VW e-Golf Video Review Playlist

So, here it is, I’ve made a playlist for the VW e-Golf. Sunday I found a new review that was just what I needed to complete the list, and, if another certain favorite car reviewer does one, I will add it to the list also, so, if you save the playlist, you can come back to it later.

The VW e-Golf was introduced with one trim level (loaded), but has just announced they will now offer two trim levels. Most of these videos were completed before this announcement, with the loaded model. The longest review is also the newest and covers what the differences are between the two models (the one by Alex on Autos, the 4th video in the playlist). This reviewer also covers briefly how this model compares with other similar EVs.

In this playlist there’s several reviews, some videos contain repeat information, but, each one has something unique in it, and they all take it from different angles. My favorite review is from Alex on Autos (#4), which I mentioned last paragraph. Aaron Gold from Autobytel gives a decent review and tells you some of the advantages of driving an EV, how far you can drive this one per year only charging at home, etc. (#5).

I’ve included some extras, how Regenerative Driving Modes work, an Infotainment review, no reviewer went over the mobile app, so a couple short vids from VW, followed by a brief Fiat 500e vs. VW e-Golf comparison, a child seat review and, lastly, a view of the e-Golf production line. If you watch everything, it’s about 1 hour 13 mins.

VW seems more committed than most carmakers outside of Tesla and Nissan, to making all-electric cars, and making them available outside of California. Currently the VW e-Golf is available at participating dealers in CA and Oregon. Check for dealership participation if you live in Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington DC. If this were successful, I wouldn’t be surprised if VW didn’t expand availability in coming years, for several reasons, one of which is the manufacturing process for the Golf line of cars is such that they made it easy to pop in different types of drivetrains, so it should be easy to increase production. Also, VW & Audio make other hybrids and plug-in hybrids in all it’s markets, they have a goal to offer plug-in variants of most of their popular models, and, so, there is talk they may be the first with solid state batteries.

If you watch, please like, share, or comment here!

Featured in this playlist:

Alex On Autos:

@AlexOnAutos (twitter)
Alex On Autos (website)

Aaron Gold – Autobytel:

Also:

Kia Soul EV Video Review Playlist

The Kia Soul EV has been available in California since October 2014, and, due to it’s popularity, Kia has officially announced they will make this EV available outside of California, beginning with Georgia in Q2, and then 4 more states by end of June (OR, WA, TX & HI).

I’ve put together a youtube playlist with 9 videos, just under an hour total time, yes, there is repeat information, but, each video has something unique and the variety of sources should cover most angles. I’ve got first impressions, driving tests, reviews, a range test, and ending with a factory production video.

If your’e considering an all-electric car, this is one of the top contenders. For me, if I were in the market right now, it would be between this and the VW e-Golf. I’m putting together a playlist for that next (it’s slightly newer to the US, and, I’m weeding through european/US model vids., as there are differences). I plan to make similar playlists for future all-electric models as well.

Outside of Tesla and Nissan, VW and Kia seem to be more committed to making electric cars, whereas most of the other BEV’s offered are strictly compliance cars, with very limited production and most only available in CA. (I am speaking strictly of all-electric cars, not plug-in hybrids.)

If you watch the playlist, please leave a comment below! And follow my twitter feed, as I will be retweeting EV/PEV news from the NY Auto show this week.

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Featured in the playlist:

The EV Show, about EV conversion

Yes, I am promoting a business, it’s a small business, I have no hidden agenda, do not own part of the business, not associated with it, but, I do like performance cars and electric cars even more so, and that’s what they do.

EV West started an hour (or so) long show for people interested in converting a car to electric. EV West does conversions and also sells parts, chargers, and stuff you need for DIY EV conversion. Watching their videos you can learn a bit about electric car conversion or just follow their projects. I hope to one day have my car converted to electric, so, I enjoy this show, but, if you have any interest in electric cars, you may like this show.

The show is monthly, they refer to it as electric car info-tainment, and they will be adding a new show any day now (for March). For your convenience, below is posted the first three shows (they have improved the show each time).

The EV Show: http://evshow.com/ Click on each show to find show notes and links, also links for each segment of the show.

EV West: http://evwest.com/ (also FB link at top of page)

EV West YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/evwestdotcom

EV West twitter: https://twitter.com/EVWestDotCom or @EVWestDotCom

The EV Show December 2014:

The EV Show January 2015:

The EV Show February 2015:

EV Conversion: EV West on Translogic

EV West had a visit from Translogic

EV West does performance conversions, and sells parts for DIY.

Here’s the Translogic full article:

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Here’s just the video on YouTube:

Electric Car Conversion (ICE to BEV)

My comprehensive no-B.S. glossary of alternative energy vehicle terms & acronyms is going to take a bit longer than anticipated. I may post it in three sections/posts. I will post this soon, and revamp my “categories”, and perhaps change the look of this blog at the same time. But, today, quick acronym terms: ICE=Internal Combustion Engine, BEV=Battery Electric Vehicle.

1991 MR2 ICE to BEV Conversion

Ok, so, this is not going to be comprehensive, just want to show you that vehicles can be converted to battery all-electric vehicles, which is something I want to do (have not looked into yet) with my Acura RSX. So, first, here is an example of a 1991 MR2 conversion:

EV West supplies Motors, Batteries, Chargers and other components, and is working on conversion guides. http://www.evwest.com/

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Gladstone OR High School Project

Why Gladstone High School (Gladstone Electric Vehicle Organization) Wants to Build an Electric Truck.

“We want to see if a group of high school students, Oregon National Guard soldiers, teachers, parents, and community members can take a gas-powered Chevrolet S-10 and transform it into an electric vehicle that runs smoothly and efficiently without gasoline.”

I think this is a great idea, not only for a High School project, but I think making this may help bring back the small pickup, but it’ll be a BEV pickup!

Check out the video and article here (and maybe you can help, too): http://incited.org/projects/gladstone-electric-vehicle-organization-project-s10-e-it-s-electric

On Commercial Vehicles… 40 BEV Delivery Trucks deployed

UPS deploys 40 zero-emission trucks at Inland facility

Last month UPS began putting 40 new all-electric (BEV) trucks on the road from its San Bernardino, California distribution center.

“‘We are the test place for these vehicles nationwide,’ said Bruce MacRae, UPS’ vice president for government affairs. The company held a press event Wednesday, July 17, at the UPS San Bernardino distribution facility on East Victoria Avenue.

…In all, the company has 100 zero-emissions electric trucks in service in California.”

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“This is a first step toward a zero-emission fleet”

For more…Source: http://www.pe.com/local-news/san-bernardino-county/san-bernardino-county-headlines-index/20130717-clean-deliveries-ups-deploys-40-zero-emission-trucks-at-inland-facility.ece

More EV News

Honda Fit EV SOLD OUT!

In less than two weeks after changing their lease pricing, Honda has full waiting lists at all California dealerships, the limited-production 2013 Fit EV is already SOLD OUT! I hope this means they will offer more EVs for 2014! 😀 http://www.plugincars.com/southern-california-honda-dealerships-sell-out-fit-ev-following-price-cut-127452.html

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Driving the ZelectricBug Electric VW Beetle at Highway Speeds

(testing the range of the battery)

Zelectric Motors initial EV conversion is the ZelectricBug featuring the Zelectric powertrain built into restored VW Beetles (1958-1966). They are in final prototype testing and plan to have the first model for sale this summer. For more, see their website:

http://www.zelectricmotors.com

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First Drive: 2013 Smart ForTwo ED (Electric Drive) Vastly Improved from Previous Versions

Review: http://www.plugincars.com/2013-smart-fortwo-proves-good-things-come-small-packages-127447.html

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Tesla Supercharger Announcement

Tesla is expanding their supercharger network, and installing faster chargers (demonstration coming June 20). Keep in mind, when Elon Musk says “free”, that is, supercharging is included with the purchase of the 85 kWh Model S’s, optional on smaller battery sizes (for a one-time price, same unlimited free super-charging deal).

EV Lease Price War Coming This Summer

Note: These cars are mainly available/to be available in California, some also in Oregon and/or other states as well. Check the car maker websites for availability. Also, before leasing a car, be sure to check the fine print for such things as mileage limitations, taxes may be different on a lease in your city/state, and such, just be sure you’ll actually be getting a deal that works for you.

Finally there is some competition among EVs! (…at least in the state of California). These all-electric cars are available now or due out this year (most by summer season), and most are offering a lease option of $199/month. Some have special lease deals that are not offered nationally, but depends on dealership. Some are available in Oregon and/or other states also, (or will be in more states at some future time). This is partly because of a California law that stipulates car makers offer a certain percentage of EVs in that state, and partly due to the fact that Electric Cars will be the standard of the future globally (mark my words).

Fiat 500e There is no order to this list, except first. This one I list first because, with this 80+ mile range car, you can lease for $199/mo., and you also get free car rentals, so that takes care of your infrequent long-trips for business/vacation. See article: http://cars.chicagotribune.com/fuel-efficient/news/chi-fiat-500e-enterprise-20130412 Edmunds road test: http://www.edmunds.com/fiat/500e/2013/road-test.html

Fiat’s 500e website: http://www.fiatusa.com/en/2013/500e/

 

 

Nissan Leaf $199/month lease available. Nissan also offers free rental cars for your family vacation/other long travel, though, more limited than the 500e rental car program. Leaf website: http://www.nissanusa.com/electric-cars/leaf/

(See previous post “2013 Luxo-Sport Sedans, Leaf, Rav4 EV & More”, posted May 3rd, for a couple vids on this car)

 

The Honda Fit EV is one of the most viable EVs on the market today, in that, although it shares it’s platform with the gas version of the Fit, they raised the car a bit and put the battery underneath instead of taking up trunk space, and it is otherwise quite competitive with the other EVs listed here. 80+ mile range and the shortest charge time w/240-volt charging station at home. It’s available for lease (lease-only, not purchase), and, (as I write this), they JUST reduced their lease price (Starting June 1st) to $259/month. That might seem a bit more than the $199 the others have announced, however, the lease price for the Fit EV includes insurance and maintenance, unlimited miles, and, (unlike the others), for Californians, this one also qualifies for a $2500 CVRP rebate. (When I started writing this earlier, that price was $389 w/12,000 mile yearly limit.) Even though they don’t offer free car rentals for your long trips, this seems like it might be the best value of all EVs listed here. The fight is on even as I write this! http://colbytrudeau.com/2013/05/29/honda-fit-ev-lease-price-reduced/  Translogic: http://translogic.aolautos.com/2012/07/09/translogic-106-honda-fit-ev/

Honda Fit EV Website: http://automobiles.honda.com/fit-ev/ (The following videos are from last year, but still apply)

 

 

I have to mention the Smart Electric Drive, previously a car-share only vehicle, currently you can buy for $25K (after incentives) or lease it for $199/month. Web: http://www.smartusa.com/models/electric-drive/overview.aspx

 

There is one more car coming with a $199/month lease this summer, but first, I have to say something. I have a particular animosity toward GM for the way they handled things in the past with the EV-1, and also, (and especially), how they have really confused the market (got in people’s heads) with the way they have marketed the PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid gas/Electric Vehicle) they call the Chevy “Volt”, by calling it an “extended range” electric, which, I have to say, it is not. It is plain and simply, a plug-in HYBRID gas/electric vehicle, whose main drive is an electric motor with a LIMITED RANGE. Once the battery is depleted (about 35 miles) they keep you tied to Big Oil by keeping the electric motor powered by the gas-combustion engine, (they call it a “generator” because, rather than directly powering the drivetrain, it supposedly powers the battery when it is depleted. It is a gas combustion engine. Period.). I think they want you to think, by calling it a generator, that it is a small thing, something like a lawn-mower engine, but, it is a full-fledged 1.4 liter, 4 cylinder gas-combustion engine, make no mistake, (gas, oil, spark plugs, radiator, drive belt, etc, all that comes with a gasoline engine, NOT found on an all-electric car.). Also, note, once the battery is done, this car only gets 37 MPG at best (I’ll talk about “MPGe” in some later post also). …I took a test drive in a “Volt”, so I know that they are very adamant about it being a generator and not an engine. I also recall the first ad or brochure for this car talking about how the “electric car is not dead”, and how, TWO years after the first “Volt” was made available, this one older lady drove it for 12,000 miles without using any gas at all (please take note, that is, 12,000 miles over a TWO YEAR PERIOD, the average american drives 15,000 miles in ONE YEAR, so this is someone who only drove it 6,000 miles PER YEAR, …who does that? Obviously this person only drove it on electric on purpose and then either drove their other car or got a ride or was a retired homebody. Marketing. Period.) In any case, it is obvious from the moment you go to the page on their website for the “Volt” that they are playing off your concept of “Range Anxiety”, by telling you that it has gas for backup/extended range. Marketing B.S. at it’s best. They quelch your “range anxiety” with gasoline. This is not how you quelch range anxiety, it has just the opposite effect, reinforces it by showing you that gas is still the answer to range anxiety, but I’ll save that for another day. So, this is why I don’t appreciate the “Volt” being compared with all-electric cars because it is a PHEV, …yes it has the furthest EV (battery only) range of PHEVs currently out there, but, Hybrid it is. In any case, GM does have a new all-electric vehicle which, to me, shows they have the technology (and could have done this a few years ago):

Chevy Spark EV is GM’s answer to the current all-electric EV market, starting in California & Oregon in June, although this appears to be a vehicle they plan to sell globally. Range is claimed around 80 miles. Note that the short charge time is not at home, but via SAE combo DC fast-charging stations yet to be available. The fastest charge time is 7 hours w/240 volt charging unit at home. This is one of the first vehicles with Siri eyes free connect. Web: http://www.chevrolet.com/spark-ev-electric-vehicle.html

See article: http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-chevy-spark-ev-lease-highlight-electric-car-price-war-20130522,0,3983957.story

I’m having difficulty finding an independent U.S. drive video for this car, once it is selling this summer I am sure I will find something and post it in a future blog, for now, here’s a preview vid:

 

Not currently offering $199/mo. leases, (but, could this change this summer?):

Ford Focus Electric This, IMO, is the second best looking car in this bunch, (Fiat’s 500e is the best looking, but a bit small). At one point in time this car had a $199/month lease program, but currently $284/month. Perhaps when the Chevy Spark starts showing up in show rooms this summer along with the 500e and Leaf going for $199/mo. leases, could Ford join in the EV lease war?

2013 Ford Focus Electric: http://www.ford.com/cars/focus/trim/electric/

 

 

Mitsubishi i-MiEV Currently $221/mo. lease listed on their website, though, I saw online, one dealership had been advertising $69/mo. back in January, but I don’t see this currently. ($221/mo. supposedly only until May 31st…maybe this means this summer will be $199?) This car has been around for a few years in Japan before coming to the US, and has not had the best reviews. http://www.mitsubishicars.com/MMNA/jsp/imiev/12/showroom/overview.do

 

Also worth mentioning:

Toyota’s only all-electric offering is the Scion iQ EV, but something you might only find in car-sharing circles, it has a range of up to 50 miles, so mainly a car to travel between sites for businesses/campuses, and will not likely be found in Scion showrooms. I only mention in case you’ve heard of it or seen it, and it would seem to fit into this category, but, it just does not, at least not at this time, unless Toyota develops it for next year. See: http://wot.motortrend.com/2013-scion-iq-ev-in-photos-scions-first-ev-is-officially-uncovered-277679.html and: http://www.toyota.com/esq/vehicles/electric-vehicle/2013-scion-iq-ev.html

{Correction: Toyota has one other all-electric EV (Rav4 EV), but it is a very limited production vehicle and not likely to have this type of lease.}

 

See also:

http://cars.chicagotribune.com/fuel-efficient/news/chi-automakers-ignite-electric-vehicle-interest-with-low-lease-rates-20130528

At some point I will list all EVs (or find a list and repost it), but, for now, this is about the EVs in a lease-affordability war.

(Note: When I use the term “EV”, I mean electric-only vehicles, that is, vehicles powered solely by a battery, charged by electricity). (One day I will also find that list of all the acronyms for cars and post it. 🙂

Did you know there were Electric cars on the road over 10 years ago?

Did you know that in the early 1900s there were more electric cars on the road than gas? There were three types of cars on the road at the turn of that century: steam-powered, electric-powered, and gas-combustion powered. While steam cars were the fastest, steam cars ran out of steam because it had a very long warm-up time. While electric cars were favored among women, gas combustion won because, at the time, they were able to make gas cars faster than electrics, began making gasoline available and the cars were easier to mass produce. Ford had innovated mass car production with the first conveyor-belt assembly line for the Model T. And you know the rest. …Or do you?

Innovation…

Anyone remember the Japanese car that changed auto-making history?

1982 Honda Accord Sedan

The 1982 Honda Accord looked very similar to BMWs of the day.

1982 BMW 3 Series Sedan

This was no coincidence. This car (Sedan & Hatchback) was a game-changer for the auto-industry. Although it had a similar look to the BMW, the front grille had sleeker styling w/rectangular headlights instead of the old round ones. (However, Honda changed the grille every year until the next redesign–perhaps it was too similar?). But, it was not only the sleek looks, this pre-Acura/Lexus/Infinity Japanese car had upped the ante not only on looks and the overall quality of the mainstream car, but also on interior quality/refinement and fit & finish. No, honda didn’t have a six-cylinder option yet, but, it combined the quality of an expensive european luxury car and the astuteness of a compact japanese car in such a way as to shake up the auto-industry. They raised a new standard for mainstream automobiles.  The result was, Honda became the best selling Japanese nameplate in the US, holding that position for 15 years. We would not have the cars today from the US that we do, if it was not for this one innovation that stirred up the competition, because, it outsold them.

Today, there is a new car innovation, beyond previous innovations because it does away with the one factor they are all afraid to let go of, that has stirred up the auto-making industry once again (and most of them are pissed, like a hornet’s nest that’s been stepped on). One word. Tesla.

But, before we get to Telsa, you need to know that GM had the chance to become what Tesla has. They were given the first opportunity to re-invent the car and make the first viable electric car, over ten years ago, and could not get past Big Oil’s stranglehold on the automotive industry, politics and their own old vision/profit path. GM was given a bit of a head-start on California’s 1996 laws governing that a certain percentage of automobiles be emission-free. But, Detroit, Big Oil and lobbyists fought it….

Did you know…

Did you know that from 1996-2004 there were all-electric cars made by GM, Honda, Ford, & Toyota in use in the state of California? Until a few years ago, I did not. Not many of us outside of CA did. They were not for sale, only on lease contracts, and only in the state of California. GM was given a bit of a head-start and made an all-electric car called the EV-1, and, to the people that drove them, they were a perfectly usable car, that drove as well as any car, without gas, for their daily driving. Now, you will find GM talking about the marketing hyped Chevy Volt as if the electric car lives on. Deception. The Chevy Volt is not an all-electric car, but, an electric/gas hybrid. This would be considered a plug-in hybrid or PHEV vehicle, while the former car, the EV-1 was a true EV (Electric Vehicle) or ZEV (Zero Emissions Vehicle). The Volt still has all of the things that gas-combustion cars have, because it still has a gas-combustion engine. Yes, you can drive it on the electric motor alone, for up to 40 miles max., then the gas engine kicks in. (Go to wikipedia, in the first sentence you will see what GM does not want you to see, it is a plug-in hybrid vehicle.) Hybrids (all types) are a compromise car for an ignorant american society. And they want to keep you ignorant. However, on the other side of that coin, the success of hybrids (especially the Toyota Prius) has helped pave the way for EVs.

Who Killed The Electric Car?

Without further ado, for those who haven’t seen it yet, I would like to present to you the documentary made in 2006 about this subject, called “Who Killed The Electric Car?”. If you scroll down you will find a trailer for this video, followed by the movie, presented to you for free on youtube. (It is also available on DVD and on-demand.) If you watch the DVD, be sure to check out the special features. If you think that electric cars are not green enough because you have to use electricity to charge them and that means using a coal-power plant, that is a well over-exaggerated argument those against EVs use. To charge your car has much, much less damaging effects to our environment than some would lead you to think. For one thing, not all power-plants are based on coal. There are natural gas, hydro, and (ugh) nuclear powered plants. Some power companies are starting to also source their electricity from renewable sources as well. Plus, the nay-sayers never take into account how much electricity is used to process oil into gas, which far outweighs any charging argument.

Alright, if you haven’t seen this, watch this must-see documentary, it is enlightening, not only for what happened in California not too long ago, but it will reveal to you why there is still so much debate about electric cars today.

Who Killed The Electric Car? Trailer:

Who Killed The Electric Car? Full movie:

Other ways to watch:

• iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/who-killed-the-electric-car/id277048813

• Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Who-Killed-the-Electric-Car/dp/B000MRICYW/ref=pd_cp_mov_0

• I first borrowed the DVD from my local library.

• Or purchase the DVD from various sites or your local video store.