Japanese automaker Mitsubishi has never been one to look for the spotlight. Even if they have concepts in these auto shows, they’re more than content to show their latest offerings without any hints of trying to upstage anybody else.
At the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, Mitsu will be bringing two concepts that will probably get little attention but are no less important, as it pertains to the future of their vehicular lineup. One of these concepts is called the CA-MiEV Concept.
Described as a next-generation EV that follows in the reins of the MiEV, the CA-MiEV will feature a slew of new technologies to go with what looks like an aggressively designed exterior that’s highlighted by a pretty striking set of LED headlights. We don’t know about you, but we’re very interested to see this concept with the lights on.
As far as the technologies are concerned, Mitsubishi is indicating that the CA-MiEV will carry a lot of them, including high-energy-density batteries and high-efficiency EV systems (motor, inverter, regenerative braking and wireless charging system) with both systems, enabling the concept to carry a cruising range of 300 km.
We’re looking forward to seeing what Mitsubishi has with the CA-MiEV. At the very least, this could be an interesting concept that brings attention back to the Japanese automaker.
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.
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.
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.
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.
At the Paris Motor Show, Motor Trend had a very telling sit down with Porsche CEO, Matthias Müller, about several of the upcoming models. This interview not only uncovered the fact that the entire lineup will be undergoing a facial and rump redesign, but also that a new, ultra-powerful hybrid drivetrain will grace the Cayenne in 2014. Almost missed amongst this plethora of new Porsche goodies was a statement by Müller that Porsche is hoping for a sub-7-second time around the `Ring,
If you recall correctly, the 918 Spyder recently screamed through the Nürburgring at an unreal 7:14. When asked about what this awesome time means to the 918, Müller said “That means this car will be a huge – huge – milestone for Porsche. One year ago we had a target of 7:20-7:22 or something. Last week one of our engineers drove one lap in 7:14. The record is 7:11. So I suppose at the end of the year, we will have a new record at the Nürburgring.” The record in question is not the overall record, but rather the major automaker record, now held by the 2010 Viper ACR.
Müller was later asked how fast he thinks the 918 Spyder can lap the `Ring and he replied “If we’re lucky, it will be under 7minutes… but, I don’t know, we’ll see.” With the overall Nürburgring record, held by the Radical SR8 LM, sitting at 6:48 might Porsche be shooting for the overall crown too?
To drop 11 seconds from the 918’s current lap time will be quite a feat and to drop 23 seconds – the time needed to match the record – is downright impossible. To hit the sub-7-minute mark, however, Porsche would need to turn its attention to creating an all-out racing version of the 918 and scratch its attempts to keep it a true production model.
Doing the rough math, the record-holding Radical SR8 lapped the ring with a 0.632 horsepower/kg rating and Porsche estimates that the 795-horsepower 918 with the “Weissach package” weighs just 1,665 kg. That puts the 918 at a 0.447 horsepower/kg rating. This means, in theory, Porsche needs to do one of two things to even come close to the SR8’s heels. The two options are either drop the 918’s weight by an additional 407 kg, which is nearly impossible, or increase its output to about 1,050 horsepower. The latter certainly sounds like the more obvious and possible route. We, of course, cannot take into account vehicle handling and driver skill, as those two variables can sway significantly based on track conditions and other uncontrollable variables.
We’ll keep an eye out to see if Porsche can really pull this off.
The electric vehicle revolution – if you can call it that – has been long in the making. Actually, the EV predates the internal combustion engine, but unstable power grids and dangerous charging stations effectively rendered it a deadly venture. It then saw a brief revival in the late 1990s with the colossal failure that was the EV1, which cost GM $1 billion dollars to research, build, market, and sell 1,117 models at a deflated price of $33,000 each.
Now in 2012, we have a plethora of full electric vehicles from the big automakers – Ford Focus Electric, Nissan Leaf, Chevy Spark, Honda Fit EV – and even a full-line EV builder in Tesla. There are some people that are completely against EVs, because they are driving up the cost of cars and power, but then there are the ones that are 100 percent for EVs. Other than those two groups, you get all of us folks in the middle.
We middle-ground buyers will ultimately be the ones that make or break the EV revolution and we need to know truly what impact the EV has on the world and our Eco system. We have managed to get an infographic that really puts into perspective exactly how the EV will affect the world over time.
A key point on this graphic is the actual environmental saving. On a dirty grid – coal or oil-powered – you’ll see that the CO2 footprint is still pretty high, as you are creating CO2 indirectly while charging the vehicle. For clean grids – dare we say “nuclear” power – the environmental savings are significantly higher. The big task at hand on the clean-grid side is finding a safer alternative to nuclear, which scientists are working on every day.
So open up your mind a little, regardless of where you stand on EVs and have a look at the actual impact it will have. It may ultimately change your stance or reaffirm where you stand right now. Either way, you have become a more educated EV buyer.