In December last year, we reported that a spin-off startup at Keio University in Tokyo has teamed up with a total of 34 Japanese companies and municipalities to develop a new electric car. And now the startup, SIM Drive Corporation, has announced it has spent the last months on working on a new model that reaches a driving range of 333km. → Read More
Today, Mitsubishi announced that it plans to bring the Euro-spec i-MiEV to 15 European countries. As you know, production started last fall, and Mitsubishi is trying to make it out faster than the Volt or Leaf; and with the Leaf’s recent productions problems and Volt’s low December sales, it may not be too hard. → Read More
In April this year, a group of graduate school students at Kyoto University announced the launch of a venture called Green Lord Motors [JP]. As the name suggests, it’s a car company, and yesterday, it took the wraps off its first offering [JP, PDF]: a replica of the popular Tommykaira ZZ as an electric vehicle. → Read More
While I’m sure the guys at Nissan were crossing their fingers, hoping for a 100MPGe rating, the EPA either had other ideas, or didn’t plan for three-digit numbers on their window stickers. Maybe the new ones will change that, but for now the poor Leaf is stuck with a paltry 99MPGe rating. Wait, that’s pretty good. → Read More
The EV wars, they be heating up! Or at least they promise to heat up, a year from now or so. We’ve already got the Leaf coming out, the Volt (though not strictly speaking an EV) on its heels, Honda’s Fit EV coming in 2012, and now Mitsubishi is entering the game in a modest way with the i EV. → Read More
We heard a little while back that Honda was beginning to go public with its new hybrid and EV line for 2012, and sure enough, today at the LA Auto Show they unveiled the concept electric Fit. It doesn’t sound particularly original, and the Leaf and Volt will be beating it to market by a year, but hey, the more the merrier.
Here are some basic stats and facts. → Read More
If you’re just remotely interested in electric cars, you will know of i-MiEV, Mitsubishi’s mini “green” vehicle. The i-MiEV has been around for years in Japan (the US will get it in 2011), and now a local retail chain called AEON is offering two e-bikes [JP, PDF] whose design is supposed to resemble said car. → Read More
One of the biggest hurdles on the road to make electric vehicles attractive for the mass market is the long time it usually takes to charge batteries. But a Japanese company called JFE Engineering now claims it has found a solution for that problem. According to JFE, even so-called “quick battery chargers” often take 30 minutes to charge a car’s battery to 80% of its capacity. → Read More
Japan’s newest electric car isn’t made by one of the nation’s many major automakers, but sometimes it needs a venture to accelerate potentially positive developments in rather conservative industries. Boutique automaker Mitsuoka Motor has now begun accepting orders [JP, PDF] for “Like” [JP], a 5-seat electric car that’s based on Mitsubishi Motors’s i-MiEV (the Like was unveiled earlier this year). → Read More
It looks much like a rickshaw, but the so-called Meguru [JP] is more of an electric car than a human-powered cart. Jointly developed by Osaka-based Yodogawa and Kinki Knives Industries, the Meguru is powered by a lithium-ion battery that, once fully charged, offers a travel distance of 25 miles. The vehicle, which is actually registered as a car, reaches a top speed of 25mph. → Read More
One of the biggest obstacles that prevents electric cars and other vehicles from becoming mainstream is the insufficient battery life. In most cases, potential buyers of those green vehicles are scared off by the fact that there still aren’t enough charging stations out there or that the travel distance (on a single charge) is just too short.
But many companies are working on the battery problem… → Read More
The price of early adoption is well-known. Just talk to all the people about to receive iPads… in six months, when they release the iPad Video. Electric cars have it just as bad. The EV1 was aborted, the Tesla is expensive as hell, and pretty much everything else has such low production numbers that you could call them limited editions.
The electric car continues to be a hot topic in Japan. A slew of influential Japanese companies like Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi (whose i miev is pictured on the left), or Tokyo Electric Power have now started an initiative aimed at creating a global standard, dubbed CHAdeMO, for high-speed battery chargers for electric cars. The consortium will consist of a total of 158 different companies and… → Read More
Japan’s biggest business publication, the Nikkei, is reporting that Panasonic is thinking about using lithium ion batterries used in notebooks to power electric cars. Obviously, the big idea is to bring down the overall costs of these vehicles (and make some money for the company, too). → Read More
http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f8/1243511167 Students at MIT are building an electric car capable of being recharged in about ten minutes. Granted, the kind of power that’s necessary to do that would be enough “to blow the fuses on 20 residential homes at once,” according to project team member and MIT student Radu Gogoana. → Read More
If you’re lucky enough to live in a gated retirement community (The Vill-a-ges, Flor-i-da’s friendliest home town!) or you don’t need to ever break 25MPH on your daily commute, then here’s an electric roadster. Sure, at $13,000 it costs more than most compact sedans, but it’s cute! And red! And eco-friendly, sorta, with its six lead-acid batteries. → Read More
Japan is taking its own “Green Deal” very seriously, it seems. Today, the Japanese government said solar energy and electric cars are the two key areas to focus on on the path to achieving a low-carbon-emission society. Next month, an economic advisory council will present a national growth strategy plan for Japan’s future through to 2020. And green technology is the main pillar. → Read More
<img src="http://www.crunchgear.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/whitezombie2.jpg"?Everyone knows that the Tesla Roadster is a quick car and can beat most Porsche’s down the quarter mile. That $100k+ ride doesn’t have anything on this Datsun powered by lightweight lithium ion batteries dubbed White Zombie. This little guy can scoot down the strip in under 11.5 seconds at a speed of… → Read More
The Tesla Roadster is a must-have vehicle for any Californian-based venture capitalist or Silicon Valley suit. The Top Gear crew took the electric roadster and ran it through the paces. I don’t think the results are surprising. It’s quick, not a track car, and kind of a pain in the boot. Clarkston explains it best, but it doesn’t seem that this car is exactly meant for… → Read More
Andrew Grove, former Intel Corp chairman, is pushing the world’s biggest maker of microprocessors to diversify business by becoming a manufacturer of advanced batteries for plug-in electric cars. This emerging industry is attracting Chinese and Japanese companies like BYD Motors, Panasonic, and Sanyo. According to an Intel spokesman, Intel already has investments in battery-related… → Read More