Tag Archives: EV

Gadget Man – Episode 152 – Hyundai Drive Different Test – Radio Interview

This week I travelled to London to take part in the Hyundai Drive Different Test. In my previous post, I provided details on the thinking behind this initiative.

Today, I spoke to James Hazell on BBC Radio Suffolk about my experience and what I think made driving each car different.

Listen to the stream above and view the cockpit videos below to see some of what I experienced during the day.

Hyundai Drive Different Results for Matt Porter
Hyundai Drive Different Results for Matt Porter

 

 

Gadget Man Episode 145 – Electric Car Update?

So what has been happening in the Electric Car market over the past couple of years?

Well, since my slew of Electric and Hybrid car reviews a couple of years back and our mega-exciting East-West Road Trip in the Tesla Model S 100D, we’ve been quiet on that front.  The absolute opposite of what has been happening in the EV marketplace.

I spoke to Graham on BBC Radio Suffolk about what’s happening with regard to charge points and speed of charging, you can listen in to the audio stream above to find out more.

However, something super-exciting is happening in motorsport. Now that Formula-E fully electric car racing has established itself, it’s now time to turn up the power even more and with a new sport created by the father of Formula-E.

Extreme E – A radical new racing series. 

Extreme E is a radical new racing series, which will see electric SUVs competing in extreme environments around the world which have already been damaged or affected by climate and environmental issues. The five-race global voyage highlights the impact of climate change and human interference in some of the world’s most fragile ecosystems and promotes the adoption of electric vehicles to help preserve the environment and protect the planet.

Extreme E is operated in association with Formula E – the organiser of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship. Extreme E is committed to sustainability and minimising environmental impact – as well as playing its part in rebuilding and restoring areas already impacted by climate change

A new breed of racing means a new breed of the motorcar.

The car, named ODYSSEY 21, will feature in Extreme E’s radical new racing series which will highlight the impact of climate change on some of the world’s most fragile ecosystems, and promote the adoption of electric vehicles to help preserve the environment and protect the planet.

So, that’s just one thing that’s happening in the electric car market.

Image Credit: Extreme E
Some Content: Extreme E

 

 

Watch as a Cheetah and Formula E race car go head to head in the South Africa Savanna!

Watch as a fully-electric Formula E car lined up against a cheetah in the Western Cape, South Africa.

The race was undertaken to highlight the global impact the burning fossil fuels has on the environment and consequently threatens these endangered species.

Both cheetah and Formula E car reach speeds of 60mph in around three seconds. To find out which came out on top, watch the video.

As a Zero-Emissions motorsport, Formula E aims to help provide a solution by being a catalyst for change and help accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles and making a cleaner environment for all of us.

Jean-Eric Vergne, Montreal E-Prix race winner and TECHEETAH driver, said: “Both the TECHEETAH Formula-E Team and I want to be part of raising awareness for the wider impact that climate change has on our planet. We do it mostly by showcasing and developing our electric cars across the world throughout the Formula E season, but we wanted to do more outside of the race track. There are only around 7,000 cheetahs still living in the wild and we have a strong desire to raise awareness for the main threats they face, such as illegal trade of cubs for pets, loss of prey due to habitat loss and fragmentation aggravated by climate change. I’m really proud to have participated in this film and stay tuned for some exciting news to come following the documentary.”

There are now just 7,000 cheetahs remaining in the wild. The species is wide-ranging and sparsely distributed and needs large landscapes to survive, making it particularly vulnerable to habitat loss and fragmentation – threats that are exacerbated by a changing climate.

The film was overseen by conservation experts and animal welfare organisations, and is released in partnership with Animal Issues Matter, Cheetah Outreach and Endangered Wildlife Trust.

Electric Vehicle Registrations Continue to Soar!

The UK has experienced it’s best ever quarter for Electric Vehicle reservations, with an average of 1 EV registered every 13 minutes between January to March 2016, a rise of 23% on the same period 2015 according to Go Ultra Low

During this period, 10,496 plug-in cars with registered averaging at 115 per day and is set to continue this trend despite the recent slashing of the government grant from £5000 to £2500.

Using figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), Go Ultra Low’s analysis showed the sales of plug-on vehicles rising steadily against the previous five year trends.

Motorists are beginning to see the benefits of electric vehicles and growing to understand the idea of ‘topping up’ overnight on home charge points and during the day at public chargers, along with the Plugin Car Grant which has been utilised by more than 58,000 motorists since its inception in 2011.

When asked to comment, Transport Minister Andrew Jones was quoted as saying: “These record figures show that hundreds of people every week are coming round to the fact that plug-in cars are cleaner, greener and cheaper to run. The UK is a world leader in the uptake of low emission vehicles and our long-term economic plan is investing £600 million by 2020 to improve air quality, create jobs and achieve our goal of every new car and van in the UK being ultra-low emission by 2040.”

Notably the month of March seems to be one of the strongest months for Electric Vehicle sales, this year 7,144 electric cars with registered compared to the previous monthly high of 6,104 for March  2015.

Poppy Welch, Head of Go Ultra Low, said: “This continued and steep growth in uptake of plug-in cars is testament to how electric vehicles are becoming a natural choice for increasing numbers of new car buyers. With low running costs, tax exemptions and free parking in many locations, many more motorists should be considering a plug-in vehicle as their next car. As registrations records continue to be set and the rate of EV growth carries on, it’s no longer a question of will more motorists choose electric, but when.”

The UK is now a market leader for Electric Vehicles in the European Union with one fifth of the European Union’s collection EV Sales, runner up to Holland.

Goultralow.com provides a one-stop shop for information about owning and running electric vehicles, the makes and models available and the locations of the thousands of publicly available charge points.

The Gadget man Episode 58 Volvo V60 D6 Twin Engine Plugin Hybrid

This week we move back to hybrid cars with the Volvo V60 D6 Twin Engine Plug in Hybrid vehicle. The D6 is unique as it is a Diesel – Electric Hybrid rather than the standard Petrol Electric that we are used to.

This is a very powerful snappy car, at full ‘Power’ mode it is outputting a combined 280bhp and you certainly feel it. Along with beautiful ride, upholstery and fuel efficiency, I can see this being very popular in the company car sector.

We will be reviewing it in greater detail soon online, but in the meantime, listen in the the stream from Monday 13th July.

 

The Gadget Man – Episode 55 – Volkswagen Golf GTE – Hot hatch performance with zero emissions

VW Golf GTE outside Trinity Park, Ipswich
VW Golf GTE outside Trinity Park, Ipswich

This morning, I chatted to Mark about the new breed of cars currently hitting the markplace around the world, namely PHEV’s or Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles. I’ve already reviewed the e-Golf a few months ago, however the GTE takes the  electric technology from the e-Golf and combines it with the performance on the Golf GTi. It’s quite a vehicle to drive.

From a distance you might be fooled by the Volkswagen Golf GTE, it shares its DNA with the legendary Golf GTI, but can also be driven in zero emission mode like the all electric e-Golf. It’s design and equipment has been adapted directly from the Golf GTI with the red hints altered to ‘eco friendly’ blue. The front grill mounted VW badge doubles at the access cover for the charge port.

VW Golf GTE
VW Golf GTE

The engine or ‘engines’ are supplied as a 1.4 litre 150hp turbo charged fuel injected petrol engine and a 102hp electric motor providing a combined power output of 204hp in GTE mode. Essentially you have two independent drive systems that provide almost silent operation and zero emission with speeds up to 86mph in electric mode, morphing to a 146 mpg fuel sipping hatchback in hybrid mode to the insane 0-60 in 7.6 seconds hot hatch with maximum speed limited to 137mph.

When you switch into GTE mode, there is a noticeable change in engine sound which at first caught me off guard and speculating how it was achieved? After a little light reading, I discovered that VW are employing a ‘method’ similar to the BMW i8 supercar. Electronic engine sounds is played into the cockpit of the car via integrated sound system, fooling the senses that you are driving a big V8. It really does fool you, as coupled with the sudden full boost unleashed via the turbo charger, you are catapulted from a completely silent standstill to a roaring power house in an instant.

This is one of the new range of ‘Plug-in Hybrids’ which are current coming to market. There is a very good reason for plug-in hybrids though. Originally hybrids were designed to be charged by the main internal combustion engine and regenerative braking systems and was only really used to bring the car up speeds above town use. With the advent of Plug-in Hybrids, the on board battery is now larger and able to power the car for reasonable distances before requiring recharge. In the Golf GTE’s case, the battery will allow for about 30 miles before recharge. You might think this isn’t much, but the average car journey to place of work in the UK is 9.9 miles, so on average you could drive to work and home without using the petrol engine at all. I tried this and the car was reporting 300 miles per gallon! It certainly gives you a good idea of how much cheaper an electric car is to run. In ‘optimal’ driving conditions, VW reckon you should get 146 miles per gallon! Charging the car takes 2 and half hours via a normal 220v electrical supply.

If you are considering a hybrid, you couldn’t go far wrong with the Golf GTE. It combines ‘hot hatch’ performance with zero emission short distance driving. The price is in line with the Golf GTI, so you would be looking at paying around £33,000.

Heads up for The Gadget Man on Monday – Porsche 919 LMP1 + Matt interviews Mark Webber

Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche Team: Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley, Mark Webber, Porsche Team: Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, Marc Lieb
Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche Team – Photo courtesy of Porsche

We had a very exciting weekend at Silverstone for the World Endurance Championship Qualifiers, namely 6 Hours of Silverstone which is the UK heat of the WEC which culminates in the world famous 24 Hour race at Le Mans.

The WEC LMP1 class now uses hybrid technology and following on from our series of electric and hybrid car reviews, we were interested in finding out what Porsche were doing in this area.

Porsche Motorsports and former Formula 1 driver, Mark Webber
Porsche Motorsports and former Formula 1 driver, Mark Webber

Porsche Motorsports very kindly invited us to be their guests for the day and we were able to interview drivers,  Mark Webber & Michael Christensen, plus we were also able to chat to Porsche LMP1 Technical Director Alexander Hitzinger about the technology around the car and what the future holds for us in an increasingly electric world.

To hear the interview, tune in to BBC Radio Suffolk on Monday 20th April 2015 at 11:40 and find out what Mark Webber thinks of the all new hybrid technology and how it will eventually effect us in production cars to come.

The Gadget Man – Episode 39 – Volkswagen e-Golf Electric Vehicle

This week we talk about at the Volkswagen e-Golf, a really superb electric vehicle which successfully bridged the gap from traditional petrol or diesel car to fully fledged electric car.

This really was a superb vehicle on every level, the handling was just amazing. It was incredibly easy to drive and once I had got the handle of ‘Park Pilot’, that too was amazing. A really great car, and a head turner too!.

Thanks to VW Press Office for supplying the car with everything I would ever need and thanks to the two delivery drivers who were equally polite and helpful.

Dont forget to listen to the stream above, and wait for the full review coming soon!

The Gadget Man – Episode 36 – Nissan Leaf Tekna – Pure Electric Vehicle

This week I was delighted to be able to test the Nissan Leaf Tekna. This is a very nice pure electric hatchback and I have really enjoyed driving it.

Listen to the stream above and find out what I thought about it, we also talked at length about the practicalities of driving an electric car especially with the sub hundred mile ranges many EV drivers experience at the moment.

Massive thanks to Nissan Press Office for providing the vehicle and the their support.

Tesla Model S P85+ The future is bright red, the future is pure electric and accelerates from 0 to 60 in 4.2 seconds!!

When thinking about electric cars, most people conjure up images of 60 sci-fi movies with passengers sitting in a bubble of glass on empty elevated roads. This is very far from the reality of 21st century electric vehicles, which are very similar in look to their petrol drinking cousins and literally bursting at the seams with technology.

Over the past months, I have been given the amazing opportunity to test five of these vehicles, from the quirky two seater Renault Twizy to the awesome BMW i8. However nothing was going to prepare me for the most recent vehicle, designed and built by a Silcon Valley based company headed up by Elon Musk who spends the other half of his day heading up SpaceX, the private space rocket business.

I’m of course talking about the Tesla Model S P85+, a beautiful luxury sports sedan powered purely by electricity.
Continue reading Tesla Model S P85+ The future is bright red, the future is pure electric and accelerates from 0 to 60 in 4.2 seconds!!