by admin on 13 February 2012

Evonik Elise-E

Evnonik Industries has developed a lightweight all-electric version of the iconic Lotus Elise.  Based on the petrol Elise CR Evonik has lightened the vehicle using combinations of sandwiched carbon fiber, ROHACELL foam and even PLEXIGLAS for the windows.  The result is an electric sports car which weighs just 950 kg (2094 lb) and can accelerate to 62 mph (100 kph) in just 4.4 seconds thanks to its 150 kW (200 hp) electric motor.  While Evonik haven't specified the battery capacity they are stating the range as 184 km in 'typical EU mixed road driving' and 304 km for the NEDC cycle. More »

by admin on 11 February 2012

Fiat 500 EV Marchionne Tweet

According to  a tweet posted on Chrysler's official twitter account Sergio Marchionne, Chrysler CEO has confirmed that they are currently 'working on an electric version of the Fiat 500 that we'll begin manufacturing later this year'.  This is the first udpate we've heard from the Fiat-Chrysler giant since they presented the 500 BEV prototype (with 'no plans for production') at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show.  Lets hope that Fiat-Chrysler can stick to their 2010 promise to make it fast and fun to drive (it should be considering the 500's weight and likely city-range battery pack). More »

by admin on 10 February 2012

Tesla Model X First

Tesla today revealed the Model X, their all-electric seven-seater (three rows of seats) SUV with two storage compartments (as per the Model S, front and rear) as well as slightly bizarre (too bizzare?) double-hinged gull-wing-like rear doors which lift upwards before folding out (they call them "falcon wing" - cute but seriously over-engineered).  As we expected the Model X utilizes a lot of the Model S chassis, electronics and drive but will be available as rear-wheel and all-wheel drive.  Zero to sixty in 4.4 seconds and a 300 mile range with the 85 kW battery (standard 60 kW).  Design wise it's not dissimmilar to the Maserati Kubang (Tesla do seem to take a lot of cues from Maserati when it comes to design).  Price wise it'll be at least $49,000 and at most (fully optioned, biggest battery) $90,000 (ouch!).  UPDATED: Lots more images in our gallery, still no press release from Tesla although they have updated their official Model X page. More »

by admin on 10 February 2012

Tesla Model X teaser

In just under two hours time Tesla will unveil their third vehicle, the 'Model X'.  Already teased and widely expected to be an SUV with Model S underpinnings there is still plenty of speculation as to how big, what range, how many seats and bizarrely how the 'falcon doors' operate.  Perhaps most importantly for Tesla will be how much will the Model X be and can they tempt even a percentage of the millions of SUV drivers to be an early adopter and put down a deposit on the Model X.  Follow the live webcast here. More »

by admin on 31 January 2012

Tesla certainly have some lofty ambitions and have with their latest video declared 2012 to be the 'Year of the Model S'.  VP George Blankenship says, "We're taking something that's been done the same way for 100 years, and we're taking it 10, 20, 30 years into the future. When you take the battery and you put it at the lowest point possible between the four tyres, that gives it a handling characteristic you just can't get in any other type of vehicle.  Because the center of gravity is so low in the car it wants to stay stable, it's another advantage that you can't understand until you get behind the wheel and hit the accelerator."  In my opinion the Model S is going to shake up the motor industry, manufacturers will really have to go back to the drawing board and come up with ground-up new designs, many journalists will be forced to eat humble pie when they actually get to drive it (lets hope Top Gear can be objective, unlikely I know). More »

by admin on 31 January 2012

California Air Resources Board

The California Air Resources Board, a part of the Environmental Protection Agency, has unanimously approved new emission rules for cars and light trucks which include modified ZEV regulations which will require a minimum of 15.4% all cars sold in California (by 2025) to be either electric or fuel-cell powered (zero emission).  In addition the new rules also include legislation aimed at reducing soot and smog-causing pollutants as well as requiring new vehicles are durable enough to have a 150,000 mile life.  If you read the 'additional material' in a bit more depth you'll note that the ARB are expecting a good percentage of these new vehicles to be hydrogen fuel-cell, a technology we're sceptical will succeed. More »

by admin on 31 January 2012

BOXX

The BOXX is an electric moped capable of 56 kph (35 mph) from its two driven wheels and has a range of 64 km (40 miles) on its standard battery or 128 km (80 miles) on an extended battery ($599 more).  It's just 1m square, weighs 54 kg and has some definite Alessi / Ikea inspiration in its quirky design.  The BOXX is (as you'd expect) packed with electronics; LCD screen, LED lights, traction control, anti-lock brakes.  Base price is $3,995 with options including a heated seat and 1-hour charger. It looks great (as in showroom / press release great) yet I just can't imagine anyone riding it in public (oddly BOXX haven't yet released any pictures of anyone actually riding one). More »

by admin on 31 January 2012

Hiriko

The Spanish Hiriko electric folding car is a commercial development of the CityCar originally developed at MIT Media Lab.  Its unique selling point is not that it's electric (although that's a given considering its design), it's USP is that it folds in a scissor-like motion to occupy just one-third of a normal parking space.  At achieves this by having in-wheel drive so that all of the traction components (motor, braking etc.) are part of the wheel assembly.  While cut I'm concerned that way-off-from-production concepts like this to have a tendancy to blur the EV message and reinforce the 'toy car' image that electric vehicles tend to be portrayed with.  What the world really needs now are electric family cars, sedans and 'people carriers'.  (Also Hiriko don't help themselves with odd claims like 'the first entirely electric vehicle' and 'will allow us to move around the city in an easier, more sustainable and smarter way'). More »

by admin on 30 January 2012

Nissan attempts to dispel cold weather EV myths

Nissan has conducted a 'LEAF Winter Test' in Shibetsu (Hokkaido) Japan, it invited several Japanese journalists to drive the LEAF in cold and snowy conditions to both demostrate the car's ability to cope with the cold temperatures as well as how it handles on snow.  As the cheif LEAF engineer points out in the video despite outside temperatures of -9 °C the battery pack is maintained at a normal 5 to 10 °C.  Click through for several more videos including interviews with the participants.  More »

by admin on 25 January 2012

VW Up! 4 door

Volkswagen's popular up! compact city-car will soon be available as a four-door variant with the same petrol engines, however its compact dimensions and added flexibility of four doors does leave us hoping that Volkswagen will make good on their e-up! concept and give it the same four doors as this model.  It's been almost three years since Volkswagen teased us with the e-up! which actually has more power (60 kW) than the current petrol variant. More »