Posts Tagged ‘green car’

Build your own electric car with the Trexa platform

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

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How about a DIY electric car, with one of these Trexa EV platforms and start build your own electric car! Trexa is gunning to be the first electric vehicle devlopment platform, with a battery, driveline and power electronics built-in.

The Trexa platform offers an unprecedented level of versatility because it contains an entire vehicle’s drivetrain within one low-profile enclosed structure. The platform is highly scalable, so features such as range, suspension, torque, acceleration, and top speed can all be tailored to suit the vehicle’s intended purpose. For starters, the standard platform has an acceleration of 0-60mph in 8 sec, a top speed of 100mph, a 105 mile range, and a charge time of 4 hours (based upon an efficiency of 200Wh per mile — comparable to a Prius in electric mode).

You just add the passenger compartment on top. Want a pickup truck or a hot rod? The choice is yours, provided you’ve got the chops to put it together.

Source: Trexa via Inhabitat

The Next Revolution: Iran Gets its First Electric Car

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

Outside of Israel and Shai Agassi’s electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure company Better Place, the Middle East doesn’t have much of an electric car industry. That might change soon now that a team of Iranian scientists from Tehran’s Khaje Nasir Toosi University of Technology have developed the country’s first EV, a mini two-seater called “Qasedak-e Nasir”, or the dandelion of Nasir.

Source: Khaje Nasir Toosi University of Technology Via Ecofriend

First Algae-Powered Car Attempts to Cross US on 25 Gallons

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

Powering our cars with algae-based fuel could be the next Apollo mission.” That’s what Rebecca Harrell, co-founder of the Veggie Van Organization and producer of the upcoming film FUEL, told me yesterday in front of San Francisco’s City Hall. Over the next 10 days she’ll be joined by Fuel director and Veggie Van Organization cofounder Josh Tickell as they take the Algaeus, along with a caravan of other green energy vehicles (including the Veggie Van and the biodiesel-powered big green energy bus), on a cross-country road trip. “It hit us that we needed to drive the car across the country,” Harrell said. “People think of algae fuel as this long-term, far off thing. But seeing is believing.

Source: Inhabitat

The new BMW ActiveHybrid X6 xDrive50i: world’s most powerful hybrid!

Saturday, August 15th, 2009

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The BMW ActiveHybrid X6 is truly mind-boggling. It’s an SUV, but the sloping roofline and two seats at the back kind of limit its utility and storage space. And it’s a hybrid which people usually associate with economy, yet its mated to a massive V8 twin turbocharged engine. There is not one but two electric motors, and the vehicle ends up having more torque than the BMW X6 M, a full 100Nm more to be exact.

The V8 motor puts out 407 horses, while the two electric motors make 91 horses and 86 horses respectively. All three propulsion devices running at the same time produces a peak 485 horses, with a massive peak torque of 780Nm. (more…)

Nissan Turns Over An Electric Leaf

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

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After teasing us for months with prototypes and promises, Nissan unveiled a sleek five-passenger electric hatchback with a claimed range of 100 miles. It’s called the Leaf, and Nissan says it will be here next year.

Nissan pulled the sheet off the Leaf tonight at the company’s new headquarters in Yokohama, Japan, where CEO Carlos Ghosn promised to usher in the auto industry’s electric era. All of the major automakers are rushing to bring mainstream EVs to market in the next few years, but Japan’s No. 3 automaker has been among the most aggressive. Ghosn has made it clear he believes EVs are the future and he wants Nissan to lead the way

“We have been working tirelessly to make this day a reality — the unveiling of a real-world car that has zero, not simply reduced, emissions,” Ghosn said in a statement. “It’s the first step in what is sure to be an exciting journey – for people all over the world, for Nissan and for the industry.”

Nissan isn’t saying what the Leaf will cost — look for a price in the $25,000 to $30,000 range — but promises it will be the first affordable, practical electric car when it goes on sale in the U.S., Japan and Europe by the end of 2010.

source: wired.com

HumanCar Powered by Human Energy, Not Ethanol

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

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Charley and Chuck Greenwood, a father-son combo, think they know the secret to the future of cars: rowing.

And they founded their company HumanCar to prove that human energy, not biofuels, is the gasoline of the future. Their Imagine_PS car seats up to four in a low-slung chassis; the passengers get to help row the lightweight car.

Think of it as an ergonomic, efficient and sneaker-saving Flintstone’s car for an oil-free future. The front two ‘drivers’ get to steer, which is done with a talented and coordinated lean.

“Body steering comes from the hips,” CEO Chuck said. “It’s just like a properly performed ski turn.”

But revolutionizing steering is not the point of these Oregon entrepreneurs. “It’s about thinking about days per life versus miles per gallon,” CEO Chuck Greenwood said.

When powered by four people rowing, the car will go about as fast as the ‘drivers’ would on bicycles, on average.

But, that’s only if they were driving in a flat city like Chicago, where the car is currently on display for two weeks during the Wired NextFest future-tech expo in Millennium Park.

For hillier locales or higher speeds, there’s electric assist motors and regenerative brakes that funnel the vehicle’s momentum back into the batteries.

The Greenwoods plan to sell Imagine_PS as a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle, a state-by-state designation that frees it from requirements such as air bags and in some states, even the need for a licensed driver or insurance.

But to qualify, the top speed will have to capped at around 20 mph — though the Greenwoods say the chassis can easily handle sports car speeds in excess of 100 mph.

Hear that, hot rodders?

Though not yet for sale, advanced models of the Imagine_PS for corporate campuses will be available soon for $35,000 to $50,000, while the consumer model is slated to be be priced at $15,500.

Source: Wired

TESLA version 2.0 hits the road?

Saturday, September 13th, 2008

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Tesla Motors has released the much-awaited upgrade to the gearbox in the all-electric Roadster, and in typical Silicon Valley fashion calls it Powertrain 1.5 — even though it’s a different transmission and so ought to be called v2.0.

Nomenclature aside, the slick one-speed Borg-Warner transmission joins a stouter power inverter and revised engine in a package said to deliver 30 percent more torque and 10 percent more range. That lets the Roadster make good on its promised zero to 60 time of 4.0 seconds while squeezing 244 miles from the battery. “The new setup is superior in almost every way,” says J.B. Straubel, Tesla’s chief technology officer.

Tesla says it’s already putting Powertrain 2.0, er, 1.5, in Roadsters that have made the trip from the factory in Hethel, England to San Carlos, California, for final assembly. So what’s different about Powertrain 1.5, and what happens to the 27 people driving Roadsters with Powertrain 1.0?

The new one-speed transmission weighs 17 pounds less and creates less drag on the motor, increasing efficiency and bumping the car’s range. A revised power inverter puts out 850 amps, up from 650, and the motor had redesigned terminals to reduce resistance. It’s beefier, too, and torque rises from 211 foot-pounds to 280.

Tesla started developing Powertrain 1.5 after realizing the two-speed transmission it planned to use “had many durability, efficiency and cost challenges,” Straubel wrote on the Tesla blog. Eager to start building cars, Tesla slapped an interim one-speed transmission in the Roadster when it fired up the assembly line at the Lotus plant in Hethel, and although early reviews of those cars were positive, the stop-gap tranny significantly cut into its performance. Early adopters got a car that did zero to 60 in 5.7 seconds — about as fast as the Toyota Tundra pickup. Powertrain 1.5 cuts that to the promised 4.0 seconds, putting the Roadster on par with the Porsche 911 GT3.

Tesla’s put 27 Roadsters in driveways since production started March 17, and will retrofit every one with the new drivetrain at no charge beginning next month. Darryl Siry, vice president of sales and marketing, tells us the modular design of the Roadster’s drivetrain makes it a plug-and-play operation. “It’s a four-hour swap,” he says. “It’s not a complicated thing.”

With the drivetrain finally sorted out and the assembly line running smoothly, Tesla’s increased production from four cars a week to 10. That’s expected to double before the end of the year, then double again to 40 a week early in 2009.

“Now that we have a final powertrain design, in a matter of months there will be hundreds of Tesla Roadsters across the country,” says CEO Ze’ev Drori. “We’re heralding nothing less than a new era of the automobile.”

But what about that nomenclature? Siry says Powertrain 1.0 was the internal designation for the air-cooled motor in the Roadster, while Powertrain 2.0 refers to the liquid-cooled motor being developed for the all-electric sedan that was codenamed Whitestar (the Roadster was Blackstar) but is now called Model S.

Glad that’s cleared up.

Photo by Tesla Motors.
source: wired

Toyota building $192M green-car battery plant

Saturday, May 24th, 2008

toyota amblem TOKYO (AP) — Toyota is building a $192 million plant in Japan to produce batteries for gas-electric hybrid vehicles, as it seeks to keep its lead in an intensifying race for green cars among the world’s automakers.

Toyota’s joint venture with Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., which makes Panasonic brand products, is building the plant in Shizuoka prefecture, in central Japan, Toyota spokesman Paul Nolasco said Friday. He declined to give more details.

The plant will produce nickel-metal hydride batteries, now in the company’s hit Prius hybrid.

The Nikkei, Japan’s top business daily, reported Friday that Toyota was building another plant in Japan to make lithium-ion batteries, set to be running by 2010, for future ecological cars. Nolasco said no decision has been made on such a plant.

Japan’s top automaker, which leads the industry in gas-electric hybrids with its hit Prius, has said it will rev up hybrid sales to 1 million a year sometime after 2010.

Hybrids reduce pollution and emissions that are linked to global warming by switching between a gas engine and an electric motor to deliver better mileage than comparable standard cars. But they are still a niche market.

The Prius, which has been on sale for more than a decade, recently reached cumulative sales of 1 million vehicles.

Lithium-ion batteries, now common in laptops, produce more power and are smaller than nickel-metal hydride batteries. Toyota has said the lithium-ion batteries may be used in plug-in hybrids, which can be recharged from a home electrical outlet.

Rebecca Lindland, an industry research director at Global Insight, said hybrids are increasingly attractive in the U.S., which had in the past favored pickups and other gas guzzlers, as fuel prices surge, environmental concerns grow and tougher emission standards kick in.

“Hybrids are starting to make a lot more economic sense,” she said at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club in Tokyo, noting that the payback for a hybrid’s higher price comes a lot faster these days.

Lindland said the Prius owed its success to being “very well-badged” as an unmistakable hybrid to consumers.

The world’s other major automakers are also working on environmentally-friendly cars, and the race is on to produce the best batteries to power them.

Earlier this week, Honda Motor Co., Japan’s second-biggest automaker, said it will boost hybrid sales to 500,000 a year by sometime after 2010. Honda said it will introduce a new model sold solely as a hybrid next year, so the Tokyo-based company will have four hybrids in its lineup.

Nissan Motor Co., which still hasn’t developed its own hybrid system for commercial sale, said it will have its original hybrid by 2010. Nissan is focusing more on electric vehicles, promising them for the U.S. and Japanese markets by 2010.

Nissan said this week its joint venture with electronics maker NEC Corp. will start mass-producing lithium-ion batteries in 2009 at a plant in Japan.

Source: wired