by admin on 9 September 2011

Opel One Euro

Not to be left out from the electric car party at the upcoming Frankfurt International Motor Show GM's European arm, Opel, has revealed its take on the small electric city car.  Focusing primarily on its ability to drive 100 km for just one euro in electricity.  A strikingly futuristic lightweight two-seat four-wheeled-scooter like vehicle will be have a top speed of 120 kph but will also be available as a 45 kph limited version which can be driven by 16 year olds (in some countries). More »

by admin on 9 September 2011

Audi A2 Concept

Audi has fired back at BMW's i3 concept with their own 'electric city car' concept, the A2.  The electric motor is transversely mounted in the front of the car and delivers 60 kW (116 hp) of power and 160 Nm (118 lbft) of torque equating to a usable 0-100 kph (62 mph) of 9.3 seconds and a top speed of 150 kph (93 mph).  The 'floor sandwich' battery has a capacity of 31 kWh of which 24 kWh is 'usable' (Audi haven't clarified what the difference means) but does apparently equate to a 'technology study' range of 200 km (124 miles) and can be charged in just 1.5 hours to full from a 400 V supply.  Just like the BMW i3 the chassis of the vehicle is made from aluminium and the bodywork and passenger cell from carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP).  Steering and braking are both electrically operated meaning no mechanical or hydraulic connection to the steering wheel or pedals (not a 'drivers car' then, Clarkson will hate it). More »

by admin on 2 September 2011

Volvo Siemens

Volvo has tied the knot with Siemens to develop and produce electric drivetrains (motors, power control and charging) for their upcoming plug-in and hybrid electric vehicles.  To begin with Volvo is committing to deliver 200 C30 DRIVEe cars to Siemens in order that they can be tested 'under real-life conditions as a part of Siemens internal test fleet'. "We are very happy to have Siemens as a partner. Their world-leading knowledge and experience will bring the technology in our electric cars up to an entirely new level," says Stefan Jacoby, President and CEO of Volvo Car Corporation. He continues:  "We are moving ahead quickly in this area. Our aim is to be first with the latest technology within electrification. The partnership reinforces our aim to pursue the fast-growing market for electric cars."  More »

by admin on 31 August 2011

Nissan's clever new Leaf TV spot - the new maintenance

One unarguable advantage of electric vehicles is mechanical simplicity and the massive reduction in moving parts. Nissan's new Leaf TV spot draws attention to this mechanical simplicity (in this case the Leaf) and the obvious reduction in maintenance, servicing and the chance of anything going wrong.  It's often difficult to explain but Nissan's ad does so in a visual and obvious way, just look at the number of parts it takes to keep a single internal combustion engine car on the road. More »

by admin on 31 August 2011

Toyota TMG EV P001

Toyota Motorsports GmbH has set a new Nürburgring Nordschleife lap record for electric cars of 7 minutes 47.79 seconds.  The TMG EV P001 looks familiar as it's a converted Radical SR8, much like the Racing Green Endurance SRZero.  The EV P001 has 41.5 kWh of lithium-ceramic batteries and two Evo Electric motors which deliver a total of 280 kW (375 bhp) of power and 800 Nm (590 lbft)  for a 0-100 kph (0-62 mph) of 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 260 kph (161 mph).  Video of the record breaking lap inside. More »

by admin on 31 August 2011

Audi Urban

Audi has released sketches and renderings of its  concept of the urban electric vehicle.  Most concept cars are considerably more adventurous than the production cars that follow them however the 'urban concept' takes this to pretty extreme levels with its free-standing wheels, sliding roof and staggered 1+1 seating.  It is we suppose intended to provoke discussion and provide Audi's designers a place to explore ideas which would otherwise never see the light of day.  The concept appears to come in two flavours; a coupe and a spyder and is powered by two electric motors.  More »

by admin on 21 August 2011

FIA Formula EThe FIA (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile), the governing body for world motor sport has made official the creation of a new electric-only motor sport series called 'Formula E'.  This new series is due to launch in 2013 and will feature Formula-3 like single-seater sports cars with electric drive and battery power.  The race format is intended to be short 15 minute stint races (perhaps along similar lines to the multi-race format often used in touring car racing) and the FIA has expressed particular interest in the use of city-center venues for the races.  Teams interested in taking place now have just under two months to register a 'formal expression of interest' with the FIA.  This announcement ties in quite nicely with an article on an electric racing series in this months edition of the FIA's "In Motion" magazine (click here). More »

by admin on 19 August 2011

ECOtality Dallas

ECOtality has begun the rollout of its charging network in Dallas.  The first two Blink pedestal charging stations installed in a (slightly unglamorous looking) parking lot in Deep Ellum mark the beginning of a network which will eventually include 200 charging stations across the city. “Plug-In Texas commends ECOtality, an important member of our coalition, for further advancing the public charging infrastructure in North Texas with The EV Project,” said Russ Keene, President of Plug-In Texas. “Electric vehicles are a positive progression for the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex – these exciting, clean vehicles will make vehicle ownership more affordable and make a significant contribution to emission reductions, transforming transportation for Texas.” More »

by admin on 18 August 2011

Cadillac ELR

Back at the 2009 NAIA show Cadillac showed their Converj concept car.  Today GM has announced that this concept car will go into production as the two door ELR "2+2 luxury coupe" driven by lithium-ion batteries and range extended by a 4-cylinder petrol engine (essentially the same powertrian as the Chevrolet Volt).  Styling wise I think it looks considerably better from the side / rear (as apparently do GM by the emphasis on the rear three-quarter shot in press images), lets hope potential buyers think differently.  The car will be shown today (18th August) at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. More »

by admin on 17 August 2011

Smart ForTwo 2012

While some electric vehicles are struggling to reach even the beta phase, the Smart ForTwo Electric Drive is about to enter its third generation.  The brand new 2012 ForTwo goes faster thanks to a new 55 kW electric motor it reaches 60 mph in under 13 seconds (not fast by any means, but this is a city car), has a new top speed of 75 mph (120 kph) and a 85+ mile (140 km) range thanks to a Deutsche ACCUmotive 17.6 kW lithium-ion battery (so long and thanks for all the fish, Tesla).  Charging times have been shortened considerably thanks to an onboard 22 kW charger (the last generation charger could handle just 3.3 kW) enabling 50 minute full charges (although with typical discharge of around 30% of the battery pack it's more likely to be about 15 minutes).  Also big news is the fact that this third generation Smart will be available in "more than 30 markets" and that production will be "five figures" compared to just over 2,000 for the last generation.  Lastly not forgetting the nifty bike rack for your Smart ebike.  The new ForTwo will make its debut at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show. More »