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December, 2014

801 km in a Fiat Multipla(aka Zotye M300)
..at normal speeds and with 13% of battery capacity remaining - giving a potential range of more than 900 km !
- Battery life-span: 3000 charge cycles
(..do the massive math)

So, as promised in our recent Mazda Metron 7 article, here is another EVUK exclusive cage-rattling close-up and Q&A - including two first-time-ever, virtually virgin video  Chinese TV reports.
- please propagate and disseminate freely/virally and help us break this record-breaking silence and inertia!

If a picture speaks a thousand words then a video screams a million...
...so here are a couple of million from Shenzhen TV & Nanning TV(Start to Finish) :
Shenzhen TV Zotye Fiat Multiplia 801 km range record  Nanning TV Zotye Fiat Multiplia 801 km range record
Click to watch two eye-opening exclusive EV TV clips.
Note:  no video of this Shenzhen to Nanning trip has to date ever been screened, Youtube'd or made publicly available beyond China.

Marco Nanning Zotye Fiat Multiplia 801 km range record Nanning TV Zotye group stage Fiat Multiplia 801 km range record
The rangy, larger-than-life Loglio(pic left and far right) towers head and shoulders above his colleagues - and dwarfs the competition.
A Chinese-speaking Shenzhen-based emigré and escapee from Berlusconi's Italy(see Linkedin), this Born Eclectic-Electric maverick recently skyped us everything we needed except a Fiat-Zotye to test-drive - but he did include these two extremely elusive exclusive Shenzhen TV/Nanning TV video files. And for those whose Chinese is a little rusty or dusty he also added the following(his own) helpful summary extract-translation of comments made by the TV reporters and contributors :

1st Reporter(Male): Now that gasoline prices are going up we need a new type of more economical car. People are always concerned about the range of EV's, but now a new EV has arrived with a range of 800km with just one charge..
2nd Reporter(female): The car behind me is not a gasoline car, but a pure electric car... no pollution.. no noise.
What's the performance like ? Well, based now on my own experience the acceleration is fine for city use and it's easy to drive.
This car is good for the environment, comfortable and convenient..
Another guy, bystander: I hope this EV will be used by the people, the public. Then our sky will be more blue...
Reporter(female): EV range used to be under 200 km with one charge , but this new model can reach 800 km on a single charge.
Interviewed guy: I could charge this car in my garage during the night and the day after I can do another 800 km again !

Silent Silenced Sensation :  why(and how) was Marco Loglio's Italian-Chinese realworld record ignored, buried, suppressed in the West, until very recently, by search engine news trawlers - including Google News ..?

Judging from EV blog and cyber-comment(see InsideEV's for instance) it's clear that even the most forensically informed EV aficionados were unaware of Marco Loglio's / Vantage Power's 2012 801km record until the quite irate Italian began blogging up his contesting claim following Andrej Pecjak's acclaimed 736km trip from Bled to Dubrovnik in October of this year - a feat which was also unsurprisingly ignored by the mainstream media but not by search engine news providers.(Note too - in similar vein - how the relatively long-range China-only Daimler-BYD Denza and London's BYD e6 Thriev taxis have been disappeared from the media radar - for deviantly daring to deliver a mere 186 miles of range)

800+km? Still sceptical ?  Here are just three of remarkable Marco Loglio's life and career achievements :
- in 1993 Loglio earned himself a place in the Guinness Book of Records with a 508km distance record in an event organised by the FIA (no, seriously!) - beating big budget-boosted major contenders like Mercedes, Toyota and Honda.

Racing Green Loglio Thunder Sky cells - Racing Green Endurance Pan-American Highway challenge. 26,000km. Alaska to Ushuaia - S. America's southernmost town. An extreme EV-proving event which was copiously covered even by BBC World TV.

So what ?  Marco Loglio was vice-president of the company Thunder Sky(TS) that manufactured and supplied super-reliable, robust, range-redefining, low-cost batteries to the team from Imperial College, London to power its all-electric 200 km/h SRZero sportscar the whole distance. (Watch all Racing Green videos - here's the must-see final BBC Episode without Youtube & Ep.3 - a race-track treat for Formula E types)

Scandalous, is it not, how the world's media always run away as soon as someone like Loglio produces and proves a "normal", stylish, long-range, affordable consumer-oriented EV like the Fiat/Zotye - as opposed to a fast, long-range, robust racing car prototype like the Thunder Sky-powered SRZero.
Formula E fans might also wonder why single-seater FE race cars run out of juice after just 45 km of relatively flat road circuits whereas the 2-seater SRZero averaged almost 400 km per charge over a mix of flat, hilly and rough roads !
More video veritas: the 2-man TS-powered SRZero attempts London-Paris - 259 miles / 465 km at 60 mph - on a single charge in 2010. Yet in 2014 a 1-man Formula E car wouldn't even reach Dover !!(av. FE speed in Beijing/Putra/Punta : 60 mph).

So for all of its positives - the excitement, the thrills and the spills - Formula E is still fuelling the fallacy that EV's lack staying power and can't go the distance.
So come on Agag, Andretti, DiCaprio & Co - time to call or thunder skype the likes of Loglio...

- Dr. Marco Loglio has a PhD in philosophy from the University of Milan.
- he has also published a book entitled "Shenzhen Hikes" and regularly organises hiking and biking/cycling meet-ups in and around Shenzhen.
For more see Loglio's fully-loaded Linkedin pages.

(Quick) Q & A      EVUK : Marco Loglio
EVUK:  So what do you say to sceptics ? Not forgetting that almost no-one outside China even knew about your 801km record until you recently began posting up comments contesting Slovenian Andrej Pecjak's 736 km trip in October. That info-blackout may well have been a result of Google's long drawn-out dispute with the Chinese government of course.

M.Loglio:  Well for the sceptical crowd:   more than 50 journalists and photographers witnessed the event on two buses following close behind us from beginning to end.

EVUK:  You were VP of Thunder Sky for a few years too, right ? The company that supplied the batteries for the SRZero - Imperial College's electric race car - for the very successful trip or expedition from Alaska to Argentina ? 26,000 km - and the BBC filmed it all !

M.Loglio:  Yes of course. But now I have my own company MLCA Ltd based in Hong Kong - and our batteries are even better than they were then and delivering even more range than our 801 km record.

EVUK:  801 km was not enough for you ?!

M.Loglio:  Then it was - yes sure ! But with our latest cells 1000 km would be possible at normal highway speeds.

EVUK:  You say you can deliver your batteries globally within 15 days. Would you be willing or able to divulge the name of any company worldwide that has ordered cells from you - and not just test-samples ?

M.Loglio:  We have taken all kinds of orders from many companies around the world but I cannot name them because of binding NDA's - non-disclosure agreements.
But our batteries can be ordered with delivery in 15 days. The price is also very competitive. Very efficient battery packs for EV's with prices starting at a low of $160 USD for 1 Kw/h.
All this is real and available now.
I really wish that people of good will would propagate the information that the time for EV's is NOW !
We don't need to wait years or decades to have long range EV's at low cost.

EVUK:  MLCA Ltd does not have a website - is it difficult for foreigners to run business websites in China ?

M.Loglio:  Yes, it is often not easy for foreigners to run businesses and websites here. It is best if you go to my Linkedin pages or you can also go to my son's website in Italy - it is in English or Italian:


Below: the team takes a break at the 605km point to mark the 2010 record set by Mirko Hannemann(DBM Energy) in a converted Audi A2 :

Nanning TV Zotye group stage Fiat Multiplia 801 km range record

Nanning TV Zotye group stage Fiat Multiplia 801 km range record

Given all of the above world-beating superlatives, it's (almost) impossible to understand why the world's major carmakers - China's included - aren't constantly beating down Loglio's doors to make him offers he just can't refuse(although certain Italian 'heavyweights' might misinterpret that phrase of course).

Click here: Bing & Google .. to leap to rare and threadbare English-language coverage of this 801km Loglio-Fiat-Zotye EV range-record.

December, 2014

736 km / 457 mile range record(Bled-Dubrovnik)
Be Amazed : e-Mazda - aka Mazda5 Metron 7
EVUK Exclusive: Q&A with creator-converter Andrej Pečjak

Plus: first Youtube clips now uploaded
Mazda were "amazed" - but not amused by the e-Mazda / Metron 7, says Pečjak...
/Metron Mazda5 736km Record Start BledMetron7 Mazda5 Team Hotel Stopover
First Youtube Video - just in !(December 2014).
Even with just half of its record-breaking battery pack the amazing Mazda5 / Metron 7 would still achieve circa 240 miles, 1500 full recharges(do the maths!) offer even better acceleration and handling and could be returned to its original 7-seater capacity...and sell for less than 40,000 euros into the bargain - according to its Slovenian creator Andrej Pečjak.
Please chew on that Tesla ! (Elon - not Croatian-born Nikola naturally !)

Wordiness Warning !  As always our Questions tend to be a lot longer than the Answers !
Why ?
Well, with so many EV novices, newbies and converts switching sides and plugging in everyday now - especially since Formula E's electrifying opener in Beijing - there is, as ever, a need to provide context and to join those many EV dots that the mainstream media is notorious for wilfully underreporting, understating or omitting altogether. Indeed, this latest world record itself is another conspicuous case in point with the international and national press having refused/failed to report the feat at all(Pečjak confirms - see below).

Q & A (Part I)
EVUK:  Thanks for agreeing to respond to our questions and comments. Rest assured that any scepticism from us is directed exclusively at major automakers - not at rare EV heroes like yourself who dare to expose the inconvenient truth, to challenge and quite possibly embarrass the auto establishment with extraordinary slam-dunking EV range-records.
So firstly(to set the tone) :
- you will almost certainly be aware of your record-breaking predecessor Mirko Hannemann of DBM Energy(now Kolibri AG). As you may know(but few people do..) DBM was more or less taken over "Trojan Horse"-style by BMW's former head of PR Richard Gaul, Deutsche Bank and others when the company was renamed and very quietly relaunched as Kolibri AG.   Hannemann was swiftly sidelined, ousted, evicted, if you will, and all talk of long-range transformative DBM-powered EV's was abruptly terminated. A sorry and all-too predictable outcome.(See EVUK report )

Andrej P:  I did not know about him, but I have checked now.
Like you say, an EV hero. His range 605km at that time was a big achievement.

EVUK:  DBM's Hannemann had said on several occasions that the automotive establishment had shown no interest at all in his record-breaking cells prior to the 605+ km Munich-Berlin run.
Have you experienced the same lack of interest ?

Andrej P:  Yes, they have shown no interest at all.

EVUK:  ..and just as importantly - have you felt any negative blowback or repercussions from any of the usual suspects, vested interests who may feel more than a little angry at being embarrassed by too much long-range truth once again from another fearless EV "disruptor" like yourself (and Hannemann before you in 2010) ?

Andrej P:  For the record range - no. Or not yet. But we did feel repercussions after our victory at Rallye Monte Carlo des Energies Nouvelles 2013. We won in the category "consumption" and in category "IIIA Electric Vehicles". But then in the middle of rally season 2013 FIA Regulations were changed so that converted vehicles can no longer take part. Besides, if you check now the archive pages of RMC, you will see category IIIA is missing ! But if you go directly to the page, it is still there. Coincidence ? Maybe...

EVUK:  Are phones ringing off the hook with "unrefusable offers" (or threats !) - or has there been little response both from carmakers and from the mainstream international media ?

Andrej P:  No. Nothing. No response. Or not yet.

EVUK:  Where are the videos of the record run, Andrej !?
You were accompanied by a cameraman Igor Kolovrat - yet we have been unable to find any videos at all. (Igor's email address is not working: igor.kolovrat@kilovatmedia.com )
As always Youtube hosts a zillion videos of cats, parrots and idiot humans falling on their faces in a 1000+ different ways - but videos of your unique, sensational, record-breaking, game-changing electrified Mazda5 is nowhere to be found ! Or are you preparing a full-length documentary of the journey ? Is a feature-length DVD soon to be released ?

Andrej P:  It is now on Youtube. I am still waiting for a longer version.

EVUK:  Would there be anything to correct in the following comment:
"Even if the Metron 7 were to be equipped with a battery pack half the size(and 500kg weight) of the record-breaking 86 kWh/96 cell version it would - being 250kg lighter - still achieve circa 55-60% of the 736 km record - so more than 390 km or 240 miles."

Andrej P: Yes, probably 50-55% , 60% not likely. We had 96 kWh battery on board, overall battery weight was 560 kg (86 kWh battery + 10 kwh additional battery that fits into the car). We have to try once range without five kilometres of uphill climbs next time !
The battery weight could also be reduced if the car itself could be made lighter.

EVUK:  What is the expected life-span or life expectancy(charge cycles ?) of the Metron's lithium cells ?

Andrej P:  We use Korean Lithium polymer cells. The battery packs are assembled by Metron. They should have at least 1500 cycles - but even more in the Metron 7 because normally we do not use full charge/discharge cycles (we - or almost nobody - drives 500km or more every day)

Metron7 Mazda5 736km Record Luggage Rear

EVUK:  As you may know DBM Energy subsequently produced and road-tested(or were pressured to do so..) a few disappointing and rather pointless short-range 200 km/120 mile versions of its Audi A2.
Is there any possibility that you might be persuaded to put together a Mazda5/Metron with a battery pack half the size but still with a range of around 240 miles - so still 50-60 miles better than even the 186 mile per charge (China-only) Daimler Denza ?

EVUK:  It would be no problem to do it, but we are too small for any production. We are just 5 people...

EVUK:  What would a 48 cell/43 kWh, 200 mile version cost to buy approximately in your view - given that you have estimated a Euro 50,000 mass-production selling price for the record-breaking version ?

Andrej P: In small production series - like 100 cars - it would cost maybe 40,000 Euros. In larger series, the price would drop.

EVUK:  The Mazda5 was arguably an even better choice than Mirko Hannemann's lightweight Audi A2 conversion. The ICE version Mazda5 earns very positive or rave-reviews almost everywhere you look. Is the electric version still a 7-seater ?
Is there any loss of luggage space at all ?

Andrej P:  It is now 5-seater due to a bit heavier weight then original car (150 kg). Luggage space is normally bigger then at ICE Mazda 5 (we have a deeper trunk), when using additional battery, it is the same as original Mazda 5. Check pictures at our site.

EVUK:  Sceptics will of course ask why you did not engage a recognized independent official adjudicator to verify the record. Did you think about contacting Guinness at all ?

Andrej P:  For Guinness you have to drive on flat road with a constant speed as low as possible (but more than 25 km/h). It is too boring and it does not show or prove anything

EVUK:  Flat roads ? Flat beer ? But are official adjudicators generally prohibitively expensive ? Or just impractical ?

Andrej P:  All official adjudicators are too expensive, we hardly afforded what we did. But if somebody pays, we are ready to do it again

EVUK:  - have you ever been tempted to buy a Nissan Leaf or a BMW i3, Andrej ? (i3 official EPA range rating: 81 miles/130km)
If not, what might possibly persuade you to purchase one ?

Andrej P:  - in fact I did want to buy a Nissan Leaf to add additional batteries for more range.
But then we borrowed one and did it with batteries that increased the range by 50-70 km, so there was no need to buy one !  For me those cars have too small range. Eventually, when second-hand BMW i3's are cheap, I would buy one and install a bigger battery pack - but at the moment it's too expensive.

EVUK:  - what would you like to see happen next - in brief ? Where does the Mazda5/Metron 7 go from here ?(Hopefully not into the EV history books... or a museum !)

Andrej P:  - we want to sell our knowledge or work with somebody who has more funds to see some longer range car into production. Could be production of converted cars or new cars.
At the moment we are exhausted, so we have no new plans. They will appear after New Year.


Q & A (Part II)
EVUK:  - do you think that Mazda are or would be amazed, maddened or inspired by your battery range record ?(they will certainly be aware of it even if you have had no response from them)

Andrej P:  - when we converted a Mazda RX8 to the Bolt EV we presented it to the public in September 2009. MazdaRX8_Bolt_EV_Metron
One of the CEO's of Mazda Slovenija drove it, he was amazed and sent pictures and data to Mazda HQ in Japan.

But the answer he got was:   "you are forbidden to have any contact with those people" (us) or at least he, this CEO, told us like this. Since then we have never reported anything else to Mazda, but we would be glad if they could use some of our ideas.

EVUK:  - was the 5-speed gearbox and transmission setup your preferred solution ? Or a compromise ? If so what would be your ideal alternative and affordable option for a production version(we can hope or dream!) of the Metron 7 ? 
Andrej P:  - the 5-speed gearbox was what we have got in the car, but still it was chosen in a way. The diesel version has a heavier gearbox with longer gears, so that is why we used the gasoline version for conversion.
Letrika made motor and controller in a way that it fits Mazda's gear ratios in the best possible way and that we can use all 5 gears. 1st gear is mainly used to demonstrate performance and for extreme uphills, city driving up to 80 km/h is mostly done in 2nd gear. We chose to use gearbox to improve efficiency (one can always drive at high efficiency rpm from 3000 to 5000) and to improve acceleration. If we had enough funds, we would make a custom 3-speed robotized gearbox what I think will be the future of bigger electric cars.


Q & A (Part III)
EVUK:  - were you aware of Marco Loglio's 2012 801km record* - claimed at least - in China in a converted Zotye M300 - a Chinese version of the Fiat Multiplia. We haven't found much proof yet of independent verification. And no video or photos of the event.
(See Marco Loglio's comments "this is not a world record" posted at foot of InsideEV's Mazda / Metron 7 article)
* Update: exclusive EVUK Q&A with Marco Loglio re 801 km record coming soon ..

Andrej P:  - I did not know about that 801 km record - seems not much has been published, also cannot see the exact route in the article.

EVUK:  - I'm guessing that, like us, you are no great fan of regenerative braking ? It's proving to be mighty challenging for Formula E drivers - but causing no end of entertaining incidents, crashes, drama for the series' rapidly swelling worldwide audiences. PV panels are far less complex and intrusive than regen, right ?

Andrej P: - actually the Metron 7 has very good regeneration due to the low internal resistance of the batteries and IPM motor with very high reg. efficiency. The PV panels on Metron 7 are just to top up the 12V system and give the car a good look. I have not built a DC-DC converter to charge the main 355 Volt battery from PV.

EVUK:  - it's a pity, don't you think, that the Slovenian government or EU can't help you find Asian or Chinese partners. Has any Slovenian or Croatian or Eastern European company successfully mass-produced cars of any description in recent history(post Trabant/Trabi) ?

Andrej P:  - we will get Asian partners if we find them by ourselves - without government. Slovenija has a long car manufacturing history, buses and trucks of own brand TAM were produced in Maribor, now this company is owned by the Chinese and their buses are produced there. We had a company here called IMV in Novo Mesto that produced its own delivery vans and Austin cars as licenced cars. They also produced caravans. Later the company split up, one part produces the Renault Twingo and is owned by Renault, the other makes mobile homes and caravans - well known Adria Mobil. For other east EU countries I do not know, but for sure Tatra(not Tata) and Skoda in Czech republic were big names in the car industry. Serbia produced cars Zastava, partly their own designs, partly Fiat ones.

Letrika made the propulsion system for this car and it is a prototype HV motor/controller being built to be offered to "big players". Letrika is now owned by Mahle Gmbh.

Finishing  Lines ...
See also: Metron Institute, Slovenia(Eauto.si): 700km WITHOUT CHARGING" (with their capitals !)   Includes route map, a full itinerary, more amazing picturesque pics ...
Map Mazda5 Metron7 Range Record 736 km

Watch Slovenian TV report(pre-dates recent record-breaking trip)
EV Album.com - see the ones he made earlier. Full details and photos of Andrej Pečjak's many previous EV conversions.

So when-oh-when will procrastination record-breakers BMW, GM, Nissan, Kia, Renault, Ford, Mazda et al finally deliver what this talented, underfunded "Slovenian villager" has so slickly and skilfully conjured up - with a little help from his friends ?

November, 2014

FE Wake Up Call !
Formula E, Putrajaya Round 2: Saturday Nov 22 ITV 6 am UK time

Let's Race, Rise & Shine to that Finish line(this time!) ...
Formula E Putrajaya ITV Coverage Preview home main

NB:   according to some sources ITV4 coverage begins at 5 am.
Highlights at 18.00.

Spanish TV:   Telecinco, Mitele and Energy TV are now providing full unencrypted coverage for Alejandro Agag's fellow FE fans - and frustrated fugitive F1 flip-floppers.
See FIAFormulaE.com to keep track(sorry!) of latest events, news, gossip, videos.
All latest Youtube Formula E Putrajaya videos.

Putrajaya Map Google Google Map - Putrajaya lies almost half-way between India and Australia.
(Click image - and wake up early - to help
put Putrajaya on the map..)

November, 2014

MIT's Prof Donald Sadoway announces range-tripling, cost-cutting EV cells

But back to the future first ! Sadoway MIT EVUK EXclusive Interview 2005  Here's our own EVUK-exclusive, highly-charged, ever-so slightly ahead-of-the-curve interview with Professor Sadoway ...from 2005 (!).
Why not refresh and recharge your memory cells ?

  Now almost a decade later it's good to see The Financial Times fearlessly leading the charge on this latest Sadoway/MIT breakthrough news :
"New Battery Aims To Transform Electric Cars"

Power Japan Plus really will need to power ahead with production of their (still) ahead-of-the-pack dual-carbon cells at lightning speed to avoid having their thunder stolen by MIT and others who may soon be about to break cover and join the fray.
Chocks away at last ? On the race-track and in showrooms ?

See all November MIT-Sadoway-Cell news stories: Google / Bing / Ixquick / Startpage / Yahoo

Additional Essential Professor ('Feelgood' ?) Sadoway Viewing:
- "Energy 2064 with ..."
- "The Missing Link to Renewable Energy"(TED)

Note:   Sadoway does not mention that there are many green, profitable ways of delivering solar or sun-derived energy when the sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn't blow: Szarvasi Power Plant Energy Grass   dual-fuel or multi-fuelled, combined heat & power(CHP) biogas powerplants are - despite the media's silence and resulting public ignorance - proving increasingly popular globally as are eco-friendly, biodiversity-promoting, high-energy-yield alternatives to maize such as Szarvasi grass/tall wheatgrass, Giant King Grass.
Crucially, biogas powerplants can also be rapidly powered up/down to match fluctuations in demand - unlike nuclear reactors.

November, 2014

Award Ignored: Power Japan Plus get the DBM Kolibri tumbleweed treatment
(from 99%-plus of the world's old/new media)

Reuters: "Power Japan Plus Recognized "Best Company for Sustainability" at IAIR AWARD"
(IAIR - International Alternative Investment Review)

IAIR Video Interview Power Japan Plus
Watch IAIR Power Japan Plus post-ceremony interview at the Palazzo Mezzanotte, headquarters of London Stock Exchange Group in Milan(..which frankly doesn't sound particularly "alternative")

As was the case with disruptive DBM Energy's 2011 Roland Gutsch Award, just a small smattering of raw business news feeds and non-English-language sites trickled out the recent Power Japan Plus IAIR Global Sustainability Award story - and 99.9% approx of the world's old/new media sources have subsequently chosen to actively ignore it...despite the fact that Yahoo's financial feed did notably also carry the Reuters report.

In other words we are seeing - or not seeing - disruptive Dual Carbon/DBM deja vu - or not vu - all over again.
The most long-range, Tesla-trouncing, cost-cutting, long-life, rapidly chargeable, sustainable batteries on the planet by far and by miles (if the company's highly credible claims and professorial spokesmen are to be believed) are conspicuously and predictably being wiped from the media radar and public consciousness like so many threateningly transformative technologies before them.

Recall that in August Power Japan Plus confirmed to us that cell samples will be made available to approved interested parties in early 2015.

In the meantime, we would urge all defiantly disruptive EVUK'ers to do whatever they can to keep the potentially revolutionary PJP dual carbon phenomenon alive and buzzing in the blogosphere, down the pub(osphere) etc.

But some healthy scepticism and caution is in order:   does the IAIR have an alternative, ulterior motive for this award ?
Perhaps to flatter, seduce and gently or otherwise persuade Power Japan Plus to go slow, to comply and conform, to sign up to the "no affordable long-range EV's until 2017-18" edict-diktat-consensus ?

Sadly, we've already/deja seen familiar tell-tale signs that PJP have already/deja capitulated and fallen into line:  for instance the dreaded, almost obligatory word "EVentually" is invariably stealthily slipped into the script whenever the company's spokesmen and lead researchers (all-too) briefly broach the subject and prospect of PJP-powered consumer EV's.
So once again we're left hoping for the best but expecting the worst  ie. dual carbon fast-tracked  to the race-track - but slow-laned  to the showroom.

Taisan-Tyson PJP versus Tesla BackTrack:
- See EVUK re:  Team Taisan plus Power Japan...on the same track: 'Tyson' Taisan v Tesla show-down

- Tesla's Panasonic - (co-)incidentally - were also awarded a green prize earlier in the year at the IAIR event in Hong Kong, though it was not for their products/batteries but for their environmental projects and practices - or for what wicked cynics might term 'greenwash' on a grand scale(Video).

October, 2014

An EV(UK?) result !  Daimler sells its near-billion dollar Tesla stake

See Forbes mag: "Daimler Tesla Stake Sale Might Clear The Way For BMW"
(Jeeez Elon - out of the frying pan into the blazing BMW fire - does there always have to be a sting in the Tesla tail/tale ? What will these new-Born Electric allies agree/conspire not to do - range-wise ?)

Note:   Forbes has - since the beginning of EV Time (or for at least 20 years) - been a unique and relatively bold, reliable mainstream electric vehicle vanguard news source :   arguably only Edmunds.com has ever come close.

Or to put it another way:  15 years ago a routine keyword EV (Google) web-search would have regularly and primarily featured the following lonesome early EV Irrepressibles on results pages 1 & 2:
- EVWorld, Electrifying Times, Forbes, Edmunds, Zap and, yes, yours truly and truthfully, EVUK(at that time already a very lone, singularly subversive EVangelical voice from across the US-UK pond).

And yet still today - despite the enormous number of echo-chamber talking-point(less) pundits that now populate the old/new media landscape, deafening and almost universal progress-preventing silences and taboos around key corporately inconvenient (EV) issues persist:  Daimler's increasingly compromising stake in Tesla was just one typical recent elephant-in-the-room example.

(The last-gasp straw for us came when we spotted an unusually edgy-sounding piece titled...
"DENZA EV From Daimler Is The First Credible Threat For Tesla"
...in the respected online biz/stock-market journal Seeking Alpha(SA):   surely the author must mention Daimler's 3/4 billion dollar stake in Tesla ?

But incredibly not a single word - not one solitary syllable - was dedicated to the humongous, elephantine Daimler-Tesla deposit.
EVUK elephants don't forget of course - and thankfully our hastily submitted corrective comments were accepted and not moderated off the SA radar...)

October, 2014

Tesla D/SD - a Disappointing, (almost) Driverless, Divisive Diversion ?
- as Tesla's PR Vice President Simon Sproule who quit the company on Oct 6 (after just 7 months) surely sensed it would be.

A Tesla Model SD with autopilot and all-wheel drive - for the man who almost always has almost everything.

But this definitely isn't the must-have EV that most mere mortals are still left wanting and waiting forever for...

Disagree ?   OK - here's a quick self-answering question to drive home some sorely lacking real-world truth amid so much media-hype and fawning/conforming journalistic jubilation. Which of the following TWO A/B comments have you never heard down the pub or at the proverbial, metaphorical water-cooler :
A: I am so sick and tired of having to drive my own car myself - when are carmakers finally going to make it possible for me to entrust my life, my family's lives, pedestrians', cyclists' and other road users' lives to an onboard computer and the coders who programmed it ?

B: The problem with electric cars is that they don't have enough range and cost too much. When are carmakers finally going to get their act together ?

See Euan McColm(The Scotsman):
"Humanity On The Road to Nowhere in Driverless Car"

Class Divide:   here's another range v top-of-the-range question:
- when is a Tesla not a Tesla ?
Daimler Merc Benz B Class Electric 87 mile range
- When it's the short-range(87 miles) Daimler-Mercedes B-Class Electric with Tesla powertrain destined for Europe, the US - everywhere but China - in place of the first class 186 miles/charge Daimler Denza. Unsurprisingly this battery-bereft B Class looks destined to end up conspicuously "driver-less" in the customer-less, owner-driver-less, friend-less sense of the word.
(Youtube - all B Class Electric clips)

But the Tesla CEO's own internal "class" struggle appears to continue as diverging loyalties and instincts battle it out:
  Elon the Elitist v Musk the Populist, (Super)Man of the People, the EV world's very own Henry Ford(..but not just yet).
Musk has claimed that sales of the Model S are needed in order to finance the affordable Model 3.
Really ? The company is swimming in capital - its share price has skyrocketed from $35 to $231 in 20 months. What would Musk be telling us if the company's share price had "only" doubled or tripled - not octupled - in the past two years ? That a million more Model S's need to be sold ? That the affordable Model 3 can't possibly happen till 2020 due to a lack of investor capital, confidence and cash ?

Obviously our own recent pre-D-Day / D-for-Daimler-Denza speculation was never intended as anything more than a teasing, taunting rhetorical exercise in heavy hinting, wishful-thinking and inconvenient truth-telling.

No-one seriously expected Tesla-Daimler to announce the launch of a genuinely disruptive Daimler-Tesla Denza for the world's 5.8 billion non-Chinese inhabitants. Or to add the letter "D" to the Model 3 giving us the Model 3-D:  print your own personal, custom Tesla in 24 hours...then wait a week or a fortnight for your sub-30k, fully tricked-out Tezzy to be delivered to your door.

But one additional ironic and taboo little twist worth highlighting and reiterating is the fact that Daimler Mercedes did tie up with Tesla to produce the short-range Mercedes B Class Electric - the EV that "Western", non-Chinese carbuyers are being short-changed with in place of the 186 mile/charge Daimler Denza which was itself originally loosely based on the B Class. Again, it's frankly no surprise to us that PR Vice President Sproule just quit Tesla and that Nissan's Andy Palmer recently left Nissan for Aston Martin.
Both Ghosn and Musk now seem terminally unwilling and unable to breach the enforced establishment consensus dictating that no affordable long-range EV's be sold beyond China before 2017-18.

Instead - by unpopular and unpopulist demand - we're presented with an all-wheel-drive, virtually driverless Model S for the wealthiest 2-3%. To be followed sooner or later by the increasingly superfluous-looking, X-travagant Model X and yet more profligate pandering to the pampered.

But let's slip-slide seamlessly downwards once again from Upper Class excess back to Second Class range-austerity and that Tesla-powered Daimler-Merc B Class Electric - yet another EV with 2nd rate range(87 miles) for 2nd class "first world" consumers.
It is refreshing to see(Digital Spy & EV Obsession) that we (EVUK) are no longer totally alone in our criticism of Daimler-Merc-Tesla for their failure to deliver a Mercedes B Class with 1st Class range - but, again, even in these two rare articles no reference is made and no dots are joined to the long-range Daimler Denza:
Digital Spy :  "The Mercedes Benz B Class Electric has a lot going for it but the addition of Tesla technology without the impressive range seems strange".

EV Obsession :  "Unfortunately for Mercedes, despite the fact that the B-Class Electric is powered by a Tesla drivetrain, it's definitely the underdog in the contest of electric cars thanks to its limited range and low efficiency, and it's easy to predict that it won't sell as well as the other contenders in the market."

October, 2014

Tesla Model "D" Tease - are we talking Double "D" - Daimler DENZA ?(186 mile range, "China-only")

NB: (sssh!) Daimler's compromising, conflict-of-interest stake in Tesla now worth over $1billion

See Daimler.com pdf :
"Fair value of our stake in Tesla was 736 million at March 31, 2014"

See also: Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche :  "Tesla is one of our best-ever investments"

...and Daimler sure won't want to jeopardize that investment by launching the range-busting, price-slicing DENZA outside China two and a half yawning years before Musk's forever faraway Model 3(ex-E) finally rolls out in D-for-Dim-and-Distant  2017.
Unless of course the DENZA is re-customized, re-powered, re-badged and sold by Tesla.

So that could be the Billion Dollar question:   the D-for-Disruptive Daimler-BYD DENZA is about to be unleashed in China - so are we also about to see a Daimler-Tesla DENZA hit the rest of the planet's showrooms ?
A Model D-for-Denza-Daimler ?
It would certainly be "D" for Desirable, Daring - and Doubtful.
Come on Elon - blow our spaced-out, Space-X'd socks off !
And send TSLA shares soaring and spinning through a wolverine Wall St. worm-hole into a paranormal, parallel dimension...

But we'll end with another revealing, uber-candid quote from Daimler CEO Zetsche:
"We have already worked out strategic issues with Tesla and intend to do so again in the future."

Conspiring or conferring - can anyone find or define a fine line ?

One minute you're discussing what or what not to launch when and where - the next minute you're "working out strategic" pricing...

Teasela EV "D" Day - Oct 9: click here for the latest rumours and reports.

"D" for Denza Doppelganger/Deadringer

But if Tesla and Musk aren't coveting the Daimler-BYD DENZA then Nissan certainly appear to be.

Leaf 2017 186 miles Denza DoppelgangerThe 2017(y-a-w-n) revamped Leaf that's been teasingly carrot-dangled and pictured recently by Auto Express and many others not only bears virtually the same Blue Hawaiian hue and styling as the DENZA, it will - by sheer random happenchance you understand - boast precisely the same 186 mile/300 km range as both the Daimler-BYD EV and the non-Daimler BYD e6 launched in China four long years ago.

Oh - and as always no commentators are mentioning that BYD insist its cells will last for well over half a million miles or 20 years - a crucial Top Three EV USP.
Think depreciation(anxiety), resale value(anxiety).
So:  battery life-expectancy and charge cycles may have replaced range as the top taboo topic in the EV PR & media universe but someone simply has to pierce the silence and pop the unpopular question:   how do Tesla, Nissan, Kia et al measure up or stack up relative to BYD and the Denza in terms of battery life-span ?
Still no-one's asking, no-one's telling.(EVUK excepted of course)

- Just how can carmakers continue to justify such long dinosaurian time-lapses(ie. almost 3 years) between initial next-gen EV PR announcements and such absurdly far-off launch dates ?
(cf. Supercool
Strati EV is 3D-printed in 44 hours)

Nissan for example are clearly now already confident that they have the cells and technology to raise range to 186 miles in 2017 - so why not do the right thing and turn over the new Leaf a year or two earlier in 2015 / 2016 ?
After all - how many informed would-be Leaf owners/buyers will now still be tempted to rush out and purchase the current antiquated short-range version - the "Auslaufmodell" ?
The positive for Nissan of course is that sales of their diesel/petrol vehicles can only benefit from a 3-year new Leaf debut-delay - with fewer (phew!) life-long petrol-heads being remotely tempted to make the switch to electric wheels before 2017.

But back to BYD and 2014:  the company put the boot in yet again in August with its announcement of a further 15% increase in battery energy density for 2015. So the final million-mile question from us at least is:
- will Musk trump or trumpet  BYD and the Daimler Denza on EV "D" Day - Oct 9 ?

 It will surely have to be one or the other.

September, 2014

FE Wish list:  the gods smiled on EV's in Beijing. But when will Buddha do likewise ?
- and what if there'd been no crash-drama climax ?

FE Beijing Heid Electriflying Crash Buddh Int Electric Circuit India
"It's all very neat and tidy.." - (in)famous last words from ITV's Jack Nicholls just 30 seconds before this spectacular and electriflying somersault. Like all of the best sports' commentators Nicholls and canny Scottish co-commentator Dario Franchitti displayed superb, spookily instinctive, finely-tuned prescience - uncannily sensing and tempting fate in those crucial closing moments.
  (Click here for all Youtube'd Beijing race vids)

"Formula E Will Drive Broader Innovation" - this inspiringly bullish Canadian Broadcasting Co article re-affirms what we all want to hear:  teams, drivers, race legends, celebrity backers, investors, sponsors - all want this "baby" to grow up fast.
To quote Michael Andretti: "Five years from now we'll be going 200 miles an hour with a battery that is half the weight that goes two or three times farther."

Yet still no one seems disposed to challenge the all-too familiar F1-placating, FE "City Only" refrain and constraint.
Surely Formula E and its audiences must be allowed an escape from the concrete urban jungle at least once per season(mid-series ?) - set free from those unnaturally stifling, top-speed-limiting 'City EV' limits ?
Audiences, drivers, sponsors and IPO-eyeing investors - not to mention TV commentators - cannot and should not be denied the essential experience and benefits of full-blown, wide-open, uniquely liberating and exhilerating, grown-up classic race-track competition.
What's more, it is infinitely easier to organize and orchestrate a race at a race-track than to shut down or paralyse half a city for a day or a week.

And where better to start perhaps than the increasingly popular, often Top Ten-listed and aptly named Buddh International Circuit near Delhi, India ?
(No - not sponsored by or linked to Bud beer - or even Buddh Light:   but Buddha did first see the spiritual light under a bo tree in the village of Buddh Gaya)

Buddh_Internaional_Circuit_F1Buddh_Internaional_Circuit_from_airBuddh Bo Tree in Buddh Gaya
Buddh International Circuit - click for a city-free, lip-licking lap and hot Indian comment/soundtrack

So what would Buddha drive ? (think 'EV Smile')
What would Buddha wish to see and hear gracing - and racing around - a top-rated venerated venue bearing his venerable name ?

Fossil-fuelled F1 flitzers - or FE's lean green machines ?

Buddha v Bernie ?  Come on !  It's a clear no-brainer for any bribe-proof  judge and jury.

Calling race-team Mahindra and race-clan Chandhok !   Please help make this happen on your home turf, territory, and terrain !
Could you not curry a little favour and flavour with your Buddh buddies & bosses and FE's F1 and fossil-fuel foes ?

But we equally clearly need longer (90-120 mins min) races, rapid recharging(see PJP dual carbon), possibly even on-the-move induction/wireless charging(Drayson and Qualcomm are working on it).
Agag and his amiable all-electric allies know they can't depend on divine intervention and spectacular, miraculously injury-free, headline-grabbing crash dramas to boost FE's fan-base and bolster media interest.

Epic electric bumper-to-bumper battles simply can't develop, unfold and captivate audiences in just 60 meagre motor-race minutes.

The pressure is on:  countless iconic names and living F1 legends - Andretti, Prost, Senna, Hill, Williams, Fittipaldi and more - have heroically staked their racing reputations on Formula E and are naturally expecting fast-track, full-throttle progress and change - and an uncaged, fully-fledged series fit for primetime.

If the FIA can be pressed, pressured and persuaded to fast-track the three key changes we've outlined above, Formula E's future stock'n'share performance(wisely no IPO yet) could truly give record-breaking Tesla a run for its money.

So if you've missed out on Elon's Wall Street bull-run don't despair or fret just yet.
But do wait until rapid recharging, longer races and one or two non-city open-circuit venues have been scheduled into the FE ePrix mix.
And if Agag's beautiful 'baby' can be blessed by Buddh and Buddha so much the better - invest your life savings !

Pit-Stop PS:   the Beijing Crash-Smash proves:  FE batteries ARE safe - and easily safe enough to pit-swap for longer races.

Agag has said that even race-length-extending, drama and tension-boosting pit-stop battery-swapping has been ruled out by the FIA on "safety grounds".

Based on what criteria, what independent expert advice and what total accumulated previous FIA EV race experience exactly ?!

Let's get this straight:   a speeding, spinning, scorched race-car cell-pack can smash down spark-free onto rock-hard concrete from a height of 4-5 metres - but can't be safely swapped in/out by finely-honed pit-stop crews/mechanics in 15-20 minutes ?! How many mechanics/minutes does it take to change a light-bulb/FE battery pack ?

No - sorry guys/gals/FEllas - but the reality is that if FE' s current battery-packs genuinely can't yet be rapidly recharged(the ideal mid- to long-term solution) then there simply are and never have been any credible excuses or pretexts for not including at least one rapid cell-swap per FE car - doubling race-duration to circa two hours. Even just one busy pit-stop swap per driver would add to the drama as well as race-length.

Let's please pull out the stops for Putrajaya in November, bury this stifling, suffocating, perennial City EV/short race/short-change/short-range myth, misinformation and mischief-making.

Make it worth the trip, the candle, worth the CO2, worth tuning into, worth waiting 6-8 weeks between races for.
Please give us all something to get our teeth into.

If you're still not persuaded then here's a quick cell-swapping history lesson:

Project Better Place / Better  Race
Remember: Shai Agassi's Project Better Place created and implemented fully automated cell swap-stations capable of safely exchanging EV lithium packs in 2 minutes - their key partner in the venture was none other than FE's very own race-car creator...Renault !!!!

Sr. Agag and 99.999% of earthlings will be amazed/amused to learn that the first very successful fast EV battery-swapping service was operated between 1910 and 1924(!) by Hartford Electric(Wiki).
More recently, before Agassi, similar solutions have been proposed for zinc and aluminium air cells.

NOW - armed with more than a little EV fact - please read this telling little "it's all so new" extract from an FIA Formula E interview with Agag:

"Why are you changing cars instead of batteries?"
"Changing cars was a joint-decision between Formula E and the FIA for safety reasons and safety comes first. Its also important to remember that while Formula E is a racing championship - its also a testing ground for electric vehicle technology. Technology takes time to develop...etc etc " (!!!)


There is a real risk now that Putrajaya will serve up an uneventful, "neat and tidy", safe and sound, 55 minute anti-climax and that the priceless momentum, impact and buzz built up at Beijing will be lost.
Novelty value and the initial voguish enthusiasm of a very fickle public and media could quickly and quietly EV aporate unless Agag, and the genial
Jean Todt act swiftly and decisively to guarantee gimmick-free drama, tension, excitement and longer races at every FE venue - in the pits and on the track.

So please ditch the dogma, pride and dubious "safety" alibis, guys:   as drivers leap into their second cars let's see pit-crews closing in to cell-swap  ,; the first.
And If need be - or for show - have a volunteer city fireman or two proudly standing by in each thankfully petroleum-free pit-bay armed with SOA fire-foam sprays - and a bottle of complimentary champagne to go.

Re-imagining Beijing with cell-swapping:   even if just the first car returned by each driver had been cell-swapped while the second car raced in its place, it would still have given us a double whammy win-win ie. enhanced and extended tension and drama in the pits and on the track.
And although theoretically a dozen more laps would have been possible - cutting that extra, swap-enabled final phase to just ten laps would have been even better - allowing drivers to pull out all the stops and forget about saving energy.
So instead of a lucky newsflash-crash that wiped out the two fastest, most deserving drivers/teams, we could have enjoyed a classic epic electric lead-flipping fight to the finish - at lap 35 not 25.

September, 2014

EVUK Shout-Out to Formula E's music MC's / EJ's:  Hip Hop's best - Kanye West, Jay Z, Chuck D, Canibus - are all trickin & trackin towards elekTRICK(50 cent) rides
- say GRIST magazine and others.

So will Kanye - or any - perform for Formula E ?

MC / Must See - our top three ElecTRICK rapid rap-ride reads:Jay Z Tesla

MC / Must See - 1:
Right: Jay Z and murdered-out Tesla.

Jay Z Tesla videos and GRIST piece "Hip Hop Curbs SUVs, Takes Tesla for a Spin"

MC / Must See - 2:
Formula E to use music-mixers, funk-flippin MC's, "EJ's", top rap etc track-stars, trippin-it trick-tracksters ... to fill the engine noise-void - to (quote) "provide a sound-track(geddit?) :
"Global Music Artists to Perform Live at Formula E Events"

But conspicuously no sign to date of any  black  MC's / EJ's (ITV4's excellent Sept 6th 1 hour Formula E preview featured two white / tanned track mix-masters)

MC / Must See - 3:
Hip-Hop, Kanye West has ElecTRICK Plans for the Planet - and Utopia.
A black-on-white, West-Musk Must-See:  Grist Magazine again - but even the Daily Mail ravenously reported it.
Kanye West Believes in Musk Tesla UtopiaKanye West in the Hood Believes in Musk Tesla Utopia

Kanye West: "I'm The Greatest, the Best" - pumping it up as never before - Clay-Ali-style ("Float like a Butterfly - Sting Like a Bee"). Quote:
"I'm going after Elon Musk" (News Genius,  Daily Mail etc)

See also:
- Kanye's address at the Harvard Graduate School:
"I Believe That Utopia is Actually Possible".
And that Utopia would clearly include EV's - but what of Formula E in paradise...or Beijing, London, Long Beach, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Miami, Monte Carlo or Putrajaya ?
K West and the rest in Punta del Este ?

- Kanye's "London Speech" - a few home-truths, perhaps, for EVangelical London Mayor and Formula E champion Boris Johnson to ponder - and plagiarize ?!

Final Wrap:   we can't avoid the thorny fact that motor-racing is overridingly a white man's game - a white race world.
Just as the  NBA  is (pre)dominantly black.

So come on Kanye & Krew - what's the problemetto...we don't want no white  race  ghetto.
You know it - if Michael J were live today he'd be dancin' back to the tracks, whites and blacks.  Ain't the time right to rhyme up the truth ?   Too many black man, woman dyin', cryin' and lyin' for black gold - ain't it time to eff off the old ? Stop drivin' what yer told ? Play the Planet's new-formula tune ? Lay down more Earth Songs, play out more Earth Sounds ?
Or as Mayor Boris or PM Cameron might cut it: "Hey chaps - come flip some fresh free-style tracks trackside for us, mothersuckers !"

Yeezus (Youtube) Kanye !  Do we have to (mis-)spell it out for ya in black & in white ?  Just Jump in yer Jet, Ease it East, Wing it West, Float like a Butterfly and B-sting Beijing. Parachute in. Chill in a Tesla and do yer powered-black thing.  (Hmm, Kanye and DiCaprio - now there's a story, there's a scandal to make and fake up !)

A shout-out too to Gil Scott Heron:
- this is a green but hopefully colour-blind Revolution that will be - and is already being - Televised:

- ITV4, BT Sport, Canal+ (France NOT Spain - is Sr. Agag not Aghast ?!)
Nicki Shields Formula Es Roving Eye Reporter

Top TV Highlight: Nicki Shields - she's a scientist too - is to act as Formula E's lead roving(eye?) reporter and "World Feed" presenter.
Music to our own and to drivers' ears and a sight for sore TV / track-tired eyes. (Should get a few hearts racing..)

That's a wrap...

Spanish TV latest(Sept 11):   Mediaset  has announced - beyond the (Sept) 11th hour - that it will be covering Formula E. The fact remains though that most of Spain 's/the world's loyal-to-oil major TV networks continue to avoid all things "FE & EV" like the plague.
Sept 14th: Ssh !  The full TV/EV/FE Revolution has now also been Youtube'd  Watch 1hr 20 mins of ITV race coverage - minus just the podium and those fresh champagne champions.
Sept 16th: one Mumm Money-Shot Champ(ers) clip now Youtube'd (see last minute)

August, 2014

13 Sept(Sat): Formula E Begins in Beijing
- but why just a 1 hour race ?

Formula E homepageLondon Launch videoLondon Launch video

Unfortunately this gone-in-sixty-minutes, now-you-see-it-now-you-don't brevity / short-circuitry is already serving to reinforce and re-ignite the myth that EV's lack staying power, can't go the distance, can't stand the heat.

Why not 90 minutes ? After all, each team has two race vehicles and fast-charge technology has been around for decades(in 1999 the rapidly-recharged Mitsubishi FTO managed 2,142 km in 24 hrs in Japan) .

So far we have been unable to glean or elicit any credible explanation as to why spectators and TV audiences can't be treated to at least a full 90-minute football or full feature-length EVent. (FE' s FAQ pages avoid the issue altogether...)

After all, fossilized Formula One and most other ICE-age championships drag on for days - by comparison fleeting FE will be barely a blip on the TV/media radar.
How can we possibly expect EV virgin audiences and electrically unitiated newbies to get engaged and involved ... to relax into the rich myriad panoply of colourful team and race rivalries and back-stories, to enjoy, absorb and keep track of the various unfolding driver v driver dramas and dynamics ?

Alejandro Agag FEOn this issue we're aghast, aggrieved, agog and not agnostic, Agag, Alejandro.

   Unsurprisingly, Madrid-born Sr. Agag(right) has yet to conjure up an FE venue in F1-fixated Spain - aka the Costa del  RepSol: ironically contrast Argentina and Uruguay.

So much organizational effort and energy will be expended at each venue, for each stage, so much team-travel and globetrotting CO2 output - all for just sixty miserly measly minutes(max) of motor-racing revolution ?


On second thoughts:    don't explain - just extend !
Let teams and technology earn their Go Further stripes !
We're all long-used to being short-changed on range by the auto-establishment - but do we really have to be short-changed and short-circuited on the race-track too ?

Or are current Formula E cells and cars still prone to overheating - to so-called thermal runaway ?
If so, is it not the case that race vehicles, the spectacle and the spectators would also dramatically benefit from the fast-tracking and early adoption of Power Japan Plus/Taisan's cool-running, cost-cutting, 20x faster-charging dual-carbon cells ? Delivering a longer, far, far, far more engrossing and engaging race ?

Whilst organisers are keen to promote live tech-trendy audience participation by allowing us to tweet/text-vote for and thereby power-boosting our favourite drivers in action(great news for Chinese/US drivers ?) - they have yet to ask us - We the People - via a simple Yes/No online poll if we'd prefer a longer race.

What's more, not only do Formula E's FAQ pages conspicuously contain no references whatsoever to the bizarre brevity of the race but the EV keywords "recharge" and "charge" are also nowhere to be found.
Yet the inconvenient truth, fact or FAQT is that race-duration and battery-recharging(or its absence) will inevitably continue to be top hot topics before during and after each race.

LUcas Di Grassi FE Team Audi Sport   But in our final straight-talk spurt let's reverse polarity, switch from negative to positive once more and cross our own feisty little FINISH line with these bullish, upbeat Beijing/Olympian observations by Lucas di Grassi of FE Team Audi Sport: "The Beijing circuit is going to be an amazing facility and a tremendous challenge for all the drivers. Also, it will be our first ever race, so all the drivers will be raring to go!"

Edouard Michelin EV-angelist  drowned liquidated 2006 Postscript:    In Memoriam.
    R.I.P. - Race In Peace:  Edouard Michelin(1963-2006) - fearless, tireless, corporate EV/green car campaigner.
Your spirit is with us and with FE.
As are your Go Further-Faster-Greener  tyres.
À propos F1 v FE:
Ecclestone F1lthy lucre F1 London bid fails March 2013 see also(Aug 6, 2014 News):    F1's Ecclestone (83, born in Bungay, Suffolk) pays £60 million legal 'bribe' to escape jail on bribe charges. (Click pic for Wiki'd Truth)
Hmm, are bribes now accepted at the Pearly Gates ?  No matter:   for Burnie - make that Bernie - Eternal Infernal Combustion should be sheer heaven.

August, 2014

A positive-negative battery EVUK exclusive:
- Power Japan Plus-EVUK email confirmation:  Tesla have not  yet tested dual-carbon cells.

Yes - it's official - Tesla have yet to test PJP' s potentially transformative/disruptive dual-carbon cells(300 miles, 3000 charges, cheaper, 20x faster recharge, 100% recyclable etc)

If you're wondering why we're reporting an apparent battery negative('Tesla have not tested') as a truly electrifying positive - please refresh and recharge your EV memory cells by re-reading our recent PJP v Tesla pieces below(as so often we/EVUK alone insist on asking the most inconvenient and indispensable questions...)

So here it is - that PJP-to-EVUK exclusive email(29 July) - short and exquisitely sweet:

"...please note that no cell sample will be available before the first Quarter of 2015 - meaning Tesla Motors have never been supplied with our Dual Carbon Batteries.
Thank you for your cooperation and your understanding..."

Ahmed Tchankou, Power Japan Plus, Tokyo
(Note: PJP also have offices in San Francisco and Okinawa - see contact pages)

Recap, recharge, refresh:

- shortly after PJP rightly hit and hogged EV headlines a few months ago Elon Musk ambivalently and artfully told shareholders - without explicitly naming Power Japan Plus - that
"..so far, none of the supposed breakthroughs have held up at a laboratory level or actually exceed Tesla's own composition".

Many commentators inevitably but wrongly assumed that Musk was obliquely referring to & pooh-poohing Power Japan Plus's potentially Panasonic-trouncing dual-carbon cells.

But the PJP-Taisan v Tesla-Panasonic game-play continues...and it really is the only long-range game-changing game in town(despite the media's compliant silence).

July, 2014

Be careful what you say ..
..on the way up*

 - Musk praises long-range disablers(GM, BMW) - and erases Tesla's enablers(Lotus, AC Propulsion).

( * Sometimes only your best friends will tell you - up ↑ or down ↓ - what you don't wanna hear - be sure to do the same for/to them and us. )

So just time then to fire off a few last-minute friendly-fire bullet-points for Tesla Motors Club Conference attendees(18-20 July) - a little testy TLC for the TMC in Monterey.

- GM:
Left:  John Oliver's satirical take on the 11 million GM record recall:  "over 300 accident-related deaths"(US Gov)
Right:  Tesla's Musk likes GM boss Bob Lutz lots.

Cringe factor:  yes, in 2011 Musk (in)famously told Bloomberg talk-show host Charlie Rose how much he admired fellow round-table guest and long-time GM boss(later vice-chair) Bob Lutz.
Then came the record recall - 11 million GM vehicles in less than a year (2013-2014) - America looked set to become a fully and healthily GM-free zone. Some faults and defects had been known to GM for over a decade.  (See also: "GM has Culture of Cover-Up")

So please Mr. Rose & Bloomberg TV - it must surely now be time to..er.. prot-agonists Musk & Lutz for a less rosey-cosy, gloves-off face-off   ie. without the offensive charm offensive this time around ?

- Lotus effect: "In hindsight Tesla wouldn't use Lotus" (AutoBlogGreen)

...again Musk says they'd have been better off if they'd not adopted the original Lotus chassis and that they should have started from scratch, with a clean slate.

Sorry Elon, but the Lotus link-up and Lotus-look leant the whole Roadster enterprise priceless name-fame caché, unique race and performance-car pedigree, crucial credibility-clinching media clout and investor allure - and besides, owners were and still are only too happy to be seen driving what is still very much a Lotus-Lookalike ...an Electrified / Electrifying Elise . (Oih! Elon the Empiricist won't like that...)

So are we still impressed by Lutz, Elon ? Or did we always see through the Mask, Musk ? (almost everyone else surely now must..)

Whilst the Tesla and SpaceX CEO may see himself as a glacially pure empiricist and perfectionist, his PR- and PRide-PRone truth & humility skills remain far-from perfect. Musk's other foot-in-mouth fact-fuzzing comments can be succinctly summarized, precisely paraphrased thus: "In hindsight we would have been better-off without Lotus and AC Propulsion and should have started from scratch, gone it alone."

- BMW:

- in a recent Stuff.TV interview Musk applauds BMW for its use of carbon fibre to lighten the i3. Yet he fails to mention that carbon fibre is a toxic, energy-intensive recycling nightmare or that despite the i3's reduced body-weight the EPA rates the vehicle's range at a paltry, anachronistic 81 miles/130 km.

- ACP :

First things first:   whatever Musk may wish to tell himself or wipe from the EV (Wiki) history pages, there would simply have been no long-range high performance Tesla Roadster and no Tesla Motors(and no Zooop, Wrightspeed X1 or Venturi Fetish 2-3 years earlier) were it not for AC Propulsion's original, all-important, all-enabling lithium battery-bundling solution(6800 small cells).
In 2003 ACP's 200+ mile/charge Tzero power-packed by 6800 small(-format) lithium cylinder cells provided unprecedented, pioneering proof-of-concept by thrashing a Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche Carrera, Dodge Viper and Corvette in a slam-dunkingly superb salvo of 400 metre sprints( video).

Yet Musk conspicuously fails to mention ACP's unique power-packing solution when he mean-spiritedly and myopically contends that "Tesla only licensed the reductive charging patent" from AC Propulsion.

Sure you did Elon - all the more reason to be profoundly grateful that ACP gifted you their unique long-range power-packing concept free of charge (so to speak) !

Note: ACP's pivotal, game-changing decision to switch from lead-acid to lithium almost never happened.
Here's an extract from a recent EVUK email to ACP explaining why:

"Hi, - very good to see Tom Gage & Charlie Sexton speaking at the TMC in Monterey.
A few points:
From 1999-2002 we / EVUK exchanged a series of emails with AC Propulsion's Tom Gage generally pressing and pestering him to reconsider his and ACP's devotion to lead-acid and resolute rejection of li-ion.
For several years ACP's website had prominently featured a 4-page pdf file detailing why lead-acid was the future for EV's not lithium(!!).
Does Tom / do you still have an archived copy of that pdf file at all ?
We'd also like to clarify with Tom exactly which ICE performance-cars the two Tzero versions(lead-acid/lithium) variously pasted / scalped over the quarter mile: the Porsche & Lamborghini(v. the lead-acid Tzero ?) video clips are no longer to be found.

Again - Wiki is requesting more contributions for its Tzero pages

The Tzero and ACP's semi-reluctant decision to switch from lead to lithium were crucial/pivotal factors shaping and transforming EV history and our EV future.
Maybe Mr.Musk will publicly appreciate this some day soon."
(end extract)

- Fortunately organisers of the impending Tesla Motors Club Conference do appear to know who the real heroes are:  keynote speakers - by sheer synchronicity or coincidence - include AC Prop's Tesla-enabling Tom Gage and long-time pro-EV1/EV, anti-GM campaigner, actress, activist Ms. Charlie Sexton.

A few parting shots:
- in his most recent interviews re  patent-sharing Musk insists that he wants to operate in a freely thriving, fully and openly competitive EV market-place.
Hmm & sssh !!
Four thornily taboo words for you:

Mercedes - BYD - Daimler - DENZA.Mercedes_BYD_Denza_186_miles_range_2014

186 miles / charge. Unrivalled battery life-expectancy.

The anti-competitive, compromising reality of course is that Daimler now has well over $50 million invested in its "affordable" EV "rival" - Tesla !

So here's yet another zillion dollar question that no-one's daring or disposed to ask:
- would Musk find it regrettable or laudable if Daimler were to suddenly announce plans to sell its conflict-of-interest Tesla stake while at the same time promising to roll out its long-range, (relatively) price-disruptive Denza worldwide - not just in China - from September of this year(2014) ?!

A few years ago Musk Laughs at BYD e6 on Bloomberg TVMusk famously laughed at the pre-Daimler-Merc BYD e6 - again on Bloomberg TV(it's EVUK's most watched video).
But that smirky smile would assuredly be wiped clean away if Daimler-Mercedes-BYD were to decide to defy the enforced, unspoken, anti-free-enterprise global consensus dictating that no affordable long-range EV's be sold anywhere but China until 2017-2018.

"Daimler Denza Beats Tesla's Cost-Cutter by Two Years" is a headline we would obviously very soon be enjoying in a genuinely competitive, free market EV environment.
Apparently Elon the Free-Marketeer/Fearless Musk-eteer would love it too - honestly.

July, 2014

'Tyson' Taisan v Tesla face-off/show-down -
- the battery-battering bout heats up...

(*Poetic boxing license: Tyson rhymes with Taisan & chimes with Power Japan Plus)

Round 1 - the gloves come off and a welcome war of words breaks out on Youtube (we're siding with underdogs Taisan and PJP against Tesla and Musk for a whole host of reasons - more in next draft...)

Taisan-Tyson PJP versus Tesla
Video Veracity, Tenacity, Audacity & Taisan's jugular jab:   "Tesla-Panasonic Roadster batteries were not good enough for (Le Mans etc) race track"

  The upcoming July 18-20: Tesla Motors Club Connect Conference in Tesla TMC Connect July Conference Monterey, California promises to be a very heated affair..
The smouldering and burning Power Japan Plus dual-carbon issue surely needs to be comprehensively and convincingly addressed by attendees and speakers alike - and the following four-part question still needs to be asked & honestly answered:   do PJP's dual-carbon batteries outperform, surpass, beat Tesla's current Panasonic cells in any or all of the following FOUR key areas:

- cost/price
- life expectancy/charge cycles(PJP=3000)
- recyclability(100% ?)
- resource/raw material availability(cf. carbon - eventually organic)

Musk recently told shareholders - without explicitly naming Power Japan Plus - that "..so far, none of the supposed breakthroughs have held up at a laboratory level or actually exceed Tesla's own composition".

"Exceed" in which key respects ? All of the above-listed - 1 thru 4 ? Or only in terms of range/energy density ?
This surely needs to be further clarified - especially given that PJP's Dr. Kaname Takeya helped develop the lithium cells used in the Model 'S' - as mentioned in our earlier reports below.

And although Musk also told his audience that Tesla's battery Gigafactories will be easy to re-tool if and when next-gen batteries emerge - he noticeably fails to say if contracts and long-term loyalties(eg. to Panasonic) can be unceremoniously and inexpensively ditched and nullified if needs be.

Taisan-Tyson versus Tesla Roadster Race Car
Taisan's Tesla Roadster race car - out for the count: "overheating batteries didn't even last 10000 km".  Ouch !

June, 2014

Power Japan Plus - global mainstream silence(BBC, Independent, D. Tel, D. Mail, NYTimes, Wash Post, Sydney M Post, La Verdad etc etc) grows ever more deafening

P Jap Plus logo Media silence

Especially depressingly/amusingly predictable is the Daily Telegraph's silence:  many of you will recall that just a few months ago the Telegraph did break ranks and lead the clarion call and applause for London's uniquely disruptive/transformative, long-range rebel BYD taxi startup Thriev - the paper had freshly appointed a new, ostensibly dynamic, youngish web-savvy Stanford-educated American editor-in-chief - trumpeted as a fearless 'change agent' Jason Seiken.
For almost a fortnight he almost delivered change you could almost believe in.

But yet again - it looks as though we're going to have to rely on People Power Plus  to change this game ...

It's also worth highlighting and headlining the fact that Power Japan Plus's dual carbon cells ...
1) are 100% recyclable
2) will eventually be produced using organic carbon

So we're talking half-literally about battery  hens laying free-range, organic eggs. As good as geese gifting golden eggs.
What is there not to like ?

And just as importantly - given the limitless media and "news" space that is relentlessly dedicated to trivia, trash, tripe and twittle-twattle - what excuses can newspaper/TV editors possibly have for not reporting this .. or the public have for not demanding it be covered (as opposed to covered up)?

Perhaps Power J Plus could create a Youtube/Zootube clip of a chimp juggling (organic) green bananas or golden eggs in a PJP-powered kiddy-car :  1-2 million hits a week guaranteed...even Murdoch's Times/Sun/Sky might feel forced to report it...

June, 2014

Power Japan's breakthrough cells promise 300 mile/charge -

- but headlines miss the point & mis-focus on relatively irrelevant 20x faster-charge.
(divert, distract, misdirect - BMW, Nissan & Co will not be displeased)

CarbonLithiumJapan_300_mile_range_2  CarbonLithiumJapan_300_mile_range_1
Video veritas - the sincerity, credibility, integrity and sheer passion of each professorial speaker simply shines through the screen. But can they deliver to showrooms - and (20x ?)faster than the slo-mo competition(please) ?

EV headlines should surely all be screaming :
"Japan: Low Cost Dual Carbon Cells Promise 300 mile Range and Over Half a Million Life Miles"

..but instead we see 100's of dual carbon, carbon-copy headlines obligingly omitting the word 'range' and obediently missing the most crucial (charge) points of all - predictably burying the range-price-life triple-whammy tech-leap deep in their texts.

So let's spell this out one more time - hopefully but improbably the last:   when EV's have a range of 150+ miles there is simply no rational reason to continue blindly focusing and fixating on the issue of charge-points and fast-charging - the issue virtually EVaporates...fades away. Or should.

With this kind of range most drivers will simply slowly  top up or fully recharge at home or at the workplace(if they have one) from Mondays to Fridays. Almost always.

Even at weekends or after a range-anxiety-free, extended excursion into the countryside or an escape to the coast or the hills most drivers - come Sunday night - will simply check they have enough juice to reach work the next day - where employers will increasingly be offering free or subsidized charging in company carparks - often via solar carports.

Besides: repeated superfast charging is bad for batteries. Period.
And widespread simultaneous superfast charging at a local, regional or national level would be worse than bad for most of the world's electricity grids in their,er, current state.

Dr_Takeya_Japan_Dual_Carbon  Power Jap Plus Zero Range Anxiety
Also puzzlingly underreported or unmentioned:   Power Japan Plus's Dr. Kaname Takeya also helped develop the batteries used in the Tesla Model S (video).

So exactly how Panasonic and Musk managed to miss this mini-miracle is a mystery.
Speculation is so far strangely sparse.

Will Elon and Panasonic be panicked by Power Jap Plus ?

Gigabatteries  are clearly what's needed - not (just) Gigafactories cheaply producing (oops !) yesterday's best-tech.

Tesla's Socket Scientist Supremo aka Mr. SpaceX knows this of course - which is why we just have to end with a positive prediction of the EVUK-wishful-thinking kind for 2014.
Yes, let's hope we see something along these (head)lines before the year's out:
"Panasonic to Buy Stake in Power Japan Plus"
  - followed inexorably by ..
"Tesla Shares Head for Mars - On Battery Power".

Update(June 15):  as his auto-establishment rivals and forebears so often have in the past Musk now faces his own first real threat from a potentially very disruptive upstart. Unfortunately Tesla has so far responded exactly as the Old Order always did and does: ie. by (publicly) ignoring the (charging) elephant in the room, changing the subject and the headlines("We're freeing up our patents & proprietary wotnot") and relying on a compliant, accomplice media to play along and stay selectively stumm.(Shhh - please don't mention Power Japan Plus everyone !)

May, 2014

Hold the front page ! BMW Blogs: 200 mile range rumours (mysteriously) hit Google (EV) News Page ONE (Tom Moloughney)

At last BMW's electronauts have something electrifying to say..albeit anonymously and off-the-record:
(Two range-change rumour-mongers: bmwblog.com & bmwi3blogspot.com)

We all know the notion of the self-fulfilling prophecy - could we perhaps now collectively join forces to create, germinate, propagate, disseminate, promulgate a self-fulfilling rumour ?

No so much crowd-sourced as crowd-forced ?

BMW will need to act fast to confirm or deny. Obviously no informed EV-watcher or would-be owner will be rushing out to buy the current short-changing, short-ranging 81 mile / charge BMW i3 (official tests - clip) if the word on the street and around the block and the blogs is that a get-real long range version is just around the corner.

April, 2014

The 300 km / 186 mile per charge Mercedes-BYD-Daimler Denza: yours to buy from September
- provided you move to China, obviously.

Mercedes_BYD_Denza_186_miles_range_2014 Mercedes_BYD_Denza_186_miles_range_2014
Mercedes_BYD_Denza_186_miles_range_2014 Mercedes_BYD_Denza_186_miles_range_2014
Watch Daimler Denza: "EV The Future" - in English & Chinese. (But not in English showrooms..in the unforeseeable future)

From 125 miles to 186 miles in just 6 weeks:  yes - spookily - when we posted our "Buy BYD if range is increased" comment in March the official unconfirmed word - reported with zero criticism by countless news outlets globally - was that the Denza would deliver a range of just 125 miles. Here you may recall is how we constructively and pre-emptively responded:
"..if the two companies surprisingly announce that the strikingly stylish Denza is to break the range barrier à la Tesla - with a range of range options from 150-300 miles - BUY BYD & Daimler stock(and even EV's) like you're a Wall Street Werewolf !"

...Unfortunately we forgot to factor in the dreaded EV Escape to China Syndrome..

Yes - finally a major manufacturer - Mercedes Benz (subsidiary of Daimler AG) - decides to stop dangling the long-range carrot...but then insists - in familiar and predictable fashion - that it'll only be served up on a china plate.
Give with one hand - (Chinese) take away with the other. One giant long-range leap into China - but round and round in foot-dragging circles everywhere else.

Advanced nations - retarded range.

Yes - to almost quote Ian McShane's can-do character Teddy Bass in Sexy Beast(clip) :
   'Where there's a will, there's a way out'.
And when it comes to carmakers and real range - there's always a (bleeping)  way out.
Indeed, that has long been the industry's unspoken credo and motto when dodging and dealing with the ever-increasing grassroots demand for longer range vehicles in so-called "advanced" Western countries or markets.

So will Mercedes, as we speak, be dispatching posses of senior vice PR Presidents, BMW-style, to sincerely explain that - based on their exhaustive, exhaust-free field-test findings and "learnings" - veritable cohorts of electronauts, argonauts and cybernauts in Europe, the US and the rest of the West have been literally begging the company to prioritize China and pamper the Chinese - not us - with long-range EV's ? Insisting that for green hair-shirted Europeans and Americans less is more(or had better be) and that permanent range anxiety - especially at weekends - is what consumers are screaming for everywhere but China ?
Will yet more salt be rubbed into the wound inflicted by this latest slap in the face of eco-conscious Western consumers ? Judging from all previous experience - it would be no surprise at all if Daimler were to start selling the Denza in Vietnam, India, Bangladesh, Outer Mongolia..and Timbuktu before bringing it to me, you and the EU.

- And will Mercedes feel any heat from the media and the masses to do the right thing by rolling out the 186 mile/charge Denza worldwide - leaving Tesla to play catch-up ? (Remember Mercedes-Daimler also have around $50 million invested in Tesla)

Just when will any jobsworth journalists here in the West finally have the courage and the cojones to state the patently obvious ? That the world's major carmakers and a zillion linked-in monopolistic, mob-like vested interests remain chronically, pathologically incapable of accepting the idea that EV's might escape beyond niche - except in China and other emergin' virgin markets ? That the worst nightmare of all of these usual suspects is still that their cherished, core combustion customers might be tempted to start buying long-range EV's - en masse - instead of petrol/diesel vehicles ? And worse still - as their only car.

And please don't forget - easily done since almost no other commentator will remind you - that BYD continue to confidently claim that their Fe batteries are good for well over 350,000 miles and for 20 years of life. See : "BYD Electric e6 Can Reach Over One Million Kilometers (621,000 Miles) On Original Battery"(InsideEVs.com).
No other EV batteries - including Tesla's Panasonics - are expected to exceed even 150,000 miles.

So whilst Daimler's and BYD's fortunes and share prices certainly deserve to soar skywards on the tail and trail of Tesla, it remains as clear as it ever was that the industry's (non-) movers & shakers will only relent on range in the developed ICE-aged world if either:

a) Loaded guns are held to their heads while their families, pet goldfish, gerbils or hamsters are held hostage and/or their annual bonuses threatened with the axe ..
- or perhaps more realistically...
b) When they are finally forced to deliver 150+ real miles per charge by Tesla and the launch of its genuinely disruptive subversive lower-cost Model E.

In the meantime we would subversively advise all would-be EV owners to simply boycott short-range EV's.
Don't lie down and take it on the chin - copy the Chinese.{Heaven knows - they've copied us often enough)

Let Nissan, BMW, Mercedes, Renault, Kia & Co know that what is good enough for China's EVolution is good enough for the rest of us.
In fact why not nip into your nearest Nissan, BMW or Daimler dealership armed with your trigger-happy Smartphone - pre-loaded with this very EVUK piece plus a lethal round of rapid-fire bullet points and a salvo of dazzling, drop-dead Denza Youtube clips (click
123) ?
Of course it's unlikely you'll find many or any car salesmen who'll know a Mercedes Denza from a Mercedes Benza - but an outbreak of viral, non-violent showroom activism and action could do the trick.

Take no prisoners - or hostages !

April, 2014

To AutoBlogGreen/ABG  re: BMW Q&A & EV 'sincerity' :
Yes, sure - BMW are  'sincerely' committed to low-range, high-priced niche-cliché City EV' s ...

- and that's the problem !

When is a BMW not a DBMW ?    And why does DB - Deutsche Bank - sit on Kolibri-DBM's 'supervisory' Board ? Read on...
DBM Energy/Kolibri 714 km range DEKRA validated
Wikipedia's Audi A2 pages now dedicate several refreshingly positive paragraphs to DBM Energy's record-breaking electric conversion. The succinct entry ends or rings out with the following concise, truth-screaming little 2010 quote from sidelined, maginalized, EVicted & EViscerated(since 2011) DBM CEO & founder Mirko Hannemann:
"The technology could be implemented today. It is up to industry to use this potential"

Let's begin our sincerity shake-down with the red-rag-to-a-bull incendiary invitation that heads up Gary Witzenburg's March ABG-BMW interview feature:

"Anyone who questions BMW's effort or sincerity on electrified vehicles should have a chat with Hildegard Wortmann, the German automaker's senior vice president..."

Unfortunately Frau Wortmann's sincerity was scarcely tested by AutoBlogGreen's disappointingly deferential, soft-ball exchange - although to his credit Witzenburg did vainly attempt to squeeze and press BMW's HW on the all-important and normally near-taboo question of long range. But she was simply tooBMW_i3_UK_TV_ad_pre-launch_Nov_2013 well-primed and prepared for her too reticent, respectful and perhaps intimidated, eager-to-please interlocutor.

Obviously the disarmingly charming Frau Wortmann would never agree to a cosy cross-questioning or casual "chat" with EVUK - even though we'd happily unleash each pertinent point in either German or English so that nothing would get lost, buried or forgotten in translation.

Wortmann's Wortspiel / Wordplay...
OK, we have tried for a fortnight to resist and wrestle against the temptation to dissect, deconstruct and demolish Frau Wortmann's still recent comments and more importantly her and Witzenburg's deafening selective silences. But the temptation has proven irresistible: someone simply and sincerely has to fill in the blanks. So here are a few of the questions and comments for both interviewer & interviewee(GW, HW & You) that we would have prepared, pre-loaded and sought/fought to discharge had we been granted a ballistic, journalistic joust with BMW's senior and sincere vice president:

Hildegard Wortmann: We have over a million kilometres driven by consumers in the Mini E and ActiveE and a fairly good understanding that those people are not driving that much. Putting a really big battery with all that weight into a car that is meant for urban mobility does not make sense".
"I think what we need to learn when do we use which car? But I think customers have a very good understanding. When they say, "I'm mainly going to use the car in the city" the i3 is perfect. And we offer mobility concepts for i3 customers so they can borrow an X5 if they go for a skiing weekend..." "They are our build-up in competence for learning and gaining experience in electrification. We will use those learnings(sic) for the total BMW brand. Technology-wise, we now have a really good understanding of what to do, what not to do, how to work with this and how to get a lot of learnings(sic) from the infrastructure and everything that goes with it."

EVUK: several points to pick up on:   by the same minimalist, ration-alist logic - given that at least 90% of cars on our roads are transporting just 1 or 2 people 90% of the time - BMW and the automotive mainstream should logically therefore have been primarily focused on selling 2-seater gasoline-powered cars for the past half century or more. And offering 4-7 seater "mobility concepts"(as with the i3 - book in advance - subject to availability) - on those infrequent occasions when more passengers need to be moved or,er, "mobilized".
Instead, our roads are teeming with supersized crossovers, 4-wheel drives, off-roaders, SUV's by another name - again for the most part occupied by just one or two people.
To use your words - does that make sense ?

Where's the consistency, BMW, Frau Wortmann ? Why is BMW after so many years and so far down the road still only prepared to offer - again in your words "a car that is meant for urban mobility" ?
Is it not the case that with EV's BMW is still intent on producing the short-range vehicles that the company  wants to sell - that suit its EV niche-market agenda? You say that it would be wasteful and not make sense to offer extra range that is only occasionally needed - yet BMW and the rest of the world's major carmakers are by contrast more than happy to satisfy almost every excessive, extravagant whim and fancy of their core crank'n'piston customers with barely a qualm or a scruple. A glaring example of EV v ICE double standards, surely ?

A timely word or two about the larger BMW i5(pictured). Rumours have beenBMw i5 rife recently around the Detroit Motor Show that the i5 will soon officially be added to the company's electric line-up.
Will it also have limited all-electric range ? Many commentators say it is designed to compete with the Tesla Model S. So would BMW still consider it too wasteful and extravagant to at least offer a 150 mile battery range option ? You say that you have been disappointed by the lack of demand for the gasoline range-extended version of the i3 - do you not think or accept that this simply underscores the fact that most would-be EV owners want a completely clean break from oil and the internal combustion engine ? Which likewise indicates, does it not, that they would also baulk at the idea of having to pre-book a gasoline-dependent BMW X5 for longer journeys ?

Also - regarding your self-selecting "electronaut" Mini E field-testers(BMW Mini E, Wikipedia) -
- your own findings (as opposed to "learnings" ?) confirmed that almost all of those who applied to lease and "field-test" the 100 mile/charge Mini E were from the outset looking for a second car for short journeys and were therefore quite happy to live with that - in other words your "electronaut" field-testers originated and were drawn from a self-selecting small niche group or demographic that was clearly completely unrepresentative of the would-be electric car-buying population at large - the majority of whom want and have always wanted maximum range, normal stylish looks and plenty of interior passenger and storage space.
It is and never has been rocket science or even socket science.
Toyota needed little or no research or long-grass field-testing before they launched the long-range electric RAV4 in 1997 - whisking it from the drawing board to the street in under 18 months. The same was true of real-life rocket scientist and electronaut extraordinaire Elon Musk and Tesla when they designed and let loose the Roadster and Model S.

HW: (response pending..aber eher unwahrscheinlich !)

EVUK: Let's turn to range-record-breaking DBM Energy(name/identity now changed to Kolibri AG). Since the reshuffle and renaming as Kolibri AG in 2011 two eminent financial and automotive heavyweights have served as supervisory Board Members(link: Kolibri AG) :
1) Dr. Thomas Rueschen:
Deutsche Bank Group's serving - not former - Head of Asset & Wealth Management(Global Key Account Management Retail)

2) Richard Gaul:
Communications and investment consultant in Berlin, previously long-time director of Corporate Communications and Political Affairs for BMW AG.

Firstly, it is surely inconceivable or at least highly improbable that two such distinguished establishment figures would dedicate their valuable time and energy to - as most commentators would have us believe - a dodgey or unremarkable company producing a dodgey or unremarkable product.
There is presumably still ongoing contact between you, BMW and Herr Gaul ? Has he confirmed that Kolibri cells would indeed be capable of delivering 200 miles of affordable or even low-cost range(and 5000 charge cycles) if production volumes were to be significantly ramped up as Mirko Hannemann had hoped ?
Is it not ironic that Herr Gaul spent almost 22 years as Head of Communications at BMW yet he and his post-Hannemann Kolibri colleagues have so far resolutely refused or failed to communicate anything at all on the subject of electric cars ?
(Recall that it was Gaul who in 1998 famously declared:
'We can tell Rover workers your jobs are safe with us'
  see 'BMW: The Lies' - Free Library)

Based on what was independently verified:
  - if the converted Audi A2 that was driven the 605 km between Munich and Berlin in 2010 (with 18% of its charge still remaining) were to be fitted with just half the weight in lithium batteries that powered it(300 kg) at normal traffic speeds(averaging 56 mph) on that record-setting night/morning it would inevitably achieve well over half that distance on a single charge - so around 350 km or 220 miles. Subsequent DEKRA / BAM tests confirmed (see video and pdf test results) that the full real range of the battery pack used on that occasion would have been 714 km(it arrived in Berlin only 82% discharged).

Another inevitable question for Frau Wortmann: was there not a clear and pleasant prospect or clear and present danger that DBM founder Mirko Hannemann risked becoming Germany's answer to Tesla's Elon Musk ?
Ironically, in his (rare) interview with the Frankfurter Rundschau Hannemann expressed his wish to expeditiously build battery factories - Giga or Mega or somewhere in between - in order to ramp up production and slash prices/cost. Has your former BMW colleague Richard Gaul given any indication as to why this has still not happened ?
Again, is it not ironic that Herr Gaul spent almost 22 years as Head of Communications at BMW yet he and his post-Hannemann Kolibri colleagues have so far resolutely refused or failed to communicate anything at all on the subject of electric cars ?

A few more inescapable questions - these for Autobloggreen's Gary Witzenburg, Wortmann and anyone else still on the fence or the ropes:   why would anyone who had developed radically disruptive game-changing EV batteries willingly appoint the likes of ex-BMW's Richard Gaul and Deutsche Bank's Dr. Thomas Rueschen as supervisory board members ?
Could you imagine Tesla and Musk ever willingly contemplating a similar move for even a fraction of a nanosecond ? Appointing Bank of America and GM grandees to the Board - to keep an eye and a lid on proceedings ?

Do you, GW, doubt the sincerity, credibility and integrity of the Roland Gutsch award body and its researchers ? Of all those independent experts who testified - some on camera - as to the Kolibri battery's authenticity and transformative potential ? Do you doubt the sincerity and credibility of the DEKRA and BAM test-engineers ?(see BAM video testimony and DEKRA pdf file test results)
Can you not accept the fact or even the idea that DBM was the almost inevitable victim of a classic Trojan horse takeover & take-down ?
Can you not live with the reality that Gaul's task was to slam on the brakes, EViscerate Hannemann's disruptive EV ambitions and steer the company safely towards stationary energy storage applications - as we had predicted ?

When has any BMW executive or salesman or owner otherwise EVER been interested in anything stationary or immobile ? Except in response to the prospect of real long-range EV progress and status-quo-threatening battery tech-advances ?

Hildegard Wortmann says - in familiar fashion - that BMW's EV "journey is just beginning" (!).

Oh boy! Incredible ! After so many decades. Are we still not there yet ? We've covered this ground and travelled this well-worn road so many times Volks - so please recharge and refresh your memory cells if need be with the following key links:

- "40 Years of Electric BMWs You Can't Buy" (Wired)

- "BMW Has Been Building Mediocre Electric Cars Since 1972" (Business Insider)
- including, in 1989, the 93 mile/charge 325iX .
Why did Witzenburg fail to jog Wortmann's and his audience's memories ?

- "BMW's high-priced, low-range carbon fibre carrot unveiled. But who wouldn't prefer a Kolibri- powered DBMW i3 - 200 mile/charge and far cheaper ?" (EVUK who else ! August 2013)

- " Cost-effective EV battery passes German tests, recharges in Minutes"(GM Volt.com report)

- BMW's Head of Communications for 22 years Richard Gaul famously and ever-so sincerely declared in 1998 :
'We can tell Rover workers your jobs are safe with us'  see 'BMW: The Lies' - Free Library . Kolibri/DBM's record-breaking cells are now strictly stationary and going nowhere fast thanks to Gaul & Co.

- In a rare May 2012 interview(Adlershof) conducted - candidly and sincerely - in one of the company's Kolibri-powered Audi A2's, sidelined CEO Mirko Hannemann let slip and confirmed with a wry smile and a weary wink one of the most perpetually and painfully clear EV truisms of all:

"I have understood that things are moving far too fast for car manufacturers"
("Ich hab verstanden, dass es den Autobauern viel zu schnell geht")

Do you agree Frau Wortmann ? Too fast and - more to the point - too far on each charge. Each and every 5000 charges ?

The Last Wort - a language footnote - for Frau Wortmann re: "learnings":  so much for the free EVUK EV lesson - now for the English lesson. The word "learnings" does not exist in English anywhere in the world - you confidently used it twice.
Instead use "findings" or "lessons learned".
Pedantic ? The fact is that poor English can seriously undermine credibility - especially of high ranking senior spokespeople for multinational corporations. After all the word "learning"(only the singular form exists) is a pretty crucial concept and word for all of us (as is "teaching") - especially as it relates to the autoindustry's willingness to act on their ostensible "learnings" - sorry - "findings" or "lessons learned"...
Sincerely Yours, PG, EVUK Editor/Co-Founder

March-Feb, 2014

- Just for the record(books?)
Tesla shares on fire, off the charts, a 619% one-year-leap

Tesla 2013-14 share chart  Tesla Musk Sky Not the Limit Spacex
Pre-Occupying Wall Street. For Musk - Mr. SpaceX - the Sky's Not The Limit

But almost no-one is reporting - surprise surprise - that BYD shares have soared circa 240% in one year:
BYD Share Chart 2013-14

Daimler-BYD Denza
2014 - keep a watchful wolfish eye on the conspicuously under-reported Daimler-BYD Denza EV collaboration: if the two companies surprisingly announce that the strikingly stylish Denza is to break the range barrier à la Tesla - with a range of range options from 150-300 miles - BUY BYD & Daimler stock(and even EV's) like you're a Wall Street Werewolf !
(Otherwise hold or dump like it's the morning after the crash or the blood-fest)

February, 2014

Telegraph Feb 17 - freshly pressed news just squeezed in:  Green Tomato finally confirm 50 BYD deal dead
- just as we long suspected, expected and commented(despite the near-universal silence)

So, theoretically, red faces  all around at last. No explanation has been offered at all at this point. But we'll hope and assume that Thriev's fledgeling founders know the whole, juicy Tomato Truth - and can learn lessons from the failure.

Let's hope too that Green Tom chiefs will have cause to turn deeply green with envy  soon - as Thriev's BYD's thrive and drive ever onwards, upwards, outwards, skywards...

So far only the Daily Telegraph is reporting the confirmation("5 hours ago") - see "Britain's Largest Electric Taxi Deal Collapses".

Note re Daily Telegraph's (perhaps) surprisingly bullish lead on this BYD breakthrough: it's worth noting that the newspaper has just appointed a new dynamic youngish web-savvy Stanford-educated American editor-in-chief - 'change agent' Jason Seiken.
So when can we expect Seiken and his fearless fellow 'change agents' to start using, testing, video-reviewing the Thriev/Buffett taxis - presumably telling drivers to "keep the change" ?

February, 2014

Thriev promise 20 BYD e6 taxis - sorry 'chauffered private hire cars' - in London this month
- but only seeing will be believing this time

Following Green Tomato's 50 BYD taxi fudge and no-show we have contacted THRIEV BYD LondonThriev to seek reassurances that this time we really will see a potentially game-changing fleet of 186 mile/charge e6 'chauffeured private hire cars'(definitely not taxis or cabs or minicabs, Thriev ?!) on the streets of London. We'll keep you posted when or if we hear back from them.

See all recent press reports - and take a look at the company's Linkedin pages...which at the moment are infinitely more lively, buzzing and informative than their - thus far - very sparse and spartan website.

BREAKING Breakthrough News : Confirmation(Tues 11th Feb) : the first 10 BYD e6's were officially launched and unleashed today, Tuesday ! (but only reportedly). What's more, Warren Buffett - again reportedly(FT) - is attending the London launch this very day.
See - among others Automotive World. This time around a remarkable off-the-charts number - thousands - of media outlets worldwide have been reporting this latest BYD e6 EV/minicab/taxi(whatever) range-busting, consensus-crushing venture.
The Financial Times(10 Feb) even now dares to refer to Thriev's cars as "cabs" in its headline. Can we all now safely do likewise, please, Thriev ? Can we simply book or call for or even hail a thrifty Thriev cab or taxi from here on in ? Without the costly-sounding chauffeur ?

No official launch videos at the time of writing - but we're keeping our eyes - though not our Green Tomatoes - peeled.

( It possibly goes without saying that anyone thinking of buying a low-range/high anxiety keep-it-niche EV from any of the major carmakers(BMW, Nissan etc) would be well-advised to first head for London for a quick low-cost test-ride in a long-range e6 - a Buffett BYD taxi or 'chauffeur-driven private hire-car')

February, 2014

Formula E Street Wolf Wrecks Ferrari Fugazi. Or does he ? Watch (excl.) Oscar-worthy carnage.

Ferrari ? Lamborghini ? Ferrari ? Lamborghini ?
Even Belfort didn't know or care what he was driving or destroying...so why should we ?

(Note: we've now swapped our original fuzzy footage for a crystal clear clip - even Scorsese's stoned Strattonites might just see the light and the joke)
DiCaprio Wolf of Wall Street Wrecks Ferrari
Apologies for the low-def quality of this EVUK exclusive clip - we hope this will :
a) persuade Youtube enforcers not to block and bar it ...and
b) encourage as many ethical *EVUK'ers as possible to go out and buy the ever-so ethical official hi-res XXX-rated DVD or very Blu-Ray disc a month or two from now after DiCaprio and friends have deservedly bagged a sackful or s!*t-load of Oscars - not least for Scorsese's selfless services to the (high-class) hooker trade.

*The Wolf of Wall Street(WOWS) now holds the all-time cinematic record(at least 506) for the use of the 'F' word.
No - not 'F' as in Ferrari or F1.  FU is what we're talking about here. Fugazi says it best of all - Matthew DiCaprio Wolf Fugazi Fairy Dust but you'll need to buy, nick or click the flick to find out why...or just watch Leo's tantric mantric money-making mentor Matthew McConaughey spell it out for you...with a little hazy fugazi 'fairy dust'.

Of course we shouldn't only be ridiculing and F-ing with Ferrari. DiCaprio's/Belfort's phallic fantasy ride - his wrecked Testostarossa(or Luded Lambo)- symbolizes financial fakery and fiction as much as his character's..er..unsinkable titanic yacht-without-sails.
A pixie-dust Porsche Chimera(cf. Panamera) would drive home the message just as well. When they crash or sink they cost lives and a 'fairy dust' fortune to repair or salvage.

In 2014 the global economy urgently needs a radical powershift - from Formula One-track-mind  to Formula E. To quote DiCaprio and co-star Rob Reiner:
"The chickens have come home to roost".

So now's the time to swap the 'F' word for the 'E' word.
'E' as in EVolution, Extraordinary Entertainment, Extreme Excitement, Ecology, Economy, Energy Efficiency, Earth-Friendly ...
Yes, we could easily pack the page with E's - the way Scorsese filled his film with F's.
But just give us a thousand more lion-hearted leaders like Leo and Elon to show a million or billion Jordan Belforts(not wolves - but parasites, hyenas, vultures, bloodsuckers) that prosperity without the F1lth and the greed is within humanity's reach.

Backtrack - see:
- DiCaprio enters all-electric Formula E race series with ex-Fetish Venturi...who also hold world electric vehicle speed record.
- green car and EV EVangelist Tyre Co CEO Edouard Michelin dies in F1shy fairweather F1shing accident following acrimonious bust-up with F1 fossil-fuel diehards - think Ferrari, Ecclestone etc. Michelin exits Formula One.
- Ferrari vows, once again, never to produce all-electric cars.

DiCaprio Wolf of Wall Street Wrecks Ferrari Scorsese DiCaprio Wolf Ferrari Testarossa
Turns out he didn't drive home unscathed..and that it wasn't his white Ferrari(right). Click Quaaluded Lamborghini(left) for pristine quality clip. Can we all blame it on the drugs please ?

OK, our headline should perhaps have read "Wolf Leo Lobotomizes Lamb" or "Leo (Quaa)Ludes Lamborghini" etc. But frankly, who gives a flying fugazi which Italian mob-job got wasted...?

Buy let's not solely single out Italian dinosauri - a classic pre-Tata, British-not-Indian Jaguar also features prominently in the film. What's more, that company's latest "Bad Is Good" TV ad campaign fronted by Gandhi / Sexy Beast Ben Kingsley might have made a good/bad alternative WOWS film title.
But to return to where we started: what would Gandhi drive ? Well, Mahindra's Formula E race car of course - in a fast & furious face-off against Team DiCaprio.

January, 2014

A Lone Long-Ranger test-Rides again
CNN - alone again CNN - tests 186 miles/charge BYD taxis in Bogota

...while London loses its (green) Tomato Mojo(Youtube)

Recall that it was CNN - and still only CNN - that tested the long-range Bolloré Bluecar in Paris. CNN's Nick Parker or Jim 'Bluecar' Bitterman would certainly prefer to be testing the disruptive, game-changing, consensus-flouting BYD e6 in London.

See EVUK report(Sept, 2013): " Backward' 'basket case' (!?) Bogota shames London with record BYD taxi launch"
"EVUK exclusive: London's Green Tomato Cars confirm further dithering delays"

Red-faced Green Tomato chiefs / taxidermists owe the waiting world an apology and honest explanation - scores if not hundreds of media 50 BYD e6 taxis London launch imminent Aug 2013 outlets faithfully reported the original BYD taxi announcement in 2012. Unless we hear otherwise we will assume that the company and/or BYD have surrendered to the usual external pressures from the usual infernal suspects.
Sorry guys, but as long as you refuse to communicate we will have no choice but to (intelligently) speculate.

January, 2014

US Military: "EV's pay for themselves"
Anti-EV 'militants': "EV's worthless after 5 years".

2014 - and yet another Groundhog/Roadhog Year of ICE v EV Street Wars to Wage ?
An old priustoric joke:  now - in 2014 - the (almost) bomb-proof, armour-plated all-electric Tesla is a car worth fighting for..

We'll try to keep this short and bitter-sweet.

A familiar, revamped and regurgitated "study" by USA Today / Kelley Blue Book is once again claiming that all electric cars are destined and doomed to be virtually worthless after 5 years of ownership. As before, said stir-it-up study fails to mention what is by far the most important factor affecting any electric car's residual resale value:
- ie. battery life expectancy or life-span.

And as we've pointed out many times already - BYD claim that their e6 batteries are good for over 350,000 miles and for 20 years of life...and DBM's Mirko Hannemann(outrageously ousted by ex-BMW Trojan Horse Richard Gaul) remains confident that his range-record-breaking, award-winning Kolibri cells can be fully recharged 5000 times.

So to recap on the simple maths for the nth time:  battery life-span is primarily a product (A times B) of:
                 battery range x charge cycles
- although time/age and other variables obviously play a decaying role too(curious that no-one ever thinks that their smartphone, iPad, Tablet, netbook etc batteries will ever die or need to be replaced..)

Life expectancy and resale value are range issues too...

At 150,000 miles for example - the normally, perennially accepted end-of-life, end-of-the-road scrap-value point for almost all gasoline-powered cars - a BYD e6 EV's batteries would deliver at least another 200,000 miles - exceeding many owners' personal life-span or expiry date.
And a DBM/Kolibri-powered, 200 mile per charge Audi EV subversive conversion could and just might - if treated right - run for 200 x 5000 miles.
The million-mile maths is amazing. And truly too terrifying - electrically shocking - for the world's furiously fuming fossil-fuel fundamentalists, combustion canutes and our headlining alliance of die-hard anti-EV media-militants.

But batteries aside - don't let's forget and keep conveniently 'forgetting'(like those USA Today/Kelley "researchers") that when it comes to residual value and life expectancy EV's crucially contain around 600-800 fewer expensive-to-repair partsCranknPiston Heath Robinson than their Heath Robinson(pictured), dino-tech equivalents. Ah yes - and today's EV electric motors are good-to-go for anywhere between 1 to 5 million mechanic-miffing miles.
Crank and Piston, Clutch, Gearbox, anyone ?

Finances exhausted by gargantuan garage repair bills ?

In aggressively defensive contrast to USA Today's studied pessimism the US Military - especially its Air Force - is bullishly confident that grid-interactive or vehicle-to-grid leased electric cars - even short-range Nissans and Fords - can more or less pay for themselves ie. cost virtually nothing in areas where power companies have been politically or popularly persuaded, pressured and otherwise incentivized to pay householders and EV owners/drivers fairly for all surplus energy fed back into the grid.

Yes - as unlikely as it may seem to many - the US and its military are way ahead of green-sheen Brits and electrically static Europeans when it comes to both low-cost EV-leasing and grid-interactive payback(Spain's lame-tame, corporately-controlled government is even planning to charge not pay consumers for feeding or "storing" electricity back into the grid !   Spain-bound Tesla be warned - Spain ain't no Norway. You may need to enlist the help of the 'green = strong' US military for your upcoming Spanish invasion !)

See National Defense Magazine :
"Plug-In Vehicles Could Generate Revenue For the Military"
"B***dy eco-warriors - make ya sick, right ?"

December, 2013

DiCaprio enters formidable Formula E DiCaprio_Venturi_Formula_E.jpg
- but will he champion 2 wheels too ?

   While electric cars and 4-wheeled Formula E pull in the stars(in the US at least) no celebrities worldwide have so far come forward or 'come out' as electric motorcycle converts or believers. But without stellar support the deafening deadly global media silence looks set to continue.

The inaugural 2013 electric motorcycle eGrandPrix race series proved to be (US heats excepted) a pre-programmed media wipe-out, wash-out - a fizzling flop finished off with a FIM fiasco as the grand world final face-off in India was unceremoniously cancelled for reasons which were - surprise, surprise - reported by almost no-one anywhere on planet earth.

But Motorcycle.com's resilient resident rebel blogger Dennis Chung did offer this semi-plausible explanation:
"The final was originally scheduled to take place Nov 17 as a support race for the World Superbike Championship round at India's Buddh International Circuit. That WSBK round was cancelled in August, however, causing eRoad Racing organizers to scramble for a new venue for the finale. Those efforts proved to have been in vain, forcing the organizers to call off the final. Organizers had previously also canceled the third and final round in the North American series, originally scheduled for Aug 31-Sept 1 at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah."

From Left to Right - or Wrong to Right:
DiCaprio video Gasoline Motorbike 2009DiCaprio Gasoline Moped 2008DiCaprio_A2B_Metro_Electric_Bicycle jpgeGrandprix_Eric_Bostrom_US_Heat_Winner.jpg
- DiCaprio in 2009 on petrol-powered motorcycle
- DiCaprio in 2008 on petrol-powered Yamaha moped
- DiCaprio and Jay Leno ride A2B electric bicycles in 2011
- No DiCaprio, Leo-less:   the electric green-wheeled Brammo straddled by unsung US eGrandprix heat champ Eric Bostrom. Without help from the stars there'll clearly be no fame, no glory no media coverage, no audience for electric motorbikes - and no choirs singing "Gloria" à la Repsol TV ad(watch below).

French connections - connect the circuit:
Leo - 007/Roger Moore - French Fetish - Venturi beat Tesla - one fishy French death* - Formula E formidable.
Sadly though electric motorcycles and the world race series are yet to be wired into the DiCaprio's or any celebrity circuitry.
(* Fishy French death:  the pre-Tesla Venturi Fetish was presented at the 2006 Bibendum Challenge - just 2 weeks after the fairweather fishing death of the event's founder and EV/green car evangelist Edouard Michelin - see 2013 EVUK report "RIP - Race In Peace"(Michelin lost F1 contract to Pirelli but won FE prix instead)

The Future - Electrified or Fossilized ? Two conflicting clips:
eRoad Racing Indy Shane Turpin This Is Future   Repsol_Gloria_Choir_TV_Ad_MotoGPRepsol_Gloria_Choir_TV_Ad_MotoGP
Left: "This is the Future" raves US eGrandprix racer Shane Turpin
Right: Repsol ("Invent the Future") sings a rapturous, ridiculous sacrilegious(surely ?) choral "Gloria" unto itself and to business-as-usual, oil-fuelled motorbikes, MotoGP, SuperMoto. TV Ad Nauseam.

Unsurprisingly Spain's thoroughly consumerized, commodified, media-conditioned, and largely eco-comatose yet catholic populace did not take to the streets to protest - and no outraged catholic 'protestants' demanded the ad or anuncio be withdrawn.
They've clearly learned little from gospel-green EV-believer (ex-)Pope Benedict*/Ratzinger.
For whilst the Spanish famously claim to adore - almost worship children - judging from their actions, inaction and unconcerned consumer choices they would appear to care little for the desecrated, depleted planet('His Creation' ?*) that their children's children and a zillion species of flora and fauna* will inherit and inhabit.
*Agnostic note:  All Things Bright and Beautiful...All Creatures Great and Small ? Ironically this EVUK scribe ascribes to no faith - but this is surely a hymn with lyrics to live by, God or no God. Even on the Costa del Repsol.

It's surely high time that anti-car, two-wheels-good Bardem(Javier) and biker Banderas(Antonio) proved their green or racetrack credentials and cojones by following heroic Leonardo's lead. Indeed '5-bikes' Banderas briefly owned and ran a Moto2(vroom,vroom) race team for all of six months in 2010 but got his fingers pretty badly burned. Well Hell - Infernal Combustion - what d'you expect Antonio ?


From Formula E to Formula 3 - a high-performance F3 racing car made from and powered by recycled waste - including carrots, potatoes, chocolate, plastic bottles. Not electric - but as eco-eclectic as it gets - especially given that almost half of the world's food
goes to waste(Reuters etc) :
Warwick Waste Recycled Racing Car 1 Warwick Waste Recycled Racing Car - Warwick Uni Lecture Warwick Waste Recycled Racing Car - India TV report
Refreshing to hear harsh comments from many speakers - including Formula E's Lord Drayson - regarding, among other things, climate-killing carbon fibre and the auto industry's chronic failure/refusal to transfer breakthrough technologies from the track and from university research departments to vehicle showrooms. Thanks though to Lola who helped the Warwick Uni team with the race car's powertrain and overall design.
Top, tastiest clips: 1, 2, 3. Total: 25 minutes. (But infinitely more edifying than a trillion hours of recycled trivia-trash-tripe TV)


A Heads Up Footnote to Wikipedians : Lola Cars' Wiki pages make no reference at all to Formula E or to the company's revolutionary collaboration with Drayson Racing, Lola-Drayson.
Please race to update - SOA and ASAP !

December, 2013

The Weight-Loss Waiting Game:  from BYD - Build Your Dream - to GYD - Grow Your Dream ?
BMW v BYD, 90 v 186 mile range: with nanotech-bamboo/carbon fibre/super-strong graphene - less weight and drag - the BYD e6 would easily and inevitably achieve over 220 miles per charge.
(NB. whilst BYD have not announced any plans to lighten up the long-range but weighty 2380kg e6 - EVUK has always been unapologetically dedicated to making crucial EV news happen)

And if Vauxhall's Stuart Harris is right(see below: "the need for lighter cars is quickly going to become urgent") the world's carmakers - including BYD - will soon have no choice but to shift en masse towards smart, lightweight, exotic/disruptive alternatives to heavy steel and even aluminium...

Here are a few kerb weight comparisons to weigh up:
Bamboo Plants Natal Wiki Youtube clips
Tesla Model S 7-seater 2100kg, BYD e6 5-seater 2380kg, Nissan LEAF 5-seater 1474kg, BMW i3 4-seater 1270kg(a pressed-steel i3 would weigh about 1500kg - see D.Telegraph review)

To put it another way - if China's BYD were to trim the e6 down to below 2000kg with a variety of SOA weight-saving materials and improve the vehicle's aerodymics(drag) the EV's battery weight/size(and therefore cost) could be reduced by around 30% and still deliver over 150 miles per charge ie. still circa 50% more range than the lightweight BMW i3. As we pointed out in our previous February 2013 EVUK article on the same theme this would also improve the car's acceleration and handling and free up interior and boot/trunk space.

As mentioned above, Vauxhall marketing director Stuart Harris recently spoke about the pressure on carmakers to reduce weight - and in the process nimbly avoided mentioning electric vehicles or even the company's own semi-electric Ampera. Here are a few extracts - courtesy MSN Cars:

" "If interior packaging efficiencies can be found and vehicle crash safety technology can improve, said Harris, future models may be launched that offer the same interior space as the cars they replace, but with smaller overall dimensions and a lower overall kerbweight.
Harris is so confident in his claim because the need for lighter cars is quickly going to become urgent. Vehicle manufacturers must cut the weight of their cars in order to reduce emissions, because otherwise, the financial penalties from legislators will be punitive.
"The secret to reducing CO2 is cutting weight," he explained. "New engines are already coming, which are helping, but the only way to achieve a fleet average 95g/km CO2 will be to make vehicles lighter."
But although even hitting this ambitious fleet average emissions figure will be a huge achievement, the work for car manufacturers doesn't stop there - cutting the weight of vehicles is only the start of it.
"Making lighter cars may take you to 95g/km but then physics and aerodynamics take over."
Vehicle engineering centres are going to be busy places in coming decades "(MSN Cars, Nov,2013)


Here are a few more bedazzling, bamboozling bamboo bullet-points and a little pulp non-fiction to chew on :
Rinspeed BamBoo EV
- Nanotubes are also known as "bamboo nano" because of their tubular structure and strength. So - bamboo and nanotech
- a natural automotive synergy just waiting, waiting, waiting to happen.
So why the weight-slashing wait ? Clearly the challenge here - as with oil and the infernal combustion engine - is as much corporate-political as it is technological - bamboo inevitably being the bane, a bête noire or bête beige of yet another Canute-like corporate colossus, namely the steel industry - one of the heaviest of the so-called "heavy" industries.

Bamboo used as scaffolding in skyscrapers high rises China Asia - Bamboo is widely used in Asia as an alternative to steel scaffolding(right) - even in the building of high-rises. But it does not augur well that mainland China for whatever reason - in contrast to Hong Kong - has banned its use in the construction of full-blown skyscrapers.

- Bamboo " lighter and stronger than carbon fibre and steel" (Science Ray)

- Wood Pulp "stronger than carbon fibre or Kevlar" ..and far cheaper, greener (Slashdot)

- Bamboo and wood pulp composites are not only stronger than steel they have been shown to have significantly superior impact resistance, shock absorbency

- 'Mighty oaks from little acorns grow' - forget that old acorny adage, that tired old chestnut:   instead try 'from tender, tiny, tasty bamboo shoots does the mighty bamboo soar skywards' - averaging a growth rate of over 2 metres a month...although an amazing 2.5 metres/98 inches in 24 hours have been reported(see Wiki, Bamboo and "The Book of Bamboo", D.Farrelly, Sierra Club Books)

- Bamboozled by bamboo:   try telling any financial advisor Bamboo Plants Kyoto Wikior fund manager - preferably a China or Asia specialist - that you're intent on investing in a uniquely versatile and super-strong natural product offering spectacular, unrivalled, infinitely sustainable, renewable, guaranteed growth potential.
No, not a hedge fund but a bamboo fund - without the boom and bust.
Expect blank, bamboozled looks or outright derision.
For although "Growth! Growth ! Growth !" continues to be the universally parroted political, economic, corporate and media mantra - disruptive, transformative growth-redefining bamboo remains almost as taboo, underreported and marginalized as EV's were until the advent of the Tesla and the LEAF. Go figure.

To reiterate:  we would obviously all be applauding rapturously if European, Asian, US carmakers - including BYD and BMW - were to take a leaf from Rinspeed's bamboo book and announce the successful development, road-testing and imminent mass-production of lightweight and therefore longer-range electric cars constructed using a whole new generation of genuinely green, stronger-than-steel, 21st century materials coated or impregnated with the latest nanotech-based, water-repelling, life-extending resins, nanoclays, composites - ingeniously combining all of the best that bamboo, wood-pulp, graphene and good old carbon fibre(invented half a century ago) have to offer.


From nano plastics to nano bamboo ? Here are a few salient quotes from Professor Hai Wong Kang's "A Review of the Emerging Nanotechnology Industry" (dtsc.ca.gov) :

" Nanoclay and carbon nanotubes are the key nano-elements used in polymer nanocomposite materials. Current major applications of plastic nanoclay composite materials include automotive parts, such as automotive body panels and under-hood components, and packaging. In packaging, nanocomposites decrease the permeation rate of gases and moisture vapor into plastic by creating a "tortuous path". Nanocomposites can also provide materials of high stiffness and impact resistance(...)Toyota produced the first commercial nanocomposite materials on the market, a timing belt cover and food packaging. After that, many other companies produced plastic nanocomposite materials for packaging and automotive parts. "

Add this quote re bamboo-epoxy nanocomposites from Techpedia and Vivek Kumar - Project Associate in the Chemical Engineering Department at IIT Delhi:
" Bamboo as a fiber with different polymers and fillers is a good option for high performance structural applications ".

But if you're still not blown away by bamboo - look to graphene instead. Or combine the two. With wood pulp. See Gizmag: "Graphene Remains The Strongest Known Material"


From weight loss to dead loss :  a lone-voice EVUK reminder that Green Tomato Cars' 50 BYD e6 taxis/minicabs have yet to hit London's streets. Is it time to prepare the rotten tomatoes ?
Originally scheduled to launch in April, subsequently postponed until July(-ish), then "not until the end of October". Claiming suddenly and unconvincingly that charge-points needed to be put in place, the company has yet to explain - among other things - why a partial, gradual roll-out would not be possible, even preferable. Maybe - just maybe - they've decided to wait for a light-weight bamboo-graphene-nanotech version to show up..

December, 2013

Tesla accelerates Model E debut - by more than a year - to 2015.
- yet another spooky EVUK coincidence ?!

Less than two months before this latest Tesla forward-thinking rethink we posted this constructively plaintive little plea:

"Thus far the Californian upstart and startup have been tolerated and occasionally even celebrated and congratulated by the US media and motor-making mainstream - in part thanks to Musk's glittering billionaire Paypal legacy and track-record but mainly because the company's EV's - the long-range Model 'S' and Roadster - remain safely unaffordable to at least 95% of the car-buying public. If, on the other hand, Tesla had ever threatened, promised or attempted to roll out its low-cost, long range and thus truly disruptive Model 'E' last year or even earlier it would have seriously rattled the cage, lethally ruffled feathers and a far bloodier cock-fight would have ensued. What a pity Elon lacked the élan to fast-track that master-plan".

OK - we would still have preferred to see the 'E' in the streets yesterday - but 2015/16 still beats 2016/17.

December, 2013

Tesla latest: no blazing news is good news. Is FED probe having a mysterious dousing and deterrent effect ? After three Tesla Fires in 6 weeks - between late September and early November - none, touch timber or wood, have been reported since CEO Musk called in the FEDs.
We'll just leave that question hanging and smouldering - suffice to say that it is blazingly amazing how an official probe can appear to prevent mysterious fiery accidents or "accidents" from happening.
Have the FEDs finally mastered precog, Minority Report-style accident or foul-play prevention ?

November, 2013

A result ? Tesla asks FED's to probe fires(just a week after our last lonely little piece re sabotage/foul play - see below)

Obviously just another possibly purely coincidental response to a lone-voice silence-breaking EVUK article or two(pity the major carmakers still refuse to coincidentally respond re real range).

So when at long last can we expect that official and formal job offer, please - on our knees - Elon ?

See 1000's of Google News reports detailing Tesla's slightly belated request for an official FED probe(thankfully before we are forced to witness the first fatally mysterious accident or "accident")

November, 2013

Third Tesla "freak" fire - at last someone else dares to talk sabotage/foul play

And you can bet your bottom dollar that Tesla's Elon Musk and the FED's are also quietly but actively investigating the real or more likely causes and culprits..

Tesla clearly Tesla Third Fire conveniently filmed Breaking Energy Breaking Sabotage Silencefear that any mention of the possibility or likelihood of sabotage would likely trigger a far worse outbreak of wildfire panic and fear amongst investors and existing or would-be Tesla owners than freak accidents purportedly/reportedly caused by a bit'o'debris flying up from the road and magically, miraculously penetrating the car's armour-plated underside.
And given that the Model S was recently independently proven to be the Safest Car in the World - sorry, but au contraire, guys - it is in fact extraordinarily far-fetched to believe that all of these fires - which have all occurred since those safety test accolades - are the result of penetration caused by nasty sharp objects.

(We'd sure love to see a skilled stuntman or fully Tesla-tricked driver attempt to reproduce one of these allegedly freak accidents...)

So at last we're not alone - Breaking Energy have now joined EVUK in Breaking the Silence re the possibility or likelihood of sabotage:

Here's a key silence-breaking extract from Breaking Energy - including a blazingly graphic and handily fortuitous little roadside Youtube clip:

" It's quite simple actually.

-Hire an actor.

-Buy a Tesla.

-Sabotage the car and film it at the side of a road.

-Post it to Youtube and arrange the homepage ad fee. (How do you think it got to the front page with over a million views within 2 days.)

-Short TSLA stock making all the finance back + more.

-Let the news machine do what they do best.

Somebody is making a lot of money off the decline of TSLA stock whilst trying to kill the electric car industry all in one blow, again ! "

But even the well-meaning guys at Breaking Energy are missing the obvious far simpler, cheaper and infinitely less self-endangering option - ie. the standard or traditional accident-engendering modus operandi. As we've mentioned several times already:  simply track down a supplier of matchbox-sized(or smaller) magnetic or stick-on explosive-incendiary devices - remotely detonate-able of course.
Select any conveniently parked/stationary Tesla...take two seconds to reach down and plant device. Follow car when driver reappears. Hit remote at opportune moment. To maximize likelihood of fatality, wait until Tesla is taking sharp bend at speed - ideally with plenty of off-road trees to explode into. Far cheaper, simpler and screamingly obvious than purchasing your own Tesla, hiring a fearless kamikaze actor(?!) etc.

Penultimate inflammatory thought:  odd, is it not, that we never hear reports of sharp objects penetrating the undersides of non-armourplated(unlike the Tesla Model S) Ford Fiestas, Renault Clios etc. If Tesla's account is to be believed, we'd surely be hearing hundreds if not thousands of horror-stories every year. Ugly, vicious pointed objects would be penetrating the floors of unarmoured, average, normal vehicles like knives through Kevlar-free butter...slicing through seat-cushions and piercing the fleshy undersides of drivers and passengers alike.
And let us(unlike America's many enemies) also hope that the US military ain't using the same armour-plating source as Tesla in any of its many war zones where rough terrains and roads are so often littered with IED's, stray cluster-bombs, land-mines: "Bradley Fighting Vehicle and Driver Speared by Nasty Pointy Bit'o'Debris " is a headline the Pentagon can probably live without.

Ultimately, whilst it may be possible to deter would-be saboteurs by fitting some type of precision, laser-based, pricey intrusion or motion-detection alarm system - active only when the car is stationary - beneath the floors of range-busting, disruptive EV's, the only realistic, immediate big picture solution is for major carmakers to stop isolating these consensus-breaking companies(hitherto leaving Tesla, BYD etc to take the flak, literally and otherwise) and to flood the streets and showrooms with long-range(150 miles), affordable electric cars. Only then will EV opponents finally be forced to hand over their weapons(so to speak) and accept that the game is up.

October, 2013

BMW i3 - radical ad hits UK TV. Great green PRimetime PR - but who wants just 90 unradical miles / charge - in 2013?

"The time to become electric is now. Are you ready ?" asks the narrator.(Watch video)
Hmm. To paraphrase Albert Finney's canny Kincade character in Skyfall:
"We were ready before you were Born (Electric), BMW."

So first the Negative Charge:    while there's no denying that it is mind-flippingly surreal to hear the words "all-electric" in a TV car commercial anywhere in the world - especially on this side of the pond - the fact remains that BMW could instantly and totally eclipse Tesla, steal all of Musk's thunder and quite righteously and rightfully rain on His parade if the i3 now boasted an electric range of 150 or even 142 miles(228 km). Then all bets would be off(and firmly back on BMW) and the world would be finally off to the long-range races.
Until that happens BMW will be knowingly and expensively flogging(in both senses) another high-tech doped or dead horse - the same old donkey dazzlingly dressed up for a Derby.

Sure, the usual motley assortment of eager-to-please fleet operators and image-focused, post-Smart business-owners will be publicly persuaded to sign up - but private buyers(non-Californians at least) will continue to stay away until BMW (and the rest) really get real on range.

Finally the Positive Charge:   millions of electrically discharged, dormant TV-gogglers will be seismically startled, astonished and shaken awake from their sofas & settees by BMW's(let's be fair) outstandingly and astoundingly radical ad - and millions of gagging gogglers will Google "electric car" for the very first time in their lives.
Hallelujah - all despairing EV campaigners will be hellishly grateful for that.

BMW are definitely on the right road, even the high road - but not yet the long road. With the i3 we're still stuck in the city and trapped by the cityscape - when a far-flung escape from the city and the 'city EV' cliché is what most urbanites and suburbanites want.
BMW_i3_UK_TV_ad_Escape_FAR_from_the Cityscape_please

See :  becomeelectric.co.uk/tv (when will the rest of Europe be "ready" ie. you won't yet see or find becomeelectric.es/tv, becomeelecrtic.de/tv, becomeelectric.eu etc)

TV Addendum / Corrigendum:
- sorry BMW, but "the time to become electric" was circa 15 years ago, 1997, the late 90's.
Toyota's still largely taboo, blanked-by-the-media, 90-125 miles/charge RAV4 EV had been recently launched in the US and Japan(sadly, lease-only), and an EVangelically, inconveniently green Al Gore appeared destined to become the next US president. The now (likewise) buried-by-the-media Nobel Peace Prize Laureate-to-be was crucially dedicated to reducing America's dependence on (foreign) oil and on the dictatorial, feudal Middle Eastern regimes that supplied it. Unfortunately - tragically even - and contrary to most exit-poll predictions, fossil fuel fundamentalists George Bush and Dick Cheney were somehow(is this how ?) installed and re-installed in the White House and all-too predictably both battery and fuel cell vehicle development came to a virtual standstill.
If major carmakers like BMW had followed Toyota's defiant(then not now) electric lead instead of conspiring - with the help of a compliant media - to isolate them and quietly pull the plug on EV progress we would now inevitably be a decade and a 100+ miles ahead of where we are currently stalled in terms of battery range.

Compare & contrast :
US Nissan LEAF TV ad: polar bear heads to the far-flung Big City from the Arctic to hug and thank LEAF owner:
Polar_Bear_Comes_to_Big_City_TV_Ad_Leaf_Nissan Polar_Bear_Comes_to_Big_City_TV_Ad_Leaf_Nissan Hug
Obviously if Nissan and BMW were to increase range to 150 miles globally or pole-to-pole our furry friend would have considerably more EV owners to bear-hug and wouldn't need to trek thousands of miles to find one...

October, 2013

Alert/Memo to VWikipedians / the VWorld / VW :
e-Golf was unveiled/launched in 2010 in Shanghai - not in 2013 at Frankfurt Motor Show.

Watch exclusive 2011 video:  German sci-tech TV team given VIP chauffeured e-Golf test-ride in 2011.

Automotive and media alliance attempts yet again to rewrite EV history and selectively bury or blank out the past..

Boy-oh-Boy - this is becoming an almost full-time EVUK occupation:  once again every single e-Golf-related copy-cat press release or repeat-report we have so far sped-read(scores of them) has gone out of its misleading way to portray one more recent, supposedly significant EV-related initiative, pledge, event, vehicle unveiling as out-of-the-blue brand-new news(Autocar UK provides a typical example).

This 2011 (EVUK) exclusive excerpt from Germany's excellent 3Sat Hitec/Nano TV team proves otherwise:
How many zero emission e-Golf's were ever or are ever likely to be sold or leased in China is anyone's guess. We'd wager somewhere in the vicinity of a very round and clean zero total sales volume - despite generous Chinese government subsidies. And for the usual reasons: low range, high price.

From the horse's mouth - www.volkswagenag.com - anno 2010: VW discuss the unveiling of the e-Golf and e-Lavida at the 2010 Shanghai Expo.

So to sum up and for the record :   contrary to the 2013 Frankfurt Show PR script - universally and obediently regurgitated by the world's old/new media - VW did not "unveil two new electric cars - the e-Golf and the e-Up!" but only one - the e-Up! The e-Golf was re-unveiled.

Bitte:  if Volkswagen would kindly like to tell us / the VWorld / VWikipedians if or how the e-Golf has been modified or improved since its (theoretically) high-profile, memorable unveiling at the Shanghai Expo more than 3 years ago - well, we're all eager ears here.
But of course if Volkswagen(GM, BMW et al) really want to make EV history that's genuinely worth recording and applauding - not just Wiki-footnote-ing - they simply need to increase or gee-up or e-up their EV battery range by circa 50% to match the 142 miles that Nissan's Japan-only LEAF officially delivers(see 2012 Youtube'd announcement).
Ultimately though it's up to consumers - particularly here in the so-called 'West' - to Wake Up!  Gee-up!  and collectively e-Up!  the pressure on major carmakers to do the already do-able.
Sadly, it's still All too Quiet on that Western Front.

October, 2013

Tesla fire was "contained,controlled..kept from passenger compartment"
- cf. 150,000 gasoline car fires/year in US

Below:   a perfectly normal par-for-the-course petrol car fire in Islington, London, a few days ago - September 30. Nine people injured:
perfectly normal par-for-the-course petrol car fire in Islington

We'll keep this brief - we've covered this ground exhaustively many times before of course so here just for the record are the key facts and a few of those rarely uttered uncomfortable home-truths re the 100's of thousands of deadly gasoline-fuelled fireballs that occur worldwide every year ie. high-speed head-on collisions and cars hitting trees or other immovable objects are globally frequent, unsensationalized, conspicuously underreported, normal or 'normalized-by-the-media' (cf. lead in petrol, NOx emissions etc), and ergo generally shoulder-shruggingly accepted daily events. Yet carmakers have had well over a century to solve the problem and/or to be pressured by the public/media/politicians to solve the problem.

Key links:



Key Quotes:

" ..there are 150,000 car fires per year according to the National Fire Protection Association, and Americans drive about 3 trillion miles per year according to the Department of Transportation. That equates to 1 vehicle fire for every 20 million miles driven, compared to 1 fire in over 100 million miles for Tesla. This means you are 5 times more likely to experience a fire in a conventional gasoline car than a Tesla.. "

"A curved section that fell off a semi-trailer was recovered from the roadway near where the accident occurred and, according to the road crew that was on the scene, appears to be the culprit."
"Had a conventional gasoline car encountered the same object on the highway, the result could have been far worse. A typical gasoline car only has a thin metal sheet protecting the underbody, leaving it vulnerable to destruction of the fuel supply lines or fuel tank, which causes a pool of gasoline to form and often burn the entire car to the ground. In contrast, the combustion energy of our battery pack is only about 10% of the energy contained in a gasoline tank and is divided into 16 modules with firewalls in between. As a consequence, the effective combustion potential is only about 1% that of the fuel in a comparable gasoline sedan."

Finally, any commentator, pundit, hack or "journalist" worth his salt/salary should clearly have asked and be asking Tesla if they have categorically ruled out sabotage and on what forensic/evidential grounds eg. could some kind of magnetic matchbox-sized or smaller incendiary-explosive device have been (sadly all-too easily) planted under the vehicle ?
Remember - Tesla have only stated that the suspected semi-trailer curved section "appears to be the culprit"(see quote above). All-too predictably the word "sabotage" has been extremely conspicuous by its absence from Tesla's subsequent press releases and interviews with CEO Elon Musk.
And yet it is no trivial or trifling truth that Tesla and CEO Musk now represent the greatest threat yet (think David v Goliath) to the pathologically protected, preserved, promoted prehistoric primacy of the fossil fuel/combustion colossus, leviathan, behemoth - a (literally) dinosaur-driven duopoly with deeply despotic instincts. It is therefore extraordinarily naive if not dangerously delusional to believe that this uniquely transformative/disruptive/subversive company will not be targeted every which way by its many enemies or adversaries.

Thus far the Californian upstart and startup have been tolerated and occasionally even celebrated and congratulated by the US media and motor-making mainstream - in part thanks to Musk's glittering billionaire Paypal legacy and track-record but mainly because the company's EV's - the long-range Model 'S' and Roadster - remain safely unaffordable to at least 95% of the car-buying public. If, on the other hand, Tesla had ever threatened, promised or attempted to roll out its low-cost, long range and thus truly disruptive Model 'E' last year or even earlier it would have seriously rattled the cage, lethally ruffled feathers and a far bloodier cock-fight would have ensued. What a pity Elon lacked the élan to fast-track that master-plan.

September, 2013

GM re-presents, repackages, recycles 2012's 200 mile per charge pledge as new news
(..and our obligingly amnesiac or reliably ill-informed media dutifully report it as out-of-the-blue new news..) GM Spark EV - LA Show 2012 short range

See our 2012 EVUK article: "GM fails to Spark rumoured 200+ mile range revolution at LA Show" (includes links to 2012 Forbes and EVWorld pieces on the same old GM/200 mile theme)

So what about now, GM ? The unpromising present ?
Instead of re-pledging 200 miles  'n'  yawning years down the road - how's about - in the lean and meantime - equipping the 82 mile damp-squib, short-changing Spark EV with a still relatively meagre 150 miles of range ? Now or expeditiously ? OK, OK ! We'll accept 140 miles. Even 130.
If Nissan Japan can offer Japanese customers a 142 mile per charge Leaf why are you and the rest of the West's auto giants still so conspicuously unable/unwilling to follow their lead now ?

Gee Up, GM !   Please present us with some Present Tense Relief from Range Anxiety !

Indeed why are you refusing to do what patently GM-free Tesla are intelligently, logically and naturally already doing with the Model 'S' and offering the Spark EV with a range of range options - now ?
82 to 142 miles would relieve the present tension, the anxiety.
Why not spark a sales surge and ignite a relative range revolution now or imminently ?

GM Spark EV - LA Show 2012 short range  Carbon Carrot-Dangling Wheels from BMW VW
Old news renewed loses sparkle - different cart, same old carrrot, more mañana bananas...

Recommended reading: Jim Motavalli's latest piece also puts GM's repackaged promise in perspective and context(NY Times blog - not mass-audience mainstream print, obviously)

September, 2013

- BMW Frankfurt: fuming BMW M6 owner sledgehammers car at Motor Show
- BMW Paris: BMW-Bluecar spy spat - espionage, sabotage, perverse PR stunt - feel free to speculate

Story 1 - BMW in Frankfurt

BMW M6 owner destroys car at Frankfurt Show 2013
Youtube: Fuming €120k BMW victim sledgehammers his own car at Frankfurt Motor Show - perhaps Bolloré should head for Frankfurt for a similar tit-for-tat stunt(see below).
Obviously this BMW M6 muggins(selbst schuld !) could have saved himself 20,000 Euros and tonnes / gallons of grief if hed been smart enough to buy a top of the range(in both senses) Tesla Model S. The ultimate mean lean green Machine with dramatically lower running and maintenance costs and at least 600-800 fewer parts or components to expensively replace and repair and Rage Against.

And given that the Model S has recently proven itself to be the safest, most resilient, robust, crush & crash-proof production car on the market(Wired) - bellicose Thomas Brunner and irate Iranian Hadi Pourmohseni would likely need something even more robust and brutal than a sledgehammer or pick-axe to demolish an electric car built like a proverbial tank. A hand-held rocket-launcher would probably do the job. (There - a new challenge for Elon the Invincible/the Perfectionist/the realworld Rocket Scientist)

Story 2 - BMW in Paris

Paris Punchline: BMW Bolloré Bluecar spooks arrested, detained for 24 hours but released without charge(Boom boom - BMW ?)

As always it's what ain't mentioned that interests most.
Whilst BMW admit that the August incidents did involve the company's operatives/engineers they deny any link to the Sept 5 encounter.
It's also worth mentioning that any would-be Bluecar battery spies - as opposed to charge-point spooks - or would-be saboteurs could simply park the vehicle away from prying eyes - in a driveway, hidden behind high walls, in a garage, warehouse etc and tinker and tamper at will unseen, unarrested, uncharged.
As we've stated many times any EV company(Bolloré, BYD) with the audacity, the gall, the b*lls, the sheer impudence to deviate from the prescribed short-range, niche market consensus will find themselves squarely in the cross-hairs of a 1001 rivals and infernal fossil fuel foes. Espionage with a view to sabotage or tech/intellectual property-theft are to be expected. As are anonymous death threats and un-refusable offers. Pity that BMW have shown so little legitimate and credible interest over the past 30 years in developing next generation, long-range batteries.

À propos espionage, sabotage, death threats - no surprise that this unashamedly enthusiastic Hong Kong BYD taxi driver and gushingly keen convert has chosen anonymity - hiding his face and disguising his voice for this on-the-job interview:

BMW Frankfurt - all videos, all Google News
BMW Paris - all Google News

September, 2013

'Backward' 'basket case' (!?) Bogotá shames London with record BYD taxi launch

- Plus EVUK exclusive: Green Tomato Cars confirm further dithering delays...

Watch Bogota BYD launch video:
BYD Bogota Video Official launch

BYD Bogota Massive launch shames London

Oh dear - genuine South American revolutionaries put Britain, Europe, North America, "advanced" nations to shame once again.
And just days after we received the latest fizzle & fade news from Green Tomato: the launch of London's 50 BYD e6 186 mile / charge taxis has been unconvincingly delayed yet again - this time "until the end of October". Originally pledged/promised for the "second quarter" of this year ie. from April 1st.(We kid you not - talk about taxis arriving late !!)

Que lastima ! An all-too familiar moveable feast of illogical, untenable excuses, postponement and prevarication from London's Green Tomato Cars. Deja Vu squared. Deja pas apparu all over again.

Oh dear - it must be bad - we're suddenly speaking in tongues...but thankfully none of them forked.

Yes, just 2 days after we contacted Green Tomato Cars for an excuse update, ever-so primitive, backward Bogota "Launches the Largest All-electric Taxi Fleet in South America" (see dozens of reports including the suddenly revolutionary or positively revolting Wall Street Journal !)

August, 2013

A Special Tweet: (excl. latest) London's BYD taxis ARE now charged up and ready to launch "v. soon".

50 BYD e6 taxis London launch imminent Aug 2013
Forget BMW - the BYD range revolution will change EVerything...
Click for an especially tasty Green Tomato Tweet

(Click here for all the latest Green Tomato tweets)

August, 2013

BMW's high-priced, low-range carbon fibre carrot unveiled for the nth time
But who wouldn't prefer a Kolibri-powered DBMW i3 - 200 mile/charge and far cheaper ?

BMWi high price low range Niche Cliche Carbon Carrot-Dangling Wheels from BMW VW
BMW i3(left !) - yet another very high-priced, low-range,
city/urban vehicle. Yes - despite having significantly reduced the weight of the long, long-awaited EV, the Bavarian Bellied Beast still doggedly refuses to increase all-electric range to where it clearly needs to be and could be ie. at circa 150 miles. Note or recall that almost 25 carrot-dangling years ago - in 1989 - BMW proudly PResented the 93 mile/charge 325iX hi-carotene concept(see links below).


A DBMW Postscript Update to our January 2013 article :
- a BMW i3 or a DBMW i3 ? Powered by DBM Energy - rebaptised as Kolibri after ex-BMW PR place-man and all-round fixer/closer/threat-eliminator Richard Gaul snuck in - aboard a Car Giant's Trojan Horse(see below).

In this rare and barely known 2013 Adlershof interview, Mirko Hannemann confirms - with understated sarcasm and the wary and weary wink of an eye - everything that we have said all along about BMW and the rest of the world's wilfully de-ranged automakers. And he says it while driving an all-electric DBM/Kolibri-powered Audi A2:
"I have understood that everything was/is moving far too fast for the major carmakers".
(Far too fast - and far too far would be more to the point of course)


Compare & contrast: the newly re-unveiled BMW i3 - a paltry, anachronistic 81-99 miles per charge - and exorbitantly overpriced to boot at around €40,000(before grants). A DBMW i3 on the other hand could easily achieve 200 miles a charge and, according to award-winning and now 'exiled' ex-CEO Mirko Hannemann, would soon cost no more than a gasoline-powered car if production of the Kolibri/DBM cells were to be seriously ramped up.(See our exclusive report plus Frankfurter Rundschau interview translation)

Here's our original January carrot-dangling piece in full to munch, gnaw and chew upon once again:


- More mañana PRomises from the world's top EV time-wasters, teasers, fake-believers
(For those with a sweeter tooth, perhaps we could hereby officially invent the phrase "mañana bananas" ?)

Carbon Carrot-Dangling Wheels from BMW VW
BMW & VW's carbon vision: but will the donkey demographic keep believin' that they ain't deceivin' ?

Yes - even VW's Audi ain't or weren't swallowing it: Absprung und Rücksprung durch Technik ? (See"Audi Attacks BMW's Carbon Fibre Eco-Car" - GoAuto)

Note: We're dangling and teasing and time-wasting a little too with this first draft: a full-on EVUK article will appear..manana ..or thereabouts
PRomise !

Second wind - draft two, as promised :
It is - as so often - almost impossible to know where to begin..or why to begin. So much dangling needs untangling. Is it really worth the candle or the carrot ?
But here anyway are a few salient points, in roughly reverse chronological order, to munch, chew and gnaw - eee-aaw - upon:

- "VW Buys into BMW's Carbon-Fibre Dream" (Economist, but blog only)

- "40 Years of Electric BMWs You Can't Buy" (Wired)

- "BMW Has Been Building Mediocre Electric Cars Since 1972" (Business Insider)
In 1989 BMW conceived and flaunted - but of course never sold - the 93 mile/charge 325iX concept. Yet another still-born electric, if you will. Reincarnated and reborn for the next century, BMW have been dangling the ActiveE, i3, i8 prototypes and concept-carrots at countless motorshows for umpteen years. Range ? Roughly identical to the 1989 325ix - between 80-100 miles.

- from donkeys and carrots to classic Trojan Horse takeovers and take-downs: in 2011 ex-BMW PR & communications specialist/star-illusionist Richard Gaul(pictured)ex-BMW R Gaul spin DBM/Kolibri EV wipeout was ominously appointed to the board of range-record-busting battery developers DBM Energy after 22 years of high-octane, petrol-head-pleasing PR for BMW - see track-record above. Right: Gaul goes for a non-electric spin.

(BMW-Rover footnote: in 1998 Gaul famously declared:
'We can tell Rover workers your jobs are safe with us.'
 ('BMW: The Lies' - Free Library)
Let's repeat that - for the chronically ADD-afflicted and the hard of hearing/learning/believing:
'We can tell Rover workers your jobs are safe with us.'
And we can assure EV-watchers everywhere that DBM Energy's range-record-shattering, cost-slashing, transformative, disruptive, genuinely game-changing Kolibri cells will be safely buried and obediently ignored by the world's media ...

With Gaul on board DBM Energy quickly morphed into EV-EVading Kolibri AG after relocating philosophically to Munich but physically to Frankfurt from Berlin. And as we predicted at the time, Kolibri have since resolved or been persuaded to focus exclusively on stationary, non-automotive, non-disruptive and expensive energy storage applications. What's more, the words "electric car" have been entirely erased from the company's vocabulary and former DBM director and audacious Audi A2 EV creator Mirko Hannemann has effectively (been) disappeared or EVaporated into thin air.

- Wood Pulp "stronger than carbon fibre or Kevlar" ..and far cheaper, greener (Slashdot)

- Bamboo " lighter and stronger than carbon fibre and steel" (Science Ray)

- we would obviously all be applauding rapturously if BMW had announced the successful development, road-testing and imminent mass-production of lightweight and therefore longer-range electric cars constructed using a whole new generation of genuinely green, stronger-than-steel, 21st century composites - ingeniously combining all of the above materials and more eg. wood pulp, bamboo, carbon fibre, graphene ..coated and impregnated perhaps with the latest nanotech-based, water-repelling, life-extending resins ...(und,und,und)

- historical carbon footnote: the first high-strength carbon fibre was produced in 1958. In 1963 - 50 years ago - the Royal Aircraft Establishment unveiled a new, improved version. Unfortunately their Rolls Royce-powered carbon fibre compressor blades later disintegrated at high revs. (Wiki - Carbon fibre/fiber)

- pre-historical carbon footnote:
"The Dawn of the Carbon Age"(from BMW's i Concept/Born Electric pages)
Surely only the most dyed-in-the-wool of die-hard dinosaurs would ever dream up a slogan and strapline eulogizing carbon ?
Yummie and Yippee ! Carbon footprints, carbon emissions, carbon futures, carbon-dated.

A new twist on an old adage springs to mind: when the only tool you have is a hammer..and the only fuel you can see is carbon, everything looks like a carbon fibre nail.

Phoenix Bamboo car Rinspeed BamBoo EV
Bamboozled by BMW ?  Check out these genuinely green, brown Bamboo EV's from Kenneth Cobonpue/Albrecht Birkner and Rinspeed(Switzerland)


GPM Logo Roland Gutsch Award - DBM Energy Kolibri

NB: GPM - the Roland Gutsch Award body have always stood 100% solidly behind their extensively researched decision to award the 2010 prize to DBM Energy's Mirko Hannemann. Here is their final re-affirmation of that award decision (Pressw0rds: "Details zu Roland Gutsch Award") - and here' s a passable Google translation.
Sadly, scandalously, it is clear that almost no English-speaking journalists or editors have read it, know of it or want to know.
GPM stress that many experts close to DBM Energy, its technology and its people were consulted and interviewed - and in a few instances filmed - by their highly-respected award research-team before the 2010 decision was made. In other words many of those testifying were more than willing to go on record and put their reputations on the line. DBM Kolibri cells: 600+ km record Munich to Berlin 2010. BAM and DEKRA tested. Life expectancy: 5000 charge cycles.


Credibility & ethical integrity: BMW v DBM/GPM - who ya gonna go with, Volks ?
- in 2009 the GPM Roland Gutsch Award went to the team behind the Indonesian Tsunami Early Warning System(GPM details. GPM = German Project Management Association)
- Audi have just overtaken BMW in the adulterers' favourite car choice stakes(see various reports July 2013)

Seitensprung durch Technik ?! (Wir sind ja auch auf deutsch urkomisch, nicht wahr BMW ? Feel free to use it Audi - but credit us copiously, bitte)
Oh dear, unser lieber Herr Gaul worked for two decades to create and consolidate BMW's image as the wannabe Bad Boy's (and girl's ) favourite ride. A brand notoriously beloved of home-wreckers, fatherless kid-creators, cheats, consummate liars, con-artists, egotists of every description - cowboy builders, Russian racketeers, mafia thug-heads...you name it.
Schnell ! Hurry back to BMW full-time Herr Gaul - before Audi take the top slot across the board. And let the Hummingbird battery fly once more.


August eRoadracing UpdateeRoad Racing Indy Shane Turpin This Is Future from Indianapolis:
"This Is The Future" - says rider Shane Turpin(Youtube)
See eRoadracing.com for latest news

July, 2013

eRoad's US heats out-sizzle Valencia and Green Tomato squibs(not squids - sizzled, fried or otherwise - but squibs as in damp, disappointing)

Home-grown trailblazers Lightning, Brammo and Zero Motorcycles battle it out at squib-less Laguna Seca(see eRoadracing.com and TTXGP's eGrandPrix for latest)
Motors TV eRoad Racing eGrandprix youtubeZongshen TTXGP eRoad Racing
Watch the very latest clips fresh from the FIM eRoad Racing World Cup courtesy eGrandPrix.

"Electric racing is a means to an end: the fun and games are not the endgame. FIM's eRoad Racing World Cup and the FIA's Formula E will serve to accelerate change, unite like-minded, long marginalized, atomized individuals and renew hope that a much wider green transport, energy and mindset revolution really is just around the corner. Most importantly and pragmatically electric racing at the highest FIM/FIA level will inevitably serve to speed up the production and introduction of long range, lighter next-gen battery technologies. Race teams want that crucial weight and range edge now, before next season, before the next race, before their rivals get there - not fifty motor shows from now after 6-7 years of BMW-style i3,i8,iwait 'trialling & testing' .."
- EVUK The Unvanquished

Postscript Alert:  top TTXGP electric racing site eGrandPrix tell us that Motors TV(SKY Ch 447) will begin (very) time-lapsed coverage of the eRoad Racing championship from 25th July with delayed/retrospective 11-days-later highlights from all venues. They have just sent us the full TV schedule - see below.

OK, now let's backtrack and unpack that sizzingly cryptic mixed grill of a damp squib headline - for the uninitiated :

- 14 July: The inaugural European FIM eRoad Race in Valencia turned out to be a largely Chinese affair - a remote off-the-radar, non-EUphoric non-event and damp squib - both in terms of media coverage and public awareness/interest and despite the potentially Repsol-rattling fact - unreported by the Spanish press - that Spaniard Oscar Pena now leads the European series following the surprise exit of the weekend's favourite Hoi Chi Fung in the second race.
Yes - Europe's and America's top rival tech & team contenders were ironically absent from what should surely have been an inaugural European showcase event. Instead the race was populated and dominated by admittedly outstanding Chinese bikes and(with a few notable exceptions) Chinese riders.

So while we're certainly not criticising the excellent Chinese Zongshen bikes or teams - they all performed to the max - FIM organisers must surely have known in advance that a brand-new European FIM eRoad Racing World Cup event would inevitably fail to attract European media or public interest without the involvement of Europe's and ideally at least some of America's top performing bikes and riders eg. and ie. Isle of Mann TT Zero winners and runner up Michael Rutter and John McGuinness on their Motoczysz and Honda Mugen machines and America's Lightning, Zero, Brammo rivals - all of these are clearly way ahead of the battery pack in Europe and the US so - sorry, disculpe FIM Europa - but in our view it is quite extraordinary that none of the top European or US contenders were competing in Valencia for the crucial, kick-start audience-grabbing opening FIM eRoad debut event.

Again - we're not criticising the Chinese Zongshen bikes or riders - but there was clearly never any chance that any m'bike race event dominated by Chinese teams & technology could attract deeply electrically illiterate European or global audiences to this potentially ground-breaking game-changing electrifying championship. So the question has to be asked: how genuinely committed is the FIM - especially its European arm - to this all-electric "World Cup" race series ? If Chinese teams could fly half way round the world to appear at the Valencia circuit - why could Europe's and America's top contenders not make far shorter trips to be there ?!
To put it another way - here's one helluva home-audience killing headline you'd never hear:  "US Inaugural eRoad Racing Event Dominated by Chinese".  Unthinkable in America - but that's precisely what transpired, as if pre-programmed, in Europe, Spain, the Costa del Repsol. Go figure...
Spanish Sign of the Times from Valencia - the Costa del Repsol. Repsol versus eRacing, Repsol v The Future(onboard clip). (And no - Spain's 'Invent the Future' oil giant was not co-sponsoring the event - the banner-ad is a permanent fixture. But for how much longer ? The writing's on the wall)


- Green Tomatoes - another July damp squib - this time on four wheels(times 50).  London's second largest minicab company have yet to roll out the now long-awaited fifty range-busting 186 mile/charge BYD e6 taxis or minicabs originally promised for the "2nd quarter" of 2013...which then became(y-a-w-n) the 3rd quarter(see recent EVUK exclusive). The world's 3,597th(approx) would-be range revolutionaries suddenly, belatedly and implausibly decided to blame the delay(y-a-w-n) on the lack of charge points(y-a-w-n)...(see InsideEVs.com and London's Evening Standard - a healthily sceptical side-swipe).
So don't call a clean cab or book a Green Tom in Greater or Lesser London just yet - the elusive forbidden fruit sadly still ain't ripe.

Instead, let's race back to the track - where the need for speed is of the essence and where last-minute excuses don't wash.
Plug in, switch on and tune in if you can :
Motors TV eRoad Racing FIM TV schedule July-Sept

July, 2013

Lightning (photo) incinerates petrol-powered rivals at Pikes Peak
Lightning Pikes Peak 218 mph at Bonneville  ..and peaked at 218.6 mph / 351.8 km/h at Bonneville
- powered by the sun
(you can buy one - if you're as loaded as the bike)

NB: July 14, Valencia, Spain...aka the Costa del RepSol* :
- Lightning due at new FIM eRoad Race World Cup series start.
Expect zero coverage and total omission from Spain's and the world's still loyal-to-oil corporate media(esp. TV). Be there or scan Youtube, Daily Motion etc daily. Please upload and share if you do get there. Hasta la Vista y Pista !

(*Repsol are currently attempting to re-ignite their preposterous and vacuous old "Invent the Future" greenwash ad campaign - involving toxically trendy tattoos.
Inventing the future ?! No Repsol ! You and the world's Combustion Canutes are Preventing the Future and have been preventing it for decades)

Meanwhile, don't miss this uplifting and enlightening Lightning test-ride and interview. Takeaway message:  savour speed - but think lean and green. A superb antidote to yer typical tattoo-headed or Top Gear tunnel-vision:
Lightning test-ride and interview R Hatfield
The production or street version of the Lightning SuperBike is identical to the record-breaking 218 mph / 351 km/h bike - apart from a few accessory and cosmetic/visual details.
The bike also boasts 100-150 miles of proven and tested range with rapid-charge capability.
See Lightning Motorcycle's homepage, Ultimate Motorcycling and Motorcycle USA for price and other technological plus philosophical details. (OK - circa £26,000 if you must know. And last year a sub-£8000 Sportbike was promised by mid-2013 - here's an update)

   More re FIM eRoad Race from Valencia, Spain, the Costa del RepSol and a loyal-to-oil media that is very happy to dedicate limitless air-time and print space to fossil-fuelled Moto GP, Formula One, FIA GT, and in Spain, even to the resurrected Dakar Rally - yet will steadfastly refuse to even mention the all-electric eRoad Race championship(cf. Manx TT Zero=Zero coverage).
As a direct result of this systemic media silence and compliance at least 99% of the human race have no idea at all that high-performance motorbikes even exist - let alone that several theoretically high-profile races and tournaments have been up-and-running for several years already. And that's just the way the world's infernal Combustion Canutes and fossil fuel  force-feeders want things to stay, thanks very much.
Optimists - please see FIM's eRoad Race 'TV Broadcasters' link at http://www.FIM-LIVE.com/en/sport/eroad-racing/tv-broadcasters.
TV broadcasters ? We'll believe it when we see it.

*Repsol are currently attempting to re-ignite their preposterous old "Invent the Future" greenwash ad campaign(clip) - involving toxically trendy tattoos flaunted by flocks of floosie fashion-victims masquerading as skin-deep rebels-without-a-clue.
  ¡ No Repsol !  Repeat:   you and the world's dinosaur die-hards and Combustion Canutes are preventing the future and have been preventing it from happening for decades.
Re:  flocking birds of a feather...
Q: what is  black  and as difficult to remove from feathers as tattoos are from skin ?

July, 2013

Speed is a range issue too:
- Drayson's FIA 204 mph sub-1000kg record, the Isle of Man TT Zero Top Two, Buckeye Bullet's FIA 307 mph

- watch best onboard & trackside clips

Podium TT Zero 2013 McGuinness Champagne  McGuinness and champagne(left) - but running on empty. Or the runner-up who ran out of juice...

Let's start with a little speed-reading:

Yes, it's almost embarrassingly true - way-ahead race leader John McGuinness ultimately lost the nail-biting but (as usual) barely reported (and thus almost unknown) Isle of Man TT Zero race in the final stages by just 1.6 seconds because he simply ran out of range aka available stored energy, excited electrons. The coasting-home Honda Mugen rider was forced to cut speed and ride conservatively only because his Shinden ('God of Electricity' in Japanese) Mugen bike was loaded with 20 kg less lithium ion than last year.
So much for 'God's speed' ! Shucks Shinden - with just 5 kilos more battery to tap, sip and guzzle McGuinness would surely have held on and nicked victory.
Here's how Gizmag gizzed it:

"For the entire race, McGuinness was going to win. In the early splits, he was running at faster than 112 mph pace, more than three mph faster than Rutter. When they announced the standings at the Bungalow, McGuinness was 9.8 seconds up, having added nearly five seconds to his lead from the previous split. Towards the end of the 37 miles though, Rutter's MotoCzysz had more battery capacity in hand, and by increasing the speed available from the reserves, it clawed back more than ten seconds from the Mugen's lead and crossed the line just 1.6 seconds ahead of McGuinness."

Isle of Man Onboard Rutter Winner MotoCzysz Electric 2013  Isle of Man Honda Mugen Shinden God OnBoard plus Top_Bray TT Zero McG

Drayson Electric sub-2000kg record 204 mph Formula E June 2013 Buckeye Bullet_Electric_307mph_Record
ADD ? Adrenalin Deficit Disorder ? Why not get up to speed and kick the brain into gear with a lightning trip aboard four freakingly fast record-wreckers(Clips clockwise from top left):
1) the Honda Shinden Mugen ridden by TT Zero runner-up John McGuinness(a fine Scotch-Irish blend of a name - but please win next year for once Honda Mugen - it's far trickier to spell and memorize MotoCzysz than Honda, Mugen and McGuinnesczsz ...)
Clip tip: be sure to keep eyes peeled for strays and other suicidal maniacs eg. Manx cats, blind(-drunk) jaywalkers, pub-crawling or brawling McGuinness fans - all far more deadly than hair-pin bends. Remember - you're moving at 60+ metres/second so you'll be heard coming from no more than 150 metres / 2.5 secs away...

2) this year's(June) Isle of Man TT Zero race-winning, record-breaking MotoCzysz bike straddled by three-time victor Michael Rutter who peaked on the Isle at 142.2 mph / 228.85 km/h.

3) Drayson Racing's FIA sanctioned sub-1000 kg 204+ mph record-breaking Formula E prototype. See Drayson Racing home

4) the eclectic-electric, French-American-Italian etc 307 mph FIA World record holding Buckeye Bullet 2.5(See homepage & Wiki) developed by Venturi and Ohio State University. Recall a mature demure Roger Moore - not as Bond sadly - driving the pre-Tesla, F1-pedigree'd Venturi Fetish around Monte Carlo many moons ago on Channel 5 TV's Fifth Gear with race-pro-driver presenter Jason Plato - watch our exclusive video here.

Too much boy-toy TT testosterone ? Then why not take a(nother) look at these furiously fast women in an elecrifying Agni m'bike v Survolt face-off:
Electric Car v Electric Superbike
..Brit Jenny Tinmouth(left) also finished 4th on the Agni in the 2010 TT Zero - but will more battery-powered women dare take on the men on the Isle of Man ? Every man is an island so it's claimed - especially on a bike, in a car, on horseback. And every woman is an island fortress - so never should the twain compete. Or so the chauvinists still bleat. (We aim to stoke and provoke - will more empowered ladies take the bait ?)

Isle of Man Honda Mugen Shinden God OnBoard plus Top_Bray TT Zero McG
Say another prayer for lithium air. And to Shinden - God of Electricity.

It probably goes without saying that most long-suffering EV-watchers and EVUK'ers are infinitely more interested in realworld range record-breakers(like DBM's 605 km Audi A2) and far more impressed by range consensus-wreckers - such as BYD's London-bound 186 mile e6 and the 142 mile Japan-only new LEAF or the 165 mile Bolloré Bluecar(500 of which, incidentally and sensationally, are headed for Indianapolis - home of the Indianapolis 500).

To break EV sales records we need just 150-250 miles of range - but only the genuine fast-tracking of superlight, 1000 mile per charge lithium air cells to the race circuit and circuitry will enable pure electrics to stealthily overtake and gracefully annihilate their petroleum-powered rivals.
(If that's OK by you - Exxon, BP, Repsol, Shell, Rosneft, BMW et al...not to mention - but we must - the US military who may well be several Li-Air light-years ahead of their long-range enemies and the world's painfully slow-laned civilian researchers such as IBM, MIT, St.Andrews etc.
Are we really waiting for an elusive Eureka breakthrough - or for an 'All Clear' permit from the Pentagon ?
It's simply impossible to know where the Truth Lies given the,er, redoubtable track-record of the military guys. Close brackets )

June, 2013

Toyota's  coal-fired 'No' to EV's
- but 'Yes' to Gasoline Gunslingers and TV child ad-abuse
- Toyota Verso TV ad - acted and voiced by innocents

So on the one hand Toyota now claim(see June press releases/reports) to be too ethically/environmentally troubled, torn, tormented and tortured by the fact that the Grid Ain't Green enough - yet have no qualms whatsoever airing this ethically toxic, Verso TV ad in which wide-eyed kids visualize Daddy as a superhero, an astronaut and a gung-ho gasoline gunslinger - a macho quick-draw at the pump.

The propaganda disconnect : Toyota blank out the oily truth
while exploiting and targeting children and their baby-brained, eco-comatose mamas and papas :
Toyota Gasoline Gunslinger perverso Verso TV Ad Toyota Gasoline Gunslinger perverso Verso TV Ad
Toyota Gasoline Gunslinger perverso Verso TV AdToyota Gasoline Gunslinger perverso Verso TV Ad
Video Play Strip image add-on

- Shoot to Fill. Bang Bang, you're dead ! Gi'us your barrels of oil or get a barrel-load of lead. In the head.
The punch-lines almost write themselves...(click pics for 31 secs of unadulterated child ad-abuse) We've got y'all over a barrel...

And of course Toyota are also implicitly confirming - with this age-old EV-EVading shift-the-blame alibi - that even if they had or have 200-300-500 mile/charge breakthrough batteries ready to roll now - they'd refuse to use them.
Because the grid ain't green enough, you see.

That's right, business-as-usual and the oil-spilling, exhaust-belching, bloody-warring status quo are still the best way to go, don't ya know.
Hmm - tell it to the (oil-soaked) birds - and to the EV & PV-powered maverick Musk brothers..and their very happy shareholders.

So inevitably then, even if Toyota were handed production-ready 1000 mile/charge lithium air tomorrow, their selectively ethical, green, clean collective CEO conscience would prevent them from recommitting to pure battery EV(BEV) production.
Because electricity from coal is dirty. And what is, is.
Come on, be realistic, right ? Just what on earth could one humble little Car Giant possibly do to drive change ?
Apart from transforming and diversifying its dealerships into green energy/energy-savers' One Stop Shops, tie-in eco-discounters, green advice and help hubs, green job creators ..?
Let's call it Socket Science - not Rocket Science(you heard it here first..)

And here are just two recently announced range-boosting lithium battery breakthroughs that Toyota - and other fork-tongued EV-EVaders - may conceivably buy up to put on ice/I.C.E. - but not into electric cars(until loaded guns are held to their heads by a gallant and green superhero...):

1) Wollongong University (50 miles from Sydney) researchers have more than doubled the range of EV lithium cells - circa 240 miles - using Germanium and are now focusing on commercialization(Green Autoblog and many others report)

2) Oak Ridge National Lab scientists quadruple lithium ion energy density and overcome earlier barriers to commercialization (Green Car Congress)

Toyota Tesla RAV4 EV rEVival
The Toyota-Tesla RAV4 rEVival - Killed Off or Kicked into the very long grass ?

Toyota Toy EV for KIds Unveiled
Toyota's Toytown EV unveiled - more greenwash and mixed messages for the kids and the baby-brainers..

So:   "EV - or not to be, that's still the question".
Come on guys, make up your minds already !

Please stop toying around and kidding about ! Spare us all this two-faced, bare-faced,  coal-faced fakery. Toss a coin, throw a dice, brainstorm in the boardroom.

Or just ask any innocent, intelligent child...
(ie. a child you've not groomed with a script and a pay-cheque...)

In a related story:
  - from puny Pale Driver to heroic Pale Rider ...
..and One Horse Power
Pale Rider real hero Clint  Pale Rider Bullet In the Head Final Shoot Out
Watch genuinely superheroic preacher-shooter dispatch band of Wild West business bullies & trigger-happy hoodlums hell-bent on stealing and controlling a small community's natural resources ...
(And in related taboo news - 2000+ killed in oil-rich Iraq in last 2 months - a 5-year high. At least 120,000 since 2003. See Truth Out, Medialens, Democracy Now, TruthDig - if you can handle the grown-up, non-Toyota truth).

June, 2013

RE: Autocar's positively erroneous recent headline:
"BYD Launches Electric Taxi Fleet in HongKong & London"

Oops - only in Hongkong so far, guys. Sadly.

  ( Postscript update, June 03: late breaking EVUK exclusive-elusive e6 news ! Green Tomato have just confirmed to us that their 186 mile/charge e6 taxis will be arriving "by or during the third quarter of this year" - ie. from July. Got that, Autocar ? )

HK not London BYD e6 Taxi launch May 2013
The "Wow" Factor - an amateur filmer's one-word exclamation says it all as the world's and HongKong's TV companies and media correspondents either take cover and head for the hills - or churn out their familiar brand of corporately correct, anti-EV negativity and hostility(NTD.TV for instance - Youtube)..

So one usefully fallacious headline from Autocar - but by no means based on false hopes.
And we certainly understand and share Autocar's apparent impatience. Who knows, maybe this was simply a cunning editorial ploy designed to gently turn up the heat on Green Tomato's BYD e6 taxi/minicab commitment and the company's "by the second quarter of 2013" launch pledge or "expectations".
If as a result of this half-true headline London's second largest, Boris-backed taxi operator has been inundated with calls from would-be Green Chinese Tomato tasters and test-riders - well, hats off to all at Britain's erring but ever-popular high street print & online auto-mag.
This is the kind of over-zealous journalistic carelessness / wishful-thinking we need loads more of...
Indeed, next up, how's about: "142 mile/charge Japan Version of Nissan Leaf to be Launched Globally - even in Sunderland" ?

Back to Green Tom's 50 BYD's and those "by the second quarter of 2013" expectations or aspirations.
While the e6 Green Tomato cabs can't yet be described as late arriving, by the end of June they really should be hitting the streets and the headlines and generally scaring the living daylights out of the world's infernal combustion / fossil fuel fundamentalists and their loyal legions of media promoters, thug-enforcers and apologists.

News Flashback - Green Tomato's October press release:
"London Mayor, Boris Johnson: 'It is my aim that London's minicabs and taxis will be zero-emission by 2020, which will have a major impact on air quality. Every year the fleet is getting cleaner, making our city an even more attractive place to live, work and visit. Encouraging many more electric vehicles is a key part of this transformation, so it is great news that Green Tomato Cars has committed to operating 50 of these super clean machines from next year.'

From the same press release:
"Jonny Goldstone, managing director of Green Tomato Cars added: 'We are very pleased to be working with BYD on this project. As a partner company, BYD has shown great leadership to challenge the status quo, innovate and electrify mass transport - principles which go to the very heart of Green Tomato Cars.' ".
"The BYD e6 features a 75kW motor and the company's own Fe battery (Iron Phosphate battery), which gives the car a range of up to 186 miles on a single charge in urban conditions with a top speed of 87mph and instant torque providing excellent acceleration. The Fe battery can be fully charged and discharged for more than 4,000 cycles."

Again - please do the maths - not the rocket science - for yourselves ie. 186 x 4000 miles.
That's right - batteries and motors could routinely outlive their owners. And speaking of longevity, wear, tear and tear-jerking repair bills - it's again worth repeating another of those trifling little EV-factoids so rarely mentioned by the corporate media - namely that EV's typically contain anywhere between 500-800 fewer parts than their ICE/gasoline equivalents. More tearfully bad news for you know who, obviously.

Tomato Trackback:
- EVUK News(Oct,2013): "LONDON: Green Tomato's 50 BYD taxis - Britain set to become the 'Real EV' Test-Ride Centre of the World"

- Autocar(UK) - BYD e6 test-drive. A near-rave review. To date only half a handful of the world's mainstream media news sources have had the gall and cojones to get behind the e6 wheel and get the word out.

So Green Tomato Cars may not be in the media spotlight just yet - but they will certainly be in the cross-hairs. So we would humbly but earnestly advise management to:

1) maximize/optimize security and surveillance procedures wherever the company operates
2) avoid fishing trips and fishing boats - no matter how fair or fine the weather
3) urge or instruct e6 drivers to regularly check beneath the car's underfloor battery compartment for...foreign objects.
For instance: magnetic, matchbox-sized explosive-incendiary devices.
If we should witness just one more unexplained mystery EV/e6 blaze or accident - a fatally flambé'd and Fried Green Tomato if you will - the company's game-changing, long-range EV ambitions would almost certainly go up in smoke and flames in the wreckage and aftermath.
It could also mean BYE BYE to BYD - and hello to bankruptcy.
Not so much "Build" as Burn Your Dreams - a re-baptism of fire.
And of course the media would inevitably whip up one almighty anti-EV, anti-Chinese, anti-Buffett, all-you-can-eat feeding frenzy that could negatively impact EV progress for many years to come.

Sorry, but paranoia ain't paranoia when they're really out to get ya(see Shenzhen hit-and-run e6 fireball incident, DBM Energy Audi arson attack).
To put it another way: hope for the best - prepare for the worst.
The stakes are just too sky-high to be a Bad Boy Scout.

May, 2013

Pop Chart Car Wars:
Will.I.Am's secret Tesla v #thatPOWER v Hey, Porsche v Live Earth v Earth Song v Top Gear
(Will-full but EV-less)
  - six conflicting, competing, colliding car-war clips to compare & contrast as the Green v Gasoline, fossil-fuelled feud is furiously and famously fought on almost every fracking front and flank.

Will.I.Am shows up/off at Barney's in his (sssh!) Tesla Roadster:
Will.I.Am Secret Tesla v Hey Porsche Live Earth...
According to Jalopnik the next custom car from the I.AM.Auto stable will be an EV(#battPOWER ?). That's straight from the horse's mouth - Will himself. So bye bye and good riddance to redundant $700k dino-tech, dodo, won't fly DeLoreans - totally eclipsed by the gull-winged Tesla Model X. Where there's a Will there surely must be a way..

Just Juxtapose. For the moment we'll let the lyrics and those collision-course clips (1,2,3,4,5,6) speak (volumes) for themselves....

Here though - in black or blue and white - is a little corporate hip hop of the crudest, lewdest, lowest kind. Yes - whet your poetic appetites with these scintillating little sex+drive dreg-lines scraped from the very bottom of the ICE & Oil barrel - we're referring to Nelly's current, #WillPOWER-challenging Top 10 hit "Hey, Porsche" ... easily confused with "Hey, Portia" by the mercenary macho's(and Porsche's) tiddly-brained, telly-trained target audience:

Hey little Porsche, I wanna try ya
Crazy baby girl, there ain't nothing like you
Hey little Porsche, so right I had to get ya
Girl let's go
You sexy thing, you turn me on
I need a private show, here on the lawn, in my garage
I'll take you on the road, hey Porsche girl
You know what I wanna do
Come on let me slide under so I can work on, work on you
I wanna take your top off, celebrate this champagne pop-off
Girl you know,
Damn I've been dreaming about the day you let me take you home
Just for a weekend, maybe more, just sayin'
See, I've never seen an ass like that
You gon' make a nigga crash like that
I wanna see how fast you can go
See how you handle as I'm cruising control
Hey Porsche
I, I want you
- Full lyric video here - for any 5+ year old to play with and download. Child's Play. (Now just who are the real child abusers ? )

Hmm - just juxtapose and just suppose.
 Just imagine what a very different (musical,black,white,hip hop) world we (and our young ones) might be living in were it not for the very convenient death of Will.I.Am's close friend - a certain
Michael "Heal the World" Jackson ...

But Hey, Nelly, "Do we give a damn ?" (MJ - Earth Song)

We'll let Will.I.Am(or Will.I.Was ?) have the last word(Live Earth, SOS Help Us Out/Mother Nature):
And here they come chopping down, chopping down our rainforest
F#cking up the air for us, they don't really care for us
But we can't complain, because the only one to blame is us
The gas is rising up but we keep on filling up
CO2 levels got the whole planet heated up..
(Will the real Will please step up..)

May, 2013

RIP - Race In Peace: Edouard Michelin's (posthumous) 2013 Formula E victory -
- time to dredge up the very fishy tale of an unexplained death

Michelin is awarded Formula E tyre contract - by fortunate default as rivals Pirelli bag the fossil-fuelled F1 booby prize. (A Pyrrhic Pirelli victory ? A poisoned chalice ? We can only hope...)

A little Edouard Michelin 'remembrance' or memorial for you - from GreenCar.com(2006):
"We are each increasingly responsible to the other and we are all responsible to future generations" Michelin wrote in the pages of our print magazine, Green Car Journal. He added: "We know the condition of the world we inherited, but our children will judge us on what we leave behind."
(spoken not long after Michelin's acrimonious exodus/expulsion from Formula One - see below)
Edouard Michelin EV-angelist  drowned liquidated 2006  It may seem like the driest and dullest of news but to those of us who refuse to bury recent significant environmental/EV history it's at least as newsworthy as the April announcement that Los Angeles is to host one stage of the upcoming - and now truly global - Formula E championships ...

Edouard Michelin - tireless establishment EV campaigner and EVangelist extraordinaire - died in mightily mysterious and fishy circumstances in a fair-weather fishing accident or "accident" in 2006 - just days before that year's EV/green car Michelin Bibendum Challenge(Edouard's brainchild) was due to take place.

We've covered this several times already(see EVUK article, 2006) - suffice to say or to add, seven years on, that most informed insiders & outsiders we talk to readily agree, off-the-record, that it would - at the very least - be no surprise to learn that Michelin's death was no accident - that he was targeted by rivals or foes(oil, infernal combustion, F1 - take your pick) and quite literally liquidated.Edouard Michelin EV-angelist in EV drowned liquidated 2006

The fact is that the Michelin boss and his angling companion Guillaume Normant were - or would have been - almost literally sitting ducks.
Unarmed - no bodyguards.
(Picture this: passing speed boat suddenly steers and veers towards them, assailants leap out brandishing weapons, chloroform or syringes are swiftly applied to mouth/neck, unconscious victims are thrown overboard, death by drowning, boat holed/sunk..job done in under 60 seconds, Dead. Easy)

Then consider this from the Guardian(2006) - feel free to read between the lines:
"Michelin's death is the latest tragedy in a family with a history of losing its firm's leaders young. His grandfather died in a plane crash, and his great uncle in a car accident in the 1930s."
"Following the controversy at last December's US grand prix - when Michelin-equipped teams did not race - the company announced it was pulling out at the end of this season, leaving Bridgestone as the only tyre company working in F1. "The decision, said Michelin, was "the result of the realisation that there is a profound disagreement between the sports philosophy that has been driven by Michelin and the management practices of the F1 authorities."

Two key questions remain unanswered:
- did the company jump - jump ship if you will - or were they pushed ?
- was their sudden exit from F1 enough to appease their many profoundly disagreeable adversaries ?

Well, fate or divine intervention have just delivered exactly what Edouard Michelin would have wanted. One thing is for sure: if Mr. Michelin is up above & beyond observing the human (rat-)race from some serene celestial vantage-point, he will certainly be rejoicing in spirit right now with his many earthbound admirers and soulmates.
Michelin have accidentally, unintentionally won the Formula E contract, the main prize, Le Plus Grand Prix - so crack open some more champions' champers or cava or cheap, cheerful cider.

Cheers, bon santé and a toast to "The Revenge of the Electric Race Car" - and to avenging angels, wherever they may be lurking and working (heaven knows we need all the otherworldly help we can get to save this endangered world...)

We'll leave you with this - again from GreenCar.com:
"Michelin's work to encourage greater environmental performance by the world's automakers, energy suppliers, and component developers through the Challenge Bibendum set a benchmark for what can be done by industry, when there is a commitment to bettering the world around us. Edouard Michelin epitomized this with his actions, and we will always appreciate him for his thoughtful leadership."

"Death of Edouard Michelin, Bibendum is an orphan":
"Edouard Michelin's body was found a few kilometers from the island of Sein. Adverse weather conditions? Rough Sea? Mere accident? An investigation was initiated in an attempt to elucidate this sad affair."
(Elucidate ? Unfortunately this merely "sad" affair - as opposed to "scandalous" or "suspicious" - was quickly turned into yet another
Open & Shut Up case)

It's always worth re-stating that media coverage of Michelin's death in 2006 was predictably scant, unsceptical and short-lived. Even the Guardian closed or buried the case after its relatively risqué obituary cited above.

Ferrari Electric Shocker !
.. in related belated red-hot breaking(May 8), far-from-shocking news - Ferrari boss Montezemolo says the company will never produce electric cars under his leadership. Now there's a surprise..

April, 2013

It's not SpaceX rocket science(vid) -
- auto giants still refusing to deliver the long-range, stylish EV's consumers want..

Nissan Venucia Viwa
One rocket and an EV Space Program to planet Venucia please !
The eye-popping Nissan Venucia Viwa(Shanghai Show, April 23).
By unpopular demand ..only for the Chinese market, don't you know. 'Cos we'd all rather drive a Leaf than a Viwa (from Venucia), obviously, right?

Elon Musk(Paypal, Tesla, SpaceX) has said several times in various ways that "Carmakers should admit they have failed to produce the electric cars the public want to buy."
Well, the prolific, prodigal billionaire rocket designer is almost right of course: the real and far less diplomatic truth is that major carmakers - and a gazillion crank'n'piston/fossil fuel-dependent vested interests - remain chronically incapable of accepting the idea that electric cars could succeed beyond niche(especially in Europe and the US) by virtue of:
a) real range
b) stylish design
c) affordability.
- a max two out of the "abc" three being the perpetual tease ...

Nissan Juke not electric
It ain't rocket science and requires no blue sky thinking, zero cloud-cuckoo computing capability: if Nissan et al were seriously committed to mass-appeal EV's they'd already be producing 150 mile/charge EV's like the Venucia Viwa and electrified Jukes(cf. Musk's Model X) for a global market.

Launch 'em and global EV sales will take off ... skyrocket.(..and there's the rub)

Nissan Reva e20
Chetan Maini and Mahindra Reva get it too - almost. If they could just go that extra mile or two or sixty two and cross-breed their GM-free, sparklingly stylish, funky e20 with Bolloré's unsurprisingly popular 4-door, 165 mile/charge Bluecar - now there's an EV that would easily eclipse Nissan(-Fengshen)'s curiously & competitively-named  E30...

April, 2013

142 mile Leaf - time to "target" Sunderland Echo, Nissan dealerships ?
- time to turn over and turn out a new Leaf

(Green Car Congress and many more sources - safety in numbers - got the truth out in November eg. "Updated Nissan LEAF available in Japan" - but now remain compliantly silent. Who cares about rare earth and range, eh ? )

Sunderland Echo Leaf Nissan Quake Front Page News   Making the headlines - can we get them quaking in their boots and shaking like a leaf ?

The Sunderland Echo enjoys UK-wide name recognition: so why not ask them and the nation why they too have made no mention of the 142 mile Leaf (Email: echo.news@northeast-press.co.uk Tel: 0191 501 5800). Click image for all of their very recent LEAF plant-related news stories - including "Nissan Defends EV's After Critical Report".

Yes - the anti-sales, anti-jobs, counter-productive, counter-production silence continues unabated. From Sunderland to Smyrna. High time therefore to urgently propose some constructive, productive, leafily green, grassroots action, activism. Using the potent power of words and knowledge.
No sticks or stones. No broken windows please - let's just unite to shatter this shameful silence.

So here's our simple plea, with a simple script to go(come on folks, we've done most of the draft-graft and hard work for you..):

- Walk or slyly saunter into any Nissan showroom from Sunderland to Smyrna, from New York to...(Hertz's) Milton Keynes and anywhere in between with November's Nissan Global "142 mile Leaf" news+video page displayed on a smartphone, netbook, iPad etc - or simply printed out and spelled out in clear black & white.
Then - to rapidly attract the keenest attention of sales staff - begin by loitering misleadingly and hungrily around an ever-so hunky, funky, Nissan Juke or a terrifically manly cash-cow Qashqai.
Next - with the dummy trap set and salivating salesman surely lured and snared, it's time to spring the sting - the surpise question and the pre-scripted interrogation.
Kick off by courteously, casually and "innocently" asking the billion dollar or zillion quid question: namely, why it might possibly, conceivably be that Japanese customers are to get the vastly improved , genuinely new long-range Leaf whilst the rest of the world is being sold yesterday's short-changing, short-ranging technology dressed up as new ?

Be in no doubt of course that 99.9% of Nissan dealership sales staff will have not the faintest inkling, idea or clue what you're referring to. Not the slightest shimmer.
That said of course, professional pride and (male) ego will compel many manful sales staff to mask their EV-related ignorance, apathy, antipathy - but don't let any of this disturb you or prevent you from asking even more clear concise constructive questions ! Such as:

Nissan themselves have said many times that Leaf sales worldwide have been "disappointing" .
So would you not prefer to see the new long-range, re-engineered Leafs flying out of showrooms - un-disappointingly ?

Do you not agree with Hertz UK and their EV spokesman Jack Hidari who recently told EVUK that Hertz hopes the new long range LEAF will be rolled out globally as soon as possible ?

Sunderland's factory management and PM David Cameron have described the production facilities in Sunderland as amongst the most modern and advanced in Europe. So the LEAF plant, so to speak, is obviously easily capable of producing the new, 142 mile / charge LEAF.
The Japanese clearly understand that the solution is to literally turn over and turn out a new Leaf. So how can you or anyone disagree ?

How many short-range, old-tech(that's right Mr. Cameron) Leafs do you sell per month compared to say Qashqai's and Jukes ?
And is it not the case that most of the Leafs you do sell are bought not by individuals and private buyers but by organisations, local authority departments and businesses keen to be seen to be green - only too happy to spend other people's money to that end but who rarely choose to splash out on short-range, high-anxiety Leafs for themselves and from their own savings ?

How many politicians, local and Westminster MP's - or PM's for that matter - have bought a Leaf for themselves ie. put their own money where their "Buy (semi-)British" mouths are ? Voted with their own wallets ?
How many Nissan sales staff and how many Sunderland Echo journalists have taken a Leaf out of their own books - and purchased one ?

How many customers have so far actually asked you about the new model that the Japanese are to get ?  Zero ?
And a general question: do you prefer prospective customers to be fully informed and ask razor-sharp questions ? Or is it far easier to make the sale and seal the deal when customers don't have a clue and believe too much of what they do and don't read in the papers - local and national ?

Spin Balls - another prime example:
Nissan executive vice president Andy Palmer, (
Echo, April 5):
"The Nissan LEAF is our most technically advanced car yet and the launch of this new model, built along with its batteries in Sunderland, is a huge boost not only for the plant but for British manufacturing."

Ssssh - don't mention range and the genuinely "technically advanced", 142 mile/charge, rare-earth-saving, 80kg lighter, roomier Leaf that informed, enlightened, technically advanced Japanese consumers are demanding and getting ...

March, 2013

Boris beats off Bernie -
Drayson-Lola Race  Car testing London to host FIA all-electric Formula E Grand Prix

- Mayor delivers green, game-changing championship

EVUK Trackback - 1(Jan,2013): it's just 9 weeks since we needled & nudged the Mayor with the following testy taunting little teaser - and 9 months since Ecclestone proffered $55 million to stage his beloved fossil-fuelled F1 in the capital:

"..why not go the whole Right Honourable Hog(Boris) by feistily following Rome and Rio's lead and announcing that London too will be hosting the forthcoming and long-awaited Ecclestone F1lthy lucre F1 London bid fails March 2013 electric F1 series ? See December 3 2012 "Formula E" video & report
- again from the radical-yet-reactionary D.Telegraph...whose ulterior motivation may be a little unclear or nuclear "

EVUK Trackback - 2(July,2012):
"...it's the Burning Borisian (post-Olympic Blues) question - or should be:
   - will Jolly (Mr.) Johnson grab the F1lthy lucre from the ethically & vertically challenged, un-beknighted,er, Ernie Ecclescake and the faustian F1 bribe-tribe - or bow to Lord Drayson(Lola) and give the green light to F1 FIA Formula-E for London ?? "

See Autoguide(June,2012) "London Formula One Race Pushed by Bernie Ecclestone"

..and the Burning Bernie question:
- just how could anyone - let alone any politician, newspaper owner or media magnate - possibly resist the pint-sized Ecclestone's Winning Smile and immeasurable, ineffable, gargantuan, larger-than-life charm, charisma, cash ?

Congrats to Mayor Johnson and team-mates - at last a rousing reason to leap onto a victory rostrum or podium, crack open a celebratory Magnum of Moët et Chandon champions' champagne and quaff - not squander & squirt - (almost) every drop till you drop.
And come 2014 - well it would surely now be downright unseemly and unsporting of Boris to turn up trackside in anything but a 7-seater Tesla Model S or X ...

And one more closing comment for the home-straight ..

How to electrify audiences - not just the cars ?

If Formula E's Agag, Drayson or their people should happen to be listening, lurking in the wings or shadows ... we do seriously hope, guys, that the event will be organised and presented on a clearly defined nation v nation basis so as to maximize audience and media interest - with spectators and global audiences cheering on their country's easily identifiable home-grown driver, team and car.
And let's please see and enjoy a truly global, open Olympic-spirited line-up of teams:
  GB v France v Germany v USA v China v Japan v Korea v S. Africa v Hungary etc.
What ?! America in a Grand Prix you ask? Why ever not ? The uncomfortable truth is that without America's - especially California's - indomitable, pacesetting commitment to pure battery EV's over the last two decades the world would have seen virtually no mainstream EV developmemt, progress, movement or momentum at all.
And Formula E itself would also simply not exist. Period.

Youtube - view all Formula E clips

March, 2013

Hertz-EVUK Q&A exchange re range and Japan's 142 mile/228 km 'carrot' LEAF
(Key quote - from Hertz's Jack Hidary(more below): "We hope that Nissan will make its longer range LEAF available globally to meet the requests of our corporate and individual customers.")

So as promised: here are a few choice extracts from our recent unexpectedly heartening correspondence with Hertz UK's International PR & Communications Director Zoë White following the launch in January of the company's LEAF-based "Hertz On Demand" carsharing scheme in Milton Keynes(of all places? See reports).

EVUK: Hertz will presumably be aware that Nissan recently (November) announced that they will be producing a longer range, significantly cheaper, and lighter successor to the current version of the short-range, relatively high-priced all-electric electric LEAF. (142 miles/228 km, $6000 cheaper, 80kg lighter - here's the link to our EVUK article on the subject - including video of the announcement from Nissan in Japan)
Our key heart-of-the-matter question is inevitably as follows: given that the principle barrier blocking the more widepread roll-out and adoption of all-electric EV's (and of the Hertz EV carsharing scheme) is the continuing limited range of most models and the consequent need for public charging points (often funded or subsidized by taxpayers from local government funds) - can we hope and assume that Hertz will be adding its voice and joining with other influential and interested parties to apply collective pressure on Nissan to bring the 228 km LEAF to Britain, Europe and the rest of the world sooner rather than later ?
Sadly, Nissan have initially indicated that this new - and at last highly desirable - longer range LEAF will initially only be available in Japan. Obviously, given that the Sunderland(UK) and Smyrna(US) LEAF plants(!) have more or less the same production capacity, capability, flexibility etc as the Oppama factory in Japan it does seem very odd that this new breakthrough version is not yet to be manufactured and sold in Britain, Europe,the US, worldwide.

Hertz UK:  In answer to your question, here is a comment from Jack Hidary, Global EV Leader at Hertz:

"Hertz is the car rental industry leader in supporting electric vehicles. We were the first car rental company to rent an EV and have now deployed EV's on three continents. We were the first to use EV's in car sharing clubs including our operations in London, Milton Keynes, Rome and Milan."
"We have always encouraged our automaker partners to produce EV's with the longest range possible to meet the needs of our customers. We hope that Nissan will make its longer range LEAF available globally to meet the requests of our corporate and individual customers. I believe we are at the inflection point of EV range and will soon see many EV models with ranges that compete with gas cars."

EVUK: thankyou for that - you and Jack (Hidary) are definitely winning Hearts & Minds here at least. You will appreciate how difficult it is to get anyone from any major EV-linked entity to publicly break the entrenched near-taboo and silence regarding the ever-pressing need to move the media and political debate and focus away from charge points and charging infrastructure to long range. We first drove Toyota's 90-120 mile /charge RAV4 EV in 1998 - and have driven them several times since: 16 years down the road and a range step-change is long, long overdue and logistically/technologically easily do-able in the very near future/yesterday. Nissan know it - but many still don't want to know it.
As always, we simply need genuinely informed consumers and a media that is willing and able to inform them. Only when carmakers feel irrestible pressure from informed and vocal consumers worldwide will they finally deliver or be compelled to deliver.

Video:  Jack Hidary, Global EV Leader for Hertz, talks to Edie Lush in Davos about Hertz's move into EV car sharing:
Jack Hidary Hertz EV Global Leader

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