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2015: The World's Fastest Superbike is now ... electric:
Gizmag Lightning LS-218 test Fastest Superbike
Lightning LS-218 - Youtube Gizmag test-review.  The Zero SR review is even..racier(a parental warning, kids?).

Watch: 0-60 mph in 1.6 secs
VW Brit Beetle 0-60 1.6 secs
VW British Beetle - Black Current III (2011)
All 'Current' Youtube videos

375 miles in 1996:
Solectria Sunrise 375 miles 1996 excl. video
Exclusive rare/unique video of 4-seat record-breaking Solectria Sunrise in motion

Official 454 - 714 km range: 2011 DBM Audi A2 BAM/DEKRA pdf test summary
DBM Kolibri Tests - Youtube
"A Battery to Change the World"
Click 1, 2 for latest, sharpest DBM news/comment

Warren Buffett: "All Cars will be Electric in 20 years"

Watch Blind Spot trailer mix: Blind Spot Population 50 billion 2150 - Where will all the lithium, copper..rare earth come from ?
World population tripling every 75 years - 2.5 billion in 1950, 7 billion in 2012, 15 billion in 2100, 25 billion by 2150.

See also:  Populationmatters.org - backed by Jane Goodall and David Attenborough.

Fetish video
Watch video: Roger Moore 007 in French Fetish heaven!
Venturi Fetish in Monaco

The Ecologist Magazine
- probably the world's best and most inspiring green news resource.
- defiantly, delightfully, intelligently political..and unambiguously anti-nuclear.
The Ecologist - in Spanish,   in French

60 year, £2 British LED's for the home 'on shelves by 2011'. So where are they, Professor ? How many more 'light years' must we wait ?

EVUK is also supported by:
Ink Cottage Inkjet Discount UK "Up to 80% Discount on Inkjet Cartridges Worldwide".
  Ink Cottage

"Who Killed the electric Toyota RAV4?"
Well, the UK/EU media for a start - and they're still burying it
Who  Killed Toyota RAV4 EV

Watch Ebike v. Car commute downunder
Ebike v Car Commute OZ
No worries, no sweat, no contest !
(Suitable Transport Low Rider)

New excl. RAV4 EV video - watch Eiichi's (who he?) - RAV4 EV in action
Eiichi's Toyota RAV4 EV

EVUK's 'Ms. Eclectic Electric' - EVUK's Moira G. - seeks new EV/ecotech/green media-related role!

Watch Moira G.'s 1998
EV docu "O Happy Zappy Days" - from London to LA & SF...


EVUK recognition: over 50,000 websites/pages now link to / like EVUK.co.uk.     Check current count.

Project Black Hungarian_spy_novelBlackground reading ?
See: "Black Hungarian" - a spy novel about attempts to thwart a 700km+ EV range-record bid. Story centres around Metron, WAVE, NSA etc - see below. Amazon,Kindle,iBooks
(Blackout:  in the real world meanwhile... the murder of Slovenian lithium/EV specialist Prof Janko Jamnik has been wiped from the media radar)

June, 2016

Singer-songwriter Cerys Matthews MBE*:   is her new-born-electric, ex-Catatonia EV-angelism just another elaborate BMW (i3) PR production ?

EV Cerys Matthews_Sings_EV_Float_Monte_Carlo_ULEV EV Cerys Matthews_Sings_EV_Float_Monte_Carlo_ULEV
Left:   Cerys and band perform and record "Float on Down to Monte Carlo" in-car for the UK Govt's BMW-dominated, Tesla-less Go Ultra Low / ULEV initiative.
Right: the "Making of" the "Float on Down..." video.

Go Ultra Low v Go Ultra Large

Cerys's Confoundingly Confusing Contradictions - quote (Daily Telegraph) :
"I have 5 kids - I'd like a large EV - so my ideal car hasn't been built yet". (!!)
"I'm in the process of buying a BMW i3"(!!)

You cannot be ceryous Cerys !
Why no mention of the 6-7 seater Tesla Model S ?  Or the X ?
And exactly how is having five kids and wanting a very large car consistent with your concerns about mankind's environmental impact on the Earth, CO2 footprints, resource depletion etc ? A case of "have your cake and eat it" ?  An extra-large slice of the pie for me please ?

So given that the large Tesla Model S..er.. "hasn't been built yet" and doesn't exist for Cerys - she's instead decided to get(or perhaps even buy) the least suitable alternative - the small, high-priced, low-range i3 !!
Perfect for any affluent city-loving family of four.
Note that Matthews grew up on a farm in Wales and loves driving through wide open countryside with her 5 children or fellow musicians - so the BMW i3 would be the perfect choice for someone who doesn't resemble her at all.

Extraordinary.  Is it really conceivable that Cerys Matthews has never heard of the (6-7 seater) Tesla Model S ?

And why does the interviewer in this recent Daily Telegraph article likewise not mention or ask her about the Tesla ?

NB:   The 2016 7-seater Tesla Model S entry-level '60' version costs around £59,000. For that you get 248 miles of range, a 130 mph top speed, 0-60 in 5.5 secs.
(See AutoExpress, June 9th review)

And any suggestion that Cerys Matthews(MBE) couldn't afford a Model S is hard to believe given that she's on a v. generous BBC payroll, hosts her own BBC radio show "Cerys on 6", presents BBC documentaries, acts as a roving reporter for the BBC's "The One Show" and has a successful singer-songwriter career in the bank.
So the Tesla Model S would surely be her ideal electric car/mobile recording studio - unless of course her five kids are all six-foot-plus, grotesquely obese teenagers - or don't like the fact that the rear-most 2 seats face backwards.(But think panoramic views, pulling faces at tailgating drivers, being invisible to your mother-at-the-wheel - what's not to like guys ?)

And waddayaknow - the above-mentioned D.Telegraph Cerys Matthews piece contains a handily embedded link to...the undersized, short-range, high-priced (range-extended) BMW i3.

Hmm - now there's a thing.
The same BMW that Top Gear's Richard Hammond was persuaded to endorse and 'buy' (or accept as a gift - who knows ?)

And the same offer-you-can't-refuse i3(minus the REX) that the LAPD were persuaded to buy by the hundred a few weeks ago.

And the very same 81 mile/charge i3 that the once respected,Rinspeed Budii i3 with roof-erected phallic camera independently creative, concept EV-creators Rinspeed were persuaded to dress up and phallicly hyper-sexualize with a roof-erected, extendable camera for last year's Geneva Motor Show(see video @2mins 58secs).  This year they sank even lower into BMW-servitude with a cosmetically camouflaged revamp of the BMW i8 hybrid.  So two tech-bloated BMW's - two in a row - dutifully served up by the company that had previously given us the subversively submersible Squba and the beautifully organic Bambu.

The moral of the tales ?  Never say "No" or "Nein" or Verpisst Euch to BMW's vast armada of persuaders and enforcers - if ya know what's good for you, your career and your kids.

So Cerys - if you want a large EV - remember that Tesla have not signed up to the BMW-dominated Go Ultra Low/ULEV initiative - so why not have an overpriced, diddy i3 city EV instead ?
OK - it's the polar opposite of what you say you need - but it's a BMW !  Think brand !  Think image !   Think what's best for BMW !  Think offer-you-cannot-refuse - not what's best for you and the planet.

To sum up - here's what Cerys Matthews should surely have told the Telegraph and others if she expected or hoped to draw unqualified applause from genuinely informed EV truth-seekers:

"I have 5 kids so the 7-seater Tesla Model S '60' will be the perfect fit for me and my large earth-friendly family. And £59,000 pounds for the 2016 7-seater Tesla is easily affordable for someone like myself - especially given the cost-savings on petrol, parking, road-tax, maintenance - not to mention recording studios. The BBC is (in)famous for paying even minor celebrity presenters very well indeed and I obviously have had a successful and lucrative career as a recording artist, singer-songwriter with and without Catatonia.
Obviously none of the much smaller, low-range EV's featured in my latest in-car video come close to meeting my needs as a would-be earth-responsible mother of five. None can match the Model S - especially not the highest-priced, shortest-range, undersized BMW i3."

So the Model S it is, Cerys.
Better still - if money's no object - why not spread your wings in a gull-winged 7-seater Tesla Model X ?
For £76,000.  That's £25,000 less than the extremely cramped 4-seater BMW i8(Carbuyer Review).  And far cheaper, more liberating and inspiring than a window-less, vista-less padded-cell recording studio. Tesla X_v_Ferrari_DragTimes_2016 The Model X P90D Ludicrous version(0-60 in 3.2 secs) is also faster than a Ferrari over a quarter mile face-off(see DragTimes head-to-head video) - so will leave any BMW for dead.

(Recall or note that the Tesla-spawning TZero from AC Propulsion also thrashed a Ferrari(F355)...16 years ago in 2000 !
Here's the original video and Electrifying Times text report.)

The BBC of course would much prefer Matthews to be waxing lyrical about BMW not Tesla - so here's your chance Elon !
Why not settle a sore old score once and for all - the lawsuit against Top Gear and Clarkson - and fly a falcon-winged Model X over to Cerys at the Beeb ? A special delivery and livery ?

Who knows - she might well then feel inspired to follow her debut EV track "Float on Down to Monte Carlo" with something even more uplifting and spaced-out - with a tease of a title to suit:

"Winging it to Wales On Tesla's Trail".

And if Tesla fans Kanye West, Will.i.am, Jay Z and even Neil Young(see Bass Notes below) could be persuaded to join the jams, the jaunts and the jive-drive with the Cerys crew they might well succeed in topping the 10-40 millionJames_Corden_Stevie_Wonder_Carpool_Karaoke_Late_Late Youtube views/hits that James Corden's in-car celebrity karaoke smash-hit mash-ups are currently notching up on Youtube/CBS.
Note: James "Jimbo" Corden OBE* is the new-ish British host of America's Late Late Show. He uses his gas-guzzling Tata Range Rover Sport for his smash-hit "carpool" singalongs.
Cue a brief compare-and-contrast in-car detour - from C. Matthews MBE to J. Corden OBE...

...with a few recent(June) comments Corden has demonstrated extraordinary "have it both ways" clunk-headedness - some might call it crass hypocrisy - on the related issues of EV's and the protection of the planet:
 - in an appearance on Stephen Colbert's Late Show Corden told the host :
"..it's just the Earth and it's ours to look after.."  (Youtube clip)
Yet less than a week later - on his own show - he couldn't resist a cheap, trite below-the-belt stab at noiseless electric motorbikes with a pro-Ferrari variant on the "EV owners have small penises" smear.
And yes kids - he did use the "P" word.(Youtube clip)

Perhaps Corden and his team of ever-so edgey, earth-friendly writers should now take a fearless poke at Jay Leno's (obviously) microscopic cojones - given that the former talk-show stalwart has tested and approved countless electric motorbikes, ebikes and EV's in his long-running "Leno's Garage" series.  Jay is even the proud owner of a 1909 Baker electric.  What a girlie-man, eh Jimbo(OBE) ?
Much like that renowned sissy Schwarzenegger in his sexlessly-silent Tesla.

But let's terminate this Corden slap-down with a testosterone-testing little teaser:

- what terrifically macho cars did Bruce Lee, Clint Eastwood and Sylvester Stallone need in order to project or to fake masculinity in the films "Enter the Dragon", "A Few More Fistfuls of Bad Ugly Dollars"(is that right?) and "Rambo" ?

a) a Ferrari Testosteronearossa(is that right?)
b) a Lamborghini Viagra
c) a BMW Big Balls
d) an Aston Martin Machismo
e) a Bugatti Butch-Boy
f ) none of the above

Stephen Seagal buys ebikes from EVUK friend in Thailand Let renowned wussies Brad Pitt("You're not the car you drive" - Fight Club clip) and Stephen Seagal(right - with ebike) explain...

Ah yes, Mr. Corden - as you so sincerely say, mate:  "It's just the Earth and it's ours to take care of".
Vroom vroom.  It's the way he tells 'em...

(Enough already ?   One Last Blast. Here's Corden shamelessly product-placing a Ferrari and Pepsi Cola - with a certain Cindy Crawford)


Bass Notes:Cerys_Neil_Young_BBC_R6_19June2016.jpg
- Red Green Alert ! (Sunday, June 19, 'Cerys on 6')
Don't miss:   long-time EV Apostle and eco-political boat-rocker Neil Young(he's still Canadian) talks to Cerys Matthews about his new album "Earth".

Does Cerys know that Neil made an entire concept album about electric cars called "Fork in the Road" ?
(Click here for all Youtube'd tracks)

- like so many too-long catatonic(see below) late-awakeners, Ms. Matthews tells us that ...
"It's time to wave goodbye to petrol and diesel".

No Cerys !  Not quite. 1997-1998 was undoubtedly the right time to wake up, speak out, get behind vehicles-for-change and kiss goodbye to gasoline-powered cars - long before it became safe, fashionable and almost mainstream(in a few countries) to do so.
In '97-'98 the Kyoto protocol had been signed and ratified, the should-have-been game-changing but scandalously underreported all-electric Toyota RAV4 and Nissan Altra had been launched in the US and Japan, California's CARB emissions mandate was having the desired effect and Al Gore was clearly set to become the next US President.

The fact that the media and the masses for the most part didn't want to know or couldn't have cared less led to 15+ more years of war-fuelling business-as-usual, fossil-fuelled foreign policy, the inevitable explosion of Middle East terrorism and what is now - possibly or probably - an irreversible environmental meltdown.

Better late than never ?  Let's bl©©dy well hope so, Cerys.

- Catatonic - definition:   "an immobile or unresponsive stupor"
- Catatonia - Cerys's band from 1992-2001

- James Corden OBE v Cerys Matthews MBE.  Who outranks whom ?   Corden is an "Officer of the British Empire" and outranks Matthews who's a mere "Member" of that now long-defunct (in)glorious superpower.
It goes almost without saying of course that Matthews would almost certainly have neither an MBE or employment at the BBC if she'd woken up to EV's and begun speaking out publicly, fearlessly and knowledgeably on the subject 15+ years ago.

June, 2016

StoreDot's 2015 "come May 2016" pledge-that-never-happened:  5-min recharge and that Tel Aviv to Beersheba(and back) drive-demo.
(Remember ?  300 miles/charge, low cost, green, organic, revolutionary, "already here" - Abramovich the angel investor ?)

Doron Myersdorf_BBC_2015_StoreDot  StoreDot Tel_Aviv_Beersheba drive promise
Chutzpah ?  Bah Humbug ?   A bit or a lot of both ?

You may recall that even BBC TV covered the seemingly sensational StoreDot story in August 2015 with an interview with CEO Doron Myersdorf in Tel Aviv.   (That BBC interview appears to have been disappeared in the interim )

Here's an extract from the Times of Israel(May, 2015 - the Gospel Truth ? ) :
"Come next May(2016) we will present a technology to recharge an electric car in five minutes. Using an array of 7,000 cells, we’ll take a car that has a zero charge and recharge its batteries to 100% capacity."

"Then, while next year's ThinkNext(2016) is going on, we'll send it on a trip to Beersheba and have it come back at the end of the event here to Tel Aviv," Myersdorf said in May of this year(2015), to the cheers of an enthusiastic crowd."

But - ssshucks- it never happened.

As it turned out :
a) ThinkNext 2016 took place not in May of this year but in February Herr Myersdorf !

b) the entire old/new media, EV blogosphere and comment-posting cosmos has yet again remained obligingly silent - noone anywhere - as far as we can detect - has visibly reminded Myersdorf and StoreDot of their failure to deliver on the 2015, headline-grabbing, cast-iron promise(no May-be's) to drive a 5-minute, StoreDot-charged EV from Tel Aviv to Beersheba and back either in May 2016 or during this year's ThinkNext back in February.

The public surely must by now grasp that it is precisely and primarily because companies like StoreDot know in advance that the media will stay obediently silent  if/when they fail to deliver on their throwaway promises that they make those throwaway promises in the first place.

StoreDot = Power Japan Plus almost all over again ..?
Although almost all would-be game-changing EV pledges quickly dissolve into silence and compliance and disappear into the ssshadows - it has to be said that there is a striking similarity between StoreDot's promises, claims, subsequent rapid retreat etc and the Power Japan Plus(PJP) phenomenon.
PJP similarly claimed and still claim 20x faster charge times, 300 miles per charge, optimum recyclability, "organic" raw materials and reduced cost.

But unlike StoreDot, PJP sought umbrage, protection and incubation under a "UN-linked "umbrella" not long after they first hit the headlines and threatened the status quo in 2014. (See PRWeb: "World Association of Former UN Internes and Fellows Agrees Memorandum of Understanding with Power Japan Plus" )
Also unlike StoreDot, Power Japan Plus have always responded to our questions - and what's more - quickly and courteously.
For instance:   we recently asked PJP why there was now - ominously - no longer any mention of electric vehicles anywhere on their new-ish website but only references to electric bikes and solar energy storage.
PJP's reply was instant and moderately encouraging - to the effect that EVs will be re-instated in an upcoming updated version of the website - although no specific date was stipulated.
StoreDot, on the other hand, have opted not to respond to our enquiries at all.

So let's go public with those stored-up, stir-it-up queries !   Here are a few exasperatingly fantabulous quotes from the company's website and the Times of Israel again - followed by our own EVUK-flavoured ripostes which we believe will resonate with EV believers, sceptics and agnostics - even those of the Jewish persuasion:
From Store-Dot.com :
"5-min charging is already here.  Charge your electric vehicle in 5 minutes - same experience as fueling, but without the fumes! "
EVUK riposte:   can you please define the words "already" and "here" please !

From The Times of Israel(again):
"Its new EV FlashBattery, the company says, charges fully in 5 minutes, providing 300 miles (480 km) of driving distance. "
"This fast charging technology shortens the amount of time drivers will have to wait in line to charge their cars, while also reducing the number of charging posts in each station, and considerably cutting the overall cost of owning an electric car."
"Because it charges so quickly, a battery using StoreDot technology can be smaller, making vehicles lighter and batteries cheaper to make, as well."
"Not only will the system save time but allowing for less frequent battery replacement due to its increased number of cycles, EV Flash Battery results in a 50% cost reduction per mile over the electric vehicle's lifetime, compared to existing battery technologies."

EVUK riposte: all of the above is worded as if it's all a fait accompli - most of it is comfortably couched in the present tense or the "future-is-now" tense. Why ?   Please justify !

From Store-Dot.com :

"Read more about EV needs in China in our blog "

EVUK riposte:   no thankyou StoreDot !
China's "EV needs" ?   Who cares ?   Why does StoreDot - like almost every other would-be EV disruptor - seem now to be shifting its focus to China ?
Please StoreDot - your audience is largely non-Chinese - so kindly tell us instead about how soon you'll be meeting the affordable, long-range, quick-charge "needs" of (would-be) EV owners - NOT in China - but in Europe, the UK , America North & South, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Korea, Africa, India...
Not to mention Israel.

- Final Flashbattery Flashback:    recall that Chelsea's game-changer Roman "Norma" Abramovich and Samsung among others have invested $18 million in the Israeli company's rapid-recharge Flashbattery venture.

May, 2016

No Nissan - Madrid does NOT now have the world's largest electric taxi fleet:  110 Leafs v 2800 BYD e6's in Shenzhen, 4000++ e6's in Taiyuan ...
- yet again hundreds of copycat news sites wilfully or cluelessly ignore the facts...

For the record:

8900+ BYD e6 taxis for Taiyuan China No Record Madrid Nissan Leaf 110 Taxis2016

- if you can handle the truth, watch the TV report(above left) and read the following understandably irate email recently shot to us by Dr. Marco Loglio(again) our main man in China  ie. where the real EV action is.
Loglio, incidentally, escaped to China a decade before BMW's latest batch of disillusioned EV-specialists turned their backs on the Bavarian  i-Wash-fabrication specialists in yet another Great Escape to the East.


From M.Loglio in Shenzhen

" Can I draw your attention to the numerous ridiculous news reports that have appeared on many news and EV sites around the world about the order for 110 Taxi Nissan Leafs for the city of Madrid by the company Ciudad del Taxi.
Nissan and the Western press are (very) erroneously or deliberately and dishonestly claiming that this is the biggest electric taxi fleet in the world.
("Nissan convierte a Madrid en la ciudad con más taxis eléctricos del mundo")
And the world's China-blind or China-blanking media has once again uncritically repeated this false claim.

The statement should be immediately withdrawn by Nissan and by the taxi company Ciudad del Taxi.

Here in Shenzhen there are now 2,800 BYD e6 taxis in operation which eclipses the 110 Leafs in Madrid.

And of course the 190 mile/charge e6 not only has far greater range than the 107 mile Leaf - it is also much more spacious.

BYD began by introducing a fleet of 800 electric e6 taxis in Shenzhen in 2011, on the occasion of the Univerisade Games.
Subsequently another 2000 were added giving today's total of 2800.

The current version of the BYD e6 taxi has a real proven range of 400 Km in urban use, based on a battery pack whose capacity has now reached 82Kwh - so almost triple that of the Nissan Leaf.
A perfect infrastructure for the recharging of the taxis all over the territory of Shenzhen make this vehicle the best solution for clean transportation within the city.

And here's another record-breaking update for you about BYD taxis in another Chinese city:
Taiyuan will have a fully and exclusively electric taxi fleet within the year with a total of 8929(!) BYD e6 taxis.

So to emphasize and clarify:  this large city Taiyuan will only have electric taxis. No petrol, no dirty dinosaur diesel cabs.
Already 3000 e6's have been put into operation in the first 4 months of 2016 while the others will be delivered before the end of July this year.

Another key reason for the success of BYD e6 taxi fleets apart from its now well-proven technical specification (82 Kwh battery pack with more then 400 km range ) is the price which after subsidies from the central and local government is only €12.000 or 89.000 Yuan
Youtube Video:   record-breaking Taiyuan only has electric taxis:   over 4000 now - 8929 by the end of July.

Nissan and so many other car manufacturers really should focus on improving their mediocre battery pack capacity rather than wasting time with triumphalistic and baseless announcements that seem designed to treat China and its ahead-of-the-game EV innovation as if it doesn't exist or doesn't count or can't be believed(unlike, say, VW !!).

As you know the BYD e6 is also used as a taxi in many other Chinese cities and around the world - Brussels, London, Rotterdam - so BYD definitely and objectively has to be rated number one in the world.  "
Marco (Shenzhen)


It's a pity that Ciudad del Taxi and the world's media still either can't be bothered to spend 10 minutes researching simple EV truth or are intent or hell-bent on deceiving the public and themselves.
Qué lastima !  If this otherwise relatively bold Madrid initiative had been launched with a modicum of informed honesty and modesty we'd be applauding almost ecstatically - although the question "Why Leafs - and not BYD e6's as in Brussels etc" still begs to be asked and honestly answered.

The average daily distance covered by London minicab drivers is 120 miles(see FT re BYD/Thriev). There is no reason to think that Madrid's Leaf taxis won't be travelling similar distances each day - so recharging and range-anxiety will likely be a constant niggle.

Over the last week we've emailed Ciudad del Taxi twice asking why they are misinforming the public - but the offending "world record" headline has still not been removed from their homepage or corrected.   So this is by definition now a clear case of deliberate deception.( info@laciudaddeltaxi.es )

Website Elektrek also points out that Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport operates 167 Tesla Model S taxis - so it's a pity and a pena that their Madrid Leaf report's headline fails to include the word 'wrongly':   "Nissan (wrongly!) Claim The World's Largest Electric Taxi Fleet".
And Elektrek, like the rest of the media, also fails to mention the BYD e6 - or China.

All of this though is about more than just the BYD e6(taxi) versus the Nissan Leaf(taxi).
BYD and an ever-increasing number of agile, cutting-edge, style-savvy Chinese carmakers continue to expose and lay bare the half-hearted, foot-dragging fakery of the rest of the world's automakers.
Just take a look at this Forbes/CarNewsChina collaborative report from April/May's Beijing Auto Show:   "10 New Electric Cars from China".
BMW 325iX 93 miles range 1987 all electric  Brilliance_V3_EV_155miles_CarNewsChina.jpg
Left:      BYD EV300: range 300km/190 miles, $23,000
Right:   Brilliance V3 EV: range 250km/155 miles, $16,000.

Amusing to note that BMW has a joint-venture with Brilliance.   i3 anyone ?  Surely even the most gullible of born yesterday  (BMW)brand-victims would prefer the brilliance of the bargain V3 to the low-range, high-priced i3.
(Photos: Tycho de Feijter, Editor-in-Chief at
CarNewsChina   ie. where the real EV news and action is.  Beijing-based expat-Dutchman Tycho, by the way, is also well-acquainted with Shenzhen-based expat-Italian Marco Loglio.
Funny old small world, ain't it ?)

May, 2016

BMW's "i3 range increased" tense-trick:  "BMW has increased"..." "BMW increases range...".
Reality:   BMW will not increase the i3's range until 2017.

BMW 325iX 93 miles range 1987 all electric
Remember that in 1987(!) BMW presented the all-electric lightweight 325iX with a TUV-tested range of 93 miles. Over 25 years later it launched the super-lightweight carbon fibre i3 with an EPA-tested range of 81 miles.
See Wired "40 Years of Electric BMW's You Can't Buy"

So - BMW is clearly determined to avoid - and have the media avoid - the use of the jam tomorrow future tense - the words "will" and "won't".
So they have once again resorted to that familiar, neat, time-warping, back-to-the-future trick-of-tenses to disguise yet another not-now, not-this-year promise.
And thanks to a media that is only too willing to obediently parrot a prescriptive PR statement that cunningly avoids the use of the future tense - the public are unlikely to notice that BMW "have" in actuality increased nothing at all.

"Zukunftsmusik" - the German term means "Future Music" ie. empty, endless jam-tomorrow promises.
So how do you avoid being accused of issuing yet more "next year BMW will.."  Zukunftsmusik press releases ?
Simple !   Ganz einfach sogar !   Rely on a meekly uncritical media that sticks to your script, artfully avoids the use of the future tense and have almost every commentator misleadingly trumpet to the world that "BMW has increased the range of the i3 by n%" or "BMW increases the range of the i3 by.. "

Oops, sorry !  The i3 obviously needs to be renamed or rebranded "the 2017 i3" for this cunning linguistic, future-tense-dodging trick to work - thus:

"BMW has increased/increases the range of the '2017 i3' by n%"

And thus it is that dozens of carbon-copy chorus-line media outlets have yet again fallen over themselves to please the Bavarian Behemoth in the past fortnight by telling it like it isn't.
Repeat:   the fact is that BMW have actually done absolutely nothing in the present tense, or the past tense or the imperfect tense - except release yet another jam-tomorrow, Zukunfstmusik press statement craftily replacing the future tense with those "fait accompli" present and past tenses.

So when you read that "BMW have increased the range...." - please remember to substitute the deceit with the same old unspun truth:
"BMW and the rest of the world's carmakers WILL not deliver or allow disruptive giant-leap affordable range increases until 2017-2018".

Perhaps other large corporations should consider using the carmaker's ruse - the not-so-fast food industry for instance:

"McDonalds today announced that it has increased the size and egg-iness of its 2019 McMuffin by 27%".

But why stop there ?   Maybe people - individuals - not just giant corporations - should start making similar big deal PR announcements about themselves...
Here for instance is John Smith breaking a little hot exciting news to his boss:
John : Charles - I just wanted to announce that I have increased the productivity, performance and efficiency of the 2018 John Smith by 41%.

Charles : Great news John. But can I ask the obvious question ?   Why not do it now - straightaway ? Why not five years ago ? Also - you've been promising more or less the same thing for the past three decades.

John : It's very different this time Charles. These things take painstaking preparation, research and development.
One more thing Charles - given that I have improved the performance of the 2018 John Smith by 41% I will naturally be expecting a commensurate salary increase.

Charles : Naturally John. Whatever you say, John.
Oh, by the way - where's that sales report you promised me ? It was supposed to be on my desk yesterday...

John : It'll be ready tomorrow Charles - or the day after at the very latest..that's a promise. I'm obviously very busy right now working on the 2018 John Smith. Not to mention the even more disruptive and productive 2020 John Smith.

We can hardly wait....


Re-read Wired: "40 Years of Electric BMW's You Can't Buy"

The media tells it like it isn t:
1) BMW "has increased" the range etc:   all Google News reports
2) BMW "increases" range etc :       all Google News reports

As stated many times - you now have to look not to payrolled "journalists" but to comment-posters and occasionally bloggers if you're desperately seeking informed, fearless truth-telling on almost any corporately contentious subject.

Pedro's unpaid, "unprofessional'" comments at InsideEVs(March 2016) re the "2017" BMW i3's range pithily hit the bullseye:
"BMW could introduce a 200 EPA miles range i3 right now if they were serious about EVs."

Similarly, GM could have begun producing and selling the 200 mile/charge Bolt in late 2015/early 2016 if guns had been held to CEO heads - figuratively or otherwise. Recall that in April 2015 the Financial Times confirmed that:
"General Motors Has Resolved the Bolt's Technical Challenges".

A reminder too that EV's typically contain anywhere between 600-1200 fewer parts than their gasoline-guzzling Heath Robinson equivalents - parts that therefore don't need to be designed, sourced, tested, transported, stored, assembled etc.  Time and money saved. And even fewer excuses for endless pre-production procrastination.
And again - as far as the world's combustion-addicted carmakers are concerned, one major unspoken advantage of dangling that huge 200 mile/charge carrot for far too long ahead of time is that demand for and interest in the current crop of short-range EV's like the Leaf and Zoe can be significantly sapped or zapped for two or three years - as in:
"I'll stick with gasoline until the Bolt and Model 3 or the longer range i3 etc eventually arrive"

May, 2016

On sale in 2016: a 500km/charge affordable electric SUV/crossover.
Beating the Bolt and the Tesla Model 3/Y.
Why ?

- Because Chinese consumers just don't have the patience for year-after-next promises, dangling carrots and manana-bananas...

So the inevitable bad news once again..is that the EV500 aka Ev500 will naturally only be available in China.

Marco SUV 500km Yema EV500 boot Marco SUV 500km Yema EV500 Road front Marco SUV 500km Yema Ev500 not e500 Fiat
Take a close look at that 'registration' name-plate.  E500 ?  Not quite:  the 'v' may be barely visible - but please don't confuse the Yema EV500 with the Fiat 500EV or 500e or 500-e(whatever).

That's right EVUK'ers - our favourite Italian-exile-in-China Dr. Marco Loglio - Marchionne's nemesis - has contacted us with the it-had-to-happen news that he's currently helping Yema develop and road-test the aptly-named EV500 - a long-range(500km), $30,000(after incentives) successor to its slow-selling, short-range E70 crossover eSUV.

So - to save ourselves the effort, the grind, the graft and the time of drafting up yet another jocular journalistic joust on the subject of long-overdue long range, we'll instead simply serve up our recent unexpurgated email exchanges with Loglio for your delectation and delight.
After all, the NSA, CIA and countless corporate/automotivated troll-hackers have doubtless snooped, sneaked and stored said emails already(right guys?) - so why not share our deviantly disruptive correspondence with an even wider audience ?

But first !  A few words in defence of medium-not-monster-sized crossover SUV's and even minivans..
It's all about ride height:  higher seats are simply safer and healthier.
Safer  because higher seats provide a more commanding (over)view of the road, of potential hazards, pedestrians, cyclists.
Healthier  because higher seats mean that thighs and knees are more or less at a right-angle to the torso, the upper body - whereas in normal low-slung sedans the knees are higher than the coccyx - the base of the spine. The "coccyx crease" is more pronounced - ouch !
As a result, in low-to-the-road seats the nerves and blood vessels that pass through the base of the spine and the thighs are more stretched upwards - ergo under greater tension. Numbness and poor circulation can result.

In fact non-automotive ergonomic seats(eg. office chairs) are usually designed to ensure that the knees are positioned slightly below the base of the spine...which also means that back muscles are forced to work harder to keep the spine erect and vertical. Not very relaxing but very posture-pedic !

So no - higher or superior SUV/crossover ride-height is not necessarily (all) about "I look down on you" snobbery and snootiness - it can really also be seen as a distinct health and safety advantage.


Loglio - EVUK email exchanges(April-May) - Yema EV500:

Loglio :  I have attached some pictures of the final street-legal version of the Yema EV500 SUV crossover that now has 500km of range.   The car has a quite traditional powertrain with a maximum power of 75 Kw, max speed of 140 km/h and acceleration from zero to 100km/h in about 9 seconds.
The battery can be recharged from a 220V outlet in 8 hours and fast-charged in 30 minutes with a DC charger.
The battery pack has been developed with my personal contribution.   It boasts high energy density and low cost. The final price of the car is yet to be announced but it should be around 40,000 USD before incentives. More news for you as soon as I'm authorized to release it.

EVUK :  It's worth noting of course that the EV in recent history that SHOULD have been disruptive was the original Toyota RAV4 EV - a mid-sized SUV(1997-2004).
Plus ca change...

Indeed it was primarily because the world's media (outside of California & Japan) totally refused to report Toyota's RAV4 EV(eSUV) that we actually set up EVUK around 1999-2000.
The RAV4 was also the first EV we ever drove. But even when it was used for three years by the police, fire services and a car rental company exclusively on the island of Jersey 50 miles south of the UK(near France) - the media refused to talk about it.    Despite the fact that the police and holiday-makers LOVED it. We contacted many major media outlets in the UK/Europe at the time(BBC, Guardian, Telegraph, The Independent, Der Spiegel..) - all refused to mention or report Toyota's RAV4 EV at all.  Despite even the fact that for years it was Tom Hanks' favourite car(video). And California's/Hollywood's favourite EV. Still scandalous and still largely blanked out after all these years.
Plus ca change - plus c'est la meme putain chose.
Deja SUV VU.
Yema Ev500 Gimped in ever-so macho Black Anyway Marco - are there any plans to produce the Yema EV500 in ever-so macho-male-masculine black at all ?

Loglio :  Sure, colour is no problem. The real challenge is the ability of a small company like Yema to effectively introduce any electric SUV to a wide, regional or nationwide market.
Even in China and with a much-needed long-range SUV like this it still involves a lot of marketing effort and after-sales service.
It will probabaly initially be sold locally in Sichuan province where Yema is based and in some other city where there are already efficient distributors in situ.
Anyway this car really does deserve to be successful.  It looks and feels nice and is very well-equipped. Previous versions have received mostly positive reviews(apart from their lower range).

Marco SUV 500km Yema EV500 at wheel parked Marco SUV 500km Yema EV500 bonnet front

EVUK :  Marco - you may have seen that Edmunds.com put out a report in April claiming that EV owners are switching back from electric and green cars to gasoline-powered SUVs and crossovers.   The report was of course eagerly repeated and regurgitated by dozens of echo-chamber and largely pro-ICE media outlets.

Astonishing how neither Edmunds.com or their colluding chorus-line failed to reach the self-evident conclusion that (wannabe) EV owners are clearly screaming out for the obvious green option that is still being proactively denied them:    ie. an affordable, long-range SUV or crossover like the Yema EV500.
Carmakers as sure as hell know that's exactly what consumers want and what the market needs right now.  Globally - beyond spoilt-for-choice China.
Remember too that 2015 was declared "Year of the SUV" by many of the world's car manufacturers - including Mercedes.

And recall that Nissan has dangled and re-dangled the possibility of a leafy-green all-electric Qashqai twice in the past two years(but sadly no e-Juke) :   firstly in October 2013(see Autocar UK) - then again in March 2015(see Autoexpress UK).


Part II of Loglio-EVUK Email Exchanges re the Yema EV SUV-crossover(.. and another low-cost mystery range-breaker - read on)

Loglio :  While in the rest of the world long range and low cost electric vehicles are still a promise or a dream, in China things really are moving now.
I have more exclusive news for you today that a company called Baoqi, based in Tianjin city is soon - this year not next year - going to launch a compact but inside very roomy and versatile 5-seater electric car with a range of up to 500 km(300-500km) and a cost after incentives that will start at just 8.000 Euro.

Baoqi 500km_Range China Solar Marco Marco 500km Range Baoqi EV

  Remember that I am 1.90cm tall(6ft 3in) but this vehicle looks and feels more spacious and taller inside than it looks from the outside.  I have driven the car personally several times and found it very comfortable not least because the square or straight-sided design means you have a lot of width and space at shoulder height.
The car's dimensions are 348x157x167 cm - wheel-base 233 cm.
There is also a very practical cargo version - see photos.
Baoqi 500km Range China Cargos Marco Baoqi 500km Range China Dash Marco

  I have visited this company(Baoqi) and we are now also working on a project to create the first long range EV that also sports a prototype portable and foldable or expandable solar roof of my own design that can feed about 50-100 miles worth of "free" solar energy back into the car's batteries whilst for example the car is parked at the owner's workplace.

Obviously the problem with having solar panels (only) on the roof of your house is that if - like most people - you park your EV at your workplace most days you will need a substantial battery storage system at home to charge your car overnight and to power your home.
Also:  this solar car version is set to get a lithium ion battery pack engineered by my company MLCA Ltd.
As I said, this roof solar system is still at the prototype stage and we're still looking for angel investors from anywhere in the world.
It is really a green and clean EV charging option for enthusiasts - for people who for environmental or ethical reasons want to charge their cars as far as possible directly from the sun and avoid using electricity from coal, nuclear, natural gas etc from the grid.
Attached are some pics of the car in the company show room.

EVUK :  Marco - I'm guessing you'd need the help of a billionaire or Impossible Magician to export, import or teleport a Yema or Baoqi long-ranger to Europe or America given all of the anti-Chinese automotive protectionism in place around the world ?
Or maybe a wealthy Qatari or Dubai-based EV-owning oiligarch might be up for it - the country and region seems to be developing a genuine taste for electric mobility and solar energy - PV, concentrated solar(CSP) and geothermal.

But it is odd, to say the least, how relatively fragile non-Chinese EV's like the Morgan EV3, the G-Wiz and even the good 'ole Corbin Sparrow had no problem sailing through every safety, road-worthiness and homologation test out there - yet if any of those vulnerable pint-sized lightweights were to be hit by any one-tonne-plus vehicle on the road at 35+ mph their poorly protected EV-owners could surely kiss goodbye to life as they once knew it.
Who wouldn't feel a whole lot safer in the Yema and Baoqi EV's which after all are based on, inspired by or copied from the VW Tiguan and the now discontinued Suzuki Alto.
Ah yes- imitation is the sincerest form of flattery - so if any non-Chinese carmakers - Fiat, BMW, VW, Ford, Toyota, Kia etc - are similarly just itching to roll-out long-overdue affordable long-range EV's like the Yema SUV-crossover and Baoqi's versatile 5-seater/cargo EV - they should feel free to imitate, emulate and copy these two range-breaking, price-busting companies Yema and Baoqi asap. Their Chinese chiefs or CEO's would feel sincerely flattered for sure, right Marco ?

Loglio :  Firstly - regarding exporting cars from China:  to start with you need a special export license that is very difficult to get and especially for homologated EV's that are subject to incentives from the government. Some of Yema's gasoline-powered cars are probably going to be sold in South America and Africa. The USA and Europe ban the import of Chinese made cars, if they don't comply with their many regulations and requirements.
So yes - you really would need a billionaire to start the legal export/import of this car.
He would need to change a lot of components and pass the European homologation test which would cost around a million Euro.

EVUK :  So maybe an EVangelical Dubai billionaire or a very talented magician would be the best bet.  But then again - even Warren Buffett has failed or refused to export the 200+ mile/charge Chinese BYD e6 worldwide despite the burgeoning success of London taxi company Thriev's thriving fleet(video).
But again - it still seems bizarre that the likes of the Morgan EV3, the G-Wiz and the Corbin Sparrow managed to sail through all of the road-worthiness regulations and homologation requirements whilst clearly far safer Chinese EV's are globally blocked and blockaded by insurmountable barriers and hurdles.

Finally, and once again:   to all those who have been successfully programmed and propagandized to view most news out of China with scepticism, cynicism or outright sino-phobia - a reminder that range-busting Marco Loglio is a former VP of ThunderSky - the Chinese company that supplied the long-range, robust batteries for Imperial College's almost legendary 26,000km Pan-American SRZero EV odyssey - one of BBC World's all-time most popular serialized documentaries.

Renowned UK company Frazer Nash helped prepare the battery management system for the SRZero's ThunderSky cells - see video.

More recently in 2012 Loglio - together with Global Vantage Power - set a (then) range record of 801km driving a converted all-electric Chinese Zotye version of the Fiat Multipla at normal traffic speeds from Shenzhen to Nanning - see our exclusive TV video report.
Contact Dr. Marco Loglio via his Linkedin pages.

April, 2016

EDF v Aquafuel Logos Formula E(DF) - Aquafuel taboo continues in pre-ePrix Paris.

"Who's the Silly Billy, Daddy ?!"

Confused ?  You're meant to be...

Picture the scene:   Sitting room. Anywhere. N'importe où.
Silly Billy Believes Nuclear Dad v Aquafuel TV dinner on laps(appropriately). Formula E(DF) ePrix in progress in Paris.
Date:   April 23rd aka April Fools' Fuel Day - don't believe everything you don't  read...

Billy(aged 71/4) learns where the truth lies.
From Daddy:

Billy : Daddy - what's EDF ?

Daddy : It makes the electricity that charges the race cars Billy. The batteries.

Billy : But my friend Jamie said that they use something you can drink !

Daddy : What ?  Don't be silly Billy !  That's complete nonsense ! Where did Jamie see that ?

Billy : On the internet. On Youtube.

Daddy : Oh dear !  I've told you loads of times you need to be careful about all that silly nonsense you read on the internet Billy. Lots of it's just made up rubbish. Daddy would know about it if it was true.
The cars use nice clean nuclear power - but you can't drink it ! Look - there's a big banner by the track that says "EDF". That's nuclear - not a drink !
Now eat your dinner and drink your Kool-Aid...I mean lemonade !

Billy : Dad !  Fuku...Fuku...Fukushi..wasn't that a nukulear disaster in Japan Daddy ?  In Fuksushi..Fukshinobill or summfing ?  Or was that in Russia ?

Daddy : No Billy - that was a tsunami and an earthquake and a great big wave that killed lots of people.
Now eat your dinner, fill your face and watch the race.

Billy : Dad !  Look - my tablet says that a man called Agag drank some of that nuckulear energy on Youtube out of a glass.

Daddy : I told you it's internet rubbish Billy !   Agag ?  It sounds like a made-up name !   A gag more like !  Get it ? A gag means it's just a big joke !  Probably an April Fool !

Now enough silly questions Billy - finish your dinner. And don't forget Mummy uses nice clean nuclear power to cook our food too - just like the race cars !
So - it's good enough to eat - not just drink, right ?    Remember - Daddy knows best - not the internet or Youtube or your smart tablet.   Your dad's a lot smarter than all of that lot !    I went to college, remember ? !

Refresh your memory with a refeshing energy drink:
Drink AquafuelAgag Drinks Aquafuel YoutubeAquafuel and Champs Champagne Mumm WordDrink Aquafuel
Recall that in March a Formula E source(an anon FIA-FE Facebook administrator..) emailed EVUK to say that our "please re-publicize Aquafuel in Paris" plea had been officially deemed "a good idea". Officially in the office, at least.
EDF have obviously officially disagreed.
And what's more - they hold political office   ie. they're 85% government-owned.
(See "EDF Partners with the Visa Paris ePrix- Formula E", April 11th)

More Kool-Aid, anyone ?

FE Paris postscript:   deeply green viewers and fans were treated to a surprisingly robust, nuclear-free Earth Day & Race Day response from Agag, Todt & Co(even Aquafuel got some rare air-time)

After the ominous above-cited April 11 press announcement most of us had fully expected to see a circuit, a podium and media-rostrum festooned with "EDF : VISA" ads - but in the event almost nothing nuclear caught the eye and this extremely divisive hot-button issue was very sensitively, sensibly and stealthily dealt with by race organisers.  Respect !
So can EVUK claim some of the credit or blame, please, VISA ?   Is a debt of gratitude not owed ?
All of our research and searching indicates that no other commentators, journalists or even bloggers have dared to touch the EDF-FE-EV nuclear question at all and of course none - excuse our French - have risked positively P!$$ing on the Paris Parade.

- Aquafuel gets honorable mention in Formula E's "Earth Day Top 21 Eco Inventions" video (at 1m 38s).
(But why on Earth does Youtube prelude even this video with ads for petrol/diesel cars ?!)

April, 2016

France's(Fessenheim) Nuclear Site Offer to Tesla:  Musk must be surely tempted - or sorely torn..
- he's not yet said no...and yet to say yes.

By Royal Invitation...
Circled France_59_Nuclear_Reactors 85% Gov ownedPhoenix Supercharged Soar Solar
From Fessenheim to Phénix to Superphénix - could a supercharged EV-PV Phoenix rise from the nuclear ashes? Segolene Royal - French Enviro Energy Minister

"Tesla has been invited by Ségolène Royal, France?s Minister of Environment and Energy, to transform the Fessenheim power plant into a European factory." (Newsweek, Europe)

It is spookily intriguing - even gratifying - to note that this offer to Musk came just a month after we posted up our cage- and sabre-rattling pièce de persistence titled:
"Nuclear Powers France's EV Prowess - but FE Race Cars are Positively Nuke-Free"
- juggling and juxtaposing France's EDF, nuclear power, Formula E's Aquafuel, the upcoming(April 23) FE ePrix race in Paris as well as Tesla, renewables, solar and Solarcity.
And that timely pot-pourri of hot or taboo topics also - by sheer spooky coincidence - included caustic criticism of the seismically senseless and foolishly fault-lined Fessenheim reactor located on the French-German border - ie. slap-bang-wallop in the centre of Europe.

Tesla to Fessenheim Reactor_Seismic_EDF Alors Elon - Allons y ?

The problem for Musk of course - the toxic PR trap - is that a move to Fessenheim(right) would almost inevitably force him to publicly and unequivocally state his (evolving ?) position with respect to nuclear power and more importantly to nuclear waste - a personal "coming out" that is far more likely to divide than conquer his fan-base and his new-found but fickle corporate/financial/political backers, enablers, protectors.

But if Musk does accept the Royal invitation - why stop at Fessenheim ?
What about the abandoned fast-breeder SuperPhénix and Phénix sites 150-250 miles S.West of Fessenheim ?
Could not new "fast-breeding"  green industries - successful, sustainable and profitable - rise out of those atomic ashes ?

And we're not just referring to EV and battery factories.  Why not establish both EV and PV ventures ?
Solarcity - which Musk co-manages with his cousins - could for instance be rapidly expanded into nuclear-dominated France and throughout sunny central and southern Europe along with Tesla's many other job- and hope-creating Giga-enterprises.

What say you, Ségolène ?

Although Solarcity is not a solar/PV manufacturer per se, the company - "America's Nr. 1 Solar Provider" - could serve to re-energize and re-monetize France's decommissioned or dodo-dead nuclear sites by transforming them into solar/PV installation, training, warehouse and distribution hubs - creating a nationwide network of Superphénix Solar Centres.

Or perhaps Tesla could build a Super-Giga-Factory to produce "SuperPhoenix Superchargers" for the European EV+PV market.

And at last the mythical (plutonium-free) Phoenix could soar proudly skywards once again - and the shambolic ?5 billion-plus shame of the Phénix and SuperPhénix fast-breeder fiascos could be powerfully redressed, remedied and redeemed.

But is this all pie in the sky - as in 'pigs might fly' ?
Maybe - but anyone who thinks the sky's the limit for Mr. SpaceX has obviously been living on another planet.   Musk is clearly as keen to preserve and improve life here on Earth as he is to bring life to Mars(or to green the Red Planet) - so the more potentially life-destroying or life-threatening Damoclean nuclear sites he can reclaim and reincarnate the better.

So who wouldn't want Musk to accept Royal's request ?   If there's anything - short of a miracle - that could help restore the legend of the Phoenix to its former, pre-EDF glory and sanctity - it has to be the spirit of Tesla.
(California's and Croatia's)

April, 2016

Formula E:   DS Virgin Technical Director Sylvain Filippi Bemoans Better-Battery-Ban..on Chat-E live TV to a global audience

Watch Chat-E clip collage

Yes, of course, Mr. Filippi(a "petrol-head turned electric-head") treads carefully and speaks very diplomatically in a predictably guarded, professional, job-preserving fashion.
But the underlying, understated frustration is palpable.

Clearly - if one FE team's Technical Director aka Chief Technical Officer is willing to let slip this much and speak this candidly on air - and let the batt-cat out of the bag if you will - then just imagine how much more un-broadcastably truthful his and his colleagues' battery-related remarks are likely to sound off-air, behind closed doors, off-the-cuff and off-the-record.
Time to Revolt guys.   Rise up and down tools. Swap 'em for cutlasses, mount a mechanics' mutiny and hang the planks overboard.
The usual suspects, the permanent procrastinators, long-range refuseniks and carrot-danglers can sink or swim - but please, me 'arties, set the ePrix free and overturn this retrograde "not till season five" back-tracking, better-battery-ban...
(Does Formula E really still need BMW's and VW's sponsorship now that so many infinitely more credible companies are backing the event ?  And who on earth wants that hybrid interloper - the BMW i8 safety car - intervening in an all-electric race series ?!)
Breaking News(
Bloomberg, 19 April):   Three more BMW EV / i8 execs jump ship - quitting Germany(Bavaria) for China !


- Watch full FE Long Beach Chat-E
- Petrol-head turned electric-head - see Eureka magazine interview with Virgin's Sylvain Filippi.

(April 2:  see Post-Reveal Red Alert Postscript Pics below)
March-April, 2016

Tesla Model 3-Years-Too-Late*  Unveiling(31. March) Battery life-expectancy/cycle life - 150,000 miles or half a million++ ?
Will Musk finally confirm and clarify - and not just speak of warranties ?

(*3 Years Too Late to be deemed disruptive:   indeed, if anything, Tesla and GM are disrupting and diminishing demand for current shorter range EVs by forever dangling and not delivering - as in:   "I'll stick with gasoline until the Bolt and Model 3 eventually/finally arrive")

Tesla Model 3 Design Prediction ChinTesla Model 3 Design_Prediction Stumpf
A Tesla Tease or Two  - a couple of designers(Chin & Stumpf) imagined these Model 3's.  So how good was their guesswork ?   We won't know the truth...till April the 1st.

As we've stated many times:   battery life-span and/or cycle life have now replaced affordable long range as the top EV taboo topic throughout the old/new media jungle.

Payrolled scribblers and their editors increasingly leave it up to citizen comment-posters to tease out and tackle taboo topics for them in order to avoid raising the wrath of powerful corporate/financial/state institutions.

And EV manufacturers and dealers clearly don't relish the idea of millions of super-savvy consumers lurking round showrooms or motorshows asking tauntingly inconvenient questions such as:

"Potassium ion batteries have been proven to be good for more than a million charges or charge cycles.   So d'you have any idea if Nissan or Renault etc are working to tailor and optimize them for EV's ?
If not - why not ? Being able to drive x-million miles in the same car would be a slam-dunk of a selling point don't you think ? A car could become almost a family heirloom - handed down from generation to generation. You'd be an idiot or addict not to switch to electric if or when EV's offer twice or thrice an ICE lifespan, wouldn't you ? "

But again:   battery life-expectancy - in terms of years and charge cycles - is a key issue that directly affects the per-mile cost of motoring in the now - in the present tense.
Yet resale value and depreciation are fundamental financial factors which are almost always "forgotten" or omitted from cost-of-driving calculations and discussions.

And battery and cycle life are also never or very rarely mentioned by those countless commentators who understandably criticize EV's on the grounds that they cost more to buy new than petrol/diesel vehicles.
Sorry press-people - but if your EV's (and Model 3's ?) batteries are good for 300,000+ miles you won't be needing to buy a new car for another 15-20 years and even then - between years 2030-2040 - you'll have the option of simply and economically replacing your car's old cells with a far superior pack - and not necessarily lithium - that'll run for at least half a million miles. (Provided of course that an informed and vocal public finally start exerting relentless planet-wide pressure on carmakers to deliver not just real range but ever-longer battery-life)

See Wiki Rechargeable Battery Cycle Lifespan comparisons & charts. (Wikipedians !   You forgot to mention Power Japan Plus and Limerick + Wollongong Universities' range-doubling Germanium breakthroughs...)

So - given the number of battery chemistries - experimental or otherwise - that have already successfully endured 3000 to a million or more charge cycles with less than 15% capacity loss - few humans alive today will ever technically or of necessity have to purchase more than three electric cars for personal or family use during their entire lifetime here on Earth - accidents and freak circumstances permitting.
Or unless(do we digress?) genetic engineering  and gene therapy  - as expected and predicted - finally succeed in extending human life-expectancy  beyond 120-150-180++ years...for those who can afford it.

Hmm. Human life-expectancy/extension versus battery life-expectancy/extension - can we expect parallel quantum leaps in both realms at last ?

But back to the present - lest we digress irretrievably:
- the public must surely now grasp the fact that if a car's batteries have been tested and widely proven to be good for 300,000+ miles with minimal range-loss, owners will have few problems selling their vehicle for a decent, tidy sum somewhere between the 50,000 and 100,000 mile mark - as most from-new car-owners generally do or would like to.

To state the obvious(because most journalists refuse to) - if your EV's cells are (in)famous for fading fast after 130,000 miles you'll inevitably be forced to sell it on for significantly less(think £5,000-£10,000) - than the 300,000 mile, long-cell-life EV that - with hindsight - you'll wish you'd bought instead.
The key taboo point here needs to be repeated ad nauseam:   the mile-for-mile cost of EV driving and ownership can only be calculated retrospectively when the owner eventually succeeds in reselling his (one-time) pride and joy x-thousand miles and y-years down the road.

So Elon - will the Model 3 boast significantly elongated battery-life ?
Compared, for instance, to GM's Bolt or even Dyson's Sakti3-powered Mystery-Maybe-EV
Or BYD's very taxingly-tested, long-life(6000+ cycles, 20 yrs) e6 workhorse ?Musk Laughs at BYD e6 on Bloomberg  TV Hu
A good time perhaps to re-enjoy our classic Musk Laughs at BYD Bloomberg clip & Fully Charged's e6 Thriev taxi test-drive.

No-one is expecting or demanding perpetual Prussian Blue Potassium performance(ie. a million or more charge cycles) - but why doesn't Tesla do what BYD did five years ago already and post up detailed battery lifespan charts, graphs and cycle life test-data ?   (see BYD Tech pdf files)
Will our burning battery question be unleashed at the unveiling of the Tesla Model 3 on March 31st - and as often as possible thereafter ?

As several con cojones  commentators and comment-posters have said - Musk may have his high-volume Gigafactories...but when will we have long-range and long-life  Gigabatteries ?

Postscript:  Tesla Model 3 - April 1st(in Europe) Unveil:  Latest Breaking & Rolling News - one click.
Red Alert post-postscript:  Theophilus Chin(see above left) guessed best - but both sooths were spot-on colour-wise at least...
Tesla Model 3 Red Alert Unveil Real III April 1

March, 2016

Positive Paris Piece Postscript - re FE-Aquafuel-Nuclear.   And Mexico...at last a dedicated (F1) )race-track hosts Formula E !(Saturday, March 12th, ITV Schedule)

A little bird has told us - from the horse's mouth(sorry but we never reveal our horses' sources) - that our "please re-publicize Aquafuel in Paris" plea(see February piece below) has been officially deemed "a good idea".

But whether or not Aquafuel and nuclear/EDF will indeed be removed from TV presenters' and reporters' don't go there guidelines and taboo-lists is by no means un fait accompli.

What would Charlie as in Hebdo do ?
Is it OK, CH, to criticize Islam and satirize Mohammed - but a heinous heresy and sackable sacrilege to impugn or even mention nuclear power and France's Almighty Atomic EDF ?

Mexico FE footnotes:
- the sun-drenched country derives just 4% of its electricity from nuclear - but plans are afoot to add new reactors to its euphemistically-named Laguna Verde site.   Laguna Verde - Green Lake !?    A green-wash euphemism par excellence - just begging for an aquatic apocalypse to happen ?   Add the fact that "lake" is just one instant anagram away from "leak" - and fate's irony is surely-sorely being tempted to the max.

(Lake-Leak-Link:   Lake Karachay near Mayak, Russia - along with the Mediterranean Sea - have been rated amongst the "10 Most Radioactive Places on Earth" by the highly-regarded Blacksmith Institute.    See video and text.   Or ask your travel agent for details...)

- a Formula E first:  the Mexican ePrix will not be a city street-race but a fully-fledged (F1) autodrome race-circuit event(Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez).
Whilst the Berlin Tempelhof circuit was/is a more or less dedicated FE race-track the Mexican venue really marks a milestone and sets an important escape-from-the-city ePrix precedent.
So no credible excuses now for not taking Formula E to India's top-rated Buddh circuit - as we suggested in our Sept 2014 "FE Wish List" piece.  Sure, street racing is intense and engaging - but variety is the spice of life and India - like Mexico - is bursting with both.

FE Mexico_Preview_Shields_007_SpectreFE 007 Mexico Preview_Shields_007_Spectre
Video:  Nicki Shields' Mexico preview just had to include...a very skeletal, spectral, un-dead Bond/007...

A slightly off-topic aside-note:    the focus of our last two EVUK pieces has been on FE's Aquafuel/green energy versus nuclear and EDF.
But the fairly recent FIA announcement that new batteries will not be allowed until season FIVE finally gives the lie  to any illusions that the ePrix race series is all about speeding up the transfer of game-changing EV tech-advances into consumer vehicles(got that Dario & Co ?).

It's also as clear as it ever was that the automotive establishment - in particular BMW and VW - are in reality as incurably, pathologically opposed to the roll-out of affordable, long range, beyond-niche EV's as they ever were.
BMW in particular is notorious for extending its corporate-control tenticles into anything and everything that it sees as a serious threat to the primacy of the Internal Combustion Engine.   And anything it rates as a serious green PR or greenwash opportunity.

Recall again that in 2013 after the FE race-car's Frankfurt press unveiling it was widely reported that new batteries would be permitted in season TWO - ref this from The Engineer (Oct,2013)
"The organisers will make Formula E an open series in its second year which means that each team will be free to develop its own car with whatever configuration of motor, batteries and charging systems that they believe will give them the biggest advantage in the race."
So new cells in season FIVE not TWO.   Yet more preposterous long-grass EV procrastination - with 'BMW' and 'VW' written all over it.   Back-tracking not fast-tracking.   And as always, our silent, compliant, commercially compromised media looks the other way and pretends not to notice.   Indeed Formula E is barely or rarely being reported at all - especially by local car-ad-dependent media/newspapers.

Top Taboo TV Truth(ssh!):   be in no doubt that if Tesla were running the show with Musk in charge,  FE race cars would have been delivering at least 50% more range from Day One, Season One - and would be tearing round the track at full power levels.

Nonetheless Formula E, with its ever-expanding global TV reach will - crucially - help wake-up the dormant demographic and every year will persuade millions more Rip Van Winkles and EV Virgins(not just Sir Branson)  for the very first time to Google search or Duck-Duck-Go those all-important keywords "electric vehicle + electric car" ...

Oh - and whilst we are slightly digressing - it does also look as if FE has not only rated our "please re-publicize Aquafuel" as "a good idea" - it seems the series will almost certainly be heading to India - and Delhi no less. (See EVUK's 2014 ahead-of-the-curve "FE Wish-List" and ITV's Mexico 2016 Chat-E)
Whether street circuit or Buddh race-track - who knows ?   The Buddh stadium would be a whole lot easier, cheaper and quicker even as a stop-gap...and the series' several gaping 5-7 week hiatuses do urgently need plugging....watch this space/hiatus.

February, 2016

Formula E's Paris Spring :   formidable !
Nuclear powers France's EV prowess - but FE race cars are positively nuke-free.

Nuclear Notes:  

   - The French government owns 85% of EDF shares and electricity prices are kept artificially low - making it difficult for green to compete.  See Wiki "Nuclear Power in France".
   - 75% of France's electricity is nuclear - from 59 reactors: the highest in the world. Contrast that with February's Formula E host Argentina (Buenos Aires) where just 10% of power is nuclear-sourced.
À propos "Buenos Aires/Good Airs":  it was good to see ITV's FE host Nicki Shields break a virtual green energy race-day silence with a full-blown environmental intro and overview of the ePrix's most crucial ecological raison d'etre which included some unusually bold contributions from several (male) drivers. Can we repeat this in Paris please guys ?

   - France has 59 active reactors(see map) and imports around 10,500 tonnes of uranium every year. (=energy independence ?!)
   - since 1993 the dumping of nuclear waste into the sea in containers/barrels has - officially and in theory at least - been banned worldwide.   France dodged the unpolice-able ban by pumping waste out through mile long pipes - most notoriously into the English Channel.
Worse still, the nuclear industry has long wanted to resume or re-legalize the dumping of toxic waste into the world's oceans and the global (on paper) ban is up for review in 2018.   See: "The Disposal of Nuclear Waste Into the World's Oceans"(CBRNePortal) and the truth-exhuming documentary "Radioactive Waste: Dumped and Forgotten"(National Geographic - broadcast in France and Germany but not in Britain).

Aqueous solution v aqueous pollution:   do the words "green glycerine" and "Aquafuel" mean anything to all but a few Formula E fans or Parisians ?
Although the the country's current administration has promised a gradual withdrawal from nuclear the French public were long ago sold the TINA myth - that There Is No Alternative to nuclear power for France.

- But there are now countless price-competitive, even cost-slashing, ingeniously green alternatives. Here for example is what Aquafuel chief executive Paul Day told BusinessGreen in 2011:
"... glycerine could power everything from generators to ships... a saltwater algae pond the size of Switzerland would meet global energy demand." (GreenBiz)

Champ Ardenne Bury Waste 100000Years 59 Reactors France
Champagne-Ardenne:   Mumm's the word.  Yumm certainly isn't.
 Here's how EDF is working to bury the globally unresolved problem of highly toxic nuclear waste for the next 100,000+ years in N. Eastern France.
A groundwater, gastronomic disaster just waiting to happen ?   Enriched paté washed down with a little isotopic cocktail of champagne, caesium, strontium and iodine anyone ?
Remember that Japan is a relatively isolated island nation - unlike France where a major meltdown or two of the Fukushima-Chernobyl kind would almost certainly contaminate and devastate neighbouring Germany and most of central Europe - ecologically and economically.  Especially if it were to happen at the notorious Fessenheim reactor site which is cleverly located on the Franco-German border on a seismic fault-line and shifting tectonic plates.
See "How France is disposing of its nuclear waste"(BBC News)

Yet how many Formula E viewers, spectators or even drivers - in fission-fuelled France or elsewhere - will be aware that the series' race cars couldn't move an inch were it not for Aquafuel's unusually green and innovative alternative to both nuclear and fossil fuel - glycerine ?
This more-or-less carbon-neutral and abundant biofuel by-product can also be farmed through the use of salt-water algae and the UK company is pioneering its development with the help of Greenergy.
So how come the company's name is still on the tip of virtually no-one's  tongue ?

That's right - strangely and all-too predictably - no Formula E commentator, presenter, journalist or spokesperson ever mentions the fact that FE's race cars are recharged using this ingeniously green and innovative energy source.
Agag Drinks Aquafuel Youtube Sure, FE's Alejandro Agag did put out this one-off "A Fuel Good Enough to Drink" video just over a year ago(Feb '15 - click pic) - but the fact is that Aquafuel has not been re-mentioned or accorded any TV screen-space, placement or air-time since then: in the FIA's latest nine hour Buenos Aires('good airs' or 'fair winds') full event video, for instance, the word "Aquafuel" is once again nowhere to be seen or heard.

Will the silence be broken in still nuclear-addicted France on April 23rd ?   Will the public be reminded of the fact that the Paris-based FIA are saying "Non" to oil, gas, coal AND nuclear for Formula E ?
Will they be alerted to the fact that not one single gramme of the 10,500 tonnes of uranium that France imports each year will be powering Renault's Formula E race cars ?

Hmm.  And will any ITV or Fox FE commentator, contributor or presenter risk jeopardizing their exotic ePrix careers by quoting those above-cited, eye-opening nuke-nixing comments from Aquafuel's Peter Day ?
As already mentioned, ITV's roving and roaming Formula E reporter Nicki Shields did break a virtual green energy race-day silence with an astonishingly, refreshingly ballsy and bullish eco-intro and overview of the ePrix's most crucial ecological raison d'etre which also included numerous - by TV standards - bold-as-brass contributions from several (male) drivers.
Can we repeat this green-themed defiance in Charlie Hebdo's Paris please guys ?
No-one would surely dare dismiss, sack, fire or even discipline the exquisitely, televisually essential Ms. Shields(brains, beauty, science graduate..) for simply telling the naked, nukeless truth, n'est-ce pas ?

Let's emphasize the positive by all means but - nous sommes tous Charlie H. now - certain familiar deafening silences and atomic taboos - are once again simply screaming to be broached and broken by someone, somewhere as Formula E's Parisian Spring approaches.

Nuclear nonchalence, laisser-faire nucléaire...
Even in May 2001, a decade before Fukushima, an Ipsos poll(Nuclear in France, Wiki) found that 56% of the French population thought that a ' Chernobyl-like accident' could occur in France(que sera sera et cetera?) - yet 70% of the population still had a 'good opinion' of nuclear power although 56% also preferred not to live near a nuclear plant.
But it can't be easy being a post-Fukushima Nuclear NIMBY in an EU nation with 59 Damoclean reactors - plus La Hague's monstrous spent-fuel reprocessing plant.

Positively, Monaco's Formula E loss or withdrawal is assuredly the capital's gain - and represents one more triumphant EV victory and vindication not just for Agag, Todt and the FIA - but also, posthumously, for one of the boldest, most high profile and perhaps most unlikely corporate EV and green car campaigners of all time - Edouard Michelin(RIP/Race In Peace) who - as we've insisted on re-reporting many times in memoriam and possibly ad nauseam - died in exceedingly mysterious and suspicious - indeed fishy - circumstances in 2006 a year or so after a very acrimonious split with Formula One's anti-green fossil-fuelled Ecclestonian dinosaurs, dodos and die-hards.

But the upcoming ePrix Parisian pièce de résistance confirms and highlights once again the global truism that the promotion and advancement of electric cars - or lack of it - as well as the (un)willingness of countries and cities to host Formula E seems all-too often to depend on the ability of the nuclear industry - not environmentalists - to counteract the power that oil companies, their lobbyists and advertising agencies have always enjoyed and deployed to critically influence the political, media and corporate/financial establishment at the local, regional and (inter)national level.

Core Connections:
Decentralized, devolved, disruptive, distributed diversity...green power from the people/peuple, to the people, by the people and shared between the people.
Now more than ever - it is the only genuinely sustainable, smart alternative to nuclear, oil, gas and coal.

But in France it's clearly still nuclear and 85%-state-owned EDF - not fossil fuel - that rule the roost and the Republic.
In stark contrast for example to neighbouring Spain, Alejandro Agag's homeland, where Repsol still calls the shots and feeds the population's increasing crank'n'piston addiction.

And whilst Agag and FE organisers are undoubtedly committed to 100% genuinely green, renewable energy, the Paris race venue clearly exposes an unspoken dilemma and disharmony in nuclear-dominated France.
So far a diplomatic, pre-Fukushima-like, smiles-all-around silence has been the universal, FIA and media response to the nuclear elephant in every room and dans toutes les rues.
Sure - French president Francois Hollande has pledged to reduce the nation's 75% nuclear dependency to 50% by 2025. But without persistent pressure from the public the IAEA and its legions of lobbyists and enforcers will assuredly stop at almost nothing to delay or prevent a nuclear retreat en France.

Recall that the French-Japanese EDF-Nissan-Renault alliance had no qualms about visibly capitalizing on the "clean" (or Damoclean)  energy opportunity presented by the COP21 climate talks in Paris in December last.

So will EDF(not to be confused with EDF.org - the Environmental Defense Fund !) opt to slip back into behind-the-scenes string-pulling invisibility come April 23 and Formula E in spring-time Paris ?
Or will we see the capital's city-centre circuit loudly and proudly emblazoned and festooned with EDF hoardings and banner-ads at every risqué curve, dicey bend and hair-raising hairpin ?
Surely not !   Let's hope that instead we will finally see the words 'Aquafuel' and 'Greenergy' splashed across TV screens.

And given that FE's Agag and friends have already demonstrated on Youtube that Aquafuel's glycerine is literally good enough to drink - why not have the ePrix race-day victors quaff a glass or two of fuel with their champions' champagne on the Parisian podium en printemps  ?

Drink AquafuelAquafuel and Champs Champagne Mumm WordDrink Aquafuel
Aguafuel  -  good enough to drink...but Mumm's still the word.


Still Unclear re Nuclear ?
- Then why not watch the following three hard-hitting documentaries that every earth-responsible, amnesia-prone adult should probably view at least twice a year:

   - Nova TV: "Nuclear Meltdown Disaster"
...a bicycle inner-tube(!) and salvaged tsunami-wrecked car-batteries (see video at: 31m 48s) were used in a desperate effort to prevent imminent reactor explosions and leaks that would have rendered even Tokyo uninhabitable for decades.

   - "Nuclear Exodus"
...features numerous contributions from an unusually emotional Elon Musk as well as an impassioned, almost tearful, post-Fukushima address(at: 1h.47m.10s) by Japanese ex-PM Naoto Kan denouncing and renouncing nuclear power and calling for a rapid transition to solar and renewables.(NB: the first 4-5 mins of this lengthy wake-up-call documentary may be a little too religiously-loaded for devout agnostics and earth-responsible pagans...but the rest is compulsive/compulsory viewing)

  -  "The Battle of Fukushima"
...a battle that spans the globe:   France still has 5 more nuclear reactors than second-placed Japan

   - "The 10 Most Radioactive Places On Earth"
...the Mediterranean Sea is on this widely reported list compiled by the highly-regarded Blacksmith Institute.  Ask your travel agent for details..


Alors et voilà !    Sorry Agag, Prost, Todt, Senna, Renault and Nissan - but deafening silence and head-in-the-sand denial are not an option.
Nuclear is not only unnecessary - it is an outlandishly expensive, outdated, uninsurable, un-dynamic, superfluous, job-killing Damoclean, security-risk nightmare that continues to slow, stall, stifle and stymie the full-blown expansion of a hugely diverse range of economically and ecologically viable green-tech, green energy and energy-saving alternatives.

- "More than 99% of Europe's and the world's total available roof-space is sadly still entirely solar-less, PV-free.   This together with energy conservation are the low-hanging fruit that the many powerful opponents of decentralized solar do not want to see harvested, highlighted or even debated"
-  Hermann Scheer
(1944-2010) German SPD politician, author, film-maker("The 4th Revolution" ) and renowned decentralized solar evangelist/campaigner.

So:   let's solar-activate those vast expanses of existing, untapped roof-space.
Not just homes - but businesses, municipal buildings, schools, colleges, universities, sprawling superstores and warehouses, hospitals, hotels, hectare-hogging hangars, sports stadia, apartment and office blocks and, yes, churches, cathedrals, places of (sun !)worship.
Amen and Hallelujah !

Elon Musk and his cousins who together run "America's No.1 Solar Provider" - solar-leasing specialists SolarCity - would certainly agree with Scheer.

What's more, SolarCity-style solar-leasing could also provide major monolithic energy companies or utilities like EDF with the perfect pathway or exodus route out of nuclear, gas, coal and oil - with that all-important promise or guarantee to match or beat a customer's recent electricity bills - with zero upfront capital expenditure.


Fusion-confusion-delusion ?
Musk and his solar-empowering cousins would also agree that it's now - confusingly and confoundingly - anyone's guess as to whether nuclear fusion  is about to trigger a "5th Revolution" ...
Lockheed Martin v Germany's Max Planck Institute.
A VHS v Betamax déjà-vu-video  all over again - on sub-atomic steroids.
So - fact or fiction already !?   The Holy Grail energy source set to eclipse solar, wind, fossil-fuel and fission is finally coming "soon" - if Lockheed Martin's mystical "skunk" team is to be believed.    Or still not for another decade(or three) after 'manana-maybe' - if you half-believe just about anyone else.

The Ecologist Magazine
- probably the world's best and most inspiring green news resource.
Unambiguously anti-nuclear.
Unique coverage of all things affordably green, renewable, sustainable.
And perhaps best of all:   it's defiantly, delightfully, fearlessly, intelligently political.
(Mag has improved significantly since 2012 when Oliver Tickell took over from Zac Goldsmith who literally sold up/out to pursue his Tory/Conservative political ambitions)

The Ecologist - in Spanish
The Ecologist - in French

Here are TWO recent nuclear and Fukushima-related articles:
"World Awash with Waste Plutonium"
"No Bliss in Ignorance: the Great Fukushima Cover-Up"

And here are those two articles..
- in French:   1,   2
- in Spanish: 1,   2

January, 2016

Two 2015 EV Awards/Nominations that DO deserve applause(and crowd-funding !)  now and in 2016 :

Award ONE:  New York:  Andrej Pečjak(826km Mazda5/Metron 7) World Technology Network Finalist(video) ...
Pecjak WTN Award presentation New York
New York  show-time:   a Slovenian villager tells it like it is and like it needs to be told.   A vital video.
English may not be Mr. Pečjak's mother-tongue but integrity, credibility and truth generally transcend and penetrate most language barriers.    Listen carefully for AP's scathing use of the word 'cannibalize'.

Yep - this movingly modest, gloss-free NY presentation surely slam-dunks even Messrs Musk and Jobs' applauded and lauded platform performances.
(If anything Pečjak undersells his 826km record when he quips that Americans would likely call the car "small".  No Andrej !   The Mazda5 is a very roomy and flexible/variable 7-seater - even by supersized US standards !)

As for VW's Jan 5th, "as early(!!) as 2019" Budd-e unveiling in Vegas - well, is it really worth wasting yet more time and space on incurable Boy Cried Wolfsburg time-wasters and procrastinators - given that their electric campervan-of-the-future was first unveiled in Geneva in 2011 as the 'Bulli' ?
( OK, OK - there are now reliable reports from VW at January' s CES 2016 in Vegas that the e-Golf's range will be increased by 30% 'soon'. But for VW an EV-related 'soon' appears to mean...2017 !! )

Pečjak offers the perfect antidote to VW's/BMW's never now Neverland - he clearly has more integrity, honesty and green credibility in one gifted little finger than a thousand Big Auto execs possess - from their immaculately coiffed scalps down to manicured big toes via very sharp suits and ties.
Witness:   we are forced to endure no 'charismatic', smart-suited inanity or fantasy fugazi-futurism from Pečjak.   No Silicon Valley bubble-hyperbole or Volkswagen-esque manana make-believe.
What's more, Andrej P. dares to trash traditional taboos on a New York stage - at an event very prominently and corporately sponsored by TimeInc(since 2014 no Warner - see Wiki).   Pečjak focuses primarily on what he and his Slovenian Metron Institute have already achieved and are now honing towards sustainable integration and perfection.
But EVUK has a little more to exclusively tease. Be prepared for yet more EV deviance and defiance from Croatia's creative little neighbour in the coming months...

That's right - in the past week or so Pečjak has told us - semi-confidentially - about new projects he and his team are currently working on and what's probably inevitable in the very near-future.
So here's our very own exclusive little carotene tease for the year ahead(as opposed to the year-after-the-yawn-after-maybe-manana) :

- the Slovenian village people - aka the Metron team - may or may not be targeting 1000km on a single charge this year(at normal traffic speeds, vehicle interior space not compromised) ...
...and they also may or may not be collaborating with China-based rival and former(2012) EV range record-holder Marco LoglioFiat Ducato Pecjak Loglio And the vehicle in question may or may not be a Fiat Ducato.(Fiat's anti-EV Marchionne may or may not be thrilled to bits - or in fits)

Remember:   although Loglio's record-breaking cells do deliver slightly less range than Pečjak's Kokams - they are significantly less expensive - and good for circa 3000 charge cycles.

So is our exclusive Pečjak-Loglio speculation and titillation for real - or just a VW-style tantalizing tease ?
Here's the real truth - in Slovenian :

Vse to je 100% res!   Vključno s sodelovanjem med Loglio in Pečjak! Test-vozilo je že vožnja na dolge razdalje.

See also:   the Metron Institute's own WTN New York Award coverage.


Award TWO:  Bolt M-1 Motorbike - GQ Magazine "Best of 2015"
Bolt M-1 motorbike gets GQ Best Stuff Award
Bolt M-1 Motorbike gets GQ Best Stuff of 2015 Award

We contacted Josh R. and his radical crew at Bolt MotorBikes a week or so ago to ask why their own BoltMotorbikes.com website made no mention of the GQ accolade.

Response:   "We're busy right now preparing for CES in Las Vegas. It kicks off on Jan 5th. We'll update the website as soon as we get back".
Our rapid riposte:  "Wow ! Both Bolts in Vegas. GM's semi-fictional prototype plus your own buy-it-now, two-wheeled wicked world-beater.  So can we expect a name-claiming, name-calling show-down in Vegas between your lawyers and GM's ?"

Memory Jolt I :  in early 2015 GM announced that the Bolt EV would begin rolling off production lines in October 2016.   We oh-so-cynically predicted that they would procrastinate and obfuscate yet again. Now, sure enough, in 2016 in Vegas they've re-labelled it as the "2017 Bolt EV".
And the world's 70-plus RHD countries - Britain included - still won't be getting "a long-range, affordable EV for the masses".
As for our stock-marketed  media - the self-censoring silence is once again deafening...

Memory Jolt II :   make that THREE Bolts...
MazdaRX8_Bolt_EV_Metron Let's finally join the Bolt dots back to Slovenia and 2009.   Recall that it was none other than Andrej Pečjak who beat both of the above relative latecomers with his long-range(220 miles) "Bolt" Mazda RX8 conversion(right) 6 years ago.

When it comes to electrifying vehicles there seems to be no trumping the slick, suit-less but unslovenly Slovenian.


Stop Press:  VW to unveil new EV at CES in Las Vegas on Tues,Jan 5 - will it Beat the Bolt ?
(CES, Wed 6:  GM CEO Barra talks Bolt EV - will it still be LHD-only, not GB-bound ?)
January, 2015

Musk chides VW:    has he never heard of the eMii, the IBE - or the Na-ion VWision of Prof S. Passerini !!?

Musk chides VWPinch of Salt Na-ion instead of Li-ion
Think 'eSalt' / 'Tesla', Elon !    A handy anagram mnemonic for you...

VWerdad ?!
    It seems that the incorrigible Boy-Cried-Wolfsburg  pretenders may be itching to ditch the affordable long-range Lithium carrot that now dangles ever closer to the donkey's mouth:    to replace it they've reached yet again into the rabbit's hat and magically conjured up a much saltier carrot to tout'n'tease - at a comfortably safe tantalizing distance(phew!) once more.

So if we're lucky - who knows - an all-electric "Na-ion"-powered Green León / Lion could be hitting the streets as,er,early as 2030 !

But Musk doesn't appear to be up to "ludicrous" or "insane" Spanish or SEAT speed salt-wise. Quick, schnell and bloody hell - tell Panasonic to panic !

(See mid-December's many "Musk v Volkswagen reports:   "VW's Punishment Should Be to Make Zero-Emission Cars", "Musk Urges CARB To Be Smart About VW Sanctions", "Dear VW: Ditch Diesel and Make Electric Cars" and here are all Google News Musk v VW reports) )

So take this all, if you will, with a pinch, a grain or a mountain of salt - we'll let you be the judge.
Yes, sure - there have been several promising breakthroughs in Na-ion battery research in the past year - most recently - surprise surprise - in nuclear-powered France - but all of these advances have been presented and reported with one yawningly familiar manana-banana caveat - here's the latest French Na-ion variant:

"Chemist Jean-Marie Tarascon, who helped develop the battery, says it will probably be about 5 to 10 years before this model is on the market."
(December 1, Fortune.com)
NB: "5-10 years" almost always sleepily stretches - for whatever real reason - to 10-15 years or quite possibly-probably never...

Is SEAT sincerely seeking Salt Solutions...or just playing for (yet more) time ?
SEAT_IBE_electric_CONcept_2010  SEAT_e-Mii_2013_CONcept_prototype
The IBE & e-Mii: TWO short-range Spanish EV concepts that almost no-one(Elon ?) will recognise...least of all in Spain - aka the Costa(s) del RepSol.

But for us, it's the last sentence of the GreenLion.eu project's Na-ion summary brief that really takes the biscuit:

"Another GREENLION member, who shared their view about EV business, was SEAT, who summarized the wide experience of the company in EV development".

Reality:   (VW-)SEAT have teased TWO not-for-sale, short-range(130km approx) compliance concepts or prototypes in the past 5 years - the IBE in 2010 and the e-Mii in 2013(see above pics).   So they do certainly know how to choose and use naff, nerdy, niche-cementing EV names, if nothing else.

Talking of silly names:   while it's true that parental VW did actually serve up the e-Up! and e-Golf! - make that e-Golf - to underwhelmed(!) consumers, the German Goliath, unlike the Nissan-Renault alliance, still religiously refuses to incrementally e-up range or cut prices.

But let's be possibly-more-positive for a moment:    if either or both of (VW-)SEAT's admittedly eye-catching EV's - or even an electric green León or e-Ibiza - had actually materialized and been delivered at the right price, with the right range and in the right place(ie. showrooms, the street) - SEAT might indeed be deemed qualified to speak with credibility and authority about "EV business" - as it is, "EV EVasion" and perpetual prevarication remain the name of their game(the company's diesel die-hard "deciders" at VW - and Repsol - wouldn't want it any other way...).


Some Salient Saline links:

- Dec 20th 2015:   American researchers are also getting a taste and appetite for salt - see Cleantechnica "$3 Million Awarded To Solid-State Sodium Battery Project By ARPA-E"
(the abundant reader comments are well-informed and well worth ploughing through)

- "French Researchers' First Attempt at a Rechargeable Competitor to Lithium-ion Batteries Could Be On the Market In 5 to 10 years".
Developed by a team of researchers based at the French National Centre for Scientific Research and Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission .   Report also contains a "Limited Li" video which is also viewable directly here at Dailymotion.com

- even the Daily Mail reported the French breakthrough.   But for us mere mortals the gratuitous use of the word "soon" (5-10-15 years ?) smacks of wanton sensationalism :  "Phones Could Soon Be Powered by Salt"

- see all Google News 2015 Na-ion reports.

Professor Stefano Passerini (Ph.D Rome Univ, now based in Germany)...
A Salt and Battery VWisionary ?  Only ions and aeons of time will tell.

From Musk's recent VW-chiding comments you could almost imagine that he's never heard of the e-Mii(eMii ?) or the (possibly) visionary Prof Passerini - or even the EU's VW-sponsored GreenLion Project...

December, 2015

The Dumbest(or most pernicious ?) Headline of The Year
...and the award goes to ..the Daily Mirror:

"New Car Battery Could Make Electric Motors Just As Efficient As Petrol and Diesel(!!!)"
(Note: all exclamation / desperation marks here are ours !)

       Mirror Opposite-of-Truth ICE more Efficient than EVs  Mirror Opposite-of-Truth ICE more Efficient than EVs Mirror Opposite-of-Truth ICE more Efficient than EVs

Firstly: electric cars are - in un-reversed un-mirrored reality - around 3 times MORE energy efficient than diesel/petrol vehicles. Period.
(See Wikipedia)

Secondly: at best only around 25% of the energy stored in gasoline and your tank is converted to kinetic energy/motive power at the wheels - the rest is mostly lost as heat. That's the nature of combustion - Internal, Infernal or Eternal.
Flames, sparks, light and heat.
So a gazillion or so gas-guzzling, un-electrified drivers are blissfully - and quite possibly ignorantly - torching a tonne of money by the minute at the pump and in the streets.
Or to put it another way, as you're cruising around in yer terrifically macho, non-leafy-green Nissan Qashqai(or whatever) you're burning Qash or cash to literally heat the street...as well as fouling the air and of course oiling the wheels of our belovéd fossil-fuelled military-industrial war machine. A glorious energy-wasting cash-cow or Qash Qow for Big Oil, Saudi princes, fuel-tax collectors - the usual benificent beneficiaries.

But why should anyone be overly concerned about an absurd, opposite-of-the-truth Looking Glass tabloid headline ?
Well - just take a weary or wide-eyed look at the Daily Mirror's circulation / readership statistics(NewsWorks):   around 5 million paper and online unique viewers per day - plus an alleged and astronomical 14 million Smartphone* visitors(*a morons' oxymoron if ever there was one...)

By contrast, most EV truth-telling websites - there are one or possibly two of us - will count themselves lucky to notch up a few hundred thousand hits a month - so this all-too familiar example of dumb or deliberate misreporting and misinformation can seriously undermine or undo years of hard graft and provide millions of gasoline addicts and combustion junkies with yet another guilt-zapping excuse to continue blissfully dissing and dismissing electric cars for yet another 5-10-15 years ie. until that long-promised Holy Grail miracle battery is finally delivered(in this case we're talking about li-air or lithium air...for the umpteenth time in 15 years...)

And is it really conceivable that this "error" was the result of innocent ignorance ?   Do seasoned, comfortably well-paid professionals - editors and scribblers - at the Daily Mirror(founded in 1903, contact details) genuinely believe that petrol/diesel vehicles are more efficient than EV's ?
Sorry - but once again we have to more than just strongly suspect mischievous or mendacious intent.   What we surely have here is yet another seemingly positive, pro-EV report which in reality is designed to persuade readers that EV's won't be worth buying for another 5-10-15 years - or until they're as..er..wonderfully energy-efficient(!!!) as the eternal, infernal combustion engine.

Li-air links to look at - but one of them is probably best read with a fairground mirror or through a Wonderland looking glass :

- Cambridge University breakthrough research "New Design Points a Path to the Ultimate Battery"

- The Daily Mirror's truth-reversing, fact-distorting reporting of the same "Revolutionary new car battery could make electric motors just as efficient as petrol and diesel(!!!)"
(Again - all exclamation / exasperation marks here are ours)

- and here's one we made - posted up not made up - earlier.   Eight years earlier to be precise:   (re-)read our exclusive 2007 interview with Professor Peter Bruce of St. Andrew's University a few months after he and his department had successfully secured substantial government funding for lithium air research.


Nissan's electric Qashqai Qarrot footnote:    so who'd like to see an electric - ergo energy-efficient - version of the above-mentioned energy-wasting combustion cash-cow ?
Well, ironically, Nissan has dangled and re-dangled that very leafy electric Qashqai carrot twice in the past two years(but sadly no e-Juke) :   firstly in October 2013(see Autocar UK) - then again in March 2015(see Autoexpress UK).Nissans electric Qashqai Carrot

So something for your great-great-grandchildren's children to look forward to some day perhaps, possibly, maybe, conceivably.
Although by then of course - if 97% of climate scientists' dire
sea-level predictions are to be believed - floating amphibious solar/wind-powered motorhomes  should logically be all the rage 50+ years down the road(or river) - and should also be miles cheaper and a whole lot more liberating than a ball-and-chain house and mortgage.
The freedom of the road and the freedom of the (very) high seas.
And no parking problems. Park off-shore, in the middle of your new local lake or at an overflowing river's edge.
New job ? Need to re-locate ? Seeking new horizons ?  No problem - just float away and leave your old neigbours behind.
Go with the flow.
Something even tastier, perhaps, for Nissan et al to tease at the next few hundred Motor Shows ?

November, 2015

VW Wrap:   the EU knew, petrol too, BMW's "we're innocent", "fraud systemic" says study, VW-Audi's Putra Formula E victory, EU's range-doubling GreenLion Germanium VWanishes from final(Nov) report(VW/Seat sponsored)

VW Audi Ironic Formula E Victory Putrajaya 2015 November Post Scandal
VWictorious - the Green Di Grassi wins in Putra for VW-Audi and Co...

As journalists work hard to rehabilitate VW and diesel and to re-install amnesia, apathy and business-as-usual this is obviously a good time to make some more noise and to sum up and re-focus the spotlight on a few key diesel and VW-linked factoids that many may have missed - bearing in mind that the "pro diesel" and "anti-affordable-long-range-EV" agendas have long been two sides of the same fake coinage and/or currency and/or (now) fully confirmed and certified conspiracy and cover-up.

1) the EU Commission knew about the diesel emission scam as early as 2013 - and of course said and did nothing.
But it gets even worse:
"In Brussels, the German government even ensured that delays were imposed on the introduction of strengthened emissions monitoring, which would have exposed the fraud. And it is continuing to do so."(WSWS.org)

Repeat:   pro-diesel & anti-EV(affordable,long-range) - two sides of the same coin.   Same as it ever was.
And as always a silent, compliant, commercially compromised media has once again refused/failed to do its job until the ugly truth is leaked and the whistle finally blown.
See: "German Government and EU Commission Complicit in Volkswagen Scandal"

2) BMW claim to be clean - recent subsequent test results have yet to be published.

3) 5 days AFTER we noted that near-zero media outlets were daring to suggest that diesel fraud was systemic, endemic and of pandemic proportions... the Guardian published details of a report confirming what most journalists must surely have strongly suspected but not dared to imply:
"The issue is a systemic one" across the industry, said Nick Molden, whose company Emissions Analytics tested the cars. The Guardian revealed last week that diesel cars from Renault, Nissan, Hyundai, Citroen, Fiat, Volvo and Jeep all pumped out significantly more NOx in more realistic driving conditions. NOx pollution is at illegal levels in many parts of the UK and is believed to have caused many thousands of premature deaths and billions of pounds in health costs..."

Intriguingly and amusingly - BMW is not mentioned or implicated either by Emission Analytics' Nick Molden or by the Guardian.
Phew !   Extraordinary how no-one still ever dares to (seriously) criticise, challenge or say "No" to the untouchable Bavarian Behemoth.

4) Formula E: VW-Audi's ironic victory in Putrajaya.
Sure enough, the dirty great elephant(s) in the room, on the track, on the podium, and proudly emblazoned on the race cars themselves - all remained totally invisible to ITV's keep-yer-job commentary team who stayed dutifully, unsurprisingly, scandal-lessly silent: yes - it's clearly OK for the race cars to..er..flaunt the VW logo - but let's talk euphemistically only of Audi and ABT, right Dario, Jack, Nicki et al ?

We EVUK Elephants, on the other hand, never forget and likewise have no problem at all spotting elephants in the room or emperors without clothes.

As we've stated many times - if VW and BMW were genuinely interested in convincing informed sceptics of their bona fide commitment to realworld consumer EV's they could and should take a Leaf out of Nissan's and Renault's book and announce right now - in the present tense - that the range of the short-changing e-Golf(83 measly miles) and i3(81 even measlier miles) is to be increased by 20% with immediate or imminent effect - and prices cut by 20% to boot.
But all we've been offered - even now - from Volkswagen is yet more "Zukunftsmusik" - future music - yet more yawning, year-after-manana, long-grass, long-range green PR promises and carrot-dangling.

6) Diesel deceit widens - petrol-powered vehicles have also been implicated - many reports(Google News) including this from the Telegraph:
"VW Shares Plunge As Diesel Emissions Scandal Spreads To Petrol Engines".

So why are so many politicians and journalists now only calling for the death of diesel and not petrol  ?
Well, because petrol engines generally consume far more gasoline - are far less fuel-efficient - of course !   Great news obviously for the likes of BP, Shell, Exxon, Repsol...and their shareholders - not to mention gov't fuel-tax collectors.

7) The VW and EU-funded GreenLion EV battery research project:Lyin Green Lion liion EU Project VW   the final detailed report summary - dated October but released in November - as expected makes no mention whatsoever of Limerick University's potentially game-changing contribution - the doubling of battery range through the use of Germanium(see our earlier, pre-scandal, VWanishing Lion reports and 5-line Limerick rhymes).

A CARB-like, California-style carrot-and-stick EV mandate for the EU ?
Surely the only credible, logical and immediate legislative response to the diesel/petrol emissions scandal would be for our discredited EU lawmakers to commit fully to turbo-charging the long-overdue transition to affordable long-range EV mobility by passing fast-track EU-wide legislation designed to prevent further procrastination by any major car manufacturer wishing to continue doing business in Europe.
London's Borisian/Mayoral 'by 2018' zero emission electric taxi mandate proves the point and is having the desired 'KA effect' - now is the perfect time to bring similar incentivizing legislation to the whole of Europe. A California-style CARB mandate is what's now urgently needed - something along these lines:

"At least 5% of a car manufacturer's gross annual EU-wide sales must comprise all-electric vehicles(EV/ZEV/ZLEV). Carmakers who fail to reach that annual minimum EV sales quota by a margin of 1%-5% will incur fines equivalent to 1%-5% of their total annual vehicles sales within the European Union."

But why not add the carrot to the stick - thus:

"Conversely, any car manufacturer exceeding the minimum 1-5% annual EV sales quota by 1%-5% (or more) will be rewarded with an equivalent tax break..."

Car manufacturers after all do notoriously love dangling those EV carrots themselves - so why not turn the tables, beat them at their own game and tease them with a taste of their own carotene medicine ?
It should be clear now - even perhaps to the odd diesel die-hard - that a CARB-like carrot-and-stick EU EV mandate(
Wiki) should have been put in place long ago. But it's not too late and would still do much to incentivize, galvanize, focus minds and motivate car manufacturers to increase their EV market share, promote competition/innovation, reduce prices, increase battery range, widen product range.

November, 2015

The Bolt:  now available everywhere !   Ride on the Right, Left, Off-Road, Off-limits - 100% GM-free !

The Bolt M-1 motorcycle, that is - conceived, crowdfunded, named/baptized and launched well before GM's not-for-Britain Bolt eventually hits half of the real world(ie. LHD regions only).

Click for Clip - and let the company's stereotype-crushing, San Francisco-based founder and chief scientist Dr. Nathan Jauvtis(Ph.D, left - see Linkedin) explain the black Bolt's bold unique features.
(OK - the Bolt is no Lightning LS-218 - but then again it is a sixth of the price and will whizz you through congested cities and suburbs more swiftly and nimbly than any hefty motorbike - or 4-wheeler - ever could..)


Youtube - Censored !?  By GM ?
Switching seamlessly from 2-wheeled Bolts back to four and GM/Chevrolet...
Whilst we've tried hard here not to re-mention GM's not-for Britain Bolt - it is interesting to see that US-based British TV satirist John Oliver's 10 minute slam-dunk demolition  of GM's record recall / death-by-ignition outrage has been quietly removed from Youtube - or at least censored and sliced from ten minutes down to less that three.
What a pity !
What a pity - for GM that is - that we have our own cherished copy to show and share.
So here it is(again) - totally recalled and 100% uncut.

Enjoy - and please proliferate profusely:
Brit satirist Youtube censored GM demolition takedown
Censored, excised from Youtube - now re-instated and re-enjoyable without Tubes - courtesy EVUK:  John Oliver's slam-dunk satirical take on the 11 million GM record recall: "over 300 accident-related deaths"
(Note: clip may take 10 secs or so to load but - unlike millions of GM's vehicles - it is guaranteed to be 100% glitch- and bug-free)

Finally, let's safely bolt back to hill-filled San Francisco and 2-wheels-good - see: Bolt Motorbikes.com
- especially if you've had more than enough of GM's Game-Playing...

October, 2015

Re: GM's "No RHD Bolt for Britain"(or Japan, India, Australia, S.Africa, Singapore, Thailand, Zimbabwe, Mozambique...)
So why did GM's very British, English-accented Bolt-designer Stuart Norris present the company's "Official Review" video of the Bolt eight months ago ?

(Note: RHD = Right Hand Drive = the position of the driver's seat in LHT countries: LHT = Left Hand Traffic)

To prevarication and procrastination now add preposterous provocation...

Video tasty-to-nasty:   the golden brown carrot was dangled then wrenched away..
Norris surely now owes his countrymen some kind of sequel, a follow-up - his fellow betrayed Brits and the similarly brashly un-Bolted residents of the world's other 70+ RHD nations deserve some kind of explanatory or - better still - retaliatory video.

But maybe this time Norris's dapper Bolt-walkaround could involve the judicious, pernicious or vicious use of a sledgehammer, a rocket-launcher, a bulldozer and a very British, M.Pythonesque 16-ton weight dropped from a very great height.
And the host's earlier chirpy, buzzy talk of "strong muscular design language" could be aptly replaced with a bold display of "strong muscular demolition language" ...

Another extraordinary sting-in-the-tail irony is that the Bolt EV was a collaborative effort between right-hand-drive GM Australia(Melbourne), GM USA and GM Korea(see InsideEVS).
So how do we feel, downunder, with that ultimate kick-in-the-teeth little snub ?

One thing's for sure - Korea-based English-accented Norris will never be asked to wax lyrical about the not-for-Britain Bolt on camera again - although any disappointment or anger that he himself may have felt at GM's Bolt-from-the-Blue September "No RHD version" announcement will have been significantly assuaged by his recent June promotion from "Director of Design" to "Managing Director of Design" at GM Korea(see Linkedin).

But frankly who really cares ?   Anything could happen in the next 16 months in the EV universe.
Affordable long range isn't the only unique selling point worth focusing on.

Battery life-expectancy aka longevity or life-span remains a virtually taboo subject in the EV world - but will trump 200 mile range for many wannabe EV owners if rival car manufacturers finally start deploying and promoting cells with proven 300,000+ mile life-span potential.
For instance, which would you choose(think resale value/depreciation) :

a) a rival Bolt-sized or Leaf-like or KIA Soul-esque etc EV with a range of "just" 150 miles but boasting long-lasting batteries that'll still be going strong after 350,000 miles and/or 15-20 years with negligible range loss
b) the 200 mile/charge Bolt with batteries fading fast after 150,000 miles ??

And at least four highly credible but thus far successfully marginalized and/or neutralised lithium life-span disruptors have already claimed anywhere between 3000 and 6000 lifetime charge cycles - think BYD(see their life-span charts), Mirko Hannemann's DBM Energy/Kolibri, Power Japan Plus(dual carbon), Marco Loglio's li-ion ex-record-breakers, Andrej Pečjak's Metron Institute 826km Mazda5...

Multiply those charge-cycle figures by an affordable proven range of 200-300 miles and the maths makes frightening reading(eg. 3000 x 200) for an automotive establishment that seems hell-bent on seeing ageing cars - electric or otherwise - headed for the scrapyard at the customary 150,000 mile mark.
To put it another way - invent and promote EV cells with a half million miles of lithium life-expectancy at your own peril - you may well risk significantly reducing your own ...

Related links:
("related" in the duplicitous, disdainful, obdurate attitude displayed towards customers in general - but especially towards ethical, environmental and legal action campaigners, pressure groups, activists.)
- GM record recall ignition failure lawsuit saga continues. Hundreds died - avoidably. GM knew about ignition problems as early as 2001 but refused to heed warnings and failed to act until 2014.
- Volkswagen:   will they beat GM's vehicle recall record ? Latest news: 8.5 million vehicles to be recalled across Europe alone. At least VW's treachery and hidden diesel emissions "only" blighted personal and atmospheric health as well as the company's already mightily tarnished reputation.

September, 2015

VW's GreenLyin' / GreenLion:   some prophetic, poetic justice for Planet Earth(and the Irish?)

It's worth pointing out that our VW-slamming GreenLion / GreenLyin'  article  below was posted up 15 days BEFORE the latest VW diesel emissions scandal exploded. Lyin Green Lion liion EU Project VW

Latest ?

Yep, that's right.  It's not the first time VW have been caught out and exposed.  Predictably though, barely any of the scores of media outlets we've browsed through are reminding their wilfully and selectively amnesiac audiences of the 2007-8 VW sex, prostitutes, union leaders, orgies, bribery, "perks" scandal that rocked our crank'n'piston-addicted world for circa 10 seconds before being dutifully buried and brushed under the car-pit(sic - think "cess-pit") by a predictably compliant, complicit, all-enabling media-mediocracy.

And nor do commentators appear willing to risk suggesting or stating the ugliest, nakedest truth of all:    ie. that pseudo-satanic, ethical bankruptcy is more or less systemic throughout the Earth-wasting world of Infernal Combustion and Oil.

Rhymed-up related words such as epidemic, endemic, pandemic are nowhere to be seen or heard(except in private of course..whatever "privacy" may mean these days).
Obviously most companies - especially major multinationals - are just better at silencing would-be whistleblowers, truth-tellers, disruptive deviants and other irritating non-teamplayers.

GreenLion - time to tuck that tail between your legs ?
It'll certainly be amusing - vwunderbar vwitzig if you will - to see how VW, Seat and organising partners-in-slime
Cidetec handle this at the imminent and upcoming final GreenLion / GreenLyin' meeting and vworkshop in San Sebastian on October 28-29th:   time to un-bury, prioritize and yes, lionize Limerick University and its potentially range-doubling Germanium li-ion breakthrough tech.

So no more tame, lame excuses, no more prevarication and fakery, no more insults to the intelligence please, bitte, por favor - VW, Seat et al.
Now the world IS paying attention.

Alles klar ?   Nicht VWahr..?

September, 2015

The EU's range-doubling GreenLion* Germanium breakthrough:   silence now roars(sssh!) - from Limerick to Wollongong.
(*VW Alert !   the EU GreenLion Project is co-funded by those long-time long-range refuseniks from Wolfsburg: the final meeting and public 'workshop' take place in October in San Sebastian.  Is it OK if Andrej Pečjak shows up in his 826km Mazda5...and steals the show with his own 'workshop' ?)

Our headline will of course mean nothing at all to 99.99%-plus of earth-dwellers - and that, as always, is at least half the problem.

So here's the story - and the mystery - so far...together with a few clues and pointers as to why the public - EU taxpayers - should care and should be asking informed, tough questions.

- Let's begin with a little irresistible Irish poetry..

  There was once a Green LionGreen Lion liion EU Project VW in Limerick
  That doubled EV range and it was no trick
  Germanium was induced
  To boost electrons produced
  Then the Lion simply VWanished 'sif by magick

In February 2014 - 18 months ago - researchers at Limerick University - part-funded by the EU's GreenLion project - announced a major lithium battery breakthrough involving the use of Germanium that could more than double EV range and reduce manufacturing costs.
Unfortunately - or at least intriguingly - a team at Australia's Wollongong University(50 miles southwest of Sydney) had made an almost identical announcement NINE months earlier in May 2013.

Strangely, Limerick's press release(s) and webpages have never mentioned Wollongong's earlier work.
Even more ominous and concerning is the fact that for the past year and a half GreenLion's own subsequent project press releases, summary-reports and updates have failed to (re-)mention Limerick's ground-breaking, range-doubling achievements at all.
All in all just one line - one solitary sentence - was dedicated(GreenLion News archives, Feb 2014) to the all-important, potentially game-changing, range-changing news from Limerick.

Déjà Disparu all over again ?

Perhaps one shouldn't be at all surprised given that nowhere - neither in its "Project Objectives" mission statement or "Project Overview" (co-written by GreenLion co-sponsors VW / Seat ??) do GreenLion organisers use the words "range" or even "energy density" at all(!!) - let alone acknowledge that the mass-production of affordable/low-cost, long-range batteries and EV's has self-evidently always been what the public want and a beyond-niche market needs.

So why has Limerick University's range-doubling, lion-leap breakthrough quietly disappeared from GreenLion's project press releases, updates, summary reports ? And will the roaring silence continue at the upcoming final meeting in October ?
We just had to investigate - so duly dispatched an exceedingly curious email(attached below - read on) to a variety of leading li-ion luminaries and GreenLion protagonists and participants.

Green Lion liion EU Project VW VW_ThinkBlue_Bulli_TV_Ad_Spanish VW_e-Golf range 83 miles 2015
Above from left to right:
Left:  Repeat: VW / Seat are co-sponsors of the EU's GreenLion research project
Centre:  the '186 mile/charge' VW Bulli concept earned rave reviews..in 2011. VW's response :
"We'll make a petrol version only. In Mexico. And sell it only in the US." But within a year the whole thing was dead, buried, 'forgotten'...then re-teased again earlier this year - super-typical VW long-range carrot-dangling and mañana-banana procrastination.
Right:  2015: (Sssh!) VW's e-Golf has an EPA-rated range of just 83 miles - so circa 10 miles less than both the 1997-2003 Toyota RAV4 EV and the 1997-2001 fleet-approved li-ion Nissan Altra EV(inset).Nissan Altra 100-120 miles range 1997-2001
So sub-zero range progress in 18(!!) years. (BTW: BMW's i3 scores...81 miles of EPA range - 12 miles less than its own 1987(!) TUV-verified 325 iX prototype. See Wired )

So here is our curious little email asking "What's happened to Limerick's range-doubling Germanium lithium ?" - addressed to(among others):
1) Dr Kevin Ryan(Limerick University)
2) the GreenLionProject.eu
3) Spain's Cidetec.es (close ties to VW / Seat & GreenLion. (So a long-range, all-electric Seat "León" (!) soon, right ?)
4) Professor Zaiping Guo(Wollongong Uni - range-doubling Li-ion Germanium cf. Limerick)

EVUK email to GreenLion and Germanium protagonists:

"We were wondering if you'd be good enough to respond to a few questions and comments that don't appear to have been covered yet elsewhere ?

1) As you will (presumably) be aware, Wollongong University announced their own range-doubling Germanium-Lithium (EV) battery breakthrough in May 2013 - nine months before Limerick's own announcement: was there collaboration between Limerick and Wollongong at all ? Or was this simply a case of coincidental synchronicity ?

2) Neutral observers - especially those unaware of VW's unique and notorious "Boy Cried Wolfsburg" reputation for promising or "teasing" - but never delivering - long-range EV's - such as the "186 mile/charge" Bulli campervan(2011, video) and same-range Milano taxi(2010, video) - might well be optimistically/logically expecting VW  / Seat to be moving quickly now to help accelerate the high-volume commercialization of Limerick's Germanium-enhanced cells.
Especially given the further positive GreenLion breakthroughs announced in June this year ie. significantly cheaper AND greener production techniques, processes and materials.

3) Returning to Wollongong: already in their May 2013 announcement the Australian university reported that they were:

"..working with Shanghai-based battery manufacturer DLG and Australian electronics specialist Redarc to ready the technology for market."

Would it be overly pessimistic to assume that Limerick Uni and GreenLion's sole automotive sponsor VW / Seat are *not* working together to emulate Wollongong's dynamic, fast-track commitment to scaled-up, high-volume mass-production of EV range-doubling Germanium-enhanced lithium cells ?

Unfortunately, major automakers have a well-deserved reputation for using battery "research", research joint-ventures and research announcements as a means of kicking real-world long-range battery advances into the long grass and garnering green PR kudos:   so can we in this instance look forward to hearing - at the final GreenLion meeting in October - that VW  /  Seat and other GreenLion partners will be fully committed to fast-tracking both the Germanium-based range-doubling breakthrough li-ion technology and the project's wide variety of green battery advances into production EV's ?

Given that the GreenLion project is part-funded by EU taxpayers - I assume you would concur that EU citizens or consumers will obviously be expecting the project's significant technological breakthroughs to be transferred expeditiously into the real-world and into the green, long-range, lower-cost electric cars that most of us would like to be buying and driving.

Your comments on any or all of the above points would be hugely appreciated ! "
Regards, PG, EVUK Editor etc

(End of EVUK's curious email to Limerick University and other leading Li-ion and GreenLion protagonists:   we're not expecting a reply - but a response and a little poetic justice for the Irish would be nice)

August, 2015

Latest exclusive exchanges: Loglio throws down the low-cost long-range (500-1000 km) gauntlet: Hedrick (e-Go/2050Motors) and Pečjak(Metron/Mazda) respond..

This pure electric 400km/charge Chinese Yema T70 SUV has nothing to do with the e-Go or Aoxin or 2050Motors - but there is a Loglio link(read on). Note that in late 2014/early 2015 the world's oh-so green automakers proclaimed that 2015 would be "The Year of the SUV".
But again - you'll have to move to China if an electric SUEV is what you're looking for...

So first let's focus on the 200 mile/charge, superlight, low-ish cost, 5-seat e-Go and the Wait-Weight-Wait Game:
When we first read about Nevada-based 2050Motors' plans to import, assemble and sell the relatively low-cost 200 mile/charge, superlight Chinese Aoxin e-Go in the US our instant reaction - apart from 'e-Go go global please !' - was:   China-based ex-Thundersky VP Dr. Marco Loglio(think SRZero, 801km Zotye/Fiat etc) and 2050Motors' Michael Hu or George Hedrick just have to talk to each other.
Loglio had assured us that his latest generation cells could increase the e-Go's already impressive 200 mile range by a further 50% or deliver the same range at far lower cost.
Equally importantly he insists his cells are good for 3000 charge cycles.
So we duly arranged a meeting of like minds via email(read select extracts below).

But in 2050Motors' last press release before the very worrying announcement of their new-found(August news) love for methanol we were told that "the first EV's should arrive in Las Vegas by the 3rd quarter".
(Note the deft use of the word "should" rather than "will" ...)

So, a few game-changiing e-Go's should be shaking up Las Vegas any day now, right ?  (what are the odds ?)

Given the huge number of cast-iron EV promises that have disappeared into the EV abyss over the past umpteen years it looks as if yet another wannabe game-changer may be about to abysmally fizzle and fade.

Here anyway are a few exclusive, supremely bullish and never-before-published comments-to-EVUK from both 2050Motors' George Hedrick and from China-based Italian Dr Marco Loglio - whose 801km Fiat/Zotye range record was, as we anticipated, beaten by Andrej Pečjak in June(826km).
Autoblog's Sebastian Blanco was a passenger witness - yet he oddly omits to mention Marco Loglio whose record Pečjak had set out to beat. See also Pečjak's own Metron Institute report(which strangely was not posted up until August - after much badgering from us)

Needless to say, Pečjak's latest feat has been resolutely ignored by 99.999+% of the world's (old/new) media outlets - but that still beats the total blanket black-out treatment dealt out to Loglio...

Here anyway are those aforementioned exclusive, never-before-published comments-to-EVUK from both 2050Motors' George Hedrick and from China-based Italian Dr Marco Loglio...


- Reply from George Hedrick of 2050Motors to EVUK re the e-Go, Aoxin, Loglio' s record and track-record etc:

"It was interesting to hear that Dr. Marco Loglio worked with Aoxin in 2013 on the e-GO. I am sure that at that time Marco must have met the Italian engineers working on the e-GO. It is public information that the e-GO was developed over a five year period by Dongfeng Motor.
As you know, Dongfeng is a major producer of automobiles in China and last year they produced four million automobiles. They also have major joint ventures with many automobile companies throughout the world and actually supported Peugeot last year, funding them one billion Euros and furnishing them with a line of credit of up to three billion Euros.

The Italian engineers working with Dongfeng Motor developed a carbon fiber technology that now exists for the e-GO. The whole point of the research and development was to find a new method to make carbon fiber parts very inexpensively, which they have successfully done.

It is our opinion that the technology is indeed a disruptive technology that will change not only the automobile industry but also has its place amongst advanced aircraft and other industrial applications such as boats.
2050Motors has worked very closely with the Italian engineers and has formed personal relationships with them prior to 2012. All of the Italian engineers have worked for the biggest companies all over the world including German auto companies.
As you may understand, we are all reluctant to use their names in any of our press releases because we at 2050 Motors intend to stand on our own two feet. 2050 Motors does not rely on using other people's brand name or recognition to our benefit. Our future and strategy is well planned.

We will set many new world records within the next 12 months. The e-GO only weighs 1,400 lbs and is literally bullet resistant. This makes it the lightest and toughest vehicle ever built. In addition, it would also be the most efficient vehicle ever to hit the highways. The so-called quarter panel overlap crash test for the e-GO will be like a walk in the park.
We will make all the other vehicle manufacturers that have failed this important test wonder how we obtained these results.And make no mistake, the people that surround and support 2050 Motors have been in the electric vehicle business for many years and have set many world records.
In 1994, one of our consultants broke the 1993 world record climbing one of the highest peaks (Pike's Peak) in the United States, 14,000 feet high. The previous record was surpassed by a record-breaking margin of more than three minutes. The run up Pike's Peak, as you may know, is a yearly classic that was held every year since the late 1800's right to today.

Furthermore, one of the consultants for 2050 Motors also drove an electric car without stopping and without charging from San Francisco to Anaheim, California, a distance of 450 miles.
That world record had been held all these years until recently, now that I hear from you that Dr. Loglio's Fiat/Zotye vehicle has achieved 801 km on a single charge. It took 20 years to break that world record: Congratulations !

To answer your question, yes. Please send us your correspondence with Dr. Loglio. We are certainly anxious to hear about any new battery technology."

Thank you. George Hedrick Vice President of Nevada Operations 2050 Motors, Inc.


From Marco Loglio:
 "I know Aoxin very well and I was in touch with them in 2013 to design the battery pack for their cars. The e-Go city car is a great product that has been designed by an Italian company.
Ben(surname withheld) - an Italian and good friend of mine for many years now - works for the Chinese company Aoxin. I met the general manager and president of Aoxin here in Shenzhen when they came to consult with me about powerful battery packs.

Since you are in touch with 2050Motors please inform them that I could design battery packs for them to extend the range of their cars for another 50% more to 300 miles for the same cost.

Aoxin is really a leader in design and technology and is the only company in China (together with Yema auto) that is able to produce EVs with more then 400 km range with one charge and at an affordable price.
Not to mention that I also am cooperating with Yema Auto in Chengdu to create their high energy density battery pack. "

EVUK editor update  August :    Loglio has just assured us that the 400km/charge Yema T70 SUV that was due to go on sale in April "should be appearing later this year". But only in China,obviously and unfortunately.
(Oh c'mon now - why would any Western consumers possibly want a long-range all-electric $35,000 dollar SUV in 2015 which has been proclaimed "The Year of the SUV" by the West's carmakers ?)

Marco continues: "My overall feeling after the Shanghai Auto Show 2015 is that, the giant Chinese automakers are still completely unaware of the real progress that has been made in the battery field. In the show there were over 100 EVs on display, but apart from Aoxin and Yema, two small private enterprises, all the other EVs were in the range of 150/180 km per charge with low performance and a heavy car body based on normal gasoline / ICE car production.

It's frustrating to see that in China engineering is so badly appreciated and battery technology advances almost totally ignored. When I go around and describe how today there are cells with 330 Wh/kg energy density with 3000 cycles and reasonably priced, Chinese engineers still think that this is impossible, even though I have already demonstrated it with my 801km range prototype 3 years ago already !

Anyway, I am persevering, hoping that people with good will will join together to demonstrate that EVs with long range and at affordable prices are a reality today and not a far-off dream of the future.
Marco "


From  Loglio : China  to   Loglio : Slovenia - as detailed above - in June Loglio's 801km range record was - as we predicted - beaten by Slovenian Andrej Pečjak's Mazda5 conversion(see our piece "Pečjak Eyes Shenzhen-Nanning Record" )
Loglio has since shared his thoughts on that new 826km Mazda5 record - primarily to point out that his cells could achieve the same distance for less than a third of the cost:

Marco to EVUK's PG - on Pečjak's "expensive" cells:
"I read in Autoblog Green that your friend Mr Andrej Pečjak reached the distance of 826 km on one charge in his converted Mazda.
Firstly I would like to send my personal congratulations to Mr Pečjak. But I also read that the cost of the Kokam battery pack was about $50,000, an incredibly high price for a 100 Kw/h capacity.
The key point in the future of electric vehicles will not be the creation of large capacity battery packs(that's relatively easy - you just put together more cells in a large enough battery box) - no, the key point will obviously be the cost of that large capacity battery .
To achieve the 801 km with my Zotye M300 EV/Fiat Multipla at highway speeds and finishing still with about 15% of the usable capacity in the battery (meaning I could make 950 km with one charge before reaching the BMS cut-off limit of 20% energy remaining in the battery) the cost of my battery pack was only $160 for 1 Kw/h.

That means if Mr Pečjak had used my cells instead of Kokams the cost would have been around $16,000 - so less than a third of what he spent.
I know the Kokam cells very well, as they have been on the market for many years so I am able to ensure that the cells I provide have the same good quality but even higher energy density. It would be good - to say the least - if EV enthusiasts and campaigners finally got to realize that long range and low cost are already now a reality.
Using expensive Kokam cells for the Mazda5 record is clearly a little misleading with respect to people's understanding of the future of EV's.
I hope that you can write an article about this.
Marco "


EVUK editor: remember - we can't repeat it often enough - that it was Thundersky's range- and price-busting cells that powered Imperial College's SRZero 26,000 km south from Alaska to Ushuaia down the Pan American highway in 2010 - without those crucial, way-ahead-of-the-pack TS cells one of BBC World's all-time most popular mini-series - among other things - would simply never have been possible.

Racing Green Loglio Thunder Sky cells And neither would the SRZero's 290 mile single charge London-Paris day-trip.   Loglio says that his latest (MLCA Ltd) cells are now 3-4 generations better than even those truth-exposing SRZero super-cells.
Funny ain't it, how the BBC and the rest of the media, since the epic SRZero slam-dunk, have never mentioned Marco Loglio or his Thundersky cells or his new company MLCA's even better EV cells or his 801km Shenzhen to Nanning Fiat Multipla/Zotye EV world record.
Is BBC World not interested in world records that could help save their world, their planet and their audiences from cataclysmic climate change and resource depletion(NASA study warns) ?

And what of Fiat's anti-EV boss Marchionne ? Italian Loglio's Fiat Multipla achieved almost 5 times the range of that company's deliberately mediocre compliance 500-e - so why has no journalist challenged Marchionne with the embarrassing truth - exposed by an EVangelical compatriot, an adversary, his antithesis..and nemesis ?

Marco v Marchionne - sounds almost as good as Ali v Frazier..


But let's wrap up this EVUK sparring session with a titillating, tantalising tease..a wicked little 'what if'  proposition of the defiantly disruptive kind.

Imagine if range rivals Pečjak(826km) and Loglio(801km) were to join forces, pool resources and together succeed in breaking the 1000km range barrier - at average/normal speeds - slashing battery costs to boot.
What if  they/we were to then spend a month or two driving said awesomely subversive, transformative vehicle around Europe - especially targeting car-manufacturing centres/cities such as Wolfsburg(VW), Munich(BMW), Sunderland(Nissan), Italy(Fiat), Spain(Seat/VW) etc. - a far-fetched fantasy, surely ?
Possibly, maybe, moeglicherweise.

It's partly up to YOU. You could help make it happen. Or to put it another way:   if you're interested in helping to crowd-fund a fearlessly, genuinely disruptive, people-powered project - get in touch !

July, 2015

(NIKOLA) Tesla's Time Has Come - the "ICE" Age*  must pass and fade away...
- Nikola Tesla was born "at the stroke of midnight with lightning striking in a summer storm" on July 9-10 1856

("ICE" = Infernal or Internal Combustion Engine)

Nikola Tesla Youtube Missing 
SecretsTesla Nikola USA StampNikola Tesla The Lightning Light
Watch:   "The Missing Secrets of Nikola Tesla".
A mind-altering message  -  mood-altering  music.  Almost 2 million Youtube views.   MUST-See.  (Tell your friends and your foes)

OK - so we're a little late with this, but our post-Battersea Formula E jest(see below) as to whether series and energy-saving champion Nelson Piquet might be channelling positively charged energy clean out of the air - like a lightning rod - was an oblique reference and birthday-nod to Nikola Tesla famed for his ability to create and manipulate spectacular bolts of lightning-like energy. The Youtube'd TV documentary "The Missing Secrets of Nikola Tesla" is worth watching and re-viewing at regular or irregular intervals.

Here're a few additional facts that should shed some light on the soul and spirit of the man:
- Tesla always said that if he had to choose a religion it would be Buddhism
- he became a vegetarian later in life but was always scrupulously aware of the effects that food and drink had on his creative ability and energy.
He was very tall, slim as a younger man, emaciated or thin as a rake later. He believed that drinking a glass of whisky a day would significantly prolong his life and claimed to need only two hours sleep a night but took frequent naps.

- Tesla never married and was not known to ever have had relationships with women. Many women tried and vied - including the actress Sarah Bernhardt - all apparently failed.
He often stated that women sapped his creative energies and distracted him from his work. He even claimed to have "destroyed his sexuality" at age 40. Whether deliberately or by accident remains unclear.
A pity perhaps that he didn't find a woman with the "brilliantly inventive" talents that his mother possessed...
(But the teasing question remains: would it ruin or enhance Tesla's reputation if it were to be established that he (regularly) frequented houses of ill-repute or had ladies of the night visit the hotels where he preferred to reside ? He never owned or lived in houses or apartments.)

- there is no concrete evidence that Tesla ever owned Nikola Tesla EV Pierce Arrow Free Energyor drove either a gasoline or electric-powered automobile - although there are (in)credible anecdotal stories about a cosmic or free-energy-powered(cf. FE's Nelson Piquet !?)  Pierce Arrow he reputedly created/converted and drove for hours at a time at speeds of up to 90 mph. See EVWorld/Dave Cutter "Tesla's "Black Magic" Touring Car"

- slightly off-topic:   Elon Musk did not choose his company's name:   Tesla Motors was founded and named by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning months before Musk came on board. See BusinessInsider: "The Untold Story of How Tesla Motors Got Its Name".

- but returning to Nikola, the original:  according to Jane Alcorn, president of the Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe(Long Island) Tesla "..speaks to those who work hard but don't get recognition" and says that Tesla was an environmentalist and humanitarian and "very concerned about the fact that we were using up the Earth's resources too quickly, and he wanted to make sure that we were using nonfossil, renewable fuels..so Tesla researched ways to harvest the natural energy in the ground and in the sky."
(from Nat Geographic's "5 Surprising Facts about Nikola Tesla".

- and finally of course, see Wikipedia Nikola Tesla for a few hundred more surprising and..er..enlightening facts and photos.

Post-Script-Screenplay: Time for a Tesla-themed Tinsel Town film-pitch...amid persistent rumours of a Back to the Future remake.

Glare Lightning LS-218 test Fastest Superbike 2015 350km   Just imagine, if you dare, an all-new, time-tripping and  space-hopping sequel in which the world's fastest superbike - the 350 km/h all-electric Lightning LS-218 - is time-ported back to Tesla's test-labs circa 1900 or lightning-flashed back to his NY hotel room 30-40 years later as he tends his cherished pigeons. 
Haha !
 And the world thought he spent his time alone pampering birds...not racing through time and space on a lightning-fast motorbike !   Sshhh !   Another Tesla secret...
(Note:  the standard non-supernatural Lightning LS-218 superbike would have blown more minds - and possibly fuses - a century or so ago than a thousand gas-guzzling DeLorean dinosaurs)

So how's about it Hollywood, Tinsel Town, Robert Zemeckis - is it not perfectly the time for a Tesla-themed, time-travel blockbuster franchise ?
Sit back and enjoy the thrill-ride of your life+time as the Lightning(superbike)-powered, wizard-like "Nikola T" whizzes back and forth through time - and space - accompanied, pillion perhaps, by a genius boy and a gifted girl ...with his favourite, beloved, once-lame New York park-pigeon(see
Wiki) perched on warp-speed handlebars or flying free alongside.

So, voilà  les voiles:   movie  plus original idea  plus pigeons  pitched and perched.  Let the futurist phoenix(and the pigeon)  fly - without McFly.

Come on guys - every kid and every (un)grown-up reading this would love to see this realized and materialized !   Tesla brought back to life - and right on time.  ($50k plus an EVUK credit - and it's all yours)
Film title ?
Hmm. "Tesla Lives !", "TT -Tesla's Time", "Bike to the Future", "Race Against Time", "Tesla Rides Again !", "Timeless - The Amazing Adventures of...", "Time Flies", "Tempus Fugit" , "Time Space"...

Postscript:   Mirko Hannemann(see below) has contacted us to express his gratitude for the increasing groundswell of support he is receiving from around the world(no thanks to a silent media of course..)
July, 2015

605km+ Munich-Berlin in 2010(with (with 18% capacity remaining = 714km):  they called him a cheat and a fraud - now new foes want DBM founder/CEO Mirko Hannemann prosecuted and jailed on new 'charges'

DBM Energy/Kolibri 714 km range DEKRA validated  Before you read anything else or are swayed by anything else - here's an extract from Mirko Hannemann's defence and counter-attack posted at MirkoHannemann.com which we've exclusively translated into English:

"Since I am having problems sleeping - due to my continued state of bewilderment - I'll continue with Part 2.
I believe everyone should know what took place on the 24.04.2015 even though there is a long time-interval between the company's formation in 2011 and the 24th of March 2015.
What was not mentioned in the FAZ article - or deliberately forgotten and not communicated - is that on the 24.03.2015 a meeting was called by Helmuth von Grolman and James Astorian. In this meeting a heated argument took place between myself and Grolman/Astorian.
The reason - and this is really the crux of the matter - was that Kolibri Power Systems AG, with a core valuation of almost 100 million euros, was to be handed over - or from my point of view - sold to an Asian investor who was demanding conditions which would have allowed him total control over the company while effectively excluding me from the decision-making process.
Moreover, I would be required to disclose all of the technology's secrets, hand over all intellectual property rights etc and maintain complete no-name non-disclosure confidentiality. All of these conditions have been insisted upon until the present day.
Grolman Kolibri Electrive vid interview Schwierz I was also repeatedly subjected to - what I felt to be - intense pressure from Helmuth von Grolman and James Astorian and it was also repeatedly stressed that the prospective investor was the best hope and last chance for Kolibri - the only other option being insolvency.
Finally, in a nutshell, the 24.04.2015 dispute escalated around the issue as to whether the investor's demands could not be met, the argument being that everything would be in good hands and that the Asia-based investor - who happens also to be a close family relative of Herr von Grolman - would only sign up and get on board if all of these conditions were met. Additionally, during those discussions on the 24.03.2015 I was offered personal payments amounting to almost a million euros - an offer which I am still gratefully declining !
In my view this is all nothing other than a comprehensive, concerted action on the part of public authorities, the media and business people with financial ambitions. "

Much more to come from us - this is just a taster to hopefully whet your appetites:  in the meantime - until we unleash our next abrasive little blast - here's the defamatory (and surely libellous ?) article in the Franfurter Allgemeine Zeitung/FAZ that once again targeted Hannemann with a shameless salvo of wild and woolly allegations and accusations - essentially of raiding company coffers - and based almost entirely on unsubstantiated hearsay, hear-tell and purported rumour.
(We won't dignify the FAZ attack with a translation - and the Google translation is even more outlandish than the German original)

It's clear to us at least, that in April this year Hannemann was 'made an offer he couldn't refuse' - but did refuse:    sell up, sell out, accept a million euro bribe/bung/financial inducement/sweetener - or else you'll be sacked on the spot from your own company(he was) and we'll have our friends at the FAZ defame you and character-assassinate you...as the German auto-industry's obedient ADAC Attack dogs or lap-dogs did in 2010 with the help of a largely compliant or silent press-gang.
(ADAC = Germany's AA/RAC/AAA)

It's equally clear to us that it is Hannemann's accusers who should be in the dock - von Grolman and James Astorian for attempted bribery and the Frankfurter Allgemeine for libel, defamation and journalistic negligence, assault and battery.

See also:
- Wiki re: DBM's Kolibri-powered Audi A2 2010 record run.
- our own 2014 EVUK piece re BMW-DBM and long range reality.
- Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung - not to be confused with the more liberal Frankfurter Rundschau. Here's our exclusive translation of the latter's 2011 interview with Hannemann.

In 2010/11 Hannemann was as determined to fast-track affordable, long-range EV's into showrooms as Elon Musk once was. But in one key respect the exiled, evicted DBM-Group CEO still beats Musk hands down:   he actually invented  a record-breaking, award-winning technology that could have changed everything.

And finally, here's DBM CEO & founder Mirko Hannemann speaking in 2010(quoted in Wikipedia) about low-cost long-range(200+ miles) - succinctly telling BMW, VW & Co what they just don't want (you) to know :
"The technology could be implemented today(2010). It is up to industry to use this potential."

June, 2015

"Jesus ! (x2)...My God !(x3)" - to quote the series champion*. And what a phenomenal FE Finale London served up !
(*NB: despite the multiple Jesus, God, Papal etc allusions this scribbler remains a devoutly EVangelical agnostic and agagnostic)

- Watch the full Formula E London race series climax - or just the finale's final 20 minutes..

FE Narrow Margins Battersea Piquet   Like most of the best dramas, the concluding ePrix race was a classic 'grower'. A frantic, intense, narrow-margin frenzy - simmering at the start, building like Ravel's Bolero and boiling over beyond the finish.

Here's the full race - plus a few pre-and post-race interviews.
And for once, 5 minutes into ITV's eclectic electric coverage, a royal personage - albeit born a mere commoner - had something surprisingly important to say - just a few simple words but clear enough and unusually bold.(It rarely happens that a celebrity or "public figure" - blue-blooded or otherwise - dares to utter those dirty words "environment" or "environmental" on camera - nice one, "Ferg E")

Other celebrities in attendance - Antonio Banderas, Will.I.Am, Naomi Campbell - apparently had nothing green or blue or regal to say on camera - but their endorsing presence was appreciated...not least by the Daily Mail for whom glitz, glam and home-soil patriotism can thankfully sometimes trump loyalty to oil and fossil-fuelled business-as-usual.

On Sunday there was again, as in China, an eerie feeling that EVents were being magically and majestically orchestrated by unseen hands, by a higher power.  Mightier even than FE mechanics or Mayor Boris J.
You may recall our headline for the FE opener in Beijing :

"The Gods Smiled On EV's in Beijing"

Well, they appear to have returned in force for the London finale. The EV Smile - the EV Spirit - was spookily omnipresent and sent shivers down the spine as drivers let rip for the last ten laps.
And Piquet Jr. became the leading lightning rod for most of that palpable, positively charged energy that filled the air and wowed the crowd. (Hmm - so is that where Nelson P. gets that extra charge he always seems to have over everyone else - is he just channelling it clean out of the air ?!   Cheat !   Drive-thru penalty ! )

Just one possibly churlish-sounding but constructive gripe re the circuit's controversial narrowness:  although Sunday served up a sporting classic, Saturday's contest felt more constricted, constrained and hemmed in than a go-kart race.   So if there is any way at all, Agag, guys & gals, that any of the narrowest stretches of the Battersea track could be widened by just a yard or even a couple of feet before next year without violating trees... the end would surely justify the means - even if a little tarmac is involved. But given the spooky surfeit of FE : EVUK synchronicity we've seen over the last year it's almost certain Agag's people are well on top of the problem.

Buddh_Internaional_Circuit_F1 And talking of broader tracks, wider horizons and synchronicity:  8-9 months after our pleas for a race to be staged in India - specifically at the wide-open, top-rated Buddh stadium circuit near New Delhi(watch lap video, right) - Agag has by sheer happenchance(don't ya know) begun talking about the possibility and desirability of a race in India... most likely in New Delhi (!)

Now there's a thing...
Time to put us officially on the payroll, Alejandro ?

This one last thought might just seal that deal(in our dreams):
  FE organisers are also looking to add African and other countries to the planet-wide race-schedule.
So, for what it's worth, we'd like to suggest - not Johannesburg - but Casablanca, Marrakesh and Masdar Formula E Circuit Air Masdar City - the UAE's new-ish (and frustratingly under-reported) green city development and renewable energy R&D hub in Abu Dhabi.  We've circled a potential circuit site right next to the city's protective perimeter walls...

But back to Morocco:   why not have race-sponsors help fund a "2020 Solarvision" initiative ?   Working with existing agencies to deliver 20 x 20Kw micro PV-powerplants to twenty of the most needy communities or villages throughout the host country ?   What better way to win hearts and minds sustainably, all year round, alleviating (often) oil-rooted anti-Western sentiment and demonstrating how FE and EV's are genuinely helping to drive the transition towards a greener, more ethical and, yes, more caring or altruistic form of capitalism.

June, 2015

Formula E(London etc): Watch FREE UK TV and/or
FIA Live Streaming
(just 1-2 clicks away)

It gets better: choose between ITV4 & ITV4+1.
Note:   ITV4+1 is the same as ITV4 - but with a 1 hour repeat-delay. Flip between the two...no need to panic if you tune in 59 mins+59 secs after live coverage begins on ITV4 ...

NB: the final race is being covered - for the first time - by ITV1ITV TV Logo for FE on Sunday 28.  Watch ITV1. See also: ITV1 FE schedule/listing. Note: ITV1 Sun highlights at 17.20 - so Formula E goes primetime on a prime/primary TV channel for the very first time. When will it switch permanently to ITV1 ? Season Two or Three ?

Summary of all FE London ITV4 and ITV TV broadcast times: here are Locate TV's ITV4 and ITV1 schedule listings for Sat 27Sun 28 and Mon 29 June.(It's almost all a.m. / morning action - so adjust or caffeinate your bodyclocks, viewers..drivers !)

But (online) TV-wise - we're almost spoilt for choice...even in countries like Spain where familiar vested interests are ensuring that Formula E is barred from TV...whilst Formula One is almost everywhere you look.

June, 2015

Stationary, driver-less, dis-connected Tesla - Kolibri/DBM déjà vu all over again ?
...some taboo Tesla truth trickles out at last - via Bob Lutz and Harvard Prof Bartman.

Stirling Moss in_his_Renault_Twizy ex-GM Bob Lutz  Harvard Prof Bartman Tesla NOT Disruptive
Left:  Stirling Moss - more disruptive than Musk ? He sure would be if he were to swap his Twizy for a Zoe long-ranger(both are Renault EV's of course)
Centre:  ex-GM's Bob Lutz on Tesla's (DBM-Kolibri-like) stationary stop-gap diversion
Right:  Harvard's Prof Thomas Bartman dares to state the obvious - no mention of the Denza, Zoe or e-Go though...or of any (theoretically) disruptive 800km+ range record-breakers. It's difficult to be disruptive if you're ignored by the media and academia...

Bartman also fails to mention one key, perversely ironic dilemma facing Tesla:   the low(er) cost Model III would itself inevitably disrupt and diminish sales of the Model S - though not in China where the too-pricey "S" has flopped(the Harvard professor has presumably/hopefully forensically researched his subject matter for many years, if not decades).

Thankfully, unlike Tesla, 2050Motors(see below) and their Chinese partners Aoxin have wisely opted to present their Model III and Model S equivalents, the e-Go and Ibis, simultaneously from the get-go or ab inicio - thus avoiding any Teasela-like temptation to un-disruptively dither, dangle and delay the launch of the lower cost vehicle hasta mañana ...or the year after.
See: The Pulse/Linkedin : "The Ibis is China's Answer to the Tesla Model S"

The Model 3-Years-Too-Late:
Alas & Alack !
- Most of us gave Musk the benefit of much doubt for the past couple of years - hoping he might display the genuinely disruptive defiance and courage/cojones to deliver the lower cost long-range Model 3 in 2015 ...or early 2016.

Maybe he wouldn't eventually genuflect and capitulate like almost every other wannabe EVangelical rebel and squander the low(er) cost E/III 's crucial ahead-of-the-game Unique (Timing+Price) Selling Point. Perhaps he wouldn't bottle out and EVentually comply with the not-till-2017 diktat-consensus...cosily relying on a fawning courtier press to fill the void with a constant stream of vacuous divert'n'distract fairy-dust press releases about anything other than the Model E/3/III or obediently refusing to criticise its USP-squandering, disruption-killing postponement.

Sorry Elon - but by 2017 the Model 3-Years-Too-Late will be totally lost in the long-range crowd. And the world's major carmakers will be undercutting you by at least $5k.
Now Musk desperately dangles and teases 250 miles of 3/III range as a possibility, as a new, worth-waiting-for USP.   Perhaps, potentially.
But who cares anymore ? Disruptiveness is all about:
a) timing
a) technology
a) price

.. all THREE factors have equal triple "A" Grade, Alpha status and importance. Musk has missed the boat big time - and it's no wonder that so many have jumped ship(or would like to).

    cf. Renault:   the French FE title-contender and race-car co-creator has already trumped Tesla in the disruptiveness stakes with its 149 mile/charge ZOE - and further, regular 19 mile range increments are promised.
Again, it's so conveniently fortunate for Teasela/Tesla that the ZOE is being kept out of US (and Canadian) showrooms. (Unlike the undisruptive glorified golf-cart the Twizy - now famously Stirling Moss's favourite racey runabout round London)

And of course it is to be expected that Vegas-based 2050Motors' valiant attempts to bring the subversively superlight 200+ mile/charge e-Go to US assembly-plants from China this year will be quietly and relentlessly undermined at every turn by the usual opposing forces. (Right, Professor ?)

Ah yeah, free-market protectionism and,er, free enterprise / free speech capitalism - don't ya just love it ?

"Tesla is haemorrhaging" says Bob Lutz.
Cash and key personnel.
A slight exaggeration perhaps - but frankly, we'd be very surprised if Musk doesn't - or wouldn't like to - cut and run within a year or ASAP - with the likes of GM or Daimler swallowing up and consolidating Tesla as a luxury / elite premium EV brand - quietly dumping the also-ran Model 3/III pretender altogether and focusing on their own in-the-works prototypes.

The time to launch a disruptive Model E/3 was always 2014 or 2015 - early 2016 at the very latest.
Musk the Musketier, the fearless, un-vanquishable Man of the People - as opposed to Elon the Elitist - knew that himself once...4-5-6 years ago.
He probably still does. By late 2017(y-a-a-w-n) the "III" will have completely lost its disruptive lustre and allure.

As for the Model X - it too is now way past its start-selling-by date - and risks being lost in the trail of a bulging high-end, luxury EV crowd. It could and surely should have been hitting showrooms within a year of the Model S's launch - no surprise Tesla's frustrated/disillusioned communications VP Simon Sproule legged it hot-foot to Aston Martin where an all-electric "Rapide" has recently been teased)

- Voice in the media wilderness: Harvard Professor Bartman states the obvious(ie. because "journalists" and our lame-tame media refuse to...): "Tesla No Longer a Disruptive Force"

Finale thought:  will FE-endorsing British race-aces Hill & Moss be rolling up at Battersea Park on the 27-28 June for the ePrix season finale ?
Almost certainly - but will they again both decline on-camera interviews ?

June, 2015 736km v 801km - the Slovenia v China range challenge heats up as Pečjak eyes Fiat Multipla Shenzhen-Nanning record.

Nanning TV Zotye Fiat Multiplia 801 km range record  Metron Mazda5 736km Record Start Bled

No, there'll be no ugly WWF-style head-to-head face-off - but Metron Institute's Andrej Pečjak tells us he believes that their Big Auto-shaming, ever-evolving Mazda5 conversion(Letrika Motor/Kokam batteries) is now capable of achieving 800+km and so - for what it's worth - could soon snatch the world record back from the Chinese-Italian team (Marco Loglio, Global Vantage Power) that drove a Fiat Multipla aka Zotye M300 at (almost) normal highway speeds from Shenzhen to Nanning in 2012.

Pečjak also confirmed that his amazing Mazda will again be taking part in this year's (imminent) WAVE 2015 (12-21 June - the Berlin FE WAVE event was just an appetizer)

Meanwhile China-based Dr. Loglio is confident that his new company's (MLCA Ltd) latest generation cells would now make 1000km realistically achievable on a single charge and - perhaps even more importantly - insists that his batteries are good for 3000 full recharge cycles(do the math).

But the question has to be asked yet again :   why bother  breaking real-world range records at all - given that the Mazda5's 736km feat was almost as steadfastly and predictably blanked, buried and ignored by the media(old & new) as Loglio's earlier truth-exposing 801km Chinese record run ?

So given the inexorable decline and demise of corporately incorrect(sic), non-compliant journalism, prospective range-record contenders will probably need to get their records done driverless in order to tempt the world's media to break their collective silence.

Note: slow-rangers - in Nov 2013 a Japanese team achieved 1300 km on a single charge on a specially selected village-circuit and at a very slow average 30km/h or 19 mph - so unlike their Slovenian and Chinese rivals NOT on normal roads and NOT at (near-)normal highway speeds.

Finally, to all those who have been successfully programmed and propagandized to view most news out of China with scepticism, cynicism or outright sino-phobia - a reminder that range-busting Marco Loglio is a former VP of ThunderSky - the Chinese company that supplied the long-range, robust batteries for Imperial College's almost legendary 26,000km Pan-American SRZero EV odyssey:     Chinese news sceptics should perhaps consider redirecting their cynicism towards our own habitually self-censoring, corporately compromised media here in the West - a month, for instance, after Formula E TV coverage was unceremoniously ditched in madrileño Alejandro Agag's homeland Spain - aka the Costa del RepSol. (Says it all, really)

Qué lástima !  Nominally Catholic Spain shamed by Russia(Moscow hosts Formula E: June 6).

How on Earth will the Spanish media and the country's largely eco-comatose, keenly consumerized, petrol-headed population react to their Pope's upcoming and rare "encyclical"...on climate change ?
With: "Sorry - but there's just no audience for the Pope here in Spain" ? ie. a repeat of the recent no-more-FE-on-TV excuses ?

Plan E + Formula E ?
But seriously - there is surely now a glimmer of hope that the door could be opened for a Formula E race in Madrid - the belly of the beast - following Podemos's recent political power-surge in the capital.
With a rascally race circuit, perhaps, that literally runs circles round Repsol's massive Madrid headquarters.
Pablo_Iglesias_Plan_E_Podemos Forget "FE for Zaragoza"(sorry guys) - let's conquer the capital !

Repetimos: Podemos o no podemos, Pablo? Iglesias ? Catolicas ?  Note that Podemos's Pablo Iglesias is now proposing a 'Plan E' ...for a job-creating Green Economy.
Plan E : Formula E.   What are we waiting for Alejandro/Pablo ?

Once again we seem to have tracked back to Formula E after opening on a different subject altogether(Pečjak's 800km range aspirations, WAVE 2015)
All roads lead back to Rome. Talking of which...why did that city - and Rio too for that matter - really cancel their plans to host Formula E ?

No doubt for more or less the same reasons that:

- Spanish TV has stopped covering the series
- FE CEO Agag has been unable to persuade any Spanish city to sign up for the ePrix
And for more or less the same reasons the world's chronically compliant media would in all probability ignore a 1000km range record set someday by Pečjak or Loglio or by any other non-corporate upstart - even if achieved driverless....or topless.

May, 2015

WAVE 2015 Parade EV Record attempt at Berlin Formula E Tempelhof track
- ending 2 hours before race start

WAVE 2014 507 E-Vehicles

Inevitably the words "WAVE 2014" or "WAVE 2015" or "WAVE Trophy" will still mean nothing at all to 99.9% of EU citizens or FE TV viewers - and probably even less to 99.999% of humans globally.
The mainstream media has thus far shown near-zero interest in the event.

WAVE_2014_Gull-Winged_Merc The record being attempted:   getting as many all-electric EV's as possible to gather in one location(FE race cars not permitted, not eligible - verboten !).

It all began in 2011 - here's the "Best Of" WAVE 2014 and the Youtube'd video of 2014.
Last year Chris Paine of "Who Killed the Electric Car" & "Revenge of..." fame was in attendance.
And Andrej Pečjak's Metron Institute/Letrika Mazda5 range record-breaker (unsurprisingly !) took first prize in the WAVE 2014 range competition. Metron7 Mazda5_WAVE_Range_Rec See our excl. Q&A piece: "736km Bled-Dubrovnik on a Single Charge".

This year Formula E's Berlin buzz should help boost the event's impact and reputation - even if TV companies and the mainstream media once more opt to turn a blind eye.

So:   the Formula E race proper begins at 16.00 Berlin time - and the WAVE Parade record-bid ends punktlich at 13.55(not 14.00, OK Volks ?!).

Louis Palmer - who drove the "Solartaxi" around the planet several light years ago(2007-2009) - is the principle driving force behind the WAVE, the WAVE Trophy and the steadily surging WAVE phenomenon.

May, 2015

FE Monaco race-wrap: range-busting Zoe earns trackside product placement, Agag breaks silence re stroke-victim(etc) Gildo Pastor (Venturi CEO), Branson does a Dario(two race-tech romanticists ?)

Renault Zoe Monaco FE Trackside easyGroupedRenault_Zoe_Monaco_FE_Trackside_2 Agag Monaco Gala Gildo Pastor Mentioned
Left: the range-busting, lower cost Zoe gets well-earned trackside product placement position
Right: FE CEO Alejandro Agag honorably mentions(for the first time publicly) stroke and family tragedy-victim Gildo Pastor(Venturi CEO and owner). See Youtube Monaco Gala Night speech(don't panic or yawn - it's an easy, breezy bit of banter..)

Let us explain and expand...

- If you've been following our gushingly positive comments re the Renault range revolution and the (now) 149 mile/charge Zoe(more 19 mile increments to come) you might once again be tempted to believe it was no coincidence that Renault decided for the first time ever to product-place or product-park a next-gen Zoe trackside for last Saturday's Monaco ePrix - just a stone's throw from that familiar FE "Drive The Future"(if you're a millionaire)  placard.

But now, at long last, thanks to Renault's lone long-ranger - you don't have to be a cash-stashed Tesla-owner or Chinese Denza-driver to consign range-anxiety to your annals of personal EV history.

Rest assured - blatant product placement normally has us reaching for the sick-bucket as rapidly as any other self-respecting propaganda-refusenik - but the sight of the silently disruptive Zoe Supermini being defiantly thrust in the faces of the short-range automotive establishment (Teasela/Tesla included - Model 3 not till "late 2017") was a sublime sight for sore eyes on May 9 - and we were treated to it once every lap - so 47 race-track "revolutions" in all.

- Virgin's Richard Branson continues to promote the romantic and fluffy fallacy that carmakers need FE race-tech and don't yet possess the technology to produce and sell long-range lower cost EV's..er..like the Zoe...or the 150-200 mile/charge, 5-seater ultra-lite carbon-fibre Aoxin e-Go(half the weight of the BMW i3 - see Vegas-based 2050Motors.com).
Like ITV's Monaco-absentee Dario Franchitti, Branson seems determined to believe and promote the myth that EV race-tech is or needs to be a key driver of road-car advances - whereas in truth all we have ever needed is a forensically informed, BS-intolerant population with the wherewithal and critical mass to pressurize carmakers into delivering low-cost, long range EV's - like the latest Zoe - now as opposed to  n  years from now.

The technology is already there Mr Branson - see Zoe, e-Go or EVUK's News, Trews or TrEVs archives if you think you can handle the truth.
Formula E participants, protagonists and agents provocateurs  should simply continue to do what they're doing - focusing on inspiring, entertaining and electrifying the event's ever-expanding global audiences.

But if "Sir Rich" or indeed EasyGroup's Monaco FE-sponsor and tax-resident Sir Stelios(see his orange banner ad right above the tracksided Zoe..) really want to help fast-track state-of-the-art, affordable 150-200 mile/charge consumer EV's into showrooms now or asap - then they could right nowAoxin e-Go long-range half BMWi3 weight - as we speak - consider grasping the golden opportunity of working with wannabe Chinese game-changers Aoxin(right) and doing with that company's e-Go and Ibis EV's what Warren Buffett has so famously failed to achieve with sino-BYD and their e6 or Denza-Daimler JV. Aoxin don't need FE race exposure - they need a fearless, defiant household-name Western/American/European partner or ally to help them counter the relentless global onslaught of anti-Chinese-brand propaganda and protectionism.   (Video:  e-Go / Aoxin factory built in 120 days)

Sadly though, the chances that the words "Denza" or "Aoxin" or "e-Go"(as written, not spoken) mean anything at all to research-averse mythologists like Branson (or Franchitti) are probably minimal at best.

Note:  it's now a dozen years since this EVUKSir Stelios EasyGroup Monaco Sponsor Resident scribbler(PG) chatted far-from-soberly with a bemused, then un-beknighted Stelios Hani-Ioannou at an Oxford Street magazine launch-party(as you do..) about EV's, Tom Hanks' RAV4 EV...while repeatedly pressing the question: "Why no Easy EV Car Rental, Stell ? Based on the RAV4 EV ?"
High time we re-framed the question for 2015: "Why no Easy e-Go rental, Sir Stelios ? Rent an e-Go !"

May, 2015

French Connections:  007, Aston Martin(E ?), Bond Fetish video in Monte Carlo, Top Marques & FE monocoques for Monaco, Michelin's Bibendum Challenges, EVER, Rallye de Energies Nouvelles
- and a Monégasque Murder Mystery(Victim: Venturi CEO's Mother - Monaco's Richest Resident)

Aston Martin DBX_Hybrid_for_Bond_Q  Voila !   No doubt about it, EV karma is now flowing from the States and gathering over France - epicentering in Monaco and around its hill-top capital Monte Carlo for Formula E's May 9th Riviera debut.

So here are a few Bond-and-beyond  bullet-points to help sum up the country's and principality's true, underreported EV / green track-record, credentials and legacy :

  •  Aston Martin(E ?) - a silent, stealthy, spectral electric ride for Bond ?   Apart from the fact that the Aston DBX is a hybrid - and even though an all-electric Panamera is now(May 5th, Autocar) being teased - note that none of the many recent speculative DBX-for-Bond reports mention that an 007 has already driven an all-electric sportscar - in classic Casino Royale territory and style - around Monaco/Monte Carlo(video):
Fetish Moore Face Fetish Moore 007 Monaco Venturi 7Fetish Moore_007_Monaco_Venturi 6Fetish Moore 007 Monaco Venturi 3Fetish Moore 007 Monaco_Venturi_4
Fetish Moore 007 Monaco Venturi 5Fetish Moore 007 Monaco Venturi Plato 1Venturi Fetish in MonacoFetish Moore 007 Monaco Venturi 2Fetish Moore Face 2

  •  two quotes from our permanent-fixture  Fifth Gear Moore-Bond_Fetish video are always worth re-highlighting - but especially now as Formula E prepares for its French debut in Monaco:

"Keanu Reeves, the head of Michelin and the head of fashion-label Diesel(!!) have all expressed an interest in trying one out(a Fetish)"

- thus spoke Jason Plato, Fifth Gear''s Monaco-resident race-driving co-host back in 2005 - two years before the Tesla Roadster was unveiled.
Add this bit of mischief from Roger Moore:

"No-one can hear you coming"

Surely just as importantly, Big Roge, no-one can hear you going or sneaking away, making your getaway, leaving the scene of the crime or the secret rendez-vous or tryst ...

  •  incidentally: the aforementionedEdouard_Michelin_Ebike Bibendum Challenge Fetish-fancier and high-profile EV / green car campaigner and Tyre Co. CEO Edouard Michelin was dead within a year(2006) - allegedly drowned in a suspiciously fishy fairweather fishing accident or "accident" .... following a very acrimonious split with Formula One and other anti-green fossil-fuel fundamentalist die-hards - aka the usual suspects.
(right - Michelin on ebike, Bibendum Kyoto)

In a similar sudden death vein:    in May last year Monaco'sVenturi_Gildo_Pastor_Fetish_007_Monaco.jpg wealthiest resident Hélène Pastor - mother of Venturi CEO and owner Gildo Pastor - was murdered in broad daylight along with her chauffeur after visiting her 47 year-old, FE team-owning son in hospital, where he was recovering from a devastating stroke. Now you may be asking what all of that has to do with Formula E, EV's etc.

OK - you've suffered a seriously debilitating stroke, you've lost the ability to speak, and then you lose your mother to a gunman's bullet just a few hundred yards from your hospital bed.  All of that might just ever-so slightly affect your ability/will to manage and motivate your co-owned Formula E race team.
See Bloomberg and Vanity Fair.

  •  Formula E in Monaco. Victory, Vindication, Validation, Victoire  for, among many others, the Automobile Club de Monaco and Prince Albert - but especially for Edouard Michelin. RIP.
Race In Peace.    Repeat In Perpetuity.

Monaco EVs EVER and_Rallye Energies Nouvelles 20 Years Monaco Albert Plugged In Prince Forbes

And last but not least, Formula E en France represents a much-merited, right-royal, what-goes-around-comes-around  Crowning Glory for Michelin's fellow green car champion and advocate - the long-time EV-believer and EVangelist His Serenely Green Highness Prince Albert(II) - the EVER-hosting Monaco Monarch himself.

In fact, there's so much EV/ green car commitment, so much prestige, creme-de-la-creme automotive and elite racing action and promotion in Monaco that it can all get a little confusing :   note however that Edouard Michelin's globally but sporadically-staged Bibendum Challenge has yet to be held in Monaco.

Unfortunately - despite all of the above - when FE CEO Agag and ITV/media commentators wax lyrical about Monaco's racing and automotive heritage on May 9th they'll be thinking and reminiscing about F1 and the Monte Carlo Rally - whilst EV and green car connoisseurs will be far more mindful of the Rallye de Energies Nouvelles, EVER, even Top Marques and, yes, Roger Moore's wicked little pre-Tesla fling with a Fetish - manufactured of course by Monaco-based Venturi - a company founded by ex-F1 racer Gildo Pastor -  the principality's (still second ?) wealthiest resident who has now famously teamed up with Leo DiCaprio to bolster and benefit from Formula E.

But with their team languishing at the bottom of the rankings the Leo-Gildo crew will no doubt be avidly anticipating FE Season Two and the new-found freedom to modify at least some of the Renault-Spark race car's key components including the motor(though sadly not the batteries as many had anticipated).

And whilst we're obsessively, quasi fetishistically, focusing on France - it's worth mentioning the many recent reports lamenting or celebrating the decline in EV sales in the US - but not en France - over the past few months.

None of those reports mention the primary, patently obvious reason for the stateside sales slump - namely the carrot-dangling prospect of 200 mile per charge   EV's from GM, Ford and others in 2017. A drop in EV sales between now and then is inevitable - and precisely what we predicted two months ago.

It ain't rocket or socket science, people !

Does anyone really believe that US EV sales would be falling if GM, Ford, BMW, Nissan et al had adopted Renault's incrementalist strategy - increasing the range of the Zoe now to 149 miles and cutting prices into the bargain ?  Here's the we-told-you-so extract from our February piece:

"...an additional question must be asked:  whatever happened to the industry's historical commitment to "incrementalism" ?  Why no gradual range increases year-on-year ? If 200 miles are achievable in 2017 - why not a 150 mile/charge, gap-filling electric Ford Focus now, this year, in 2015 for instance? Why not give us a pure electric 150 mile/charge Volt/Ampera option to fill the pre-Bolt void, GM ?
Inevitably, the prospect of two major carmakers' long-range game-changers arriving in showrooms 20-24 months hence will diminish demand  for today's short-range EV's - so a win-win for petrol/diesel vehicles, EV's on ICE once again, and a return to business as usual until 2017-18."

So a final shout-out and quizzical Q or two for all of those lame-tame pundits still doggedly refusing to state the obvious: come on guys - take a wild guess - do you predict that sales of the Renault Zoe will:
a) decrease
b) increase
...now that range has been incrementally and more-or-less immediately increased to 149 miles and the vehicle's sell-price reduced ?  And why not give us your best-shot  hunch as to why the Zoe is unavailable  and rarely referenced(quelle surprise !) in the US ...ditto the Denza ?

- Vive La (range/price) Difference !
- Vive La France !
- Go Monaco !

- And now pray silence please...for the
Monégasque 'National' Anthem.  Anyone ?

April, 2015

Formula E: Dear Dario: 
FE race technology won't speed up EV progress - but ITV's / global TV's top-drawer coverage will

ie. by dramatically  raising EV awareness and massively increasing global pressure on carmakers to accelerate  real EV's into showrooms.
  Put simply, thanks to FE on TV tens of millions more humans are now regularly keyword-searching all things EV-related. A significant minority - perhaps even ITV's Dario Franchitti - will sooner or later uncover the real history - recent and not-so recent - of potentially game-changing electric vehicles and EV facts and truths that our media, including ITV,  (have) worked so hard for so many years to ignore, bury, wilfully underreport or misrepresent.

Click for Clip-Clash Collage - a Crash Course in Research + Racing + Road Car Realities(1 min 42 secs) :
Dario_Franchitti_Miami_Pit_InterviewKerry Kirwan_TEDx_Research.Agag Long Cal  Beach Battery_Forever
From Left to Right, East to West, Miami to Long Beach via Warwick(University)
...or more to the point - from fallacy to fantasy  via R&D reality(centre pic: Dr. Kerry Kirwan)

Here are just a few clashing clip-quotes to juxtapose:

- Dario Franchitti(ITV): "there's no better place to prove technology and develop technology quickly(than in race cars) "

- Dr. K. Kirwan: "The truth is that since the 50's and 60's very little has made it from this sort of thing(race-cars) to the cars you drive"

- ITV's Jack Nicholls(Dario F's relatively well-researched co-commentator):
"It's called research Dario - you should try it !"
"It's called research Dario - you should try it !"
(sorry - but it IS worth repeating)

- Alej Agag(FE CEO): "we hope here that they can invent batteries that last forever, basically"
Q:  Are FE teams not testing Power Japan Plus's dual carbon cells, Alejandro ?  100% recyclable, 20xfaster recharge, up to 300 miles range, 3000 recharges, cheaper ..(Video: In The Fast Lane - PJP & Taisan")Taisan-Tyson PJP versus Tesla
(Note:   just 100kg of PJP cells could deliver the same range as an FE race car's current 200kg pack. Better still, increase that to 150kg of PJP cells and drivers could stay out on track for around 6-8 extra laps of flat-out racing while their alternate second car is being superfast-charged in the pits. To paraphrase Agag: "FE races could last forever, basically" .  And of course a 50kg lighter, PJP-powered FE car would also inevitably be easier to handle, slimmer, faster.  D'accordo, Dario ?  Verdad, Agag ?)


Extreme intensive testing in the real world(no short, fairweather FE races needed..)
Video: DENZA EV(Daimler-BYD)  :
Daimler_BYD_DENZA_Extreme_Testing WetDaimler_BYD_DENZA_Extreme_Testing SnowDenza Desert heat
A breathless, speechless(literally), all-action mini-movie that eloquently demonstrates...Dario - if you're listening or web-researching...that by far the best, quickest, most efficient, effective way to test and prove automotive technology - electric or otherwise - is to subject vehicles and their individual, potentially game-changing components - batteries, motors, powertrain configurations, battery management/cooling systems - to thousands of miles of relentless, forensically monitored pummelling in some of the most extreme weather and driving conditions imaginable - rain, floods, snow, ice, desert heat - in the real world and in purpose-built state-of-the-art test-facilities.

Anyone still tempted to fall for the fond fallacy di Franchitti that "there's no better place to prove and to develop technology quickly(than in race cars) " should Dario and Jack_ITV_FE_BehindTheScenes also bear in mind that consumers obviously have very different priorities and objectives to motorsport and FE team bosses/owners. Whilst everyone wants maximum range, the likes of Andretti, Branson, Abt, Prost and even DiCaprio won't be overly concerned for instance if they're able to track down new batteries with triple the energy-density of today's cells but which are far too expensive or exotic ever to be commercially viable in consumer EV's or are a nightmare to recycle or which begin to fade after just 500 charge cycles.
In short, team bosses and drivers wanna win races while most (would-be) EV-owners want long range, low cost and maximum battery life-expectancy (=minimum depreciation anxiety).

As for FE race cars' deliberately unpredictable, intrusive regen and carbon braking system - well, clearly no-one wants to see that technology ever heading for showrooms or hitting the streets(or pedestrians, lamp-posts, cyclists..)

All of that said, we have to selectively disagree with ex-GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz's recent comments(11. April, MTR) that " Motor Racing Is Now a Waste of Money",  Yes, fossil-fuelled motorsport and transport are both fast becoming yesterday's yawn for the younger iPod/smartphone generation and for enlightened evergreens of any age.
But Formula E and ITV's generally superlative race-coverage and commentary team(s) are serving up the ultimate ICE-free icing on the cake.
Bread and circus with champagne on one level - but also with a much higher and nobler purpose than any other motorsport or race series has ever aspired to or inspired  in global audiences.
All of this seems to be lost on Lutz.

We should all probably just thank our lucky stars, fate - or who knows - perhaps even divine intervention (Merci Michelin, Edouard ? ) that:
aITV decided to hand over Formula One broadcast rights to the BBC in 2008
bMichelin lost out to Pirelli in its 2013 bid to be Formula One's sole/exclusive tyre supplier.

If it weren't for a and b above - just where would we now be FE ?   ITV ?  Franchitti ?

Q: Teaser - research this ! (Jack? Bring Dario up to speed ?)
 What is the key, intriguing link between the 200km/h, 290+ mile/charge, Pan American highway-conquering(26,000km, 2010) electric Radical
SRZero (Imperial College, London)...and the modified Formula E race-car that China Racing/NextEV are developing for next season ?
A: ..instead of just one motor the Chinese car will be powered by twin/dual motors as is the FE Race Director's (rarely-seen) Croation Rimac hypercar. And they will almost certainly also be so-called Axial Flux Motors.

Axial Flux Motors: this premium drive technology is currently also all the rage and virtually de rigueur in the latest glut of Billionaire Boy Toy electric supercars - see :
- the
Renovo Coupe, Lola Drayson Le Mans race car British NEC Jan 2012 Youtube Drive eO's PP03, the Lola-Drayson Formula E/le Mans prototype(Lordy, whatever happened to that 2012 endeavour ?!).
Finnish Toroidion have not confirmed whether their recently unveiled "1MW"(which also features fast pit-stop battery-swap capability) utilizes AFM's - so it's just a 'probably' at this point.

UK-based Yasa Motors and EVO-GKN appear to be the top-choice manufacturers of Axial Flux Motors internationally at the moment. EVO supplied the SRZero's AFM's in 2010 and have now tied up with FTSE-100-listed GKN. See EVO's SRZero detailed pdf Paras 5-8.
Here's a gem extract which we'd love to hear ITV's D. Franchitti casually trott out on air at some point:
"This disc-shaped geometry allows for a greater effective electromagnetic area, which means the torque is proportional to the cube of the machine radius, in contrast to a radial motor where it's proportional to the square. The end result is that it produces significantly more power and torque for a given size and weight. "

March, 2015

Vive La Renault-Revolution !   ZOE range increased to 150 miles(well almost:  149=240km)
- Price cut promised.
Unsurprisingly the roomy 5-door supermini has shot straight to the top of its class.

Despite the refreshingly low-key, nul-hype nature of the announcement, this week's action-not-words move has to rank as one of the boldest, most genuinely disruptive EV developments of the last 15 years...


Spooky synchronicity or simple coincidence - if it's OK with you, we'd like to fondly imagine that Renault have hurried to heed our recent pleas to GM, Ford and the rest of the long-distance carrot-danglers and ditherers that they rediscover incrementalism and deliver a "mere" 150 miles of range now instead of forever promising 200+ miles the year after next or thereabouts.

OK, in truth Renault did signal a ZOE/Zoé upgrade in Geneva three weeks or so ago but the news was inevitably drowned out by the usual tsunami of teases and make-believe pledges that plague all motor shows.

But Alors or even Chic Alors - the revolutionary gauntlet has been quietly, exquisitely thrown down and a grand surprise sprung in Paris in the Spring - it will be entertaining to say the least to see how the rest of the 100-ish mile/charge manana-banana bunch respond to this massively momentous and daring overtaking manoeuvre by Formula E force majeure and now long-range provocateur Renault.

Now that the French have taken the lead on the race-track and in showrooms, long-distance laggards like GM, Ford, VW must be feeling the heat as never before - or would be if the world's press would pile on the pressure. (OK,OK - pigs will be flying supersonic before that happens...)

Will Renault's "strategic alliance" partner Nissan now leap to take a leaf out of their French ally's livre ?
Will France's BMW neighbours and i3 rivals stop stubbornly stalling at 81 miles a charge ?  Can they afford to stand still ?

It's suddenly champagne and crunch time at the EV crossroads - almost two years sooner than expected. The world's carmakers will now surely have no choice but to rise to the challenge and hit fast forward if they're to avoid being thoroughly thrashed and Flash-Fried by the French.

But despite the applause and the plaudits from the pundits, we'd urge Zoe-fanciers not to rush out and buy the quietly revolutionary 149 mile EV just yet - hold on for another month or two if you can - the low-range automotive consensus may be about to crumble at last - almost 2 years earlier than tacitly agreed / decreed.

Finally - a few moot Zoe/ZEV points could use a quick airing:

1) What's in a name ?   Far more than there should be.   So why call a car "Clio" or "Zoe", "Zoé" or even "Zoë" ?
Why choose such gender-specific, market-limiting, divisive names ?  Names designed and destined to appeal disproportionately to females and repel (wannabe) macho males, petrolheads, die-hard Clarkson clones(who'd still choose an i3 over a Zoe even if BMW were to slash the range by 20%).
Can we not have gender-neutral names please Renault ?  Too late ?  Not necessarily !  Why not tear up the rule-book altogether and offer the same car with a choice of names - the Zoe or the Joe, the Joey ?   A Renault Joe would certainly sell and work well in the US where the Zoe still isn't sold - despite eager pleas like these from CleanTechnica's Zero Emission sleuth Zach Shahan .
But if it's a 'No' to a Joe or a Joey then why not cut a deal with Moët ?
After all, Citroen purloined Picasso's name and fame sans problème. (thankfully Toulouse Lautrec didn't make the short-list..)

2) Battery life-expectancy, charge cycles. The subject is still being avoided by the media and automotive mainstream - but when it comes to the thorny question of depreciation and residual or resale value, battery life-span is of primary concern.
If Renault were to promise or simply predict 2000+ full charge cycles(x 149 miles) it would really seal the deal for most of us. The cells may be guaranteed for 60,000 miles but how do they fare beyond 150,000 ?  Or 200,000 ?

3) Why 149 and not 150 miles of range ?   Why did Renault literally not go that extra one mile ?

See also:
- all recent Renault 149 mpc Zoe News reports:
Renault ZOE_Youtube_Carbuyer_short_range
Bing    /    Google.

- all Youtube Zoe reviews(earlier models only)

March, 2015

Formula E London and Battersea Battery-power: a triple-bill, long-weekend, bonanza-extravaganza.
- well, it's one way to tackle FE's short-range, short-race deficit ...

Battersea Best Track View  AerialBattersea Power Station View  Aerial
Left : the Battersea Park circuit - easily Formula E's greenest venue(contrast Zaragoza's proposed venue below)
Right: Battersea Power Station - now decommissioned and fashionably residential - was once London's ugliest, sootiest eye-sore. But soon locals will see Formula E for free from its roof-gardens.

So three equally important races for all ages: Two senior (SAT/SUN). One junior (FE Schools kit-cars, courtesy charity GreenPower, Youtube highlights)

No surprise that EVUK, London's Mayor , UK audiences and Battersea organisers have tuned into the same it's-too-short wavelength vis-à-vis race duration-deprivation since the race series kicked off in Beijing.
And following London's stretched race-car fiesta and competition climax it'll surely be difficult for Agag, Todt and FIA officials to revert to offering a paltry, frenetic, hectic, never epic 50-minute race-chase at any venue next season.

As we said in our post-Beijing piece in September - if FE cars and batteries can safely, flamelessly and famously somersault through the air, crash down onto hard tarmac from a height of 3-4 metres and regularly smash into walls and barriers - then clearly at the very least each driver's first car could be rapidly and safely cell-swapped while he/she is out driving car number two - giving spectators and growing global audiences an extra 12-lap full-throttle flat out finale. After each 6-8 week wait between races it's the least we all deserve.

FIA: Battery Backtracking not Fast-tracking:
Tesla Roadster range increased to 400 miles Rimac FE Race Dir Supercar FE Beijing Heid Electriflying Crash
Left to Right:
- Tesla Roadster: realworld range now increased to 400 miles. Tesla Model S P85D "Insane" acceleration button: 0-60 in 3.2 secs v FE car's 3.0(but the Tesla's a 250% heavier 7-seater). Tesla S certified "safest car ever tested"(Aug 2013 reports).

- FIA Race Director's Car - the Rimac Concept One electric Supercar. 373 miles/charge. So only the FE boss really gets to drive the future, now.(Rimac on FE track - Youtube)

- Formula E race car: flat batteries after just 30 miles - despite the best/worst workings of its intrusive, unloved, barely manageable, crash-causing regen-braking system.
Yet from the outset we were told that FE - not Rimac's visionary Croatian supercar - was intended not just to entertain but to help speed up the development and transfer of new EV-tech, especially batteries, to main street.

Even next season, the recently announced eight new manufacturers joining FE will after all not be allowed to fit new, upgraded, longer-range batteries. Yet in 2013 after the FE car's Frankfurt unveiling it was widely reported by reliable sources that new cells would be permitted in season two - ref this from The Engineer (Oct,2013)

"The organisers will make Formula E an open series in its second year which means that each team will be free to develop its own car with whatever configuration of motor, batteries and charging systems that they believe will give them the biggest advantage in the race."

And ITV's FE commentator Dario Franchitti reassuringly repeated that expectation in Uruguay. So there's one fellow Scot who'll find it hard not to slam this sneakily under-reported, can-down-the-road cell out and U-turn...

The few modifications that are being permitted are peripheral, tokenistic, cosmetic:  EV progress and performance - in terms of both range and speed - is almost all about the battery.
So yet another extraordinary example it seems of the automotive and motorsport establishment's collective determination to postone real EV and range progress until 2017-18.
So much for FE's "Driving the Future" and "Visionary Thinking" pretensions. Such slick over-slugged slogans should always conclude with the words "but not in showrooms..any time soon".

In the real world you'll still need a Tesla or a race director's Rimac or just a China-only Daimler Denza to experience those long-denied long-distance dreams.

Vorsprung durch Technik - and now #FanBoost durch #RangeBoost please !

Warwick Waste Recycled Racing Car 1 Recall that Warwick University's Dr. Kerry Kirwan(WorldFirst F3 "veg" car) contends that Formula One and motorsport have for decades failed to deliver(TEDx Youtube) innovation to showrooms . He's right of course - but university research-labs have an equally poor tech-transfer track-record).

So a 48-hour Formula E jamboree for Britain - but still not a single schedule-entry for Agag's oiligarchical Spain...

Zaragoza's Formula E for Spain campaign organisers must feel aggrieved and green with envy to see London hosting two races whilst their FE CEO countryman Alejandro - publicly at least - turns a blind eye and deaf ear to their pleas.

Greener(y) ?    Spain and Britain - spot the difference:
Zaragoza FE course View  Aerial  Battersea Best Track View  Aerial
It looks like the Grass will be Greener(and twice as long) for Di Grassi & Co in London(right) than it might some day be in Zaragoza(left) - if this arid aerial view stays unchanged.

And typically for sun-drenched Spain - not a single solar panel in sight ! And though it's a fine, fast-looking circuit it's crying out for a forest of foliage, tree-lined esplanades, invitingly verdant roof-gardens and a hectare or three of PV. A few Parisian Aeroleaf tree-turbines(inset above) would surely impress Frenchman Jean Todt and leave Agag agog(again).

In fact, given BMW's and Rinspeed'sWind-Tree BMW i8 FE Safety penchant for crudely protruding phallic roof-cams(FForward this Budii video to 2min 54secs) why not invite BMW to plant an eye-catching, trickle-charging tree-turbine atop their Formula E i8 safety car ? (artist's impression, right)

But let's return to Zaragoza's green FE hopes..
...there's no hurry guys, plenty of time to sow those seeds and trees and to colour things green. Long epic races that truly justify each city's investment and effort have now been ruled out by an FIA "fiat" until season three - not two, as originally indicated. (Just one reason why only two EU cities have signed up as FE hosts)

So Goza Zaragoza con FE ? Spain's Tele5 is promoting or at least publicizing the grass roots citizen-led cause and the city recently launched a major 'sostenible' transport initiative.
Hmm - and given that Zaragoza is also the Spanish home of GM / Opel - will its EVangelical and catholic citizens insist that the Bolt and the Volt be built there too ?

Podemos o no podemos ?
Pablo ? Iglesias ? Catolicas ?

Intriguing to note - see Wiki/Rimac - that the first million dollar Rimac Concept One electric hypercar - one of which serves as FE's Race Director's track car - was sold to "an unnamed Spanish customer"..

Come on non-anonymous "AA" aka A. Agag - please name names - do you own that Rimac - or know someone who does ?
More importantly - when will you be bringing FE - your very own ethical alternative to bull-running - to the streets of Spain, the car-crazed Costa del RepSol, your homeland ?

And why on earth Russia but not Spain ? If the FIA can give the green light and a thumbs-up to Formula E in Putin's Prokhorov-free, "No-Yo" Moscow - then why not to Pablo Iglesias's now semi-revolutionary Spain ? (See Youtube: Putin drives Yo-mobile and RT TV re final No-Go for Yo)

Again Agag:  Podemos o no podemos ?

Your people are politically revolting Alejandro - now's surely the time to give them - and Tele5 producers - what they need, want and deserve:   a Racing and Ratings Revolution !

Find FE Zaragoza here: Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Change and at its (far from?) homepage formulaezaragoza.tk : but why on earth ".tk" for Tokelau in New Zealand and not ".es" for España ?!!
Email: formulaezaragoza@gmail.com

(Geneva - March 1st FE bid update:   major sponsors Tag Heuer and Julius Bär assisted by drivers Nick Heidfeld and Simona de Silvestro launch bid to bring Formula E to Switzerland. Spain's / Zaragoza's low-budget grass-roots FE campaigners sure have their work cut out now. Video)


Base Race Notes:

- Eight manufacturers for next season announced. But new batteries will be barred after all. Back-tracking not fast-tracking. An all-too predictable, par-for-the-course "cell-out".

- Berlin FE circuit unveiled (Feb 24). Like London this enclosed non-city-street airport venue should have the feel of a dedicated stadium race-track.
After the February press conference high-flying driver Nick Heidfeld, whose career literally took off in Beijing, 'treated' guests to BMW i8 & i3 test-drives. But just how many FE / FIA employees, drivers, media bosses, TV commentators, celebs and VIP's have bought a BMW i3 or hybrid ? And paid the full price with their own cash ? One? None ?


Let's now seamlessly seque from Formula E - via its BMW i8 safety car perhaps - to a quick pit-stop in Geneva(March 5-15): Motorshow Madness and Make-Believe plus a Fantastical or Fictional Flowcell Fuel with "1000km" of range...
Rinspeed Budii i3 with roof-erected phallic camera Rinspeed BamBoo EV VW Bulli Promised_Again_for_2019
Budii, BamBoo or Bulli ? Which would most non-android earthlings - without being bullied - choose ? Of course most Volk would vote for the Volkswagen !  Agreed Rinspeed and VW / BMW ?

Swiss Rinspeed's gizmo-laden, ostensibly futuristic Budii - an anachronistically low-range revamp of BMW's 81 mile/charge i3 - is due to debut in Geneva on March 5.
That's right, it's official, and you're probably hearing the following sad fact here first:   company founder Frank Rinderknecht has emailed us to confirm there will be no i3-Budii range-change. Or to put it another way - BMW clearly still want no range-change. Worse still, the Budii's driverless, soul-less gadget-excess - with its plug-and-play, amorous android passengers(video) - would inevitably drain the car's city-range cells even faster.

And anyway, who wouldn't prefer Slovenian Andre Pečjak's refreshingly plain and sane response to our irresistible query: "what would you do with a BMW i3 ?"
As you may recall the creator of the 340km Bolt and 736km Mazda5 says he'd simply increase range by 50-70km - and is planning to do just that by buying a used one to upgrade when prices drop like a stone ie. as soon as the 200 mpc GM Bolt goes on sale.
So could you not return to the KISS principle, Herr Rinderknecht - "Keep It Simple Stupid" ?
Why not give us a "Kia KISS" in Genf next year ? With even more Soul and loads more range ?

And stop selling us what the Tech Sector/Auto Sector/Wall Street so desperately want us to buy ?

Kiss Good-Bye, bitte, to empty complexity and evolve back to bamboo ! (See Rinspeed BamBoo). Imagine an organic - not synthetic or cosmetic - bamboo Bulli - the rave-reviewed, long-range e-Campervan(VW's top EV mañana-banana 2011-2019..and counting).
Rinspeed Budii Cloud Cuckoo Cam No roof-mounted cloud-cuckoo camera or helipad with personal drone - just a bamboo board for surfing the crest of a wave.

Is there no escape from the "Born Electric" Bavarian Behemoth?
Bamboozled, bedazzled and bank-rolled by BMW - does no-one ever say "No" ?
Yes !!   Rimac's very first EV conversion was based on a clapped-out, battered old BMW "Benziner" - but definitely not at that company's behest.


À propos Genève - unlike Rinspeed, Liechtenstein-based NanoFlowCell(1000km "affordable" Quantino & 600 km/charge Quant-e, ionic fluids instead of lithium batteries) have so far not responded to most of the key questions we've put to them - namely:Quant E in Zurich For Real 2015 Feb
- will it be possible to buy domestic or home  reprocessing/recharging appliances? If not, why not  ?!
- how are the per km/mile driving costs likely to compare to lithium battery EV's... a year or 3-4 years from now ?
Thankfully, unlike hydrogen for fuel cells, NFC's fluids don't need to be condensed, compressed or converted to solid hydride crystals etc - but the energy-in/energy-out cost and efficiency equation is yet to be explained or proven.

But NanoFC's Chairman of the Board, Prof Jens-Peter Ellerman does have encouraging news on the following key FAQ:
- if Flowcell's ionic solutions can efficiently power our cars, why not install additional units to power our homes ? Replenished, recycled and recharged via solar/PV ?
Here's NFC's Prof Ellerman:
"The potential of the NanoFlowcell is much greater especially in terms of domestic energy supply" .
Eureka ! As long as we're not dependent on fuel-tanker deliveries or pipelines of course.

See Carscoops(Feb 20, 2015): "Quant E Cruises Through Zurich's Streets To Prove It's For Real".


Let's wrap-up this epistle TREWS-TREVS-style. Once and only once.
À la or le revolutionary Russell Brand:

Time for more True EV News - EV news that's true! TREVS ! TREVS ! Prescribed here ! Inscribed here !

R Brand has yet to call a green-black Metrocab. Or a Thriev taxi. He's yet to spark revolution on the streets.
So is he still addicted ?
To oil ?

Russell, me old mate, it's never too late to kick the habit. Just call a green taxi to Battersea on June 27-28 and circle the Park's perimeter once or twice. A couple of revolutions should take less than 10 minutes.

And whilst FE's battery powered/EV revolution may have its fair share of short-comings at least it's being globally televised - not just Youtube'd. (cf. Brand's now totally taxi-free Trews)

Such a pity that the world's reactionary-radical Left - but especially here in Britain - won't actively champion green change, innovation and solutions.
Ugly Home Truth :  if it had been left to the left - be in no doubt - formerly dirty-old Battersea Power Station would still be burning coal and pumping out CO2, NOx and SOx.

More Inconveniently True EV News! - EV news that's true! TREVS ! TREVS !  Inscribed here ! Prescribed here ! etc etc

February, 2015

Jan-Feb miscellany:  true EV news & views with few taboos ...incl. Power Japan Plus excl. update

Plus - another EVUK result ?   Has Russell Brand finally ditched "true news" Trews-cruising in black ICE cabs ?
And is it Time for a TrEVs ?
And a Thriev Trews Cruise ?

Picture-in-Picture:   Is Russell Brand seriously revolting ?
On reflection...possibly not:  that's his diesel-powered black cab reflected in a London shop-window
(black cabs typically emit around 8.5 tonnes of CO2/year and average just 18 miles/gallon - but electric alternatives are easy to book):
"Can Superheroes Save The Planet" - a few months back Brand spoke to economist, environmentalist, activist author Naomi Klein - thankfully not in the back of a climate-killing cab - about green activism, action, solutions and her best-selling book "This Changes Everything".

- And indeed in the past few weeks Brand seems to have seen the green light and changed his chauffered cab habits. Yes, the erstwhile stand-up but now sedentary seditious host of The Trews ("True News" - 100,000 hits a day) - appears to have finally got (half) the message and stopped filming his daily show as he cruises around London in a gasoline-powered car/taxi while frequently and discordantly denouncing wars for oil, fossil-fuelled foreign policies, the desecration of the planet, climate change deniers etc.
But can this eclectic collectivist be woken up a little more...will he go that extra evolutionary, revolutionary green mile ?
We have tried via his Trews "Comments" edition to persuade the ecologically, spiritually, politically revolutionary solution-seeker to switch to far greener, cleaner, electric-powered in-cab cruising and musing if he is seriously and trewly revolting:   Thriev's subversively disruptive 186 mile/charge BYD e6 taxis would clearly be the ideal alternative.
ThriEV Ian MihajlovicAs company spokesman Ian Mihajlovic(right & rightly) points out in this very business-like Vimeo video, a conventional Black ICE Cab typically emits around 8.5 tonnes of CO2 per year.
OK, Mihajlovic may lack Brand's fiery, flamboyant flair and hair - but at least he's driving what he preaches on(to) the streets of London...and creating up to four new jobs for every e6 taxi that gets added to the fleet.(More on Thriev from Bloomberg biz, below)

If not a pure electric Thriev e6, Russell - Metrocab Black_Boris_Drivers_Test  Youtubethen why not hit the road again in a recently-launched..er..brand-new, range-extended, electric-drive MetroCab ?   Watch official 'thumbs up' video - taxi drivers and London Mayor B.J. try out Black Metrocab - and see Feb 10, 2015 press release.

But we press the question again: is it time for us - EVUK - to launch our very own, even more radically revolting, EV version of Brand's Trews ?
    Title:    "TrEVs" - or perhaps even more revoltingly:
         "TrEVs & BEVs"

- EVUK Exclusive update re Power Japan Plus(dual carbon, 100% recyclable, 20xfaster recharge, up to 300 miles range, 3000 recharges, cheaper)
Taisan-Tyson PJP versus Tesla

The Positive: Power Japan confirmed to us this week(Feb 2nd) that the first trial cell samples - as promised 3 months ago - are now being supplied to interested parties worldwide.
The Negative: unfortunately they also tell us that the collaboration with Taisan Racing has been delayed - for unspecified reasons.

- Bloomberg business breaks ranks and focuses on "EV Democracy" - or affordable access to long-range electric cars - in the following TWO relatively rebellious reports - a rare mainstream must-read double for any pro-EV 'voters' and 'electorates' feeling trewly or truly tired of Tesla's void-filling Spoilt Boys Toys and geeky guy gimmickry - and no less mightily miffed by unrelieved EV / Elon Elitism and long-range austerity for the masses (beyond China, that is):
Thriev_BYD_e6_Taxi_London_long-range  v Tesla
BYD to Expand Electric-Car Leasing Deal With London Hire Service"(Thriev will increase its e6 fleet to 200 by April - see Thriev.com, Thriev's linkedin pages and Vimeo video )

Black Bluecar Bollore v Tesla
"Billionaire Bolloré Looks at Car-Sharing Los Angeles & Singapore". Autolib's 150 mile/charge Bluecars are also set to debut in London and Indianapolis later this year(Spring/Summer - so just before Formula E's sub-30 mile-per-charge race-cars arrive in London for Stage 10 of the FIA series on June 27).

(The first Bluecar Autolib scheme was launched in Paris in 2011. Watch EVUK's video montage, incl. CNN etc)

So here are Bloomberg and Bolloré on the business of democratizing and popularizing long-range EV's:

"His business model in this segment contrasts with Elon Musk's Tesla Motors Inc. maker of the premium Model S sedan, whose price starts at $70,000.
"We've embarked on a very different path, which is a people's electric car, democratic, that everyone can use," Bolloré said at a press conference. "Tesla positioned itself on the completely opposite end of the range."

Unfortunately you can only borrow not buy or own Bolloré / Thriev "EV Democracy" here in the West and it's only available or "electable" in a very few large densely-populated cities - not to citizens and "voters" most in need of long-range personal transport.  Which is all in stark, perversely ironic contrast to relatively EV-democratized China where the taboo-in-the-West, 186 mile/charge Daimler-BYD Denza(video) and BYD e6 can be purchased - after government subsidies - for just over half the price of a Tesla Model S. That's around US$40,000 for the Daimler-BYD Denza and US$38,000 for the less stylish and plush, workhorse e6.(See Wiki's Daimler-BYD Denza & e6 pages for price etc details ).

- Finally to the Detroit Auto Show and the Tesla Model "E" now "3".
Strange, is it not, that in Dec 2013 over 50,000 Google News websites confidently stated (as opposed to speculated) that the long-awaited low-cost Model E/3 would debut at the 2015 Detroit Show.
Instead, 13 months later in January 2015, we witnessed a conspicuous no-show. Accompanied by an equally conspicuous and ubiquitous media silence and memory loss.
Sure, the Tesla CEO showed up to elongate the wait and to talk about the Model 3 - but no journalists it seems had or have the temerity or integrity to remind him - or their own readers/audiences for that matter - of the company's 2013 pledge to unveil the Economy E-now-3 concept in January 2015 in Motor City.
And of course no-one is daring to suggest that what both Tesla and carbuyers need right now or asap is NOT driverless cars or "Insane" instant acceleration buttons or even the extravagant, too-long-delayed Model X - but an affordable long-range People's EV to trump the almost affordable e6 and Denza that the people of the People's Republic of China(HK included) can already find in vehicle showrooms.

NB. Defining "affordable" - factoring in battery life-expectancy:   remember that BYD insist that their e6/Denza cells will last for over 350,000 miles or 20 years - so at least twice as long as Tesla's Panasonics.
À propos panning Panasonic:   one unspoken reason that Musk has insisted - to the bewilderment of many - on opening battery-swapping stations as a superfast-charge proxy is undoubtedly to ensure that ageing and fading battery-packs can be quietly and automatically taken out of circulation and replaced. That would obviously be great news for owners of high-mileage, used, bruised and abused Tesla's a few years down the road - especially if the cell-swap costs "about the same as a full tank of gasoline" - as Musk has stated !
(Predictably, none of the countless commentators we've checked on the issue have mentioned this positive, swap-old-for-new, life-span/rejuvenation angle at all - for example see
GreenTechMedia:    "Will Tesla Owners Want to Swap Their Battery ?")

An Affordable Ford 200 miler ?
Don't believe a rumour - Bingo! - until it's
officially denied.

If this rumour is true, then the company's ambivalent denial is the kind of white lie we can live with.
And if Ford prefer simmering leaks to dangling carrots - so much the better.
Crucially and encouragingly - whether it was an intentional leak or not - Ford have dismissed the speculation only as "not accurate" - not as "false" or "untrue" or "baseless" .
So perhaps the car won't be unveiled this year but next. Maybe its range will be slightly lower - 300km - a figure that would match the Daimler-BYD Denza or BYD e6. Or perhaps(dream on ?) Ford intends trumping and gazumping GM with a Bolt-busting 250 miles.

In our first GM Bolt piece below we've already amply analysed and satirized low cost, long-range(and long-grass) EV promises - so we'll leave a Ford-focused re-read of that up to you.
But an additional question must be asked:  whatever happened to the industry's historical commitment to "incrementalism" ? Why no gradual increases year-on-year ? If 200 miles are achievable in 2017 - why not a 150 mile/charge, gap-filling electric Ford Focus now, this year, in 2015 ?
But inevitably, the prospect of two major carmakers' long-range game-changers arriving in showrooms 20 months hence will diminish demand for today's short-range EV's - so a win-win for petrol/diesel vehicles, EV's on ICE once again, and a return to business as usual until 2017-18.
In fact, the message from both Ford and GM may be entirely mischievous and devious ie. "don't waste your cash on a Leaf, an i3, a Zoë or a Soul - we may/might/will have something much tastier in showrooms some time vaguely soon..."

So hopefully that's now as clear as any carrot and leak soup (see WickedLeeks for more ungarnished truth).

GM Bolt launch now Oct 2016 not mid-2017.
(Final postscript-to-postcript below : 2016 launch rumours now confirmed - but 20 months(eg. the next) = a very long time in the elusive-elastic EV universe)

Postscript: an unexpected update(and GM response ?!) to our lone-voice(as usual) Bolt EV(Slovenia) v Bolt EV(slow GM) "why the delay" Gee-Up piece below.
Reliable Rumours ?
200 mile/charge Chevy Bolt:  is GM poised to announce a sooner-than-slated  launch (Oct 2016 not mid-2017) ?

If the none-too convincingly-named Wall Street Cheat Sheet is to be believed GM will this week(beginning Feb 9) announce a slightly earlier production start than indicated last month in Detroit for its low(er)-cost, long-range, potentially game-changing Bolt("October 2016" - so circa six months sooner than originally touted)

But let's hold our horses and not get too carried away just yet. What seems like half a lifetime of negative EV waiting-game experience has taught us to greet such announcements with extreme caution and a huge dose of healthy (and hopefully) pre-emptive scepticism.
No-one should be surprised for instance if one or both of the following slippery and all-too familiar back-tracking announcements are quietly chugged out over the next twenty or so pre-launch months:
- "GM Bolt to Launch in US in late 2016 - but not till Spring-Summer 2017 in Europe"
...or even worse - a full reversal in early 2016 is probably just as likely:
- "GM Bolt: US and Worldwide Launch Delayed Until mid-2017"
So are we off to the long-distance races for real at last ? Or will this rumoured announcement eventually prove to have been nothing more than a test-the-water mix of gamesmanship, posturing and bluff ?
And just how will GM's restrained rivals - especially Nissan and Tesla - respond ? With similar scepticism and suspicion ? Or will they now at last be chomping at the bit and keen to gallop to the finish-line first ?
Ladbrokes - help us out here - who are bookies backing to deliver the first $30,000 , 200 mile-per-charge EV's to US/EU showrooms ?  The stakes could hardly be higher - but what are the odds ? Are all bets off ?   Or should we - Tesla too - just keep on hedging them ?

January, 2015

Memory Jolt:
Bolt EV 2009(Pečjak, Letrika)
Bolt EV 2017(GM/Chevrolet)

MazdaRX8_Bolt_EV_Metron GM Bolt with text
Left:    Bolt EV, Pečjak, anno 2009, up to 220 miles/charge. (Mazda RX8 conversion by Andrej Pečjak, Letrika and friends)
Right: Bolt EV, GM, anno mid-2017 - a promised, untested, unproven "estimated" 200 mile range.
Granted, when it comes to all-the-rage, hunky-chunk contemporary style and shape, the GM Bolt probably beats the converted Mazda RX8 Bolt but..
..what a pity that GM, with its near-limitless funds and and engineering capabilities, has so spectacularly failed/refused to match the development pace and sprint-speed of our anti-slowmotion, anti-sloth and far-from slovenly Slovenian Andrej Pečjak(assisted by Letrika and a few Metron Institute pals).

Lightning Bolt ?  Here's a satirical Memory Jolt:   observing Big Auto's EV 'progress' over the past 15 years or so has been akin to watching a peevish pack of ancient ex-Olympian sprinters lining up at the start with a pacemaker(both meanings) and with their sprint legs in splints and plaster, clutching crutches:   after the gun those who survive the shock heave themselves awkwardly onwards, backwards, downwards, upwards - occasionally even forwards - stopping off from time to time to lie-down, catch their breath, avoid cardiac death...before joining hands for one final foot-dragging flourish - a synchronised Olympic limp to the finish.
A dead heat and a dead loss.
Sarcastic slow hand-clapping from the last spectator standing or awake provides a fitting final tribute.

Reality check:   almost all media reports re the GM Bolt - as well as being uniformly unsatirical - dutifully include the word "Jolt" in the title - and as usual no-one's asking the most (im)pertinent, pressing and pressurizing question of all:

- does GM already have the technology - the batteries, powertrain, lightweight materials - needed for the Bolt ?

If so - why the delay till mid-2017 ?
If not, then this is sadly just another void-filling, Tesla-teasing, dangling carrot - and this time it's even golden carrot-coloured(not to be confused with gold carat). GM Bolt:   100% untested, unproven science fiction not fact - unlike Pečjak's and Letrika's 2009 Mazda-based Bolt EV.

So please Gee- Up GM !  By 2018 the unleashing of the Bolt will be like...unbolting the stable door after every  horse has revolted.

Clearly almost no-one will still long for a Leaf after seeing this much tastier Chevrolet carrot. Likewise Kia will now sell its Soul to nobody until range matches the Bolt. And best of all(right, GM ?) - for the next three years consumers can be relied upon to stay loyal to oil and to petrol-power as the teasing and waiting game continues.
Long Range EV Carrot-DanglingLong Range EV Carrot-DanglingLong Range EV Carrot-DanglingLong Range EV Carrot-DanglingLong Range EV Carrot-DanglingLong Range EV Carrot-Dangling


Bolt Back To The Future:
By 2018 the 2009 (Slovenian) Bolt EV's relatively retro or classic look may well be all the rage once more - and, hell, who knows - we may have witnessed full ET/alien disclosure by the White House, smartphones and sci-fi  iPads may finally include that BeamMeUp/Teleportation app we've all been waiting for for so long - 'disclosed' ET's permitting.

MazdaRX8_Bolt Pecjak_Mazda_Rear_ViewMazdaRX8 Bolt_Pecjak_Mazda_Open_Road
Memory Jolt II: you may recall this eerie extract from our December Pečjak piece:

"..when we converted a Mazda RX8 to the Bolt EV we presented it to the public in September 2009. 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 this CEO, told us like this ".

Is it conceivable that GM has spies & eyes almost everywhere ? That they too did not make contact - just copious notes ?

Foot-dragging Footnote for the Record - Olympian and beyond:
Countdown - by 2017 it will be:

- 46 years(1971) since Apollo astronauts drove the first of three all-electric, 4-wheel-drive, extreme-temperature-resistant(and GM-free) Lunar Rovers over the moon's rough, rocky surface. Where there's a will or a JFK there's a way. (It still easily eclipses anything that the BBC's Top Gear and any number of Clarkson clones & clonettes have ever dreamt up)

- 18 years(1999) since GM launched the 120 mile/charge Gen II EV1. To put it another way, it will have taken GM nearly 19 years to "bolt" just 80 miles.
( New Scientist:  garden snails can move at 48.3 metres/hour = 423 km or 262 miles/year.)

By contrast, Usain Bolt sprinted 100 m in a world record 9.58 secs in Berlin in 2009.  Hot on his heels - also in 2009 - came Pečjak's electric Bolt tribute:   a quick Slovenian sprinter and  long-distance runner.(ie. 200+ miles)

January, 2015

Silenced: Leading lithium cell scientist assassinated in Slovenia - silencer used, silence from international media...

Slovenia Scientist Assassination Leading Lithium and Energy SpecialistSlovenia Scientist Assassination Leading Lithium and Energy Specialist Slovenia Scientist Assassination Leading Lithium and Energy Specialist

Who's the victim - who's the perpetrator ?
A Murder Mystery for YOU to unravel.

Yes, we've decided that - for the next few days at least - we'll let YOU investigate BOTH questions if you dare or care ...as well as the equally important question as to why this murder has been completely ignored by the international media(old & new).


Post-Mortem Postscript(Jan 11, 2015):
- OK, enough already with the no-name detective game - see below for our final tribute and comments.
R.I.P. Janko Jamnik(1964-2014)
Director of the National Institute of Chemistry (Kemijski Institut), Ljubljana.

So, if you don't speak Slovenian it may take a while to find answers to the mystery and the motives.
Why not begin by contacting The Times, The Telegraph, The Independent, Guardian, BBC, Reuters, Associated Press, New York Times, Der Spiegel, Le Monde etc ?
Ask them to enlighten you, to please un-bury this story, to finally get around to reporting this extraordinary 007-style assassination.
To do their job.

In the meantime, here are a few clues for you :

- this distinguished, world-renowned and respected scientist and murder victim - we'll refer to him by his initials as "Professor JJ" - had been involved in significant development of Lithium Sulphur cells for the French company Saft, a battery technology world leader.
- Professor JJ's curriculum vitae features Los Alamos National Laboratories , Cornell University in the US and the Max Planck Institute in Germany.
- the assassination occurred less than 10 days after Professor JJ and his research team launched an 11 million euro ($13 million) project aimed at transforming carbon dioxide into a potential source of clean energy - methanol.

We were actually alerted to this non-festive news by an anonymous Slovenian source 6 days before Christmas - but decided not to post it up here until the end of the festive/Good Tidings season for several reasons:

1) We rationally and optimistically assumed that those allegedly fearless champions and bastions of free speech - the international media, news agencies, newswires etc - would do their job, practise what they preach and do the professional reporting for us.
Wrong again !  Fehlanzeige !

Instead we have once more witnessed an across-the-board, total radar/radio/reporting silence - Slovenian sources excepted and with one Chinese caveat.
Yes, ironically, the only non-Slovenian news provider to have covered this at all is the Xinhua news agency - based 12000 km away from the crime scene !

Outrageous, scandalous, shameful - words fail us. And words have yet again totally failed the UK/European/US/Western media who can always be relied upon to head for the hills, hide in the corner and pretend not to notice whenever there is even the slightest possibility that the usual suspects - the fossilized enemies of EV's and of all things disruptively green - might conceivably be involved in a heinous brazen act of this kind anywhere in the world.

2) Oh - and we've also waited almost three weeks to report this depressing story so as not to shift the spotlight and your attention away from our two exclusive truth-exposing upbeat range-record stories - one from China(Marco Loglio, 801km) and the other - by sheer happenchance you understand - from Slovenia(Andrej Pečjak, 736km).
Spookily, the latter EVUK news item was the first time that we have ever reported anything from Slovenia. Posted up 3 weeks before Professor JJ was shot twice in the head as he got out of his car to attend a Christmas and New Year celebration with friends and colleagues at a restaurant in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana.

Slovenia Scientist Assassination Youtube Prof JJ Leading Lithium and Energy Specialist
Video: e-Mobility and the low-carbon economy: a bold, visionary Professor JJ addresses (in English) an international audience of business and industry leaders.

In Memoriam
R.I.P. Janko Jamnik
Director of the National Institute of Chemistry (Kemijski Institut), Ljubljana.

According to Slovenia's RTV Public Broadcast Co(Interview in English, 2013) Jamnik possessed the bold vision, talent and energy to be or beget a future Nobel Laureate.

Slovenia RTV PBC Interview Jamnik - Nobel Prize potential
Watch original Slovenian 24 hr TV crime report

Meanwhile the international media remains deafeningly silent...

It may be worth reminding the world that Slovenia has been a fully-fledged EU member state since 2004:  if this murder had occurred in Paris, London or Madrid the media would have had no choice but to report it.

Jamnik has said that his focus on (lithium) batteries as a specialty subject was viewed with scepticism bordering on derision by his peers in the late 80's/early 90's:   he was of course simply a decade or two ahead of his time.

This extract from Jamnik's curriculum vitae certainly makes for impressive, rarified reading:

1988 Bachelor's thesis: University of Ljubljana, Department of Physics. Thesis title: "Impedance Spectroscopy of Lithium Batteries".
1991 - Master's thesis title: "The Electrical Properties of the Separator between the Metal and Ion Conductor".
1994 - Doctor's thesis title: "The Influence of the Phase Boundary on the Impedance of Solid Ionic Conductors".

Note that there is one key common denominator or convergence-point between Janko Jamnik and Andrej Pečjak(Mazda5 - 736 km record):   both collaborated with leading EV battery and powertrain specialist Letrika to develop their respective state-of-the-art EV prototypes.

Compare & Contrast :
The killing of Professor Jamnik...
Int'l media coverage - one click:
Google / Bing
... versus:
 Slovenian coverage - one click: Google / Bing

Finally, we would ask EV specialist websites such as EVWorld, InsideEVs, Greencarcongress, Greencarreports etc to likewise break their silence and to consider dedicating a paragraph or three - better late than never - to the late Professor Janko Jamnik.
He was one of us - for almost three decades.

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 Pečjak'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 - 290 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 Pečjak'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 the 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.

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