Volkswagen is developing an architecture for future electric vehicles that will use flat batteries. Up to now VW has shaped packs to fit inside existing cars.
UK-based transmission engineering and control specialist Vocis wants to take electric vehicles in another direction, one with dual clutch transmissions. Vocis says its dual clutch transmissions provide seamless shifting and up to 15 percent improvement in EV efficiency. Vocis' DCT is currently on display in a Mercedes-Benz Vito minibus demonstration vehicle.
There are quite a few taxi operators testing out electric cars by adding Nissan Leaf EVs to their fleets – whether that be New York (pictured), Hong Kong or Mexico City. It's a channel for the global automaker to sell more of the cars and give more people their own experience of being transported in a Leaf. But there can be a downside.
Thomas Edison famously said that genius was one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration. To get to the heart of what's holding back broader adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), though, it's even better to paraphrase one-time Bill Clinton advisor James Carville: "It's the battery, stupid."
Engineering challenges are like a siren's call to Neal Saiki. Since leaving Zero Motorcycles in early 2011, the company he co-founded with his wife Lisa, he's spent lots of time and effort wrestling with the human-powered helicopter conumdrum. As engaging as that might be, however, he still hasn't been able to keep himself from considering how to build a better electric motorcycle; work that has, it seems, proved slightly less Sisyphean as he has just announced a pretty cool battery pack breakth
GM-Volt.com found an interesting patent application from General Motors (filed a year ago) that entertains the possibility of refurbishing worn out lithium-ion battery packs such as the one in the Chevrolet Volt. While the Volt's 8-year, 100,000 mile battery warranty will cover a lot of people for a lot of miles, these lithium-ion batteries do not last forever and will need replacement eventually.
We know that General Motors has the largest battery lab in the world, one that's capable of carrying out all kinds of scientific tests, but that's a little boring, if you ask us. If you want to test a battery's durability, do you really need fancy lab equipment and sophisticated computers? Or can you just use a few household items, a swimming pool, bullets and a lot of time? Maybe it's time to ditch the lab coats, fire up the oven and learn how battery testing is really done.