I have been waiting and waiting for a real electric motor bike to hit the market. Now finally an Oregon based company called Brammo is coming out with a bike called the Empulse, that goes over 100 mph and can go 100+ miles before needing to recharge. Sounds perfect, now what will this thing cost right? Well, its up there but so are most super bikes. There will be three models coming out in 2011, ranging in price from $10k to $14k. Not bad, since you never need gas and maintenance will be next to nothing. Would you buy one?
If I had to be honest and come up with a list of cars I would like to own, the list would be really small. Here is the deal, I still want a stylish well made vehicle, but I would like it to be more like my electric bike and less like my SUV. I want to plug it in, charge it up (quickly). But here is the catch, if I need more power on the go, I have to be able to get it. Cars like the Tesla Roadster just make no sense to me with my small budget and no desire to own multiple cars.
My life is pretty simple. I don’t need to spend a ton of money on a car. I work at home, shop for food and other stuff all within 10 miles of my house and once in a blue moon, I pack up my Land Rover with photo gear and head to L.A. A very long three hour trip there and back.
Yes, I said I have a Land Rover, its a Discovery 2 and it gets a whopping 12 miles to the gallon if I am lucky. Love it, hate it. Love it for what it can haul, it’s functionality and my vegan fake leather seats. Hate that it sucks gas like a cheap drunk sucking down their 3rd box-o-wine. But since I own it (no payments) and only drive a few times a month, I haven’t been willing to buy a new ecoish type of car.
When I feel the urge to get out, I jump on my A2B electric bike. If I think I am going to need cargo room, I simply attach my wike bike wagon and off I go. I am serious. I use my bike like an SUV if my destination is close. I bought my two Apple 27 inch LED computer screens the other day and carried them home in the wagon. The Apple employees thought I was beyond cool… no really they said so. They all wanted my bike and so did half of the people shopping in the store. I can’t even begin to tell you how many people stop me to ask about the bike. Everyone from kids to senior citizens love the idea of the electric bike. But I haven’t seen many on the road.
My point is, my next car doesn’t need to be a V8 Beast that can do everything. No, I need a well designed, well built, comfortable, high milage, electric or some alternative powered vehicle, which doesn’t cost a fortune and will last forever. And for the first time, I am really thinking about buying American. The car which has been on my mind lately is the Chevy Volt. I haven’t seen one in person, but the design concept and photos of the car are really hitting home with me.
Los Angeles Times Chevy Volt Video Review.
Here is my like list:1st: The battery runs the car, period! If and when you need more electricity, you have two options, plug it in, just like my bike or pour in a little gas and let the onboard electric generator create more electricity for you on the go. 2nd: 20 to 50 miles pure electric driving before you need to charge it. 3rd: I like the styling (I think). 4th: There is cargo room for my gear. 5th: It has a USB port for my iphone and an iphone app which tells me things about how the car is running. 5th: It’s priced about right $350 a month or around $40k. Look my electric bike and wagon cost me almost $4k, so $40k for a whole lot more tech isn’t too bad.
Here is my dis-likes:1st: It’s a Chevy. 2nd: It’s a Chevy. 3rd: The interior dashboard materials have that we might be crappy look. You know, that cheap plastic which might look cool, but feels like it will break or discolor any second and usually does. My point is, I have never liked the styling, logo badge, quality or functions of a Chevy, Ford, or any American car designed car. And yes I know Ford owned Land Rover for a while. American cars have always seemed cheap, clunky and un-attractive in my opinion. I don’t know why. We Americans know how to design, look at Apple products. But for some reason our cars have always sucked. What the hell was the Hummer all about?
Smart the little egg car that could, is adding a new type of engine to their cars, yes, a pure electric. Great news right? Well, yes and no for me. The only time I drive is when I trek back to L.A. or head out on a long trip, so all of the new electric cars rolling out really wont do me any good. I am holding out for a pure electric with a generator of some kind. Like the Chevy Volt, which is coming out soon. I hope it is going to be nice, less hmm how can I say this, less crappy than most of their cars. Plus, I hate the Chevy logo :( can’t they update that thing?
Back to the Smart Egg Car. If your a commuter and rock an iPod / iPhone, now this would be an amazing car for you. It has a range of 80 miles per charge, which should be plenty for most people. Plus it charges up from 20% to 80% in less than 3 hours. So, once you get to work you could always top it off. I haven’t see the pricing, but I am sure it wont be much more than their standard gas models, which are super cheap. Less than $20k for most models. Plus, with the Smart Car, you get the cool/fun factor, which the iPod style ad above seems to be screaming out who the target market is. The young ones, the cool ones, the ipod rocking, “G” living youth culture of the world. It’s about time products made for the “G” generation are finally here. More power to Smart Car, I hope they sell millions of them.
If you get one, send in your picts to G Living we would love to see them and hear about how you feel about pure electrics. Do they work for your lifestyle? Will you be buying one? What do you think of Chevy and the Volt or any of the new electrics rolling out?
Now that I actually own my own electric powered bike (The Ultramotor A2B) and love it, I am obsessed with finding an even better bike. One that will go over 100 miles on a charge and at speeds up to 40 miles an hour, plus able to pull a bikewagon. I know California State law requires you to have a license if the bike goes over 20 miles per hour, but if they could design it with a switch, to let me choose, I would buy it. 20 Miles per hour is fine, but only for local trips. If I have to go all the way down town, I would never make it on my A2B.
So, today I came across this little modern looking electric bike from Yamaha, the Divide. It was announced back in 2003 so I very very late, in this discovery, but I don’t know what happened. Did it ever make it in to production? The Divide I guess is a scooter, not a bike, but it seems to be very small and even folds up. If your a boy from Texas, like me, you probly know Yamaha as the maker of motor dirt bikes. I personally owned a Yellow YZ 80, which I road endlessly. So I am guessing they know how to make a pretty cool scooter.
I have been keeping my eye out for a new electric scooter or motorbike to use when I need to get somewhere fast or a little further away. Unfortunately nothing has really jumped out at me. Most of the Scooters or Motorcycles which use electric motors, cost a small fortune and can’t even go much further than the electric bike I already own. That is until now. A dull sounding company called KLD Technologies, has come out with the Neue Scooter. They have priced the Neue Scooter to compete with the gas powered Vespa Scooter, coming in at $3288 and $3888. The scooter using new nano-crystaline technology to improve efficiency over traditional iron-core motors and it eliminated the need for a transmission. The scooter does an impressive 65 mph and has a range of 100 miles if your average speed is 25 mph. Which in city driving, would be reasonable.
This is a pretty big deal, when you think about the competition. The VX-2 scooter by Vetrix, cost a cool $8,500 and only has a range of 35 to 55 miles. There is also the electric MotorCycle called the Enertia, which comes in at a really steep price of $12k, which also has similar speeds and distances as the VX-2.
Now your starting to see how special this Neue Scooter just might be. The only thing that gives me real pause is the heftiness of the design. I haven’t seen one in person yet, but from the photos, it looks a little bit tiny to me. I personally like the look of the Enertia, but that price tag is just not practical. When the Neue starts shipping, I may just be the first person in line.
Looking to the past to find the future. Daimler has unveiled the F-CELL Roadster, the latest in their line of “F-Series” concept vehicles (past Mercedes research models can be seen here), and as you’ll see, it draws its inspiration from a diverse variety of automotive eras. From a functional standpoint, it’s a roadster fitted with a 1.2 kW hybrid drive – one that allows the F-CELL to reach a top speed of 15 mph and achieve an operating range of 217 miles. From a design standpoint, however, is where the F-CELL Roadster truly shines, as it manages to blend the overall aura of the original Benz patent motor car with seating and a fiberglass front section both drawn from elements of Formula One racing.
As for who was responsible for creating the unique F-CELL Roadster, that honor goes to the trainees of of Daimler AG at the Sindelfingen plant, with more than 150 trainees and dual education system students working for about a year on the overall concept, development, assembly, and completion of the hybrid model. According to Human Resources Board member and Labor Relations Manager Günther Fleig: “This project impressively demonstrates that the topic of sustainable mobility has become an integral part of our vocational training. I am delighted to see how much initiative and creativity the young people have put into this project.”
I am happy to say I found a new oh so sexy bike. Yes, sexy, will you look at the Big Ass on this thing! If that isn’t sexy, I just don’t know what is. I have to admit, I am a big ass man, when it comes to bikes, (not women). There is just something special about being able to take anything, anywhere, at anytime. That is what you get when you have a cargo bike like this one by Madsen. A bike with built in function, abilities and style.
Here is the official pitch by the company ” After hauling six neighbor kids around in a wheel barrow bucket bolted to the front of our first prototype, we started to realize what a bicycle can really do. But the bucket on the front, like the box of the European design, creates an awkward center of gravity. So we stretched the chassis and put the bucket on the back. With the natural feel and balance of the rear bucket, you can ride with confidence knowing your load is secure and your cargo is protected.
Another Hybrid motorcycle type of vehicle, which just might appeal to the masses. This one comes from Peugeot. A fairly big automaker in Europe, has come up with the HYmotion3. This machine provides some protection from the weather with a glass canopy and also allows the drive to have some fun, with its ability to really lean in to the curves. The HYmotion3 is also extremely fuel efficient, recording 118 miles per gallon.
Here is the official press release:
Occupying a half-way house between the world of the scooter and the car, the HYmotion3 compressor is a highly original proposal designed to facilitate urban mobility. Attractive thanks to its dynamic, streamlined and futuristic style; it is an interesting concept combining numerous benefits (size, safety and comfort) with “HYmotion” hybrid/petrol technology. This new generation technology creates a three wheel drive vehicle, benefiting safety and driveability and combining economy with an environmentally-friendly specification (CO2 emissions of only 47 g/km in the combined cycle, zero in electric only mode).
Let’s get something straight. I love the look of BMW’s Mini Cooper and would buy it in a second — if only it were a hybrid diesel or an all-electric car with interface fabric seats. Sadly BMW doesn’t make the Mini with any of these options, so I have held off and continue riding my bike.
Maybe that is all about to change. Companies like Li-ion Motors have begun hacking small cars like the Mini and replacing their gas engines with zero-emission, all-electric motors and lithium batteries. A great idea — if you can afford to pay almost twice the price for a “converted” Mini. Parts are expensive to do this one at a time. The only way the price will come down is if, BMW and other companies decide there is a real demand and they start producing them. After the jump, watch a short clip by Popular Mechanics featuring a test drive of the hacked, all-electric Mini Cooper. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
Are people really making engines run on french fry grease? Apparently they are. You may also know by now that Mr. Rudolf Diesel premiered the engine at the 1900 World’s Fair to run on peanut oil. So, this is nothing new.
But I still don’t get it. I have no idea what the difference is between biodiesel and a grease car, other than the fact that one is a chemical mixture of organic materials and the other is straight veggie oil. But isn’t it all the same? No. Lets break it down before Josh Tickell (Mr. BioDiesel) joins me for an extended chat on The Real G Room 101. Here’s what I know so far (the rest will get cleared up when we speak)…
Petroleum: 87/89/91 grade fuel. Good old Gasoline.
“Gasoline or petrol is a petroleum-derived liquid mixture consisting mostly of aliphatic hydrocarbons and enhanced with aromatic hydrocarbons toluene, benzene or iso-octane to increase octane ratings, primarily used as fuel in internal combustion engines.” Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
If you’re looking for a new, zero-emission way to get from A to B, check out the new Swissbikeboard. The Swissbikeboard combines two popular “toys” (a skateboard and a bicycle), powers up with two rechargeable, lithium-polymer batteries, and sends you on your way for up to 30 miles on one charge. The style is reminiscent of Sharper Image’s Razor scooter, but looks a bit more like a popular 1950s toy scooter (remember that thing from “Back to the Future”?).
The Swissbikeboard is not your average scooter, though. It offers a juiced up suspension that allows for some radical on-street usage, meaning that it can be used for more than commuting. It is super quiet and, according to Swissbikeboard’s website, it can be used indoors. It provides a powerful braking system that makes it safe – along with a bit of user attentiveness. And it also comes in models that allow serious downhill adventure, snowboarding, and wakeboard-style water fun.
Commuting in a car here in the United States just plain sucks. Not only does it suck the fun out of your waking hours, it sucks the good air right out of the atmosphere (or releases bad air… whatever, semantics, and that doesn’t work as well for my lead).
Matra Manufacturing and Services may have an answer to your Commuter Sucking Blues. (Which is far different than the Toe Sucking Blues). Matra MS, formerly a motor sports design leader with their hands in Formula 1 and Le Mans, has come out with a line of Light Electric Vehicles consisting of high-performance electric bicycles and quadricyles, available in Europe this spring for around $5,000 USD.