The big brains at Lexus have evidently stumbled upon a fundamental truth of the American car market: instead of trying simply just make cars run more efficiently, it’s more lucrative to make cars run fast more efficiently.
Coming into its second year on the market, the 450h is the second of Lexus’s now three vehicles to feature the Lexus Hybrid Drive (in reality just a relabeled second-generation Toyota Synergy Drive). Along with the RX 400h sport utility and brand-new LS 600h flagship sedan, Lexus is attempting to corner the market on performance hybrids, just as Toyota has with efficiency hybrids.
Its 3.5-liter V-6 engine puts out 292 horsepower, while the electric motor-generator ups its power is equivalent to a 4.5-liter V-8. The generator produces some 197 horsepower, but because the peaks don’t match up, 292 and 197 add up to 339. Don’t ask me how.
There are a lot of emerging electric bikes out there, but most of them match cheap heavy steel frames bikes with equally cheap lead acid battery/ low powered electric motor systems. Yes, they might only cost $500 but believe me, they suck. Okay maybe saying they suck is too strong. They are fine if you are only going a few miles, once in a while. But when it comes to really replacing your car, with a bike, you might want something like the Scorpion FX.
The conveniently foldable touring trike has been designed by HP Velotechnik’s engineers especially with the needs of commuters and touring cyclists in mind. The seat height of the Scorpion fx is noticeably higher and more upright compared to its more sporty fellow Scorpion, offering great outlook and a good view in traffic. The higher seat also allows for an additional lowrider rack behind the seat. Its solid design allows for a safe transport of a pair of front panniers. Together with the robust rear rack, you can thus transport up to 50 kg of luggage in four panniers. For a stable ride, all racks are positioned close to your body and your trike’s center of gravity. Once you are loaded that high, you’ll value our optional 81 speed gear system that will give you your extra low gear when pedaling the really steep challenges.
Add Suzuki to the list of motorized vehicle companies trying to reduce carbon emissions. At the Tokyo Motor Show this year, Suzuki introduced its hydrogen-powered Crosscage concept motorcycle. A hydrogen fuel cell powers an electric engine mounted in the rear wheel and it has front and rear mono-shocks. The power delivery was designed by Intelligent Energy from the UK, but the bike design is definitely Suzuki. If you’re looking for specs, there aren’t any yet because neither Suzuki nor Intelligent Energy have issued a press release.
A beautiful idea, a long glassed roof building sunken into the earth. A low impact way to super insulate a building while still allowing in views of the surrounding nature and bathing your structure with daylight. The architectural offices of Selgas Cano a spanish architecture firm, designed their office as a long narrow building, half buried into the earth. I couldn’t find any details online about the building, so I will have to contact them directly in the next few weeks, but for now, here are some beautiful images of the building to inspire you to think outside the box.
We also, liked the simple use of color to define area’s within the office. Checkout the yellow floors which split the two sides and the black staircase leading to the front door.
In Toyota’s enduring attempt to improve mobility and facilitate the evolution of new and ever-evolving locomotion, here cometh the i-Real concept “car.” Toyota’s successor to the iUnit, this vehicle is a car in only the most basic sense of the word. If you define a car as having wheels, allowing the driver the ability to steer, and moving by facility of its own internal power source, then yes I suppose the i-Real could be construed as a car.
It is, however, the trippiest (I know the Websters people are having a conniption fit over that one) looking “car” I have ever seen.
According to the Toyota i-Real pitch, this is a car that wraps around your body, allowing you to zip through life with little encumbrance from mortal legs. I drive a Saturn around town and a Schwinn within a fifteen-mile radius of my house. And never in the purchasing of either vehicle did the idea of “lessening the encumbrance my mortal legs” enter the equation.
No offense to well-meaning electric scooter boys and girls out there, but Brammo’s Enertia may finally be the real deal when it comes to electric two wheelers. It seems appropriate, if unfortunate, that it also comes at a very real-deal price.
Debuting early next year (with a full roll-out later in 2008), but already boasting plenty of reviewer rides behind it, the Enertia screams quality even as it glides almost soundlessly down the street. At a top speed of 50 mph, no less. Cruising at a more modest 25, the bike can go some 45 miles before needing a recharge. Two hours plugged into a standard 110-volt outlet charges the bike’s six lithium phosphate batteries to 80 percent capacity, with a full recharge requiring three hours’ juice.
Given the U.S. average commute of 29 miles at substantially faster clip (we hope, for sanity’s sake) than residential-zoned limits, the Enertia isn’t really meant to serve the average commuter.
Quest takes us behind the scene of the Electric Car makers.
If you’re looking to buy an all-electric car you can drive on the freeway, your options are limited. $100,000 will buy you an electric sports car from Tesla. But an affordable all-electric vehicle remains elusive, due to the difficulty in making a battery that is powerful, long-lasting, and cheap. QUEST visits a local battery laboratory and investigates the odds of a breakthrough.
Plug-in hybrids run for a certain distance on batteries. So far, hackers have been able to create plug-in hybrids that run for about 10 miles on batteries. After that, they revert to standard hybrid operation, which uses gas and electricity. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
If your a G/Style queen, this might just be the electric bike for you. The French have come to your rescue, jumping in the electric bike market with the E-Solex 2, which has a blood line running back over 60 years. The first version was the VeloSoleX a 50cc gas fueled motorized bicycle, which rolled out in 1946 in Paris. The new E-Solex drops the gas motor for an electric one, with 400 watts of power pushing this bike up to 21 mph in fast mode. There is also an option to run in eco mode, which brings the speed down to around 16 mph and will get you driving distance of 37 miles before needing a charge. The battery is a rechargeable Lithium-ion, which keeps the weight down and enables quick recharging.
This sexy little electric bike cost around $2100, but we couldn’t find it for sale in the United States yet. Maybe someone should bug their local bike store to carry oh so sexy thing of a bike. I think this would be a hit with college and high school students, who know how to live a G Life.
What a difference a rear end makes. The iconic MINI recently confirmed and released official photos of its much-rumored MINI Clubman, the make’s first major update since its 2001 re-release as the rambunctious stepchild of BMW. This boxy-behinded bulldog shares the base MINI Cooper’s front 2/3, which may cause a epidemic of double-takes when the first Clubmans (Clubmen?) zip by in the U.S. early next year.
All design changes come aft of the B-pillar, and what an aft it is: a roofline that just won’t quit, an extra 9.45 inches of overall length and fold-flat rear seats mean this utili-MINI boasts more than 32 feet of cargo space. A MINI driver’s friends, newly mollified by a 3-inch dose of surplus rear legroom, can access all this extra interior room in two ways — tiny versions of the clamshell doors more commonly handled by the SUV set and a set of unusual, asymmetrical, “butterfly” doors on the car’s right side.
The updates make for a cargo-capable-ish small car akin in overall philosophy to the Honda Fit, although with a price tag placing it somewhere between the MINI hardtop and convertible.
We should all be so practical as the Citroën C-Cactus. We should all look upon ourselves with such a discerning eye.
We should all cut out those things we don’t really need. This new ecological car, equipped with a diesel hybrid drivetrain, has gotten rid of all the parts that don’t contribute to the running, safety or comfort of the automobile parts like the dashboard, among other things. Why? Because who really needs a dashboard? I don’t. I need some of the stuff on it, but I can do without the board itself. And so can you. Or at least that’s what Citroën is betting on.
In order to “trim the fat,” Citroën’s engineers have grouped several functions into single parts. Instead of a dashboard, all the important buttons you used to find there, including the onboard computer, are now attached to the steering wheel and the central console. And believe me, ditching your dashboard doesn’t mean you have to go skimpy on style. ‘Cause really, how stylish is the most stylish of dashboards? Not nearly as stylish as the sleek and cool Citroën C-Cactus.
The Nissan Cube has gone “denki”. Which doesn’t mean it’s gotten dinkier, as I initially thought. It turns out that “denki” is Japanese for “electric”.
While virtually indistinguishable from the automaker’s current Cube design – at least on the outside, what makes the Denki concept car different from its brother, the production model Cube, is, you guessed it – it’s electric. According to The NewsMarket, “the Denki features an electric motor with laminated lithium-ion batteries located under the floor and seats while the current model includes a 1.3-liter inline 40 cylinder gasoline engine.”
The other primary difference between the Cube and the Denki is the missing row of seats in the latter car – which, combined with a stretched wheelbase, was necessary to accommodate the lithium-ion battery cells.
Q’orianka sat down with us a while back and told us how much she loved her Honda Fuel Cell (video below). Now it looks like she has scored an upgrade. The new Honda FCX Clarity, which is another million dollar car Honda leases at a major loss, to a few selected individuals. The lucky few all live in California and they serve as beta testers for the technology, as well as sales tools. Seeing them drive around excites a future customer base for Honda.
Here is what Q’orianka said when she picked up the car: “Since my first car was the Honda FCX, I am proud to say that I have never pumped a gallon of gasoline,” said Kilcher. “As a young person, I feel it is my responsibility to always try my best to think about the consequences of my actions and choices as a consumer, and the impact they have on our planet.”
Kilcher, winner of numerous environmental youth awards, is the world’s youngest FCX Clarity owner at 19 years old. The zero-emissions vehicle can be refueled at a Shell hydrogen station in West Los Angeles, which is the first retail hydrogen station to produce hydrogen from water via a roof-mounted electrolysis unit.