The just-announced BMW i3 could be a breakthrough for carbon fiber production as well as for electric drive. Carbon fiber reinforced plastic CFRP provides the weight reduction that effectively neutralizes the heft of the car’s battery pack. To make it happen, BMW teamed up with Boeing for expertise on carbon fiber manufacturing. As in the early days of the industrial revolution, BMW even sited one of the carbon fiber textile facilities near a stream for power. The result is a four-passenger car that can go 100 miles on a charge or accelerate to 60 mph in less than 7 seconds, yet weigh only 2,700 pounds 1224 kg.
FÜRSTENFELDBRÜCK, Germany — Since BMW began the slow debut of its battery-powered car more than two years ago, the engineers from Bavaria promised that the i3 would be as fun to drive as a conventional BMW.What if it was even more fun to drive?
“Say goodbye to another green car start-up. Vehicle Production Group, which planned to build thousands of wheelchair-accessible vans powered by natural gas, has called it quits. According to Bloomberg, the company ran out of money and couldn’t pay its 100 employees anymore.Add VPG to the growing list of recent green car failures: Bright Automotive electric delivery vans , Carbon Motors clean diesel-powered police cars, Aptera Motors three-wheeled electric cars, Coda Automotive inexpensive electric sedans and, arguably the most infamous, Fisker Automotive plug-in hybrid sports cars……………..”
“Electric vehicle prices are coming down, but the cost of chargers has always hovered in the $1,000-$2,000 range. That’s changing with the introduction of a residential charger for a scant $450.The new charging system is produced and sold by Bosch, the behemoth automotive supplier that provides car makers with everything from window switches to advanced electrical components. Currently, Bosch has a $950 charger, the Power Xpress on sale, but the company has distilled that same technology into a more affordable package with its new Power Max system.“We believe that for the foreseeable future most EV drivers will primarily charge at home,” says Tanvir Arfi, President of Bosch’s automotive service solutions. “Because many of the incentives available to offset the costs of purchasing and installing residential Level 2 charging stations are expiring, we believe it’s critical to maintain the momentum towards Level 2 by offering high quality, but lower cost charging solutions…………………”
“Consumer Reports has fallen in love with the Tesla Model S. On its scale of one to 100, the $70,000+ electric car scored a 99, tied with the highest rating the highly regarded publication has ever awarded to any car.Its an enormous victory for Elon Musks growing electric car company, which showed its first profit last quarter. The praise from Consumer Reports is in stark contrast to the controversial review from The New York Times three months ago, which showed the car running out of battery power and emphasized its limited range compared to vehicles powered by fossil fuels…………………….”
“The production version of the BMW i3 electric car will be unveiled at Septembers Frankfurt Motor Show, and anticipation is building.How much BMWs first battery-electric car will cost is one of the biggest open questions.Now Ludwig Willisch, the CEO of the Bavarian makers North American arm, has given a hint.The BMW i3, he told Automotive News, will be priced about the same as a well-equipped version of the companys famous 3-Series compact sport sedan.That puts the price at about $40,000, he said.We had a few questions about the story, so we reached out to BMW………………….”
“The car you see here is about as far removed from a Nissan Leaf as you can get. It’s a collaboration between Ohio State University and Venturi, and will attempt to set a world speed record for electric cars this September. The target speed? 435 mph 700 kph.This car, called VBB-3, is actually the third “Buckeye Bullet” land speed record car built by OSU and Venturi. Driver Roger Schroer took the VBB-2.5 to 307.58 mph in 2010, giving him the current FIA world record.VBB-3 will up the ante with 3,000 horsepower, making it the most powerful electric car ever built. It will be nicknamed “Jamais Contente” in honor of Camille Jenatzi, the first person to break the 100 kph 62 mph barrier. Jenatzi’s car was named Jamais Contente and was also powered by batteries…………..”
“One reason fans attend auto races is because the cars are loud — in some cases, exceptionally loud. Spectators simply love the roar of the engines.
So what if a race was held with significantly quieter cars? Would fans still find it appealing?
Los Angeles plans to find out. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced last week that L.A. is one of 10 global cities where a new racing organization, Formula E, hopes to hold street races with all-electric cars, starting next year.
The cars would be true race cars, roughly similar in size and shape to those in the IndyCar series. Formula E also is sanctioned by the FIA, the governing body of the international Formula One racing series………………..”
“For many years, in-wheel electric motors have been used in electric bicycles. Even some electric motorcycles use hub motors to reduce mechanical complexity, improve efficiency and save space. But except for a few prototypes, in-wheel motor technology has been generally absent from the automotive world.
That started to change with the showing of the $500,000 Mercedes-Benz quad-wheel drive SLS AMG e-cell at last year’s Paris Motor Show. That fantasy, of using motors in wheels, became much more real yesterday at Ford’s top-secret test facility in Lommel, Belgium, when I sat behind the wheel of a standard-looking Ford Fiesta, a prototype equipped with in-wheel motors………………..”
“The Renault Twizy is an electric city car that retails for less than $10k and has a power output starting as low as 4 kilowatts (5 horsepower) and topping out at about 13 kilowatts (17 horsepower).
It’s not exactly the type of vehicle you’d use to highlight the link between the world of Formula One and that of production cars, but that hasn’t stopped Renault, an engine supplier to top F1 teams including Red Bull Racing, from rolling out a new F1-inspired Twizy concept…………………”