November 4, 2010 § Leave a comment
- Panasonic is investing $30million in Tesla, having bought around 2% of the stock in Tesla’s initial public offering. More at Green Car Advisor.
- Audi is thinking imaginatively about synthesized sounds for its e-tron EV. It’s taking inspiration from the film I, Robot, apparently (Green Car Advisor).
- A new proposal for range-extenders: a low-drag ‘self-propelled’ generator trailer. Conceived by specialists in camping/hunting expedition equipment, it’s called – what else? – the Long Ranger. Full story, pics and spec sheet at Edmunds Green Car Advisor.
- GM and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) have signed a MOU to develop two new-generation powertrains for Asia and emerging markets, and to co-develop alt-fuel vehicles including EVs. The work will be based at the Pan Asia Technical Center, Shanghai. Production is also starting in China of the Chevrolet New Sail EV.
- Story at Wired with some nice archive pics (love the Detroit Electric): 11 Trailblazing Electric Vehicles.
September 30, 2010 § Leave a comment
The e-tron has become a plug-in diesel hybrid, and lost its lid; Audi’s latest iteration of its electrified supercar is now a Spyder convertible, featuring a new 300PS version of the 3.0 TDI V6 engine and a pair of 64kW electric motors. It has a 31-mile range in all-electric mode at up to 38mph, and a total range of 621 miles; despite a 155mph top speed and 0-62 acceleration in 4.4 seconds, it returns an average 128.4mpg and emits 59g/km. The so-called e-quattro chassis, with rear-biased but variable four-wheel-drive, features torque-vectoring, the targeted acceleration of individual wheels for optimum traction, stability and performance. Whilst the e-tron itself might not see production, much of its tech is destined for the mainstream line-up.
June 24, 2010 § Leave a comment
Rumour from the folks at Autoblog: apparently Audi chief Rupert Stadler has said that the A1 e-tron will not be made. Word is that they’ve decided that the standard-issue A1 will be economical and clean-running enough for most people, and that engineering the range-extended hybrid powertrain (which was to have included a Wankel rotary engine) into the A1 platform was proving too complex and expensive. Shame, if this report is true – I’m looking into it.
March 1, 2010 § Leave a comment
- Audi is expected to unveil an ‘e-tron’ plug-in hybrid version of its A1 supermini (pictured) at the opening day of the Geneva Motor Show tomorrow.
- Ferrari is to unveil a 599 Hybrid featuring the F1-developed KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) tech; no pictures we can show you yet, however.
- Avis is to add Renault electric cars to its rental fleets in Europe next year. The electric Fluence saloon and a version of the Kangoo compact MPV are the most likely contenders, though no details have been confirmed as yet; the Twizy scooter-cum-city-car and Zoe minicar could follow onto the fleets.
- Over half of all new cars sold in Europe now emit 140g/km of carbon dioxide or less, according to figures from JATO. Cars emitting 101-120g/km now account for 25.6% of the European car market, an increase of 8.9% on last year’s stats.
- Jaguar Land Rover has developed a micro gas turbine to recharge a hybrid’s batteries whilst on the move. It’s calling the technology an Ultra Lightweight Range Extender (ULRE); more details from Autocar.