Gallery

Google could rule in car industry

This gallery contains 2 photos.

The recent linking of General Motors and Google for a handful of services related to the plug-in Chevy Volt marks an intersection for automakers and Internet giants. The two industries — one little changed for  decades and marked by steel and manufacturing, … Continue reading

Hydrogen Fuel Project in Hawaii

Hawaii’s race to adopt green-energy automobiles picked up speed yesterday with the announcement of a collaboration between The Gas Co. and General Motors Corp. for vehicles powered by hydrogen.

The companies agreed to work in concert, with The Gas Co. pledging to provide the fueling network for the cars, and GM saying it may send dozens of its hydrogen fuel-cell cars here.

“We’re not doing this to show what the technology can do,” said Charlie Freese, executive director of GM’s global fuel cell activities. GM hopes to start commercial production of hydrogen fuel cell cars in the next five years.

“We want to make it part of growth. We want it to be a beginning.”

The partnership was the latest in a series of Hawaii announcements this year related to the ramping up of vehicles using renewable sources of power.

Hawaii is becoming one of the leaders nationally in alternative fuel vehicles, with Nissan announcing that its much-anticipated electric car, the Leaf, will be sold here starting early next year and South Korean automaker CT&T saying it wants to build a $200 million electric-car assembly plant here.

Hawaii, as the most oil-dependent state in the nation, has announced an ambitious plan to wean itself off of petroleum-based energy, including electrical generation and transportation needs. About one-third of the petroleum consumed here goes to ground transportation, according to the state.

The Gas Co.-GM announcement marks the first significant hydrogen-fuel effort aimed at consumers in the state. GM said Hawaii presents an unusual situation for its hydrogen cars because a network of fueling stations can easily be developed.

There has been a chicken-and-egg dilemma to the advent of hydrogen-powered vehicles, because unlike electric cars that can be plugged in, a network of service stations where people can gas up with hydrogen is needed.

Drivers won’t buy the cars without the fueling stations available and fueling stations won’t be built without the cars being sold.

“The goal here is to provide an attractive place for hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles and other fuel cell technology,” said Jeffrey Kissel, Gas Co. president and chief executive officer.

GM is seeing the collaboration with The Gas Co. as the start of a hydrogen fueling infrastructure that could support tens of thousands of fuel cell vehicles eventually.

For more info click here

New Platinum Could be Cheaper for More Efficient Fuel Cells

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and the University of Houston are talking about a new form of platinum that might be helpful in making cheaper, more efficient fuel cells. This work has been published in the April 25th issue of Nature Chemistry.

The team is trying to modify the platinum’s reactivity. This step will enable the researchers to cut back the quantity of platinum required by 80 percent. They are also quite positive about minimizing the quantity by another 10 percent. This will reduce the overall cost of the fuel cells. Nilsson says, “I think with a factor of ten, we’ll have a home run.”

Fuel cells work much like batteries. An anode gives out electrons and a cathode collects those electrons thus forming a circuit. So what is the difference between a fuel cell and a battery? Fuel cells use hydrogen and oxygen to complete their energy-producing reactions. The by-product is water and heat.

What metal is chosen for cathode is extremely important. Because some of the metals can’t break the oxygen molecule into atoms. And some bind strongly with oxygen so the important reactions don’t take place. Scientists are trying to attain a balance so that the number of oxygen bonds broken is maximized and the oxygen atoms attach feebly to the catalyst. Platinum helps the scientist in attaining that balance. It breaks the oxygen bonds but does not fasten to the free oxygen atoms too powerfully.

the new toy of the day: Electric Air Vehicle

 It’s an airplane concept conjured up by the mind of aerospace engineer Mark Moore. The unusual looking, vertical take-off and landing tailsitter is only an idea, but you’d never know that from the attention the Puffin has gotten on the Internet.

Moore came up with the design for the electric powered, 12-foot (3.7 m) long, 14.5-foot (4.4 m) wingspan personal air vehicle as part of the coursework for his doctoral degree. Then Langley’s creativity and innovation and revolutionary technical challenges funds paid for much of the research. How the Puffin rocketed from esoteric erudition to web sensation is a classic case study in the power of the viral nature of the web.

First it appeared on the Scientific American website from the original interview on electric aircraft propulsion. There Moore was quoted as saying the team named the design the Puffin because, “If you’ve ever seen a puffin on the ground, it looks very awkward, with wings too small to fly, and that’s exactly what our vehicle looks like,” Moore says. “But it’s also apparently called the most environmentally friendly bird, because it hides its poop. So the vehicle is environmentally friendly because it essentially has no emissions. Also, puffins tend to live in solitude, only ever coming together on land to mate, and ours is a one-person vehicle.”

The pictures and video of the Puffin helped attract media attention too. It’s not everyday that you see a design that’s part plane, part helicopter that stands upright on the ground. Its tail splits into four “legs” that serve as landing gear. It lifts off like a helicopter, hovers and then leans forward to fly horizontally with the pilot lying down like in a hang-glider.

Puffin would be a hybrid of helicopter and small aircraft. Like a helicopter it would stand upright on the ground. Its tail consists of 4 legs that act as landing gear. It lifts off like a helicopter. When it hovers and leans forward to fly horizontally it gives the appearance of a hang-glider. Next step of the NIA will be to fly a remote control one-third size model. This experiment will enable them to validate theorems made in academic studies, with the particular emphasis on exploring the transition from hover to forward flight.

I think this is amazing for all people who lives in big big cities!

                                                                   

for more info click here

BMW Megacity

By 2015, BMW will build an all electric city car with two engines available, one will be a very efficient internal combustion engine and the other will be a purely electric model.

The two-powertrain vehicle will be electric powered and it will represent the ideal solution for congested city motoring.

The felows at Autocar UK are following the steps of other publications that hurried to come up with computer generated images of the BMW’s electric car. The first ones to adventure into this CGI game, were the folks at Autobild, who came up with this interesting concept.

BMW’s first all-electric regular series production vehicle, the Megacity EV, has now been set in stone and inserted into the company’s roadmap for a commercial launch in 2012 or 2013. The Bavarian automaker has gone official with word that it plans to use its Leipzig assembly plant to produce the car and further notes that it’ll feature a similar setup to the ActiveE concept (pictured above), which is set for field testing in 2011. Essentially a 1 series that feeds off the electric grid rather than the nearest diesel pump, the ActiveE runs off an array of lithium-ion batteries á la the well liked but recently troubled Tesla Roadster, and will serve as a test mule for refining the underlying technology. Generating up to 170bhp might not sound all that impressive, but it should be more than sufficient for the urban commuters these vehicles will be aimed at. Now we just need Mercedes and Audi to match that release schedule and the electric car should finally have its day in the mainstream sun.

Nissan Leaf 2010

Designed as a four-to-five seat, front-drive C-segment hatchback, Nissan says the Leaf is not just for use as a specialty urban runabout, but rather, it was designed as an everyday vehicle – a “real car” whose 160-kilometer+ (100 mile) range meets the needs of 70% of the world’s motorists. In the case of U.S. consumers, Nissan says that fully 80% of drivers travel less than 100km per day (62 miles), making the Leaf a solid fit for America’s motoring majority, even taking into account power-sapping external factors like hilly terrain, accessory draw, and extreme temperatures.

The interior is at once handsome and spacious, with what appears to be plenty of room both front and rear for real-sized adults, and the cargo area is very deep, as it is unencumbered by a gas tank assembly (the batteries are mounted beneath the seats within the wheelbase). The center stack is production and looks slick, but its smooth finish flush buttons may also be hard to operate by feel on the move. The digital instrument cluster display and the drive controller (we can’t really call it a gearshift in an EV now, can we?) are also production pieces, and they look well finished and inviting, as does the interior as a whole.

Powered by a unique array of thin, laminated lithium ion cells capable of delivering over 90 kW of power, the Leaf’s front-mounted electric motor delivers 80 kW (107 horsepower) and a healthy 280 Nm of torque (208 pound-feet), and it promises brisk and silent off-the-line power, with acceleration from a stop comparable to that of the company’s Infiniti G35. And as Nakamura-san noted, the Leaf has a top speed of over 140 km/h (87 mph).

Perhaps more important than the Leaf’s top speed are its battery’s charging characteristics. In this regard, the car’s under-floor mounted assembly of 48 lithium ion modules (each laptop-sized module is comprised of four magazine-sized cells) offers a number of charging strategies. To yield a full charge, a 200-volt, single-phase AC charger takes less than eight hours, and topping off the battery from a 100 volt single-phase standard home wall outlet will take somewhere around twice that time, so prospective Leafmakers would do well to get 220 volt hookup like their clothes dryer uses out in their garage.

While Nissan promises to deliver the Leaf to its first American customers in late 2010, it isn’t immediately clear where it will be made available, to whom, and how. By that we mean the zero-emissions vehicle will likely be marketed in select stateside cities that have already committed to building some of the necessary infrastructure to support electric vehicles, and the Leaf likely won’t be available for purchase, it will probably be a lease-only proposition – at least initially.

In 2010, the Nissan will first be available in CA, OR, WA, AZ, TN, and NC.

Nissan’s leadership will accelerate the manufacturing of fully-functional electric vehicles in volume. Manufacturing volume will drive down cost, making zero-emission vehicles cost competitive with gasoline counterparts. Electric vehicles will likely be less expensive for people to drive with low-cost nighttime charging. It will be easy for people to save on emissions when they are saving money at the same time.

Chevy Volt 2010

Volt is an electric car that can create its own electricity. Plug it in, let it charge overnight, and it’s ready to run on a pure electric charge for up to 40 miles(3) — gas and emissions free. After that, Volt keeps going, even if you can’t plug it in. Volt uses a range-extending gas generator that produces enough energy to power it for hundreds of miles on a single tank of gas.

General Motors believes the Volt will earn an EPA rating of 230 mpg in city driving.  The company hasn’t provided an estimate on the car’s highway mileage, in part because the EPA is developing a new mileage testing procedure specifically for Volt-like vehicles.  GM CEO Fritz Henderson, however, has said the car would carry a combined mileage rating of more than 100 mpg.

The Volt is designed to finish most drives with its batteries holding as little as 30 percent of a full charge. If the Volt is allowed to run the EPA’s circuits that way, designers say, it can complete the tests using its gasoline engine less than 15 percent of the time — and receive an MPG rating in the hundreds.

Owners will plug the Volt into a standard household outlet to recharge its batteries.   It can be plugged into either a standard 120-volt wall outlet, or into a 240-volt outlet like those used to power large appliances.  Plugged into a standard 120-volt outlet, the Volt will recharge fully in about eight hours.  Plugging the Volt into a 240-volt outlet cuts charging time to less than three hours.

The batteries can also be charged by the gasoline engine onboard the Volt, which will kick in when the battery charge is below 30 percent. As in other hybrids, regenerative braking will help to capture brake energy to recharge batteries as well.

The Volt’s gasoline engine is a 1.4-liter four-cylinder model. It can use gasoline or E85 as fuel.  This engine, however, doesn’t power the wheels of the car. It acts as a generator to recharge the batteries while the car is in motion.

That gasoline engine is connected to a fuel tank that holds only six gallons of gas — but, working with the car’s batteries, that should be sufficient to give it a 400 mile range between fill-ups.

Price Range: Pricing for the 2010 Chevrolet Volt has not been finalized. The most recent estimate places the price at $40,000, with a $7,500 federal tax rebate available after that price.

For more info click here

Top electric cars

If you look under the hood of an electric car, you’ll see some major differences from what you could expect to see under the hood of a gasoline-powered car.

This is a list of some Top Electric Cars 2010.

1
Electricity That Takes You Further. Learn More Here.
2
Nissan Leaf – Official Site
100% Electric Zero Emissions Vehicle. Learn More at Nissan.
3
Honda Insight Hybrid
On KBB.com’s Top 10 Green Cars list for 2009. Official Honda Site.

What Is An Electric Car?

An electric car is, quite simply, an automobile that is powered by electricity. These cars usually look just like their gasoline-guzzling counterparts, at least on the outside. This is especially true of gasoline-powered cars that are converted into electric cars. However, there is one thing that may serve to make identifying an electric car easier, even before taking a look under the hood. Sound can help in identification, as electric cars are practically silent.

If you look under the hood of an electric car, you’ll see some major differences from what you could expect to see under the hood of a gasoline-powered car. An electric car has an electric motor and a controller for powering the motor. Rechargeable batteries are used to provide power to the controller. In comparison to traditional cars, electric cars have more wires. Gas-powered cars, on the other hand, have an abundance of hoses, pipes, and fuel lines.

Many people think the electric car is a new invention. This is a misconception, as they’ve been around for many years. In fact, electric cars were among the first automobiles and dominated the market at one point in time. In the early years of the twentieth century, electric cars held records for both speed and distance over land.

The electric car is gaining in popularity once more as people search for ways to cut transportation costs and reduce pollution. However, electric cars tend to be pricey in comparison to traditional gas-powered vehicles. Many predict that costs will eventually decrease in response to higher production volumes and improvements in the manufacturing process.

Another factor is convenience. In one trip to the gas station, you can pump 330 kilowatt-hours of energy into a 10-gallon tank. It would take about 9 days to get the same amount of energy from household electric current. Fortunately, it takes hours and not days to recharge an electric car, because it’s much more efficient. Speaking of convenience, let’s not forget two important points: charging up at home means never going to a gas station—and electric cars require almost none of the maintenance, like oil changes and emissions checks, that internal combustion cars require.

If you’re interested in purchasing an electric car, you might choose to buy one that has been converted from a gas-powered vehicle. There are companies that specialize in converting cars, as well as businesses that sell electric car conversion kits. However, an individual should do research before buying such a kit to ensure that the converted vehicle meets federal crash safety standards.

If you want to find & Compare Top electric cars of the year click here

AT&T will buy Connect Electric vans

AT&T announced about a year ago that it would spend up to $565 million to introduce 15,000 alternative fuel vehicles to the company’s fleet over the next decade, starting with CNG vehicles. AT&T’s first electric vehicle, a Smith Electric Vehicles Newton, joined the fleet last November. For the run-down on the Transit Connect Electric, including our first drive report,

he Transit Connect Electric will operate like any other Transit Connect, except that running costs should be far lower than versions that burn CNG or gasoline (or, in Europe, diesel fuel). Turning the key, as in a standard vehicle, brings up the dashboard lights and turns the van on. At this point, the range and battery state of charge gauge come to life. While the Transit Connect Electric has an official range of 80 miles (depending on drive cycle), when we sat down in the driver’s seat, we had just under 50 miles on the range gauge and just over half of the battery left in the state-of-charge indicator. This seemed a bit high to us, and reminds us that companies that opt to add some of these vans to their fleets shouldn’t rely on these indicators until they’ve had some experience with just how quickly the last 20 miles might drop away. We’re not saying drivers will get stranded, just that we’re heard an ounce of prevention makes a lot of sense.

The Transit Connect is small, but there’s a lot of practical room in back. Furniture stores probably won’t want to invest in a fleet of these, but we can see telephone repair crews and food delivery companies seriously considering them. Scott Staley, chief engineer of HEV/FCV technology development for Ford and the leader of the technical team from the Ford side, rode with us and said the whole reason the Transit Connect Electric exists today is because customers came to Ford and expressed an interest in an electric delivery van. Fleet operators like the post office and AT&T are the most interested in the electric van, he said. For companies looking for something a bit larger, Azure does offer Ford’s E-450 chassis vans and shuttle buses upfitted with the Balance hybrid electric drive system. 

Driving the city-sized Transit Connect Electric, though, proves just how well all of the bits fit together well and it feels like you’d want a production EV to feel. This isn’t a highway-ready long haul vehicle, but for scooting around corners and fitting in with traffic, the Transit Connect Electric performs as expected. The 0-60 is about the same as the gas version, for example, and the electric version has the same 39 foot curb-to-curb turning radius.

for more info click here