Documentary hopes to prove that electric cars are a viable form of transport
7 June 2010

The BBC will attempt to cover 4000 miles across Europe in a Think City electric car to investigate the “technology, infrastructure and political will behind the growth of EV culture”.

The documentary, BBC Electric Ride, will be broadcast on Radio 4 from 19 June and will see a team of four start the trip from London this week.

Read Autocar's Think City first drive

From London, the team will travel to Denmark via Harwich and then onto Norway, then onto Sweden, Austria, Germany, Lichtenstein, Switzerland, France, Italy, Spain and Portugal before returning to London in early July.

Richard Canny, Think’s CEO said he wanted the trip to “prove that an EV can be just as versatile as a conventional car, but at the same time much more cost effective, efficient and friendly to the environment”.

The documentary’s senior producer, Ken Dawson, said: “The basic premise of our show is extremely simple – we want to look at the emergence of electric cars as a dawning reality.

“By embarking on an ambitious journey like this one, we will be able to share with our listeners the picture across Western Europe. We’ll be investigating the technology, infrastructure and political will behind the growth of EV culture.”

See all the latest Think City reviews, news and video

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Comments
34

7 June 2010

Simple to answer. An electric car is not as versatile because the range before running out of energy is too short, and the rate of loading energy too slow. Petrol / diesel has a greater energy density allowing longer range and that energy can be loaded quickly. This may change as technology advances, but a 4000 mile trip will not prove anything.

7 June 2010

Now, I'm a big fan of Radio 4, but I have to ask: SURELY this would work better on television?

7 June 2010

I hope Autocar will provide a summary of this journey. It will be interesting to find out the different locations across Europe that you can charge the car. I just have a vision of an extension cable hanging out of an Ibis hotel window charging the car overnight. There must also be some quick charging going on as the single charge range is 100 miles which would take 40 days and the plan is to do it in less than 30 days. What happens if you run out of energy in the middle of nowhere can green flag come and give you a charge or is it a tow job?

7 June 2010

A laughable exercise. There's a piece in yesterday's Sunday Times about an electric Radical that's driving the length of America – accompanied by a truck with a generator. Very practical. If I was handling the PR for every other form of energy, ie the ones that are in competition with these ridiculous EVs, I'd be rubbing my hands with glee right now, as it would be impossible to dream up better anti-EV campaign ideas than the ones the EV crowd are coming up with themselves. I see Nissan's Leaf is now on sale at £23k, even though the stupidly expensive battery pack might not last longer than 5 years – and the car still does not address the charging/range problems. Good news though: apparently you can drive a nail through the battery pack and it will still 'work'.

7 June 2010

[quote tonym911]apparently you can drive a nail [/quote]

- visit a Nissan showroom.

7 June 2010

Would 4000 miles of 3-core electrical cable stored in the boot on a spring-loaded reel (like in your average vacuum cleaner) be the answer ???

:o)

7 June 2010

However much this ludicrous exercise is going to cost, on the day that Cameron shows us the stony road ahead, ths is a breathtakingly thoughtless waste of licence-payers' money.

7 June 2010

[quote Straight Six Man]Now, I'm a big fan of Radio 4, but I have to ask: SURELY this would work better on television?
[/quote]

Indeed. You ever tuned in for the Film Programme, or Ramblings for that matter?

7 June 2010

[quote Johnnytheboy]

[quote Straight Six Man]Now, I'm a big fan of Radio 4, but I have to ask: SURELY this would work better on television?
[/quote]

Indeed. You ever tuned in for the Film Programme, or Ramblings for that matter?

[/quote]

I can't say I have. However, I used to be a semi-regular listener to Open Country (is that the same thing as Ramblings?) and found that radio was well up to conveying the imagery required for you to visualise the landscape. However, that's somewhat different to a road trip in a car... frankly, this is the kind of thing Top Gear is brilliant at. Big road-trips and economy runs. They should do it instead. They'd be able to expose this whole EV thing for the con that it is.

8 June 2010

[quote tonym911]However much this ludicrous exercise is going to cost, on the day that Cameron shows us the stony road ahead, ths is a breathtakingly thoughtless waste of licence-payers' money.[/quote]How do you know that without seeing the budget?

After all, it's on radio, the most cost effective method of broadcasting. I hazard a guess sixty percent of Top Gear could be broadcast on radio and you'd never feel cheated of non-essential visuals, though you might be more aware of the banalities spouted.

Incidentally, Cameron is telling us we are to pay three times over for the freedom of bankers and financial investors to feel secure in their jobs: once to prop up their crooked activities, and twice more in the form of higher taxes and severed public services. Some justice.

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