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It’s no secret that electric vehicles carry higher sticker prices than comparable legacy vehicles (although it’s debatable whether any gas-burner is truly “comparable” to an EV, especially a Tesla). Of course, as any EV booster will tell you, the difference in purchase price is offset by savings on fuel and maintenance, as well as the various tax breaks and incentives that are available.

Above: Toyota Prius Prime and Tesla Model S (Image: CleanTechnica)

But how do the numbers really stack up? A new study, published in the journal Applied Energy (via Ars Technica), assesses the total cost of ownership (TCO) of conventional, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery-electric vehicles in the UK, California, Texas and Japan for the time period 1997-2015. The study compared the TCO of the Toyota Prius, Prius Plug-in, and Nissan LEAF to the Toyota Corolla in Japan, California, and Texas, and to the Ford Focus in the UK.

The study calculated TCO using an average annual mileage for each region, and an average annual maintenance cost. “Costs were found to be cheaper for electric vehicles due to less wear on the brakes and fewer moving parts,” write the study’s authors.

The good news: in 2015, battery-electric vehicles in all four regions were slightly cheaper than legacy gas or diesel vehicles on a TCO basis. Of the three types of electrified vehicle, the pure EV wins out. The TCO for hybrids was higher than that of traditional vehicles in all regions, because they still use fuel, and receive less in...
Perhaps you've reserved your Tesla Model 3 but haven't taken delivery of your car yet. Or maybe you're keen on the Model 3 but need to see it in-person before making your reservation. Sure, you can fly to the Tesla factory and hope to spy a Model 3 in the company parking lot. Then again, you don't want to be a stalker. Hmmm... isn't there any way you can get your hands on a Tesla Model 3 now?

Above: The vaunted Model 3 makes its way into the Palo Alto, California Tesla store (Source: Teslarati via Alex Guberman at E for Electric)

If you're outside the United States, the answer is... unfortunately, no. But if you're in the U.S., there are a few ways to check out the car (up-close and personal) if you're willing to try one of these three methods...

Check out Model 3 at your local Tesla store
If you're located on the West Coast, you might have to drive a bit, but, you can (finally) check out a Model 3. Forbes reports that Tesla stores have been "mobbed" with people clamoring to see the car. Brooks Crothers writes: "The Model 3, as of Friday, is being shown at only two retail locations nationwide, the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto and Century City mall in Los Angeles."

Above: Tesla's Model 3 made its debut Friday at Los Angeles' Century City mall (Youtube: Fox 11 Los Angeles)

Crothers observed that,...
The Tesla Model S has won its share of awards and accolades since its launch in 2012. Sure, critics seem to love Tesla's flagship sedan but what about Joe Public? According to a new survey of 2,000 of American-based car owners, both millennials and men chose the Tesla Model S as their top 'dream car' pick. But that's not all — the Tesla Model S was also chosen as 'dream car' in a variety of other segments as well.

Above: Tesla Model S at a company store (Instagram: dual.ctzn)

The Detroit Free Press spoke with Jessica Caldwell, a senior analyst at Edmunds, who didn't seem surprised by the results. Caldwell explains, "Elon Musk has cultivated a devout following over the years that transcends beyond the typical car enthusiast audience. Take a look at the hundreds of thousands of down payments that were made toward the Model 3 sight unseen — it's clear that he's converted faithful masses to his gospel."

While Ford Mustang was the survey's overall top 'dream car' pick, survey results varied considerably by sex, age, geographic region, and level of automotive expertise. It's reported that, "Women rank the Jeep Wrangler as their top 'dream car,' while men opt for a Tesla Model S." Looking at different age brackets: "The survey's generational age breakdown showed millennials prefer Tesla, Gen X prefers Camaro and baby boomers prefer Corvette."

Above: Model S takes it to the streets (Instagram:...
Tesla’s original mission was to electrify the world’s transportation system. Along the way, that expanded into a reboot of the entire automotive industry. By the time it’s all over, Tesla will have redefined not just the way cars are fueled, but the way they are designed, manufactured, marketed and sold.

Instagram: jamesalan86

From the company’s emphasis on self-driving capabilities to its treatment of the vehicle as a computer system, with a unified operating system and over-the-air software updates, Tesla has made important advances, and the lessons have not been entirely lost on the legacy automakers. There are already signs that the Tesla way of doing things is starting to influence the global giants in several areas.

Like other tech pioneers such as Apple, Tesla sees the automobile as part of an “ecosystem” of products and services, and forward-looking execs at other automakers are beginning to see things this way too. The electric vehicle will not be simply a plug-in replacement for the legacy gas-burner, but rather a part of a new paradigm that includes charging infrastructure, vehicle autonomy, new ownership models and renewable energy. Automakers around the world are investing in charging networks, makers of self-driving tech and transportation service providers like Uber and Lyft. Some have explored partnering with solar installers to offer package deals to customers.

Also like Apple, Tesla understands that it isn’t selling just a product, but rather an “ownership experience.” When you look at automobile ownership as an overall experience, you’re bound to come to the conclusion that there are certain parts of the experience that people really dislike, and smarmy car salesmen are near the top of the list. Another obvious conclusion is that the car buying...
Although Tesla finished the year with record sales, it's gotten off to a slow start with the Model 3. With a 455,000- person wait list, a lengthy wait lies ahead for plenty of Model 3 reservation holders. Automotive News reports, "That leaves an opening for other EV makers, such as Chevy, to woo away Tesla customers. But it's not an opening Chevy plans on openly exploiting, the company said."

Above: A look at the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3 (Image: Business Insider)

"It's not in the cards," said Steve Majoros, marketing director of Chevrolet cars and crossovers. Automotive News reports that regardless of the "test of patience [ahead] for Tesla's wait-listers, Chevy says it won't try to woo them away."

Why would GM shy away from the opportunity to win over customers from Tesla? On the one hand, "on paper, the Bolt EV and Model 3 are similar in terms of performance and price. However, Tesla has created a cult following that had customers making down payments on the car even before its unveiling... most Tesla reservation holders know what they're getting into when they drop a $1,000 deposit."

Above: Even though the Tesla Model S and X are nearly double the price, both Teslas were able beat the Chevy Bolt in U.S. EV sales in 2017 (Source:...
Don't try this in your Tesla. It's definitely not advised — but it sure looks like fun. According to AutoEvolution, in Moscow, "one could grab an American electric tank (read: a Tesla Model S) and try to embrace the Russian winter... Alan Enileev has recently brought us an adventure that sees a Model S, presumably a P100D, delivering wonderful all-paw donuts in Gagarinsky District, Moscow." But first, a quick charge...

Above: Who needs a snowman when you can make your own snow supercharger (Instagram: _mike99__)

You're probably pondering... how an electric vehicle can do such dramatic donuts (see below) better than most gas-powered cars? It's reported that, "you might wonder what allows the 2+ ton behemoth [Model S] to spin so violently. And the answer is simple. You see, the instant electric torque joins forces with the single-gear nature of the Tesla — the latter aspect means that, once the wheels lose traction, the electric motors get to spin all the way to heaven, going way past what an internal combustion engine could deliver."

Above: Russian Model S performing an exquisite winter ballet (Source: alan_enileev)

More insights come from the Now You Know Tesla tipsters, Zac and Jesse, in their new Tesla Model 3. According to Teslarati, "A slow-motion capture of Model 3’s rear wheels reveal a delicate dance of power limiting and power transfer to the ground, thereby allowing the driver to maintain control of the vehicle at all...
At EVANNEX we always try to design and develop great accessories that Tesla owners will love. But we also try to contribute to the Tesla community by developing useful information that can help Tesla owners better understand their vehicle and the emerging EV marketplace. This mini-tutorial is one example.

Above: Model 3 charging at a Tesla Supercharger (Image: Teslarati via Redditor WattLOL)

If you're not aware — we’ve also developed a reasonably comprehensive Electric Vehicle University (EVU) curriculum, and the books Owning Model S and Getting Ready for Model 3. And now, we've started to develop a series of whiteboard animation tutorials for the Model 3 community. Our new whiteboard animation series focuses on the things you need to do to get ready before you take delivery of Model 3.

Our first tutorial is entitled, “Establishing a Personal Charging Infrastructure.” It focuses on what you need to do to set up charging for your Tesla Model 3 before you take delivery.

Soon, hopefully very soon, you’ll receive an email from Tesla that will ask you to configure your Model 3. Once you’ve selected your options, placed yourself into the production queue and gotten over the initial excitement, you’ll probably have about 4 to 6 weeks (maybe eight) before your new Model 3 arrives. The big question is... what do you have to do to prep for your Model 3 during that time? In this tutorial, we’re going to discuss the things you need to...
Quentin Tommie is a lifestyle blogger, style enthusiast, and Tesla owner. His latest effort is called Journey Homme. According to Tommie, "It's an online chronicle of travel experiences as well as a visual archive of artistic works that takes a deeper look into design aesthetics and the influence of men’s style."

Source: Journey Homme

Summing up Journey Homme, Tommie notes: "Our purpose is to be inspired by the world and inspire others through our journey." The world of high design has treated Tommie well — at the age of 27, he just took delivery of a new Tesla Model X 100D. He explains, "I’m moved by innovation and design which is what attracted me to the Model X."

Source: Journey Homme

Journey Homme's tribute to the Model X features a flashy photo shoot in front of the Frost Science Museum in Miami. Tommie discusses Model X's design ethos: "Innovation and design meet in the all electric Tesla SUV... the design of the interior is very sophisticated with a minimalist layout. Getting into the Model X feels like stepping into a space ship."

Source: Journey Homme

To make his Tesla even more distinctive, Tommie decided to add some stylish modifications to his Model X. He explains, "My Tesla Model X is covered in a black chrome vinyl wrap with a chrome delete... [along with] 22” Onyx black Tesla factory rims....
One popular point of confusion among electric vehicle newbies (and the mainstream press) is that non-Tesla charging networks are incompatible with Tesla vehicles. Oftentimes, all it takes is a simple charging adapter, and a Tesla can use virtually any charging point — even if it's been funded by other automakers. The same can't be said of other EVs on the market (i.e. Chevy Bolt, Nissan Leaf, Renault Zoe, etc.). Those EV competitors can't use Tesla's massive proprietary Supercharger network.

Above: A Tesla Model S charges at one of its proprietary Superchargers (Instagram: bryanho23)

And Tesla has been swiftly growing its Supercharger network, albeit not as fast as promised. USA Today reports, "Tesla hasn't reached its commitment of doubling its global Supercharger fast-charging network this year. The electric carmaker earlier this year claimed it would go from about 5,000 Superchargers up to 10,000. It did bring an impressive number to the network, with more than 3,150 more Superchargers added this year."
That said, Tesla-friendly charging points from other charging networks (both public and private) picked up some of the the slack. In this sense, Tesla can have the best of both worlds — enjoying new Supercharger locations while also taking advantage of other charging networks as they rapidly grow. In fact, "University of Michigan researchers earlier this [past] year reported...
It’s a little early to predict that Tesla will drive the giant global automakers, one by one, into bankruptcy. However, there’s no question that some brands are already feeling the shockwaves from the electric automaker’s rise, especially in certain market segments.

Above: BMW 7 series and Tesla Model S face off (Source: Car Advice)

Every automaker has its own mix of products, so the companies have varying degrees of exposure to the coming wave of disruption. As a recent article in Seeking Alpha argues, BMW could be in the most vulnerable position of all. Unlike the Big Three, BMW doesn’t sell pickup trucks, and unlike VW and the Asian giants, it doesn’t offer cheap entry-level runabouts (at least not in the US market). The Bavarian brand’s bread and butter consists of high-end sporty sedans and luxury SUVs - precisely the market segments in which Tesla is beginning to mop up the competition.

BMW’s troubles aren’t just theoretical - Seeking Alpha writer ValueAnalyst notes that sales of the company’s flagship sedan, the 7 Series (which BMW has produced since 1977), are in decline. As shown by tables from CarSalesBase.com, 7 Series sales jumped in 2016 after a redesign, but fell significantly this year. If current trends continue, yearly sales in the US for 2017 will be less than 9,000 units - a 30% year-over-year drop, and the lowest sales since 1992.

Tesla’s Model S has dominated the large luxury segment for a couple of years now, as...