Although, arguably, the second Cars was sub-par, it’s nice to see how Skywalker Sound designed the sounds for the vrooming, racing Maters, Lightnings, and British spy cars in the movie. → Read More
If the road is smooth enough, you can hear birds chirping while you’re going 35 mph. With the windows up. The Nissan Leaf is that quiet. When going less than 30 mph there’s just a slight electric whine from the powertrain and above 45 mph the wheels produces a steady hum. But there’s this special spot between 30 and 45 where the two combine in a way that they cancel each other… → Read More
In the run-up to the releases of the Volt and the Leaf, there was some talk making the rounds that the designers were having some trouble deciding what noise these new cars should make. After all, they’re naturally almost silent, and this presents a serious risk not just to unwary pedestrians but to also to blind people, wildlife, and of course other cars.
The question is whether you make EVs… → Read More
Things are looking up all over. Sirius just reported that they had a great quarter thanks to new car sales. They are up 118% new subscribers from Q1 2010 and hit 20 million subscribers, up 2 million from the same period last year.
Subscriber growth accelerates. Strong auto sales drove net subscriber additions in the first quarter of 2011 to 373,064, up 118% from 171,441 in the first quarter of… → Read More
http://player.ooyala.com/player.swf?embedCode=U2OG9kMjoPuxSXWmn8G3D11Z9vGSHPFG&version=2 Unlike other automakers, Tesla is headquartered in the hills of Palo Alto next to beautiful rolling hills with lush green scenery and horse crossing signs. As you can imagine, a place like this would have some of the best driving roads in the country. We were slightly disappointed that the man behind it… → Read More
Created for “a series of special demonstration appearances,” this Leaf Nismo RC is a racing-based rethinking of the Leaf design and powertrain. They’ve shaved off about 40% of the weight, bringing it down to just over 2000 lbs, lowered it to have only 2.4″ of clearance, and of course switched it over to rear wheel drive.
The performance is… well, we can’t expect too much, since it’s more or… → Read More
http://player.ooyala.com/player.swf?embedCode=V2Zm1kMjpmx6e4KJQE_-FPG_ZRWwqraE&version=2 The Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf are enjoying lots of free publicity right now. Each of their unique approaches to cleaner mobility has drawn a lot of hype. What about the car that started it all? What’s the next step for the Toyota Prius? → Read More
Although I’m excited about the Leaf and EVs in general, the launch hasn’t exactly been smooth. There have been shortages, range issues, and now some sort of bug with the AC unit that’s causing some cars to not start at all. It’s unclear how widespread the problem is, or what Nissan intends to do, but the consensus seems to be “if your Leaf gives you a weird error on… → Read More
Audi has just announced details of another EV to be produced under their e-tron moniker in the form of the A3. The A3 e-tron is a battery electric vehicle, similar to the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Roadster. The Audi has a front mounted electric motor powered by two lithium-ion batteries, one in the middle and one in the rear, with 26.5 kWh of total energy. Total output of the A3 e-tron is just over… → Read More
The battle for the in-dash system is just starting to heat up, as we leave the era of half-hearted in-house interfaces and enter a period where your car will be as powerful and accessible as your smartphone. Ford’s been leading this charge with Sync, and Tesla has a new approach as well, and now Microsoft and Toyota are putting their heads together to make a new platform, and like everything else… → Read More
The awards just seem to keep stacking up for the Chevrolet Volt. Yesterday, the Volt was awarded a Gold Medal at the Edison Awards for innovative engineering that resulted in the world’s first extended range electric vehicle.
Also, on the same night, OnStar’s mobile app won a silver medal for Best New Product in Transportation. The OnStar mobile app allows for drivers to view vehicle data, unlock… → Read More
Road and Track is a great car magazine, but they forgot an important fact about April Fools’ Day: the date. Yesterday, March 30th, they outed some pictures of the Volt sans roof. Their post even discussed some new tech for the unsightly little thing, despite its lack of a regular size gas tank. “We’re extremely excited about the new GM-patented photovoltaic film that covers two-thirds of… → Read More
Hyundai plans to reveal their rather fetching Blue2 (pronounced “Blue square”) hydrogen fuel cell concept later this week at the Seoul Motor Show. We haven’t been seeing many hydrogen-powered cars lately — most of the ongoing eco-craze involves electric cars. Nonetheless, hydrogen-powered cars are considered to be the industry’s endgame, and the “liberator” for polluting vehicles. Exciting stuff. → Read More
Back in August of ’10 (them were the days) we posted about how an Israeli company called Better Place was testing out a system for switching out batteries in Japanese electric taxis. They drive in, get their new battery, and drive out. A good idea for fleet vehicles, we said at the time, but it would take some refinement before coming to regular cars.
Well, Better Place is taking that step now… → Read More
I think we can all agree that while bass is an important part of most music, there is a limit past which it is pointless to amplify that part of the sound spectrum. This video is about going so far beyond that point that the sound starts being measured in gut punches rather than decibels. That poor phonebook never had a chance. → Read More
Considering that only 1,500 Tesla Roadsters are out on the roads, it’s amazing they’ve been able to clock up 10 million miles since 2008. Even more impressive is that the Roadsters have collectively saved 500,000 gallons of fuel and over 5.3 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, while maintaining supercar performance. → Read More
When Elon Musk first came to Silicon Valley he was researching advanced, highly-energy-dense super-capacitors at Stanford. Coincidentally, when speaking at the Cleantech Forum in San Francisco about the future of electric vehicles Musk said, “If I were to make a prediction, I’d think there’s a good chance that it is not batteries, but super-capacitors.” → Read More
Last month we mentioned how DARPA and Local Motors were trying out a crowdsourcing model for producing a concept combat vehicle. Well, the entries have been vetted and voted on, and they’ve put them into a nice gallery for you. They’re pretty awesome — kind of like the stuff I used to draw in school, but… you know, better. Here are the top 3 (more at Local Motors): → Read More
Porsche has decided to begin taking orders for their highly-received 918 Spyder Plug-in Hybrid. Dealers have been given the go-ahead to begin taking orders for the limited (918 units) $845,000 car. The 918 Spyder is powered by a 500-plus horsepower V8 gas engine which gets assistance from two electric motors producing an addition 218 horsepower. 0-60 times are estimated to be near 3 seconds. → Read More
http://player.ooyala.com/player.swf?embedCode=R5ZXViMjovM8DXbzpFe9Z-xT1uh7q4eG&version=2 Whenever a new car comes out, it’s always exciting to see new tech antiquating the old, a breath of fresh air, if you will. The 2012 Acura TL has been refreshed for the model year, with a host of upgrades and further refinements. Unfortunately, few of them were tech. → Read More
In order to squeeze out that last mile from a gallon of gas, Ford has come up with the SmartGauge with EcoGuide. It’s essentially a visual meter that lets drivers know when their foot is overly plumbum, coaching them to back off and slow acceleration. Ford was recently granted the two patents that makes their gauge unique from others. → Read More
We drove the 2011 Infiniti M37S a few months back; we liked the car for the most part, but couldn’t seem to get over how much gas it sucked down — even for the V6 we tested. Now, Infiniti has put a hybrid system into the M sedan, improving both power and fuel economy over the V6 in a move Infiniti considers “A challenged notion of what a hybrid should be.”
Press release after the break. → Read More
The Model S, is the most hyped electric car due to come out soon. Everyone is waiting to see what the Model S will feature and whether or not it’ll be worth the wait. Today, at the Cleantech Forum in San Francisco, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that the Model S will support third-party apps and text-to-speech, pretty much confirming many rumors. → Read More
Poor Kelangst: he or she is the first person ever in the whole world to announce that they’ve depleted their Nissan Leaf’s batteries, a problem bolstered by the fact that some range calculations for the Leaf are inaccurate until you’ve driven the car a few hundred miles. The post, in which Kelangst writes “Part of me is amused that I may go down in history as the first dumbass to drive the car… → Read More
Scion owners not only get the chance to fully customize their new cars, but also share in the experience online in a new Scion community website. In addition to the website, there is also a mobile app for iPhone (Android soon) that syncs data from the mobile app into the community. The community is a place, similar to other fan pages, where owners can share experiences and enthusiasm for the… → Read More