Wednesday, April 11th, 2012
Below is a wonderful video that explains the multiple drivetrains at work in the Chevy Volt. A couple of immediate impressions:
1) No wonder the price on this sucker is $41K, with all that going on. The bill of materials (costs of the individual components) must be enough to choke a horse. And the non-recurring engineering costs must (more…)
Monday, April 9th, 2012
The failure to reach the sales targets for the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf has led to considerable finger pointing about so-far disappointing attempts to mass market plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). PEVs have increasingly become fodder for politics as every misstep reinforces what opponents call their inevitable failure. (more…)
Monday, April 2nd, 2012
It is not surprising how the electric vehicle growth story mirrors mobile phone growth but about 30 years later. It was in 1973, when Martin Cooper, a Motorola researcher made the first analog phone call using a heavy prototype device. Then came the first generation of mobile cell sites, with ability to transfer calls from one site to next in 1979. (more…)
Monday, April 2nd, 2012
Cities are facing many problems, including the lack of parking spaces and air pollution. Regular electric vehicles would solve the air pollution issue, but not the parking one.
This is probably why the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) worked on a folding electric car codenamed CityCar. The result is Hiriko (“urban” in Basque language), a folding electric car (more…)
Friday, March 23rd, 2012
Chicagoans now can benefit from the environmental friendliness of electric vehicles without buying one. This is because Zipcar, a leading car sharing network, has launched its first “large-scale electric vehicle (EV) pilot program” in the city.
Since yesterday (March 22nd), five Chevrolet Volts (more…)
Monday, March 19th, 2012
Tesla Motors may be a front runner in the electric vehicles (EV) industry compared to its competition, but the company faces substantial challenges as it works to reinvent the 100-year old auto industry and win the trust of millions of consumers.
Not uncommon to the automotive industry, Tesla is (more…)
Wednesday, March 14th, 2012
The car company is dead, long live the car company!
No, I’m not trying to pour cold water on the notion of the “rebirth” of Detroit, as effectively marketed by Chrysler and Clint Eastwood in the recent Super Bowl ad. Chrysler, Ford and GM have all done impressive phoenix impersonations, arising from the ashes of the (more…)
Tuesday, March 13th, 2012
There are at least two kinds of “EV deniers” (as I call them), i.e., people who doubt that electric vehicles represent an improvement for the environment over gasoline. The first concept is that for the foreseeable future, an increase in the electric load means burning more coal. I.e., coal plants that would otherwise have been tamped down during off peak (more…)
Monday, March 12th, 2012
Mitsubishi Motors has developed a reputation for developing sport inspired vehicles that outperform more expensive sports cars yet are reasonably affordable (See the Lancer Evolution). When it comes to electric vehicles, Mitsubishi has not been generally considered part of that world. However, this has recently changed as Mitsubishi ls now taking (more…)
Thursday, March 8th, 2012
The migration to electric transportation is going through a period that some of us anticipated: a bit of nervousness brought on by the fact that the value proposition for the consumer is simply not there yet. EV start-ups are having a hard time getting there, which has given the established auto industry a great deal of time to breathe, take its time, hedge its bets, and, perhaps (more…)