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It’s Official: US Juices Clean (Or Green) Hydrogen Race With New “Energy Earthshots”



It seems like only yesterday that a mysterious new program called Energy Earthshots was in the works for the US Department of Energy, and everybody was wondering what that could possibly be. The curtain has now lifted and the answer is clean hydrogen. If you’re thinking why clean hydrogen and not green hydrogen, that’s a good question. The answer could make fossil energy stakeholders very happy or very, very sad.

Green Hydrogen Vs. Clean Hydrogen

For those of you new to the topic, hydrogen is the cornerstone of the modern industrial economy. The booming market for hydrogen fuel cells is just one slice of a huge chemical pie that includes agriculture, food processing, and refining, among other areas.

The problem is that almost the entire global supply of hydrogen comes from natural gas and coal.

However, not for long. Low-cost renewable energy has fostered a rosier economic outlook for new and more sustainable hydrogen sources, aka green hydrogen. Most of the activity is concentrated in the field of electrolysis, which refers to systems that deploy electricity to tease bubbles of hydrogen gas out of water.

This is what is known as green hydrogen. Other renewable hydrogen sources include biomass, biogas, municipal wastewater, and municipal solid waste.

The idea of producing hydrogen from reclaimed industrial gasses and plastic waste is also catching on. That’s more sustainable than using virgin natural gas or coal to produce hydrogen, though much of the foundational feedstock is still fossil-based and not renewable.

Then there’s a public relations gimmick cooked up by fossil energy stakeholders, in which you still produce hydrogen from natural gas or coal, but you hook it up to a carbon capture system and call it “blue” hydrogen, which supposedly translates into “clean” hydrogen.

I know, right? We think so, too.

So What Is It, Green Hydrogen Or Clean Hydrogen?

All else being equal, the “clean hydrogen” referred to in the new Energy Earthshots initiative could include support for fossil-sourced hydrogen with carbon capture, as well as reclaimed hydrogen from wastes.

However, last week CleanTechnica eyeballed the Biden administration’s FY 2022 budget proposal, and we took a quick look back the Energy Department’s green hydrogen initiatives during the administration of former President and accused insurrectionist Donald Trump, and then we connected the dots to current Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm’s pronouncements about renewable hydrogen earlier this year, and our conclusion is that when Energy Earthshots says clean hydrogen, they may be leaving a bit of wiggle room for fossil sources, but probably not all that much.

Get Ready For The Hydrogen Shot

The name “Earthshots Initiative” is a play on the successful 20th century Moonshot venture that shot US astronauts into space before anybody else got there, and the Energy Department’s early 21st century Sunshot Initiative, which launched during the Obama administration with the goal of bringing down the cost of solar power.

Energy Earthshots aims to replicate that all-hands-on-deck frenzy of collaborative innovation to tackle the energy challenges of the early mid-century period, which will make or break the ability of humankind to save itself from catastrophic climate change.

The Energy Earthshots Initiative aims to “accelerate breakthroughs of more abundant, affordable, and reliable clean energy solutions within the decade,” the Energy Department explained in a press release on Monday.

Skeptics were and still are laughing off the idea of the hydrogen economy of the future, but the Energy Department is a big fan and they just clapped back bigly when they picked hydrogen as the very first focus of the new Energy Earthshots initiative.

“The first Energy Earthshot — Hydrogen Shot — seeks to reduce the cost of clean hydrogen by 80% to $1 per kilogram in one decade,” the Energy Department said. “Achieving these targets will help America tackle the climate crisis, and more quickly reach the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 while creating good-paying, union jobs and growing the economy.”

“Clean hydrogen is a game changer. It will help decarbonize high-polluting heavy-duty and industrial sectors, while delivering good-paying clean energy jobs and realizing a net-zero economy by 2050,” Secretary Granholm added.

Here’s the money quote from the press release:

“By achieving Hydrogen Shot’s 80% cost reduction goal, we can unlock a five-fold increase in demand by increasing clean hydrogen production from pathways such as renewables, nuclear, and thermal conversion. This would create more clean energy jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and position America to compete in the clean energy market on a global scale.”

Fossil-Sourced Hydrogen With Carbon Capture, Or Maybe Not

If you caught that thing about renewables and nuclear, that’s a reference to electrolysis, meaning green hydrogen. There is also something called thermochemical conversion, which deploys high heat from nuclear or concentrating solar plants to split hydrogen from water, but that seems a bit too early-stagey to fit into the Hydrogen Shot timeline. The other option is thermal conversion, which generally refers to steam reformation and other processes that apply to natural gas and coal, meaning not green hydrogen.

The Hydrogen Shot Request for Information emphasizes diverse energy sources in the US, and it specifically mentions fossil energy plus carbon capture for ramping up hydrogen production, so it looks like fossil energy stakeholders have something to cheer about after all.

Or, maybe not. Climate action has become a mainstream business model. It’s a good bet that the market for fossil-sourced hydrogen will shrink as the supply of sustainable hydrogen grows, carbon capture or not.

The Energy Department’s RFI appears to recognize that the private sector is already leaning towards green hydrogen. Despite the nod to fossil-sourced hydrogen, the agency highlights green hydrogen in a shortlist of major projects currently under way:

“… hydrogen production, storage, and end use in turbines through the $1 billion Advanced Clean Energy Storage project in Utah; a 5 MW electrolyzer project planned in Washington State; first-of-a -kind nuclear-to-hydrogen projects in multiple states; a 20 MW electrolyzer plant to produce hydrogen from solar power in Florida; and the first GW-scale factory for electrolyzers announced in New York, with a 120 MW electrolyzer soon to be installed.”

If you can spot the thermal conversion project in that list, drop us a note in the comment thread (hint: there is none).

But What About Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles?

Yes, what about them? Hydrogen Shot is not taking aim at the hydrogen fuel cell passenger car and SUV markets, though Toyota and a small but growing list of automakers have been pitching the idea (for the record, the growing list includes Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, and most recently, BMW).

Instead, Hydrogen Shot is focusing on long haul trucks and other heavy applications. That could include locomotives as well as hydrogen aircraft and hydrogen watercraft.

Green hydrogen has already been incorporated into much of the planning for transportation applications, so it’s no surprise that green hydrogen producers are already jockeying to compete for business.

In the latest development on that score, the firm SGH2 Energy is pitching a “greener than green” hydrogen product that draws from biomass and other bio-based waste. The company claims that its green H2 displaces more carbon than both electrolysis-based process as well as thermal conversion, so hold on to your hats.

Follow me on Twitter @TinaMCasey.

Image: Hydrogen production from various sources courtesy of US Department of Energy.

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Driving Electric Is Much Better For Climate & Air Quality Than Gas-Powered Vehicles



Courtesy of Union Of Concerned Scientists.
By David Reichmuth, Senior Engineer, Clean Transportation Program

Electric vehicles have a high profile right now, with EVs featuring prominently in the Biden administration’s and Congress’s plans and also important new vehicle announcements from major automakers like Ford. But what are the climate benefits from switching from gasoline to electricity? While it’s obvious that a fully electric vehicle eliminates tailpipe emissions, people often wonder about the global warming emissions from generating the electricity to charge an EV. The latest data confirms that driving on electricity produces significantly fewer emissions than using gasoline.

Electricity power plant emissions data for 2019 was released earlier this year and I combined that data with the latest assessments of fuel emissions and vehicle efficiency. Based on where EVs have been sold to date, the average EV driving in the US produces global warming pollution equal to a gasoline vehicle that gets 93 miles per gallon (mpg) fuel economy. That’s significantly better than the most efficient gasoline car (59 mpg) and far cleaner than the average new gasoline car (31 mpg) or truck (23 mpg) sold in the US. And our estimate for EV emissions is about 15 percent lower than our estimate from just three years ago. Now, 97 percent of people in the US live where driving an EV produces fewer emissions than using a 50 mpg gasoline car.

EV emissions are lower across the country

The mpg (miles per gallon) value listed for each region is the combined city/highway fuel economy rating of a gasoline vehicle that would have global warming emissions equivalent to driving an EV. Regional global warming emissions ratings are based on 2019 power plant data in the EPA’s eGRID2019 database (released February 2021). Comparison includes gasoline and electricity fuel production emissions estimates for processes like extraction, transportation, and refining using Argonne National Laboratory’s GREET 2020 model. The 93 mpg US average is a sales-weighted average based on where EVs were sold in 2011 through 2020.

To compare the climate-changing emissions from electric vehicles to gasoline-powered cars, we analyzed all the emissions from fueling and driving both types of vehicles. For a gasoline car, that means looking at emissions from extracting crude oil from the ground, moving the oil to a refinery, making gasoline and transporting gasoline to filling stations, in addition to the tailpipe emissions from combusting the fuel in the engine.

For electric vehicles, the calculation includes both power plant emissions and emissions from the production of coal, natural gas and other fuels power plants use. Our analysis relies on emissions estimates for gasoline and fuels production from Argonne National Laboratory (using the GREET2020 model) and power plant emissions data released by the US EPA. The data, released in February 2021, tallied the emissions from US power plants during 2019.

When looking at all these factors, driving the average EV is responsible for fewer global warming emissions than the average new gasoline car everywhere in the US. In some parts of the country, driving the average new gasoline car will produce 4 to 8 times the emissions of the average EV.  For example, the average EV driven in upstate New York has emissions equal to a (hypothetical) 255 mpg gasoline car. And in California, a gasoline car would need to get 134 mpg to have emissions as low as the average EV.

Compared to our analysis from three years ago that used 2016 power plant data, emissions from EVs are on average 15 percent lower. The reductions have come from two primary sources:

  • The emissions rate from power plants in the US fell over 11 percent between 2016 and 2019.  The drop comes from lower generation from coal and increases in natural gas, wind, and solar.
  • The average efficiency of EVs sold to-date in the US improved since our 2018 analysis (by about 6 percent). This was due to the sales of Tesla’s Model 3, one of the most efficient vehicles on the market. The Model 3 now makes up more than 20 percent of all EVs (and more than one third of battery electric cars) ever sold in the US, so its efficiency has a noticeable impact on calculation of average EV efficiency.

A decade of improvement

The change from our first analysis of global warming emissions from EVs and gasoline vehicles in 2012 (using 2009 powerplant data) is even more impressive. In our initial assessment, less than half the US lived where an EV produced fewer emissions than a 50 mpg car, while now nearly all of the US falls in that category. The improvement has been driven partially by increasing EV efficiency, but the major contribution has been from the reduction in electricity generation from coal power plants. Electricity from coal has fallen from 45% to 23% in just a decade. At the same time, solar and wind electricity has grown from less than 2% to 9% in 2019.

Car buyers have options to be even cleaner by choosing a more efficient EV

The Tesla Model 3 is one of the most efficient EV models available. Efficient EVs help minimize the global warming emissions from driving. Photo courtesy of JRR, CleanTechnica.

The average EV is cleaner than the average new gasoline vehicle everywhere in the US. But if you choose the most efficient EV available, your emissions reductions from switching from gasoline to electricity will be even higher. For example, driving the 2021 Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus (0.24 kWh/mile) in California has emissions equal to a 177 mpg gasoline car, or less than a fifth of the global warming emissions of the average new gasoline car and over 65 percent less than even the most efficient gasoline car. And in upstate New York, the emissions from driving an EV can be as low as one tenth those of an average new gasoline car.

As the grid continues to get cleaner, EVs, both new and used, will get cleaner as well. This is a distinct advantage EVs have over gasoline fueled vehicles: their emissions get better over time as the grid gets cleaner. Gasoline vehicles’ fuel economy is fixed and therefore so are their emissions, as long as they rely primarily on petroleum for fuel.

Driving the most efficient EV available in the US means lower emissions than any gasoline car in nearly all of the US. In Upstate New York, emissions from driving the cleanest EV are one tenth that of the average new gasoline vehicle. Graphic by UCS.

Larger EVs can still lead to lower emissions compared to gasoline equivalents

Larger EVs, like SUVs and pickup trucks are slowly becoming available, and more are promised soon, including an electric version of the Ford F-150 pickup truck. Larger vehicles, whether gasoline or electric-powered, are less efficient. However, switching from gasoline to electricity still has an advantage.

Take for example the upcoming Ford F-150 Lightning all electric pickup truck. The official efficiency data is not yet available, but based on the range and charging performance information released by Ford, we estimate the efficiency to likely be between 0.46 to 0.50 kWh per mile. That would make it one of the least efficient EVs available. However, the average gasoline F-150 model is also inefficient for a gasoline vehicle, with a fuel economy rating around 20 mpg. The Ford F-150 Lightning will produce fewer emissions than the gasoline-powered F-150 while driving, even on the dirtiest electric grids in the US. And on the cleanest grids, the electric pickup will likely be responsible for less than a quarter of the global warming emissions of the gasoline truck. For example, in California, driving the F-150 Lightning should produce global warming emissions equal to an 85 mpg gasoline vehicle, better than any gasoline car or truck.  For over 70 percent of the population in the US, driving the electric version of this vehicle should produce less than half the global warming emissions of the gasoline model.

EVs are one part of reducing transportation emissions

Passenger cars and trucks are a significant source of global warming emissions in the US. Switching from gasoline to electricity is a vital solution for reducing emissions and avoiding the worst impacts of climate change. However, it’s only one of many solutions we need to use. Because many of the cars sold in the next five years will be gasoline-powered, it is important to make sure those vehicles are as clean as possible by having strong fuel economy and emission standards. We can also reduce emissions from combustion-engine powered cars by using cleaner liquid fuel options like biofuels.

Additionally, actions we can take to reduce all driving (whether from gasoline or EVs) will help lower emissions. Sharing rides, using public transit, and making it easier to walk and bike are all important solutions to climate change. But for the personal vehicle trips that we can’t avoid today, switching to an EV can make a big difference in how much global warming emissions we produce and is one of the biggest actions a household can take to reduce their carbon footprint.

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At G-7 Summit, World Leaders Must Commit to Increasing Climate Finance for Developing Countries



Courtesy of Union Of Concerned Scientists
By Rachel Cleetus

The G-7 Leaders’ Summit is underway, from June 11–13, in Cornwall, UK. As host nation for this summit, and the annual climate talks later this year (also known as COP26), the UK will clearly be elevating the need for climate action, alongside dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and trade issues. One priority that must get urgent attention: richer nations need to make concrete commitments to increasing climate finance for developing countries. Here in the US, 48 groups, including the Union of Concerned Scientists, have just sent a letter to Congress calling for increased funding for climate finance in the federal budget.

President Biden. Image courtesy of White House, via Union of Concerned Scientists

The G7 Leaders’ Summit must prioritize climate finance

At the summit, the leaders of the G-7 countries — the UK, USA, Canada, Japan, Germany, France and Italy, and the EU — will be joined by guest nations Australia, India, South Korea, and South Africa. Tackling climate change is one of the four policy priorities on the agenda.

Ahead of the Leaders’ Summit, the finance ministers of the G-7 nations met last week. The highlight of that meeting was the announcement of a commitment to a global minimum tax rate of 15 percent for major corporations. In a statement, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said: “That global minimum tax would end the race-to-the-bottom in corporate taxation, and ensure fairness for the middle class and working people in the US and around the world.”

However, in terms of climate outcomes, the Finance Ministers’ Communique was disappointing. There were vague mentions of commitments to achieving net-zero emissions by mid-century and no major new financial commitments for clean energy investments or adaptation needs in developing countries, raising the stakes for more concrete actions at the Leader’s Summit and ahead of COP26.

On international climate finance, specifically, the text stated:

“We commit to increase and improve our climate finance contributions through to 2025, including increasing adaptation finance and finance for nature-based solutions. We welcome the commitments already made by some G7 countries to increase climate finance. We look forward to further commitments at the G7 Leaders’ Summit or ahead of COP26. We call on all the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) to set ambitious dates for Paris Alignment ahead of COP26, and welcome their work supporting client countries.”

The unfair and worsening toll of climate impacts

Worldwide, climate impacts are unfolding in terrifying and costly ways. Worsening heat waves, floods, droughts, tropical storms and wildfires are taking a mounting toll on communities and economies.

Last month, for example, the unusually intense Cyclone Tauktae struck the coast of Gujarat in India, after traveling up the western coast causing heavy rainfall and floods. The cyclone took the lives of over 100 people, including 86 at an offshore oil and gas facility. Tauktae was the fifth strongest Arabian Sea cyclone on record, with peak winds of 140 mph, and tied for the strongest Arabian Sea landfalling cyclone. This latest storm is part of a trend toward increasingly frequent and powerful storms in the Arabian Sea that scientists have attributed to climate change, and that is expected to worsen.

And in a new ground-breaking study, researchers found that across 43 countries, 37 percent of summer heat-related deaths can be attributed to human-caused climate change. In several countries, including the Philippines, Thailand, Iran, Brazil, Peru, and Colombia, the proportion was greater than 50 percent.

The bottom line is that many developing countries that have contributed very little to the emissions that are fueling climate change are bearing the brunt of its impacts. Richer nations, like the United States, which are responsible for the vast majority of cumulative carbon emissions to date, must take responsibility for the harm being inflicted on poorer nations.

Climate finance is also desperately needed for developing countries to make a low-carbon transition. To have a fighting chance of limiting some of the worst climate impacts, the world will have to cut heat-trapping emissions in half by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions no later than 2050. The recent IEA net-zero by 2050 report points out that this is both feasible and affordable — as long as we make proactive, intentional investments in clean energy and curtail fossil fuels now, globally. That includes investments in decarbonizing every sector of the global energy system. It also means providing electricity to the 785 million people who currently do not have access, and clean cooking solutions to the 2.6 billion people who need them, most of whom live in developing countries — two priorities which the IEA estimates could be achieved by 2030 at a cost of about $40 billion a year and would deliver tremendous public health and economic benefits.

The necessary scale of international climate finance

In 2009, at the annual climate talks in Copenhagen, richer nations pledged to raise $100 billion a year to help developing countries cut their carbon emissions and adapt to climate change. Over ten years later, they have fallen woefully short.

The UNEP Adaptation Gap Report 2020, points out that “Annual adaptation costs in developing countries alone are currently estimated to be in the range of US$70 billion, with the expectation of reaching US$140–300 billion in 2030 and US$280–500 billion in 2050.”

Here in the US, the Biden administration and Congress must step up and ensure that this year’s federal budget includes a significant down payment on a US fair share contribution to climate finance, ahead of COP26. Forty eight groups, including the Union of Concerned Scientists, have just sent a letter to Congress, calling for a Fiscal Year 2022 allocation of at least $69.1 billion to support critical development goals and dedicating at least $3.3 billion of that for direct climate change programs as a step towards significantly increased international climate finance.

This is a minimum threshold, and a lot more will be needed in the years to come, including concrete steps from richer countries to recognize and respond to those crushing impacts of climate change that poorer nations simply will not be able to adapt to.

Sharp cuts in carbon emissions needed

Sharp cuts in global carbon emissions remain a core priority, especially with the latest data confirming — again — that we are far off track from where we need to be. While the 2020 economic downturn led to a brief dip in emissions, they are set to rise at a record-setting pace in 2021. Here too, richer nations must do much more. The Biden administration has made a significant commitment, pledging to cut US emissions 50–52% below 2005 levels by 2030, and we must now secure the domestic policies to deliver on that goal, starting with the American Jobs Plan.

An unconscionable gap between the rich and the poor

The gap in climate finance for developing countries is unconscionable. This mirrors the inequity in global vaccine availability, with richer nations stockpiling billions of surplus vaccine doses even as many countries have barely received any. With the climate crisis compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic crisis, millions of lives are at risk and many more are being driven into poverty.

Just as with the COVID-19 crisis, solving the climate crisis will require collective global action. Equity is at the heart of ensuring the success of our efforts. Richer nations must both make sharp cuts in their own global warming emissions and contribute to climate finance for developing countries.

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Electric Ferrari Drag Race: Tesla Power vs. 12 Mighty Cylinders



For those of you too young to remember the fact for yourselves, I’m about to drop a truth-bomb: the 1980s were an absolutely magical time to love cars. There was a strange mix of things happening to help fuel that fact, too — a bit of hand-built craftsmanship here, some vague understanding of aerodynamics evolving over there (there was some science behind it, but it was a far cry from the computer-aided cruise missiles of today). Stir in a heaping helping of “War on Drugs” cocaine cowboy-ism and more than a dash of Magnum PI and Miami Vice, and you might soon understand why we children of the ’80s love Ferrari so. Pity Ferraris are objectively terrible by today’s standards … if only there was some way to make a classic Ferrari somehow relevant again.

I am, of course, leading you down a certain path — and longtime Gas2 and CleanTechnica readers will no doubt remember another electrically converted Ferrari 308 GT we covered a while back. That car has the look and the style of the Pininfarina-penned classic, but it’s packed with copper coils and windings instead of the original 3.0 liter V8 (3.0, 8 — get it?). That one was quick, but one featured here is packing even more power thanks to a 450 HP Tesla drive unit.

As that first ElectricGT 308 was more than a match for the ’80s spec 220 HP with “just” 330 HP, this new Tesla-powered find would have to be lined up against something a little more stout as a baseline. At least, that seems to be what the guys at CarWow thought, and they found another iconic 1980s Ferrari that fit the bill nicely thanks to its 390 HP flat-12 cylinder engine (red heads and all!).

So, 450 HP Ferrari 308 GTB vs. 390 HP Testarossa — is it fair? Not really. Is it awesome? Undoubtedly. Enough talk then — hit the play button on the video below and then let us know what you thought of this electric Ferrari drag race in the comments section at the bottom of the page. Enjoy!

CarWow Electric Ferrari Drag Race

Source | Images: CarWow, via Motor1.

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Attending The Tesla Model S Plaid Event — Model S Plaid Is Like A Spaceship!



I went to the Tesla Model S Plaid delivery event this week, and it was thrilling. I wasn’t planning on actually coming to the event, but when things are meant to be, they happen — and it happened for me. My friend Isaac Latterell tweeted to Elon Musk asking him to give me press access. I could have asked, but it honestly didn’t even cross my mind to do so. Plus, I really don’t like asking for big favors like that. It’s just how I was raised. I figured this was for Tesla owners and customers who have supported the company and that I would just watch from home.

Then I got an email from Tesla inviting me to come. With the help of friends, I made last-minute arrangements to go. I literally found out less than 24 hours before the event that I was attending. My friend Al, with Tesla Owners of East Bay, invited me to crash with him and his family and he advised me to get a jacket. Mind you, I was in the Louisiana heat and it was 95 degrees with 100% humidity, so I thought he was exaggerating. California is supposed to be warm right? In June?

When I got to the event — wearing a very thin sweater that I found at Target — I discovered that not only did Tesla allow me to come, I was informed that I was in Group 0, which I thought was interesting. Starting groups with 0 instead of 1 is … odd. I asked the person who gave me the badge what the significance of Group 0 was and she told me that it was VIP. I was floored.

Another thing that Group 0 members received was the privilege of being the first to go on a test ride in the new Tesla Model S Plaid.

The Test Ride

Michael, who works with Tesla, was my driver. I rode in the back with my awesome friend Eli Burton, the creator of Starman Comics, which currently has a Kickstarter going. Dan Markham from What’s Inside was in the front. Teslarati also featured my video in this article.

Michael also allowed me to get my own video of the display of the Tesla Model S Plaid.

The test ride was amazing. Elon was not exaggerating when he said this was the fastest car ever created, but that is impossible to really convey in words. The beautiful part is that this is an electric vehicle, and Elon’s heart and passion for sustainable energy were felt in every aspect of the vehicle, from the design to the speed.

“It’s gotta be clear, like, man, sustainable energy cars can be the fastest cars, can be the safest cars, can be the most kick-ass cars in every way,” Elon said. The vehicle goes from 0 to 60 in 1.99 seconds. When Michael accelerated, it literally felt as if I was being pushed back into the seat of the car. It’s like riding in an airplane when it takes off, but 1,000 times more intense. For those who are afraid of flying, especially when taking off in the airplane, I suggest you take a ride in the Model S Plaid — I think it will help you overcome your fears.

After exiting the vehicle, my heart was still pounding well over 30 minutes later. Perhaps it was a mix of adrenaline, excitement, lack of sleep, and the insane rush of the Model S Plaid.

Other Highlights

Not only did I get to meet several Tesla Twitter friends, but I got to meet Franz von Holzhausen, who led design of the Model S Plaid as well as Tesla’s other vehicles. And, yes, he brought the sledgehammer, but it was to break records, not windows.

I was wrapped up in the blanket Tesla provided us, since I was freezing.

Alien Engineering & UFOs

When Elon was talking about how the engineering was practically alien, I made a joke about the Model S Plaid being able to catch up to UFOs, or catch one. I waited for that quiet moment and yelled it out — and, to my surprise, people laughed, including Elon. However, after riding in it, that sure felt possible.

A Message To Elon & All Tesla Employees

Elon, if you’re reading this, I just want to say thank you for inviting me. Being here was a mind-blowing experience. I met a few Tesla employees at the hotel and I told them that their work matters. One who I met asked me what was going on. We randomly met in the hotel and I explained that there was a Tesla event and he said that he worked there. So, naturally, I invited him to the party.

To any Tesla employee reading this, I just want to emphasize that your work is really, really important. Elon Musk and Tesla are making a positive change in an industry that has been polluting our planet for decades. We often take for granted the very air that we breathe. I don’t — I have asthma. Being able to breathe freely without any type of lung issue is a luxury to me. Our air is worth fighting for, and the work that you all do is helping to create a better world — one where the air we breathe doesn’t poison our future generations.

So, as you work the line, take photos, or even work as a janitor — you are making an impact. I can’t stress this enough. Your work matters.

For me, I’m just a girl from a small city in Louisiana, a state where the politicians are swayed by dealerships and oil and gas industry tycoons. However, Elon Musk and the folks at Tesla made me feel as if I am valued and I greatly appreciate that. And after experiencing the Model S Plaid in action, hearing the spaceship noises that the Teslas make, I can’t understand why anyone thinks these cars are not great.

You need to experience this car.

Where’s Johnna? (Screenshot from Tesla livestream.)

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