by admin on 17 October 2011

Tesla Model S Beta

Tesla has confirmed that Panasonic will supply it with battery cells for the Model S electric sedan.  Panasonic will supply enough cells to produce 80,000 Model S vehicles over the next four years, so far there have been 6,000 pre-orders for the 2012 Model S.  This latest announcement only strengthens the ties between Tesla and Panasonic after the $30 million investment in Tesla made by Panasonic in 2010.  “It is a powerful endorsement of our technology that Panasonic, the world’s leading battery cell manufacturer, has chosen to partner with Tesla to advance electric vehicle performance and value,” said Tesla Co-Founder and CEO Elon Musk. “Incorporating Panasonic’s next-generation cells into Model S batteries will ensure unrivaled range and performance. We are very grateful for our great partnership with Panasonic.” More »

by admin on 17 October 2011

Oil Refinery

Electric vehicle critics often use the "you're just moving tail pipe emissions to the smoke stack (electricity generation)", however one very important detail missed by such critics (along with the unarguably higher efficiency of the electric motor) is that it takes a lot of electricity to produce petroleum (gasoline). Electric vehicle fan and Mini-E driver Peder Norby has posted an article which he points out this glaring omission in the counter-EV argument.  While there are no published figures for the amount of electricity consumed in the refining and transportation of a gallon of petrol Peder "cut the oil guys a break" and under-estimates it at around 8 kWh.  This would mean that driving an average consuming petrol car 100 miles requires 40 kWh of electricity to produce the petrol, compare this to a current-tech electric vehicle which can travel 100 miles on about 30 kWh of electricity (without needing or burning any petrol).  Even if Peder's figures are over-estimated (which is unlikely) the ICE car is still burning petrol at the tail pipe.  Kudos for the insight Peder, another chink in the oil industry's armor. More »

by admin on 12 October 2011

Renault Kangoo ZE

According to the French newspaper Le Figaro, Renault has been awarded a huge contract for 15,600 electric vehicles (10,000 for the post office and 5,600 for other government agencies), which will make up the lions share of the French government's new 25,000 electric vehicle fleet.  The fleet will be primarily made up of Renault's electric van the Kangoo Z.E. and is likely to be made official (as in legal) in mid-October. More »

by admin on 6 October 2011

Tesla Model S Beta

At an exclusive invite-only event at the NUMMI facility in Fremont, California, Tesla showed the latest built versions of the Model S electric sedan (saloon).  Press and deposit holders were given drives (as passengers only) in a beta car as well as being able to look over the interior of another car including the interesting seven seat configuration and under-the-hood extra storage.  Just before the event Tesla's CEO Elon Musk revealed that as well as the standard 'Model S' variant they will also be making a BMW M5 / Mercedes AMG worrying 'Model S Sport' which will deliver a 4.5 second 0 - 60 mph time (shaving over a second from the standard models time).  Musk also talked about optional aerodynamic wheels which will extend the 300 mile range by 20 miles.  Hop over to Engadget for more photos and a short ride video. More »

by admin on 29 September 2011

Electric RaceAbout sets new Nurburgring electric car lap record

The aptly named 'Electric RaceAbout' from the Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences has toppled the Nurburgring Nordschleife lap record set by the Peugeot EX1 in May this year.  The Electric RaceAbout did it in 8 minutes 42.72 seconds, almost fifteen seconds quicker than the EX1.  The quirky looking Electric RaceAbout uses four AXCO in-wheel motors delivering a total 300 kW power and during the lap the car reached a maximum speed of 244 kph (152 mph). More »

by admin on 29 September 2011

Acea Charging ProposalThe European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA) whose members include BMW, Fiat, Ford, GM, Porsche, PSA, Renault, VW and Volvo have published a 'position paper' on EV charging standardization.  This new document outlines a two phase approach, the first phase represents the current design of connector and state of charging, phase two introduces a new 'type 2' connector and is proposed to become the standard from 2017 onwards.  The type 2 standard enables AC fast charging up to 43 kW and DC charing above 43 kW. More »

by admin on 28 September 2011

Axeon NCM Li-ionAxeon NCM Li-ion

A development project headed by Axeon, in conjunction with Ricardo and Allied Vehicles, co-funded by the UK Technology Strategy Board has developed a new Nickel Cobalt Manganese (NCM) chemistry Lithium-Ion battery - Li(NiCoMn)O2.  The initial prototype has an energy density of 170 Wh/kg compared to around 110 Wh/kg for typically used Lithium-iron-phosphate, an imoprovement of approximately 35%. More »

by admin on 22 September 2011

Fisker Surf

I may upset a few people at Fisker (or not) but surely I can't be the only one who thinks their new Surf is just a little ugly.  The 'shooting brake' design is just more than a little reminicent of the Ferrari FF but with too many curves, cut-outs, swoops and unnecessary styling elements (and the interior, despite it's quality, isn't much better).  From the side the car looks like it's bent in the middle, curving down and then back up again (thanks to the window line and 'flamed' door surface) and the rear reminds me of Marvin the paranoid android, with a moustache.  That said I'm not a big fan of the Karma either, not bad from the sides but the trademark Fisker moustache grill is too weird.  Worst of all though the Surf just doesn't seem to offer enough extra space to make sense as a shooting brake.  After that, well it's a Karma (range extended EV) with a tailgate, available in 2013. More »

by admin on 21 September 2011

GM China Advanced Technical Center

SAIC (Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation) and General Motors today signed an agreement to co-develop 'a new electric vehicle architecture in China' as well as opening the first phase of their joint Advanced Technical Center (PATAC) which will provide R&D on technologies such as batteries and electric drivetrains.  As well as being a major development center for GM the agreement and center provide them with a 'foot in the door' to the lucrative Chinese electric vehicle market and will no doubt make the newly developed vehicles eligible for inconsiderate Chinese government electric car grants. More »

by admin on 21 September 2011

Brusa powered Volvo C30

Switzerland based EV electrical systems manufacturer BRUSA Elektronik AG has announced that it has secured an order for 250 electric drivetrain systems for the Volvo C30 Electric.  The BRUSA motor delivers 83 kW (110 hp) and 220 Nm (162 lbft) of torque which will related to a relatively relaxed 0 - 100 kph in 'under 11 seconds' and a top speed of 130 kph (81 mph). More »