The very sophisticated Kia Optima won me over. At first I was unimpressed, just another plug in hybrid, big petrol engine, all the usual caveats.
However after many miles driving it, I started to appreciate the effort that has clearly been put into this car to make it stand out.
And yes, it's the CLIFTON suspension bridge, not Bristol... duuuur, everyone knows that.
GKN are a big British engineering firm whose components and technology is in millions of cars and most of us don't know about it.
They kindly gave us the opportunity to test drive some of the technology they have developed.
It's not often that Fully Charged gets the chance to let rip on high-speed circuit. Well, there's not much
Hard not to put this at the top of the list for new elecrtric cars. An excellent machine, very sophisticated and cheaper than a 30kWh Nissan Leaf.
Hopefully this time I've put a lot of information in the episode. Enjoy.
Ever since I did a rant about 'hydrogen is the future' 6 or 7 years ago, I've had my suspicions. But we should not have closed minds about any new clean tech.
What ITM Power are doing is brilliant, efficient, counter-intuitive and is thankfully catching on.
It's just possible that this is close to an actual car review. Many thanks to the very generous Andy Seal who lent me the car for the day.
It truly is a very impressive machine with one rather major drawback.
For the many people who've criticised my description of Nikola Tesla as being 'Serbian,' check this.
Wikipedia: Nikola Tesla was a Serbian-American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, physicist, and futurist.
Okay, so he was in fact born in Smiljan, Croatia on July 10, 1856, so basically we're both right.
A bit of a relaxed, armchair ramble through some interesting electric vehicle, sustainable technology news.
Links to stories:
EV chargers at Shell filling stations
BMW and Bosch big battery
Small to medium sized wind turbines that could, given the right financial and planning environment, make an enormous impact in these Windy Islands.
And these are made in England.
Music by Dubi
Sunamp are an amazing company, they produce batteries that store heat, charged by solar panels.
It's just a test, we are not changing regular shows.
The 'awesome' 8.0 software update from Tesla, and an 'awesome' update using a 360 camera.
If you have a Google cardboard thing, slip in your Android phone and enjoy.
If not use the toggle button at top left to spin the image around.
It's mostly waffle but it's short and we had fun making it.
For some actual information about the Tesla 8.0 software update:
This episode is sponsored by Electric Nation
Electric Nation is a project to get 500-700 plug-in vehicles in the area covered by Western Power Distribution to fit smart charging systems that can control the time and amount of power being fed to the car's battery.
To check trial eligibility / register please visit www.electricnation.org.uk
The Mercedes C350e
Standing in a stubble field in Northamptonshire surrounded by a 14.4 megaWatt power station, enough for around 13,000 homes.
A wonderful discussion with Charles Haworth who is the Operations Leader for Onshore Wind for General Electric.
Drone footage by Lewis Martin
Music by Andre Louis
Latest global update in electric vehicle and renewable energy news.
To find out more, here's some links
Private Charity Schools
Opel Ampera e
OMG Battery news
A glorious drive through glorious Welsh countryside in a classic VW Beetle, that's also a really impressive electric car.
For more information about these fantastic electric classic cars, go to:
Music by Y Niwl
A small start to what could be a game changing technological shift. A visit to one of the first Tesla Powerwall installations in the UK.
For more info and prices
Encouragement to consider other ways of driving electric cars, as electric cars become more common,
Music by Pictish Trail
This episode is NOT SPONSORED by Ecotricity or anyone else.
Just thought I'd make that clear
A demonstration of how to use the new Ecotricity electric highway app followed by a chat with Ecotricity founder Dale Vince.
For more information about the system, please go to:
My first ride on a scooter, electric or otherwise. Great fun, makes complete economic sense and, oh yes, no toxic fumes for others to breath as you scoot along.
More info: http://vmoto-uk.com/
Music by Jonnie Common http://www.jonniecommon.com/
The story of a truly long haul EV road trip in the British Isles, Jess Shanahan and her Kia Soul EV actually drove over 3,000 miles on this trip.
More info: https://www.jurysinns.com/electric-ro...
Music by Landslide Purist
Free range and organic, and deeply joyful.
Riding around London on the newly opened cycle routes through the city on 4 different electric bikes.
For more details go to
Music by Pictish Trail
A visit to one of 51 FastNed solar-roofed rapid charge stations in the Netherlands. They have always charged a fee to use this system.
This episode was recorded just after the EU referendum and just before the UK Ecotricity 'charge to charge' announcement.
Music by Kinlaw
The depressingly common habit of parking a traditional car in an electric car charging space.
This episode is not about Ecotricity, their new charge for a charge system, that's coming in a couple of weeks, just thought I'd mention that because I know someone will ask about it :-)
Recorded before the recent #EUref in the UK, a fascinating Carpool discussion with Richard Bruce, the EV driving head of the Office of Low Emission Vehicles (who usually cycles to work).
We talk about future transport and contrary to many expectation, the fact that encouraging the uptake of electric cars, taxis, busses etc receives cross-party support.
Also, and I checked, OLEV has survived the recent political upheavals in the UK and still exists.
A gentle meander down the peaceful Thames river on a glorious summer day in Olde England, and there's no noise or vibration because this boat is electric.
It's the ALFASTREET ENERGY 23C and it's lovely
It's all about brand identity. I need professional help, here's what happened.
(I'm not changing the show's name, don't worry)
Air quality monitoring in your pocket. The CleanSpace Tag by Drayson Technologies is an electronic gadget that never needs to be plugged in but is always charged.
If you’re a Londoner and would like to help address pollution you can get a complimentary CleanSpace Tag
This was recorded before the news that Chris Evans is resigning from Top Gear, but it's my two penneth, for what it's worth.
I think I'll resign now. It's fashionable, everyone's doing it.
This remarkable project is still in its early stages but is clearly something we'll be following on Fully Charged.
A fully electric 300+mph racing plane.
A short update on the UK housing crisis. Is there a crisis? (checks nearest tabloid headline) of course there's a crisis, there's always a massive, life-threatening crisis.
A quick spin around Coventry City ring road in a surprisingly swift rally version of the Renault Zoe.
For more information about the car,
Just a short news update with some interesting facts about renewables around the world.
An introduction to the Mahindra e2o. Quirky, nippy, turns on a dime/sixpence/cent. 120 kilometers range on a charge, rapid charging available. More info:
Test Drive: https://mahindrauk.com/drive
A quick news update, self-explanatory really.
"This here's the electric rubber duck!'
More info on the proposed Nikola 1
As will be obvious, we had a brilliant time with Eco Charger Quads at
This is an experimental video we made to put on the Fully Charged Facebook page. I've been learning that on Facebook, super short with text is a good idea.
So this is super short, with text.
This is NOT a test drive, this is a first look.
The Model X, Tesla's SUV was launched in the USA in 2015, the first 1,000+ right hand drive models are on their way.
It is an extraordinary machine, powerful-safe-comfortable and packed full of more technology than you can poke a stick at.
The 2016 RAV 4 is powered by the same drivetrain found in the Lexus NX 300h, meaning a 2.5-litre petrol engine, electric motor, continuously variable automatic transmission and a nickel metal hydride battery.
The model I drove costs around £30,000 so it's not cheap, it's not a plug-in-hybrid but I ended up really liking it.
Would you let a car drive itself? Is it even possible?
Will robots take over our lives, exterminate us and rule the world?
Are we doomed? Probably not just yet.
Tesla autopilot really does work though. And summon is very useful.
A bit of an extra episode to try and keep up with some of the new developments in the electric vehicle and energy transition news.
Not 100% SFW but very close. No swearing but I suppose if you are of a delicate, mildly repressed disposition it's a bit 'near the knuckle' at times.
An extraordinary company, headed by an extraordinary man.
Riversimple have a plan, and it completely changes the accepted model of the automotive industry.
Sell lots of cars, make sure it costs a lot to keep them going, make sure people pay for fuel.
No one can buy a Riversimple car, but you could pay to use one, and you'd never pay for fuel or repairs.
The unveiling of the Tesla Model 3 recently garnered enormous interest around the world.
When will they make them?
How will they make that many?
Where will the batteries come from and why do I have a crush on the French Minister of Energy?
A longer look at the very popular BMW i3
Thankfully some accurate maths supplied by the Fully Charged maths advisor.
The UK's brave step forward into a nuclear future.... oh dear.
There are nuclear alternatives which we'll look at in a future episode, and yes, there's Thorium, I know about Thorium, I'm always told Thorium is the future but for now, this one's a right mess.
This is SFW (safe for work) because I managed not to experience ludicrous mode 'potty mouth' when accelerating 0-60 in under 3 seconds. It's a very fast car.
Fully Charged has been going for 6 years. In that time I have created 189 videos on the channel. It costs money to make them, I've had support from energy companies and manufacturers over the years but now I'm turning to Patreon. With Patreon support I am free to cover any and all of the stories, breakthroughs, new vehicles and new energy systems that are rapidly appearing.
Rounding off the year, musings of what's to come in 2016 and a car wash that I have been assured by Tesla does NOT damage the paint. I await comments to the contrary.
Johnny Smith's utterly brilliant Flux Capacitor, the updated 1974 Enfield 8000 ECC.
The world's first designed from the ground up, mass produced hydrogen fuel cell hybrid vehicle.
Will Toyota's hydrogen fuelled offer be the start of the giant move away from fossil burning?
Will the fuelling infrastructure be developed?
A wonderful drive up a mountain in the South of France in the newly released 30kWh Nissan Leaf. No question, it's a big improvement in terms of range and driver interface.
A bigger battery that's not physically bigger, just 25% more energy dense.
My visit to the CENEX LCV show, 2015. Hydrogen Fuel Cell BMW's, 100% electric Land Rover Evoque and the amazing British built 4 wheel drive electric Delta E4.
Why make an electric lawnmower?
Because it's better, quieter and cheaper to fuel and maintain than a petrol one?
We find out.
First experience of Tesla's newly released version 7 software which includes the autopilot feature.
The update for my Model S won't arrive in time so we went for a ride in a Model S that has the full featured update.
A fascinating trip to the University of Oxford, Department of Materials, where scientists are doing amazing research into batteries of the future.
Professor Peter Bruce is wonderful at explaining the science behind battery research, even I understood him.
A ride in the ridiculously delightful Morgan ev 3, a production electric car that's like driving a comfortable motorbike.
WIth the use of a Bosch GRA 53 Professional lawn mower, I do a comparative test to see how much work you can get out of equal amounts of energy stored in a battery and petrol.
An exploration of the potential dangers that electric cars pose to blind people. With the help of the truly inspirational Andre Louis, musician, audio expert and left handed black man.
My take on the #dieselgate revelations.
1st and most important, if you own or drive a diesel car, it's NOT your fault.
No, of course it's not just VolksWagen, and yes, of course busses and trucks pump out NOX and SOX, but..... Diesel is dirty.
And I know this will annoy diesel apologists but then again, that's what I'm here for :-)
In August this year me and the Mrs drove from Gloucestershire to Northern Italy and back in the tesla Model S 85. It was a holiday, I didn't record the whole thing, that would have been tedious, boring and my Mrs has an impressive left hook. However these are the highlights and I'm sure I'll get comments about the highest road pass in Europe.
First drive in the plug-in-hybrid VW Passat GTE.
Powered by Volkswagen’s turbocharged 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine developing 164bhp and a 9.9kWh lithium ion battery giving pure electric range of around 30 miles - 50 kilometers.
First experience in the BYD e6.
A Chinese built 190 mile range electric taxi that's surprisingly pleasant to drive.
Quick announcement and a sneak preview of the Fully Charged 'autumn season.'
Sit back, and 'henjoy' the video.
When I flew in a Red Bull Aerobatic aeroplane I suffered from 'airborne Tourettes.'
In the Tesla Model S P85D 4 wheel drive twin engined brute going from zero to 60 mph in a fraction over 3 seconds I suffered from 'roadborne Tourettes' but it's been tactfully bleeped.
'Insane mode engaged, start cussing.'
The 100% electric Airbus E-Fan on its first flight across the English Channel. The first steps in the electrification of air travel.
A little rumination on the 1st 1,000 miles in my Tesla Model S, other electric cars and why are there so many big bloated gas guzzling equivalent price fossil cars driven by old blokes like me?
And a bit of amatuer car washing.
A slightly bumpy ride around the less glamorous outskirts of Paris in the recently released Nissan env200 Evalia. It's a 7 seater MPV, a mini van. Driven by Nikki Gordon Bloomfield and co-piloted by Premier Cabs (Blackpool) CEO John Cutler.
A brief report on the DHL Blue Sky award (I was one of the judges) and a simple but brilliant winning entry.
Unusually for Fully Charged I had a ride in a 5 litre supercharged Range Rover Sport. But this one was a little bit different and this technology was simple, effective and therefore close to magic
A few simple lessons on how to charge your electric car when using the Ecotricity Electric Highway.
There are 'Ecotricity pumps' at nearly every UK motorway services and they already power millions of miles of electric car journeys a month.
To find out more go to https://www.ecotricity.co.uk/for-the-...
A test drive in the hydrogen fuel cell Hyundai ix35. Easy to drive, easy to re-fuel, the only thing coming out of the tiny tailpipe is water. So, where does hydrogen come from?
Plus the UPP hydrogen cell phone charger. http://www.beupp.com/
During my recent visit to Berlin I caught up with three key people who're involved in this ground-breaking new racing series
A new world record for the largest parade of electric vehicles in one convoy.
The event took place in Berlin before the Formula E race at Tempelhof Airport in Berlin. 577 pure electric cars complete a lap of the circuit. I was meant to be in the lead car.....
It's a battery special. This episode looks at the stories we've been told about batteries and the reality that is emerging.
Will we 'throw them away' after 3 years as predicted by someone, 3 years ago.
Although I've previously tested this car on Fully Charged, this time I had a little more time to think about it. And I wanted to drive it again.
The VW Golf GTE plug in hybrid is available now from all good VW outlets.
My recent trip to Orkney was a genuine eye opener. It's an amazing place that is, I believe, pointing the way to how we power ourselves in the future.
Find out more at http://www.oref.co.uk/
And also http://eco-cars.net/
A fascinating insight into the future of 'smart cities' with Troy Foster from Bosch.
Recorded this year at CES in Las Vegas.
The first plug in hybrid electric supercar on Fully Charged. Not sure if that's true but it sounds good, in fact if you like that sort of thing it sounds amazing.
Over 1,000 miles of driving, average of 52 mpg. A very fast, semi economical sports car.
A quick ride in a Bosch - Traffic Jam Assist semi autonomous vehicle during CES in Las Vegas in January. The car I was a passenger in made it's way through dense, complex and very challenging traffic with only very minor errors.
1,300 miles in an electric car in two and a bit days.
In February 2015 I drove a Tesla Model S P85 from Oslo, Norway, to London, England. This is what happened.
With many thanks to Nikki Gordon Bloomfield who filmed much of the trip.
The connection between electric cars and cyber security may not be instantly obvious, but clearly as more and more things communicate with each other, including cars, it may become rather important.
A brief drive in the Tesla Model S P85 with @MissDashboardUK AKA
Alexandra TilleyLoug, who, after a slightly hesitant start finally 'gives it the full beans.'
A real breakthrough in the smooth integration of bicycle and electric pedal assistance.
As always I like to get a few facts wrong, but this time I underestimated. I was a bit overwhelmed by the scale.
There are not 100,000 but 200,000 mirrors around each tower, and yes, as I'm sure many will tell me, some birds get cooked, but not as many as are killed by cats, or tall buildings, or road traffic.
For more info: http://www.ivanpahsolar.com/
A bit of musing while driving the Toyota Prius V through the mean streets of Las Vegas. Not really a car review, more a car overview.
The DHL Blue Sky Transport Award.
To enter go to
A drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas in the very refined Cadillac ELR plug-in-hybrid. I'm joined in the car by Chelsea Sexton, Californian electric car advocate who was featured in the award winning documentary 'Who Killed the Electric Car?'
Engine. 1,400cc four cylinder petrol series hybrid withe 16.5 kWh lithium-ion battery
A short and at times very fast first drive in the £100,000 BMW i8.
All filming done on closed roads at Millbrook proving ground.
This is a plug in hybrid supercar that is, without question, extraordinary.
A 500+ mile test drive in the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicle). A really pleasant car to drive, enormous inside, smooth, quiet and very comfortable and it costs the same as the diesel model.
A short and at times very fast first drive in the £100,000 BMW i8. All filming done on closed roads at Millbrook proving ground. This is a plug in hybrid supercar that is, without question, extraordinary.
Last week I had the chance the test drive the soon to be released VolksWagen Golf GTE.
This plug in hybrid performance hatchback is very impressive, powered by two engines, a 1.4 litre 150 PS petrol engine and a 102 PS electric motor, going through a six speed DSG gearbox... which as I say in the video, 'just does stuff.'
No need to change gear although the steering wheel has paddle shifters, I never used them.
So, VW figures are as follows, 0 - 62 in 7.6 seconds
Top speed, 138 mph.
Top speed electric only, 81 mph.
Battery is 8.8 kWh, charges in 2.5 hours from domestic wall box (16 - 32 amps).
Possible 188 mpg and 35gm/km CO2
Kerb weight 1,542 kg.
Price, not been verified but around £28,000 after govt grant of £5,000.
Available to order in November 2014, deliveries March 2015.
A bit of background and an overview of the upcoming FIA Formula E championship season.
With many thanks to Steve DH and Formula E for some of the footage.
A first drive in the wonderful electric version of the VW UP!
It's the very nicely put together VW e-UP!
Also includes some pondering on the 'Yorkshire connection' as regards the time honoured phrase 'aye -up.'
A couple of long road trips I've done in the Tesla Model S this year. One to Cornwall and the Eden Project, one to Edinburgh and the Fringe Festival.
At over £88,000 the Porsche Panamera S e-Hybrid is the most expensive production car I've ever driven on Fully Charged (including the Tesla Model S) A plug in hybrid Porsche, nice.
A Fully Discharged Special where I drive my Nissan Leaf until it stops. The first time in 41,000 miles that I have 'run out.'
Dale Vince, founder of renewable energy generator and supplier Ecotricity, the company that made this series of Fully Charged possible, talks about the company, it's aims and what's is in store in the future.
An update on the progress for Fully Charged and a very nice drive in the Nissan e NV200, an electric van with the same drivetrain as the Nissan Leaf.
A confused old man tries to understand how much electricity has been used to travel 39,000 miles in his car.