"One thing is certain, Volkswagen talk the talk but don t walk the walk. After the scandal over VW cheating pollution emissions tests, the automaker has been showing public support for the electrification of cars, but behind closed doors the company acts in a very different way. Currently, Volkswagen and Shell are trying to block European Union efforts to cut emissions and push electric cars adoption."
UK Guardian - see "VW and Shell Accused of Trying to Block EU Push for Electric Cars" (rightly accused - as it turns out. And how genuine is that alleged "EU EV Push" ?)
No Pressure from the Press...
As we've accurately stated countless times over the past umpteen years - it is precisely and primarily because our media(old,new) have historically refused to seriously challenge and criticise major car manufacturers' chronic EV foot-dragging that we aren't already driving low-cost, long-range EV's of every description - including electric and extended-range compact SUV's and crossovers.
If the media had done its job, Chris Paine's film "*Who Killed the Electric Car" would have been superfluous to requirements - as would our own voice-in-the wilderness truth-telling efforts.
(*Watch full movie - Spanish subtitles)
And not only have almost all commentators and payrolled journalists shown themselves to be woefully incapable of informed, intelligent, fearless criticism of carmakers' perpetual procrastination, fakery and inertia - most still rarely miss an opportunity to fawningly heap praise on the most transparently naked of automotive Emperors - especially Germany's giants VW and BMW.
If the BBC wants to applaud any major car manufacturer at all then they should obviously be praising Renault for doubling the range of the Zoe this year, this month - and Nissan for incrementally increasing
the Leaf's range over the past 3-4 years.
GM clearly also deserves praise for the Bolt - despite GM-Vauxhall's ongoing, Canute-like or Clarkson-esque attempts to keep the American long-ranger out of Britain and/or sabotage its success - not least by unnecessarily, deliberately and counter-productively changing its name from the punchy, tabloid-friendly, easy-to-remember monosyllabic "Bolt" to the gentrifying, niche-ifying, abstruse, polysyllabic "Ampera-e".
That 4-syllable mouthful will inevitably reduce memory-impact and demographic penetration - which is almost certainly what it is designed to do: a Bolt penetrates - an Ampera-e EVaporates.
Talking of "big strides" - how successful and how famous a household and headline-name would Usain Bolt now be with the surname "Ampera-e" ?
Usain Amperary - as fast as lightning ?
And the "big strides" irony doesn't stop there: the GM Bolt won't be sold in the Olympian's native Jamaica - no right-hand drive versions are to be produced. So the world's 70+ RHD countries
will experience no big strides from GM.
(18.Nov GM Bolt update : the WSJ reports that the Bolt will not now be made widely available until "the Spring" of next year - exactly as we predicted in late 2014 !)
But the EV v ICE truth is even uglier than that: over the past 3-4 years almost all of the world's car manufacturers have not simply procrastinated - they have deliberately and cynically flooded showrooms and choked our streets with record-breaking numbers of gasoline-powered SUV's and crossovers - whilst conspicuously still refusing to offer any all-electric or extended-range hybrid SUV options and failing to increase either EV product range or - in most cases - battery range.
And those tens of millions of planet-hostile gas-guzzling SUV's continue to totally eclipse the paltry (less than) 1% of global car sales that EV's still represent - thus more than wiping out any environmental benefits that the world's current crop of overpriced or low-range/limited choice, keep-it-niche EV's are delivering.
And most of those energy-squandering, dinosaurian or ICE-Age relics will be on the road, fouling the air - and for the most part transporting just 1-2 people - for at least another dozen years.
"Big strides", Ms. Wakefield of the BBC ?
As in Tyrannosaurus Rex ?
À propos T-Rex, dinosaurs etc: many green-minded, earth-responsible EV-watchers may well be wondering about the global impact that a Trump White House is likely to have on all things green.
Trump has said he will tear up or cancel the Paris Climate Accord - so will carmakers see this as yet another opportunity to slam on the EV brakes ?
That's more or less what happened in 2000 of course when green EVangelist Al Gore - right up to the wire and the exit polls - seemed destined to take over the Presidency...yet somehow oil-men Bush and Cheney were astonishingly elected or selected instead.
No - this time round the EV genie is simply too far out of the bottle. Trump can't trump or trounce Tesla. GM and most US consumers and media commentators - do now appear to genuinely want the Volt and Bolt to succeed.
And ever-tightening EU emissions regulations plus
dieselgate - not to mention enlightened trailblazing Norwegians - are ensuring that a hard-won ICE-to-EV global transition just can't be halted or sabotaged by this entertainingly eco-hostile Republican President-elect.
Good or bad timing ?(Sept, 2016) : Renault's 100,000th Zoe customer was purportedly or reportedly Oslo-based Norwegian Asmund Gillebo.
Of course if Mr. Gillebo had delayed his purchase by a few months he'd have a next-gen Zoe(right) with twice the range for the same price !
Note that ICE-powered cars are set to be banned from Norway's normally ice-cold capital from 2019.
Norway - VW v Renault - an EV face-lift face-off to watch.
Will the bizarrely best-selling, expensive and short-range(160km) VW e-Golf finally be usurped by the new 300-400km/charge, far cheaper 2016 Renault Zoe ?
Over the next few months at least ? If not - why not ?
Or will Norwegians wait, wait, wait..to see if those (Boy Cried) Wolves of Wolfsburg's do indeed launch an "up to 300km" (and even more expensive) e-Golf early next year ?
According to Norwegian EV sales statistics - the outgoing Zoe R240 (=240km/charge has languished way down the popularity charts in 9th place whilst the considerably more expensive, shorter-range e-Golf has consistently vyed for the top spot against the Leaf and the Tesla Model S and lately the Model X.
Will (reputedly) highly intelligent, educated and informed Norwegians really continue to choose the already expensive short-range e-Golf over the latest long-range version of the Zoe ? Or will intelligence finally triumph over image and perceived VW brand kudos ?
Come on Norway ! Explain yourselves !
The latest Zoe delivers around 200km more range than the e-Golf AND costs circa 8,000 euros less than the promised pricey 2017 VW !
Are you really so desperately keen to be seen in a Volkswagen ! ?
Will Norwegians finally lose their cool if VW all-too predictably begin hinting at yet another delay ? Before quietly confirming perhaps that the "up to 300km" 2017 e-Golf will not hit showrooms till June..October..or the very fuzzy "Fall".
But let's wrap this up with another excellent Nordic-flavoured piece from Pedro Lima - with some wonderfully pertinent VW v Renault etc comments from Norwegian Zoe-owners.
In no-nonsense Norway Renault are thankfully forbidden from renting the battery-pack separately - it has to be included in the purchase-price - which equates to around 20,000 Euros after very generous state subsidies.
Late Breaking BMW Bloomberg News - 12. Nov(it's not just us !) :
"BMW Labor Chief Urges CEO to Accelerate Electric Car Roll-Out"
(Manfred Shoch - you're a hero ! But what took you so long ?)
Also: $24 trillion - institutional, heavyweight investors tell carmakers to speed up EV/Clean Car transition(The Ecologist)
Fact v Fiction:
350km range ?
Yeti v Zoe (VW-Kreisel v Renault)
Zoe = fact
Yeti = fiction (until proven otherwise)
Skoda(VW) Yeti: Kreisel claim unverified 350km range.
Renault Zoe: new 300-400km range EVs will be delivered - and verifiable - from November.
Renault's imminent giant-leap doubling of the Zoe's range to between 300-400 km - so circa 350 km/220 miles - was arguably the only realworld, tease-free EV News worth reporting over the past few months.
And that 350km just happens to be the same figure very loudly and proudly claimed by headline-grabbing Austrian startup Kreisel back in June for several of its ostensibly Tesla-trumping(= "EV Cliché of the Year" ?) EV conversions including most notably perhaps a Skoda(VW) Yeti as well as two large vans - a Mercedes Sprinter, VW Transporter - and an e-Golf. All allegedly capable of 300-350 km and all fast-chargeable up to 95% in under 20 minutes.
(Note: the 95% figure is cited by Kreisel's Christian Schloegl in this video'd June 2016 presentation - at 6min 55secs. Tesla's cells he says can only be fast-charged to 80% - "dann ist es Schluss")
But still we have no proof, no independent range-verifying test-drive - all we do have are a few very brief drive-by clips showing a selection of Kreisel's conversions - with "350km range" loudly and proudly painted on side-panels - tearing around for just a minute or two. Plus one longer but sub-100km video test-drive of the company's VW e-Caddy by "Der Elektroautor" who fails to test the vehicle's claimed range("Reichweite"). That was a "first-look" test-drive way back in January 2015 - we've had no follow-up since then !
As for the elusive Yeti - well it's not been shown or caught on film at all - unlike the mythical beast after which it's named.
And that's not all that's elusive/reclusive about the Austrian Freistadt startup: oddly none of the three company-founding Kreisel brothers appear to have ever spoken on camera. Instead head of business development Bavarian Christian Schloegl(video: Quality (of) Life Forum) seems to have been allotted the Steve Jobs/Elon Musk public presentation and PR role.
So do Kreisel's laser-bonded Panasonics really trump Tesla's ?
We're told - without independent (video'd) verification - that Kreisel's cells are more compact, lighter, charge faster, yield more power/energy, produce less heat, have longer life - and will soon be available as game-changing, mass-produced low-cost(€100/kw) EV packs.
We've now emailed Kreisel twice to ask why they have still failed to provide any independent (video) verification of their very widely and uncritically reported(cf. DBM Energy/Kolibri !) 350 km range or Tesla-trumping rapid-charge claims.
We've still received no response.
So here is the latest version of our unanswered email raw and uncut - as dispatched to firstname.lastname@example.org a week or so ago:
Hallo, Schoenen Guten Tag, Gruess Gott ..
- First of all, we obviously greatly admire and applaud what you seem to be endeavouring to achieve in Freistadt.
But the familiar problem for us is that we still have been unable to find any independent (video) verification of your 350 km range claims - or for that matter of Christian Schloegl's(