Chevy is looking to rewrite the book on electric vehicles with its upcoming Spark EV. GM first announced
that Chevrolet would be producing the car a little over a year ago, and now, new details have emerged on the upcoming electric vehicle. It looks like Chevy is aiming to improve overall power, range and charge times for electric vehicles in general.
As any early adopter of consumer electric vehicles will tell you, being a clean transport pioneer might be kinder to the planet but it can cause the average wallet to suffer a seizure. Chevy's 2013 Volt
, for instance, is priced at a snip under US$40,000 and Ford's Focus Electric
is only a few hundred bucks cheaper, and a new Nissan Leaf
is over twice the price of a new ICE-powered Dodge Dart
. The owner of Lincoln and Jaguar dealerships in Riverside, California is hoping to strip away the high cost barrier to the mass adoption of electric vehicles with the opening of his first all-electric EcoCentre showroom later this month. Three EVs are to lead the charge, including a small commuter car for under $10,000.
A collaborative project involving ECOmove, Insero E-Mobility and Serenergy is aiming to produce a fuel cell range extender for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) that should boost the distance between charges to at least 497 miles (800 km). The first vehicle to receive the new bio-methanol-based Modular Energy Carrier concept (MECc) cells will be the QBEAK
car we featured yesterday.
Tesla has unveiled its latest electric car, the Model X, at its California Design Studios. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the prototype crossover vehicle on display was the company's most advanced to appear at a launch so is unlikely to differ significantly from the vehicle that will be put into production. The vehicle will be available in both rear- and four-wheel-drive versions. The latter packs two independent electric motors - one on the rear axle and the other in the "engine bay" - with a "Perfromance" all-wheel drive model able to accelerate from 0 - 60 mph (96.5 km/h) in under five seconds.
It doesn't seem too long ago when we were reporting on breakthroughs in battery technology that would allow electric motorbikes like the Brammo Enertia
to travel as much as 45 miles (72 km) on a single charge. These days, we're seeing most of the recent arrivals (such as the 2012 Zero S
range, for instance, or the gorgeous custom-built Brutus 2.0
) flying past the 100 miles (160 km) barrier with relative ease, a range long enough to quieten even the most fervent of petrol-heads. Two Purdue University engineering students have recently completed the conversion of a Yamaha YZF600r to electric power that further pushes the envelope to more than 120 miles (193 km), using batteries cooled by phase change material.
Drayson Racing Technologies and the Lola Cars group have just revealed what is intended to be the fastest electric-powered racing car in the world. The Lola-Drayson B12/69EV features Drayson's brand new 4X2-640 electric drivetrain, inductive charging, composite battery power, moveable aerodynamics and electrical regenerative damping. Its four electric motors are said to deliver a whopping 850 horsepower and a top speed of around 200 mph.
Since its initial launch five years ago, the T3 Motion's stand-up electric three-wheeler has been snapped up by law enforcement, security and military concerns in nearly 30 countries. Shoppers who have looked on with envy as Mall security whizzes past in pursuit of a shoplifter can now rest easy. T3 Motion is responding to what it describes as pent up customer demand and will launch a consumer version called the T3 Power Sport. It won't come with the frightening fire power of the T3 Non-Lethal Response Vehicle, but it will have a top speed of 12 mph, a range of up to 40 miles and will be available in a range of colors and custom paint job or logo options.
Vehicles of the wheeled variety aren’t the only ones going green. U.S. companies International Battery and Electric Marine Propulsion (EMP) are partnering up to build a hybrid power train for the world’s largest plug-in, hybrid electric boats and yachts. The partnership has resulted in one of the world’s largest plug-in hybrid sailboats, a Tag 60 catamaran christened Tang
, hitting the water on September 21. It is a 60 ft (18m) carbon-fiber speedster that can be powered by the wind, even when the wind isn’t blowing.
Following its purchase from General Motors by Dutch hand-built automobile manufacturer Spyker earlier this year, Saab
is working on its first all-electric vehicle
. Taking its body from a conventional 9-3 SportCombi station wagon, the Saab 9-3 ePower has a 135kW electric motor, a projected range of 124 miles and makes zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 8.5 seconds on the way to a top speed of 150 km/h (93 mph). The wraps come off the prototype at the 2010 Paris Motor Show
ahead of fleet trials in Sweden next year.
Remember when the Segway
was launched in 2001? The company proclaimed that it was going to revolutionize personal transportation, but... well, although Segways are still around, they’re hardly a common sight. What could soon be
a common sight, however, are electric bicycles. While a variety of styles were on display at this year’s Eurobike
show, commuting ebikes were by far the most common. An electric drive makes sense on a commuter – you still get some exercise and don’t have to register it as a scooter, yet you also don’t arrive at your destination all hot and sweaty. As with all electric vehicles, however, range is always an issue. That is now being addressed, however, with ebikes that can travel up to 160 kilometers (99.4 miles) on one charge. If your commute is longer than that, you really might want to consider, you know... driving.