Transport Evolved Electric Car News Panel Show 207: Cyber Control

On today’s Transport Evolved: The Mercedes-Benz B-Class gets its EPA rating, Tesla gets a cool birthday present, and a LEAF you never have to clean. 

These stories and more, on today’s Transport Evolved, with Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield and guest Joe Dugandzic


Welcome to the show! Today, Nikki is joined by Arizonan resident, Radio DJ and lighting expert Joe Dugandzic.

A Nissan LEAF driver, Joe is interested in everything green, but has been working building his own home automation systems for more than twenty years. As well as being one of those unlucky LEAF drivers who lives in the sweltering heat of Phoenix, AZ, Joe is a regular EVangelist of the benefits of going green, telling anyone who will listen about the benefits of dumping the pump for good.

You can follow Joe on Twitter, find him on Facebook, or subscribe to his recently-launched YouTube channel.

Part 1

There are only 53.3 Years of Oil Left, Tesla’s Model S will soon be the most American car you can buy, Nissan LEAF gets priced for 2015, and Tesla loses its perfect zero death safety record.

According to BP, there are just 53.3 years of oil left in the world, meaning it’s high time we stopped and thought about where we get our transportation fuel from. While BP’s latest estimates are actually better than previous ones, it does make us wonder how long before we’re all driving non fossil-fuelled cars out of necessity rather than desire?


While the Ford F150 Pickup Truck might currently be the most American vehicle you can buy thanks to the high number of U.S. parts used in its construction, a report this week suggested that Tesla will soon be the most American car you can buy thanks to its upcoming Gigafactory. But will that mean that patriotic truck drivers will dump their F150s and Super Duties for something a little more electric? From the country which invented rollin’ coal, we’re doubtful.


The all-electric Nissan LEAF has been given its usual yearly price change for the start of the new model year. But while base prices don’t seem to have risen all that much, Nissan has sneaked in some pretty hefty price hikes to the optional extra list. We ask why, and wonder if it will affect sales?

After we went on air last weekend, a second Tesla accident occured in California, killing three people after a Model S drove into the back of a Toyota at speed, killing three out of the five occupants in the Toyota. Earlier today, the driver of the joy-ridden Model S which crashed into a building in LA was confirmed as having died of his injuries. What now for Tesla and its perfect safety record? Or is this a time for Tesla to shine? 

Ad Break: 

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(If you’re watching this show live, you’ll note that we’ve got a different ad…)

Part 2

Rimac Concept_Once heads to Formula E, Volvo confirms high-end XC90 PHEV, BMW and Daimler work on wireless charging technology, the Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive is rated, and Nissan’s No Charge to Charge program starts.

The Rimac Concept_One, one of the sexiest and fastest electric cars in existence, is heading to the Formula E race series as transport for the official Formula E race director. We ask if Rimac’s deal with Formula E is a spectacular publicity coup, if it will spur the car into production, and what the reaction of hardened petrol heads will be?

Meanwhile in Sweden, Volvo Cars confirmed the drivetrain details for its upcoming 2015 XC90 crossover SUV. What’s more, the high-end variant of the all-new car will be a high-performance, high-efficiency plug-in hybrid model called the XC90 T8. Will Volvo customers want it, and how much do we think it’ll cost?


They might be natural rivals in the automotive world, but BMW and Daimler announced a new partnership this week in the sphere of wireless inductive charging technology. With BMW already successfully charging several prototype vehicles using this method, will wireless charging become a killer feature for future plug-in car owners — or an unnecessary distraction?


Staying with Mercedes-Benz, its B-Class Electric Drive was given official EPA ratings this week. What do we make of its 87 miles per charge and 84 MPGe figure? And does this make the B-Class ED a worthy competitor to the BMW i3 or not?


Finally for the segment, Nissan’s No Charge to Charge program went live this week in ten key markets. What will the impact of the No Charge to Charge program be on EV sales, and will Nissan continue it beyond the initial two years laid out in its press releases?

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

Nissan demonstrates a self-cleaning LEAF, SyScan offers $10,000 to anyone who can hack a Tesla Model S, 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander will get a major update for U.S. launch, Cadillac can’t sell the ELR, and Tesla Motors gives the Tesla Museum an awesome birthday present.

Hate cleaning your car? What about a Nissan LEAF that cleans itself? Just displayed this week, the prototype car won’t make it into production yet — but it’s still pretty cool.


Hackers unite. The SyScan security conference in China kicks off next week with a $10,000 hacking challenge designed to see if the Tesla Model S is impervious to hackers. Could this be the start of a whole new level of cybersecurity threats we haven’t thought about before?

Mitsubishi’s Outlander Plug-in Hybrid — a car we recently drove on review — will get a massive update before it goes on sale in the U.S. next year as a 2016 model year. What upgrades will take place — and dare we wish of longer EV range?

General Motors might have had high hopes for the Cadillac ELR extended-range luxury coupe, but dealers just can't sell them. As a consequence, discounts of more than $13,500 are widely being offered across the U.S. for those willing to step behind the wheel of this overpriced, under-performing luxury car. How long before the ELR is cancelled?

And finally…

Yesterday was Nikola Tesla’s 158th birthday. So Tesla Motors — and its CEO Elon Musk came out with some pretty cool presents to make the day special for the soon-to-launch Tesla Museum in New York.


No feedback this week — but do drop us a line at [email protected], or fill out theContact Us form on our website!

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  • Ed Logan

    What happened to Mark?

    • Mark Chatterley

      I’m still here. Just not as active. Best way to describe it is a sabbatical. nnBasically, I was trying to do too much so I’ve had to cut back on some of my projects to concentrate on my own business: In Ear Entertainment. nnI’m still around.

  • Lance Pickup

    I just found your channel via a YouTube ad. Great show! I have a few comments on this episode:nnnB-mode regen on Nissan LEAF: I personally am not a huge fan of B-mode regen, or regen at all for that matter. It’s great when you need to stop or slow down anyway, but you can essentially accomplish the same thing by using the brake. After a year driving my LEAF I stopped using ECO mode when I had the epiphany that you never get as much out of regen as you put into it. I’m not a hyper-miler by any means, but by coasting when possible, my efficiency actually INCREASED. Yes, B-mode does enable one foot driving, but to maintain maximum efficiency you would need to keep your foot on the accelerator to maximize coasting.nnnBose premium sound system on the LEAF: we just got a second LEAF in our household so I can compare my wife’s 2013 with premium Bose sound to my standard sound on my 2012 LEAF. I cannot tell the difference at all.nnnWireless charging: I agree with the sentiment on the non-necessity of it in a home charging scenario. It’s not a big deal to plug in and you don’t effectively spill electrons on the floor due to inductive losses. I also cannot foresee highway-based wireless charging taking off any time soon. But I think the “killer app” for wireless charging will be: vehicle fleets (taxis and the like). Everything else (public parking lots and historic districts where they don’t want to disturb the “scenery” with EVSEs) will suffer from a chicken & egg problem where they will have to wait until there are sufficient numbers of wireless capable vehicles to install wireless charging, and justifying a $2-3000 adder to the cost of the EV when there are few wireless charging opportunities will be hard.nnn”Self-cleaning” LEAF: This is actually a huge problem with the back-end of the LEAF due to its aerodynamics. If they were to offer an option to only apply the special paint to the back of the car, I may actually be interested in that.nnnThe LEAF’s GPS transmission “vulnerability”. I don’t agree that this was a vulnerability at all. The whole point of making the GPS location available to an RSS feed server is that the server could send location-relevant information to the car. By closing the “vulnerability” they essentially killed what could have been a very useful feature of the car. Rather than just close it outright, I wish they had put in some kind of approval process for each RSS site accessed, similar to allowing cookies on web sites. That way drivers could decide if they trusted the site and if so opened up a whole new paradigm in location-specific apps.