TEN 39

T.E.N. Electric Car News 20 June, 2014: Charging Collaboration, Model X Update, Electric Harley-Davidson.

Welcome to Episode 39 of T.E.N, for the week beginning June 16, 2014. Short for Transport Evolved News, T.E.N. is recorded every Friday to help your weekend get off to a flying start by making sure you haven’t missed the big EV news stories of the week.

Weekly show about plug-in and electric vehicles. This week news about: Tesla, Nissan and BMW collaboration, New Jersey support for Tesla Stores, Model X update, five million charging sessions, five hundred million Volt Miles, coffee-powered cars, EV informerials, Formula E, and the first Electric Harley-Davidson.

Just ten minutes in length, T.E.N. delivers the EV news in a bite-sized format, and you’ll find links to all of the stories we cover in an accompanying article here on Transport Evolved.

Enjoy the show, don’t forget to leave us feedback in the comments below, feel free to link to our video, and remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel!

What follows, as always, is our raw script for the show today. (It’s why things are sometimes written out in words rather than numbers — and why we sometimes make some errors!) You’ll find it isn’t always quite identical to the video above, but we know some of you like to follow through and click on the stories as we discuss them. Enjoy! 

Supercharged Trio

Less than one week after Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that Tesla was going to make all of its electric car patents available under open source licenses, Tesla, Nissan and BMW are apparently in talks to join their electric car charging networks together.

That’s according to the Financial Times, which reported on Monday that Tesla has been in secret talks with both Nissan and BMW to work together on public electric car charging.

Given the fact that Tesla has always been open to sharing its Supercharging technology with other car companies — provided they shared its free-at-point-of-use ethos —  we’re guessing that last week’s patent giveaway has prompted both Nissan and BMW to seriously consider adopting Tesla’s supercharging standard.

Of course, it’s too early to say at the moment if either car manufacturer will adopt Supercharging, but given the Nissan LEAF is far cheaper than a Model S, I really, really hope so because I want a supercharged, long-range car I can actually afford.

Unanimous Support

Earlier this year the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission voted in a regulation change which made it illegal for Tesla Motors to sell its super sexy electric cars direct to customers in the Garden State.

A few weeks later, some pro-tesla elected officials in both the senate and the assembly introduced bills which would overturn that dealer-backed regulation, and this week the first of those two bills was given unanimous support by the New Jersey Assembly.

New Jersey Assembly Bill A Three Two One Six, sponsored by New Jersey Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald and Assemblyman Timothy Eustace, was passed by the assembly seventy seven votes to nil. Under the Bill, Tesla Motors would be allowed to sell its electric cars direct to customers within the state, reinstating the sales rights it lost earlier this year.

Although the bill isn’t law yet — it needs to go through the house before it can be signed into law — we’re hopeful it’ll have as easy time in the house as it has in the Senate. Well done to everyone who supported it thus far, and good luck for the next stage.

All the Wheels

Amidst all the talk of patent giveaways and the Annual Shareholder meeting earlier this month, it’s been easy to forget about the Tesla Model X, Tesla’s next car.

Originally due to enter production in late 2013, the Model X is now due to enter production by the end of this year, with the first deliveries to reservation holders due in spring twenty fifteen.

That’s according to a Tesla mailing sent out this week, with some much-wanted updates on the crossover SUV, and a few changes.

First, all Model X will come with all wheel drive as standard. Second, all Model X cars will come with supercharging capability as standard, regardless of battery size.

Finally, Tesla confirmed, the Model X will retain its iconic Falcon Wing Doors, so all there’s left to do is wait for the Model X to start production very very soon.

Five Million Charging Sessions

It only takes one look at recent global electric car sales figures to see how dramatically the electric car market has grown in the last twelve months. And that rise in Plug-in car sales has been mirrored in the charging world, where charging providers are seeing more public charging sessions than ever before.

Take ChargePoint for example, which announced this week that it had recently passed its five millionth electric car charging event, just three months after it recorded its four millionth.

That’s five million electric cars plugged in and charging at ChargePoint public charging stations across the U.S. since the company started back in 2008.

The growth in electric car sales means that it’s not going to be long before we’ll see the six millionth charging event from the charging provider, assuming its growth curve continues that is.

Which makes us wonder. How long before we’re counting charging sessions in tens of millions, or dare we even say it, billions?

Half a Billion Miles

Talking of billions — or half of one —  that’s the milestone passed this week by Chevrolet Volt drivers in the U.S., who have now racked up a total of five hundred million miles in all-electric mode.

The range-extended electric car, which first went on sale in december two thousand and ten, can operate in all-electric range for an EPA-approved thirty-five miles per charge. But according to General Motors in its press release announcing the half-billion milestone, a large proportion of Volt drivers manage forty, or even more miles per charge before the car’s on-board range-extending gasoline engine kicks in.

We’ve got a Chevy Volt here at Transport Evolved Towers — and we easily manage forty miles per charge. So far’ we’ve driven a total of seventeen thousand miles at an average fuel economy of one hundred and fifteen miles per gallon. That’s a long way from half a billion EV miles, but we’re hoping some of our EV miles can help towards reaching the billion mile mark.

Ambassador of Awesomeland

If you’re watching this, the chances are you already know how awesome electric cars are. But in case you don’t, you should check out the Ambassador of Awesomeland and his pro electric car informercial.

Published by the Centre for Sustainable Energy in California — those are the same folks Californians apply to for their electric car rebates — the fun little video aims to tell you about some of the less obvious perks of owning an electric car. And promote a series of workshops being held this summer in the San Francisco Bay Area for would be EV owners to find out more about driving electric.

The Video is fun, quirky and a little off-beat — and it happened to launch last month. But because it hasn’t had that much social love, we figured we’d tell you about it here, too.

Park ‘n’ Charge

Do you hate parking your electric car and then plugging it in?  We find the act of conductive charging really simple, but we understand that some folks would rather their car charges without wires.  If that’s you, you’ll love this next piece of news.

Enter Honda’s latest fusion of electric car and self-driving technologies: a car which not only parks itself, but charges itself too.

One you’re outside the car, self-parking can be activated in this Honda Fit Ev using a smartphone. The car then uses image feeds from around your garage and its own rear-view camera to figure out where it is in real time, slowly backing itself into the parking space and aligning itself perfectly with the inductive charging pad.

Once parked, charging starts automatically.

If you’re rubbish at parking, or have trouble getting in and out of your garage, maybe this is for you.


If you’re anything like us, your morning doesn’t get underway properly until you’ve had a chance to sit down with a nice cup of coffee.  And with more than 2.25 billion cups of java consumed every day, the global coffee industry is second only to the oil industry in terms of value, ahead of things like sugar, gold and even natural gas.

And as a team of researches from the University of Bath in South West England have come up with a more practical use for coffee grounds they think everyone will like: turning it into automotive biofuel.

It sounds great, but there’s a major problem: fuel yield. While coffee grounds can be used to produce liquid biofuel, the ratio of unit mass to liquid fuel isn’t all that great. From 10 kilograms of used coffee grounds, only two litres of biofuel can be made.

While we quite like the idea of driving down the road powered by coffee however, we’re thinking it’s best to keep the coffee inside us, not the car, for now.

Formula E–xchange?

Drayson Racing, the first motor racing team to express an interest in the inaugural season of Formula E, has officially withdrawn from the competition, it announced this week.

In its place will be TrulliGP, a new motor racing team which has taken over Drayson Racing’s Formula E entry and will also make use of the company’s wireless charging technology.

If the name TrulliGP sounds familiar, that’s because it was founded by former Formula One drive Jarno Trulli. Acquiring the Drayson Racing Formula E team entry, Trulli will not only become team boss but also of the team drivers for the inaugural ten-race season.

With the official Formula E launch in just over a week, we’d like to wish all the teams the very best as they prepare for the first race this September.

A fully charged hog

Harley-Davidson, the motorcycle manufacturer best known for its large-engined, highway-munching cruisers, has just done the unthinkable.

It’s unveiled a concept electric motorcycle.

Called the LiveWire, the new electric motorcycle is a first for the Milwaukee-based firm. Designed to evoke the classic Harley-Davidson look, the concept motorcycle looks like a cross between the company’s V-Rod, Rocker and Street bike. Naked in design — that means no faring — the LiveWire looks the part, and sounds a little like a rocket ship as it zooms by.

While official performance figures for the LIveWire haven’t been released yet, we love the look of Harley-Davidson’s first electric ride, and hope to get our hands on it next year when it comes to Europe on tour.

If you’re in the U.S., you’ll be pleased to know the LiveWire will tour more than thirty hog dealers this summer… so if you’re a biker, keep your eyes peeled for this all-electric rocket.


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