Seeing as some of you won’t be getting your Tesla’s for a while yet, I thought I would dig out some more of the Tesla files. Here’s where I got to take a spin in it. Click on the image to view video. (4.7 meg QT)
The i miev is ace. 4 seats. 4 doors. Great range. Proper safety features. Apparently Mitsubishi’s chief exec in the UK fully supports the electric version of this car and we should have it by 2010…. They’ve just previewed a concept called the i miev sport at the Tokyo motor show. Take a look at this you tube link. They claim this one will do 110 mph. I really hope that the i miev happens in Europe – it’s a perfect urban car. Thanks to dig info for the video and autoblog for the pics.
A think got me thinking (sorry..) yesterday about the new model that’s coming to our shores in the near future. Looks like it’ll be a great little car but there’s a question mark over charge times. With a Wiz you can do an 80% battery charge in 2 hours – something we often need to do. I’m not sure the new Think will have this facility. Click on the image to view video (3.5 meg QT).
Tesla’s test and validation manager discusses driving the car in the arctic circle. Tesla, please, just listen, we need this car in the UK, it’s our only hope, don’t send it over the pond, please Tesla, please….Click on the image to view video (4.4meg QT)
Here’s where I get to meet Brian from Tesla. Brian was great – he took the time to really show me the car. The video would have benefitted from some editing (birthday parties going on around us etc..) but seeing as it’s not every day you get to meet Tesla’s test and validation manager I thought I’d leave it all in. Click on the image to view video (18meg QT).
Thanks to autoblog green I had a tip off that the Tesla was going to be on show for a limited number of hours today at the "green wheels motorshow" in Norwich, where the car is built. The show has been organised by Cred and carbon connections, very useful departments of the University of East Anglia. Time to take the afternoon off and leg it up to Norwich. I got a really good chance to cover the car extensively, and meet the people behind it. I’ll be posting episodic clips so that my bandwidth doesn’t go too mental and I can show plenty of detail. Click on the image to view video (10meg QT)
Hey, I got an email from a nice man at Porsche, which is encouraging. Looks like they are developing a hybrid Cayenne ready for release by the end of the decade. They also have the facility for a 25% bio ethanol mix in their latest Cayenne model. Looks like the big guys are doing something, but please Porsche, let me get my hands on a lithium 911 or boxster, similar to that uber electric car, the Tesla.
Camden council are hosting a low emissions event on the 22nd March. There will be seminars and discussion about the forthcoming LEZ (Low emissons zone), a presentation by the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership, and case studies by pret a manger and green tomato cars. There will also be a chance to take a look at the range of electric vehicles on offer to Londoners.
Great news. Camden Council are planning on a series of charging points and free parking for electric vehicles on pay and display. I’m going to be spending some time filming them over the next few months as they implement the changes. Let’s hope Camden and Westminster serve as a catalyst for change both here and abroad.
In terms of range and top speed (70 miles and 70 miles per hour) the Smart EV blows everything else away. They will become available in January on lease here in London, but only to a very select few businesses. Regular Smarts are all over this city – I cant believe the EV wouldn’t be a roaring success (particularly with better infrastructure but people are working on that – slowly). I met a man from Cenex recently who’s getting 5 in January. Cenex has been ‘set up with the aim of assisting UK industry to build competitive advantage from the global shift to a low carbon economy’. Seeing as Smart are the first mainstream manufacturer to promote an EV here it would be great to see them on the roads, so why cant we buy one? Click on the image to view video.(6 meg QT)
Us Reva drivers get a bit of flack for crawling along at times. You get the odd impatient car sending you towards the verge as they accelerate past, safe in the knowledge that electric cars are just another milk float. Time to roll out the Wrightspeed video. An electric car beating a Ferrari 360 Modena and then a Porsche Carrera GT hands down. YES PLEASE. Click on the image to view video -its a windows media file for a change (10meg wmv). Thanks to Wrightspeed for the footage.
George Monbiot has written an article in the Guardian today entilted "Save the planet in 10 steps" – here’s point 7:
"Oblige all chains of filling stations to supply leasable electric car batteries. This provides electric cars with unlimited mileage: as the battery runs down, you pull into a forecourt. A crane lifts it out and drops in a fresh one. The batteries are charged overnight with surplus electricity from offshore wind farms. Timescale: fully operational by 2011." Garage forecourts are completely alien right now. I drive in and try and get hold of some water for the batteries every now and again and usually fail. People are buying electric cars as quickly as they can get hold of them and the infrastructure isnt there by any means. Click on the image to view video. 3.7 Meg QT.
A couple tried to hail me this morning. They thought I was a black London cab! Love to have seen them climb in the back for a fare… Anyway back to serious matters. This is the New "Nice", which stands for No Internal Combustion Engine. It has a 50 mile range and starts at Â£9995. London’s electric car releases continue and this one’s a nice little runabout (excuse the pun). Shame about there only being 2 seats again.
It’s great to see new vehicles here in London but it begs the question – will the major manufacturers actually ever release an EV? I’d be amazed if Smart offer more than the 200 they are promising and whether we will ever be able to buy one. Click on the image to view video. (6.6meg QT)
Went to see the new Smart EV at The Motor Show last week. There are some great things about this car. It’ll run for 75 miles between charges. It has a top speed limited to 70 miles per hour and it has better acceleration than the standard petrol car! Not only that but it carries all the same safety features of the standard smart car with 2 airbags and so on. "Where can I get one" I hear you say. Well, you can only lease it for Â£380 a month as a fleet driver. Shame that. If it takes off perhaps they will produce more than the 200 they are planning at the moment. Click on the image to view video (9.8 meg QT).
With the congestion charge and high parking costs, London is fast becoming a leading electric vehicle city. There’s a total of six models due to be on the roads here soon. With all these electic cars buzzing about, there’ll be a significant need for charging bays. Enter Elektromotive. You drive up to one of these little beauties and plug in right there on the street. The first intallations will be in Islington and Covent Garden in central London. Click on the image to view video. (5 meg QT).
The GWiz has a competitor on the streets of London. The Maranello4 is a 2 seater and is available in pure electric or hybrid electric versions. The electric model has a top speed of 30 mph, a range of 45-50 miles and starts at Â£9950. Masterpark (the Westminster owned car parks where we get to park at a reduced rate) had an electric vehicle event yesterday and I got to have a good look at the car. Click on the image to view video (2 mins 20 sec. 10.7 meg QT)
Mike Boxwell, a soon to be G-Wiz owner has started an excellent new forum for the Reva in the UK. With plenty of subject headings there’ll be a chance to really discover what the car is about rather than listening to my incessant drivel! Now that there are 500 cars on the road here, it seems like a good time for an online resource. Check it out at http://www.g-wiz.org.uk/
Did an interview with CNN last week as part of a piece on the G-wiz. They wanted to film me driving around in ‘the style of my vlog’. I asked if I could host it on my site for all and sundry – but to no avail – they wanted Â£1000 for the usage. Didn’t even need me to sign a release form. Talk about the media giants ignoring alternative distribution methods…
We’ve had the car for almost a year now so it’s time for a review. The files come out pretty big (6.9meg) so I’ll sum up here for those of you without a broadband connection.
Apart from the obvious environmental considerations it compares well as a general small purpose vehicle that is very suitable for urban living.
It is more robust than I thought it would be.
It’s nippier than I thought it would be.
Parking it is a gift because it’s both small and free.
It can fit my whole family in it, though I’m not sure for how much longer…
It really is cheap to run compared to a normal car.
Range in winter is lessened. (25 miles)
Charging for 16 hours every month can be problematic to equalise the batteries if you don’t have a garage.
Safety, compared to a normal petrol engined car is questionable. Though I think it’s a better bet than a motorbike or a bicycle in London. I cycled for 17 years here and stopped after one accident too many.
All in all, I’m a big fan (as you probably guessed) who would recommend it to anyone who lives in a city such as this. Once range increases to get us outside the M25 the world will be our oyster! Click on the image to view video.
People sometimes ask if I’m associated with Goin Green in any way. I’m not. I just thought it might be fun to start vlogging and sharing my experience of electric vehicle ownership with anyone who might be interested. Having said that, I’ll happily take a Tango from Prodrive for a while….
Taking the car on a fast road can be a pretty hairy experience. It is classed as a quadracycle – perfect for urban streets, but how does it fair on a three lane carriageway? I’ve had emails from people asking about use on a motorway. Don’t think I’ll be vlogging that one…Click on the image to view video (3.8meg QT)
Happy New Year to one and all. Now that winter is truly with us, (reduced range and all) my thoughts have turned to summer. Back in June we went on a green rally. This was a chance for all the electric cars in London to show some muscle (a load of Revas and an electric scooter). Camden council hosted it in Regents Park and there was music, entertainment and general fun to be had. Thumbs up to Camden for hosting this but I reckon they could take a leaf out of Westminsters book if they really wanted to encourage use of the EV in London. Keep an eye out for the boy laughing. I think he’s amazed at our embracing of a green future (he is, isn’t he..?). Click on the image to view video. (3.3 meg QT.)
Had my six month service this week. They turn up in a mobile van crammed with gadgets, plug a pda into the battery unit and run some diagnostic checks, and that’s just about it! No oil change, nothing. Sometimes brake fluid levels will need topping up, but right now I dont think it could have much less environmental impact when it’s compared to a service on a regular car. Click on the image to view video. (2.4 meg QT).
I love this car. It’s a 2+2 electric that is being developed by Subaru. Perfect for urban use, even with the kids. Of course, its not ready yet….but I wonder if anyone has more info on it. Here’s some footage of it at the Tokyo Motor Show. Thanks to lets.kumanichi for footage. Click on the car image for video. (3meg QT)
Some Westminster car parks offer free electricity for electric vehicles. This is ace, quite frankly, as it does away with the worries one would normally have with range. On this particular trip I parked next to a Ford Think. I looked into buying one of these a couple of years ago but they seemed very difficult to get hold of at the time. Click on the image to view video (2.8 meg QT).
Interesting article in the Guardian today citing the power of our ‘videoblogging’ media. Rocketboom get a big mention. Great to see that Britain might be waking up to the capability of vlogging. But where are you Brits? All you need is a camera and a pc. Register yourselves on vlogmap and go for it!
I’m in the congestion zone now, and the traffic is moving quite freely (no surprise at Â£8 per day). The car is fairly nippy so long as it’s in F (fast) mode. Need to keep an eye on that charge level though. Mind you, it’s been handy this week, what with an impending fuel crisis here in the UK. Click on the image to view video (2.3 meg)
I’m struggling to come to terms with the idea that you can park for free in central London with this car. You’ll understand what I mean if you’ve ever had an altercation with a traffic warden here. Due to the terrorist attacks, there were 50,000 extra cyclists on the roads last Thursday, some of whom looked decidedly wobbly. I ‘ve also heard that the second hand value on these cars is appreciating…perhaps there is an ev future after all. Click on the image to view video.
A few of the readers from EV World have shown an interest in starting a vlog so I thought I’d let you know what I know. The best place to start is at Freevlog. They will guide you through the process of starting to vlog with a series of really informative films. The other great place to look is at videoblogging.info which is a good resource. It’s also worth checking out a few of the vloggers that make it look really simple. Try Steve Garfield over in the States and 29Fragiledays for another UK Vlogger. Happy Vlogging!