Posts Tagged ‘electric vehicles’

#Exploding #Samsung #GalaxyNote7 battery issue – new lithium-ion non-exploding solution – an annotated infographic

January 25, 2017

Scientists have developed a lithium-ion battery that contains a fire-extinguishing element which is released if the battery overheats.

This could be crucial for all manner of applications: not just exploding smartphones, but also electric vehicles.

E&T news recently covered Samsung’s official explanation of why the Galaxy Note 7 batteries had a tendency to explode.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.

Self-extinguishing Li-ion battery

Self-extinguishing Li-ion battery

High fives all round @TeslaMotors as company secures 325,000 orders for new @TeslaModel3 – an annotated infographic

April 8, 2016

Tesla Motors, the upstart electric car maker sending shivers of apprehension through the traditional automotive industry, has unveiled its first venture into the mass market with its prototype new Model 3.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s home town press conference was interrupted by the now traditional whooping and hollering of approval from the assembled employees and early adopters of its electric cars.

Musk announced more than 100,000 Model 3 orders with $1,000 deposits had been made, zooming to 276,000 after the press conference. This is unprecedented for a car which hadn’t been seen before and won’t appear in showrooms in any great numbers until 2018. Production will begin late in 2017.

Model 3 sales will reach only 12,200 next year, according to Cairn Energy Research Advisors of Boulder, Colorado, while it said Tesla will have shipped only 196,890 by 2020, about 100,000 short of its official guidance. Investment bank Morgan Stanley said total Tesla production of Model S saloons, Model X SUVs and the Model 3 will reach just under 249,000 by 2020, less than half of Tesla’s own targets.

This hasn’t stopped the enthusiasm of would-be buyers and investors reaching over-the-top levels.

“Model 3 redefines the auto industry. The auto industry has been stuck making Tiffin Boxes for decades and their time is fast coming to an end. There is no way BMW, Porsche, GM, Toyota, Honda or any other existing auto manufacturer can even come close to competing with Tesla Model 3,” said Global Equities Research of Redwood Shores, California. This remains to be seen.

Before the unveiling, the Model 3 was billed as a competitor to workaday battery-electric vehicles like the Chevrolet Bolt, Nissan Leaf, Hyundai Ioniq and BMW i3 Citycar. Not so, said IHS Automotive analyst Stephanie Brinley, because of its size, range and performance.

“Model 3’s natural competitive set may be more accurately the [petrol-powered] BMW 3-Series, Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Lincoln MKZ and Cadillac CTS,” Brinley said.

This explains why the traditional industry is so nervous about Tesla. It not only appeals to sandal-wearing environmental zealots, but to the well-heeled who also want a vehicle which excites.

Musk announced the price, before tax and government subsidies.

“As for price, it’ll be $35,000. And I want to emphasize that even if you buy it at $35,000 — no options at all — this will still be an amazing car.”

The 65 KwH Model 3, likely to cost a lot more than $35,000, will scorch from rest to 60mph in 4.4 seconds, will have a range of 225 miles and take one hour for a fast recharge, allegedly. This will allow it to compete with the hottest sports saloons like the BMW M3 and Mercedes C-class AMG. Eventually there will be a coupe, a cabriolet, a small SUV and possibly a pickup truck.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.

She's a model and she's looking good

She’s a model and she’s looking good

Will @TeslaMotors new Model X give #electriccars a major boost – an annotated infographic

November 2, 2015

Tesla’s electric Model X SUV can sprint to 100km/h in 3.2 seconds, features radar and sonar to enable hands-free autopilot driving and can travel 400km on a single charge – at a fuel cost of just €4.

The new Tesla Motors Model X SUV is so packed with headline grabbing features like the “falcon wing” doors, mind-boggling performance and a giant windscreen, that you might forget the fact that it is all electric, too. It might even protect you if biological warfare breaks out.

The Fremont, California-based battery-powered car pioneer led by charismatic entrepreneur Elon Musk has cornered the market for luxury electric vehicles with its current Model S saloon, to the consternation of the German premium manufacturers like Mercedes and BMW. They are fighting back, but promised competitor products which include the Audi e-tron Quattro and Porsche Mission E are still more than two years way. By then Tesla is likely to have its most important car ready for sale, the lower cost Model 3, which is expected to be more of a mass market competitor priced at around $50,000.

Tesla hasn’t yet revealed the base price for the Model X, although that is expected to be close to $80,000. The all-singing all-dancing special versions it has unveiled so far are much pricier. The Signature costs $130,000 and the Founder $142,000.

The stand-out feature of the Model X is the falcon wing doors, reminiscent of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL in the 50s and 60s or the notorious DeLorean. The Model X doors, though, are much more sophisticated. They are double-hinged and open upwards then outwards to allow parking in tight spaces. The giant windscreen stretches up and over the front seat occupants and offers the second row passengers a better view. The performance is more sports-car than SUV with blistering acceleration to 60mph (97km/h), and on to 155mph (250km/h) in unlimited Germany at least.

Tesla claims superior safety too, as unlike regular high-riding SUVs the X is less prone to rolling over because it will be pinned down by the weight of the batteries which are spread under the floor. The big crumple zone will protect passengers too. In conventional SUVs the massive internal combustion engine at the front threatens the occupants in a crash.

The Model X boasts state of the art technology, and then some. The doors open automatically as it detects the driver approaching the car. Each model carries a forward-looking camera, radar and 360-degree sonar sensors enabling advanced autopilot features and bringing the car close to autonomous operation. The current Model S already allows internet driven software changes to take place in the car to download features like Autosteer and Autopark. The 17-inch (43cm) touch screen integrates media, navigation, communications, cabin control and vehicle data, with some voice activation.

CEO Musk, who has five children, points to the family friendly nature of the Model X, which has three rows of seats, the middle ones motorised for ease of entry into the back.

The air filter is so powerful it provides air as clean as in an operating theatre and will keep you safe in a chemical warfare attack, Musk said at the launch of the vehicle. The Model X is about two years late reaching the market. Maybe that’s because the specification was a shade over-ambitious?

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.

She's a Model and she's looking good

She’s a Model and she’s looking good

#FormulaE Championship 2014-2015 – race season details – two annotated infographics

July 21, 2014

Later this year, ten cities around the world will play host to an experiment to use racing to push electric vehicle design as Formula E takes to the streets.

In the spring of 2011 Jean Todt of Formula One’s organising body FIA said it was time for the organisation to look at a type of race that would showcase technologies designed to deal with the environmental problems of motor transport. In September of this year, the 11 teams with all-electric open-wheeled race cars will head to one of the most polluted cities on Earth – Beijing – to kick off the first series of Formula E.

The inaugural Formula E season will be contested over 10 rounds beginning with the first race on September 13 2014 and the last in June 2015.

E&T magazine has an exclusive feature about Formula E online now.

Click on either graphic for an expanded view.

Formula E overview

Formula E overview


Formula E race calendar

Formula E race calendar

#ProjectLivewire electric motorbike competition tour announced by Harley-Davidson

June 24, 2014

Iconic motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson has introduced its first fully electric motorcycle, offering bikers the chance to test and provide feedback on what would they expect from an electric motorbike.

Part of the company’s Project LiveWire, the innovative eco-friendly motorbike was unveiled by Harley Davidson’s chief marketing officer Mark-Hans Richer during an event in New York on Monday.

Capable of driving at up to 150 km/h, the bike has a range of 130 miles before it needs recharging – a procedure which would take between 30 minutes and one hour. Harley-Davidson says the vehicle will be able to accelerate to 60mph in four seconds.

Harley-Davidson enthusiasts had a chance to put the bike to test.

E&T covered this story in full, check out the online gallery of Project Livewire pictures from the launch.

Harley-Davidson electric bike

Harley-Davidson electric bike

#Google debuts self-driving cars – electric two-seater prototype to hit the roads within a year – an annotated infographic

June 2, 2014

The world got a little bit stranger recently, as the hitherto science-fiction dream of driverless cars cruised closer to reality with the announcement by Google that it is building a self-driving car with no steering wheel, no brake and no accelerator pedals – just buttons for go and stop. You can’t simplify the driving experience much bey0nd this. That’s the bare essentials right there.

The electric-powered two-seater will have a top speed of 25mph. The car will not be sold publicly, but Google hopes to build 100 prototypes and use them in a “pilot programme”.

Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, told a Southern California audience of his first ride: “It reminded me of catching a chairlift by yourself, a bit of solitude I found really enjoyable.”

E&T covered this driverless cars story in full last week. There is also an entertaining video on our news page that captures some cheerful Californian folks’ first journeys in a working prototype. It looked like a lot of fun, so you should definitely check that out.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.


#Porsche 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid supercar – an annotated infographic

March 6, 2014

Proof positive that petrolheads of all persuasions are finally accepting responsibility for the environmental side-effects of their particular peccadillo. Having previously looked at the futuristic Volkswagen XL1 concept car, today we peer under the virtual hood of the new Porsche 918 plug-in hybrid supercar.

Looking every inch the sporty supercar one would expect from Porsche, the 918 is in fact powered by either of two sources: a 4.6 litre V8 608hp petrol engine or the twin electric motors, an 85kW unit for the front wheels and a 95kW unit for the rear wheels, fed by the 312-cell liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery.

With a host of additional leading-edge technology on board and Porsche’s inimitable graceful industrial design, the 918 looks pretty damned fabulous on paper/pixels. Yellow wouldn’t be our first choice of colour, however.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.

Porsche 918 Spyder

Porsche 918 Spyder

The future London black cab will be ‘green’

January 23, 2014

Last week, E&T Magazine visited an event where some of the future designs for London’s iconic black cab were introduced.

Attending the event was the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, who said that by 2018 all new London taxis should be able to switch into an emission-free more. We spoke to the companies presenting their designs and asked them, how are they going to tackle the challenge.

We were particularly impressed by Frazer-Nash’s vision of a solar-powered charging station that will assure the energy powering the electric-hybrid vehicles will be as clean as it gets.

Designing a taxi for London is quite a challenge – and not just for technical reasons. Londoners are rather picky when it comes to the look of the car and not willing to accept many innovations. One of the manufacturers, Karsan, has therefore joined forces with the Royal College of Art to figure out the best possible design.

Watch our video here:





Future London #MetroCab taxis have to be emission free by 2018; could be solar-powered

January 17, 2014

All new London taxis will have to be zero emission capable by 2018, the Mayor of London announced at an event showcasing designs of future environmentally friendly cabs.

The London Taxi Company, Frazer-Nash and Karsan have put their newly designed vehicles on display today in London, all opting for hybrid technology enabling the vehicles to switch conveniently between an electric zero-emission mode and petrol powered engines.

“To date, one Achilles heel (of the London taxis), particularly the older models, has been the pollution generated by chugging diesel engines,” said the Mayor of London Boris Johnson before the event. “As part to my mission to improve air quality and drive innovation, I’m making a pledge to Londoners that from 2018 all taxis presented for licensing should be zero emission capable.”

Frazer Nash, responsible for the Metrocab design, has gone even further, developing a concept of future solar-powered charging stations to ensure the electricity used to power the new taxis will come from renewable sources.

E&T News wrote more on this event yesterday, so read the full story about London’s emission-free taxis.

We also blogged here a while back about the new Nissan Metrocab design, featuring a snazzy infographic on same. Check it out, fans of taxi cabs!

An EV Metrocab model shown at a charging station

An EV Metrocab model shown at a charging station

James Bond from Dr No to Skyfall – 50 years of gadgets, an annotated graphic #Skyfall

October 22, 2012

As the Royal Albert Hall red carpet prepares to unfurl itself and welcome the expensively soled shoes of the Skyfall stars – notably Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem and Judi Dench – we offer our own small contribution to James Bond mania with this look back at 50 years of gadgets.

Cars, guns and everyday objects given a snappy technological twist by Q branch – they’re all here. We’re pleased to see Oddjob’s hat getting a look in, but whither Jaws’ teeth? Gnawing through that cable car wire gave Roger Moore the fright of his life halfway up that mountain.

If you have a favourite Bond gadget not pictured here – whether wielded on behalf of good or evil – let us know. Blofeld’s cat doesn’t count, mind.

James Bond: 50 years of gadgets

James Bond: 50 years of gadgets