Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Why The Electric-car Revolution Taking Longer Than Expected - Several Seats

- Electric Cars -

An MIT analysis finds that steady declines in battery costs will stall in the next few years.

"Why the electric-car revolution may take a lot longer than expected"

Don’t expect electric cars and trucks to get as cheap as their gas-powered rivals anytime soon.

A new report from the MIT Energy Initiative warns that EVs may never reach the same sticker price so long as they rely on lithium-ion batteries, the energy storage technology that powers most of today’s consumer electronics. In fact, it’s likely to take another decade just to eliminate the difference in the lifetime costs between the vehicle categories, which factors in the higher fuel and maintenance expenses of standard cars and trucks.

The findings sharply contradict those of other research groups, which have concluded that electric vehicles could achieve price parity with gas-powered ones in the next five years. The lingering price difference predicted by the MIT report could stunt the transition to lower-emission vehicles, requiring governments to extend subsides or enact stricter mandates to achieve the same adoption of EVs and cuts in climate pollution.

Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse-gas emissions in the US and fourth largest globally, so there’s no way to achieve the reductions necessary to avoid dangerous levels of global
warming without major shifts to cleaner vehicles and mass transit systems.

The problem is that the steady decline in the cost of lithium-ion batteries, which power electric vehicles and account for about a third of their total cost, is likely to slow in the next few years as they approach limits set by the cost of raw materials.

“If you follow some of these other projections, you basically end up with the cost of batteries being less than the ingredients required to make it,” says Randall Field, executive director of the Mobility of the Future group at MIT. “We see that as a flaw.”

The numbers

Current lithium-ion battery packs are estimated to cost from around $175 to $300 per kilowatt-hour. (A typical midrange EV has a 60/kWh battery pack.)

A number of commercial and academic researchers have projected that the costs of such batteries will reach $100/kWh by 2025 or before, which many proclaim is the “magic number” where EVs and gas-fueled vehicles reach retail price parity without subsidies. And they would continue to fall from there.

But reaching the $100 threshold by 2030 would require material costs to remain flat for the next decade, during a period when global demand for lithium-ion batteries is expected to rise sharply, MIT's "Insights into Future Mobility" study notes. It projects that costs will likely fall only to $124 per kilowatt-hour by then. At that point, the “total cost of ownership” between the categories would be about the same, given the additional fuel and maintenance costs of gas-fueled vehicles. (Where these lines cross precisely depends heavily on local fuel costs and vehicle type, among other factors.)

But the sticker price of an EV with 200 miles of range would still run thousands of dollars more than a comparable gas-fueled vehicle in many areas. While closing the gap on total cost of ownership would be a solid step for electric vehicles, the average consumer is very sensitive to the upfront price tag—and what it equates to in monthly payments.

Costs are likely to continue to improve as, among other things, companies reduce the level of pricey cobalt in battery components and achieve manufacturing improvements as production volumes rise. But metals mining is already a mature process, so further declines there are likely to slow rapidly
after 2025 as the cost of materials makes up a larger and larger portion of the total cost, the report finds.

Deeper cost declines beyond 2030 are likely to require shifts from the dominant lithium-ion chemistry today to entirely different technologies, like lithium-metal, solid-state and lithium-sulfur batteries. Each of these are still in much earlier development stages, so it’s questionable whether any will be able to displace lithium-ion by 2030, Field says.

Gene Berdichevsky, chief executive of anode materials maker Sila Nanotechnologies, agrees it will be hard for the industry to consistently break through the $100/kWh floor with current technology.

But he also thinks the paper discounts some of the nearer-term improvements we’ll see in lithium-ion batteries without full-fledged shifts to different chemistries. By 2030, Berdichevsky expects, battery packs will be able to store significantly more energy and last many more miles on the road, which can cut costs, improve performance, and otherwise boost the relative appeal of EVs.

In Conclusion, Driving forward

The good news is a growing number of manufacturers around the world are moving into EVs, rolling out different models at different price points.

On Sunday, Ford unveiled an electric SUV set to hit showrooms next year, dubbed the Mustang Mach E. Audi, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, and Tesla have all introduced battery-powered SUVs as well, catering to consumers’ tastes for larger vehicles.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Are Limousines Played Out? | Limousine Rental -

Uber is better than taxis or limos. It empowers all of us. There’s less taxis and limos. Are you a part of the Uber and Lyft Carsharing Revolution?!

 I've always thought that limousines were an aura of Awesomeness….: Limousines or limos in short, are the Uber class and expansive long luxury. This blog is about, interesting experiments ongoing the main query: are there phone chargers in the car? (And how is it cost-effective to send limos?)
Just Uber with the all black suburban, stocked with gatorade and vodka; and you're good.
Limousine Interior

Remember when it was all about trying to impress your friends with a luxury limo rental car on prom night. I wish I had a Bodyguard to keep me safe from harm, A manly sort of geezer with a gritty sort of charm, To stand alert and ready in the corridors of power, and drive the limo backwards at a hundred miles an hour.  

Uber is an amazing user experience that is faster and safer than using taxis or traditional limos. The ability to track is key. FYI, pulling up to the club in limos isn't as hot like it used to be back in the day. 

Uber and Lyft

In Los Angeles, and the same in Amsterdam, Schiphol Airport.! Every company, taxis, Ride Share, car services, limos etc are all on FIFO and they are all in some sort of zone. If not we would be all over the airport trying to be the closest driver. This is fact, not opinion! Airports set the rules! Lyft & Uber comply. 
How Much Does A Limo Ride Cost?

"A limousine is a luxury vehicle driven by a chauffeur with a partition between the driver's ... Outside driver ... Vehicles of this type in private use may contain expensive audio players, televisions, video players, and bars, often with refrigerators." Wikipedia
Riding in Limos to prom played out huh? Being that the prom ends at 11! That means make sure your Uber’s, limos, and rides are there at 11. Admin doesn’t want to be waiting around at the venue all night for students to leave. I think the Escalade limos are so played out but pretty cool to be in. 
In Toronto you get the choice of a black car that gets me home for 40+ dollars. Or nonexistent transit… The same distance normally would cost 20 if that. It’s the biggest scam in the world.
According to Kevin Smith Group, the following quote reveals that "most limos will cost you an hourly rate. Hourly rates for limos can range anywhere from $75 to $200 per hour depending on the company and the style of the limo. Sometimes, there are minimums for renting a limo so understand that you probably can’t rent a limo for only 30 minutes.
At one point I was looking at going over to parking fly on the shuttle. In the end it was a $42 trip that should’ve been around 20 maximum.
However, when renting a limo for longer periods of time, say 7 hours or more, you may get a discount on your hourly rate, lowering the total cost of the limo. Many rentals for events like Nights on the Town or Bachelor or Bachelorette Parties will last 8 hours or more."

Limousines are still available at airports -

There is a line for cabs and limos because the city of  Toronto doesn’t allow Uber and lyft at the airport, because Toronto is a messed up dinosaur. Lyft & Uber have crowded -out lots of taxis and other limousine services from the airport causing immense delays and along with no background checks on their drivers. Uber is shaking things up, now offering hybrids. what's next? perhaps stretch limos, sedans.
Party Buses
In conclusion, it seems as if you hate taxis and love credit cards, limos, and nice drivers... Uber is by far the best car-sharing service because of it's touch of a button, easy access app. No more long list of rules,  at Prom, all students, bags, vehicles/limos/party buses were subject to search. No drinking, drugs, or smoking/vaping, regardless of age. Students who violate will not be dismissed anymore, and won't face legal consequences, and risk walking at graduation because graduates are now using Uber and renting party buses now.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Tesla Car - Model S: Pricing and Ratings | SeveralSeats

- Secrets of Tesla Model S -

Until now, Tesla has ruled the roads for electric car buyers. But those days are over. 

Dubious how some articles on this manage to completely bury the fact that *specifically* Tesla rebates got cancelled; portrays Tesla much worse. I had my power steering fail a month into ownership of a 2017 Model S 100D.

The Model 3 Tracker estimates were lower than Elon Musk's reports of multiple weeks in June and July exceeding 5k cars/week. Yeah and in 6 years, they'll pay you to drive a tesla! For $2 billion PIF could buy some of the best battery development engineers & companies and the license the tech to car companies. Why spend so much to invest in a car manufacturer when the real tech is in the battery?!

Investors query funding costs at a private Tesla: Several Tesla Inc shareholders have told Reuters they are concerned that the electric car maker will have to pay more to fund its growth if it becomes a private company and loses the ability to sell  

In an article titled' Elon Musk says Tesla could build $25,000 EV in about 'three years' suggesting that "Elon Musk unveiled Tesla's second master plan, the $35,000 Model 3 represented the price floor. It wasn't set in stone, but you couldn't realistically expect more. However, the dream of a truly affordable Tesla EV just got a little more tangible. When tech YouTuber Marques Brownlee asked Musk in an interview about room for a lower-cost Tesla, the executive estimated that his company could build a $25,000 car in about three years "if we work really hard." This wasn't a promise of a car at that price point, to be clear, but Musk saw the vehicle as possible through a combination of both technical achievements and economies of scale.
Based on this report, it suggests the NYT's interview was just more bs from the narcissistic Musk. This latest hyperbolic claim shows nothing has changed. Bob Lutz is right! Just a thought—Maybe deliver Model 3s that really cost $35k before moving on to another elusive goal?
He likened it to the progression of the cellphone from the clunky, limited cellphone from Wall Street (Motorola's DynaTAC) to modern smartphones. It took many iterations to get there, Musk said, and you need sheer manufacturing volume and demand to lower the price. This is part of why you can't buy a Model 3 for $35,000 just yet. The technology finally arrived in 2017, but the manufacturing scale still isn't large enough for Tesla to make money on each car at that price point." - Engage

Based on the quote if 75% of people that are buying a new car in the next 5 five years ponied up 10% of the Model 3 to Tesla Motors today gas powered cars couldn't compete. $25,000 Tesla in 3 years. Some day the media might decide to report on whatever they've done rather than what he says he is gonna do, especially when he gives a date!
Tesla Infographic

I estimate that Tesla Model 3 will outsell the whole EV market in August. Model 3: 26,200 vs. all other EV cars (41 models) 16,700. Which means Model 3 alone will have a 61% market share.

Their service center wait time is 9 weeks. Remember when the secret "whistleblower" leaked information about cars allegedly shipped with damaged parts, the whistleblower tweeted details about allegedly flawed cars, scrapped parts.
According to CNBC "The lists of vehicle identification numbers, which he wrote in the tweets, refer to specific cars that received batteries containing damaged cells that never should have been installed.
  • Tesla whistle-blower Martin Tripp tweeted details about allegedly damaged batteries that he says Tesla shipped, and supposed manufacturing inefficiencies at the factory where Tesla makes car batteries.
  • The former employee has been engaged in a high-visibility legal fight with the company, which claims he stole and falsified information about Tesla to the press.
Tesla has characterized Tripp as a disgruntled ex-employee and saboteur in the past.
Tripp, in previous interviews, said that Tesla's Gigafactory took dangerous manufacturing shortcuts, and that Elon Musk had direct knowledge of these but failed to intervene.
The tweets were posted to Tripp's account Wednesday. However, Tripp took down his Twitter account by Thursday morning, his lawyer told CNBC".

This is due to a shortage of the bolts used to make the repairs.” they could go down to the local hardware store & get the bolts, which would be better quality, but due to agreements made with suppliers, they have to use special bolts. The whistleblower and ex-employee '@trippedover' (Martin Tripp) says he is not able to tweet for another 12 hours. "Twitter jail" after he went on a tweetstorm about his experience at the Gigafactory. Tesla has positioned itself as the future of automobiles. But as of now, it doesn't make many cars, the Tesla is a hype machine, what happens if that hype wanes.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Why New York City is Limiting Uber and Lyft Drivers- #DontStrandNYC -SeveralSeats

How New York Could Become First Major U.S. City to Cap Uber and Similar Vehicles

This new bill would cap the number of ride-hailing vehicles on the road resulting in why Uber and Lyft are facing a slackful crackdown in New York City.

I was reading a NYT article and actually learn about what #DontStrandNYC is trying to prevent. A limit on Uber vehicles would prevent underemployment and low driver wages. Drivers are literally killing themselves because low driver wages are a trap.

After recently leaving a Mets game I saw a green cab and a yellow cab waiting for passengers. None of the cabs wanted to give my family a ride home. I really hope we do not go back to the days when you tell a yellow cab your destination and they speed off.

They should of pick up minorities, I’m talking real life, been passed by yellow cabs, cabs stop and when you tell them where you are going they say they are getting off soon, they derserve what they get. The following quote from the [New York Times] suggests -

"The legislation being considered by the City Council would make New York the first major American city to set a limit on ride-hailing vehicles, which in a relatively short period of time have transformed the transportation networks in cities across the world. Mayor Bill de Blasio, while stopping short of fully endorsing the proposal, suggested that the time had come to rein in the industry.

The proposal supported by the City Council speaker, Corey Johnson, would halt the issuance of new for-hire vehicle licenses, except for vehicles that are wheelchair accessible, while the city conducts a yearlong study of the industry".

This isn't about halting technology totally incorrect, it’s separate bills that are addressing pay and utilization issues. A worker cap would have been better, it would have increased labor value while a vehicle cap will increase costs for workers, much like the medallion system.

This is about the advancement of technology being taking the human element into account. Uber, as an app, is great! But it still requires human drivers & humans paying money to use it. Those factors must be constructed with all parties in mind.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Maven Car Sharing | Best CarSharing App For Millennials |

We tested content from the car sharing marketplace to find the best car-sharing app for millennial drivers in America. Developed by the millennial generation themselves!

If you haven't seen this yet, make sure you do! A new and easy car sharing app (think Airbnb but for cars). Maven has been at the forefront of smart mobility for many years now. Want to know more? 

We cooperated with Business Insider and provided know-how and statistical support. From electric cars, boats and taxis to car sharing initiatives and schemes to make the city’s roads a greener place, interesting, but obvious, evolution of the humble key and connected car apps. What will be interesting is to see how the insurance market has to change to allow such "key sharing" tech as an enabler for car sharing.

In an article titled "GM is preparing for the death of car ownership in cities — and its solution is popular among millennials" posted in Business Insider states that "General Motors in 2016 launched its car-sharing service with millennials in mind. Called Maven, the service's focus on millennials is apparent in the nomenclature alone. Julia Steyn, vice president for urban mobility at Maven, said the automaker purposefully selected a name that would distinguish the service from its legacy brand and appeal to younger generations.

Currently, 80% of Maven's users are between the ages of 18 and 34.

"We consciously launched a brand that was not tied to our hardware," Steyn said in an interview. "We wanted to attract the people who normally wouldn't think of an automaker as providing them with a service." 

Carsharing or car sharing or car clubs is a model of car rental where people rent cars for short periods of time, often by the hour.

According to MAVEN "Car sharing should make it easy for you to get there and back. In the newest cars. With the latest technologies".

I like Maven because I can documented trips I take with my riders for car sharing in NYC. Car sharing companies build there systems directly for local drivers turning to car sharing on to the new  platform with a utility token to power the entire system.

"Maven is a car sharing app that lets you find, reserve and connect to a car all through your phone. While our cars do offer Android Auto as a technology feature, Android Auto is not a Maven product.

Book a ride on an app and meet someone going there and you share the cost of the he trip."- the quote suggests that Maven is the best car sharing app to help millennials save with every available combination of renewable energy production, mobility services like Maven car sharing, energy storage and transport, and a fleet of non-fossil fuel powered vehicles taking over our roadways in America.

I love it. Had a dream where I was in a peer-to-peer car sharing pool in NYC with two others from the city to home in the suburbs. Except one guy was going to a suburb in Sydney and the other was going to Singapore. Not to the airport but freaking all the way to Singapore. Somehow it still works out cheaper. Sign up now with Maven for a one of a kind adventure.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

WizGear Car Phone Mount - (Pros & Cons) For Handheld Devices - SeveralSeats

The reinforced magnetic holder makes the WizGear the most powerful magnetic car mount for all electronic handheld devices. Here are some pros and cons for the WizGear Universal Air Vent Magnetic Phone Car Holder.


The metal plate will interfere with the wire loops inside the phone resulting in wireless charging interference. A bit of an extra hassle (especially since I have a wireless charger at work too), but I think it is worth it for the convenience and stability of this mount in the car. I use my iphone for driving directions and holding my phone or putting it on the car seat just wasn't working. I wanted to try some kind of car mount but wasn't sure which one to try. At first when removing my phone the base was coming along with it but it was a matter of physics, you can't pull the phone directly towards as the magnet will keep attached, instead you have to grab your phone from the top or side and pull it like if you were peeling a sticker off (diagonal way).


The mount also attaches firmly to my air vent (2007 BMW X5). Fits well in the air vent. There are two gap sizes for the air vents, should be appropriate for most cars. No jiggling or slipping. I can touch, swipe, etc on my phone screen without any risk of the phone falling or sliding. It was so helpful that when I would drive the other vehicle, I felt lost without it (sometimes literally). The rectangle magnet fits easily in my phone case and stays in place 99% of the time. The only time the magnet has needed to be adjusted is when my 13 month throws my phone on the floor and it jars the magnet. The air vent mount fits on both of my air vents - one of which is a horizontal design and the other is a vertical design. Great product!

No need for a clunky mounting device that may not even fit your air vents, this little guy can handle it. my air vents aren't very large, but this fits perfectly on them. Convenient, not cumbersome. 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

The Autonomous Driving Trend - SeveralSeats

autonomous driving trend
The Autonomous Driving Trend

Key Facts About The Autonomous Driving Trend! What you should know. 

Autonomous cars are trending in the automobile industry. Also known as self-driving cars or robotic cars that use advanced technology to sense everything in the environment of the vehicle and to assist in the navigation process without a human being.

“One of the hardest questions to answer is, ‘How do these cars compare to human drivers?’ ” Chris Urmson, then the chief of Google’s self-driving car project, told transportation engineers in Washington this year. “And part of the reason why that’s hard is we don’t actually have a good understanding of how good human drivers really are.” According to The Washington Post

The future is so bright for the auto industry. No more speeding tickets, no more accidents, no more drivers license renewals, no more insurance increased costs, no more injury lawyers. No more DUI. Big cut in generating money via infractions yet safer traffic system.

There are so many possibilities, and we are making so many breakthroughs in technology.

So, without a driver, who stands in line outside the Department of Motor Vehicles for hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours?!!

Self-Driving Cars -

They have been testing the self-driving cars in Pittsburgh and are perfectly capable, and in fact; a hell of a lot safer than driver-controlled cars. I call total BS. You can't have autonomous cars that have no ability to hand-off to the driver for that one moment it can't understand the environment or a sensor or software issue arises.

In fact, the "hand-off" problem is why fully autonomous cars are at least 10-15 years off, not to mention all the legislation needed. The ridiculous claim by all tech/auto manufacturers. As for the law regarding driver-less cars; the fact that California made it illegal to operate a driver-less car.... So... See where I'm going with that??

How safe is the system? What if it is compromise and hack into? It will create more havoc then safe driving.

The tech is there... unfortunately, so are the lawyers. The auto companies will soon be sued into the stone age. According to Business Insider "to train a self-driving car, you would first drive the car hundreds of miles to collect sensor data. You would then process that data in a data center identifying frame by frame what each object is."

If I am driving, and I crash and kill someone, or myself, I am responsible?

Who is responsible if the car is driving? I just don't think any on-screen wavers are going to cut it when a rabbit pack of lawyers combined with no tort reform is unleashed.

Let me give you a few facts. A vehicle operated by a human has an accident on an average 1 per 100,000 mi. An autonomous vehicle has an accident 1 per 1,000,000. They don't speed, they don't have impairment from drugs/alcohol, they don't get tired or fatigue. Autonomous driving is not only a trend in passenger vehicles but in trucks, buses, and air-crafts as well.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Notorious B.I.G And Tupac Death Car Battle - SeveralSeats

Notorious B.I.G And Tupac Death Car Battle 

Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G.'s death ride battle for sales. 

I was just watching a Biggie/Pac documentary Thursday and the interview with 2pac's bodyguard and I didn't know that he's dead too.

People get their panties in a twist over "idiots with guns" but I see more idiots causing death and destruction daily with their car. Biggie and Tupac will do battle one more time in the form of death car sales.

What's crazy is...I couldn't imagine getting in someone's car...and they're driving in the car Tupac was shot in. Biggie is the best, but it doesn't mean you cannot do it too, it's time to focus on ourselves and show what we got, he achieved his goals so let's achieve our goals. According to the movie "Notorious" Biggie and Diddy met in Diddy's office, not a restaurant. Diddy took part in making that movie. It was a viral social media SEO trend online that Tupac's death car was up for sale at a whopping price of 1.5 million dollars. Now according to TMZ "The SUV now has 114,000 miles and one remaining scar -- a bullet hole in the front passenger seat belt. That's where B.I.G. was sitting when he was shot in March '97. The owners say the bullet-riddled door had been replaced before they bought the vehicle. The whip's being sold through a public website for $1.5 million." I would never purchase a ghost car, even if it is Tupac's ghost. Unless he's not a scary ghost. Then I surely want it.

At this point, it has changed hands and been "restored" it doesn't really matter anymore. Not that I think it should be auctioned. 

We could close our eyes and say "Tupac take the wheel". Diddy is a fucking scumbag ... when you pay 1 million dollars to kill Tupac and the law doesn't pursue charges of conspiracy against you ... you are still a scumbag in the eyes of people who know the truth.

Everyone needs to see the documentary called "Murder Rap". If you're gonna tell a story, do it right. Also, I think if it wasn't for Biggie", Diddy wouldn't be as famous as he is now. The only reason they would sell evidence in an unsolved murder case is if the feds know that he is still alive. Both artists had groundbreaking albums that made me who I am today, RIP PAC and Biggie the rose followers that grow among the concrete.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Tupac's Death Car For Sale - SeveralSeats

Car Blog

Who the hell wants that kind of bad luck? I wouldn't ride in it for free. America is so disrespectful to black people. 

First they put the gun up for auction that killed Travon Martin and made a lot of money. Now they put the car up for auction that Tupac been shot in. Why would I pay 1.5 million if I had the money. The following quote "Tupac died from his wounds in the hospital on September 13, 1996, six days after the attack in Las Vegas, Nevada. Since then, the car was impounded by the Vegas police before it was auctioned off. It’s been bought and sold several times over the years before it found its’ current owner. The BMW has been restored, but reminders of Tupac’s tragic murder remain. Indentations made by bullets can still be found inside the door panels." started trending after HollywoodLife shared it from the top social media network TMZ.

I can just buy the same car for 2k and have someone drive through the Southside of Chicago and have gang members shoot it up, then set up a car blog posting and sell it through automobile networks like Carfinder. The car is gonna have all those bullet holes and maybe a body in it too. America has always made money off  tragedies of Black people. I myself even though not of any ethnic background find this offensive to any human. Someone was shot in that vehicle. Did the JFK car go up for action too? No it's in a museum. While Tupac wasn't as important as JFK, it's just so sad how money hungry our society is. Tupac was murdered and the case is unsolved the vehicle he was shot in should still be compounded kept as evidence.
There is a market for everything.  Morbid isn't left out. There is even murderabilia that consists of things that were made by murderers. Paintings and things like that. The fact that the car was repaired makes it worthless in eyes of a collector of famous cars, so this buyer will have to be someone with more money than brains. But who really wants to brag about owning such an infamous vehicle. Perhaps a Rapper, NBA player, Football player or someone from the Hip-Hop community will buy Tupac's death car. They say that the bullet holes on the door are still there. I don't think repairing under the hood would make it any less valuable especially since the bullet holes are authentic. Where has this car been all these years? There's still a part of me that believes Makaveli is alive and that 1.5 million is going to 2pac? Whoever buys it is gonna probably get shot in it too!! Park it, it's bad luck and disrespectful.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Robocar Ridesharing: Self Driving Dominance - SeveralSeats

In China, Baidu is working with chips manufacturers, computer scientists, and car manufacturers, to convert existing cars into driver-less vehicles. I think that the market is not as black and white as you suggest. 

I think there is incentive for both types of companies to go into this kind of manufacturing or retro-fitting. Mostly because — in China and elsewhere — there are government mandates to do this, and there are financial incentives given to any party that tries. While I would agree that startups will operate on the bleeding edge of advancement, they do not have the massive funds necessary to be major players in mass transportation, and will be acquired as needed. One use case intrigues me, the classic commuter carpool. How lame!

While it’s far off, driver-less cars plus on-demand matching (SmartCar Pool) solves so many problems, posed by the classic carpool, mainly synchronizing a finite number of people (2 to 4) from one area to one place of work. If one person has a last minute glitch, working late, sick kid, etc. the smartcar pool finds a work-around from a large pool of subscribers. Individuals can opt in and out in real time. Worst case, a single rider driver-less car handle the midnight run. Subscriptions could per-ride or monthly, as needed.

Long term, companies could have smaller parking lots. Busy downtown's, whether urban or suburban, like downtown Palo Alto or Mountain View, create a cost / inconvenience burden for employees. SmartCarPools could ease that pain. Couples could drop down to one car. We won’t have to worry about aging Boomers creating a mega senior driver hazard on the road. You might think, “Well what about UBER?” In the future I envision, cars become a commoditized product, where the wealthiest 10% own private luxury vehicles, and everyone else uses shared public vehicles, as cost/benefit hugely dissuades private ownership. In this scenario, full control moves to the automakers, as they produce completely identical cars as they drive to their city of operation and begin making money for the automaker.

What about Tesla? Tesla has a unique value proposition here, from production to distribution and charging stations.It won't take much for them to create a customer base because it's already a widely recognized brand with a pretty unique CEO. Why would the automakers even consider selling cars to any other businesses when they control the whole product chain? Bye, bye UBER! Unless of course, UBER buys one or more of them before it burns up its billions! When we moved from buying CD’s to subscribing to streaming music, the question of how do we buy music stopped being the right question. It became which music service should I subscribe to? Transportation as a service will be no different. I agree with your statement — it is the start-ups that would accept the risk. I set up an EV only taxi business in London 3 years ago called eConnect cars.

I certainly believe that companies such as ourselves will be operating the driver-less taxis of the (near) future but the strength of the brands and relative value in the economic rent may move. So people may use a ‘google’ taxi, but this may be operated by eConnect cars using an electric vehicle built by Nissan but the end user will only really be aware of the Google brand. It puts me in mind of a few things. Better Place — or the Icarus of the EV World, both unique and to my mind extraordinary in its proposition. A 21st Filling Station — with a sophisticated back-office in regard to energy management.

Far too simplistic to simply consign the ambition to history given the spectacular fall from grace with it all — it was prescient. I’ve been a part of a few start-ups, with each one a tough gig — and ultimately frustrating. In regard to EV’s and their new best friends Robbie The Robot and Eric The Electron — I’m at it again with EVEN (clicks & mortar all makes EV Service & Sales, and EVHUB (Supercharger all makes filling stations). The latter taking a few cues from BP — an EV outrider if ever there was one.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Book by Cadillac: Because ZipCar Sucks! - SeveralSeats

book by cadillac logo

"Book By Cadillac" because Zipcar sucks! Rethink owning a car. 

For $1,500/month any vehicle, anytime. Almost like leasing similar to car sharing but not ride sharing at all. $1,500/month is $50/day.

Costs less to rent a Dodge Dart. I wouldn't mind having this for a summer and drive the CTS-V for a few months. But how popular will this program be, when I can lease their most expensive model for $800/month? This could be a great idea if Cadillac had a full line of vehicles to make choices from- say a convertible for that summer trip on the coast, a performance car for day to day driving, a large luxury car for family trips, etc. Cadillac can fill in those gaps, but the question is "Will they?" Nobody in NYC drives a Cadillac except livery drivers anyways. I'd imagine someone with $1,500/month to set on fire isn't going to want to get mistaken for a livery driver.

BookByCadillac just launched In NYC, it's a viral social media trend. How it works, it's simple as Netflix. Supply Cadillac with a valid credit card and drivers license then download the app, pick out your vehicle at an arranged location and you'll be ready to drive. You can switch vehicles at anytime as long as your monthly premium is paid in full. I'd see this being highly attractive as a premium sports car package with cars from multiple brands. Maybe even a service with luxury cars from all the major brands. A service like this that's exclusively from Cadillac and contains only their cars seems silly.

I'm not sure why somebody would feel a need to switch cars so often within one brand that it would warrant this. Again, this plan would be pretty great if it was something like, "drive multiple sports cars from various brands", but just to drive common place cars like Cadillacs seems so boring. CTS V and ATS V are probably the only attractive part of this but why switch between even just those two cars? I'm just confused as to why New York City being that car sharing, and ride/bike sharing has predominately taken over the city. Not to mention the gypsy cabs, yellow cabs, dollar vans, and the infamous New York City Transit Authority, who just announced today as well that they now provide the used of cell phones service underground to make straphangers feel more comfortable. Over all "Book By Cadillac" might be successful being that the quality of competitors like Zipcar's fleet of vehicles that are overpriced, poorly maintained, dirty and most of the time unavailable even after they secured your payment.

The future is here and Cadillac is the first the debut a luxury subscription app for a flat monthly rate. I look forward to using there services in NYC with hopes that they have different price ranges for certain models. This will surely open the door for other car companies to be more creative in a world of car sharing apps.

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