Design Concept of the Day: TEEWAVE AR.1

September 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

Yes, the Gordon Murray concept again: now unveiled, and named as TEEWAVE AR.1. It’s a showcase for the advanced automotive materials manufactured by Toray Industries, which include a quick-to-make carbonfibre component system. The AR.1 has a carbonfibre monococque structure which can be applied for all types of vehicles, and processed in less than ten minutes.

Gordon Murray Design styled and tooled the car (in-house codename T.32) and built this fully-functioning prototype. It’s a one-off, and the whole programme took nine months from the initial discussions till this car hit the road. Its all-electric powertrain is one that’s commercially available, but its electrical architecture and control systems were uniquely developed, and it has even been through simulated Euro NCAP crash tests.

Gordon Murray Design says that this 850kg two-seater is “firmly in Lotus Elise territory and some 400kg lighter than a Tesla. The ultimate performance is limited by an output figure of 47kw but a torque of 180 Nm available from a standing start results in lively acceleration”. Well, 0-62mph in just over 11 seconds is fairly lively… However, its low weight, low centre of gravity and suspension geometry have “resulted in an excellent ride and handling balance.” It even has a 200-litre boot. Range is 186km, and top speed 147kph.

“It has been a pleasure to work with Toray Industries’  team on this challenging project”, says Professor Murray. “The resultant vehicle weight of just 850Kg achieved using Toray’s carbon fibre once again proves that performance through light weight is the most efficient and environmentally friendly way to achieve power to weight targets.”

And no, you can’t buy one. Full specs, a picture gallery and more information from Gordon Murray Design.

In other news this afternoon since last post:

  • The UK’s first public-access hydrogen refuelling station has opened today, just off the M4 at the Honda factory, Swindon. It’s a strategic link between London and Wales or the West Country for fuel cell vehicles, such as Honda’s FCX Clarity prototype, and anyone else with a fuel cell car can fill up there too. Looks like a conventional petrol station, and can fill at both 350 and 700 bar of pressure from a bank of pre-filled cylinders; a full refuel for the Clarity takes about five minutes.
  • Nissan’s done deals with Siemens, Circutor, DBT, Efacec and Endesa to accelerate the introduction of affordable, small and convenient quick-chargers across Europe. The price of these – which will give an 80% charge in less than 30 minutes – will be halved to less than 10,000 euros by early 2012, and thus make them accessible to businesses such as service stations, car park operators and retail outlets. “We are confident that the Nissan LEAF’s range will be enough to satisfy most drivers’ daily needs”, says Nissan Chief Operating Officer Toshiyuki Shiga. “However, with a significant number of quick-chargers available across Europe, EV owners who need to drive longer distances will be able to do so with confidence, knowing they will be able to recharge no matter where they go, which we believe is essential for the mass adoption of EVs.”
  • But Gavin’s playing devil’s advocate at the Charging Point over fast-charging of EVs. Be realistic about their capabilities and range, he says.
  • Infiniti has just claimed the M35h as the world’s fastest-accelerating full hybrid. Driven by Car mag’s Tim Pollard at the Santa Pod Raceway, it covered a standing quarter-mile in 13.9031 seconds. Video at the Car website.
  • Uh-oh, grist for the mill for the American anti-EV brigade: ECOtality, given $115million of federal money to install 14,000 EV charging points nationwide, has come up with just 3000 so far, according to PluginCars. A combination of tech hitches and the Japanese earthquake/tsunami knock-on effect, apparently.

Friday round-up

August 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

The end-of-week round-up. Yee-ha. Sorry, couldn’t resist that. Anyway, in no particular order:

No more Deep Ellum Blues: the city of Dallas, Texas is to get 200 ECOtality EV charging stations in the coming months. The first were opened this week in the historic downtown Deep Ellum neighbourhood. “Throughout Texas and across the United States, consumer demand for  electric vehicles is growing at an exponential rate”, says ECOtality. More at EON Businesswire. Deep Ellum’s an old industrial district of Dallas, originally home to a Model T Ford plant, juke joints, blues clubs and rough gangster gambling dens, now cleaned up and marketed as an ‘arts and entertainment district’. Gratuitous off-topic clip here, as it’s Friday and I’m in the mood for some music.

  • Had a chat with Giles Brown, founder and organiser of the EcoVelocity show. He said that it was clear from the last 2008 London Motor Show that there was demand for a ‘green’ consumer motoring event, though it wasn’t viable until there was a sufficient range of suitable mainstream vehicles to promote and display. Now there is.  Show’s going to be good.
  • Solar Roadways of Idaho is devloping, yes, solar-panelled surfaces for roads. The electricity could power vehicles via inductive charging, road signs or heating elements for de-icing. More, including video, at the Green Car Website.
  • That Smart ‘pedelec’ (electric-assist pushbike) is going to be launched at the Friedrichshafen Eurobike Show (from 31st August). It’s built by German bike-maker GRACE, and will go on sale early 2012. It’s got a three-speed gear hub, a 25o-watt motor, regenerative braking, four selective levels of power-assist, disc brakes and a USB interface.
  • Infiniti unveiled the JX crossover at Pebble Beach yesterday. Not much detail on spec yet, but a hybrid version will follow. There’ll also be a hybrid version of the new Lexus GS-series, another debutante at the Pebble Beach show.
  • Heard about the hybrid caravan? Electricity is generated from the turning of its wheels and stored in batteries; a full charge gives on-site power for up to four days. The Knaus Tabbert concept could go on sale as an aftermarket modular package early 2012. More at Spiegel.de (use Google Translate); thanks to @WilkinsDavid.
  • DIY EV of the day: the 1981 Chevrolet Camaro of  Ron Adamowicz, a drag-racer good for a 10.08-sec quarter-mile (Green Car Reports).

Brief bits & pieces

October 14, 2010 § Leave a comment

  • Maruti Suzuki has provided 10 SX4 Hybrids and four Eeco Charge EVs for use by officials at the Commonwealth Games in India. The Eeco Charge has a 50kW motor and lithium-ion battery, giving a range of 61 miles and just over 60mph; it’s based on the Eeco MPV sold in India with a 1196cc petrol engine. The SX4 Hybrid combines a 1.2-litre petrol engine, 50kW motor and an automated manual gearbox to give a 25% fuel saving, and has a short all-electric range.
  • Fast-charging points for EVs will be installed at 45 BP and Arco service stations in key areas of the USA from next spring. The ECOtality Blink 480-volt chargers can juice up batteries fully in just 15-30 minutes, depending on the vehicle: this is the tech “that will ultimately un-tether people from their garages with electric cars”, says ECOtality’s CEO. They’ll be fitted first in Portland, Eugene, Salem and Corvallis (Oregon); Seattle; Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga (Tennessee); Phoenix and Tucson (Arizona) plus San Diego and Los Angeles.
  • Coulomb Technologies and Aker Wade Power Technologies have also launched a 480-volt fast-charger, the fully-networked CT3000. The first one’s going into Magna ECAR’s facility in Rochester Hills, Michigan.
  • Rumour of the day: Lexus is to replace the SC 430 cabrio with a hybrid drop-top, reports Motor Trend. This’ll get a version of the LS 600h’s powertrain (500bhp), good for 0-60 in less than five seconds, plus all-wheel drive and a metal folding roof. Suggested name is LC 600h, debut’s said to be slated for 2015, to follow an update to the LS 600h saloon.
  • More infrastructure: 5,300 ChargePoint charging stations are to be installed in Michigan, with new ones in key locations in downtown Detroit – including out front at GM’s global HQ – this month. And the state of Massachussetts is putting in 100, inviting local authorities and organisations to apply to get one.
  • Yet more infrastructure: Renault-Nissan is working with French retail giant E.Leclerc to put 500 EV charging points at its centres by 2015.

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