by admin on 31 January 2013

Cadillac ELR

Back in 2009 Cadillac (GM) exhibited their Converj electric-hybrid concept car, a couple of years later they revealed the updated and renamed ELR electric-hybrid.  At the North American International Auto Show earlier this month GM unveiled the production ELR which will use the drivetrain from the Volt - a 120 kW electric motor coupled to a four-cylinder engine-generator.  According to GM the 16.5 kWh battery should provide around 35 miles electric-only range with a total range of 300 miles including the petrol engine.  Charge time at 240V will be 4.5 hours (charging station) and at 120V a surprisingly long (considering the tiny battery) 12 hours.  Is it just a Volt with make-up?  Seems so, pity. More »

by admin on 30 January 2013

Porsche Cayenne Hybrid

Following hot on the heels of the Panamera Sport Turismo plug-in hybrid Porsche has now confirmed it is developing a plug-in hybrid version of the Cayenne SUV.  While Porsche has for some time offered a hybrid model of the Cayenne this new model will be the first to offer plug-in charging.  According to the story on Motor Trend compared to the existing Cayenne hybrid this new plug-in hybrid will have a larger electric motor providing up to 100 hp and much further battery-only range.  No further details are available at this point and Porsche haven't yet issued any official press information (the photos shown in this story are the current S Hybrid model).

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by admin on 28 January 2013

Fiat 500e

We first saw a prototype '500 EV' back in December 2010, early last year Sergio Marchionne promised that the Chrysler-Fiat partnership would deliver an electric Fiat 500 this year, and so now Fiat have unveiled the 500e. Powered by an 83 kW / 200 Nm (111 hp / 147 lb-ft) electric motor the 500e reaches 60 mph in 9 seconds (which is the same as the standard ICE car) and lasts over 80 miles on its 24 kWh battery.  Charging (from flat) at 240 V takes four hours and charger support is via a Level 1 & 2 J1772 coupler.  The car is expected to be available in the US in "the second quarter of 2013". Fiat USA have a very nice micro-site built for the car. More »

by admin on 28 January 2013


McLaren has announced it is to supply the electric motors, transmission and drive electronics for the upcoming FIA Formula E Championship.  McLaren Electronic Systems (based in the McLaren HQ) will work with Spark Racing Technology (founded by ex-Lotus GP2 head Fredric Vasseur) who are producing the 42 'electric Formula' cars.  The aim will be to have ten teams compete in the fourteen race FIA Formula E Championship, due to be launched in 2014. More »

by admin on 25 January 2013

Volvo Fast Charger

Volvo, who are currently testing a several-hundred strong fleet of C30 Electric, has announced it is also testing a a 22 kW fast charger for said car.  This new on-board charger accepts three-phase AC at up to 32A which can provide an 80 km range in half an hour, a full charge taking just an hour-and-a-half (90 minutes).  As Volvo point out in their press release this is some five times faster than a normal 230V AC outlet (which would take eight hours for a standard full charge).  Fast charging is one of the big hurdles (along with public charging) which need to be overcome before EV cars can go mainstream. More »

by admin on 23 January 2013

Telsa Model S - Motor Trend Car of the Year 2013

Twenty-twelve may go down as Tesla's most important year ever.  They revealed their third design, the Model X, slated for release next year, but more importantly they began large-scale (relatively speaking) production of their from-the-ground-up electric sedan, the Model S.  This would be impressive enough for a startup automobile company, but the Model S has received significant critical acclaim, so much so that it has received a plethora of awards.  Here's a short round-up of the more important awards. More »

by admin on 20 October 2012

Tesla Model S

Tesla is now offering owners of their limited production Roadster two-seater electric sports car a trade-in against the Model S sedan which will be good news for owners and those interested in buying a used Roadster (as no more are being produced).  This means that you should be able to pick up a factory reconditioned Roadster for between $73,000 and $93,000 (US).  For those trading in it's also good news as they're likely to be able to move "up" to the cheaper-thanks-to-volume Model S for a reasonable 'top up' cost.  Although as pointed out by Motor Authority it's not inconceivable that if Tesla do well the "first model" Roadster could one day become a collectors item. More »

by admin on 18 October 2012

J1772 AC/DC combo

In May this year several US and German car manufacturers agreed an extension to the J1772 charging standard providing both AC and DC charging using the same connector, a revised J1772 connector with two large additional DC pins below the existing AC / signal line connector.  This new design has now been ratified as a standard by the Society of Automobile Engineers (SAE) and may now begin to appear in both vehicles and chargers (likely in 2013).  DC charging provides for up to 500 V with a maximum current of 200 A (up to 100 kW), or around 20 minutes for a full charge. More »

by admin on 17 October 2012

A123 Systems LogoSad to say but the writing has been on the wall for battery manufacturer A123 Systems for the a few months, today was the day when they finally declared bankruptcy.  A123's stock (AONE) fell from an all time high of $25.77 to just $0.06 after they received a delisting warning from NASDAQ two months ago when it fell to $0.25.  A123 makes batteries for Fisker, GM, BMW and others and has previously received a $249 million federal grant, the company has announced that it will sell its automotive business assets including technology, products, contracts and equity interests to Johnson Controls for $125 million.  While a blow to the electric car industry we have to be positive on the technology and innovations A123 delivered and hope that Johnson Controls will be able to do a better job of monetizing them. More »

by admin on 11 October 2012

VW e-Scooter

According to a new report published by Pike Research the market for electric powered scooters will increase from its currently level of 12 million vehicles to 103 million by 2018.  The report goes on to state that almost 90% of these will be in China with cumulative sales of over 355 million units.  This is great news for the overall electrification of vehicles but could spell bad news for the enviornment as China's electricity production is primarily coal fired and notably "dirty" compared to plants in other countries.  Lets hope China can step up the generation of clean electrcity for that vast number of electric scooters. More »