General Motors plans to sell an electric version of the Spark, a mini-car that it currently sells outside the United States. GM will sell the gasoline version of the Spark in the U.S. starting next year, and will follow with the electric version in select U.S. markets and around the world in 2013. The electric Spark will be powered by batteries made by A123 Systems, based in Waltham, Massachusetts. The car is a departure from GM’s current electric vehicle offering, the Chevrolet Volt. For short trips—about 35 miles—the Volt can run on battery power alone. For longer trips, a gasoline engine generates electricity to power the car. The range-extending gas engine is meant to address one of the main drawbacks of electric cars—their limited range on a charge. But adding an engine, and the complex transmission needed to coordinate power from the engine and electric motors, adds significantly to the vehicle’s cost. That added cost seems to be hurting sales. … [Read more...] about GM Ditches the Gas Tank in Its New Electric Car
New electric car
The beleaguered electric car startup Faraday Future has unveiled its supposed Tesla killer. But it, like its rival, will have issues of scale to overcome before its vehicle becomes a mainstream success.Late last year, reports suggested that Faraday Future had been hemorrhaging money on a car that ex-employees considered to be vaporware. So it had a lot to prove when it unveiled its first stab at a real electric vehicle in Las Vegas ahead of the annual Consumer Electronics Show. The long and slightly unusual-looking car, called FF91, certainly sounds impressive on paper. It boasts a 378-mile range, 1,050 horsepower, and a 0 to 60 mph time of 2.39 seconds. If it's accurate, that's faster than any Tesla. It’s also loaded with sensors to equip it for a self-driving future. Jalopnik counts 10 cameras, 13 radars, 12 ultrasound sensors, and lidar to boot. Apparently things aren’t quite running smoothly yet, though: the company couldn’t get the … [Read more...] about Faraday Future’s New Electric Car Will Struggle with Scale
If you drive an electric car, California is a great place to be. It’s the only U.S. state that actually requires manufacturers to sell zero-emission vehicles, and it offers generous incentives to get people to buy them. Next year, California electric car drivers will get one more perk.Northern California will soon get a new network of DC fast-charging stations for electric cars. Called DRIVEtheARC, it will place 50 individual fast-charging stations at “more than 20 high-traffic locations” between Monterey and Lake Tahoe, according to a press release about the corridor’s groundbreaking. One of many charging-infrastructure projects in the state, it’s expected to be completed in March 2017. DC fast-charging stations can generally provide an 80 percent charge in around 30 minutes, although charge times can vary by car.The network is the result of a partnership between the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (known … [Read more...] about California breaks ground on new electric car fast-charging corridor
Faraday Future is a car company founded in 2014 in California, but don’t feel bad if you’ve never heard of it. The firm has stayed completely off the radar until now, even though it plans to launch a new electric car in 2017.The company–which apparently likes to be called FF–occupies the former Nissan research and design building in Gardena, has 200 employees, and is currently hiring 10 more every week, according to Motor Trend. It expects to have 300 employees by 2016.FF’s goal of putting an electric car on sale by 2017 seems pretty bold. The company hasn’t even secured a factory yet, and history is littered with examples of upstart carmakers that bit off more than they could chew in the highly complex car business.Still, FF appears to have assembled a pretty good team of designers and engineers. The list includes employees who worked on BMW’s “i” electric-car program, the Chevrolet Volt program, at Tesla, as … [Read more...] about Newcomer Faraday Future says it will build an electric car by 2017, can it pull that off?
Charles and David Koch have used their considerable wealth to fund numerous conservative causes, and their next spending spree could help boost the oil industry and target electric cars, according to a new report.The Koch Brothers are planning a new lobbying group that could spend up to $10 million a year to kill the electric car, according to The Huffington Post. James Mahoney, a confidante of the brothers who also sits on the board of their company, Koch Industries, has reportedly teamed up with lobbyist Charlie Drevna about starting up a new pro-petroleum lobbying group.The unnamed group is expected to use paid and earned media to promote the oil industry, but will also target electric cars specifically. The launch of this group is partly attributable to “electric cars and the subsidies for them,” an unnamed oil-industry source familiar with the matter said. The involvement of Mahoney indicates the new group is “being driven by the business side of … [Read more...] about Koch Brothers plan multimillion-dollar campaign against electric cars
The concept behind electric cars is solid enough: Rather than use air polluting gasoline to power motors, use an electrically charged battery instead.But when it comes to driving these eco-friendly vehicles on an actual highway, many consumers suffer from “range anxiety” – the fear that their car batteries won’t have enough power to get them to their destination. Plus, it’s not as if there are many places where drivers can “fill up” on electricity in case their car runs out of juice.Now, battery maker Phinergy and metal manufacturer Alcoa are working together to give these electric cars an extra boost. This week, the two companies revealed their modified Citroen C1 car, which contains a regular lithium-ion battery and a novel “aluminum-air” battery.Together, the batteries extend the car’s range up to 1,000 miles after a single charge. That’s compared to a range of 80 to 300 miles for regular electric … [Read more...] about Phinergy and Alcoa create new electric car that can go 1,000 miles on one charge
After years of trash talking battery electric cars and promoting hydrogen fuel cells, Toyota is in the midst of a major strategy shift. The Japanese automaker is assembling a team to develop a mass-market electric car. Its choice of leader for that team indicates Toyota is taking the project very seriously.CEO Akio Toyoda — who is also the grandson of company founder Kiichiro Toyoda — will personally lead the electric car team, a Toyota spokesperson told Reuters earlier this week. Toyoda’s involvement is meant to speed up the development process of the company’s first mass-market electric car, the spokesperson said.While his company has spent the past few years concentrating on hydrogen fuel cell cars, Toyoda is not a complete electric car newbie. He engineered a 2010 deal with Tesla that saw the Silicon Valley automaker purchase a Toyota-owned factory in Fremont, California, which became Tesla’s sole assembly plant. Toyota also invested in … [Read more...] about Toyota’s CEO will personally lead its new electric car division
Many companies are targeting Tesla Motors with new electric cars, but Lucid Motors, the California-based startup formerly known as Atieva, may actually hit the bullseye.The company plans to unveil an “executive sedan” December 14 and, if a new report from Automotive News (subscription required) is any indication, it could be quite the contender. The Lucid sedan will come standard with 1,000 horsepower and a 100-kilowatt-hour battery pack offering 300 miles of range, according to the industry trade journal.That matches the largest available battery pack in the Tesla Model S, and exceeds that car’s maximum power output by a significant margin. With 1,000 hp on tap, the Lucid sedan will reportedly do 0 to 60 mph in under 3.0 seconds. Tesla quotes 0 to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds for the top Model S P100D, along with a 315-mile range.Keep in mind that these specs reportedly apply only to the base model of the Lucid electric car. The company apparently plans to offer a version … [Read more...] about Lucid Motors’ electric car coming later this month, could have 1,000hp
With Volkswagen’s plan to introduce 30 new electric vehicle models by 2025 and build 2 million to 3 million all-electric cars per year by that time, the company needs to get busy. An early sign of VW’s new “electric life” is its announcement of the plan to debut a new electric car prototype at next month’s Paris Motor Show, according to Electrek.Volkswagen CEO Hebert Diess told German magazine Wirtschafts Woche the new electric vehicle will be about the size of a VW Golf but will have the capacious cargo space of a VW Passat. The prototype to be shown in Paris will be similar to the production model currently slated for the 2018-2019 model year.Diess also said the new car’s driving range will be 400 to 600 km (248 to 372 miles) per charge. Electrek speculated that Diess was using the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) mileage rating, which is looser than the EPA rating used in the U.S. It’s likely, however, that the new electric … [Read more...] about New electric Volkswagen debuts in Paris next month with 300-mile range
Volkswagen has been teasing a modernized version of its iconic hippy bus for years, most notably with 2001’s Microbus concept and the sleek Bulli Concept from 2011. In September, we heard rumors that a new Bus could bow at CES 2016, and with the brand’s announcement of a new electric car debuting at the show, it may be time to break out the lava lamps and incense.Volkswagen has published a teaser image of the concept ahead of the EV’s unveiling in January, and its boxy shape will propel the rumors of a new Microbus even further. There’s not a lot to go on from the cryptic photo, but the illuminated grill suggest a more modern, almost futuristic, aesthetic. However, a VW spokesman recently told Autocar that a new interpretation of the Bus would have three very important design nods to the old version.“First the wide, solid, D-pillar, second the boxy design of the centre section and, thirdly, the front end must have a very short overhang,” he said. … [Read more...] about Volkswagen teases its new electric concept ahead of CES — could it be the new Microbus?