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McCar and its Scooter in the Rear – the Possible Answer to City Driving Needs

Heavy traffic and parking problem are well-known to us all. We often find ourselves in the situation to leave our car parked in a city area far from where we actually want to go. The solution to that might be the McCar, an ultra compact, two-door, four-seater, built by Geely, the Chinese company that owns Volvo. This hybrid electric car was showed at the Shanghai Motor Show and its innovative functionality is the folding three-wheeled electric scooter from the rear, which actually fulfills the transportation necessities of someone, when the car itself can no longer be used.

The McCar is capable of 93 miles per charge, while the scooter has a range of 18 miles per charge, being a completely independent vehicle. According to Geely, the McCar will be available in two versions and also with the option that replaces the scooter with a wheelchair; this will make this car a really good option for the people with mobility problems.

The prices for the McCar weren’t mentioned, but the car is expected to start rolling out next year.

That’s a pretty good solution for traffic jams, but where would we park the scooters? What do you think about this hybrid car?

[Source: Boston, Photo]


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Buy An Electric Car

Eco-friendly technologies gain more and more ground, because we all care about the future of our children. Natural resources are diminishing, so manufacturers every where have been trying to find new and improved ways to build cars and amaze us with their ingenuity.

An alternative to expensive and polluting gasoline is the electric car. The technology has been available for years, but an economy that thinks only in gasoline terms needs a few years to adjust. The adjustment was cut short though, by higher prices for gasoline than ever. The reasons for using alternative sources of power have started to unfold one by one.

One problem about buying an electric car seems to be the price. 2011 announces high prices for electric cars in comparison with cars based on internal combustion engines and hybrid electric vehicles. That cost is due to the lithium-ion battery most needed if you want to own an electric car. Though governments are trying to stimulate the market there are still a few problems that need solving. A significant problem is the inexistent recharging infrastructure.

One of the most common electric cars available on the market and at the beginning of the evolutionary chain is Dynasty iT. This is a town car, made from aluminum and fiberglass body and stores electricity in its six Ev-31 lead acid batteries with a charging time of maximum 12 hours. It’s a small price to pay for the environment: the price ranges between $14,000 and $25,000.

Another good example is the Miles ZX40. This car is a four door minivan style car, equipped with a DC electric motor that is pretty powerful, reaching up to 26 kW. This time, the batteries used are still lead acid batteries, but they’re glass mat. Moreover, the car comes with a 41 cubic feet available transportation space. The price is good: between $14,900 and $18,900.

Some people think that the so call “earth’s favorite car” is ZENN, another zero emission NEV. This car has a lot of interesting features that provide it the possibility to recapture energy and use it to recharge the batteries. An example would be the four wheel discs with regenerative braking. The ZENN offers 13 cubic feet of transportation space and you can buy it for $14,700 or $15,575.

Some of the models that 2011 brings on the market are the Mitsubishi I MiEV, the TH!nk City or Tesla Roadster. Each one of them are able to face a highway drive. The speeds and the autonomy are nice numbers to read. For example Tesla Model S, which will be released in 2012, can go as fast as 193 km/h or 120mph and will be good to go without recharging for more than 483 km or 300 miles.

Electric cars are definitely a must have of the future if we want to have a healthy and safe planet for our children. So it’s time to make more for the environment and this is one of the solutions we have at hand. Engineers promise newer and better approaches when it comes to the technology and they will end up convincing you to buy an electric car. You just need to keep an open mind.

The Lightning GT electric sports car

The British car maker Lightning Car announced, last year its plans to design an electric super car. Now, in the second half of the month, they will present, at British Motor Show, the new Lightning Car. Even tough there are just a few days until then, Lightning Car didn’t announced the price of the new super car. Probably Lightning GT will have a price of about 180.000 euros.

The car will be equipped with a traction control system, a sound system which imitates an internal combustion engine, electric windows, sporty seats, low alloy wheels and LED lights. As optional you can have magnesium-carbon alloy wheels, air condition and a navigation system. Lightning GT will have four electric engines (one for each wheel), producing a total power of 700 bhp. Each engine will have a torque of about 749 Nm, that can be obtain theoretical from 0 km/h.

All that power is going to be stored in a revolutionary battery that uses titan structures instead of traditional graphite, which can offer a 400 km range. The battery can be recharged in only 10 minutes and it has a life of 12-20 years or 15,000 charge cycles. It’s estimated that the car will reach 100 km/h (62 mph) in only 4 seconds.

Check out more photos after the jump.

Audi to build electric car in 5 to 10 years

In an interview published Sunday, Rupert Stadler, Audi’s Chairman told Welt am Sonntag that Audi is planning on releasing an electric car within 10 years. Without providing additional details, Stadler said: “Electric cars offer great opportunities, which we have already seized on”. Asked if was not lagging domestic rivals Mercedes and BMW in the development of lithium-ion batteries, Stadler said Audi’s research capacities were larger than those of its German competitors.

So this announcement shows, once again, that the major car companies take electric cars very serious. This year, BMW will decide whether to build an electric vehicle, while GM plans to roll Chevy Volt plug-in electric car in 2010.



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Tesla Roadster heading to Europe

We’ve got good news for Europe. Though Tesla was planning to bring the Tesla Roadster to Europe someday, we didn’t know exactly when that was going to happen. But today, InnovationBeat reaports that Darryl Siry, VP of marketing, sales and service at Tesla, announced that, because of the dollar losing ground to the Euro, they’ll bring the Roadster to Europe earlier than planned.

The reason for this action is that the Tesla Roadster’s components are sourced abroad and a lot of the construction is being done in Hethel, England. And with the dollar getting very weak compared to the Euro, selling the car to Europe as fast as possible will provide the company a better balance between income and cost currencies.

Still, considering that all the 900 models that’ll be produced this year are already taken, Europe will see its first Tesla Roadster next year. We don’t know yet what countries will get the car first, but InnovationBeat says that, because of the tax incentives offered on low-emission vechiles, Norway and Sweden are favorites.

Though production started last week, Tesla is currently building just one car per week and will keep it like this for a month or two. “We’re doing intensive quality control along the way,” Siry said “We’ll ramp it up to two a week, then five a week. That’s normal. You only ramp up one you’re satisfied everything is up to quality.”

Priced at $98,000, Tesla hopes to produce and sell about 1,800 units next year and they also plan on presenting a four-doors sedan in 2010.


Tesla Roadster production starts

Who would’ve thought that, about two years ago, when the first Tesla Roadster prototype was unveiled, that this day will come? Because yesterday, March 17th, was the official day the Tesla Roadster production started. And that’s not all, because Tesla also announced that they have orders for all the cars that will be produced this year (about 900 units) and already started taking orders for 2009.

Tesla also wants to expand their range of electric vehicles and in 2010 they’ll present a new car, a five passenger sports sedan. Congratulations to Tesla and we wish them all the luck, because they really got a great car.

You can read the full press release after the jump, plus you can read here Mr. Ze’ev Drori’s (Tesla’s president and CEO) thoughts on this great moment in Tesla history.


Detroit Auto Show: Tang Hua, weird Chinese electric cars

In the past, Chinese car makers were accused of lack of originality and copying designs from European producers. One thing can be said about the Tang Hua electric cars. They sure are original. Not in a good way, but original. I mean, c’mon, what are these? The guys over at Autoblog call them “Disneyland rejects” and I think they’re quite gentle when they say that.