It’s still going on as I write this blog post, and won’t end until 5 pm or later. If you’re reading this now, come on down! This video shows our parking lot at Golden Real Estate, 17695 S. Golden Road, completely filled with electric cars and their owners talking to lots of people interested in knowing more about EVs. Here’s the video link: https://youtu.be/4vY2K6OZt0k.
As I write, 40 people have registered at www.DriveElectricWeek.info to attend this annual event, and 19 of them are bringing their EVs. This “EV Roundup” takes place in the Golden Real Estate parking lot at 17695 S. Golden Road. You’ll find every model of Tesla, plus EVs from Nissan, Chevrolet, BMW, Mini, Kia and Hyundai. We’re still looking for people to bring their VW ID.4, Mustang Mach-E, Jaguar I-Pace, Volvo XC40 Recharge, Porsche Taycan, Polestar 2 and a Rivian pickup or SUV. We’d also love to see electric motorcycles from Zero and Harley-Davidson. If someone you know has one of those exciting new EVs, please ask him/her to register at the website above. We have lots of swag to give away — water bottles, face masks, sanitizer, t-shirts, and back packs — on the registration table. We have 5 handouts that you can view at www.EV-Handouts.info.
Charge are hosting “Rise and Ride Five Points” at the DMV office, 2855 Tremont Place, Denver, on Saturday, 7 to 10 a.m. They’re offering rides and information about all the EVs currently available in Colorado. Free coffee & donuts, too!
On Sunday, 11am to 3pm, you can attend the Longmont EV Fair at the Boulder County Fairgrounds in Longmont, sponsored by Sustainable Resilient Longmont. They’re offering test drives and rides to fully vaccinated and masked attendees. They have 35 EVs registered so far, including most of those EVs we’re still hoping to see at our event in Golden.
On the first Saturday of October every year, it’s our practice to sponsor an EV round-up in the Golden Real Estate parking lot. That means that on Saturday, Oct. 2nd, from 3 to 5 pm, there will be 20-plus electric vehicles of all makes and models and their owners — no dealers are invited — ready to show you their cars, let you sit in them, look under the hood (look, ma, no engine!) and perhaps take you around the block.
I’ll be there myself with my silver Tesla Model X, and maybe Rita will bring her red Model S. Visit my website, www.DriveElectricWeek.info to see the EVs that are already registered and to register your own EV if you’ll be bringing one. No hybrids, please, just EVs.
The event happens during the monthly SuperCruise, when our lot is usually filled with gas guzzlers, but not this month! This way, the hundreds of spectators who line South Golden Road to see those gas-powered cars will get the opportunity to see what electric cars are all about and speak with their owners.
You can expect to see EVs from Audi, Nissan, Ford (the new Mustang), Chevrolet, Hyundai, Jaguar and other manufacturers. This is a watershed year for electric transportation with new EVs being introduced every month. Next year you can expect to see the electric Ford F-150 Lightning and maybe even the Tesla Cybertruck.
Our event is also timed to be part of this year’s Metro Denver Green Homes Tour, held the first Saturday of each October, 9 am to 4 pm, to show off net zero energy and otherwise sustainable homes. Golden Real Estate has been a corporate sponsor of the tour for over a decade.
Other than for a flat tire, you’ll almost never see an electric car on the side of the road awaiting a service vehicle or tow truck. That’s because an EV will never need any of the following expensive repairs — the parts simply don’t exist on an EV:
Muffler or stolen catalytic converter
Power steering pump
Power brakes pump
Engine work of any kind
There’s no “check engine” light because there’s no engine, so you won’t pay to “pull codes” and reset it. And no emissions testing. The electric motors in EVs, like those in other devices, are dependable, only failing if they are worked too hard, and the computers in Teslas (and presumably other EVs) don’t let that happen.
EVs have Battery Management Systems (BMS) which are critical to maintaining battery health and performance. In Teslas, there is a sealed coolant system which maintains the battery at its optimum performance temperature (70° F) year-round, including cooling it when it is being supercharged or when it sends a high level of power to the electric motor(s).
Lithium batteries, unlike lead acid batteries, do not fail abruptly, but rather degrade over time. The reason lead acid batteries fail abruptly, I’m told, is that they consume the lead when they are charged and discharged. Lithium ion batteries don’t consume the lithium. The rate of degradation has been estimated at 1% per year, so a battery with 300 miles of range might degrade to 270 miles of range in 10 years. That matches my experience.
As people wait for the purchase price of EVs to equal that of a gas-powered car — which has largely happened — they shouldn’t overlook the lower cost of fuel (3 to 4 cents per mile vs.10 cents and higher) and the dramatically lower cost of maintenance and repair. And fleet buyers won’t have to buy 12 EVs in order to always have 10 on the road because of how rarely EVs will be in the shop.
Back in 2010, Golden Real Estate was awarded the “Sustainability Award for Business” from the City of Golden for the brokerage’s solar-powered office. Eleven years later, we have been awarded this recognition a second time because of how much further we have taken our passion for sustainability.
Back in 2010 we had a 5kW solar array on our roof — enough to power our office, but little else. We had a couple other features — sun tunnels to daylight our office reducing the need for artificial lighting, extra insulation to reduce the amount of natural gas needed to heat the office, and we accepted polystyrene (aka Styrofoam) for recycling.
Now, we have 2 ground-mounted solar arrays adding another 15kW of solar power, providing enough electricity to heat and cool our office with heat pumps and to power our five agent-owned Teslas as well as offering free EV charging to the general public. We had our gas meter removed in 2017 and now our Xcel Energy bill is $10 to $11 per month, which is the cost of being connected to the electric grid. We are now a “net zero energy” facility — and we’re taking two truckloads of Styrofoam to a reprocessing center in Denver every month.
Thanks to “net metering,” the electric grid functions like a battery, receiving our excess energy during sunny days and giving it back to us when we need it. We like to consider our office an example that other businesses can aspire to, and we are grateful for this week’s recognition by Golden. Click on the following 2-minute YouTube video tour of our net zero office:
You’ve probably heard of the Tesla Models S, 3, X and Y, but have you heard of the Polestar2, the Mustang Mach E, the Jaguar I-Pace, the Hyundai Kona, and the Fiat 500e? These are among the 20-plus EVs that will be in the Golden Real Estate parking lot this Saturday, April 3, from 2 to 5 pm, with the owners there to answer your questions and possibly give you a ride around the block.
It’s our annual Drive Electric Earth Day event, one of two EV roundups that we have been hosting annually since 2012 in our parking lot at 17695 S. Golden Road. The other event is Drive Electric Week, held on the first Saturday in October to coincide with the annual Metro Denver Green Homes Tour. Both events coincide with the “Super Cruise” events held on South Golden Road the first Saturday of every month from April through October. We like to expose fans of classic cars who attend Super Cruise to electric vehicles.
By now it should be clear that an electric vehicle of some kind is in your future, so you might as well starting taking a look at what’s available. If the right vehicle isn’t being sold currently, it will probably be available within the next two years, so come and look, and find out what all the excitement is about.
Our parking lot still has a few spaces available, so if you own an EV, especially one that is not listed in the first paragraph, please register to bring it at www.DriveElectricWeek.info. You can also register there as a spectator, but it’s not required. If you do want to attend, with or without an EV, we ask that you wear a mask and allow us to apply sanitizer to your hands when you arrive.
With our parking lot reserved for EVs, other cars will need to park in the Taco Bell parking lot across the street.
If you own an electric vehicle and are willing to show it off to potential EV buyers, please consider bringing it to Golden Real Estate’s parking lot on Saturday, April 3, from 2 to 5 pm for our annual Drive Electric Earth Day roundup. Register to bring your EV or to come as a spectator at www.DriveElectricWeek.info.
It’s that time of year when I like to remind readers about the advantages of EVs in snow and cold weather. Here’s what you need to know.
1) No warming up is needed. Just put the car in Drive and go! Also, the cabin will be warm within 1/2 mile because it doesn’t require an engine to warm up first. In my Tesla I can turn on the heat with my phone app a few minutes earlier so the cabin, steering wheel and seat are all warm when I get in the car. Also, when I park the car for brief periods (such as when shopping), I can leave the heater on so it’s warm when I return, .
2) Your car will never break down, stranding you in a freezing car on the side of the road. The only time you see an EV on the side of the road is if there’s a flat tire or an accident. Stuck in a snow drift? The heater will keep you warm as long as you need, consuming only 3-5 miles of range per hour — and no carbon monoxide!
3) Because of its low center of gravity and its typical 50/50 front/back weight distribution, an EV handles snow-covered roads really well. My all-wheel-drive Teslas handle much better than my AWD 2009 Lexus RX 400h did in snow, aided by its standard traction control and stability control.
4) Used EVs are your best buy. Older AWD Tesla Model S’s can be bought, undamaged and running like new, starting around $40,000. And older Tesla Models S and X come with transferrable lifetime free supercharging coast-to-coast when purchased privately instead of from Tesla.
5) There are still federal and state tax credits and various rebates to be had. For a full list, visit www.electricforall.org/rebates-incentives.
For the 7th consecutive year, Golden Real Estate is pleased to host an Electric Vehicle Round-up in our parking lot at 17695 S. Golden Road this Saturday, Oct. 3rd, from 2 to 5 pm. It’s part of the National Drive Electric Week in addition to being the only in-person component of the Metro Denver Green Homes Tour.
Over 20 owners of EVs have registered at www.DriveElectricWeek.info to bring over 10 different models of EVs and answer the questions of people who may be considering the purchase of an electric vehicle.
EVs already registered include 3 Tesla models, 3 Chevy models, an Audi e-Tron, both Nissan Leaf models, a Fiat 500e, and the Hyundai Kona. I expect others to register, too.
In addition, we expect to have some electric bicycles and a unique electric tricycle, which you’ll be able to test drive. I’ll bring my 2012 Chevy Volt (242 lifetime MPG), which Rita and I have decided to sell for $7,500. (It cost $40,000 in 2012, and runs as well as new.)
We’ll observe state rules regarding COVID-19, taking the temperature of all visitors on arrival and requiring masks, which we’ll provide if necessary. Everyone will get a shot of hand sanitizer, and we will get contact info of all attendees solely for the purpose of contact tracing (another requirement for such events).
If you drive a car for business, you really need to look into buying an electric vehicle. Why? Because the only cost of driving an EV is 3 cents per mile for electricity (unless you get it free from the sun, as we do) and the wear on your tires, yet the IRS is happy to give you the same 57.5 cents per mile deduction when you use your car for business.
I have written before about why I think driverless cars should never be allowed, but this time I’m going to suggest why the public — you — would likely reject the idea.
During the transition to a driverless car, you’ll get to experience, as I already do, some of the features required for a car to drive itself. Those features include traffic-aware cruise control and lane management dependent on multiple cameras, radar and numerous sensors. I have been using those features on my Tesla for quite a while.
The first thing to recognize is that a self-driving car will always err on the side of caution. Here are just three examples: Let’s say you’re driving a city street with parked cars but no line between the travel lane and the parking lane. Every now and then your car will mistake a parked car for a stopped car and simply stop.
Or you’ll be driving along and a car coming the other direction with make a left turn in front of you. Erring on the side of caution, your car will abruptly apply the brakes even though it’s clear to you that braking was not needed.
Or you’re driving on a road with no bike lane, but there’s a cyclist cruising along at 10 mph and no room to pass without crossing the yellow line, which your car won’t do. You car slows to 10 mph.
My Tesla knows the speed limit on all roads based on GPS information, but 1) sometimes the GPS information is wrong, and 2) sometimes there’s a lower speed limit in effect for school zones or construction. Your self-driving car will plow through those areas, totally oblivious!
Wildlife poses a special problem. As a human, you know to slow down if an unpredictable deer is next to the roadway. You driverless car doesn’t have that judgment.
Think of all the times you depended on exchanging eye contact or body language with another driver to know whether to yield or not yield. Think about two lanes merging into one, or about another car being driven erratically. Think about going off road. Think about anything other than driving on a dedicated highway with other driverless cars.
Think about seeing someone in distress on the side of the road or within sight of you. Think about witnessing an accident. Your car will want to leave the scene of the accident rather than stop.
Think of when the painted lanes have disappeared due to wear and only a human could figure out where to go. Or lines that have not been removed completely when new lines were painted.
In Golden, where Hwy 6 crosses Colfax Avenue, it’s not a 90-degree intersection. If I’m in the left lane traveling west through that intersection, my Tesla consistently misinterprets the dashed guide lines for the left-turn lane next to me and swerves into eastbound traffic thinking that it’s a left curve. Fortunately, I have my hand on the wheel and make the immediate correction.
I hope by now you have gotten the impression that self-driving software can not anticipate every conceivable (or inconceivable) situation and could lead a driverless car into desparate situations.