Nissan LEAF Woes, BUDD-e Confirmed, Bart Simpson Model X T.E.N. Future Car News 5th Feb 2016

Nissan LEAF Woes, BUDD-e Confirmed, Bart Simpson Model X  T.E.N. Future Car News 5th Feb 2016


On this week’s show : The Nissan LEAF halts
deliveries in Europe, the BUDD-e Concept gets a tentative green light for production, and
the voice of Bart Simpson loves her Model X These stories and more, coming up next, on
TEN. Enjoying today’s show on Youtube and and
want to read the stories we’re referring to today? Just head to our website at Transport Evolved
dot com forward slash TEN, where you’ll find today’s show notes — as well as links
to the latest future car news, buying guides, tech primers, and car reviews. It’s Friday, Feburary 5th twenty sixteen,
I’m Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield, and we just had our best month ever on Patreon. So if
you were one of the seventy six people to help fund this and everything else we do at
Transport Evolved, I’m sending you air kisses right now… *kiss kiss* Someone not getting much in the way of air
kisses right now is Tesla CEO Elon Musk, or rather, he’s not getting any from Venture
Capitalist and blogger Stewart Alsop, who as we told you on Wednesday this week found
his order for a high-end Tesla Model X electric SUV had been personally cancelled by Mr. Musk. The reason? Back in September, Alsop wrote
a rather scathing blog post criticizing Tesla — and Musk by proxy — over the way in which
the official Tesla Model X launch event was held. Alsop, who complained about the extra-late
start, lack of decent food and late-int0-the-night queues for a test drive, had been quite forthright
with Mr. Musk over his displeasure, but we’ve got to admit the way in which he did it — a
public post online — didn’t win him any friends. Despite his displeasure however, he went ahead
and ordered a Model X, presumably because he loved the car anyway. But when Musk found
out, he cancelled Alsop’s order and then phoned the VC to let him know. Queue another blog post from Alsop, who says
he’s now banned from owning a Tesla, and Musk doing his best to downplay the whole
thing on Twitter. Who’s to blame? With my mothering hat on — I wear it a lot with two
teenagers in the house — I think both parties aren’t completely faultless, and should
perhaps apologize and move on… And that’s exactly what I’m going to do
now in case I attract the ire of Tesla or the many Tesla fans who watch the show — and
promptly upset Nissan LEAF ones instead. That’s because on Monday we brought you
the news that bad news that Nissan Europe quietly halted deliveries of its twenty sixteen
LEAF in the middle of January due to a problem with the all-new singing and dancing NissanConnect
EV telematics system. A replacement to the notoriously unreliable
Carwings system found in earlier model year LEAFs, the new system was supposed to be more
reliable and offer more functionality than its predecessor. But the new system has a
pretty bit fault that Nissan’s quality control team missed before launch: namely a fault
which causes the telematics unit to randomly reboot, rendering both NIssanConnect EV and
the car’s center console pretty unusable. Given the fanfare Nissan attached to the new
telematics system and the fact that the LEAF is still the world’s number one electric
car, we’re pretty disappointed that a gaffe this big has been made by a company promising
us autonomous cars in a few years’ time. Still, Nissan says it’s trying really hard
to fix the problem, and we’ll let you know as soon as it has. It isn’t all bad news for Nissan this week
however. As we explained on Wednesday, while the values of used cars fell quite sharply
on average last quarter, the value of Nissan LEAFs rose by an impressive three percent
during Q4 twenty fifteen, making a used Nissan LEAF sold at the end of last year actually
worth more than it would have been three months earlier. That’s according to Kelley Blue Book, which
in its official quarterly report into used car values said that the LEAF’s sudden rise
in value was welcome after months of steady decline. We should note here that not all electric
cars fared as well. On average, the used price of an electric car fell by seven percent during
the quarter, with the now discontinued Mitsubishi i-Miev dropping a staggering 14.1 percent. Of course, that raise in value won’t be
welcome if you’re on the lookout for a used LEAF to buy, but if you’re just about to
trade yours in for a newer model or sell it on privately, you should probably double-check
those Kelley Blue Book values before you shake on a deal. Talking of trading in, that’s what you might
be doing some time in 2020, swapping your existing car for a brand-new electric minivan
from Volkswagen. At least, that’s if Volkswagen makes good
on a promise made this week to bring a long-range electric minivan to market by 2020 based on
the BUDD-e concept car we saw in Las Vegas at the start of last month. While details at this point are a little few
and far between, it appears that Volkswagen plans to sell an all-electric minivan based
on the BUDD-e alongside a conventional petrol and diesel-powered transporter some time before
the end of the decade. The electric variant, which will use the same MEB-derived drivetrain
and battery pack as the concept car, should offer some seriously decent range and rapid-charging
capabilities, but as always you shouldn’t expect the same high-tech interior as the
concept car. That would just be too expensive to to put into a regular utilitarian plug-in.
Sorry. Staying with expensive for a second, we confirmed
this week that the Cadillac ELR — yes, the Chevy-Volt-derived seventy-grand luxury plug-in
that failed to live up to the hype and suffered terrible sales figures from day one — is
dead. As we reported on Wednesday, the Cadillac
ELR is most likely to slip off dealer lots in the next year or so, since the first-generation
Volt on which it is based is in fact no-longer made. What’s more, Cadillac has confirmed
that the ELR won’t be given a second-generation model. Frankly, it’s just too niche market and
too expensive for GM to keep it around, and with the Cadillac CT6 due to get its own plug-in
hybrid model this year GM has decided it doesn’t need the ELR any more. If you’re the kind of person who likes obscure
cars, you may be able to pick up an ELR with a massive discount pretty soon, but if you
can afford an ELR the chances are you’ll be jumping right to Tesla anyway… so there’s
nothing else to say on this one. I’m going to stick with GM for this next
story, but I’m going to appologize in advance because the images you’re going to see with
this aren’t actually of the vehicle in question — well sort of kinda… Tell you what, I’ll
just get into the story and you’ll see for yourself. You see, this week, spy shots appeared online
of what looks to be a next-generation Opel slash vauxhall ampera in development over
in Detroit Michigan. They show a semi-camouflaged but obviously 2016-Volt derived plug-in with
a brand-new bumper front and rear. Moreover, the badge space is oval — something that
both the Opel and Vauxhall badges are (as indeed is the Holden Badge in australia). And that’s interesting, because when GM
launched the second-generation Chevy Volt, it pretty much said no to the concept of bringing
a rebadged Volt to Australia or Europe after the first generation Chevy Volt, Holden Volt
and Opel slash Vauxhall Ampera did so badly. Could this mean a change of plan is underway?
Possibly, but don’t get too excited yet. For now, as far as we can tell, the Volt is
a U.S.-only model. And even if it is heading overseas, we’re guessing you won’t see
it for another year or so at best. What you will see for the first time in the
wild — at least if you happen to live in Kirkland Washington — is Google’s fleet
of self driving cars. That’s because on Monday this week Google announced that it
had chosen the Pacific Northwest city to host a fleet of its self-driving cars. According to Google, its entire fleet have
amassed more than 1.3 million miles since its self-driving car project started. Most
of those miles have been travelled on the streets in and around Google’s Mountain
View, California headquarters, but in recent months Google has been racking up the miles
with its second test fleet, located in Austin, Texas. While both existing fleets have been doing
a great job of teaching Google’s autonomous driving software how to drive on busy suburban
streets, neither have been doing a good job at teaching the software about rain. And because
neither the bay area nor austin gets a whole lot of that, Google says it’s establishing
a new test center where there’s plenty of it — washington state. In addition, the new Kirkland-based autonomous
vehicle fleet will enable Google to test its cars on a whole new set of streets and roads,
as well as play with the various different weather patterns that the pacific northwest
gest throughout the year. And that more driving experience — and better
software — as a result. One company most certainly not interested
in autonomous vehicles — at least for now — is German automaker Porsche, which despite
its connections with Volkswagen and Audi — both of whom are developing self-driving cars — said
this week that it has no plans to bring an autonomous vehicle to market any time soon. The comments, made earlier this week, set
Porsche aside from Audi and its work with self-driving performance cars, as well as
companies like Mercedes-Benz, BMW and of course Tesla, all of which are investing into autonomous
vehicle technology right now. “One wants to drive a porsche by oneself”
Porsche CEO Oliver Blume is quoted as having told the Westfalen-blatt newspaper on Monday.
“An iphone belongs in your pocket, not on the road.” Which is kind of short-sighted, if you don’t
mind us saying — especially as Porsche has decided to go down the electric vehicle road
by promising its all-electric, long-range Mission E sports sedan will hit the market
in 2018. That car, already out-performed by the Tesla Model S, really could have used
some autonomous vehicle technology to justify its expected high-end price tag, not to mention
given it a fairer chance against silicon valley’s finest. Which brings us to the final story of the
day. You see, Ever since Tesla Motors made its autopilot autonomous vehicle software
available to owners of the Tesla Model S and Tesla Model X electric cars, we’ve seen
a whole host of people posting videos online showing how the wondrous new technology works. But this week, a new video popped up courtesy
of Nancy Cartwright, voice actor extraordinaire and vocal chords behind a whole host of characters,
including Chuckie in Rugrats and of course, Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz and Ralf Wiggum
(among others) on The Simpsons. Cartwright, a confirmed EV fan whose previous
cars have included a Nissan LEAF and a Tesla Model S, shows us how the autopilot works
on her brand new Tesla Model X (which incidentally was the twelfth Model X off the production
line) and notes, very responsibly, that those using it should keep their hands on the wheel
at all times, paying attention just like an airline pilot would when flying on autopilot. She posted the video to Facebook and we’ve
got the link to it on our website, so do head there after the show to watch it in full. …And if you haven’t already guessed, that’s
it for today’s show. So, it’s time for me to say goodbye and let you get on with
whatever fun you have planned this weekend. As always, you’ll find all the news that’s
fit to print at our website at transport evolved dot com, catch up with us on twitter at transport
Evolve, or check out our latest shows on our usual YouTube channel. And if you liked what
you saw today, consider keeping us independent and impartial by visiting our Patreon page
at Patreon dot com forward slash transport evolved and pledging your support from as
little as one dollar per month. Those who have stepped up to the plate in recent weeks
have actually helped keep the show running for a little longer, but for us to grow and
for me to be able to do all the other things we’ve got planned, we’d love more of you
to follow suit and make your pledges. We’re ad free, and this is our only source of income,
so please, help us out. As always, there’s a lot we haven’t managed
to fit into today’s show, including why Tesla Motors applied for a dealer license
in the state of Michigan, the U.S. department of transport shows a great deal of interest
in Hyperloop technology, The UK Government invests more in autonomous vehicle programs,
and a motoring classic joins our staff car fleet. So when we’re done, be sure to head to our
site to read them all. Thanks for watching, I’m Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield,
have a great weekend, and until next time, keep evolving!

About the Author: Michael Flood

5 Comments

  1. It's fascinating that Elon and the team at Tesla raised the bar soooo high that even Cadillac couldn't compete with them in that luxury sedan space. Sounds like they didn't even come close and surrendered already.

  2. I couldn't care less about the Nissan Leaf telematics. I own an s model, and have no use for a screen and Am very happy with simplicity…

  3. I'm excited for the future of ev's. So far there are none I can afford that would resonably fit into my life, but I do want the technology to grow in range and affordability. So I would personally like to thank all of the people that took the plunge and supported this young and growing market.

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