Transport Evolved Episode 171. On The Road Special: London Tesla Store Opening

On today’s Transport Evolved: Tesla tunes the Model S for the autobahn, Mitsubishi delivers the Outlander PHEV, and we head to London

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

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]

This week's show was recorded live on Thursday night on our way to the Tesla Store opening in London. As a consequence, we may have missed out any stories which broke on Thursday 
evening/Friday morning. We'll be back to normal next week, with our regular studio-based show, live on Sunday at 7pm Greenwich Mean Time.

Welcome to the show! Today, Nikki and Mark are joined by Actor, Presenter and EV Advocate Robert Llewellyn, and Vauxhall Ampera (Chevy Volt) driver Richard Goldsmith.

Former petrol-head and long-time EV fan Robert Llewellyn is known for his role as Kryten in hit TV show Red Dwarf, as well as presenting many years of Scrapheap Challenge and Junkyard Wars. Robert is also an accomplished author, and has just released his latest novel News From The Squares. He is also continuing his tour around the U.K. giving pub-talks on the subject of EVs, entitled Electric Cars? They’re rubbish aren’t they?!

Richard Goldsmith purchased his first EV a few years ago, the Vauxhall Ampera. A self-confessed early-adopter, Richard loves photography, videography, and in his own words, “mucking about in boats.”  For Richard, energy democracy isn’t just a pipe dream, it’s an achievable future with 100% renewable energy.

(To find  out more about Robert’s EV endeavours, be sure to follow him on Twitter, add him onGoogle+, or subscribe to his personalCarpool, and Fully Charged YouTube channels. To Follow Richard, you can find him on Twitter and Facebook.)

Part 1

Tesla announces Autobahn tuning and 135 kW Superchargers, while BMW i3 gets priced


Mark and Nikki welcome you to the show, and explain why they’re on the road instead of in the studio.


On Tuesday, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, announced Tesla Model S customers in Germany would be offered free Autobahn Tuning to help their cars perform to absolute perfection on Germany’s unrestricted Autobahns. Noting that the car didn’t feel as sweet as he’d like at 130 mph, Musk said his engineers would be sent to Germany to set up the best possible handling and suspension package for high-speed Tesla driving. At the moment, this doesn’t include a hike in speed, only an improvement in handling.


At the same event, Musk announced European Superchargers would operate at 135 kilowatts, far faster than the 125 kilowatt limit for U.S. Superchargers. At the moment, the difference is because of the way Superchargers work. (European Superchargers are built from twelve, 11 kilowatt charger modules, while U.S. ones are built from twelve, 10 kilowatt charger modules.) Eventually, Musk said, the U.S. would get 135 kW capabilities too, reinforcing Tesla’s commitment to make charging faster and more convenient as time goes on.


After months of waiting, BMW has finally released pricing for the i3 and i3-REX electric hatch.From £30,625 on the road for the base-model electric-only version, before incentives, it’s certainly far cheaper than many BMWs, but like Tesla, you have to pay extra for each and every feature you’d like.  Fully kitted out, expect to pay more than £46,065 on the road, before incentives.


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


Volkswagen lets Nikki drive the XL1 plug-in diesel hybrid, and we head to the Tesla Store Opening


There’s only ever going to be 250 of them made, but Volkswagen’s ultra-efficient 313 mpg+ diesel-engined plug-in hybrid was in the UK last week. Nikki was lucky enough to get a drive. Here’s what she thought.


Nikki and Mark arrive at the Tesla London Store opening event. Here’s a montage of the atmosphere there.


Nikki catches up with Robert Llewellyn at the Tesla Store opening to see what he thinks of the hottest electric car to come to the UK in 2013, the Tesla Model S.


Prior to Elon Musk’s official speech at the opening of the London Tesla Store, Mark catches up with Richard Goldsmith, who was lucky enough to nab a quick test-drive in the Tesla Model S on London’s congested west-end streets.


Note: We’d planned to bring you a recording of Elon Musk’s opening speech, but due to the problems with the audio system at Westfield Mall, we discovered the sound quality was so poor it became almost impossible to hear him. We did however liveblog the event — despite having some problems there too. If you’d like to see what we discovered, head to our live coverage from the event. 


Part 3:

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV finally starts to ship in Europe, Volvo goes wireless, and EVs that don’t explode when you shoot them.


After a really long wait, and multiple problems with its supply chain, Mitsubishi finally starts shipping the Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid to customers in Europe.


Electric cars can be safely charged safely using wireless charging technology: that’s the verdict from Volvo Cars, which has recently concluded its first ever study into the technology.


And finally…

Rockstar’s infamous game, Grand Theft Auto V, has more realistic game play than ever before, but did you know that unlike gasoline cars, EVs don’t explode if you set them on fire?



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