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?
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
At the North American International Auto Show, Gizmag’s Noel McKeegan got the lowdown on the Venturi Volage concept electric sportscar from Venturi’s Clement Dorance. Venturi is the company responsible for the world’s first production electric sportscar, the Fetish, and its latest electric sportscar is the result of collaboration between Venturi and Michelin. It is one of the first applications of the Michelin Active Wheel System that replaces a vehicle’s traditional engine with eight electric motors located within the wheels. Each wheel contains two motors - one responsible for the propulsion and the other taking care of the suspension. As Clement explains this innovative design not only gives the Volage four-wheel-drive and active suspension, but also provides a low center of gravity to further enhance the maneuverability and overall performance of the vehicle. Read More
Electric carmaker Tesla Motors and electronics giant Panasonic have announced that they will be collaborating on development of next-generation battery cells for electric vehicles. Tesla Chief Technology Officer JB Straubel says “Combining Tesla’s rigorous cell testing and understanding of EV requirements with Panasonic’s cutting-edge battery technology will result in custom cells optimized for use in EVs.” Panasonic’s nickel-based lithium-ion battery cells will be included in Tesla’s newest battery packs, due to their high capacity, light weight, durability and long life. According to Panasonic, they are the highest energy density battery cells currently in production. Read More
As the electric/hybrid auto revolution gathers speed, it’s becoming more and more apparent that green vehicles don’t need to be slow. First, of course, came the Tesla Roadster. Then, just this month, Revenge Design Inc unveiled their Verde. Now, or at least not long from now, you can add another green dream to your list: The Future Vehicle Technologies eVaro. The Canadian-made hybrid gets up to 275mpg, has a top speed of 135mph, and can go from 0 to 60 in a butt-clenching five seconds. Read More
In addition to its recent 7-year / 150,000km warranty announcement, Kia has created further interest with the showing of its UVO in-car voice and touch activated communication and entertainment system. Developed in collaboration with Microsoft, the system offers users an easy to use interactive hands-free alternative that uses speech recognition for making and taking calls, sending text messages and managing in-car music. Featuring a 4.3” full color touchscreen display and built-in 1GB storage with the ability to rip CD’s and MP3’s onto the system’s “Jukebox”, the open platform UVO system also doubles as a rear view camera when the vehicle is in reverse. Read More
At last year’s North American International Auto Show, Chinese carmaker BYD introduced itself to the US with plans of selling cars there by 2011. Now they’re back at this year’s show, and have unveiled their new pure-electric car, the e6. Unlike some other electric vehicle manufacturers, BYD has actually been selling cars to real, live consumers for the past two years. In 2009, BYD sold 450,000 units in China, and expects to sell around 800,000 this year. The big news, however, is that they plan to start selling the e6 in North America in 2010 - a full year ahead of schedule. Read More
As we forecast back in December, BMW delivered the electric car everyone knew was coming today at the NAIAS. The BMW ActiveE Concept is an all-electric vehicle powered by liquid-cooled Li-ion batteries and is based on a 1 Series Coupe. It has rear wheel drive and is expected to boast a range of roughly 160 kilometers (100 miles) on a single charge, while BMW's ConnectedDrive allows control of the heating and AC system using a mobile phone, which can also be used to access battery information or locate charging stations. Read More
Picture it: You’re zipping down the road in a sleek, exotic vehicle that looks like it came straight out of Blade Runner. You pull up at a red light, and a gawking onlooker asks what sort of an engine it has. To their amazement, you open the top to reveal that it’s propelled by nothing but the superhuman power of your own body. Well, that fantasy can become a reality if you’re willing to spend several thousand dollars on a velomobile. There are a number of such vehicles being produced, but perhaps none are more lusted-after than the German Beyss Go-One3. That model may soon be upstaged, however, as Beyss is set to release their latest creation, the Go-One Evolution. Read More
Capstone Turbine Corporation has shown off its high performance hybrid electric car, the CMT-380, at the LA Auto Show. The car features a 30kW microturbine that extends the range of its traditional EV batteries, and which the company likens to having an ultra-clean and quiet jet engine under the hood. Capstone adds that the supercar, still in its test phase, reaches 0-60mph in 3.9 seconds, has a top speed of 150mph, and a range of up to 500 miles on a single tank of fuel - all with ultra-low exhaust emissions that rival any hybrid on the market today. Read More