As with most things, there is a right way and a wrong way to go about electric vehicles. Last Friday, Ian Wright and I spent a couple of hours around my conference table discussing our philosophies on electric cars. Wright knows something about this topic, as he was formerly an executive at EV start-up Tesla Motors, and is now the founder and CEO of Wrightspeed, a Silicon Valley-based start-up whose first car is going to be a high-performance electric supercar, price tag just shy of $200,000. And as it's electric, Wright expects it should out-start, outrun, out-turn, and … Read more
Editors' note: This blog initially misstated the refund amount for people who pay $5,000 to get on the waiting list but then later cancel their order. The amount is $4,950.
Tesla Motors is pushing out production of its sports car again, but the car goes farther on a battery charge than previously expected.
The company said late Monday night that it will deliver 50 Tesla Roadsters, its $98,000 all-electric sports car, in the first quarter of 2008 and 650 in total in 2008.
Earlier this year, the company said it would try to come out with cars … Read more
What an interesting launch party concocted by Tiger Electronics for their new Power Tour Electric Guitar, held Wednesday night at the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square.
The $70-dollar toy is inspired by a real Gibson guitar, but it's much easier to jam out on. Twelve songs are built right in, letting you rock out to tunes including "Wild Thing" and "Smoke on the Water." All you have to do is follow the lighted touch sensors on the fret and strum bar.
To prove how easy it is, three groups of real rockers got on … Read more
Love him or hate him, Bob Lutz is somewhat of a celebrity in the automotive world. From GM to BMW to Ford and back again, Lutz has seen firsthand the growth, as well as the trials and tribulations, of the automotive industry over a span of more than four decades. Oh, and in his early days, he flew fighter planes in the Marine Corps.
When I told some of my colleagues I was invited along with a small group of bloggers to have dinner with "Maximum" Bob, some beamed in envy, others snarled in skepticism. After all, GM … Read more
Solid-state drives are beginning to pop in more and more and more systems, but that doesn't mean the traditional hard drive with its quaint spinning platters doesn't have a few tricks up its sleeve. Researchers at the National Physical Laboratory in England think they've come up with a new read-head sensor design that can read more densely packed data on a disk thanks to something called the magneto-electric effect. (Today's drives rely on the magneto-resistance effect, if you're scoring at home.) While the sensor on your hard drive would have trouble reading anything more than … Read more
Google is earmarking more greenbacks to make cars greener.
The nonprofit arm of the Web search giant, Google.org, on Wednesday issued a $10 million request for proposal from companies involved in commercial plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and other forms of sustainable transportation.
The RFP process--to be done entirely online--is meant to accelerate development of cleaner forms of transportation at a large scale in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to Google.org.
Google intends to invest between $500,000 and $2 million in companies that are approved and will not take up position on those firms' boards.
It … Read more
DAVIS, Calif.--Update. Ian Wright, founder of electric sports-car maker Wrightspeed, wants to get into pickup trucks too.
The company is looking at making an electric drivetrain for trucks that the company would then sell to established manufacturers, he said during a hallway meeting at the GoingGreen conference taking place here. The top-three selling vehicles in the United States in 2006 were the Ford F-150, the Chevy Silverado and the Dodge Ram, he said. "No. 4 was the Camry."
Converting trucks from gas to electric could have a big impact on carbon monoxide emissions. Trucks emit a lot … Read more
The common wisdom is that gas stations make almost no profit off the gas itself (the gas companies make a ton of profit, of course) and must have side businesses like garages and, above all, snack shops to turn a profit.
What if you were to turn that equation on its head and add a "filling station" to, say, a Starbucks? That's the intriguing possibility raised by an article on SFGate about Hyatt Hotels and Tesla Motors, the Google-founders-financed electric car start-up. (It's also been written up on CNET News.com.)
"Hyatt will install Tesla … Read more
If you're anti-Barbie and also against the death penalty, you'll have mixed feelings about a middle-schooler's Barbie Doll Electric Chair Science Project. At least we can all agree on the importance of science in the classroom. While I'm trying to keep all things Barbie away from my 2-year-old daughter, I certainly think she ought to leave middle school understanding the fundamentals of electricity. And if we have to send Barbie to the chair for that to happen, so be it. The step-by-step guide on Instructables expertly shows how to construct an electric chair for your Barbie … Read more
The Lightning GTS, an all-electric sports car coming from England next year, will go 0 to 60 in four seconds, the company says.
But what I like is the '60s styling and the Union Jack license plate.
The car is one of several relatively new entrants into the electric auto market. They can be roughly divided into three categories: sports car specialists (Tesla Motors, Lightning, Lightspeed) and the sedan makers (Zap, Miles Automotive, etc.) and economy cars (Riva, Think). Some will make cars for different categories. Established companies like Nissan, of course, are tinkering at this too.
Right now, Tesla … Read more