electric cars

electric cars

Posted on by Simona  

Chris Harris took a siesta from the likes of the Ferrari F12berlinetta and Alfa Romeo 4C in the latest episode of Drive, and he went to something a little bit more intense and high-tech: an 850-horsepower, electric racecar from Drayson Racing .

The only problem with this electric racer is that the batteries only last 10 to 15 minutes, but according to Harris, "when it’s running, this thing scrambles your brain." We’ll take his word for it on that one, especially when we consider the enjoyment and fear he displayed while whipping this monster around an airport runway.

This race-ready EV is powered by four axial-flux motors (two per rear wheel) with an integrated transmission. This system delivers a total of 850 horsepower and helped the car to hit a record speeds of 204.185 mph.

Check out the video to see what Harris thinks about the electric future of the racing world.

Posted on by Tushar  
BMW i3

The biggest highlight of this year’s Frankfurt motor show has to be the BMW i range, including the production i8 hybrid-electric sports car. If you look at the BMW i range, the Bavarians have taken a giant leap when it comes to putting together sustainable-energy motoring.

Until now, the Toyota Prius has managed to stand the test of time, although of late, sales have been slow despite it being Hollywood certified. Unlike the Prius, the BMW i BMW i 3 is an all-electric hatchback, which means prospective owners would have to live with the anxiety of running out of juice at the wrong time. Hence, critics would choose to disregard the i3 much like any other purely electric automobile.

Now, the U.S. market will see the BMW i3 go on sale in the latter half of 2014, but it hits showrooms next month on the other side of the Atlantic. That said, BMW is taking advance orders for the car, and you will be surprised to know, much like BMW themselves, that more folks are showing interest in the i3 than initially thought.

BMW Europe already has 8,000 pre-orders for the BMW i3, which is way beyond what the company had expected. In fact, BMW is now pondering a further increase in investment to boost production if demand for the car persists. This was confirmed by BMW’s chief financial officer during a press conference.

Are we witnessing a paradigm shift in the way we perceive electric mobility? Well, it is difficult to confirm but the BMW i range has certainly caught the attention of the people. BMW has made huge investments into this project, as some estimates claim that BMW has pumped as much as $2.7 billion into the i range. Even with this massive investment, BMW is set to make a profit on each car sold.

The morale is certainly high at BMW and riding on the success, the company has already trademarked i1 through i9. Quite obviously, the i1 would be the smallest of the i-range and the most affordable. We suspect that the i9 may be a higher-performance version of the i8 , although BMW does not wish to make an M Performance version of the i8.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 BMW i3

Posted on by Simona  

Cadillac unveiled a first ELR concept back in 2011 and ever since then everyone was pretty sure a production will also follow. Things got pretty clear in 2012 when a leak from OnStar confirmed Cadillac will dive into the hybrid realm with a vehicle not named "Escalade ." The model finally made its world debut at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show and according to the first official details we have, it offers "an unprecedented combination of luxury, advanced engineering and progressive design."

However, this is not the first time in Caddy’s long history that it’s tread into the economy car world. The first one was the laughably Cavalier-like Cimarron. If you recall, Cadillac was so embarrassed by the Cimarron that the automaker refused to call it a Cadillac and instead dubbed it the “Cimarron by Cadillac” originally. GM later forced a name change to “Cadillac Cimarron.”

Needless to say Caddy does not want to relive those days, so they took things pretty serious with the ELR. The model is being powered by the latest GM EREV technology that combined a pure electric drive and an efficient, range-extending 1.4 liter gasoline-powered electric generator.

Updated 02/10/2014: Cadillac unveiled a first commercial for its new ELR electric coupe featuring actor Neil McDonough. Enjoy!

Updated 03/25/2014: Cadillac unveiled a new video for the new ELR coupe which hopes it will help it sell the electric coupe better. Enjoy!

Click past the jump to read the entire review to see if the ELR will end up on TIME’s “50 Worst Cars of All Time” list alongside the Cimarron.

Posted on by Simona  

At the end of March, Venturi dropped the first details on its intention to hit an amazing 435 mph (700 km/h) at the famed Salt Flats in Bonneville, Utah - also known as the world speed capital. Today the company has finally dropped the first details on the vehicle that will be used for this attempt: the third-generation "Venturi Jamais Contente", aka VBB-3.

The VBB-3 is fully electric and develops a total of 3,000 horsepower. Venturi’s first record was established in 2010 when the VBB-2.5 went up to a top speed of 495 km/h (307.58 mph). With the VBB-3, Venturi plans to go up to 600 km/h (372.82 mph) and, in 2014, it plans to hit 700 km/h (434.96 mph). The biggest surprise will be revealed in 2015, but that remains a secret for now.

The VBB-3 will make its first appearance at the Bonneville Salt Flats on August 10th through 16th of 2013 and the first record attempts will take place on September 12 and 18, 2013.

Update 9/27/2013: Venturi was supposed to unveil the VBB-3 at the Bonneville Salt Flats top speed run this year, but heavy rains and flooding in an otherwise dry area cancelled the FIA-sanctioned top-speed runs. Instead VBB invited Prince Albert of Monaco over to officially unveil the 3,000-horsepower VBB-3. Venturi also revealed a series of videos of the top-speed monster, which you can see after the jump.

Click past the jump to learn about some land speed record set at Bonnevvile.

Posted on by Simona  

Last time we saw the Tesla Model S on a dyno, it turned in 388 horsepower, but the folks over AutoCar wanted to see for themselves just how much power the electric Tesla Model S can deliver.

They took the electric sedan to the folks at Surrey Rolling Road Ltd., and put the Model S to the horsepower test. The resulting 428.2 horsepower is rather impressive, considering Tesla only rates it at 416 horsepower. This also makes us wonder what the other testers did wrong to lead to the Model S pumping out drastically less power.

This amount of power is enough to make the new Tesla S Performance into a super-fast electric sedan that can sprint from to 60 mph in just 4.2 seconds and up to a top speed of 130 mph. All of this while putting off zero emissions — not bad at all.

Posted on by Simona  

Volkswagen released the original Golf back in 1974, and shortly after, it became one of the most appreciated models in the world. As proof to its worldwide love, there have been over 30 million units sold worldwide, so there should be no surprise that Volkswagen is trying to attract even more buyers.

VW unveiled the all-electric e-golf at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show , and it will hit the market in the spring of 2014. The model looks like a regular Golf , but it adds a particularly innovative overall technological system, improved aerodynamics and optimal rolling resistance. Also, as a first for any Volkswagen model, the new e-golf is equipped with full-LED headlights.

Along with a very efficient electric motor that ensures a driving range of up to 118 miles, the new e-golf features impressive technology, like regenerative braking and a "Discover Pro" system with a series of new functions.

Click past the jump to read more about the Volkswagen e-Golf.

"Next year will be a landmark year in the history of motorsports racing."

We’ve heard that sentence uttered far too many times each year and more often than not, we attribute it to nothing more than hyperbole.

But 2014 will be a landmark year in the history of motorsports racing with the introduction of the FIA Formula-E Championship , a one-make, single-seat racing series that will be competed by electrically powered race cars .

In time for its highly anticipated debut, Spark Racing Technology is using the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show to introduce the Spark-Renault SRT_01E Formula E race car.

The race car is expected be one of the most prominent racers in the series. It looks like any modern single-seat race car, but other than its aesthetics, a whole load of features about the Spark-Renault SRT_01E Formula E race car distinguishes itself from the likes of those Formula One racers.

For one, the SRT_01E will be build using a Dallara -designed monocoque chassis made out of carbon fiber and aluminum. But more importantly - and something that will be unique to the race car - the SRT_01E will be powered by a McLaren -sourced electric engine that’s capable of producing up to 270 horsepower, although that output will only be limited to 180 horsepower during races. It’s not as powerful as those F1 cars, but what do you expect with an electric engine.

Despite the lack of horses, the SRT_01E is still expected to be really quick off the block, capable of hitting 60 mph in just 3 seconds to go with an FIA-limited top speed of 140 mph.

Updated 04/30/2014: Ho-Pin Tung – the first Chinese driver to ever test a Formula 1 car - was invited to drive the new SRT_01E and apparently he was very impressed. Check out the video to see for yourself.

Click past the jump to read more about Formula-E

Posted on by Simona  

After numerous i3 concepts, lots of testing sessions and numerous teaser images, BMW finally unveiled the new i3 electric car in its production form. The model is the first from BMW’s i sub-brand and opens a new era for electro mobility at BMW. Like everyone else, we are excited to see the i3, but the real prize is the still-in-development i8 .

The i3 was built on a new LifeDrive architecture that will help reduce the car’s weight by 250 to 300 kg (551 to 661 pounds). The LifeDrive concept consists of two horizontally separated, independent modules. The Drive module integrates the battery, drive system, and structural and crash functions into a single construction within the chassis. Working in conjunction with the Drive module is the Life module, which consists primarily of a high-strength and extremely lightweight passenger cell made from CFRP. These aspects of car building will lead the way to a whole new process for building cars. A process that will be simpler, more flexible, and use less energy.

UPDATE 07/29/2013: The new BMW i3 finally made its world debut today after undergoing years of testing. Sales will begin in the second quarter of 2014.

Updated 10/10/2013: BMW confirmed that the new i3 will go on sale in the U.S. market in the second quarter of 2014. The battery electric model will have a base price of $41,350, while the range-extender model will have a starting price of $45,200. We have also added a new set of more than 100 new high res images, so check the picture gallery to see them all!

Click past the jump to read more about BMW i3.

The Chevrolet Spark EV appears to be a game-changer in the all electric small car market.

At least that might be the case if you’re living in Oregon or California, the only states that Chevrolet will be selling the Spark EV in for now. While no mention of any expansion was made, we probably shouldn’t expect a decision to be made anytime soon.

For one, there still aren’t a lot of these models around and it can be argued that sales of the Spark EV will be on a limited basis. If the model proves to be a hit, like Chevrolet is banking on, then we might see more states get their hands on the all-electric Spark.

For now, it’s Oregon and California, two states that look to be perfect markets for the Spark EV. One place is a blessing to drive on with scenic routes all around while the other is, well, let’s just say if you want to make the most out of an EV, California’s the place to be.

As far as the car itself, we love the overall make-up of the Spark EV, so much that we’d be very surprised if this model isn’t a success sooner than later.

Click past the jump to read about the Chevrolet Spark EV.

Posted on by Simona  

Here at TopSpeed, we talked for the first time about "Bluebird" back in 2012 when we announced the 2012 GTL Formula E Racing Concept - a vehicle that looked more like the Batmobile than a race car designed for the FIA Formula E series.

While its first vehicle looked a little over the top, the one announced today sounds more promising. It is named the DC50 sports car and Bluebird will officially unveil it on September 28th, 2013 at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu.

The new DC50 Sports Car is an electric car limited to only 50 units and will commemorate the 50th anniversary of Donald Campbell’s land and water speed records in 2014. According to the first details we have on the car, it will deliver about 360 horsepower and its acceleration figures will match the ones of a Porsche. It will deliver a driving range of about 200 miles on a single charge.

The model will be built as a two-door coupe with electrically operated scissor doors and wears a coat of Bluebird blue paint.

Click past the jump to read more about the Bluebird DC50 electric sports car.


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