electric vehicles

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  • Coulomb to electrify California with 1,600 shiny new EV chargers

    by 
    Vlad Savov
    Vlad Savov
    07.08.2010

    Fret not, Cali residents. Your state government may be desperately sinking into the quagmire of its own extravagance, but cash will always be found to fund good old "private" enterprise. Coulomb Technologies is expected to today announce the rollout of 1,600 ChargePoint stations across the sunny state, aided in part by a $3.4 million grant from the California Energy Commission. The principal aim of these installations will actually be research, as the state tries to figure out EV usage and recharging habits. Happily though, once that academic exercise is over, they should still be operational and might well make Coulomb's home patch the most advanced in terms of EV infrastructure yet. Yes indeed, we'll all be driving our Volts along potholed streets with nary a public servant in sight... it'll be like Mad Max: Beyond Budgetary Deficits.

  • Europe gets first fast-charging EV station, hungers for more

    by 
    Vlad Savov
    Vlad Savov
    05.26.2010

    Epyon, a small Dutch startup, is showing the big boys how it's done with its recently unveiled fast-charging station for electric vehicles. Billed as Europe's first commercially available charger of its kind, this unit will recharge anything up to a nine-seater taxi van within 30 minutes, thanks to its 50 kilowatts of power capacity. It's now installed alongside more conventional petrol and diesel refilling points in a fueling station over in Leeuwarden. That's the capital city of Friesland, a Dutch province that has set itself the ambitious goal of having 100,000 EVs on its roads by 2015. That aim is shared by the wider European Union as well, which yesterday agreed on defining a common electric recharging standard, whose universality might attract skeptical consumers and more cautious investors into the field. They've set themselves a deadline of "mid-2011," though the broad outlines and new incentives for buying greener cars are likely to appear by the end of this year.

  • Korea starts testing 'recharging road,' might make it part of its public transport system

    by 
    Vlad Savov
    Vlad Savov
    03.10.2010

    Time to set aside the chains of worry that have prevented us from jumping on the electric bandwagon -- Korean researchers have figured out a way to make us forget all about charging stations and cruising ranges with their magnetically recharging road. The Online Electric Vehicle (OLEV) you see here went into service yesterday and can now be found towing three bus-loads of tourists around a Seoul amusement park. It operates on a battery five times smaller than conventional EV juice packs and can collect its power through non-contact magnetic transmission from the recharging strips in the ground. We're also told running costs for this system are a third of what a typical EV would require, and should it prove successful and find itself expanded to the public transport system, only about 20 percent of bus routes would need to be electrified -- at bus stops, crossroads and the like -- with the rest being covered by the power stored inside the OLEV. Here's to hoping it all works out.

  • Tesla Motors CEO 'does not devote his full time and attention to Tesla'

    by 
    Vlad Savov
    Vlad Savov
    02.04.2010

    We've already discussed the seemingly suicidal situation Tesla finds itself in with relation to its 2011 Roadster production cessation, but that SEC submission for the company's IPO is a long, long affair (which you may read below), and there were more nuggets of madness to be found. Apparently, CEO Elon Musk is a busy man -- with CEO and CTO functions at SpaceX and a chairmanship at SolarCity to attend to -- and so he couldn't possibly be expected to focus his full attention on ensuring that the half billion dollar state loan his company received gets spent as wisely as possible. Add Musk's corporate bigamy to an expectation of "continuing losses" and dwindling waiting lists and you have to wonder who, other than the US government, will be buying shares when this offering goes public.

  • Trexa EV development platform is modular, extremely customizable

    by 
    Vlad Savov
    Vlad Savov
    01.20.2010

    You know how you've been telling all your friends that, if you had the chance, you'd totally design the perfect electric vehicle? Well, here is that treasured opportunity. The modular Trexa EV, built by the eponymous startup company and designed by you, contains all the motor, battery and drivetrain basics within the low-profile base you see above, and lets you stack whatever optimizations you desire on top. That means customizable acceleration, suspension, torque and top speed, as well as the predictable versatility in outward appearance. In truth, it is really just aimed as a test mule for more professionally inclined (and presumably funded) EV designers, but we can't help but admire the simple genius of it all. Hit the source link for more.%Gallery-83502%

  • Dell and Envision Solar refashion parking lot into clean energy farm, EV recharge station (video)

    by 
    Vlad Savov
    Vlad Savov
    10.26.2009

    Dell has added a shiny new feather to its cap today with the announcement of a freshly completed Solar Grove renewable energy installation. The system is composed of 512 solar panels, which provide shelter for 56 cars, and are capable of harvesting 131,000 kWh of energy per year. This power will be primarily used in the adjacent Round Rock HQ, but CleanCharge stations will also be available should you wish to juice up your electric vehicle on Mother Nature's finest. No matter how much Dell might have splashed out to bring this integration together, we can't help but suspect that the smug satisfaction of getting free energy -- both in pecuniary and ecological terms -- must be priceless. Video awaits after the break.

  • IBM kicks off Battery 500 Project to boost EV range, 500 miles or bust

    by 
    Tim Stevens
    Tim Stevens
    10.02.2009

    Electric cars certainly can look nice and promise big things, but the ones we can actually buy today rarely top 50 miles of range. Those promised for the next few years probably won't break 100, and they're not going to find wide success until things get a lot better in that department. That's the initiative of IBM's Battery 500 Project, bringing together a number of the brightest minds in anode/cathode tech to boost battery storage density by a factor of 10. The focus is on lithium-air technology, which uses nanoscale semiconductors and an open design relying on the air around us for collecting positive ions. About 40 brains are involved in the project at this point, and we think their work is of vital importance. So, if you would, please stop posting funny things on the internet until they've come up with a solution. We'd like them to be able to focus completely without any LOLcat distractions. [Via Slashdot]

  • Google working to make electric vehicles charge more efficiently

    by 
    Donald Melanson
    Donald Melanson
    09.30.2009

    The idea to make plug-in electric vehicles charge more efficiently and reduce strain on the grid is hardly a new one, but it looks like none other than Google thinks it can do things better, and it's now reportedly doing some "preliminary work" in the area. As you might expect with all things "Google" and "preliminary," however, there's virtually a complete lack of details at the moment, with the company's director of Climate Change and Energy Initiatives, Dan Reicher, only going so far as to say that it has "done a little bit of work on the software side looking at how you would write a computer code to manage this sort of charging infrastructure." As Reuters notes, however, this isn't the first time Google has dabbled in the electric vehicle waters, with it previously forming a partnership with Toyota and Ford back in 2007 to test some gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles converted into plug-ins that run mostly on electricity, which Google says it has been testing "pretty intensely" over the last few years.

  • Nissan's Leaf EV will sound like a Blade Runner spinner, get better mileage

    by 
    Vlad Savov
    Vlad Savov
    09.21.2009

    One of the major disadvantages of electric vehicles, for petrolheads at least, is the lack of engine noise. How can you be proud of your beastly motor if it doesn't roar? There are mundane considerations like pedestrian safety too, but that's beside the point. Nissan seems to have uncovered an old copy of Blade Runner in its toolshed and decided that, yes, it might be a good idea for the Leaf EV to emit a whooshing sound inspired by the Philip K. Dick adaptation. If implemented, this will raise the car's price somewhat, but wouldn't you pay a premium to have your auto sound like a jet taking off? The Leaf is expected to arrive in the US in 2010, replete with its reputed 367 miles per gallon efficiency. [Via Autoblog Green]

  • Fisker Karma TV ads hit the LA airwaves

    by 
    Nilay Patel
    Nilay Patel
    03.14.2009

    Uh oh, Tesla -- it looks Fisker's joining the battle for the hearts of Californian electric sports-car buyers in style. The carmaker has started running ads for the Karma on LA TV stations, and while the first one out the gate is certainly effective in showing off the coupe's sexy lines, it's not exactly mindblowing -- we're pretty certain this would be equally effective in advertising a local technical college with just a few tweaks. Check it after the break.

  • And you thought that laptop fire sucked...

    by 
    Evan Blass
    Evan Blass
    01.16.2008

    GEM neighborhood electric vehicle (NEV) burning peacefully on the UC Riverside campus, January 15th, 2008. Bigger version in the gallery below.[Image courtesy of Matt G.]%Gallery-14027%

  • ZAP announces mysterious high-performance electric car

    by 
    Joshua Topolsky
    Joshua Topolsky
    06.23.2007

    ZAP (which stands for Zero Air Pollution) announced another new entry to its electric car stable, an as-yet-unnamed sedan that will apparently sell for $30,000. The California based company claims their new model will reach a top speed of 100 mph, and will have a 100-mile range between charges. But here's where this story gets really interesting: ZAP announced a different model back in January which still hasn't seen the light of day, and AutoblogGreen questions whether the company has been using press releases as a method of increasing their stock price for short term cash-flow. Competitors like Tesla have prototypes on the road, but no such luck with ZAP, which certainly raises a number of questions, and definitely gets you thinking about the word vaporware.Read -- ZAP press releaseRead -- AutoblogGreen's take on ZAP

  • All-electric Microcar Zenn poised for US release

    by 
    Evan Blass
    Evan Blass
    07.02.2006

    If you're the type that enjoys taking short road trips at low speeds, then a new "car" hitting the States this month may be just what you've been looking for: by the end of July, Toronto's Feel Good Cars Inc. is set to ship one of the country's first fully-enclosed, all-electric vehicles to 20 dealers nationwide, with 25 more expected to sign up by the end of the year. The Microcar Zenn (which stands for zero emissions, no noise) is an electric version of the diesel-powered MC-2 sold in Europe; Feel Good imports the cars without a drivetrain, slaps in a five-horsepower engine at its Canadian factory, and plans to unleash a small fleet of 2,000 vehicles in the next year at $10,000-a-pop. Equally at home in the inner city or a gated community, the Zenn features many of the same amenities you'd find on a regular car -- seat belts, headlights, defroster, and a gauge cluster (no nav system, though) -- in a 1,200-pound package that's just 120-inches long. While vehicles such as the Chrysler GEM have shown us that there is indeed a market for these glorified golf carts, folks who enjoy hitting the highway and feeling the wind in their hair will surely steer clear of the Zenn, as its top speed of 25MPH and maximum range of 35 miles mean that you couldn't possibly merge into 60+MPH traffic -- that is, if the battery even lasted long enough for you to make it to the on-ramp in the first place.[Via Autoblog Green]