electric crossover “still continues the legend of brutally prompt Tesla acceleration.” Tesla’s instant torque is synonymous with the company’s fleet of sustainable, high-performance automobiles, which makes them an intimidating sight on a drag strip. The Model Y Performance’s real-world 0 to 60 mph time of in 3.7 seconds in MotorTrend‘s test is quicker than the Jaguar I-Pace, the BMW X3 M Competition, and the Porsche Macan Turbo outfitted with a performance package.

During Seabaugh’s drive, he stated that none of the Model Y’s outstanding performance was unexpected. “Quick acceleration, quick steering, and firm braking are par for the course for Tesla,” he stated. However, the firm ride of the Model Y equipped with the Performance Upgrade Package, or PUP, was one completely unexpected thing.

Driving over potholes and rough roads or highway expansion joints were handled by the Model Y Performance’s lowered suspension. “To Tesla’s credit, the ride is by no means punishing—you’re neither flinching before bumps nor wincing after them—it’s just firmer than most other vehicles in its class,” he said.

From an interior standpoint, the cabin of the Model Y certainly won over Seabaugh, who said its “a pretty nice place to be.” The higher seat position compared to the Model 3 comes as a pleasant surprise, giving the driver a commanding view of the road. Visibility is good even though the front of the car isn’t visible from the driver’s throne.

Even though the Model Y Performance’s build is practical for hauling the kids around and grabbing items from the grocery store, it is a vehicle that packs plenty of power for those who desire a little bit of fun. While the Model X was undoubtedly the car to offer families a mode of premium sustainable transportation that’s incredibly difficult to match, the more-affordable Model Y is here to reach out as a “mass-market” vehicle, just like the Model 3 before it.

Seabaugh’s final words sum up the Model Y perfectly. “Revolutionary falcon-wing doors be damned, the original Model X didn’t make any of Tesla’s rivals lose sleep. The Model Y will give them nightmares.”

Myth: Driving electric means accepting a worse driving experience

05.20.2020 – by Tom Saxton

In 2006, my wife and I put down a deposit for a Tesla Roadster and started the long wait for production to begin. At the time, I was driving an Acura NSX and was a little nervous with the idea of replacing it with an electric car. We wanted to support the fledgling electric automaker, but the NSX was a sweet ride. Could I really give it up just to be nicer to the planet? In the fall of 2007, we had the opportunity to test drive a Roadster production prototype in the Bay Area hills near Alice’s Restaurant on a wonderful road twisting through the forest. Once behind the wheel, I was instantly taken by the sheer joy of driving electric: smooth, instant acceleration accompanied only by the sound of the tires grabbing the pavement and air rushing by, a pure visceral driving experience. After that, I couldn’t wait for the Roadster to arrive. After driving the Roadster for just a few weeks after it arrived in 2009, the NSX felt like a dinosaur. I’ve been hooked ever since.

In the years since, I’ve come to appreciate much more than the now well-known excitement of electric acceleration. The electric motor delivers smooth, instant torque from a full stop to freeway speeds, with no need for a transmission between the power and pavement. This has profound benefits in all driving situations.

Starting at zero

If you’ve ever driven up a steep hill with a stoplight, you’ve had to learn how to start without stalling. It’s quite a challenge with a manual transmission. An automatic transmission makes it easier to avoid stalling, but results in the car rolling backward until the engine speeds up enough to have the torque to power forward. That just leaves the issue of revving up fast enough that you don’t roll into the car behind you but slow enough that you don’t lurch forward and squeal the tires. There are countermeasures, using both feet with an automatic, or the handbrake with a stick, but let’s face it: the only reason drivers tolerate this is because it’s “normal.”

Driving electric upgrades normal. This whole hill-start problem goes away with an electric car. You have full torque available even from a stop. It’s very easy to get a smooth, slow start from a stop going up a steep hill. No problem. Well, there’s one problem left: when you’re behind a gas car you still have to wonder if they’ll get moving forward before rolling back into you.

Electric vehicles also do better starting on packed snow or ice. What you need is the ability to slowly increase torque so you start rolling without losing traction and spinning the tires. Electric motors do this very easily, much better than gas engines.

Accelerating to pass

When you push the accelerator on a gas car to pass on the freeway, there’s a delay before it responds. It’s short, but it’s there. The engine in all its piston-pumping mechanical glory needs to rev up and the transmission needs to shift gears. This takes time, not much, and I never really noticed it, until I tried doing a quick pass in an electric car. The response was immediate, startlingly so. After driving electric for several years, now I notice how sluggish gas cars are to accelerate.

Driving over the mountains

As you drive up a mountain in gas car, the combination of the slope and the speed often wants to run between two gears in the transmission. This causes the car to lurch every time it has to downshift to get just a little more torque to maintain speed climbing the hill, then shift up after gaining too much speed. An electric vehicle doesn’t have gears, it doesn’t have to shift to maintain torque, it just goes. Whether you’re maintaining speed manually or letting cruise control do it, that lurching and revving is totally missing from the electric driving experience.

The difference between gas and electric is even more pronounced on the downhill side. On a long, steep slope in a gas car, you have to cycle braking and coasting while your speed yo-yos up and down, or downshift and endure the whine of engine braking. In an electric car, regenerative braking works like engine braking, except the electric motor acts as a generator to charge the battery while holding your speed steady. Cruise control works beautifully both up and down the mountain, and on the downhill side you get free electricity charging your battery instead of heating up and wearing out your brake pads.

Fun, practical and affordable

Not every electric car has sports car performance, but they all share the significant advantages of an electric drive train and offer a better driving experience compared to a gas car with similar performance. There are now a wide variety of electric vehicles on the market, running the spectrum from practical cars starting around $30,000 up through performance monsters that handily beat gas cars costing twice, or ten times, as much. If you’re hesitating to go electric because you think you’ll be sacrificing driving experience, I urge you to go test drive one today.

Photo: Tom Saxton drag racing his Telsa Roadster at Portland International Raceways in 2010. Photo credit: Cathy Saxton

Vancouver Tesla Birthday Drive

April 12, 2020

Here is the little blog of the event. …. Alfred

Our proud Tesla owner, Aimee King set up a drive by birthday celebration for her lovely son, Gavin 3 weeks before his birthday which was April 12th.   Gavin was also a Tesla enthusiast. More than 45 Tesla owners showed up at the event.  It was a simple drive-by event and no gathering happened during the most challenge time in human`s history.

Here is the story, one of our proud Tesla owners, Aimee King invited all the Tesla owners on  Tesla Owners of Vancouver (Lower Mainland/GVRD) and Tesla Owners of Vancouver (Lower Mainland/GVRD) FB pages three weeks before her lovely son Gavin`s 7th birthday.  On April 12th, more than 45 Tesla vehicles showed up at Gavin`s .  neighborhood.  Most of the Tesla owners were blasting Gavin`s favorite music during the drive by.  The music were Thunder Struck, Smooth Criminal, All Tragically Hip songs, Guns and Roses`, Thunder by Imagine Dragons and the Happy Birthday song. The event was successful and “Quiet“ except the loud music. 😉

Thanks for organizing such a great event, Aimee has notified the neighbors and local police before it took place.  It was a meaningful event during the most challenge time in our human history.  Well-done to our Tesla owners in Vancouver, B.C.

Powerful Drive for a Cause

Dale Cory – Apr 4, 2020 / 7:10 pm | 

Fill your Frunk

It was called: Fill Your Frunk — All-Electric Food Drive for Central Okanagan Food Bank.

And it was a huge success.

The Tesla Owners Club of British Columbia, Okanagan Chapter, took to the streets Saturday, and filled their cars with food donations. Everyone met at McCurdy Corner Parking Lot, and transported food to the Central Okanagan Food Bank.

“In total we were able to donate three carts of essentials to the Central Okanagan Food Bank, while maintaining safe social distancing,” said Tesla car club member Olivia Nowek. “In light of more recent guidelines to avoid non-essential trips outside the house, we will be re-evaluating future electric food drive plans, but hope to continue in some capacity so long as it remains safe. 

“We would love to donate to other Okanagan food banks, the SPCA or Animal Food Bank, and fill other community needs as identified.

“The newly-formed social club is unable to socialize or have public events due to the COVID-19 outbreak, so…

“We have shifted our focus to giving back to the community, and decided to collect food donations and fill our front trunks, also called ‘frunks’ with food, and go together as a group to drop off the donations to the Food Bank,” added Nowek. “We are strictly enforcing a two-meter social distancing rule during the group photo and the drop-off of the goods.”