Transport Evolved Electric Car News Panel Show 191: Banned

On today’s Transport Evolved: New Jersey kicks Tesla out, EV adoption depends on sticker price, new battery tech to quadruple your range, and why it’s good to be eight.

These stories and more, on today’s Transport Evolved, with Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield, Mark Chatterley and Marc Geller.



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Welcome to the show! Today, Nikki and Mark are joined by long-time EV driver and advocate Marc Geller.

San Francisco resident Marc Geller has been writing, advocating, campaigning and educating on the subject of electric vehicles and sustainable living for many years. A  founder member and a director  of Plug-in America, Marc is no stranger in the arena of public and corporate policy related to electric vehicles and green energy. He’s also on the board of directors of the Electric Auto Association, and was a co-founder of its San Francisco chapter, and the San Francisco EVA, as well as one of the key people leading the fight against the crushing of the previous generation of plug-in cars by companies like Toyota and GM.

During the day, Marc works as a sales representative for Sustainable Solutions Partners, an installer of solar energy systems, efficient lighting and appliance retrofits, EV charging equipment and sustainable building services.

(You can follow Marc on Twitter, chat with him on Facebook, or read his blog here.)

Part 1

Tesla fights the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (and the dealers), GM stabs Tesla in the back in Ohio, and AutoLib plans to launch its car sharing service in London.


Earlier this week, we — and pretty much every other news outlet — was shocked by the last-minute decision by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to go back on its word and push through a measure designed to ban Tesla Motors from selling cars to consumers in the state. As of April 1, it will join Arizona and Texas in being non-Tesla-friendly states.

We give you a blow-by blow account of what happened, what the consequences are — and what happens next.


On the same day that Tesla was fighting a kangaroo court in New Jersey, testimony provided by General Motors was being read out to a senate committee in Ohio charged with investigating a proposal there which would similarly make life difficult for Tesla Motors. 

As GM’s testimony detailed, the detroit automaker wants Ohio to pass anti-Tesla legislation, forcing it to sell cars through dealerships like everyone else.

Why did GM side with its old-time enemy the auto dealer unions? What was its motives?  And what will the outcome be?


On a lighter note — and we need one after these two previous stories — we talk about AutoLib’s expansion into London. Announced this week, Bollore will bring its successful car-sharing scheme from Paris to the UK very shortly. What will it mean for UK commuters? Is London too congested to benefit from car-sharing schemes? And what about the public charging infrastructure, which Bollore will also operate?

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Part 2

The Nissan e-NV200 gets priced at almost the same prices as the LEAF in Germany, a UK LEAF owner is told he’s been charging for 44 years, why price is more important than charging to EV adoption, and a new battery technology promises quadruple the current range per charge of today’s vehicles.


Earlier this week, the Nissan e-NV200 van was given official German-market pricing. Just a little more expensive than the LEAF hatchback which shares its drivetrain and electronics, the e-NV200 really does look to be a revolutionary product in the automotive world.

Is its price what Nissan meant when it referred to this cargo van and its minivan variant as ‘game changers?’ Or is there some other reason why these two vehicles will change the marketplace?

And with prices almost the same as the Nissan LEAF, will buyers gravitate towards the minivan or choose the longer-range LEAF?


Last week, Polar Network in the UK unveiled the new charging tariffs it planned to implement from April 1 for anyone using its public charging stations. This week, we heard from a UK LEAF owner whose Polar Network account showed him logged in for a 44-year charging session, consuming millions of kilowatt-hours. 

Luckily he wasn’t charged, but we ask if these kind of errors will be rectified before the system switches to billable charging.


This week, a UK study into EV ownership and its impact on the grid announced that it had more than enough registered participants to move onto the next stage. Offering reduced-rate lease deals on new Nissan LEAFs, we think the project illustrated that price is more important to EV adoption than public charging. Do you agree? 


At the Geneva Motor Show last week, Volkswagen Boffins quietly confirmed that VW has been working on a new type of lithium-air battery pack which will provide up to four-times the power of existing battery packs in the same physical size thanks to massive improvements in energy density. 

We remind you how lithium-air batteries work, and ask if increased range, reduced price, or smaller physical battery pack sizes will be the result of the continuing evolution of EV battery packs.

Ad Break: Chronovirus

Note: If you’re watching this show live, you won’t see this ad. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy the book…

It was supposed to be just another cargo run, but for Ken Mallory and the three-person crew of the Raven, an anomaly in deep space changes everything. An unexplained turbulence shakes the small ship like never before, allowing a deadly virus aboard. One by one the infected crew is thrown back in time to relive a near-death experience, only this time death may be closer than they remember. Be sure to check out this excellent and chilling short story by Aaron Croccoalso available as an audiobook from InEar Entertainment.

Part 3

Audi agrees to sell build-to-order R8 e-tron sports cars, Volkswagen prices the e-Golf ahead of its UK launch, a kickstarter project promises to answer all the questions you’d ever had about EVs in a coloring book, and why it’s good to be eight.


After promising it would make the R8 e-tron, then cancelling the project citing financial concerns before then reigniting the project with improved battery technology, Audi finally admitted this week that it would make the R8 e-tron available to order for customers. Unlike the rest of its cars however, the R8 e-tron will be a build-to-order option, meaning you’ll be in for a long wait if you want one.

Does this make the R8 e-tron a real production car, or just a rich-kids’ toy?


Just a week before Nikki gets to try the Volkswagen e-Golf in Berlin, Volkswagen UK announced the pricing of this important electric hatch. More expensive than the Nissan LEAF, Volkswagen may have priced itself out of the market, but with more performance than the Japanese hatch, we’re not so sure. What do you think?


As EV owners, we’re all used to people coming up to us and asking us weird questions about our cars. Sometimes, the questions are stranger than other times.

But if you’d wondered what happens if you try to plug your electric chainsaw into an EV’s 12-volt power outlet or perhaps hit a wombat while driving, worry no more. This rather strange yet endearing IndieGoGo campaign to fund an educational colouring book designed to answer all the questions you’d ever have about an EV might be for you.


And finally…

Tesla is unusual in many ways — but perhaps one of the coolest is the way in which its fans and supporters make the most amazing ads for the car and the brand without Tesla’s input. The latest, from a team of graduate filmmakers at a new LA studio, got us all wishing we were eight again. 


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