Tag Archives: EV

BMW i3 tries to be the answer for a changing world [w/video]

By Sebastian Blanco

orange bmw i3

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The production version of the BMW i3 was unveiled yesterday at three simultaneous events in New York City, London and Beijing. Given that the i3 grew out a BMW electric vehicle project called Megacity, the urban debut locations make a lot of sense. Since BMW literally spent years researching urban trends in the Megacity project, years when the competition was building and selling EVs already, there is a lot of pressure on the German automaker to come out with an EV that is the right fit for today’s cities.

BMW’s message is that the i3 actually represents the beginning of electric mobility for the company.

BMW had help in this from the Mini E and Active E electric vehicle pilot programs. One way you can see the company’s EV history is in the location of the charge port on the rear passenger side. Most plug-in vehicles today put the charging connector in the front, but both the Mini E and Active E had a rear charge port and BMW didn’t get enough complaints to change it for the i3. If you opt to pay the roughly $4,000 extra for the gas-powered range extender, then your i3 will be built with a second fuel door, this one on the right front of the car. Putting the ports in these locations cuts down on the amount of fuel lines and wires required in the car, which in turn contributes to the i3’s light weight (official figures are not yet available, but BMW estimates the i3 weighs around 2,700 pounds). It’s all connected.

Despite BMW’s years of testing and driver feedback on earlier EV programs, the official message in New York was that the i3 actually represents the beginning of electric mobility for the company. As Norbert Reithofer, chairman of the board of management of BMW AG, said in New York, “The car has existed for nearly 130 years. Today marks a shift – a change – in the future of mobility.

Does it?

Continue reading BMW i3 tries to be the answer for a changing world [w/video]

BMW i3 tries to be the answer for a changing world [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Wed, 31 Jul 2013 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2013 Lexus ES300h Hybrid Second Look

By Harvey Schwartz

2013 Lexus ES300h Hybrid Beauty Right Done Small

The all-new 2013 Lexus ES350 is the six-generation of Lexus’ most popular luxury sedan and the new ES 300h with Lexus Hybrid Drive marks the first time the popular model benefits from the hybrid system.  It features the signature Lexus spindle grille, a progressive new design and enhanced handling.  It is sure to impress new and loyal Lexus ES consumers.

The ES 300h features a 2.5 liter, DOHC, all aluminum, in-line four-cylinder Atkinson cycle engine with variable valve timing on the intake (VVT-i).  This new, low friction engine utilizes a sophisticated power management system and high compression ratio (12.5:1) to increase its overall efficiency.  It is equipped with an electric water pump, electric rack & pinion power steering system and an integrated Lexus Hybrid Drive System comprising an electric motor/generator.  As a result the engine does not require any accessory belts thus helping to improve fuel economy and overall reliability.   The gasoline engine generates 156hp at 5,700rpm with 156lb.ft. of torque at 4,500rpm.  Combined with the Lexus Hybrid Drive total horsepower is bumped up to a total of 200hp.   With this gasoline/hybrid engine EPA mileage ratings are 40mpg/city and 39mpg/highway.  After more than 425 miles of city and highway driving, I received, according to the trip computer, 38.8 combined mpg.  That’s good news for a mid-size luxury sedan.

2013 Lexus ES300h Hybrid Engine Done Small

This high-tech gasoline/hybrid engine is mated to a six-speed sequential-shift automatic Electronically Controlled Transmission with intelligence (ECT-i), turning the front wheels that provides enhanced driving performance, which I wasn’t expecting, including very smooth, imperceptible shifts.

Further enhancing the fun-to-drive experience is the Drive Mode Selector dial located on the left side of the center console.  Three modes are available-Normal mode provides a blend of performance and efficiency that is best for everyday driving, Eco mode favors fuel economy, and Sport mode increase powertrain and steering responsiveness.  When in the Eco or Normal mode the left gauge features a hybrid power monitor and when you change to Sport mode, you’ll see a full tachometer.  It is a perfect way to see how well you are saving fuel in Eco or Normal mode, and the available and current RPMs in Sport mode.  There is also an EV button that allows short distance driving in all-electric drive from the hybrid battery pack.  The other button is to turn the traction control/vehicle stability control off/on.

2013 Lexus ES300h Hybrid Beauty Side Done Small

I enjoyed the ride in any of the modes thanks to the fully independent suspension system.  Up front is a MacPherson strut setup, gas-charged shocks, an anti-roll bar and opposite-wound coil springs that help with straight-line stability at high speeds.  The revised rear suspension features dual-link MacPherson struts and an anti-roll bar to keep body lean to a minimum.  The new rear suspension geometry and improved shock absorber damping characteristics further enhance ride comfort when traveling over poorly paved road surfaces.  Increasing …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Automotive Addicts

Official: BMW i3 gets official worldwide

By Damon Lowney

2014 BMW i3

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Even though we recently drove a near-production version of the BMW i3, the car still wore light exterior and interior camouflage. Today, BMW took off that little bit of camo and made a big announcement: The i3 will go on sale in the US for $41,350 in the second quarter of 2014. That does not include any state or federal incentives that could lower the price or the $925 destination fee. The i3 will debut with three trim levels, which BMW is referring to as Worlds: Mega (standard in the US), Giga and Tera.

The BMW i3 is chock-full of new technology afforded by its design as an EV from the start of development, which has resulted in a vehicle layout unique to the i3. BMW has named it LifeDrive architecture, and it features the Life Module and the Drive Module. The Life Module is the i3’s pillar-less passenger cell, which is the first mass-produced monocoque made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP). The tougher-than-steel material is also 30-percent lighter than aluminum, which contributes to the i3’s relatively light weight of 2,700 pounds (preliminary US figure) and, in turn, increases its energy efficiency. Expect more of this technology to find its way into future BMWs.

The Drive Module, a 100-percent aluminum chassis mounted under the Life Module, houses everything that makes the i3 go. It includes the 22-kilowatt, 450-pound lithium ion battery mounted as centrally as possible, and provides power to a rear-mounted electric motor that turns the rear wheels. With 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque from zero rpm, the single-gear i3 can accelerate from 0-30 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds and 0-60 mph in about 7.0 seconds, but it has a top speed of only 93 mph. BMW says the i3 has a real-world EV range of 80-100 miles, and the standard charger can fill the battery in three hours. Opt for the SAE DC Combo Fast Charger and 30 minutes is all it takes for a full charge; 20 minutes will bump the battery to 80 percent. For customers who have range anxiety, BMW gives them the option to install a 34-hp, 650cc two-cylinder generator as a range extender for the electric drive system.

To read all the details of BMW’s newest vehicle, scroll down for the press release. Be sure to take some time to flip through the photo gallery, which shows the i3 in all its glory.

Continue reading BMW i3 gets official worldwide

BMW i3 gets official worldwide originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Jul 2013 08:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Renault-Nissan zero-emissions car sales whir past 100,000 [w/video]

By Jonathon Ramsey

2013 Nissan Leaf - maroon - front three-quarter view

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The electric vehicle has gone gold at RenaultNissan, clocking 100,000 sales in a three-year period that began with the first Nissan Leaf being sold in Silicon Valley, California in 2010. Since then, the Leaf has become the EV champion of the world, selling more than 71,000 units so far, the majority of those in the US. The 100,000th EV sold by the Alliance was also a Leaf and also sold in the US, but on the other side of the country, in Georgia.

By comparison, Renault has sold 30,000 electric vehicles since late 2011, looking after other segments of the EV market with the Kangoo Z.E., Zoe, Twizy and Fluence Z.E. The alliance estimates that its efforts have been driven 5.2 million ion-powered miles and saved 14 million gallons of oil since they appeared. For a bit of sobering context, the US averaged 18.83 million barrels of oil per day in 2011, which is almost 791 million gallons. Per day.

So we’re getting there, albeit slowly. Quietly. There’s a press release and a video below with more details on the achievement.

Continue reading Renault-Nissan zero-emissions car sales whir past 100,000 [w/video]

Renault-Nissan zero-emissions car sales whir past 100,000 [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 23 Jul 2013 17:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Mercedes FWD platform to last until 2018, convertible and two-seater future uncertain

By Brandon Turkus

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA sedan - front three-quarter view, silver

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Mercedes-Benz seems to be expecting a lot of success from its front-wheel-drive CLA-Class. Automotive News is reporting that the sub-C-Class sedan could grow when its second generation arrives in 2018.

The current FWD platform for MB underpins the CLA, the B-Class, the GLA-Class, and the A-Class. The B-Class will arrive in North America as an EV for spring of 2014, while the production GLA crossover will arrive three to four months after that. The five-door A-Class won’t be crossing The Pond. Sad faces all around.

According to AN, another model will be based on the front-drive architecture, but it won’t be coming to the US market. Set to arrive next year, rumors are that it’ll be a wagon version of the CLA, sort of like the ill-named five-door CLS Shooting Brake that is also a Europe-only item.

As for the rumored CLA convertible and two-seat roadster, if those two arrive, it’s not going to be until the second-generation of the current architecture hits the market. Even then, their future is in uncertain, as Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG told Automotive News, “We are considering the final portfolio of the next generation of our compact cars. We have to define it and we may expand the portfolio.”

Mercedes FWD platform to last until 2018, convertible and two-seater future uncertain originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 18:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ultimate Electric Machine? BMW i3 Starts at $42,275

By Nick Palermo

2014 BMW i3

Ahead of its simultaneous triple debut on three continents, BMW announced pricing for the first electric vehicle from its i sub-brand: the new i3 starts at $42,275 before any EV tax incentives. BMW expects an all-electric range of 80 to 100 miles for the lightweight, four-passenger hatchback, or 160 to 180 miles with an optional 2-cylinder gasoline engine.

Pricing tops other small EVs by a significant margin. The i3 is about $5000 more than its next-highest-priced competitor, the lease-only Honda Fit EV, and more than $12,000 pricier than the Nissan Leaf. But it’s also the only premium brand in that group; the much larger Tesla Model S starts at $71,070.

While the i3’s pricing demonstrates some confidence on BMW’s part for the U.S. market, the brand stumps observers by offering the i3 at a surprisingly low 29,370 euros before tax in Germany. That puts it on par with an uplevel Nissan Leaf. And it is an unusual pricing strategy, as BMW models are typically more expensive on their home turf than here in the U.S. It confirms what we’ve heard: Within BMW, there is considerable concern about the i3′s sales performance in Germany and Europe.

The i3 is unique in its design, with a three-plus-two-door arrangement that requires the front doors to be open before accessing the back seat through smaller, rear-hinged doors. Aluminum and carbon-fiber construction contribute to a svelte (for an EV) curb weight of 2630 pounds, according to BMW. A 170-hp electric motor is mounted just ahead of the rear axle and drives the rear wheels. The 22-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, resting under the passenger compartment, provides energy. An optional, range-extending 650-cc gasoline engine can be fitted adjacent to the electric motor and does not compromise cargo space.



Driving dynamics are unique, too, not only among BMWs but even among electric cars. In normal traffic, the i3 can be controlled with only the right pedal. Lifting off the pedal induces a coasting mode; back off farther and regenerative braking kicks in.

When it arrives in the second quarter of 2014, the i3 will give drivers that want a premium nameplate and zero tailpipe emissions a more affordable choice than the Tesla Model S. And with an extended-range gas option, the BMW also offers a premium-brand alternative to the Chevrolet Volt. While it may not convert performance-minded 3-series owners to EVs, the i3 could attract others that aspire to go electric—and can afford it—to choose BMW.

2014 BMW i3 photo gallery

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Car & Driver

First Drive: 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV [w/video]

By Jeffrey N. Ross

2014 Chevrolet Spark EV

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Side Effects May Include Grinning and Tire Chirping

For anyone who has yet to experience the joys of indoor go-karting, you’re missing out. Electric karts race around the inside of former big-box retail establishments, warehouses and the like delivering more excitement than you typically get from those rickety old concession karts powered by lawnmower engines. Since we can’t afford anything wearing a Tesla badge, these usually come to mind when someone mentions an electric vehicle that’s fun. After driving the 2014 Chevrolet Spark, though, our mental association might just be out of date.

Thanks to their instant torque, an EV being a hoot to drive shouldn’t come as a complete surprise, but Chevy’s all-new Spark EV is making its bid to rise to the top of this growing class, a field that includes the Fiat 500e, Mitsubishi i-Miev, Nissan Leaf, Scion iQ EV and Smart Fortwo ED, and it’s doing so with more torque, better efficiency and a lower price. With a name like “Spark,” it would be easy to assume that this small car was conceived with an EV model in mind from the beginning, but that’s not the case.

Even entering its third generation in 2009 (the first two weren’t sold in North America), General Motors admitted that the Spark was not designed with an EV drivetrain in mind. Just four years later, though, the Spark EV is hitting America’s roads – in California and Oregon – so we headed to scenic Portland, OR to check out Chevy’s new battery electric vehicle (BEV) and the first EV for General Motors since the controversial EV1.

Continue reading 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV [w/video]

2014 Chevrolet Spark EV [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Read This: Wired editor to live with EV bike for six months

By Seyth Miersma

2013 Zero DS ZF 11.4 electric motorcycle in yellow

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Wired Autopia honcho and Autoblog alum Damon Lavrinc is finished with the internal combustion engine. And four wheels. And a closed cabin in which to commute. For the next six months, Lavrinc will be staring Range Anxiety right in its cold, dead (battery) eyes, while splitting lanes and commuting through San Francisco on a long-term-test 2013 Zero DS ZF 11.4 electric motorcycle.

In reality, the latest creation from Zero is probably about as good as it gets in terms of EV bikes to live with (not that riders are spoiled for choice in that segment). The electric motor kicks out 54 horsepower and 68 pound-feet of torque, so power won’t be an issue in the hilly Bay Area, and max range of 126 miles from the 11.4 kWh battery pack is more than reasonable.

Lavrinc isn’t so over-the-moon for Zero that he doesn’t see potential drawbacks to the arrangement: “Big ones,” he mentions, “Death, for example.” Which should all make for a very compelling series of real-world reviews. We suggest clicking through to Autopia to read Damon’s own explanation for beginning this adventure, listening to Autoblog Podcast #338 where he reveals his plans as a guest on our show, and following along with updates as the months unfold. We will be.

Wired editor to live with EV bike for six months originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 19 Jul 2013 14:41:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Honda begins Micro Commuter testing

By Brandon Turkus

Honda Micro Commuter - front three-quarter view, white

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Autocar is reporting that Honda is about to start testing prototypes of its Micro Commuter, a petite EV that’ll do adorable battle with the Renault Twizy if it reaches production.

Honda first showed the Micro Commuter, a so called super-urban vehicle, in November. Like the Renault, it features a 1+1 setup, meaning there’s a central seat up front and a small backseat behind it. Honda has designed the tandem runabout for versatility, featuring a body that can be adapted for everything from child hauling to elderly passengers.

A rear-mounted electric motor draws power from a 15-kilowatt, lithium-ion battery, granting it a top speed of 50 miles per hour. With 37 miles of range, the Micro Commuter could be a neat urban solution. That said, these were figures that were announced in November, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see them change as Honda gathers data from its new prototype testing program.

Honda begins Micro Commuter testing originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 19 Jul 2013 07:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Chevy ad compares Spark EV with Ferrari 458 Italia

By Damon Lowney

2014 Chevy Spark EV - front three-quarter view

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Chevrolet’s new commercial for the 2014 Spark EV emphasizes the little hatchback’s performance over pretty much everything else, and it even goes as far as to compare it to a Ferrari 458 Italia. That’s right, the electric bubble is pitched in the commercial as having a higher torque figure than the Ferrari – and it does, with a massive 400 pound-feet ready to be unleashed.

That doesn’t translate into a quicker car, however, as the 458’s V8 with 570 horsepower and not-exactly-quaint 398 lb-ft gives it a 0-60 time of 3.0 seconds compared to the Spark EV’s 7.6-second run.

“We think the fun-to-drive element is an area for us to differentiate ourselves,” Sam Basile, executive chief engineer for GM’s global minicars and emerging-market vehicles, told Automotive News.

EV makers who aren’t Tesla might want to take note of the Chevrolet ad, because, as the novelty of clean electric propulsion wears off, the Spark EV has planted something else in our minds: quick electric propulsion for the masses. That is, if its sales weren’t limited to California and Oregon.

Watch Chevy’s refreshing commercial below.

Continue reading Chevy ad compares Spark EV with Ferrari 458 Italia

Chevy ad compares Spark EV with Ferrari 458 Italia originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 18 Jul 2013 16:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Nissan Delays Infiniti’s Electric Car to Add New Features

By Clifford Atiyeh

Infiniti LE concept

Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn always looks like he’s smirking, but with Infiniti delaying a second critical product in a week’s time, we’re sure he’s frowning hard. On Wednesday, Nissan executive vice president Andy Palmer told The Wall Street Journal that the company would “push back the timing” of its Infiniti LE, a luxury electric car based on the Nissan Leaf that was scheduled to go on sale by next spring. A week earlier, Infiniti delayed the launch of its new 2014 Q50 by another month to make engineering tweaks. The LE, first shown at the 2012 New York auto show, may need much more time, although Palmer didn’t specify a ballpark date.

“Certain technologies that we see now, which we didn’t see two years ago, are going to be available in a time frame that was relatively close to where we were going to introduce the Infiniti,” Palmer told the Journal. Our attempts to reach Nissan went unanswered.

An outspoken advocate for electric cars, Ghosn made Nissan the first major automaker to sell a mass-produced EV since the GM EV1. His insistence on pure electric power using an entirely new platform—as opposed to developing EVs and plug-in hybrids from existing models, as Ford has done—means the company needs to sell more EV variants to recoup costs. The Infiniti LE, along with the e-NV200 commercial van, is essential to that plan. But with plug-ins accounting for a half-percent of all market share, no one is betting Nissan—which built a new battery plant in Smyrna, Tennesse, using $1.4 billion in federal loans—will be generating EV profits any time soon. Nor will any automaker, for that matter.

Likely, those “certain technologies”  Palmer refers to involve the SAE fast-charging combo plug, which the company (along with Mitsubishi) continues to oppose despite approval from eight other U.S. and European automakers. Nissan has supported the Japanese CHAdeMO standard for the Leaf, which requires a separate connection as opposed to the SAE’s all-in-one design.



Nissan also may be considering liquid cooling for its lithium-ion battery pack, another feature the company has strongly resisted to cut costs. In September of last year, dozens of Leaf owners in Phoenix told Nissan that the area’s desert heat had prematurely cut their range, with some owners reportedly losing up to 30 percent of battery capacity in less than two years. In April, Nissan responded with a new battery warranty that would offer replacements, although Palmer said at the time that the Leaf’s air-cooled pack did not require further improvements.

Or, Nissan engineers simply could be too busy. They’re preparing a hybrid powertrain for the next-gen GT-R, a car we’d gladly take first over the LE.

In any case, Infiniti’s delay is good news for General Motors, which would prefer its upcoming 2014 Cadillac ELR to have all the electric attention.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Car & Driver

Report: Formula E calendar set at ten races, top F1 teams being courted

By Brandon Turkus

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Formula E, the open-wheel EV racing series has finalized the calendar for its inaugural season. Set to kick of in 2014, the races looks like to have been distributed quite evenly across the globe.

Two American races (LA and Miami) along with a pair of South American races in Rio and Buenos Aires round out the contests in the New World. London, Berlin and Rome make up the European leg of the championship, while Beijing, Bangkok and Putrajaya cover Asia.

This news follows a report from Autoweek that Formula E is courting some of the top Formula One teams. According to AW, series organizer Alejandro Agag is already in talks with McLaren, and is of the opinion that one day the likes of Ferrari and Red Bull will take part in the emissions free series.

Despite the current lack of big names, the parts of the Formula E cars look promising. Batteries from Williams are mated to electric motors from McLaren, while Dallara provides the chassis. Like F1, there’s only one tire supplier, although we’re happy to announce it’s Michelin rather than Pirelli. Series test driver Lucas di Grassi showed us just what the FE cars can do with an in-car video a few months ago.

As for drivers, we don’t see Sebastien Vettel leaving his gas-powered racer soon. Formula E could see an influx of retired F1 drivers and GP2 veterans, although Agag told Autoweek “I can’t say any names yet.” The series will kickoff in 2014, in the Italian capital of Rome.

Formula E calendar set at ten races, top F1 teams being courted originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 16 Jul 2013 18:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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All of a sudden, Nissan doesn't have enough Leafs to go around

By Sebastian Blanco

2013 nissan leaf

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March: 2,236. April: 1,937. May: 2,138. June: 2,225.

Those are the US sales totals for the Nissan Leaf over the last four months. According to Erik Gottfried, Nissan’s director of electric vehicle sales and marketing, the numbers are a bit too high. Or production is too low. Or something. Point is, demand is apparently outstripping supply.

Nissan says it’s “going to be short on inventory all through the summer.”

Despite having a stated annual capacity of 150,000 Leaf EVs at its Smyrna, TN plant – over 10,000 a month – Leaf production in the Volunteer State has not yet ramped up to a level that can satisfy demand for 2,200 Leafs a month. According to Automotive News, Gottfried recently told dealers in Texas that, “we’re doing everything we can to get them more inventory. But it’s taking some time. … We’re going to be short on inventory all through the summer. It will be late fall before we can produce enough to satisfy everybody.”

Everybody in this case means the expanding markets outside the West Coast, where all the cool EVs have long been allowed to play. AN says that the third-largest market for the Leaf is now Atlanta, where there is only a nine-day supply of the EV. The world’s most popular highway-speed EV (over 60,000 have been sold worldwide, and around 30,000 in the US) got a big price drop earlier this year when the company started making the car in the US. Previously, all Leafs were exported from Japan.

All of a sudden, Nissan doesn’t have enough Leafs to go around originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Mon, 15 Jul 2013 17:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Roadster batteries likely to perform better than Tesla predicts

By Sebastian Blanco

orange tesla roadster with lightwriting

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Once the epitome of EV cool, the Tesla Roadster has kind of taken a back seat to the new electric vehicles in the market it helped spawn. Turns out, even in the background, the Roadster has things to teach us. Or, at least it does to the experts at Plug In America who recently took a closer look at the EV’s battery pack.

See, in 2006, when the Roadster was new, Tesla said the Roadster’s 53-kWh lithium-ion battery pack – good for 244 miles of range when new – would have 70 percent of its capacity after five years or 50,000 miles. With plenty of “old” Roadsters on the road, PIA studied four percent of the packs out there today and discovered that the packs have an “average of 80- to 85-percent of capacity after 100,000 miles driven.” The numbers were self-reported to PIA’s website by Roadster owners in a project that started in January.

The numbers come from PIA’s chief science officer, Tom Saxton, who conducted the first-ever independent assessment and announced the results at the recent Teslive Tesla users conference. According to a statement, he said, “Our study also found no discernable effect of climate on battery-pack longevity. Roadster owners in hot climates are not seeing noticeably different battery capacity profiles than owners in moderate climates.” Last year, PIA surveyed Nissan Leaf owners and discovered that hot climates were affecting the packs more than expected. Surveys on the first-generation Toyota RAV4 EV and Tesla Model S are underway.

Continue reading Roadster batteries likely to perform better than Tesla predicts

Roadster batteries likely to perform better than Tesla predicts originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Mon, 15 Jul 2013 14:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: The 100,000th EV sold in the US is… a Mitsubishi i-MiEV

By Brandon Turkus

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The news here isn’t that 100,000 EVs have been sold in the US, although that’s quite the accomplishment. It’s that the 100,000th car is a Mitsubishi i-MiEV – a car that takes nearly a full day to recharge on a standard outlet and can only travel about 62 miles per charge (according to the car’s Monroney).

Jabs at the Mitsubishi aside, the fact that US dealers have moved 100,000 electric cars is made more impressive in that it’s only been done since the latest generation of EVs arrived, typified by the Nissan Leaf, Ford Focus Electric and aforementioned i-MiEV. Chronologically, that means roughly the last two years. It’s a number that we can only expect to climb, as EVs gain a stronger foothold among manufacturers and consumers.

Plug In America, an EV advocacy group, crunched the numbers for a contest called #PIA100K, to find the lucky buyer, who would be given a ClipperCreek Level 2 charger (which takes the i-MiEV’s recharge time down to just seven hours). The winner, Rich Salmon of Grand Bay, Alabama, picked up his i-MiEV from Pete Moore Mitsubishi.

Continue reading The 100,000th EV sold in the US is… a Mitsubishi i-MiEV

The 100,000th EV sold in the US is… a Mitsubishi i-MiEV originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 12 Jul 2013 18:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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EV Price War: Ford Slashes Focus Electric Price by $4000, Now Starts at $35,995

By Nick Palermo

Ford is lowering the price of its all-electric version of the Focus, cutting the price by $4000 to $35,995. The reduction is further evidence of a price war in the EV market, following the announcement of lower pricing and/or special lease rates for electrics such as the Nissan Leaf, Honda Fit EV, and Fiat 500E, as well as the plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt. Ford says the move is intended to make the electric Focus, which is available nationwide, more appealing to customers considering a plug-in vehicle.

The Nissan Leaf is still the most affordable of the aforementioned models, with a starting price of $29,650. It’s also among the most efficient, rated at 115 MPGe in combined city/highway driving. Range for the all-electric Nissan, though, is the lowest in this group at 75 miles. The Focus Electric, by comparison, ekes out one more mile of range despite a lower combined efficiency rating of 105 MPGe.

The $32,600 Fiat 500E is available only in California. The 500E can travel 87 miles on electricity alone and is rated at 116 MPGe combined. The Honda Fit EV, meanwhile, is rated at 118 MPGe combined and has a driving range of 82 miles. It’s priced at $37,415, although it is offered as a lease only. Currently, the Fit EV is available in California, Oregon, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.

The Focus Electric now matches the price of the plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt, which is available at $35,995 for cash buyers and $36,995 if it’s leased or financed through Ally Financial or Wells Fargo. And although the Volt relieves so-called range anxiety by backing up its battery power with a gas engine, it has a limited electric-only range of 38 miles. On battery power alone, the Volt is rated at 98 MPGe combined; once the gas engine takes over, combined fuel economy is 37 mpg. Chevy recently added the all-electric Spark EV to its lineup, but smaller and priced at $27,495, The Spark EV is not a direct competitor to the Focus Electric. The Spark EV’s availability remains limited to Oregon and California.



With EVs commanding less than 1 percent of U.S. market share, automakers are anxious to incentivize sales. Ford addresses some of the driving public’s reluctance to go electric with this price drop, and, as with all EVs, the Focus Electric’s price can potentially be even lower when eligible buyers take advantage of any federal, state, and local tax credits and incentives that are available to them. Concerns about range and long-term reliability, however, still remain considerable obstacles for many would-be EV drivers.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Car & Driver

Report: CARB chairman chides automakers for petition against EV mandates

By Zach Bowman

Mary Nichols CARB

Filed under: Automakers aren’t happy about a California mandate that requires manufacturers to sell 1.4 million electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell vehicles by 2025. As such, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Association of Global Automakers have filed a petition with the Environmental Protection Agency to block the state’s mandate. Mary Nichols, chairman of the California Air Resources Board, chided car companies for “shooting yourselves in the foot,” while speaking at the SAE International World Congress. Nichols also asked, “Rather than rehashing the same, tired legal battles of our past, why not work together to collectively support and develop this market?”

Of course, as Bloomberg points out, automakers can only comply with the plan if buyers want to bring home zero-emission models in high volumes. So far, that hasn’t happened. “It serves no one, not the state economy or consumers or automakers, to have these vehicles sit unsold on dealer lots,” said Gloria Bergquist, a spokesperson with the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.

CARB chairman chides automakers for petition against EV mandates originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 22 Apr 2013 08:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Continental: Professor Lenz on EVs, Schaeffler’s Hub Motor, and Product News

By Jens Meiners

The Continental

Each week, our German correspondent slices and dices the latest rumblings, news, and quick-hit driving impressions from the other side of the pond. His byline may say Jens Meiners, but we simply call him . . . the Continental.

Just hype? If so, at least one engineer thinks EV’s time in the limelight has passed.

Next week, the inner circle of the powertrain engineering world convenes at the Vienna Engine Symposium. I expect this year’s meeting will again be exciting, as further advances in the internal combustion engine could render the complex and expensive efforts at electrification futile. Professor Hans-Peter Lenz from Vienna, who leads the Symposium, takes delight in the fact that “the EV hype is over and has been replaced by fact-based reporting.” He states that “every new engine generation achieves gains of about 20 percent in terms of efficiency, emissions, and power. This means that the efficiency of conventional powertrains grows at a higher rate than the progress of electric powertrains.”

Moreover, the argument that fossil-fuel supplies will run out within our lifetimes seems to be solidly demolished by the advent of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) technology. (And oil is still going to be around as well.) At a recent BMW event, a German engineer roundly dismissed the hydraulic tech: “Fracking is not the way.” But this seems to be a specifically German perspective. It is the same country that’s shutting down perfectly good nuclear power stations without consulting its neighbors—because of a tsunami in Japan.

Speakers in Vienna will include Daimler’s R&D chief Thomas Weber, his BMW counterpart Herbert Diess, and Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn. Their appearance promises to provide rare insight in technological and corporate strategies. I am looking forward to this as an absolute highlight of the automotive year.

Mercedes-Benz Unimog testing

A New Unimog

Daimler is launching a face-lifted version of its Unimog truck, a commercial vehicle with both a cult-like following and unsurpassed off-road capabilities. (The former partly due to the latter.) The next Unimog will meet Euro-6 emissions regulations, it receives an upgraded electronics architecture, and revised styling inside and out. We will even see a huge, Mercedes-Benz SL–inspired grill grace the ‘Mog’s front end; testing is underway in Scandinavia.

Volvo S60 Polestar

Sporty Volvo

Chinese-owned Volvo is serious about launching its Polestar high-performance line, and the S60 Polestar is the first full-on Polestar model to make it into dealerships. It is powered by a version of Volvo’s ubiquitous turbocharged straight-six, tweaked to produce 350 horsepower at 5700 rpm. That is 50 horsepower more than the regular S60 T6 and 25 more than the S60 T6 R-Design. Maximum torque is rated at “over 368″ lb-ft from 2800 to 4750 rpm. To squeeze out the extra power, Volvo has replaced the S60′s turbocharger and intercooler with bigger units and installed a free-flow exhaust system. The sedan’s Aisin-supplied six-speed automatic is unchanged. But Volvo has upgraded

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