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Electric Car Navigation Gets New GPS Systems

Nowadays, each car in the market comes with built-in GPS systems, which help disoriented drivers not to get lost and also to look for alternative routes to avoid traffic jams. This technological system is one of the greatest inventions of our times, but what about the “future” times? We all know that electric vehicles are the new trend in cars, and apparently the current GPS systems don’t go well together, because the latter are designed to be used only in gasoline cars.

In addition to this, many routes displayed by the current generation of in-car satellite navigation systems don’t take into account energy efficient routes. For example, 100 mile range electric cars are barely capable of 50 on steep inclines and fast roads (routes which demand larger amounts of power from an electric car’s battery pack), which can delay your EV’s cross-country trip quite a lot.

This is why the Japanese electronics company, Pioneer, has developed AVIC-ZH09-MEV Satellite Navigation System, which they claim to be the first ever on the market satellite system for electric vehicles. What this GPS system brings in addition to the conventional ones is the route planning based on energy consumption, driving style and the charging stations available in the area.

What other options do you think this GPS system for EV should have in order to improve even more the driving of electric cars?

[Source: Allcarselectric]

Toyota Prepares Electric Trio For Next Year

2012 is going to be an important year for Toyota as they will launch three plug-in EVs. This announcement was made a couple of days ago at the company’s Annual National Dealer meeting that took place in Las Vegas. All these three electric models are going to be adaptations of current cars, not entirely new models.

2012 Toyota RAV4 EV (prototype)

The first one that will hit the market is the RAV4 EV, which will offer the same luggage room as its conventional powered sibling and just about the same performance. For this model, the Japanese automaker teamed up with Tesla for developing the drivetrain and the battery pack.

Toyota iQ EV (prototype)

Joining the EV lineup next year will be the funky Scion IQ EV, a car that is a little bit longer than the Smart ForTwo. Toyota’s city car is very popular at home and in Europe and it’s safe to say that the electric variant will probably be an instant hit.

2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In

Last but certainly not least, the plug-in version of the Prius will hit the market in 2012. Needless to say, it is going to offer better gas mileage in comparison to the regular 2012MY Prius and it will offer an electric driving range of up to 14 miles while running at city speeds. The car will carry a price tag of about $33,000, which is just about the same as you have to pay for a Nissan Leaf.

Source: Toyota via All Cars Electric

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2012 Mitsubishi i Gets 112 MPGe EPA Rating

2012 Mitsubishi i

We finally have one car that is more fuel efficient than the very popular Nissan Leaf. The U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has rated the 2012 Mitsubishi i with a combined fuel economy of 112 MPGe, which is better than the Leaf’s 99 MPGe and the Volt’s 93 MPGe.

Despite the fact that this compact EV is more fuel efficient when compared to the two aforementioned rivals, it has a smaller battery pack which according to EPA lasts only 62 miles until you have to recharge it again. The Mitsubishi i comes with a battery that has a 16 kilowatt-hours capacity, which makes it considerably smaller than the 24 kilowatt-hour unit that comes in the Leaf.

This smaller battery pack makes the car lighter and improves efficiency but the disadvantage is that it provides a smaller range. However, if you analyze the cost per mile, the Mitsubishi i is a worthy competitor to the bigger Nissan Leaf.

Source: EPA via All Cars Electric

Renault Frendzy – A Funky Concept

Renault Frendzy

The French automaker Renault has unveiled this week its funky Frendzy concept, ahead of the car’s official debut at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show which will be organized this September. Basically, we are talking about a commercial vehicle that sports a canvas roof, along with a cool sliding rear passenger side door and a huge 37 inch digital display.

Renault Frendzy

Inside the very futuristic cabin we find the leather latticework seats, a BlackBerry PlayBook tablet that acts as the infotainment system, along with wood floors. The load floor in the back sports a retractable bench seat as well as “magnetic fixings”, giving the user the possibility to tie the cargo down without any difficulties.

The car is powered by a lithium-ion battery that sends juice to an electric motor which generates 59 hp (60 PS / 44 kW) and 167 lb.-ft (226 Nm) of torque. With a curb weight of 3,130 lb (1,420 kg), the Renault Frendzy is able to reach a maximum speed of 81 mph (130 km/h).

Source: Renault via WCF

Chevrolet Volt, Priced From 28,545 Pounds

2011 Chevrolet Volt

If you live in United Kingdom and want to get your hands on the Chevrolet Volt, prepare to pay at least 28,454 pounds. The car will arrive at the dealerships in the beginning of next year. The announcement was made at the 2011 edition of the Goodwood Festival of Speed and the price tag includes the 5,000 pounds government grant that was created in order to increase the sales of green cars.

As you probably already know, the Chevrolet Volt has an electric driving range of up to 50 miles and after that, the 4-cylinder 1.4-liter gasoline engine kicks in and starts powering the vehicle. The automaker did not offer other details regarding the car but mentioned that all right-hand variants will come as standard with a leather interior cabin.

In other news, Chevy confirmed that the Camaro Convertible will hit the showrooms in United Kingdom in early 2012 and it will have a starting price of 34,995 pounds. Opting for the entry-level model will get you the one powered by a V8 6.2-liter engine that produces 426 hp. The North American automaker said that the suspension of the Camaro will be fine-tuned for the roads in UK.

Source: Chevrolet via Autocar.co.uk

E-Wolf ALPHA 1 SRF Hits The Nurburgring

E-Wolf ALPHA 1 SRF

At the moment, the fastest electric car on the Nurburgring Nordschleife track is the radical Peugeot EX1 Concept who managed to finish a lap in 9 minutes and 1.338 seconds. A serious contender for the French green supercar would have to be the E-Wolf ALPHA 1 SRF. The guys over at WCF have managed to grab a few spy shots with the EV while doing some high speed testing.

E-Wolf ALPHA 1 SRF

The car was announced back in September last year and it uses lithium-ion flat cells that weigh only 772 lbs (350 kg) and makes 41.5 kWh to power the two high-performance electric motors that develop 375 hp (380 PS / 280 kW) and 590 lb.-ft (800 Nm) of torque.

E-Wolf ALPHA 1 SRF

The Alpha 1 SRF (Silent Radical Force) uses the body of a Radical SR8 and managed to hit 62 mph from start in only 3.9 seconds, before reaching a top speed of 143 mph (230 km/h). The green supercar tips the scale at 2138 lbs (970 kg) and promises to have a driving range of up to 186 miles (300 km). It takes about 8 hours in order to fill up the batteries of the car. If you want to get a driving range of about 249 miles (400 km), the car must be driven at a constant speed of 50 km/h.

WCF says that the driver behind the wheel of the Alpha 1 SRF was Jochen Krumbach, who is a well-known Porsche driver in the demanding VLN long distance races that are organized on Nurburgring. Most likely, the record of the aforementioned Peugeot EX1 Concept will go down in the next few days.

If you want to buy the E-Wolf supercar, prepare to say goodbye to 215,000 Euros (plus VAT).

Source: WCF

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Exagon Furtive e-GT, On Sale In Late 2012

Exagon Furtive e-GT

This has to be one of the most beautiful cars I’ve seen in the last few months. I’m talking about this Exagon Furtive e-GT, which is an all-new EV sports coupe that is scheduled to go on sale in late 2012. The company that develops this model exhibited a validation prototype at the famous Magny Cours race track in France. Behind the wheel of this beauty was Nicolas Prost, son of 4-time world champion Alain Prost.

Exagon Furtive e-GT

The company plans on rolling out 100 units per year and it will be offered in two variants. The regular one will be powered by two electric motors while the more complex version is going to have a combustion engine range extender that works just about the same as the one we saw in the Chevrolet Volt.

Exagon Furtive e-GT

The standard variant of the vehicle packs two Siemens-sourced electric motors that each generate 125 kW, for a combined power output of 340 hp between 5,000 – 10,000 rpm and a constant torque of 354 lb.-ft (480 Nm). All this electric power is stored in the 50 kWh lithium-ion batteries that should have a lifespan of about 10 years and 3,000 recharge cycles. The company says that this very sexy 2+2 coupe is going to have a driving range between 122 miles and 250 miles (197 km to 402 km).

Exagon Furtive e-GT

With the aforementioned range extender, the range of the Exagon Furtive e-GT expands to about 500 miles (807 km). The car is expected to do the 0-62 mph sprint in only 3.5 seconds and will be able to hit a top speed of 178 mph (287 km/h), but the production version will be limited to “only” 155 mph (250 km/h).

Source: Exagon via Carscoop

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Gordon Murray Design T.27 EV Revealed

Gordon Murray Design T.27

According to the Gordon Murray Design, the T.27 EV is the “world’s most efficient electric car”, packing a 12 kWh lithium-ion battery that can power an electric motor with 34 hp (34 PS / 25 kW) and 645 lb.-ft (875 Nm) of torque.

Gordon Murray Design T.27

This hardware configuration allows the EV to do the 0-62 mph sprint in less than 15 seconds, before reaching a top speed of 65 mph (105 km/h). The curb weight of the car is 1,500 lb (680 kg) and its estimated driving range is about 100 miles (161 km).

Gordon Murray Design T.27

No word about a launch date yet, but Gordon Murray Design is talking with three automakers about putting the T.27 in production.

Source: Gordon Murray Design via WCF

Russian Yo Hybrid Car Pre-Ordered By 100,000 Customers

If we were to believe Mikhail Prokhorov, a Russian billionaire businessman, the Yo natural-gas hybrid turns out to be a very popular car as the company has received orders stretching out as far as 10 years into the future. He told Russia Today, a satellite TV channel, that the company has received more than 100,000 orders.

Back in October 2010, Prokhorov, who is also the owner of the popular New York Nets basketball team, revealed that he was founding the firm by investing $200 million in order to create and manufacture a Russian-designed vehicle in mother Russia. Two months later, in December, more details about the car surfaced the Internet, revealing a hybrid configuration that features a rotary-vane engine that powers a generator that flows current to a pair of small-sized electric traction motors.

During high power demand, the extra current available is then fed from a bank of capacitors that are capable of discharging at high voltage. The curb weight of the Yo subcompact is expected to be around the 1,500 pounds mark and the 0-62 mph sprint time is done between 8 and 14 seconds while top speed is somewhere around 75 mph.

As far as the gas mileage is concerned, the Russia hybrid is expected to return more than 60 mpg when running on gasoline. In addition, it will also be capable of running on LPG (liquefied petroleum gas). The range of the car (on both fuel systems) is estimated to be somewhere around 680 miles.

The founder of the company plans on putting the car on sale sometime in July-December 2012 with a price tag of $12,000 – $15,000 (350,000 – 450,000 rubles). The estimated annual production for the Yo will be around 45,000 units during the first year and if everything goes according to the plan, an expansion of the plant is being considered in the near vicinity of St. Petersburg which will double the production figures.

Source: GreenCarReports

Jaguar XF 2.2 Diesel Revealed

Jaguar XF 2.2 Diesel

It’s here – the most fuel efficient model that Jaguar has ever made. The new XF 2.2 Diesel sedan will prove its efficiency by taking a long journey that will start from Castle Bromwich (where the factory is) in Birmingham, United Kingdom, to Munich in Germany with only one tank of fuel.

Jaguar says that this can be achieved thanks to the very efficient 4-cylinder engine that consumes only 47.5 mpg (57 mpg UK or 4.9 liters / 100 km) which should allow the gorgeous XF to complete the 816 miles (1,312 km) trip. This engine is in fact an uprated version of the 4-cylinder, turbocharged Ford-sourced 2.2-liter unit, the one found in the European-spec Ford Mondeo and also in the Land Rover Freelander.

The power unit generates 190 hp and has a peak torque of 332 lb.-ft, which is enough for a 0-62 mph sprint in a respectable time of 8.5 seconds and a maximum speed of 140 mph (225 km/h). This engine is mated to an 8-speed gearbox from ZF and a premiere for a Jaguar model, it benefits from the stop/start system.

The model will be officially out this September, along with the rest of the facelifted XF range.

Source: Jaguar via Carscoop

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2012 Opel Astra ecoFLEX Announced

2012 Opel Astra ecoFLEX

General Motors announced this week the 2012 Opel / Vauxhall Astra ecoFLEX that promises to deliver an emissions level of only 99 g/km. The car is powered by a 1.7-liter CDTI turbodiesel engine that benefits from the common-rail technology and generates 130 hp (96 kW) and 300 Nm of torque, available between 2,000 and 2,500 rpm.

2012 Opel Astra ecoFLEX

To further improve fuel efficiency, the engineers improved the car’s aerodynamics, lowered the chassis by 12 mm and installed low rolling resistance tires, along with the implementation of the start/stop system.

2012 Opel Astra ecoFLEX

Unfortunately, General Motors forgot to mention what really interests us – fuel consumption. We hope that they’ll divulge the figures pretty soon.

They did mention that in order to reduce the gas emissions, they’ve implemented a technology called Clean Tech Combustion, along with braking energy recuperation and a thermal management system. The engine is mated to a 6-speed transmission with reduced friction.

Source: General Motors via ZerCustoms

Renault Fluence Z.E., Priced From 17,850 Pounds

Renault Fluence Z.E.

The third Z.E. model that will be offered in United Kingdom by Renault after the Kangoo Van and the Twizy will be the Fluence Z.E, which should be out next year. It will be sold at an on-the-road price of 22,850 pounds but buyers will have to pay only 17,850 pounds thanks to the 5,000-pound UK Plug-In Car Grant. The 4-door, 5-seat sedan is going to be the cheapest EV sold in United Kingdom if we don’t take into consideration the Twizy or the G-Wiz.

Renault Fluence Z.E.

Buyers will have to lease the car’s batteries, paying 75 pounds / month based on 6,000 miles / 3 year. Closer to the launch, the French manufacturer will offer more details regarding extending the length of the contract or adding more mileage.

Renault Fluence Z.E.

The Renault Fluence Z.E. features an electric motor that generates 95 hp (70 kW) and has a torque of 167 lb.-ft (226 Nm). The lithium-ion battery offers the electric sedan a driving range of up to 115 miles (185 km).

Renault Fluence Z.E.

At first, the car will be offered only with a trim level, dubbed Prime Time. Those who buy the Fluence Z.E. will get as standard climate control, 16-inch alloys, cruise control, Carminat TomTom Live smart sat-nav, ecoMeter, along with charging sockets on the front wings.

Source: Renault via Carscoop

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BMW Announces X1 sDrive20d Efficient Dynamics Edition

BMW X1 sDrive20d EfficientDynamics Edition

If you are an eco-minded driver and want to get a crossover from BMW, you’ll be happy to hear that they’ve recently announced the X1 sDrive20d EfficientDynamics Edition. This model is powered by a 4-cylinder, 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo diesel engine that produces 161 hp (163 PS / 120 kW) and 280 lb.-ft (380 Nm) of torque.

This engine benefits from a start/stop system and you also get electric power steering, low-rolling resistance tires, brake energy recuperation and aerodynamic light alloy wheels – all for the purpose of increasing fuel efficiency. Thanks to these modifications, the car consumes only 4.5 liters / 100 km and has CO2 emissions of 119 g/km.

The German automaker has also announced a brand new 4-cylinder 2.0-liter TwinTurbo gasoline engine that generates 181 hp (184 PS / 135 kW) and has a peak torque of 199 lb.-ft (270 Nm). With this power unit, the X1 can average 7.1-7.7 liters / 100 km while CO2 emissions stand at 165-179 g/km.

No word about the price tag, but we know that both models will hit the market this fall.

Source: BMW via WCF

Popemobile Goes Hybrid

1930 Mercedes-Benz Nurburg 460 Pullman

No wonder that Pope Bendict XVI is also known as the “green pope” for his support of eco-friendly causes. He will get the very first green popemobile in the form of a hybrid Mercedes-Benz M-Class. If we were to believe Wirtschaftswoche, a German business paper, the hybrid crossover will feature lithium-ion batteries and will have an electric driving range of up to 20 miles.

In 2010, Benedict had his thoughts on getting a pure-electric solar-powered Popemobile, but his closest advisors said that a hybrid would be more suitable, mostly because it would eliminate potentially threatening situations.

The car will be delivered towards the end of this year or even in early 2012 and will join six or seven Mercedes-Benz heavily armored vehicles, including a modified S-Class model and two customized Gelandewagens.

Mercedes-Benz has been supplying Popemobiles to the Vatican for more than 8 decades. The very first one was delivered to Pope Pius XI and was a Nurburg 460 Pullman limousine from 1930. The current fleet includes a M430 that was delivered in 2002 for John Paul II, the previous pontiff, along with a G500 cabriolet from 2007 and a G500 hardtop from 2008. These two last models are wearing a Vatican Mystic White livery.

Source: Inside Line

Bosch Mahle Turbo Installs 1.2-liter Engine In VW Passat

Regardless of the area you live in, you definitely can’t buy a new VW Passat with a tiny 1.2-liter, 3-cylinder engine. The car you see in this pictures has one, courtesy of Bosch Mahle Turbo systems who took a 2009 VW Passat and installed this type of engine that produces 161 hp and has a peak torque of 210 lb.-ft.

This kind of power is usually available from 4-cylinder 2.0-liter engines or turbocharged 1.6-liter units like Ford’s EcoBoost, but they managed to do it with only a small 3-cylinder, turbocharged, 1.2-liter engine. The power unit also has good mileage as it managed to return 40 mpg on the European test cycle, which is about 32-35 on the United States combined cycle.

This is a very relevant example of a considerably smaller engine that generates just about the same power as its bigger siblings and manages to deliver significantly more fuel efficiency.

More and more car manufacturers are planning to roll out smaller engines, including BMW and Ford, a premiere for each company.

Who said that the gasoline engine is dead?

Source: Green Car Reports


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