X

It’s turning into a trend – and a nice one at that.

Yesterday morning with 14″ of freshies on the mountain for the last day of the 2016 XGames

XGames Aspen 2016
XGames Aspen 2016

my first ride was  DJ Snake.

DJ Snake X Games Aspen 2016
DJ Snake X Games Aspen 2016

Pow during the day…

Freshies in Aspen January 31 2016
Freshies in Aspen January 31 2016

and Belly up at night…

and this morning…. more of the same…

 

Z3RO-G

WinterSKOL!

winterskol fireworks

“What is Winterskol?” my riders ask. Literally it’s “a toast to Winter” but really- it’s a little party we cooked up for that January lull right after Christmas.

“Cooking”-which brings me to my favorite Winterskol event: SoupSKOL!

IMG_4663Our local restaurants get together and compete for the best soup. The public votes with orange spoons in soup kettles. (Let me tell you green chili makes a lovely handwarmer on a cold evening.)

Here’s our Winterskol King and Queen Tom and Jody Cardamone judging the soup (using sorbet as a palette cleanser between spoonfuls)

IMG_4665

This year’s winner was Meat and Cheese with a coconut based soup which made us all think of taking time out on the beach.

Don’t miss the snow carving on the mall…IMG_4670

…. actually I think the “leftovers” make a great snowball fort

IMG_4672

Winterskol!!

Z3RO-G

UberSELECT

UberSELECT
Uber Select

I am very pleased to announce that we’ve moved up a class. After completing over 100 trips and scoring all 5 star reviews last week the Uber Tesla is  now an UberSELECT Tesla.

 

 

The neighbors are unimpressed

I was a bit worried about driving a Tesla in an area with a lot of wildlife.

deer
deer

What would happen when there was no engine noise or odor  to announce the arrival of a gasoline powered vehicle?

 

deer walking away
deer walking away

Apparently….. nothing.

The majority of animals have stopped- looked up- and walked on. Maybe they can sense the 800 lbs of batteries in the car. Maybe the minimal noise the Tesla makes is something which inspires curiosity instead of a flight response. I have no idea. All I know is that the wildlife reaction so far is to stop, look, and then walk away…. with the exception of that fox who ran in front of the car at the Castle Creek bridge… fast fox… excellent Tesla brakes… run foxy run.

Eating the elephant

Paying for the Tesla.fivers

Can working as an Uber driver pay for a Tesla? In my case a 2013 Model S used Tesla?

December, 79 trips between December 19 and 31 driving as an Uber X in Aspen the car payment has been covered for one month.

Uber requires 100 trips to qualify as “Elite”. Another 14 trips and the Tesla should show up on the Uber app as “Elite” … The next 14 riders are going to get a such a deal…..

Recharging walks

Hallam lake at ACES in Aspen

While the car was charging in the public garage yesterday I decided to visit one of my favorite places in Aspen. After al,l it’s not only the car which needs the batteries recharged.

ACES

Hallam lake at ACES in Aspen
Hallam lake at ACES in Aspen

and say hello to my favorite resident, Belle the Golden Eagle.

Golden Eagle at ACES in Aspen
Golden Eagle at ACES in Aspen

Belle was looking very fluffy yesterday. It was cold.

 

Z3RO-G your Uber Tesla in Aspen.

Winter miles, summer miles

tesla milage range

“How far can you go on a charge?”

Every time a rider asks that question I pause and think. “How can I explain this easily?” Riders may think they’re taking a test ride in a Tesla but really I’m testing  my ability to explain what electric car ownership in the mountains really means.

Here’s the deal, there are summer miles and there are winter miles. Winter miles are harder on the batteries- by a long shot.

Here’s a pic I took of the dash yesterday afternoon. The battery is showing 211 miles left in the charge. In summer this would be true. In fact in summer I could probably get a bit more mileage out of that charge.

tesla battery guage
tesla battery gauge

But there is another graph to watch which predicts how much range you have at your current energy usage. This is the real mileage estimate given the last 30 miles of driving. This is what the “watts per mile” gauge with projected range on the touch screen says at the same time the battery is reading 211 miles:

tesla milage range
tesla mileage range

That’s 117 miles vs 211 miles.

Big difference.

So, what are the factors which contribute to this? First off, batteries hate cold. Even when I’m storing the Tesla overnight in the studio plugged in the cold still sucks life out of the battery.

There is less regenerative charging when the batteries are cold. There is a lot of up and down in the mountains and during summer I can use that to my advantage. Every time I go downhill I put juice into the batteries… but not so much in winter. Tesla has a safety feature when the batteries are cold which limits regenerative braking.

Friction. Snow tires are soft, winter roads are bumpy, the wheel wells fill up with snow easily and need to be power washed. All of these factors add friction which reduces efficiency.

If the batteries are cold, so am I. Yes, I’m running the heat in the car. Tesla will remind you that it uses less energy to warm your seat than your entire car but that does not keep the frost off the windows. Running the “climate” control on high and turning the fan down is the only way I’ve found to keep the windscreen clear.

“How far can you go on a charge?”

“Well, that depends, on summer miles or winter miles…”