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Electrek Podcast: Tesla pickup truck, Model 3 by the hundreds, what to expect in 2018, and more

This week on the Electrek Podcast, we are discussing the most popular news in the world of sustainable transport and energy, including Elon Musk confirming Tesla pickup truck plans, Model 3 vehicles flowing out of Fremont factory by the hundreds and what we expect in the EV and renewable energy world in 2018.


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Hyundai IONIQ Plug-in will take you 29 electric miles for $20K after incentives

It has been almost a year since we reviewed the very capable Hyundai IONIQ Electric. As a refresher, this is the most efficient EV on the US market at 136 MPGe and the only model more efficient than the Tesla Model 3.

The problem, or recurring theme in a broader sense, is that it is almost impossible to get your hands on the all-electric version if you live outside of California even though the hybrid version is all over the country. This is because it is a compliance vehicle.

What could have been good news this week is that Hyundai finally announced the Plug-in Hybrid version price (along with EV only range moving from 27 to 29 miles). But not all Plug-ins are created equal…


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This Tesla DIY project shows that Aero Wheels can still look pretty cool

Aero Wheels are pretty much the auto equivalent of wearing sandals on top of socks. They’re very efficient and they make the ride pretty comfortable, but their aesthetics are somewhat questionable. Just recently, however, a Tesla Model S owner has come up with his own set of DIY Aero Wheel covers, and, apart from improving the electric car’s efficiency, they actually look pretty good.

Posted in the Tesla Motors Club, the Model S owner, who goes by the handle Evogreen, demonstrated how he was able to come up with a set of clear Aero covers for his EV. Evogreen’s project involved clear sheets of polycarbonate, four machined custom aluminum brackets and a set of retention plates.

Among these materials, the aluminum brackets, which hold the polycarbonate covers in place, were the most expensive, costing the Model S owner $1,000. The polycarbonate, retention plates and other hardware cost roughly $225, bringing the entire cost of the project to $1,250.

Overall, Evogreen’s project was quite costly, but it did render good results. The custom DIY Aero Wheels are practically invisible, and they work just as well as Tesla’s still-polarizing covers. The Tesla owner tested the benefits of the Aero covers, and much to his pleasant surprise, they really do work. Evogreen claims that the aerodynamic benefits of the wheel covers gave his Model S an improvement in range between 4.21 percent to 9.14 percent.

While Evogreen’s DIY project appears be a success, however, several members of the r/TeslaMotors subreddit have remarked that the Model S owner’s Aero design might end up with problems in the future. For one, Evogreen’s Aero Wheels cover the Tesla’s entire wheel, which, according to some members of the online community, might result in burnt brake rotors. Apart from this, the fully clear nature of the DIY covers might also end up attracting a lot of road gunk.

Homemade Tesla Aero wheel covers [Credit: Evogreen via TMC]

It is difficult not to admire the efforts of the Tesla owner, however. After all, range is incredibly pertinent in the electric car industry. This is one of the reasons why Tesla, during the first generations of its Model S sedan, introduced the Aero Wheels option for buyers. According to the carmaker then, the covers improve airflow to the EV’s wheels; hence, increasing range. Unfortunately, the wheels’ somewhat strange looks invited a lot of criticism from the Tesla community, and it was only a matter of time before they were discontinued.

With the release of the Model 3, however, Tesla’s Aero Wheels made a comeback. Unlike the Model S wheel covers of years past, the ones on Model 3 are arguably more aesthetically pleasing than their predecessors. And they can easily be removed

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