Get a hands-on look at Nissan's electric utility vehicle.
Get a hands-on look at Nissan's electric utility vehicle.
LAS VEGAS--The last thing I expected to do on my arrival in the city for CES 2012 was to take a quick drive in the Fisker Karma.
But as I walked out of the hotel near the Las Vegas Convention Center, there was the car, in all of its curvaceous, green glory, parked at the curb. A quick talk with the Fisker rep on hand, and soon I was in the driver's seat of this new-series hybrid car, models of which are just beginning to roll off the production line.
Looking around the cabin, I was surprised at the lack of leather, a typical lining for the innards of any high-end luxury car. Instead, surfaces were covered in a variety of thick, soft fabrics. This model was in Eco Chic trim, which keeps the animal carcasses away from passengers. Even the bits of wood trim in the car come from reclaimed sources, the remnants of a wildfire in Southern California and salvaged from the bottom of Lake Michigan, according to the Fisker rep accompanying me.
A 10.3-inch touch screen filled the center dashboard, and the instrument cluster was an LCD panel showing virtual gauges. The drive selector was like none I've ever seen before, four buttons in a crystalline structure like something from "Doctor Who."… Read more
Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed in an interview with GigaOM that the Model X will be shown at an event on February 9.
An alpha build of the car was apparently shown to investors last month. Autoblog reports that the Model X will be shown at Tesla's design studio in Southern California.
The Model X will be Tesla's third production model, after the Roadster and Model S. Based on the same platform as the Model S, it will have a larger, SUV-like body reportedly capable of seating seven adults.… Read more
If you've ignored the naysayers, saved enough money, and splashed out on an electric car, you're probably now looking for a dedicated home-charging station. If that's the case, look no further--architect Giancarlo Zema has teamed up with Luminexence to design a bonkers yet beautiful leaf-shaped example known as the Lotus.
The Lotus--no relation to Norwich's premier manufacturer of mid-life-crisis mobiles--is a giant solar-powered piece of faux flora that delivers pure, carbon-neutral electricity captured from the sun. It comes with nighttime lights plus an optional information screen, seat and car charging port.
The Lotus is a modular system that's designed in a variety of colors and sizes. The smallest component, a single-leaf design, can be supplied on its own, or mated to other single-leaf units to form double, triple, or quad leaf setups. A large leaf, which provides 19 square meters of photovoltaic panels, is also available. Both leaf styles can be combined to resemble a curious water lily configuration.
Read more of "Luminexence Lotus solar car charger is a tree-shaped carport" at Crave UK. … Read more
Tesla has laid out the pricing structure for the all-new Model S electric car, and, as expected, higher range will cost you more.
The company launched a Web page today showing the base model, with a 40kWh battery pack, costing $49,900. The 60kWh model runs $59,900, and it's another $10,000 jump to the 85kWh model. Go up to $79,900 for the Performance model, which also comes with the 85kWh pack and a 0-to-60-mph time of 4.4 seconds. All of those prices are after a federal tax credit of $7,500.
Those battery packs give the Model S an estimated range at 55 mph of 160 miles, 230 miles, and 300 miles respectively.
And then there are the options.… Read more
A few months ago the electric car startup stopped taking orders and returned customer deposits for its three-wheeled vehicle, and today Aptera closed its business for good.
Aptera CEO Paul Wilbur sent a mass e-mail explaining the company's decision to shutter its doors. The e-mail explained that the company was tantalizingly close to obtaining a $150 million Department of Energy (DOE) Advance Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loan that would enable them to open a manufacturing facility in Moraine, Ohio, creating 1,400 jobs. However, Aptera couldn't find matching funds from the private market to execute on those plans.
With … Read more
In classic Japanese style, Honda calls its new drivetrain effort Earth Dreams Technology.
Once upon a time, Honda engineers came up with VTEC, a valve control system that made its engines the most advanced in the industry. But that was years ago, and other companies, notably BMW, have pushed the envelope with new valve control, direct-injection, and turbocharging technologies. With each model update it releases, I've been waiting for a similar advance from Honda.
The wait appears to be, mostly, over, as Honda announced a new set of engines, transmissions, hybrid system, and electric drive at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show. Giving these new drive components the overall moniker of Earth Dreams Technology emphasizes the goal of greater efficiency and Honda's effort to reduce its vehicle's CO2 emissions 30 percent by 2020.… Read more
Tesla may be dropping production of its Roadster, but Honda seems to have taken up the gauntlet with this new electric concept.
The EV-STER is a concept electric car unveiled at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show. Like the Tesla Roadster, it is a two-seater with a carbon fiber body to reduce weight, but that is where the similarities end.
Honda claims a range for the EV-STER of only 100 miles, with acceleration timed at 5 seconds to 60 km/h (37 mph).
Styling takes some cues from the CR-Z, with a big dose of futuristic design thrown in. The driver uses a yoke to steer rather than a wheel, and the cockpit has displays geared toward the electric power train.
The driver's seat is of a different color than the passenger seat, a choice we have seen in a few other concept cars recently, suggesting that in the future people will have trouble discerning right from left.
Although it represents no electric power train breakthroughs, the EV-STER concept is exciting in that it shows Honda is actively exploring new electric vehicle types. The company has already promised to put its Fit EV in production next year.
LOS ANGELES--CNET takes Rolls-Royce's experimental electric car for a cruise here at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
Earlier this year in Geneva I got to look at the Rolls-Royce 102EX, an experimental electric car based on the Phantom. At the Los Angeles Auto Show, I actually got to drive it.
When Rolls-Royce first mentioned it had built this electric car those many months ago, I believe I said something like, "Wha?" The Phantom is a massive vehicle devoted to excessive luxury. It weighs 5,800 pounds and is powered by a 6.7-liter V-12. It seemed like it would take all the batteries in the world to move one with an electric power train.
But in Geneva, Rolls-Royce showed off the 102EX, and insisted it could drive under its own power. As it was confined to the show floor, I had to take Rolls-Royce's word for it.
Now I have proof.… Read more
LOS ANGELES--Honda says it will begin leasing the electric version of its Fit small car at a price of $399 per month.
Honda joins the ranks of automakers offering electric cars with the new Fit EV, showing off a production version of the car at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show. The standard Fit uses an economical 1.5-liter gasoline engine. Honda removed the gasoline power train, replacing it with lithium ion batteries and an electric motor.
The 20 kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery is packaged under the floor, and impinges on interior space slightly, reducing cargo space. The battery gives … Read more