Transport Evolved News Panel Talk Show Episode 231: Swallow Two, With Water

On today’s Transport Evolved: a claimed end to range anxiety, a victory in New Jersey, and a crazy lease deal that’s too good to miss.


These stories and more coming up on Today’s Transport Evolved, with Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield, Seth Weintraub and Sebastian Blanco.

Award-winning journalist and blogger Seth Weintraub has many years of experience covering the tech world, and won back to back Neal Awards during his three plus years covering Apple and Google at IDG’s Computerworld from 20072010. These days he splits most of his time between, to and adding the gear and deals site. His EV-centric site is required reading for in-depth analysis of the plug-in and green energy world.

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.

Part One:

We chat to Seth about the two new colours quietly added to the Tesla model S lineup in the past few weeks, and wonder if we’ll one day see Tesla offer custom colours for customers willing to pay extra?

Will custom colours ever make it to the Tesla Store?

Will custom colours ever make it to the Tesla Store?

We also chat to Sebastian about his recent night in the TeslaHotel in Phoenix, Arizona, and ask if the Tesla Model S is really a comfortable way to spend the night? We also ask him to describe his recent trip in a foam-edged electric car in Detroit, and ask if it really is as good as its inventors claim.

We also chat to Seth and Sebastian about rumors surrounding a possible Apple car, and ask if there’s any substance to what we’ve heard thus far. Moreover, we ask if Detroit or Tesla should be scared?

Also in part one

We give a run down of the Tesla Model S 6.2 software update, and ask if Tesla’s upcoming Range Assurance and Trip Planner additions will help ensure that nobody ever runs out of charge in a Tesla Model S again.

Has Tesla killed range anxiety forever?

Has Tesla killed range anxiety forever?

We also examine the rest of the telephone conference call held by Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Thursday, and look at what else is in store moving forward.

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Part Two:

After nearly a year of being banned from operating a dealership in the state of New Jersey, a new law signed on Wednesday yet again makes it possible for Tesla to sell direct to customers in the Garden State.

Tesla and New Jersey: friends again.

Tesla and New Jersey: friends again.

We explain the new law and its Tesla-sized exemption, and ask if this is the beginning of the end for franchised car dealerships?

As we’re broadcasting, a fully-autonomous Audi SQ5 SUV has left San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge on a coast-to-coast trip across the U.S. We look at the importance of this record-breaking trip, and ask if this will become the gold standard for autonomous vehicle test drives?

Fiat’s all-electric 500e is something of a compliance car, existing primarily to support ZEV mandates in California. In fact, Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne isn’t afraid to let people know that fact, once famously pleading with customers not to buy the all-electric minicar because it lost Fiat large amounts of money.

Live in California? There's a crazy deal right now on a new Fiat 500e...

Live in California? There’s a crazy deal right now on a new Fiat 500e…

But last week, a super-awesome lease deal in the state of California saw large numbers of Fiat 500es fly off dealer lots. Is this the best electric car lease deal we’ve ever seen — and will it encourage Fiat Chrysler and its CEO to change their minds on plug-in vehicles?

Finally for the segment, we look at Nissan’s confirmation that the Nissan Blade Glider EV won’t be making it to production any time soon. Will the revolutionary car ever make it to production or is it just too bizarre to sell? Or is there another reason — namely a court case — causing it to stall production plans?

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Part Three:

This week, PG&E proposed offering electric car customers a one-time rebate for driving an electric car. The utility company — which serves most of central and northern California — will pay for the rebates through money earned from the sale of low carbon fuel credits.

Is PG&E about to offer plug-in car drivers a bonus for driving electric?

Is PG&E about to offer plug-in car drivers a bonus for driving electric?

We explain how PG&E has the credits in the first place — and how it has to get rid of the money made from them somehow. We also ask if the proposed grant is an unfair advantage to plug-in car owners, or just a bit of poetic justice given its funding comes from Big Oil?

After four years of being on sale around the world, it seems that the current generation of plug-in vehicles are finally starting to see some rise in residual values. As we reported earlier in the week, Glass’s — a European equivalent of Kelley’s — reported that residual values of plug-in cars are now edging closer to those of diesel vehicles.

Will we see residual values continue to rise, or will the ‘next generation’ of plug-in vehicles plunge earlier car values into the ground?

Residual values are on the rise for plug-ins.

Residual values are on the rise for plug-ins.

Talking at the 2015 GPU Technology Conference earlier this week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that he anticipated that autonomous cars may one day become so commonplace and competent that humans decide to ban themselves from ever driving a car manually again. We look at the past, present and future of autonomous vehicles, and ask if Musk is right?

Finally for today, we bring you news of three different recalls affecting the Tesla-engineered Toyota RAV4 EV, Chevrolet Volt and Kia Soul EV. Is there something in the water, or just bad timing?

Watching after the show?

Shortly after we record the show, we traditionally pull the live stream version of our show and replace it with a fully edited video. So if you’ve missed the live show, bear with us, and we’ll bring you a fully-edited version as quickly as our video-processing ninjas can.

Advance warning:

Due to planned medical procedures, there will be no live Transport Evolved panel show next week. Our next live show will be on Easter Sunday, April 5.


Want to keep up with the latest news in evolving transport? Don’t forget to follow Transport Evolved on Twitter, like us on Facebook and G+, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.


Want to keep up with the latest news in evolving transport? Don’t forget to follow Transport Evolved on Twitter, like us on Facebook and G+, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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