If Fred Flintstone were somehow transported forward from the stone age, he probably wouldn't know what to make of our internal combustion engines, direct injection, variable-valve timing, fuel-cells, and plug-in electric hybrids. He might however, feel at home in the Imagine Neighborhood Electric Vehicle. Designed by the aptly-named HumanCar. The Imagine is described by its creators as a "human-electric hybrid," meaning that it can be powered either by its two onboard electric motors or by "variable human power input" (i.e. pedaling). The four-passenger Imagine has an exoskeletal safety cage chassis and comes with a … Read more
Tesla Motors, the people who put the all-electric car on the map, are going to work with gas too.
The San Carlos, Calif.-based company will produce two basic types of its Whitestar sedan, due toward the end of 2009. One will run completely on batteries. The other will be a range-extended vehicle, or REV, CEO Ze'ev Drori said in an interview. In an REV, a small gas motor recharges the battery pack while the car is being driven. The battery pack on these types of cars only goes about 40 to 50 miles on a charge, but because … Read more
In the future, utilities will pay you to plug in your vehicle. Millions will plug in their electric vehicles (EVs), plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), and fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) at night when electricity is cheap, then during the day when energy is expensive, sell those extra electrons at a profit. Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology is a bi-directional electric grid interface that allows a plug-in to take energy from the grid or put it back on the grid. V2G helps solve the major problem that demand for electricity is high during the day when everything from industrial plants to air conditioning is running … Read more
If plug-in hybrid cars become popular, the cars could potentially reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on foreign oil. But will they cause electricity prices to zoom?
Scientists at the Pacific Northwest National Labs are trying to figure out that right now, according to staff scientist Michael Kintner-Meyer in an interview. PNNL hopes to issue a report this summer that will help answer that question.
Last year, PNNL studied how well the grid, as it exists today, could accommodate an influx of plug-in hybrids. (Unlike a conventional Prius hybrid, plug-ins can be charged from a wall socket. General Motors, Toyota … Read more
Correction 10:35 a.m. PST: This blog initially misidentified the prime minister of Israel. He is Ehud Olmert. It also misidentified the person whose speech can be found on the Project Better Place Web site--it is by Shai Agassi--and as such an earlier version of this post also incorrectly attributed a quote from that speech.
Renault-Nissan, the government of Israel, and an electric charging station start-up founded by Shai Agassi are mounting an effort to make electric cars part of ordinary life in Israel in the next decade.
Project Better Place, Agassi's organization, will try to build 500,… Read more
We've discovered a worrying new feature in some Dell laptops: If you touch them, you may get an electric shock. This discharge can vary in strength from a gentle tingle to a sudden jolt. Disturbingly, you could also be shocked when connecting printers, PDAs and other peripherals to the offending laptops.
We know this because several CNET staff were hit with an electrical charge while using Dell's new XPS M1530--and we're not the only ones. Dell's forums are littered with user complaints about the shocking experiences they've had with some systems.
The problem only … Read more
When you're No. 3, you've got to do something.
At the Detroit auto show this week, Chrysler showed off three green car concepts, including an all-electric one called the Zeo that will go from zero to sixty in 5.7 seconds and hit 130 miles per hour. The car can also go 240 miles on a single charge.
Many of the other major carmakers--Toyota, General Motors--are concentrating on plug-in hybrids and other types of alternative fuel cars far more than all-electric cars. Batteries cost a lot and don't have the energy density of liquid fuels, according to … Read more
Lockheed Martin has signed a deal with EEStor to try to integrate the ultracapacitor start-up's electrical energy storage units into the defense contractor's products.
Financial terms of the agreement, announced Wednesday, were not disclosed.
EEStor is developing a ceramic battery chemistry that could provide 10 times the energy density of lead acid batteries at about a tenth of the weight and volume, according to Lockheed. A Lockheed spokesman said the company is interested in energy storage systems a soldier can carry, but also car batteries and energy systems for remote buildings.
Lockheed will spend most of the year … Read more
Having already capitalized on the green movement, electric car maker Zap is hitching its star to another unstoppable trend: the iPod. The company, which has made headlines in the last year for expanding its lines to include higher-end models such as sports cars and SUVs, reportedly plans to unveil a "Made for iPod" auto at next week's Macworld extravaganza in San Francisco.
The model will feature a head unit that will accommodate the music player and pipe its tunes directly through its speakers, according to iLounge, using its new "iZap" power system made specifically for … Read more
In order to get its electric sports car to owners sooner, Tesla Motors plans to deliver cars with a temporary transmission that falls short of its originally promised performance.
The news was distributed to the wide world on Thursday in a blog post from Ze'ev Drori, Tesla's new president and CEO.
The post is a reprint of a letter that was sent to Tesla purchasers on December 21, as a follow-up to a town hall meeting for Tesla owners that took place on December 12. About 100 people, including those who called in, participated in the meeting, according … Read more