Almost exactly one year ago, Governor Christie’s administration, working with the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers, put forth a proposal which prevented direct auto sales to consumers. Instead of addressing this issue in a public forum or through New Jersey’s legislature, the proposal was approved behind closed doors with almost no opportunity for public discourse.
Now, one year later, Governor Christie is rolling back that proposal, signing a bill which would allow Tesla to resume retail operations in the Garden State. This new law will allow manufacturers of zero emissions vehicles to construct up to four direct sale dealerships, so long as they also operate one dedicated service location, which Tesla already runs in Paramus.
The law goes into effect immediately and benefits not only Tesla, but any company working on EV’s and zero emission vehicles. Conceivably, Nissan could open up a quartet of showrooms specifically built around the Leaf to also sell directly to consumers in New Jersey.
This is a significant PR victory for Tesla, as the company continues to fight similar direct sales bans around the country.
You can read the details of New Jersey State Assembly Bill A3216 here.
I honestly didn’t see this one coming. Who knew that one of the most in-depth “real world” reviews of the Tesla Models S would come from an internet cartoonist?
Detailing in infographic form, no part of the car is left unmentioned, and what would normally be droll automotive talk (or lies if you watch Top Gear), is handled with the wit and charm we’ve come to love. Seriously, topics range from acceleration, to battery range, charging solutions, the name of the car, and he even addresses the recent fires.
How does the Model S fare during this extensive road test by what I can only assume is the love child of Danny DeVito and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man? Read the full report on The Oatmeal.
What a week! Tons of hot tech news dropped, and we got to have a little fun as well. Here’s a run down on your favorite stories from the last seven days!
5- Microsoft BUILD 2014 Kicks Off With Windows Phone 8.1
Developers were the focus, but consumers finally got official word on all of the updates coming down the pipe for Windows Phone 8.1. Along with a pair of new Nokias, Microsoft looks to be building a much stronger portfolio as the third place mobile competitor.
4- Google Looks to Become Wireless Carrier in Fiber Areas?
A little nugget from the rumor mill, but one welcomed by the internet community at large. With their reputation for market disruption, and the small successes they’ve found in delivering fiber internet to homes, it would seem many consumers would strongly consider doing business with Google as a cell phone carrier…
3- Corrupting User Moderated Web Sites: r/Technology Bans Tesla Stories?
When your site or service is built on volunteer workers, there’s always the potential that some of them might be corrupted by outside influences. Reddit had a meltdown when it was discovered that r/Technology had been shadowbanning any story with the word Tesla in it. Rogue moderator, or example of social news site corruption?
2- Review: The Leef Access MicroSD card reader for Android Phones
As not all Android phones come with SD cards any more, this is a handy little gadget which can help you add and manage storage while you’re out and about!
1- Potato Unboxing, 1st Impressions, Full Review, and Comparison to the LG G2
We decided to play along this April Fools Day, and produced this ridiculous 18 minute long video unboxing and review of one of our favorite sources of starchy carbs. Little did we now that many people online feel the same way about unboxing videos as we do…
In light of Reddit banning Tesla related posts over the weekend, there were actually a couple interesting stories coming from the electric vehicle manufacturer.
Following the disappointing actions of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, and they’re success at sneaking in a ban on Tesla sales, the Associated Press is reporting that Governor Cuomo has laid out the details for an agreement between New York and Tesla Motors. The state will be examining how to strengthen automobile franchise protections, but Tesla will be allowed to keep its five retail locations in the state to sell directly to consumers.
Tesla Model S Battery Armor!
Following a pair of “extremely uncommon” collisions resulting in battery damage which led to fires, Tesla is introducing new undercarriage armor capable of crushing cinder-blocks. It will add a small bit of weight to the car, but Tesla estimates it will only reduce the car’s range by .1%.
Starting with vehicles manufactured March 6th, this shield comes standard on new Model S sedans. For those of you lucky enough to own a Model S made before that time, Tesla will install the shield on your car free of charge. More info (and shield tests) on the Tesla Blog.
Lower Priced Tesla to Arrive in 2015?
This one is from the rumor mill, but we’re deeming it as “likely”, that a new Tesla sedan will debut in 2015, as Tesla CEO Elon Musk is blaming himself for some of the car’s delays. In an interview with Bloomberg Musk said “I really am quite insistent that the production version be superior to anything we’ve demonstrated before.” There’s little room for error here as this car, often called the Model X, will represent the largest push into mainstream consumer sales. There’s plenty to focus on, and we know that Musk is also pushing for self driving vehicles to hit roads in the next three years.
At a reception in Germany, Elon Musk spoke to a crowd about Tesla’s investment in the German market. Germany is very forward on renewable energy, alternative fuels, and they seem like a natural fit for the Tesla vibe. Especially considering that Germany was the second place market for the Tesla Roadster (behind the USA).
While answering questions about their corporate plans, Musk was asked about developing apps for the huge touchscreen built into the dash of the Tesla Sedan. The Model S currently uses a build of Linux, so porting Android apps over, or running them in an emulator, should be fairly easy to do, and he does specifically mention updating the car’s browser to chrome.
Elon actually takes the stage at 14:47 in this video, and you can skip to 37:20 to hear him answer the question about apps and Android.
I still have some ergonomic and safety reservations about an automobile control surface comprised mostly of a smooth featureless touchscreen, but at least I might not have to learn a new and unfamiliar UI when I’m finally able to get my hands on a Tesla of my very own… Some day… It could happen… Sigh…
Sign me up. I’m sold. I used to love hitting the open road, but after living in LA for a couple years I’m done. All the wasted time sitting in zombifying traffic I could be spending on ANYTHING ELSE. There’s no more romance for me. The car is no longer a gadget I cherish, but a necessary evil.
Unless of course I no longer had to drive it myself anymore.
The dream of science fiction robot taxis is getting closer and closer to becoming a reality, and geek sweetheart Tesla is getting into the game. Joining companies like Google, CEO Elon Musk is promising “auto-pilot” features on Tesla automobiles in 3-4 years. Color me stoked!
Four years is a tremendously fast time table to get functionality like this tested and refined for general use, but Musk has demonstrated a unique drive in getting ambitious projects off the ground, and we can always hope that at some point, rather than having multiple companies producing competing systems, they might at some point pool their resources to provide true standards to the public.
In addition to freeing me up to utilize my commute more effectively, this could also help to curb the problems we face with distracted driving. It’s a win-win all around.