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Breaking Through the 300,000 EV Barrier: What Math Can Tell us About Tesla Model 3 Production

Like most of Elon Musk’s endeavors, Tesla is not a risk adverse venture.

Quite to the contrary, by taking on established energy and automotive players on fields that they’ve dominated for decades socially, politically, and economically, it would seem that Musk and, by extension, Tesla have done everything they can to give risk a big, fat, honking troll.

Helpful Risk of Undertaking Clean Energy Transition vs Risk of Extreme Harms From Climate Change

But if there was ever a time when the serious risk inherent to rapidly breaking new ground in the clean energy field was necessary, then it is now. Just today, in the dead of what should be frigid Arctic winter, a tanker brimming full with climate change amplifying liquified gas (LNG) crossed the typically frozen solid Arctic Ocean. And here’s the kicker — it did it without the need of an escorting ice breaker.

This is the first time a vessel has navigated across the Arctic in such a way during February. Ever. An ominous new marvel made possible by a warming Arctic that is also bringing along such terrors as a multiplying list of endangered species, loss of fisheries, increasing rates of ocean acidification, thawing permafrost, melting glaciers, massive Arctic wildfires, and quickening sea level rise.

In light of such hard facts, we could reasonably say that the risks Tesla and Musk are taking are needed, are indeed necessary if modern society is to have a decent chance at confronting the rising age of human-caused climate change. That the efforts by Tesla and others to speed a transition to energies that do not contribute to the already significant climate harms coming down the pipe are something both valid and necessary. Something that all true industry, education, civil and government leaders would responsibly step up to support.

Of course, the story of clean energy isn’t all about Tesla. It’s about the global need for a swift energy transition away from climate change driving fossil fuels. But Tesla, as the only major U.S. integrated clean energy and transport corporation presently operating that does not also have a stake in fossil fuel infrastructure, is a vision of what energy companies should look like if we are to achieve a more benevolent climate future. And it is for this reason that the company has generated so much support among climate change response and clean energy advocates.

300,000 All-Electric Vehicles Produced

But in order for Tesla to succeed in helping to speed along a necessary clean energy revolution, it needs to produce clean energy systems in increasingly high volumes. During recent days Tesla crossed a major milestone on the path toward mass production of clean energy vehicles. For as of the first half of February, Tesla is reported to have produced its 300,000th electrical vehicle.

A somewhat vague indicator, it nonetheless gives us an idea of the pace at which Tesla EV production is increasing. And, by extension, how fast the more affordable Model 3 is also ramping up.

Consider that approximately 101,000 Teslas were produced during 2017. Also consider that by the end of the year, Tesla had produced about 286,500 EVs throughout its lifetime as a company. If the company crossed the 300,000 mark during early February as indicated, it tells us that Tesla is presently producing around 10,000 EVs per month in total.

This extrapolated pace (keep in mind, we are reading tea leaves here), suggests that Tesla is already building on record 2017 production levels. It also suggests that Model 3 is having a strong impact on the overall rate of production. What’s even more significant is that Tesla production has historically tended to slow down at the start of each quarter and then speed up at the end of each quarter. Right now, overall Tesla production appears to still be on an up ramp.

(Bloomberg has built a model aimed at tracking the total number of Tesla Model 3s produced. It presently estimates that 7,438 Model 3s in total have been built and that Tesla has finally broken the 1,000 vehicle per week threshold consistently. See Bloomberg’s report and interactive graphs here.)

Add to this report the results of a recent Bloomberg model study estimating that around 7,438 Model 3s have been produced in total since July of 2017 and that average weekly production rates are now slightly above 1,000. The Bloomberg study relies on extrapolation from VIN number reporting and observation as well as on internet reports. The reports and data are then plugged into a mathematical model that provides an estimate of total Model 3 production.

The Bloomberg study indicates that Model 3 hit a big surge in production during late January and early February. Which is cautious good news for those still standing in the long line waiting for one of these revolutionary vehicles. A 1,000 Model 3 per week production rate roughly translates to 4,000 per month — which would account for the apparent early year acceleration in total Tesla EV production. But in order to satisfy demand any time soon, Model 3 production will have to increase to more than 5,000 vehicles per week in rather short order.

So Model 3 still has a long way to go before it can start substantially meeting the amazing pent-up demand of the 500,000 person waiting list. In addition, production will have to continue to rapidly pick up if Tesla is to meet the stated goal of 2,500 Model 3s per week by the end of March. That said, Tesla appears to be well on the road toward expanding mass clean energy vehicle production and could more than double its annual EV output this year. Considering the state of the world’s climate, this couldn’t happen sooner.

 

 

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63 Comments

  1. Greg

     /  February 15, 2018

    And now the first really totaled Model 3 I have read about had the family walk out of it, and that was a front end crash at 60 mph. The inherent safety of this kind of vehicle in general, and a Tesla in particular, is just one more reaon to share with others why this is just a better vehicle for everyone not just for those of us who care about the environment.

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      • Greg

         /  February 16, 2018

        Also note that two comlaints from the driver after the crash were addressed directly by the CEO within a day. Imagine if our politicians didn’t send prayers but sent fixes and did it right away!
        https://electrek.co/2018/02/16/tesla-model-3-crash-elon-musk-comment/

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        • Jim

           /  February 19, 2018

          So true Greg. Thoughts and Prayers (T&P’s) don’t accomplish much.

          “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

          – Theodore Roosevelt speech delivered at the Sorbonne in Paris on April 23, 1910

          For those in need of a dose of optimism during these dark hours, this speech may help. While a member of the NRA (different back then), and most certainly not without fault, Roosevelt’s words above apply to many Scribbler’s here, as well as to those in the broader Climate Justice movement, and to Tesla and Elon Musk himself struggling to make a real difference.

          http://www.theodore-roosevelt.com/trsorbonnespeech.html

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        • It’s become a common statement these days among politicians who intend to do nothing. A few meaningless words cast out into the breeze of public opinion. A ritual incantation of the self-made ignorant or impotent.

          GOP ideology does not believe in effective government. So they only offer ‘thoughts and prayers’ where action is required.

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  2. Shawn Redmond

     /  February 16, 2018

    https://grist.org/article/polar-ice-is-lost-at-sea/
    So far, the new year has been remarkably warm on both poles. The past 30 days have averaged more than 21 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than normal in Svalbard, Norway — the northernmost permanently inhabited place in the world. Last month, a tanker ship completed the first wintertime crossing of the Arctic Ocean without the assistance of an icebreaker. Down south in the Antarctic, sea ice is all but gone for the third straight year as summer winds to a close.

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    • Robert E Prue

       /  February 18, 2018

      Is that why our navy not buying an ice breaker? Because they know in about 5 years they won’t need one?

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    • During La Nina years, both atmospheric and oceanic heat are often more vigorously diverted toward the poles. Particularly during NH winter. This has had a serious impact on seasonal sea ice. So far, cloudy summers have held back more dramatic melt during the warm season. This may be a trend. But, ultimately, warm winters have a more profound impact.

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  3. Jeremy in Wales

     /  February 16, 2018

    Looks like the new rift developing in the Pine Island Glacier could be caused by the thinning of the ice

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    • http://www.euronews.com/2018/02/16/watch-pine-island-glacier-readies-for-another-crack

      From the article:

      “Since 2000 there have been five large calving events and the glacier front has gradually retreated. The pattern of calving however has changed a bit though: 2015 and 2017 are different from previous events as the calving results from internal rifts with calving fronts further inland.”

      Asked if the recent events are a result of climate change, he doesn’t pronounce himself but recalls the investigations of colleagues like Seongsu Jeong suggesting that climate change is probably involved in these dramatic changes.

      ****

      It looks like the Pine Island Glacier is speeding up. But how much is still up in the air.

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  4. https://www.insidescience.org/news/global-warmings-frozen-giant
    Arctic Permafrost is releasing more CO2 and CH4 than believed

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    • Recent studies indicate that the Permafrost and submerged carbon stores in the Arctic Ocean may contribute a feedback of between 10 and 30 percent (relative to present human emissions) by the end of this Century. How much is directly dependent on the future volume of fossil fuels burned and the related direct warming applied to the Arctic.

      Present Permafrost feedback is relatively minor on the global scale with most of the present carbon feedback coming from the tropics (deforestation, drought, and wildfires are primary drivers). However, there is a decent amount of evidence pointing toward a quickening of the climate cycle in the Arctic at present.

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  5. Andy_in_SD

     /  February 17, 2018

    Only 28 percent of the U.S. currently has snow on the ground. On this same date last year 40 percent of the U.S. had white ground.

    The average snow cover over the U.S. now is three inches. This time last year the average snow cover was double at six inches. The water equivalent of the snow pack is also half that of last year. Right now all of the snow on the ground in the U.S. has an average water equivalent of seven-tenths of one inch. Last year the snow at this time represented 1.4 inches of water.

    http://www.mlive.com/weather/index.ssf/2018/02/snow_cover_on_michigan_us_way.html

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  6. kassy

     /  February 17, 2018

    Alaska’s Bering Sea Lost a Third of Its Ice in Just 8 Days

    n just eight days in mid-February, nearly a third of the sea ice covering the Bering Sea off Alaska’s west coast disappeared. That kind of ice loss and the changing climate as the planet warms is affecting the lives of the people who live along the coast.

    At a time when the sea ice should be growing toward its maximum extent for the year, it’s shrinking instead—the area of the Bering Sea covered by ice is now 60 percent below its average from 1981-2010.

    “[Bering sea ice] is in a league by itself at this point,” said Richard Thoman, the climate science and services manager for the National Weather Service Alaska region. “And looking at the weather over the next week, this value isn’t going to go up significantly. It’s going to go down.”

    MORE ON:
    https://insideclimatenews.org/news/17022018/arctic-sea-ice-record-low-extent-alaska-bering-hunting-whales

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    • Very thin ice combined with warm winds blowing from the south to result in this recent clearing of the Bering. At some point, as we’ve seen with the Barents, the Bering reaches a tipping point where it tends to remain ice free. Recent winters suggest that this time is not too far off.

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  7. kassy

     /  February 17, 2018

    Deep Bore Into Antarctica Finds Freezing Ice, Not Melting as Expected

    The surprises began almost as soon as a camera was lowered into the first borehole, around December 1. The undersides of ice shelves are usually smooth due to gradual melting. But as the camera passed through the bottom of the hole, it showed the underside of the ice adorned with a glittering layer of flat ice crystals—like a jumble of snowflakes—evidence that in this particular place, sea water is actually freezing onto the base of the ice instead of melting it.

    “It blew our minds,” says Christina Hulbe, a glaciologist from the University of Otago in New Zealand, who co-led the expedition. The Ross Ice Shelf is considered more stable, at present, than many of West Antarctica’s other floating shelves—and this observation could help explain that: if a few inches of sea water periodically freezes onto the bottom of its ice, this could buffer it from thinning more rapidly.

    The new project could also cast light on some lingering suspicions—that even though the Ross Ice Shelf seems stable today, it has actually undergone some dramatic collapses in the recent past. (Learn about the Maine-size hole in Antarctica.)

    Reed Scherer made this discovery back in 1998 while studying mud that had been plucked from beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, through another borehole, 100 miles inland from the back edge of the ice shelf.

    Scherer, a micro-paleontologist now at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, found this subglacial mud chockablock full of microscopic diatom shells—beautiful glassy objects, reminiscent of fine vases. They were the ancient remains of photosynthetic organisms that had once lived in the sea before dying and settling to the bottom.

    Some of those dead diatoms were only a few hundred thousand years old, leading Scherer to an astounding conclusion: this area, now covered by 3,000 feet of ice, had recently been open sea, bathed in life-sustaining sunlight that could support the diatoms’ growth. This suggested that the entire Ross Ice Shelf, and much of the ice behind it, had collapsed.

    The Ross Ice Shelf “has come and gone probably many times in the last million years,” says Scherer. It likely collapsed during a warm period 400,000 years ago. But he believes it could also have collapsed as recently as 120,000 years ago, the last time that temperatures were about as warm as they are today.

    https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/02/ross-ice-shelf-bore-antarctica-freezing/

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  8. kassy

     /  February 17, 2018

    A book review with some good points on mitigation policy (or the lack of it).

    Retreat From a Rising Sea: A Book Review

    The book documents that about 79% of NFIP subsidized policies are in counties that rank in the top 30% of home values, while less than 1% of the policies are in counties that rank in the bottom 30%. Many of the subsidies are for second homes of wealthy home owners. “We subsidize their flood insurance, and when their houses are destroyed, we provide emergency relief funding to rebuild their homes. This welfare for the rich must stop. In an age of climate change with rising seas and the increased severity of storms, we can no longer afford to hide the true costs of building in hazardous coastal areas. We must recognize that we do not owe anything to anyone foolish enough to build in such obviously dangerous places. Rather, we should penalize such behavior. Our tax money could be better spent encouraging and facilitating a planned and managed retreat from the coast—relocating people to higher ground instead of repeatedly rebuilding in many areas that we never should have built in the first place.”

    https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/retreat-rising-sea-book-review

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    • John McCormick

       /  February 17, 2018

      Kassy, thanks for the link to Pilkey’s SLR book.

      Aside from property loss and retreat being the only mitigation measure I am more concerned about the sea level infrastructures such as the massive Arthur Kill landfill on Long Island Sound, all the sea level oil and marine shipping and storage infrastructure, contamination of South Florida’s drinking water due to salt water infiltration, sea level coal and oil power plant storage yards, nuclear power plant infrastructure, highly toxic sources at sea level around the globe. Our oceans will become a mixed soup of acidity and toxicity; all of which we are donating to our children and their children.

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  9. Off topic, somewhat, but possibly relevant in the long term:

    Elon Musk’s Space X plans for Mars Colonization:

    I personally think that Mars colonization is not practical, but then Musk routinely proves people wrong. Certainly a reusable rocket capable of transporting over 100 tons to orbit seems like a game changer. Transporting people from point to point on the earth in roughly a half hour could help pay for all of this. An array of satellites offering space based broadband from orbit is also being planned by SpaceX and Musk.

    Lunar colonization, with lunar materials being catapulted into orbit using solar powered electric catapults seems practical, as do space colonies shielded from cosmic rays using lunar material. It is actually possible to shoot raw materials into orbit using a big gun, another possibility that is being neglected.

    Anyway, SpaceX is fun and exciting, and the Falcon Heavy launch of a red Tesla roadster into orbit was fun to watch.

    In another Youtube video, SpaceX computer scientists are modeling turbulence and combustion using an interactive fractal grid on a single graphics processing unit chip, doing simulations that would take supercomputers weeks over a single weekend.

    If only someone like Musk would harness all that excitement and technical expertise and apply it to BECCS – BioEnergy with Carbon Capture and Storage, we could start putting carbon back underground. With a price on carbon, this could possibly be done, and make a profit at the same time.

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    • As exciting as a Mars colony would be, I agree it’s impractical. My reason is simply that I doubt shielding against cosmic rays can be adequately maintained long term. A similar issue arises with Musk’s Neuralink, which entails brain implants. The components of the implants would be toxic. Perhaps not obviously in the short term, but it would be evident long term.

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    • kassy

       /  February 18, 2018

      We should not put people and their microbes on Mars before we actually find or rule out microscopic life there.

      You would think that we would have send some astrobiology probes but basically the newest data is from the 1970s and that does hint at microscopic life.

      Finding this possible life on other planets and then comparing it to our Earth life would be interesting.

      I suggest we first play around with a moonbase or something.

      http://www.science20.com/robert_walker/why_havent_we_found_life_on_mars_yet_it_might_help_to_send_instruments_that_can_detect_it_none_sent_since_1970s

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    • Inexpensive re-usable rockets are a serious innovation. Space X is making strides by taking risks that no one else is willing to accept. This is one reason why Tesla is also making such considerable advances.

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      • kassy

         /  February 20, 2018

        I love how he names the pick up drones after Culture ships from Iain M. Banks novels.

        Still Mars is our best(easiest) shot to find actual alien life so we should actually send astrobiology probes before we send people.

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  10. PBS Frontline documentary on Gerald Bull and superguns, potentially capable of firing projectiles into space.

    It is possible to transfer momentum from a large slower moving projectile to a smaller faster moving projectile using a two stage gas gun, as is done with the two stage gas gun at Lawrence Livermore National Labs. Such two stage accelerated projectiles can reach orbital velocity. Electromagnetic launchers are another possibility for earth to orbit ballistic launchers.

    It might be possible to shoot inert materials like aluminum ingots, water, carbon, and hydrogen for rocket fuel into orbit using such hypervelocity guns. Combine that with plenty of oxygen, metals, and ceramics available from lunar materials, and the basic elements needed for a practical space colonization system might start to assemble.

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    • Jeremy in Wales

       /  February 17, 2018

      Robert Bull assinated in 1990 in Belgium possibly by Mossad and also in 1990 barrels for a supergun made in Sheffield were seized by UK customs. They were destined for Iraq as part of Saddams Project Babylon.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Babylon
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/april/11/newsid_2477000/2477023.stm

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    • Yes, the idea of shooting things into space has been around for years. Yes, the Israelis very likely assassinated Gerald Bull because he was just too good at what he did, and Saddam having a supergun capable of shelling Israel with nerve gas or biological weapons was something they just could not tolerate. In general, likely the nuclear powers with

      The interesting thing is, though, that such a gun, or several of them, could put any amount of inert mass capable of handling high acceleration into space, and could do it at the cost of electricity or hydrogen on the ground – a dollar or two per pound.

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      • Finishing a sentence, above:
        In general likely the nuclear powers with trillions of dollars invested n space don’t want third world countries to be able to put nuclear weapons in space using superguns.

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      • Here’s how such a supergun might be constructed:

        Find a small island under U.S. control, off Florida or in the Caribbean. Drill a shaft at an angle down into the earth under the island, and line the shaft with reinforced concrete. Install a lightweight gas gun barrel maybe a kilometer long in the shaft. Fill the shaft with water, to put compression on the gun barrel due to hydrostatic pressure.

        Use hydrogen and oxygen as the propellant and oxidizer, so that water is the only combustion product. Design the gun so that the maximum pressure exerted on the gun barrel by the propellant is greatest near the bottom of the shaft, where hydrostatic pressure is the greatest. If necessary, design the gun as a two stage velocity multiplier gas gun like the one at Lawrence Livermore Labs.

        Shoot payloads of inert materials eastward into orbit using the gun, to catcher satellites. A series of such satellites could occupy the same orbit, so that the gun could fire multiple times during the day. If necessary, have multiple guns capable of firing in parallel shooting payloads to the catcher satellites.

        Since the barrel of the gun is subject to compressive forces from the surrounding water, stress on the barrel is minimal, and likely the gun would not wear out.

        Shoot tons of inert materials like aluminum, titanium, water, hydrogen, silicon and carbon into orbit, and use those materials to build space colonies and solar power plants. Use SpaceX’s Big Falcon Rocket to carry hundreds of people and manufactured parts up to the space colonies. Build lunar bases and mass drivers, and start injecting lunar materials into the project, using lunar soil for cosmic ray shielding.

        NASA Ames Research Center – Design of a Two-Stage Light Gas Gun for
        Muzzle Velocities of 10 – 11 km/s

        https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20160011956.pdf

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  11. Jeremy in Wales

     /  February 17, 2018

    Glider under the Dotson Ice Shelf has returned. This type of remote monitoring will be a game changer

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    • Glider work like this played a crucial role in understanding that glacier systems like Pine Island were experiencing thinning and bottom melt. The fact that Gliders are being deployed further down the coast is a testament to growing concerns about ice melt on Antarctica. That said, it’s still uncertain how extensive the progression of enhanced bottom melt has become.

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  12. One other factor about EV’s, in fact most modern cars is electronic and data security as they are now basically computer controlled.
    My AVG Security sent me a link to this article
    https://www.the-parallax.com/2017/12/08/car-hacks-enigma-interviews-2/?utm_source=parallax&utm_medium=toaster-infoad&utm_campaign=q12018
    Hackable software in the driver’s seat
    Seth RosenblattDecember 8, 2017
    Cars and computers have an increasingly close yet complicated friendship. Specialized software now connects to everything from the brakes to the steering wheel to the door locks to the radio. And in newer models, it likely connects to the Internet too.

    So what are the chances that your car is going to get hacked? What kind of havoc could a car hacker wreak? And what are automakers doing to make their cars, including those designed to drive autonomously, more resistant to hackers?

    Car manufacturers are doing more than they used to, but still not enough, says Stefan Savage, a 2017 MacArthur Foundation “Genius” grant recipient and a professor at University of California at San Diego who specializes in car hacking. That could put drivers and pedestrians at risk of injury or even death, he says. And in the meantime, it impacts drivers’ privacy.

    Last year, German hackers were able to remotely unlock and start 24 different car models, thanks to a key fob hack, and BMW exposed car owner data and a remote car entry hack through its Web portal. The Keen squad of the Chinese tech giant Tencent hacked into Tesla’s Model X in both 2016 and 2017, and hackers exposed car infotainment systems for leaking personal car owner data in November.

    There have also been several publicly exposed instances of people maliciously fooling the sensors guiding self-driving cars, or of car owners crashing when switching between a semi-autonomous driving mode and a fully manually driving mode.

    Savage says carmakers have been slow to acknowledge the importance of long-held computer security basics, such as over-the-air updates to patch vulnerabilities. And they’ve been slow to improve security because they don’t always own the software code that runs on their cars.

    “There are like a hundred different companies that write the code that then all gets integrated, and the car company doesn’t have that code. It’s not their code; they have a bunch of boxes that they try to get to work together through testing, but they have 20 different microprocessors and 15 different operating systems, and year to year, it may change,” he says. “It is a little bit of a nightmare from an assessment standpoint.”

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    • Car hacking is an issue with all vehicles presently — due to increasing reliance on onboard network-connected computer systems. However, despite the fact that some vulnerability exists vehicle hacking is rare — requiring a highly sophisticated hack.

      Stating that car hacking is an EV-only risk is more than just a little bit of a mis-characterization.

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  13. Shawn Redmond

     /  February 18, 2018

    Researchers propose three separate ways to avoid blackouts if the world transitions all its energy to electricity or direct heat and provides the energy with 100 percent wind, water and sunlight. The solutions reduce energy requirements, health damage and climate damage.

    https://news.stanford.edu/2018/02/08/avoiding-blackouts-100-renewable-energy/

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    • Renewables are, all-around, a far more resilient and efficient energy source when fully deployed. System changes are required to take full advantage of all their inherent positive attributes. But, that said, economies run on renewables will be far more advanced, far more able to resist the slings and arrows of human-caused climate change.

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  14. miles h

     /  February 18, 2018

    Alarming news!… “In just eight days in mid-February, nearly a third of the sea ice covering the Bering Sea off Alaska’s west coast disappeared. ….
    At a time when the sea ice should be growing toward its maximum extent for the year, it’s shrinking instead—the area of the Bering Sea covered by ice is now 60 percent below its average from 1981-2010.
    “[Bering sea ice] is in a league by itself at this point,” said Richard Thoman, the climate science and services manager for the National Weather Service Alaska region. “And looking at the weather over the next week, this value isn’t going to go up significantly. It’s going to go down.” https://insideclimatenews.org/news/17022018/arctic-sea-ice-record-low-extent-alaska-bering-hunting-whales

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  15. Baker

     /  February 18, 2018

    Extremely warm North Pole region (whole Arctic +6,7 K!) and cold spell in Europe ahead after record warm January..
    Direct implication of the Major Warming?

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  16. Mblanc

     /  February 19, 2018

    Interesting anonymous comments from a Tesla 3 strip down by engineers from a premium german automaker.

    The publication reports that the vehicle was put through its pace by managers at the automaker for 10 days before they started dismantling the vehicle.

    “Each sub-assembly system was put to the test, but the testers were especially impressed by the power electronics. Compact, expandable, fully integrated, modular, easily accessible, well-protected, reasonably priced and astonishingly clever in many details – that was the verdict of the experts, to which colleagues from other manufacturers also agreed.”

    Aside from the engineering, they were also impressed by the design. They went as far as saying that Tesla “perfected the minimalist design” – referring to the Model 3’s interior.

    But they see the minimalist spreading to the powertrain:

    “This minimalism runs through the entire vehicle. There is initially only one engine, only one forward and reverse gear, only one driven pair of wheels, only one cooling circuit for the entire system.”

    https://electrek.co/2018/02/17/tesla-model-3-german-automaker-reverse-engineered/

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    • One thing that EV news sites don’t often talk about is how much Tesla mass production of these advanced vehicles is changing the auto industry. Each delay or problem receives hyperfocus. But Model 3 is already producing 50,000 vehicles per year (according to Bloomberg) — which is alone enough to ramp Tesla production this year by 40 to 50 percent. The fact that we are still on an up ramp should speak volumes. We would be very unwise to under-estimate this company.

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  17. Yet another severe storm en-route to batter New Zealand – http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/350778/country-prepares-for-cyclone-gita
    – it’s essentially the new normal. Although as we know it’s far from normal.

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  18. Shawn Redmond

     /  February 19, 2018

    A favorite fib is that electric cars pollute the environment just as much as conventional cars do. Let’s blow that myth out of the water right now by looking at the facts, not the lies the car companies and fossil fuel interests want you to believe. The Union of Concerned Scientists has done a thorough study about this that took two years to complete.

    The scientists wanted to know exactly how many emissions conventional cars were responsible for and how many emissions electric cars were responsible for. It’s conclusion? “We found that battery electric cars generate half the emissions of the average comparable gasoline car, even when pollution from battery manufacturing is accounted for.” Half.

    https://cleantechnica.com/2018/02/19/electric-car-well-to-wheel-emissions-myth/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+IM-cleantechnica+%28CleanTechnica%29

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    • paul

       /  February 20, 2018

      Half is a decent start. Now, if, in the near future, we could get to a future with say a quarter of the number of vehicles that we have now (all EVs), or maybe 15%, we’d be getting somewhere.
      Ditto that for every form of consumption also.

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      • We have the potential to very rapidly reduce carbon emissions through mass replacement of emitting infrastructure with wind/solar/batteries/EVs/hydrogen through electrolysis etc. The first three are increasingly competitive on capability and cost.

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    • In addition, electrified transportation enables the decarbonization of the manufacturing stream. As a result, the more electrical vehicles are produced and mated with clean energy sources like wind and solar — especially electric freight trucks and rail — the lower the amount of carbon produced manufacturing an EV. With a fully integrated renewable energy system that includes non-carbon emitting steel production and other forms of decarbonized manufacturing, EVs can be effectively net zero carbon emitters.

      Further, the batteries produced, when mated with wind and solar, provide direct means for replacing oil, gas, and coal emissions. 50 percent present estimates are, therefore, a moving target — with the target being lowered the more EVs are adopted and more clean, carbon-free generation is mated to them.

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  19. Andy_in_SD

     /  February 19, 2018

    ‘Loneliest tree’ records human epoch

    It’s been dubbed “the loneliest tree on the planet” because of its remote location, but the Sitka spruce might represent something quite profound about the age in which we live.

    The tree, sited on Campbell Island in the Southern Ocean, records in its wood a clear radioactive trace from the A-bomb tests of the 1950s and 60s.

    As such, it could be the “golden spike” scientists are seeking to define the start of the Anthropocene Epoch – a new time segment in our geological history of Earth.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-43113900

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  20. Some interesting articles
    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/global-warming/climate-secrets-of-the-deep-southern-ocean-to-be-revealed-20180219-p4z0ug.html
    ‘First hint’ of a puzzling change in Southern Ocean revealed by CSIRO
    Researchers aboard an Australian ship undertaking pioneering work in the Southern Ocean have found the “first hint” of a shift in a decades-long trend towards fresher, less dense water off Antarctica.
    They also released the first batch of deep Argot floats to measure conditions as deep as 4000 metres.
    But it is the early analysis of data on salinity in the so-called bottom waters near the seabed that may stir international debate.
    Dr Rintoul said the salinity changes detected may be a response following the breaking off of half the Merz Glacier Tongue in 2010 in eastern Antarctica.
    “The big step in [bottom water] freshening that happened in 2010 after the calving of the Merz Glacier may now be recovering after the sea ice distribution changed again,” he said.
    The drop in sea ice coverage from a record large extent about four years ago to record – or near record – low coverage this year may also be a factor, he said.

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  21. https://www.ft.com/content/d0485fec-14fb-11e8-9376-4a6390addb44
    US climate change outlook worsens after further research

    New findings, for example, about sea level rise and the frequency of severe weather, reinforced the report’s message that climate change was a threat, said Donald Wuebbles, professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Illinois and a leader of the assessment.

    “Climate change is not just something for the future. The bottom line is that our climate is changing now, extremely rapidly,” he said. “Temperatures over Europe and North America today are the highest they have been in 11,000 years.”

    The assessment involves hundreds of scientists in government and universities. Many were worried that it would fall foul of the sceptical attitude of Donald Trump’s administration about man-made climate change — and were relieved that no attempt was made to hold up or change the first volume of report before publication.

    Prof Hayhoe concluded: “We have been smoking fossil fuels for hundreds of years. This report is an X-ray of our lungs. They are in a very serious condition.”

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  22. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/19/climate-change-spells-turbulent-times-ahead-for-air-travel

    Climate change spells turbulent times ahead for air travel

    From rising temperatures preventing take-off to rising seas flooding runways, aviation needs to adapt to changes already grounding flights around the world

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  23. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-05/india-breaks-record-planting-66-million-trees-in-12-hours/8677302
    India plants 66 million trees in 12 hours in record-breaking bid to meet Paris Agreement promise

    Then of course elsewhere

    Trees for Trump: one million plants pledged to offset U-turn on climate change

    Environmentalists say forest the size of Kentucky could compensate for ‘monumental stupidity’ of US withdrawal from Paris climate agreement

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  24. Just another piece in the jigsaw slots into place
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2018/feb/19/pollen-data-shows-humans-reversed-natural-global-cooling

    Pollen data shows humans reversed natural global cooling

    Current temperatures are hotter than at any time in the history of human civilization

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  25. Nathan Tetlaw

     /  February 20, 2018

    Wow… Wettest year on record for Broome in Western Australia; after two months… 2018 has seen 1.5m of rain in two months!
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-20/broome-smashes-annual-rainfall-record-after-less-than-two-months/9462962

    Graph shows a very strong upward trend…

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