electric cars

electric cars

Posted on by Serafim

Electric cars have been around for decades, but it hasn’t been until recently that they’ve finally started to be considered a reliable solution to the problem of future transportation.

The Danish company ECOmove decided to join the crowded club of EV manufacturers and developed an innovative concept car designed for city driving.

The new Qbeak is a compact hatchback powered by a pack of lithium ion batteries and in-wheel motors. Its skin is made of lightweight, recyclable materials and features a unique chassis platform with room for flexible battery modules. Moreover the vehicle is also equipped with a communication system based on a smartphone.

What’s even interesting is that customers can choose from a range of interior and exterior options, which will permit you to modify the seats configuration (between 1 and 6) and also change the exterior color by interchanging some of the panels and parts.

The new ECOmove Qbeak is expected to be launched on the market by the end of 2012, but the company didn’t release any price specifications.

Posted on by Serafim

Th!nk used to work with Ford on a small city car, but after a while, the collaboration was interrupted and the Norwegian company continued to work on its project alone. Fortunately, it managed to finish the electric car and even launched it on the market with a huge starting price of $49,500 (including taxes).

Th!nk had much bigger plans, however, and is currently working on a new vehicle which puts practicality and comfort on top of the list. The new vehicle was presented in concept form in 2008 and judging by its tasty looks, it could certainly be received with more interest than the tiny City.

The Ox will be powered by a 60 kW electric motor paired with a pack of sodium or lithium-ion batteries which store enough juice to offer a range of 200 km. The Th!nk Ox can transport up to five passengers, being much roomier than its small sibling.

In the near future, Th!nk will also develop a sport version using the same modular platform as the Ox.

Find out more on the Th!nk Ox after the jump.

Typically, when Jay Leno gets his hands on a car, it is all about horsepower and loud exhaust, but he does have his eco-friendly moments. This time around, Jay gets the best of both worlds, sans the loud exhaust, as Tesla stopped by to let him take the Model S on a drive. There is not an abundance of Model S driving footage available and certainly none to the degree that Jay Leno does it.

Jay gets us a good look inside the car and we even gets a nice idea of how the Model S’ driver information center – you know, the massive, iPad-looking deal in the center of the dash – works, and we are certainly impressed. It literally controls everything, taking the old days of buttons aplenty strewn up and down the center stack to a well-placed screen that offers up the same controls.

Then the part that we want to see: the drive. Jay takes it pretty easy on the main roads, as he focuses more on its economy and regenerative systems. He does manage to get into the Model S a little bit, but only in small doses. Well, at the end, we get exactly what we have all wanted to see: a Tesla Model S doing a burn out.

Good call, Jay. We bet that poor PR guy had to beg Mr. Musk to allow that one. Then again, that burn out likely sold a lot of `tweeners on this EV performance sedan.

Posted on by Serafim

Until recently, the world of automotive industry was relatively quiet, as there weren’t many new manufacturers who dared to enter in this game, mostly because the combustion engines are very complicated and not anyone is able to come up with a good unit.

Things are starting to change pretty fast, though. As the electric drive trains are relatively easy to develop and a battery provider can be found pretty easy, we are assaulted by new brands that want to try their luck in this new segment.

One of the newest companies that entered the EV playground comes from the aluminum industry and it’s named Tazzari. It is an Italian company specializing in manufacturing aluminum parts. Since the company knows almost everything about aluminum, it has designed its new vehicle with a cast-aluminum frame which makes it lightweight.

The power comes from a 15 kW asynchronous three-phase motor which is paired with a pack of lithium ion batteries. The Tazzari Zero is already available on the market and its price starts at $26,500 (excluding taxes).

Hit the jump for more information on the Tazzari Zero.

Posted on by Serafim

The Wrightspeed X1 is basically an Ariel Atom with an electric motor at its heart. The conversion to electricity was made by Ian Wright, an engineer that has a lot of experience with hybrid and electric systems.

The electric power train comes from AC Propulsion and is the same one that powers the famous Tesla Roadster .

Thanks to its lightweight construction and strong engine, the Wrightspeed X1 is capable of going from 0 to 60 mph in only 3.07 seconds, making it one of the fastest electric cars ever built. This, unfortunately, wasn’t enough to beat the Bugatti Veyron and, as a result, Mr. Wright is planning a hybrid model which should do a better job in beating its infamous rival. For the moment, however, the X1 is just a prototype with the price tag set at a whopping $150,000.

Hit the jump for more details on the Wrightspeed X1.

Audi R8 E-Tron

At this point, all we can say is that Audi must enjoy messing with our heads. In the Spring, our spy photographers caught the R8 e-tron testing around the Nurburgring a number of times. Then, in June, the same car became the fastest electric vehicle around the Nurburgring.

Surely, this is a vehicle that is on its way to becoming a prized possession of many environmentally friendly people who still enjoy to cruise around at high speeds, right? Negative. Audi has decided that it will be putting this project on hold and could even be axing it in the future.

The decision to put the car on hold was made by Audi’s new R&D chief Wolfgang Dürheimer who thinks that the high price of the batteries could still be a problem. He also fears that there aren’t enough customers interested in an electric car of this caliber.

This seems to be a reasonable explanation for putting a vehicle on the back-burner, but we’re still a little bummed that we will not be seeing the R8 e-tron in all of its glory. Then again, we can take comfort in the fact that the Audi F12 E Performance Prototype is still out there, chugging along with the R8 e-tron’s technology, so not all is lost.

Source: CarAndDriver
Posted on by Serafim 7

Nowadays, if you want to get from point A to B as soon as possible, you have two simple options: get behind the steering wheel of a car or jump on a motorcycle. Unfortunately, you can’t make a compromise and choose a little bit of both. Well not really, as this will going to change soon.

We’re happy to announce that a San Francisco based company named Lit Motors has developed a unique vehicle which offers a perfect mix between the agility of a motorcycle and the comfort of a car. Their new vehicle is an innovative piece of machinery and it’s pretty safe to say that it has the potential to transform the way we look at personal transportation.

This innovative vehicle will not only help you move easier through the traffic without getting wet when it rains, but it is also very efficient, being powered by electric energy.

Technically, the C-1 is an enclosed motorcycle, but its most significant feature is its extraordinary self balance, being able to drive forward and in reverse without falling over – a feature that can’t be found at any motorcycle, but is common for any car.

Lit Motors hopes to launch the C-1 on the market by the end of 2014 with a price tag of about $24,000.

Hit the jump for more information on the Lit Motor C-1.

BMW i8

So BMW and Peugeot Citroën (PSA) were once a happy couple, just humming along in a deal that would help bring more hybrid and EV technology to both brands. All was well and good, and the relationship was blossoming into a mutually beneficial deal with no signs of issues. That was until General Motors decided to start flirting with the French automaker.

PSA decided that the grass was indeed greener on the other side and formed a deal with GM to increase its stake in producing vehicles with the American automaker. This apparently is a fatal blow to the deal between BMW and PSA, but BMW i BMW i sn’t letting PSA get away Scott-free. Part of the BMW-PSA deal was that the two automakers would jointly build a factory to manufacture the hybrid and EV technology and BMW is holding PSA to its promises by demanding €50 million, according to media outlets in France.

With the automotive world in Europe seeing the same types of struggles that the U.S. auto industry went through just a few years ago, €50 million is a lot of money for PSA to pony up. PSA hasn’t yet issued a response to Bimmer’s claim, but chances are this is ultimately the fatal blow to the once-promising BMW-PSA deal.

We’re curious if the upcoming i8 hybrid was secretly a part of the hybrid technology that the two were planning to share. If so, this could be a key reason that BMW has been eerily quiet about the much-anticipated i8. We’ll keep an eye on this situation and let you know what comes of it.

Source: AutoBlog.nl

We’re used to seeing tuning projects that provide a nice little exterior upgrade and a killer engine upgrade to satisfy our need for speed. With regulations getting stricter and electric and hybrid vehicles gaining momentum, we’re going to have to get used to seeing projects with zero engine upgrades and plenty of exterior mods to make up for it. Case in point, the Fisker Karma lineup headed to the 2012 SEMA Auto Show with a variety of paint finishes.

Fisker teamed up with 3M to present four different paint schemes, each introduced for every 24 hours span of the SEMA Auto Show. Four days, four cars, and four colors, all with deep meaning, according to Fisker. The first paint finish for the Karma is a combination of Gloss Burnt Orange and Brushed Black Metallic "October Sun" to commemorate Fall. Next, there’s a Karma "Riverside" painted in Matte White with Gloss Blue Metallic racing stripes - a tribute to American racing heritage.

The third Fisker to be presented will feature a "Classic" Hot Rod Red combined with a bold, brushed aluminum-trimmed Gloss Black stripe honoring the great American custom car scene, while the fourth version - "Onward" - combines a very cool Satin Black and Gloss Burnt Orange to reflect Fisker’s new brand look and feel. This version will also have 3M’s Crystalline Automotive Film applied to its windows.

More details on these painted up Fisker Karmas will be unveiled during the 2012 SEMA Auto Show, so stay tuned.

Posted on by Serafim

The MyCar was conceived by Giorgetto Giugiaro of Italdesign in 2003, but only after five years did it make its official debut wearing Nice’s (No Internal Combustion Engine) badge. The electric car was designed to be driven around the city and is targeted to budget buyers, being priced at around $15,500.

The Nice MyCar is built on a steel tubular space frame with a tubular roll bar and its body is made of lightweight fiberglass reinforced plastic. The stopping power is assured by disc brakes while the ride quality is kept in check by independent front and rear suspensions.

Unlike other new EVs, the Nice MyCar uses lead acid batteries to power the car, which is an older technology when compared to the lithium ion packs. Like other EVs, thanks to its green nature, the MyCar is exempt from the Congestion Charge.

Hit the jump for more information on the Nice MyCar.

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