Elon Musk Unveils Tesla Model 3: Accelerating Sustainable Transport Is 'Important for the Future of the World'
Meet Model 3 – Make your reservation at https://t.co/8uVlhvzpu5 #Model3 https://t.co/NdyGLgoW0D— Tesla (@Tesla)1459482870.0
The Tesla chief immediately jumped into the big questions during the big reveal: Why does Tesla exist? Why is Tesla doing this? Why are we making electric cars? Why does it matter?
"Because it’s very important to accelerate the transition to sustainable transport," Musk said, eliciting cheers from the crowd.
"This is really important for the future of the world."
He then presented slides on the record levels of carbon concentration, increased global temperatures as well as the 53,000 deaths a year in the U.S. that can be attributed to auto emissions.
"It's very important to accelerate the transition to sustainable transport," said Musk.
Musk said Tesla’s newest EV will be priced at $35,000 (about half the cost of its predecessors), and delivery to customers will start at the end of 2017.
As for the car's specs, it has a 5-star safety rating, 215 miles of range, goes 0-60 in less than 6 seconds and all versions will have Tesla's famed autopilot and supercharging capabilities as standard features.
Supercharging, Musk said, “gives you freedom of travel,” boasting that Tesla's vast, global network of high-speed charging stations means "you will be able to go virtually anywhere."
The cars come in black, silver and red and fits five adults "comfortably" since a lack of a combustion engine moves seating closer to the front of the car, and an all-glass roof allows for more headroom, Musk said. It can even hold a 7-foot surfboard in the car's interior.
By any estimation, it looks like the Model 3 is already a success. Fans stood in long lines in front of Tesla stores around the world ready to put down their deposits to reserve the car.
You know you're onto something big when people line up overnight for a product that won't be delivered for ~2 years https://t.co/F2GldLtEiX— Jeff Weiner (@Jeff Weiner)1459441176.0
Model 3 order day starting in Australia https://t.co/T6aUnG5BCv— Elon Musk (@Elon Musk)1459376626.0
Tesla aims to produce 500,000 of these vehicles a year with the aid of its massive lithium-ion Gigafactory in Nevada, which will cut costs of the car's battery pack and enable a lower-priced car.
Musk said during his presentation last night there were already 115,000 pre-orders in the first 24 hours, meaning their goal of selling 500,000 cars a year is already a fifth of the way there. He also plans to increase Tesla's storefront locations, service stations and supercharging stations to prepare for new Tesla's new drivers.
"Almost no matter where you are ... you’d be able to buy a car and get it serviced," he envisioned.
The multi-hyphenate entrepreneur, who is also involved in space exploration and solar power industries, has said many times before that the electric vehicle market plays an important role in a sustainable energy future. At the North American International Auto Show in Detroit last year, Musk said the trend is toward electric: “The price of gasoline at any one time is irrelevant,” and electric vehicles are the future.
After the unveiling, Musk teased on Twitter that this was only the beginning: "Thanks for tuning in to the Model 3 unveil Part 1! Part 2 is super next level, but that's for later …"
Thanks for tuning in to the Model 3 unveil Part 1! Part 2 is super next level, but that's for later…— Elon Musk (@Elon Musk)1459486826.0
Watch the full presentation here:
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When hurricanes and other extreme storms unleash downpours like Tropical Storm Beta has been doing in the South, the floodwater doesn't always stay within the government's flood risk zones.
New research suggests that nearly twice as many properties are at risk from a 100-year flood today than the Federal Emergency Management Agency's flood maps indicate.
Flooding Outside the Zones<p>About <a href="https://furmancenter.org/files/Floodplain_PopulationBrief_12DEC2017.pdf" target="_blank">15 million</a> Americans live in FEMA's current 100-year flood zones. The designation warns them that their properties face a 1% risk of flooding in any given year. They must obtain flood insurance if they want a federally ensured loan – insurance that helps them recover from flooding.</p><p>In Greater Houston, however, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1539-6924.2012.01840.x" target="_blank">47% of claims</a> made to FEMA across three decades before Hurricane Harvey were outside of the 100-year flood zones. Harris County, recognizing that FEMA flood maps don't capture the full risk, now <a href="https://www.hcfcd.org/floodinsurance" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">recommends that every household</a> in Houston and the rest of the county have flood insurance.</p><p>New risk models point to a similar conclusion: Flood risk in these areas outstrips expectations in the current FEMA flood maps.</p><p>One of those models, from the <a href="https://firststreet.org/flood-lab/research/2020-national-flood-risk-assessment-highlights/" target="_blank">First Street Foundation</a>, estimates that the number of properties at risk in a 100-year storm is 1.7 times higher than the FEMA maps suggest. Other <a href="https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/aaac65" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">researchers</a> find an even higher margin, with 2.6 to 3.1 times more people exposed to serious flooding in a 100-year storm than FEMA estimates.</p>
What FEMA’s Flood Maps Miss<p>Understanding why areas outside the 100-year flood zones are flooding more often than the FEMA maps suggest involves larger social and environmental issues. Three reasons stand out.</p><p>First, some places rely on relatively old FEMA maps that don't account for recent urbanization.</p><p>Urbanization matters because impervious surfaces – think pavement and buildings – are not effective sponges like natural landscapes can be. Moreover, the process for updating floodplain maps is locally variable and can take years to complete. Famously, New York City was updating its maps when Hurricane Sandy hit in 2012 but hadn't finished, meaning flood maps in effect <a href="https://projects.propublica.org/nyc-flood/" target="_blank">were from 1983</a>. FEMA is required to assess whether updates are needed every five years, but the <a href="https://www.fema.gov/cis/nation.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">majority of maps</a> <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/assets/2017/OIG-17-110-Sep17.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">are older</a>.</p><p>Second, binary thinking can lead people to an underaccounting of risk, and that can mean communities fail to take steps that could protect a neighborhood from flooding. The logic goes: if I'm not in the 100-year floodplain, then I'm not at risk. Risk perception <a href="https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/ab195a" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">research</a> backs this up. FEMA-delineated flood zones are the major factor shaping flood mitigation behaviors.</p><p>Third, the era of climate change scuttles conventional assumptions.</p><p>As the planet warms, extreme storms are becoming <a href="https://nca2018.globalchange.gov/" target="_blank">more common and severe</a>. If greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase at a high rate, computer models suggest that the chances of a severe storm dropping 20 inches of rain on Texas in any given year will increase from about 1% at the end of the last century to 18% at the end of this one, a chance of <a href="https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1716222114" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">once every 5.5 years</a>. So far, <a href="https://www.rstreet.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/195.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">FEMA hasn't taken into account the impact climate change is having</a> on extreme weather and sea level rise.</p>
Racial Disparities in Flooding Outside the Zones<p>So, who is at risk?</p><p>Years of research and evidence from storms have highlighted social inequalities in areas with a high risk of flooding. But most local governments have less understanding of the social and demographic composition of communities that experience flood impacts outside of flood zones.</p><p>In analyzing the damage from Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area, I found that <a href="https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/aba0fe" target="_blank">Black and Hispanic residents disproportionately experienced flooding</a> in areas beyond FEMA's 100-year flood zones.</p><p>With the majority of flooding from Hurricane Harvey occurring outside of 100-year flood zones, this meant that the overall impact of Harvey was racially unequal too.</p><p>Research into where flooding occurs in Baltimore, Chicago and Phoenix points to some of the potential causes. <a href="https://www.nap.edu/read/25381/chapter/4#16" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">In Baltimore and Chicago</a>, for example, aging storm and sewer infrastructure, poor construction and insufficient efforts to mitigate flooding are part of the flooding problem in some predominantly Black neighborhoods.</p>
What Can Be Done About It<p>Better accounting for those three reasons could substantively improve risk assessments and help cities prioritize infrastructure improvements and flood mitigation projects in these at-risk neighborhoods.</p><p>For example, First Street Foundation's risk maps account for <a href="https://firststreet.org/flood-lab/research/flood-model-methodology_overview/" target="_blank">climate change</a> and present <a href="https://floodfactor.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">ratings</a> on a scale from 1 to 10. FEMA, which works with communities to update flood maps, is <a href="https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1521054297905-ca85d066dddb84c975b165db653c9049/TMAC_2017_Annual_Report_Final508(v8)_03-12-2018.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">exploring rating systems</a>. And the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine recently <a href="https://www.nationalacademies.org/news/2019/03/new-report-calls-for-different-approaches-to-predict-and-understand-urban-flooding" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">called for a new generation of flood maps</a> that takes climate change into account.</p><p>Including recent urbanization in those assessments will matter too, especially in fast-growing cities like Houston, where <a href="https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1boBRyDvMFW6W" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">386 new square miles</a> of impervious surfaces were created in the last 20 years. That's greater than the land area of New York City. New construction in one area can also <a href="https://scalawagmagazine.org/2018/01/city-in-a-swamp-as-houston-booms-its-flood-problems-are-only-getting-worse/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">impact older neighborhoods downhill</a> during a flood, as some Houston communities discovered in Hurricane Harvey.</p><p>Improving risk assessments is needed not just to better prepare communities for major flood events, but also to prevent racial inequalities – in housing and beyond – from <a href="https://www.npr.org/2019/03/05/688786177/how-federal-disaster-money-favors-the-rich" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">growing</a> after the unequal impacts of disasters.</p>
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