Sabtu, 31 Agustus 2013

CNBC's Jim Cramer explains Tesla stock surge [VIDEO]

Jim Cramer of CNBC gives ten reasons why he thinks Tesla Motors' stock has nearly quintupled since the beginning of the year, posting a gain of around 396 percent in less than eight months.

Jumat, 30 Agustus 2013

Peugeot to unveil 208 HYbrid FE concept at Frankfurt

At the Frankfurt Motor Show, PEUGEOT and Total will unveil their technological concept, the 208 HYbrid FE, a full petrol hybrid with exceptional characteristics and without a Plug-in energy source.

The Research and Development teams the two partners rose brilliantly to the challenge proposed by establishing a remarkable level of performance, based on a production PEUGEOT 208 hatchback: 0 to 100km/h / 0 to 62mph in 8.0 seconds and CO2 of just 49g/km over the official NEDC European Drive Cycle (Combined Cycle figure). Numerous innovations are implemented in several areas:

  • Aerodynamic properties: improvements of 25% for the CdA,
  • Weight: reduction of 20%,
  • Powertrain: 10% improvement in fuel economy,
  • Hybridisation: recovery of 25% of the energy over one drive cycle.

    The 208 HYbrid FE project combines ideas which until now acted against each other - Fuel Economy and Fun&Efficient, reason and driving pleasure - giving a preview of the vehicles of tomorrow.

    "The 208 HYbrid FE project is essential as it explores solutions for reaching the bar of 2l/100km. It also showcases our R&D work with our historic partner Total. Together, we are developing more economical vehicles, we are winning victories all over the world. Together, we are making good progress." Maxime Picat, Director General, Automobiles Peugeot

    "With the 208 HYbrid FE, PEUGEOT and Total are combining their expertise to offer the technical solutions of tomorrow. Energy efficiency is a strategic aspect for our Group as it is at the heart of the expectations of our customers, who wish to enjoy the benefits of efficiency and yet retain driving pleasure. It is also a response to contemporary environmental challenges and the means of preserving fossil fuels, which are precious resources." Philippe Boisseau, member of the Executive Committee, President of Marketing & Services and New Energies department at Total

    Since 1995, PEUGEOT and Total have been working extensively together to significantly increase fuel economy, improve CO2 emissions and the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) of motor vehicles. For PEUGEOT, this is a long-standing environmental policy. With this commitment, in 2013 the Marque is reducing still further the weighted average emissions of CO2 of its European ranges: by the end of May it was 116.3g/km, compared to 121.5g/km in 2012.

    Total's researchers are continually working on developing future motor vehicle fuels and lubricants.

    The Group provides PEUGEOT and its networks worldwide with FE (Fuel Economy) lubricants: by reducing friction in the combustion engine, these lubricants have contributed to a 5% reduction in CO2 emissions in the last ten years with PEUGEOT engines. The Total Excellium top-of-the-range fuels also contribute to improving fuel economy.

    The objective of the 208 HYbrid FE is to combine real driving pleasure with low CO2 emissions. More precisely, the intention is to halve the CO2 emissions of the PEUGEOT 208, equipped with the 1.0- litre VTi 68 and to provide it with acceleration comparable to a performance hatchback, so quite a challenge!

    The challenge is made all the greater for the teams of the 208 HYbrid FE project as the production PEUGEOT 208 is already renowned for its weight-saving design and its latest-generation engines that allow it to offer a high-level driving experience.

    To rise to this challenge, Total and PEUGEOT therefore combined their capacity for innovation in all areas capitalising on the virtuous circle initiated by the hatchback.

    "The goal of 49g and acceleration from rest in 8.0 seconds is as difficult to achieve as victory on the other side of the world. The small team consisting of the best experts in each of the areas brought all of its creativity and enthusiasm into play, and we did it!" Bruno Famin, Director, PEUGEOT Sport

    The 208 HYbrid FE, all part of the Marque's hybrid strategy
    The policy goal in terms of CO2 is ambitious. It involves achieving 95g/km on weighted average of the new vehicles sold in Europe in 2020. To rise to this challenge without sacrificing driving pleasure, PEUGEOT is investing in several technologies which are already present on its vehicles and achieving substantial progress: continuous improvement of the efficiency of the internal combustion engines, down-sizing strategy, widespread use of the Stop & Start, electric drive ...

    The HYbrid4 diesel-electric hybridisation, is part of this process. Launched as a world first by PEUGEOT on the 3008 Crossover, it has since been extended to the 508 RXH and the 508 Saloon. Over 28,000 customers of the HYbrid4 technology have discovered an new driving pleasure which combines performance, simplicity of use, silent-driving and reducing environmental impact with CO2 emissions from 88g/km.

    With the 2008 HYbrid Air, PEUGEOT is innovating once more in the interests of the environment and of its customers in all of its markets. In fact, this breakthrough technology combines petrol and compressed air to fulfil customer expectations and rise to the challenges facing the motor industry.

    On the current generation of B segment vehicles, the HYbrid Air considerably improves fuel economy and reduces CO2 emissions. In fact, on completion of the homologated Drive Cycle tests, the figures are set at just 2.9l/100km (97.4mpg) and 69g/km. This technology is a key step towards the goal of reducing fuel consumption to just 2.0l/100km (141.2mpg).

    The 208 HYbrid FE combines innovations which will make it possible to achieve this record figure.

    PEUGEOT style, naturally efficient
    Fluidity is part of the Marque's stylistic heritage, it is in its DNA. On the 208 HYbrid FE, the aerodynamics experts took the exercise to an extreme. So, the Cd improves by 25%, to a value slightly lower than 0.25 and a real feat on a conventional vehicle where the passenger space and boot are maintained!

    To achieve this, the air is parted by the 'floating grille' redesigned for permeability and reduced by 40% to just 5dm². In fact, as the engine has been modified for efficiency, it duly requires less cooling.

    On the body sides, any flow disrupting components has been eliminated to help improve the aero performance. The tyres, specially developed by Michelin, are of the Tall&Narrow type, ie: of large diameter and narrow width. They are fitted on 19" alloy wheels on which the carbon aerodynamic flaps fill the space between each spoke.

    Cameras provide the rear vision, the image being reproduced on board on the interior mirror reminiscent of sporting disciplines like endurance racing. The rear track also contributes to this efficiency by being narrower by 40mm, further reducing the Cd. Finally, the design of the roof extends in an almost horizontal movement leading into the tailgate spoiler.

    The rear aspect, with chamfered edges, has an air deflector in its lower section. It deflects the airflow which passes under the vehicle without hindrance due to the completely flat floor.

    Finally, to reduce its environmental footprint as much as possible, the LED lamps of the 208 HYbrid FE have thin vertical fins, inspired by the Onyx Concept supercar. These features minimise the air flow turbulence.

    A considerable reduction in weight: 20%
    When it was launched, the PEUGEOT 208 hatchback shook up the segment, notably due to its light weight - from only 975kg at the Access level. This performance is remarkable, but in the future vehicles will need to be even lighter while still providing the high levels of comfort and safety.

    "Reducing the weight was a primary area of consideration. To achieve the 20% reduction in the weight of the vehicle we carried out a study part by part and equipped the 208 HYbrid FE with the most innovative materials from Hutchinson, CCP Composites and Total's Polymers activity. This process is even more virtuous as it does not sacrifice any of the safety and comfort used in the vehicle while introducing real innovations." Philippe Girard, Scientific Department Representative, Total Composite materials

    The 208 HYbrid FE benefits from the latest material innovations developed by the Polymers Division of the Refining-Chemicals department at Total, as well as by its two subsidiaries CCP Composites and Hutchinson.

    Taken from the end of the assembly line, the 208 retains its metal structure. Composite components replace bodywork panels and the floor, further reducing the weight of the body shell from 295 to 227kg. The one-piece outer skin (weighing just 20kg), the flat base (8kg), the door panels (c2kg) and the lower front panel are made from carbon fibre. The bonnet (5kg) and the wings (c2.1kg) are constructed from a composite VER/Carbon, a material which is half the weight but with comparable structural properties. It is obtained from a new type of resin which can be used untreated, painted or colour-dyed.

    Finally, with the exception of the door windows, the glazing uses polycarbonate to further save 5kg.

    The 208 HYbrid FE innovates in its use as this material has up until now be reserved for headlight lenses. It reduces the weight by more than 50% compared to conventional glass.

    Innovative suspension and wheels
    The 208 HYbrid FE rests on innovative pseudo MacPherson suspension with a 'glass fibre resin' composite transverse located blade. It replaces several components: suspension springs, lower wishbones and anti-roll bar. The front blade also has varying flexibility along its length. Designed and produced by Hutchinson, using these two blades saves 20kg.

    Due to their dimensions, the 145/65 R19 wheels themselves reduce the rolling resistance by 20%. They also require less effort on the steering wheel to direct them, making steering assistance superfluous: saving in space under the bonnet, fuel consumption and extra weight. The wheels are fitted onto low friction bearings assisted by special Total grease.

    The wheel rims house large brake discs 380mm in diameter and 9.6mm thick. They are rigged with two-piston callipers, 44.5mm at the front and 31.8mm at the rear.

    On braking, the reduced effort on the pedal and the intervention of the electric motor mean that the supplementary braking assistance can be eliminated.

    A passenger compartment for five occupants
    The 208 HYbrid FE needed to retain the interior features of the production hatchback model. The result proves it: a very economical vehicle that can comfortably accommodate five people and their luggage. Only the air conditioning is eliminated due to its impact on fuel consumption.

    The composite door trim pads are developed by Total's Polymers Division using Polypropylene reinforced with natural fibres. Its excellent structure, rigidity and impact absorption properties are accompanied by a reduction in weight of up to 15% and mean a reduction in the carbon footprint of these components. The centre console and vent trims are of VER resin (CCP Composites) left untreated to offer an appearance not previously seen before. In fact, their slightly amber honey colour reveals the natural fibres through transparency.

    The weight reduction techniques have also been applied to the petrol engine and the gearbox.

    An efficient and high-performance power train
    The 208 HYbrid FE is driven by a petrol-electric hybrid powertrain, which combines development of the latest generation of 3-cylinder engine with a battery and an electric motor taken from PEUGEOT Sport's Endurance programme. Special engine management and special software control the entire drive train. Overall, the efficiency of the powertrain increases by an impressive 10%.

    "The challenge of this project consisted of combining engine optimisations (reciprocating gears, cylinder head, etc.) and optimising the flow of energy between the internal combustion engine and the electric motor. All of the solutions can potentially be carried over to production." Julien Lidsky, Manager, 208 HYbrid FE Powertrain, PEUGEOT Sport

    1.2-litre VTi-FE petrol engine of high efficiency
    The 3-cylinder engine has undergone several modifications: optimisation of the engine operational cycle, reduction of friction losses, thermomanagement... All of these advances lead to fuel economy improvements by 10% yet with power maintained at 68bhp (50kW).

    The Miller Cycle is accentuated and the compression ratio modified from 11:1 to 16:1 to increase the engine's thermodynamic efficiency. This can lead to self-ignition of the mixture (or knock), which is potentially destructive. To prevent this, several actions were taken.

    So, the rate of unburned elements in the combustion chamber is reduced by valves of increased diameter, redesigned exhaust pipes, a redesigned manifold, and an adapted valve lift pattern. Furthermore, the heat exchanges are optimised in the cylinder block due to coolant passages arranged between the cylinders. The coolant now passes through the cylinder head along its entire length to recover the heat around each source: combustion chambers, between injectors and spark plugs.

    The engine adopts direct injection which, by means of very precise phasing with the closing of the cylinder, maximises the benefit of each molecule of fuel. The variable setting at the inlet and at the exhaust extends the range of optimum efficiency to the entire engine speed range, both at full load and partial load.

    However, not all of these various developments favour power at high engine speed. So, the capacity is modified to 1,233cm3 by increasing the bore and the stroke (75mm x 93mm) to maintain the declared 68bhp (50kW). On the other hand, this progress benefits the maximum torque produced which increases by 25%.

    All of the moving components are specific to the 208 HYbrid FE. The nitrated steel crankshaft, the titanium con rods and the aluminium-copper alloy pistons are cut from solid. So, their weight is reduced in spite of the increase in capacity; the con rods and Gudgeon pins being halved.

    The friction losses are a challenge as they represent approximately 1/5th of the power consumed by an engine. On the 208 HYbrid FE, they are reduced by approximately 40% notably by the crankshaft, the pistons and the Gudgeon pin, the piston rings and the camshaft followers. These components are given a diamond-like Carbon coating and are geometrically optimised.

    The weight of the cylinder head, also cut from a solid block, is halved due to the reduced thicknesses permitted by its design and the characteristics of the aluminium used. The coolant circuit and the inlet line are made by rapid prototyping of resins charged with glass fibres or carbon. To do this, the laser beam of a 3D printer fuses successive layers of aluminium powder. This produces a functional component quickly and more cheaply in the context of individual specialised manufacture.

    Produced using the same process, the piston base jets serve here both to cool them on use under load and to heat the oil as quickly as possible on starting.

    This virtuous circle affects all of the areas explored by this technological demonstrator. So, the size of the radiator is reduced, benefiting the aerodynamic properties. The alternator, the starter and the reverse gear are eliminated, reducing the weight, mechanical losses, but also in its overall dimensions.

    Piloted transmission
    The base of the production piloted manual gearbox is retained for its high efficiency and its integrated actuators. The casings cut from a solid block houses a cascade of gears to connect the electric engine to the differential crown wheel. To reduce friction losses, the teeth of the gears are given a tungsten carbide chrome coating.

    The greasing is redesigned to reduce the volume of lubricant necessary and prevent splashing over the gears, which also consumes energy. Now, the lubricant is moved to the highest point by the final drive crown wheel before circulating through gravity over the entire mechanism. The prototype gearbox oil is developed by Total Lubricants based on bio-sourced oils, of 75W grade with a very high viscosity index (higher than 250). This produces a 3% reduction in consumption, and becomes a preview of the lubricants of the future.

    Taken directly from a competition environment, a fluid grease of low density also reduces the quantity deemed necessary. Its longevity is assured by operation at a lower temperature due to a reduction in friction and finally, the hub bearings adopt a special fluid grease, which adheres but limits friction losses.

    Fuel and lubricant
    The 208 HYbrid FE passes the CO2 emissions cycle with a benchmark Super 95 fuel. The performance additives of the Excellium type, developed by Total Additives and Special Fuels, would alone reduce the CO2 emissions of this engine by more than one additional gramme per kilometre.

    "The 208 HYbrid FE offers a convergence of innovations from the laboratories of Total. Today, the group's researchers are developing biofuels, energy saving lubricants (Fuel-Eco lubricants) and special additives all contributing to improving fuel economy. In France, close to 250 researchers are working on developing the products of tomorrow." Philippe Montantême, Senior Vice President Marketing and Research Strategy, Marketing & Services department at Total

    A special engine oil of extremely low viscosity has been developed by Total Lubricants using ultrafluid based oils and by the addition of friction reducing agents containing molybdenum. Of grade 0W12, this oil develops its properties very rapidly with a shorter temperature rise time. Optimised as regards friction, it retains, both when hot and when cold, an advantage compared to the best products on the market. Thus improving fuel economy, here again a few more grammes are saved!

    A hybridisation taken from endurance experience
    The project has benefited from the expertise of PEUGEOT Sport with its experience acquired in endurance competition. So, the electric motor and the battery are those developed for the PEUGEOT 908 HYbrid4 endurance race car.

    "The hybridisation developed for the 908 HYbrid4 is state-of-the-art in this domain. The work consisted of integrating it within the power train of the 208 to recover as much energy as possible on braking and using its full potential on acceleration." Pierre Lebrene, Manager, 208 HYbrid FE Energy Recovery System, PEUGEOT Sport

    A special architecture The electric machine combines power and lightness as, at only 7kg, it develops 30kW as a motor and 100kW as a brake generator. In both modes, its torque reaches a maximum of 30Nm. Proportional to the speed of the vehicle, its maximum speed is 40,000rpm. This electric motor provides the reverse gear function, by inverting the direction of rotation, and the starter function. It also provides access to ZEV driving, purely electric.

    The Lithium-ion battery, which has a capacity of two usable MJ or 0.56kWh, consists of 0.56 cells of 90V each. They are arranged in groups, which permits the ability to isolate one if deemed necessary.

    To ensure that this strategic unit is cooled correctly, Total has developed a special oil for circulating in the dedicated radiator.

    Weighing 25kg, it is installed, with the 20-litre petrol tank, on a subframe which is bolted underneath the vehicle directly below the rear bench seat. Here, sporting experience is demonstrated with improved weight distribution. For the inverter and the ECU, these are installed under the bonnet in the space left free by the braking assistance. The hybridisation has no effect on the interior packaging, so the inside the vehicle the passenger space is maintained.

    The principle of operation
    During deceleration phases, whether by releasing the accelerator pedal or through braking, the vehicle is slowed down primarily by the electric motor. The hydraulic braking only comes into operation at the end of braking phase to maximise the recovery of the energy available. Over one homologation cycle, this recovery is 25%. Then, on acceleration, this energy is returned and assists the petrol engine according to various parameters: acceleration dictated by the driver and the gear selected.

    The 208 HYbrid FE, Fun&Efficient and Fuel Efficiency
    The PEUGEOT and Total teams, who have been working for months on creating this technological demonstrator, can be justifiably proud.

    Up until now, there have been low consumption vehicles and high performance vehicles. For the first time, these two qualities are combined in the same vehicle.

    The emissions of CO2 are just 49g/km. The different areas divide up the reduction of 50g/km as follows:

  • weight reduction, aerodynamic properties and tyres: 40% that is 20g,
  • hybridisation: 40% that is 20g,
  • engine and gearbox: 20% that is 10g.

    The performance aspect, which improves from 14 to 8 seconds over the 0 to 100km/h / 0-62mph exercise is also contributed to by:

  • weight reduction, aerodynamic properties and tyres: 4 seconds,
  • hybridisation: 2 seconds.

    The 208 HYbrid FE proves itself beyond the figures. Due to the virtuous circle in which the two partners became involved, the driver enjoys new experiences at the wheel of this technological demonstrator: acceleration worthy of a GTi with mixed fuel economy of 2.1 1/100km (112mpg). Without any loss of comfort or ease of use, the driver will rediscover a direct link with the road due to the elimination of the powered, energy-consuming assistance.

    "At the beginning of the project, the objective seemed very ambitious, of a very high level. It was! The two partners, PEUGEOT and Total, achieved it by combining their technological expertise. PEUGEOT Sport has contributed its expertise to the project and has identified new areas of development. Production and competition are progressing together." Christophe Mary, Technical Manager of the 208 HYbrid FE project, PEUGEOT Sport

    The 208 HYbrid FE proves that the emotional aspect will always have its place in a PEUGEOT vehicle, even in an increasingly restrictive energy and environmental context. PEUGEOT and Total are the major players in a modern vision of the motor vehicle.

  • Dutch Drivers Achieve 625 km Single Charge Range with a Tesla Model S [VIDEO]

    A standard Tesla Model S equipped with the 85 kWh battery pack has an official EPA rated range of 265 Miles (424 km) and 310 Miles (500 km) NEDC rating.

    On Wednesday August 21st four students from the Technical University Eindhoven Sponsored by Athlon Car Lease achieved 388 miles (624 km) in real world driving conditions.

    They're calling it a world record "real long distance driving" for the Tesla Models S because they drove with 2 people on normal roads with normal speeds.

    Tesla Motors Launch Supercharger Network in Norway [VIDEO]

    First European Superchargers from Tesla Motors on Vimeo.

    Tesla Motors today unveiled its European Supercharger network, energizing stations across Norway that enable Model S owners to conveniently travel for free between cities along well-traveled highways throughout the country.

    With locations in Lyngdal, Aurland, Dombås, Gol, Cinderella and Lillehammer, Norway’s most vital and commonly used roads and highways are covered by Tesla Superchargers. Model S customers can drive routes such as the E6 from Trondheim to Oslo, the E18 from Oslo to Kristiansand, the E39 from Kristiansand to Stavanger, and Highway7 from Oslo to Gol for free and with minimal stops. Approximately 90 percent of the Norwegian population lives within 320 km of a Supercharger station, and about 60 percent of the country’s total land mass is within the same distance of a station.

    Tesla Superchargers represent the most advanced charging technology in the world, capable of charging Model S 20x faster than most common charging stations. Superchargers provide half a charge in about 20 minutes, delivering up to 120 kW DC (Direct Current) power directly to the Model S battery using special cables that bypass the onboard charging equipment. And because Superchargers are located where customers want to stop, near amenities like roadside diners, cafes and shopping centers, road trippers can stop for a quick meal while their Model S charges for free.

    The extensive coverage provided by Tesla’s Supercharger network allowed three Model S to depart for Oslo this morning from locations in the north, west and south of Norway and travel the following major routes with ease: Trondheim-Dombås-Lillehammer-Oslo; Bergen-Aurland-Gol-Oslo; and Stavanger-Lyngdal- Cinderella-Oslo. During their 500 km journeys, each car charged at two of the new Tesla Supercharger locations, where they were met by enthusiastic customers and local officials.

    Nissan's 2013 LEAF Sales Surge 335%

    Nissan reported a massive 335% increase in sales of its hatchback electric car LEAF in U.S since the launch of the 2013 model in Mar 2013. LEAF has been Nissan's bestselling car in Seattle, Portland and San Francisco. Alongside, the company also witnessed burgeoning demand for electric vehicles outside the traditional West Coast market, i.e., in "New Wave" markets across the country.

    Nissan expects incremental demand for electric vehicles in diverse markets and LEAF is expected to dominate the market share. With more than 75,000 LEAF electric cars on the road, Nissan emerged as the global leader in zero emission vehicles.

    Nissan has witnessed 8.5% year-on-year growth in sales so far this year. The increase was driven by record-breaking U.S. monthly sales in 4 out of 7 months. The biggest contribution came from year-over-year increase in the sales of Nissan LEAF and a surge in the sales of the redesigned Pathfinder SUV.

    Apart from the U.S., Nissan is also doing well in other parts of America. The company witnessed 7.5% sales growth in Mexico in the first seven months of 2013. Moreover, it plans to open new manufacturing facilities in Aguascalientes, Mexico and Resende, Brazil.

    Kamis, 29 Agustus 2013

    Toyota adds discounts for Tesla-powered all-electric RAV4

    Toyota Motor Corp. is discounting its all-electric RAV4 through low-cost lease and loan offers to boost demand for the slow-selling compact crossover that’s powered by a Tesla Motors Inc. battery pack and motor.

    Toyota, the world’s biggest maker of hybrid autos, this month is promoting the option of a $299-a-month, three-year lease for the $49,800 light truck, or a 60-month, no-interest loan, said Carly Schaffner, a company spokeswoman. The offers run through Sept. 3 and are available only in the Los Angeles and San Francisco regions, the vehicle’s main markets.

    Honda Motor Co., Nissan Motor Co. and General Motors Co. similarly have turned to discounted leases to buoy their rechargeable models. Toyota last year said it would sell 2,600 RAV4 EVs by the end of 2014. Through July, just 709 have been sold since sales began last September.

    “The use of our incentives is tactical, reinforcing our value and focus on keeping our products competitive in the market,” Schaffner said. “We’re still evaluating the market demand for EVs.”

    The battery-powered RAV4 arose in 2010 as a result of Toyota President Akio Toyoda’s desire to work with Palo Alto, Calif.-based Tesla. Along with the vehicle project, Toyota made a $50 million investment in Tesla. Tesla shares have surged about fivefold this year, boosting the value of Toyota’s 2.4 percent stake in the company to about $476 million.

    Toyota, with the biggest market share in California, is under pressure to sell the most rechargeable vehicles in the state to meet strict emissions rules. Along with the electric RAV4 that goes about 100 miles per charge, Toyota sells a plug-in version of its Prius hybrid to meet state rules and will add a hydrogen-powered electric sedan in 2015.

    200,000 Fast-Charging Stations for Electric Vehicles by 2020

    Total fast-charging stations for EVs are set to reach 199,000 locations globally in 2020, up from just 1,800 in 2012. The number of these stations, meanwhile, is anticipated to rise more than threefold in 2013 to 5,900 and then nearly triple to 15,200 in 2014. Overall growth will continue at a rapid pace through 2020.

    Hard charging

    "The length of time it takes to recharge an EV continues to be one of the major stumbling blocks inhibiting the widespread adoption of electric vehicles," said Alastair Hayfield, associate research director at IHS Automotive. "Compared to the time it takes to refuel an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle, the recharge time for EVs is incredibly slow-at about four hours to charge a 24 kilowatt-hour (kWh)-capacity battery using a 6.6 kW on-board charger. If EV auto manufacturers could overcome this obstacle, it could lead to a high rate of adoption from environmentally minded consumers as well as those seeking to cut gasoline expenses. That's where fast charging comes in."

    Hooked up to a fast-charging system, which offers a high-voltage DC charge instead of a slower AC charge, a vehicle can be fully charged in as little as 20 minutes. This could be a major step toward EVs becoming generally equivalent to ICE vehicles when it comes to refueling.

    "IHS believes fast charging is a necessary step to promote higher adoption of EVs, but there will need to also be better consumer education regarding behavioral changes that may need to happen when owning an electric vehicle-such as charging overnight or at work," Hayfield said.

    Japanese standard charges ahead

    One fast-charging standard designed for electric vehicles is dubbed CHAdeMO, a primarily Japanese-backed technology. The major proponents of the technology are Japanese automotive OEMs-including Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi; and Japanese industrial giants-including Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., Tokyo Electric Power Co. and more.

    CHAdeMO, roughly translated as "charge for moving," began deployment in 2009 in order to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles in Japan, where EVs have found positive reception. Today there are as many as 2,445 CHAdeMO fast chargers in operation and more than 57,000 CHAdeMO-compatible EVs around the world. This accounts for as much as 80 percent of all electric vehicles on the road, especially given the high concentration of EVs coming from Japan in the form of the Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi i-MiEv, Hondo Fit EV and more.

    One size charges all

    A competing solution to CHAdeMO, aptly named the combined charging system (CCS), offers electric vehicle owners the option of having a single charging inlet that can be used for all available charging methods. That includes 1-phase charging at an AC power source, high-speed AC charging with a 3-phase current connector at home or at public charging stations, DC charging at conventional household installation and DC fast charging at power-charging stations globally.

    CCS, which was submitted for international standardization in January of 2011, has garnered the support of Audi, BMW, Daimler, Chrysler, Ford, GM, Porsche and Volkswagen. Already BMW, GM and Volkswagen have announced they will introduce fast-charging EVs based on the CCS standard sometime this year.

    Tesla vies to electrify the market

    Tesla Motors, the California company most notable for the all-electric Tesla Model S, is driving a third method for fast charging. Tesla is developing its own proprietary network of fast chargers in the U.S. Dubbed "Superchargers," the chargers operate at a higher power rating than current CHAdeMO or CCS chargers, and also have a proprietary plug interface, which means that only Tesla vehicles can use them.

    "In addition to the proprietary technology, the charging stations are free to use for Tesla owners, and there are plans to power all stations using photovoltaics," Hayfield said. "These Superchargers represent a powerful proposition for Tesla-drivers can charge faster, have U.S.-wide coverage by 2015 and will charge for free for life. This triple threat will aim to lock drivers into the Tesla experience, and also will give Tesla a perceived advantage over other original equipment manufacturers competing in the same market.

    Future charge

    Looking ahead to the future of EVs, it's clear that DC charging is becoming the favored means for supporting rapid, range-extension electric vehicles. But it is less clear as to whether CHAdeMO or CCS will win the battle for the consumer.

    Japan will continue to utilize CHAdeMO, while Germany is set on using CCS; other nations likely will also utilize CCS as well, since it supports slow-charging. But no matter which solution is used, DC-based fast charging is critical to promoting consumer approval and interest in EVs.

    Rabu, 28 Agustus 2013

    VW to launch all-electric e-Golf & e-up! in Frankfurt

    In a dual world premiere, Volkswagen will be presenting two new and extremely efficient electric cars at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt (10th to 22nd September): the e-up! and e-Golf. This means that Europe's most successful carmaker is transitioning two high-volume production models to the age of electric mobility.

    Both zero-emissions cars offer unlimited everyday practicality, each has four doors, and they are attractively equipped. Standard features: automatic climate control with parking heater and ventilation, radio-navigation system, windscreen heating, LED daytime running lights and, in the e-Golf, the Volkswagen brand's first use of LED headlights. The two newcomers are also leaders in energy efficiency: the e-up! consumes just 11.7 kWh of electricity per 100 km – this makes it the new world champion in efficiency. The e-Golf, positioned two classes higher, attains an excellent value of 12.7 kWh. Given an electricity price of €0.258 per kWh (Germany, as of 31st July 2013), driving 100 km with the e-up! costs just €3.02, and with the e-Golf it is around €3.30.

    Made in Germany. Innovative drive technologies are core competencies at Volkswagen. Therefore, the e-motors, gearboxes and lithium-ion batteries of the e-up! and e-Golf are developed in-house, and they are manufactured in large Volkswagen component plants in Germany.

    Typical Volkswagen. All Volkswagen are intuitive to operate, extremely practical in everyday use and sophisticated, and these traits have been fully transferred to the brand's new e-vehicles. The zero-emission cars from Volkswagen are manufactured with the same high-volume production systems as their counterparts with combustion engines.

    e-Golf data. The e-Golf, which is being presented in a world premiere in Frankfurt, is driven by a 85 kW / 115 PS electric motor. The motor produces its maximum drive torque of 270 Nm as soon as it starts off. The results: the front-wheel drive e-Golf reaches 100 km/h in 10.4 seconds. On a motorway, the speed of the five-seat front-wheel drive car is electronically limited to 140 km/h.

    e-up! data. Also making its debut in a world premiere at the IAA is the four-seat e-up!. Its electric motor produces 60 kW / 82 PS. This motor transmits 210 Nm of torque to the driven front axle from a standstill. It completes the sprint to 100 km/h in 12.4 seconds. Top speed: 130 km/h.

    Driving ranges tailored for commuters. The e-up! can drive 160 km on one battery charge (18.7 kWh), while the e-Golf with its larger battery (24.2 kWh) has a range of 190 km. In both models, two very efficient driving modes ("Eco", "Eco+") and four just as easy to activate regenerative braking modes ("D1", "D2", "D3" and "B") help to extend maximum ranges. And they are driving ranges that make sense. In Germany, for example, studies by the Federal Ministry for Transport, Building and Urban Development found that around 80 per cent of all car drivers in Germany drive fewer than 50 km daily.

    Quick charging. The fastest CCS charging stations (direct current) shorten the time needed to charge the battery of an e-up! or an e-Golf to 80 per cent capacity to just around half an hour.

    Powertrain and fuel strategy. Over the past decade, Volkswagen has already systematically sketched out a schedule for the future in its powertrain and fuel strategy, which included starting points for electric vehicles like the e-up! and e-Golf. This strategy sets up a timeline with realistic time windows for the introduction of alternative drive systems such as the hybrid, electric and hydrogen-based systems. In this scenario, the all-electric drive system – which will be demonstrated by the new e-up! and e-Golf – represents an indispensable and sensible supplemental drive system. That is because electric cars utilise renewable energy sources and enable zero-emissions mobility in metropolitan areas. Nonetheless, well into the future Volkswagen will continue to promote an intelligent mix of the most efficient drive systems.

    Driving at the pace of the big city. The fact is that the target group for electric cars is growing, because a paradigm shift has begun. Sustainable mobility is having an increasing impact on people's actions. Yet the products for implementing this environmental awareness must be practical and fun as well - such as the e-up! and e-Golf which accelerate to big city pace in just a few seconds. The new zero-emission Volkswagen cars therefore have the potential for irreversibly charging up the electric car segment with innovative technology, a high level of everyday practicality and a dynamic driving feeling.

    Toyota to add Wireless Charging to Plug-In Prius

    During the recent Toyota Hybrid World Tour Satoshi Ogiso, Managing Officer of Toyota Motor Corporation said Toyota will begin verification of a wireless/inductive charging system system in Japan, the US and Europe in 2014.

    We have been listening very carefully to Prius PHV owners over the past two years… and are considering their requests for additional all-electric range.

    We have also heard from these owners, that they would like a more convenient charging operation. In response, we are developing a new wireless/inductive charging system that produces resonance between an on-floor coil and an onboard coil to recharge the battery without the fuss of a cable.

    We will begin verification of the system in Japan, the US and Europe in 2014.

    Nissan recently said they are working on an open source wireless induction charging system and that five future Nissan-brand EVs will use inductive charging.

    No doubt this will become yet another standards battle as we have seen with CHAdeMo vs SAE J1772 and Tesla setting their own fast charging standard.

    A good question to ask at this point is, when will Tesla announce wireless induction charging across it's Supercharger network?

    Source: Toyota

    Nissan ZEOD RC - Preparing for track debut - The Tub [VIDEO]

    Nismo.TV catches up with the Nissan ZEOD RC team as preparations are underway for the testing debut of the unique car that will "electrify Le Mans" in 2014

    ZF and Levant Partner to Develop Regenerative Suspension

    Regenerative brakes are increasingly becoming a popular option on new cars as a way to save energy, and soon that technology could be joined by another engineering breakthrough: a regenerative suspension.

    We have reported on Regenerative shock absorber developments including Linear tubular electric motors Here, Here and Here and hydraulic actuator based systems Here and Here.

    This technology is being developed by ZF and Levant Power, in hopes of producing a suspension system that combines “the vast gains of active suspension with modest power consumption, minimal complexity and affordable cost,” the companies announced in a release. Essentially, the alliance hopes to build the world’s first fully active and regenerative suspension for automobiles, and make it affordable enough for volume production.

    Forming the basis of the technology is an innovative, functional unit that is fitted to the outside of a ZF damper. In the compact unit is its own control unit, an electric motor and an electrohydraulic gear pump. That gear pump is in charge of regulating the oil flow to the damper, allowing it to adapt optimally and automatically to the driving conditions. In addition, the system is even capable of actively raising each individual wheel on the vehicle.

    The innovative valve system automatically uses the swaying motion of the damper piston in order to recover energy. The system then guides the oil in the damper, driving the electric pump motor, essentially allowing it to function like a generator. The generated kinetic energy is then turned into electricity which is fed into the vehicle’s power supply.

    “We look forward to working closely together with Levant Power. The objective is to develop the world’s first fully active and regenerative suspension, make it ready for volume production and introduce it to the market. Thus, we are promoting efficient innovations that are tailored to meet global requirements,” said Rolf Heinz Rüger, in charge of the Suspension Technology business unit of ZF’s Car Chassis Technology division.

    Selasa, 27 Agustus 2013

    Panasonic Announce Tokai University Solar Car Team Sponsorship

    Panasonic Corporation today announced that it has agreed to provide technical support to Tokai University's solar car team, which will compete in the 2013 World Solar Challenge (WSC 2013), one of the world's biggest races for solar cars, to be held from October 6 to 13 in Australia. Under the sponsorship agreement, Panasonic will provide the Japanese university team with its HIT(R) solar cells which boast the industry's top-class electricity output as well as its high-capacity lithium-ion batteries.

    The WSC, which started in 1987 and became a biennial event in 1999, is a time-based competition over a distance of 3,021km from Darwin in the north down to Adelaide in the south. Teams from around the world, including universities and corporations, participate in the race in cars powered solely by sunlight.

    The Tokai University team has an impressive track record in solar car racing. The team won the previous WSC races held in 2009 and 2011, and is now looking to make a hat trick in the WSC this year. Last year, the team also won the race in South Africa that was recognized by the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) as the world's longest alternative fuel vehicle car race. Panasonic's energy products contributed to the team's victories at these international competitions.

    Panasonic's HIT solar cells have a unique hybrid configuration with a crystalline silicon substrate surrounded by ultrathin amorphous silicon layers. Compared to ordinary crystalline silicon-based solar cells, Panasonic's HIT solar cells suffer less degradation of power output at high temperatures, delivering the industry's highest-level energy output per unit of area. This makes Panasonic's HIT solar cells ideal for solar cars competing in races such as the WSC, given that the WSC regulations limit the total area of solar cells installed on the body to up to six square meters and that the cells will be exposed to the scorching Australian sun. The HIT solar modules for the Tokai University team are purpose-built for the solar car race, using the same solar cells - the main component that converts the sunlight into electricity - that are mass-produced for the residential market.

    The rechargeable batteries Panasonic is providing are the cylindrical 18650 type (18 mm in diameter x 65 mm in height) high-capacity lithium-ion battery cells which use the company's proprietary nickel-based positive electrode. The high-capacity and lightweight battery cells store excess power generated by the HIT solar cells so that the car is able to continue running even on overcast days.

    The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge starts on October 6th in Darwin and finishes 3,000 km later on Sunday 13th October in Adelaide.

    Disclosure: EV News has been engaged by the South Australian Motor Sport Board to help promote the World Solar Challenge 2013.

    Bridgestone Sponsors World Solar Challenge 2013

    Bridgestone will be the title sponsor of the World Solar Challenge 2013, which will be held in Australia October 6-13.

    Dubbed “The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2013,” the event will see a record 45 teams from 26 countries compete in a 3,000 km cross-country race using only solar energy to power the vehicles.

    The event will feature three separate classes, Adventure Class, which will showcase cars built for previous events; Cruiser Class, which will be judged by design practicality, and Challenger Class, which will compete for the title of the world’s most efficient solar car.

    The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge starts on October 6th in Darwin and finishes 3,000 km later on Sunday 13th October in Adelaide.

    Disclosure: EV News has been engaged by the South Australian Motor Sport Board to help promote the World Solar Challenge 2013.

    BMW test the i3 and i8 under extreme conditions [VIDEO]

    A short promo video showing BMW testing their electric cars under extreme conditions.

    ABC Nightline's special coverage of Tesla Motors [VIDEO]

    ABC News with Bloomberg's Betty Liu Nightline Tesla Special

    Senin, 26 Agustus 2013

    Nissan to expand EV lineup to 5 models all with Wireless Charging

    Nissan Motor Co. says it will expand its global EV product line to five models.

    The company has not announced what additional models it is planning and has not specified a timetable. But it indicates Nissan is taking a long-term view of the slow-growing EV market.

    "We haven't announced what models they will be, but we have plans for five," Carla Bailo, senior vice president for R&D at Nissan Americas, told reporters. "The others will come in due time."

    Bailo said future Nissan-brand EVs will use inductive charging. Inductive chargers enable an EV owner to park on top of a charging mat to recharge a battery wirelessly without hooking up a connector.

    "Once that technology is ready, we will use it across our brands," she said after her presentation.

    Previously, Nissan had said inductive charging was critical to differentiate the luxury EV planned for the Infiniti brand.

    Production of the cargo van begins later this year in Europe, initially for the European market. But this spring, Infiniti President Johan de Nysschen said the Infiniti EV will be delayed. Infiniti said it wanted to wait for improvements in inductive charging technology.

    The company spent $1.8 billion to move U.S. production of that model to Smyrna, Tennessee, and to construct a lithium ion battery module plant there. That factory, which began production in January, gives Nissan the capacity to build up to 150,000 Leafs a year and 200,000 batteries.

    Sales of the car in the United States have more than tripled since last year, when it was still being imported. Through July, Nissan dealers sold 11,703 Leafs, up from 3,543 in the first seven months of 2012.

    Toyota Reveal 420hp AWD Yaris Hybrid-R Powertrain Details

    Based on the Yaris 3-door, the Yaris Hybrid R concept hybrid powertrain configuration combines the powerful 1.6l petrol Global Race Engine with two powerful electric motors to provide an ‘intelligent’ electric four-wheel drive capability.

    The front wheels are driven by a 300hp 4-cylinder 1.6 turbo engine with direct injection specifically developed by Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) according to the rules of the International Automobile Federation (FIA) for a Global Race Engine to be utilised in various motorsport disciplines.

    At the rear, each wheel is individually powered by a 60hp electric motor – the same as those used in the standard Yaris Hybrid.

    Taken together, the hybrid powertrain system develops a total system output of up to 420 hp. The two electric motors work as electric generators during the braking phase, and supplement the petrol engine during the accelerating phases.

    Super-capacitor

    Just like in the TS030 HYBRID, the energy recovered during the braking phase is stored in a super capacitor. Compared to the standard NiMh hybrid battery, the super capacitor has a higher power density and a fast power charge / discharge speed. It is perfectly suited to the requirements of sporty driving on track, which requires brief and immediate bursts of power.

    Nevertheless, level of power depends on the duration of energy delivery desired. In road mode, the super-capacitor releases the energy recovered under braking for a maximum duration of 10 seconds per charge and the total power of the two electric motors is reduced to 40 hp. In track mode, the rear electric motors reach a combined maximum power of 120hp for up to 5 seconds per charge, reflecting the higher frequency of braking and acceleration events during circuit driving.

    Advanced traction control

    A 3rd 60hp electric motor, located between the engine and the 6 gear sequential transmission, operates as a generator in two different cases: during deceleration to feed the super capacitor and during acceleration to directly power the rear electric motors.

    The latter will only happen when the engine power and torque exceed the grip potential of the front wheels. The generator behaves like an advanced traction control system, redirecting the torque as electric energy to the rear wheels, to boost the acceleration and improve the handling rather than to simply limit the engine power.

    Torque vectoring

    Rear electric motors - one per wheel – can greatly influence the Yaris Hybrid-R handling characteristics during cornering by altering the distribution of torque between the left and right rear wheels.

    Each motor can be used independently as a generator or a motor to achieve the same effect as an intelligent torque vectoring differential.

    Depending on the radius of the curve, the system can send more torque to the outside rear wheel allowing higher cornering speeds into the corner (middle-speed curves), apply more braking force to the inside wheel (fast curves), or even brake and accelerate each wheel independently (slow curves) to adjust the yaw effect for a better line, to limit steering angle, and understeer.

    Senin, 12 Agustus 2013

    Motorweek test drive the Volkswagen XL1 [VIDEO]

    MotorWeek take VW's futurecar for a spin around Wolfsburg, Germany and the Autobahn. They managed 147 miles per gallon on their trip (not 261 mpg as VX claim)

    UNSW Sunswift launch 140 km/h “eVe” Cruiser Class Solar Racecar

    UNSW Solar Racing Team Sunswift revealed their solar racing car eVe at the University of New South Wales last Friday.

    The latest addition to the Sunswift family is designed for the new Cruiser class, which consists of four-wheeled vehicles that must meet regulations for normal roads-worthy vehicles in the country they come from. They’re also required to have both a driver and a passenger.

    The new Sunswift racer is RWD and powered by 2x 1.8 Kw (10 Kw Peak) Australian developed direct drive CSIRO wheel motors, now manufactured under license by Marand Precision Engineering, giving a top speed of 140 km/h. 15 kWh worth of Panasonic cylindrical Lithium Ion batteries, weighing only 63 Kg, output 140 volts and give eVe a single charge highway speed cruising range of over 500 km, as much as the 85 kWh Tesla Model S!

    This incredible range is achieved by a combination of light weight (about 300kg) carbon fiber monocoque construction, extremely low drag coefficient, 98.3% energy efficient direct drive wheel motors and solar charging. Battery charge comes care of continuous top-up from the PV cells, with opportunities for major fills from the grid at points in Tennant Creek, Alice and Coober Pedy.

    eVe has a 1800 x 4500 mm footprint (larger than a Tesla Roadster) with four square metres (WSC rules allow up to six square metres) of Mono-crystalline silicon cells provided by SunPower.

    Although the new car has twice the frontal area of its blade-like predecessor, Sunswift has achieved a similar drag coefficient. It’s managed this partly by the use of a smaller PV cell area, and partly through a unique high-set “tunnel” underside design, giving the car the look of a catamaran.

    For the carbon fibre bodywork, Core Builders Composites in New Zealand, best known for its work on maxi-yachts of the calibre of Oracle’s America's Cup ocean racers, offered the team a sponsorship deal. The result is a structure of immense strength, with the only metal component a steel roll bar, there for compliance with FIA motorsport standards.

    The team is looking towards a hi-powered version of the car using motors on all four wheels although to do so the team say the battery would need a significant upgrade.

    The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge starts on October 6th in Darwin and finishes 3,000 km later on Sunday 13th October in Adelaide.

    Disclosure: Post is sponsored by Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. Words and thoughts are entirely my own.

    Spy Shots: Venucia E30 EV Spotted in China

    New spy shots showing the production version of the Venucia e30 EV have surfaced. Venucia is a sub-brand of the Dongfeng-Nissan joint venture, the e30 EV is based on the Nissan Leaf. The Venucia e30 debuted as the Venucia E-Concept on the 2012 Beijing Auto Show, and re-appeared as the ‘Venucia e30′ on the Shanghai Auto Show in April.

    Small-batch production will begin later this year with deliveries starting in 2014, but only for local demonstration projects. Deliveries to the general car market will only start in 2015. Power will come from the same electric motor as in the Nissan Leaf, output is 110hp and 280nm. Top speed will be 144km/h and range 228km.

    Sabtu, 10 Agustus 2013

    Is the Tesla Model S the Best Gadget Ever? [VIDEO]

    IGN is a Videogame review media network with 152 Youtube channels, 27 Million subscribers and 7 Billion Video views. They don't 'do' cars but they recently tested the Tesla Model S all-electric sports sedan to see if it is the Best. Gadget. Ever.

    Jumat, 09 Agustus 2013

    Tesla Model S Scores Five Stars In NHTSA (Side Impact) [VIDEO]

    Tesla Model S Scores Five Stars In NHTSA (Side Impact Test)

    Tesla Model S Scores Five Stars In NHTSA (Side Pole Impact) [VIDEO]

    Tesla Model S Scores Five Stars In NHTSA (Side Pole Impact Test)

    Tesla Model S Scores Five Stars In NHTSA (Frontal Impact) [VIDEO]

    Tesla Model S Scores Five Stars In NHTSA (Frontal Impact Test)

    FIA Formula E announces FOX Sports as Broadcaster

    FOX Sports, one of the largest global sports networks, has today (August, 9th 2013) signed a multi-year, international multi-media deal with the FIA Formula E Championship, the world’s first fully-electric car racing series beginning in September 2014.

    Formula E is a new FIA Championship featuring open-wheel cars powered exclusively by electricity and racing in the heart of 10 of the world’s leading cities, including two in the US with Los Angeles and Miami. Designed to promote interest and investment in electric vehicles and sustainable motoring, 10 teams each with two drivers will compete in one hour races using Formula cars capable of reaching speeds of more than 220kph with zero emissions.

    “This series makes racing very relevant well into the future,” said Carlos Martinez, President Latin America for FOX International Channels, who helped broker the deal. “With a global approach to acquiring knowledge and fast-tracking technology through the world of international racing competition, the FIA Formula E Championship is much more than just another weekend at the track…it makes racing an integral part of solving one of the world’s most daunting challenges and we are thrilled to be a part of that process.”

    As well as full US broadcast exclusivity across the FOX family of networks, including FOX Sports 1, America’s new sports network set to launch on August 17th, FOX Sports also has exclusive and non-exclusive rights in more than 80 territories including Canada, Latin America/Caribbean, Netherlands, Italy, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, Australia, key Asian territories and other areas of Asia, India and Africa.

    The deal, across all territories, includes exclusive and non-exclusive on-line and mobile transmission rights.

    “We are very proud to announce this major agreement between FOX and the FIA Formula E Championship and to be partnering a truly global organization that fully believes in the future of racing,” said Alejandro Agag, CEO of Championship promoter Formula E Holdings. “This global broadcasting deal will bring our Championship to nearly 90 countries and a potential 180 million households worldwide, giving our partners, our teams, and our team’s partners a platform to visualize the association to the values of this competition. We are particularly happy to join FOX at the time when FOX Sports 1 is being launched. America is a key market for electric cars and to show our races live in the US will be central to promoting this type of mobility.”

    As well as two races in the US, last month saw leading IndyCar outfit Andretti Autosport become the first US team to join Formula E. Six of the 10 teams have now been signed for the inaugural season, three of which have already been announced with Andretti Autosport, China Racing and British-based Drayson Racing.

    FOX Sports internationally is largely operated by FOX International Channels, 21st Century FOX’s international multi-media business operating over 300 entertainment, sports, factual and lifestyle pay-TV network and non-linear services worldwide.

    BMW i8 Faster than an M3 using one-third less fuel than a Toyota Prius [VIDEO]

    At a driving event at the BMW Group’s Miramas test track in France, the BMW i presented a prototype of its second production vehicle, the BMW i8. BMW i is synonymous with visionary mobility concepts and a new definition of premium quality that is strongly focused on sustainability. Following the world debut of the first production model, the BMW i3, the BMW Group’s next step will be to extend this revolutionary answer to the future challenges facing personal mobility to the sports car segment in the BMW i8. This plug-in hybrid model is the most progressive sports car of our time, extending the basic BMW i philosophy of sustainability to a new vehicle segment.

    The BMW i8 fulfills the promise of The Ultimate Driving MachineTM in a revolutionary and mold-breaking form. This is reflected in a highly emotive design, dynamic sports car performance, and fuel efficiency and emissions figures worthy of a small car. Pairing an exceptionally lightweight, aerodynamically optimized body with cutting-edge BMW eDrive technology, a compact, turbocharged 1.5-liter BMW TwinPower Turbo gasoline engine and intelligent energy management, the BMW i8 marks the next stage in the evolution of the Efficient Dynamics strategy. Its revolutionary approach achieves an unprecedented balance between performance and fuel efficiency. Thanks to its carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) passenger cell, the BMW i8 sets new standards for a plug-in hybrid vehicle in terms of low weight. It can operate solely on electric power, which means no tailpipe emissions, and offers the dynamic performance of a sports car, with an expected 0 – 60 mph sprint time under 4.5 seconds.

    The BMW i8 was designed from the outset as a plug-in hybrid sports car, with the emphasis on agile performance and outstanding efficiency. Its characteristic BMW i LifeDrive architecture provides the best possible basis for lightweight design. Its main components are the aluminum Drive module, which incorporates the internal combustion engine and electric motor, the battery, the power electronics and the chassis components, along with structural and crash functions, and the Life module, which essentially comprises the 2+2-seater CFRP passenger cell. This architecture also gives the BMW i8 a very low center of gravity and a near-perfect 50:50 axle load ratio, both of which increase its agility.

    The BMW i8’s plug-in hybrid system is specific to this model. Developed and produced by the BMW Group, it marks the next step in the evolution of the Efficient Dynamics programme. A compact three-cylinder petrol engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology is combined with an electric drive system and a lithium-ion battery which can be recharged at a standard household power socket. The 231 hp (170 kW) gasoline engine sends its power to the rear wheels, while the 131 hp (96 kW) electric motor powers the front wheels. This configuration offers all-electric driving capability with a range of up to approx. 22 miles (35 kilometers) and a top speed of approximately 75 mph (120 km/h). With both drive systems engaged, it also offers road-hugging all-wheel-drive performance with powerful acceleration and dynamic torque vectoring during sporty cornering. The more powerful of the two powerplants drives the rear wheels. The hybrid system supplements this with power from the electric motor to deliver typical BMW driving pleasure combined with groundbreaking efficiency. Calculated using the EU test cycle for plug-in hybrid vehicles, the average fuel efficiency of the BMW i8 at model launch will be less than 2.5 liters/100 km, which equates to approximately 95 miles per US gallon, with CO2 emissions of less than 59 grams per kilometer.

    Optimal balance between performance and fuel economy: BMW i8 as an exciting evolution of the Efficient Dynamics strategy.

    It is now more than a decade since the BMW Group launched its Efficient Dynamics vehicle development strategy, whose aim is to significantly improve both the performance and the efficiency of new BMW Group models. Efficient Dynamics combines evolutionary advances in existing technologies with the development of new and revolutionary drive concepts. Efficient Dynamics solutions include efficient lightweight design and aerodynamic concepts, high-performance drive systems based on TwinPower Turbo technology and BMW eDrive, and intelligent management of all energy flows within the vehicle. The new, revolutionary technology now being introduced on models from BMW i will subsequently find its way into the vehicles of the BMW Group’s core brands.

    BMW i is also setting benchmarks in the quest for zero CO2 emissions in urban driving. The research and development work carried out since 2007 as part of project i has laid the foundations for revolutionary mobility solutions strongly influenced by environmental, economic and social change around the world. The BMW Group is pursuing an integrated approach, as embodied in the BMW i brand, which aims to achieve the necessary balance between individual needs and the global mobility requirements of the future. The BMW i focus is squarely on all-electric and plug-in hybrid mobility. Groundbreaking design, intelligent lightweight engineering, typical BMW driving pleasure coupled with zero tailpipe emissions, intelligent energy management and resource- and energy-saving production processes are all combined into an innovative premium-quality package.

    LifeDrive architecture with an aluminum chassis for the powertrain and a CFRP passenger cell: for more excitement, lower weight and optimized drag.

    The LifeDrive architecture specially developed for BMW i vehicles offers the ideal platform for turning the tide of spiraling weight while at the same time achieving distinctive styling exclusive to BMW i. With a length of 184.6 inches (4,689 mm), a width of 76.5 inches (1,942 mm) and a height of 50.9 inches (1,293 mm), the BMW i8 has the proportions of a sports car. Its dynamic personality is also stressed by a long bonnet, conspicuous aerodynamic features, an elongated roofline, short overhangs and a long wheelbase of 110.2 inches (2,800 mm). Characteristic BMW i form language wraps up this groundbreaking combination of sporty performance and efficiency in a charismatic 2+2-seater design.

    The BMW i8 combines a drag coefficient (Cd value) of 0.26 with outstanding aerodynamic balance. The finely honed air flow around all parts of the vehicle body makes for an excellent lift/drag ratio, resulting in superb driving dynamics and stability.

    Intelligent lightweight design – from the overall concept down to the smallest detail.

    With its combination of the aluminum Drive module and the CFRP passenger cell (Life module), the BMW i8 is also an excellent example of intelligent lightweight design – one of the guiding principles of the Efficient Dynamics strategy. Use of the lightweight high-tech material CFRP, which also offers excellent crash performance, brings weight savings of 50 percent over steel and around 30 percent over aluminum, with equivalent or improved strength. These savings offset the additional weight of the electric motor and the high-voltage battery, giving the BMW i8 a curb weight of less than 3,285 lbs (1,490 kilograms). The LifeDrive architecture also brings benefits in terms of weight distribution. The battery pack is situated low down in the middle of the vehicle, resulting in a low and central center of gravity, which improves safety. No other current model of a BMW Group brand has such a low center of gravity.

    The front-rear axle load distribution maximizes agility with a near-perfect 50:50 axle load ratio. The compact electric motor, together with the transmission and power electronics, are situated in close proximity to the electrically powered front axle. The turbocharged gasoline engine, which is located together with its transmission in the rear of the BMW i8, likewise sends its power to the road via the shortest possible route, i.e. through the rear wheels. As a finishing touch to this excellent weight distribution, the lithium-ion battery pack is centrally located in the vehicle, slightly forward of the mid-point. In terms of crash safety, this is an ideal location for the battery, which is integrated in an aluminum housing.

    The doors comprise a CFRP inner structure and an aluminum outer skin. This reduces the weight of the door by 50 percent compared with a conventional design. The high-quality, naturally tanned leather of the seats highlights the “next premium”, sustainable philosophy of BMW i. The magnesium instrument panel support saves weight on two fronts – firstly through intelligent design, leading to around 30 percent weight savings compared, for example, with the BMW 6 Series. In addition, the high structural rigidity provides a strengthening effect which allows the number of components to be reduced, thereby lowering weight by a further 10 percent. Innovative foam plastic technology used in the air conditioning ducts brings 60 percent weight savings over conventional components, while also improving acoustics thanks to its sound-absorbing properties.

    The fact that the power electronics and electric motor are directly connected reduces the amount of wiring required, while partial use of aluminum wiring brings further weight reductions. Lightweight design is also a feature of the BMW i8’s chassis systems – including the wheels, where the standard-fitted 20-inch forged aluminum wheels combine aerodynamic design with weight savings. The rigorous application of the lightweight design strategy even extends to aluminum screws and bolts, which are around 45 percent lighter than corresponding steel components, with the same strength and functionality.

    The BMW i8 is also the world’s first volume-produced vehicle to be equipped with chemically hardened glass. This innovative technology, to date used mainly in Smartphone manufacturing, results in very high strength. The partition between the passenger compartment and boot of the BMW i8 consists of two layers of chemically hardened glass, each of which is just 0.7 millimeters thick, with acoustic sheeting sandwiched between. In addition to excellent acoustic properties, a further advantage of this solution is weight savings of around 50 percent compared with conventional laminated glass.

    For maximum driving pleasure and efficiency: BMW TwinPower Turbo engine and electric motor developed by the BMW Group.

    The plug-in hybrid system of the BMW i8, which comprises a BMW TwinPower Turbo engine combined with BMW eDrive technology, offers the best of both worlds: excellent potential for improved efficiency and exciting, sporty driving characteristics. The BMW Group has developed not only the internal combustion engine and electric motor in-house but also the power electronics and the battery. This ensures that all these components offer high product and quality standards, based on the outstanding capabilities of the BMW Group in the field of powertrain research and development.

    The revolutionary character of the BMW i8 is emphasized by a further innovation: the use of a new internal combustion engine which is making its debut in this model. The BMW i8 is the first BMW production model to be powered by a three-cylinder gasoline engine. This highly turbocharged unit is equipped with latest-generation BMW TwinPower Turbo technology. It is exceptionally compact and develops maximum power of 231 hp (170 kW). The resulting specific output of 154 hp (113 kW) per liter of displacement is on a par with high-performance sports car engines and is the highest of any engine produced by the BMW Group.

    The new three-cylinder engine derives its typical characteristics from the BMW inline six-cylinder engines, to which it is closely related and which are noted for their eager power delivery, revving ability and refinement. The three-cylinder’s BMW TwinPower Turbo technology comprises a high-performance turbocharging system and direct gasoline injection with high-precision injectors positioned between the valves, along with VALVETRONIC throttle-less load control, which improves efficiency and response thanks to seamlessly variable valve lift control. Like a six-cylinder engine, the three-cylinder unit is free of first and second order inertial forces. The low roll torque, a typical feature of a three-cylinder design, is further reduced by a balancer shaft, while a multi-stage damper integrated in the automatic transmission ensures very smooth and refined running at low rpm. BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and low internal friction improve both fuel consumption and torque characteristics. Accelerator response is sharp and the three-cylinder unit quickly reaches its maximum torque of 236 lb-ft (320 Nm).

    The BMW i8’s second power source is a hybrid synchronous electric motor specially developed and produced by the BMW Group for BMW i. The electric motor develops maximum power of 131 hp (96 kW) and produces its maximum torque of around 236 lb-ft (320 Nm) from standstill. Typical of an electric motor, responsive power is instantly available when starting and this continues into the higher load ranges. The linear power delivery, which extends right up to the high end of the rpm range, is down to a special motor design principle exclusive to BMW i. BMW eDrive technology refines and improves on the principle of the permanently excited synchronous motor via a special arrangement and size of the torque-producing components. This results in a self-magnetising effect normally confined to reluctance motors. This additional excitation ensures that the electromechanical field generated when current is applied remains stable even at high rpm.

    As well as providing a power boost to assist the gasoline engine during acceleration, the electric motor can also power the vehicle by itself. Top speed is approximately 75 mph (120 km/h). The BMW i8 has a maximum driving range in this emission-free, virtually soundless, all-electric mode of up to 22 miles (35 kilometers). The motor derives its energy from the lithium-ion battery which is centrally mounted underneath the floor of the vehicle. The model-specific version of the high-voltage battery was developed and produced by the BMW Group. It has a liquid cooling system and can be recharged at a conventional household power socket, at a BMW i Wallbox or at a public charging station. In the US a full recharge takes approximately 3½ hours from a conventional 120 volt, 12 amp household circuit or approximately 1½ hours from a 220 volt Level 2 charger.

    The BMW i8’s vehicle concept and powertrain control system mark it out as a progressive, revolutionary sports car. The BMW i8 always achieves the optimal balance between performance and efficiency, whatever the driving situation. When power demands allow, the high-voltage battery is recharged by the electric motor. The high-voltage starter-generator, responsible for starting the engine, can also be used as a generator to charge the battery, the necessary power being provided by the BMW TwinPower Turbo engine. The battery can also be recharged via the electric motor during overrun. These various processes help to prevent depletion of the BMW i8’s battery in order to maintain the electric drive power. The all-electric driving range is sufficient to cover most urban driving requirements. Out of town, the BMW i8 offers impressively sporty performance which is also very efficient thanks to the power-boosting support for the gasoline engine from the electric motor. With such versatility, the BMW i8 belongs to a new generation of sports cars which unites exciting performance with cutting-edge efficiency – to enhance both driving pleasure and sustainability.

    Driving Experience Control and eDrive button: a choice of efficiency and performance characteristics – at the touch of a button.

    The rear wheels of the BMW i8 are driven by the gasoline engine via a six-speed automatic transmission. The front wheels are driven by the electric motor via an integrated two-stage automatic transmission. Combined maximum power and torque of 362 hp (266 kW) and 420 lb-ft (570 Nm) meters respectively provide all-wheel-drive performance which is as dynamic as it is efficient. The BMW i8’s intelligent powertrain control system ensures perfect coordination of both power sources. The variable power-sharing between the internal combustion engine and the electric motor makes the driver aware of the sporty temperament of the BMW i8 at all times, while at the same time maximizing the energy efficiency of the overall system. Utilizing both power sources, the 0 – 60 mph acceleration time is expected to be less than 4.5 seconds. Linear acceleration is maintained even at higher speeds since the interplay between the two power sources efficiently absorbs any power flow interruptions when shifting gears. The BMW i8 has an electronically controlled top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h), which can be reached and maintained when the vehicle operates solely on the gasoline engine. Variable front-rear power splitting in line with changing driving conditions makes for excitingly dynamic cornering. On entering the corner, the power split is biased towards the rear wheels to improve turning precision. For more vigorous acceleration out of the corner, the powertrain controller returns to the default split as soon as the steering angle becomes smaller again. The BMW i8 also offers the driver unusual scope to adjust the drive and suspension settings of the vehicle in order to adapt the driving experience to his or her individual preferences. As well as the electronic gear selector for the automatic transmission, the driver can also use the Driving Experience Control switch – a familiar feature of the latest BMW models – or, exclusively to the BMW i8, the eDrive button.

    Using the gear selector, the driver can either select position D for automated gear selection or can switch to SPORT mode. SPORT mode offers manual gear selection and at the same time switches to very sporty drive and suspension settings. In SPORT mode, the engine and electric motor deliver extra-sharp performance, accelerator response is faster and the power boost from the electric motor is maximized. And to keep the battery topped up, SPORT mode also activates maximum energy recuperation during overrun and braking: for this, the electric motor’s generator function, which recharges the battery using kinetic energy, switches to a more powerful setting. At the same time, gear change times are shortened and an extra-sporty setting is selected for the standard-fitted Dynamic Damper Control. Also in this mode, the programmable instrument cluster supplies further driving-related information in addition to the rev counter display.

    The Driving Experience Control switch on the center console offers a choice of two settings. On starting, COMFORT mode is activated, which offers a balance between sporty performance and fuel efficiency, with unrestricted access to all convenience functions. Alternatively, at the touch of a button, ECO PRO mode can be engaged, which, on the BMW i8 as on other models, supports an efficiency-optimised driving style. The powertrain controller coordinates the cooperation between the gasoline engine and the electric motor for maximum fuel economy. On deceleration, the intelligent energy management system automatically decides, in line with the driving situation and vehicle status, whether to recuperate braking energy or to coast with the powertrain disengaged. At the same time, ECO PRO mode also programs electrical convenience functions such as the air conditioning, seat heating and heated mirrors to operate at minimum power consumption – but without compromising safety. The maximum driving range of the BMW i8 on a full fuel tank and with a fully charged battery is over 310 miles (500 km) in COMFORT mode. In ECO PRO mode, this can be increased by up to 20 percent. The BMW i8’s ECO PRO mode can also be used during all-electric operation. The vehicle is then powered solely by the electric motor. Only if the battery charge drops below a given level, or under sudden intense throttle application such as kickdown, is the internal combustion engine automatically activated. The driving mode selected at a given moment is indicated to the driver on the programmable instrument cluster by a distinctive color and by a different, mode-specific set of driving information. The three-dimensional appearance of the display adds to the futuristic look and feel of the vehicle as a whole.

    High-quality chassis technology, DSC and Dynamic Damper Control as standard.

    The high-end chassis and suspension technology of the BMW i8 is based on a double-track control arm front axle and a five-link rear axle, whose aluminum components and geometry are specially configured for intelligent weight savings. The electromechanical power steering offers easy manoeuvring in town and typical sports car-style high-speed steering precision. Also standard is Dynamic Damper Control: the electronically operated dampers change their characteristics according to the selected driving mode to deliver the desired vehicle dynamics. The DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) stability system includes the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Cornering Brake Control (CBC), Dynamic Brake Control (DBC), Brake Assist, Brake Standby, Start-Off Assistant, Fading Compensation and the Brake Drying function. The push button-activated Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) system raises the DSC thresholds, allowing some controlled drive wheel slippage for easier start-off on snow or loose ground, or for extra-dynamic cornering.

    The extraordinary BMW i8 will make its world debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show and arrive in BMW showrooms in 2014.

    Selasa, 06 Agustus 2013

    World's First Road Embedded Wireless Electric Bus Network Opens [VIDEO]

    Two cordless rechargeable Hyundai battery electric buses have been put in service this week in a pilot program in Gumi, South Korea.

    The Online Electric Vehicle (OLEV), developed by the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), is an electric vehicle that can be charged while stationary or driving, thus removing the need to stop at a charging station. Likewise, an OLEV tram does not require pantographs to feed power from electric wires strung above the tram route.

    Two OLEV buses will run an inner city route between Gumi Train Station and In-dong district, for a total of 24 km roundtrip. The bus will receive 20 kHz and 100 kW (136 horsepower) electricity at an 85% maximum power transmission efficiency rate while maintaining a 17cm air gap between the underbody of the vehicle and the road surface.

    OLEV is a groundbreaking technology that accelerates the development of purely electric vehicles as a viable option for future transportation systems, be they personal vehicles or public transit. This is accomplished by solving technological issues that limit the commercialization of electric vehicles such as price, weight, volume, driving distance, and lack of charging infrastructure.

    OLEV receives power wirelessly through the application of the "Shaped Magnetic Field in Resonance (SMFIR)" technology. SMFIR is a new technology introduced by KAIST that enables electric vehicles to transfer electricity wirelessly from the road surface while moving.

    Power comes from the electrical cables buried under the surface of the road, creating magnetic fields. There is a receiving device installed on the underbody of the OLEV that converts these fields into electricity. The length of power strips installed under the road is generally 5%-15% of the entire road, requiring only a few sections of the road to be rebuilt with the embedded cables.

    OLEV has a small battery (one-third of the size of the battery equipped with a regular electric car). The vehicle complies with the international electromagnetic fields (EMF) standards of 62.5 mG, within the margin of safety level necessary for human health.

    The road has a smart function as well, to distinguish OLEV buses from regular cars—the segment technology is employed to control the power supply by switching on the power strip when OLEV buses pass along, but switching it off for other vehicles, thereby preventing EMF exposure and standby power consumption. As of today, the SMFIR technology supplies 60 kHz and 180 kW of power remotely to transport vehicles at a stable, constant rate.

    After the successful operation of the two OLEV buses by the end of this year, Gumi City plans to provide ten more such buses by 2015.

    Tesla working on an all-wheel drive Model S

    The Tesla Model S has quickly become one of the most desirable electric vehicles to ever be produced and a new report is indicating the company is developing an all-wheel variant.

    Details are limited, but The Verge is reporting the all-wheel drive model could be launched as early as next year in an "ultra-premium" trim level. The car will apparently be based on the P85 variant and be able to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds or less. After the initial roll-out, the all-wheel drive system could become optional on less expensive models.

    Tesla declined to comment on the report, but the company has already announced plans to offer an optional all-wheel drive system on the Model X crossover. The system uses an electric motor at each axle for improved grip and acceleration.

    Why All-wheel-drive? Well quite simply, luxury buyers in the key northeast US and northern European markets expect it. And you can thank Audi for that. But it’s not just Audi, every other luxury brand offers all-wheel-drive on their core sedans.