With neighbor France reconsidering support for diesel vehicles, Germany is also staking its claim in an electric-powered automotive future. This isn't news – Chancellor Angela Merkel has been promoting the idea of a million EVs on German streets by 2020 despite slow sales for a while now and VW is sort of on board – but there will need to be some work done to make it happen. Only about 24,000 EVs have been sold in Germany.
Mitsubishi likes what it's seen from plug-in hybrid sales of its Outlander SUV in Europe. Now, it looks like the Japanese automaker will go back to that proverbial well within the next few years. And, once again, SUVs will be the medium.
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A new electric motor with integrated air-conditioning compressor increases the range of EVs in hot climates, where much of the battery power is used to keep the car cool. Developed by scientists at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and the German Aerospace Centre, the "2-in-1" motor uses regenerative braking to help operate the AC compressor, and could increase range by 15 to 20 percent with some modifications. "By integrating the refrigerant compressor directly into the electric mot
Natural Gas Powers Cars Best When Converted To Electricity First; Gold And Wind Make Electricity
The 2015 Fiat 500e is now available in Oregon. The new 500e features an updated center console, as well as two new exterior colors: Luce Blu (which Fiat describes as light blue with a pearl finish) and Celeste (light blue). The 2015 500e is available for lease in California and Oregon for $199 a month for 36 months, plus $999 down. Fiat offers 500e owners and lessees 12 days of free rental per year through Enterprise in the first three years of ownership for days when the driver needs something
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A new study out of Germany suggests adopting a modular approach to battery offerings in plug-in hybrid and extended range electric vehicles. Automakers could offer the same car with different battery sizes (and different costs, accordingly) to drivers depending on their driving ranges. This would optimize the total cost of ownership for various drivers better than the current approach. Developing a modular battery design and offering appropriate batteries for different customers "is the key for
The DriveNow carsharing service, which is a partnership between BMW and Sixt, is growing quite rapidly. "We've been surprised about the explosion of new subscriptions, which has helped boost revenue," says Sixt CEO Erich Sixt. The number of DriveNow users has increased from 215,000 at the end of last year to 300,000 today.
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Electric automaker Venturi hopes to post a new electric land speed record this week, despite Bonneville Speed Week being cancelled. The VBB-3, developed with Ohio State University, is powered by two 1,500-hp electric motors. If the salt flats are sufficiently dry, the team hopes to set a new electric world speed record of over 600 kilometers per hour (373 mph), and possibly 700 kph (435 mph). The Venturi BB-2.5 set a record of 495 kph (307 mph) in 2010. Read more at Electric Autosport, and keep
Imagine a day when charging is as simple as pulling into a parking space. No cords to untangle or trip over, nothing to get your hands and pants dirty and nothing to wrap up when you're already late leaving for work. Just park your car, and forget it. That's the beauty of charging wirelessly through electromagnetic induction. It's still a nascent technology, though - as least when it comes to electric vehicles - and not without its problems.
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Tesla is looking for an architect to help design its proposed Gigafactory battery manufacturing facility. According to the Palo Alto-based job listing, which is titled "Architect - Gigafactory," the applicant must have, among other qualifications, over five years of experience with "high-tech infrastructure and operational facilities (semiconductor, solar, battery, waste water treatment plants, etc.)." The job also includes being away from home quite a bit, as it the listing states, "This full t
German manufacturing company Schaeffler ran its own Step2 electric car in the Silvretta E-Car Rally in Austria. The car is a Volkswagen Golf, stripped of its internal combustion guts and equipped with an electric powertrain supplied by one of Schaeffler's subsidiaries. The thing that makes the Step2 a little different, though, is the inclusion of a two-speed transmission.
Audi has put a price tag on the A3 Sportback E-Tron plug-in hybrid, for which presales begin this month in Germany. To get your hands on one of these little guys, Audi is asking for €37,900, or about $51,537 according to current exchange rates. Of course, the base MSRP doesn't include any incentives, but in Germany, those savings would come from certain annual tax exemptions that apply to PHEVs. Buyers in other countries might have more luck in getting into an A3 E-Tron for less.
There's Just Something Mesmerizing About Automated EV Production
If you've ever been on a tour of an automotive factory, you know how mesmerizing it can be to see humans and robots work together to build our four-wheeled friends. The swift automation, the cleanliness, the trained hands deftly fitting pieces together and watchful eyes inspecting every piece of the car, it's all quite impressive, especially if the vehicle is one you, as an observer, are fond of. Even just seeing a fresh, gleaming badge being applied to immaculately painted sheet metal is enough
The next time the hypermiler in front of you stops you from catching that next green light, take heart. One day, it won't be the driver's fault. There will be algorithms involved. But you migh still be aggravated for not making that light.
Volkswagen has delivered the first XL1 diesel plug-in hybrid to a customer from Berlin, Germany. Dr. Christian Malorny received his Oryx White XL1 with black and grey interior from Volkswagen Germany's director of sales and marketing for passenger cars, Thomas Zahn, at the company's Transparent Factory in Dresden.
Five-plus years may have been about enough time for Daimler AG to know whether it wanted to be in the battery-pack production business. The Mercedes-Benz parent may stop making electric-vehicle batteries and ultimately sell its Li-Tec battery-cell factory in Germany within two years, according to Bloomberg News which cites Manager Magazin. The beneficiary may be LG Electronics, which would likely take over battery-production duties for models such as Daimler's Smart ED battery-electric vehicle.
Mercedes-Benz is about to give Americans another choice of battery-powered vehicle. Offering more all-electric range than the Nissan Leaf or BMW i3, and with a smaller price tag than the Tesla Model S, the B-Class Electric Drive is officially set to arrive in the US this summer. Indeed, the first examples have begun rolling off the production line in Rastatt, Germany.
Audi is proving that the fresh water flowing through the European Alps isn't just for bottling and drinking anymore. The German automaker struck a deal with Hamburg-based LichtBlick to offer buyers of the Audi A3 Sportback E-Tron a chance to get their electrical juice from all renewable-energy sources. That means all the power going into charging stations can come from hydroelectric power from Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Garage chargers? We don't need no stinkin' garage chargers. Germany-based Feddz is getting ready to start European sales of its electric bike, and, to do so, it's touting a removable-battery system that makes garage chargers unnecessary, if not almost quaint.
Just 265 miles of range on a single charge? Meh. That's what the folks at Audi might be saying about the Tesla Model S and its estimated range. Because the German automaker says the next iteration of the R8 E-Tron could go 450 kilometers on a charge, or about 281 miles. This information comes from Automotive News, which cites a presentation from Audi technology chief Ulrich Hackenberg at the company's annual press conference.
With Mercedes-Benz bringing out coupe and plug-in hybrid versions of its S-Class sedan, the German automaker just may follow through with a battery-electric variant as well. That's what the company's Uwe Ernstberger told the folks at Top Gear during the Geneva Motor Show. And while he noted the company still needs to work in a larger-than-usual battery pack and was less than specific with details, he did envision an all-electric S-Class "in the future." Of course, rumors started bubbling about a
As diesels continue to account for a minority of cars sold by Audi in the US, the German automaker and Volkswagen unit continues to expand its diesel models in Europe for the sake of fuel efficiency. Early this year, Audi will debut its new A4, A5 and A6 variants in Europe as part of what it calls its "ultra" strategy of pairing performance with fuel economy. Audi will have 11 new models for 2014, and the updated A4, A5 and A6 will use Audi's 2.0-liter turbodiesel powertrain. Versions of that en