[2020.05.02 – 2020.05.03]  driving along the pinellas beach islands the weekend before re-opening .. see full video at slower speed (also with infrared shots) here:  https://youtu.be/o27wO4_RkPk .. or here:  http://markmarano.com/2020/06/15/driving-along-the-pinellas-beach-islands-the-weekend-before-re-opening-2020-05-02-2020-05-03/

#360degreevideo #360degree #360x180 #beach #BEV #driveelectric #driving #electriccar #electricvehicle #EV #fiat500e #florida #fromabove #island #littleplanet #littleplanettimelapse #littleworld #lookingdown #lookingup #palmtrees #sunny #tinyplanet #timelapse #hyperlapse #stereographic #projection #stereographicprojection
one way to remain calm and unafraid is to realize this life is but a dream, and as the dreamer of this strange dream, you can not die, but rather, simply wake up.

[took my #electriccar on a #drive through the #country and averaged 6.0 mi/kWh.. the whole drive, 41.7 miles over 74 minutes, cost less than $1 in electricity and added zero emissions to the areas i drove through.  the still images were shot using a #raspberrypi noir camera board v2 with lee 87c #infrared filter .. #timelapse #video #driving #ir #bw #blackandwhite #monochrome #grayscale #greyscale #rural #trees #clouds #sky #light #driveelectric #florida]

it was a very nice, relaxing drive, especially once i got to the beach, which had little traffic. the cooler temperature, mostly empty beach islands, and peaceful feeling in the air were quite beautiful and serene. the drive through the beach islands felt like i was in another part of florida (or the country) with quiet, remote, empty beach towns. there was also less pollution which was very nice to be able to breathe in the fresh air more easily (when i wasn’t by gas or diesel vehicles).. when going over the bayside bridge, i looked out the left window, and the tampa skyline (15 miles away) appeared more clear & crisp than i had ever seen it before.

also, knowing that the camera was running automatically let me relax and just focus on the present moment, rather than needing to also concentrate on photographing what i saw during the drive (and i wasn’t able to connect back to it via wifi for some reason a little bit into the drive, so just forgot about double checking that it was still running and the images were looking good). i recall a similar thought or feeling over a decade ago, when i set up long term time-lapses / webcams to photograph the nice view from a high rise apartment i lived in for a year. it was nice to know that the photography was happening automatically and i could spend my time and energy just being present. some automation is nice so one can relax into the presence and be more in the awe & beauty of the moment, fully embracing the experience. i recall this dilemma even further back, 15+ years ago, when i was feeling that one could either live in the present moment or photograph/document the experience, but couldn’t really do both. anyhow, i look forward to when all vehicles are electric so there will be no pollution in the air and one can fully enjoy the fresh, natural air when driving with the windows open. it’s nice that we can now have a glimpse of what our future will look like with less pollution. i hope this time inspires many more people to realize what changes we need to make to improve our experience here on earth. i also look forward to when autonomous full self driving technology is complete and legal to use, so one can have a deeper sense of relaxation and more fully embrace the beauty of the surrounding landscape when going for a ride, without the need to concentrate at all on operating the vehicle.

all still images were shot at iso 60, 1/128 shutter speed, and a custom white balance, at an interval of one shot every 3 seconds, and the video is rendered at 10 fps. it looks like the very thin filter i used is quite reflective and/or perhaps slightly bent.. i’ll need to work on a solution for the strange glare its producing when the sunlight is on it for better results. seeing this issue, i rather quickly adjusted a couple images in lightroom and copy/pasted all the same basic settings to every image, and then gave the beginning images (when driving south) slightly different settings to compensate a bit for the glare that showed up in most frames in that direction. it’s by no means perfect, as the light shifted depending on which direction i was going and when i drove in & out of the shade (and as the sun started to dip toward the horizon later in the drive), though i didn’t want to go through all 4552 frames to tweak them (as originally i was going to post this on instagram which has very high compression and it would’ve been sped up to a minute to be able to post it there).. it looks like youtube’s re-compression lost a bit of the contrast and detail too, as it looks noticeably worse (softer, with muddy contrast) playing it back on youtube compared to the original file (picking the 4k setting on youtube helps, but still loses some of the fine detail of the original). anyhow, enough of the technical details.. i shot another the day after this one that i’ll be uploading next.

this past thursday [2020.02.02]

i took a few quick aerial shots while waiting for my electric car to finish charging (on what may have been my longest drive yet in it, at just under 300 miles) at babcock ranch, the first solar-powered town in the country.  hopefully we see many more towns and cities running completely on renewable energy soon.

#solar #town #lake #aerial #fromabove #goldenhour #electriccar #renewableenergy #electricvehicle #sustainability #ev #flying #dji #mavic #mini #rc #quadcopter #drone #lookingdown #dronephotography #aerialphotography
explored this park while waiting for my #electriccar to charge. this was one of the nicest #electricvehicle chargers i’ve been to, right in the #park, next to the #lake. #goldenhour #tree #trees #sunset #light #sky #clouds #grass #nature #dock #water #walk #florida #winter #windy #breeze .. all images shot on #iphone and edited in #snapseed #ios app, most either #hdr or #raw. #shotoniphone #iphonese

here’s everywhere i’ve driven my fiat 500e since i purchased it earlier this year.

technically i’ve had it since the beginning of april, though there were 30 days straight where i didn’t drive it, and another time 7 days straight i didn’t drive it, and other times where i didn’t drive it for multiple days in a row. if you exclude these, this is about half a year’s worth of driving. counting the number of days in my gps data, there are 180 unique days worth of data (though the gps time is in UTC rather than eastern time, so if i come home at night after 7 or 8pm, it counts as a new day.. i’m not going to analyse all the data right now, though i imagine it’s actually less than 180 days worth of driving, as there were likely days i didn’t drive the following day after coming home at night after the new UTC day started at 7pm EST or 8pm EDT).

the total it has cost in electricity to drive a lot in half a year is the same as what it would cost someone with a big inefficient gas or diesel vehicle to fill up their tank just a couple of times. its a bit crazy how much more efficient and cost-effective electric cars are to drive. the average cost per mile has been just over 2 cents, for both electric “fuel” and maintenance.

i think i’m about done with this project of seeing how far one can go in an electric car with small battery. if i really wanted to, i could take it up north or to the midwest. i checked the routes, and there are already enough charging stations along the way to make it. though, i think i’ll wait until i get an electric van so i have more room and can enjoy the drive more easily in a tiny home on wheels.

besides being more fun to drive and much nicer to be able to charge at home (and never go to a gas station), electric cars are so much better on maintenance. i just did both the 2 and 3 year ‘maintenance’ on my car, which was really just a multi-point inspection (that was free at the dealer). it only cost me $21.35 to rotate the tires. unless something doesn’t pass inspection (which will pretty much just be whenever the tires wear down, as brakes are used much less in an EV and most of the mechanical systems don’t exist), the only other recommended service isn’t until 100,000 miles or 10 years (to flush/replace the electronics/battery thermal cooling system). along with inexpensive insurance and an electric cost here of about 2.5 cents per mile for my car, its definitely better than an internal combustion engine vehicle.


this was shot over two days as the camera battery died shortly into the first day (despite thinking i had plugged it in long enough to charge it). there were a lot more people on the road this weekend compared to a few weeks earlier when the beaches had just closed (where it felt like barely anyone was out).

i still did the drive all the way south both days.. driving to the beaches and back (and also out of the way east before heading home the second day), i drove a total of 208.7 miles, and was able to average 7.0 mi/kWh in my electric car (the equivalent of over 235 mpg). with electricity rates being lower in may (likely due to less demand, meaning less usage of dirty & expensive fossil fuel sources on the grid), the cost to do this drive was just over 1.5 cents per mile. gotta love electric vehicles (for many reasons).. i look forward to seeing the transition to renewable energy and clean transportation unfolding much more quickly than most people expected or imagined.

i planned the drive on the second day to get to a spot where i could mount the camera and start the time-lapse right around the same time of day that the first one stopped [it ended up being about 4 minutes later on sunday to drive past the same spot of the last shot on saturday], and luckily it was sunny both days and the camera position was similar enough on the mount/rig, so the jump between days is barely noticeable, even knowing when it happens in the video. this was shot using an lg 360 cam as it can do time-lapse intervals at 2 seconds rather than the 8 second minimum of the ricoh theta s camera i also have [i welcome donations or a gift of an insta360 one x, one r, or other newer 360 camera that has more capability and better quality for stills and video]. i also shot an infrared time-lapse parts of both days, though this is just the little planet shot, as davinci resolve kept giving an error during multiple hours-long attempts to render the whole video the past few days (and i’ve only used davinci resolve briefly a couple times so far, and need to figure out any of its quirks like this).

here’s a version with the full uncropped infrared images. the infrared time-lapse was shot with a raspberry pi noir camera board v2 with a lee 87c filter (that is causing some strange flare when the sun hits it, possibly as the flexible filter is bent/warped). [it looks like the failure during rendering that was happening before was due to davinci resolve still needing a significant amount of temporary space on the internal disk (which was low) despite specifying an external drive as the location to save the file.]

this last version has the infrared shots cropped to a widescreen aspect ratio. i had also thought about doing a cylindrical projection of the 360 degree shots in place of the stereographic little planet, though may save this for another shot where there are clouds in the sky.

a year ago today i bought my first electric vehicle, a 2016 Fiat 500e that a local dealer had imported from the west coast when it came off of lease. it only had 4710 miles on it when i got it, and still had a hint of new car smell, despite being ~2.5 years old at the time i bought it. this is a map of everywhere i went in the first year of all electric driving. it’s a total of 275 actual days of driving (counting times i got back home after midnight as part of the same day i left).

when i bought the car i never imagined i’d go this far with it. when i was calculating how far i’d likely want to go with it (when determining if the small 24 kWh battery would work for me), i looked at my typical driving and saw i’d be able to go everywhere i regularly went without any issue. i never intended to use any public chargers, and figured i could do all of my regular driving by charging from home (and saw i’d have enough range to be able to take multiple round trips in a day, like go to a park in nature and/or grocery store, and also go to a local community event). in the beginning i mostly drove anywhere i could go on a single charge, and got a good feel for how much i could squeeze out of a single charge without running the battery too low (i typically plan not to go below 20% or 30% charge so i have a margin of safety, and can extend battery longevity by not regularly draining it all the way). after starting to use public chargers to be able to go a little further on a couple drives, i then started to plan out longer trips with multiple charger stops and was able to explore even further. there was a nice sense of freedom in being able to drive so far without needing gas (and with electricity costing so little per mile, and being free at most public chargers). in the first year of owning my car i drove 17300 miles, nearly as far as i drove the whole time i owned my previous two vehicles (18678 miles in the 30 months i owned my Honda Fit, and 18271 miles in the 22 months i owned my Ford Transit). when i owned gas vehicles i didn’t feel as compelled to go as far, as there was always a cost associated with filling up gas, and larger vehicles, like my van (which averaged 18.43 mpg) and the truck i had a few years earlier (which averaged 17.36 mpg), were not very efficient. although i averaged 39.57 mpg on my Fit, i still didn’t end up taking it too far. with my electric car, i can ignore the prices at gas stations (which multiple times in my truck (and maybe in the van) i spent so much that i had to run the credit card twice, since it hit the $75+ limit when filling up.. at times when filling up the truck it was well over $100 for a full tank). now with the electric car, i just pay $20-30 a month for electricity and i’m able to drive much further without thinking of how inefficient it is (and with barely needing any maintenance either, as electric vehicles are much simpler with many less moving parts compared to an internal combustion engine where it seems there’s always something needing some kind of service or repair.. the most one will spend for maintenance and repair of an electric vehicle is when replacing the tires). even though gas prices are currently low due to supply & demand, its still less expensive to drive an electric vehicle.. if i had the gas version of the Fiat 500, i imagine i’d get around 40 mpg like i did in my Honda.. at the current national average gas price of $1.89/gallon (which is also what the local station here is charging), it’d be about 4.73 cents per mile to drive (not including all the oil changes and maintenance needed). my total cost for electricity in the whole first year was just over $318, making my average overall cost per mile to drive it only 1.84 cents. during this past year, gas price averages were 30-50%+ higher than they currently are (while electricity prices remained about the same the whole year), so the actual cost if one had a gas Fiat 500 would’ve been 6 to 7+ cents per mile, about 3.5 to 4 times more for fuel alone than electricity in the 500e. my overall average cost could potentially be a little higher than it actually costs, as i added an extra 10% to allow for any potential inefficiencies during charging (on top of the total number of kWh that the car actually used during driving). had i paid for the electricity i got at free public chargers (at the same rate i pay at home, which is slightly higher than some paid public chargers cost), my average cost for electricity would’ve been 2.66 cents per mile, still much less than the cost of gas. in the future we may see the prices of gas drop as demand drops and gas stations close, though the costs of purchasing electric vehicles will continue to drop as well (as the cost of batteries and other technologies continue to improve with time, especially as more and more electric vehicles will be produced every year until internal combustion engine vehicles are no longer made at all). i almost forgot to mention, my average efficiency the whole first year has been 5.517 mi/kWh or 186 MPGe (about 57-66% better than the EPA rating indicates), or a consumption of 181.2565 Wh/mi.. yes, i typically drive slower and more efficiently than most drivers to extend how far i can make it on a single charge, though even under the EPA rating or conditions more typical of the average driver, one would still have much better energy efficiency in an electric vehicle than a gas or diesel vehicle.

a lot of the posts i’ve written about my electric car experience have been about the costs, as many still might think that electric cars are more expensive than gas vehicles, when in fact they end up costing a lot less over time [and especially so if one buys a used electric car.. my total cost for electricity, maintenance (just tire rotation as multi-point inspection was free), insurance, registration (just renewed for two years), and to purchase it has been 79.7 cents per mile. i estimate that later this year (if i continue to have the same monthly average amount of driving as the first year) that my total cost per mile for the car will be around 60 cents per mile, the same that the total average cost of my last couple vehicles was after i sold them (and i’ll still have my electric car at that equivalent total average cost per mile!). looking at the total i’ve spent to buy and use my electric car, its already 20%+ less per mile compared to what it cost me to buy, use, and sell the truck i had several years ago. buying it pre-owned certainly did help achieve this low total cost per mile so quickly, though even when buying a new electric car, one will see that the total cost to own it will end up less than when buying a new gas or diesel vehicle.] fleets have already started to make the shift into electric vehicles, and soon too will most consumers. if one has never driven an electric vehicle before, one will immediately notice the vastly better performance upon test driving one. after getting used to driving an electric vehicle, it makes internal combustion engine vehicles feel like very old technology. i recall once when i drove my parents’ car after having my electric car that it felt very sluggish (and when previously using it before buying my electric car, i recall thinking it had pretty good performance). the smoothness of acceleration due to the instantly available torque in an electric motor (and no unneeded shifting or transmission) make even a basic electric car feel like a well refined expensive luxury vehicle. there is no unnecessary noise or motion from idling when stopped like in most gas or diesel vehicles. and even when accelerating at maximum power (which is much quicker than comparable (and even higher segment) gas/diesel vehicles), there isn’t lots of noise nor the feeling that the car is really working hard [sometimes it seems that some gas or diesel vehicles are making a ridiculous amount of noise and using/wasting lots of energy just to barely get up to a regular cruising speed]. overall, electric vehicles are really much more of an enlightened or peaceful experience. besides the lack of unnecessary noise, there are zero emissions when driving an electric vehicle. imagine how clean the air will be on (and near) roads when most vehicles are electric. we’ll be able to drive with the windows open, bicycle, or walk or sit alongside the road, and still have beautiful, fresh, healthy air to breathe. globally we’re now seeing big reductions in pollution with less people currently driving. this is a good glimpse at how clean the air will be when we make the full transition to electric vehicles and renewable energy. the experience of being able to wake up each morning with a full charge (and potentially never need to go to a public charger) is nice, and saves most people time. instead of getting to your car, seeing your gas gauge is low, and then needing to rush to stop for gas during your commute, you simply plug in your car at night or when you get home, like you plug in your smartphone at night to charge, and its ready for you when you need it.

as i and so many others have written, electric vehicles are the future for so many reasons (and that future is here today). one of the nicest aspects is that i haven’t had to go to a gas station in over a year.. i think regularly going to a gas station, which had a very dirty feel to it, was one of the worst parts of driving an internal combustion car. i remember feeling i would need to go right home and wash my hands really well every time after filling up the gas tank. besides the overall dirty feeling when going there and potentially lots of germs at the pumps, the gas stations also seemed to often be filled with unhealthy pollution and odors from cars or trucks (that are sometimes really bad when in they’re in poor running condition), unwanted loud music, spills or stains of gas, oil, or other leaking fluids on the ground, people quickly feeding addictions of tobacco, alcohol, unhealthy food or drinks, etc at the convenience store located at most gas stations, and other aspects that contribute to the overall unpleasant feeling or unhealthy environment everyone driving a gas or diesel vehicle needs to regularly be in. with an electric vehicle, the majority of one’s charging can typically be done from the comfort of one’s home. if one is traveling (or parks somewhere without access to a regular A/C power outlet), there are a rapidly growing number of public chargers for electric cars (that are often free, and some of the paid ones charge a little less for electricity than one pays at home). public car chargers are located in variety of places, most in locations that are much nicer than dirty gas stations. locations can vary from places one goes to regularly like a grocery store, shopping plaza, business, or restaurant, to travel destinations like hotels, resorts, or attractions. many local municipalities already have chargers installed in city parking lots, garages, or on streets. one can easily park and charge while doing what one was already going to do: get a bite to eat, run errands, go for a walk, etc. in the future, the number of public electric vehicle chargers will be much higher and one will find them in greater numbers than gas stations. to help find chargers, there are a number of apps and websites that list the locations. there are also apps and websites that help one plan long trips, which will include all the charger locations one needs to stop at along one’s route when driving far. today, with currently existing public chargers, one can already drive across the whole country in an electric vehicle. even with a car that has a small battery and slow charging like mine, one could currently make it from Florida north to Chicago or New York (though going from the east coast to the west coast might not be possible yet with a small battery (as, when i looked into this last year, there are some far distances between chargers in very remote places in the middle of the country, though this will likely be changing soon).. however, cars with small batteries were never intended to go that far to begin with, and most electric vehicles have much larger batteries anyhow). i mapped a couple of test scenarios using cars with 200+ mile range, and one can make it from the east coast to west coast using existing public chargers.

i could go on writing about the many benefits of electric vehicles, though have already shared some of these before with my personal experiences.. here’s a link to other maps and writings about my electric car experiences: markmarano.com/what/EV/

as part of my technical and creative services, i offer advice/consulting/education on newer technologies like electric vehicles, and custom data solutions such as gps logging and making maps like this. below is a video i made drawing out all the gps data points in the order i drove (to make the video much shorter, you’ll notice that i only drew out the route to new spots on the map rather than having the line go back over roads i’d previously driven on). feel free to reach out to me if you’d like to hire me, whether for a short consulting session or larger project.

last monday, on the drive furthest north in my #electriccar [2020.03.02] .. some shots i quickly picked out on the phone from the timed interval shots i got, and edited in the #instagram #ios app.. black and white looked much better than color in the bad light (and could really look better if i were to spend more time to edit these on the computer) .. #nature #aerial #fromabove #lookingdown #water #florida #trees #flying #dji #mavic #mini #rc #quadcopter #drone #dronephotography #aerialphotography #blackandwhitephotography #overcast #cloudy #blackandwhite #bw #monochrome #grayscale #greyscale #planet #earth
i was unexpectedly greeted by a spectacular sky after the sun went down as i waited for my #electriccar to charge. #sunset #sky #nature #clouds #vibrant #colors #dusk #lookingup #powerlines #lights

this is everywhere i went in the first 180 days* of actual driving in my fiat 500e.

* counting nights i arrived home after midnight as part of the previous day when i left

here’s everywhere i’ve driven during the first half year of owning my first electric vehicle, a low range fiat 500e with small 24 kWh battery (this is actually only 5 months worth of driving as i didn’t drive it for 30 days straight). with a small battery, the car is officially rated by the EPA for only 84 miles of range per charge (though i’ve gotten more than that). i was able to go most places on the map on a single charge and have averaged 5.58 mi/kWh in efficiency the whole time (that’s 188 MPGe, a good bit higher than the 112 MPGe the car is rated for, and way higher than the 28 to 33 MPG the gasoline version of the fiat 500 is rated for). other than the very furthest trips (the 2 furthest south, the 2 furthest northeast, and the 2 furthest east) and the times i combined routes to take the very long out-of-the-way route home, i could drive the whole way without stopping to charge. i did use public chargers a few times, which were nice to give me the ability to go further. only one of the public chargers i used was a paid charger (and the cost was a little less per kWh there than at home).

overall, paying for electricity as fuel is much less than paying for gas or diesel. including the paid and free public charging, my average electric “fuel” cost has been 2.28 cents per mile to drive my car everywhere. for comparison, my car that averaged just under 40 mpg cost an average of 5.5 cents per mile the whole time i had it, and my van that averaged 18 mpg had an average cost of 13 cents per mile (both of these were when gas prices averaged a little lower per gallon than they are today). when gas prices were a bit higher, my truck (most of the time carrying my pop-up camper on the bed) averaged a little over 17 mpg with an average cost of 21 cents per mile. and these are just the figures for the electric or gas cost. the maintenance cost an internal combustion engine will be significantly higher than an electric car (which barely needs any maintenance with a much simpler design to the motor + systems).

it’s a bit crazy to think about how much more efficient electric vehicles are compared to gas or diesel internal combustion engines — even a full size electric bus would have a per-mile “fuel” cost similar to what i paid per mile for gas in my van or truck, and the true per-mile cost including maintenance and repairs would likely make a full size electric bus a good bit cheaper to drive than a pickup truck or van with gas or diesel engine! (which will be great news for full time travel when RV’s, trucks, and vans with electric drivetrains are readily available for purchase)

the furthest i drove in a single day was just under 250 miles on the trip furthest east (to bok tower gardens, and through some rural parts and around the bay before heading home). i did stop multiple times to charge, however if one had an electric vehicle with a larger battery (as most new models sold have), one would be able to make the whole round trip on a single charge. or one could add some charge conveniently wherever one might be already going (as the bok tower gardens happened to have chargers in the parking lot), and after one is done exploring, eating, etc, one’s car will have additional range without ever needing to make a stop at a gas station [which, at least for me, always seemed to have a dirty feel to them.. whether it was the ground being dirty from spilled gas or leaked oil, the pollution and smell of engines running or people smoking, the addictions of people going to grab quick fixes of tobacco, alcohol, lottery tickets, or unhealthy food at the convenience shop, the ads or news playing on a screen at some pumps to program people, or knowing the environmental + societal impacts of using gasoline or diesel.. it just wasn’t a pleasant experience. i’m very grateful for an electric vehicle future, and for how much nicer it will be to drive, sit, or walk by the road without noises of loud engines].

on april 6 this year i purchased my first electric vehicle, a 2016 Fiat 500e.  previously leased with very low mileage, it had a hint of new car smell to it.  it's fully electric with a smaller battery, making it a low range EV, though, by driving efficiently, one can get significantly more range between charges than the EPA rating.

in the first month of owning it, i drove a total of 1523.7 miles, averaging 5.7 mi/kWh.  at the nationwide average cost per kWh, that’s just over 2 cents per mile. even if the trip computer is optimistic and there are efficiency losses when charging the battery, it’s still under 3 cents per mile.  i did drive slowly + conservatively (and with windows down rather than air conditioning) in order to maximize efficiency to be able to go far without draining the battery too low, though even driving a bit faster or with A/C, the cost will still be far less than what it’d cost with a gas car.

with electricity being so inexpensive it opens one up to be able to explore more (and without any emissions that an internal combustion engine vehicle would have). if i would've driven all those same miles in the van i had, it would have cost me $200 more for the gas than the electricity costs.  saving a couple hundred dollars a month surely adds up.. looking at this number alone, the car will pay for itself in less than 5 years and will effectively be free. (some electric vehicles can be purchased used at a much lower price than new)

besides the financial savings, electric cars perform much better, are much quieter, have practically no maintenance, and have much less of an environmental impact than a car that burns gas or diesel.  we’re just starting the global transition to electric vehicles.. it’s exciting to be driving the future.

if you're in need of a car, i would strongly encourage you to get an electric vehicle.  besides helping prevent climate change, you'll have a much better driving experience.  some new models have bigger battery packs that can go as far as gas cars and can charge very quickly.  even with a higher initial price, a new electric car will cost less to own than a gasoline car with the savings in maintenance and gas.

#fiat #500e #fiat500e #electric #car #EV #BEV #driveelectric #electriccar #electricvehicle #drive #electricvehicles #nogas #cars #zeroemissions #travel #journey #road #nature #park #trees

all images shot on an #iphone6 with the basic #iphone camera app, and the jpeg files were edited in an old copy of #lightroom that was released 6 years ago.. there's often no need to have the latest photo technology or gear if you know how to work with what you do have.

i went for another long-ish drive with the raspberry pi noir camera v2 a couple days ago. instead of west to the beach (like the day before), i went east to the country (and through the city). this drive wasn’t as relaxing, perhaps as there were more people on the road and as i was paying more attention to driving a particular route (with a number of specific turns) slowly so i could make it back home (with the small battery) without stopping at a public charger (and without running the battery too low). i’m not sure if i went any faster than 45 mph the whole way, and most of the time was slower than that (as i tried to take roads with slower speed limits, multiple lanes, or rural roads with little to no traffic). i was able to average 6.8 mi/kWh the whole 102.3 miles (the equivalent of 147 Wh/mi or 229 MPGe, about twice as good as my car’s EPA rating).. looking quickly at my notes (which are missing lots of data), that appears to be the highest efficiency i’ve gotten on a long drive. when i made it to some of the rural parts that i had never been to before, i discovered a very nice, quiet, peaceful area, which was a pleasant surprise.

this was shot with the same settings as the one the day before: 1/128 shutter speed @ iso 60 with custom white balance (and lee 87c visible light blocking / infrared pass filter), at an interval of one shot every 3 seconds (and the video rendered at 10 fps). to try to compensate for the strange glare i was getting from the filter, i added a long extension rod to the suction cup mount that was on the windshield.. the camera was able to sit further back into the car to reduce its direct exposure to sunlight. this helped some, though it still had some sun hitting it (depending on the direction the car was going) and the whole camera was bouncing up and down the whole time (due to the additional leverage of the long rod it was mounted on). i was wondering if i was going to get anything useful out of it or if the suction cup was going to fall off during the drive.. fortunately the camera movement isn’t too noticeable in the time-lapse (perhaps the rate of movement was somewhat aligned with the interval the shots were taken, and/or the time-lapse playing back at a slow stop-motion-like frame rate of 10 fps effectively helps reduce the visibility of the constant bouncing of the camera), and it held the whole time (just under 4 hours). i was also wondering if there would be motion blur as the shutter speed wasn’t super fast.. looking closely at the individual images, they aren’t as sharp as they could be, but again, being played back in a time-lapse video like this hides the imperfections.

again, this is by no means a perfect video.. i think next time i’m going to see if i can mount the camera behind the tint at the top of the windshield (to see if that works to block the glare from sunlight hitting the filter directly). i’ll also be doing a future time-lapse with an interval of 1 second (and more jpeg compression or lower resolution so the (non high speed) sd card can keep up) to make the time-lapse video appear more smooth. i forgot to mention in the previous video notes that there is a part of the image area that is not in focus like the majority of the image (seemingly due to imperfect alignment of the lens to the sensor), and i’ve attempted to hide this by placing the camera upside down (so the lower + left area(s) of the image are the ones that are less sharp).

here’s everywhere i’ve gone since i purchased my first electric car. i just did the furthest drive north yesterday. i had planned it out, and then some days later was curious how many days i had driven my car and it just happened to work out that yesterday was going to be 250 days of driving, counting times i got back home after midnight as part of the day i left (so i posted this map today rather than wait until next month when its been a year since i bought the car).

since i’ve had it, i’ve put on quite a number of miles in doing the long drives to make this map more interesting.. in just under 11 months i’ve driven almost as many miles as i did in the whole time i owned my van (22+ months) and car (30+ months) before that. i’ll see how close i actually get in the coming weeks, though am guessing i won’t quite make it as i’d need to drive around 75 miles every day to drive as much as i did the whole time owning the van.. though it’s much easier to drive more miles electrically when the fuel cost is so low. my average efficiency the whole time has been just under 5.5 mi/kWh. my total fuel cost per mile (including a small balance i still have on a public charger network) has averaged to 1.9 cents per mile [15772 miles for $300 isn’t too bad.. that’s essentially driving for a whole year on what 3 fill-ups of gas cost on the truck i used to have]. if i hadn’t gotten any electricity from free public chargers (and had paid at home for those kWh used instead), my average cost would’ve only been 2.7 cents per mile (still much less than what gas would cost, especially considering the maintenance costs on an electric car are practically non-existent). insurance has cost at least 20% less on my electric car than on my past three vehicles. and my total cost per mile to own the electric car is looking pretty good.. later this year (unless i barely drive it) my total cost per mile to own the car will be less than what the total cost per mile was for any of my previous three vehicles after i sold them [and this lower cost per mile will be when i still own my car! meaning that even if i gave the car away, the total cost per mile to drive it and have owned it will be less than it was for the other vehicles. part of this is as i bought this car used, though the lower operating costs make a big difference too. even if one bought a new electric car, the overall total cost to own it is going to end up less than in a car with internal combustion engine].

electric cars just make so much more sense: financially, environmentally, and experientially.

just a couple hours ago i found out that ford is going to be selling an electric version of their transit van here in the u.s. for the 2022 model year. this is really great news to see electric vans soon to be available here (as no major manufacturer was offering anything for sale here yet). i’ve been watching whats available in electric vehicles and have been waiting for a while now for an electric van option. it’s funny i randomly heard about it, as i was just thinking about an electric van a little earlier (as really working well for my needs).. and yesterday on the long drive north i had noticed more extended length versions of transit van on the road in one day than i had ever before [perhaps this was as the night before i just watched a youtube video by a couple (rolling vistas) who were talking about building out an extended length transit they custom ordered, and i was thinking of different camper build layouts]. hopefully this announcement will motivate other manufacturers to also offer electric vans (and other vehicle segments) sooner.

its also funny to hear about the transit release now, as despite this being quite exciting news, i’m actually not super excited.. part of me must’ve surrendered attachment to outcome (which allowed this to manifest into my reality).. i’ve seen many times how things have just shown up the moment i stop caring or worrying or thinking about them so much.. i think i accepted where i was at more and was feeling done with this whole project of doing these really long drives that take all day (since my car has a small battery and doesn’t have fast charging capability) and was ready to just post this map and move on (and with other things in life too, i was also ready to move forward). some might say this may just be a coincidence, though i’ve seen that the further one goes down this path, the more one will realize there are no mere coincidences. i knew electric vans would come here eventually (and was quite tired of waiting how long it’d be), but then when i let go of some attachment and came into the present moment more, official news just happens to be released that they’re on the way here. anyhow, i could write more about this but won’t go too far off on a tangent as that wasn’t the original intent of this post.

i hope this map can inspire others to see how far one can go in an electric car, even one that wasn’t intended to go this far with its small battery capacity. electric cars already exist with much bigger batteries (and fast charging) that one can easily drive across the country. electric vehicles are the future, and are the best choice today for anyone purchasing (or leasing) a vehicle.

update: upon looking more closely at a more detailed version of the map, i just noticed that there are minor errors in the gps data, where there appears to be a little line going slightly northwest from downtown ocala when i didn’t go there. the gps logger wasn’t getting a signal in the parking garage where i was charging and must’ve gotten incorrect data. at the scale you see here, its barely noticeable (and i imagine its possible there might also be other minor errors in the map data).

i went on a drive south today in my #electriccar. by adding some energy at free public chargers, the whole trip of 182.1 miles cost me less than what a single gallon of gas would cost (and had i paid at home for all the electricity needed to go that far it still would’ve only cost about the same as 2 gallons of gas). #driving #bridge #bay #road #overcast #cloudy #water #electricvehicle #bev #ev

gotta love electric cars.. since i charged a lot at public chargers (most of them free) for the longer drives i went on in november, my fuel cost for electricity was only 1.27 cents per mile! at the current national average price of gas, that’s like getting 200+ miles per gallon. my lifetime average since i’ve owned the car (including a credit i still have on one of the public charger networks) has been 2.01 cents per mile. had i paid at home for all the free electricity i got from public chargers, the lifetime average cost would be 2.75 cents per mile (still far better than any gas, diesel, or hybrid car).

technically, i purchased my first electric car 5 months + 1 day + some hours ago, though i didn’t drive it for 30 days straight due to a health issue, so have titled this approximately 1/3 year (or 4 months) worth of driving. the large majority of what you see on the map was actually done within the first 3 months worth of driving.. only a few ‘lines’ on the map were added in the most recent month of driving (in just 6 long drives), most noticeably, the northeastern-most route, the southwestern-most route, and some lines in the new tampa / wesley chapel area.

my electrical “fuel” cost has averaged 2.5 cents per mile the whole time i’ve had the car. i’ve been able to go almost everywhere just charging at home (on a standard 120v outlet slow charger). i have used free 240v public chargers a few times, though, other than the couple trips furthest south, i would’ve been able to make it home without charging had i let the charge % go a bit lower (and if i hadn’t combined a couple routes into the same day’s drive or taken the very long out-of-the-way route home).

i’m glad i got a fiat 500e (that had very low miles on it and was practically new). had i gotten a bmw i3 (without the range extender), it wouldn’t have been able to make it as far without stopping to charge (since it doesn’t let you use the full capacity of the battery). had i gotten a nissan leaf, the battery probably would’ve already had some degradation (as it has no thermal management / liquid cooling and this is a common issue), and i wouldn’t have been able to go as far either. also a lot of the used i3 and leaf models that i looked were not in as good condition and had odors of smoke.

i look forward to the upcoming release of electric vans and trucks to be able to easily travel the entire country without a drop of gas or oil. just the other day i learned about someone taking an electric stepvan with a huge solar array on the roof from the arctic circle to the bottom of argentina all on renewable energy.. it’s not an ideal setup (with limited range per charge), but still inspiring to see it being done. i would totally consider converting an electric stepvan into a camper or tiny home and traveling around the country in it. even without solar panels, it could be taken many places with current charging networks.

electrical vehicles have less environmental impact, lower long term costs (from lower maintenance and fuel costs), and better performance than vehicles with gas or diesel engines. some used EV’s can be found at really low prices too (i bought mine for around 1/3 of the new sticker price, and it still had a hint of new car smell to it). if you want to talk to others about their EV experiences, “national drive electric drive week” is about a week away and there are hundreds of local meet-up events throughout the country.

besides the lower environmental impact, the effect on human health will be much lower too. imagine how nice the world will be, especially in dense urban and sub-urban areas, when one can walk or sit outside without breathing in exhaust or pollution from vehicles driving by (especially from vehicles with a dirty diesel engine or vehicles that are old or not in good running condition). it’ll also be really nice not to hear loud internal combustion engines as cars pass by, especially ones that sound like they’re about to fall apart and make so much noise to barely move. hearing engines echoing loudly in the distance will become a thing of the past. some people with ego issues may think louder is better (or feel the urge to annoy others with loud noise), though once one experiences how effortlessly, quietly, smoothly, and quickly electric vehicles can accelerate, there will be no question how much better performance is in electrical vehicles. just imagine being a truck driver and how much nicer (and healthier) the experience will be.. headaches from the noise and vibration all day will no longer be an issue.