Transport Evolved Electric Car News Panel Show 205: Exceptional Circumstance

On today’s Transport Evolved: Toyota’s new ride, depreciating LEAFs, and apathetic Brits

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


Welcome to the show! Today, Nikki is joined byand former EV1 saleswoman, EV advocate, industry insider and teller of truths Chelsea Sexton, and Plug-in America’s Chief Science Officer, Tom Saxton.

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.

All out geek, plug-in advocate and programmer, Tom has been driving plug-in cars for many years and currently has a fleet consisting of a Tesla Roadster, Toyota RAV4 EV, and a Nissan LEAF. Along with his wife Cathy, Tom is often found at EV events in Washington State, where they are active members of the local EVA. Tom is also the Chief Science officer for Plug-in America, and has been responsible for undertaking many useful surveys of plug-in cars and their drivers, covering reliability, battery degradation and range studies. Tom is also heavily involved in the Open Vehicle Monitoring System project, bringing telematics solutions to EVs without them.

When they’re not writing computer programs or driving EVs, Tom and Cathy are heavily involved with Robotics, taking part in everything from coaching local robotics classes through to competition Robotics.

(You can find Chelsea on Twitter or Facebook, and chat with Tom on Twitter or  Facebook; and read his blog here.)

Please note: 
Time stamps are given below in this font in the format [hh:mm:ss]

Part 1

Audi is rumoured to be playing catchup to Tesla, Car Charging Group Promises Tesla-friendly Charging Stations, CA HOV-lane access program gets extended, and the Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive configurator launches


Rumors abound this week claiming that Audi has been spooked into developing a whole slew of plug-in cars to compete against Tesla, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz. We try to see just how plausible the rumors are.


The CarCharging Group announced this week that it plans to offer Tesla-compatible charging stations in the near future. We examine how — and ask if Tesla Blink charging will feel anything like Tesla’s own Superchargers?


California’s HOV-lane access program has received an additional 15,000 green HOV-lane stickers for plug-in hybrids and range-extended EVs. We ask how long it will be before they run out.


Mercedes-Benz launched its B-Class Electric Drive online configurator this week — and it included something called a temporary range-extending option. We ask what it is, and how it works.

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Part 2

UK politician says British EV drivers should only use public quick chargers in ‘exceptional circumstances’ while validating high charging costs, Tesla unveils its third Texas Gallery, NADA fight back with anti-Tesla campaign, the Chevy Volt gets a service recall, and the City of Berkeley Considers public health CO2 warnings on gas pumps.


A UK peer said today that public charging stations — specifically quick charging ones — are designed to be used by EV drivers in ‘exceptional circumstances,’ justifying the high quick charge tariffs levied by companies like Chargemaster. But how much should a quick charge be?


Tesla unveils its third gallery in Texas, a state where it can’t legally sell cars to customers.  Is this just proof that the auto dealer associations and their attempts to kill tesla are pointless?


Meanwhile, the National Auto Dealers’ Association launched a new ad campaign this week which is clearly designed to fight against Tesla in the Tesla v Autodealer war. Called ‘Get The Facts’, we ask if this film will sway anyone to the dealers’ way of thinking?


GM has announced a service campaign for the Chevy Volt. We explain why, and how you can find out if your car is affected.


The City of Berkeley could be the first city in the U.S. to consider putting health warnings on gas pumps. Is it a good idea?

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…

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Part 3

Toyota prices its production H2 fuel cell sedan, UK domestic charging station grant gets back in full swing, we ask why used LEAFs are quickly depreciating, MG brings an EV to the UK, and an artist turns an Ampera into a canvas.


It still doesn’t have an official name, but now we know how much Toyota’s production-ready FCV sedan will cost: ¥7 million. We ask how it will be received around the world, if it really is just a compliance car, and ponder how much money Toyota is going to lose on each initial sale?

The UK domestic charging station installation grant is back in full swing in the UK. We ask what's different, and if it will help eliminate the 'get rich quick' shams that plagued its predecessor?

The Nissan LEAF was the fastest depreciating used car during May. We ask why — and wonder if it’s a good or bad thing?


MG celebrated its 90th birthday in the UK this week, and demonstrated its first ever plug-in car in the process. We ask if the MG EV will catch on, or if it will lose out to bigger brands?


And finally…

We’ve seen some really weird things done with cars over the years. And with poor sales figures, it appears Vauxhall has decided to top them all with a canvas-covered Ampera. No, we don’t get it either.


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