Transport Evolved Electric Car News Panel Show 194: Fool Me Twice

On today’s Transport Evolved: 60 Minutes screws up, Polar leaves us in the Cold, and the right to build your own.

These stories and more, on today’s Transport Evolved, with Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield, Mark Chatterley and Valery Miftakhov.


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Welcome to the show! Today, Nikki and Mark are joined by founder of Electric Motor Werks, Inc Valery Miftakhov. 

A physics graduate of Princetown University, Valery is also a former student at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT). Aside from his day job as a head of an Enterprise Scaling Team at Google, Valery is also the founder of Electric Motor Werks, a Californian company providing DIY electric car enthusiasts with all the bits they need to build their own electric car.

With a focus on the technological side — DIY EV dashboards and DIY on-board chargers being its speciality, Electric Motor Werks recently attracted a lot of attention from the non-DIY EV community when it became the first company to actively engineer an aftermarket portable CHAdeMO-compliant DIY charger for cars like the Nissan LEAF.

(You can find Valery on Facebook, and visit his company website at )

Part 1

We talk about Electric Motor Werk’s Rapid Charger project, the Cadillac ELR gets its first recall, AutoNation’s CEO backs Tesla’s right to sell, and we do a run-down of April Fools’ Day Pranks.


Our guest today is Valery Miftakhov from Electric Motor Werks, a company supporting DIY electric car builds and DIY charging stations. We talk about what they’re up to at the moment, and ask about their CHAdeMO quick charge project.


On Friday last week, Cadillac gave the range-extended ELR its first official recall for an ESC fault. We explain what it is, and why it doesn’t affect Chevrolet Volts.


For the past few weeks, we’ve been covering with some intensity the ongoing battle between Tesla Motors and powerful auto dealer associations who want to stop Tesla from selling direct to its customers. But this week, the CEO of AutoNation, the US’ biggest auto dealer — came out in favor of the Californian automaker and its sales practices. Here’s why.


Finally, it was April 1 this week — in case you hadn’t heard. We talk about some of the fun April Fools’ day pranks we heard with EV and green-transport themed stories. 

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Part 2

How 60 Minutes made a fool of itself last Sunday, Polar Network goes quiet in the UK, Renault says NO to battery purchase outside Norway, the ChargeLounge debuts in Germany, and Price gouging returns to the EV world. 


Last Sunday, 60 Minutes made a foley folly when it overdubbed the sound of a gasoline engined car on footage of the Tesla Model S driving along. Worse still, it happened on footage in a segment on the Californian automaker. How did that even happen?


April 1st, the day that Polar Network was due to switch from free to paid-to-use models came and went. Polar’s new website failed to launch… and customers say their old cards from pre-tariff days still work. Worse still Polar pretended it hadn’t even lowered prices when we have proof it did. Customers have essentially been left in the cold. What’s going on? 


Renault’s ZOE went on sale in Norway recently with its battery pack included, a first for the French automaker. But despite rumors saying battery purchase would come to the rest of Europe, we spoke to Renault directly and was told it won’t be. Here’s why. 


Over in Germany, a new type of charging station, called the ChargeLounge is set to make its debut next week. We explain what it is, and why it’s a little like an airport departure lounge. 


Finally for this segment, price gouging is back — with the BMW i3 this time. Here’s how to avoid that particular problem.

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Part 3

My Electric Avenue officially launches, why there’s a war being fought on DIY charging stations, the Volkswagen Golf GTE will make its UK debut at the Gadget Show Live, and how the Daily Mail is an unwitting ally of EV drivers.


Yesterday, the My Electric Avenue project launched in the south of England. We explain what it is, how it works, and how you might be able to take part.


Believe it or not, there’s currently a war being fought against DIY charging stations in the UK. Here’s the lowdown on why it’s happening, plus thought from our guest on why DIY charging stations can be part of the EV experience. *Disclaimer: both Nikki and Mark worked for a while for Zero Carbon World — the company mentioned in this segment. Neither of them have a connection with ZCW today. 

Next week, the Volkswagen Golf GTE — a car Nikki drove two weeks ago — will make its UK debut not at a car show, but a gadget show. Here’s why it’s an important thing, and what it says about the future of cars and technology.

And finally…


The Daily Mail is known for its right-wing political views, hatred of green issues and particularly electric cars. So when Daily Mail readers jumped to defend electric cars this week, we knew something bad had happened. It seems that Europe, specifically the EU, is more hated than EVs! 


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2 Responses

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  1. Mark Chatterley
    Apr 08, 2014 - 04:34 PM

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  2. Dennis Pascual
    Apr 08, 2014 - 04:41 PM

    The ’80s character alluded to by Nikki was Max Headroom… (there was also an Art of Noise music video that featured the character.)