Transport Evolved News Panel Talk Show 219: All About The H2

On today’s Transport Evolved: the car that will never die, the latest from Formula e, the Next Gen Volt gets a sneak peak and just why has the auto world gone hydrogen mad? 

These stories and more, with Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield, Phil Huff and Sebastian Blanco, plus an exclusive Formula e trackside report from roving reporter Cat Dow.

Welcome to today’s show. This week, Nikki is joined by Phil Huff and Sebastian Blanco, with a roving trackside report from Cat Dow at the Formula e race in Putrajaya, Malaysia.

A freelance automotive writer with more than 20 years of experience, Phil Huff started off his career behind the wheel in the motor racing world, but as he puts it, discovered that ‘the realities of funding shortfalls bit hard.’ After some successes and lots of fun behind the wheel, Phil started to cover the world of motor racing for the SportNetwork, before turning his attention to the world of road cars. These days, Phil can be found writing for a variety of UK publications and websites, with some rather strange accolades to his name, including catching air in a Toyota Prius and driving a solar-powered race car through the ancient University City of Cambridge.

Autobloggreen’s editor-in-chief Sebastian Balnco has been with AOL’s green-themed automotive website since its inception in 2006. With more than 20 years of writing and automotive experience under his belt, Sebastian has appeared on a number of different news networks and shows talking about everything green. A graduate of both English and Japanese studies, Sebastian is also a self-confessed tabletop game geek, and Perl Jam expert.

Freelance tech and car journalist Cat Dow can be found writing for many different sites, including tech-focused Recombu and the GreenCarGuide. Happy to get her hands dirty, Cat is often found underneath some interesting car, and has big plans for an all-electric Wolseley Hornet. Happy in front or behind the camera, she’s also known for her collection of brightly-coloured high-heels, but says she always carries a set of flats to thrash a car around a track.

(You can reach Phil via Twitter, Google +, or his website, while you can interact with Sebastian via Twitter and Google +. You can reach Cat via Twitter or Google +.)

Part One

We chat to Phil about his recent trip to experience Volvo’s latest inflating car seat technology, ask if simulated Formula One racing is really as good as it sounds, and find out what he thought of some time behind the wheel of the Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid.

What's the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV like?

What’s the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV like?

We also chat to Sebastian about his recent trip to the Challenge Bibendum in China, and ask if the air quality there was really as bad as we’ve been hearing in the news lately. We also ask him to describe how hydrogen fuel cell advocates at the event were using old data to discredit electric cars — and ask if the self-driving VIPA electric shuttle is revolutionary or just weird?

VIPA at the Challenge Bibendum. (Photo: Sebastian Blanco, AOL)

VIPA at the Challenge Bibendum. (Photo: Sebastian Blanco, Autobloggreen AOL)

Finally for the segment, we look at the supposedly ‘all-new Mullen 700e’ which debuted at this week’s Los Angeles Auto Show, and explain why it looks so darned familiar…

Look familiar?

Look familiar?

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Part Two:

We talk about the launch of the 2016 Toyota Mirai at the LA Auto Show this week, along with the unveiling of Honda’s latest Fuel Cell Vehicle concept and a hydrogen Fuel Cell Volkswagen Golf SportWagen HyMotion.  Has this year’s LA auto show really been all about hydrogen fuel cell technology? And who is pushing it?

There have been a lot of hydrogen fuel cell cars unveiled in LA this year.

There have been a lot of hydrogen fuel cell cars unveiled in LA this year.

Also, we ask if consumers will really be ready to pay $57,500 for a hydrogen fuel cell sedan they won’t be able to easily refuel, and find out find out the REAL reason Toyota is offering free fuel to its early adopters.

Why is hydrogen fuel being offered for free?

Why is hydrogen fuel being offered for free?

We also examine why Toyota and Honda’s fuel cell sedans both have CHAdeMO DC quick charge plugs on them, and wonder if Honda’s Power Exporter Concept could be of use to electric car owners, too.

We also ask how efficient the Toyota Mirai really is and finally for the segment, ask if Audi’s A7 Sportback H-tron Quattro is the perfect union between electric and hydrogen?

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Part Three:

Starting the segment, we get an exclusive track-side report from the second FIA Formula e world championship in Putrajaya, Malaysia, hosted by the wonderful Cat Dow, who joins us for the final segment.

Cat Dow on the case in Malaysia for the Formula e Race.

Cat Dow on the case in Malaysia for the Formula e Race.

This week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed (again) that the delayed 2016 Tesla Model X will come with those famous Falcon-wing doors, as well as showcasing the upgrades that have been carried out to the Tesla factory in preparation for the crossover SUV and confirming that the Model X will come with towing capability.

Before and After on Tesla's Model X trim line.

Before and After on Tesla’s Model X trim line. (Photo: TeslaMotors)

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class Plug-in Hybrid broke cover this week at the LA Auto Show, with a 0-62 time of 5.2 seconds, a top speed of 130 miles per hour, and up to 20 miles of all-electric range. But with a 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 and an 80 kW electric motor, with the S550 PHEV really find buyers, or will customers looking for a luxury plug-in opt for the Tesla Model S instead?

The U.S.-market Mercedes-Benz S550 plug-in hybrid is following in the steps of the S500 plug-in hybrid (pictured)

The U.S.-market Mercedes-Benz S550 plug-in hybrid is following in the steps of the S500 plug-in hybrid (pictured)

Also in LA, GM unveiled some more information on the upcoming 2016 Chevrolet Volt, including its revised, more angular nose, illuminated charge port door, and GPS-aware charging program.

Here's what the front of the 2016 Chevrolet Volt looks like.

Here’s what the front of the 2016 Chevrolet Volt looks like.

Finally, we get a look at a poo-powered bus, and ask if we’re all going to be driving around in methane-powered vehicles some time in the near future?


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