Elon Musk, CEO of electric car maker Tesla , has categorically denied any plans to recall the company’s flagship Model S electric sedan. This comes as numerous reports of the Model S’ fires came to light. News of multiple Tesla Model S fires have been reported to date, and an official investigation into the matter is yet to be undertaken.
That said, U.S. regulators are yet to confirm any form of investigation into the Model S fires. If the government regulator does find a fault, we could be looking at a potential recall of select models. However, Tesla boss does not think a formal investigation should be required and that Tesla cars are way safer than any other fossil fuel-powered automobile.
Musk was quick to attack those media channels that, according to Elon Musk, had blown the whole thing out of proportion. "Reaction to the fires reported by some media are extremely inaccurate and unreasonable," he added. Since, the first report of the fires, Tesla stocks have plummeted by 22 percent, sparking fears among investors.
The NHTSA is in constant contact with the authorities investigating the accidents. The agency had earlier chosen not to investigate into the fires when the first incident came to light.
Sounding like a marriage between a vacuum company and a grocery-store cell phone, Drayson Racing Technology and Qualcomm are preparing the next wave of revolutionary EV technology: induction charging with no cords. As the marquee sponsors and tech suppliers of next year’s all-new electric racing series, dubbed Formula E, these two companies might be some of the most innovative movers and shakers in electric vehicle technology.
The lack of brand recognition for these companies is not really a problem. While they stopped making their own cell phones almost a decade ago, every new Android or iPhone sold brings a payday for Qualcomm. Thousands of inventions, patents and licensing deals mean that Qualcomm is happy to sit behind the scenes, cashing checks and investing in research and development.
Every racing series would like to claim its direct influence of road car technology, but the link is often completely fictional and done for marketing authenticity. Race on Sunday, sell on Monday is the old adage explaining how to convert racing fans into buyers of humdrum production models. The Formula E concept is exciting because almost everything has to be designed and imagined from the ground up.
No 10,000-page rule books, infighting or Bernie gives the new series the freedom to explore and experiment. The challenges of an electric racing series are many, including the fact that most electric cars run out of juice after about 10 minutes of track driving.
Battery swaps at pit stops are a possibility at first, but Drayson and Qualcomm’s vision is an uninterrupted race, using induction battery chargers built into the track concrete itself. There are more than a few enormous engineering challenges to overcome, but the technology could eventually be transferred into highway charging for normal EV models like the Nissan Leaf or Tesla Model S .
Click past the jump for more details on the new technology partnership between Drayson Racing Technologies and Qualcomm’s Halo Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging system.
Shocking news this morning from Volvo ! The 2013 Concept Coupe has looks to make a Camaro and M6 weep with envy, 400 horsepower via a plug-in, all-wheel-drive chassis, and gorgeous LEDs inside and out.
The Volvo cargo trucks will be loaded to the brim on the way to Frankfurt , as this is also the debut of the not-yet-seen XC90 replacement.
If the Concept Coupe’s intricate and taut surfacing, stunning proportions and cool new Maserati-style inverted grille make it to the XC90 : Volvo’s American showrooms have quite the sharp new seven-passenger crossover on its way.
The VCC’s styling is really fantastic. It is great news for all fans of Swedish cars, with beauty as deep and marvelous as the Roman statues of the press photos. It shows a number of important steps in one single image, and gives Volvo ’s semi-independent new company identity a goal at which to strive in the mainstream S60 segment, where the current model is lost in obscurity.
A feast of details about the VCC’s styling floods over you like the wave of relief, with a roof pillar layout that is almost as racy as the Nissan 350Z . A new portrait-style navigation system shows Volvo admires the Tesla Model S . Overflowing with good looks outside, the VCC is also quite potent underneath.
An all-new 2.0-liter engine up front is paired with a plug-in battery pack and a rear axle electric motor. Supercharged as well as turbocharged, the combined power outputs are 400 horsepower and 440 pound feet of torque.
Come see the future of Volvo after the jump, with a giant image gallery of the 2013 Volvo Concept Coupe in all its glory.
BMW revealed the concept X5 eDrive today ahead of its public debut at next month’s Frankfurt Auto Show . This BMW -developed plug-in hybrid powertrain looks quite promising: it maintains the xDrive AWD system’s torque split ability to all four wheels even when running in hybrid or full electric mode.
Cabin space is said to be only marginally trimmed from the advanced Li-ion battery pack under the rear cargo tray area - but the real headline is a sprint time that is still under 7 seconds and an all-electric cruising range of 19 miles at speeds up to 75 mph.
This BMW eDrive concept is the second time a plug-in hybrid has emerged from Munich — the first being 2012’s Active Tourer — a front-drive MPV heading for launch in a few years.
Of course, BMW’s i brand also has some striking electrified models waiting in the wings with the i8 and i3 - both of which are scheduled for big launch news during the company’s Frankfurt press conferences.
The concept X5 eDrive tests the mood for a future plug-in hybrid luxury SUV, but brings numerous technological advancements so far unseen from the smash-hit Lexus RX450h and supercharged seven-seat 2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid . As currently planned, the X5 eDrive will lag behind the main models to market by about a year - for a projected late fall 2014 arrival in American showrooms.
Click past the jump to read the full preview of the 2013 BMW Concept X5 eDrive and check out the image gallery of the full i8 -style makeover of this popular luxury crossover.
The Chevrolet Volt is an important trendsetter as the first mainstream model to establish the plug-in hybrid segment as a viable answer to long-range EV driving. That same segment it created, however, is now bursting with new entries three years after the Chevy first hit showrooms.
The Volt shows how far the level of technical knowledge has come in just a few short years, as the latest models have little difficulty topping the Volt’s MPGe scores and do so with conventional three-man back seats and traditional trunks for luggage.
At the time of the Volt’s development, its Chevrolet Cruze -based platform could only accommodate the giant T-shaped li-ion battery pack if it was laid out under the center console and back seat bases – creating a cockpit much tighter than most are willing to accept in a $35,000-plus new car.
The Accord PHEV and Fusion Energi are both actually a bit more expensive than the Chevy , but can deliver a quicker and more-efficient drive while making fewer interior compromises.
For 2014, the Volt gets a (very slightly) larger-capacity battery pack, detail trim and color changes, and a simpler opening mechanism for the EV charge door on the front fender.
Where does the Volt fit in today’s eco-confused market? Does its battery-plus-generator powertrain still rank as a world-beating first or more of a barrier to purchase among buyers who need a big trunk and seating room?
Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Chevrolet Volt, with highlights on how its interior room, efficiency and performance rank versus the much-newer competition.
The Fusion Energi is the first in a large wave of mainstream, plug-in Fords in the mid-term future. The extra EV power doubles silent range and EPA efficiency of the already-stellar Fusion Hybrid for only about $6,000 more than a loaded Hybrid Titanium model.
Who killed the electric car? Was it you?
No, it was coal. Coal killed the electric car.
Until 2012, the idea of an electric car faced not only the technical challenges of building one but also the significant consumer hurdle of buying something without knowing the actual savings over gasoline.
Anyone who has ever gotten a $400 power bill for a hot summer month would certainly think twice about the cost and hassle of plugging in the car constantly. Consumers rightly wondered: How high could an EV charger spike that utility bill?
Large-scale U.S. energy shifts to natural gas power stations mean home electricity is at record lows and expected to stay low for years. ‘Natty G’ costs about a fifth as much as coal per megawatt and significant savings are coming to home users in the U.S. as well.
Suddenly, Ford ’s plug-in hybrid electric car not only satisfies Eco-minded hybrid buyers but also the hardcore-green BEV owners in Nissan Leaf and Tesla vehicles. There’s simply no drawback to this Fusion Energi PHEV when the equation is close to $1 of juice (very roughly) equaling $10 in gasoline.
The C-Max is Ford’s first Hybrid-only model and comes in two mechanical configurations: Hybrid and ‘Energi’ Plug-in Hybrid. Bringing the heat to Toyota ’s popular Prius and the Chevy Volt , the C-Max fills a solid gap in the marketplace among consumers who won’t settle for the other cars’ many limitations.
C-Max sales are ramping up steadily and the C-Max is on track to be Ford’s best-selling hybrid model of all time by the end of 2013, based on current year-to-date sales and projections. Granted, Ford has some major ground to make up versus the Prius lineups, which has topped 200,000 sales annually in recent years.
The first-to-market advantage of the Prius continues today with the model family taking 58 percent of the market share for hybrid-electric cars. Despite its utter dominance of the segment so far, there’s no reason that the Prius should set the template for all PHEVs (plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) or simpler full hybrids. As shown by the Tesla Model S , there really is a better way. Driving a hybrid shouldn’t have to mean total misery on the road. Would anyone choose a Prius if it didn’t get amazing mileage? No way.
Living somewhere between the Prius and Prius V models, the C-Max offers some real advantages versus its archrivals from Toyota .
Ford’s bringing its fun-to-drive C-Max to crash the dull Prius party. With more space and more family-friendly packaging than the Focus , but all of its enthusiasm for corners, the C-Max pair will continue to gain ground in the sales battle among eco-keen drivers.
Click past the jump for the full C-Max Hybrid and C-Max Energi review, detailed specs and jumbo image gallery.
Toyota still leads the pack when it comes to electrified models and is asserting that lead with a new contest, the Prius Plug-in MPG Challenge, which pits 30 New York metro region drivers against each other to log the highest MPG over a one-month loaner period. The program kicks off its first wave of contestants today at a key hand-off in New Jersey.
The MPG Challenge underscores Toyota’s confidence in their Hybrid Synergy Drive’s ability to deliver amazing real-world returns, something that marks their models apart from pure EV’s like the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model S as well as conventional economy hatchbacks like the Hyundai Elantra GT and Ford Fiesta . Toyota’s point of view in the efficiency debate is valuable. They’re betting that their Prius Plug-in can entice normal drivers to "hyper-mile," a term meaning to maximize potential range through creative (and very slow) driving.
Can the Prius Plug-in Hybrid resolve the range anxiety of EV drivers and the disillusion felt by buyers of small gasoline-powered cars that can barely get near their official EPA stats – no matter how slowly they drive. The idea is to use the MPG Challenge as both a sales promotion and consumer education platform, while also highlighting the latest tech advancements in the 2013 Prius Plug-in Hybrid in the hands of real-life potential buyers.
How is Toyota positioned to weather the current state of evolving eco-car priorities? As the hard-core greens adopt full EV models, will Priuses start coming factory-direct in Taxi-cab yellow with barf-proof vinyl upholstery?
Click past the jump for the full review of the Prius Plug-in Hybrid, including detailed info on ordering dedicated chargers from Toyota’s new home-electricity partner Leviton.
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.