Perhaps the best name for any electric car is the Volt, right? It seems to fit for the new generation of cars just like the Mustang fit for a bygone generation. Chevy’s electric/hybrid concept, the Volt, was revealed at last month’s New York Auto Show and has some intriguing features such as a long-range battery pack, hybrid and E-85 fuels technology, and revolutionary E-Flex propulsion. The car is easy to charge, using regular 110 or 220 electricity and Chevy estimates that the Volt can go 50 miles on batteries alone, making it a viable commuter option.
DARPA, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is working diligently on a new type of aircraft that will fly for up to five years. Long flight is nothing new to space, but DARPA is planning the sub-orbital, long-term flight namely for surveillance purposes that are much more easily accomplished from 60,000 feet than from 260 miles, where satellites roam.
“We want to completely change the paradigm of how we think of aircraft,” says Daniel Newman, manager of the Vulture program. “Aviation has a perfect record – we’ve never left one up there. We will attempt to break that record.”
I get it…some people simply have to drive a truck. I’m not saying I like it — I dislike fossil fuel-hogging SUVs as much as the next “G” conscious person (or anyone who hates traffic or soaring gas prices), but I concede to construction workers and cameramen who need to haul things that just don’t fit in a Mini Cooper.
Lithium-ion battery powered hybrid engines are finally coming to the market. And they’re coming in hot. Hot to the degree of three times more power than the old nickel-metal-hydride variety.
The increased power of the lithium-ion battery now quiets all the gearheads who espouse power over planet. And when the public demands, it’s amazing how quickly the auto-industry provides. By 2010, no less than four big automakers Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
Volvo announced recently that it will return to the Swedish Touring Car Championship in a new look – an E85 enhanced C30 hatchback. This marks the second time Volvo has entered a flex-fuel vehicle in the race (they entered an E85 S60 last year) and continues its commitment to ethanol fuels with its Green Racing team. And why not? Sweden has already announced a plan to replace petroleum with ethanol over the next several years.
Call me traditional if you must, but I don’t get this new wave of non-cars coming out in both concept and production form. If you need to get from point A to point B and you want to do so in something small and zippy, buy a motorcycle. Or a scooter. Or even a bicycle. And if you’re not comfortable with a two-wheeler, get a car.
But to fork out over 12 grand for a three-wheeler that doesn’t even look safe to drive? Come on. Introducing the Sidam Xnovo.
After months of showing various eco concept vehicles, Mercedes-Benz has announced their plans to hit production with their S400 BlueHybrid. And from the information provided by the manufacturer, I’m guessing Mercedes fans will be pleased with the car’s style and non-sacrificing environmental benefits.
If no one beats M-B to the punch, the S400 (which features a Mercedes 3.5L V-6 gas engine with a 15kW electric generator/motor) is likely to be the world’s first passenger car to use a lithium ion battery.
Here’s a sportscar that I could probably drive and still sleep well at night. And it’s not made in the U.S. (are you really surprised?). German manufacturer Loremo introduced their link to the sporty automobile future last fall at the Frankfurt Auto Show, the 117mpg, 2-cylinder diesel LS or the 3-cylinder diesel GT.
The secret to its efficiency can be found in its cool, yet corny name; Loremo stands for low-resistance mobile. The company focused on the two most common problems associated with fuel efficiency: aerodynamics and weight. They reduced the weight to just over 1,300 lbs – about half the weight of other cars its size – and reduced the drag coefficient by 1/3.
I’m surprised how many V-8 engines I see driving around the city looking for any opportunity to speed up. You’d think they’d be the minority, a relic. Or even outlawed altogether. As GM, Ford, and Chrysler promote smaller engines and alternative fuel vehicles to comply with the 35 mpg legislation, you’d think fans of muscle cars and the V8 engine would be worried.
But as far as I can tell, this new legislation doesn’t mean that every car rolling off the assembly line in years to come must achieve 35 mpg. Automakers simply have to reduce the average fuel economy of their entire fleets. It’s a fleet average. Therefore, those who (for whatever reason) feel they really need a more powerful engine will still be able to have it.