I had a chance recently to test drive two of the cars whose creators are bent on changing the way we view transportation, a converted all electric Scion eBox by Silicon Valley startup AC Propulsion, and a Saturn Vue Greenline hybrid. Both were highly enjoyable. The first, with a $70,000 price tag and a $10,000 deposit, is clearly an EV targeted at Conspicuous Sustainability consumers. I guess then, that the Saturn Vue Greenline … Read more
Better Energy Systems wants us to rough it. Unlike its previous products, which were designed to provide solar power for small handheld devices essentially in urban use, its newest offering an "ultra-tough" hybrid charger that the company calls "the ultimate accessory for fueling outdoor adventures."
The "Solio Hybrid 1000" provides as much power as the previous "Solio Classic" but is housed in a rugged waterproof case. Its hybrid design also allows its internal lithium-ion battery to be charged by a computer through its USB connection when sunlight isn't an option.
If … Read more
Usually a spaceship-looking vehicle like this comes only in concept form, but the Aptera three-wheeled elecric or diesel-hybrid car--if it can accurately be called a car, anyway--has not only made it to the prototype stage but is available for pre-order. And why might you want to pay $500 just to wait in line to buy one?
Consider these stats: 230 miles per gallon on the highway for the hybrid version, according to Gizmodo, and an estimated 10 seconds from zero to 60. All this for the relatively paltry sum of $20,000 too, as long as you can contain yourself … Read more
SANTA CLARA, Calif.--Back in 2005, Samsung and Microsoft announced something that got the storage fans in the world excited: they had designed a hard drive with a bit of flash memory in it that would serve as a data cache.
The hybrid hard drive would cut down power consumption, increase battery life, and, most importantly, whack boot-up time, the companies said.
But so far, you don't see a lot of them on store shelves and the benefits are somewhat disappointing, said hard drive executives at Diskcon 2007, taking place in Santa Clara this week.
"The initial versions … Read more
EnerDel says it will come out with a lithium-ion battery for plug-in hybrids that will cost $1,500, a development that could go a long way to making these cars palatable in terms of price.
The Indianapolis-based company, which recently received a $6.5 million grant from the United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC), hopes to deliver the battery to car manufacturers for their 2010 lineups, according to Charles Gassenheimer, vice chairman of the company. The 2010 model cars will start coming out in September 2009, he said.
By then, there will probably be 65 hybrid cars on the market, … Read more
The new models and concept cars just keep on coming at the 2007 Frankfurt auto show. One notable trend at this year's event is the willingness of luxury German automakers to finally embrace hybrid technology, with Audi, BMW, Porsche, and Mercedes all either announcing production hybrids or showing off advanced hybrid concepts. Meanwhile, the 2009 Jaguar XF shows that concept technology can make it off the auto show floor, as the latest Big Cat retains its futuristic shifter for production. On the subject of cabin gadgetry, automotive equipment manufacturer Siemens VDO showed off its next-generation in-car touch screen technology, … Read more
If diesels and hybrid cars both get great mileage, why not add a hybrid system to a diesel engine? Mercedes-Benz decided to answer that in the affirmative, showing off numerous diesel-electric hybrids at the 2007 Frankfurt auto show. Because diesel engines and electric motors duplicate their most efficient performance bands, high torque at low RPMs, Mercedes-Benz found a small hybrid system was all that was needed on its Bluetec diesel electrics, rather than the more robust two-mode system coming out on its ML450 and S400.
In 2010, Mercedes-Benz will launch the E300 and the S300, both cars using a Bluetec … Read more
As evidenced by the F700, launched at the 2007 Frankfurt auto show, Mercedes-Benz expects to be building large luxury sedans long into the future. But also recognizing the need to reduce fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions, the company includes some miraculous-sounding technologies in the F700. It's also using the vehicle to explore advances in passenger comfort and infotainment.
Google is earmarking more greenbacks to make cars greener.
The nonprofit arm of the Web search giant, Google.org, on Wednesday issued a $10 million request for proposal from companies involved in commercial plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and other forms of sustainable transportation.
The RFP process--to be done entirely online--is meant to accelerate development of cleaner forms of transportation at a large scale in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to Google.org.
Google intends to invest between $500,000 and $2 million in companies that are approved and will not take up position on those firms' boards.
It … Read more
At the 2007 Frankfurt auto show, German automakers had hybrid cars and concepts on display. Up until now, European automakers seemed uninterested in employing hybrid technologies, but Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Porsche, and Audi have all stepped up to the plate. Mercedes-Benz has an actual hybrid SUV ready for production, while the other automakers have concepts that strongly indicate future hybrid powertrain development.