VW haven't just adapted an existing model and shoved some batteries in like the VW e-Golf. This system is the single but adaptable basis of an entirely new range of VW electric vehicles, from a car similar in size to the VW Golf, up to larger saloon cars and the iconic VW ID Buzz, the camper van style minibus Jonny Smith drove on a previous Fully Charged episode.
So many people to thank, so many people to remember meeting, so many conversations, handshakes and yes, selfies. So much to see, to hear about, to think about. So much enthusiasm and energy. And clearly, judging by all the comments, tweets and anecdotal evidence, an incredibly friendly gathering
I can no longer remember what I was expecting from Fully Charged Live 2018 because the experience was so intense it's erased all the anxieties, the multiple concerns, the logistics, the thousands of arrangements that went before.
I’ve been getting a lot of tweets since Matt LeBlanc announcing he is leaving Top Gear.
Just as I did when the light entertainment show went through its previous spasm when Chris Evans left, and just as I did before that when the entire cast left after some unfortunate behaviour by the big fellow.
My response has always been the same and it goes as follows:
I have never been approached by the BBC to take part. That is kind of relevant.
As you read this, I will be half way up a mountain in Portugal driving a Jaguar I-Pace.
I’m recording the journey for Fully Charged, how far will it go, what’s it like to drive, how long does it take to charge. All the usual.
But here’s a thing, the I-Pace has a 90-kilowatt hour battery. That’s enough energy to run the average home in the UK for 3 and a half days.
There is clearly a discussion taking place about where all the electricity will come from to power many hundreds of thousands of similar vehicles in the next couple of years, and potentially millions in the next 5 to 10 years.
In the words of novelist William Gibson, “The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed.” Over the course of 2017, this saying has started to reverberate around the world of Energy & Transport. Amidst the incessant gloom of bad news, fake news and inconsequential news, an unstoppable, positive force is accelerating.
That’s the year when the current UK government have stated we will no longer build or sell new cars that burn fossil fuels.
There will I’m sure be loads of fossil burning cars still around, far less than today, maybe 10%, so they’re not trying to ‘ban’ fossil burners, just phasing them out, really slowly.
When the announcement hit the news everyone I’ve ever met, spoken to or heard of that drives an electric car was on the Radio and TV.
Last week I climbed into my Tesla Model S charged with 100% solar power the day before. I know this because I now have a very sophisticated app which came with the home battery system and 5.3 kilowatt peak solar photovoltaic array I’ve just had installed.
The 13.3 kilowatt hour Tesla Powerwall was at 10% when I woke that morning, (it had drained itself into the Nissan Leaf overnight) and was refilled by midday so I used the excess solar output in the afternoon to charge the Tesla.
Australia is a fascinating country. A country of conflicts, opportunity, forward facing, backward facing, progressive and retrograde, charming and alarming.