At the 2008 New York auto show, the race is on to offer a production electric car. Major automakers Nissan, Subaru, and Mitsubishi showed working vehicles, while an upstart brought in a conversion with impressive stats.
Mention hydrogen and a legion of critics will outline the reasons why the gas will likely never be a major energy source.
But it doesn't mean that researchers still aren't working on these problems. And the latest idea comes from Rice University, where scientists have found that buckyballs-- molecular balls made up of 60 or more carbon atoms--can store hydrogen quite well.
The molecules can store around 8 percent of their weight in hydrogen at room temperature, Rice found. The federal government, meanwhile, has set a goal of finding materials that can store 6 percent of its weight … Read more
The X Prize Foundation, best known for sponsoring space travel competitions, on Thursday offered $10 million to make a super-efficient car.
At the New York International Auto Show, the foundation and sponsor Progressive Casualty Insurance announced the newly named Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize. The competition, open to both established automakers and unknown engineers, is meant to result in "real cars" that are available for purchase, rather than concept cars.
Mercedes-Benz showed off the BlueTEC ML320 SUV at the 2008 New York auto show. According to Mercedes-Benz, its AddBlue technology makes the ML320 the world's cleanest diesel. The ML320 BlueTEC uses a turbocharged diesel 3.2-liter V-6 engine, producing 210 horsepower and 398 foot-pounds of torque. That engine is mated to a seven speed automatic transmission, giving it wide range of gear ratios appropriate for city and freeway driving. The ML320 BlueTEC represents the first use of AddBlue technology in the U.S. AddBlue is a urea-based liquid that, when injected into the exhaust stream, converts 80 percent of … Read more
During media days for the 2008 New York auto show, Mitsubishi drove its electric iMiEV up and down the hall, because it could. While gas-powered cars were prohibited from driving in the hall, the iMiEV was allowed to troll by the booths of its automotive competitors.
Nissan showed off its electric-powered concept vehicle at the 2008 New York auto show. Based on Nissan's existing Cube small car, currently sold in Japan, the Denki Cube concept uses an electric powertrain with lithium ion batteries.
Sail power is back.
The MV Beluga SkySails, a cargo ship rigged up with a billowing 160-meter sail from SkySails, used approximately 20 percent less fuel than it would have without the sail during a two-month voyage. Put another way, that's 2.5 tons of fuel, or $1,000 a day, in operating costs. Beluga Shipping ultimately hopes to save $2,000 a day with the technology.
The ship left Bremen, Germany, on the 22nd of January, sailed to Venezuela, and then headed toward the Norwegian port of Mo-I-Rana, docking on March 13. In all, the ship sailed 11,… Read more
Vacationing in Japan this week I accidentally rode on the world's first diesel-electric hybrid train in commercial service: The Kiha E200 running on the East Japan Railway's Koumi Line. Aside from being a new train, introduced in 2007, it seemed like any other, but the photographers camped out for a shot along the mountainous route told otherwise.
The train is a working prototype in use since July 2007 with the aim of gathering data for eventual mass production. Like a hybrid car, the diesel-powered engine is used during acceleration and the electric motor kicks in to maintain speed … Read more
The electric sports car has gone commercial.
Tesla Motors on Monday moved into commercial production with the Tesla Roadster, an all-electric sports car. The car isn't in mass production yet--Tesla is actually only putting out about one or two cars a week right now, but it will steadily increase production. By early next year, it hopes to be producing around 100 cars a month.
So far, more than 900 people have put reservations in for the car, including Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, George Clooney, Dustin Hoffman, and Arnold Schwarzeneggar. The Roadster costs $98,000. But for … Read more
Two years ago, Zap, the electric transportation specialist out of Santa Rosa, Calif., talked about coming out with a luxury, all-electric SUV called the Zap-X in late 2008 or early 2009. Things have changed a bit.
The company now plans to kick off its electric car strategy with the Alias, a three-wheeled electric car, CEO Steve Schneider said in a phone interview. The company hopes to have a working prototype later this year and then start selling cars in 2009.
Zap and China's Youngman Automotive Group, through a joint venture called Detroit Electric, will then follow up with an … Read more