by admin on 21 September 2011

Boston PowerBoston-Power has announced a new round of funding totalling $125M which will be primarily used to reorganize its business to be more like the Apple model; R&D in the US and production in China.  "As part of its plans, Boston-Power is establishing a world-class R&D and EV battery engineering facility in China. This organization will build upon the current generation of Boston-Power’s lithium-ion battery technology to develop new energy storage products and solutions. The company also will build a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in China that will be capable of producing 400 megawatt hours (MWh)of lithium-ion battery cells annually by the end of 2012." More »

by admin on 15 September 2011

Getrag 2eDCT600

Still unconvinced that electric vehicles are the future? Leading transmission manufacturer Getrag has today announced the 2eDCT600 two-speed transmission for electric vehicles (plug-in but also hybrid).  The transmission enables shifting of gears using disc clutches rather than synchronization and a traditional dog clutch.  The transmission supports a maximum electric motor input torque of 500 Nm (370 lbft) and output torque of 6,000 Nm (4,400 lbft).  Additionally the transmission can also be configured with a limited-slip differential. More »

by admin on 15 September 2011

Renault Fluence

TomTom and Renault have today revealed the new TomTom Z.E. LIVE navigation system which combines information from the car such as current battery charge as well as live data about the location and status of nearby charging stations.  The system will then provide routes which will deliver the most efficient route ('eco-routing') as well as suggestions of places to charge on longer journeys.  Z.E. LIVE will be standard on Renault Fluence Z.E. “We are very happy with the strong partnership we have developed with TomTom over the years and that we are able to give birth today to the next evolution of our product – the new Carminat TomTom Z.E. LIVE. This solution is a key feature of our new Fluence Z.E. The electric vehicle programme is of great importance to us at Renault and the Carminat TomTom Z.E. LIVE plays a significant role in its success”, says Stephen Norman, Global Marketing & Communications Director, Renault.   More »

by admin on 15 September 2011

Mercedes SLS E-CELL

At the Frankfurt IAA Mercedes-Benz are showing a 'body in white' of the upcoming SLS AMG E-CELL.  Running up the center of the car where the transmission tunnel would normally be is a lightweight carbon-fibre composite spine which helps to 'add lightness' as well as providing a housing for the battery unit.  Tobias Moers, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH, responsible for overall vehicle development: "AMG Lightweight Performance is the term we use at AMG to encompass all the different technologies involved in lightweight construction. The use of carbon makes vehicles not only lighter, but even more efficient and agile – in motorsports and on the streets. This is especially important for sports cars.” More »

by admin on 15 September 2011

Mercedes B Ecell Plus

While the name doesn't exactly roll off the tongue but the B-Class E-CELL Plus could just be one of the more important 'stepping stone' hybrid models announced.  Much like the Chevrolet Volt the new B-Class E-CELL Plus has both an electric motor and a small capacity petrol engine (in this case 1 litre, 3-cylinder turbo-charged), once the battery discharges below a certain level the petrol engine will start and charge the battery (this is considered 'serial mode'), if you were then to drive above 60 kph the engine will become mechanically linked to the drivetrain and as well as charging the battery will also provide some power to the wheels (called 'parallel mode'). More »

by admin on 15 September 2011

Smart fortwo 2012

Smart has now announced that the 2012 plug-in electric Smart ForTwo Electric Drive will be available (in Germany at least) for just €16,000 plus €60 per month for rental of the battery (Smart note that other purchase / lease options will also be available but this is the most cost effective).  If you're interested in being one of the first to own a 2012 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive you can already register your interest online at www.smart.com. More »

by admin on 14 September 2011

Husqvarna Concept E-go

BMW owned Husqvarna has unveiled its own concept electric motorcycle the 'Concept E-go bike'.  Despite the high-seat off-road appearance the E-go is shod with street tyres and according to the press release is aimed at 'young riders of the future'.  Sadly Husqvarna seem to be a bit shy about giving away any specifications at this stage (other than weight; 80 kg) but based on their heritage we hope it will be fast an fun.  I have to say that one phrase in the press release did raise my eyebrow; "urban traffic will seem like a videogame that will be fun and easy to skilfully nE-gotiate". More »

by admin on 13 September 2011

Bmw Concept E

Both Volkswagen and smart to have announced electric scooters, now it's BMW Motorrad's turn.  The 'Concept e' is aimed at the urban biker with small wheels, a low central tunnel and large comfortable seat.  The Concept e has a stated 'realistic range' of 100 km and will utilize BMW's 'LiveDrive Architecture' developed for their BMW i electric vehicles.  Very little other detail has been released but we're hopeful that this is a serious development and not just show floor decoration. More »

by admin on 13 September 2011

Brabus Full Electric

German tuner Brabus has thrown a curved ball at the Frankfurt Motor Show with its storming four wheel drive all-electric version of the Mercedes E-class.  The prototype uses four Protean Electric in-wheel motors, each of which delivers 80 kW and peak torque of 800 Nm, this means that the car can produce a total of 320 kW (430 hp) and an astronomical 2,360 lbft of torque (for reference the E63 AMG produces 'just' 516 lbft of torque).  The cars battery system has been distributed throughout the chassis and totals 56 kWh which should provide a range of up to 350 km (217 miles) in 'Eco' mode.  While not as fast as Brabus' normal products the Full Electric will still accelerate to 100 kph in 6.9 seconds and keep going to 220 kph (136 mph).  Most interesting perhaps is the use of the in-wheel motors which while limited to 2,000 rpm can be independently controlled which means dynamic power delivery, excellent handling and stability.  As usual no price is being discussed at this stage. More »

by admin on 11 September 2011

Researchers at the University of Leeds lead by Professor Ian Ward have created a new type of polymer gel electrolyte which could lead to considerably cheaper and safer lithium batteries.  The new battery would be considerably safer to produce (no excess chemicals) as well as safer in use being a 'solid' electrolyte.  There are also considerable cost savings, the electrolyte gel doesn't require the (expensive) porous film used in traditional liquid based lithium-ion batteries.  The second cost saving is in production; layers of the new battery are extruded in a roll-to-roll process which means continuous production.  A small scale test machine at the University of Leeds can product 10 m of the layered electrolyte per minute, enough for five million 'cell phone sized' batteries per year.  Professor Ward has been quoted as saying that batteries produced using this new electrolyte and extrusion process could save up to 20% on production costs.  “The polymer gel looks like a solid film, but it actually contains about 70% liquid electrolyte,” Ward says of the new materials. “It's made using the same principles as making a jelly: you add lots of hot water to 'gelatine' – in this case there is a polymer and electrolyte mix – and as it cools it sets to form a solid but flexible mass,” the investigator adds.  The team is now mostly interested in seeing these devices in action on the portable consumer electronics market. In order to achieve this goal, the experts licensed the new technology to US-based company Polystor Energy Corporation (PEC). More »