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MDI compressed-air technology is being developed in India by Tata Motors (pictured is MDI'...

Cars that run on compressed air sound like a fantastic idea on paper, but bringing this technology to the masses has proven, well, a difficult road to travel. There's some positive news on the air-car front though - auto giant Tata Motors, which holds the license to develop Motor Development International's (MDI) air engine technology in India, has announced that it has completed the proof of the technical concept and demonstration phase of its air-car program and is now moving toward a market ready product.  Read More

The top five biggest lemons in history - to this point.

When the likes of Jaguar, Porsche, Ford, GM, BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Volkswagen, Renault and Chrysler introduce a new model series, it is equally or more reliable than the model it replaces. Right? Wrong! New information has been released this week which indicates all of the above companies have replaced major models with less reliable models in the last decade - the worst three examples were 60%, 54% and 40% more likely to break down than their predecessor.  Read More

Tata Technologies has unveiled its eMO EV concept car, that is designed to sell for US$20,...

You could be forgiven for thinking that an electric car called the eMO would be dark-colored, inspire sulkiness in its drivers, and play nothing but My Chemical Romance on its stereo. In this case, however, eMO stands for "Electric MObility study," which is just what India's Tata Technologies designed the concept car as - a study in practical, cost-effective electric city/urban transportation. The vehicle is currently on display at the North American International Auto Show as part of this year's Michelin Challenge Design exhibit, in which participants were asked to design "a personal, ground-based vehicle that can transport between two and 10 people, meeting the anticipated needs of select cities in 2046."  Read More

Kleenspeed's 160 mph EV-X11

The FIA, governing body of internal-combustion-engined motorsport, appears to have finally recognized the bleeding obvious (that electric vehicles will become mainstream) and is planning a high profile electric racing championship series beginning in 2013. The FIA Formula E Championship series has not been publicly framed as yet so it is not known if the series will be run at the same venues as the Formula One series but it can be expected to be held at a range of international venues and will logically serve as the first official championship for electric vehicles. Whether the series will have world championship status ...  Read More

Tata is aiming to build the world's cheapest house

The same Indian company that gave us the US$2500 Tata Nano, the world's cheapest car, is now about to give us the world's cheapest house - the 20 sq meter house will cost Rs 32,000 (EUR500 –GBP440 - US$715 ), can be built in a week and is the first viable zero-cost housing package for beneficiaries of the Indira Awaas Yojana shelter rehabilitation scheme. The scheme provides for the underprivileged and with Rs 40,000 per house provided, there's even room for some cheap land in the deal.  Read More

The Tata Pixel Concept

Growing Indian powerhouse Tata emphatically announced itself a player in European personal mobility at the Geneva Motor Show when it announced the Tata Pixel, a car built for European cities based on the Tata Nano. Tata claims the Pixel to be "the most package efficient four-seater in the world". The company's use of high-tech in the new vehicle includes connected services and Tata's own human-machine interface (HMI) concept, an infinitely variable transmission from Torotrak and a 1.2 liter turbo diesel offering 3.4 l/100km, but its biggest point-of-difference is that it is ultra maneuverable thanks to moveable wheels which give it a turning circle of just 2.6 meters.  Read More

The Tata Indica Vista EV

Ask someone in the street to name an electric vehicle right now and top-of-mind brands would probably include Tesla, Chevrolet Volt and Mitsubishi’s iMiev. Twelve months from now, there may be another name amongst that list you’ve not yet heard. Tata is best known for its US$2500 Tata Nano and recent acquisition of Jaguar and Range Rover but another of its wares appears set to make a huge impact in the EV field. The Tata Indica Vista EV hits the market early in 2011, carries four people, has excellent performance and can run 150 miles on a charge. Most importantly, the EV is based on a best-selling, mass-market car from the Indian market where it sells for less than US$9000 and its performance in the recent Future Car Challenge verifies its extreme energy efficiency.  Read More

A stock Corvette, with a paint job similar to that which the G-Vette will be sporting

For fans of Corvettes, few vehicles could be better than a sexy, slinky ZR1... except, perhaps, a ZR1 with no direct CO2 emissions. That’s what Maryland-based Genovation Cars is in the process of creating with its electric G-Vette. This isn’t simply a matter of just dropping an electric motor into an existing car, however. In keeping with the company’s green philosophy, the custom body panels are being made from carbon fiber and soy-based resin, while the carpet and floor mats will be made from recycled plastic bottles. The one-of-a-kind automobile will serve as a test bed for Genovation’s research into advanced lightweight materials... and you might be able to buy the thing once they’re done with it.  Read More

The future looks bright for the Chinese Volvo

China’s meteoric rise to become the center of the world’s automotive industry was well documented last week in our article and video on SAIC’s YEZ Concept car. This week another Chinese manufacturer is making global headlines by buying Volvo Automobiles. Unlike Government-owned SAIC, Volvo’s purchaser Zhejiang Geely is a public company controlled by Li Shufu (top left) a self-made 47 year-old billionaire who is being heralded as China’s Henry Ford. Geely’s ambition knows no bounds – it already plans to produce the world’s cheapest car (the tiny gullwing at top right), has a range of green drive trains ready for market including full electric and parallel and serial hybrids, has plans to produce a serious sports cars (bottom right) and now the first fully-owned Chinese prestige auto brand looks set to grab a fat slice of the Government fleet which makes up 8% of China’s auto market.  Read More

ZAP, Santa Rosa, California (Electric

The pick of the world's most fuel efficient vehicles are lining-up at the Michigan International Speedway this week for stage one of the $10 million Automotive X PRIZE. Thirty-six entrants are are taking part in the initial "Shakedown Stage" (April 26-May 7), where they will undergo official safety checks before hitting the track for final testing and an opportunity to iron-out any last minute bugs.  Read More

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