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Ricky, from Plycar, delivered my Tesla a bit after midnight Thursday, door to door, in about three days from Los Angeles to Indianapolis. Excellent service.


Video is one minute long and shows vehicle offloading and unique, one-of-a-kind charging setup in my garage. Note the custom-designed and built stand which holds the charging unit.

100% Electric -- Zero Emissions -- No Gulf Oil

 
 
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Last night, around six o'clock, a company called Plycon, through their Plycar auto transport division, picked up my Tesla for the cross-country trip from Los Angeles to Indianapolis.

Ricky, who owns the truck which pulls the huge trailer -- together both total 80 feet in length -- had just driven from Newport Beach, in rush-hour traffic up the 405 and then across the Marina Freeway, to a construction site across the street from my condo building, where he loaded up my car, adding it to the other Tesla he's taking to Florida.

In the brief video you'll see Ricky loading my car, and then closing the massive back door. The mechanics and inner workings of the trailer, along with the backdoor, are the result of precision engineering and manufacturing.

I expect to see Ricky, and my Tesla, toward the end of this week. My flight back to Indianapolis is at three clock this afternoon, and I look forward to being back home by about midnight tonight.

Be sure to watch the brief clip from NBC's Law & Order -- with a Plycar truck in it -- at the end of this video. Ironically, last night was the final episode of Law and order -- it's going off the air.

 
 
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Over 50 Tesla owners came together in Los Angeles yesterday for the second annual Southern California Tesla Rally. We met at the Los Angeles Tesla store around 10AM, and started off on the 25 mile drive to Jim and Tonya Hull's amazing Greener Pastures Ranch nestled in the Santa Monica Mountains above Malibu at around 11:15 AM.

Our caravan began the rally at the Santa Monica Blvd. entrance onto the 405 freeway, heading north to the 101 freeway toward Ventura and exiting at the South Topanga Canyon Boulevard off-ramp. From there the caravan headed to Mulholland Drive, and then wound its way, for over 20 miles, through some of most twisty, exciting and beautiful roads of the Santa Monica Mountains. With perfect weather and sunny blue sky above us, we arrived at Jim and Tonya's stunningly beautiful ranch where we had a fantastic catered luncheon while getting to know some of our fellow Tesla owners.

At one point a helicopter circled above us taking video and still photos as we all gathered in the corral, amongst our cars, waving for the pictures.

It was a great day and a lot of fun. A personal shout out and "thank you" to Jim and Tonya for their huge generosity at their Greener Pastures Ranch, as well as to all the crew at the Los Angeles Tesla store for putting together a flawless event.

 I couldn't wait for the professional photos and video that were shot, and decided to throw together this short video myself. It's not very professional, and I couldn't shoot much footage while driving through the mountains (I had to keep both hands on the wheel!) but it'll give you a bit of flavor of the rally.

 
 
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Tomorrow morning the 2nd Annual Southern California Tesla Road Rally begins at 10AM.  It's going to be even more memorable than last year, with great sponsors, gifts and prizes. The streets around the Tesla store on Santa Monica Blvd and Sepulveda will be blocked off to accommodate the anticipated 60+ Tesla Roadsters as they que up for the start of the Rally.

This year's goal is to smash the record for the number of roadsters in a single location. My contacts at the Los Angeles Tesla store tell me that Southern California is the largest single Roadster Market in the world.

I hope to have photos and video later tomorrow.

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As part of its extensive downsizing, General Motors ended its 25 year partnership with Toyota last year which shut down the last auto assembly line on the West Coast -- the NUMMI plant in Fremont, CA, located across the bay from San Francisco -- resulting in the loss of over 4,700 jobs.

Late breaking news this afternoon is that Tesla Motors and Toyota Motor Corp will team up to produce the next generation of electric cars, and that they'll build them at this former General Motors-Toyota plant.

Mercedes-Benz and Toyota have called Tesla's electric vehicle technology the best in the world, and the new partnership with Toyota will allow for Tesla to begin building their new all-electric 7-seater Sedan (estimated price at $50,000) in this plant, along with a sub $30,000 all-electric car -- which will most likely feature Toyota design along with Tesla's electric vehicle technology -- to compete with the anticipated lower-cost all electric vehicles due on the market in the near future.

Tesla has clearly moved the bar forward and has forced major auto makers to design and produce their own versions of all-electric vehicles, including Nissan, whose LEAF will appear later this fall, and GM, whose Chevrolet VOLT (though not a totally all-electric car) should be out by next year.



NOTE: From the Tesla website today, after the big announcement...


"Tesla's goal is to produce increasingly affordable electric cars to mainstream buyers – relentlessly driving down the cost of EVs. Palo Alto, CA-based Tesla has delivered more than 1000 Roadsters to customers in North America, Europe and Asia. Tesla designs and manufactures EVs and EV powertrain components. It is currently the only automaker in the U.S. that builds and sells highway-capable EVs in serial production. The Tesla Roadster accelerates faster than most sports cars yet produces no emissions. Tesla service rangers make house calls to service Roadsters."

 
 
Shot with my iPhone in the basement parking spot of my Los Angeles condo, this brief video shows the light show coming from the charging port of my Tesla immediately after plugging in the connector.

The process of charging a Tesla is very simple: 1) Flip open the charging port door then, 2) Plug in the connector and twist to lock and, finally, 3) slide the switch on the connector forward to begin charging.
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The charging station has been installed on the garage wall in front of my parking spots.
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As the proud owner of a Tesla 100% electric Roadster, I was delighted to hear that the Tesla worldwide community of owners has driven a collective 4 million Electric Miles!

That means that Tesla owners have driven approximately 160 times around the earth without a single puff of tailpipe smoke.

Simultaneously, we have saved 200,000 gallons of gas, almost 11,000 barrels of oil, and have prevented over 2,000,000 pounds of CO2 emissions -- which is the equivalent of taking almost 60,000 cars off the road for one day.

Happy Earth Day!


Photo Above: A vermont Tesla owner charges from solar. According to the owner, the panel makes enough juice to go 10,000 miles a year. He uses his Tesla for daily commuting to work, and the day this photo was taken he happened to watch his odometer roll past 7777 miles.

Video below: legendary racecar and hydroplane driver, Chip Hanauer, puts a Tesla through its paces at today's Future of Flight  Earth Day celebration in Seattle. Impressive footage.

 
 
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Even though the price of gasoline continues to rise in the United States, the March demand for gasoline helped refineries reach a new production record.

Topping out at 9.3 million barrels per day, with gasoline deliveries at 9.2 million barrels per day, our nation has set a new record for the month of March. And, it's close to the single-day record of 9.6 million barrels of gasoline which were delivered daily in July of 2007.

It is shocking how short our memories are of the near $5-a-gallon gasoline prices in the summer of 2008, when the demand for energy-efficient vehicles skyrocketed.

Sadly, as gas prices crept back down to more moderate levels by the winter of 2008, gas guzzling vehicles once again saw an upswing in sales. It seems the American consumers' experience with record high gas prices quickly faded from memory.

A couple of days ago I blogged about the 100%, all-electric Tesla Roadster and the upcoming Tesla S Sedan, as well as the new Nissan LEAF -- all examples of the perfect way to wean Americans off of gasoline-powered engines and the damage that they are doing to our nation in so many ways.

The attached video is a CNN news report, from Hong Kong, in which Tesla officials and a Tesla customer in Los Angeles are interviewed about this 100%, all-electric, zero-emissions car.

 
 
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In reviewing the new Tesla Model S Electric Sedan, current.com said "warning, you may wet yourself". I agree!

Two weeks ago the manager of the Los Angeles Tesla store asked me if I'd like to come in and take a sneak peek at the new Model S which was at the dealership in preparation for a photo shoot that Monday. They swore me to secrecy because, apparently, whenever the media finds out there's a Tesla sedan somewhere they converge on it like vultures.

Once I got there, I could see why. It's a gorgeous car! Inside and out, its many features are Starwar-like. (see my photos below)

With a range of up to 300 miles per charge, a top speed of 130 mph, zero to 60 mph in under 5 seconds, a $7500 federal tax credit (along with any other state and/or local credits for electric cars), free parking in some cities, free access to carpool lanes in some states, no more gasoline, no more oil changes, no transmission fluid, no oil filters, no gas filters, no dangerous exhaust fumes, no engine noise -- just a smooth, quiet, fast ride -- the Tesla Model S Electric Sedan is Uber cool!

Thanks to the Los Angeles Tesla store for letting me sit in, and experience this ultra cool electric car.

Since the Tesla Model S. Electric Sedan won't be available for another year or so, I'm very excited about the new Nissan LEAF.  Check out the video below to watch how easy it will be to charge the LEAF, and how you can monitor the LEAF with a smartphone - and even give it instructions (such as to cool down or heat up before you get in)!

While the manufacturer's suggested retail price for the 2011 all electric, zero-emission LEAF is about $32,780, with the various federal state and local incentives the actual price may very well be around $25,000. This puts the LEAF in a class all by itself as a truly mass market all-electric vehicle.

I urge my friends and readers to get to know more about the Nissan LEAF and, if you're considering a new car purchase, to think about buying one when they are released later this year.

Finally, for a great history of the cool electric cars sold only in California in the 90s, I highly recommend watching "Who Killed the Electric Car".



Photo above: Standing between my Tesla Roadster and a new Tesla Model S Sedan.

Photos below -- click to enlarge: The Model S Sedan and my Roadster behind the Los Angeles Tesla store. (including my Tesla Roadster in my condo parking spot)

Video 1: Elon Musk, founder of Tesla Motors, introducing the new Tesla Model S All-Electric Sedan.

Video 2: Amazing new Nissan LEAF!

 
 
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Let's see: research electric cars, purchase expensive all electric Tesla and pay for it based on an understanding that condo Association will allow installation of a charging station at parking spot, requiring 300 feet of wire to be run through the common space of the parking garage, go through almost 3 months of nail-biting suspense waiting to see if condo association board will approve request to install the charging station in the common area (never before done in building), finally get approval and move forward with an electrician who begins installing charging station this week, and who is then stopped today by an inspector.

Electrician scrambles and figures out yet another way to tap into the building's electric source, with inspector observing.

Inspector seems happy with new plan and gives the go-ahead, but then notices Tesla charging station does not have an Underwriters Laboratory (UL) approval sticker on it and tells electrician that there is no way he'll sign off on the job without that sticker.

And that's where we are at end of day on April 1, 2010. I have a beautiful new all-electric car, with no way to charge it!

So, tomorrow we'll have to deal with Tesla and try to get a UL approved sticker so that the electrician can complete the job before the weekend. If he is successful, the charging station could be fully operational on Monday.

My electrician needed me to move my car in order for him to do some additional work late this afternoon, so I hopped in the Tesla and and drove down the coast, through the beach towns of Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, and on down to the stunningly beautiful Palos Verdes Peninsula.

The drive along the coast, high above the ocean on a road that follows along the cliffs, is called one of the finest drives in the United States, high atop the list of things to do in Southern California. A seaside "yellow brick road" traces the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island, and this afternoon was a stunningly beautiful sunny cool day -- perfect for the drive.

I've had the Tesla for two full days now, and have well over half my charge still in reserve -- so I'm not desperate to recharge the car, yet. However, I'll take it to the dealer tomorrow and plug it in while I'm at the gym (which is just a few blocks away).

Fingers crossed that the inspector will allow things to move forward tomorrow with the installation so that power can be turned on this coming Monday.

Wish me luck!


Note: photo taken as I stopped along the cliffs above Palos Verdes to look down on the Pacific Ocean.

VIdeo is down the cliff to the ocean, panning back to the Tesla.