EV Roadtrips, NASA, Hollywood, Humane

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Confessions of an EV Owner: Why I Ditched my Car on Vacation

As I write this blog I’m on vacation. And I did what I tell many of you to do - I left my EV at home and took my gas vehicle. Everybody is in a different part of their life and decisions they make should be based on what’s in front of you. For me, for this trip, it included young kids and a quick drive. I left after work and got here as quick as I could I’ll be doing the same when I return, planning my trip around traffic as best I can. If I had more time and wanted to save a little bit of money, I would’ve taken my EV instead. That trip would have taken roughly $20 for electricity, along with about an extra hour for charging. Instead, I was able to make it the whole way on one tank, and filled up the next day. Except, it costs $65, and would cost another $65 on the way back. Again, a decision made based on time and money. We all know time is money, and it works both ways. If this trip may have left a couple hours earlier, I may have chosen different. If I traveled alone or didn’t have kids, I may have chosen different.

Let this stand as a reminder than if you own an EV, that doesn’t mean you have to take it everywhere. I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. If you live in a two-person income household, and one person commutes less than even 200 miles round trip, and it’s the typical 9 to 5 style work-day, having one EV makes sense in the long run. At least monetarily. I’ve argued more for Tesla’s in the past - mainly for their charging infrastructure and self-driving advancements. However, now that the charging stations are open to other manufacturers, and there’s discussion of other automakers licensing Full Self-Driving, things are becoming very interesting in the EV space.

Lately, I’ve had a few question me about battery longevity. I think there’s a misconception of their lifespan. knocks on wood In general, batteries loose their charge over time, not quickly. You’re probably familiar with your mobile phone battery lasting an hour or so after 3 or 4 years of use. But, you probably charge your phones every night and don’t unplug them when they reach 100%. Not to mention, the technology and materials used in vehicle batteries are different - hardware and software wise. EV batteries are made of different materials and are also not 1 huge battery. They have multiple batteries working in series and parallel. Which, some battery banks may be replaced without replacing the entire battery. On the other hand, using my car as example, after 10 years, the batteries have degraded around 10%. Meaning, what is a full 100% charge today is equivalent to what was a 90% charge when it was brand new. So, while the range has depleted some, it’s not near what many make it out to be and is still functional for the foreseeable future.

Read more about EV batteries at Car and Driver

ICYMI: NASA, Mars, and the Moon

While Elon Musk has his eyes and heart set on Mars, NASA is stepping up their game. Four volunteers sacrificed the next year of their lives in a 3-D printed, 1,700 sqft, habitat with more exterior portions that simulates what a Mars expedition would look like. CBS News reports they will “carry out an array of "mission activities," including simulated spacewalks, robotic operations, growing of crops, habitat maintenance, personal hygiene and exercise.” Does this give anyone else a Bio Dome flashback? Either way, I can’t wait for the movie!

As new Moon explorations continue - India, Russia, and Japan join NASA in scheduled missions to seek out possible ice or water on the surface, along with other possible resources. This marks the first time in 51 years NASA has had astronauts fly around the moon.

ICYMI: Netflix and Hollywood Embrace AI and Other Tech

With the advancements we’ve seen in technology over the years, it seems Netflix has invested in the next era of video production. We’re probably all familiar with the more common green-screen techniques. However, they bring about issues with color coding and fine artifacts. A new technology introducing magenta light seems to solve this issue. Not to be outdone, MKBHD teamed up with Cleo Abram to showcase the next iteration of green-screen technology with the XR Stage at Zerospace.

In the AI world, Marvel’s new series, Secret Invasion, used AI to create the opening credits. Check out this video on IGN’s YouTube page for more information.

In other Netflix news, their most basic plan gets a price bump to $15.49 to make way for an ads plan at $6.99. Sign up at Netflix.

POTW: Humane’s Disappearing Computer

A group of over 50 former Apple employees and other high profile companies in Silicon Valley have created a new company called Humane. In the next revolution of personal computing, they are working on a screen-less device that has AI built into a wearable pin.

If you’re interested in more of their story, a YouTuber named Sam Sheffer created a popular video about a year ago (Humane: Secret Tech Company Poised to Change the World) and an update since he’s been working there for the last 9 months (life at humane).

Check out their demo on YouTube