While Jerry Seinfeld was gallivanting around LA with Sarah Silverman in a Jaguar XKE, our favorite car-loving comedian, Jay Leno, was checking out the all-new 2014 Cadillac ELR. Set to go on sale later this year, Cadillac brought its ELR to Jay Leno's Garage to show off some of its styling and technology as well as give Leno some seat time in the range-extended EV. Leno owns both a Volt and a CTS-V, and the ELR is a kind combination of the two (sort of).
Extended Range Electric Vehicle
Some would say Lotus has some credibility among the green-car set since it supplied the body for the Tesla Roadster and has always been obsessed with extracting maximum performance from light weight. Now, our friends at Green Car Reports are suggesting that the UK boutique sportscar operation could lose that reputation by simulating the acceleration of a conventional geared transmission for its Evora 414E extended-range plug-in.
Ian Wright, he of Ariel Atom converted to Wrightspeed X1 fame, has recently been more vocal about his dream of an efficient hybrid powertrain for heavy and high-performance vehicles. His has, in fact, been kicking this idea around for some time but now it seems he's really getting serious and has wooed $5 million in Series A funding for the range-extended cause from a private investor.
It's starting to look more and more likely that the Wankel rotary engine could have a future as an electric vehicle range extender. Felix Wankel's original concept was once seen as having great potential because of its high power density compared to piston engines. Unfortunately, the manufacturing processes available in the 1960s and 1970s made it difficult to achieve adequate durability without high oil consumption and excessive emissions.
At last week's Automotive News Green Car Conference, Brian Carolin, senior vice president for sales and marketing at Nissan acknowledged that extended range electric vehicles (EVs) could eventually join the pure battery electric Leaf in the marque's stable. However, Carolin emphasized that Nissan wanted to maximize the environmental benefit of its initial entries by going with pure battery electric and no direct emissions.
Opel Chief Executive Officer Nick Reilly has unloaded a sweeping new business plan that includes plenty of interesting little tidbits for green car aficionados. Of course we already know about the 2011 Opel/Vauxhall Ampera, the European version of the 2011 Chevrolet Volt, but Reilly says that there will be another extended-range electric vehicle in addition to the Ampera.
Many electric vehicle fans out there are constantly complaining about how long it is taking automakers to bring plug-in vehicles to market. We've had commenters here on this site claiming that they should be able to bring EVs to the street in six months. Apparently even six months is too long for the crew at Top Gear.