August 2nd, 2009
For those of you who follow our blog, you know we’re big fans of what the folks at Aptera are up to. Aptera is building an all-electric, three-wheeled car that has a small fraction as much aerodynamic drag as a Prius. The Aptera 2e goes 100-120 miles with a top speed of 85-90mph, and boasts normal car safety features and impressive crash test results. And it looks like a super cool Jetson mobile, which makes it especially exciting.
Now the folks at Aptera are starting to reveal what the inside of their space-age auto will look like. You can see a sample below and here is what Aptera has to say about their design developments:
“The first major issue was space. We tested men and women of every age and stature and found, in many cases, we were not offering enough room in the cabin. With that information, we enhanced the cabin using our Aptera formula — safety, then aerodynamics, then lightweight. The new interior cabin is now roughly 10% larger by every measure.
“The new 2 series also now has headroom and legroom comparable to, if not better than, the Mini and Chevy Volt. We widened the area at the hips to provide more space than the Smart EV and the Nissan Cube. Then to top it off, we increased our cargo capacity by more than 24 cubic feet, which is nearly two times the space available in the Honda Accord.”
Alright, let’s get that thing into market and start driving it! We’re ready!
You can learn more about Aptera here. Images courtesy of Aptera.
Popularity: 10% [?]
May 8th, 2009
Written by Christopher DeMorro, courtesy of Gas2.O
Sometimes when looking forward, you have to look back to really get inspired.
110 years ago electric cars were at their peak, representing over a quarter of all cars on the road in America, but Henry Ford and the mass-production gas motor changed all that. And while most of us have gotten used to the idea of an engine under the hood, a transmission, and sometimes a driveshaft as integral to our cars, Volvo is taking a nod from the first electric carriages and putting their motors where they are most needed: the wheels. The Volvo ReCharge is a plug-in hybrid concept that relys on four indepedant electric motors, one in each wheel, to move and power the C30-based concept.
The ReCharge concept is said to get 60 miles on electric power, and a small petrol engine sooths range anxiety. Volvo is also known for some of the world’s safest cars, and true to form the ReCharge boasts numerous safety advantages over its petrol-powered cousin. There is no driveshaft or transmission, which means a solid firewall and flat floors and increased energy efficiency. Should one motor fail, the other three can compensate for their fallen comrade and keep you moving. Also, there are no brakepads, but rather the motors do the stopping, which also serves to restore some lost energy via regenerative braking.
Volvo was in talks with the Swedish government for small-scale fleet testing of the ReCharge, which is said to be the basis for an upcoming 2012 production car from Volvo, though not much has been heard of the ReCharge since it debuted at the 2007 Frankfurt auto show.
Popularity: 3% [?]
April 9th, 2009
Just when you thought GM was a washed up brontosaurus, they come out with a pretty cool announcement. GM and Segway are teaming up to develop an electric two-seater called the PUMA. This small vehicle is for urban use– with a top speed of 35 miles per hour. And they say it can go for about 35 miles on a single charge.
The producers are comparing the vehicle to “an iPod on wheels” due to its revolutionary nature. (Wishful thinking?) The snappy little car comes complete with Internet connectivity and an electronic brain to drive by itself. They claim it can even find its own parking spot!
They plan to roll the PUMA out in 2010 but they have not yet announced a price.
Popularity: 4% [?]
March 22nd, 2009
Written by Clayton B. Cornell, courtesy of Gas2.0
President Obama announced today that $2.4 billion will be made available for the US-based development of plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles.
The fund is intended to spur growth in research and manufacturing of next-generation plug-in hybrid vehicles and advanced battery componenents for electric cars, while creating tens of thousands of US jobs and reducing US petroleum dependence. It should also help meet the President’s goal of putting one million plug-in hybrid vehicles on the road by 2015.
The President made the announcement while visiting Southern California Edison’s Electric Vehicle Center. SCE is one of the largest electric utilities in the country and researches battery-powered and hybrid engines, along with potential impacts of having massive numbers of electric vehicles taking power from conventional utility networks.
This investment will not only reduce our dependence on foreign oil, it will put Americans back to work. It positions American manufacturers on the cutting edge of innovation and solving our energy challenges.
The plan was partially outlined on the Department of Energy’s website:
- The Department of Energy is offering up to $1.5 billion in grants to U.S. based manufacturers to produce these highly efficient batteries and their components.
- The Department of Energy is offering up to $500 million in grants to U.S. based manufacturers to produce other components needed for electric vehicles, such as electric motors and other components.
- The Department of Energy is offering up to $400 million to demonstrate and evaluate Plug-In Hybrids and other electric infrastructure concepts — like truck stop charging station, electric rail, and training for technicians to build and repair electric vehicles.
Popularity: 3% [?]
February 23rd, 2009
There are lots of exciting developments on the green auto scene…and here are some of the highlights.
San Francisco continues to be a leading green city and is installing electric vehicles in front of City Hall. Mayor Gavin Newsom did a guest blog post on Gas2.0 last week in which he describes the city’s commitment to making electric transportation a feasible reality. Let’s hope more American cities follow SF’s approach.
Speaking of electric cars, there is a new one on the market– the ZERO from Tazzari. This is a cute little city car worth checking out. According to the company ZERO’s electric motors deliver brisk acceleration to 35 mpg and a top speed just over 55 mph for a claimed 88 miles. Click here to watch a video of the ZERO in peppy action.
On the not-so-good-news front, one of our favorite green car companies has decided to delay the launch of their plug-in hybrid by a bit. The futuristic Aptera 2e was slated for release in late 2008, but is now aiming for late 2009/early 2010. This is a hotly awaited vehicle. The company says they just want to get it right and make sure that all customers are totally delighted with the vehicle. They did offer test drives at the recent TED conference, though.
A bit of great news is how amazing the mileage is for the new Honda Insight. HybridCars.com reports that the 2010 Insight is routinely getting over 60 MPG in road tests. Originally Honda had announced that the new 2010 Honda Insight would “only” average about 41 or 42 mpg — but it seems they have outdone themselves. (Hey that even puts my Prius to shame.) And what’s even better is the price point Honda is aiming for: somewhere around $19,000. (There is no official exact price yet.) If they can deliver a sub-$20K car that gets 60 MPG, this car will seriously be a green dream.
Popularity: 3% [?]