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— Automotive Feature

Future of Electric Vehicles conference a buzzing success

This week saw the Future of Electric Vehicles USA 2010 conference take place in San Jose, California. Billed as “the world's only event that covers all forms of electric vehicles – land, water, and air,” it included a series of presentations on new technologies, an exhibit hall, and master classes that featured trips to nearby Silicon Valley tech development firms. Gizmag was one of the main sponsors of the event, and we were there to learn more about what’s happening in the world of EVs. Here’s a quick look at some of what we took in. Read More
— Automotive

Fisker Automotive to unwrap Karma - literally

By - February 28, 2010 5 Pictures
As Fisker Automotive's Karma plug-in hybrid moves closer to production the company has turned attention from the outside to the inside for its Geneva Motor show appearance. Assembled by Valmet Automotive in Finland, Fisker says the advanced aluminum space frame incorporates new levels of rigidity and strength to deliver "world-class ride and handling characteristics". This pic has been released ahead of the Geneva Auto Show which kicks-off this week. Read More
— Automotive

Ford PHEVs to save by ‘talking’ to electric grid

By - August 20, 2009 2 Pictures
A new development by Ford allows owners of the company’s plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) to further reduce their operating costs by programming when to recharge the vehicle, for how long and at what utility rate. Ford says it has developed a vehicle-to-grid communications and control system for its (PHEVs) which enables them to ‘talk’ directly with the nation’s electric grid. Read More
— Automotive

Fisker Karma PHEV hits the tarmac for the first time

By - August 17, 2009 1 Picture
The Fisker Karma Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) recently demonstrated how quick it is in two ways – it goes from 0-60mph in six seconds and from concept to public driving debut just 19 months after the company was formed. The 403hp prototype Karma PHEV almost silently attained a top speed of 100mph (using no gasoline) as it made its way around the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca during the Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races. Read More
— Automotive

Ford outlines aggressive EV strategy - battery electric small car in 2011

By - January 12, 2009 13 Pictures
January 12, 2009 Ford has thrown its hat into the Electric Vehicle ring at the Detroit international motor show by announcing plans to bring a new family of electrified vehicles to market over the next four years. The strategy calls for the introduction of new hybrids, a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) and Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) based on two new global product platforms. The plan calls for the introduction in 2011 of a pure Battery Electric Vehicle as a passenger car in North America. Read More
— Automotive

Ford testing 120mpg plug-in hybrid Escape

By - January 28, 2008 13 Pictures
January 29, 2008 Plug-in electric hybrid cars represent a simple and effective bridge between today's primarily petrol-driven hybrids and tomorrow's fully electric vehicles. Over short distances, they deliver the efficiency, economy and low emissions of an electric car – but you've still got a petrol engine to rely on for longer trips. With Toyota testing a plug-in Prius that's rumored to go to production in 2009, Ford has announced a Plug-in Electric Hybrid (PHEV) version of its Escape SUV. Currently in testing, the Escape PHEV runs primarily on electric in its commuting duties, achieving around 30 miles of high-efficiency electric drive after an overnight charge of its high capacity Lithium-Ion battery pack. For longer trips it reverts seamlessly back to normal hybrid operation. Read More
— Automotive

Toyota experimenting with a plug-in electric Prius

By - July 30, 2007 4 Pictures
July 31, 2007 Toyota’s Prius was pretty much the mass-market pioneer of hybrid cars and its sales success has demonstrated to the company that a significant sector of the community are willing to pay a premium for a car that’s both exceptionally fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly. Still, it remains a petrol-based car in its current form, using its electric motor mainly to maintain cruising speed and charging it indirectly through the output of the petrol engine. Toyota’s latest announcement could turn that equation on its head – by incorporating bigger, longer-lasting batteries and enabling plug-in overnight charging, they’re experimenting with making the Prius a primarily electric-powered car that only falls back on petrol when it absolutely has to. The changes could give the Prius massive fuel economy if used for short commutes – between 100 and 500 miles per gallon is possible. Although the company’s sticking with old-school nickel-metal hydride batteries instead of the latest lithium-based units ( and it may well only be doing this in response to some smart aftermarket operators) this could be our first glimpse of a mass-market commercial car that runs primarily on batteries, but has all the comfort of petrol to fall back on. Read More
— Automotive

Plug-in Hybrid Technology Kits released

By - February 23, 2006 8 Pictures
February 24, 2006 Hymotion has unveiled a PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) kit for a range of existing hybrid vehicles. Hymotion currently has systems available for Toyota Prius, Ford Escape Hybrid and Mercury Mariner Hybrid with systems under development for Lexus RX400h, Toyota Highlander Hybrid and Toyota Camry Hybrid.Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles are more fossil-fuel-efficient than existing hybrids as they can be recharged by plugging into a regular household electrical outlet and can hence travel for a greater percentage of each journey on solely electrical power. The Hymotion PHEV kit includes up to seven times more battery capacity enabling the vehicles to be used as electric zero-emission cars for short journeys. According to the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), half the cars in the U.S. are driven just 25 miles a day or less so a plug-in vehicle with even a 20-mile range could reduce petroleum fuel consumption by about 60 percent. Though the Hymotion PHEV kit will initially cost US$9500 and will be sold only to Government and fleet owners, a target price of US$5000 is expected by the time the kit becomes available to the public 12 months from now. The advantages of PHEV include better fuel economy, fewer visits to gas station, lower fuel costs, less pollution and longer range in all-electric mode - the solution for spiking gas prices, CO2 emissions and dependence on imported oil. Read More

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