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I've added a link to the Southwark Council planning docs, in the External Links section of the Wikipedia page for Denmark Hill station.
Toggle Commented Aug 15, 2011 on The debacle of Denmark Hill station at Re*Move
Thanks for the links to the plans, Nick. I'm afraid we're going to have differ in our opinions on the station's current usability though. I was there earlier and watched numerous confused people walking around unable to work out which platform to use (there aren't actually destination indicators on the temporary footbridge). I watched one heavily pregnant lady walk back up steps from platform 3 over to platform 4, because she'd come down the wrong stairs. Somehow, surely, we can all do a better job together here can't we? Or are you saying this is as good as it gets?
Toggle Commented Aug 12, 2011 on The debacle of Denmark Hill station at Re*Move
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Mar 15, 2010
Robin can quip with the execution (try reading his article while listening to Yvonne Fair, "It should have been me"), but there's no denying this is an absolutely extraordinary ad. I'm convinced that the auto industry's strategy has for too long been dominated - indeed derailed - by the next sales quarter, by the need to mass produce whatever it can get away with, and the result has now come home to roost - commercial disaster for almost the entire industry. Getting car rental companies to put EVs into their fleets isn't the point here at all, Joe. Project Better Place has found a much (ahem) better way to guarantee (place?) large fleet-sized orders with Renault - actually super-fleet-sized purchasing commitments for entire countries, starting with Israel and Denmark. These are deals where the emphasis is on as-soon-as-possible. Car rental companies don't specialise in giving customers what they want. They specialise in giving customers what they can get away with. At best the rental firms would ask for 80% diesel Renaults, and 20% EVs. It's a non-starter. There's a tremendous amount of politics and tension at play behind the scenes here. Renault is suffering today because its sales people won a political battle some years ago with its designers, which dumbed down the product range to the lowest common denominator - cars that offend noone. It's widely recognised that this move failed, so I think Carlos Ghosn and his team have some maneuvering room before the sales guys win round 2. The other factor here is that almost everyone else in the car industry has been wrong-footed by Renault grabbing a strategic technology lead - arguably two or three years lead - because of its partnership with Project Better Place. Sometimes people have to decide what they stand for. I think this is one of those moments. Personally I don't care about car salesmen. I care about cars. I want them to have a future, something I've been arguing for some time - I think Renault deserves enormous respect for building a real, tangible strategy that contains political, technological and financial elements that from where I'm standing look like they really can stand up. I remember Joe Paluska from Project Better Place talking to me two years ago about the need to "condition the market", so it's ready for electric vehicles. This is what Renault is trying to do. It needs to happen. That the firm has committed mega bucks to doing it via TV advertising is a major result for everyone who cares about the future of the car. And for what it's worth, I like the ad. When I watch it, it makes me stop and smile. And think "Wow! Maybe we're getting somewhere." p.s. Robin doesn't like Keane. I know because he told me on Twitter. That may be a contributing factor in his analysis, too.
Totally agree Ben, and I think the success of cars like the Insight, Prius and the little EVs such as the G-Wiz in London is directly down to the fact that they're congestion charge exempt. There were numerous debates in the local press when the c-charge was introduced about whether it actually was a congestion charge - the argument being that, surely, if you were going to exempt any vehicles from the charge, then it should be ones that take up less space... Agree also that it's a paradox of hybrids (and by virtue of their limited range - future electric cars) that they're best suited to usage on short, urban trips which we've for so long been told to avoid using cars for. It doesn't seem to be a problem many people are interested in though. Right now, the impetus is "get everyone in to electric cars", but my view would be that, once we're all driving in zero emissions vehicles, will we have really gained anything if we're still all stuck in traffic jams trying to drive in to city centres on our own, in our metal and glass boxes. I'd love to do an expansive piece of research entitled "does size matter" looking at the impact of moving to smaller personal vehicles for city usage. The thing I'm most excited about that I've seen recently for instance, in terms of the automotive world, is Renault's Twizy. I await with interest to see what impact it has.
Toggle Commented Nov 2, 2009 on Prius Week: Is it going to make me fat? at Re*Move
Hi Todd, thanks for this and for the use of your picture. My apologies for the mis-spelling of your name. Joe