Tag Archives: Electric cars

Google Autonomous Car Round-Up

Google, those scamps that know everything about you, have, over the last couple of days gone all press crazy with the release of various bits of PR relating to its new baby autonomous car. Or e-car. I think. This post will be a short round up of what the various news sources have been saying, along with some videos by Google themselves.

First up, the Conservative party’s megaphone, the Daily Telegraph, and a piece that is not only pro, but, in a slightly back-handed way, questions the validity of the HS-2 rail project.

‘It changes, too, even the biggest infrastructure projects: HS2 may go very fast, but so can cars and these ones will pick you up from where you are and take you where you need to be, slashing total travelling time.’

Fair point.

 

The BBC, with a fairly bland piece, explain the in’s and out’s…

 

This is google themselves, taking the safety angle. Really this is the most obvious thing to talk about, because no matter how many people-caused traffic deaths we experience, something involving a machine is always going to seem that bit more difficult to articulate.

 

The Guardian, have done a bare bones report, but through the New York Times, address why there are no controls.

 

The indefatigable Jalopnik have not only covered the news, but posed a QOTD. Interesting angle, really. Getting to the centre of what people think about something is often about fear or happiness.

 

Car don’t seem to be interested. Autocar, on the other hand, straight from the typing fingers of Lewis Kingston have written what is probably the most simple and informative piece of them all.

 

But then something funny happened. Looking for a laugh I rolled up to the that supplier of fear and hate, the Daily Mail. And do you know what? Actually, it is them who have done the best job. Comments section still makes for entertaining reading, though…

Seen anything else that’s grabbed you? Comment below.

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Nissan Now Makes Milk Floats

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By Tim Smith

My first job was as a milkman. I would get up at 4am every Saturday and accompany my xenophobic, chain-smoking boss as we made our way around the local towns and villages delivering milk. It was very rare to deviate from the route.

Typically, when we think of milkman (in the UK, at least) we think of milk ‘floats’. The image that forms in our minds is probably one of the electric float. In the town where I was grown the geography didn’t allow for something so small and underpowered. Internal combustion was the only way to go. But, that could be about to change.

Nissan e-NV200 sans mil

Nissan e-NV200 sans milk

Nissan have announced that they will ‘be the first automaker to have two all-electric vehicles in it’s global line-up’. The first being the Leaf, and now the new e-NV200.

Nissan are claiming a 170km range, with an 80% charge achievable in thirty minutes. ‘If the battery is partially charged’.

Hang on.

What qualifies as partial charge? 2%? 5%? 78%?

Either way, Nissan say that the average daily route length for over half of the companies who use this class of vehicle is just 100km.

This could be a win win for city air quality and noise levels.

Just a couple of points, though. Remember the recent storms that cut power to whole regions for days at a time? Or how about the need to make these things noisier within urban environments so that pedestrians can hear them?

A Nissan e-NV200 with an exhaust posing pouch

A Nissan e-NV200 with an exhaust posing pouch.

 

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You And Yours Is Still Skeptical About Electric Cars

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By Tim Smith

As I’ve said before, to pay the bills, I work for a restaurant. It’s a nice one. Most of our customers are nice middle England types. You know, Doctors, Accountants, those sorts.

Being ‘just’ a waiter I do occasionally get treated like a naughty dog. It is this same tone of voice that I sometimes hear, that You And Yours (BBC Radio Four’s consumer news programme) uses when they talk about electric cars.

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Here’s a link to a programme from roughly six months ago (the item starts at about 1:18) where they effectively tell local councils off for spending money on charge points where ‘some of them haven’t been touched in a year.’

Pffft.

Here’s another link (scroll to 5:41) to their almost incredulous feature (broadcast today) on the growing popularity of electric cars. Highlights include the use of the word ‘trendiness’ and an unerring tone of disapproval.

Whateve’s.

BMW i3, I still love you.

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Electric Car Subsidies Are Here To Stay Says Man Who Hangs Around The Tory Party.

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By Tim Smith

Speaking to the Conservative Party’s megaphone, The Daily Telegraph, Nick Clegg announced to middle England that electric cars are here to stay, Ok?

Venturing out to the Ace Cafe, somewhat holy ground for men of a certain age who ride/rode motorbikes, Nick Clegg stated that the current £5000 government subsidy on Electric cars is here to stay, saying ‘There is no date in the diary’ for an end to the strategy.

He went on to add that the government (that is, the tax payer) will invest ‘£9 million’. I can’t help but read that in Del-boy’s voice.

It’s an interesting position to be in, this. You see, also in the piece, Suzanne Gray, Head of BMW ‘i’ in the UK (I think that means she’s head of PR for ‘i’, although, as always, I’m willing to be wrong) states that ‘if you stopped subsidies at the end of 2015, then the market will suddenly dry up’.

In other words, even the best, the champions for this new electric age, know the hoi palloi aren’t ready to accept electric cars.

I guess that would mean they would have to be ready to accept that climate change is happening, and that Homo-sapien are the cause. That doesn’t seem to be the case.

It is interesting to note, though, that Prof Michael Marmot said on the Today programme, erm, today, regarding Cancer prevention that ‘We know it’s close to useless to lecture people about living healthily’.

Hmmmm…

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