Thought of the Day: Jedi (Mark, May 27, 2014)

Mark responds to Nikki’s thoughts on why charging databases are so often inaccurate and asks how BMW has got EV fans happy about burning petrol?

Unlike our other shows, Thought of the Day is our chance to muse on one big story in the news each day, using it as a spring board to explore other topics, sometimes even outside of the Transport Evolved universe. Every weekday, Nikki and Mark will take it in turns to explore a story that catches our eye, developing a back and forth conversation between Transport Evolved’s two regular hosts.

As with our Quick Charge series, our Thought of the Day will be recorded very simply on a single smartphone, but then quickly edited together using the jump cut edit style popular with many YouTube vlogs. We think this style complements our other shows and offers us a different way to share our thoughts with you, our readers and viewers.

Let us know what you think in the comments below.


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  • Neil Stratford

    I probably fall into that category of car buyer that BMW have ‘hood-winked’, moving from a longer-range Leaf (on paper anyway) to a REx. nnFar from being a stop-gap solution, I see REx as a good compromise. I get to drive 99% of the time pure-EV, but that 1% of journeys I can still make without any hassle. Petrol (or gas if you must) is a great way to store and transfer energy quickly which is ideal for long range journeys. nnDropping a few miles EV range which are rarely used isn’t such a problem if you have the REx safety net to catch you when you make a range mistake. In fact I’m driving a lot more pure EV miles in the REx than before in the Leaf just because it’s now safe to throw the dice and make that risky journey.

  • Dennis Pascual

    Mark,nnGreat question. As a former ActiveE driver and originally an i3 REX reservation holder, something about driving a PHEV (or BEVx) made me feel less “genuine” than choosing to drive EV or ICE out of my hybrid garage. I have since subsequently changed my reservation to a BEV i3 and have been disappointed by the drop in Range from the ActiveE to the i3 to the point that I am 95% sure to pass on my allocation.nnI spelled out my thoughts on this on my blog – n, I like to be intellectually honest with myself and determine beforehand that I am driving an EV (in which case we take a Tesla on the drive) or if I am going to be naughty (in which case the ICE BMW goes out of the garage). So far this year, I’ve been up to around 95% electric in the hybrid garage as opposed to the 80% that I found myself after my first year of tracking my use. ( karmic “payback” with a hybrid garage reoccurred a week ago, I tried to start my BMW X5 (ICE) and the battery was VERY low (feigning death) as opposed to the time I killed the battery about a year ago.nnnI really should just go all EV, but the decision to keep the iCE vehicles has been a personal one, and not a logical one.nnnAs for lulling people to this “choice”. Many of us in the ActiveE program kept a very loud voice on the need to replace the fuel tank with extra batteries, alas, we were ignored. Tom Moloughney has implied on his blog that BMW is monitoring the purchase of the REX as indication of whether BMW will install more batteries in their vehicles. I am wondering if BMW will monitor the rejection of their vehicles by former ActiveE Electronauts to the Model S (and its step-siblings the Toyota RAV4 and eventual Mercedes B Class ED) that they took the wrong turn in deciding to provide a gas backup for those of us who don’t want it and want batteries instead.nnn(A long comment today, that’s what you get when I get on a roll and just had my cup of coffee whilst watching your thought of the day).

    • CDspeed

      I’m with you I don’t think Tom Moloughney is right. Picking the REx, or not, I see as a choice between gas and electric not range. If you buy the REx I’d see that as saying your ok with plug-in hybrids. The reason I’m pretty sure he’s wrong is the sales market, BMW would loose all their customers tomorrow if they came out with a new EV with the same range as the i3, the second Tesla’s Gen3 comes out it would be good bye BMW. I’m starting to wonder if Tom was told some in-accurate information because what he is saying makes no sense.

  • CDspeed

    My i3 will not have the REx, I think people who buy cars that are range extended have fallen for the terminology, it’s not a range extender, it’s hybridization. And yes it does make life easier, to fall back on your old addiction to gasoline. Though you may drive on electricity more your reasons for buying the REx are the same as you’d use to pullout your old security blanket. “Hmm I’m about to run out of electricity, no big deal I have the range extender, and if that runs out I can just go to the gas station” and I’m sorry but that’s not electric diving.

  • MEroller

    Just a general question to Mark and Niki: this was the last “Thought of the Day” episode to be published to date. Are you dropping this format alltogether, are you just in temporary “Thought of the Day” hiatus, or had you just forgotten about it with all the pot- “drive to the WAVE” mayhem?

  • D. Harrower

    So, is TotD done now? There hasn’t been a new one in almost 3 weeks…

    • No — we’re bringing it back, but we’re making some tweaks. As you know, Transport Evolved is essentially run most of the time by two people: I’ve been out of the office a lot, and Mark has been ill. In the time-constrained, financially constrained world we find ourselves in, we have to pick stuff sometimes to drop. We’re bringing it back though!

      • D. Harrower

        I understand and I’m glad it’s only a temporary hiatus. nnI’ve kind of made you guys part of my daily routine and I miss it.