by admin on 15 November 2010

On a conference call last week Elon Musk, Tesla's CEO, stated that Tesla were working on a test fleet of 2,000 electric Toyota RAV4 SUV's.  This supports the previous news of Toyota's $50 million investment in Tesla as well as their announcement that Tesla would help them to develop a new electric RAV4 platform.  It seems likely that this newly developed RAV4 will have the same flat 'under floor' battery system Tesla has developed for the Model S, and who knows maybe even the same (or similar) drivetrain.More »

by admin on 15 November 2010

Volvo C30 DRIVe Electric ready for delivery

Volvo's recently announced C30 DRIVe Electric is now apparently ready for delivery, with 1,000 new cars making their way to test fleets in Europe, China and the US.  The first ten going to energy company Göteborg Energi.  The C30 DRIVe Electric will be powered by the Getrag 1eDT240 motor and gearbox which has a maximum output of 82 kW (about 100 hp) delivering a 0-100 kph (0-60 mph) of 10.5 seconds and a top speed of 130 kph.  The C30 has a lithium-ion battery pack which provides a full-charge range of 150 km (92 miles). "By 2020 about 5-10 percent of cars in Sweden are expected to be electric. By 2020-2025 we believe that electric cars will account for 3-10 percent of the market share in the EU countries. Different markets have different preconditions," says Lennart Stegland, director of Volvo Car Corporation's Special Vehicles division.More »

by admin on 14 November 2010

Back in May 2009 the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, revealed his 'Electric Vehicle Delivery Plan for London', this included both incentives for electric vehicle ownership (such as exclusion from the Congestion Charge) as well as a network of 25,000 charging points across the city dubbed 'Source London' (2,500 are targeted to be supplied by the GLA, the remainder coming from private and workplace parking).  The document goes on to describe the types of charging infrastructure as Standard (3 kW), Fast (7 - 43 kW) and Rapid Charging (50 - 250 kW).  Boris Johnson has now announced that the Greater London Authority provided charging points (both on the street and in car parks) will be available in 'Spring 2011' and that the infrastructure and IT provider will be Siemens.   Source London's website is already  live and lists (and maps) a number of private charging points, however none are yet provided by the Greater London Authority.More »

by admin on 14 November 2010

Panasonic has announced that it has invested $30 million in Tesla, this amounts to a 2% share of the company.  Tesla already uses 18650-type lithium-ion batteries from Panasonic to power the Roadster, this announcement clearly strengthens both companies positions and will hopefully lead to more power dense batteries for future cars.  "It is an honor and a powerful endorsement of our technology that Panasonic, the world's leading battery cell manufacturer, would choose to invest in and partner with Tesla," said Tesla CEO and cofounder Elon Musk. "Panasonic offers the highest energy-density cells and industry-leading performance with cutting edge Nickel-type cathode technology. We believe our partnership with them will enable us to further improve our battery pack while reducing cost."More »

by admin on 14 November 2010

Robert Llewellyn drives the (noisy) British built Nemesis electric supercar

Robert Llewellyn from Fully Charged has taken the very-early-days UK built Ecotricity Nemesis electric 'supercar' for a drive, he was joined by Dale Vince the found of Ecotricity.  The Nemesis started life as a Lotus Exige which has been converted over a two year period to be a full plug-in electric 'supercar', it features two 125 kW motors which drive the rear wheels by a (noisy sounding) belt drive.  Battery capacity is 36 kWh, stated range is 100-150 miles, the Nemesis weighs just 1166 kg and can deliver a 8.5 second 0-100 mph.  Custom built so far all Ecotricity are saying is the Nemesis will cost 'less than £1 million' and takes 18 months to build.More »

by admin on 13 November 2010

Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) has confirmed the funding of eight new R&D projects related to the next generation of vehicles.  These projects cover a diverse range of developments including wireless electric charging for electric vehicles, dual mode vehicle radar, polymer composite construction materials, heat reflective and self-cleaning materials and even lead-free solder.  Mr Yasuhiro Kakihara, Managing Director of Toyota Tsusho (Singapore) commented: "Toyota Tsusho (Singapore) has taken on several new and challenging projects to contribute to the progress of urban mobility for Singapore, and to provide cleaner, greener, and safer transportation solutions. Joining the A*CAR consortium gives us the opportunity to move forward in various aspects of this intended vision. With an available pool of technical expertise, experienced researchers, and a well-structured architecture for concept development, both on the technical and commercial front, A*CAR allows us to really speed up and realise our plans systematically, to define new standards in the automotive industry.”More »

by admin on 13 November 2010

Tesla has now officially opened the ex-NUMMI (Toyota manufacturing) factory in Fremont, California.  Tesla purchased the factory for $42 million back in May just a month after it closed.  Now this factory will be the first dedicated to the mass production of a plug-in electric car, and that will be the Model S.  “This is a momentous day in Tesla history, turning our advanced electric vehicle technology into a mass manufacturing reality,” said Tesla CEO Elon Musk. “Model S is blazing a new trail for the industry and it will all happen right here – the Tesla Factory gives us plenty of room to grow.”More »

by admin on 12 November 2010

Chevrolet has announced that the 240V charging unit (for the US market) supplied by SPX Service Solutions will cost $490 without installation, however the installation itself costs three times this so the total cost will be around $2,000.  The Volt can be charged from a normal 120V supply but if you want the electron-accelerating 240V option you'll have to pay a premium.More »

by admin on 10 November 2010

Audi has revealed the R8-based e-tron Spyder concept car, an open top hybrid the e-tron is equipped with two 64 kW electric motors for the front wheels and a 221 kW (300 hp) twin-turbo V6 TDI for the rear wheels.  Weighing in at 3,200 lb (1,450 kg) means the e-tron has a the stated performance of 0-100 kph (62 mph) in 4.4 seconds with an electronically governed top speed of 250 kph (155 mph).  When you're stuck in city traffic the e-tron can be driven in electric-only mode for a maximum range of 50 km (31 mph) up to 60 kph (37 mph).
by admin on 6 November 2010

smart escooter and ebike

Daimler chose to reveal its two-wheeled electric smart line-up at this years Paris Motorshow.  The escooter has a traditional two wheel scooter appearance but houses a 4 kW hub electric motor (good for up to 45 kph) and an 80 Ah lithium-ion battery pack (good for 100 km).  The escooter also showcases advanced features such as solar charing, LED lights and dual regenerative braking (the brake is applied to the front wheel via a traditional disc but to the rear using the hub motor).  The biggest news however is that the scooters design incorporates a dock for a smartphone (an iPhone) which becomes the scooter control center and GPS. Lastly comes the smart ebike which has a four-level assistive electric motor which will provide 30, 50, 70 or 90 km of electrical assistance (up to 25 kph) depending on the assistance level.  These two wheel electric smart offerings join the smart fortwo electric drive which has been available for almost a year now.