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Posts Tagged ‘battery cars’

Daimler Betting Big on Hydrogen Fuel Cells

China could be critical electric vehicle market, says CEO Zetsche.

by on Apr.10, 2014

The Mercedes-Benz F-Cell hydrogen car.

Daimler AG’s top executives believe hydrogen fuel cells hold the key to developing a broader range of electric vehicles in the future.

Dieter Zetsche, Daimler AG’s top executive and head of the Mercedes-Benz Car Group, told shareholders at the company’s annual meeting in Berlin the German automaker is committed to electric vehicle technology.  China, the world’s single largest car market, now has plans for putting millions of EVs on the road by the end of the decade.

Electrifying!

“With our Chinese partner BYD, we have developed an electric vehicle in China for China,” he said. The Denza, which was developed with BYD, will debut at the Beijing Auto Show later this month, he added.  “China plans to have five million electric vehicles on the road by 2020 and we’re ready to help,” Zetsche added.

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Kia Joins Battery Brigade With New Soul EV

Limited sales begin later this year.

by on Feb.06, 2014

Kia's first battery-car, the Soul EV, goes on sale during the third quarter, but only in a handful of markets.

Korean carmaker Kia is the latest to plug-into the growing market for battery-electric vehicles, introducing the all-new 2015 Kia Soul EV at the Chicago Auto Show.

The Soul is one of three battery-based models Kia is showing at this year’s event in the Windy City, the maker also rolling out an updated version of its Optima Hybrid sedan, as well as the new Niro Hybrid Concept.

Keeping You Plugged In!

Most major automakers have, or soon plan to add plug-based vehicles to their U.S. model lines – at least in part due to the strict new Zero-Emission Vehicle, or ZEV standards going into effect in California and a handful of other states.  But while sales have fallen well short of proponents’ expectations, plug-in hybrids and pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, generated just short of 100,000 sales last year, an all-time record.

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Ferdinand Porsche’s First Car Resurfaces After 111 Years

P1 battery car to go on display in Stuttgart.

by on Jan.28, 2014

The Porsche P1 is formally known as the 1898 Egger-Lohner C.2. Phaeton.

It wasn’t your classic “barn find.”  In the case of the rare P1, it was found stuffed in the back of an old Austrian warehouse – since 1902.

Officially known as the Egger-Lohner electric vehicle, C.2 Phaeton, it’s the first car ever designed by the legendary Ferdinand Porsche. And it was one of several electric vehicles the automotive pioneer – later known for his groundbreaking sports cars – developed in his early years.

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The classic, newly restored after 115 years – more than 111 of them in storage – is getting its rightful place of honor at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart this week as part of the gallery’s fifth anniversary.

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Nissan Becomes First to Sell 100,000 Electric Vehicles

Nissan Leaf now market’s battery best-seller.

by on Jan.21, 2014

British dentist Dr. Brett Garner bought the 100,000th Nissan Leaf at the urging of his wife.

Nissan has crossed a significant threshold becoming the first manufacturer to ever sell 100,000 plug-based vehicles.

Just over three years after launching the Nissan Leaf, the maker delivered the milestone battery sedan to a dentist in the British community of Fareham, about two hours southwest of London.

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“I have chosen my Nissan Leaf because I am very interested in its running costs,” said Dr. Brett Garner, a father of three. “The cost of ownership such as maintenance, insurance and charging also convinced my wife. She had the experience of driving 500 miles in a borrowed LEAF and the low cost was remarkable. So she was converted and insisted that we had a Leaf.”

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Sales of Plug-Based Vehicles Doubled in 2013

Segment approaches 100,000 sales for first time.

by on Jan.06, 2014

The Chevy Volt was the market's best-selling plug-based vehicle in 2013 - though sales were down from 2012.

For the first time ever, sales of plug-based vehicles came within a hairsbreadth of hitting the 100,000 mark last year, jumping by 84% year-over-year as a flood of new products came to market.

Conventional hybrid vehicles scored a more modest but still strong 15% increase in demand last year, reaching an all-time record of nearly 500,000 sales.  Together, all battery-based vehicles still captured less than 4% of the total U.S. new vehicle market, however, less than the total number of F-Series pickups Ford Motor Co. sold for just the first 11 months of 2013.

Stay Plugged In!

Nonetheless, advocates contend that the numbers show a growing interest in battery-based vehicles, something that’s backed up by several recent surveys showing more American motorists are considering the technology as a viable alternative.

They have a growing list to choose from, a total of 16 different plug-based offerings reaching U.S. showrooms last year.  With yet more new battery-based vehicles coming this year, the consensus is that sales of plug-based vehicles – both plug-in hybrids and pure battery-electric vehicles, or PHEVs and BEVs – will smash through the 100,000 mark in the coming year, though the segment is likely to remain a small niche for the foreseeable future.

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They May Not Buy Them But Americans Like EVs

Over 45 million US motorists could use battery cars, claims new poll.

by on Dec.12, 2013

Battery cars - like the Tesla Model S - could meet the needs of millions of motorists, claims a new survey.

They may not be ready to buy one, but Americans, on the whole have a positive view of electric vehicles, according to a new survey.

The survey, conducted by the Union of Concerned Scientists, found that 65% of the American motorists it polled think electric vehicles are an essential part of our nation’s transportation future for reducing oil use and global warming, with 60% saying they would consider owning one themselves.

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More than 45 million Americans could use a battery-based vehicle without much change in their driving habits, according to the Union, which has long advocated for the wider use of EVs.

“Drivers may have preconceptions about whether electric vehicles can meet their driving needs and habits, and this survey shows that for many, they can,” said Josh Goldman, policy analyst for the UCS Clean Vehicles Program.

Building a better battery charging infrastructure could enhance the appeal of the technology.

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Battery Pickups and Commercial Aircraft? Tesla’s Musk Exploring New Options

There are, of course, some more immediate problems.

by on Nov.14, 2013

Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk isn't limiting himself to battery sedans.

One thing that’s become obvious about South African-born billionaire Elon Musk: he is willing to spend his money on anything that interests him, and in recent years that has covered a range of bases as diverse as electric cars, rocket ships, solar panels and even high-speed inter-urban transportation.

So, what next?  Musk has been dropping a number of different hints of late, and based on his history, it wouldn’t be entirely surprising to see more than a few new projects surface.  In fact, the Tesla Motor Co. founder and CEO has dropped a few hints of his own in recent days, telling one interviewer there is “an interesting opportunity” in the commercial aviation industry, while suggesting to another “we have to deliver” a competitor to the most popular vehicle in the U.S. market. That seems to translate into an electric pickup.

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Indeed, Musk’s comments on CNN Money wouldn’t be the first time he has expressed an interest in putting a batteries into a truck. He first broached the subject last April during a visit to Texas, at the time going so far as to suggest, ““When we do establish a manufacturing plant outside of California, Texas would be a leading candidate for that.”

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VW to Unveil e-Golf at LA Auto Show

Maker will offer Roadside Assistance Plan to counter “range anxiety.”.

by on Nov.13, 2013

The VW e-Golf will go on sale in "selected" U.S. market in late 2014. No pricing has been announced.

Volkswagen’s first battery-electric vehicle to enter the U.S. market will make its debut at the upcoming L.A. Auto Show, an event expected to showcase a wide range of zero-emissions vehicles.

After a slow start, the German maker has been making an aggressive push into battery technology with hybrids, plug-ins and full battery-electric vehicles. VW promises that the e-Golf will boast one of the fastest recharge times in the industry.

Stay Plugged In!

The Volkswagen e-Golf is set to go on sale during the fourth quarter of 2014 in “select states” – which will likely mean California and other states with similar zero-emissions mandates.  The new model will be powered by a 24.7 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack paired with a 115-horsepower motor capable of launching the car from 0 to 60 in 10.4 seconds, with a top speed rated at 87 mph.

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Chevy Puts “Performance” Into New Spark EV

More torque than a Ferrari 458?

by on Nov.07, 2013

The Chevrolet Spark EV Tech Performance package delivers more torque than a Ferrari 458.

The annual aftermarket extravaganza known as the SEMA Show has traditionally put a premium on performance, so that left many folks wondering why there was a little Chevrolet Spark EV on display at the Detroit maker’s stand alongside more traditional muscle cars like the Camaro and Chevrolet.

This wasn’t a regular Spark EV, it turned out, but a modified model that Chevy redubbed the Spark EV Tech Performance. And it has delivered a bit of a shock to those who think that battery cars are little more than high-tech stone ponies.

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The numbers suggest something quite different, the Tech Performance package pumping out an impressive 450 pound-feet of torque.  That’s 50 more than the stock Spark EV – but to put it into better perspective, that’s also more than the classic 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS muscle car and 52 more lb-ft than a Ferrari 458 Italia.

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Cadillac Considers More Battery-Car Options

Maker also developing business plan for Elmiraj concept.

by on Oct.31, 2013

Cadillac is looking at adding other battery-based vehicles that would follow the ELR plug-in, shown here.

Even though its new plug-in hybrid, the Cadillac ELR, is still nearly two months from launch, the Detroit luxury maker is giving serious thought to adding more battery-based vehicles to its line-up, TheDetroitBureau.com has learned.

Other models could include an even larger and more upscale offering than the compact ELR, confided Caddy’s global sales chief Bob Ferguson, who said the technology could generate significant interest among buyers – both at home and abroad – who don’t have General Motors’ flagship brand on their radar screens.

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Stay Plugged In!

In a wide-ranging discussion, Ferguson also told TheDetroitBureau.com that there is growing support inside GM for transforming the well-reviewed Elmiraj concept vehicle into a production vehicle – and as quickly as possible, though formal corporate approval is not yet a certainty.

“I’m so optimistic about how well (the Cadillac ELR plug-in) will do, especially on the West Coast and in the Northeast,” said Ferguson during a one-on-one discussion with TheDetroitBureau.com. “It will bring us a lot of new customers, I’m sure.”

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