Tesla patent reveals plans for a new battery-swapping machine

September 20, 2017 by  
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In the not-so-far future when  electric vehicles (EV) rule the road, don’t expect to sit around in line waiting for your battery to charge. That’s because electric automaker Tesla recently filed a patent for a mobile battery swapping technology that could replace a depleted battery in under 15 minutes. In 2013, the company toyed with the idea of building stationary rigs that can replace a car’s battery pack. However, that idea never took off. Now, the EV maker is improving on the concept and has filed a patent application for a more compact, mobile version that would be placed in strategic locations where Superchargers aren’t always available. As Elektrek reports, Tesla’s original system was designed to be autonomous, while the newer one can be operated by technicians. Additionally, the original battery swap service claimed a 90-second swap, whereas the new one says “less than fifteen minutes” is more plausible. Says the patent application, “In some implementations, the battery swap system is configured for use by one or more technicians, who will monitor certain aspects of the system’s operation and make necessary inputs when appropriate. For example, the battery -swapping system can be installed at a remote location (e.g., along a highway between two cities) and one or more technicians can be stationed at the location for operating the system. This can reduce or eliminate the need for the system to have vision components, which may otherwise be needed to align the battery pack or other components. Using techniques described herein it may be possible to exchange the battery pack of a vehicle in less than fifteen minutes.” As can be seen from the application figures, the patent application references swapping Model S and Model X battery packs. Both vehicles’ battery packs have been designed to be easily swappable. Model 3’s battery pack is not, on the other hand. Because the company aims to expedite the process in 15 minutes or less, it is unlikely the system will apply to more complicated swaps. Related: Tesla to TRIPLE number of Superchargers by end of 2018 When Tesla CEO Elon Musk last mentioned the battery swap system, he said it would likely be developed to support commercial fleets — if pursued at all. Now that plans for Tesla’ all- electric Semi-Truck have been shared, Musk’s vision is coming into focus. + Tesla Via Elektrek Images via Tesla , Pixabay

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Tesla patent reveals plans for a new battery-swapping machine

Bollinger Motors unveils new 4-door electric sport utility truck

September 7, 2017 by  
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This summer little-known Bollinger Motors revealed the world’s first fully electric Sport Utility Truck – the Bollinger B1 . With its squared off, rugged looks, the Bollinger B1 is easily inspired by the iconic Land Rover Defender. But now Bollinger has taken the EV a step further with a new four-door version. The first image of the four-door Bollinger B1 shows how the electric four-door Sport Utility Truck will look in a new orange color, which Bollinger says will be available at launch. The four-door version measures 159-inches-long, while its wheelbase stretches 114 inches. Even with the longer length, the four-door B1 will have the same 15.5-inches of ground clearance, making it the perfect EV to take off road. Related: The world’s first all-electric sport utility truck is finally here – and it looks incredible The four-door Bollinger B1 also has an additional 6 cubic feet of cargo space for a total of 101 cubic feet. Both the two and four-door versions will have the same battery options, either a 60 kWh or 100 kWh battery pack , giving the B1 a range of either 120 or 200 miles. Bollinger Motors hopes to start production by early 2019. You can reserve the Bollinger B1 starting in early 2018 for $1,000. + Bollinger Motors Images @Bollinger Motors

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Bollinger Motors unveils new 4-door electric sport utility truck

2018 Nissan Leaf debuts with 150 mile driving range for just 30k

September 6, 2017 by  
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After teasing us for weeks, Nissan has finally unveiled the second-generation 2018 Nissan Leaf. The new Leaf is completely new inside and out, with single-pedal driving, automation, more power, and most importantly, its driving range has been increased to a more usable 150 miles. It’s hard to believe that it’s already been seven years since the first Nissan Leaf arrived in 2010. Now seven years later the Leaf is facing much stiffer competition than it originally did. As a result, the new Leaf has been amped up to tackle the Chevy Bolt and the Tesla Model 3. Related: BMW releases a sportier i3 electric car For starters, Nissan fixed the main concern electric car buyers had with the last generation: its driving range. With a max 107 mile driving range, the current generation Leaf has been overshadowed by the Bolt, Model 3 and even slightly squeezed out by the BMW i3 and 2017 VW e-Golf. With the 2018 Nissan Leaf being able to now travel 150 miles on a single charge, that means the Leaf is now closer to the top of the segment, only to be out done by Tesla and the Chevy Bolt . Under the hood, there’s also a new electric powertrain that now generates 147 horsepower and 236 lb-ft. of torque. If you want a more powerful Nissan Leaf with a longer driving range, Nissan has confirmed that another more expensive version of the Leaf is coming for 2019. Besides the new electric powertrain, the 2018 Leaf also features new driving technologies. The ProPILOT Assist driver assistance technology allows for semi-autonomous driving on single-lane highways. The 2018 Leaf also comes with Nissan’s new e-Pedal technology, that perfects one-pedal driving. It lets drivers start, accelerate, decelerate and stop by using only the accelerator. Inside the 2018 Leaf’s seats are covered in seats with vibrant blue stitching and a new 7-inch touchscreen sits in the center console. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto have also been added. The 2018 Nissan Leaf is scheduled to arrive in the U.S. and Europe in early 2018. Pricing for the 2018 Leaf in the U.S. will start at $29,990. Images @Nissan + Nissan

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2018 Nissan Leaf debuts with 150 mile driving range for just 30k

New electric smart fortwo is ready to revolutionize car-sharing

August 31, 2017 by  
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Smart is planning to transition its small lineup of tiny cars to fully electric powertrains – in the not-too-distant future. The company has unveiled a preview of what the future smart fortwo could look like and how it could forever change the world of car-sharing. At first glance, the smart vision EQ fortwo concept looks like a more modern take on the current fortwo, but there’s more than meets the eye here. The EQ fortwo concept is smart’s vision of a future in which autonomous cars can improve the car-sharing experience in urban cities. Currently the car2go car-sharing service uses the smart fortwo, with over 2.6 million users worldwide. The vision EQ fortwo concept would build on this, since users wouldn’t have to search for a car or find a place to park it after they reach their destination. Instead, users summon the vision EQ fortwo, just like when they would request an Uber or Lyft ride. The vision EQ fortwo then drives autonomously to the pick up point and once the user reaches the destination the concept moves on its own to pick up the next user. It never actually parks on the street, like car2go , which will help reduce the amount of needed parking spaces. Related: From now on all Smart cars in North America will be electric On the outside, the smart vision EQ fortwo concept’s exterior communicates with users and pedestrians through a Black Panel Grille and LED displays, which replace traditional headlights and taillights. If the car is unoccupied, information about local events, the weather, news or the time can be displayed. The smart’s Black Panel Grille indicates whether the car is occupied by one or by two passengers. The smart vision EQ fortwo concept is powered by a 30 kWh battery. When its battery is depleted, it can automatically drive to a charging point to recharge its battery pack . Smart will debut the vision EQ fortwo concept next month at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. + smart Images @smart

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New electric smart fortwo is ready to revolutionize car-sharing

Arctic warming likely turned Harvey into "an extreme killer storm"

August 31, 2017 by  
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Melting Arctic ice and spiking temperatures don’t just affect the northernmost part of Earth. According to Cornell University professor Charles Greene, they can also impact storms , like Hurricane Harvey, that are thousands of miles away – prompting them to stall or meander. He said in a statement, “What happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay in the Arctic. Just like Superstorm Sandy , Arctic warming likely played an important role in making Hurricane Harvey such an extreme killer storm.” Greene said warming in the Arctic slows jet streams, or global air currents, impacting the nature of big storms like Harvey, which so far has poured around 24.5 trillion gallons of rain on Texas and Louisiana. Researchers can be reluctant to say exactly how climate change might have altered a certain storm, though many agree rising sea levels can cause higher surges, while higher temperatures in the air and sea surfaces will thrust more water into the atmosphere, which then falls as precipitation. Related: 7 ways you can help people affected by Tropical Storm Harvey Gizmodo spoke to several other scientists, and at least one, climate scientist Kerry Emanuel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was unsure warming had a significant role in Harvey. Penn State University climate scientist Richard Alley told Gizmodo, “Mostly, this is weather – big, dangerous weather, but still weather. But, because of global warming the ocean is a little higher than it otherwise would be, and that made the storm surge higher.” Meanwhile Greene compared Harvey to Superstorm Sandy, which also lingered instead of swerving out to the ocean as he said 90 percent of most late-season hurricanes do. He said, “ Houston would have suffered much less damage if Category 4 Hurricane Harvey had just crashed through the city and petered out in West Texas. But instead, the storm system is stalled in place and just continues to dump record amounts of rainfall from the Gulf on the city.” Via Huffington Post South Africa and Gizmodo Images via NASA and Army National Guard photo by Lt. Zachary West

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Arctic warming likely turned Harvey into "an extreme killer storm"

Cummins beats Tesla with a fully-electric semi truck

August 30, 2017 by  
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Tesla is expected to unveil its electric semi truck next month, but Cummins just beat them to the game with its own fully-electric heavy duty truck. Cummins is known for its hardworking diesel engines, but now the company is looking to the future with the debut of the electric Concept Class 7 Urban Hauler EV. The Cummins electric truck , known as AEOS, is powered by a new battery pack that is lighter and denser, giving the truck a longer driving range and faster charging times. The truck can carry up to 44,000 pounds and its 140 kWh battery pack only takes an hour to charge on a 140 kWh charging station. The AEOS only has a 100 mile-range, which means that it’s more ideal for shorter trips in urban environments. Tesla’s semi is expected to have a driving range of around 200-300 miles. Related: Tesla’s electric truck will have a 200-300 mile range Cummins hopes to cut the charging time down to 20 minutes by 2020. For drivers that need a longer driving range, the company is working on an extended-range model that will use a diesel engine to act as a generator for the battery pack. The extended-range model will have a much more usable driving range up to 300 miles and will cut emissions by 50 percent compared to diesel-hybrid trucks. “These new technological innovations build on our 100-year legacy of bringing the best solutions to our customers, driving their success and meeting the evolving demands of their industries and markets,” said Jennifer Rumsey, Chief Technical Officer, Cummins Inc. “We will harness our global technical footprint to continue to develop a wide variety of power technologies to bring our customers the choice and solutions that enable their success and contribute to a sustainable future .” + Cummins Images @Cummins

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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

The devastating reason Mumbai dogs are turning blue

August 17, 2017 by  
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Lately, blue stray dogs have been spotted running around Navi Mumbai, India , and it’s no laughing matter. Inadequate waste treatment at a local river has allowed dye to leach into the water, turning dogs who wade in a bright blue color. To add to the concern, the pollution is likely harming fish and birds who rely on the water resource. Residents began noticing blue dogs roaming the streets and were prompted to bring a complaint to the local authorities, asking that the water pollution be controlled. “It was shocking to see how the dog’s white fur had turned completely blue,” said Arati Chauhan , who runs the Navi Mumbai Animal Protection Cell. Related: What’s the deal with this green cat? According to the Hindustan Times , “the levels of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) — the concentration of oxygen required to sustain aquatic life — was 80 milligram a litre (mg/L). Levels of chloride, which is toxic, harms vegetation, aquatic life and wildlife, were also high. “Allowing the discharge of dye into any water body is illegal. We will take action against the polluters as they are destroying the environment,” said Anil Mohekar of MPCB in Navi Mumbai. According to Arati Chauhan, she and others have been working with local authorities to assure that the problem is cleaned up and prevented in the future. Via the Hindustan Times and Boing Boing Images via Arati Chauhan/ Deepak Gharat

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GM is selling an electric car in China that costs just $5,300

August 9, 2017 by  
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Good news for Chinese consumers. This week, General Motors will start selling a tiny electric car which, after national and local electric vehicle incentives, costs just $5,300. From front to end, the Baojun E100 measures just 63 inches. And, when unleashed and fully charged, the two-seater can reach speeds of 62 miles per hour and travel about 96 miles on a single charge. The E100, which has been outfitted with a 39-horsepower electric motor, is Baojun’s first electric car. Prices for the vehicle begin at RMB 93,900, or approximately $14,000 before incentives. Amenities include an entertainment system with a 7-inch screen and built-in WiFi . For safety measures, all versions of the car have parking sensors and pedestrian alert systems. Those who invest in high-end models can also lock and unlock the car using a touchpad. According to data from LMC Automotive, Baojun — a mass-market car brand from General Motors’ SAIC-GM-Wuling joint venture — is China’s eighth most popular car brand. It ranks just below Volkswagen , Toyota, Honda, and Buick. Considering China presently accounts for 40 percent of all electric vehicles sold worldwide, it’s clear there is a demand for non-polluting vehicles. As a result, Baojun’s ranking may very well increase. Related: The world’s first all-electric sport utility truck is finally here – and it looks incredible So far, more than 5,000 people have registered to purchase the first 200 vehicles. Another 500 will be made available later this week. Reportedly, buyers will be chosen on a first-come-first-serve basis. A GM spokesperson revealed that the first sales will initially be limited to the Guanxi region of southern China. As the car becomes more popular, GM plans to sell the cars more widely in China . + Baojun E100 Via CNN Images via General Motors

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GM is selling an electric car in China that costs just $5,300

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

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