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Posts Tagged ‘battery range’

British Road Project Could Eliminate Electric Vehicle Range Anxiety

Pilot project is building chargers into the road itself.

by on Aug.20, 2015

Eventually, British roads might add special lanes just for electric vehicles to recharge.

Imagine being able to drive as long as you’d like, the length of your trip limited only by the capacity of your bladder, not by the size of your fuel tank – or your battery.

A pilot project about to get underway in England could make it easy. The government-owned Highways England is launching an 18-month trial that eventually may help eliminate so-called “range anxiety,” making it possible for electric vehicles to charge while they drive, drawing power from the road itself.

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It’s one of a variety of creative concepts that highway planners are studying. A Dutch company wants to replace conventional asphalt with interlocking, Lego-like blocks created from recycled soft drink bottles. A U.S. entrepreneur, meanwhile, wants to replace conventional pavement with blocks of glass, turning the road itself into a giant solar panel, generating power that perhaps could be used for recharging electric vehicles.


Audi Working Up 300+ Mile Battery for SUV

“Makes electric cars even more attractive,” promises senior exec.

by on Aug.13, 2015

Audi hasn't said whether it will use long-range battery in a new SUV or an existing model like this 2016 Q7.

Audi has launched an effort to develop a battery that can deliver “more than” 500 kilometers, or at least 312.5 miles per charge. The technology would be used in an all-electric SUV, the maker says, though the technology could have application in other Audi vehicles.

The project involves Korean partners Samsung SDI and LG Chem, the latter already working on longer-range batteries with other manufacturers such as General Motors and Nissan.

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“This will allow us to supply a technological solution that makes electric cars even more attractive for our customers,” said Dr. Bernd Martens, Member of the Board of Management overseeing procurement at Audi AG.


Tesla’s Musk Promises to “End Range Anxiety”

Big announcement scheduled for Thursday.

by on Mar.16, 2015

Tesla owners may no longer need to charge the Model S quite as often, CEO Elon Musk hints.

Could Tesla Motors be on the verge of a major breakthrough – one that eliminates the biggest concern people have about electric vehicles? That’s something the California carmaker’s CEO Elon Musk suggested is in the works.

“About to end range anxiety,” the South African-born executive tweeted on Sunday, promising to have a major announcement involving the maker’s Model S battery cars on Thursday morning.

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Range anxiety is the term used to describe the fear motorists have that they might run out of power before reaching their destination. And, along with the high price for battery vehicles, it’s seen as a significant obstacle to wider acceptance of the technology.


GM Planning 200-Mile Battery-Car

Vehicle would target start-up Tesla, as well as established competitors.

by on Sep.17, 2013

The car GM is developing would yield more than twice the range of a Chevrolet Spark EV.

General Motors plans to more than double the range of the typical electric vehicle – while also sharply driving the cost, according to a senior official.

But with mounting concerns about the slow consumer response to the first wave of battery electric vehicles, Doug Parks, GM’s global product development chief, cautioned the Associated Press that it was not yet sure if or when such a vehicle – projected to cost just $30,000 – would ever go into production.

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A vehicle delivering 200 mile range would come close to the range of the Tesla Model S, which is offered with a choice of several battery packs, including an extended-range version that can reach as much as 265 miles on a charge, according to the EPA.


NY Times Admits Mistakes But Insists Tesla Also Deserves Blame

Both sides want the last word.

by on Feb.20, 2013

Tesla CEO Elon Musk with a prototype Model S.

This report has been updated to include a response from Tesla to a request for details on how reporters were advised to drive to maximize range between Washington, D.C. and Boston.)

Mea culpa? Sort of.  The New York Times is acknowledging that one of its veteran reporters may not have used “especially good judgment” in how he reviewed an extended drive in the Tesla Model S battery-electric sedan. But the paper of record, as it likes to view itself, insists that the automaker’s CEO “is at fault, too.”

The widely publicized dust-up was triggered by a recent story filed not by someone on the NY Times’ Wheels blog or Autos page but by veteran political correspondent John Broder.  He was given a chance to drive a new Model S equipped with what Tesla calls a 300-mile battery pack from Washington, D.C. to Boston. Along the way, Broder planned to plug in for quick recharges at two of Tesla’s so-called Supercharger stations. But he failed to make the second one, he reported, running out of power early and needing a lift on a flatbed to get there.

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That triggered a response from Tesla’s never-shy founder and CEO Elon Musk. The South African-born executive initially called Broder to apologize but then issued a series of tweets, including one declaring the Times story a “fake.” As the brouhaha over battery range amped up, Tesla then released the log from the vehicle’s onboard data recorder which, it revealed, had secretly been recording the technical details of the drive.


GM Betting on “Game-Changer” Battery

New technology could yield huge jump in range.

by on Aug.10, 2012

GM may have found a partner that could double the range of battery-based vehicles like the Chevrolet Volt.

Perhaps the single biggest problem with electric vehicles is the limited range of today’s batteries.  But General Motors is betting that a small California company may have a breakthrough that could substantially increase so-called energy density yielding a major increase in the distance battery cars can travel between charges.

The automaker’s investment arm, GM Ventures LLC, is investing heavily in Envia Systems, based in Newark, California. The firm claims to have developed a new way to pack about 400 watt hours of energy into a kilogram of battery.  Put into perspective, that’s a full ten times as much “juice” as the nickel-metal hydride battery in a Toyota Prius can hold and as much as twice the energy even the best of today’s advanced lithium-ion batteries can manage.

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That would potentially permit a Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid to go 70 miles on a charge, for example, compared to 35 today.  And pure battery-electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf or Ford Focus Electric, could deliver range closer to what a gas-powered vehicle might yield on a tank of petrol, rather than the 70 to 100 miles they can eke out today.

“I think we’ve got better than a 50-50 chance to develop a car that will go to 200 miles on a charge,” says GM CEO Dan Akerson, who calls Envia’s technology a potential “game-changer.”


Toyota, Microsoft Launch New Partnership

Targeting software to improve efficiency of electric vehicles.

by on Apr.06, 2011

The Toyota RAV4-EV will likely be one of the first models to benefit from the maker's new partnership with software giant Microsoft.

Toyota and Microsoft have announced a new partnership, the automotive and software giants planning to develop new technology they believe can improve the efficiency of battery-powered automobiles.

Squeezing the maximum mileage out of an electric vehicle – while minimizing the impact on performance and comfort could make the difference between a successful product and an also-ran, industry officials contend.

“This new partnership between Microsoft and Toyota is an important step in developing greater future mobility and energy management for consumers around the world. Creating these more efficient, more environmentally advanced products will be our contribution to society,” said Toyota President Akio Toyoda, during a news conference simultaneously held in Toyota City, Japan, and Redmond, Washinton.

“To achieve this,” added Toyoda, “it is important to develop a new link between vehicles, people and smart center energy-management systems.”

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The partners revealed plans to invest 1 billion yen, or $11.7 million, to develop a new telematics system based on the Windows Azure mobile operating platform.  They suggested that the technology could have numerous applications, ranging from improved navigation to in-car information services – as well as improving the energy management in a battery-based vehicle.


Exclusive Report: Nissan May Offer Free Car Loans To Leaf Buyers

Deal designed to offset “range anxiety.”

by on Oct.07, 2010

A proposed week-long free car loan program could help Nissan overcome "range anxiety" about the Leaf battery car's 100-mile range.

Struggling to find a way to overcome the so-called “range anxiety” about electric vehicles, has learned that Nissan is preparing a program that, if brought to market, would give Leaf buyers a longer-range alternative – at least for one week a year – by providing them with a no-cost loan of a conventionally-powered vehicle that could be used, for example, for a longer vacation than possible with the 100-mile range of the Leaf.

Imagine cutting your energy costs by 80% or more.  That and the premise of helping the environment will be two of the key selling points when the new wave of battery-electric vehicles, such as Leaf, starts reaching market later this year.

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The downside is that pure battery-electric vehicles, like the 2011 Leaf, have relative modest range and long charging times, limiting their capabilities in the eyes of most potential buyers.  It could be a critical weakness of the battery market, analysts warn — and something competitors will try to benefit from.