It started when jolly Saint Nick watched the unveiling of the Cybertruck in November of 2019. Seeing the electric vehicle technology was making technological leaps, the greatest commuter of all time, the one who travels the entire world in one global night every year, the star of stars Santa Claus took to the Internet to learn more about EVs, and how he could take his Reindeer power, modernize it, and electrify.
Finding us on our Contact Us page, this EV specialist helped the jolliest of sleigh riders on his EV journey. After a few exchanges, we thought that was it, and hoped we’d hear the singing of electrons flowing from our roof for our 2020 Christmas Eve. Little did we know, Santa didn’t just want an EV for himself. No, after talking with us, Santa went ahead and ELECTRIFIED his entire fleet! When we found this out, we just had to get an exclusive, and we were overjoyed! Here is our interview with the man, the myth, the legend, Jolly Old Saint Nick.
*Important note, this interview was conducted utilizing all appropriate social distancing, and protective practices. While Santa Claus himself has said his magic protects him from sickness, he wanted to respect the state guidelines, and quarantined himself for the appropriate time before we interviewed.
*Second important note, no members of the EV team were found on the naughty list this year, ensuring this interview could happen.
Q: Thanks for meeting with us. Can we start off by asking, how would you like us to refer to you by? And may I ask what mode of transportation you used to get here?
It’s my pleasure. Nick, or Santa is fine for this interview. I was just on an online call with some kids, talking to them about my ride. I built this baby myself, with the help of some friends, after taking apart one of those Tesla’s. Short answer, I came on the road, and it’s a little thing we like to call the “Rudolph 2.0” an all-electric sedan with a 100 kWh battery. Let me tell you, that puppy can sing when you ask it to. Air travel out of the North Pole is strictly for the big night if you know what I mean.
Q: You told us before this interview that you had electrified the entire northern fleet. Can you expand on that?
Happy to! After learning how far you could get on electricity alone, I realized it was time to give the reindeers a break. Also, the North Pole campus was swimming in gas powered golf carts, and Internal combustion powered commuter vehicles. You know, people forget, but the atmosphere is actually at its thinnest in the poles. I felt the time was upon us to start cutting our emissions. After talking with my head elf engineers, and Mrs. Claus, we came up with a roadmap to electrify. We looked at several Li-Ion (this is short for lithium ion batteries, the current terminology for the batteries utilized in modern electric vehicles) manufacturers and worked out a partnership to build vehicles for our campus. I can’t say who our partner is for PR purposes. No favoritism up here, I hope you understand.
We then installed charging stations throughout my village, and highway corridors so my elves could charge up for those longer trips.
What were the main drivers when changing the fleet? Was it hard installing the charge stations?
Well, you’d be surprised what we could do once we put our minds to it. We looked at the numbers, and realized we were going to save a mountain of expenses on fuel and maintenance. Don’t get me started on the experience. “Rudolph 2.0” Drives itself basically. We love to take “Blitzen 2.0” and “Prancer 3.0” on the track to see who gets off the line first. These vehicles are a blast to drive, and as soon as our elves got in them, they just didn’t see a reason to go back. Our biggest block was teaching everyone of how this technology worked. Once the infrastructure and 2.0s and 3.0s were out there, we had to address some elf fears about the technology. You’d be surprised how much incorrect information is out there! But with patience, a positive attitude, and good test drive experiences, the switch came fast, and that jolly cheer came with it!
Listen, it takes time a bit of time to get this technology right. We’re starting from scratch in many cases here. The 2.0 model didn’t’ come with battery heating technology, and surprise, surprise the range, charging and efficiency took a hard hit. We worked the problem and with some candy cane grease and gingerbread will we got 3.0 proudly built and rolling. On a side note, it took a lot of education and outreach to teach our fleet drivers to plug in Blitzen 3.0 (Blitzen’s our fleet vehicle now, great for getting around town) once they parked it. It’s critical to develop positive charging habits! That way, when we all need a charge, we can rest easy knowing a charging spot can always be open, not taken up by a Blitzen 3.0 because an elf forgot to “plug ’em in.”
We heard about the sleigh. Can you tell us a little more about that? Also, does that mean the Reindeer are out of work?
The stress is a little higher this year. Globally of course, it’s been a hard year for everyone, but up here in the north pole, I can see some clenched teeth as we prepare. It’s going to be our first time ever running the sled on something other than flying reindeer power. We had to map out where I will stop to charge things. Let me correct that a bit, my co-pilot will do the charging, and it should be business as usual going down those chimneys. The sled moves as silent as the wind, but we’ve still got the bells on there to stay “on brand”. Hah!
And no, the reindeer aren’t out of a job. Yes, they’re no longer pulling the sled, but with new technology, comes new needs. The reindeer are the most experienced navigators we’ve got. They designed our EV highways, mapped out where to build and operate the charge stations, and they helped us map out where to stop and charge on the big night. It’s important to have a plan B and C, just in case.
Santa, thank you for meeting with us today. Our last question before you go. What’s your personal favorite thing about an electric vehicle and/or the technology behind it?
Thanks for having me! My answer: they’re fun, and they are what today’s children will be driving when they get their first car. Best to get ahead of it. Can I say one quick thing?
Don’t forget to check with these guys if they’ve got any electric incentive going on. They know their stuff!
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