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Posts Tagged ‘electric vehicles’

Coda Automotive All New Pure Electric Sedan

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

The US auto industry was rocked by its worst downturn in more than a generation as two automakers, General Motors and Chrysler, seeked to restructure their operations through bankruptcy, while a third producer, the Ford Motor Company, slipped by and avoided a similar fate. Never before in the history of building cars in the US has the domestic market been battered so badly.

Small Manufacturers Get Noticed

While the major manufacturers seek to reposition themselves for the decade ahead, several smaller builders of electric cars are now getting started. Tesla Automotive built its beautiful Roadster and hopes to have a sedan on the market within the next year or two. Fisker Automotive rolled out is Karma sports sedan when production started just a few months ago.

Another manufacturer who is in the process of getting into the game is Coda Automotive. Based in Santa Monica, California, the company is developing a five passenger sedan that they hope to have on sale for the California market in Fall 2010, possibly beating the Chevy Volt to market which is set to appear around November 2010.

May Beat The Chevy Volt To Market

Unlike many pure electric models, the Coda sedan will be aimed to the average consumer and be much more affordable. With federal tax credits and possibly state credits the final price for a fully equipped Coda sedan should be even more attractable.

The Coda model is expected to have a range of 90-120 miles and be rechargeable in as few as two hours time to give drivers 40 miles of commuting range. That latter figure is noteworthy because the Chevy Volt, which will include a supplemental gas engine, is expected to travel some 40 miles on pure electric power before the gas engine kicks in. The Coda’s lithium-ion batteries will be sourced from China, though the company has promised to line up a US battery supplier down the line.

Well Equipped, Not Stripped

Coda says that factory-standard equipment will include a telematics package, navigation with turn-by-turn directions, a “green screen” that monitors driving efficiency, roadside assistance with an emergency button, a Bluetooth system with an embedded microphone, AM/FM/XM radio with Sirius satellite capability, iPod dock, MP3/USB connectivity, security system, aluminum wheels, and power windows, doors and mirrors. Safety equipment includes anti-lock brakes with electronic stability control and advanced airbags with an occupant detection system. The vehicle is backed by a three-year/36,000 mile warranty.

Plug-in Range Anxiety No More? - Charging Station Trends in the United States

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Plug-in Range Anxiety No More - Charging Station Trends in the United States

Though some of the most accessible and first fully electric cars just now arrived in the United States, the turn to hybrid vehicles has created the need for a system of charging station access. If you don’t know a lot about electric vehicles, or EVs, it helps to know that they have what is known as a “range”. This is a figure that indicates the number of miles that the EV can operate in between full charges. Hybrid vehicles also have their electric capabilities or ranges too, and this is the reason behind the need for charging station access around the country.

What is so interesting is that it is retail stores that are really moving things forward by opting to install EV charging stations for consumers to use as they do their shopping or errands. The average charging station is going to be able to supply power to electric cars, plug-in hybrids and EV bikes that require batteries, but they will vary in terms of fees or prices.

For example, the world-famous Mall of America in Minnesota has a charging station system that asks for a few dollars per hour in order to charge the batteries while other stations ask for nothing in return. The owners of the fee-less stations usually understand that a customer is not going to be in their store or shop long enough to take the full charge and they believe that this is simply a service to clients and the environment.

Industry experts feel that the days of free charging station access are numbered simply because the shift to hybrid and fully electric vehicles is inevitable. With changing efficiency standards being required by the United States government (capped at more than 50 MPG by 2025) it is going to be impossible for most manufacturers to avoid the use of battery systems. This means that increasing demands for charging stations will begin to arise very quickly, and the option for free charges will disappear just as quickly.

For now, there are literally hundreds of stations popping up all over the country. The most unique of them was unveiled in Bethesda, MD in 2011. This is a totally green station that uses solar panels, GPS tracking of the sun, and clean supplies to provide drivers with free charges. The owner is a real estate developer who decided to his “bit” for the environment by making the green solar charging station available in a heavy commuting region.

OUT OF SIGHT OUT OF MIND – PLUGGING IN A THING OF THE PAST

If you’re looking for the Future of EV Charging here it is:

PLUGLESS POWER by Evatran

As we move forward with the improvements of charging and charging station and you’re looking for the future of EV charging here it is; Plugless Power solutions, manufactured by Evatran. Evatran has been working on just the solution that all most all EV’res say “charging made easy”. Plugless Power has made plugging in – the thing of the past with their “No Cords Attached” philosophy, its changing we way people think about driving a plug-in electric cars and plug-in hybrids.

If you’re a strong believer in electric vehicles or plug-in vehicles; take a look at their product. It’s truly a game changer in the way you charge you next car. http://www.pluglesspower.com/

So you don’t think Americans will pay $5 per gallon of gas?

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Think the cost of the gallon won’t ever go to $5? Think again, say experts, a number of whom even predict we’re able to be seeing $5 gas countrywide through the end of 2012, because of tensions in the middle East and elevated demand from nations like India and china.

Will $5.00 per gallon push most Americans over the edge?

In either case, People in America seem to be approaching the tipping point when it comes to gas prices and overall investing, based on the outcomes of a Gallup Poll launched at the begining of March. One of the survey participants, 28 percent stated that the cost close to $4 per gallon could be enough to allow them to change their lifestyle and reduce investing elsewhere, while 14 to 17 % will be ready to make individuals changes at present day prices. The typical cost for “common, serious effects” for investing and lifestyle designs, based on Gallup, is $5.30 per gallon.

We requested people of Yahoo! Contributor Network to mirror on the potential of $5 gas and share how rising costs will affect their very own driving habits. Their reactions are below.

“Although I is going to do things i can to handle high gas prices, you will find several things I will not do. I do not like public transit and so i will not have a bus or train. I additionally tend not to commute by bicycle. In my experience, it’s an excessive amount of to need to change my clothes at work bathroom after you have sweaty.” — Laura Cone

“I’ve made the decision which i will walk more towards the places near to the house. This is not merely ‘green’ but additionally saves money. I understand which i would need to become more careful in arranging my daily errands. They’ll take more time if I walk. I additionally have made the decision to consider public transit whenever you can. The buses during my city operate on gas. I’ll cut back money basically purchase a bus pass instead of driving every single day.

“The truth is that, as gas prices rise, it is not only the vehicle costs which go up. Transport price of goods is immediately affected. During these uncertain occasions throughout the economy overspending on anything is really no option.” — Hector Quiambao

“Among the greatest advantages of residing in Chicago isn’t needing to use my vehicle every single day. With public transit and thus a multitude of locations within easy reach, there’s pointless they are driving. Actually, I truly only drive my vehicle when I must leave the town. With gas at $4.39 a gallon and rising, driving my vehicle every day just is not inexpensive. If gas is actually likely to be $5 a gallon this summer time, I believe I’ll virtually stop driving my vehicle altogether. It is only not worthwhile any longer.” - Katya Gordeeva

“My husband and that i put aside $80 per week to fill each of our tanks, and that we generally utilize it all up by week’s finish. That’s $320 per month at max, our fuel finances are $350 per month. We have been discussing a very long time about buying a hybrid vehicle. If gas genuinely does achieve $5 a gallon, I believe that’ll be our breaking point. We simply will not have the ability to manage to drive standard automobiles any longer. I predict most be directly behind us if these gas prices carry on how they are.” - Marie Brandon

“We live near to work although not to affordable supermarkets or dry goods stores. We’ve already transformed our grocery along with other shopping outings. We visit town once each month. That might have to be extended to once each month .

“If this involves the homestead, high gas prices hits us hard. When the Maqui Berry farmers pay greater fuel costs, they will pass that cost onto customers. We must buy hay for the animals. The Maqui Berry farmers we purchase from will heighten the hay prices to pay for their added fuel expenses. Therefore, have small animals proprietors like ourselves, selling off breeding stock. With hay ground being converted into corn/bean fields, greater gas prices will nearly put us from creating our very own beef.” - Sherry Tomfeld

“In the past, when gasoline was initially listed in the levels there has been now, I designed a conscious option to forget about expectations and think outdoors this area. I offered my vehicle and acquired myself just a little 50cc Yamaha scooter. And I am glad Used to do. I saved 1000′s of dollars in the initial year which i rode the fast little scoot rather than my vehicle. Crazy because it sounds, the cute little motorbike has really taken care of itself several occasions in gas savings alone since i have purchased 2 yrs ago. And that is excluding the absolutely massive cut in costs I’ve completely loved on my small car insurance bills.

“The scooter is fun they are driving, also it literally will get about five occasions as numerous mpg as my old vehicle, and 10 occasions the mileage from the truck which i drove before that. I suppose the cost of $5 a gallon gas already did affect me. However I understood it would stay high for that expected future, and so i modified, and that i never looked back.” - Abby Sweet

“The rise in gas prices will not change my driving habits much, since i already plan my vehicle outings. If I have to visit 3 or 4 places, I actually do them all-in-one trip, creating a large loop rather than four separate outings. I frequent stores which are along the way I drive to operate, instead of heading out of my way. I would not imagine creating a 46-mile round visit to the “better” mall when there is a perfectly good mall 2.5 miles from the house. As well as for God’s sake, don’t request me for any ride towards the neighbor’s house.” - Kay Whittenhauer

“My greatest problem is which i drive a V-6 also it only will get about 23 miles towards the gallon, and so i am already investing about $35 every week on gas. I will attempt to drive less, meaning I won’t go in the future towards the local Dollar General simply because I would like a snack. I will need to make sure to get everything I want and can want in a single trip, so I will have to begin to make a listing of a few things i should get as i am already out. I additionally intend on reducing just how much gas I place in my vehicle’s gas tank previously, since i tend not to have $60 to fill the vehicle’s gas tank. I’m able to scrape together $5 much simpler than I’m able to $60, and so i guess I’ll be driving with under one half tank more frequently.” - Jeanne Rose

“We are really not an very wealthy family we’re middle-class without a doubt. We live pretty easily at this time, however with gas prices rising we might rapidly achieve our breaking point. We have already needed to reduce eating to cover the present very high cost gas. If your gallon of gas reaches $5 here, and stays there for lengthy, we might be instructed to purchase another vehicle that will get more mpg to counterbalance the cost.” - Theresa Goff

“If gas were $5 a gallon I’d require me to pay $100 to fill my tank, however it does not matter. At $4 and $5 a gallon, I am not likely to fill my tank. I am likely to place the minimum quantity of gas during my vehicle to obtain me with the week and that is it.” - S.L. Carroll

So what can the Obama do in order to keep fuel cost low?

Can the Leader do anything about the price of gasoline?

One further-ditch move could be for Leader Obama to tap the Proper Oil Reserve, as ended throughout the very first Iraq war in 1991, after Hurricane Katrina broken refining facilities in 2005, by Leader Obama throughout Libya’s civil war this past year. But it has generally been done like a temporary measure in reaction to 1-off supply interruptions, less an insurance policy reaction to rising prices. Indeed, experts the effect on prices has generally been temporary.

All this seems like not so good news for Leader Obama-but here’s something which might provide the Whitened House more reason behind optimism: Despite what voters say, there isn’t much evidence that oil or gas prices by themselves really are a significant element in identifying presidential elections, based on Nate Silver, the brand new You are able to Times’ record guru.

Still, prices in the pump don’t appear in isolation. The worry is they could put a crimp within the economic recovery, by departing People in America with less cash within their pockets and therefore slowing down lower consumer investing. In the event that happened, voters would probably blame Obama.

Rising gas prices have put a damper on Leader Obama’s political fortunes-54 percent from the participants to a different CBS-New You are able to Occasions poll stated they feel the leader can perform a lot to manage prices in the pump. And nearly two-thirds from the participants for an ABC-Washington Publish poll stated they disapprove of methods Obama is handling the problem. It’s possibly unsurprising that Obama saw sharp drops in the overall approval rating both in polls.

The Whitened House can’t complain an excessive amount of about using the blame for top gas prices. While campaigning for leader in 2008, Obama castigated Leader George W. Rose bush within the same problem. “You have to pay nearly $3.70 a gallon for gas-2 1/ 2 occasions what it really cost when Leader Rose bush required office,” he told an audience in Ohio at that time.

Political rhetoric aside, just how much can the leader do to manage gas prices?

Not that much. The main reason for the current spike-gas rose to $3.80 a gallon now-may be the growing tension with Iran, most experts say. That’s making traders concern about a potential conflict inside a crucial oil-creating region,  that could lead to reducing a substantial supply of the earth’s oil. Additionally, Japan continues to be using a lot more oil since shutting lower almost all of their nuclear energy plants within the wake from the Fukushima disaster this past year. As well as other conflicts in Sudan, Yemen, Syria and Libya have clogged off some production in individuals nations.

Republicans say opening the U . S . to more domestic drilling will bring prices lower. Newt Gingrich continues to be hammering on that theme recently in the mission for that Republican presidential nomination, saying he’s an agenda to lessen gas to $2.50 a gallon. But American customers are members of a worldwide marketplace for oil, and oil makes up about around three-quarters of the price of a gallon of gas, based on the Energy Information Administration. So growing domestic production wouldn’t do much to help ease prices. As well as, it might take a long time to promote and begin getting prices lower even marginally.

How about the demand side? Could not the administration bring lower the total amount People in America invest in gas by encouraging a change to more fuel-efficient automobiles-possibly by mandating that car manufacturers adopt greater gas mileage standards? Yes, eventually. However, it might take around ten years, experts say, for that effect of this change to begin to become felt in the pump.

As Jay Hakes, an old top Energy Department official, told The Washington Publish: “There’s a considerable time lag between your adoption of one’s guidelines as well as their impact available on the market.Inch

Some Dems have contended that unscrupulous investors on Wall Street are driving up prices looking for short-term profits, which the administration could ease the discomfort in the pump by cracking lower about this activity. But even when that’s happening, most professionals state that global oil marketplaces are merely too big for government bodies to police. “Should you go and set a situation limit on [contracts within the New You are able to Mercantile Exchange], fine,” energy analyst Stephen Schork told the Washington Publish a week ago. “But a lot of buying and selling is incorporated in the Brent Market, which is not in New You are able to. You’ll

Consumer Reports Gives Fisker Karma the Media Electric Chair

Friday, March 9th, 2012

The Fisker Karma cost them $107,850. It is super sleek, high-tech — and now they say it’s broken.

Consumer Reports (CR) have owned their car for just a few days; it has less than 200 miles on its odometer. While doing speedometer calibration runs on their test track (a procedure they do for every test car before putting it in service by driving the car at a constant 65 mph between two measured points), the dashboard flashed a message and sounded a “bing“ showing a major fault. CR technician got the car off the track and put it into Park to go through the owner’s manual to interpret the warning. At that point, the transmission went into Neutral and wouldn’t engage any gear through its electronic shifter except Park and Neutral.
Consumer Reports let the car sit for about an hour and restarted it. They could now engage Drive and the same error message disappeared. After moving it only a few feet the error message reappeared and when they tried to engage Reverse the transmission went straight to Park and again no motion gear could be engaged. After calling the dealer, which is about 100 miles away, they promptly sent a flatbed tow truck to haul away the disabled Fisker.

Consumer Reports buy about 80 cars a year and this is the first time in memory that they said they had a car that is undriveable before it has finished our check-in process.

Building an all-new car company from the ground up is a monumental challenge, especially for a car with innovative drivetrain technology like the Karma. Designing, engineering, certification, manufacturing, and distributing an all-new car pose giant hurtles for a start-up company.

Consumer Reports encountered other problems with a Karma press car that visited the track for a few hours, and we have heard of problems at press events. In addition, we see that some owners are experiencing a variety of issues, as evidenced by forums such as FiskerBuzz.com.

When they get the car back, they’ll film a First Drive video with our more traditional initial impressions. But so far, “Fisker ownership is proving to be a bumpy ride.”

SEE ARTICLE ON YAHOO

A123 Electric Vehicle Battery Maker About to See Company Turnaround?

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

A123 Systems Inc., (AONE) Electric Vehicle Battery Maker About to See Company Turnaround?

Electric vehicles have been out of testing labs and on the market, at least in limited quantities, for a few years now.  There are not a large number of these vehicles on the roads just yet, but slowly they are starting to become more of a presence.  One of the biggest reasons why the vehicles have not gained more popularity is simply that they are harder to manage.  While a traditional vehicle can go around 300 miles before refueling at one of the many available gas stations, electric vehicles can traditionally go about 100-200 miles before needing to be charged using a proper power source.  But a recent deal with A123, a maker of batteries for electronic vehicles, indicates that things may soon be changing.

A123 has inked a deal with Detroit’s GM to supply batteries for vehicles that are intended to be announced later on.  While little is known about the deal or the vehicles that the batteries will be used for, speculation indicates that the company will be providing GM with thousands of batteries.  The batteries are expected to be engineered and produced by the end of 2012, with vehicle production to begin shortly thereafter.  In the time following this announcement, it has also been noted that the remainder of the year is expected to bring more announcements from A123, including deals with BMW as well as another major North American car manufacturer.

So, what does all of this mean for the electrical vehicle market?  Well, it seems that this, too, is open to speculation.  Are GM and BMW working on new electric vehicles?  It will be some time before those announcements are made, but indicators are certainly pointing in that direction.  With numerous major car companies producing electric vehicles, the race may finally be on for car companies to produce an EV that can go farther and longer without the need to recharge.  The recent announcement regarding solar panels with the new EV from Ford certainly shows that makers are working hard to improve EV lifespan between charges.

Electric vehicles are still in their infancy.  The technology is available, but improvements will likely need to continue before the general public is willing to make these vehicles the primary choice.  But with announcements like these indicating that major manufacturers are likely putting more work and research into creating better electric vehicles, the dawning of a new era in personal vehicles might not be as far away as you think.

Yahoo Finance: A123 Systems, Inc., (AONE)

People viewing AONE also viewed: XIDE FSLR JASO TSLA STP REE

A123 Headlines

  • A123 SYSTEMS, INC. Files SEC form 8-K, Change in Directors or Principal OfficersEDGAR Online(Tue, Feb 14)
  • You’re Not the Only One Buying Hereat Motley Fool(Tue, Feb 14)
  • Fisker pins hopes on Karma as it seeks more cashat Reuters(Tue, Feb 14)
  • Batteries to Compete With Gas Peaker Plants by 2016, A123 Saysat Bloomberg(Tue, Feb 14)
  • Electric Vehicles May Be Worth Another Lookat Motley Fool(Mon, Feb 13)
  • [video] Fisker Automotive Under Fireat CNBC(Mon, Feb 13)
  • Why A123 Systems Is A Buy And Offers 700% Upside Potential Over The Next 3 Yearsat Seeking Alpha(Mon, Feb 13)
  • Toyota, Alcatel-Lucent, A123 are market moversAP(Fri, Feb 10)
  • A123 Advances on Deal to Supply Battery-Storage Systems in U.K.at Bloomberg(Fri, Feb 10)
  • DOE Loan Curse: First Solar Latest To Face Funding Delayat Forbes(Fri, Feb

Business Summary

A123 Systems, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the design, development, manufacture, and sale of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and battery systems worldwide. The company’s battery products are based on its proprietary Nanophosphate technology for application development in the transportation, electric grid services, and commercial markets. In addition, it provides research and development services to government agencies and commercial customers. A123 Systems sell its batteries and battery systems directly to end-user customers, as well as through reseller and distributor channels. The company was founded in 2001 and is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Key Statistics

Interesting Approaches to Electric Vehicle (EV’s)

Monday, December 12th, 2011

Over the years we have all been able to monitor the ways that electric vehicles (EV’s) have increased in popularity and capability. Though early models were simply equipped with large arrays of batteries, today we can find a huge number of improvements and options. For this brief discussion on the most recent evolutions in electric vehicles (EV’s) we’ll consider Israel’s use of Better Place cars, solar powered electrical powering poles and stations, and the release of the fully electric Focus in the United States.

We’ll begin this look at interesting approaches to the use of electric vehicles (EV’s) with a review of the innovative system about to be launched in Israel. The Better Place vehicles come with a promise of around 20 percent savings in annual automotive expenses for their owners, but they do this through a series of unique concepts. The first is that the system uses a monthly membership plan similar to most cell phone plans. This locks the costs of operating the Renault Fluence Z.E.s into a fixed range and requires only that the driver “swap” batteries at the appropriate stations when necessary. The company also has a nice package deal that will actually decrease total costs by 35% by including three years of use of the car, all of the battery swaps needed, all service fees, and around 25km in mileage per year. The company indicates that it isn’t just making electric vehicles (EV’s) possible, but also affordable – which is something that is a major challenge in the industry.

Another great challenge with EVs is the fact that they need to have access to charging stations, but there are not a lot of them available at the current time. This is being changed in many ways including the recent “launch” of the first solar “tracking” pole station in the state of Maryland. Originally the concept created by children of the real estate developer who installed the device, the idea was to mount solar panels that track or follow the sun to a special utility pole. This pole would then serve a few cars at a time. The very first was installed in Bethesda, MD in August of 2011.

Of course this sort of concept is going to come in very handy as the first full fleets of electric vehicles begin rolling out across the U.S. In 2012, the states of California and New York will be the first recipients of fully electric Ford Focus vehicles. These are cars that will require the presence of such things as charging poles, and fortunately the timing is almost perfect!

Opting for an At Home Charging Station for your Electric Vehicle

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

How much would it cost you to run your clothes dryer (over night) for around six to eight hours? If you have it on the mandatory 220 volt line and you choose to use the energy during the evening hours it is likely that it would cost you no more than the price of an average gallon of gas – meaning between three and four and a half dollars. This is also what it would cost to give a fully electric car’s battery a full charge too, and the great thing is that you can actually get a charging station installed in your own home.

Whether you have a garage or just a basic driveway, you can now get a safe and efficient charging station installed at your home. There are some Federal tax credits available to those who make this choice; and the pump and cords would cost less than three thousand dollars for the entire job. This would give you the optimal method for owning and operating your electric car (EV) in the current era, but you wouldn’t have to worry for very long about where to get charges when far from home.

For instance, though many say that the production of the EVs has jumped far ahead of the actual infrastructure necessary for them, it is easy to look in any metropolitan or suburban area and find plans for the development of charging station locations. Consider a city like Austin, Texas which is already home to 103 public electrical charging station facilities or the ClipperCreek firm that has worked in the Sacramento, California area since 2009 and which has installed more than 3,000 charging stations since that time.

There are also groups like Coulomb Technologies of Campbell, California which has received $15 million in federal stimulus funding to develop 4,600 charging stations. This will be done through its ChargePoint network in nine different regions across the United States.

The ability to have an at home charging station and the massive expansion of public charging stations could not come at a better time. This is because the first wave of fully electric vehicles is due to arrive in the United States in late 2011 or early 2012. This is the Ford Focus, but it will not be the only vehicle of its kind on American roads for very long. With efficiency standards changing and the price of gas escalating, more and more people are happy to consider such options as totally electric cars.

News from the Electric Vehicle Market

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

In late 2011 or early 2012 Ford’s first completely electric version of their famous “Electric Vehicle Market” will arrive in United States markets. This is a vehicle that is generating a lot of interest because it is quite likely to be among the first of the brands or models that is used in a broad manner by a huge portion of the population. This car is going to appear first in California and New York and then spread out across the country before being released in Europe. This is great news for those hoping to some day see the electric vehicle, or EV, market go totally main stream.

Naturally, the appearance of fleets of electric vehicles indicates that the country has the infrastructure ready to support them…right? Sadly, the United States is out of sync in terms of its capabilities for supporting electric vehicle usage and the appearance of actual electric cars or trucks.

Consider the most substantial factor for any electric vehicle – the energy supplies it requires. This is something that most often comes from a home-based charging station, but this is an issue that will have to change. Most of the vehicles will run from 50 to 120 miles on a single charge, but that is not adequate to the needs of most daily drivers. This has always been one of the reasons behind the wild popularity of the Tesla EVs with their 245 mile capacity on a single charge, but with a $100k price tag it is not likely that average drivers will be able to enjoy this, and so a better infrastructure of charging stations is essential.

In 2008, the City of Chicago began creating esthetically pleasing and totally functional solar charging stations that remain free of the public utility grids, but this is not the preferred approach. That is why so many news stories featured the inaugural use of a single Solar Charging Pole that began operating in Bethesda, MD in July of 2011. The pole utilizes a “tracking solar” array that relies on GPS guidance to keep it continually aligned with the sun. By doing this, it provides around 45% more energy than standard or “fixed” panels.

This is the sort of readily available support that most EV drivers will require and is what needs to begin appearing as the thousands of brand new and totally electric cars start to appear on American roads and highways.

Electric cars Electrify the Frankfurt Motor Show

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

BMW i3 Concept

The IAA Frankfurt Motor Show, kicking off Thursday, will pit the latest electric cars equipped with the best environmental credentials and designs.

High-end brands including BMW, Audi and Volkswagen will showcase the next-generation cars at one of the largest motor shows in the world held biannually.

BMW will introduce its i3 concept car, a small and “affordable” electric car scheduled to go into production starting 2013. The all-electric city car is perhaps the most advanced take on the electric vehicle from BMW, a much more complete take than the Megacity concept car that preceded it.

To make its battery more efficient, it has filled the bottom half of the i3 with lightweight aluminum, with a Life passenger compartment on the top. It was designed to make the vehicle as light as possible which is important to raise the efficiency of lithium-ion batteries often criticized as too heavy, big, and expensive to commercialize.

Replacing gasoline with environmentally friendly power options has become obligatory with international push to meet stricter energy standards. The latest push in Korea came last week when the government announced up to 6 million won ($5,569) of fresh tax credits for buyers of electric cars starting next year.

The i3 will be capable of reaching 100 kph in 7.9 seconds. It has a single-speed transmission.

BMW said when i3 goes on sale in 2013, it will be priced at about $35,000 under current exchange rates. Continue reading “Electric cars Electrify the Frankfurt Motor Show” »

What do people like about the Mitsubishi i-MiEV?

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

The summer of 2011 the Mitsubishi i-MiEV began appearing in auto shows and making its first impressions on the driving public. The media attention on the vehicle was more than above average because the details about the EV (electric vehicle) had intrigued so many different groups and individuals.

After all, the makers of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV claimed that it could go 62 miles on a single battery cycle and that it cost only one-third of the average gas powered vehicles to operate, but that this reduction could be increased by almost three-fold if the owner learned when their utility companies extended discounted pricing to EV owners. Continue reading “What do people like about the Mitsubishi i-MiEV?” »

The Race for the Fisker Karma - $200 million ‘pre-IPO’ financing

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

We’ve all seen at least one movie, TV show, or commercial in which a man in a hybrid car drives up alongside some sort of “muscle” car. The joke is that the earth friendly and fuel efficient hybrid is no match for the monster machine that gobbles down fuel and pumps out impressive horsepower. Things are beginning to change in ways that might make those jokes less amusing or even understandable. For example, Fisker Automotive has the Fisker Karma available, and this is a vehicle that looks like something straight out of a James Bond film, and with a lot of the same impressive power!

It is easy to illustrate the truth of that statement by revealing that Fisker Automotive recently indicated that it pre-sold 3,000 Fisker Karma units in advance of the release of the vehicle, and that this means that no further units will be available until some time in 2012. Continue reading “The Race for the Fisker Karma - $200 million ‘pre-IPO’ financing” »

Can a Solar EV Charging Station Work?

Friday, August 19th, 2011

GE EV Solor Charging Station - Carport

You may know that you can have a charging station installed in your home in order to provide your electric vehicle with its “fuel” requirements. You may also know that hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent to rapidly expand the number of public charging station facilities available to those with hybrid and EVs (electric vehicles) as well. Did you also realize that there are solar charging station facilities at work too?

As long ago as 2009, the city of Chicago was not only thinking ahead of things by laying the foundation for a charging station infrastructure for the fleets of hybrid and electric cars that were bound to appear on the city’s streets, but they were also savvy enough to opt for solar powered charging stations too. What is even more interesting about this decision was that they didn’t just use a basic structure but had their installation designed to look like “trees”. The city created their Solar Plug-in Stations in the shape of trees that have solar panels as their canopies. These can power up to two cars at one time and were the creation of Carbon Day Automotive, which operates as part of the ChargePoint Network.

Honda's Solar Charing Station

This system truly operates off of the grid and give the drivers of the electric vehicles the

peace of mind knowing how clean the energy that they are using truly is, but there are also some solar charging station options that work in a similar manner but without the disconnect from the grid. For instance, in Bethesda, Maryland the first solar tracking station was opened in 2011. This is a pole system that uses two panels that track the trajectory of the sun thanks to GPS gear. This gives the pole around 45% more energy than any of the fixed panel systems, but this energy actually goes into the public grid rather than to the vehicles. Continue reading “Can a Solar EV Charging Station Work?” »

A Look at Tesla Motors

Friday, August 19th, 2011

Tesla Motors Imagine driving a sports car that offered you more than three times the efficiency that an internal combustion powered vehicle does. That is what buyers of the cars from Tesla Motors can expect. The “brain child” of a group of Silicon Valley innovators, Tesla Motors was founded in 2003 with a commitment to using technology to make affordable electric cars a reality.

What they offer is the famous Roadster that is a battery-powered fully electric vehicle capable of some impressive performance statistics. For instance, the Tesla Motors drive train allows the vehicle to produce up to 900 amps of current and give out around 288 horsepower as it spins upwards of 14k per minute.

Naturally, a “beast” of a motor is not the only benefit available from Tesla Motors, and each of their Roadsters is packed with a huge array of additional options and features too. For example, the battery pack in the Tesla vehicles is the result of major engineering efforts and uses the modern Lithium-ion battery to ensure the largest energy storing capacity. This is what enables the Roadster to take a charge from any outlet (120 volt or 240 volt) and to then drive around 245 miles without a recharge necessary. The average charging process takes only four hours as well and can use any outlet in the world. Continue reading “A Look at Tesla Motors” »

Virginia Alternate Fuel Vehicle Bill Signing

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

In a bold and sort of unexpected move, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell has signed an executive order calling for widespread use of natural gas, electric or other alternative-fueled vehicles throughout the Commonwealth.

The Virginia Office of Fleet Management Services, which oversees approximately 4,000 passenger-type vehicles used by some 175 state agencies and institutions, will be tasked with replacing much of its fleet with alternative-fuel vehicles.

Effective immediately, Virginia is to, “pursue all practicable and cost-effective options to promote the use of alternative fuel vehicles.” Increased use of alternative fuel vehicles holds, according to Governor McDonnel, the potential to, “reduce our dependence on foreign oil, support the expansion of private-sector businesses and create new jobs here in the Commonwealth.”

Governor McDonnell says the state’s “all fuel approach” provides the Commonwealth with the best opportunity to meet its goals. Hit the jump to check out Virginia’s approved list of alt-fuel vehicles.

BMW GIVE MORE DETAILS OF NEW ELECTRIC BRAND

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

BMW Electric Car Project

BMW has unveiled concepts of electric and hybrid vehicles that will go into production and be marketed under its new i sub-brand. The new i3 city car goes on sale in 2013 and the i8 sports car due is in 2014. BMW plans to introduce additional i models down the road as part of a major push to meet stricter fuel economy and emissions standards around the globe.

The rear-wheel drive electric i3 Concept has a 170-hp electric motor over the rear axle. It achieves 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in just under eight seconds and has an electronically governed 150 km/h (93 mph).

The four-seat car has front-hinged front doors and rear-hinged rear doors. The upper-body is made of carbon fiber and the drive system module that holds the battery package, electronics and motor is made of light-weight aluminum. The i3 Concept is a zero-emissions vehicle, which is claimed to have a range of 130-160km (80-100 miles) on a full charge. BMW said the car has been developed for use in an urban environment.

The i8 Concept plug-in hybrid uses a modified electric drive system from the i3 Concept that is fitted over the front axle, as well as a three-cylinder combustion engine with 220bhp.

BMW claims that this packaging gives the car an optimal 50/50 weight distribution. Continue reading “BMW GIVE MORE DETAILS OF NEW ELECTRIC BRAND” »

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