Tesla and other EVs have already saved 120k lives says study

By Jorge Aguirre
According to a study from Nature Communications, Teslas alone have saved over 20,000 lives
According to a study from Nature Communications, Teslas alone have saved over 20,000 lives
Tesla

People are at risk from food and water shortages, flooding, high heat, an increase in disease, and economic loss due to climate change. Conflict and human migration are potential outcomes. Climate change has been named the biggest threat to world health in the 21st century, and it’s clear that taking prompt action to lessen its effects is of the utmost importance.

Amongst the many actions we can take to reduce our carbon footprint and amount of harmful emissions that can be directly tied to us, purchasing an electric vehicle is one that could surely have a long-lasting effect. Studies have found that the more drivers transition their gas cars to electric ones, the better for ozone levels and the decrease of particulate matter or “haze”. When EV adoption is coupled with switching our power generation to renewable energies, the positive impacts are even greater.

Back in 2011 the Tesla Roadster - the first serially produced lithium-ion battery vehicle - served as the face of the new EV Revolution and hinted at the possibility of fast, seductive, and opulent electric vehicles in the future. Worldwide sales of electric vehicles are now in the millions of units since its introduction, with Tesla accounting for almost 2 million of those sales.

But a high EV adoption rate not only means good news for the planet we currently live in. It also dramatically increases the survival chances of our children and grandchildren, the generations to come. According to a study published just last year in Nature Communications, "adding 4,434 metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2020 - equivalent to the lifetime emissions of 3.5 ordinary Americans - could cause one extra death globally in expectation during 2020-2100."

This is where electric vehicles can play their part. Let's look at Tesla's most recent impact report as an illustration. The average combustion vehicle emits 450 g CO2e every mile, or 68 metric tons over the course of a lifespan of 150,000 miles (241,401 km), according to that report. In contrast, the Model 3 emits 180 g CO2e/mile when charged through the American power grid, which is equivalent to 27 metric tons of carbon dioxide over the course of a lifetime.

We save around 40 metric tons of carbon over the course of a lifetime for every person who abandons their gas car for an electric vehicle. Tesla sales alone have saved our planet from around 80 million metric tons of carbon, assuming that most people would have gone with a gas car in an alternative universe where the electric revolution never happened.

According to the above-mentioned study, since every 4,000 metric tons of carbon emissions are predicted to result in an additional death, around 20,000 lives have been saved as a result. If we take into account the 10 million electric cars sold by other manufacturers, the number of lives saved increases to a staggering 120,000. Human lives are not the only direct beneficiaries of a higher EV adoption rate, however. Another study published by Northwestern university found that if EVs replaced 25% of combustion-engine cars currently on the road, the United States would save approximately $17 billion annually by avoiding damages from climate change and air pollution. In more aggressive scenarios -- replacing 75% of cars with EVs and increasing renewable energy generation -- savings could reach as much as $70 billion annually.

Many EV detractors mention that the electricity used to charge EVs still comes from fossil fuels, and therefore it balances out tail-pipe emissions savings. But this is not an accurate picture. Some electric charging stations even use renewable energy to charge EVs nowadays. However, EVs still result in fewer emissions overall even when their charging is coal powered. For example, electric vehicle use has resulted in a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in nations that rely heavily on coal, like China.

And sure, if done carelessly, EV battery manufacture might be dangerous to the environment. Nearly all EV emissions are ‘well-to-wheel emissions’ created during the battery production process. Because EVs are still a relatively new technology, the energy sources used to make batteries do not conform to industry standards, which increases the carbon footprint. But things are starting to change in this regard.

Compared to two years ago, the carbon footprint of modern EV batteries is two to three times smaller, and it is getting cleaner all the time. EV automakers are establishing standards for the suppliers of their batteries. For instance, they mandate that vendors exclusively produce using renewable energy sources like solar and wind. These sources can supply the substantial energy required to make EV batteries without producing damaging pollutants. Tesla, for example, intends to produce its batteries with only renewable energy.

Taking all these factors into consideration, we can only hope the EV Revolution is here to stay. We no longer have the luxury of being shy when it comes to reducing emissions and pollutants that are clearly accelerating climate change, and even though sometimes it can be easy to feel like there is not much we can do as individuals to prevent this, driving electric, while pushing for broader adoption of renewable power sources (including inside our own homes) is definitely a start.

Tesla Semi to have 500 mile range, to be delivered this year

By Jorge Aguirre
Tesla to release the first Tesla Semis this year
Tesla to release the first Tesla Semis this year
Tesla

Tesla's first electric semi-truck will have a range of 500 miles and begin shipping this year, according to a tweet from Elon Musk, founder and CEO. Musk previously said that the model would be on roads in 2023, as well as Tesla's pickup truck, dubbed the Cybertruck. The projected arrival date for the Cybertruck has not changed.

The Tesla Semi Truck, which was unveiled in November 2017, is designed for long-haul trucking. It can go from 0 to 60 mph in 20 seconds when hauling a full load, which is faster than most diesel trucks.

The Tesla Semi Truck's range of 500 miles on a single charge constitutes more than double the range of the current longest-range electric truck on the market, the Daimler eCascadia, which has a range of 230 miles.

Tesla to release the first Tesla Semis this year
Tesla to release the first Tesla Semis this year
Tesla

The Tesla Semi Truck is also significantly cheaper to operate than a diesel truck, Tesla has said. The company estimates that it will cost $1.26 per mile to operate the Tesla Semi, compared to $1.51 per mile for a diesel truck.

Since the company started taking orders for the truck in 2017 some of the most sizable orders have come from the likes of UPS, Walmart, and PepsiCo. The original deposit required with an order was $5,000, which was increased to $20,000 after the event in November 2017.

Tesla to release the first Tesla Semis this year
Tesla to release the first Tesla Semis this year
Tesla

The company has not said how many trucks it plans to produce but based on past statements from Tesla we can expect the price of regular production versions for the 300-mile (480 km) and 500-mile (800 km) range versions to be $150,000 and $180,000 USD respectively.

Tesla's Semi Truck is part of the company's push to electrify the transportation sector, which is responsible for a significant portion of greenhouse gas emissions. Tesla also makes electric cars and SUVs, and it plans to start producing its electric truck next year. Tesla's ultimate goal is to transition the world to sustainable energy.

Tesla to release the first Tesla Semis this year
Tesla to release the first Tesla Semis this year
Tesla

Tesla Semi Event

Tesla unveiled the Tesla Semi and the Tesla Roadster in late 2017. The entire event is below:

Teslas to report real-time data to help with road closures and traffic issues

Future Feature
By Lennon Cihak
Tesla may be building out a feature for vehicle-to-vehicle communication
Tesla may be building out a feature for vehicle-to-vehicle communication
Ian Maddox

Tesla recently wrapped up its 2022 annual shareholders meeting, and CEO Elon Musk hinted at a potentially exciting feature coming to the fleet: vehicle-to-vehicle communication.

Towards the end of the shareholders’ meeting, a gentleman in the audience mentioned how aircrafts use a system called Airborne Collision Avoidance System (ACAS). He elaborated on how ACAS relays an aircraft’s telemetry to prevent a collision.

“Sometimes too much telemetry,” Musk adds and laughs, assumingly referencing the Twitter account that tracks his private jet.

“Do you see Teslas communicating with one another and Dojo turning into some kind of air traffic control for Tesla supply chains and Robotaxi?” adds the gentleman.

Musk answered by saying he hasn’t thought about that before, which is interesting. He added that the goal with Dojo is to be the de facto computer for training the neural net with videos.

“Oh. That’s an interesting idea. I haven’t thought about that,” Musk responds. “Right now our goal with Dojo is to be really good at video training. We have probably the fourth or approaching the third, most powerful computing center in the world for AI training. Our first goal with Dojo is to make it competitive and be more effective at neural net training than a whole bunch of GPUs. We might get there… soonish.”

Musk also added that Dojo is built “from the ground up” to train AI using videos, and building such a computer has never been done before.

This question got Musk’s mind going. He paused for a moment and said there may be some difficulties in getting Teslas to communicate with one another - and it won’t be needed with Full Self-Driving.

“There will be some merits for Teslas to communicate [with] each other, but that won’t be needed for Full Self-Driving at all,” Musk responds. “But for a long time the vast majority of cars will be manually driven, so the value of Tesla-to-Tesla communication is not that high, except for, perhaps, communicating traffic issues, accidents, potholes, and road closures. A Tesla ahead of you has seen a road closure and you get that real-time update to your car so you don’t get stuck in the road closure situation. That’s the stuff that we are working on right now.”

Elon Musk's Answer

In January of 2022, Twitter user and Tesla enthusiast @BLKMDL3 tweeted at Musk asking about this type of feature. “Hey @elonmusk, can we get the air suspension in Model S/X to automatically raise quickly if the car detects a dip in the road ahead and then remember the location for next time?” BLKMDL3 writes. “Would be an awesome feature to have!”

Musk responded with, “Yeah.”

BLKMDL3’s tweet received quite a bit of attention.

Tesla has recently rolled out updates to improve a vehicle’s ability to raise and lower its suspension when arriving at a specific location. This is so the vehicle doesn’t scuff the pavement and cause damage to its underbody.

Since Musk stated that he hasn’t thought about vehicle-to-vehicle communication or how it would be done, we don’t anticipate this feature rolling out anytime soon. However, we can hope that it gets added to the pipeline of upcoming features due to its seemingly positive reception and want for it. This could also increase the safety of Tesla’s vehicles, even though they’re already the safest cars on the road.

It would be nice for vehicles within a 5-10 mile radius to notify one another of a construction zone, or accident, similar to Waze. This would allow the vehicle to reroute to a more efficient route or handle the situation accordingly. Going a step further, it would be exceptionally cool to see snapshots or videos of the upcoming situation by seeing a “hotspot” in maps, similar to how Snapchat shows hotspots, that are recorded via the vehicle’s cameras to more accurately prepare for it. But this may open a can of worms in regards to privacy.

Turning Tesla’s fleet into a mobile social network may go against Musk’s vision. He’s stated before that any user input in the vehicle should be considered an error, so having an interactive feature such as this may not be in Tesla’s deck of cards.

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