plugin cars

plugin cars

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.

Launched for the 2011 model year, the Chevrolet Volt is GM’s first volume plug-in hybrid vehicle. Also sold as the Holden Volt, Vauxhall Ampera and Opel Ampera around the world, the five-door compact has already won numerous awards, including the 2011 North American Car of the Year. The most advanced version of the Volt uses a 17 kWh battery that enables it to return a range of 38 miles in all-electric mode. The electric motor, which delivers 149 horses and 273 pound-feet of torque, is aided by a 1.4-liter, inline-four gasoline engine. The conventional unit sends 84 ponies and 67 pound-feet to the front wheels. Both "generators" use a multi-mode electric transaxle to propel the vehicle from 0 to 60 mph in 8.7 seconds and up to a top speed of 100 mph. Combined fuel economy sits at 62 mpge, while gasoline range is rate at 40 mpg highway and 35 mpg city. Come 2015, the current Volt is being replaced by a redesigned, second-generation vehicle.

Rumors about a second-gen Volt arriving for the 2016 model year have been floating around for more than a year now. GM has finally confirmed the new Volt is being readied for 2015 Detroit Auto Show debut. Currently the best selling plug-in vehicle in the U.S. market with more than 65,000 units delivered, the 2016 Volt has big shoes to fill. Details are slim as of August 2014, but GM has dropped a few hints about the upcoming Volt in the past. Read on to find out more.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Chevrolet Volt.

In the world of high-end luxury sports sedans, Porsche is a relatively new player. While Porsche debuted a sedan concept in the 1980s the brand never created a sedan. The Panamera itself debuted in 2009 and it has quickly started to amass sales in the segment. After a recent facelift, Porsche has decided that it want’s to push the Panamera into new and exciting classes by offering the new E-Hybrid.

Based on the technology that was developed during the creation of the 918 supercar, the Panamera S E-Hybrid is a plug-in hybrid that promises unsurpassed fuel economy and emissions, while still providing the luxury and performance suggested by the crest on the hood.

I recently took delivery of such a machine and spent a week beating on it to see if it could live up to the hype. From fuel sipping highway cruises and battery run-down tests, to a trip up one of the most grueling road in the U.S.

What I learned was a bit more than surprising, but you’ll have to read on to figure out what I really think

Read more about the 2014 Porsche Panamera S E-Hyrbrid

Posted on by Tushar  
Tesla Model S

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.

More on the Tesla Model S after the jump

Source: Autonews
Posted on by TB +  

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.

Posted on by TB +  

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.

Posted on by TB +  

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.

Posted on by TB +  

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.

Therein was the Volt’s other major critique at launch: prices that mean buyers could afford almost two fleet-spec Priuses for the price of one loaded Volt. Luckily, time has caught up with the Volt’s technology and the pricing of competition from the Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid , Toyota Prius Plug-in and Ford Fusion Energi .

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.

Posted on by TB +  

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.

Add in the peace of mind of a gasoline backup and less cord fumbling… and it all starts to make sense. The Chevrolet Volt the first to a market that also includes the Honda Accord Plug-in and low-tech Prius Plug-in .

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Ford Fusion Energi including an exclusive video tech overview of the interior.

Posted on by TB +  

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.


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