electric cars

electric cars

Needing the right tool for the job often requires ingenuity. That’s exactly the case at Nissan’s Stanfield, Arizona proving grounds. The team of engineers needed a truck-like vehicle to haul test gear, but something that got great gas mileage around the 3,050-acre complex.

Meet Sparky, the wild idea a few Nissan engineers cooked up while trying to solve the dilemma. The team started with a stock Nissan LEAF, the all-electric hatchback and combined it with several parts scavenged off a Nissan Frontier pickup. The combination is something of a Frankenstein, but it gets the job done.

Not using a drop of fuel, little Sparky makes his way across the grounds and helps out with testing of future Nissan products. "I needed a project for a team building activity so we can bring the team together. We had a need for a truck . Something to drive around, a shop truck," says Roland Schellenberg, one of Nissan’s masterminds behind Sparky.

Helping build Sparky was Arnold Moulinet. “I went home and stayed up till like four in the morning making all kinds of designs for what would work,” he says. “We basically got the stock Leaf, and after reviewing a bunch of designs of pickup trucks that we have here at Nissan, we decided to go with a Frontier bed.”

Now the Nissan development team has an electrically powered mini truck that functions as park of the team. “It’s something that we all put together,” says Schellenberg. “We all share, so it has a little bit of everybody in there.”

Concept cars are being unveiled in all sorts of places these days. Take the case of Toyota for example. The Japanese automaker recently attended a private-panel discussion hosted by Make: magazine in San Francisco to unveil the Urban Utility Concept, or U2 in short. Toyota’s purpose of attending the event was to showcase the innovative concept that aims to attract young, entrepreneurial urban drivers. The U2 Concept was developed by the company’s Calty Design Research based in Newport Beach, California.

After its appearance at the private panel discussion, the Toyota Urban Utility Concept is scheduled to make its first public appearance at the World Maker Faire in New York City on Sept. 20 and 21, 2014.

It’s an appropriate venue to make its public debut, especially with Maker Faire events being geared towards modern inventions and growing entrepreneurship possibilities.

The Toyota U2 Concept fits in that kind of environment.

Click past the jump to read more about the Toyota U-squared Urban Utility Concept Vehicle.

It has become inevitable that electric-powered cars are the way of the future. We aren’t quite sure how electricity is going to be created to power these cars, but it has been almost universally accepted that batteries and motors are the way forward. Of course, people are lazy and they get concerned about things like charging times, plug variations and charging locations. BMW and Daimler have teamed up to hopefully make charging as easy and painless as possible with new wireless charging technology .

I won’t go too deep into the technology behind it, but think of it as a really large version of the wireless charging technology that some cellphones use. Basically, there is a large conductive coil installed into the bottom of the car that is attached to the batteries. If you park over the top of a second large conductive coil that is attached to a power source, the car batteries will begin charging. BMW has also managed to develop this system to be extremely fast and efficient. They say that this system can fully charge the new BMW i8 in less than two hours with the current prototype system.

Another benefit of this system is the ability to build it into any flat pavement. Entire mall parking lots or even highways could theoretically be wired with conduction coils, so your car would actually be charging as you went shopping or drove to work. If electric cars are the future, this is like warping into the age of the Jetsons.

Click past the jump to read more about BMW’s new Inductive Charging System.

It is no secret that car enthusiasts often buy strange things just because they are related to their favorite cars. I, for one, went through my phases of buying old ignition keys, hubcaps and emblems in my younger years, and I know many of my gearhead friends went through equally weird buying phases. This item, however, seems excessive even to me.

Up for sale on eBay today is a BMW i8 , and the bid is currently at only $19,100, but the reserve is not yet met as of 8/26/2014. Sounds like this may be the bargain of the century, right? Well, you may want to chill out a bit and put your itchy bidding finger away. This is merely a display-only shell of the i8 that a dealership bought from Bimmer to show off on its showroom floor. Yeah, talk about a buzz kill, right?

According to the seller, this shell is made from fiberglass and measures about 15.5 feet long by 6.5 feet wide by 5.5 feet tall, which is almost the exact size of the actual i8 — only the height is off by about a foot from the real deal, but that could be a typo in the ad. There is no engine, no transmission, no interior, the doors do not open and it rolls on casters.

I could think of about 1,000 other things I could spend $19,000 on, but some people may find this display car as the perfect addition to their auto collection. If you happen to be one of those people, you had better hurry, as the bidding ends on August 29th, 2014 at 11:32 PDT.

And if you are about to bid on this, you may want to contact me first, as I have a bridge to sell that you may be interested in...

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i8

Source: eBay
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.

Updated 8/25/14: VW has revealed the e-Golf’s $34,445 price. See more details after the jump.

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

Discontinued in 2012 as Saab was filing for bankruptcy, the 9-3 sedan made a surprising return in 2013, when the brand was revived under National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) ownership. But instead of launching the third-generation model that was in the works before Saab went bankrupt, NEVS started building second-gen cars at the company’s Trollhattan production plant. Identical to the 2012 model, the "new" sedan arrived in dealerships without the trademark griffin logos and with a turbocharged, 2.0-liter, four-banger under the hood.While NEVS is undoubtedly working on a modern replacement for the 9-3 , the next-generation vehicle won’t be launched for at least two more years. Instead, the Swedes are reportedly looking to reintroduce the 9-3 SportCombi and have already confirmed plans to offer an electric iteration of the current sedan.

The EV is still not ready to go into production, but NEVS has just unveiled the prototype that will become an actual Saab product in the near future.

Click past the jump to read more about the Saab 9-3 EV Prototype

Posted on by Austin Taylor  

The August 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance has unveiled an exciting, all-new fully electric supercar. The Renovo Coupe concept began life discreetly in 2010, and has been kept under wraps until the engineering nicks and knacks were ironed out, and now the car has been green-lit for limited production. Renovo touts its new Coupe as "America’s First All-Electric Supercar," and it’s about as red, white, and blue as one could get.

EVs are all the hype these days, with Teslas as common here in Los Angeles as sunny, cloudless, 75 degree days. The fact that we now have a legitimate supercar , with blistering looks, performance — and a price — to match is very exciting news.

Details are still somewhat limited, but we have received basic information and are excited to report on this car’s capabilities based on what we know so far.

Click past the jump to read more about the Renovo Coupe

Posted on by Nico DeMattia  

BMW is continuing its plan to make the transition to electric vehicles as simple as possible. The i3 is already a huge step in the right direction, as it introduces a Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic chassis, aluminum sub frames and a small gasoline range extender all at a relatively low price. The main goal is to get people into electric vehicles by taking as much of the compromise out of the equation as possible. Well, BMW i BMW i s now going one step further with the introduction of the i DC Fast Chargers and the ChargeNow DC Fast Program. BMW developed the i DC Fast Charger with the help of Bosch Automotive Service Solutions. The i DC Fast Charger is a small (31-by-19-by-12 inches), 100-pound box that owners can mount to a wall that will charge the battery up to 80 percent in 30 minutes. The i3’s Fast Charger will set you back to the tune of $6,548, which is cheap in comparison to most DC Fast Chargers. A standard charger will “fill up the tank” in about 6 to 8 hours. With that in mind the Fast Charger seems worth the premium, especially considering it’s a slick-looking, smallish unit that will fit nicely in most garages.

ChargeNow DC Fast is a program BMW has developed with the help of NRG eVgo, and will offer unlimited, no cost, 30-minute charging for i3 drivers in California until December 2015. This will help reduce range anxiety considerably on long trips through The Golden State. To access the ChargeNow DC Fast program, i3 owners must equip the DC Fast charger option, and sign up for a ChargeNow Card. Doing so will give owners access to all eVgo DC Fast chargers across California. Even at a price though, the ChargeNow program will help dramatically in the implementation of electric vehicles as primary cars for households. It still takes a bit longer than stopping at a gas station, but if placed properly, these ChargeNow stations can provide some resting time or even some sightseeing on long trips. This in tandem with the i DC Fast Charger in the home and the i3 becomes a very useful and eco-friendly option.

Click past the jump to read more about BMW’s new i DC Fast Chargers And ChargeNow DC Fast Programs.

Tesla has officially announced its next product: the Model III. Scheduled to debut in 2017 after the upcoming Model X SUV, the midsize Model III sedan has its sights set squarely on the BMW 3 Series . Tesla’s new car will slot under the popular Model S in both size and price.

Keeping with its unconventional business methods, Tesla announced the product in an interview with AutoExpress. CEO Elon Musk says the new car will cost $35,000 and have a range of 200 miles on a single charge. The candid interview continued with Musk mentioning he wanted the new car called the Model E, but ran into red tape with Ford , which apparently holds rights to the name.

To combat the nomenclature woes, Tesla will badge the new car with the Roman numeral “III.” We have to give pause to Tesla’s naming scheme, particularly because of the combination of the Model S, the Model E (err Model III), and the Model X. It seems the world can see Elon Musk’s rather interesting sense of humor.

While the Models S, III, and X are the main focus of Tesla’s future, the company is giving early adopters a substantial power boost. Musk continued in the interview saying Tesla will offer the original Tesla Roadster a replacement battery that extends its range to 400 miles while boosting power. Musk says, “which will allow you to drive from LA to San Francisco non-stop.”

Updated 07/23/2014: We prepared a rendering for the future Tesla Model III. Check it out after the jump.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2017 Tesla Model III.

Source: AutoExpress

Hackers are some of the most competitive people in the world. I personally know this because I have some friends who treat this kind of thing as if their lives depended on it. So when hackers are invited to do something like hack a car and get paid for doing it, naturally, those competitive instincts kick in.

On July 16, 2014 hackers will get that chance at the SyScan conference in Beijing. The objective is simple: hack a car and win $10,000. Sounds simple enough, right?

Only it isn’t, because the car-to-be-hacked is none other than the Tesla Model S . Forbes is reporting that the company is opening the competition to anyone who registers for the conference. A Model S will be in attendance. So will a bunch of computers that we assume will be used for the competition. Whoever gets to turn the Model S into his or her puppet through hacking wins the prize.

This is the kind of challenge that hackers live for. Give them onions and they’re likely to do something with them. The same applies with a Model S, a computer, and the incentive to take home a whole lot of Benjamins.

Apparently, Tesla isn’t involved in the competition and its unlikely that it’ll give its blessing on the contest. But that doesn’t mean it’s going to be bad publicity for the electric car manufacturer. After all, the company’s security reputation is top notch and hacking a Model S isn’t as simple as hacking, say, a PlayStation 4 .

So if a hacker somehow finds a way to make the car’s in-dash browser remotely visit TMZ or worse, control its steering from a computer, Tesla would likely want to find out how the hacker did it.

The rules and details behind the contest are still unknown, but we’ll update you once we learn them.

Click past the jump to read more about Tesla Model S.

Source: Forbes

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