T.E.N. Electric Car News April 18, 2014. Ep 30: S60, Tesla in Az, 2x EV Sales, i3 Popularity, WAVE

Welcome to episode twenty nine of T.E.N! Short for Transport Evolved News, T.E.N. is recorded every Friday to help your weekend get off to a flying start by making sure you haven’t missed the big EV news stories of the week.

Weekly show about plug-in and electric vehicles. This week news about: S60L PPHEV, Tesla in Arizona, doubling EV sales, i3 production increase, motorway charging, Johnny Depp in a Model S, Adopting a CODA, Mercedes B-Class ED, Normandy EV love, joining the WAVE, and Tesla ads.

Just ten minutes in length, T.E.N. delivers the EV news in a bite-sized format, and you’ll find links to all of the stories we cover in an accompanying article here on Transport Evolved.

Enjoy the show, don’t forget to leave us feedback in the comments below, feel free to link to our video, and remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel!

T.E.N. Episode 30 Show Notes

S60 Gets a Plug

Volvo have been promising the world that they will have a zero emissions fleet by twenty twenty. This week they have come one step closer to this goal by unveiling the Volvo Sss sixty L Pee Pee H Eee Vee – that’s the Volvo S- sixty, long-wheel-base variant petrol plug in hybrid electric vehicle.

Based on the same through-the-road plug-in hybrid drivetrain we’ve seen before in Volvo’s V60 plug-in hybrid — but with a gasoline engine instead of a diesel one — the plug-in hybrid sedan will launch in China early next year for the Chinese market.

The car is powered by a two litre tubocharged four cylinder petrol engine, a eight speed automatic gearbox and a fifty kilowatt motor. This is joined to a eleven point two kilowatt-hour battery pack.

The S60L PPHEV has three main driving modes: Pure, Hybrid and Power. In Pure mode, the car is powered purely by electric power for up to thirty miles of claimed range.

In Hybrid mode, the engine and motor work together, with the car switching between the two drivetrains for the best possible efficiency, while in Power mode, both the engine and the two electric motors work simultaneously to give the highest torque and naught to sixty two time of 5.5 seconds.

Tesla Points out the bullies

According to AutomotiveNews, a bill being passed through the Arizonan senate which would have reversed earlier legislation banning Tesla from selling its electric cars directly to customers within the state is likely to be dead.

Coinciding with the day that New Jersey legislation came into force banning Tesla from selling electric cars to customers in that state, the Arizonan bill was essentially killed by pro-autodealer association senators determined to prevent it from reaching a vote before the end of the session.

The Arizonan Senate, which is due to close in about a week, has run out of time to discuss the bill and vote on it before the end of this year, meaning Tesla won’t be able to sell its electric cars directly to Arizonans any time soon.

This is despite Arizona being one of the states that Tesla is considering locating their Gigafactory.

But there is some good news for Tesla when it comes to selling directly to customers: Washington State, where electric car registrations per capita are higher than anywhere else in the US, has just passed a bill that allows Tesla to not only continue operations in the Pacific Northwest, but expand its stores beyond the existing ones in Seattle and Bellevue.

EV Sales Double year on year

According to academics at the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg who have been examining global electric car sales figures and the annual growth rate of the electric car marketplace the number of electrically powered vehicles in the world has been doubling for the past few years.

The number of EVs in the world now totals more than four hundred thousand.

And that number doesn’t count motorcycles, bicycles, trucks or other commercial vehicles like busses in its calculations. Nor does it include hybrid cars.

This has risen from almost one hundred thousand in twenty twelve, to two hundred thousand in twenty thirteen to four hundred thousand already this year.

The USA leads the way with sales, with Japan in second place. China takes the bronze medal.

Which car is the most sold? Well, with more than one hundred thousand cars sold, the Nissan LEAF is well ahead of the competition in terms of global electric car market share.

BMW ramps up production

In an attempt to cope with demand, BMW announced this week that production of its all-electric i3 electric car and range-extended electric car has been increased from seventy vehicles a day to one hundred. That’s an increase of 43 percent.

Since production of the i3 started at BMW’s factory last November, BMW has managed to produce about five thousand cars, most of which have gone to European customers. But with the i3 set to launch in the coming months in the U.S. and reservations increasing on a daily basis, BMW need to make more cars to keep up with demand.

The increase in production will likely push BMW’s first-year i3 production to over twenty thousand cars. That’s almost twice what BMW originally planned.

Charging Down the Motorways

You may be forgiven for being skeptical about wireless charging. The technology just seems a bit too complex when compared to simply plugging in a cable. But one possible use of wireless charging is to place these chargers all down a road to change an electric vehicle while it is in motion.

This is exactly what the UK Government has plans to do – they want to electrify part of the UK motorway network.

That’s according to the IET’s Engineering and Technology Magazine, which says the Highways Agency has confirmed its plans to electrify at least part of an English motorway to better understand and test the feasibility of wireless power transfer.

Only a few details are available at the moment but the proposed trial involves placing inductive plates at regular intervals along a roadway, transferring power to electric vehicles as they pass over the plates. This is known as a semi-dynamic charging system, since the vehicles are passing over static charging points on the road.

The semi-dynamic system will be installed on a UK motorway at some point in the near future. How near… We don’t know.

Depp gets Musk in Trouble

It’s not very often we get to write about celebrities on our site, but this week was one of those times. It seems that Elon has been a bit of a naughty boy while showing off to some movie stars.

As the UK’s infamous Sun tabloid newspaper reported over the weekend, Depp and some of his fellow cast from upcoming Sci-fi film Transcendence were being given a personal demonstration of the Tesla Model S by Elon Musk himself when the local highway patrol pulled them over for speeding.

In the car was Musk, Depp, who says he had never before ridden in the luxury all-electric sedan, Wally Pfister, Rebecca Hall and Paul Bettany.

We think perhaps it wasn’t so much the fact that Musk was speeding which caught the cop’s attention though: Depp was sat in the front passenger seat with Paul Bettany riding in his lap.

Little side note here, Paul Bettany is the voice of Jarvis in Iron Man – so it seems that the actor that plays Javis is hanging out with the man who inspired the on-screen version of Tony Stark.

Adopt a CODA

CODA dreamed of taking a Chinese-made gasoline car originally designed for a joint project between Volvo and Mitsubishi and turning it into an electric car. The idea was to buy in the shell (or Glider in automotive speak) and then do the final assembly in the US. Making it a US-built car. CODA even apploed for a low-interest loan from the Department of Energy.

But it wasn’t to be.

With a retail figure approaching thirty nine thousand dollars, the CODA Sedan couldn’t compete with cheaper, better made cars from Nissan, Mitsubishi, Chevrolet, and Ford. They eventually filed for bankruptcy. But what happened to all the gliders that were imported?

It turns out, with a lot of things, they have ended up on eBay.

They are listed on eBay as, oddly: “2013 Other Makes Coda Originally an Electric Vehicle-no motor now.” The listing promises that the cars — most of them incomplete without any battery pack, motor, power electronics, charger or even air conditioning, would “make is a great way to own a complete body and interior if you are a Coda owner and want to keep a spare.” Which I personally think is a brilliant way to sell them.

So if you are interested in a CODE glider… Just head to eBay.

Merc EV

The Mercedes Benz B-Class electric drive has finally entered production. Made at Mercedes-Benz’s Rastatt factory in Germany, where they already makes its internal combustion engined A-Class, B-Class and GLA-Class cars, the B-Class Electric Drive will go on sale in the U.S. later this spring and the UK some time early in twenty fifteen.

The car will have five seats, plenty of luggae space, a one hundred and thirty two kilowatt motor and a naught to sixty two time of seven point nine seconds. This car, in terms of performance, is a rival to the i3.

Even the range is similar. On the NEDC test cycle the i3 gets one hundred and eighteen miles while the B-Class electric gets one hundred and twenty five miles.

It will be very interesting to see what Mercedes Benz entry in to the larger EV market does to the competition.

Normandy goes EV Mad

EV incentives are often a contentious area. Some people love them, others think we are ‘stealing money from others for our own toys’. It can be hard for a town, city or even country to introduce them at all. But that doesn’t seem to be happening in France.

The Regional Council of Upper Normandy, in an attempt to become one of the first ‘ecoregions’ of France, is offering its residents a whole slew of extra incentives designed to make buying an electric car far more financially attractive. Like incentives in some U.S. states, Upper Normandy’s incentives can be added alongside the pre-existing nationwide six thousand three hundred euro ‘environmental bonus’ purchase incentive offered by the French Government to anyone who purchases a plug-in car.

The incentive added by Upper Normandy — another five thousand euro— drops the price even buying an electric car even further.

Wave to us
A bit of news from Transport Evolved now:

We’d like to announce that we’ve been chosen as official Media Partners of the fourth annual WAVE, the World Advanced Vehicle Expedition. Taking place this year from May 30 to June 8, we’ll be joining teams from all over the world as they drive from Germany to Switzerland.

Nikki, along with our intrepid cameraman and co-driver Adam Walker, will be making the trip from the UK all the way to Stuttgart in Germany, where the event starts. They’ll be tweeting, YouTubing and blogging all the way!

Me? I’ll be here in the UK writing like a madman and making sure we stay up to date with all the other EV news that happens while they’re away.

We’ll be telling you more about it in the coming weeks on transport evolved dot com, but you can find out more about the trophy at wave trophy dot com.


We love to watch all the Tesla fan made adverts. It’s great to see people who are so in love with their cars that they go out of their way to share the joy. The latest fan-made video to hit youtube is called Hope.

The video uses Tesla stock footage and combines it with Charlie Chaplin’s famous speach from the movie The Great Dictator to brilliant effect. You should go watch that video straight after this one finishes.



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