There probably hasn't been a greater love affair than with people, and the vehicles they drive, and ride. This can be traced all the way back to the days of horseback when horses were the most popular means of mass transit. People always took pride in what they rode, and how they maintained their transportation. Well today it really is no different, people want to like what they drive, or what is transporting them around, and they like to have a bit of personal connection with whatever their mode of transportation is. Well the timing couldn't be better as there is an explosion when it comes to great energy efficient, clean vehicles that are ready to ignite a whole new love affair for people to enjoy. Here at ReNewable Transportation we will help to keep you in the know when it comes to what you can expect,what makes financial sense, and where you can see some of these great new vehicles and modes of transportation first hand.
RNN, the leading sustainability media platform, presents its monthly "Master of Sustainability," Michael M. Richardson, the Founder of e-Drive Retro, a new company transforming iconic, classic automobiles into collectible electric vehicles (EV’s), during a free one-hour webinar on Wednesday, March 15 at 2:00 p.m. This exciting educational session will offer insights and knowledge sharing on how transforming vintage automobiles into sustainable vehicles is the smart investment for the future. Participants can register here.
“We are very excited to advance the business of being ‘green’ with this month’s ‘captain’ of sustainability,” said Peter Arpin, Founder and President of RNN. “e-Drive Retro is a proof point of how to capitalize on sustainability by creating an entirely new market that is truly innovative and epitomizes the three pillars of sustainability – social environmental, and economic.”
Mr. Richardson is a veteran technology engineer with a lifelong passion and expertise in automotive engineering and vintage automobile collecting. During Mr. Richardson’s presentation, he will discuss the growth and challenges of the sustainable and vintage automotive markets, and how he leveraged both to create a highly niche and entirely new automotive category, the collectible EV. He will also share an overview of e-Drive’s proprietary transformation methodology and drive-train technology, its bespoke options for conversion, and the company’s own limited series production model – all of which preserve the authenticity of the original style and design of the vehicle. Finally, he will share why investing in this new market offers a high return on a collector’s item that is not only a showpiece, but also a drive-able and sustainable masterpiece.
“e-Drive Retro offers a new economic and energy-efficient vehicle that disrupts the traditional, high-end vintage car collector market and prospective collector mindset”, said Michael M. Richardson. “Our attention to design, technology, and sustainability offers an unparalleled driving experience marrying sustainability with long-term, exponential value in terms of experience, individual style, and investment return.”
Rent a TESLA X for $10 and Hour!
Green Commuter the innovative clean energy company, just launched a thrilling Indiegogo campaign which gives early adopters the terrific opportunity to rent a Tesla Model X with monthly packages starting at $10 an hour during weekdays. Green Commuter is also offering a $25 'pay as you go membership' for people who want to become car share members and use the Tesla Model X sporadically. This perk waives annual membership fees and allows rental of $18 an hour with no monthly commitments.
Weekend packages offered at $100 per weekend rental are sold out. Remaining weekend packages are offered at $150 and $200 with 3 and 5 weekend packages offered at $525 and $750 respectively, until quantities last.
Drivers who want to rent the car on weekdays will pay just $100/month for 8 hours of driving during the month, with a minimum rental period of one hour. Monday through Friday, in the Tesla Model X. This will be a lifetime rate as long as they continue to pay monthly with no lapses. If they need more time, they will be charged $12.50/hour. When the campaign reaches 200 members, 'Weekdays' plan members will receive an extra ½ hour credit. If the campaign reaches its goal of 400 members in this category everyone earns another ½ hour – for a total of 9 hours a month. The roll-out of the packages will begin in December 2016. Drivers can also choose the Weekdays Plus package which provides 25 hours per month of driving for $250.
"Unlike other campaigns, our perks do away with the useless swag and actually make use of our model. Every perk offers a killer deal for our signature car sharing service, which utilizes the Tesla Model X. If you want to support a business that reduces traffic, greenhouse gas emissions and commuting costs in the most stylish of ways, opt for the modestly priced donation perk off $25 and help us reach a city near you," said Green Commuter CEO Gustavo Occhiuzzo.
Green Commuter's proprietary software will enable its fleet of all-electric seven-passenger SUVs to be used by thousands of workers to commute to and from their jobs during rush hour and will be offered as a car share for all Green Commuter members who sign up through the Indiegogo campaign, the rest of the time.
"Angelino's understand traffic and care about the environment. We offer a premium all-electric Indiegogo car sharing campaign that's affordable. Gasoline vanpool vehicles are very polluting, usually with ratings from 12 to 18 MPG in real life driving conditions so we're the first to use only zero-emissions vehicles instead," said Green Commuter CEO Gustavo Occhiuzzo.
Occhiuzzo chose the Tesla Model X for the Green Commuter program because it is the only all-electric vehicle currently available that meets vanpool criteria, including seating for seven passengers and a battery capacity sufficient for long-range driving. The vehicle was also ideal for car sharing because of its appeal to users who would use it for travel with friends and family around town or popular nearby weekend destinations, such as Las Vegas, Palm Springs and San Diego.
"Our goal is to provide a great vanpool and car share experience which is affordable, desirable and sustainable. We're starting in Los Angeles, one of the most forward thinking cities in the country, but one that has great environmental challenges and congestion issues. Our members will experience a better commute or a great car sharing experience in one of the most exciting, advanced cars on the road -- the Tesla Model X, while reducing their carbon footprint and alleviating congestion on our roads."
Automotive Aluminum Recycling Rate Higher Than 90!
New research from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute's (WPI) Center for Resource Recovery and Recycling confirms an overall recycling rate of 91 percent for automotive aluminum. The peer-reviewed study, funded by the Aluminum Association, examines how much aluminum used in the United States' light-duty automotive sector is recovered and recycled from vehicles at end of life. This new study supports findings from earlier third-party government and auto industry reports to confirm aluminum is the most sustainable choice for the environment.
"We set out to detail exactly how aluminum is separated and recovered at the end of a vehicle's service life and findings show it is highly recyclable and is recovered and reused at very high rates," said Professor Diran Apelian, founding director of WPI's Metal Processing Institute, which is home of the Center for Resource Recovery and Recycling. "With an eye toward reducing the nation's energy consumption, lowering carbon emissions and increasing fuel economy, this study confirms that as aluminum use continues to grow in the automotive sector it also enhances energy security and environmental protections."
The new study, Automotive Aluminum Recycling at End of Life: A Grave-to-Gate Analysis, details a "grave-to-gate" analysis, which spans the moment an automobile becomes obsolete to the moment the aluminum metal units are completely recycled and enter back into life as input material for new applications, including vehicles. Researchers attribute automotive aluminum's high recycling rate to the metal's economic value, citing the "concerted effort to recover this valuable lightweight commodity from end-of-life vehicles."
Aluminum Sustainability in North America
Aluminum use in cars and trucks continues to rise and has seen consistent growth during the last 40 years, in part, because of its consumer and environmental benefits. Recycled aluminum helps automakers improve the sustainability of their operations and products, while also providing supply chain security. Once produced, aluminum can be recycled repeatedly without any degradation while maintaining significant economic value. As a result, automakers can tap an endlessly renewable supply of aluminum through closed-loop recycling operations.
"Aluminum continues to show its fundamental value as a sustainable solution at every stage of an automobile's life," said Tom Boney, chairman of the Aluminum Association's Aluminum Transportation Group (ATG) and vice president and general manager, Automotive Value Stream, Novelis North America. "As the United States and the rest of the world continue to strive for a more environmentally friendly future, aluminum is a big part of the solution and this new data confirms it."
The aluminum industry continues robust investments in innovations and technologies designed to reduce its overall environmental footprint. Current data commissioned by the Aluminum Association confirms the energy needed to produce primary aluminum is down more than a quarter since 1995 with carbon emissions down nearly 40 percent due to expanded use of hydroelectric power sources for aluminum production.
In an independent life cycle assessment conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, use of aluminum in new vehicles to boost fuel economy was found to offer the smallest total carbon footprint among competing materials. A similar assessment conducted by Ford Motor Company and Magna International arrived at the same conclusion.
Makers Gather at Shanghai
International Green Auto Show
The Shanghai International Green Auto Show, the largest new energy vehicle exhibition in China, was held at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC) last week.
Nearly one hundred new energy vehicles were on display at the event, drawing much attention from the automobile industry. China's leading automakers have sent top executives from their head offices who will be presenting the most complete lineup of Chinese proprietary automobile brands.
The inaugural Shanghai International Green Auto Show is co-organized by CCPIT Shanghai, CCPIT Automotive Sub-Council, SIEC and SAE China in a move to respond to the new concept for development, the gist of which is encapsulated by the tagline, "Innovation, Harmonization, Green, Open and Sharing", as proposed at the 5th Plenary Session of 18th CPC Central Committee, with the aim of fueling the growth of the Chinese automobile industry.
The event provided a 30,000-square-meter showcase zone spread across the expo center's W4 and W5 pavilions as well as a 5,000-square-meter outdoor new energy vehicle test driving and experience zone for showcasing China's new energy vehicles and technologies. Event organizers aim to create a professional, world-class, brand marketing-oriented exhibition that will act as an industry leader and transform Shanghai into the venue of choice for new energy vehicle debuts, showcases and exchanges.
Five highlights from the Shanghai International Green Auto Show
1. The event will bring together China's five major carmakers as well as other proprietary and joint venture brands
As the new energy vehicle market grows, long-established and emerging carmakers are strategically building their presence in the market. The Shanghai International Green Auto Show provides an overview of the rapidly growing new energy vehicle market by displaying a wide range of products. SAIC, FAW, DFAC, BAIC and ChangAn will reveal the directions they are headed in and their priorities in the new energy industry by displaying their latest new energy vehicle models.
With the support of Chinese government policies that actively support the sector, a plethora of proprietary brands are emerging and growing rapidly in the market. SAIC General Motors, Great Wall Motor, JAC, BYD, Geely, Foton, Brilliance Auto, Denza, DS, Soueast Motor, HAWTAI Motor and Zotye Auto will also showcase their highly recognized and much talked about flagship products. The nearly 20 exhibitors at the event include all the major Chinese new energy vehicle manufacturers. Visitors will gain deep insights into the future trends of the market and the latest results and achievements among Chinese automakers as they grow their new energy vehicle businesses.
2. A full range of new energy vehicles to be displayed at the event
The Shanghai International Green Auto Show will showcase nearly 100 new energy vehicles, including new energy-powered light trucks, buses, SUVs, passenger cars and racing models. New energy vehicles require unique technical designs and configurations based on their special characteristics and the service environments of the different models.
The diversified power sources of new energy vehicles include the popular hybrid model as well as pure lithium battery, fuel battery and methanol, demonstrating the different development paths for the vehicles. In addition, exhibits will consist of modified electric cars based on established models as well as proprietary and innovative new models, all of which are the results of two different development strategies among carmakers.
The exhibition zone will focus on new ideas and technologies, as well as intelligent and green products and equipment. In addition to hot-selling and highly-praised models, the event will also display the internal structure of electric cars, which is expected to impress visitors instantly with details of new internal technologies. The smart new energy vehicles developed in concert with internet companies will provide visitors with a 360-degree view of the latest trends and technologies in the new energy vehicle market.
3. First outdoor test driving zone creates a new interactive experience
In addition to the two indoor pavilions W4 and W5 at SNIEC, the 30,000-square-meter exhibition zone will, for the first time, also include a 5,000-squre-meter outdoor test driving experience zone, located outside of the W3 pavilion. At the outdoor exhibition zone, visitors will have an opportunity to have superior and comfortable driving experiences by testing nine new energy vehicles from three brands.
BYD will provide four BYD Tang models as part of the BYD Dynasty family of vehicles for the test drive. Test drivers will have an opportunity to experience four different driving models enhanced by a panoramic sunroof. Two BYD Qin models have been designed with black and brown interiors, reflecting the models' calm and sporty features. The interiors will deliver a comfortable and joyful drive experience through the choice of more elastic and tactile materials.
The intelligent electronic configurations include an in-vehicle networking platform and driver's seat memory system. These intelligent technologies provide 24-hour information services as well as people and car rescue, vehicle localization, cloud services, remote control, chat and other features. Qin's dashboard has an in-built iRobot, which rises into position automatically when the vehicle starts and communicates with the driver and passengers using expressions, motions and voice. In addition to the silent and comfortable experience, visitors will experience the novel and fantastic intelligent technologies of new energy vehicles.
JAC's popular iEV5 model will showcase its unique and intelligent 7-inch touch-screen central console, which provides digital entertainment and vehicle maintenance alert services. Intelligent remote control is handled through a mobile app. In addition, the PM2.5 dust filtration system helps create a clean and clear environment inside.
Geely will bring two Emgrand EVs to the test driving zone. Emgrand EV is Geely's first product introduced in the mainstream electric vehicle market. The vehicle was developed based on the fuel-powered Emgrand, one of the best-selling sedans among China's proprietary automobile brands. In addition to the same consistent high performance and high-end configurations as the fuel-powered Emgrand, the Emgrand EV provides enhanced noise-proofing thanks to its battery-powered drive system. When test-driving the Emgrand EV, drivers will experience a smoother and quieter environment inside.
The breakthrough outdoor test driving zone will create a visual feast at the event and provide visitors with a pleasurable interactive experience. Additionally, the zone will allow visitors to get a better and more thorough understanding of the development of new energy vehicles, assuring an enhanced result on the sales side when exhibitors launch their next round of marketing and promotional efforts.
4. The event will bring together top industry veterans and technology talents assuring promising prospects
As new energy vehicles are listed by the Chinese government as one of the national strategic emerging industries, Chinese carmakers plans to make full use of the available advantages to drive the technological transformation of the automobile industry and speed up the development of new energy vehicles. Organizers also will hold a series of concurrent events on themes such as strategy, technology and markets at which approx. 200 guests will be invited to deliver speeches at 16 of the sessions.
The "Innovation and Sustainable Development"-themed 2016 New Energy Automotive Industry Summit will bring together senior executives involved in the complete automobile ecosystem including complete vehicles and core parts manufacturers as well as leading academic experts. The summit will provide comprehensive insights into current and future developments across the automobile industry in terms of corporate strategies and technological development. The summit, which will be held concurrently, will complement the Shanghai Green Auto Show to create a global new energy vehicle promotion platform.
The International Automobile Key Technologies Forum provides a variety of discussion topics. Panel discussions showcasing cutting-edge technology trends, 3D printing as well as lightweight and smart connected automobiles facilitate in-depth technological exchanges and new technology exhibitions. Other concurrent events such as Match-making Events of SAPE 2016 and 2016 AIAG Supply Chain Forum will further facilitate industry cooperation and trade partnerships.
5. Visitors are entitled to lucky draws where they can win a variety of gifts
In line with the theme of green automobiles, the event provides access to online registration as part of the overall effort to maximize environmental protection, and the adaption of intelligence technology. Visitors can receive their exclusive QR codes via registration at the official website or the official WeChat account.
Visitors are assured fast access to the exhibit halls after receiving wristbands on-site, avoiding time-consuming and tedious process of on-site registration and long lines at the entrance gate, delivering a better entry experience. In addition, organizers have put in place a multi-level registration fee system. Pre-registration fee is 20 yuan between 21 and 27 June. On-site registration fee is 50 yuan between 28 and 29 June and drops back to 20 yuan on 30 June.
Go Green And Save 'Green' On Car Insurance
Honda Fit is the most affordable green car to insure and the Ford Focus Electric is the highest scoring green car on the list, according to Mercury.
Electric vehicles. Hydrogen vehicles. Hybrid vehicles. Plug-in hybrid vehicles. Partial Zero Emissions Vehicles (PZEV) and ultra-low emissions vehicles (ULEV). Mercury Insurance recently analyzed The Green Car Journal's list of 2016 vehicles leaving the smallest environmental tread-mark on the world that consumers can purchase today.
Mercury Insurance, the least expensive insurance option for electric car owners in California, as named by Nerdwallet, put together a list of the 10 most affordable 'green' cars to insure for environmentally conscious consumers.
Mercury's research and development team examined the top 200 make/model combinations for 2016 to compile a list of the most affordable vehicles to insure. The list was created based on the Mercury price for full coverage – liability, comprehensive and collision – in California.
Here is the complete top-10 list for 2016 green vehicles, beginning with the cheapest to insure.
Ford Fiesta SFE
MINI Cooper Countryman
Toyota Highlander Hybrid LE Plus
Ford Focus Electric FWD
Toyota RAV4 LE/XLE
Ground Breaking 370 Mile Range!
In a first for electric vehicles, Dubuc Motors announces an unprecedented range of 370 miles per full charge for its Tomahawk electric sports car in initial tests. The subsequent and much awaited 2+2 supercar is set to unveil in 2017 and will provide a wind of change to the market.
To date, Dubuc Motors has gathered over $5 million dollars in indicated interest for the shares of the company through its test-the-water equity crowdfunding campaign on startengine.com. Dubuc Motors believes it is on track to complete its funding goal which is the first step in bringing the Tomahawk EV into production in 2017. This news is sure to please the hundreds of investors who have already indicated interest in the company, and underlines Dubuc Motors' unwavering pursuit of excellence.
"We want to be unequivocally the reference in the electric sports car market. We strive to push the limits and intend to offer the ultimate of what is possible. This announcement today highlights our commitment to bringing an unsurpassed level of engineering and we believe demonstrates our ability to progress quickly within our space," said Mike Kakogiannakis, CEO of Dubuc Motors.
According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance in 2016, sales of electric vehicles are expected to hit 41 million by 2040, representing 35% of new vehicle sales. They also estimate the premium car market has surged 154% as the growing ranks of wealthy consumers want more opulent toys. Dubuc Motors intends to penetrate this niche market and produce the most sophisticated connected sports car yet with its Tomahawk EV.
India’s Electric Car Lands in the UK
Mahindra, a global automotive and technology company headquartered in India, made its eagerly-anticipated entry into the UK automotive market with the launch of the innovative e2o electric city car.
Designed specifically for easy urban commuting, and featuring a host of connected technologies, the Mahindra e2o will be available in two trim levels. The entry-level e2o City is priced competitively. The higher-spec TechX version includes a touchscreen infotainment centre with reversing camera, telematics, revive remote emergency recharging, leather seats, alloy wheels and a rapid charging port.
In addition to its competitive purchase price, e2o owners that drive the UK average of 7,900 miles per year, and who charge at home at night on an Economy 7 tariff, will pay under £10 per month1 on fuel, while also eliminating the release of airborne pollutants within their city environment.
Speaking about the e2o's arrival on British roads, Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group said, "I am very proud to announce that the e2o is now available in the UK and this marks a true milestone for the Mahindra Group. Sustainability is at the heart of Mahindra's business practices and with the introduction of the e2o to the UK market, we are offering a product that perfectly encapsulates our corporate philosophy."
Pravin Shah, President & Chief Executive of Mahindra's Automotive operations believes that the e2o is the right car at the right time for the UK market and according to him, "There has never been a better time for people to make the change to electric, and with the e2o there has never been an easier or more affordable way to make this transition. The e2o is an innovative combination of advancements in automotive, electronics and information technology paired with minimal running costs and zero tailpipe emissions. This makes it the ideal urban runabout or second car for the two-and-a-half-million UK households that can charge the car at home in a driveway or garage."
At the launch of the e2o, Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP said, "I want to congratulate Mahindra on the launch of their new electric car today. Supporting ultra-low emission vehicles has been a priority at City Hall as they can boost air quality, help tackle climate change and reduce fuel costs and I look forward to seeing e2os on London's streets."
At the core of the e2o is a collection of connected features that were developed to make the car both easier and more enjoyable to drive and maintain:
e2o Remote™ smartphone app - allows users to remotely control key functions of their e2o, including the ability to pre-heat/cool the car, start and stop charging, route plan and search for nearby charging stations.
Remote Charging Scheduler™ - a clever app that allows users to schedule charging of their e2o at a time when electricity costs are at their cheapest rate.
Revive™ - remote emergency charging feature to grant the driver up to 8 miles worth of range if the battery is depleted.
Telematics - on-board sensors send a data 'heartbeat' to Mahindra enabling remote health monitoring and customer alerts.
Blaupunkt touchscreen infotainment centre (TechX model only) - Satellite navigation with 'range remaining' maps featuring charge point locations. Bluetooth, Wi-Fi hotspot connection, USB, SD card, DAB radio and a built-in reversing camera.
The e2o's tall-boy design offers superior visibility for a compact city car and comfortably seats four adults. It is equipped with dual SRS airbags, Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and a Regenerative Braking System (RBS) that harnesses energy during braking to extend the car's range while travelling.
The Mahindra UK website http://www.mahindrauk.com is now live and ready to take orders, with first deliveries to UK owners commencing in May this year.
1] For owners that drive the UK average of 7,900 miles per year (Source RAC Mobility Study 2014) and who charge at home at night on an Economy 7 tariff.
The Mahindra Group focuses on enabling people to rise through solutions that power mobility, drive rural prosperity, enhance urban lifestyles and increase business efficiency.
A USD 16.9 billion multinational group based in Mumbai, India, Mahindra provides employment opportunities to over 200,000 people in over 100 countries. Mahindra operates in the key industries that drive economic growth, enjoying a leadership position in tractors, utility vehicles, information technology, financial services and vacation ownership. In addition, Mahindra enjoys a strong presence in the agribusiness, aerospace, components, consulting services, defence, energy, industrial equipment, logistics, real estate, retail, steel, commercial vehicles and two wheeler industries.
Model 3 Orders Surpassed 250,000
in the First 36 Hours
Tesla Motors Chief Executive Elon Musk has revealed that orders for the company's Model 3 electric vehicle surpassed 250,000 in the first 36 hours. The American automaker says the vehicle will sell at any average price of $35,000, but reports suggest this figure could rise to between $50,000 - $60,000.
If you haven't seen Elon Musks unveiling of the Model 3, we strongly suggest that you take the time to watch it. It's educational, entertaining and funny. And like Steve Jobs, Elon Musk truly understands the art of salesmanship through combining personality with a great product.
Electric vehicles have high initial costs compared to those of conventional diesel or gasoline-based vehicles. However, in the US, the operating cost of EVs is less than one-fourth that of gasoline-driven vehicles. As a result, the market for these vehicles is forecast to grow at a rate of 72.67%.
Tesla is likely to be a leader in the EV industry, according to a recent report, even though the company says their Model 3 won't go into production until late 2017. It says Tesla has changed the outlook of the automotive industry by introducing innovative business models. This includes providing charging for its electric vehicles free of cost at its supercharging stations.
The global sale of hybrid and pure electric cars will reach $178.9 billion in 2024, according to one report available on Research and Markets. It says electric cars are likely to take off in the second half of the coming decade as certain technical and cost challenges are resolved. This growth could be higher than expected, with Tesla ramping up their investment in EVs. The company recently began an expansion of its Fremont plant, in a bid to boost annual capacity to 500,000 by 2020.
The Batmobile on Steroids? Better, An Electric Racer!
California-based Faraday Future debuted its sleek electric concept racecar Monday night during the annual CES show that focuses on consumer gadgets and has increasingly become a way for carmakers to show off their latest technological feats.
The 18-month-old company that has remained much of a mystery until recently revealing its primary backer, Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting, won $335 million worth of incentives from the state of Nevada last month to build a $1 billion manufacturing facility in a hard-hit Las Vegas suburb.
Not even Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, who pushed for the incentive package and attended Monday's debut, had seen the concept car. Neither had North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee although he visited the California headquarters four months ago and saw "the intelligence building around the car."
"There was no doubt about it that that was the exclamation point," he said, referring to the negotiations to land the manufacturing plant in his city. He was convinced, he said.
Emphasizing the speed at which it will develop and build cars, the company's Senior Vice President of Research and Development Nick Sampson said the company would deliver its first production car in a couple of years.
Sampson said Faraday had so far hired 750 people globally with most at its California headquarters and planned to break ground on its North Las Vegas plant in a few weeks with plans to hire 4,500 people there.
He said his company would utilize digital design and testing of parts and modular construction, making it quicker than competitors.
"You don't need to have a hundred year legacy in the automotive industry to define what the next generation of transportation needs to look and feel like," Sampson said, taking a stab at traditional car makers and likening the future of cars to the debut of the Apple iPhone nine years ago making several models of cell phones obsolete.
A 100% Solar Car For The Masses
A Spanish company from Malaga in southern Spain, Evovelo, has launched a vehicle that is 100% solar.
The car, called Mo, has two seats, is 200 centimeters long, 140 cm wide and 130 cm height and easy to park. The emission rate will be zero when the use is 10 to 25 kilometers per day and if it is used for 40 kilometers or more emissions will be 0.001 kilogram carbon dioxide per kilometers. In moderate use, there is no need to charge the batteries. For extended use, the electric batteries can be charged by plugging it in.
The vehicle needs two to three days of natural light to be fully charged thanks to the solar panels on the top, the director of Research, Development and Innovation, at Evovelo, Gonzalo Chomon, told EFE.
If there is no natural light, the vehicle can be plugged into the electric current and within an hour its battery can be 90% charged. Also, between 70 and 80% of Mo is made up by sustainable materials and it does not consume non-renewable resources such as gasoline or diesel.
The design of this 2-meter-long car combines the comfort of a car with the environmental benefits of an electric bike. Maintenance costs are low.
How to buy an electric vehicle: 101
For those of you considering making your first EV purchase you may want to explore an article we came across at our friends from the BBC by By Serena Renner. As laws, incentives, and technologies change you’re going to want to stay as current as possible to get the most for your money.
Sven Thesen describes himself as an electric car evangelist.
His conversion began several years ago while he was working as an air-quality consultant in California. He switched diesel agricultural pumps over to electric as part of a program to cut air pollution and says he witnessed something incredible, an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. He began to think it might be possible to create similar efficiencies for your average family car.
Thesen decided to experiment. He ‘hacked’ his 2004 Prius hybrid into a plug-in electric vehicle or EV. It was the beginning of an obsession. He even negotiated with the city of Palo Alto to get special permission to install a charger outside his home. Now he’s known for devoting his time to getting more consumers on board with electric.
Many people are familiar with hybrid vehicles, those that run using both an electric motor and petrol. Electric takes that further, fuelled entirely by electricity.
What you’ll pay to go green
While electric cars aren’t yet associated with luxury or glamour, their silent driving and instant torque (turning power) are starting to grab the attention of auto buffs globally. But, they are expensive in comparison to a hybrid or traditional petrol-fuelled vehicle.
Tesla, among others, is at the forefront of the electric car market. The all-wheel drive Model S 85D costs $85,000 and can run for about 270 miles between charges, while the least expensive, the $70,000, rear-wheel-drive Model S 70, goes for about 235 miles. The company debuts its Model X mid-size crossover, featuring rear-doors that fold up like falcon wings (think ‘Back to the Future’) later this year.
But going electric needn’t cost a small fortune. In 2013, Thesen picked up a 2011 Nissan Leaf on Craigslist for $20,000. He sold it earlier this year for $12,000 and began a three-year lease on a 2015 Kia Soul EV. (A new Kia Soul EV retails at $33,700). The Soul gets a range of about 93 miles per charge, compared with 84 miles for the top-selling Nissan Leaf (US list price $29,000) and competitors like the Chevy Spark EV ($25,170), the Volkswagen e-Golf ($35,450) and the Fiat 500e ($32,300 ) or the Honda Fit EV.
At the luxury end of the market, Audi, Cadillac and Porsche have so far stuck mainly to plug-in hybrid cars (which recharge battery by regenerative braking and plugging it in to a power source.). BMW meanwhile has the popular, all-electric, BMW i3 but has also teamed-up with Brilliance China Automotive Holdings in 2003 to develop electric vehicles such as the Zinoro, tailored specifically for the Asian market.
According to the Electric Power Research Institute in California, electric vehicles are cheaper to operate and maintain than their petrol-pumping counterparts in the long run. Most models plug straight into a standard 110-volt outlet, or a faster 220-volt system. Custom chargers can be installed at home for $500 to $3,000, and new smartphone apps such as PlugShare can help locate public chargers around the globe. Residents of the UK are eligible for the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme, a program that provides up to £700 ($1,093) for installing a home charger.
How to buy one — and what to consider
Drivers in many parts of the world can hire an EV from a rental or car share program like Autolib’ in Paris, or test drive one at a dealership or Tesla showroom.
With the exception of a Tesla, which customers must order online or at a Tesla-run showroom, electric vehicles are sold through traditional dealerships, and also are offered to lease.
Once you decide to buy an electric vehicle, should consult an online buyer’s guide through the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association or PlugInAmerica.org as well as websites such as GreenCarReports.com to compare prices, range and other specifications.
Before you buy, consider the mileage you will drive and your estimated length of ownership, as well as incentives.
For Thesen, depreciation and new technology were the biggest drivers for leasing instead of buying. His first-generation Nissan Leaf depreciated $8,000 in just two years, so he thought the $7,400 price tag to lease the Kia Soul over three years was a better deal. Beefed-up batteries, such as the ones GM and Nissan are working on, and self-driving technology might further reduce the value of older electric cars, Thesen said.
“Right now I would not buy a new gasoline car or a new EV; I would just lease,” he said. “The technology is changing so fast that you don’t want to get left holding the bag.”
Tax breaks and perks
California is one of the world’s biggest markets for electric vehicles; anyone who buys or leases a battery-powered car in the state receives a $2,500 rebate. The federal government then kicks in an additional $2,500 to $7,500, depending on the make and model.
Plug-ins are also a good value in Norway because of tax breaks, said Petter Haugneland, communications manager for the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association. High-emission cars are taxed heavily, while zero-emission models are exempt from the import tax as well as the 25% sales tax (VAT). In addition, electric vehicles can drive in bus lanes and don’t pay parking fees or highway tolls. Electric cars have been a tougher sell in nearby countries like Denmark and Sweden, which don’t offer the same benefits, Haugneland added.
“If you have to pay something like £8,000 ($12,497) more for an EV than a similar petrol car, you have to be very environmentally concerned,” he said.
The UK has offered a £5,000 ($7,810) subsidy towards the purchase of plug-in cars since 2011, and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders reported that more than 6,000 were sold in March 2015, compared with around 1,200 the previous March — a 400% increase. Other UK breaks include the road tax exemption and free entry into London's congestion zone, which normally costs £10.50 to £14 ($16.40 to $21.87). Buying and leasing credits in Japan and subsidies of up to 100,000 yuan ($16,100) in China have also spurred growth.
Chevy BOLT 200 Mile Range,
Gearing-Up to Take on Tesla
General Motors Company [NYSE:GM] has reiterated plans to put its battery-powered Chevrolet Bolt concept car into production. More importantly, the automaker has also reiterated CEO Mary Barra’s promise made at the Bolt’s 2015 Detroit Auto Show reveal that any production version will offer a range of 200 miles or more and be priced from around $30,000 after incentives.
The production version, which may not use the Bolt name, will be built at GM’s Orion Assembly plant just outside Detroit. The plant is currently responsible for Chevy’s Sonic as well as the Buick Verano. Around $160 million will be invested in the site to prepare it for production of GM’s new electric car, with a further $40 million to be spent at the nearby Pontiac Metal Center which will supply some of the car’s components.
GM is fast-tracking development of the car because of its potential to completely shake up the status quo for electric cars with its pricing and range. It also provides the auto giant with a chance to leapfrog Tesla Motors’ [NSDQ:TSLA] development of the Model 3, which is expected to have a similar price tag and range.
Start of production and additional details will be announced later, but most reports are claiming a 2017 launch date.
All of the attention garnered by the Bolt hasn’t gone unnoticed by the Ford Motor Company [NYSE:F], which according to reports was caught very much off-guard by GM's production plans for the car. While Ford has offered its Focus Electric for more than three years, it has delivered just over 4,600 examples during that time. By comparison, Nissan has sold more than 66,500 Leafs, leaving many unaware of Ford’s EV credentials.
The Blue Oval is now rumored to be working on a rival for the production version of the Chevy Bolt concept and Tesla Model 3. Such a vehicle wouldn't roll off the assembly lines until late 2018 or sometime in 2019 at the earliest. According to Green Car Reports, Ford's unnamed electric car will trail the production Bolt by at least a year, but more likely two or three.
Singapore’s First 3D-Printed Solar Cars
Students at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore have built the city-state’s first urban solar electric cars with 3D-printed body shells.
The body of the NTU Venture (NV) 8 consists of 150 parts and is mounted on a carbon fibre single shell chassis. Printing and assembly of the vehicle took the team three months. (NV) 8 can reach a top speed of 60 kilometres per hour, while still being an energy sipper.
“For it to be lightweight, thin and yet strong, we integrated a honeycomb structure and a unique joint design to hold the parts together. When seen against the light, the structure has a translucent see-through effect, like a dragonfly wing,” said the vehicle’s co-designer, Ng Jun Wen.
The NTU Venture (NV) 9 is a three-wheeled racing vehicle featuring hand-made silicon solar cells. According to Team Manager Winston Tan, inspiration for the vehicle originated in motorcycle racing, where riders lean to maintain handling and speed.
“For the car’s body, we aimed for it to be as streamlined as possible,” said Mr. Tan. “The resulting design looks like a fusion between a F1 race car and a glider plane, with an all surround canopy for increased visual awareness.”
The (NV) 8 will be competing in the Urban Concept category at this year’s Shell Eco-marathon Asia and the (NV) 9 will be entered in the Prototype category.
“Using the latest engineering techniques learnt from their studies in NTU, the students have developed innovations such as silicon solar cells that can be contoured to follow the car’s shape,” said Associate Professor Ng Heong Wah, who mentored the two teams.
“This allows for maximum harvesting of the solar energy and a tilting mechanism in NV9 that can ‘lean’ in the direction of the turn to avoid losing speed.”
The idea of solar electric cars parked in our driveways and cruising our streets is no longer a pipe dream or even that far off.
FedEx & Nissan's Testing Electric Delivery Vans
in the U.S.
Nissan and FedEx Express have been conducting trials on an all-electric delivery van in the United States. After successful trials of the Nissan e-NV200 electric vans in Japan, Singapore, the U.K. and Brazil, FedEx will begin testing its zero-emission delivery vehicle in Washington, D.C.
Similar to Nissan’s LEAF sedan, the e-NV200 has a range of approximately 100 miles, so it will be used for short-range deliveries but during busy shifts, according to Green Car Reports. In addition, FedEx hopes that the use of these electric vans will help the company reach sustainability goals under its EarthSmart Program, which supports its goal of boosting efficiency and reducing emissions through business solutions, workplace culture, and community outreach.
Americans may be familiar with FedEx’s initiative to use electric delivery vehicles, especially in densely populated urban areas, where the fuel savings and emissions reduction from electric vehicles is most valuable. From New York City to San Francisco, the delivery company has been operating the easily-recognized Navistar eStar, a small electric truck that is larger than a van, but not quite as large as a medium-duty truck. FedEx has even shown interest in using larger electric trucks, such as those built by Smith Electric Vehicles and AMP Electric Vehicles.
However, before fully embracing electric vehicles across its fleet, FedEx has been conducting its due diligence and testing how this new technology fits its operations as well as economic expectations. Like for so many large companies, pilot projects, such as trials of the e-NV200 across Asia, Europe, Latin America, and now the United States, are a necessary first step toward wide-scale adoption. In fact, last month the Wall Street Journal reported that FedEx will test hydrogen fuel-cell range extenders on its Smith Newton electric trucks as a part of its vetting of electric transportation technologies.
FedEx is not the only delivery company going green with electric vehicles. Its two largest competitors, UPS and DHL, are also entering the fray. Last year, UPS began receiving deliveries for an order of 100 all-electric step vans from Electric Vehicles International (EVI), a commercial EV manufacturer that offers a small, light-duty EV, electric step van, range-extended electric utility truck, and medium-duty electric truck. UPS’s electric step vans were heavily subsidized to be used in California’s San Joaquin Valley, which suffers from some of the Country’s poorest air quality.
DHL, on the other hand, has pioneered electric delivery van adoption, beating FedEx to the punch by a considerable margin. Back in 2011, DHL began using all-electric versions of the Ford Transit Connect in New York City as a part of its GoGreen Program. Although Ford no longer offers the electric Transit Connect, DHL’s electric delivery vans are still being put to good use in the Big Apple.
Ultimately, FedEx’s Washington, D.C. trial of the Nissan e-NV200 is not a first crack at piloting a commercial electric vehicle. As noted, it isn’t even the first time a large delivery company will be using an electric van in the U.S. However, the scale at which FedEx has been deploying the e-NV200 is a good omen for its wide-scale adoption. Trials across Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the U.S. indicate that FedEx is seriously considering the electric van’s integration into its global delivery fleet. This possibility, combined with the fact that Nissan is arguably the global leader in electric vehicle production, could result in large purchase orders for the e-NV200 that Nissan would be able to fill. Time will tell whether electric delivery vans are a boom, a bust, or somewhere in between for FedEx.
Toyota & Dr. Michio Kaku Open the Door to the Hydrogen Automobile Future
The Toyota is opening the door to the hydrogen future, making available thousands of hydrogen fuel cell patents royalty free. Announced today at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show, this Toyota initiative will spur development and introduction of innovative fuel cell technologies around the world.
Toyota will invite royalty-free use of approximately 5,680 fuel cell related patents held globally, including critical technologies developed for the new Toyota Mirai. The list includes approximately 1,970 patents related to fuel cell stacks, 290 associated with high-pressure hydrogen tanks, 3,350 related to fuel cell system software control and 70 patents related to hydrogen production and supply.
“At Toyota, we believe that when good ideas are shared, great things can happen,” said Bob Carter, Senior Vice President of Automotive Operations at Toyota Motor Sales, USA Inc. “The first generation hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, launched between 2015 and 2020, will be critical, requiring a concerted effort and unconventional collaboration between automakers, government regulators, academia and energy providers. By eliminating traditional corporate boundaries, we can speed the development of new technologies and move into the future of mobility more quickly, effectively and economically.”
Toyota has a long history of opening its intellectual properties through collaboration, and was instrumental in facilitating the widespread adoption of hybrid vehicles by licensing related patents. Today’s announcement represents the first time that Toyota has made its patents available free of charge and reflects the company’s aggressive support for developing a hydrogen-based society.
This Toyota initiative builds on previous commitments, including substantial financial support for the development of a hydrogen fueling infrastructure in California and the northeastern United States. In May 2014, Toyota announced a $7.3 million loan to FirstElement Fuels to support the operations and maintenance of 19 hydrogen fueling stations across California. In November 2014, Toyota announced a collaboration with Air Liquide to develop and supply a phased network of 12 state-of-the-art hydrogen stations targeted for New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
The hydrogen fuel cell patents will be made available to automakers who will produce and sell fuel cell vehicles, as well as to fuel cell parts suppliers and energy companies who establish and operate fueling stations, through the initial market introduction period, anticipated to last until 2020. Companies working to develop and introduce fuel cell busses and industrial equipment, such as forklifts, are also covered. Requests from parts suppliers and companies looking to adapt fuel cell technology outside of the transportation sector will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
Today’s announcement covers only fuel cell-related patents wholly owned by Toyota. Patents related to fuel cell vehicles will be available for royalty-free licenses until the end of 2020. Patents for hydrogen production and supply will remain open for an unlimited duration. As part of licensing agreements, Toyota will request, but will not require, that other companies share their fuel cell-related patents with Toyota for similar royalty-free use.
BMW’s i Home Charging Services
At CES Las Vegas
BMW has unveiled its i Home Charging Services at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week.
The company claims it is the first vehicle manufacturer to offer such a broad-based EV smart charging product.
With i Home Charging Services, the electric vehicle is charged with solar power where available. When sufficient solar electricity isn’t being produced, or in the case of a non-solar household, the vehicle is automatically charged at the cheapest off-peak rates. BMW says using the smart-charging feature can result in savings of up to 800 dollars a year in the USA where Time-Of-Use (TOU) electricity pricing is in place.
“With this fully automated charging service, customers get a simple-to-operate system that integrates vehicle charging with the household electrical system and online-based data systems,” said BMW Project Manager Julian Lienich. “Our aim is to make mobility as cheap as possible for users and to allow them to maximise their use of green power – but without having to organise everything themselves.”
The live demonstration of BMW i Home Charging Services at CES involves a solar carport supplying electricity directly to the BMW i Wallbox (pictured below), which charges the vehicle. The iWallbox can charge a BMW i3 up to 30 % faster than the standard included charging cable; meaning 80 % capacity can be achieved in under 6 hours based on a 16A current.
BMW is also using the demonstration to showcase a stationary energy storage system built from repurposed batteries previously used in BMW i electric vehicles that can in turn be used to charge an electric vehicle or to meet household power needs.
BMW says a solar carport with a roof area of at least 25 square metres can generate enough electricity for 32,000 kilometres of electric driving a year (global average). In Australia, the average driver clocks up around 15,530km per annum.
“The fact that the system is integrated with home energy management systems also makes it possible to achieve the best possible balance between household electricity consumption and power used for charging the electric vehicle, thereby helping customers to achieve further cost savings and to make even more efficient use of solar energy,” the company says.
According to BMW, i Home Charging Services will be available by 2016.
Solar Powered 4WD Camper
Is this solar powered monster on wheels green? Heck no. Is it impressive? Heck yes.
Custom built EarthRoamer Xpedition Vehicles take off-road campers to a whole new level of capability and luxury.
The EarthRoamer XV-LT is a four wheel drive, turbo diesel powered truck based on a Ford F-550 with a 6.8 L V10 engine boasting 310 horsepower.
It has an 8845 kilogram gross vehicle weight rating and up to 5.6 ton towing capacity. This vehicle was made to be ladened. Its makers say the F-550 can carry 127% of its own weight.
The crew cab stretch version (XV-LTS) is 8.5 metres long with a wheelbase of just over 5 metres.
Even the tires are huge – the stock 32 inch diameter, 6 inch wide 10 ply tires are replaced with 37 inch diameter, 12 inch wide 22 ply tires; or optional 41 inch diameter, 12 inch wide, 22 ply military tires.
In addition to its striking looks externally, the inside isn’t too shabby either and features more than enough bells and buzzers to turn camping into “glamping” – and glamping on crack at that.
While this beast of a machine couldn’t be called green when viewed purely as a recreational camper; it does have some impressive green features.
To power appliances, a 660 watt solar panel system and a 6.3 kWh absorbed glass matt (AGM) battery bank is included as standard. However, with the larger roof area of the XV-LT stretch models, up to a massive 1.1 kilowatts capacity can be provided. The deep cycle battery system can also be upgraded to 12.6 kWh.
Noisy, smelly generators are also a thing of the past. The EarthRoamer team order their Ford F-550’s with the dual alternator option which provides a fuel efficient 3.7 kWh generator.
“We install an advanced battery isolation system and connect the factory alternators using low resistance, #4/0 tinned copper marine cable to the massive absorbed glass mat (AGM) camper battery bank,” states the EarthRoamer web site.
“Whenever driving or the engine is idling, the AGM battery bank is being charged by the high output dual engine alternators. At idle, the Power Stroke diesel burns approximately .5 gallons of diesel per hour which is significantly less than many RV generators at full load.”
Fuel economy of the EarthRoamer on the road isn’t clear, but it’s probably a case where if a potential owner feels the need to ask that, they probably can’t afford it anyway. However, a related green point in its favour is that it appears to be able to use biodiesel.
And on the topic of cost…
Be prepared to pay around $600,000 for a top end crew cab EarthRoamer XV-LTS fully decked out. Thankfully, winning U.S. Lottery’ $206 million Mega Millions this week will cover it, plus provide a bit of fuel money – so be sure to get your ticket today.
The EarthRoamer’s size won’t end with the XV-LTS. In 2015, the XV-HD will be released; based on a Ford F-650 and a whopping 11.2 metres long.
Why Not and Eco-Friendly
LAMBORGHINI this Christmas?
Looking for that last minute sustainable holiday gift for the gear head who is just a non-believer when it comes to going green? Well, we believe you'll convert them pretty quickly when you put the keys of a hybrid LAMBORGHINI ASTERION in their stocking.
Earlier this year at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, Lamborghini unveiled the Asterion LPI 910-4, the brand’s first-ever hybrid-powered “hyper cruiser.” And here you were thinking Lamborghini was going to stay out of the hybrid game. Shame on you.
The Asterion has some very impresses specs, let's take a look.
The Asterion is a plug-in hybrid. As such, it has three propulsion units: a 610-horsepower 5.2-liter V10 and three electric motors. All together, the hyper cruiser produces 910 hp, which is good for a 0 to 60 run in 3.0 seconds and a top speed of 198 mph.
As the “-4” indicates in the car’s codename, the Asterion is an all-wheel drive hyper cruiser. Up front in the front axel are two electric motors, with torque vectoring, powered by a lithium battery pack, which is located in the center tunnel of the car, where the transmission is normally located on modern Lamborghinis.
In the mid-rear, Lamborghini has placed the V10, which is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transaxle. Sandwiched between the engine and gearbox is an integrated starter motor-generator (ISG).
Of course, the Asterion is a plug-in hybrid, so I’d be remiss not to mention its eco-friendly bona fides. Lamborghini estimates the Asterion to achieve 56 U.S. mpge and only 98 g/km of CO2, which is just over the European 2021 requirements. In all-electric mode, the hyper cruiser will go 31 miles on a single charge.
Yes, this is still in the concept stage, but imagine what Lamborghini will let loose from the bull pen when they are ready to take on the likes of Tesla- imagine an all electric Lamborghini?
UNSW's Sunswift Solar Car Smashes A World Land Speed Record
Another one for the record books! The Sunswift eVe solar car, put together and maintained by the University of New South Wales’ dedicated engineering team, has just smashed a 26-year-old electric land speed record at a track in Victoria. Once the world’s top motorsports governing body signs off, that is..
Australian university students, whose electric Sunswift eVe set a new world record for fastest average speed—more than 60mph—over 500 kilometers (310 miles) on a single battery charge, on July 23. That’s a big deal: Range is the biggest issue holding back the widespread adoption of EVs, and this record shows the car can drive hundreds of miles at a reasonable highway speed.
The eVe might not be as fancy as the Tesla Model S: It seats up to two adults instead of seven, and doesn’t yet boast any flashy features like a touchscreen dash or all-glass panoramic roof. But the car does have its own solar array — enough to power two hours of driving if parked in the sun for roughly eight hours.
The eVe consumes “less than a third of the electricity at 20 kilowatt-hours when traveling at a cruising speed of 66 mph than the Tesla Model S, which uses fuel at a rate of 67 kilowatt-hours as it moves at a lower speed of 55 mph.”
Meanwhile, the students hope to make the eVe the first road-legal solar-powered car in Australia — and could take Elon Musk’s lunch money in the process.
Caesars Betting On The Future Of Green Transportation By Adding EV Charging Stations
Caesars Entertainment plans to widely expand vehicle station network across the country, encouraging a future of green transportation across the country, encouraging a future of green transportation.
Relax and recharge has a new meaning for visitors at Caesars Entertainment Corporation (NASDAQ: CZR) resorts. While guests enjoy their stay, they can now conveniently plug in and charge their electric vehicles thanks to new EV charging stations at 13 Caesars' resorts and casinos.
In partnership with NV Energy, nearly all of Caesars' Northern and Southern Nevada resorts and casinos now have operational EV charging stations on site, in addition to Harrah's Resort Southern California. A total of 48 charging ports have been installed in guest parking lots as well as valet areas, and are available for guests to use at no cost.
Caesars is working to expand the availability of EV charging at its domestic resorts, with the next round of deployment planned for the following locations:
Harrah's New Orleans Hotel & Casino
Harrah's Resort Atlantic City
Horseshoe Casino Hammond
Once completed, the gaming-entertainment company will provide a wide network of charging stations spanning across the country from east to west.
Remember, casinos always end up coming out ahead no mater what the bet.
This Electric Car May Change Everything
An electric car, with liquid batteries?
The Quant e-Sportlimousine uses so-called “flow-cell” technology with two tanks filled with different liquid electrolytes to store energy. The liquid passes through a membrane in between the two tanks of negatively and positively charged electrolyte solutions. The liquids get pumped through a cell stack to produce electricity, which in turn powers the car's four electric motors. The e-Sportlimousine emits no particulate or noxious emissions, has a claimed top speed of about 217mph and would accelerate from zero to 62mph in a Nissan GT-R Nismo-like 2.8 seconds. Nanoflowcell, its Germany-based builder, says the technology offers five times the energy capacity of lithium-ion batteries of the same weight, has no moving parts and contains no harmful substances. The car can travel 372 miles on a single charge and just earned a road-worthy approval on European roads
"For the first time an automobile featuring flow-cell electric drive technology will appear on Germany's roads. Today we have put the product of 14 years' hard development work on the road. This is a moment for us to celebrate," said Nanoflowcell Chief Technical Officer Nunzio La Vecchia in its press release. With the vehicle's unique drivetrain now legal for European roads, the company says that the next step is to get the Quant ready for production.
Nanoflowcell is still making big promises about the future too. It claims that the Quant can reach a top speed of over 218 miles per hour and accelerate to 62 mph in 2.8 seconds. All of this performance comes with a range of over 373 miles. At the Geneva show, the company also said the car would have a peak output of 912 horsepower and operating power of 643 hp. We'll just have to wait and see if it can meet those impressive pledges.
A former truck driver may have set a new record for driving his electric car from New York City to Miami and back: 58 hours and 15 minutes—and he did it all without spending a penny. Michael Fritts, who charged his Tesla Model S for free along the way, wanted to celebrate the 10th anniversary of his successful heart surgery “by doing something special and fun and I also wanted to celebrate this wonderful vehicle," he tells WKTV. The experience left him feeling "a little like Batman," adds the New York man, who returned from his journey last week.
Fritts' journey totaled 2,600 miles along the Eastern seaboard; he slept in his trunk as the car charged, according to TimeWarnerCable News. He took food, but didn't need money because Tesla Model S owners can charge their cars for free at 91 Supercharger stations in North America (plus 19 stations in Europe and Asia), according to the carmaker. A 20-minute charge provides enough energy to go 150 miles, Fritts says, and a computer monitor inside the car helps the driver find the stations—he stopped at 10 each way during his trip. He's applying to the Guinness Book of World Records for recognition.
EV Range Anxiety May Be Gone - The eBuggy Rolling Battery
German company ebuggy has developed a "rolling battery" system; which it says can solve the challenges of driving long distances in electric cars.
While charging stations for electric vehicles (EV's) are slowly popping up in major metropolitan centers around the world; between these major hubs will still be an issue for quite a while longer.
Enter the ebuggy.
The ebuggy is being developed as an external range extender that utilises a high capacity lithium-ion battery bank for energy storage. The company is working on extending the capacity the ebuggy to 85 kWh; which it says will give EV drivers the ability to travel up to 500 kilometres.
The ebuggy solution is based on a hire scenario. The driver picks up an ebuggy from a charging station and the ebuggy battery enhances and recharges the traction battery of the electric car. The ebuggy is then returned to a participating station in the destination area where it is recharged, ready for the next user.
ebuggy says it will source the electricity for recharging the units from renewable sources, such as wind and solar power.
"This will enable e-car drivers to travel 100% with clean energy. No compromise needed - even on long distances," says the company.
The ebuggy is currently in test phase and is licensed in Germany to travel at speeds of up to 100 kilometres an hour.
The project won the Hessen region’s European Satellite Navigation Competition 2012. A satellite navigation system has been developed to manage and monitor the future trailer fleet. The company also received a grant from Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology in 2012 to help develop the concept.
Are Car Designers Looking to 60's Show,"Lost in Space " for Designs Ideas?
We've heard it before, how technology has been inspired by Science Fiction all the way back to Jules Verne, and H.G. Wells. And more recently with the satirical documentary series, "How William Shatner Changed the World."
Well, we recently came across an article from IBTimes UK that is profiling a Japanese car designer. And after we read the concept behind his vehicle, the first thing that came to my mind was the CHARIOT from the 60s TV show "Lost In Space." For those of you too young to remember this campy Sc-Fi show, you may have seen it on re-runs, where it was extremely popular. If you do a side by side comparisons you will find some interesting similarities, such as they both run off of electricity, and they both are made for extreme weather and capable of floating. But we think the Lost in Space Chariot has the Fomm Concept One beat- it uses solar power, and it comes equipped with radar (but no GPS). Take a look at the Fomm Concept One and the article from IBTimes UK and if you can't find a chariot at your local car dealer, don't worry, you might just be able to purchase a Fomm Concept One for your next natural disaster.
A Japanese company has developed an electric car capable of operating in areas hit by tsunamis, flash floods and heavy downpours.
The Fomm Concept One bills itself as a "water-world spaceship" and claims to be the world's smallest 4-seater vehicle. At less than 2.5 metres long, it is 20cm shorter than the standard two-seater Smart car, as well as being both slimmer and lighter.
Its main selling point, however, is its ability to both float and move on the water's surface if suddenly caught in deep water.
Once caught in water, the Fomm Concept One uses a "water-jet generator" to propel itself through the water.
To maneuver the vehicle the driver uses a jet ski-style handlebar that controls both the acceleration and braking.
The wheels have a slim design so that they behave like fins underwater, capable of turning the car
Hideo Tsurumaki, president of Fomm, came up with the idea for the vehicle after witnessing devastating tsunamis in his home province of Shizuoka Prefecture.
Floating Electric Car Fomm tsunami
"President Tsurumaki's hometown is a known danger spot for tsunami and other natural disasters," a spokesperson for Fomm told IBTimes UK. "He wanted to design a mobility device that can withstand those environments."
A study undertaken following the devastating 2011 tsunami in Japan, which claimed the lives of over 15,000 people, warned that one in six Japanese people lived in areas likely to be affected by tsunamis in the future.
Professor Nobuo Fukuwa who led the study at Nagoya University said that response measures needed to be taken to protect the 22 million residents of low-lying areas.
Tsurumaki heeded this warning in part to protect his own elderly parents who are apparently too physically weak to escape a tsunami should one hit.
Nissan LEAF drivers save £52.5m as they clock up near a billion kms
Drivers of the world’s best-selling electric car, the Nissan LEAF, are edging towards the milestone of clocking up 1 billion kilometres of low-cost, low-carbon motoring.
Owners of more than 100,000 Nissan LEAFs worldwide have now collectively saved over £50 million through cheaper fuelling costs and are responsible for removing 204,000 tonnes of potential CO2 emissions from the environment.
The LEAF costs 1p-a-kilometre to run compared to more than 6.25p-a-kilometre for conventional, petrol-powered cars, meaning the billion km mark has now saved owners a combined £52.5 million.
It also emits zero CO2 emissions whilst driving, whereas according to the Government, the average car on the UK roads today is responsible for emitting 204.6 grams of carbon dioixide (CO2) per kilometre.
To celebrate the nearing achievement, Nissan is releasing a series of animated stories to capture the advantages of the popular electric car, beginning with Spanish cab driver Roberto San Jose.
Roberto, from Valladolid, narrates his own story as the first taxi driver in Spain to buy a Nissan LEAF, explaining that since buying his LEAF in October 2011 he has covered over 100,000 km and eliminated three-quarters of his running costs.
"As long as my car is my business, my car will be a Nissan LEAF," he says. The LEAF makes perfect sense. It's relaxing to drive and it's such a smooth ride that my clients love it too."
Jean Pierre Diernaz, Director of Electric Vehicles for Nissan Europe, said: "Stories like Roberto's are powerful reminders of how buying a Nissan LEAF can revolutionise a business today. He is one of many pioneers reaping the unique benefits of electric vehicles - and that number is growing by the day.”
And in the UK, motor dealers are reporting a “contagious EV bug," with people who now own an electric vehicle saying they don’t want to go back to a petrol engine.
Managing Director of West Way Nissan, Niall MacLaren, spoke about the success of the Nissan LEAF at West Way,“We’re very excited to be a part of British drivers going green on the road. Our Electric Courtesy Car scheme allows all customers who visit one of our dealerships for a Service, MOT or Repair to get a taste of what electric driving feels like and how easily it can fit in with their lifestyle.
“As a result, there has been an increase in enquiries about the car and it is becoming more and more popular amongst our customers. It is clear that driving an electric vehicle is moving from a desirable concept to an exciting reality for many people.”
Following Roberto’s story, Nissan has launched animations featuring the stories of LEAF owners Pascal di Stefano and Vito Mondelli. Pascal, from Aix-en-Provence in France reveals how he has rediscovered his pleasure of driving in his Nissan LEAF."I bought it as a second car," he explains, "but in fact I mostly use the LEAF now."
Vito Mondelli, from Bari in Italy, describes the time he decided to drive to the picturesque town of Taranto, over 100km away. His friends said he would never make it in an electric car. However, he proved them wrong, knowing that when fully charged, he can drive his LEAF well over 100km, even on the motorway. His animation shows how he covered the distance in style, leading Vito to the conclusion that in his LEAF, he feels he "doesn't have any boundaries."
It is estimated that the billion kilometre mark will be passed by the end of the year - rising sales and a rapidly expanding quick charge network mean the target might be beaten even earlier.
BMW's New Electric i3
We shouldn’t be surprised that BMW’s new electric i3 has been named Car of the Year in the UK.
Handsome, clever, blissfully easy to drive and good for nearly 200mpg, it’s a revolution.
The exalted driving position, surprising swiftness and intuitive controls win you over in minutes. And, unusually for an electric car, the i3 isn’t just bought by liberal tree-huggers – there’s now a waiting list. If you ordered one today, it wouldn’t be delivered until August.
And how the economic mood has changed. Back in 1986, the top title was won by the 2.9-litre, 20-to-the-gallon Ford Granada Scorpio.
Unbelievably, the i3 goes 10 times further on every gallon than the thirsty old Granada.
So when politicians criticise car companies for not being green, here’s proof that they are.
BMW’s greatest achievement with the i3 is to turn the EV into an acceptable only car. The range-extender model with the little generator will keep the battery topped up and you’ll pass 150 miles before having to recharge.
Throw in an impressive seven seconds to 60, a top speed of 93mph and the interior ambience of a 3-Series and all those electric car compromises evaporate in your slipstream.
It’s not impossibly expensive either, in the UK it is starting at £25,680 ($42,929.) or £369 ($616..) a month. But more than that, the i3 looks deeply special and upmarket.
Unconventional but not weird, it turns heads wherever it goes. Crowds gather when it’s parked and everybody wants to know what it’s like to drive.
Winning Car of the Year is a just reward for the billion BMW spent developing its first EV. But the real feat is the seismic shift it will bring to the electric car market.
The Luddite doubters who say they hate EVs, never having even sat in one, have now been permanently silenced. The Stats
Engine 125 kW
Price from £25,680 ($42,929.)
NISSAN's COOL NEW EV!
But before we get under this thing's skin, here's something: there's a chance it might - might - reach showrooms.
Nissan's engineering, sales, and marketing boss, Andy Palmer, told TopGear.com: "I want to build a sports car that challenges convention. Something for 25-year-olds that have been brought up with the car as something demonised. Something environmentally acceptable, with 70% of the weight in the rear, a central driving position and narrow track. That's my answer to the future sports car. Something that offends your parents." Encouraging stuff.
So, the Bladeglider. Let's start with the shape. As the company's DeltaWing proved - and the Reliant Robin patently didn't - cars with a skinny front end won't necessarily fall over at the first sniff of a corner. A discovery Nissan's keen to promote with this concept's one metre, super-narrow front track.
Nissan tells us that having the front wheels close together reduces drag and enhances maneuverability for high G cornering power. Helped, in no small part, by its 30/70 front/rear weight distribution ratio. Extra plantedness is created with some clever aero built into the lightweight carbon-fibre underbody.
Then there are the motors. If this makes it to showrooms, it would be Nissan's first use of in-wheel motors, which provide rear-wheel propulsion. Each motor would be managed independently, and because there's no awkward engine to hide under the bodywork, it allows a lot more freedom for the designers to go wild on the upper body and interior packaging.
Stuff like three-abreast seating. As per the McLaren F1, the driver's chair sticks out ahead of the ménage à trois, which maintains the car's balance and gives the pilot a near-360 degree view of the road. The driver's seat itself also automatically slides laterally when you open the door, enabling easy access to passenger seats.
"BladeGlider was conceived around delivering a glider-like exhilaration that echoes its lightweight, downsized hyper-efficient aerodynamic form," said Shiro Nakamura, Nissan's senior vice president and chief creative officer. "This design is more than revolutionary; it's transformational, applying our most advanced electric drive-train technology and racetrack-inspired styling in the service of a new dimension of shared driving pleasure."
There'll be more info when it's unveiled at the Tokyo motor show later this month, but could this crazy little project finally reinvent the EV's reputation?
When it comes to electric cars we often thiink right away of Tesla, Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf and now the coming of electric cars from such companies as BMW. But one company that may not get as much attention as it should is a small electric car company right here in the United States that goes by the name Wheego. This company has defied the odds when it comes to electric automobiles while many other have gone waist side Wheego keeps chugging along.
The Wheego has a very interesting manufacturing trail, Wheego CEO, Mike McQuary provide the cars origin's in the company's premiere newsletter back in October, 2009. This is how he explained it. "Wheego is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia- but nothing too exciting happens there. It is mostly just administrative functions. Assembly of the Wheego happens in two places. Just outside of Shijiazhuang, China the Wheego chassis and body are manufactured to our specifications and then shipped to Ontario, California. Parts that we source from all over North America meet up with the "gliders" in Ontario and the "electrification" and final assembly takes place there. The AGM Batteries are from a Canadian company, the motors are made in Wisconsin, the Controller is made in Puerto Rico (by a NY based company), the Dashboard is made in Michigan, the Seat Belts are from Oklahoma, and well you get the picture.
I like to think of it as the United Nations of cars, we source the best parts from around the world and put them together with expert engineers and technicians in the U.S. to make the best electric car in the world."
A United Nations of cars...Wonder if it comes in the UN powder blue? But seriously when we look at effective manufacturing that needs to take place for a small start up to compete against the established giants this model makes a lot of sense. But what was even more interesting is that we learned from an article posted on PLUGINCARS that Wheego has actual partnered with a Chinese company to produce cars in China and to also sell them there. The details weren't disclosed but again it reinforces China's interest in the electric car and their efforts of moving away from carbon emission vehicles.
What also caught our eye with Wheego is the dealership opportunity. From our perspective they are almost doing a grass roots effort in building these dealerships where almost anyone can apply for the opportunity to be a dealer. Currently Wheego has one base model Wheego Life, but building on its small but stable base, Wheego is planning expanding its line-up to include an electric SUV at some point in the next year. Like the LiFe, this new model will use a body made in China along with US components. The expected prices is $44,000 (before any government incentives). The LiFe starts at $32,995.
So just like that little train that kept chugging along with a positive attitude Wheego keeps moving forward at it's own pace. And if you remember your childhood stories that little train did pretty well.
How China Is Set to Become the World Leader in Electric Vehicles
The quest to achieve transient advantages in an embryonic industry
Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) , the electric-car maker led by Elon Musk, recently rose past $100 a share for the first time as it continues its impressive 201 percent year-to-date ascent. The Palo Alto based company has exacted the attention of mainstream Americans living outside of Silicon Valley, but more notably, it has washed away at least some of the initial skepticism stemming from those inside the Valley regarding the technology empowering electric vehicles, and some of American society’s apprehension to embrace a new, expensive means of transportation.
Six thousand and four hundred miles away from Tesla’s headquarters —and roughly a three hour car ride away from Shanghai—lies a sprawling manufacturing facility where little of that societal doubt resides. The facility, which is situated in a restless industrial park in Jinhua of Zhejiang Province, China, embodies the surging national drive to produce and adopt electric vehicles. Production within the facility used to center on only ATVs, utility vehicles, go-karts, and motorcycles.
The differences between the company and its American counterpart are notable. Tesla has a very high international profile, which is a result of significant global analyst coverage, increasing institutional holding, and a unique and charismatic CEO who attracts hundreds of media pundits. Almost the complete opposite, this company has zero analyst coverage, minimal institutional holding, and is headed by a very private chief executive.
Very few people outside of mainland China have even heard of this Chinese company, but there’s a high probability that the name of its largest backer will ring a bell for most: the People’s Republic of China.
In 2009, the PRC recognized that while domestic automakers probably couldn’t catch up with their global rivals’ internal-combustion-engine technology anytime soon, it had the potential to assume a leading position in the fledgling electric vehicle segment. This approach could succeed, the government hoped, if Chinese companies rapidly brought battery-electric vehicles to mass production and consolidated technological advances in batteries, traction motors, and power electronics. And so began the frenzied pivot at Kandi Technologies away from off-road vehicles and towards vehicles of the country’s future.
A few months ago Kandi Technologies Corp. was enticed by Geely Auto (0175.HK)—China’s fast growing and top passenger automaker that acquired Volvo—into a one billion renminbi (164 million USD) fifty-fifty joint venture, named Zhejiang Kandi Vehicles Co., Ltd. Geely will relinquish their ten plus years of EV R&D, top level EV licenses, and their current product line of EV’s to the joint venture.
Kandi will likely utilize the facility to produce the first pure electric sedan jointly developed by Kandi and Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd that received approval from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. The approval of Kandi Technologies’ first full electric sedan, JL7001BEV, gives prominence to the government support imparted to Kandi and Geely. It can be argued that they are operating in a market that is destined to grow thanks to the influence and support of the Chinese state. The National Development and Reform Commission received a proposal from Shanghai’s economic planning authority to subsidize electric car purchases to the surprising tune of up to 100,000 yuan ($16,310). Some people may shrug at this news, but those who have been closely following the Chinese electric vehicle market can identify this proposal as yet another example of the unified agenda shared between China’s public and private sector.
China is taking significant steps to manifest itself as the world leader in green technology. How exactly is China headed towards a path of electric vehicle dominance, and what does it mean for you as an entrepreneur and investor?
A Strategic Industry
One answer is exceptional growth. Back in July of last year, news came out of Beijing that China labeled seven emerging industries as being nationally strategic; this designation indicates that these industries will be closely incubated, assisted and protected by the Chinese state, and that they will serve as new growth engines for China’s economy. New-energy vehicles have been blessed with this designation, and to this industry in particular, China is willing to dedicate even more resources than what some might expect: China has a tentative goal of seeing electric vehicle sales (public and private) of five hundred thousand by 2015 and five million by 2020. This 900 percent growth is only one planned by-product of an ambitious road map unveiled by the Chinese government for expanding the country’s electric vehicle industry.
“China has committed to achieving sustainable energy innovations in all aspects of society, including transportation”, says Christina Lame-Onnerud, the founder of Boston-Power, which is funded by top-tier venture capital firms GSR ventures, Foundation Asset Management and Oak Investment Partners.
This commitment is fueled due to the many benefits that are associated with widespread adoption of electric vehicles. China is aware that such a move could help it not only to manage its energy dependency and environmental concerns but also to build an auto sector that could leapfrog its global competitors in this emerging industry.
Electric vehicles would curtail consumption of oil-based fuels and enhearten China’s energy independence: the cars would power up with electricity generated primarily from domestic coal and potentially from thorium. China otherwise faces the prediction that oil consumption will swell by 70 percent between 2010 and 2020, given current expectations for the per capita growth of vehicle ownership. The country would then find itself increasingly exposed to global supply fluctuations.
Carbon dioxide emissions and air pollution, a significant problem in China, could be drastically reduced by a widespread adoption of electric vehicles. A recent report by McKinsey & Company estimated that “on a well-to-wheels basis, battery-powered electric vehicles can cut carbon dioxide emissions by about 40 percent compared with vehicles powered by internal-combustion engines. Local mobile emissions of both carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides could fall by roughly 99 percent and 50 percent, respectively.”
Achieving Transient Advantages
Most policy makers, executives, and leaders are using frameworks that were designed for a different generation of business and based on a single ascendant idea—that the desideratum of strategy is to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. Once the premise on which all strategies were built, this idea is becoming increasingly irrelevant, and discarded in favor of strategies that favor continuous, transient advantages.
Transient advantages call for a whole new playbook, says Columbia Business School’s Rita McGrath. Applying this new way of conceptualizing competitive advantages to the Chinese electric vehicle market is particularly interesting; McGrath has identified several major operational shifts that must be undertaken before transient advantages are manifested, and several of these shifts are already occuring in the Middle Kingdom.
Think About Arenas, Not Industries
In the modern business world strategy involves orchestrating competitive moves in what McGrath call “arenas.” An arena is a combination of a customer segment, an offer, and a place in which that offer is delivered. Though it may seem that this new paradigm suggests that industries themselves aren’t relevant anymore, it argues that industry-level analysis no longer gives you the full picture.
A transient competitive advantage is more concerned with the utility value a product or service is assigned by its customers, and less concerned with having superior profit margins compared to industry peers.
The differences between Tesla and Kandi in the electric vehicle arena are a good example of this concept. Though these two companies are in the same industry, they currently are not in the same arena because of different customer segments, different offers, and different countries of operation. Tesla produces a car with a base price of $62,400, including the $7,500 Federal Tax Credit, while Kandi produces a car that appeals to consumers because of its price of only 43,000 yuan ($7,013). That’s before government subsidies of 32,000 yuan ($5,219) which bring the actual cost to just 11,000 yuan ($1,794). Tesla offers a product that is pitched to customers as a flashy, cutting-edge technological marvel, while Kandi offers a product that is pitched as a practical, convenient means of transportation for the urban Chinese lifestyle.
Focus on Experiences and Solutions to Problems
As barriers to entry tumble, product features can be copied in an instant. Even service offerings in many industries have become commoditized. Once a company has demonstrated that demand for something exists, competitors quickly move in. What customers crave—and few companies provide—are well-designed experiences and complete solutions to their problems. Unfortunately, many companies are so internally focused that they’re oblivious to the customer’s experience.
Tesla currently suffers heavy criticism for the inability to travel long distances in its electric vehicles, and it is a main contributor to the inertia that is holding electric vehicles back from selling very well.A policy paper by the PRC’s highly influential State Council Development Research Center Enterprise Institute exemplifies how China doesn’t have this problem:
Scale of many features into a small niche market. Market demand of the Chinese market has a multi-level, so many in Western countries for “niche market” only “ mass product “ in the Chinese market . The electric bicycle is a typical example. In Germany and other Western countries, and would very much like to be able to promote electric bike, but due to various reasons, only a small niche market-oriented electric bicycles. But is different in China - As of 2010, China’s electric bicycle ownership has been as high as 120 million. This was originally in the Western countries is considered only for “niche market” products in China has become a “mass product”. Equally by Europe and the United States can only be the product of a “niche market” short-distance pure electric vehicles in China will probably become mass products. Therefore, in business model innovation, exploring the development of short-distance electric car niche markets, better fund research and development of electric vehicles mainstream products in the industry value creation, nurturing.
Access to affordable, convenient, and green transportation is the need expressed by China’s populace. Most Chinese are just interested in getting to and from work in an advantageous manner instead of an electric vehicle that can travel hundreds of miles for a road trip on a single charge. The PRC is fully aware of this and is seeking to design an amazing, fulfilling experience conciliating this need.
Build Strong Relationships and Networks
Establishing substantial relationships with customers and partners through investing in communities, whether digital or geographical, is a way of deepening ties and creating a transient advantage.
These types of relationships are flourishing within dozens of Chinese cities. Municipal governments are pushing electric vehicle adoption by negotiating contracts with EV manufacturers such as Kandi for public transportation fleets. State owned agencies, such as the State Grid, are working side by side with these manufacturers to create a present and future electric ecosystem that can propel the country forward.
The State Grid is a massive powerhouse. It is difficult to fathom just how massive it is. By far the largest electric utilities company in the world, it currently supplies power to over 88% of China—a land area that is populated by over one billion people. It leverages its huge size, and its ability to start building Smart Grid technology into its transmission infrastructure from scratch rather than retrofitting an antiquated system.
The SGCC is playing a vital role as an apparatus that is laying the foundation for the emergence of electric vehicles. It plans to spend over $400 billion within the next four years during its ambitious construction phase — the second phase of its smart grid deployment plan that will conclude in 2015. In Hangzhou, which is roughly a hundred miles southwest of Shanghai, the municipal government, the SGCC, and Kandi Technologies have entered into a Strategic Cooperation Agreement that has resulted in the service network being built by State Grid supporting Kandi’s technical requirements and infrastructure needs while permitting efficient and effective operation of Kandi’s EVs.
Experiment, Iterate, Learn
The former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice once said, “After all, when the world looks to America, they look to us because we are the most successful economic experiment in human history.” She must of failed to take into consideration the dramatic rise of the Chinese economy during the past few decades, and the startling projections for the next few decades. In only thirty years, China grew its economy from roughly $300 billion to $8 trillion, or 2,556%, while America grew its economy from roughly $2.875 trillion to $16 trillion, or 475%. China has achieved this remarkable growth by undertaking one ambitious experiment after another, iterating to improve its results, and learning from its mistakes.
Public fleets - especially bus fleets - is yet another experiment and it will represent the initial wave of electric-vehicle adoptions in China. As the world’s largest maker of buses, Chinese automakers can rapidly reach manufacturing scale and reduce costs by securing large commercial orders. Buses can also address current limitations of electric-vehicle battery life by offering space to store extra batteries. City buses run fixed routes and are serviced and maintained in central garages, which would greatly facilitate battery charging or swapping, according to McKinsey & Company.
If the experiment is a success, it could pave the way for broader consumer adoption in the future. Besides the heightened visibility these increasing sales in the commercial market would give to electric vehicles, they will enable China to reach critical mass in manufacturing scale and push the entire value chain to ramp up capacity and deepen its capabilities. These developments would help drive down costs, improve performance, and promote the rollout of a charging infrastructure.
Transitioning Towards China 2.0
The country that will eventually become the first to champion widespread green, affordable electric transportation is yet to be known. China has made it a goal to have the bragging rights. It wants its economy to transition to a more advanced one that pursues biotech, nanotech, energy-saving and environmental protection, and information technology. It wants its society to transition to something along the lines of a technological utopianism.
Transient advantages are obtained by capturing opportunities fast, exploiting them decisively, and moving on even before they are exhausted. History has shown that a surfeit of opportunity always ensues the emergence of revolutionary markets.
If another country wants to become the world leader in electric vehicles, it will have to move fast.
Warren Buffett Investing in Chinese EV Company. What You Need to Know.
Warren Buffett hasn't just seen the car of the future, he's sitting in the driver's seat. Why he's banking on an obscure Chinese electric car company.
Warren Buffett is famous for his rules of investing: When a management with a reputation for brilliance tackles a business with a reputation for bad economics, it is usually the reputation of the business that remains intact. You should invest in a business that even a fool can run, because someday a fool will. And perhaps most famously, Never invest in a business you cannot understand.
So when Buffett's friend and longtime partner in Berkshire Hathaway (BRKB), Charlie Munger, suggested early last year that they invest in BYD, an obscure Chinese battery, mobile phone, and electric car company, one might have predicted Buffett would cite rule No. 3 above. He is, after all, a man who shunned the booming U.S. tech industry during the 1990s.
But Buffett, who is 78, was intrigued by Munger's description of the entrepreneur behind BYD, a man named Wang Chuan-Fu, whom he had met through a mutual friend. "This guy," Munger tells Fortune, "is a combination of Thomas Edison and Jack Welch - something like Edison in solving technical problems, and something like Welch in getting done what he needs to do. I have never seen anything like it."
Coming from Munger, that meant a lot. Munger, the 85-year-old vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, is a curmudgeon who frowns on most investment ideas. "When I call Charlie with an idea," Buffett tells me, "and he says, 'That is really a dumb idea,' that means we should put 100% of our net worth into it. If he says, 'That is the dumbest thing I've ever heard,' then you should put 50% of your net worth into it. Only if he says, 'I'm going to have you committed,' does it mean he really doesn't like the idea."
This time Buffett asked another trusted partner, David Sokol, chairman of a Berkshire-owned utility company called MidAmerican Energy, to travel to China and take a closer look at BYD.
Is Ferrari RED. Turning GREEN?
Okay what is the significance truly when you think about Ferrari's unveiling of their hybrid supercar - LaFerrari? The majority of us can't afford one, and even if we could how efficient is it really? But we feel there is a bigger story here than what these questions may suggest. We feel this is a major first step by undoubtedly the world's most famous sports car manufacturer, a first step of what we hope are many things to come. And now with the creation of Formula - E using electric engines, and cars reaching speeds in excess of 200kmh maybe Ferrari is preparing for a new conquest. Whatever it may be, we feel the real race is only beginning here, and Ferrari is heading in the right direction with the unveiling of LaFerrari at the Geneva Auto show in March, 2013.
The LaFerrari is still very much the star of the show at Geneva. Twenty-four hours after its unveiling by Chairman Luca di Montezemolo, the fastest and most innovative road car ever built at Maranello remains the main attraction at 83rd edition of the Swiss event. The Ferrari stand is under constant siege from a barrage of photographers and TV cameras eager to getting their own shots of the first-ever Prancing Horse hybrid road car, while a large queue of admirers waits patiently in the hopes of catching a close-up glimpse. Tomorrow, when the Show opens to the public, the ranks of that throng are sure to swell still further.
There is also hardly a report online, in print or on TV about the Geneva Show that fails to mention the LaFerrari. More than three million pages on Google already contain the car’s iconic name, while Maranello’s official Facebook page now features over 80,000 comments made by the almost 11 million “likers” of the various posts. Of course, this kind of reaction was only to be expected given the sense of anticipation that surrounded a car whose name was not even known until yesterday! However, once the wraps were finally off, the LaFerrari became an instant symbol, the very quintessence of all of the qualities that make the Maranello marque so absolutely unique: the signature technological innovation, blistering performance, futuristic styling and exhilarating driving emotions only its cars can deliver.
Some quick specs on this beauty, LaFerrari supercar combines a 789-horsepower gasoline engine with an electric motor to boost the car's total power output to 963 horsepower.
With all that power, the car can accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in well under three seconds and keep on going all the way to a 205 mile per hour top speed.
There will only be 499 of these cars sold, for what price? We're not sure, but if there's a government rebate incentive on this because it's a hybrid we'll let you know.
In the end if the competitive nature of companies such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, Audi, McLaren and others tell us anything, it is that they do not like to lose, and they have the skills to be the best at what they do. We look forward to their competitive efforts in the marketplace, and on the track, as they will go head-to-head with electric sport car manufacturers such as Tesla, and others. And no matter the winners, we'll be at the finish line cheering them all on.