According to a study from Nature Communications, Teslas alone have saved over 20,000 lives
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 is a regular in the news cycle; if it's not about the vehicle, it's about the CEO. It's no secret Tesla stock is down, and investors who are long on the stock have lost a considerable amount over the past month. One of those investors is Gary Black, the Future Fund managing partner, who said in August that Tesla is the fund's largest position. Black is calling on Tesla to hire a public relations department to inform the media and the public of the positives around the brand.
Oddly enough, at the shareholders' event in August, Black said, "the thing we worry about most is not PR; it's succession." Now it seems that is what Black is worried about. He recently tweeted: People can't complain about the media if TSLA refuses to correct articles that are wrong, or worse, won't maintain relationships with TSLA beat reporters and editors so they can get TSLA's POV out when needed. Strong PR will be needed to sell FSD safety. Think long-term.
Black's stance may be understandable to some, especially those who have watched their trading account shrink, but it's implausible because Tesla doesn't need a PR department.
Musk and the Mainstream Media Don't Mix
Musk is currently using his new company to hold mainstream media accountable. In case you missed it, he's releasing the Twitter Files, a detailed report backed up with real emails to show suppression of true stories.
The Tesla CEO also regularly calls out media outlets for false stories, misleading headlines and biased reporting. Musk will not hire a team to try to steer newsrooms, something he has so little respect for, and it's unlikely legacy media outlets will listen.
Media Biased Against Tesla
Bad news generates more views and clicks and keeps the advertisers paying. Even when the news isn't bad, take, for example, a recent Reliability Report by Consumer Reports. Most, if not all, mainstream media declared Tesla as the terrible one, even though Tesla moved up four spots from the previous year. It was hard to find a mention of the manufacturers that scored less. Those included Chevrolet, GMC, Volkswagen, Jeep, and Mercedes Benz. Yes, the expensive luxury brand was dead last in reliability. That is a story.
Reporters also picked up that electric vehicles scored low for reliability. Consumer Reports said it was because EVs are new on the market. However, scoring even lower were full-sized pickups. Those have been on the market for quite a bit longer.
Tesla, which also has not spent a dime on advertising, disbanded its public relations department in 2020. That's unheard of by a company its size, especially in the automotive sector. However, Tesla and Elon have something much better — you are reading it right now. Not a Tesla App is one of several blog sites that publish news about Tesla daily. Many of these websites have writers who own Teslas. The stories are much more accurate, positive and just plain better than anything readers will find in the mainstream. Who says bias must be negative?
Word of Mouth Advertising
Now add hundreds, maybe even thousands of loyal enthusiasts who defend and promote Tesla on social media platforms. Next, throw into the mix the hundreds of thousands of Tesla owners who quite often are spokespeople for the company whenever they get out of the car. I've been sure to add 10 minutes of travel time to my drives because I'm likely to get asked some questions at the grocery store or car wash.
This kind of advertising money cannot buy, and it's the kind of positive publicity media will not share. So while Black's concerns are legitimate, a PR department is not the solution. Instead, Tesla needs to keep doing what it's been doing and let the product, its fans and the Tesla-inspired websites do the rest.
Tesla is getting ready to introduce WiFi garage door support to their vehicles through MyQ.
Since our article yesterday additional details have emerged about how MyQ will operate, which vehicles will be supported and whether there will be a cost to use the service. This information is based on a page that appeared briefly on MyQ's website but has since been removed.
MyQ's website stated that support for their garage door openers would be coming to the Model 3 and Model Y. While this makes a lot of sense because those vehicles don't include a HomeLink module, we'd be surprised if Tesla didn't also add support for the Model S and Model X.
Let's get cost out of the way. Although MyQ does not charge a fee today to remotely open and close their garage doors, they do plan on charging a fee to use their devices in vehicles. This could be looked at similarly to how some services are free to use on a PC but require a subscription to use on your mobile phone.
The price posted on MyQ's website was a five-year plan for $179, which is still cheaper than Tesla's $350 installation cost for HomeLink.
Unfortunately, this removes a big benefit we thought MyQ would have over buying a HomeLink module for the Model 3 or Model Y. For Model S and Model X owners who already have HomeLink included in their vehicles, it may not make as much sense.
However, MyQ does provide some advantages over HomeLink.
The good news is that MyQ integration will be very similar to HomeLink, and better in some ways. What appears to be a rendering of the feature working in a Tesla was also posted to their website which shows off a screen very similar to HomeLink.
On the MyQ settings screen, you'll have a list of supported devices on the left side, such as garage doors, gates and possibly lights, but we haven't see any evidence of the latter yet.
On the right side, you'll see options pertaining to the device selected, such as its current state, whether the garage door should auto-open or close and the distance when the device should be triggered.
You'll also be able to have the vehicle fold in its mirrors when reaching the target location.
If you've used HomeLink, this should all look very familiar since it's almost exactly the same. However, there are a couple of differences that give the advantage to MyQ.
The first is that MyQ is a smarter system and it knows the state of your garage door. So if you're arriving home and the garage door is already open, it won't try to close it on you.
The other advantage is distance. Since MyQ works over the internet you'll be able to trigger the garage door or gate from further down the driveway, giving the door plenty of time to fully open before you arrive.
MyQ supports an array of devices, but it waits to be seen whether there will be support for these additional devices such as lights and door locks.
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