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Toyota Electrifies Nurburgring EV Lap Record

It was bound to happen sooner or later, Peugeot’s EX1 concept is not the fastest EV car on the Nurburgring as its record of 9 minutes and 1.338 seconds has been taken down by Toyota. In fact, the car is a modified Radical by the name of EV P001 and was driven by Jochen Krumbach who managed to do the 12.9 miles (20.8 km) distance in 7 minutes and 47.794 seconds, way better than what the French were capable of.
The car comes with a 41.5 kWh lithium-ceramic battery pack that powers two electric motors that generate 375 hp (381 PS / 280 kW) and a torque of 590 Nm. With a curb weight of just 2,138 lb (970 kg), the P001 is able to zap to 62 mph in 3.9 seconds, before it hits a maximum speed of 162 mph (260 km/h).

Source: Toyota Motorsport

Vieria Concept Car – the City „Housewife” that Cleans the Air

Pollution caused by cars has lately been the hot topic for car manufacturers. We have to recognize that they have lately done some efforts to limit their impact on the environment by developing eco-friendly cars or electric vehicles. However, they haven’t made a car that not only protects, but also cleans the air. But finally, someone thought about the idea of creating such a car. For the Michelin Challenge Design competition, Gunwoong Kim and Suji Kim have designed an electric concept car that solves that issue, the Vieria car.

As you can see it in the article’s title, we named this car “the city housewife”:
- first, because has a wheel system that can contract and expand slightly, perfect for situation when you want to fit into city’s narrower streets or for rides on rush hours with heavy traffic.
- secondly, because it features a system purifies the air taken in. In specific words, it cleans the dirty air around us, in an innovative way: takes in dirty and dusty air, runs it through a filter beneath its passenger capsule and returns clean, fresh, breathable air.

Our only regret for this car is that it’s just a concept. However, its designers would like to see it unfold in 2021, and we totally hope for that thing to happen. Actually, it will probably be the most extensive joint action for cleaning the polluted air, came from car drivers.

What do you think about this concept car: could this be a dream about to come true?

[Source: Michelinchallengedesign]

Above and Below the Water – by Platypus

People are very creative, surprisingly, even when it comes to small submarines or underwater vehicles. Such an example is Platypus (not the semi-aquatic animal, just its “similar” vehicle), a two-person electric underwater exploration concept that can be used above and below the water simultaneously.

It can travel for eight hours above the water at 10-12 knots (18.5-22.2 km/h), or below the water at 3-4 knots (5.5-7.5 km/h). All that drivers need is a scuba gear (no other operating equipment), because the pontoons have some sort of integrated compressor which supplies air hoses.

This is how it works:

The Platypus uses two electric motors, one in each pontoon. The electrical energy is stored in lithium polymer batteries, with an operating duration of up to eight hours – just as with electric cars, the range is dependent on how gently each of us uses the power.
Platypus produces no local emissions, is silent and offers storage space too. And this is not all that it can do: it features a stable platform for many applications, such as diving, photography, bird watching, eco tourism, and is the first underwater that could be used by handicapped persons.

Options as GPS, lighting for night work, on-board computer and emergency system lift are currently explored by its creator.

Now dream a little bit with us about how joyful it would be to have such a cost-effectively underwater vehicle in all our tropical resorts!

Or should we be worried about the safety issue in case of a rough sea?
No worries, they’ll fix that. Dream on!

[Source: Ubergizmo, Photo]

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Nissan Leaf US reservations full, CEO Carlos Ghosn says

It seems that Renault Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn was right on the money earlier this year when he said that thanks to the upcoming Leaf electric vehicle, his company has no other competition.

In order to drive the point home, the Nissan CEO revealed that all of the models scheduled for US sale in 2010, 13,000 in total, have been reserved. Do bear in mind that we’re talking about the refundable $99 reservations, but still, achieving such an impressive number in just a few months is mighty impressive.

We should still wait until Leaf test vehicles start arriving in dealerships and people can actually test out the new EV, but given the low price (after you factor in tax cuts or discounts), the Leaf might be an offer no eco-conscious guy or gal can resist.

With this new data, Ghosn said that factories will go into overdrive in order to produce even more cars for both the US and the European markets in the next few years.


Audi A1 e-tron ER-EV concept revealed

Audi has been pretty busy promoting its new A1 city car model, but it won’t release just the regular edition of the premium hatch at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, but also an Extended Range Electric Vehicle, called the A1 e-tron.

For those of you not yet familiar with ER-EVs, the setup is similar to the one on the Chevrolet Volt. The electric motor completely powers the car, and when its battery reserve runs low, an extended range conventional engine kicks in to recharge it.

For the A1 e-tron, the setup includes a 45kW (61 HP) electric motor, which can see its power boosted to 75kW (102 HP) in short bursts. 0 to 62 mph time is around 10 seconds, pretty decent for such a model. What’s more interesting is that Audi didn’t opt for a conventional gasoline or diesel engine to provide the extended range option, but a single-rotor Wankel unit, which isn’t so popular these days (except for the Mazda RX-8).

While the motor and the rest of the electronics will sit in the front, where the conventional engine is found on normal cars, the Wankel unit, displacing 254cc, will sit in the back, with the battery pack. Audi revealed that the full range of the car is 130 miles, with a fuel average of 124 mpg (US).

Overall, the lightweight city car is looking pretty good. It’s also another step in Audi’s strategy to develop the e-tron badge the same way as the quattro one.


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2008 Paris Special: Nissan Nuvu Concept

The Nissan Nuvu concept made its world debut at this year’s Paris Motor Show and it shows Nissan’s ‘new view’ (new view, nuvu, get it?) on urban transportation. The electric car concept is only 3 meters long and has an interesting 2+1 seating: 2 regular seats and a third one that can be folded down when required, and which has a center section made from hardwearing netting that allows cool or warm air to circulate around the occupant’s body. Nissan says that, before deciding on this seating model, they made a research which showed that for 90 percent of the time, people who drive in the city, do it alone, five percent of the time there was one passenger and four percent of the time there were two passengers. This is actually pretty interesting.

According to Nissan, the Nuvu is more than a concept, a fully working mobile test bed for much of the technology that will be used in Nissan’s production EV to be launched in 2010. This is one reason they didn’t release full info about the technology behind the Nuvu. What we do know is that the electric motor has a driving range of 125 km (approx 78 miles) and top speed of 120 km/h (75 mph). It’s laminated lithium-ion batteries are developed in cooperation with NEC Group, and a quick charge from empty to full takes between 10 to 20 minutes while a full charge should take between three to four hours from a domestic 220v socket. The Nuvu also uses a set of solar panels, that Nissan claims help save the equivalent of one full overnight charge each month.

Read more info about the Nissan Nuvu concept in the official press release, and then check out the photos we took at the Paris show. Enjoy!

Photo Gallery: Nissan Nuvu Concept at the Paris Motor Show


Nissan All-Electric Vehicle prototype details released

Today, Nissan unveiled that it’s working on an electric vehicle prototype based on the Cube minicar currently available in Japan. However, the production version will have a new unique look. The front-wheel drive prototype is powered by a new 80 kW motor and uses an advanced laminated compact lithium-ion batteries developed by the Nissan-NEC joint-venture, known as AESC (Automotive Energy Supply Corporation). The batteries are installed under the floor, so no cabin or cargo space is sacrificed.

According to Nissan, they’re planning on introducing the all-electric vehicle in 2010 and mass market it globally in 2012.

The first Tesla crash happend in San Francisco

In case you haven’t heard, the Tesla Roadster is the first electric sports car to enter production soon. Finally we can say good bye to all the ugly little cars and save the planet in a stylish and sporty way. But untill you can make your deposit for the car, you can see how it performs in the crash tests. Even though they were unplanned ! Looks like the first Tesla crash took place in San Francisco. Fortunatelly nobody got injured, but the poor car got squashed between a Mercedes and a Toyota Camry. That’s a shome, considering that only nine Tesla cars were manufactured so far. You can see for yourself in the photos what happened.

Would you buy one ?

Nice MyCar electric car to debut at London

No, we don’t think the car’s nice, that the name of the company that created this car, Nice. The Nice MyCar, which is scheduled to debut this week at the London Motor Show, was designed by Giugiaro and is made in Hong Kong. We’ll get more details on this car after the official debut, but so far we know that the car will have a range of around 40 miles, a top speed of 40 mph and the recharge time will be between 6 and 8 hours. Nice claims that the MyCar’s running costs will be around 2p per mile (fifteen times less than regular petrol or diesel cars), not to mention that the zero emissions means no road tax or congestion charges in the UK.

The Nice MyCar will come with electric windows and mirrors, Radio/MP3 player, 14 inch alloy wheels as standard, while on the options list we’ve got glass/fiberglass roof, 15 inch alloys and leather interior. The car will go on sale in the UK this Autumn and pricing will start at £8,995 ($18,000 or €11,350).

So, what do you think, would you pay this money for this kind of car? I mean, I appreciate the electric vehicle part, but why can’t they create more beautiful electric cars. This one looks a little bit too funky for me. Check out more photos after the jump.

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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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Video: Chevrolet Volt development lab

This a really cool video, showing a visit to the Chevrolet Volt development lab, where we can see what’s behind future GM green technologies. And what’s really interesting about this video is that we also have the chance to see a 1:3 scale production version model of the upcoming Chevrolet Volt electric car, which will have a range of 40 miles. Enjoy!


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.


Nissan Denki Cube Concept photos leaked

Looks like the guys from Nissan need to be a little more careful with their documents, because, after some 2009 Nissan Maxima photos leaked, we’ve also got our hands on some photos of the Nissan Denki Cube Concept, leaked before the New York Auto Show premiere.

The Nissan Denki Cube electric car concept was developed in cooperation with NEC and is capable of traveling 100 miles per charge (a full recharge of the lithium-ion batteries takes about 8 hours), while its top speed is 75 mph. Stay tuned, as we’ll have more details on the car tomorrow, after the official press conference at the New York Auto Show.

Meanwhile, check out the rest of the leaked photos after the jump.


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.


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