Transport Evolved Episode 168: Fired Up, Staying Strong

On today’s Transport EvolvedNorwegian love affairs, a flaming Tesla,  Zero leaves the UK, rental demand for EVs, and 0-60 in under 3 seconds.

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

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 innovative Ben Nelson fresh from his test-ride of the Brammo Empulse motorcycle, a spin in a Model S, and the construction of a 400-watt solar charger.

(To find  out more about Ben’s EV endeavours, be sure to find him on Facebook,  read his blog, or subscribe to his YouTube channel.)


Part 1

Plug-in Day Redux, Slowing Sales, Tesla Courts Samsung, and Norwegian Love Affairs



Celebrations for last weekend’s third annual International Plug-in day were the best yet, says Plug-in America, with more than double the attendees of previous years. 

With over 100 host cities across the world, plug-in fans gathered in everything from torrential rain to beautiful sunny skies to celebrate the benefits of dumping the pump,

(Photos from Dennis’ Plug-in Day Fun! )



Despite a good Plug-in Day weekend however, sales for September of Plug-in cars took a big hit on August figures. Is it a slump in sales or a seasonal slough? Then again, sales are still much higher for this year than they were last.


Sales of the Tesla Model S are so strong — and predicted production for the Model X — that Tesla is courting Samsung to become a battery supplier for the automaker. 


Half a world away, Norwegians can’t get enough of the Tesla Model S, which became the number 1 best-selling car for August for the entire country. 


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 Croccoalso available as an audiobook from InEar Entertainment.

Part 2

Tesla Fire, 15% American LEAF, Rental Demand for EVs, and Feeling Soulful


On Tuesday morning in Washington State, a Tesla Model S hit debris on the freeway and subsequently burst into flames. What happened? And Why?  How did the media cover the fire, and  what does Tesla have to say on the matter?


Did you know the 2013 Nissan LEAF is only 15% American? (Or 15% British?) GreenCarReports explains why.


Less than two years after introducing electric vehicle rental to its UK fleet, Europcar has quietly removed EVs from its fleetIs there rental demand for EVs, or is a lack of training of sales staff — or general renter apathy — to blame?


This week, Kia launched the all-new 2014 Soul EV. Redesigned from the ground up, it will be offered with an electric-only option some time next year for “Select U.S. Markets.” But without any specs or prices released, what does “select markets” mean? Will it just be another compliance car like the RAV4EV?


Ad Break: Audible


This week, we’re recommending Bedlam, by Christopher Brookmyre narrated by Angus King.

N.B. This recommendation does contain moderate swearing.

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 3:

Mitsubishi Struggles, Zero Regrets, Driving the CEO, and Tesla Gets Virginia to Acquiesce on Retail Store


Mitsubishi isn’t having a great time at the moment. Not only did it sell just 10 of its i electric cars last month, but now the Japanese company has confirmed it is holding back the launch of its Outlander Plug-in Hybrid in the U.S. until 2015. In addition, it surfaced this week that Mitsubishi offered four municipalities unbelievable Mitsubishi i lease deals, involving nothing down and no payments for two whole years. 


After disappointing sales figures for the UK, Zero Motorcycles confirmed this week that it had officially left the UK market on October 1.  Does this mean the UK market for plug-in bikes is dead forever?


In Japan meanwhile, Carlos Ghosn got behind the wheel of an autonomous Nissan LEAF, saying it was the best autonomous car experience he’d had to date. He also hinted that a self-driving car from Nissan could arrive on the market sooner than 2020.


While Virginia’s Auto Dealer Association didn’t want to let Tesla open a retail store anywhere in the state, Tesla’s threat of legal action against the state has prompted a compromise: Tesla has been given a license to sell its cars in Virginia albeit at one store.

And finally…


Is the Tesla Roadster or Model S just too slow for you? Now a team of students from the Netherlands have smashed the current EV acceleration record AND the current production acceleration record for a car from 0-60 mph by managing the sprint in just 2.15 seconds.


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