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Extended-range

Drones

Walkera's methanol-fuelled range extender keeps a QR X900 hexacopter in the air for more than an hour

Hexacopter flight times over an hour should soon become possible. Chinese drone manufacturer Walkera has decided to go beyond the battery, teaming up with micro-generator producers at GenSmart to build a new hybrid powertrain for its QR X900 professional heavy lifter. A tiny, efficient methanol motor charges the battery during flight, allowing long flight times and instant refueling and it can be switched off so the drone can operate in "stealth mode" when necessary.Read More

Automotive

Fisker Automotive's Karma sedan PHEV finally on sale

Having unveiled the Fisker Karma at NAIAS 2008, Fisker Automotive had originally intended to begin sales of the Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) in late 2009, but funding setbacks saw the car’s launch date delayed several times. With the first deliveries to fulfill early customer orders taking place in late July this year, the wait is now finally over for U.S. retail customers with the 2012 model year Karma sedan hitting showroom floors after the vehicle received certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last week.Read More

Automotive

Cadillac Converj extended-range EV Concept to go into production as Cadillac ELR

The Cadillac Converj luxury coupe, which made such a splash back in 2009 with its extended-range EV technology, is destined for production and will be named the Cadillac ELR. Not many details of the new ELR are available other than that it will feature an electric propulsion system made up of a T-shaped lithium ion battery, an electric drive unit, and a four-cylinder engine-generator. Read More

Automotive

Fisker Karma PHEV headed to showrooms after company raises US$1 billion

Following a series of funding setbacks that has seen the launch of Fisker Automotive’s Karma four-door saloon plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) sports car pushed back from the initial late 2009 launch date a number of times, there’s finally some good news. According to Gigaom, the company has surpassed its US$1 billion funding goal and plans to have vehicles in dealer showrooms in May or June and will begin fulfilling its 3,000-some pre-orders from June or July. Read More

Automotive

Vauxhall to show shape-shifting 175mpg 125 mph Flextreme GT/E hybrid

Vauxhall will unveil a dramatic concept car at this year’s Geneva Show. The Flextreme GT/E uses what Vauxhall calls extended-range electric vehicle (E-REV) technology – the wheels at all times are driven by electricity, but a small petrol engine/generator provides enough electricity to extend the driving range to more than 300 miles. The Flextreme GT/E also employs active shape shifting. Above 30mph, a vertical panel extends along the body from the air extraction slot behind each rear wheel-arch, guiding high-speed airflow around the rear of the car, reducing the drag co-efficient to just 0.22.Read More

Automotive

Cadillac unveils extended-range electric Converj concept

January 12, 2009 If one thing is immediately and staggeringly obvious at this year's Detroit NAIAS auto show, it's that electric, hybrid and extended-range electric cars have stepped out of the shadowy corners to which they were relegated in 2008, and they're now the main event for a lot of manufacturers. It seems the auto industry's well-documented woes in 2008, as well as consumer reaction to volatile petrol pricing, have galvanized even the most stalwart of old-school Detroit metal makers into action on gasoline alternatives. The extended-range electric seems to offer the most painless transition to primarily-electric motoring, and this is the way Cadillac have chosen to go with the Converj concept we saw unveiled earlier today. Capable of dealing with a typical 40-mile daily commute on full-electric, but with a petrol generator to make long trips possible, the 100mph Converj is a glamorous hint at what Cadillac intend to do with electric engines.Read More

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