by admin on 18 November 2010

Toyota has revealed the new RAV4 EV electric car which is powered by a Tesla battery pack and 'other related parts' (we'll take that to mean the controller and computer).  The RAV4 EV will have a 100 mile range and initially 35 cars will be made for demonstration and evaluation during 2011.  The press release issued goes on to say that the initial battery capacity is in the 'mid-30 kWh range' but that this may change for the final production vehicle. UPDATED: Now with video.More »

by admin on 18 November 2010

Honda, who just two years ago seemed to be set on going down the Fuel Cell route with the Clarity FCX has today announced the Fit (Jazz) EV concept plug-in electric car as well as a new hybrid platform.  Honda's electric car concept has an estimated 100 mile range on the LA4 city cycle.  Sadly Honda have yet to reveal specifications for the Fit EV beyond the quoted range and charge time (six hours from a 240 volts supply).  The Fit EV is due to undergo testing in California in partnership with Google and Stanford University.  The production Fit EV is due to go on sale in 2012.  Also announced today isa petrol / electric plug-in hybrid platform which has a 6 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, a 120 kW electric motor and a 2.0l four cylinder petrol engine. UPDATE: Added video of the announcement from the LA Auto Show.More »

by admin on 17 November 2010

Electric car charging has in the past been a bit of a hit and miss affair, especially true if you live in the 120V Americas.  A new service started by Coulomb Technology called ChargePoint aims to provide a countrywide (USA) network of 'charge points' which will take some of the pain (and time) out of electric car charging.  One of the key advantages of ChargePoint is that each unit is in communication with a central monitoring service which enables online access to its status, availability and management.  You can access and even begin / terminate charging via ChargePoint's website, iPhone app, using a ChargePoint card or by phone.  A demonstration of this is clearly explained over on Tesla Roadster owner Tom Saxton's excellent blog (note that he's using his own custom J1772 adapter, the Roadster isn't directly J1772 compatible, more on that here).More »

by admin on 17 November 2010

The Racing Green Endurance team from the Imperial College London Engery Futures Lab have completed an epic drive down the Pan-American Highway from Alaska to Argentina in their SRZero electric car.  The SRZero is essentially an electrified Radical SR8, weighing 1100 kg,  featuring two motors producing a total of 400 bhp which are powered by 56 kWh of Thunder Sky lithium iron phosphate batteries which give it a range of 400 km (250 miles) on a single charge (although typical daily mileages were higher thanks to midday charges).  The story itself is amazing, taking four months and including one or two mechanical failures, a crash in Ecuador and no less than fourty-six (46) police stops the team finally rolled into Ushuaia which is at the southern tip of Argentina.More »

by admin on 17 November 2010

Jaguar C-X75 electric hybrid Supercar concept

In celebration of its 75th birthday Jaguar first revealed its C-X75 electric hybrid Supercar concept at the Paris Motor Show in September this year.  This unique concept features four in-wheel 145 kW (195 bhp) electric motors (580 kW / 780 bhp total) driven by a 20 Wh battery pack which can be plug-in charged as well as charged on-the-go ('range extended') by twin 70 kW micro gas-turbines.  Jaguar state performance as 3.4 second 0-100 kph (62 mph) and a top speed of 330 kph (205 mph).  The C-X75 has now made its way to LA, first taken for a very slow drive by Jay Leno and then to take pride of place on the Jaguar stand.  Sadly Jaguar are saying this car is concept-only and is very unlikely to go into production.More »

by admin on 16 November 2010

According to a press release issued today Honda are about to unveil their plug-in electric vehicle concept as well as a new hybrid platform.  Interestingly the release states "Honda Motor Co., Ltd. President and CEO Takanobu Ito will attend the press conference, marking the first time Honda’s global Honda CEO has introduced a worldwide vehicle debut during the Los Angeles Auto Show press days."  Honda will also (obviously) be revealing this information on their website and have set up a dedicated 'live' landing page for those who want to follow the press conference as it happens.More »

by admin on 16 November 2010

Hansjörg von Gemmingen a Tesla Roadster owner from Germany has logged no less than 40,000 miles (65,000 km) in just one year, this makes him the highest mileage Tesla owner in Europe.  He describes himself as not a typical driver or Roadster owner having driven over a million miles in his previous cars.  His longest single trip in the Roadster was a 500 mile (800 km) drive to Berlin (which obviously included a couple of recharging stops).More »

by admin on 16 November 2010

The Electrification Coalition, a group of companies including Fedex, PG&E, Nissan, Cisco and GE has released a new report, the'Fleet Electrification Roadmap', which calls for US tax credits to increase the number of electric vehicles in corporate and government fleets from 1,000 today to 200,000 by 2015.  The report goes on to say "The electric vehicle industry has gained significant momentum over the past several years. Strong investment from the private and public sectors has placed the United States on a path to global competitiveness in advanced battery manufacturing, and there appears to be strong demand for the first wave of grid-powered vehicles. Electric vehicles offer the possibility of a transportation sector delinked from oil, which would dramatically improve economic and national security while reducing emissions. While personal-use passenger vehicles will continue to be the key market, other targets— such as commercial and government fleets—could help drive early demand."More »

by admin on 16 November 2010

Ford has announced the nineteen US cities which will be the first to get the Focus Electric when it's available 'in late 2011'.  According to Ford: "The Focus Electric initial markets were chosen based on several different criteria including existing hybrid purchase trends, utility company collaboration and local government commitment to electrification. As part of the collaboration with dealers, utilities and local governments, Ford will help develop consumer outreach and education programs on electric vehicles as well as share information on charging needs and requirements to ensure the electrical grid can support customers’ needs."  The 3,420 lb (1,540 kg) Focus Electric features a run-of-the-mill sounding 105 kW (141 hp) electric motor (which produces 236 lbft of torque) and has a 23 kW hour lithium-ion battery (two-fifths the capacity of the Tesla Roadster) which Ford claim will be good for 100 miles.More »

by admin on 15 November 2010

Charles Maxwell is a senior energy analyst at Weeden & Co. Maxwell, he sat down with Index Universe to talk about 'global peak oil' (the point at which global maximum petroleum production is reached and then only ever decreases).  Maxwell predicts that peak should occur around 2020 at a cost of $300/barrel with a progressive ramp in cost to that date.  This must surely be both music to the ears of the environmental movement (and electric car manufacturers and investors) as well as a sobering prospect for those involved in the oil industry.More »