No Cerys ! Not quite. 1997-1998 was undoubtedly the right time to wake up, speak out, get behind vehicles-for-change and kiss goodbye to gasoline-powered cars - long before it became safe, fashionable and almost mainstream(in a few countries) to do so.
In '97-'98 the Kyoto protocol had been signed and ratified, the should-have-been game-changing but scandalously underreported all-electric Toyota RAV4 and Nissan Altra had been launched in the US and Japan, California's CARB emissions mandate was having the desired effect and Al Gore was clearly set to become the next US President.
The fact that
the media and the masses for the most part didn't want to know or couldn't have cared less led to 15+ more years of war-fuelling business-as-usual, fossil-fuelled foreign policy, the inevitable explosion of Middle East terrorism and what is now - possibly or probably - an irreversible environmental meltdown.
Better late than never ? Let's bl©©dy well hope so, Cerys.
- Catatonic - definition: "an immobile or unresponsive stupor"
- Catatonia - Cerys's band from 1992-2001
- James Corden OBE v Cerys Matthews MBE. Who outranks whom ? Corden is an "Officer of the British Empire" and outranks Matthews who's a mere "Member" of that now long-defunct (in)glorious superpower.
It goes almost without saying of course that Matthews would almost certainly have neither an MBE or employment at the BBC if she'd woken up to EV's and begun speaking out publicly, fearlessly and knowledgeably on the subject 15+ years ago.
StoreDot's 2015 "come May 2016" pledge-that-never-happened: 5-min recharge and that Tel Aviv to Beersheba(and back) drive-demo.
(Remember ? 300 miles/charge, low cost, green, organic, revolutionary, "already here" - Abramovich the angel investor ?)
Chutzpah ? Bah Humbug ? A bit or a lot of both ?
You may recall that even BBC TV covered the seemingly sensational StoreDot story in August 2015 with an interview with CEO Doron Myersdorf in Tel Aviv. (That BBC interview appears to have been disappeared in the interim )
Here's an extract from the Times of Israel(May, 2015 - the Gospel Truth ? ) :
"Come next May(2016) we will present a technology to recharge an electric car in five
minutes. Using an array of 7,000 cells, we’ll take a car that has a zero charge and recharge its batteries to 100% capacity."
"Then, while next year's ThinkNext(2016) is going on, we'll send it on a trip to Beersheba and have it come back at the end of the event here to Tel Aviv," Myersdorf said in May of this year(2015), to the cheers of an enthusiastic crowd."
But - ssshucks- it never happened.
As it turned out :
a) ThinkNext 2016 took place not in May of this year but in February Herr Myersdorf !
b) the entire old/new media, EV blogosphere and comment-posting cosmos has yet again remained obligingly silent - noone anywhere - as far as we can detect - has visibly reminded Myersdorf and StoreDot of their failure to deliver on the 2015, headline-grabbing, cast-iron promise(no May-be's) to drive a 5-minute, StoreDot-charged EV from Tel Aviv to Beersheba and back either in May 2016 or during this year's ThinkNext back in February.
The public surely must by now grasp that it is precisely and primarily because companies like StoreDot know in advance that the media will stay obediently silent if/when they fail to deliver on their throwaway promises that they make those throwaway promises in the first place.
StoreDot = Power Japan Plus almost all over again ..?
Although almost all would-be game-changing EV pledges quickly dissolve into silence and compliance and disappear into the ssshadows - it has to be said that there is a striking similarity between StoreDot's promises, claims, subsequent rapid retreat etc and the Power Japan Plus(PJP) phenomenon.
PJP similarly claimed and still claim 20x faster charge times, 300 miles per charge, optimum recyclability, "organic" raw materials and reduced cost.
But unlike StoreDot, PJP sought umbrage, protection and incubation under a "UN-linked "umbrella" not long after they first hit the headlines and threatened the status quo in 2014. (See PRWeb: "World Association of Former UN Internes and Fellows Agrees Memorandum of Understanding with Power Japan Plus" )
Also unlike StoreDot, Power Japan Plus have always responded to our questions - and what's more - quickly and courteously.
For instance: we recently asked PJP why there was now - ominously - no longer any mention of electric vehicles anywhere on their new-ish website but only references to electric bikes and solar energy storage.
PJP's reply was instant and moderately encouraging - to the effect that EVs will be re-instated in an upcoming updated version of the website - although no specific date was stipulated.
StoreDot, on the other hand, have opted not to respond to our enquiries at all.
So let's go public with those stored-up, stir-it-up queries ! Here are a few exasperatingly fantabulous quotes from the company's website and the Times of Israel again - followed by our own EVUK-flavoured ripostes which we believe will resonate with EV believers, sceptics and agnostics - even those of the Jewish persuasion:
From Store-Dot.com :
"5-min charging is already here.
Charge your electric vehicle in 5 minutes - same experience as fueling, but without the fumes! "
EVUK riposte: can you please define the words "already" and "here" please !
From The Times of Israel(again):
"Its new EV FlashBattery, the company says, charges fully in 5 minutes, providing 300 miles (480 km) of driving distance. "
"This fast charging technology shortens the amount of time drivers will have to wait in line to charge their cars, while also reducing the number of charging posts in each station, and considerably cutting the overall cost of owning an electric car."
"Because it charges so quickly, a battery using StoreDot technology can be smaller, making vehicles lighter and batteries cheaper to make, as well."
"Not only will the system save time but allowing for less frequent battery replacement due to its increased number of cycles, EV Flash Battery results in a 50% cost reduction per mile over the electric vehicle's lifetime, compared to existing battery technologies."
EVUK riposte: all of the above is worded as if it's all a fait accompli - most of it is comfortably couched in the present tense or the "future-is-now" tense. Why ? Please justify !
From Store-Dot.com :
"Read more about EV needs in China in our blog "
EVUK riposte: no thankyou StoreDot !
China's "EV needs" ? Who cares ? Why does StoreDot - like almost every other would-be EV disruptor - seem now to be shifting its focus to China ?
Please StoreDot - your audience is largely non-Chinese - so kindly tell us instead about how soon you'll be meeting the affordable, long-range, quick-charge "needs" of (would-be) EV owners - NOT in China - but in Europe, the UK , America North & South, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Korea, Africa, India...
Not to mention Israel.
- Final Flashbattery Flashback: recall that Chelsea's game-changer Roman "Norma" Abramovich and Samsung among others have invested $18 million in the Israeli company's rapid-recharge Flashbattery venture.
May, 2016 No Nissan - Madrid does NOT now have the world's largest electric taxi fleet: 110 Leafs v 2800 BYD e6's in Shenzhen, 4000++ e6's in Taiyuan ...
- yet again hundreds of copycat news sites wilfully or cluelessly ignore the facts...
For the record:
- if you can handle the truth, watch the TV report(above left) and read the following understandably irate email recently shot to us by Dr. Marco Loglio(again) our main man in China ie. where the real EV action is.
Loglio, incidentally, escaped to China a decade before BMW's latest batch of disillusioned EV-specialists turned their backs on the Bavarian i-Wash-fabrication specialists in yet another Great Escape to the East.
From M.Loglio in Shenzhen
" Can I draw your attention to the numerous ridiculous news reports that have appeared on many news and EV sites around the world about the order for 110 Taxi Nissan Leafs for the city of Madrid by the company Ciudad del Taxi.
Nissan and the Western press are (very) erroneously or deliberately and dishonestly claiming that this is the biggest electric taxi fleet in the world.
("Nissan convierte a Madrid en la ciudad con más taxis eléctricos del mundo")
And the world's China-blind or China-blanking media has once again uncritically repeated this false claim.
The statement should be immediately withdrawn by Nissan and by the taxi company Ciudad del Taxi.
Here in Shenzhen there are now 2,800 BYD e6 taxis in operation which eclipses the 110 Leafs in Madrid.
And of course the 190 mile/charge e6 not only has far greater range than the 107 mile Leaf - it is also much more spacious.
BYD began by introducing a fleet of 800 electric e6 taxis in Shenzhen in 2011, on the occasion of the Univerisade Games.
Subsequently another 2000 were added giving today's total of 2800.
The current version of the BYD e6 taxi has a real proven range of 400 Km in urban use, based on a battery pack whose capacity has now reached 82Kwh - so almost triple that of the Nissan Leaf.
A perfect infrastructure for the recharging of the taxis all over the territory of Shenzhen make this vehicle the best solution for clean transportation within the city.
And here's another record-breaking update for you about BYD taxis in another Chinese city:
Taiyuan will have a fully and exclusively electric taxi fleet within the year with a total of 8929(!) BYD e6 taxis.
So to emphasize and clarify: this large city Taiyuan will only have electric taxis. No petrol, no dirty dinosaur diesel cabs.
Already 3000 e6's have been put into operation in the first 4 months of 2016 while the others will be delivered before the end of July this year.
Another key reason for the success of BYD e6 taxi fleets apart from its now well-proven technical specification (82 Kwh battery pack with more then 400 km range ) is the price which after subsidies from the central and local government is only €12.000 or 89.000 Yuan
Youtube Video: record-breaking Taiyuan only has electric taxis: over 4000 now - 8929 by the end of July.
Nissan and so many other car manufacturers really should focus on improving their mediocre battery pack capacity rather than wasting time with triumphalistic and baseless announcements that seem designed to treat China and its ahead-of-the-game EV innovation as if it doesn't exist or doesn't count or can't be believed(unlike, say, VW !!).
As you know the BYD e6 is also used as a taxi in many other Chinese cities and around the world - Brussels, London, Rotterdam - so BYD definitely and objectively has to be rated number one in the world. "_______________
It's a pity that Ciudad del Taxi and the world's media still either can't be bothered to spend 10 minutes researching simple EV truth or are intent or hell-bent on deceiving the public and themselves.
Qué lastima ! If this otherwise relatively bold Madrid initiative had been launched with a modicum of informed honesty and modesty we'd be applauding almost ecstatically - although the question "Why Leafs - and not BYD e6's as in Brussels etc" still begs to be asked and honestly answered.
The average daily distance covered by London minicab drivers is 120 miles(see FT re BYD/Thriev). There is no reason to think that Madrid's Leaf taxis won't be travelling
similar distances each day - so recharging and range-anxiety will likely be a constant niggle.
Over the last week we've emailed Ciudad del Taxi twice asking why they are misinforming the public - but the offending "world record" headline has still not been removed from their homepage or corrected. So this is by definition now a clear case of deliberate deception.( email@example.com )
Website Elektrek also points out that Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport operates 167 Tesla Model S taxis - so it's a pity and a pena that their Madrid Leaf report's headline fails to include the word 'wrongly': "Nissan (wrongly!) Claim The World's Largest Electric Taxi Fleet".
And Elektrek, like the rest of the media, also fails to mention the BYD e6 - or China.
All of this though is about more than just the BYD e6(taxi) versus the Nissan Leaf(taxi).
BYD and an ever-increasing number of agile, cutting-edge, style-savvy Chinese carmakers continue to expose and lay bare the half-hearted, foot-dragging fakery of the rest of the world's automakers.
Just take a look at this Forbes/CarNewsChina collaborative report from April/May's Beijing Auto Show: "10 New Electric Cars from China".
Left: BYD EV300: range 300km/190 miles, $23,000
Right: Brilliance V3 EV: range 250km/155 miles, $16,000.
Amusing to note that BMW has a joint-venture with Brilliance. i3 anyone ? Surely even the most gullible of born yesterday (BMW)brand-victims would prefer the brilliance of the bargain V3 to the low-range, high-priced i3.
(Photos: Tycho de Feijter, Editor-in-Chief at CarNewsChina ie. where the real EV news and action is. Beijing-based expat-Dutchman Tycho, by the way, is also well-acquainted with Shenzhen-based expat-Italian Marco Loglio.
Funny old small world, ain't it ?)
BMW's "i3 range increased" tense-trick: "BMW has increased"..." "BMW increases range...". *********
Reality: BMW will not increase the i3's range until 2017.
Remember that in 1987(!) BMW presented the all-electric lightweight 325iX with a TUV-tested range of 93 miles. Over 25 years later it launched the super-lightweight carbon fibre i3 with an EPA-tested range of 81 miles.
See Wired "40 Years of Electric BMW's You Can't Buy"
So - BMW is clearly determined to avoid - and have the media avoid - the use of the jam tomorrow future tense - the words "will" and "won't".
So they have once again resorted to that familiar, neat, time-warping, back-to-the-future trick-of-tenses to disguise yet another not-now, not-this-year promise.
And thanks to a media that is only too willing to obediently parrot a prescriptive PR statement that cunningly avoids the use of the future tense - the public are unlikely to notice that BMW "have" in actuality increased nothing at all.
"Zukunftsmusik" - the German term means "Future Music" ie. empty, endless jam-tomorrow promises.
So how do you avoid being accused of issuing yet more "next year BMW will.." Zukunftsmusik press releases ?
Simple ! Ganz einfach sogar ! Rely on a meekly uncritical media that sticks to your script, artfully avoids the use of the future tense and have almost every commentator misleadingly trumpet to the world that "BMW has increased the range of the i3 by n%" or "BMW increases the range of the i3 by.. "
Oops, sorry ! The i3 obviously needs to be renamed or rebranded "the 2017 i3" for this cunning linguistic, future-tense-dodging trick to work - thus:
"BMW has increased/increases the range of the '2017 i3' by n%"
And thus it is that dozens of carbon-copy chorus-line media outlets have yet again fallen over themselves to please the Bavarian Behemoth in the past fortnight by telling it like it isn't.
Repeat: the fact is that BMW have actually done absolutely nothing in the present tense, or the past tense or the imperfect tense - except release yet another jam-tomorrow, Zukunfstmusik press statement craftily replacing the future tense with those "fait accompli" present and past tenses.
So when you read that "BMW have increased the range...." - please remember to substitute the deceit with the same old unspun truth:
"BMW and the rest of the world's carmakers WILL not deliver or allow disruptive giant-leap affordable range increases until 2017-2018".
Perhaps other large corporations should consider using the carmaker's ruse - the not-so-fast food industry for instance:
"McDonalds today announced that it has increased the size and egg-iness of its 2019 McMuffin by 27%".
But why stop there ? Maybe people - individuals - not just giant corporations - should start making similar big deal PR announcements about themselves...
Here for instance is John Smith breaking a little hot exciting news to his boss:
John : Charles - I just wanted to announce that I have increased the productivity, performance and efficiency of the 2018 John Smith by 41%.
Charles : Great news John. But can I ask the obvious question ? Why not do it now - straightaway ? Why not five years ago ? Also - you've been promising more or less the same thing for the past three decades.
John : It's very different this time Charles. These things take painstaking preparation, research and development.
One more thing Charles - given that I have improved the performance of the 2018 John Smith by 41% I will naturally be expecting a commensurate salary increase.
Charles : Naturally John. Whatever you say, John.
Oh, by the way - where's that sales report you promised me ? It was supposed to be on my desk yesterday...
John : It'll be ready tomorrow Charles - or the day after at the very latest..that's a promise. I'm obviously very busy right now working on the 2018 John Smith. Not to mention the even more disruptive and productive 2020 John Smith.
We can hardly wait....
Re-read Wired: "40 Years of Electric BMW's You Can't Buy"
The media tells it like it isn t:
1) BMW "has increased" the range etc: all Google News reports
2) BMW "increases" range etc : all Google News reports
As stated many times - you now have to look not to payrolled "journalists" but to comment-posters and occasionally bloggers if you're desperately seeking informed, fearless truth-telling on almost any corporately contentious subject.
Pedro's unpaid, "unprofessional'" comments at InsideEVs(March 2016) re the "2017" BMW i3's range pithily hit the bullseye:
"BMW could introduce a 200 EPA miles range i3 right now if they were serious about EVs."
Similarly, GM could have begun producing and selling the 200 mile/charge Bolt in late 2015/early 2016 if guns had been held to CEO heads - figuratively or otherwise. Recall that in April 2015 the Financial Times confirmed that:
"General Motors Has Resolved the Bolt's Technical Challenges".
A reminder too that EV's typically contain anywhere between 600-1200 fewer parts than their gasoline-guzzling Heath Robinson equivalents - parts that therefore don't need to be designed, sourced, tested, transported, stored, assembled etc. Time and money saved. And even fewer excuses for endless pre-production procrastination.
And again - as far as the world's combustion-addicted carmakers are concerned, one major unspoken advantage of dangling that huge 200 mile/charge carrot for far too long ahead of time is that demand for and interest in the current crop of short-range EV's like the Leaf and Zoe can be significantly sapped or zapped for two or three years - as in:
"I'll stick with gasoline until the Bolt and Model 3 or the longer range i3 etc eventually arrive"
On sale in 2016: a 500km/charge affordable electric SUV/crossover.
Beating the Bolt and the Tesla Model 3/Y.
- Because Chinese consumers just don't have the patience for year-after-next promises, dangling carrots and manana-bananas...
So the inevitable bad news once again..is that the EV500 aka Ev500 will naturally only be available in China.
Take a close look at that 'registration' name-plate. E500 ? Not quite: the 'v' may be barely visible - but please don't confuse the Yema EV500 with the Fiat 500EV or 500e or 500-e(whatever).
That's right EVUK'ers - our favourite Italian-exile-in-China Dr. Marco Loglio - Marchionne's nemesis - has contacted us with the it-had-to-happen news that he's currently helping Yema develop and road-test the aptly-named EV500 - a long-range(500km), $30,000(after incentives) successor to its slow-selling, short-range E70 crossover eSUV.
So - to save ourselves the effort, the grind, the graft and the time of drafting up yet another jocular journalistic joust on the subject of long-overdue long range, we'll instead simply serve up our recent unexpurgated email exchanges with Loglio for your delectation and delight.
After all, the NSA, CIA and countless corporate/automotivated troll-hackers have doubtless snooped, sneaked and stored said emails already(right guys?) - so why not share our deviantly disruptive correspondence with an even wider audience ?
But first ! A few words in defence of medium-not-monster-sized crossover SUV's and even minivans..
It's all about ride height: higher seats are simply safer and healthier.
Safer because higher seats provide a more commanding (over)view of the road, of potential hazards, pedestrians, cyclists.
Healthier because higher seats mean that thighs and knees are more or less at a right-angle to the torso, the upper body - whereas in normal low-slung sedans the knees are higher than the coccyx - the base of the spine. The "coccyx crease" is more pronounced - ouch !
As a result, in low-to-the-road seats the nerves and blood vessels that pass through the base of the spine and the thighs are more stretched upwards - ergo under greater tension. Numbness and poor circulation can result.
In fact non-automotive ergonomic seats(eg. office chairs) are usually designed to ensure that the knees are positioned slightly below the base of the spine...which also means that back muscles are forced to work harder to keep the spine erect and vertical. Not very relaxing but very posture-pedic !
So no - higher or superior SUV/crossover ride-height is not necessarily (all) about "I look down on you" snobbery and snootiness - it can really also be seen as a distinct health and safety advantage.
Loglio - EVUK email exchanges(April-May) - Yema EV500:
Loglio : I have attached some pictures of the final street-legal version of the Yema EV500 SUV crossover that now has 500km of range. The car has a quite traditional powertrain with a maximum power of 75 Kw, max speed of 140 km/h and acceleration from zero to 100km/h in about 9 seconds.
The battery can be recharged from a 220V outlet in 8 hours and fast-charged in 30 minutes with a DC charger.
The battery pack has been developed with my personal contribution. It boasts high energy density and low cost. The final price of the car is yet to be announced but it should be around 40,000 USD before incentives.
More news for you as soon as I'm authorized to release it.
EVUK : It's worth noting of course that the EV in recent history that SHOULD have been disruptive was the original Toyota RAV4 EV - a mid-sized SUV(1997-2004).
Plus ca change...
Indeed it was primarily because the world's media (outside of California & Japan) totally refused to report Toyota's RAV4 EV(eSUV) that we actually set up EVUK around 1999-2000.
The RAV4 was also the first EV we ever drove. But even when it was used for three years by the police, fire services and a car rental company exclusively on the island of Jersey 50 miles south of the UK(near France) - the media refused to talk about it.
Despite the fact that the police and holiday-makers LOVED it. We contacted many major media outlets in the UK/Europe at the time(BBC, Guardian, Telegraph, The Independent, Der Spiegel..) - all refused to mention or report Toyota's RAV4 EV at all. Despite even the fact that for years it was Tom Hanks' favourite car(video). And California's/Hollywood's favourite EV. Still scandalous and still largely blanked out after all these years.
Plus ca change - plus c'est la meme putain chose.
Deja SUV VU.
Anyway Marco - are there any plans to produce the Yema EV500 in ever-so macho-male-masculine black at all ?
Loglio : Sure, colour is no problem. The real challenge is the ability of a small company like Yema to effectively introduce any electric SUV to a wide, regional or nationwide market.
Even in China and with a much-needed long-range SUV like this it still involves a lot of marketing effort and after-sales service.
It will probabaly initially be sold locally in Sichuan province where Yema is based and in some other city where there are already efficient distributors in situ.
Anyway this car really does deserve to be successful. It looks and feels nice and is very well-equipped. Previous versions have received mostly positive reviews(apart from their lower range).
EVUK : Marco - you may have seen that Edmunds.com put out a report in April claiming that EV owners are switching back from electric and green cars to gasoline-powered SUVs and crossovers. The report was of course eagerly repeated and regurgitated by dozens of echo-chamber and largely pro-ICE media outlets.
Astonishing how neither Edmunds.com or their colluding chorus-line failed to reach the self-evident conclusion that (wannabe) EV owners are clearly screaming out for the obvious green option that is still being proactively denied them: ie. an affordable, long-range SUV or crossover like the Yema EV500.
Carmakers as sure as hell know that's exactly what consumers want and what the market needs right now. Globally - beyond spoilt-for-choice China.
Remember too that 2015 was declared "Year of the SUV" by many of the world's car manufacturers - including Mercedes.
And recall that Nissan has dangled and re-dangled the possibility of a leafy-green all-electric Qashqai twice in the past two years(but sadly no e-Juke) : firstly in October 2013(see Autocar UK) - then again in March 2015(see Autoexpress UK).
Part II of Loglio-EVUK Email Exchanges re the Yema EV SUV-crossover(.. and another low-cost mystery range-breaker - read on)
Loglio : While in the rest of the world long range and low cost electric vehicles are still a promise or a dream, in China things really are moving now.
I have more exclusive news for you today that a company called Baoqi, based in Tianjin city is soon - this year not next year - going to launch a compact but inside very roomy and versatile 5-seater electric car with a range of up to 500 km(300-500km) and a cost after incentives that will start at just 8.000 Euro.
Remember that I am 1.90cm tall(6ft 3in) but this vehicle looks and feels more spacious and taller inside than it looks from the outside. I have driven the car personally several times and found it very comfortable not least because the square or straight-sided design means you have a lot of width and space at shoulder height.
The car's dimensions are 348x157x167 cm - wheel-base 233 cm.
There is also a very practical cargo version - see photos.
I have visited this company(Baoqi) and we are now also working on a project to create the first long range EV that also sports a prototype portable and foldable or expandable solar roof of my own design that can feed about 50-100 miles worth of "free" solar energy back into the car's batteries whilst for example the car is parked at the owner's workplace.
Obviously the problem with having solar panels (only) on the roof of your house is that if - like most people - you park your EV at your workplace most days you will need a substantial battery storage system at home to charge your car overnight and to power your home.
Also: this solar car version is set to get a lithium ion battery pack engineered by my company MLCA Ltd.
As I said, this roof solar system is still at the prototype stage and we're still looking for angel investors from anywhere in the world.
It is really a green and clean EV charging option for enthusiasts - for people who for environmental or ethical reasons want to charge their cars as far as possible directly from the sun and avoid using electricity from coal, nuclear, natural gas etc from the grid.
Attached are some pics of the car in the company show room.
EVUK : Marco - I'm guessing you'd need the help of a billionaire or Impossible Magician to export, import or teleport a Yema or Baoqi long-ranger to Europe or America given all of the anti-Chinese automotive protectionism in place around the world ?
Or maybe a wealthy Qatari or Dubai-based EV-owning oiligarch might be up for it - the country and region seems to be developing a genuine taste for electric mobility and solar energy - PV, concentrated solar(CSP) and geothermal.
But it is odd, to say the least, how relatively fragile non-Chinese EV's like the Morgan EV3, the G-Wiz and even the good 'ole Corbin Sparrow had no problem sailing through every safety, road-worthiness and homologation test out there - yet if any of those vulnerable pint-sized lightweights were to be hit by any one-tonne-plus vehicle on the road at 35+ mph their poorly protected EV-owners could surely kiss goodbye to life as they once knew it.
Who wouldn't feel a whole lot safer in the Yema and Baoqi EV's which after all are based on, inspired by or copied from the VW Tiguan and the now discontinued Suzuki Alto.
Ah yes- imitation is the sincerest form of flattery - so if any non-Chinese carmakers - Fiat, BMW, VW, Ford, Toyota, Kia etc - are similarly just itching to roll-out long-overdue affordable long-range EV's like the Yema SUV-crossover and Baoqi's versatile 5-seater/cargo EV - they should feel free to imitate, emulate and copy these two range-breaking, price-busting companies Yema and Baoqi asap. Their Chinese chiefs or CEO's would feel sincerely flattered for sure, right Marco ?
Loglio : Firstly - regarding exporting cars from China: to start with you need a special export license that is very difficult to get and especially for homologated EV's that are subject to incentives from the government.
Some of Yema's gasoline-powered cars are probably going to be sold in South America and Africa.
The USA and Europe ban the import of Chinese made cars, if they don't comply with their many regulations and requirements.
So yes - you really would need a billionaire to start the legal export/import of this car.
He would need to change a lot of components and pass the European homologation test which would cost around a million Euro.
EVUK : So maybe an EVangelical Dubai billionaire or a very talented magician would be the best bet. But then again - even Warren Buffett has failed or refused to export the 200+ mile/charge Chinese BYD e6 worldwide despite the burgeoning success of London taxi company Thriev's thriving fleet(video).
But again - it still seems bizarre that the likes of the Morgan EV3, the G-Wiz and the Corbin Sparrow managed to sail through all of the road-worthiness regulations and homologation requirements whilst clearly far safer Chinese EV's are globally blocked and blockaded by insurmountable barriers and hurdles.
Finally, and once again: to all those who have been successfully programmed and propagandized to view most news out of China with scepticism, cynicism or outright sino-phobia - a reminder that range-busting Marco Loglio is a former VP of ThunderSky - the Chinese company that supplied the long-range, robust batteries for Imperial College's almost legendary 26,000km Pan-American SRZero EV odyssey - one of BBC World's all-time most popular serialized documentaries.
Renowned UK company Frazer Nash helped prepare the battery management system for the SRZero's ThunderSky cells - see video.
More recently in 2012 Loglio - together with Global Vantage Power - set a (then) range record of 801km driving a converted all-electric Chinese Zotye version of the Fiat Multipla at normal traffic speeds from Shenzhen to Nanning - see our exclusive
TV video report.
Contact Dr. Marco Loglio via his Linkedin pages.
Refresh your memory with a refeshing energy drink:
Formula E(DF) - Aquafuel taboo continues in pre-ePrix Paris.
"Who's the Silly Billy, Daddy ?!"
Confused ? You're meant to be...
Picture the scene: Sitting room. Anywhere. N'importe où.
TV dinner on laps(appropriately). Formula E(DF) ePrix in progress in Paris.
Date: April 23rd aka April Fools' Fuel Day - don't believe everything you don't read...
Billy(aged 71/4) learns where the truth lies.
Billy : Daddy - what's EDF ?
It makes the electricity that charges the race cars Billy. The batteries.
Billy : But my friend Jamie said that they use something you can drink !
Daddy : What ? Don't be silly Billy ! That's complete nonsense ! Where did Jamie see that ?
Billy : On the internet. On Youtube.
Daddy : Oh dear ! I've told you loads of times you need to be careful about all that silly nonsense you read on the internet Billy. Lots of it's just made up rubbish. Daddy would know about it if it was true.
The cars use nice clean nuclear power - but you can't drink it ! Look - there's a big banner by the track that says "EDF". That's nuclear - not a drink !
Now eat your dinner and drink your Kool-Aid...I mean lemonade !
Billy : Dad ! Fuku...Fuku...Fukushi..wasn't that a nukulear disaster in Japan Daddy ? In Fuksushi..Fukshinobill or summfing ? Or was that in Russia ?
No Billy - that was a tsunami and an earthquake and a great big wave that killed lots of people.
Now eat your dinner, fill your face and watch the race.
Billy : Dad ! Look - my tablet says that a man called Agag drank some of that nuckulear energy on Youtube out of a glass.
Daddy : I told you it's internet rubbish Billy !
Agag ? It sounds like a made-up name ! A gag more like ! Get it ? A gag means it's just a big joke ! Probably an April Fool !
Now enough silly questions Billy - finish your dinner. And don't forget Mummy uses nice clean nuclear power to cook our food too - just like the race cars !
So - it's good enough to eat - not just drink, right ? Remember - Daddy knows best - not the internet or Youtube or your smart tablet. Your dad's a lot smarter than all of that lot ! I went to college, remember ? !
Recall that in March a Formula E source(an anon FIA-FE Facebook administrator..) emailed EVUK to say that our "please re-publicize Aquafuel in Paris" plea had been officially deemed "a good idea". Officially in the office, at least.
EDF have obviously officially disagreed.
And what's more - they hold political office ie. they're 85% government-owned.
(See "EDF Partners with the Visa Paris ePrix- Formula E", April 11th)
More Kool-Aid, anyone ?
FE Paris postscript: deeply green viewers and fans were treated to a surprisingly robust, nuclear-free Earth Day & Race Day response from Agag, Todt & Co(even Aquafuel got some rare air-time)
After the ominous above-cited April 11 press announcement most of us had fully expected to see a circuit, a podium and media-rostrum festooned with "EDF : VISA"
ads - but in the event almost nothing nuclear caught the eye and this extremely divisive hot-button issue was very sensitively, sensibly and stealthily dealt with by race organisers. Respect !
So can EVUK claim some of the credit or blame, please, VISA ? Is a debt of gratitude not owed ?
All of our research and searching indicates that no other commentators, journalists or even bloggers have dared to touch the EDF-FE-EV nuclear question at all and of course none - excuse our French - have risked positively P!$$ing on the Paris Parade.
- Aquafuel gets honorable mention in Formula E's "Earth Day Top 21 Eco Inventions" video (at 1m 38s).
(But why on Earth does Youtube prelude even this video with ads for petrol/diesel cars ?!)
April, 2016 France's(Fessenheim) Nuclear Site Offer to Tesla: Musk must be surely tempted - or sorely torn.._______________
- he's not yet said no...and yet to say yes.
By Royal Invitation...
From Fessenheim to Phénix to Superphénix - could a supercharged EV-PV Phoenix rise from the nuclear ashes?
"Tesla has been invited by Ségolène Royal, France?s Minister of Environment and Energy, to transform the Fessenheim power plant into a European factory." (Newsweek, Europe)
It is spookily intriguing - even gratifying - to note that this offer to
Musk came just a month after we posted up our cage- and sabre-rattling pièce de persistence titled:
"Nuclear Powers France's EV Prowess - but FE Race Cars are Positively Nuke-Free"
- juggling and juxtaposing
France's EDF, nuclear power, Formula E's Aquafuel, the upcoming(April 23) FE ePrix race in Paris as well as Tesla, renewables, solar and Solarcity.
And that timely pot-pourri of hot or taboo topics also - by sheer spooky coincidence - included caustic criticism of the seismically senseless and foolishly fault-lined Fessenheim reactor located on the French-German border - ie. slap-bang-wallop in the centre of Europe.
Alors Elon - Allons y ?
The problem for Musk of course - the toxic PR trap - is that a move to Fessenheim(right) would almost inevitably force him to publicly and unequivocally state his (evolving ?) position with respect to nuclear power and more importantly to nuclear waste - a personal "coming out" that is far more likely to divide than conquer his fan-base and his new-found but fickle corporate/financial/political backers, enablers, protectors.
But if Musk does accept the Royal invitation - why stop at Fessenheim ?
What about the abandoned fast-breeder SuperPhénix and Phénix sites 150-250 miles S.West of Fessenheim ?
Could not new "fast-breeding" green industries - successful, sustainable and profitable - rise out of those atomic ashes ?
And we're not just referring to EV and battery factories. Why not establish both EV and PV ventures ?
Solarcity - which Musk co-manages with his
cousins - could for instance be rapidly expanded into nuclear-dominated France and throughout sunny central and southern Europe along with Tesla's many other job- and hope-creating Giga-enterprises.
What say you, Ségolène ?
Although Solarcity is not a solar/PV manufacturer per se, the company - "America's Nr. 1 Solar Provider" - could serve to re-energize and re-monetize France's decommissioned or dodo-dead nuclear sites by transforming them into solar/PV installation, training, warehouse and distribution hubs - creating a nationwide network of Superphénix Solar Centres.
Or perhaps Tesla could build a Super-Giga-Factory to produce "SuperPhoenix Superchargers" for the European EV+PV market.
And at last the mythical (plutonium-free) Phoenix could soar proudly skywards once again - and the shambolic ?5 billion-plus shame of the Phénix and SuperPhénix fast-breeder fiascos could be powerfully redressed, remedied and redeemed.
But is this all pie in the sky - as in 'pigs might fly' ?
Maybe - but anyone who thinks the sky's the limit for Mr. SpaceX has obviously been living on another planet. Musk is clearly as keen to preserve and improve life here on Earth as he is to bring life to Mars(or to green the Red Planet) - so the more potentially life-destroying or life-threatening Damoclean nuclear sites he can reclaim and reincarnate the better.
So who wouldn't want Musk to accept Royal's request ? If there's anything - short of a miracle - that could help restore the legend of the Phoenix to its former, pre-EDF glory and sanctity - it has to be the spirit of Tesla.
(California's and Croatia's)
Formula E: DS Virgin Technical Director Sylvain Filippi Bemoans Better-Battery-Ban..on Chat-E live TV to a global audience
Watch Chat-E clip collage
Yes, of course, Mr. Filippi(a "petrol-head turned electric-head") treads carefully and speaks very diplomatically in a predictably guarded, professional, job-preserving fashion.
But the underlying, understated frustration is palpable.
Clearly - if one FE team's Technical Director aka Chief Technical Officer is willing to let slip this much and speak this candidly on air - and let the batt-cat out of the bag if you will - then just imagine how much more un-broadcastably truthful his and his colleagues' battery-related remarks are likely to sound off-air, behind closed doors, off-the-cuff and off-the-record.
Time to Revolt guys. Rise up and down tools. Swap 'em for cutlasses, mount a mechanics' mutiny and hang the planks overboard.
The usual suspects, the permanent procrastinators, long-range refuseniks and carrot-danglers can sink or swim - but please, me 'arties, set the ePrix free and overturn this retrograde "not till season five" back-tracking, better-battery-ban...
(Does Formula E really still
need BMW's and VW's sponsorship now that so many infinitely more credible companies are backing the event ? And who on earth wants that hybrid interloper - the BMW i8 safety car - intervening in an all-electric race series ?!)
Breaking News(Bloomberg, 19 April): Three more BMW EV / i8 execs jump ship - quitting Germany(Bavaria) for China !
- Watch full FE Long Beach Chat-E
- Petrol-head turned electric-head - see Eureka magazine interview with Virgin's Sylvain Filippi.
(April 2: see Post-Reveal Red Alert Postscript Pics below)
Tesla Model 3-Years-Too-Late* Unveiling(31. March)
Battery life-expectancy/cycle life - 150,000 miles or half a million++ ?
Will Musk finally confirm and clarify - and not just speak of warranties ?
(*3 Years Too Late to be deemed disruptive: indeed, if anything, Tesla and GM are disrupting and diminishing demand for current shorter range EVs by forever dangling and not delivering - as in: "I'll stick with gasoline until the Bolt and Model 3 eventually/finally arrive")
A Tesla Tease or Two - a couple of designers(Chin & Stumpf) imagined these Model 3's. So how good was their guesswork ? We won't know the truth...till April the 1st.
As we've stated many times: battery life-span and/or cycle life have now replaced affordable long range as the top EV taboo topic throughout the old/new media jungle.
Payrolled scribblers and their editors increasingly leave it up to citizen comment-posters to tease out and tackle taboo topics for them in order to avoid raising the wrath of powerful corporate/financial/state institutions.
And EV manufacturers and dealers clearly don't relish the idea of millions of super-savvy consumers lurking round showrooms or motorshows asking tauntingly inconvenient questions such as:
"Potassium ion batteries have been proven to be good for more than a million charges or charge cycles. So d'you have any idea if Nissan or Renault etc are working to tailor and optimize them for EV's ?
If not - why not ? Being able to drive x-million miles in the same car would be a slam-dunk of a selling point don't you think ? A car could become almost a family heirloom - handed down from generation to generation. You'd be an idiot or addict not to switch to electric if or when EV's offer twice or thrice an ICE lifespan, wouldn't you ? "
But again: battery life-expectancy - in terms of years and charge cycles - is a key issue that directly affects the per-mile cost of motoring in the now - in the present tense.
Yet resale value and depreciation are fundamental financial factors which are almost always "forgotten" or omitted from cost-of-driving calculations and discussions.
And battery and cycle life are also never or very rarely mentioned by those countless commentators who understandably criticize EV's on the grounds that they cost more to buy new than petrol/diesel vehicles.
Sorry press-people - but if your EV's (and Model 3's ?) batteries are good for 300,000+ miles you won't be needing to buy a new car for another 15-20 years and even then - between years 2030-2040 - you'll have the option of simply and economically replacing your car's old cells with a far superior pack - and not necessarily lithium - that'll run for at least half a million miles. (Provided of course that an informed and vocal public finally start exerting relentless planet-wide pressure on carmakers to deliver not just real range but ever-longer battery-life)
See Wiki Rechargeable Battery Cycle Lifespan comparisons & charts.
(Wikipedians ! You forgot to mention Power Japan Plus and Limerick + Wollongong Universities' range-doubling Germanium breakthroughs...)
So - given the number of battery chemistries - experimental or otherwise - that have already successfully endured 3000 to a million or more charge cycles with less than 15% capacity loss - few humans alive today will ever technically or of necessity have to purchase more than three electric cars for personal or family use during their entire lifetime here on Earth - accidents and freak circumstances permitting.
Or unless(do we digress?) genetic engineering and gene therapy - as expected and predicted - finally succeed in extending human life-expectancy beyond 120-150-180++ years...for those who can afford it.
Hmm. Human life-expectancy/extension versus battery life-expectancy/extension - can we expect parallel quantum leaps in both realms at last ?
But back to the present - lest we digress irretrievably:
- the public must surely now grasp the fact that if a car's batteries have been tested and widely proven to be good for 300,000+ miles with minimal range-loss, owners will have few problems selling their vehicle for a decent, tidy sum somewhere between the 50,000 and 100,000 mile mark - as most from-new car-owners generally do or would like to.
To state the obvious(because most journalists refuse to) - if your EV's cells are (in)famous for fading fast after 130,000 miles you'll inevitably be forced to sell it on for significantly less(think £5,000-£10,000) - than the 300,000 mile, long-cell-life EV that - with hindsight - you'll wish you'd bought instead.
The key taboo point here needs to be repeated ad nauseam: the mile-for-mile cost of EV driving and ownership can only be calculated retrospectively when the owner eventually succeeds in reselling his (one-time) pride and joy x-thousand miles and y-years down the road.
So Elon - will the Model 3 boast significantly elongated battery-life ?
Compared, for instance, to GM's Bolt or even Dyson's Sakti3-powered Mystery-Maybe-EV
Or BYD's very taxingly-tested, long-life(6000+ cycles, 20 yrs) e6 workhorse ?
A good time perhaps to re-enjoy our classic Musk Laughs at BYD Bloomberg clip & Fully Charged's e6 Thriev taxi test-drive.
No-one is expecting or demanding perpetual
Prussian Blue Potassium performance(ie. a million or more charge cycles) - but why doesn't Tesla do what BYD did five years ago already and post up detailed battery lifespan charts, graphs and cycle life test-data ? (see BYD Tech pdf files)
Will our burning battery question be unleashed at the unveiling of the Tesla Model 3 on March 31st - and as often as possible thereafter ?
As several con cojones  commentators and comment-posters have said - Musk may have his high-volume Gigafactories...but when will we have long-range and long-life Gigabatteries ?
Postscript: Tesla Model 3 - April 1st(in Europe) Unveil: Latest Breaking & Rolling News - one click.
Red Alert post-postscript: Theophilus Chin(see above left) guessed best - but both sooths were spot-on colour-wise at least...
Positive Paris Piece Postscript - re FE-Aquafuel-Nuclear. And Mexico...at last a dedicated (F1) )race-track hosts Formula E !(Saturday, March 12th, ITV Schedule)
A little bird has told us - from the horse's mouth(sorry but we never reveal our horses' sources) - that our "please re-publicize Aquafuel in Paris" plea(see February piece below) has been officially deemed "a good idea".
But whether or not Aquafuel and nuclear/EDF will indeed be removed from TV presenters' and reporters' don't go there guidelines and taboo-lists is by no means un fait accompli.
What would Charlie as in Hebdo do ?
Is it OK, CH, to criticize Islam and satirize Mohammed - but a heinous heresy and sackable sacrilege to impugn or even mention nuclear power and France's Almighty Atomic EDF ?
Mexico FE footnotes:
- the sun-drenched country derives just 4% of its electricity from nuclear - but plans are afoot to add new reactors to its euphemistically-named Laguna Verde site. Laguna Verde - Green Lake !?
A green-wash euphemism par excellence - just begging for an aquatic apocalypse to happen ? Add the fact that "lake" is just one instant anagram away from "leak" - and fate's irony is surely-sorely being tempted to the max.
(Lake-Leak-Link: Lake Karachay near Mayak, Russia - along with the Mediterranean Sea - have been rated amongst the "10 Most Radioactive Places on Earth" by the highly-regarded Blacksmith Institute. See video and text. Or ask your travel agent for details...)
- a Formula E first: the Mexican ePrix will not be a city street-race but a fully-fledged (F1) autodrome race-circuit event(Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez).
Whilst the Berlin Tempelhof circuit was/is a more or less dedicated FE race-track the Mexican venue really marks a milestone and sets an important escape-from-the-city ePrix precedent.
So no credible excuses now for not taking Formula E to India's top-rated Buddh circuit - as we suggested in our Sept 2014 "FE Wish List" piece. Sure, street racing is intense and engaging - but variety is the spice of life and India - like Mexico - is bursting with both.
Video: Nicki Shields' Mexico preview just had to include...a very skeletal, spectral, un-dead Bond/007...
A slightly off-topic aside-note: the focus of our last two EVUK pieces has been on FE's Aquafuel/green energy versus nuclear and EDF.
But the fairly recent FIA announcement that new batteries will not be allowed until season FIVE finally gives the lie to any illusions that the ePrix race series is all about speeding up the transfer of game-changing EV tech-advances into consumer vehicles(got that Dario & Co ?).
It's also as clear as it ever was that the automotive establishment - in particular BMW and VW - are in reality as incurably, pathologically opposed to the roll-out of affordable, long range, beyond-niche EV's as they ever were.
BMW in particular is notorious for extending its corporate-control tenticles into anything and everything that it sees as a serious threat to the primacy of the Internal Combustion Engine. And anything it rates as a serious green PR or greenwash opportunity.
Recall again that in 2013 after the FE race-car's Frankfurt press unveiling it was widely reported that new batteries would be permitted in season TWO - ref this from The Engineer (Oct,2013)
"The organisers will make Formula E an
open series in its second year which means that each team will be free to develop its own car with whatever configuration of motor, batteries and charging systems that they believe will give them the biggest advantage in the race."
So new cells in season FIVE not TWO. Yet more preposterous long-grass EV procrastination - with 'BMW' and 'VW' written all over it. Back-tracking not fast-tracking. And as always, our silent, compliant, commercially compromised media looks the other way and pretends not to notice. Indeed Formula E is barely or rarely being reported at all - especially by local car-ad-dependent media/newspapers.
Top Taboo TV Truth(ssh!): be in no doubt that if Tesla were running the show with Musk in charge, FE race cars would have been delivering at least 50% more range from Day One, Season One - and would be tearing round the track at full power levels.
Nonetheless Formula E, with its ever-expanding global TV reach will - crucially - help wake-up the dormant demographic and every year will persuade millions more Rip Van Winkles and EV Virgins(not just Sir Branson) for the very first time to Google search or Duck-Duck-Go those all-important keywords "electric vehicle + electric car" ...
Oh - and whilst we are slightly digressing - it does also look as if FE has not only rated our "please re-publicize Aquafuel" as "a good idea" - it seems the series will almost certainly be heading to India - and Delhi no less. (See EVUK's 2014 ahead-of-the-curve "FE Wish-List" and ITV's Mexico 2016 Chat-E)
Whether street circuit or Buddh race-track - who knows ? The Buddh stadium would be a whole lot easier, cheaper and quicker even as a stop-gap...and the series' several gaping 5-7 week hiatuses do urgently need plugging....watch this space/hiatus.
Formula E's Paris Spring : formidable !
France's EV prowess - but FE race cars are positively nuke-free.
- The French government owns 85% of EDF shares and electricity prices are kept artificially low - making it difficult for green to compete. See Wiki "Nuclear Power in France".
- 75% of France's electricity is nuclear - from 59 reactors: the highest in the world. Contrast that with February's Formula E host Argentina (Buenos Aires) where just 10% of power is nuclear-sourced.
À propos "Buenos Aires/Good Airs": it was good to see ITV's FE host Nicki Shields break a virtual green energy race-day silence with a full-blown environmental intro and overview of the ePrix's most crucial ecological raison d'etre which included some unusually bold contributions from several (male) drivers. Can we repeat this in Paris please guys ?
- France has 59 active reactors(see map) and imports around 10,500 tonnes of uranium every year. (=energy independence ?!)
- since 1993 the dumping of nuclear waste into the sea in containers/barrels has - officially and in theory at least - been banned worldwide. France dodged the unpolice-able ban by pumping waste out through mile long pipes - most notoriously into the English Channel.
Worse still, the nuclear industry has long wanted to resume or re-legalize the dumping of toxic waste into the world's oceans and the global (on paper) ban is up for review in 2018. See: "The Disposal of Nuclear Waste Into the World's Oceans"(CBRNePortal) and the truth-exhuming documentary "Radioactive Waste: Dumped and Forgotten"(National Geographic - broadcast in France and Germany but not in Britain).
Aqueous solution v aqueous pollution: do the words "green glycerine" and "Aquafuel" mean anything to all but a few Formula E fans or Parisians ?
Although the the country's current administration has promised a gradual withdrawal from nuclear the French public were long ago sold the TINA myth - that There Is No Alternative to nuclear power for France.
- But there are now countless price-competitive, even cost-slashing, ingeniously green alternatives. Here for example is what Aquafuel chief executive Paul Day told BusinessGreen in 2011: (GreenBiz)
"... glycerine could power everything from generators to ships... a saltwater algae pond the size of Switzerland would meet global energy demand."
Champagne-Ardenne: Mumm's the word. Yumm certainly isn't.
Here's how EDF is working to bury the globally unresolved problem of highly toxic nuclear waste for the next 100,000+ years in N. Eastern France.
A groundwater, gastronomic disaster just waiting to happen ? Enriched paté washed down with a little isotopic cocktail of champagne, caesium, strontium and iodine anyone ?
Remember that Japan is a relatively isolated island nation - unlike France where a major meltdown or two of the Fukushima-Chernobyl kind would almost certainly contaminate and devastate neighbouring Germany and most of central Europe - ecologically and economically. Especially if it were to happen at the notorious Fessenheim reactor site which is cleverly located on the Franco-German border on a seismic fault-line and shifting tectonic plates.
"How France is disposing of its nuclear waste"(BBC News)
Yet how many Formula E viewers, spectators or even drivers - in fission-fuelled France or elsewhere - will be aware that the series'
race cars couldn't move an inch were it not for Aquafuel's unusually green and innovative alternative to both nuclear and fossil fuel - glycerine ?
This more-or-less carbon-neutral and abundant biofuel by-product can also be farmed through the use of salt-water algae and the UK company is pioneering its development with the help of Greenergy.
So how come the company's name is still on the tip of virtually no-one's tongue ?
That's right - strangely and all-too predictably - no Formula E commentator, presenter, journalist or spokesperson ever mentions the fact that FE's race cars
are recharged using this ingeniously green and innovative energy source.
Sure, FE's Alejandro Agag did put out this one-off "A Fuel Good Enough to Drink" video just over a year ago(Feb '15 - click pic) - but the fact is that Aquafuel has not been re-mentioned or accorded any TV screen-space, placement or air-time since then: in the FIA's latest nine hour Buenos Aires('good airs' or 'fair winds') full event video, for instance, the word "Aquafuel" is once again nowhere to be seen or heard.
Will the silence be broken in still nuclear-addicted France on April 23rd ? Will the public be reminded of the fact that the Paris-based FIA are saying "Non" to oil, gas, coal AND nuclear for Formula E ?
Will they be alerted to the fact that not one single gramme of the 10,500 tonnes of uranium that France imports each year will be powering Renault's Formula E race cars ?
Hmm. And will any ITV or Fox FE commentator, contributor or presenter risk jeopardizing their exotic ePrix careers by quoting those above-cited, eye-opening nuke-nixing comments from Aquafuel's Peter Day ?
As already mentioned, ITV's roving and roaming Formula E reporter Nicki Shields did break a virtual green energy race-day silence with an astonishingly, refreshingly ballsy and bullish eco-intro and overview of the ePrix's most crucial ecological raison d'etre which also included numerous - by TV standards - bold-as-brass contributions from several (male) drivers.
Can we repeat this green-themed defiance in Charlie Hebdo's Paris please guys ?
No-one would surely dare dismiss, sack, fire or even discipline the exquisitely, televisually essential Ms. Shields(brains, beauty, science graduate..) for simply telling the naked, nukeless truth, n'est-ce pas ?
Let's emphasize the positive by all means but - nous sommes tous Charlie H. now - certain familiar deafening silences and atomic taboos - are once again simply screaming to be broached and broken by someone, somewhere as Formula E's Parisian Spring approaches.
Nuclear nonchalence, laisser-faire nucléaire...
Even in May 2001, a decade before Fukushima, an Ipsos poll(Nuclear in France, Wiki) found that 56% of the French population thought that a ' Chernobyl-like accident' could occur in France(que sera sera et cetera?) - yet 70% of the population still had a 'good opinion' of nuclear power although 56% also preferred not to live near a nuclear plant.
But it can't be easy being a post-Fukushima Nuclear NIMBY in an EU nation with 59 Damoclean reactors - plus La Hague's monstrous spent-fuel reprocessing plant.
Positively, Monaco's Formula E loss or withdrawal is assuredly the capital's gain - and represents one more triumphant EV victory and vindication not just for Agag, Todt and the FIA - but also, posthumously, for one of the boldest, most high profile and perhaps most unlikely corporate EV and green car campaigners of all time - Edouard Michelin(RIP/Race In Peace) who - as we've insisted on re-reporting many times in memoriam and possibly ad nauseam - died in exceedingly mysterious and suspicious - indeed fishy - circumstances in 2006 a year or so after a very acrimonious split with Formula One's anti-green fossil-fuelled Ecclestonian dinosaurs, dodos and die-hards.
But the upcoming ePrix Parisian pièce de résistance confirms and highlights once again the global truism that the promotion and advancement of electric cars - or lack of it - as well as the (un)willingness of countries and cities to host Formula E seems all-too often to depend on the ability of the nuclear industry - not environmentalists - to counteract the power that oil companies, their lobbyists and advertising agencies have always enjoyed and deployed to critically influence the political, media and corporate/financial establishment at the local, regional and (inter)national level.
Decentralized, devolved, disruptive, distributed diversity...green power from the people/peuple, to the people, by the people and shared between the people.
Now more than ever - it is the only genuinely sustainable, smart alternative to nuclear, oil, gas and coal.
But in France it's clearly still nuclear and 85%-state-owned EDF - not fossil fuel - that rule the roost and the Republic.
In stark contrast for example to neighbouring Spain,
Alejandro Agag's homeland, where Repsol still calls the shots and feeds the population's increasing crank'n'piston addiction.
And whilst Agag and FE organisers are undoubtedly committed to 100% genuinely green, renewable energy, the Paris race venue clearly exposes an unspoken dilemma and disharmony in nuclear-dominated France.
So far a diplomatic, pre-Fukushima-like, smiles-all-around silence has been the universal, FIA and media response to the nuclear elephant in every room and dans toutes les rues.
Sure - French president Francois Hollande has pledged to reduce the nation's 75% nuclear dependency to 50% by 2025. But without persistent pressure from the public the IAEA and its legions of lobbyists and enforcers will assuredly stop at almost nothing to delay or prevent a nuclear retreat en France.
Recall that the French-Japanese EDF-Nissan-Renault alliance had no qualms about visibly capitalizing on the "clean" (or Damoclean) energy opportunity presented by the COP21 climate talks in Paris in December last.
So will EDF(not to be confused with EDF.org - the Environmental Defense Fund !) opt to slip back into behind-the-scenes string-pulling invisibility come April 23 and Formula E in spring-time Paris ?
Or will we see the capital's city-centre circuit loudly and proudly emblazoned and festooned with EDF hoardings and banner-ads at every risqué curve, dicey bend and hair-raising hairpin ?
Surely not ! Let's hope that instead we will finally see the words 'Aquafuel' and 'Greenergy' splashed across TV screens.
And given that FE's Agag and friends have already demonstrated on Youtube that Aquafuel's glycerine is literally good enough to drink - why not have the ePrix race-day victors quaff a glass or two of fuel with their champions' champagne on the Parisian podium en printemps ?
Aguafuel - good enough to drink...but Mumm's still the word.
Still Unclear re Nuclear ?
- Then why not watch the following three hard-hitting documentaries that every earth-responsible, amnesia-prone adult should probably view at least twice a year:
- Nova TV: "Nuclear Meltdown Disaster"
...a bicycle inner-tube(!) and salvaged tsunami-wrecked car-batteries (see video at: 31m 48s) were used in a desperate effort to prevent imminent reactor explosions and leaks that would have rendered even Tokyo uninhabitable for decades.
- "Nuclear Exodus"
...features numerous contributions from an unusually emotional Elon Musk as well as an impassioned, almost tearful, post-Fukushima address(at: 1h.47m.10s) by Japanese ex-PM Naoto Kan denouncing and renouncing nuclear power and calling for a rapid transition to solar and renewables.(NB: the first 4-5 mins of this lengthy wake-up-call documentary may be a little too religiously-loaded for devout agnostics and earth-responsible pagans...but the rest is compulsive/compulsory viewing)
- "The Battle of Fukushima"
...a battle that spans the globe: France still has 5 more nuclear reactors than second-placed Japan
- "The 10 Most Radioactive Places On Earth" _______________
...the Mediterranean Sea is on this widely reported list compiled by the highly-regarded Blacksmith Institute. Ask your travel agent for details..
Alors et voilà ! Sorry Agag, Prost, Todt, Senna, Renault and Nissan - but deafening silence and head-in-the-sand denial are not an option.
Nuclear is not only unnecessary - it is an outlandishly expensive, outdated, uninsurable, un-dynamic, superfluous, job-killing Damoclean, security-risk nightmare that continues to slow, stall, stifle and stymie the full-blown expansion of a hugely diverse range of economically and ecologically viable green-tech, green energy and energy-saving alternatives.
- "More than 99% of Europe's and the world's total available roof-space is sadly still entirely solar-less, PV-free. This together with energy conservation are the low-hanging fruit that the many powerful opponents of decentralized solar do not want to see harvested, highlighted or even debated"
- Hermann Scheer(1944-2010) German SPD politician, author, film-maker("The 4th Revolution" ) and renowned decentralized solar evangelist/campaigner.
So: let's solar-activate those vast expanses of existing, untapped roof-space.
Not just homes - but businesses, municipal buildings, schools, colleges, universities, sprawling superstores and warehouses, hospitals, hotels, hectare-hogging hangars, sports stadia, apartment and office blocks and, yes, churches,
cathedrals, places of (sun !)worship.
Amen and Hallelujah !
Elon Musk and his cousins who together run "America's No.1 Solar Provider" - solar-leasing specialists SolarCity - would certainly agree with Scheer.
What's more, SolarCity-style solar-leasing could also provide major monolithic energy companies or utilities like EDF with the perfect pathway or exodus route out of nuclear, gas, coal and oil - with that all-important promise or guarantee to match or beat a customer's recent electricity bills - with zero upfront capital expenditure.
Musk and his solar-empowering cousins would also agree that it's now - confusingly and confoundingly - anyone's guess as to whether nuclear fusion is about to trigger a "5th Revolution" ...