Many industry reporters and enthusiasts attached stigma to early mass market hybrids because of the unknown reliability of their batteries. Potential owners worried that a failed battery would stick them with an expensive, out-of-warranty repair bill.
The first generation of hybrid vehicles hit the streets right around the turn of the century, right at the same time the domestic market was in love with SUVs. Anecdotes abounded about how dangerous and expensive hybrids would be to fix and maintain. Now that they’ve been on the road for over a decade, data shows — for the most part — there was no reason to fear these electrified fuel sippers.
Everyone and their 90-year-old great aunt knows that Tesla is putting all of its might into reaching a volume target of 500,000 vehicles in 2018, but more voices are now calling CEO Elon Musk’s timeline impossible.
Musk wants high-volume production to start in less than two years, but suppliers tell Reuters that the accelerated target is a pipe dream. Will delays in parts sourcing and other nitty-gritty issues throw cold water on Tesla’s plans (and customers’ Model 3 ownership dreams)? (Read More…)
It seems Ford didn’t want to stay home from the EV dance.
Just 10 days after Ford Motor Company electrification guru Kevin Layden said that 100 miles of range is just plenty, thank you very much, CEO Mark Fields is now saying something very different. (Read More…)
Tesla is in the game to make money with its $35,000 Model 3, due out in late 2017, but that claim was recently disputed by an industry insider.
Jon Bereisa, an electric vehicle engineering consultant (and former General Motors systems architect responsible for the Chevrolet Volt), said recently that the Model 3 needs to be much more expensive for Tesla to break even, according to StreetInsider (via Electrek). (Read More…)
The maker of all things that blow is apparently sucking up some government cash to build an electric car.
Britain’s The Guardian is reporting that Dyson is receiving a public subsidy from the British government to develop an EV, a project that will no doubt draw from the company’s depth of knowledge regarding small electric motors.
Investors say Volkswagen should have told the world they were cheating earlier because then they could have bought more Apple stock.
That, Mercedes-Benz prices new E-Class in Europe, BMW’s bigger i3 battery and Jeep soars in Europe … after the break!
Tesla chief Elon Musk and more than 40 other executives called on the California Air Resources Board to release Volkswagen from its mandate to fix thousands of polluting cars in that state and instead invest that money in electric vehicles.
Musk, and other executives including Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, said regulators would more effectively reduce emissions to “cure the air, not the cars,” according to the letter:
A satisfactory way to fix all the diesel cars does not likely exist, so this solution side steps the great injury and uncertainty that imposing an ineffective fix would place on individual diesel car owners. A drawn out and partial failure of the process will only exacerbate the public’s lack of trust in the industry and its regulators. By explicit design, this proposal would achieve, in contrast, a minimum of a 10 (times) reduction in pollutant emissions as compared to a complete fix.
I have a 1996 Nissan Pathfinder that I bought new and has since accumulated 90,000 miles . I plan on driving it until it dies because I still enjoy it and it gets me to all the great fishing spots, plus I have a “fun” car in the garage (’74 TR6) for when the weather is nice. My issue is about the starter (I think) on the Pathfinder.
Researchers at the University of Cambridge say they’ve created a lighter, cheaper, longer lithium-oxygen battery that could eventually rival gasoline engines in electric vehicles in terms of range and weight, Automotive News reported.
The scientists announced that they had created a working prototype of an “ultimate battery” that could be up to 10 times more energy-dense than lithium-ion batteries. They said the battery, to date, could be recharged more than 2,000 times.
The lithium-oxygen batteries could eventually replace lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles and offer a range similar to gasoline engines, but researchers say that could be more than a decade away. (Read More…)
Police say a photographer with the Reno Gazette-Journal on Oct. 9 trespassed at Tesla’s battery factory in Nevada and struck security guards there with a car.
According to Storey County Chief Deputy Melanie Keener, the photographer, Jose Andrews Barron, was charged with misdemeanor trespassing and two counts of felony battery. He was taken to Storey County Jail and held in lieu of $30,000 bail. It’s unclear if Barron is still at the jail.
In a post on its corporate blog, Tesla said Barron and another newspaper employee climbed over a fence and took pictures of the battery factory. When approached, Barron and the other employee jumped into a car with Reno Gazette-Journal stickers. Barron struck a security guard on his way out and hit another security manager on an ATV. According to the newspaper, the driver’s side window was smashed and a seatbelt was cut in half. (Read More…)
Porsche announced its all-electric four-door concept sedan at the Frankfurt Auto Show, complete with 15-minute charging (to 80 percent) and 310-mile overall range. There’s also some holographic and emoticon blather, but we’ll get to that later.
According to Porsche, the Mission E will use two electric motors with a combined output of 600 horsepower to power the car up to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. The car’s 800-volt charger would be a first for electric cars, and would help the car charge up to 80 percent in 15 minutes. According to Tesla, the Model S takes about 30 minutes to charge up to 80 percent for similar range.
Porsche didn’t say when (or even if) the car would make it into production, but it’s likely that something very much like it will be heading our way soon. Maybe this will be a new Panamera?
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.
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…)
Last month, I shared the story of an unexpected double front airbag deployment in a BMW X5. In the twenty days since then, that car’s owner has been working with BMW NA, which conducted an independent examination of the car while it was in dealership custody. Yesterday he heard from a BMW consumer service representative, who told him that BMW has determined the reason for the deployment.
If this was Upworthy, or if we used the Upworthy Generator to create headlines, we’d have to title the article “What This BMW Representative Told A Father About His Airbag Deployment Will Break Your Heart. The Worst Part Is At 4:23 In The Call Record.”
But seriously, if you have a BMW you might want to click the jump, because there’s a good chance that BMW’s reason for the deployment applies to you as well.
Nissan is looking to take on Tesla et al in the stationary energy storage game with their own battery solution. However, unlike the Silicon Valley based electric car manufacturer and ZEV credit printing press, the Japanese automaker is looking to take a much greener approach.
Instead of building fresh batteries for commercial stationary applications, Nissan will instead reuse lithium-ion batteries from the LEAF with partner Green Charge Networks.