Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn always looks like he’s smirking, but with Infiniti delaying a second critical product in a week’s time, we’re sure he’s frowning hard. On Wednesday, Nissan executive vice president Andy Palmer told The Wall Street Journal that the company would “push back the timing” of its Infiniti LE, a luxury electric car based on the Nissan Leaf that was scheduled to go on sale by next spring. A week earlier, Infiniti delayed the launch of its new 2014 Q50 by another month to make engineering tweaks. The LE, first shown at the 2012 New York auto show, may need much more time, although Palmer didn’t specify a ballpark date.“Certain technologies that we see now, which we didn’t see two years ago, are going to be available in a time frame that was relatively close to where we were going to introduce the Infiniti,” Palmer told the Journal. Our attempts to reach Nissan went unanswered.An outspoken advocate for … [Read more...] about Nissan Delays Infiniti’s Electric Car to Add New Features
Ion electric car
Japan appears to get extremely serious about all-electric cars. What stands in the way of their success? Apart from the price (we’ll get to that later:) It’s the infrastructure, stupid. Fabricating, fuelling, and fixing an ICE-powered car is supported by an infrastructure that had more than 100 years to grow. Keeping a plug-in running needs an infrastructure to guarantee mobility away from the charger at home. Japan’s Environment Ministry teams up with Nissan, Sumitomo, and other companies to build the infrastructure for electric vehicles, reports The Nikkei [sub].Apart from the most obvious – building charging stations – there are some solutions to questions that haven’t been addressed so far. Don’t worry (or do) those questions will surely come up. For instance, what happens if you are on the road and run out of juice? With an ICE, you can trek to the next gas station, and come back with a gallon or two. With a plug-in? Currently, you need a … [Read more...] about Japan Tackles Electric Car Infrastructure Predicaments. Manufacturers Lower Prices
The first time Top Gear “tested” an electric car, it depicted Tesla’s Roadster running out of electricity and being pushed from the track. Tesla immediately pointed out that the batteries “never fell below 20%” during the test, a charge the British motoring show addressed by claiming that its review offers a fair representation of the Tesla’s performance on the day it was tested.Tesla responded again, and then three years later (as the Roadster was headed out of production) the EV maker sued the BBC and Top Gear producers. An online war of words erupted, with Tesla coming away looking rather foolish. And guess what? Now it’s all happening all over again… and this time, the most EV-committed global automaker, Nissan, has taken the Top Gear bait.In the video above (if it hasn’t yet been pulled), Jeremy Clarkson and James May drive a Nissan Leaf and a Peugeot Ion (a rebadged Mitsubishi iMiEV) and run out of electricity. Comic antics … [Read more...] about Do Electric Car Companies Have A Sense Of Humor?
An animal rights group, NYClass (New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Streets), used the New York Auto Show to introduce the brass-era style electric vehicle that they and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio want to replace the 68 horse drawn carriages that 300 carriage drivers use to carry tourists and others around Central Park. I’m not going to wade into the animal rights debate about the horses, and I actually think that the mayor’s idea to use vintage looking electric cars makes some sense. The Luddites who decry modern technology have no idea just how filthy cities were when we relied on animal, not machine, power (and how much arable land was used farming to feed all those draft animals). However much sense it makes to use EVs as tourist vehicles, the vehicle that is being promoted – the Creative Workshop’s ‘eCarriage’ – just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. If you were going to make an electric vehicle to carry people around the … [Read more...] about Do 7,500 Lb. Faux Vintage Electric “Cars” for Central Park Make Sense?
Is there something in your garage, perhaps charging up right now, that has a shockingly high chance of unexpectedly erupting in a fireball?We’re really not taking aim at electric cars or plug-in hybrids, and we’ll explain why shortly. We’re talking about hoverboards. For those whose minds still go to anything as cool as the “real” hoverboard from Back to the Future II—or the gloriously impossible, liquid-nitrogen-cooled surprise from Lexus last year—we salute you. It still pains us to see that tweens and Martha Stewart and made-in-China consumerism have bogarted the term, subbing in a cheap, ubiquitous, and critically flawed Segway-without-handles mobility device. One that is, it turns out, pretty dangerous.Earlier this week, after trying for months to reel in this Wild West of a market with mere threats of seizure and detention, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced the recall of more than a half a million of what … [Read more...] about Why the Current Hoverboard Battery Scare Doesn’t Apply to Electric Cars
Nissan is working hard to develop the next generation of smaller, lighter auto batteries, the Associated Press reported, citing CEO Carlos Ghosn. Nissan is among the automakers that are racing to develop lithium ion batteries, which are common in laptops and cell phones but have yet to be fully adapted to the more rigorous demands of a car engine, the story said. "We continue on the lithium ion battery. We think for us it's a competitive advantage," he told reporters during a press conference in Bangkok. "We have a lot of technology is this area, and we think this is going to be very helpful, not only for hybrids but also for electric cars." Ghosn believes that Nissan's investment in green technologies will help it narrow the gap or even put it ahead of competitors down the road, the story noted. … [Read more...] about Nissan Working on Smaller Batteries for Electric Cars and Hybrids
Is 80 miles of driving range enough for an electric car in 2017? Honda seems to think so with its upcoming Clarity Electric, the battery-powered version of its green Honda Clarity lineup, which also consists of a plug-in hybrid and a fuel-cell model. But for its EV, Honda is going against the current thinking in which more range is almost universally seen as better.Although there may be a very small group of EV enthusiasts who’d rather not haul around more batteries than they need, Honda is bound to encounter some pushback with this approach. Five years ago, several automakers launched EVs that delivered about the same amount of range. This was posited as sufficient for a driver who plugs in every night, given that the average U.S. daily driving commute is approximately 30 miles. But the automakers found themselves on the defensive against what was termed range anxiety—the worry that drivers experience over possibly running out of charge before getting to their … [Read more...] about Waiting for Clarity: Is an 80-Mile Range Enough for Honda’s Electric Car?
Audi’s first production electric car will be a crossover to fight the Tesla Model X, the German luxury carmaker said Wednesday.Concept drawings and initial specifications released by Audi detailed their crossover that is powered by three electric motors — borrowed from its R8 e-tron concept car — with a proposed range of over 300 miles. According to Audi, the crossover, which is called the “e-tron quattro concept,” would slot between the company’s 182.6-inch Q5 and 200.3-inch Q7. Tesla’s Model X is 197 inches long.The crossover’s lithium-ion battery would give the car a range more than 300 miles.The crossover will make its first appearance at the Frankfurt Auto Show next month.According to Audi, the SUV would be incredibly slippery. Its 0.25 coefficient of drag would be the same as a Toyota Prius. The car would use moveable aerodynamic elements in front, on its sides and at the rear of the car. In addition to moveable aero, … [Read more...] about Audi’s First All-electric Car Will Be a Model X Fighter
Ford Motor Company recently announced that it will be investing more than $4.5 billion over the next five years into its electric vehicle program and that it will have 13 electric vehicles on sale by 2020. The announcement follows the Ford company’s original investment in EV technology and the first Ford electric cars by 102 years.Hopefully, the current spending will yield more fruitful results than did Henry Ford’s original look into EVs more than a century ago.Henry Ford and Thomas Edison became good friends later in life, but before Ford became famous as an automaker, he was an employee of Edison’s. When Ford made his first automobile, the Quadricycle, in 1896, he was then employed as chief operating engineer of Detroit’s Edison Illuminating Company. That same year Ford attended a company banquet in New York City honoring Edison, where it was documented that the two men discussed Ford’s experiments with gasoline powered transportation, … [Read more...] about Ford Motor Co. Invests $4.5B in EVs, a Century After Henry Ford Gave Up On Electric Cars
It sounds like a car guy’s fantasy, using beer to power a car.And it still is fantasy, unfortunately.However, a couple of researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder have filed for a patent on a method to use the byproduct of the brewing process to create anodes for lithium-ion batteries, the power source for most electric cars.Currently, no pun intended, the very pure graphite that is used to make lithium-ion batteries is mined, primarily in China, and then doped with other elements like cobalt and magnesium as it is processed into anodes. Engineers Justin Whiteley and Tyler Huggins say their method is more environmentally friendly than mining, more sustainable, and — of greatest importance in commercializing the process — cheaper than extracting it from the earth.Besides cleaning up the battery building process, the method also promises to make brewing beer more environmentally friendly. It takes about seven barrels of water to make one barrel of beer. … [Read more...] about Could Beer Power Your Electric Car?