As if it wasn’t already obvious, given GM is about as good at holding its secrets as a tissue is at holding water, the Cadillac ELR has finally been confirmed for production. Production will kick off in late 2013 in the automaker’s Detroit-Hamtramck factory alongside the Chevy Volt, Opel Ampera, and Holden Volt. This will also bring about $35 million in updates to the plant in order to get it ready to handle the extra production and this high-tech extended-range EV.
There are still no exact figures on its driveline, but we all assume it will be based on the Chevy Volt’s platform. GM’s presser does let us know that the ELR will feature a T-shaped lithium-ion battery and will run primarily on electricity. Once the battery becomes discharged, a 4-cylinder engine will kick in to recharge the battery.
We’re all anticipating – maybe more like hoping – that if the ELR uses the Volt’s drivetrain, GM will retune the system to be a little more performance-oriented. Given the sporty look of the concept version of the ELR, it just wouldn’t sit right with us if the ELR takes over 9 seconds to get to 60 mph, like the Volt does.
We’ll keep an eye on the ELR’s progress and relay its official specs to you just as soon as GM leaks – err – releases them.
Click past the jump to read GM’s full presser.
Sakura is the name of the famous Japanese cherry tree, but it’s also the name of one of the newest electric car manufacturers. Surprisingly, Sakura has nothing to do with Japan as its headquarters are based in UK.
Before starting to develop its first electric car – the Maranello4 – Sakura has made a name for itself commercializing electric bikes and mopeds. Their most popular models were the Sakura Mustang and Sakura S50, both being powered solely on electricity.
The vehicle was in fact developed by the Italians from Effidi Automotive Group, but in UK, it’s marketed by Sakura. Despite the sporty origins of its name, the Maranello4 has nothing to do with race tracks or mind-blowing speeds, as it is merely a city car with compact dimensions and a small motor.
Under the hood, the Maranello4 is equipped with a DC electric motor powered by a pack of maintenance free batteries which offer a 45 miles range. The car is also available with a diesel electric hybrid power train which offers a bigger range.
The Sakura Maranello4 has a starting price of £9,950 OTR (about $16000) and is offered with a 3 year unlimited mileage warranty.
Hit the jump for more information on the Sakura Maranello4. Full story
It’s not every day the words "BMW M3" and "Electric" get thrown together, but today is one of those days. Rimac Automobili - yes, the same guys that introduced the Concept One - have taken a 1984 BMW M3 and converted it to an electric piece of automotive wonder.
The idea came about when Mate Rimac - the founder of Rimac Automobili - blew out the engine of his Bimmer while racing. He then started to read about how to develop electric vehicles and after one year of work, his end result netted him a heavy and not very powerful vehicle with a very limited range. Since that time, Rimac’s BMW has gone through five development phases during which almost everything about the car was changed. The time Rimac spent on this vehicle and the help he received from experts in the electric car field, gave way to the Rimac e-M3, which has become one of the fastest and most exciting electric cars in the world. Its electric motor delivers a total of 600 HP and 664 lb-ft of torque, which sprints the car from 0 to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds up to a top speed of 174 mph. It also has a range of 111 miles.
The Rimac e-M3 has already smashed five world records (three of which are still waiting for official FIA approval) when he took the car on a two-mile long military runway near Zagreb on April 17th, 2011.
Hit the jump for a full list of the Rimac e-M3’s new world records and a list of performance specs! Full story
The last time we checked in on Fisker, it had fallen short of its $150 million fundraising goal by about $50 million, but said that was plenty to help fund the development of the upcoming Atlantic sedan. Just recently, Fisker had an investor meeting and it had a little bit of bad news, per reports, as the Atlantic’s pre-production may not start until 2014. The anticipated timeline for the Atlantic was a 2013 startup, so this would place it about two years late to the party.
There are no reports as to why production is being delayed, but it is likely either a delay in getting the former GM plant that it purchased up to date for production or choosing an overseas assembly site. Once production gets rolling, Fisker will be adding over 1,000 jobs – hopefully to the U.S. market – plus it’ll be able to use this opportunity to put some of the Karma issues behind it. One issue that will certainly be resolved is the Karma’s high price, as according to the report, the Atlantic will come in at a relatively affordable $55,000 base price.
Also outlined in the presentation is the fact that Fisker is looking to partner up with other automakers to spread the Atlantic’s platform to other makes. That really comes as no surprise because that was already rumored, but now we have a little confirmation.
We are due to have a sit down with Fisker reps soon and this information will certainly be added onto the list of topics that we will cover.
Few auto manufacturers would actually find themselves lobbying California lawmakers to pass more stringent zero-emission regulations. Then again, Tesla is not your “typical” automaker, as zero-emission cars is all they do, and that lobbying has put Tesla firmly in the minds of the state’s lawmakers.
With California having a vested interest in the success of the EV world, thanks to its growing number of cars on the road, it needs Tesla to start hammering out a more eclectic line of vehicles. The Model X is exactly the balance that Tesla and California need, but as an up-and-coming business, Tesla’s funds are a little tight. Well, California has upped its faith in the growing automaker, as it the state has issued it a $10 million grant to help the EV manufacturer get its Fremont, California ready for production of the new crossover SUV.
Now before you get yourself up in arms about the government handing out grants to another EV company, please note that per the terms of this grant deal, Tesla has ponied up $50 million toward the project. That $60 million will be used to create 700 new jobs, update equipment and bring in the new equipment that Tesla needs to stamp out the Model X.
This means that we are getting closer and closer to the scheduled 2014 release of the Model X, which will carry with it an MSRP from $57,400 to about $90,000. Models nearer the top end of the MSRP spectrum will boast dual-motor all-wheel drive and a 0-to-60 mph time under 5 seconds. That will put the Model X near the performance level of the Porsche Cayenne Turbo with a lower MSRP and no fuel to purchase. All that remains to be figured out is whether it will boast a 300-mile electric range like its Model S brethren. If so, Tesla certainly has a winner on its hands.
As any respectable modern manufacturer, Mercedes started to develop new technologies to increase the efficiency of its vehicles. One of the models selected to be fitted with its latest technology is the Vito E-Cell, a spacious and practical van designed for those who put interior space and cargo volume at the top of their auto needs list.
The fuel powered Mercedes Vito is one of the most appreciated vans in its class and can even be considered the segment’s leader. Given the fact that the E-Cell version is significantly more efficient than its sibling and offers the same amount of cargo space, it could prove to be a pretty smart choice, especially for commercial operators that are constantly searching for the most cost efficient method of transport.
At the heart of the Mercedes Vito E-Cell sits a pack of high-performance lithium-ion batteries which have a combined capacity of 36kWh. The battery pack powers a 60 kW electric motor and offer a range of 130 km. Unfortunately, the Mercedes Vito’s payload capacity was affected by its electric drivetrain and was dropped to 730 kg from 900 kg. Full story
Epic Electric Vehicles is a relatively new company and we had not heard many things about it until 2010 when presented with the first details of its new electric roadster. Two years later, the new Epic Torq should be making its big debut in 2012.
Apart from the new roadster, the company is also working on an electric ATV and an electric boat, which are also planned to be launched later in 2012.
Judging by the first details, the new electric roadster should be a lot of fun, being able to reach the 60 mph mark in less than 4 seconds.
Technically, the Epic Torq is a bare bones three wheeler with a few carbon fiber panels and a spartan cockpit. Power comes from a 200hp electric motor which is fed by a set of 30 kWh lithium iron phosphate batteries mounted under the floor. For the moment, there aren’t any price specifications released, but we don’t expect it o be cheap. Full story
Together with the Volkswagen Group, Skoda is currently searching for new technologies to increase the efficiency of its products.
The latest model that hosts the newest technologies developed by the company, is the Skoda Octavia Green E Line, which is their first all-electric vehicle. The model is not just one of those concepts that will get put in a drawer somewhere, it will be launched on the market as soon as all tests are finished, most likely sometime around 2014.
The new Skoda Octavia Green E Line is based on the wagon version of the Octavia and is powered by a 26.5kWh lithium-ion battery and an electric motor producing a peak power of 85kW delivered to the front wheels.
Hit the jump to read our full review on the Skoda Octavia Green E-Line. Full story
Not long ago, it was hard to use the term "sporty" in the same sentence with the word “electric.” That being said, as the technology progressed, green cars have started to grow faster and stronger, being able to compete against any famous sports car that can be found on today’s roads.
Tesla had a major role in permanently changing our perception of electric cars. Its sporty model - the Roadster – was launched in 2006 and was based on the similarly sporty Lotus Elise. Though, despite sharing the same platform with the Elise, the Roadster was a totally different breed of car.
This green monster is powered by a 248 hp (185 kW) electric motor fed by a 53-kilowatt-hour battery that offers an autonomy of up to 200 miles. However, going green and sporty doesn’t come cheap, as the Tesla Roadster has a starting price of $109,000.
Hit the jump for more details on the Tesla Roadster. Full story
If, about 15 years ago, we would have said that Kia would turn out to be an innovative and trend-setting car company today, you likely would have looked at us in amazement as you laughed us off. Well, here we are in 2012, and Kia – along with its parent company, Hyundai – is setting the bar pretty high for the likes of Honda and Toyota.
Onto one of the odder and somewhat trendier vehicles in Kia’s lineup, the Soul… Kia has just announced that, along with the 2014 redesign of the Soul, it will also boast an all-new electric variant. No, not a hybrid or a extended-range EV: straight electric.
The details are still very scarce on the upcoming Kia Soul EV, but we do know, via Kia’s president of the European division, that it will be released in the middle of 2014. This isn’t Kia’s first EV, as it already sells the Ray EV in its home market. Likely, the Soul will feature a drivetrain based off of the Ray’s 50 kW electric drivetrain that also boasts a 16.4 kWh lithium-ion battery that nets it an 86-mile range.
As for styling, we have seen a few spy shots of the upcoming Kia Soul and we anticipate that the EV model will feature the same styling language, sans a few minor modifications. We know from these shots that the headlights are a little more square than the current generation, the grille is positioned slightly higher, and there is something new going on in the back end, which was covered in heavy camo. The remaining details on the 2014 Soul’s exterior are a mystery.
We’ll keep an eye on this upcoming EV and add to our review as the info becomes available.