Transport Evolved Electric Car News Panel Show 200: Tripped Up

On today’s Transport Evolved: GM struggles selling the Cadillac ELR, Elon Musk Regrets working with Lotus, and the BBC gets stuck on another EV trip.

These stories and more, on today’s Transport Evolved, with Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield and Chelsea Sexton.

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 is joined by former EV1 saleswoman, EV advocate, industry insider and teller of truths Chelsea Sexton.

One of the sales people for the original EV1 electric car, Chelsea rose to fame for her role in the Don’t Crush campaign back in the early noughties, which was captured in the film Who Killed the Electric Car? and of course its more triumphant sequel Revenge of the Electric Car, on which she was a consultant producer.

A tireless EV advocate and known for her direct approach and unwavering candor, Chelsea has worked more recently as an industry advisor, helping automakers like GM and Nissan with their electric car programs. She currently assists Nissan with its LEAF advisory board, but has no direct contact to the company’s day-to-day EV operations.

(You can find Chelsea on Twitter or Facebook.)

Part 1

The Fiat 500e gets a safety recall, the Chevy Spark EV gets a new battery pack, Missouri holds off on Anti-Tesla law, and what’s next for Toyota after Tesla?


This week, the Fiat 500e got its second safety recall. Officially to fix a coolant seepage in its high-power inverter module, we’ll ask why automakers keep struggling with drivetrain and power electronics faults.


Chevrolet has just switched battery production for the Chevy Spark EV from externally-sourced cells to ones made at its Brownstone battery production facility. Will the new battery give the Spark EV an edge on the outgoing model, and why is the pack smaller?


After breaking the news last week that Missouri was considering an anti-Tesla ban, we’ve heard that the House is likely to let it die on the floor of the house. Will it rise up again?


This week, both Tesla and Toyota confirmed that the two automakers won’t be working together after Tesla completes the 2,600 drivetrains it agreed to produce for the Toyota RAV4 EV compliance car. With an FCV promised around the corner, do we think Toyota will ever produce a plug-in car again?

Ad Break: 

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Part 2

Elon Musk regrets using Lotus to build the Tesla Roadster, Cadillac struggles to sell the ELR coupe — but still insults potential buyers, Tesla is told to stop building cars and focus on battery technology, and Intel invests in self-driving technology.


Talking at the World Energy Innovation Forum this week at the Tesla Factory in Fremont, Tesla CEO Elon Musk came clean about Tesla’s past partnership with Lotus, saying that if he had to build the Roadster again, he’d build it from scratch.


Cadillac really is struggling to sell its ELR luxury plug-in coupe, so much so that it has more than a years’ supply of cars in its inventory, far more than the industry norm of two months.

So now Cadillac is trying to incentivize dealers to sell more cars by offering them — and customer — some interesting deals. We drum down and try to figure out what the problem is.

In related news, Cadillac manages to alienate buyers by saying”treehuggers” need not apply for an ELR. Is the ELR in trouble?


Tesla is known for its super sexy electric cars, but one Bond trader says Tesla should focus on batteries, not cars. Is he crazy, or talking common sense?


Finally, Intel is stepping into the self-driving car market with a substantial investment in a Japanese firm developing self-driving tech. Will our future cars have intel driving us? 

Ad Break: Chronovirus

Note: If you’re watching this show live, you won’t see this ad. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy the book…

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

The BBC does another long-distance EV trek doomed to fail, we ask why getting electric car rapid charging to work is such a problem, and the Oatmeal nails the Tesla experience.


As we’re live on air, BBC reporter Samatha Fenwick is attempting to drive a brand new Nissan LEAF from the factory that it was made in to Nissan’s technical centre in Bedfordshire, a trip of around 230 miles.

But before she left, Fenwick was told her first rapid DC quick charger wasn’t working — yet carried on regardless. Is she about to pull a Broder?


Fenwick’s trip — and the recent opening of a DC quick charge network in Slovakia which failed on its first day of operation — has got us wondering why DC quick chargers are just so unreliable?


And finally…

The Oatmeal is one of our favourite online comics. And now its founder — a known Tesla fan — wrote an amazing strip detailing what life is like with a Tesla Model S. Do we agree?


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