electric cars

The Best of the 2010 Detroit Auto Show

A smaller but surprisingly less depressing North American Auto Show features a shaken industry seeking a fresh start

The GMC Granite Concept:  Seth Fletcher
The 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit was quieter, smaller and shorter than in years' past. But it was not, however, depressing, and considering the smoldering wreckage that is the automotive industry, that’s quite an accomplishment.

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Audi's Electric Supercar

An electric-car holdout decides to dazzle the zero-emissions scene

In September, Audi of America president Johan de Nysschen called the Chevy Volt a “car for idiots” and said that electric vehicles were “for the intellectual elite who want to show what enlightened souls they are.” Audi must have felt the need to atone for the harsh words, because the following month the German carmaker announced that it would build the baddest electric car yet: the E-tron, an all-electric supercar that could go on sale in the U.S. in two to three years.

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Gallery: The Best of the 2009 L.A. Auto Show

The first morning of this year's Los Angeles auto show, the CEO of General Motors, Fritz Henderson, was scheduled to give the keynote address. The night before, he got fired. (Excuse me: He "resigned"). That, however, was the only real drama at this year's show, and for the sake of the auto industry, that's a good thing.

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The (Slightly) Poorer Man's Tesla: ECOS Harbinger

Italian looks, German engineering and American electrics. Zero to 60 in five seconds, scissor doors, and you'll even get some change back from a $100,000 bill

For around 13 grand, Electric Cars of Springfield (ECOS) will turn your old beater into an all-electric commuter car. But for a few bucks (around $77,000) more, they'll build you an entire, turn-key sports car. It's called the Harbinger. It hits an electronically limited 117 miles per hour, gets to 60 mph in five seconds and undercuts the Tesla roadster on price. Did I mention it comes with Lamborghini-style scissor doors?

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Roboticists Want to Make You an Electric Car Customized for Your Personal Commute

Carnegie Mellon researchers have created a guide to customized car technologies for individual drivers

Drivers who want to know energy tradeoffs between gas guzzlers and electric cars may find some help at the ChargeCar project, where researchers have begun investigating how to customize electric vehicles to meet individual commuting needs. A smart power management system could even boost electric vehicle efficiency and extend battery life.

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Based on the Chevy Volt, Cadillac's Electric Converj Concept Could See Production

Will GM find great success selling a version of its Volt extend-range electric car with more upscale goodies and wearing a Cadillac badge?

With GM's Volt extended-range electric car set to arrive in dealerships by early next decade, some are asking whether US buyers will be switched off by a $40,000 Chevy. But would those buyers -- essentially early adopters of GM's new plug-in, gas-electric propulsion technology dubbed Voltec -- be more likely to plunk down such a wad of cash on a Caddy?

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Aussie Tesla breaks world EV record

But it needed an eight-tonne truck with a diesel generator to recharge it

An Australian entrepreneur has set what is believed to be a world record for distance travelled between battery recharges for an electric vehicle. On day four of the 2009 Global Green Challenge economy run between Darwin and Adelaide yesterday (Tuesday 27 October), internet whiz Simon Hackett travelled 501km in his Tesla electric sports car while heading south on the Stewart Highway from Alice Springs. His car ran out of battery power 50km south of the town of Marla, near a marker on the side of the road.

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Google Working on "Smart Charging" Software for Electric Cars

The Internet giant's geniuses are working on software that'll help get electric cars juiced without stressing out the electrical grid.

Imagine millions of plug-in vehicle owners returning home from work on a hot summer day, plugging in their cars at the same time, and melting down an overtaxed, outdated, and otherwise atrophied electrical grid. But the geniuses at Google say averting a disaster scenario could be as simple as a few lines of code (well, a few more than just a few).

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Honda EV-N Concept: An All-Electric Throwback

It looks just like a Honda from the 1960s, but the EV-N concept's tech is totally naughties

The Honda N360 microcar was a modern marvel, sporting an all-alloy engine that could rev to 9000 rpm. The 360 cc unit only topped out at 45 hp, but at 1,100 pounds, the N360 could hit an astounding 81 mph. And that came in handy while sharing the highways of 1970 with Buicks the size of a Japanese prefecture. Now, Honda's recast the classic N360's iconic design as a thoroughly modern concept car, the EV-N. Though just as tiny, this concept was created with some of the company's latest e-tech.

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Report: Tesla Model S Designed for Battery Swapping

Imagine pulling into a service station, but instead of filling the tank with unleaded, you slide out your drained battery and -- for a fee -- slide in a fully charged one. It's a similar model to that many stores use for propane tanks, and it could one envisioned for Tesla's new Model S sedan. Edmunds Green Car Advisor reports the new model was designed with swappable batteries in mind, according to Tesla's outgoing director of vehicle engineering and manufacturing.

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New Electric Car Seats Two, Hits 75 MPH, Needs a Name

Electric-vehicle startup Myers Motors already builds a one-seat electric car with three wheels. Now, the company says a new model is on the way with something extra novel -- a passenger seat. Dubbed the NMG2 (the first model is called NMG), the part-car-part-motorcycle will also get more storage space, creature comforts like air conditioning and a 60-mile range on a charge of its lithium-ion battery.

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Boing! Elastic Energy-Storage Systems Could Challenge Li-ion Batteries

MIT Researchers say carbon nanotubes could provide a more durable, reliable energy-storage alternative to traditional batteries. And best of all, no leakage to speak of.

It's one of the simplest energy-storage devices known to man: The spring. Think of how a jack-in-the-box keeps hold of the mechanical energy it takes to compress that clown into the box, releasing it only when the weasel song reaches its climax. And that energy storage is a long-term proposition. The clown could likely sit, poised in that box in grandma's attic for 100 years, until some joker comes along, cranks the handle and, POP!

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World's Fastest Electric Motorcycle Sets New Record

In a high-velocity demonstration that proves green and badass can coexist in the same vehicle, Mission Motors has set a new speed record for electric motorcycles.

Topping out at 161 mph, the Mission One motorcycle beat out 70 percent of the gasoline-burning bikes during a recent event at the Bonneville Speedway in Utah.

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Frankfurt Motor Show: Audi E-Tron Electric Concept

Audi shows off an all-electric sports car with four motors and enough torque to move a tugboat. Don't get excited, it's just a study

A major auto show without concept cars is just a heated parking garage with shrimp cocktail. So with the Frankfurt show's press days underway, Audi revealed a technical study that examines what its R8 sports car might be like if powered by four electric motors. The answer is the E-Tron. Those four motors together produce a modest 313 horsepower, but an astronomical 3,319 pound-feet of torque.

Not all that torque comes on at once, of course. Such a quantity of twisting force -- as much as an M47 Patton tank -- would turn all four tires into rubber vapor at the first throttle stab.

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WTF Moment: Electric Carmaker Promises Remote Recharge?

India's Reva says drivers of its new electric cars can call or text the company for a remote power boost. Is there a groundbreaking wireless technology afoot, or has something been lost in the translation?

India's Reva electric car company has a UK hit on its hands with the diminutive G-Wiz, an increasingly common addition to London traffic. This year, the company will introduce a new model, the Reva NXR -- a four-seat, three-door hatchback -- and plans to unveil a two-seat sports car, dubbed NXG, at next week's Frankfurt motor show. But what's got the electric-car world talking is something the company calls REVive -- a new feature purported to allow a driver who finds himself with insufficient battery charge to get an "instant remote recharge."

Could Reva be ready to roll out an inductive recharging system that would work over the course of miles instead of just a tabletop? (And is Japan involved?)

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