Transport Evolved Episode 169: I Want ALL THE PLUGS

On today’s Transport Evolved: Ecotality gets sold, Cadillac wants lots of money for the ELR range-extended coupe, and a Tesla Desk.

These, and many other stories, on this week’s Transport Evolved, with Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield, Mark Chatterley, Michael Thwaite and Kate Walton-Elliott

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 third musketeer of the Transport Evolved family and Englishman in New York New Jersey, Michael Thwaite and Transport Evolved regular and EV convert Kate Walton-Elliott.

As an owner of not one, two but four electric vehicles — five if you count his lawnmower — Michael Thwaite is well and truly an EV advocate. Founder member of the Tesla Motors Club and recently elected board member at Plug-in America , few days pass when Michael doesn’t help someone take their first step into a life without gasoline. At the moment, that includes teaching his son to drive in the family Mitsubishi i.

Tinkerer, restorer, and general all-round geek, Kate Walton-Elliott has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to new, innovative technology. But unlike many early adopters, Kate doesn’t forget the past: her love of technology in many forms gives her an eclectic collection of skills ranging from vintage radio and computer fixing through to command-line hacking and of course, electric cars.

An emergency room nurse by trade, Kate has owned the same 1969 Morris Minor as her main form of transport for over 20 years now, slowly upgrading ‘Rebecca’ over time to include a full body restoration, modern disc brakes, and more powerful engine. But after experiencing what it was like driving an electric car, Kate has decided to make the switch. After recently purchasing an early Mitsubishi i-Miev for her partner to drive on a daily basis, she’s decided to convert Rebecca to electric too.  If that wasn’t enough, she’s also the host of the excellent Dead Bug Jumping podcast, a veritable musical journey through history recent and distant.

(You can engage with Michael on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus, while you can chat with Kate on Twitter or Facebook, follow her blog, and keep track of  the Electric Morris Minor Project here.)


Part 1

Tesla wants ALL THE CONNECTORS, Toyota goes two-tone, and how Norwegians are buying used Model S cars to avoid a long wait.


Tesla made the Model S Sedan even more versatile this week with the announcement of  a CHAdeMO adapter which will let owners charge their cars up at the same charging stations as a Nissan LEAF.

We’re so happy that Tesla gets it: charging is about power, not connectors, but we also wonder when someone will build a Supercharger adaptor for a Nissan LEAF…


It’s that time of the year  when automakers update their cars for the following model year. Unless it’s a mid-cyle refresh or an all-new model, that usually means a price cut, some minor specification changes, and perhaps some new colours. For Toyota’s Plug-in Prius in Japan, it means going all retro with a 1980s-sytle two-tone paint job.

In the U.S., it means going with a price cut of between $2k and $4k. But is it enough to get people buying a car with only 11 miles of EV range?


Meanwhile, in Norway, the Tesla Model S is proving so popular — it’s currently the number one car there and in nearby Netherlands — that EV fans are buying Used Model S cars at highly inflated prices  just so they can avoid a 5-month wait. (It’s worth noting too that the Swiss can’t get enough Model S cars either, with Tesla’s luxury sedan outselling all other plug-in vehicles combined.)

Then again, Norway does have comics driving EVs with massive train horns! 


Ad Break: Audible


This week, we’re recommending Redshirts by John Scalzi,  narrated by Wil Wheaton


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

Ecotality’s bankruptcy auction, Chargepoint offers an out, the price of range extension, and manhole inductive charging


During the week, troubled charging provider Ecotality — which declared bankruptcy last month — sold its electric car charging network to the Car Charging Group for $3.3 million.  The sale does not include Minit-Charger or Etec Labs.  What does this mean for EV owners in the U.S.? And what changes can we expect of the network formerly-known as Blink?


In related news, Charge Point is offering a bounty for Blink customers who now want to upgrade their public charging stations to Charge Point units. Is this good business sense, or just capitalising on someone’s misfortune?


How much would you pay for a range extender in your EV? For those wanting to buy the 2014 BMW i3, the answer is $3,950.  With BMW i3 pricing now known at $42,275 before delivery and incentives, and $46,225 for the range-extended version, will they fly off dealer lots? (UK prices at £33,100 and £29,950)


Could manhole covers — found in streets everywhere in the U.S. — be a new way of charging your EV?  Or is it just another company pitching for business in a sphere which the industry isn’t even ready for yet?


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 3:

A tough electric car future, Cadillac’s $76,000 Volt, Renewable EV charging, Solar-powered champions, Cow-coloured EVs, and a Tesla Desk


According to a study from E2 American consumers are less keen on electric cars than they were this time last year. Should we worry, or will companies like Tesla change people’s impressions?


It’s official: after months of speculation, Cadillac has announced that its range-extended ELR coupe will cost $76,000. That’s $41,000 more than the base-level Chevrolet Volt the car is based on. Would you pay that much for a luxury Volt? Or would you just go for a Tesla instead? And who WOULD pay that much?


Those buying the more affordably-priced Volkswagen e-Up, e-Golf and Audi A3 Sportwagen e-tron will soon be given a way to save even more money, thanks to a deal between Ecotricity and VW. As of later this year — when the  e-Up! order books will open — those who buy a plug-in VW will be able to get 100% renewable electricity from Ecotricity.


Dutch team Nuon won the Australia-held World Solar Challenge for the fifth time in a row, with an average speed of 90.71 kph, using only sunlight and a maximum of 5 kWh of stored electricity.  Given past champions — and what happened as a consequence with the development of the EV1 — what can we expect from these champions in the future?

And finally…


Meet theBovine-iMiev. Because EVs are just too boring without cow-simulations. (They even moo)


And finally. For the office which has everything: A Tesla-Desk. We want one.


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