If Fred Flintstone were somehow transported forward from the stone age, he probably wouldn't know what to make of our internal combustion engines, direct injection, variable-valve timing, fuel-cells, and plug-in electric hybrids. He might however, feel at home in the Imagine Neighborhood Electric Vehicle. Designed by the aptly-named HumanCar. The Imagine is described by its creators as a "human-electric hybrid," meaning that it can be powered either by its two onboard electric motors or by "variable human power input" (i.e. pedaling). The four-passenger Imagine has an exoskeletal safety cage chassis and comes with a … Read more
Now this the kind of competition we like to see, resulting in technology that's truly useful--like lawnmowers.
First we saw the "Lawnbott," then the "Auto Mower," and now we have the "GOAT" from Evatech. This mowing monster is strong enough "to pull a fertilizer spreader, climb 45-degree inclines, or even operate as a snowplow," Gizmag says.
But what truly distinguishes the GOAT--which stands for "Go All Terrain"--is its power source: a hybrid motor that runs on both gasoline and electricity. (We also like the remote, which looks just … Read more
By 2010, Wal-Mart and its suppliers are going to be a lot more energy efficient.
The retailing giant has set a goal of getting suppliers to increase the energy efficiency of its products by 25 percent in three years. For some suppliers, the standards are a little more stringent. By 2010, the company will only sell Energy Star-rated air conditioners. Flat panel TVs will have to be 30 percent more energy efficient than they are now.
"If we achieved our 25 percent goal just in the U.S. we would save enough electricity to power 3 million homes per … Read more
The 2009 Saturn Vue Green Line 2 Mode is the first car to offer two different hybrid powertrains. We take a first look from the 2008 Detroit auto show.
If plug-in hybrid cars become popular, the cars could potentially reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on foreign oil. But will they cause electricity prices to zoom?
Scientists at the Pacific Northwest National Labs are trying to figure out that right now, according to staff scientist Michael Kintner-Meyer in an interview. PNNL hopes to issue a report this summer that will help answer that question.
Last year, PNNL studied how well the grid, as it exists today, could accommodate an influx of plug-in hybrids. (Unlike a conventional Prius hybrid, plug-ins can be charged from a wall socket. General Motors, Toyota … Read more
The guy who designed BMW's Z8 has a greener idea. Get a first look at the Fisker Karma from the 2008 Detroit auto show.
The Chevrolet Volt has some high standards to live up to: In conversations with Wired News at this week's North American International Auto Show (aka the Detroit auto show), General Motors Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said that a successful launch of Chevy's plug-in hybrid could have "the same sort of symbolism" for GM and the U.S. auto industry as the Apollo missions and the moon landings did for NASA and American scientific endeavors. (He also talks price, batteries, and looks.)
Toyota surprised us with a plug-in hybrid Prius on the floor at the 2008 Detroit auto show. The company has resisted the plug-in hybrid movement previously, citing the fact that you don't need to plug in the Prius as a virtue. But there has been quite a bit of interest in plug-in hybrids from individuals and even power companies. Plug-in proponents claim to get 100 mpg by modifying Priuses and recharging the batteries when the cars aren't being used. Toyota seems to have finally given into the plug-in pressure, starting up its own plug-in program and handing over … Read more
Fisker Automotive formally unveiled its upscale hybrid car today and said it has received an infusion of cash from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
The investment is believed to be the first direct investment by Kleiner Perkins into an alternative car company. (Rumors swirled that the company invested in Phoenix Motorcars, but it was never confirmed, and Phoenix subsequently had delays). Fisker did not officially release the amount of the investment but Kleiner partner Ray Lane told the Wall Street Journal that the investment exceeds $10 million.
The company is founded by noted automotive designer Henrik Fisker. He came up … Read more
A new car company named Fisker showed off its luxury plug-in hybrid sports car and demonstrated its substantial financial backing by occupying some prime real estate on the floor of the 2008 Detroit Auto Show. The company follows in the wake of Tesla in its effort to develop a successful, high-end, eco-conscious sports car.