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Grant Gerke writes about manufacturing, factory and plant automation, packaging, electric cars and renewables for business and consumer media sites.

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Thursday
Apr092015

Video | Tesla Model S 85D Flatbed Delivery

>> Find more posts on EVs and Tesla Motors by Grant Gerke @ Teslarati.com. Twitter: @autogrant

I've never seen an actual video of a Model S85D flatbed delivery and this is pretty interesting on a couple of different fronts. One, it looks like the location is nowhere near a service center, maybe Utah, and that's my guess why Al Van der Beek didn't receive driver orientation.

Secondly, they deliver a car with only 17 miles of charge? That's so wrong on so many levels, what if he had a long drive and the electric beast needs to be driven immediately without waiting for a charge.

To me, this points to the all the Click to read more ...

Monday
Mar232015

Model X Test Drive on I-485, near Palo Alto

>> Find more posts on EVs and Tesla Motors by Grant Gerke @ Teslarati.com. Twitter: @autogrant

This short, highway video shows a Model X test drive in sunny northern California and it looks more polished compared to the "black" Model X images from about six weeks ago. (Found here @ TMC, Yobigd20).

However, there's still quite a bit of the car "masked" out. Looking a the back end, the tail lights appear to be covered to some degree and, of course, the back window. Some commenters have pointed out the gap between with the falcon wing doors in previous pictures and there does seem to be a noticeable gap, compared to previous Model X demo models and showroom vehicles.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Feb012015

Recent Content | BMW Branding Takes Aim at the Model X and Tesla Motors

Here's a recent article excerpt, "Ladies in the House, Model X or BMW i3?," from Teslarati about how a lengthy delay could allow the i3 or possibly the X5 PHEV vehicle to make gobble up alternative vehicle dollars:

If history is any indicator, Tesla will devote most of its immediate resources to getting the Model X roll out right and Musk has promised a steeper production ramp for the model due to thousands of reservation holders.

Delays aren't good for Tesla (and Model III development), however it may be a boon for a diminutive car called the i3 from BMW and provide another choice for the female car consumers in the all-electric car market in 2015.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Feb012015

Energy Gang Podcast | Residential Solar Financing is Getting Easier

January is moving and I'm trying to catch up on Energy Gang podcasts as we receive 10 inches of snow here in the Midwest.

Recent surveys suggest that EV owners are very receptive to solar and a natural partnership to develop energy security for our nation and keep emissions lower. Anyway, in this episode, Stephen Lacey, Jiggar Shaw and Sungage Financial CEO, Sarah Ross, gtalk about residential financing for solar panels. The cost of owning or leasing solar panels for residential dropped 60% since 2008.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jan262015

Does BMW's i3 Super Bowl Commercial Hit the Right Target? 

Interesting responses to BMW's new i3 Super Bowl commercial to debut officially (above) on Sunday and ultimately looking to reach a larger audience with minimal knowledge on electric vehicle drivetrain technology.

I posted the commercial to the BMW i3 Facebook group early this week and it's been about 50/50, pro and against, with many followers wanting more "performance" and EV technology to be provided in the commercial. That contingent is pushing for more of a showcase for EV technology.

One commenter says:

"Very happy to see BMW using the largest media platform in the US to sell the i3, but very sad to see them do it with such a lame commercial. At best this says it's a car for clueless people. What a waste of time and money."

The commercial shows how Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric were "clueless" about the internet back in 1994 via the Today show and then the commercial moves them to a i3 and discussing this new technology with the same no-clue approach while riding in the EV. As my wife would say, it's cute.

One member of the BMW i3 group says:

'If this is a real BMW, they should sell it the same way they sell real BMWs."

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jan262015

Podcast | Energy Gang Discusses Oil Prices and Ramifications for Cleantech

Are oil prices going to sour adoption of electric vehicles in the short-term? Probably, yes. However, the solar industry's development is fascinating and the desire by electric vehicle owners to have solar energy be their source of fuel for the cars, probably can't be stopped (just received a PlugInsights survey on this very issue).

Great perspective by the usual suspects on the podcast and Michael Levi, a senior fellow for energy and environment at the Council on Foreign Relations, joins the regulars to talk about OPEC, the resiliency of America’s unconventional oil & gas sector, the impact of low prices on consumers, and which renewable energy sectors will be affected first.

>> This article has been updated (12 EST)

Saw this from Nissan's chief, Carlos Ghosn via Davos 2015 @therealautoblog:

"I don't think it is going to be slowing down," he said. "The people who are buying mainly for economic reasons may be deterred from it, but you have plenty of consumers buying EV for other reasons. On top of this, even though the price of oil is unpredictable – nobody has predicted last year that we would be at this level of oil price today and nobody knows where oil price will be next year or two years down the road – but what is predictable is that the regulation on emissions is going to get tougher in the various markets where we are present. So, our EV strategy is here not only to face too much dependence on oil or the cost of oil, but also to allow us to meet the very stringent regulations on emissions that are happening and will be happening in the future.

Thursday
Jan222015

Effective Electric Vehicle Advertising Coming in 2015?

Will 2015 be the year of effective advertising for EVs?

Fire up the band, 2015 is here and electric vehicle (EV) advertising may be heading in the right direction. The reason for my optimisim is the efforts by BMW, Nissan and maybe Volkswagen (KIA too?). At EV Parade, this is one of my favorite topics and a foundation for the blog (Along with 1) Workplace Charging, 2) Opposition to Electric Vehicles, and 3) Tesla Motors).

The marketing optimism comes from a couple of sources, but for this post, it centers around a recent email from BMW that stated the joys of "one-pedal driving." Why is that such a big deal? It's a differentiator from regular ICE cars and it's SO freakin' enjoyable! I love it with my Tesla Model S, very fluid and it offers a ton of fun with local driving; trying not to use your brake pedal for stop signs. 

It's a feature that should be emphasized and really hasn't in any tangible marketing campaign. 

This is smart branding from BMW as the email focuses on the fun and nothing on the environmental benefits—taking a cue from Tesla Motors Model S page. It's a car, plain and simple

Click to read more ...