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
Before the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight opened the green road of hybrid cars, another Japanese model, namely the Nissan Tino, was laying the first inches of pavement. But unlike the Prius and Insight that were built from the ground up as hybrids, the Tino was just a normal passenger car fitted with Nissan’s NEO HYBRID system.
The standard Tino was released in 1998, while the Hybrid arrived two years later in 2000. The vehicle was produced in a limited number of 100 units and was available solely on the Japanese market, being considered by many as only a prototype used to test the public’s reaction to this type of technology.
Compared to its gasoline-engine brother, the Tino Hybrid improved fuel economy by more than twofold, while also cutting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by over 50%.
Hit the jump to read our full review on the Nissan Tino Hybrid. 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.
When Toyota Motorsport GmbH developed the TMG EV P001 specifically to set the electric vehicle lap record at the Nürburgring, we knew Toyota was onto something special. Then it released a follow up to the P001 specifically to run in the 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and set a new EV record of 10:15.380 up the hill, and we were simply blown away.
Toyota then decided it was time to put the P002 to the test and see if it could beat the P001’s record-setting time around the `Ring. The P002 did not disappoint, as it smashed the P001’s record by 25 seconds, placing it in the top-15 times ever on the Nürburgring (at the time).
With the TMG EV P002 firmly situated in the history books, we felt it was the right time to take a closer look at this purpose-built race car and see what it’s like under the microscope.
Click past the jump to read our full review on the TMG EV P002. Full story
So, for anyone that watched the Debate last night – I did and I am suffering today thanks to the late evening – you saw presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney, hit our sector a few times. One time, he took a direct swipe at two alternative-energy car companies in one statement. If you missed the statement, here it is:
"Now, I like green energy as well, but that’s about 50 years’ worth of what oil and gas receives," Romney said during the first of three Presidential debates. "You put $90 billion — like 50 years’ worth of breaks — into solar and wind, to Solyndra and Fisker and Tesla and Ener1. I mean, I had a friend who said, you don’t just pick the winners and losers; you pick the losers."
Now, we’re not here to debate politics, but to call Tesla and Fisker “losers” is not quite fair. As a matter of fact, Tesla announced on Wednesday – the same day that Romney labeled it a “Loser” – that despite its struggles meeting delivery goals, which are due to supplier issues, it will become “cash-flow positive” by next month and will hit the 500-unit mark in just a few weeks.
Hitting that black in the ledger is a huge step for an upstart company and to see Tesla hitting it this soon is impressive. Musk also announced that despite criticisms of the DOE loan to Tesla, the company has always paid the loan installments on time and has never even given a thought to postponing the payments.
We are not too sure exactly what will come of Tesla in the long run, but it is already prepping the release of its second vehicle, the Model X SUV, and there is a light at the end of the very long upstart tunnel for Musk and Tesla. We’ll keep an eye on the ledger sheet and let you know if Tesla meets this anticipated milestone on time or not.
Click past the jump to read Mr. Musk’s blogged press release.
The Lotus Nemesis was able to shatter the U.K. land speed record for an electric vehicle in September 2012, but many people didn’t even know this vehicle existed. Did Lotus create an electric model while no one was looking?
No, the Nemesis isn’t an all-new electric vehicle built by Lotus in an attempt to rebuild its damaged image. The Nemesis is actually a one-off Lotus Elise converted to electric power by Ecotricity – a Great Britain-based renewable energy company.
Typically, when you think of the electric vehicle, you imagine the likes of the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i-MiEV; you think, a slow and ugly buggy that looks as if the manufacturer built it out of spite rather than to actually sell. Well, first we had Tesla eliminating the ugly and slow stereotypes rather effectively and now you have this Nemesis ripping that stereo type to shreds and stomping it into the ground.
Click past the just to read our full review on the Lotus Nemesis. Full story
The Kia Picanto is not a model you’ll find zipping through the streets of the U.S., but it has been a relative hit in developing markets, thanks to its low price, and even in the U.K., thanks to its stellar gas mileage. In the 2013 model year, Kia is releasing a series of “Originals” 3-door collection.
The most recent addition to this new collection of 3-door Kias is the all-new Picanto City. This model is, from the outward appearance, almost identical to any 3-door Picanto you’ll see frolicking through the streets of the U.K., but under the hood, in the wallet, and at the pump, it is much different than you would expect.
The U.K. super-mini segment is already overcrowded, so how well can Kia expect to do with this ultra-economic super-mini car?
Click past the jump to read our full review on the 2013 Kia Picanto City and find out how well it stacks up to the growing list of super-minis in the U.K. Full story
At the 2012 Paris Auto Show, Hyundai announced plans to become the first global automaker to begin commercial rollout of zero-emissions vehicles. Deliveries on their new ix35 Fuel Cell Vehicle will begin in December 2012 and by 2015, the company hopes to have built up to 1,000 units.
The ix35 Fuel Cell Vehicle is powered by hydrogen, with a fuel cell stack converting the hydrogen into electricity, which in turn charges the Lithium Polymer battery that powers the vehicle’s electric motor. Other technologies include kinetic energy regeneration system that charges the battery when the driver applies the brakes or drives downhill, plus a start/stop system which helps minimize energy loss in city driving. The only emission generated by the ix35 Fuel Cell is water steam. The ix35 Fuel Cell will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 12.5 seconds, can hit a top speed of 100 mph, and can travel 588km (365miles) without refueling.
"The ix35 Fuel Cell is the pinnacle of Hyundai’s advanced engineering and our most powerful commitment to be the industry leader in eco-friendly mobility," said Vice Chairman Woong Chul Yang, head of Hyundai R&D. "Zero-emissions cars are no longer a dream. Our ix35 Fuel Cell vehicle is here today, and ready for commercial use.