EV Drivers — Who Are You? Why Are You? Whats Next? – CleanTechnica


Published on May 12th, 2019 |
by Zachary Shahan

May 12th, 2019 by  

Since 2016, CleanTechnica has published annual reports on electric vehicle drivers, which electric vehicles (EVs) they drive, what they expect to buy or lease next, their charging experiences, what features they want in a vehicle, and more. We also ask related questions to non-EV drivers. This is fascinating stuff and we share the results with the CleanTechnica community after the full analysis is completed.

It’s time for another round of survey collection. With so many more people driving electric this year, I’m particularly excited to see the results and see how they’ve changed over time. I imagine many of you are curious, too.

If you drive an electric car (or more than one), we’d highly appreciate it if you could complete one or more of the following surveys (grouped by country):


For Tesla drivers.

For plug-in hybrid drivers.

For non-Tesla 100% electric drivers.

For people who don’t yet drive an EV.


For Tesla drivers.

For plug-in hybrid drivers.

For non-Tesla 100% electric drivers.

For people who don’t yet drive an EV.


For Tesla drivers.

For plug-in hybrid drivers.

For non-Tesla 100% electric drivers.

For people who don’t yet drive an EV.


For Tesla drivers.

For plug-in hybrid drivers.

For non-Tesla 100% electric drivers.

For people who don’t yet drive an EV.


For Tesla drivers.

For plug-in hybrid drivers.

For non-Tesla 100% electric drivers.

For people who don’t yet drive an EV.

UK & European countries not listed above

For Tesla drivers.

For plug-in hybrid drivers.

For non-Tesla 100% electric drivers.

For people who don’t yet drive an EV.

Also, share with friends!

Each of the last two years, more than 2,000 EV drivers in nearly 30 countries completed our surveys (which are rather extensive). That has helped to bring much more EV market awareness to the world. This year, we are planning to raise the number of entries quite a bit and we will be getting broader data.

We have two major corporate sponsors this year — EV battery giant CATL and EV charging leader Volta — which enables us to do a broad, random-sample, professionally conducted survey in the US to compare with our own EV driver surveys. Having these sponsors also enables us to collect more significant data from a handful of European countries — the Netherlands, Norway, France, Germany, and the UK. It will be quite fascinating to do thorough comparisons of EV drivers across these different countries.

As a special thanks to anyone who completes our surveys, you can receive the full report for free once it is written — simply send us a note once completing the survey.

If you are new to CleanTechnica or haven’t read every single article we’ve published in the past 6 months, you can stroll through the archives for our 2018 EV driver report to explore previous findings. (Though, if you are completing the 2019 survey, I have to request that you complete the survey first. 😀 )

You can read the executive summary below to kick off that reading.

The electric transport industry is one of the hottest industries in the world. Billions of dollars are pouring into electric vehicle production plans, electric vehicle startups, battery suppliers, charging station leaders, and more. Some of the largest industries in the world are at the beginning of what appears to be a dramatic, fast shift toward fundamentally different automobiles, buses, boats, and planes (eventually).

In terms of electric cars, consumer choice is growing every month, driving range is improving each year, and we’re beginning to see some genuinely mass-market models. But various questions remain. What do electric car drivers and potential buyers desire, require, and go to bed dreaming about? For the third year in a row, we’ve dug into these matters in one of the most comprehensive EV driver investigations on the planet.

In early 2018, we surveyed over 2,000 electric car drivers living in 25 countries (including 42 of 50 US states, 20 European countries, 5 Canadian provinces, Costa Rica, and Australia) as well as over 1,000 potential electric car buyers in 37 countries (including 38 of 50 US states, 30 European countries, 6 Canadian provinces, Mexico, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Panama). We wanted to find out what early electric car adopters require and desire from their next electric cars and from EV charging networks. We also wanted to find out what EV life has been like for them so far. Furthermore, we wanted to compare their interests, desires, and demands to the interests, desires, and demands of potential EV buyers.

The report segments responses by region (North America vs Europe) and according to three distinct electric vehicle groups — Tesla drivers, pure-electric but non-Tesla drivers, and drivers of plug-in hybrids. This segmentation unveils clear differences on many topics, which is sensible when you consider the vast variation in user experience for each type of EV and for the two regions.

Report lead designer Kamil Grzywacz of Grinspire/Leonart Agency

Range & Batteries

One of the most fascinating topics to explore is the consumer approach to range (which is largely about battery size). According to our surveys:

• The vast majority of Tesla drivers in both North America (86%) and Europe (72%) expect their next electric car to have over 250 miles (400 km) of range. For other groups, this >250 mile segment was almost always the segment getting the most support, but the expectation of such high range was not as dramatic.

• Non-Tesla drivers of fully electric cars also picked this option more frequently in North America (43%) but not Europe (where 24% chose >250 miles but 25% chose 191–220 miles).

• Plug-in hybrid drivers also strongly expected to get a fully electric car with >250 miles of range in North America (51%) but were less concerned about that much range in Europe (43%).

• As far as non-EV drivers, 39% of North Americans reported that they require over 250 miles of range in a fully electric car while 33.5% of Europeans reported the same.

The summary statistics on this topic don’t do the nuance justice, though, so jump into the range chapter of the report for more details on this matter.


Autonomous driving capability is all the hype, but how much do electric car consumers actually want or require such features? According to our surveys, there’s a sizable difference again between what Tesla drivers want/expect and what other EV drivers and potential EV buyers want/expect. When asked about which specific features were either required or potentially required in order for the respondent to choose one EV model instead of some other EV model, this is how the responses broke down:

• Tesla drivers in North America — 54%

• Tesla drivers in Europe — 54%

• Non-Tesla pure-EV drivers in North America — 26%

• Non-Tesla pure-EV drivers in Europe — 32%

• Plug-in hybrid drivers in North America — 32%

• Plug-in hybrid drivers in Europe — 15%

• Non-EV drivers in North America — 30%

• Non-EV drivers in Europe — 33%

When we dove into specific semi-autonomous driving features in more detail, we found the most interest (by far) in autonomous cruise control, with the clear #2 desire being autosteer, and then there was less but still notable interest in auto parking features.

Solar & Energy Efficiency

Electric cars and solar power seem to go together like peanut butter and jelly. Unsurprisingly, relative to the broader market, a very high percentage of electric car drivers who also have solar panels on their roofs. According to our surveys, this is how solar power ownership broke down by segment:

• Tesla drivers in North America — 31%

• Tesla drivers in Europe — 24%

• Non-Tesla pure-EV drivers in North America — 28%

• Non-Tesla pure-EV drivers in Europe — 32%

• Plug-in hybrid drivers in North America — 21%

• Plug-in hybrid drivers in Europe — 24%

• Non-EV drivers in North America — 13%

• Non-EV drivers in Europe — 21%

On the topic of energy efficiency — while driving and also at home — many respondents indicated that having an electric car made them use energy more efficiently or conservatively. This is an important and seldom studied or discussed benefit of electric cars. Not only are electric car drivetrains much more efficient than gasoline or diesel car drivetrains, but electric cars also encourage their owners to think about their energy use and conserve a great deal of energy throughout their day. Basically, we’re seeing the opposite of Jevon’s paradox here.

EV Models

Respondents to our surveys broke out in a similar way as the overall electric car market both when it comes to electric cars they were driving already and their expected next cars.

That means a lot of Nissan LEAFs, Tesla Model S’s, Chevy Bolts, Chevy Volts, and Renault Zoes. It also means decent numbers of the BMW i3, Tesla Model X, and Tesla Model 3 (in North America).

Of course, aside from continued interest in those models, a ton of people expect their next/first EV to be the Tesla Model 3. A large number also chimed in that they were waiting for the Tesla Model Y. Another model that got notable interest in Europe, interestingly, was the Hyundai Kona EV. We hope Hyundai is preparing to serve all of that demand! Some other models had a bit of consumer demand as well.

Notably, a fairly higher percentage of respondents didn’t know yet which model they’d buy next.


The most significant shift on the consumer side of the equation in this transition to electric transport is that drivers charge their cars rather than filling them up with liquid fuel. This comes with much greater convenience most of the time — thanks to home and workplace charging — but also presents some challenges for long-distance travel and for households that don’t have home or workplace charging.

According to our surveys, EV drivers don’t find public EV charging super convenient or reliable, but they also seldom rely on it since the vast majority of drivers have home charging. As more consumers enter the EV market, convenient and reliable public charging should become much more important. We will see next year how this topic evolves.


It’s all about the benefits, baby! Electric cars offer many benefits. Our report delves into early electric car driver and potential driver views on these benefits. One of the most interesting findings is the variety of reasons people were inspired to go electric. However, the one that clearly stands out above all others at this point is the environmental benefit.

Otherwise, certain electric vehicle benefits that were important to respondents varied by the type of electric car they had. Tesla drivers were particularly inspired by the new tech of EVs and by their instant torque. Interestingly, despite the upfront price of a Tesla, those drivers were also enticed by financial savings. However, in North America, non-Tesla pure-EV drivers and PHEV drivers were much more enticed by financial savings. In contrast, this benefit wasn’t such a strong attraction for any of the EV segments in Europe.

Vehicle Class

One of the least talked about matters in the electric car market is the lack of consumer choice. Electric cars are not represented in every class, and there’s actually a dearth of options in some of the most popular classes. In particular, there’s a large amount of demand for electric vehicles that fall into the SUV, CUV, and full-size car classes, but there are only a few options on the market in each of those classes, especially in the more affordable segments.

As a bit of a surprise, the segment most interested in an electric pickup truck was the North American Tesla driver segment. Interest in that vehicle class was followed by North American non-Tesla pure-EV drivers and North American plug-in hybrid drivers, respectively. There was almost no interest in an electric pickup truck in Europe.

Special Features

Various special feature are a big deal to specific consumers, while others don’t care about them at all. Looking at over a dozen options in aggregate, what we found is that consumers heavily desire autonomous cruise control, over-the-air software updates, superfast charging, fast charging, the ability to preheat or pre-cool the car using a smartphone app, and the ability to check charging status on a smartphone app.

There’s also strong consumer demand for a handful of other features, and there’s again significant variation in preferences depending on region and depending on which type of EV respondents had.


Who are these early electric car enthusiasts? As you may have heard before, they’re well above the average when it comes to income. That said, there’s significant variation across the eight segments, and one of the segments is extremely balanced across the income levels.

The respondents were overwhelmingly male, but they were closely split between those who had kids living in their homes and those who didn’t.

In North America, approximately half of respondents lived in cities with a population of 500,000 or more. In Europe, however, the vast majority lived in municipalities with fewer than 500,000 residents. In particular, North American respondents were much more likely to live in cities of 1 million or more. 


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About the Author

Zach is tryin’ to help society help itself (and other species). He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor. He’s also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada.

Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don’t jump to conclusions.

Emirates Chief Commercial Officer Resigns Abruptly – One Mile at a Time

Something must be going on at Emirates management, or something…

Emirates’ Chief Commercial Officer has resigned

It has been announced today that Emirates EVP and Chief Commercial Officer, Thierry Antinori, has resigned with immediate effect. With the exception of CEOs I don’t usually cover changes in executive positions at airlines unless I find them particularly interesting… and this is one of those cases.

Who is Thierry Antinori?

For those of you not familiar with Antinori, he has been with Emirates since 2011, where he started as the EVP for sales, before being promoted to his current position in June 2013.

He has been in the airline industry for over 30 years, and previously had senior positions at both Air France and Lufthansa.

It’s worth noting that Antinori claimed that in 2016 he was offered the role of CEO of Air France-KLM, but chose to stay on at Emirates instead.

What could cause him to resign?

Some are suggesting that Antinori’s departure may have to do with Emirates’ recent financial results, where the airline saw a 69% drop in profits last year. I doubt that’s the case, though, because all things considered I’d say Emirates still did pretty well.

No reason has been given as to why Antinori suddenly resigned. I’m not sure if this is related to disagreements at the top at Emirates, or if this is related to him finding another opportunity elsewhere.

Tim Clark has been the president of Emirates since 2003, and there have long been rumors of him eventually retiring, given that he’ll be turning 70 this year. Antinori was considered a top contender for taking over that position. Then again, so was Christoph Mueller, who also resigned from Emirates earlier this year.

Antinori allegedly turned down a huge opportunity in 2016, so one has to wonder what exactly has happened in the past couple of years that is causing him to go from turning down one of the biggest jobs in the airline industry, to suddenly resigning at Emirates.

Bottom line

Maybe we’ll find out more soon, maybe we won’t. I imagine either Antinori got a big opportunity somewhere else, or he realized that he wasn’t in line to take over Clark’s job at Emirates, or there might be a bigger shakeup at Emirates management. Or perhaps it’s a combination of a couple of those factors.

What do you make of Antinori’s sudden departure from Emirates?

(Tip of the hat to Oleg)

Bitcoin Gains $1000 Over The Weekend, No Signs Of Market Top – Kitco News

Editor’s Note: Get caught up in minutes with our speedy summary of today’s must-read news stories and expert opinions that moved the precious metals and financial markets. Sign up here!

Kitco Daily Recap

Bitcoin Surges $1,000 During The Weekend, No Signs Of Market Top

(Kitco News) – Bitcoin prices surged to the highest level since August during the weekend, gaining $1,000 before slightly retreating.

The popular cryptocurrency is seeing a stellar comeback this spring, with prices more than doubling since December, when bitcoin was trading just around $3,200 per token.

Bitcoin hit a high of $7,448 on Sunday after closing at $6,438 on Friday, which is a gain of more than $1,000 over the weekend.

The high of $7,448 was very briefly seen in mid-October and more sustainably back in August.

At the time of writing, bitcoin slightly retreated but was still trading strong at $7,065.20, up 1.17% on the day, according to Kitco’s aggregated charts.


In Kitco’s latest update on bitcoin prices, technical senior technical analyst Jim Wyckoff said there are no signs of a market top in the near-term, which means that the cryptocurrency can rise further.

“The bulls have solid technical power to suggest still more price gains in the near term, amid a price uptrend in place on the daily bar chart. There are no early chart clues to suggest a near-term market top is close at hand,” Wyckoff wrote on Friday

A massive drop from an all-time high of nearly $20,000 seen in 2017 and a very slow rebound has created a lot of “pent-up” demand, BKCM CEO and founder Brian Kelly told CNBC on Friday.

“While many investors have flocked to Coinbase over the last few years, we still anticipate a large amount of pent-up demand from retail investors,” Kelly said. “A word of caution, timing the flows from these retail behemoths may prove to be tricky.”

This surge in prices comes at a time when hackers managed to steal $41 million worth of bitcoin from Binance, which is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world.

A total of 7,000 bitcoins were withdrawn via “phishing, viruses and other attacks,” Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said in a post last week.

Bitcoin is yet to find its equilibrium as good news outweighs the bad, Arca chief investment officer Jeff Dorman pointed out.

“This rally has sustained because the positive events surrounding crypto have outweighed the negative risks for months,” Dorman told CNBC. “More importantly, the negatives are largely one-off ‘black swan’ type events that create tail risk but are not persistent, whereas the positives are long-term game-changing events that lead to sustained growth.”

At the beginning of May, bitcoin bull and Galaxy Digital CEO Michael Novogratz projected that the cryptocurrency will return to its record highs of nearly $20,000 within the next 18 months. “Out of the rubble, bitcoin has popped back up,” Novogratz told CNN on the sidelines of the SALT Conference in Las Vegas.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.

Worlds fastest bullet train starts high-speed tests in Japan – Stuff.co.nz

Japan is pushing the limits of rail travel as it begins testing the fastest-ever shinkansen bullet train, capable of speeds of as much as 400kmh.

Called the Alfa-X, the train is scheduled to go into service in 2030. Rail company JR East plans to operate it at 360kmh. That would make it 10kmh faster than China’s Fuxing Hao, which links Beijing and Shanghai and has the same top speed.

To cope with massive wind resistance when entering tunnels, the Alfa-X’s first car will mostly be a sleek nose, measuring 22 metres. With just three windows, there looks to be hardly any space, if at all, for passengers in the front.

The Alfa-X's first car will mostly be a sleek nose, measuring 22 metres.


The Alfa-X’s first car will mostly be a sleek nose, measuring 22 metres.

Painted in metallic silver with green stripes, the 10-car bullet train begins test runs Friday between the cities of Aomori and Sendai at night, to be conducted over three years.

* Japan’s newest bullet train passes through the world’s deepest rail tunnel
* Two new train models in Japan will travel at speeds of 360 and 500 km/h
* Elements of sleeper train revived as Tokyo hostel
* Five things to know about Japan’s Shinkansen: The trains that always run on time

Japan’s bullet trains, which made their debut in the same year as the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, have become a symbol of the country’s focus on efficiency and reliability.

The trains have become a symbol of the country's focus on efficiency and reliability.


The trains have become a symbol of the country’s focus on efficiency and reliability.

Shinkansens are rarely late, even though they depart Tokyo Station every few minutes for Osaka, Kyoto and other destinations across the archipelago, making them a viable alternative to air travel. The Alfa-X is a key part of a plan to offer faster services to Sapporo, the biggest city on the northernmost island of Hokkaido.

“The development of the next-generation shinkansen is based on the key concepts of superior performance, a high level of comfort, a superior operating environment and innovative maintenance,” East Japan Railway Co., better known as JR East, said in a statement.

Although the Alfa-X holds the title of the world’s fastest train right now, it may already be dethroned by the time it goes into service. That’s because a new maglev line is being built between Tokyo and Nagoya with operations starting in 2027. Travelling mostly through deep tunnels, the magnetically levitated train will travel at a top speed of 505kmh, cutting the time between the two cities to 40 minutes, from the current 110 minutes.

Japan's bullet trains made their debut in the same year as the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.


Japan’s bullet trains made their debut in the same year as the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

Five Things to Know About the Alfa-X

– Stopping is just as important. The new bullet train will have air brakes on the roof and also use magnetic plates near the rails to slow down, in addition to conventional brakes.

– The train will have dampers and air suspension to keep it stable when traversing curves, maintaining its balance and comfort for passengers.

– Alfa-X stands for “Advanced Labs for Frontline Activity in rail eXperimentation”.

– The new train is based on JR’s E5 platform, which already operates on major routes in Japan.

– JR East will link data between the train, control centre, maintenance facilities and staff to monitor performance and keep the trains operating at optimal levels.


Capital – The rise of the sober bar – BBC News

When you walk into Getaway, a stylish bar off a main avenue in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, you could be in any number of Instagram-friendly cocktail spots in New York. The walls are tasteful green and blue, the space feels cosy enough that you could easily join a neighbouring conversation, and the menu features a list of $13 (£10) cocktails with ingredients like tobacco syrup, lingonberry and jalapeno puree, with a friendly note from the owners that laptops are not allowed.

But there is a crucial difference between Getaway and other Brooklyn bars: Getaway is totally alcohol-free.

A bar without booze sounds like an oxymoron, like an aquarium without fish or a bakery that doesn’t serve bread. But in cities like New York and London, where bars often function as second living rooms for apartment dwellers with little space, an alcohol-free nightlife option can appeal to people who, for whatever reason, would prefer not to drink.

Sam Thonis, who co-owns the bar with Regina Dellea, got the idea for Getaway three years ago, when he and his brother, who doesn’t drink, were trying to find a place to go out together at night. “There weren’t many nightlife options in New York that didn’t revolve around alcohol or weren’t trying to push that on you in some way,” Thonis says. “The more I talked to people, some of whom are sober and some of whom aren’t, the more I felt that people wanted that kind of space.”

In response, Thonis and Dellea made their bar a studiously 0% alcohol space, meaning that not even non-alcoholic beers that have a trace amount of alcohol are allowed on the menu. In the US, the term ‘non-alcoholic’ may be applied to beverages with 0.5% alcohol by volume or less, which means many popular non-alcoholic beers aren’t actually alcohol-free.

“It’s 0% as much as humanly possible, so if you’re sober and it’s an issue for you, or you don’t even want the smell of alcohol around you, you’ll be safe,” Thonis says. But it still looks and feels like a bar – it only opens in the evenings, the lights are low and no one appears to be working on their screenplay.

It’s 0% as much as humanly possible, so if you’re sober and it’s an issue for you, or you don’t even want the smell of alcohol around you, you’ll be safe

Getaway, which opened in April, is part of a growing global wave of nightspots that specifically cater to people who are avoiding alcohol, but still want to go out and socialise in spaces that have traditionally been dominated by drinking. There’s Vena’s Fizz House in Portland, Maine and The Other Side in Crystal Lake, a suburb of Illinois. In London, alcohol-free Redemption bar now has three locations, as well as a menu of vegan, sugar-free, wheat-free food. In January, The Virgin Mary, an alcohol-free pub, opened in Dublin.

Temperance zones

Alcohol-free bars aren’t a new concept. In the late 19th Century, a number of alcohol-free bars known as temperance bars were established in the UK on the heels of the temperance movement, which advocated abstinence. Fitzpatrick’s Temperance Bar, founded in 1890 in Rawtenstall, north of Manchester, is still slinging root beer and glasses of dandelion and burdock today.

But what’s different about today’s wave of alcohol-free bars is that they aren’t necessarily rooted in the idea of total abstinence. At Getaway, for example, the audience isn’t just non-drinkers but anyone who wants a fun bar environment without the threat of a hangover the next day. “Nothing about our space says you should be sober, or you shouldn’t go around the corner to another bar and do a tequila shot after hanging out here,” Thonis said. “It’s not exclusively for the non-drinker.”

In that way, Getaway touches on a movement that has urban millennials reconsidering the place of alcohol in their lives. Lorelei Bandrovschi , 32, falls into that category. Last year, she began organising alcohol-free pop-up events under the name Listen Bar for people who wanted to cut loose without alcohol playing a part. She used to work as a consultant for brands like YouTube and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, but working on Listen Bar is her full-time occupation now.

It’s really liberating to create space for yourself and your life where a rowdy party vibe doesn’t mean a hangover and blurry memories

“Bars are a space of relaxation, and we’ve been made to believe that alcohol has to be a part of that,” Bandrovschi says. “It’s really liberating to create space for yourself and your life where a rowdy party vibe doesn’t mean a hangover and blurry memories.” The word ‘rowdy’ is a key part of what Bandrovschi is going for with these events. “There’ve been moments at our first Williamsburg pop-ups where people are dancing on tables and karaoke-ing their hearts out,” she says. “Being good to yourself doesn’t mean only being zen and subdued.”

Bandrovschi isn’t sober herself, but after taking a month off drinking she noted a lack of options for people who wanted to go out with their friends without being stuck ordering a soda while everyone else is getting thoughtfully curated mixed drinks. “I think that bar culture, from the menu to the staff to the patrons, tends to make not drinking sort of an outsiders’ hobby,” she says.

I think that bar culture, from the menu to the staff to the patrons, tends to make not drinking sort of an outsiders’ hobby

“I refer to my personal philosophy as drink optional. In order to get to a drink optional culture as opposed to the current drink-by-default culture, we have to celebrate the choice of not drinking. It should have as much space as drinking, spaces that are cool and fun and desirable spaces to go. I wanted to create something that was missing from culture, and I really wanted to change culture.”

Sobering up?

This “drink optional” attitude may not yet be the default, but there are indicators that young people aren’t drinking as much as they used to. In 2016, among adults over the age of 16 polled by the British Office of Nationals Statistics, just 56.9% had had a drink in the week before, the lowest percentage on record since the office began asking the question in 2005. In February, the International Wine and Spirits Record claimed that 52% of American adults they surveyed were currently trying to or had previously tried to reduce their alcohol intake.

A series of articles on recent trends indicates that millennials are reconsidering when and how they drink.  Beer sales are in decline in the US and, though that may mean that more health-conscious consumers are just turning towards higher-octane spirits, the alcohol industry has responded to the slump by introducing more low- and no-alcohol options, like Heineken’s 0.0 non-alcoholic beer that launched in 2017 or Gordon’s ultra-low-alcohol canned gin and tonic.

Non-alcoholic drinks are poised to be big business, even in spaces that aren’t alcohol-free. Increasingly, high-end restaurants are including a non-alcoholic pairing for their tasting menus as well as a traditional wine or cocktail pairing. And mixologists and beverage directors are taking the trends as an opportunity to create interesting drinks without the traditional ballast of spirits.

Chelsea Carrier, the beverage director of o ya, Covina and The Roof Top in New York, worked with her team to create a non-alcoholic pairing for the food at o ya, a Japanese restaurant. “So many guests were asking for NA options, and they didn’t want to just drink water,” Carrier says. Now, she estimates NA drinks are about 20% of the drinks ordered at the restaurant and that the thoughtfulness of the non-alcoholic cocktails makes customers who aren’t drinking alcohol feel included. “You can be sitting next to someone drinking a couple-of-thousand-dollar bottle of wine and be drinking a non-alcoholic cocktail and belong just as much,” she says.

Drink the bar dry

At Existing Conditions, a bar in New York’s Greenwich Village which is known for its wildly inventive cocktails, like a take on an Old-Fashioned that includes waffle-infused bourbon and maple syrup, non-alcoholic cocktails are prominent on the menu and, according to beverage director Bobby Murphy, are some of the most expensive items they make, both in terms of ingredients and labour.

One drink, the Stingless, requires Melipona honey, made by tiny bees in Mexico that can cost $100 for a kilo. Another non-alcoholic drink is built around clarified Comice pear juice, an ingredient that meant the Existing Conditions team had to purchase and juice 980 pounds of in-season pears – each drink has about six pears in it.  “Just serving a soda isn’t enough anymore,” Murphy says. “When we make the non-alcoholic drinks, we want them to be something you can’t get anywhere else.” He estimates that 20-30% of the total drinks they sell at Existing Conditions are non-alcoholic.

Many of the wave of sober bars are new, and it remains to be seen whether they will continue to proliferate and thrive. In Auckland in 2015, an alcohol-free bar shut down after just five weeks. But there’s no doubt that interest in non-alcoholic adult beverages is increasing across the beverage industry, and that’s unlikely to stop soon.

As for Getaway, co-owners Sam Thonis and Regina Dellea look at it as an option in a city full of specific venues catering to specific interests. Business has been steady in the last month. “Every day I worry that no one’s going to come in, and 20 minutes later it’s bustling,” Dellea says. Their customers have included curious locals, pregnant women and the studiously sober, but Dellea and Thonis hope that the appeal of the bar is wide. “It can be for everyone, but it doesn’t have to be,” Thonis says. “There are a million options. If people don’t like us that’s fine. They’re allowed. For the people who do want to be here, we’re here.”

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Elon Musk shows SpaceXs first internet satellites ready for launch – Engadget

Musk further noted that the launch timing was variable, but was “currently tracking” to May 15th (he also raised the possibility of a May 14th takeoff). He warned that “much will likely go wrong” on this first deployment, and that it would take six more similar launches to achieve “minor” broadband coverage, and twice that for “moderate.”

SpaceX’s ultimate goal is to put nearly 11,000 Starlink satellites in low Earth orbit between now and the mid-2020s, providing high-speed internet access to areas of the planet where broadband is rare, spotty or non-existent. This first launch is really just a small part of a long process, and that’s provided everything goes according to plan.

SoftBank shares come under pressure after Ubers rough first day of trading – CNBC

SoftBank Group founder, Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son announces his group’s earnings results briefing on May 9, 2019 Tokyo, Japan, for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2019.

Alessandro Di Ciommo | NurPhoto | Getty Images

Shares of Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group came under pressure in Monday’s trading session in Tokyo following the large losses seen on ride-hailing giant Uber’s debut day last Friday.

By the market close in Tokyo on Monday, shares of SoftBank Group were down 3.25%.

“It’s a bit hard to be sure but I think the performance of Uber is probably the biggest driver of Softbank’s fall,” Dan Baker, an analyst at Morningstar, told CNBC in an email on Monday. SoftBank Group, through its landmark Vision Fund, is a major investor in Uber.

“SoftBank is long ride hailing through the Vision Fund and the performance of both Uber and Lyft since listing may have lowered investors’ expectations on what SoftBank’s investments in the space are worth, ” Baker said.

That analysis was echoed by other experts on the company.

“Some who had bought the stock, looking at Uber IPO as a catalyst may have been sellers, said Atul Goyal, a managing director at Jefferies. The analyst added that the ongoing concerns over the U.S.-China tariff situation may have contributed to “softness” in the stock.

In its IPO day on Wall Street last Friday, shares of Uber plunged more than 7%, closing below $42 per share with a market cap of $69.7 billion. Shares of competitor Lyft also dropped more than 7%.

Uber is now the second ride-hailing company to hit the U.S. public market, following Lyft’s debut in March. Both companies have been heavily scrutinized for continuing to post big losses, but many investors are also intrigued by the entrance of that sector onto the public exchange.

One investor likened the relationship between SoftBank and Uber to that of Lyft and its Japanese backer, Rakuten.

“Rakuten almost became a semi-proxy in Asia … for Lyft … price movements in the States,” Andrew Jackson, head of Japanese equities at Soochow CSSD Capital Markets (Asia), told CNBC’s “Street Signs” last Friday ahead of Uber’s debut on the New York Stock Exchange.

Shares of Rakuten fell 2.36% on Monday.

— CNBC’s Lauren Feiner contributed to this report.