Advertisement

Automotive

Future cars: Auto bodywork composite doubles as a battery

The problem is clear. Hybrid cars and EVs rely on batteries for power, but batteries are bulky and heavy, causing the car to use up more energy. But what if a car's bodywork was made of a strong, lightweight material that could store and discharge electrical energy just as a conventional battery does? In pursuing this goal, researchers at the Imperial College London are developing a key building block for the hybrid car of the future, and the implications go way beyond automobiles - think wafer thin mobile phones and laptops that don't need a separate battery because they draw power from their casing.Read More

This car sold for US$360,000 in this condition ... and will not be restored

An archeological find of some magnitude went under the hammer this week, when a rusted 1925 Bugatti Type 22 Brescia that has spent the last three quarters of a century at the bottom of a lake in North Italy was auctioned. When found and raised, it validated a legend that had circulated for 70 years. Mercifully, it will not be restored, but will live on in an American museum in its partially reclaimed glory as living proof of the craftsmanship of the era in general, and the Bugatti marque in particular. The Italian legend fetched a staggering EUR 260,500 - US$360,000. They do not make 'em like this any more.Read More

New Formula 1 rules see cars changing dramatically

Formula One will be quite different in 2010 thanks to a number of changes to the rules. The Kinetic Energy Recovery System is gone, front tires will be narrower (from 270mm to 245mm) and most significantly, there will be no refueling during races which will mean fuel tanks will need to be roughly three times larger than 2009. The changes have bred a different size and shape of car, as was evidenced over the last two days when we saw the first of the serious contender’s cars – the 2010 McLaren MP4-25 of Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton and the Ferrari F10 of Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso. Demonstrating the drawing power of the Prancing Horse, Ferrari attracted an audience of three million unique visitors to its web site for the launch. The season gets underway tomorrow when …Read More

The appropriately named Bright IDEA hybrid delivery van

If you were a hybrid vehicle manufacturer, and you wanted to lower the world’s CO2 emissions, would you first...

  • a) Try to replace all the privately-owned gas vehicles, that mostly just drive to and from workplaces, one vehicle at a time, or...
  • b) Replace entire corporate fleets of gas delivery vehicles, that typically spend all day, every day, on the road?
Well, you’re supposed to answer “b”. That’s what Indiana-based Bright Automotive wants to do with their plug-in hybrid delivery van, the IDEA. And now that they’re close to signing a pact with an unnamed major automaker, they’re one step closer to realizing that vision.Read More

Video: SoundRacer V8 turns your boring family car into a fire-breather

Call me childish, but I reckon this is one of the best gadgets I've seen in years. The SoundRacer plugs into the cigarette lighter socket of your boring family car, then sends an FM signal to your car stereo that makes your car sound like a roaring V8, faithfully matching revs and basically making the meekest of cars feel like a monster truck. So you can enjoy a ribald hoon factor from the driver's seat without looking or sounding like a petrolhead to passers-by or the local constabulary. We had a blast making the demo video after the jump.Read More

Thailand begins coloring petrol and diesel

One of the major problems with motorized transport across Asia is that mass fraud takes place with petrol retailing. Octane-91 petrol is sold as Octane-95, Diesel B5 is sold as diesel B2 and to a much greater extent, cocktails are brewed and sold to increase profits for the retailer, with alcohol mixes very common. The mixing not only cheats the motorist but often has dire consequences for the motors using the fuel, causing massive destruction that’s difficult to trace. The Thai Government is the first to take action to overcome the problem by introducing colored petrols. From February 1, octane-91 petrol will become yellow, octane-95 petrol will be blue, and diesel B5 will be red. Read More

Jaguar's Gas Turbine Electric Vehicle Project wins funding

The UK government-backed Technology Strategy Board recently announced the recipients of carbon reduction technology research project funding which sees a consortium made up of Jaguar Land Rover, SR Drives and led by Bladon Jets taking a GBP 1,103,392 (about US$1,790,000) slice of the multi-million GB-pound cake to develop "the world’s first commercially viable - and environmentally friendly - gas turbine generator designed specifically for automotive applications."Read More

Formula-looking EV Mini Sport fits motorized bicycle category

To many motoring enthusiasts, Japan’s Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima is to hill climbing what Michael Schumacher is to F1 or Valentino Rossi is MotoGP. It’s no wonder then that when Tajima launches an electric car the motoring world gets a little excited. Released recently at the first EV and HEV Drive System Technology Expo in Tokyo, the Tajima Motor Corporation’s (in conjunction with Natural Energy) EV Mini Sport is an open wheeler, single-seater car that looks very comfortable on the track.Read More

AeroVironment eyes new EV Fast-charging Benchmark: 80% in 15 minutes

One of the key stumbling blocks in the uptake of battery electric vehicles is charging times. After all, who wants to wait eight hours to "fill the tank" when a gasoline, hybrid or hydrogen powered vehicle can be replenished in a matter of minutes. One of the projects seeking to address the issue is a collaboration between electric vehicle manufacturer THINK and charging infrastructure developer AeroVironment (a company best known to Gizmag readers as a manufacturer of UAVs). The companies are collaborating on a fast charging project for the THINK City electric vehicle with the goal of taking the EV from zero charge to 80 percent full in just 15 minutes.Read More

Mercedes assembles Silver Arrows F1 dream team

The new Silver Arrows Formula One works team was presented in Stuttgart today and though there were no surprises, the line-up was nonetheless formidable. Take a world championship winning team (Brawn F1 2009), add to it substantial long term sponsorship from Petronas, the full weight of Mercedes Benz management, finances and engineering (with the emphasis on engine - the title engine of the last two years) and then slot in the winningest F1 driver in history, and you have a pretty impressive line-up. The most ominous aspect of it all though is that the pairing of Ross Brawn and Michael Schumacher is back together. It won two titles at Benetton, reestablished the Ferrari dynasty then Brawn created his own history last year. The car remains under a shroud of secrecy until its track debut next week.Read More

    Advertisement
    Advertisement
    Advertisement

    See the stories that matter in your inbox every morning