Prototype 9 is a retro electric roadster with the Nissan Leaf’s heart

August 17, 2017 by  
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Infiniti is bringing us back to the 1940s with its Prototype 9 roadster, which is set to debut this month at the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. On the outside the Prototype 9 is a sexy retro concept – but under the skin it’s all about the future, since it’s powered by the next-generation Nissan Leaf’s electric powertrain. “Prototype 9 celebrates the tradition of ingenuity, craftsmanship and passion of our forebears at Nissan Motor Corporation, on whose shoulders we stand today,” stated Alfonso Albaisa, Senior Vice President, Global Design. “It started as a discussion: What if Infiniti had created a race car in the 1940s? If one were to imagine an open-wheeled Infiniti racer on the famous circuits of the era, such as Japan’s Tamagawa Speedway, what would that look like?” Related: Why the new Nissan Leaf won’t need a brake pedal The Prototype 9 is powered by Nissan’s new EV powertrain, which mates a 30 kWh battery with a prototype electric motor. The electric motor generates 148 hp and drives the rear wheels via a single-speed transmission. The Prototype 9 has a top speed of 105.6 mph, and reaches 62 mph in 5.5 seconds. It also has a maximum EV range of 20 minutes if you drive it really hard on a track. While the Prototype 9 is going to debut later this month, we won’t have to wait too long to see the next-generation Nissan Leaf. The 2018 Nissan Leaf is scheduled to debut on September 5. Images @Infiniti + Infiniti

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Prototype 9 is a retro electric roadster with the Nissan Leaf’s heart

San Diegans could get $20,000 off price of electric car

August 15, 2017 by  
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Elon Musk might have just ushered in the era of affordable electric vehicles with the first Tesla Model 3 cars rolling off the production line, but south of the Fremont factory in San Diego there is another great deal going on. Starting this month and running through the end of September, San Diego Gas & Electric customers can take advantage of a $10,000 discount off the purchase of a 2017 Nissan Leaf or a 2017 BMW i3. When the state of California’s $2,500 EV rebate and the $7,500 federal tax credit are added, SDG&E customers could potentially get $20,000 off the price of an electric car. The utility also offers an annual bill credit of up to $200 for driving an electric vehicle. Related: New lithium-ion battery from Japan could double electric vehicle range “All-electric cars have fewer parts which result in no oil changes and less maintenance costs,” the SDG&E website states. “Electric cars on freeways and neighborhood streets in the San Diego region reduces greenhouse gases and improves air quality. Moreover, when EVs plug into SDG&E’s grid they receive 43% renewable energy and no coal.” According to SDG&E, there are more than 1,100 public charging stations in the utility’s territory with plans to reach 3,500 charging stations. Charging infrastructure is increasing across the state — the California Energy Commission has awarded nearly $65 million to pay for more than 7,800 electric vehicle charging stations. + SDG&E Via The Verge Images via BMW and Nissan

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San Diegans could get $20,000 off price of electric car

People in Denmark are earning up to $1,530 just by parking their EVs

August 15, 2017 by  
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What if you could get cash for parking your electric car ? Vehicle owners in Denmark have been able to do just that, bringing in around 1,300 Euros, or around $1,530, a year by feeding excess power back into the grid. Nissan Motor Company conducted trials in the country with Italy’s utility company Enel SpA to show how EV batteries could help ease constraints on the electrical grid. Nissan has run trials with over 100 cars throughout Europe, but so far only owners in Denmark have been able to earn cash by parking their vehicle and sending power to the grid . Using two-way charge points, owners have been able to rake in $1,530 annually, according to Nissan Europe energy services director Francisco Carranza. Related: Tesla is doubling its Supercharger network by the end of the year to 10,000 chargers Electric car owners in the United Kingdom could be next to score a payday – due to restrictions on accessing the market, Nissan needs to get up to 150 cars before people can earn money. Carranza estimates they could hit that number later this year. He told Bloomberg, “It’s just a matter of finding the appropriate business model to deploy the business wide-scale.” Electric car demand, expected to grow around the world, could place a strain on local electrical grid operators trying to figure out ways to balance demand. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, power consumption from cars will climb from around six terawatt-hours today to 1,800 terawatt-hours in 2040. The scheme of using car batteries to balance supply and demand could help grid operators while potentially allowing car owners to earn some extra money with minimal effort. According to a July 2017 Business Insider article , the Danish government recently cut back subsidies for electric vehicles and sales fell – at that point in 2017 a mere 182 electric cars had been sold in the country. But Denmark also has more EV charging docks than petrol stations. Via Bloomberg Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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People in Denmark are earning up to $1,530 just by parking their EVs

New lithium-ion battery from Japan could double electric vehicle range

August 10, 2017 by  
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Most electric vehicles can’t yet travel as far as gas-fueled vehicles on one battery charge, but they could edge much closer thanks to a new lithium-ion battery from Japan . The battery technology company GS Yuasa claims their potentially game-changing battery could double the driving range of small EVs, and the company plans to start mass producing them in around three years. Asian publication Nikkei reported the lithium-ion battery will be developed through a joint venture with Mitsubishi Corporation and Mitsubishi Motors under the name Lithium Energy Japan. The batteries could give electric cars the ability to drive further on one charge; for example, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV subcompact can currently travel around 170 kilometers, or around 105 miles, per charge, but with the new battery could drive for 340 kilometers, or around 211 miles. The companies also intend to offer the new battery at prices comparable to those of today’s batteries. Related: Hyundai reportedly working on next-gen solid-state batteries for electric vehicles According to Nikkei, GS Yuasa is the fourth largest supplier of automotive lithium-ion batteries in the world. Nikkei said Japanese companies such as Panasonic have thus far led the field in terms of quality and performance, but need to keep innovating if they want to stay ahead of Chinese and South Korean firms trailing closely behind. Reuters said the announcement of the new battery prompted GS Yuasa’s shares to spike by as much as 15 percent during early trade. The lithium-ion batteries will be manufactured at Mitsubishi Motors’ Shiga Prefecture plant for carmakers in the country and in Europe. GS Yuasa could begin mass producing the battery as soon as 2020. With batteries offering a longer range, electric car owners wouldn’t need to worry quite as much about the current lack of charging infrastructure in many areas of the world. Via Nikkei Asian Review and Reuters Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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New lithium-ion battery from Japan could double electric vehicle range

UK’s first self-driving grocery delivery van hits the streets of Greenwich

August 9, 2017 by  
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Food delivery has taken an interesting new turn. Residents of Greenwich, UK now have access to the country’s first self-driving grocery delivery service thanks to the electric-powered CargoPod. Developed by autonomous systems startup Oxbotica , the trial service is collaborating with online supermarket Ocado to deliver fresh groceries to customers at just a click of a button. The trial service is part of the GATEway ( Greenwich Automated Transport Environment ) program and will operate in the Woolwich area of Greenwich. Once customers place an order at Ocado, the CargoPod collects it and sets out on a number of set trajectories around the neighborhood. Each order has its own GPS coordinates, and once the van has reached its programmed destination, customers can collect their order from one of the eight compartments. The van can hold up to 128kg (282 pounds) of groceries at a time. Related: The world’s first self-driving grocery store just hit the streets of Shanghai The electric CargoPod is a street-legal vehicle equipped with multiple sensors and cameras placed around the vehicle’s body to navigate safely through the streets. The van is able to self drive thanks to an InterlCore i7 computer, which integrates all of the sensor data, including Oxbotica’s own Selenium autonomous driving software . For safety reasons, it does, however, come with a steering wheel, pedals, and a big red emergency stop button that allow a safety driver – who is on board during the trial period – to take control in emergencies. + Oxbotica Via Ars Technica UK Photography by Sebastian Anthony , Nick Summers and Oxbotica

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UK’s first self-driving grocery delivery van hits the streets of Greenwich

Honda unveils new 2017 Clarity Electric car

August 2, 2017 by  
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Over the past few weeks electric car news has been overtaken by updates about the Tesla Model 3, but another new EV also recently went on sale – the 2017 Honda Clarity Electric. While the Clarity Electric won’t be a direct rival to the Model 3, it does represent the newest Honda EV following the Fit EV, which is no longer available. The 2017 Clarity Electric is the second model in the new Clarity lineup, which includes the Clarity Fuel Cell and upcoming Clarity Plug-in hybrid. The main reason why the Clarity Electric isn’t a direct rival to models, like the Model 3 or even the Chevy Bolt, is because of its driving range. Both the Model 3 and Bolt can travel over 200 miles on a single charge, while the Clarity Electric only has 89 miles of driving range. Related: Honda steps up with new green car strategy Although the Clarity Electric’s driving range is at the lower end of the segment, it does offer room for five passengers with its spacious interior. It’s a bigger car than the Chevy Bolt , so if you want something that will be a replacement for the conventional midsize sedan, the Clarity Electric is ideal. The Clarity Electric can be fully recharged in about three hours and up to 80 percent in thirty minutes with a DC fast charger. The Clarity Electric also won’t hurt your bank account, since Honda has announced that the Clarity Electric can be leased for only $269 a month for 36 months, if you live in California or Oregon. The lease terms also allow you to drive up to 20,000 miles a year. Sadly the only downside is that, just like the Fit EV, Honda will only let you lease the Clarity Electric. Images @Honda + Honda

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Honda unveils new 2017 Clarity Electric car

The Tesla Model 3 is now on the road! Here’s everything we know

August 1, 2017 by  
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Tesla delivered the first batch of Model 3 sedans Friday night, finally revealing many of the big details we’ve been waiting to hear about. For example: the cheapest Tesla Model 3 still starts at $35,000, but a new Long Range version gives the Model 3 a Chevy Bolt -beating range of 310 miles. While Tesla has received over 500,000 reservations for the Model 3, many buyers may be disappointed to learn that many of the first Model 3 sedans will have a higher starting price than the base $35k the company originally boasted about. The “ electric car for the masses” will initially only be offered with a long-range battery, which carries a $9k premium over the base Model 3. This brings the starting price to $44,000 – before you add any other options. Related: Tesla’s new Solar Roof is actually cheaper than a normal roof Want an exterior color other than black? That will cost you an extra $1,000. The price will keep going up from there with the $5,000 Premium Upgrades package that adds power front seats, a tinted glass roof, plus a few other options. Enhanced Autopilot adds another $5,000 and “Full Self-Driving Capability,” adds another $5,000. With all the available options and even the fact that you have to pay a hefty premium for a color other than black, most Model 3 buyers will easily spend more than $35,000. Either way, the Model 3 is one of the most significant new entries in the EV segment. The base Model has a driving range of 220 miles, which is longer than any other EV currently on the market (besides its brother, the Model S). Just like the Model S, the Tesla Model 3 is no slouch. The base Model 3 will reach 60 mph in 5.6 seconds, while the Long Range version is even faster with a 0-60 mph time of only 5.1 seconds. If you want an even faster Model 3, a performance version will arrive in about a year, which will feature dual motors and a 0-60 mph time closer to three seconds. While Tesla delivered 30 Model 3 sedans, it will be a while until production is fully up and running. Over the next few months, production of the Model 3 will slowly ramp up to Tesla’s goal of producing 5,000 units a week, which should happen by December. If you place a reservation now, Tesla predicts that you’ll get your Model 3 in the second half of 2018 or by early 2019. Of course, if you already own a Tesla, you’ll get priority. Images @Tesla + Tesla

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The Tesla Model 3 is now on the road! Here’s everything we know

The world’s first all-electric sport utility truck is finally here – and it looks incredible

July 27, 2017 by  
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Electric vehicle buyers are spoiled for choice these days – there’s electric sports cars , sedans , SUVs , minivans , and motorcycles . So where’s the electric truck? New York-based Bollinger Motors just answered that question with the B1 – the world’s first all-electric, all-wheel drive sport utility truck. It’s remarkably refined with a strong, stealthy profile – and it’s rough and rugged enough to haul heavy loads and tackle challenging terrain. The B1 has better horsepower, torque, and ground clearance than any gas-powered truck in its class – plus a few features you simply won’t find in internal combustion engine vehicles. Read on for a first look – straight from Bollinger’s unveil tonight in New York City. Electric trucks make a lot of sense on paper, as EVs produce plenty of torque – which trucks need to cart heavy loads. However this power comes at a price – lithium ion cells are heavy, and automakers must carefully balance battery weight vs performance and cost when creating a new EV. Bollinger Motors found a winning formula by nesting the B1’s batteries in a remarkably strong aluminum chassis that weighs just 295 pounds. Two battery setups are available – a 60 kWh system with 120 miles of range, and a 100 kWh system with 200 miles of range. The longer range beats most electric cars on the road today – which is even more impressive given the B1’s powertrain specs. The Bollinger B1’s full-time, all-wheel drive powertrain features front and rear-mounted synchronous electric motors that produce 360 horsepower and 472 lb-ft of torque. That’s a lot of power – and it gives the B1 a 0-60 speed of 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 127 miles per hour. The vehicle’s curb weight is 3,900 pounds, which translates to a 10.8 power to weight ratio – and it has a payload capacity of 6,100 pounds. The sport utility truck measures 150 inches long, 76.5 inches wide, and 73.5 inches tall. It has a 105-inch wheelbase and 15.5 inches of ground clearance, which can be adjusted by the vehicle’s hydro-pneumatic suspension within 10 inches of wheel travel. Since the batteries are sunk into the chassis, the B1 has an exceptionally low center of gravity, and the engineering team dialed in a perfect 50/50 weight balance. This all adds up to an extremely capable off-road vehicle that gets an estimated 67.4 MPGe. The B1’s design is sleek and spartan inside and out. Aluminum interior panels help keep the truck’s weight down, and the dash features an old school mechanical speedometer and tachometer in addition to gauges for battery level, range updates, charging status, and FMVSS warning signals. The vehicle seats four within a steel passenger safety cage, and the interior can be fully hosed down thanks to polyurethane floor pans and rubber seals and gaskets that protect the instruments. The B1’s electric powertrain frees up cargo space for a “frunk” that is accessible through the center console. This is a clever design decision, as a stack of 12-foot boards will fit handily within the enclosed vehicle. It also has another trick up its sleeve: “Since the B1 is an all-electric truck, it’s really a portable energy source,” says Bollinger Motors’ founder and CEO, Robert Bollinger. “So we put 100 volt plugs throughout the truck so you can use it to power any equipment and tools you might need out in the field. USB and 12 volt plugs are also integrated into the dash to cover all power needs.” The inspiration for the B1 is easy to trace – it looks a bit like the iconic Land Rover Defender, stripped of its curves and fitted with a powerful all-electric powertrain. It’s not designed to be a mainstream truck, but as a boutique vehicle it’s stunning with performance to match. “We are so thrilled to be able to finally take the wraps off of our Bollinger B1 SUT,” said Robert Bollinger. “This is the culmination of what has been a 40-year-long boyhood dream of mine and I couldn’t be more pleased with the vehicle and the incredible team who worked so hard to create it.” The B1 prototype was designed, engineered and manufactured in Hobart, New York – and Bollinger is planning to keep all operations within the US as production begins. They’re currently talking to independent vehicle manufacturers with the goal of launching a production run of 10,000-15,000 vehicles later this year and delivering the first vehicles within 19 months. Bollinger has yet to announce pricing, however they’re targeting “ranchers, builders, do-it-yourselfers” with a direct to consumer model and a price point comparable to a “nicely equipped sport utility vehicle.” Interested buyers can reserve a spot on Bollinger Motors’ website, which will enable them to place an order in early 2018 with a $1000 down payment. + Bollinger Motors  

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The world’s first all-electric sport utility truck is finally here – and it looks incredible

Sono Motors unveils the $18,000 SION solar-powered car

July 27, 2017 by  
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The dream of being able to commute to work in a solar-powered car is finally becoming a reality. Sono Motors just unveiled the SION solar-powered electric car that can travel up to 18 miles using nothing but energy from the sun. The best part is that the SION isn’t just for the wealthy, since it only costs 16,000 Euros (around $18,600) plus the cost of the battery, and it is packed with incredible features like built-in moss filtration, bi-directional charging and integrated solar panels. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sMMhO5kbVg Last year, Sono Motors, a German startup raised over $200,000 to bring the SION to life. Using 300 photovoltaic panels, the SION can store enough energy from the sun to travel up to 18 miles, but if you need to travel further, the SION can also be recharged using a standard outlet, like a conventional electric car. Depending on how much you want to spend, you can rent the car battery monthly, or purchase outright. Related: Lightyear unveils solar-powered car with a 500-mile driving range The Extender model starts at $16,000 Euros and has a driving range of 110 – 120 miles and can be quick-charged up to 80% in 40 minutes. Charging it up with the power of the sun will take half a day, but since Sono Motors says you can drive it to work for an 8-hour shift, the battery will be fully recharged thanks to the solar cells when you get off. With room for five passengers, you can bring the whole family along. A unique moss liner is integrated into the ventilation system that acts as a natural air filter to filter fine particles of dust from the air. There are also six airbags to keep everyone safe. Everything is controlled through the cockpit – a smart screen that shows your speed, battery level and everything else you need to run things smoothly. Repairs should be affordable, since Sono is releasing a repair manual and affordable parts along with the car. Sono Motors has also announced the addition of a new mobility system, called “goSono”. With the Sono App and the function of the bi-directional charging, you can use the vehicle as a mobile storage to power external devices, like generators while heading off the grid. Additionally the app makes it easy to offer make money with the SION by either renting it out through car sharing or by giving rides to other passengers, like Uber or Lyft . Sono Motors has already received interest from over 1,200 pre-orders for the SION, but the company is hoping to get that number to at least 5,000 before they can start production. The next step to get to the SION on the road is to get people behind the wheel, which will include unique test drive tours that will take place all over Europe. The first deliveries are expected to arrive in 2018. Images @Sono Motors + Sono Motors

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Sono Motors unveils the $18,000 SION solar-powered car

Porsche’s new EV chargers top up Mission E batteries by 80% in 15 minutes

July 19, 2017 by  
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We’re still about two years away from the arrival of the Porsche Mission E electric car, but Porsche has already started installing the 800-volt chargers that will power it. The automaker recently installed two 800-volt chargers in Berlin that have the ability to recharge an EV’s batteries up to 80 percent in a mere 15 minutes. The 350kW chargers are twice as powerful as the 145kW chargers that Tesla’s Supercharger network uses. Although Porsche’s new charging stations, Tesla refuses to be out done, since Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk recently stated that its future charging network will make the 350kW charger look like a “children’s toy.” Related: Porsche is moving ahead with their Tesla rival ‘Mission E’ electric car Since the Mission E is still at least two years away, the good news is that the Porsche’s new chargers do have the ability to charge lower-powered EVs. While we wait for the Mission E, Porsche does offer plug-in hybrid versions of the Porsche Cayenne and Panamera. Porsche is also installing similar chargers in Atlanta. Porsche has yet to reveal the production version of the Mission E , but when it arrives it will be one of the most significant Model S rivals. The Mission E will feature two electric motors that generate around 600 horsepower and a driving range over 300 miles. + Porsche Via Trusted Reviews Images @Porsche

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Porsche’s new EV chargers top up Mission E batteries by 80% in 15 minutes

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