What do you think?

28 02 2010





Obama’s Plan

28 02 2010

The Current Situation

The country that harnesses the power of clean, renewable energy will lead the 21st century. For too long, politicians in Washington have been beholden to special interests, but no longer. Our new, responsible energy policy recognizes the relationship between energy, the environment, and our economy and leverages American ingenuity to put people back to work, fight global warming, increase our energy independence and keep us safe.

The Solution

  • Chart a new energy future:

    President Obama has a comprehensive plan to chart a new energy future by embracing alternative and renewable energy, ending our addiction to foreign oil, addressing the global climate crisis and creating millions of new jobs that can’t be shipped overseas.

  • Invest in clean, renewable energy:

    To achieve our goal of generating 25 percent of our energy from renewable sources by 2025, we will make unprecedented investments in clean, renewable energy – solar, wind, biofuels, and geothermal power.

  • Fight climate change:

    We will invest in energy efficiency and conservation, two sure-fire ways to decrease deadly pollution and drive down demand. And we will hold special interests accountable as we finally work to address climate change and its potentially catastrophic effects.

text taken from : http://www.barackobama.com/issues/newenergy/index.php





Up and Coming Electric Cars

25 02 2010

BMW Megacity

BMW City EVBMW is working on a small electric car that could launch in 2012. The Megacity is a low-slung three-door four-seat hatchback coupe. The car is smaller than the Honda Fit, and will have a projected range of 100 miles. The BMW Megacity, which could be sold either as a BMW or Mini, is not much more than a concept at this stage, but pressure on BMW to meet California’s zero emissions vehicle requirements might bring the car to life—albeit in small numbers.

BYD E6

Subaru 1REIf China’s BYD can deliver on its big promises for the E6 all-electric crossover, then it could take the US by storm. (Investment guru Warren Buffet is betting that BYD will come through.) Unlike the small city-oriented electric runabouts on slate from established carmakers, the E6 is a five-passenger wagon capable of carting a typical American family. Moreover, the E6 has a range of 200 to 250 miles and boasts a 0 to 60 mph time of less than 10 seconds. Top speed is 100 mph. The vehicle can be fully charged in about 10 hours by plugging into a standard household outlet. BYD says that it takes only 10 minutes to charge to 50 percent capacity and 15 minutes to the 80 percent level. BYD has been in the battery business only since 1995, and started building cars in 2003. Considering that the company maintains an R&D department with 8,000 engineers, it’s not surprising that the initials BYD stand for “Build Your Dreams.”
BYD showed the E6 at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show along with its F3DM and F6DM plug-in hybrid sedans. It announced plans to sell the F6DM in the US within a few years, although it didn’t set a firm schedule for any of its electric-drive vehicle—probably wise, since the cars have not yet been certified for sale, and face questions on quality, crashworthiness, and equipment.

Coda (Electric Sedan)

Coda Electric SedanSouthern California automaker Coda Automotive announced plans to bring a new electric car to the US from China in 2010. The all-electric sedan is based on an existing gas-powered four-door car, known as the Hafei Saibao 3, built in Harbin, China. Re-engineered with a lithium ion battery, the Coda sedan promises a driving range of 100 miles. The MSRP for the Coda sedan will be around $40,000. The scrappy California company may be the first start-up to offer a practical and affordable electric car to mainstream buyers.

Ford Focus EV

Ford Focus EVThe Ford Focus EV, due out in late 2011, is the first electric car designed for the generic aisle of the dealership. Ford’s plans for the Focus EV are not aimed at buzz and sizzle. Instead, the company is focused on addressing the biggest obstacle between EVs and the mainstream: cost. By choosing an existing platform—the Focus—and using technology developed by auto supplier Magna, Ford will save the expense associated with developing a unique design. The Ford Focus EV is targeted to have a range of 100 miles between charges, courtesy of a 23 kWh battery pack.

Ford Transit Connect Electric

Ford Transit Connect ElectricWith the introduction of the Ford Transit Connect Electric, unveiled at this week’s Chicago Auto Show, Ford may have produced the first green halo truck. When you combine car-like driving dynamics, cargo capacity and accessibility with the the built-in marketing opportunities for small businesses to emblazon the large exterior panels with green slogans such as “Zero-Emissions” and “100 percent electric,” it makes for a compelling package. The vehicle has a 75 mile per hour top speed and can drive up to 80 miles on a charge—perfectly fine for the needs of a local delivery cycle.

Mercedes BlueZero

Mercedes BlueZeroIn late 2008, Mercedes-Benz unveiled its BlueZero concept vehicles—the core idea is to build electric, plug-in hybrid, and fuel-cell cars on a single platform. Daimler had previously announced that its next generation FCV fuel cell cars will be built on a subcompact (B-class) chassis in 2010. Migrating to the BlueZero would only be a minor adjustment. Daimler’s future electric cars could also shift to the BlueZero—because the guts of its electric cars already fit in the smaller Smart and A-Class. Sharing platforms and technology architectures could allow Daimler to telescope development and production timelines, and save money on rolling out new electric models. At this stage, it’s still a concept.

Mini E

Mini EThe limited edition Mini E car is based on the Mini Cooper platform. The car’s 380-volt battery is comprised of 5,088 individual cells, and can be recharged using a standard 110-volt electrical outlet. The battery pack has a maximum capacity of 35 kilowatt hours. BMW will offer a specialized high-amp wall-mounted device that will allow a full replenishment of the battery in less than three hours. The Mini E will have a cruising range of 150 miles. Approximately 500 cars are slated for production and lease to select customers in Southern California and the New York area. Pricing, as well as production beyond the first 500 units, is not yet determined.

Mitsubishi iMiEV

Mitsubishi iMiEVMitsubishi is now taking advanced orders for electric cars in Japan, with production planned for Summer 2009. The production vehicle will be a derivative of the iMiEV (Mitsubishi in-wheel Electric Vehicle) Sport Concept. The production will likely use a single 47 kW motor and 16 kWh lithium ion batteries—to yield about 75 miles of range and a top speed of 80 miles per hour. The vehicle will be a four-seater with a real usable back seat.

Nissan Leaf

Nissan LeafNissan is calling its new electric car—the Nissan Leaf—the “world’s first affordable, zero-emission car.” And they could be right. Unveiled on Aug. 2, 2009, the Leaf is a medium-size all-electric hatchback that seats five adults and has a range of 100 miles. Pricing was not announced (although the company previously hinted at a price around $30,000.) The Nissan Leaf’s closest comparable future all-electric car is the Ford Focus EV. The distinguishing characteristic between the two vehicles could be design—pitting the established look of the Ford Focus against the purpose-built Nissan Leaf, which will go on sale in late 2010.

Pininfarina Blue Car

Pininfarina Blue CarLegendary Italian sports car designer Pininfarina will begin production of its small all-electric four-seat five-door Blue Car in 2010. The Blue Car is powered by a 50 kW electric motor getting energy from a lithium polymer battery pack with 150 miles of range. The company began accepting reservations from European customers in spring 2009. The lease will be about $500 per month. The body of the car is designed as an elastic shell resting forcefully on the four wheels, providing more room than the average city car. Techno-goodies include solar panels on the roof, and the ability to use a smart phone to monitor battery state-of-charge, and to start AC or heat from a distance. Pininfarina will start slow, only in Europe, and aim to ramp up production up to 60,000 units per year by 2015.

Renault Fluence

Renault FluencePatrick Pelata, executive vice president, said that the all-electric Renault Fluence will launch in 2011, starting with at least 20,000 units in the first year. (The gas-powered Fluence debuts in 2009.) The company will produce a smaller compact electric car in the following year. No more details at this time, although its sister company Nissan will introduce its yet-to-be-named electric-only model also in 2012. That’s probably not a coincidence.

Smart ED

Smart EVDespite considerable media buzz for Daimler’s Smart ForTwo, microcars have not taken American roads by storm. Perhaps consumers may be more forgiving of the lack of size and power if the Smart is offered with an electric drive. The first models will likely go to Europe in about 2010. Availability in the US is uncertain. The car will provide 70 miles of range and 70 miles per hour on the freeway. Recharge time from 30 to 80 percent capacity is about three and a half hours. The gas version of the Smart ForTwo has earned low marks for handling, especially at higher speeds.

Subaru R1E

Subaru 1REThe Achilles Heel of electric cars has been the limited range they can travel between charges. The Subaru R1e could help change that. The diminutive two-seater, about 20 inches longer than a Smart ForTwo, has a top speed of 65 miles per hour and a range of 50 miles. More importantly, the time to recharge the 346-volt lithium ion battery pack has been reduced to about 15 minutes. Here’s the hitch: To get the faster charging time, you need a special stationary charger. Using the onboard standard charger puts the electricity refueling time back to about eight hours.

Toyota FT-EV

Toyota FT-EVToyota introduced the FT-EV electric concept at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show, hinting that it might offer an urban all-electric commuter vehicle in the next few years. The FT-EV concept shares its platform with the company’s Japanese and European minicar, the Toyota iQ. The iQ is larger than the quintessential minicar, the Smart Fortwo, but not by much. Its wheelbase is a little more than five inches longer, and on the whole, the car is only about a foot longer than the Smart—11.4 inches to be exact. The electric version on display at the Detroit Auto Show, the Toyota FT-EV concept, offers driving range of 50 miles, according to Toyota. The company is expected to launch 10 new hybrid gas-electric models globally by 2012, but has not made firm commitments to bring a full battery-electric car to market.

Tesla Model S

Tesla Model SWhat makes the Model S so cool? First of all, the visual design is gorgeous. Second, it seats five—or seven if you count the two side-facing rear seats for small children. There are killer features, like the 17-inch touch screen that provides all of the vehicle’s interface components such as climate control and entertainment, but also offers 3G or wireless connectivity. But most importantly, the Model S is way more affordable than the company’s $109,000 Tesla Roadster. The current price target for the Tesla Model S is $57,900 (minus a $7,500 federal tax credit)—still not in range for most mainstream buyers but moving in the right direction. The Model S is planned for release in late 2011.

text from  http://www.hybridcars.com/electric-car





In 1993 Stanford discusses the future of electric cars…. are we there yet?

22 02 2010


NEWS RELEASE

06/01/93

CONTACT: Stanford University News Service (415) 723-2558

NEW BATTERY ACCELERATES THE FUTURE OF ELECTRIC CARS

STANFORD – The future of the electric automobile depends on the development of a practical battery with a useful range, something that has so far eluded engineers. A new battery, using nickel metal hydride may be the answer.

“This is a new battery, which is non-toxic, environmentally green and requires no maintenance,” said Stanford chemistry professor John Ross, who created the battery with Energy Conversion Devices, a Michigan-based company.

The development was reported in a recent issue of Science magazine. Ross served as consultant and was co-author of the paper.

The nickel metal hydride battery satisfies almost all the requirements for an intermediate battery for electric vehicles set by the U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium, a Department of Energy-headed group, consisting of Chrysler, Ford, General Motors and the Electric Power Research Institute, which supports research and development of batteries for electric cars.

Electric vehicles have been impractical because their range has been limited by existing batteries – lead acid batteries could only run about 120 miles before needing to be recharged.

The nickel metal hydride battery, however, more than doubles that.

“At a single charge, it [the new battery] can go about 250 to 300 miles,” Ross said.

And it can be fully charged in less than an hour, much less than the time required by conventional batteries.

“The quickest charging time is about 20 minutes,” Ross said, “but that takes quite a bit of current. You wouldn’t want to do that in your house but, on the other hand, if you drive during the day and come home at night, you can recharge it during the night.”

The battery uses a proprietary mixture of nine or 10 metals to store hydrogen as a solid. When the battery is being operated, it discharges the hydrogen; it stores hydrogen when charging. The chemical process involves nickel hydroxide and nickel oxyhydroxide.

The new battery, which normally holds 1.2 volts, could cost around $200 per kilowatt hour, compared to just under $150 for present batteries. It could last 10 years as opposed to only five for the conventional device.

A switch to electric vehicles would serve the United States by reducing both pollution and dependence on oil imports, Ross said. “The benefits of electric cars are first of all environmental,” he said. “They’re emission- free.”

By decreasing the demand for gasoline, electric cars also would help the U.S. balance of trade by cutting down substantially on imported oil.

“If the United States switches away from gasoline to electricity, we’re switching from oil to coal, natural gas and hydro power,” Ross said. “That means you’re switching away from importing oil. Right now, we’re importing about $65 billion dollars [of oil] a year, and our trade imbalance is $90 billion, so oil is a substantial part of the trade imbalance that is slowly making us bankrupt.”

Although use of electric cars will require an increase in coal- burning to generate more electricity, the general environmental effect will be positive, Ross said.

“In a coal-fired plant,” he said, “you can control pollution much better than you can emissions from an automobile.”

Coal “pollutes significantly less than oil usage in a car,” he said.

The battery is currently being tested by American, European and Japanese manufacturers, including Honda, the Japanese car company, and Varta, the largest battery manufacturer in Europe.

Ross expects that car companies will soon have electric vehicles ready to test the new battery and believes that the actual electric car may be available as soon as next year.

“The Americans are planning for 1995,” said Ross. “The Japanese may be coming out [with an electric car] next year.”

-jns/battery-

This story was written by Emmeline Chen, a science writing intern at the Stanford News Service.

Text Taken From :  http://news.stanford.edu





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19 02 2010

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Too fancy to be true?

13 02 2010

According to Edmunds Inside Line, the  Vision EfficientDynamics concept that made its debut at the 2009  will enter production.  Inside Line cites a senior  authority who assured them that this will become a productionvehicle.

The plug-in  2+2 concept is dramatic in appearance and drive train.  At first glance the vehicle appears to be a concept and nothing more.  The outrageous exterior and costly mechanicals would lead many to believe that this vehicle is simply too extravagant for production, but  clearly thinks otherwise.  The source cited by Inside Line says that the volume for this vehicle will be between 5,000 and 10,000 units and the concept vehicles power train will remain intact.  The source added, “there will be less of the synthetic glass and more solid structure added to the final design.”

What’s so special about this  product?  This may very well be the company’s second production supercar ever made.  The first is of course the infamous and rare M1.  Inside Line asked their source if this could be the company’s second supercar and the response was “quite probably.”

Here’s some preliminary specs.  The plug-in  powertrain puts out 356 horsepower and 590 pound feet of torque.  Its claimed to reach 62 mph in 4.8 seconds, but the company believes that the times will continue to drop as the  powertrain and computers systems are fine tuned.  The target weight is set at under 3,000 pounds and the vehicle utilizes extensive composite materials throughout.  The concept features a turbocharged three cylinder  range extender setup, with twin electric motors and a lithium polymer battery pack.

The  Vision EfficientDynamics vehicle is expected to reach production status by 2013.  There is no pricing set at this point, nor specific details about the production vehicle.  The information above relates to the concept vehicle and many changes could be made before production begins.

Text from.. http://www.allcarselectric.com/blog/1042348_bmw-vision-efficientdynamics-concept-to-enter-production-by-2013





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12 02 2010

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