I had a Toyota Auris Hybrid Estate on loan from Toyota for a week. Here’s my experience of the vehicle and its pure EV mode.
The Riversimple Rasa is a two seater ‘network electric car’ powered by a Hydrogen Fuel Cell. The companies purpose is “To pursue, systematically, the elimination of the environmental impact of personal transport” The car has been developed and built in Wales. It’s a fabulous car with lots of potential and I wish them the best of luck with it.
As 2016 has been the year of 360 and VR video in my industry, I wanted to shoot this in 360 video. Load it on a mobile device using the youtube app or view in Google Chrome and you can look around the car as I interview.
This is Film 1 of 2. The next film will be a test drive.
Here’s a film about the launch of the Mahindra e20 Electric Car and its UK launch. For more information click here
I love this car, but I do go a bit gaga when I get near it. The kind of gaga where you find yourself spending Â£80k you don’t actually have. Bring in someone with a proper head for what works and what doesn’t when it comes to EV’s and cars in general – aka Lizzy, my wife.
Many thanks to Mark, the European Sales man for Tesla who really know his onions!
This is part one. I’ll continue it episodically.
Every year children from schools from all over the UK build and race their own Electric Cars. It culminates in the Greenpower finals at Glorious Goodwood racetrack. I got access to the pit lane and the chance to talk to some of the kids about their projects. What an enthusiastic bunch they are – hopefully you’ll be driving their cars in the future.
A review of the Renault Twizy EV in the rain. Love this car, but driving it in London when its raining cats and dogs? Click on the image to view video
The Ampera is our version of the Volt here in the UK. Lithium Ion battery technology and a range extending petrol engine. I got a chance to have a chat about the car with Vauxhalls Ian Allen, Launch Manager for the Ampera in the UK and a drive in the car.
Click on the image to view video
Here’s an extended test drive of the Nissan Leaf in Lisbon at the European Press launch. Thanks to Russell Bray for his invaluable contribution. Click on the image to view video.
Now here’s a nice one. Built by guys who use Formula 1 drivers to race electric vehicles on ice! Here’s a conversation with the people from Exagon. Click on the image to view video.
Forgive me but I’m trialling ads. Seeing as I work in the industry, I thought it was time. I’ve been getting over 40,000 video views per month for a while so lets see if it makes anything once all the commissions gone… It can go in the Leaf fund!
Whilst I was at The Paris Motor Show, I began to notice a theme amongst some of the automakers – namely Peugeot, Citreon and Mitsubishi. We love the BB1 from Peugeot, and the Survolt from Citroen, and what do we get? The I-MiEV! Click on the image to view video
Click on the image for a look around the vehicles and a chat with their knowledgeable PR and communications people.
I guested on an episode of transport evolved recently. Good fun, but I realise that I’m not that techy when it comes to electric car talk. Guess I’m a bit more consumer oriented. “Looks really nice, goes a long way, is cheap / expensive” – that kind of thing. But these guys know what they are on about and Nikki does a great job of bringing together people involved in the forefront of Ev development. Check out their video feed here and audio feed here.
I got to drive the new Nissan Leaf last week. Here’s film of the car, the journey and talking to Nissans EV staff.
On another note, great news that the new Government has stuck with the Â£5000 subsidy (or at least for some of the intended investment). Fantastic as these family cars are, they need subsidies to help reach prices that are realistic for most people to even consider switching to electric drive.
Click on the image to view video.
I was down at the LCVP conference last week. They had a fantastic range of speakers discussing low carbon transport for the future. One of their speakers was Lew Fulton who works with the International Energy Agency in Paris and his specialism is transport energy. We chatted about the future for energy consumption and its implications in the developing world.
On another note, I’ve been playing around with the idea of a new broadcast site called Primetime EV. I’ve stuck an ident we’ve been working on at the beginning to start trying some stuff out.
Roger Saul (top man from Mulberry) and Kevin McCloud (famous sustainable housebuilder from the telly) were driving Think EV’s at Ecorally ’10. I got a chance to have a chat with them both about how they felt about the car and the forthcoming EV Cup, which looks great.
Click on the image to view video.
Forget hillclimbs with huge amounts of torque and wheelspin. How about my DC with almost 3 year old batteries versus a new AC GWiz? The results speak for themselves. Of course, it has nothing to do with the fact that the goingreen driver in the AC was slimmer than me, nothing at all..(ahem). Click on the image to view video. (5 meg 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)
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)
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.
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).
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.
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.)