2019 Will Be Electric – DTNS 3439

We ask CNET Roadshow’s, Tim Stevens, what we should expect in 2019 for the cars and trucks we might be driving and the ones that will be driving themselves.

Starring Tom Merritt, Sarah Lane, Roger Chang and Tim Stevens.

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One thought on “2019 Will Be Electric – DTNS 3439

  1. (My apologies if this comment shows up twice.
    The first time I posted it didn’t appear.)

    There was a truly bizarre segment in this show.

    Discussing electric cars and no mention at all of supercharging stations?

    About driving an electric car.
    When the car is used for commuting then you charge it overnight, in your own garage. But for long distance trips (say, coast to coast) you need the counterpart of roadside gas stations. Over the past years Tesla has built out a network of charging stations, currently over a 1300 in the USA (4 to 20 stalls per station), and rapidly expanding. Putting back 150 miles worth of charge into the battery pack takes about half an hour or so. This rapid charging is called ‘supercharging’.

    Over the past years Tesla has increased the density of charging stations, in the USA, Europe, and China, and the pace is accelerating

    In interviews Elon Musk has stated: other car companies can join the supercharger network. Anyone who is willing to foot a proportionate share of the bill for building and maintaining the supercharger network can join, and then those cars (when made hardware and software compatible) can charge at the Tesla superchargers.

    So now a car manufacturer who wants to enter the electric vehicle market has to make a decision. Either they enter negotiations with Tesla to join the supercharger network, or they invest billions of dollars to create a supercharger network of their own.

    By the looks of it: so far no car manufacturer has done either of those.

    So: if you are looking to buy an electric car that supports long-distance travel the choice is a no-brainer.
    – If you buy a Tesla then you are always within range of a supercharger station, and the car’s navigation system will plan a route that visits the charging stations, as needed.
    – If you buy a car without supercharger network support then you are limited to destination chargers. For instance, you’d need to stay at a motel that has a charging outlet that will allow you to charge overnight.

    The bizarre in todays show was that you and Tim stevens were discussing the future of electric cars without ever mentioning the elephant in the room: the supercharging network.

    There is this jarring contrast:
    Tom, your general attitude is that you don’t mind bucking the trend when you feel that you should credit when credit is due. Two examples:
    – When there was a story about Apple music deleting a large amount of songs from a guy’s Apple device you did a little digging, you found that the story was actually more nuanced than that, and you explained to the listeners what had actually happened.
    – There was the story of Google announcing that their internal review system had uncovered that some API had been available to Android app developers that gave the app developers far more access to personal data than intended. Google only had logs for the last two weeks of the window of opportunity. In those two weeks the opportunity had not been seized, strongly suggesting that no developer had discovered the opportunity. Many news websites distorted the story, claiming Google had _hushed_ the discovery of the problem. You did a little digging, and you explained to the listeners what had actually happened.

    Your general attitude is that you try to be well informed and that you try to be balanced and fair in your reporting, even if that leads to defending a big corporation.

    However, in the case of Tesla you have a palpable dislike, and to the point: you are allowing that dislike to bias your reporting.

    Yes, Elon Musk is almost always way too optimistic when it comes to setting production goals. Tesla cars are always late. On the other hand, Tesla is EARLY when it comes to building out infrastructure: the supercharging network.

    Please do not let a dislike steer you away from your commitment to fair and balanced reporting.

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