Saturday
Aug292015

National Drive Electric Week is Sept. 19th noon-5 in Devon, PA

Exhibitors, Volunteers, Sponsors, and Attendees - Save the date and watch for updates on the event here:

https://driveelectricweek.org/event.php?eventid=417&view=public

Wednesday
Aug122015

What Price Will You Pay For Your Safety? Now $1000 less!

In the past I have argued the economic, environmental, and health benefits of driving electric vehicles (EVs).   Many EVs on the road today come at a premium in price relative to their gasoline equivalents.  However, that premium can be justified in many different ways from looking at the service and operating costs to considering the direct impact of gasoline use on the health and welfare of the vehicle owners and the indirect impact on others and the environment.  A good resource to consult is the book "Lives Per Gallon - The True Cost of our Oil Addiction" - Terry Tamminen

The true cost of fossil fuels in general is staggering and disproportionately borne by the poor as can be seen from this IMF report on fossil fuel subsidies:    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/may/18/fossil-fuel-companies-getting-10m-a-minute-in-subsidies-says-imf

But when one considers the Tesla Model S, there is another important factor to consider - the SAFETY and WELFARE of yourself and your loved ones - something much more difficult to put a price on.

High incidence auto accidents are common. According to a 2012 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: 2.24 million people were injured in traffic accidents in 2010.  32,885 people died in motor vehicle crashes that year. High costs!  The National Safety Council (NSC) collects and evaluates data to estimate the economic impact of motor vehicle accidents. The NSC’s most recent findings indicate: The average cost for each motor vehicle death is $1.4 million. That sum includes lost wages, medical costs, damages and more. When a crash results in a disabling injury, the average per-person cost is $70,200. 

Vehicle accidents account for by far the highest percentage of accidental deaths annually. Does't it make sense to pay a little more to minimize this risk for yourself and those you love?

Maximum Safety

Now consider the Model S.  Perhaps the single most important reason to pay a premium for a Model S over conventional cars is that the Model S is literally the safest car on the road - bar none!  It didn't just receive five stars in every category and subcategory of safety (including for pedestrians), which about 1% of other cars do—the Model S recorded the lowest probability of injury of any car ever tested by the U.S. government across all passenger vehicles, including minivans and SUVs.

In addition, every Model S comes standard with automatic emergency braking, as well as blind-spot and forward- and side-collision warning systems to prevent accidents in the first place.

Speed and cool features are nice, but nothing is more important than the safety of you, your family and your friends. For more info, check out this blog: http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/tesla-model-s-achieves-best-safety-rating-any-car-ever-tested

Now Even Less Expensive- Save $1000!

And now,  through Oct. 31, 2015, Tesla is extending a $1000 discount gift from its owners to the general public to help encourage you to test drive and potentially buy one of these outstanding cars.

If you would like to take advantage of one of the ten gifts I can personally offer, just use the link below.  http://ts.la/michael8891

You can buy your Tesla online, just like ordering a computer or a book. No need to go to a store, though you can certainly visit any showroom as well.  If I have convinced you that to pay a small premium to keep your loved ones as safe as possible is worth it, please use my name and/or link above when ordering your Model S.  Save and happy motoring to you!


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More Reasons to Buy a Model S

A survey of Tesla customers by Consumer Reports found that 98% expected that their next car purchase would also be a Tesla, much higher than for any other car. I feel the same way about my Tesla, which is why I'm recommending one for you.

Here is some background from Tesla about why you might want to buy a Model S:

Starting at $575/month after gas savings, the Model S is still a relatively expensive car, but here is what makes it worth the price:

Utility

Since the Model S doesn't need a big combustion engine, radiators, exhausts or catalytic converters, it has tremendous cargo capacity. With both a trunk in the front and a trunk in the rear, it has more storage space than any other sedan and more than most SUVs.

There is so much space in the back that you can have an optional fold-flat, rear-facing third seat, allowing you to carry five adults, two children and luggage in the front trunk. Tesla installs a high strength steel bumper to enable the car to take highway-speed impacts in the rear without permanent injury to the third row.

You can also carry several sets of skis, bikes and other equipment using the built-in attachments for the roof rack.

Other features that improve utility are a dynamic air suspension that remembers where it needs to raise itself, based on when you last pressed it. With this, you can raise the car above the snow and get through anything SUVs can handle. Tesla's biggest per capita sales are above the Arctic Circle in Norway.

Service

Tesla received the highest customer feedback rating for service of any car brand in production: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2015/03/best-places-to-get-your-car-repaired/index.htm

A big reason for this is that Tesla intentionally operates its service centers at break-even. We don't believe in profiting off our product if it is not working.

Our service centers are located throughout North America and Canada, with Mexico coming soon: http://www.teslamotors.com/findus/service

If there isn't one near you, no problem: our Tesla ranger service will take care of you wherever you are.

Performance

Even the basic Model S has great acceleration and handling. This goes all the way up to the P90D version, which does a record-breaking 0 to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds and a 10.9-second quarter mile, far beyond the capabilities of any other four-door car and faster than a Porsche 911 Turbo. The P90D in ludicrous mode can accelerate at 1.1 g's, which is faster than falling.

What makes our handling superior to gasoline cars is that the center of gravity (cg) is extremely low, because the battery pack is in the floor pan, centered between the axles. This also means that a key engineering measure of handling, the polar moment of inertia, is almost perfect. No other production car in the world has a more ideal placement of mass for optimal handling. The Model S has Newton on its side.

With Tesla's dual motor all-wheel drive, the traction and handling in every kind of weather are a step change better than gasoline all-wheel drive. Instead of having a simple mechanical shaft connecting front and rear, a Tesla actually has a motor in the front and a motor in the rear, so it can dynamically shift torque front to rear at the millisecond level, effectively providing digital traction control an order of magnitude more precise than mechanical linkages.

Like an airliner, it also enables motor redundancy. If one motor encounters a fault, you can simply drive with the other one, rather than being stuck on the side of the road.

Cool features

The Model S has an easy-to-use 17-inch touchscreen computer that is always improving itself and the rest of the car via free over-the-air updates.

The car learns your habits and will automatically set the cabin temperature to your preference when it thinks you are about to use the car. If you enable the calendar function, the car will show you your appointments on a big, easy-to-read screen, and you can just tap an address to navigate there. No more fumbling with a tiny phone.

Navigation includes real-time traffic data from the car's cell connection, and it will dynamically adjust your route as traffic conditions change. In the morning and evening, it will alert you and offer an alternate route if your normal route is congested.

You can also ask the car to play any song or favorite band at any time just by holding down the voice button. It also has lots of comedy sketches available, ranging from Monty Python to Jim Gaffigan.

Coming in a few weeks via an over-the-air update are the highway autosteer and parallel autopark functions. When asked, the car will automatically control steering going down the freeway, dramatically reducing driver workload. It will also automatically parallel park with precision.

In a few months, you will be able to press a button on your Tesla phone app and the car will open your garage and put itself to bed. You will also be able to summon it from your garage if it isn't plugged in. It needs the Tesla Snakebot for that! https://twitter.com/TeslaMotors/status/629305813912326146

What about charging?

The Model S has a charger built-in, so most owners just plug into a wall socket at their home or office. It can use anything from a standard 110V outlet at 1.5 kW all the way to the Wall Connector at 20 kW. Most customers just install a simple 240 V dryer socket in their garage, which all electricians can do, and it works perfectly.

For long distance, you get to use the free Tesla long-distance Supercharger network, located near restaurants and amenities. Typically the time spent on recharging is about 25 to 30 minutes after three hours of driving, which is about right. If you start a trip at 9am, by noon most people want to stop to use the restroom, have lunch or coffee and be on their way. By the time you come back your car is ready to go.

The Supercharger network covers the lower 48 continental states in the U.S. and parts of southern Canada, soon to include Mexico. As mentioned above, the Tesla Superchargers really are free to use for life. You could go on a road trip (rear seats fold flat into a great bed), pack some food and leave your wallet at home. Map: http://www.teslamotors.com/findus/supercharger

Expert opinions

The Model S has won almost every award offered for a vehicle, including Motor Trend Car of the Year, Automobile Car of the Year and Consumer Reports’ best car in the world (two years running).

Moreover, Consumer Reports gave Model S the highest rating of any car in its long history: 99/100. The reason CR is the most trusted source for buyers is that they don't take advertising, they buy a car secretly and at random (so they know it is a normal car) and they test it rigorously for months before reaching a rating. There is no more objective source.

Environmental Impact

Building a Model S produces roughly the same CO2 as a gasoline car of similar weight, however it is far more CO2-efficient in driving, which is what really matters over the lifetime of the car.

The EPA rates the efficiency of Model S as equivalent to 90 mpg—making it twice as energy-efficient as a compact hybrid even when factoring in power plant emissions. The current Model S number will steadily improve over time as older power plants are phased out in favor of clean, renewable energy.

However, if you install even a small solar panel on your house or garage, you will actually produce more electricity during the week than you consume with your car, making your automotive carbon footprint unequivocally zero or better. And, in the unlikely event of a zombie apocalypse, you will still be able to charge and drive your car!!

Convinced:  Use this link to save $1000 on a Model S:  http://ts.la/michael8891

Michael L. Craner
Co-founder, Renew America Roadtrip(tm) - "Driving America Green!"http://www.RenewAmericaRoadtrip.com

 

Sunday
Apr132014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday
Apr272013

Make your vacation a GREEN stay

Whether it be for business or leisure, time spent in a hotel can be a welcome break from the everyday grind at home, with no need to wash up or clean up after yourself or others. Why not make this pleasurable experience completely guilt-free by doing a bit of research before you book to find yourself green accommodation and then stay as a green guest.

More and more people are environmentally aware and make a lot of effort in their lives at home to ensure that their lifestyle is environmentally friendly. Ranging from government endorsed home improvements to make their property more energy efficient, recycling waste, buying green products, to opting for electric cars. When going to such an effort at home to be green it goes against the belief of many people to then spend money on a hotel that does not match up to their green ethics. The era of treating time spent in a hotel as an excuse for overindulgence and forgetting that the real world exists is coming to an end as people become more aware of the impacts that they have on the planet, and the power that their choice of lifestyle can have on the hotel market. Staying in a green hotel shows support for the actions of that hotel and your contributions will help them to further develop their green initiatives. The more support that the truly green hotels receive the more likely it is that other hotels will follow suite, and ‘green up’ their acts. The louder we demand green action from hotels, the more they will be forced to respond.

Look for the green evidence

Many hotels and B&Bs claim to be green, but unfortunately some have just jumped on the green bandwagon and have no serious intentions of making a difference environmentally. Whereas others go to great lengths to ensure that their impact on the environment is kept to an absolute minimum. How do you tell whether the accommodation is truly green or whether they have just veiled their true actions with a thin green cape?

When selecting which hotel to book the best source of information are the hotels’ websites. Take an in-depth look at the websites and read up on their environmental policies. Do the policies seem in depth and genuine or are they just light-weight and purely for show? Search for any information on whether the hotel has been accredited green certification or eco labels. Even the newest hotels are likely to have been awarded some form of accreditation if their green policies are genuine. Longer standing hotels that are truly green should also show evidence of environmental awards or recognition from tour operators and consumers. Once you have trawled through the hotels’ websites, take a look at consumer and green hotel websites for their feedback on their green practices.  If you are new to the green hotel scene speak to a friend or colleague who has visited green hotels and pick their brains on what you should be looking for. Lastly, you can use social media websites to ask for the advice of others. Let them know where you will be visiting and ask for recommendations of green hotels in the area.

Be a green guest

The simplest way to be a green guest at a hotel is to just follow their existing environmental initiatives. However, if you feel they could do more then take the time to give your feedback. If their customers don’t tell them that they need to improve they may think they are doing enough already. The key areas to be aware of are energy, water, waste and housekeeping.

In order to be green yourself when using the hotel amenities, such as the pool and beach, try to do the following:

  • Re-use towels whenever possible
  • Use water-soluble sun lotions in the pool
  • Avoid mosquito repellent that contains DEET or other dangerous chemicals that can contaminate either the pool or seawater
  • If you are going to snorkel near coral reefs then try to wear long sleeved clothes to protect yourself from the sun instead of sun lotion as the chemicals in the sunscreen can damage the marine ecosystem
  • Avoid motorized water sports as they cause noise and fuel pollution and disturb the wildlife

Environmentally conscious traveler

By doing a bit of research before you book your hotel as well as making a few well thought out decisions while enjoying your holiday or business trip you can help to make a real difference to the impact that hotels are having on the environment. The impact of one hotel is minimal, but the hotel industry as a whole has a huge environmental influence on the planet. Do your bit to help it become a greener industry.

Travelling Green in PA

We recently travelled to Milford, PA for my birthday and to Gettysburg, PA as a last hurrah before our new baby arrived.  We travelled to each place in our electric Tesla Model S so we had to make sure we had charging available in advance.  Gettysburg was no trouble at all as there were Nissan and Chevy dealerships as well as Wilson college, just to name a few, who greeted us with open arms with complementary level II charging. Even though the Ragged Edge Inn did not yet have more than 110 V charging available (which they graciously offered to us) they had no trouble shuttling us back and forth to the conveniently located Fitzgerald Nissan for our overnight charging.  

Milford was a bit more of a problem, with no public charging stations readily available within about an hour of the city at this time.  However, we stayed at the Hotel Fauchere, where after hearing we needed charging, they assured us they would take care of it for us.  When we arrived, they had installed a 220V, 50A NEMA 14-50 charging facility!  Both the Ragged Edge Inn and the Hotel Fauchere now offer their charging to their guests and encourage EV vacationers to take advantage of driving green and both plan to move to standardized J1772 in the near future.

Both hotels also offer many green amenities and environmentally friendly practices and are just all around outstanding places to stay.  If time permits, we may go into some detail in a future post. For now, some photos follow.

Hotel Fauchere, Milford, PA (Installed NEMA 14-50 - considering J17-72 install)

     

 

The Inn at Ragged Edge (Chambersburg, PA) is a boutique bed and breakfast, located in minutes from Gettysburg. It is the perfect setting for relaxation, romance, and rejuvenation.  

  

Fitzgeral Nissan - Level II charging available and a stock of new 2013 Leafs


 

 

Wednesday
Apr032013

Protecting Our Stunning Shorelines

We have been fortunate enough to see a lot of America’s varied and diverse beauty as we travel around the country on our road trips, and some of the most stunning sights we have seen have been along the country’s coastline, rivers and lakes. There is something about the water’s edge that puts into perspective just how fragile our marine ecosystems are and how directly we can affect them.

Travelling by sea/water has traditionally been somewhat of a grey area environmentally, with images of oil slicks, and rubbish being dumped overboard by the industry. With this in mind we thought it a good time to look at the improvements that are being made within the boating industry to improve its green credentials. Before we choose to travel by boat we want to know that our mode of transport is not damaging America’s coastline.

Cruise the high seas

America’s coastlines are absolutely stunning. Ranging from windswept dramatic cliffs, to sun drenched beaches, the 84,000 miles that makes up our coastline are all individual and worthy of a visit. A great way of visiting a number of locations in one trip is to join a cruise. Cruising has picked up a bad reputation over the past few decades as an environmentally unfriendly form of travel. However, the industry has gone to great lengths over the past few years to clean up its act, quite literally! In fact the various cruise companies now seem to have entered into a race to see who can become the greenest fastest, which is good news for the planet.

Many people are now choosing which cruise line they travel with based on their green credentials. With environmentally responsible measures being put in place such as; emission reduction technology being used in exhaust stacks, reclaiming water from condensation in air conditioning units to use to clean the decks, serving seafood ranked as ‘best’ on the Marine Conservation International Sustainability scale, using heat generated by ships engines to power evaporators used to turn seawater into potable water, reducing fuel consumption by using paint on the hull which reduces friction in the water, recirculation of heat and more efficient air conditioning, twilight sensors which turn deck lights off at dawn and on at dusk. Carnival Cruise Line has even installed devices on their ships on behalf of International SeaKeepers Society. These devices, located on the ship’s bows, track water temperature, salinity, pH and oxygen levels. The data is then transmitted to environmental groups, government agencies and universities to help assess ocean pollution.

Over the past 10 years the cruise industry as a whole has reduced its overall waste by 50%. This is an incredible feat when you consider that during the same time period it has increased its passenger capacity by 7.6% a year. Cruising is well on its way to being considered a green holiday choice, and is a great way of exploring large expanses of America’s beautiful coastline. Do your research on the cruise lines green credentials before you book for an environmentally guilt-free holiday.

Let the wind take you

If you would prefer a more peaceful and intimate way of seeing our fantastic coastline, rivers or lakes, then why not hop aboard a sailing boat. The feeling of being powered by the wind and generating zero emissions is one that is hard to beat. As the sails fill with wind and you feel the boat lurch into action below your feet you truly appreciate the power of nature.

In the past few years there have been vast improvements in the production of green yachts.

Whereas many cruising yachts previously relied on the engines being run when at anchor to power their fridges, fans, instruments etc, the majority are now being fitted with solar panels which keep the batteries topped up, meaning the engines don’t need to be run unnecessarily. The saves on fuel consumption and cuts down on noise in peaceful anchorages.

The manufacturer Berret Racoupeau Yachts has created the Code [e] Yacht, a catamaran whose engine uses electricity and uses it very economically. The yacht makes the most of the environment while at the same time protecting it. It uses the wind as its main source of propulsion, as well as harnessing its power through telescopic wind generators, producing electricity. The solar panels provide additional electricity, and are also used to heat water. An innovative water collection system gathers rainfall and filters it. Under sail the water drives two hydro generators. The hybrid propulsion system doesn’t emit any toxic gases. It has an independent running time of 15 minutes so can be used to enter ports or anchorages. For long distance motoring fossil fuels are still needed.

The peacefulness and tranquility of sailing has to be experienced to be believed. Sailing is one of the most natural ways of exploring our shorelines. With no loud engines, or rotating propellers you will find that wildlife will be happy to approach you, with curiosity getting the better of them. Whether it be dolphins playing alongside your bow, birds hitching a ride on your mast, whales casting you a wise glance as they cruise by, or flying fish diving in and out of your wake. It is a great way to get up close to wildlife while safe in the knowledge that you are causing them no harm.

Motor Cruiser

Innovative approaches to engine design mean that many of today’s motor cruisers are minimizing their levels of fuel consumption. The development of hybrid engines means that boats can achieve high speeds with zero gas emissions. Not only are the emissions brought down to zero, but the boats are also incredibly quiet, meaning the noise pollution is brought right down as well.

Similar to the use of solar panels on sailing yachts, they have also been introduced on motor cruisers. The DSe Hybrid uses solar, electric and diesel engine combination. This means the fuel consumption is massively reduced while still allowing the boat to reach impressive speeds of 13 knots.

Independence Green Yachts uses green materials as well as green technologies. Aluminum which can easily be recycled is used for the hull and superstructure, so at the end of the vessels life the environmental impact is minimal. The company also claims that all of the other materials it uses in the production of the yachts are either a renewable resource or recycled materials.

Protecting our shorelines

We are blessed to have such diverse and beautiful shorelines in America. Exploring America from the water gives you a new perspective on the country and how lucky we are to have access to the water and the freedom to explore it. Our waterways and oceans are fragile so it is vital that we choose responsible ways of exploring them. It is reassuring to know that the boating industry is doing its bit to protect our shores.