Transport Evolved News Panel Show 208: Pwned

On today’s Transport Evolved: BMW scores big, Tesla’s new car is strictly equal, and Toyota Pulls a Publicity Stunt

These stories and more, on today’s Transport Evolved, with Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield and guests Marc Kudling and Jonathan Porterfield

Welcome to the show! Today, Nikki is joined by long-time EV advocate and industry insider Marc Kudling and specialist EV salesperson Jonathan Porterfield.

A long-time EV advocate — or as he prefers… “EV Promoter” — “Marc Kudling has been covering the plug-in world for many years, both as a freelance journalist and a PR advisor to some of the big names in the EV world.

As well as helping source someone looking to convert their Nissan LEAF to 11kW three-phase, Marc has also helped with the launch of Electrive.com, an english-language version of already popular Electrive.net.

Jonathan Porterfield and his wife Ursula set up Eco-Cars.net back in 2004 as a virtual dealership for environmentally-responsible used cars, ranging from LGP and hybrid vehicles through to all-electric cars. Unlike traditional dealerships with a large lot and big bills, Eco-Cars keeps its overheads and its carbon footprint low by working with dealers all over the country who often don’t know how to treat or sell used green cars. And its dealer forecourt is its website, where virtual tours of each car for sale are available.

Although they started their business off in Leicestershire, the Porterfields moved to the Orkney Islands last year, where they’re slowly converting the entire Island chain into EV-loving, plug-in car fans!

(You can find Marc Kudling on Facebook, follow him on Twitter, or G+. You can also find him at Electrive.comJonathan can be found on twitteror on his company site.)

Part 1

Tesla’s third generation car has been officially renamed, BMW signs a new battery deal, the White House says it can’t help, and Hyundai’s Tucson FCV travels 435 miles on a single tank of H2.

BREAKING: August’s BC2BC rally Cancelled due to sponsorship woes. We examine the aftermath.


It’s official. Tesla’s third generation car — formerly known as the Tesla Model E until Ford threatened Tesla with legal action — will now be called the Tesla Model ≣ (or perhaps the III). Will it be an instant hit with fans? And does this pave the way for other mathematically-themed car names?


German automaker BMW signed a new deal this week with South Korean battery manufacturer Samsung SDI. Already responsible for providing BMW with battery packs for its BMW i3 and BMW i8 plug-ins, the new deal — worth several billion euros — will see BMW’s battery pack consumption grow by up to 30 percent and enable the start of manufacture of BMW’s X5 eDrive plug-in hybrid. But will it sell?


In a response to an online petition signed by more than 138,000 people calling on the current U.S. administration to intervene in the ongoing battle between Tesla and powerful auto dealer associations, the White House has categorically said it can’t help. Should the White House step in, or is it right to leave legislation to individual states?


Hyundai’s iX35 — or Hyundai Tucson as it’s called in the U.S. set a new personal best this week by travelling more than 435 miles on a single tank of hydrogen, far more than the 265 miles officially quoted by the EPA. Does this mean people will want to drive hydrogen instead of electric, or is it just an example of how to drive to achieve excellent range.


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

Volkswagen confirms a brand new crossover SUV for 2016, Elon Musk promises Tesla Roadster owners a new battery pack, the Nissan LEAF is coming to a soccer game near you, the E-Fan plant takes to the skies, and the Tesla Model S is officially hacked


As expected, Volkswagen announced this week that it will bring to market a brand-new seven-seat mid-size crossover SUV based on the CrossBlue plug-in hybrid concept. Made in the U.S., the exact details of the new car have yet to be confirmed, but here at Transport Evolved we think it will plug in. Here’s why.


Tesla’s loyal Roadster owners, some of the very first Tesla fans, could be offered the chance to upgrade their car’s battery pack to the latest battery technology. Hinted at this week by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the new pack of unknown price would increase Roadster range to more than 400 miles per charge. We try and figure out how much it would cost — and if people will buy it.


Nissan signed yet another soccer sponsorship deal this week, with the intent of placing its entire vehicular lineup — including its all-electric LEAF and e-NV200 — front and centre at premiere league matches. But will soccer stars and their partners really drive a LEAF?


Airbus is better known for its large, aviation-fuel guzzling planes, but this week at the Farnborough International Air Show, a different type of plane was flying from Airbus which hints at an altogether greener future. Meet the E-Fan, and its big brother, the plug-in hybrid E-Thrust.


It’s official. The Tesla Model S has a software security flaw. That’s according to Chinese security company Qihoo 360, who says its security teams have found a way to remotely control a Model S without proper authorisation. What now for Tesla and the most advanced Internet-connected car ever made?


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 changes its roadmap for automated cars while Toyota warns of the negative side effects of self-driving vehicles, Toyota takes the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid around the green hell, EPA considers changing the fuel economy tests, new Smart ForTwo ED won’t appear for two years, and a Tesla Model S crashes at Tesla’s Factory.


After admitting that the key to autonomous vehicle technology lies in humanoid-thinking and artificial intelligence, Nissan has laid out a more concrete and achievable road map for autonomous driving technology. It won’t give us the 100% self-driving car, but it should make things much safer. However, at the same time, Toyota has warned that self-driving cars could increase, not decrease pollution. We’ll find out why.


Staying with Toyota, the Japanese automaker tried to make a splash this week by claiming that its Plug-in Hybrid Prius had set a new fuel economy record on the Nürburgring Nordschleife . We examine the publicity stunt, and illustrate why Toyota’s claims are wrong. 


Fuel economy test procedures are notoriously inaccurate compared to real-world driving, but now the EPA is considering adding extra trackside audits to validate automakers’ fuel economy claims. We examine how it could make window stickers more accurate.


The all-new 2016 Smart ForTwo and Smart ForFour were launched this week in Germany. Due to enter into production this fall, they promise high efficiency, classic Smart Car looks, but far improved ride, handling and capabilities. The only problem? The all-electric version of this all-new Smart won’t be around for another two years. We ask why?

And finally…

Crashing your car is never fun, especially if it’s a silly prang due to a tiny lapse in concentration. But this week, pictures surfaced of a Tesla Model S crashed into the sign at Tesla’s Fremont Factory. Is this the most embarrassing crash ever — and what happened?


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