When you think Volkswagen and alternative powertrains, only one kind of springs to mind, and it’s no very alternative. Diesel. They are pretty good at it in Wolfsburg. But these days it isn’t enough. Nowadays, we have E85, fuel cells, hybrids, more efficient petrol engines and many more. Volkswagen can’t afford to bet their future on Diesel. So where do they go from here? I hear California is quite nice…? (Read More…)
Tag: electric cars
The remote Goto Islands in the East China Sea, about 60 miles west off the port city of Nagasaki are turning into the world’s laboratory for massive EV deployment. The islands used to be known for heir unspoiled nature and their old churches. Soon, they’ll be know as the island of EVs. That because of a large-scale pilot project that began on the islands in April. (Read More…)
Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is electrified. They think, next-generation automobiles will make up as much as half of the new passenger cars sold in Japan in 2020, says The Nikkei [sub].
By 2020, the ministry aims to have 2 million household chargers for electric vehicles installed, along with 5,000 fast-charging stations for commercial fleets. The ministry promotes joint development of infrastructure projects between the government, industry and academia to help pave the way for Japan to become the world’s most electrified nation.
People who make cars for a living have a more conservative outlook. Privately, they think the ministry should lay off the sake. (Read More…)
Financial Times calls “Volkswagen a long-time sceptic about hybrid and electric cars.” However, the pink sheet announces that Wolfsburg “has officially shifted gears.” That VW had been a sceptic is an understatement. Despite green initiatives for public and political consumption, internally, they laughed about hybrids and electrics. Their private position was that the consumption and emissions of a hybrid could be achieved with their low displacement supercharged engines and some weight savings. Pure plugins? Ach du mein Lieber. People have their next vacation in mind when they buy a car, and last VW looked, there were no charging stations on the Brenner Pass to Italy.
The official gear shifting occurred at last week’s Geneva motor show, where Volkswagen announced an “unprecedented” drive into electric vehicles. (Read More…)
Company No One’s Ever Heard of To Tune Exotic Car With Ugly Body Kit and Ostensibly More Horsepower
A company that no one’s ever heard of, but which claims to have 40 years of experience tuning the most exotic sports cars, plans to tune an extremely expensive, high tech exotic sports car with an ugly body kit and theoretically additional horsepower. While the original car’s engine was developed on the Formula 1 racetrack after hours and hours of race testing, and the body was honed in a wind tunnel and then refined on the same F1 track, the tuner company actually knows better.
“You see, we do what the manufacturer of that $500,000 exotic car was unable to do, as a result of limited budgets and engineering restrictions,” said a spokesman for the tuning company. “We know way more than the car’s nerdy original engineers how much horsepower the body can tolerate, and we’ll achieve that horsepower by using a carefully installed supercharger from the eBay.” Additionally, the spokesman told MetaCars, “Carbon fiber is light and really expensive. How could it be wrong to replace body panels on the exotic sports car with carbon fiber. One step: lighter, just as strong. Must make it better.”
In announcing that it will be tuning this particular high-end exotic sports car, he tuning company joins the ranks of the legendary Wald, Gemballa, Ruf, Brabus, Lorinser, Carlsson, Alpina, Novitec Rosso, Hamann, Koenig, Wimmer, and Edo Competition, all of whom have said they too have tuned it already. The car goes on sale from the manufacturer next year. The tuning company says its work will cost $200,000 in addition to a donor car. They also ask us to point out that the photos included here, which came with their press kit, are photoshops. (Read More…)
It’s one thing to say “the electrification of the car is inevitable” (Bob Lutz) when you’re buying the motors from suppliers. But GM is putting (somebody’s) money where their oracle’s wandering mouth is, and getting into the electric motor building business. The General has announced that $246 million dollars, of which $105 million came from a DOE grant (not loan), will be spent on facilities to build lighter, smaller and more efficient electric motors for the next generation of their two-mode hybrid system and rear-wheel drive applications. Looks like a “slim-Jim” version is being developed for a “future range of rear-drive cars”. Hmm… (Read More…)
Denmark is keen to show the world, especially after the Copenhagen Conference, that they mean “green.” Denmark is setting up an infrastructure to support electric car recharging, however the other side to this grand scheme are throwing their toys out of the electric car. The Copenhagen Post reports that Renault are threatening to withdraw the electric cars which they were supposed to supply to “Better Place”, the company monitoring the installation of the electric car infrastructure. The reason behind this shocking behaviour (see what I did there?) is that Renault believe that the Danish government are not giving enough favourable car tax breaks to electric cars. The government’s policy is to give electric cars exemption from normal vehicle registration tax of 180%* until 2012.
Would you set out for a drive with your low fuel light on, knowing there was no place to buy gas? That’s the painful reality many EV drivers are going to be faced with every morning after unplugging their fully-charged battery and heading out on the road. Most conventional cars have about 50 to 60 miles left after the gauge hits empty, plenty of time to find a gas station. But according to a Consumer Reports test of a Mitsubishi i-MIEV, the stated range of 100 miles with a full battery is more like 60 or 50 under typical conditions, if you consider using lights at night, indulging in heat or A/C, or driving at 65 mph typical. I do. And so will most drivers. Disappointment with their $40k electric mini-car is inevitable. Just don’t say Darryl Siry or I didn’t warn you: (Read More…)