Electric News- Lightning or Model Y?

Lightning or Model Y?

I heard the birds chirping again this morning.  It was still too cold for a Spring Day though.  My dad was occupied in the mountains with snow blowing.  

I look forward to warmer weather to get my Sur-Ron out and about more.  Soon.

We have a sweet giveaway announcement.  The winner gets to pick out any single item on Rivian’s Gear Shop for up to $50.  To be entered, all you have to do is:

  1. Make sure you are subscribed to the newsletter
  2. Forward the newsletter to two friends and have them subscribe

Godspeed and enjoy the newsletter.

“Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.”

-Henry David Thoreau

Pop Quiz (scroll for the answer)

  1. Texas
  2. California
  3. Florida
  4. South Carolina

The Search Continues

In the first installment of this series, I delved into the various incentives available for EV buyers. If you missed Part 1, be sure to catch up here.

Today, I'll continue my journey toward finding the ultimate EV within a budget of $80,000, focusing on SUVs and trucks. 

Vehicle Availability. Living in a fast-paced world driven by next-day deliveries from Amazon, instant gratification plays a significant role in my decision-making process. I want an EV today!  Knowing that and knowing that some EVs are hard to come by, I want to check on availability.

To begin my search, I'll visit reputable platforms like CarGurus or even the manufacturer's website directly, such as Tesla. Utilizing CarGurus' advanced filters, I can quickly sort by:

  • Vehicle type
  • Fuel source (electric in this case) 
  • Proximity
  • Price 
  • Color and more

I kept this search simple and started with an electric truck within 25 miles of my house which is less than $80,000.  My search yields a single result – a Ford F-150 Lightning with a stock photo marked as sold. To ensure its availability, I'd probably contact the dealership directly.  We encountered a similar tactic looking for our current Lightning and oftentimes, these trucks were not actually available. 

Given the scarcity of electric trucks, I could then expand my search to include SUVs, specifically the Tesla Model Y. Instead of using CarGurus this time, I will turn to Tesla’s site directly.  I found a solitary Model Y within 25 miles by entering my preferences on Tesla's website. I talked to Tesla and this Model Y is available for immediate pickup-up.  

For this scenario, let’s just assume both options are readily available. I now face a critical decision: the brand-new Ford F-150 Lightning or the equally enticing Tesla Model Y?

Stay tuned for Part 3 of my comprehensive EV buying guide, arriving in next Tuesday's newsletter. I'll delve into the nitty-gritty and reveal the criteria that will ultimately determine my ideal EV selection.

In Other EV News

  • As Lamborghini breaks records with over 9,000 vehicles delivered in 2022, the iconic brand faces an 18-month waiting list for its high-performance supercars. Even with surging demand, the legendary automaker is preparing for a paradigm shift by phasing out internal combustion engines in favor of plug-in hybrids by 2024 and its first BEV in 2028 .
  • The price of lithium, a key material used in electric vehicle batteries, has dropped nearly 20% since January, while cobalt has fallen by more than half, and copper has slipped around 18%.
  • Foxconn, which now owns GM's former Lordstown factory in Ohio, aims to become a key assembler for the world's major EV manufacturers. Foxconn is targeting 5% of the global EV market and aims to make nearly half of the world's EVs in the long term. By building EVs for name-brand companies, the EV outsourcing market is expected to manufacture 800,000 EVs worth $36 billion in 2025 and 3.2 million EVs worth $144 billion in 2030, according to Goldman Sachs.
  • The U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management cleanup contractor UCOR is transitioning to an electric vehicle fleet with the first 11 vehicles received, and 150 more expected to be added this year.
  • Introducing Ford's trailblazing all-electric Explorer, a striking fusion of American style and German engineering. Its fast-charging capabilities allow for a 10-80% charge in just 25 minutes and a price expected to be less than $45,000.  Only available in Europe right now.
  • The Rivian EDV 500, a smaller variant of the EDV 700 electric delivery van, has been spotted on public roads.
  • 41,500 EV chargers?  Yup!  Blink Charging has been awarded a contract by the USPS to supply up to 41,500 EV charging units.


The coolest thing I saw during my time in Europe was one I wanted to get my hands on for years- Kempower chargers with dynamic power allocation. I knew this was going to be a hit when I first saw their hardware begin to pop up in European EV media a few years ago, and I am so glad it's taken off just as I hoped it would.

Since I was a welding engineer before my #evlife began, I really appreciate how the technology's roots in the demanding application of welding gives it an advantage over hardware that was designed for a climate-controlled data center and thrown in a 3R enclosure to make an EV charger. Click to continue reading.

About Ned

Ned is an EV professional with experience with chargers from 1 to 500kW and EVs ranging from unicycles to buses and class 8 trucks. An EV owner since 2014, he is currently a Technical Solutions Manager with Electrada. He develops and refines charging solutions for fleets using his engineering experience to drive for high uptime, reliability, and efficiency.


Tesla has begun rolling out a significant update to its Full Self-Driving software, addressing the recent recall issued by the NHTSA. FSD Beta v11 aims to merge the FSD Beta software stack with Tesla's Autopilot highway software stack, enhancing the legacy highway feature and addressing various issues. Key improvements include:

  • Handling close cut-ins 
  • Positioning in wide lanes
  • Smoother turns
  • Better communication to drivers. 

Crucially, this update tackles the safety concerns that led to NHTSA's investigation and subsequent recall, ensuring compliance with the regulatory body's requirements.

In Other AV News

  • Get ready for groceries! Kroger is set to enhance its online grocery order automation by partnering with California-based Gatik for autonomous vehicle deliveries. The collaboration aims to reduce costs and save time with frequent deliveries from small self-driving trucks.
  • Driver 3.0 has been launched by DeepRoute.ai.  Driver 3.0 is a production-ready autonomous driving system aimed at achieving full autonomy and widespread commercialization. The company has successfully completed HD map-free self-driving public road tests and secured a production contract from automotive manufacturers for consumer vehicles.
  • General Motors' Cruise autonomous vehicle unit has requested permission from California to test its self-driving cars across the state. Cruise already operates an autonomous ride-hailing service in San Francisco and is considering expanding testing to cities like Los Angeles.
  • Beijing has approved the commercial operation of fully autonomous driving services without in-car safety supervisors for the first time. Baidu and Pony.ai, the first two companies to receive approval, completed a three-month pilot program on public roads, which tested their autonomous vehicles' ability to handle complex scenarios and extreme weather conditions.
  • A patent application has been filed by GM for a remote autonomous vehicle towing system to enhance its range of AV technologies. The patent describes a system in which a second autonomous vehicle wirelessly "leads" a non-functioning autonomous vehicle with a functioning drive system to a predetermined destination.


Albemarle Corporation announced plans for a lithium hydroxide Mega-Flex facility in Chester County, South Carolina, with an initial investment of $1.3 billion. The facility will process diverse lithium feedstock and aims to produce 50,000 metric tons of battery-grade lithium hydroxide annually, with potential expansion to 100,000 metric tons. The production will support the manufacturing of approximately 2.4 million electric vehicles each year. Construction is expected to begin in late 2024.

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