Review

2016 Toyota Mirai – Preview

6 Jun , 2015  

– by Jon B

We live in an interesting time. A time where science and technology are at the forefront and in the automotive world, the leading edge in alternative fuel technology at the moment is electric vehicles with manufacturers like Nissan, Tesla, Ford and General Motors putting out their versions of what an electric car should be. Notably absent is the Japanese giant that is Toyota with a reincarnation of its RAV4 EV with battery technology borrowed from billionaire Elon Musk. It should’ve been a raging success – the combination of Toyota quality, durability and reliability and Tesla’s battery and motor technology. Alas, Mr. Toyoda has other plans and the release of the Mirai is an example of his vision of future.

16miraiside


Mira-what?

Me-rye. It’s Japanese for “future”.  Toyota thinks that battery electric vehicles should be limited to the short distance, city driving (although Elon has proved otherwise) and suggests that fuel cell vehicles are what the public wants. Toyota suggests that those that are used to petrol-powered vehicles will warm up to fuel cell cars as the range and refuelling times are similar. Excuse me Toyoda-san, there’s the slight issue of actually having hydrogen stations where one can refuel in the first place. Nevertheless, the focus of the article is the Mirai and not a discussion of which form of fuel or energy the future should use.

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audio and video,What Drives Us episode

#142 The Dynamic Duo Are Back

5 Jun , 2015   Video

This week Danny and Russell tackle the news without a panel…

That’s Bolt™ with a “D”
http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1098530_chevy-bolt-ev-trademark-suspended-due-to-yamaha-conflict-by-u-s-patent-office

Because it’s all about the “moribund” platinum market (the following two stories are mostly just rewritten version of the reuters piece)
http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/29/platinum-miners-fuelcells-idUSL5N0YI2YW20150529
http://www.inautonews.com/platinum-sector-ready-to-reap-the-benefits-of-rising-fuel-cell-usage
http://www.iol.co.za/business/markets/commodities/electric-and-hybrid-cars-dash-platinum-hopes-1.1865680

It might have been easier (and more honest) to just call Elon an asshole and leave it at that
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-hy-musk-subsidies-20150531-story.html#page=1

You can now buy H2 on the autobahn (insert Kraftwerk music here)
http://www.gasworld.com/autobahns-first-hydrogen-station-opens/2007508.article

Embedded infotainment and the danger to carmaker branding
http://www.autonews.com/article/20150601/OEM06/306019968/how-can-automakers-add-value-to-dashboard

Apparently EV patents aren’t worth shit because everyone is giving them away
http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewdepaula/2015/05/31/ford-follows-tesla-and-toyota-in-releasing-ev-patents/

The international business times tells you today what we told you months ago, ain’t no apple self driving goole car with tesla power train coming (please click here)
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/mysterious-apple-vans-are-3d-mapping-app-not-self-driving-car-1503794

Cars are stupid but transportation planners are even stupider, err, dumber, sorry, stupid dumbheads
http://streetsblog.net/2015/05/28/the-23-lane-katy-freeway-a-monument-to-texas-transportation-futility/

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audio and video,What Drives Us episode

#140 Power Trio

21 May , 2015   Video

This week Danny and Russell tackle the topics with the help of Patrick Connor.

It’s 2005 all over again, the return of the “does it make sense” math as applied only to alt cars…(Thanks Evan)
http://www.edmunds.com/about/press/hybrid-and-electric-vehicles-struggle-to-maintain-owner-loyalty-reports-edmundscom.html

Democratic state Rep. Senfronia Thompson criticized the company by saying that “it would have been wiser if Mr. Tesla had sat down with the car dealers first.”
http://fortune.com/2015/05/18/tesla-texas/
And then there’s this…
http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1098276_ftc-calls-michigans-tesla-ban-protectionism-for-dealers

Why you should never read TIME, calling this link bait is being far too nice
http://time.com/3882476/tesla-consumer-reports/

repurposing versus recycling
http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1098326_used-toyota-hybrid-batteries-repurposed-at-yellowstone-national-park

And this, soon to be available through the Prius Chat Shop…

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audio and video,What Drives Us episode

#137 Wisdom From The Back End Of A Cow

23 Apr , 2015   Video

Hosts Danny Cooper and Russell Frost are joined by Tony Schaefer, Evan Fusco and Patrick Connor to discuss…

The new Mirai commercial made for Toyota by Morgan Spurlock.

What success looks like…and what it means fro EV incentives
http://europe.autonews.com/article/20150421/ANE/150429967/norway-to-review-ev-subsidies-as-sales-soar
Meanwhile, in Oregon…
http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/blog/sbo/2015/04/bill-that-would-give-3k-rebate-to-ev-buyers.html

SUV’s, Lies and Statistics
http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2015/04/21/earth-day-electric-ev-hybrid-dissatisfied-suv/26121125/

Don’t forget that next week, April 29th at 9:00 p.m. EST you can hear directly from Toyota on the Mirai and the future of their FCV. See you next week!

 

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Review

2015 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0L Trendline+ Test Drive

15 Apr , 2015  

– by Jon B

It’s premium German engineering at a price engineered to get you moving”. The tagline is certainly appropriate for the Jetta, with a starting price of Cdn$14,990. Canadians certainly responded as Volkswagen Canada moved 31,042 Jettas in 2014, which accounts for nearly 50% of its total sales. One may recall that the cost of entry into the Volkswagen family started in the low $20,000s less than a decade ago, so how did Volkswagen manage to drop the price substantially?

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audio and video,What Drives Us episode

#134 Market Manipulation

3 Apr , 2015   Video

Thanks to Patrick Connor for this week’s title.

On the show this week, the triumphal return of Danny Cooper, Russell Frost, Tony Schaefer, Patrick Connor and Paul Guzyk.

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audio and video,What Drives Us episode

#129 Battery Scam

2 Mar , 2015   Video

This week, Danny Cooper, Russell Frost, Evan Fusco, Paul Guzyk and Patrick Connor discuss the usual range of activity including, why we need an Indiegogo project to push a hybrid battery price decrease, how thieves are targeting some of those same hybrid batteries and more, yes, more on the Apple car.

Show note links after the jump…

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audio only,What Drives Us episode

#53 Not Quite Ready For Prime Time – Our First Live Show

23 Feb , 2011  

Our first ever live show. Excuse the mess. We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed doing it. Going forward, you can listen to our unedited live stream on Wednesday evenings beginning at 9:00 p.m. Eastern at whatdrives.us/live

Big thanks to special guest Von Rogers of Express Way Chrysler in Evansville, Indiana for coming on and talking about Chrysler’s offerings.

Show Notes:

BMW makes the futurecar commitment and launches “i”, Apple lawyers sharpen their pencils and creative people around the world go, “whathaf*ck, is the best they could do?”
http://www.engadget.com/2011/02/21/bmw-launches-new-i-brand-focused-on-e…

Volvo leapfrogs toyota with V60 or not?
http://www.allcarselectric.com/blog/1055663_2012-volvo-v60-plug-in-hybri…

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