Transport Evolved Episode 167: Rent-a-car

On today’s Transport Evolved: robotic LEAFs, cleaner EVs, beating Tesla, free CarWings, how to jump-start your EV, and a world ruled entirely by women.

These, and many other stories, on this week’s Transport Evolved, with Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield, Mark Chatterley, and guest Robert Llewellyn.

You can watch on the Live page, or listen live with Mixlr.

Click beyond the break to see our full show notes, including timings of each story in the show.


Please note: Time stamps are given below in this font in the format [hh:mm:ss]

Welcome to the show! Today, Nikki and Mark are joined by the wonderful Robert Llewellyn, fresh from his latest book-signing tour promoting his latest novel News From The Squares, and his continuing tour around the U.K. giving pub-talks on the subject of EVs, entitled Electric Cars? They’re rubbish aren’t they?!  

(To find  out more about Robert’s EV endeavours, be sure to follow him on Twitter, add him on Google+, or subscribe to his personal, Carpool, and Fully Charged YouTube channels.)

Part 1

Happy Plug in Day! EV etiquette, EV celebrations, and dreamy rentals.


It’s International Plug-in Day today.  With hundreds of events taking place over the U.S. and around the world, we look at some of the fun things which have happened to celebrate EVs, including the auction of Linda Nicholes’ bright red Tesla Roadster, the torrential rain facing EV fans in Seattle yesterday, a state of the EV Union from Washington. If that wasn’t enough, how about giving some kudos to California State Governor Jerry Brown, who celebrated International Plug-in Day yesterday by signing six new EV-friendly bills into Law.

(What did you do? Don’t forget to tell us in the Comments below!)

To help encourage first-time EV drivers to feel safe and secure in their Chevrolet Spark EV (as well as give it some extra marketing) Chevy has come up with this rather nifty InfoGraphic detailing some basic EV Etiquette that Spark EV owners should follow. It includes things like ensuring you don’t hog the fast lane if you’re driving to maximise range, ensure you warn pedestrians you’re around with the Spark’s built-in Pedestrian Alert horn, and promising that EVs trump Plug-in Hybrids at the charging station.


Meanwhile, if you’re flying into San Francisco or Los Angeles airports from now on — and you have a few thousand dollars to spare — you can rent a Tesla Model S! Recently added to Hertz’ “Dream Cars” collection, expect the Model S to command a high price tag. It’s also highly unlikely you’ll get it as a free upgrade  because the subcompact you booked isn’t available, so don’t try that old chestnut…

Ad Break: Audible


This week, we’re recommending Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscure the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warmingby Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway.

By heading to and signing up for the service, you can get this book for free, and support Transport Evolved at the same time. We thank you for your support of the show.

Part 2

Global warming is our fault, EVs will just keep getting greener, and direct to you advertising


The IPCC has released a new report proving almost categorically that humans are responsible for accelerated global warming and rising temperatures. Here’s why it’s time to act NOW, and stop pussyfooting around.


In related news, a study from Shrink That Footprint has concluded that the carbon emissions of electric cars around the grid just keeps dropping lower and lower.


On a different front, both Toyota and Nissan are advertising their electric cars to consumers using direct advertising means, profiling those who are most likely to want an EV and then advertising to them via DirecTV and Apple iTunes Radio respectively.

Ad Break: Chronovirus


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 Crocco, also available as an audiobook from InEar Entertainment.

Part 3:

Chasing Tesla, Free CarWings for All, and cars that drive themselves.


According to GM CEO Dan Akersonthe upcoming Cadillac ELR has what it takes to give Tesla a hard time in the luxury car segment. It’s a nice car, but does it really compete with the Model S?


Nissan announced this week that CarWings would stay free for European LEAF owners , even after the cars are more than three years old. How reliable is the service, and is it worth anything anyway?


Then again, Nissan has just been awarded the first autonomous vehicle license plate to allow it to test its self-driving LEAF on public roads in Japanso maybe we don’t need to worry about CarWings anyway.

And finally…


Courtesy of a company based in Italy and the U.S., you can now rescue your friend’s EV by giving them a jump start from your EV. The only problem? It takes up most of your boot.


Have you ever fancied your own personalised artificial intelligence to check on your EV’s state of charge? Meet the holographic LEAF that not only responds to your voice commands, but turns on the air conditioning too. Too cool!


Want to keep up with the latest news in evolving transport? Don’t forget to follow Transport Evolved on Twitter, like us on Facebook and G+, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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