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The British government is continuing on with a study of inductive charging on England’s busy A roads a reality, reports the BBC (via Gizmodo).
Feasibility of the technology hasn’t been fully proven as of yet, but England is getting one step closer by tendering bids for off-road trials. If off-road trials are successful, you might be able to drive long distances across the UK without needing to stop to recharge. The trials are expected to take 18 months from 2016 to 2017.
Elon, you might soon lose your killer app.
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TheDetroitBureau’s Paul Eisenstein has a fine piece of reporting that the next-generation of BMW’s iconic M3 will have a hybrid, plug-in powertrain — a first for the performance sub-brand. Eisenstein says internal sources provided the information.
According to the report, the rear wheels would be driven by the gasoline engine, which could be the M3’s current boosted six — or even perhaps an ultra-potent four. Up front, one or two electric motors could power the forward wheels. Eisenstein’s story points out that by using tandem electric motors, the M3 would have baked-in torque vectoring that engineers could exploit for handling performance.
If the report is true, that E36 M3 you passed up on Craigslist eight years ago will soon be worth eleventy billion dollars. Read More >
Toyota’s interpretation of the
VehiCROSS new generation of compact crossovers will go on sale early next year after its reveal in Geneva in March, according to Autocar.
The Toyota C-HR (or perhaps Auris Cross) will be built on Toyota’s new global architecture, from which half of its cars will be based by 2020. It’s unclear if the car would be released in the States as a Toyota or as a Scion. The Auris recently went on sale in North America as the Scion iM.
The car hasn’t been confirmed for North American shores yet, but considering our penchant for anything crossover, the subcompact C-HR would scratch an itch Toyota has in its lineup now. Read More >
Audi announced this week that its plug-in hybrid version of the A3, dubbed A3 Sportback e-tron, will go on sale in October and cost $38,825 to start — $47,725 in Prestige trim — before federal and state incentives.
The car, which combines an 8.8 kWh battery and a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, will make a combined 204 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Fuel economy and range for all-electric driving hasn’t been announced by the automaker, although some reports peg the EV range at 30 miles.
The A3 plug-in hybrid will be the first Audi to run (at least partially) on electricity in the States.
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In addition to the battery-powered (or is it a hybrid?) i3 and i8 cars, BMW may build an electrified X3-sized crossover, 5-series sedan and perhaps a larger Tesla Model X-sized SUV in its “i” car range, The Detroit Bureau is reporting.
The speculation comes from BMW chief Harald Krueger who said there was room in the “i” range for something else.
“Between the i3 and the i8, there is space if you look at it from the number point of view,” Harald Krueger said in an interview with the German newspaper F.A.S.
Precisely four numbers are between 3 and 8. Let’s speculate! Read More >
A lower priced e-Golf will directly compete with the Nissan Leaf for sub-$30,000 electric car buyers, the automaker announced Wednesday.
The e-Golf SE will start at $29,815, before federal and any available state incentives, which is nearly the same price as a Leaf S, Autoblog correctly pointed out. The e-Golf has a range of around 83 miles.
The Leaf has sold nearly 11,000 copies since the beginning of 2015.
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A New Zealand chemist has found a good use for spent yeast normally discarded after brewing beer, Popular Mechanics is reporting (via AutoFocus).
It’s not the first time beer-based ethanol has been used to power cars, but New Zealanders can fill up on 98-octane (!) booze-fuel for a limited time. The mix is 90 percent gas to 10 percent beer ethanol.
(Note: I covered parts of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver and remember the Coors-powered cars in Denver and think it’s the best imaginable use of Coors Light)
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Chevrolet announced Tuesday that its new 2016 Volt would extend its all-electric range from 38 miles to 53 miles, which is a 40-percent improvement and would satisfy more than 90 percent of normal drives.
The feat itself would put the Volt on par with many all-electric commuters, whose normal range is anywhere from 60 to 90 miles. Of course, the Volt packs with it a 1.5-liter turbocharged four cylinder that bumps that range up to more than 400 miles, but that’s neither here nor there.
Let’s talk about the batteries.
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Yesterday, we reported that in a sales call, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk announced a referral program that could, possibly, maybe net one free Model X for someone who referred 10 new buyers.
The qualifications for getting the free car: Refer 10 buyers by Oct. 31 and be the first in your “region” to do so.
Turns out “region” doesn’t mean what we think it does.
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A U.S. Senate committee for transportation passed along a bill Thursday that included provisions to help domestic automakers develop and build cleaner vehicles, the Detroit News is reporting.
The proposal, dubbed the Vehicle Innovation Act, was included in a larger clean energy bill taken up by the committee. The Vehicle Innovation Act would set aside $313.6 million next year for research and development of hybrid technology, battery development and alternative fuels such as natural gas. Funding would increase by 4 percent every year up to 2020.
Nearly all major U.S. automotive lobbies representing manufacturers supported the proposal. Read More >