Transport Evolved Episode 165: Healthy Sporty Growl

Transport Evolved Episode 175: Fireproof

On today’s Transport EvolvedTesla extends its Model S Warranties to cover fires, a roundup from EVS27, the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show and 2013 LA Auto Show, and how many car buyers don’t even know what perks come with an EV.

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

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


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Welcome to the show! Today, Nikki and Mark are joined by editor of GreenCarReports, Classic Car aficionado and all-round nice guy John Voelcker.

A Stanford graduate, John has spend many years writing about and enjoying everything automotive. Currently a Senior Editor at HighGearMedia –– the company behind GreenCarReports, Motor Authority and The Car Connection — John can also be found contributing on Fox News, Tech Review, IEEE Spectrum, and He’s also an avid classic car fan, having authored and contributed to several books on classic british cars, and can often be found working on his own classic car collection and drooling over the Bring-a-Trailer listings.

(You can chat with John on Google Plus, Twitter, Facebook, and read his daily posts on GreenCarReports.)

Part 1

Round up from 2013 Tokyo Motor Show and 2013 LA Auto Show, plus EVS27… and how the Cadillac ELR goes faster on gasoline than electricity.


The 2013 Tokyo Motor Show took place this week, with lots of interesting cars on display, including the VW Twin Up Diesel Plug-in Hybrid ConceptNissan Blade Glider, Honda MC-ß  Yamaha Motive-e and four-electric motorcycles,  Mitsubishi XR-PHEV and GC-PHEV, Nissan e-NV200 Van, Toyota Prius C Concepts, and a whole load of weird other vehicles.


On the other side of the world, the 2013 LA Auto Show has held U.S. debuts of the Volkswagen E-Golf, and CrossBlue Coupe, as well as a the BMW i8 and a whole fleet worth of BMW i3s for people to try.


EVS27 took place this week in Barcelona, Spain. As well as attendance from most major automakers, the show debuted many Chinese plug-in cars — but why are Chinese automakers still making so many terrible EVs? 

Wireless charging was a popular technology at this year’s EVS27 too — but with the SAE task force on wireless charging taking three years to decide on just frequency and power levels, how long will it really take before we see wireless charging in production EVs? 


After releasing its official performance specifications for the 2014 Cadillac ELR, it’s become obvious that the ELR isn’t about plugging in: it’s about luxury and speed. 

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 extends its warranties to cover fire damage, pushes a software update to minimise impact damage, loses its VP of Sales George Blankenship, and gets threatened by the NHTSA.


In the light of three separate fires involving Tesla Model S cars, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced this week that the company would be extending its warranty to cover fire damage.


In related news, Tesla pushed a software update this week to Model S cars to raise lowest setting on cars fitted with its optional Active Air Suspension system. The update was described as Musk as a way to reduce the chances of underbody impact damage — which was the root cause of two of the fires.


While announcing the warranty and service update, Musk said Tesla had approached the NHTSA to ask it to formally investigate the two fires which occured within its jurisdiction. However, NHTSA Administrator David Strickland said that wasn’t exactly the case: the NHTSA approached Tesla first, and always worked independently of automakers.


In related news, the NHTSA quietly threatened Tesla this week, after releasing some new guidelines for automakers who intentionally try and claim their cars got more than five stars in its standard five-star crash test rating system. Since Tesla is the only automaker to date who has tried this particular trick, the NHTSA’s threat — that it would remove the cars from its ratings, refer offenders to federal or state authorities, or even label the cars with “Buyer Alert” warnings — seems to be squarely aimed at Tesla.


In more bad news for Tesla, its VP of Sales, George Blankenship, announced his retirement this week.


There is at least one good bit of news for Tesla however: the Model S scored a 99 percent satisfaction score from Consumer Reports this week.


Ad Break: Audible


This week, we’re recommending

John Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme

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:

Nissan hints bigger battery packs are on the way, ups LEAF production, Fisker finally declares bankruptcy, and we say goodbye to the Mitsubishi i-Miev in the U.S. until ‘late spring.’


In the future, Nissan is likely to offer different battery pack options for buyers of its electric cars, including the LEAF, Pierre Loing, Nissan’s VP of Product and Advance Planning and Strategy told PluginCars this week.


In related news, positive sales figures and increasing demand across North America has lead Nissan to confirm that it is upping production of the LEAF at its Smyrna, Tenn. facility. 


After months of waiting, Fisker has finally declared itself bankrupt. What now?


After not releasing a 2013 Mitsubishi i, Mitsubishi has confirmed there will be no new Mitsubishi is in the U.S. until late spring, when the 2014 model is expected to appear.  But do people really want the quirky four-seater?


And Finally…

It’s close to Thanksgiving, and Christmas is around the corner. What do you buy the kids who have everything? A £30,000 toy car — electric, of course. 



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