When, as people who work, live, and breathe electrification, we think about the future of transport, it’s all too simple to slip into linear logic – an assumption that over the next decade, car owners will switch from gas cars to electric vehicles. But if one of the principal drivers of electrification is environmental, shouldn’t we be taking a long, hard look at the billions of vehicles that have already been built?
In the European electric car scene, things are getting competitive. The last 12 months have seen an explosion in a previously under-served segment of the market, electric SUVs.
General Motors gave Norway and its electric car success story the best possible promotion this week with their ‘No Way, Norway’ advertisement ahead of this Sunday’s Super Bowl LV. While Will Ferrell’s rallying cry has amused many and left others less impressed, in the absence of any actual electric cars to sell, it’s a conversational icebreaker at least. But there’s also a city in China with the biggest electric public transportation system in the world.
When Winston Churchill described “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma,” he could have easily been talking about one of the many electric vehicle startups around the world. If Tesla has cracked the code, what about the numerous others that are looking to solve the EV puzzle? In China, we have heard that it is “Blue Sky Coming” from Shanghai’s NIO for several years now, but until last year, there were clouds gathering on the horizon.
December 3, 2020
Great Britain is arguably better known as a bleak little island on the edge of Europe, rather than as a renewable powerhouse, but ‘the times they are a-changin’. It won’t be surprising that Britain with its considerable coastline is ‘blowing in the wind’, but what is less well known is that occasionally there is sunshine too. GRIDSERVE has made its name in recent years by building out solar farms across the UK. As such, the team there, led by CEO Toddington Harper, has approached the electric vehicle charging challenge from the perspective of primarily serving the grid and electric car drivers, and free from any fossil fuel legacy, not its shareholders. And it shows.
December 1, 2020
It’s fair to say that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) hasn’t been the fastest off the mark when it comes to electric cars. With the lead-footedness displayed across all its brands — Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Lancia, Maserati, and Ram — you could be forgiven for thinking that the Italian-American multinational simply isn’t interested in having an electric future. Or a future at all.
November 19, 2020
November 17, 2020
We’re very lucky in Europe, as there are now nearly 40 electric vehicles to choose from. With changing attitudes to air pollution and climate change, allied to various government deadlines (a ban on new gas car sales from 2030 in the UK is expected imminently), next year looks set to be big for the European electric car market.
November 12, 2020
There was a time when the station wagon was a fixture of American family life, and frequently featured in popular culture. The fashion for bigger, taller vehicles has seen them all but disappear in the US, at around 1-2% of new car sales. In Europe, meanwhile, the “estate car,” as it’s known, remains a competitive segment, and in several Western European companies represents more than a fifth of new cars sold. In Sweden, the home of Volvo, around a third of the market share there belongs to the station wagon. In the US, the inexorable rise of “cool” crossovers — typically depicted devouring rugged terrain — means that almost half of the new car sales there are SUVs.
October 29, 2020
In the late summer, we were given the keys to Audi’s second all-electric car, the E-Tron Sportback, and while there is much to admire, it has taken us a little longer than usual to broadcast. Why? Well, there has always seemed to be more affordable, and in turn more accessible, electric cars to talk about to the public, including the VW ID.4, VW ID.3, Honda e, Tesla Model Y, and most recently the Mazda MX-30.
Slowly but surely, car companies are offering increasingly cost-competitive vehicles, but Audi is going against that grain by offering an even more expensive EV at the second time of asking. We understand that Audi is a luxury carmaker, but we feel compelled to ask, does this strategy stack up? Or could this short-sightedness potentially cost them in the long run? Let’s take a closer look.
October 27, 2020
Where they can get away with it, certain legacy carmakers are still perfectly content to be dragged, kicking and screaming, toward electrification. Curiously though, there are instances in which the self-same car companies that make little effort in their home country can’t resist the revenues on offer in nations with significant EV sales. Numerous of them have fought for Norwegian consumers in recent years, and even electric vehicle laggards, Toyota, now have a pure electric vehicle for the Chinese market, despite aggressively campaigning against “plugging in” in Europe.
October 22, 2020
Obviously the short answer to the question above is yes, as Volkswagen at present has no plans to bring the ID.3 to North America, but what if they did? Would the Europe-friendly ID.3 succeed where the eGolf failed, or will the ID.4 simply be the better fit for the highways of the US and Canada? We recently reviewed the ID.3 and were impressed. Can the ID.4 create the same excitement that its “little brother” has in Europe, and does the Dieselgate scandal still linger in the consciousness of the North American consumer?
October 15, 2020
October 8, 2020
When we first embarked on our Fully Charged journey — 10 years and 553 episodes ago — we were especially attracted to electric cars and the clean energy that could potentially power them. Over time, and to our occasional astonishment, the adaptability of the humble battery has opened up new applications as easily as a swiss-army knife. Aviation is something we never thought we would see in our lifetimes, and it’s still in its infancy, but a wave of E-boats are about to make their bow. Amsterdam, in the Netherlands, is known as “the Venice of the North” and with its thousands of waterways is outlawing diesel boats from 2025. Naturally, other European Cities are set to follow. When we were invited to be part of an Ocean Clean-Up organized by AIM ZERO in Sweden, we didn’t hesitate.
October 6, 2020
After a full 21 months since Fully Charged took the test-version vehicle out in sunny South Africa, Robert Llewellyn finally got to grips with the “First Edition” VW ID.3 in the not-so-sunny south of England.
It’s no secret that, having had a few of them, we are fans of Volkswagen‘s Golf. And surely with its similar proportions, the ID.3 is its logical, technological successor. But does the reality match that expectation?
October 1, 2020
The Urban EV concept burst onto the scene at the Frankfurt Motor Show three years ago. With its “cutesy faced” front end, Honda had found a forward-looking design to spearhead its electric car efforts, and with a similar face at the rear, it appeared attractively retro, too. While the eventual design lost a few elements in translation, it looked like Honda had hit a home run. In the end, though, while they swung and hit, have Honda ultimately played it too safe?
March 30, 2017
March 23, 2017
March 10, 2017
February 8, 2017
Fully Charged: BMW i3 33kWh & the car maker’s dilemma
In the last 3 months I’ve driven 2 electric cars originally launched a few years back, both with the bizarrely standard ‘almost 100 miles (160 km) range.’
Now both cars have been re-launched with higher density battery packs that are the same physical size. These improvements bump up the range considerably.