Thursday 29th March 2018.


After a stock rout on Tuesday, another day today when Tesla lost over 7% of its value. Of course none of this makes any difference to the products it makes or how much people love the brand. No doubt it will bounce back, and as I’ve said before this isn’t a financial podcast, but the bigger picture is how the mainstream media will start to prophesize the end of electric cars.



  • At the New York International Auto Show yesterday we saw an Electric Mini a year before we were meant to, but this was a Mini Cooper from the 1960s which has been converted to electric with a single motor.
  • Would you like one? Yeah, me too. But you can’t buy it. It’s a one-off model. And a clever way to get us talking about electric minis without showing off the real thing yet. The 1960’s classic mini shape is known around the world and wouldn’t it be amazing if they just made a handful of them for sale. A bit like the recently Fully Charged video with Johnny Smith which featured a converted Jaguar E-Type.
  • Back to the Mini Electric proper, that will arrive in 2019 for the 60th Anniversary of Mini. Of course for now we have to make do with the PHEV Mini Countryman, or the i3 which I’ve heard will be a donor for drivetrain bits.



  • Also at the New York International Auto Show, VW showed off a plug in version of their Atlas Cross Sport. Technically at this stage a concept BUT close to production.
  • The ICE is coupled with motors on the front and rear axles, and a respectable 18kWh battery. That’s good for 26 miles / 42kms on pure electric. Production is slated for next year in Tennessee.



  • A recent analysis showed that EV drivers save 2.3 times as much as those driving ICE cars, and now engineers at the Union of Concerned Scientists has more good news. An EV now gets has the equivalent emissions of a gas car that gets 80 miles to the gallon, and if you can find one of those, then good luck. Fast Company says: “In the Pacific Northwest, where most power comes from hydro, EVs get the equivalent of 96 MPGs. In California, which has plenty of solar, the equivalent is 109 MPG.”
  • Engineer David Reichmuth said: “It’s difficult to make burning gasoline cleaner, and electricity is trending cleaner over time as we shift away from coal and add more renewables. This means that EVs that were sold years ago can run much cleaner than when they were purchased,”



  • Graeme Cooper is the UK National Grid’s electric car grand poobah, and he told the government yesterday that if we moved the 2040 ICE ban forward to 2030, the grid could cope. Yes you can still make a coffee and charge your car! He said: “A deadline of 2030 would still give us enough time to cope with any changes that need to be made. We would support a more ambitious target. It provides a clear focus and allows the networks industry to respond appropriately. Even if you left the 2040 target in place, I think the number of people still buying a conventional petrol or diesel car before that deadline will be a short list. “It’s important on a world stage that the UK matches our neighbours. Norway is the most ambitious with a target of 2025.”



  • Another story from the Auto Show currently in NYC, and Eric at InsideEVs reports that a pure BEV has won the “World Green Car” award for the first time. He writes: “The three finalists for the award were: BMW 530e iPerformance vs Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid vs Nissan LEAF. Upon receiving the award, Nissan’s Daniele Schillaci, Executive Vice President, Global Marketing and Sales, Zero Emission Vehicle and Battery Business, said: “We’re very proud that since Nissan LEAF launched in 2010, we’ve been able to put more than 300,000 zero-emission electric vehicles on the road worldwide, helping to reduce carbon footprints around the globe. We’re honored to be recognized by this esteemed jury and proud to continue to expand the vision of Nissan Intelligent Mobility.”



  • Long time podcast listeners know I’m worried about the huge industry of mechanics, both working for large dealers and local one-man-band independents. Not only will EVs require fewer visits to the car hospital, but they need retraining urgently.
  • Firstly today Tesla started a new training programme called ‘Tesla Start’. Graduates should get a job with Tesla within 30 days of a graduation but will have to relocate. It’s a 12-week course in North Carolina or California.
  • And in the UK today Allianz Worldwide Partners has teamed up with the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) to create a new electric, hybrid and PHEV vehicle training programme for roadside recovery.
  • Skill requirements include identifying AC and DC voltages, as well as high voltage symbols, cabling and components, during maintenance and repair.



  • Teslarati have a video worth checking out of the Porsche Mission E at the infamous Nurburgring circuit. They say: “Porsche recently took its Mission E prototype to the Nurburgring in Germany, where it was spotted speeding through one of the tracks’ iconic turns. As could be seen in a brief clip featuring the upcoming all-electric high-performance sedan, the Mission E was able to go through the exit of Brunnchen in classic, aggressive Porsche fashion.



  • California already has the e-golf on sale but, one of the conditions of the settlement has been noted by Green Car Reports, and that’s by the end of 2019 VW has to have two more pure BEVs on sale in the state.
  • We know the VW I.D. is coming, if it looks like and Golf and quacks like a Golf, it’s probably a Golf by another name. For clarity, it’s the I.D. and not a Golf replacement. But that might not be on sale in North America in time.
  • So you’re looking at the Audi e-tron Quattro SUV to fill one gap, and the other the Porsche Mission E.



Finally we’ve had some hard news, now for the speculations. And would you look at the time, it must be time for another story about wireless charging. Because they come around like clockwork. The University Of Colorado in Boulder have made progress with charging whilst on the move.

Professor Afridi explained: “On a highway, you could have one lane dedicated to charging,” adding that a vehicle could simply travel in that lane when it needed an energy boost and could carry a smaller onboard battery as a result, reducing the overall cost of the vehicle.

Read more on Cleantechnica.


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