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2017 Toyota Prius Prime (Plug-In) Debuts: 22 Miles Range, 120 MPG

Jay Cole March 24, 2016

Added by admin 25/03/1

Toyota unveiled the much anticipated next generation of plug-in Prius Wednesday morning (March 23, 2016) from the New York Auto Show, now with its own unique nameplate – the Prius Prime.

Statistically, the new plug-in Prius came in ahead of earlier expectations for the car, as it has a 22 mile range rating via a 8.8 kWh battery. Toyota also touts the MPGe as a best in the PHEV class at 120 MPGe.

Toyota says the Prius Prime is built on consumer feedback, and is an entirely enjoyable to drive in both petrol and ev modes.

The previous edition of the Prius PHV had ~11 miles of electric range and the EV mode maxed out at just 62 mph. Earlier reports (still not officially confirmed) had the new Prius Prime’s electric motor with a max rating of 66.2kW (90ps), this new 84 mph electric-only top speed would seem to re-enforce those numbers.

The older Prius PHV has been out of production since June of 2015, which has left us with a large sales gap between the first and second generations cars. Toyota notes today that the Prius Prime will be available in all 50 states, later this year.
And if anyone remembers the out-going Prius PHV very well, one instantly notices the one area the new Prime has underwent a huge upgrade – the interior. Not only does it have the upgraded Prius look, but an optional 11.6-inch Multimedia HD Display, which is quite something to see.

Pricing was not announced at the debut, but like its predecessor, the plug-in version of the popular Prius model will likely slot in near the top end of the conventional trim ranges, with the base Prime likely slotted just above the “Prius Four” which starts at $28,650.
A starting price-point of $29,990 sounds about right to us (with a higher “tech level” in the mid 30s), and with a new larger 8.8 kWh battery on tap, the Prius Prime will be eligible for a $4,168 federal credit in the US – which would give the plug-in a net price of ~$25,700.

More ... including more images and video, plus the Toyota press release.
                                                   Story and image courtesy: InsideEVs


First all-electric double-decker buses roll out in London

Nick Lavars March 20, 2016

Added by admin 22/03/1

London's famed red buses are set to receive a little dash of green, thanks to five new all-electric additions to the fleet. After being formally received at a ceremony last week, the new local emissions-free vehicles will now be rolled out along service routes where pollution is of particular concern.
Developed by Chinese car and rechargeable battery maker BYD, the air conditioned double-decker buses measure 10.2 m (33.46 ft) long and can each carry 81 passengers; 54 seated and 27 standing.
The buses are powered by 345 kWh iron phosphate batteries and have a range of 190 mi (305 km).
Charging equipment will be installed at service operator Metroline's Willesden Bus Garage in north London, where the buses will be recharged in four hours overnight. BYD says the buses are capable of carrying out most daily duty cycles.

The city first announced this shift toward greener public transportation in July last year at the Clean Bus Summit. This followed the introduction of its first hybrid buses in 2009, of which there are more than 1,300 in operation. The five new buses will enter service on Route 98, chosen due to its reputation as a pollution hotspot in London.

"It's a very exciting moment that this is happening here," says Matthew Pencharz, London's Deputy Mayor of Environment and Energy. "The running costs are much lower and some of the maintenance and operations costs are much lower on the buses. Also, these [buses] are zero-emission, zero-tailpipe-pollution and that is a huge benefit for Londoners."
                                                   Story and image courtesy: gizmag


Review: EsCargo electric cargo bike is one heck of a strange ride

Loz Blain - March 9, 2016

Added by admin 15/03/1

I've tested some strange and wonderful vehicles over the last year or two, but this has to be one of the weirdest experiences I've had in a long time. It turns everything I know about handling a motorcycle on its head. The EsCargo is a cargo-carrying electric delivery bike prototype with a unique double-knuckle front suspension and steering system the puts the front wheel more than a meter (3.3 ft) in front of you, giving it some very odd steering dynamics and thoroughly confusing my motorcycling brain. We caught up with inventor Oscar Fehlberg in Melbourne, Australia.
With more people in cities buying more things online there's going to be an increasing demand for quick, efficient delivery systems in the next 20 years. And while there are numerous efforts underway to bring flying drones into the delivery mix, courier style delivery is clearly here to stay in the medium term. All the better if they use zero-emission electric vehicles.

That's the thinking behind the EsCargo, the honours project of Melbourne industrial design graduate Oscar Fehlberg. Inspired by Dutch style cargo bikes like the Bullitt, the Cetma and the Urban Arrow, the EsCargo is designed for mid-range trips slightly longer than a bicycle design would be good for, and for loads up to 150 kg (331 lb), or 175 liters (46 US gal) in capacity.
"[The steering system] doesn't really have a name," Fehlberg told us. "I found a few examples of it in some DIY cargo bicycles. In the workshop we called it double-knuckle steering because of the two pivot points on each arm. It's similar to hub steering in a way, except it doesn't pivot inside the hub, it uses a standard scooter wheel."

Still, a steering system that uses ropes? It turns out, these Dyneema sailing ropes are designed for some pretty extreme performance. "Those ropes are stronger than the steel cable, and have less stretch," says Fehlberg.
Either way, it's one of the freakiest things I've ever tried to ride.
I say "tried," because for the first five minutes on the EsCargo I was paddling around with my feet down, utterly confused. Everything I did with the steering was wrong, the bike seemed to veer off in strange directions and that distant front end didn't want to come back.

Here's why. At the sub-20 km/h (12 mph) speeds I was riding at, the EsCargo doesn't countersteer like a motorcycle. It steers positively, like some sort of leaning quad bike. Eventually I worked out the way to turn it is to lean your body in to prepare for the turn, then haul the front end into the turn by steering positively. Oh, and correct in the opposite direction to what you'd do on a motorcycle. It's a bit like those fairground bikes where the controls are reversed.

More... text, photos and video
                                                   Story and image courtesy: gizmag


Morgan EV3: All-electric 3-wheeler weighs less than 500 kg, boasts 240-km range

Scott Collie - March 7, 2016

Added by admin 10/03/1

Morgan is known for being a traditional car manufacturer, but that hasn't stopped it from looking to the future. Having promised a fully hybridized range by 2019, the boutique British brand has used the Geneva Motor Show to whip the covers off a fully electric version of its three-wheeler with a 241 km (150 mi) range.
Instead of the V-Twin motor attached to the front of the regular 3-Wheeler, the EV3 is powered by a 46 kW (62 hp) electric motor attached to the rear wheel. That's not a heap of power, but having one less wheel than regular car helps keep its weight down to under 500 kg (1102 lb).

That light weight means the low-power EV will hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in 9 seconds, with a claimed range of 241 km (150 miles). The car's (trike's?) low kerb weight also means it only needs a 20 kWh liquid cooled battery to achieve these figures, as opposed to the minimum 75 kWh battery size Tesla needs to power a full sized, heavy family sedan.
Add to that the unique sidepods on the flanks, plus an interior that combines a classic layout with beautiful materials, and the whole EV3 looks like a well thought out addition to the Morgan lineup.

Okay, it's not going to be giving Tesla or Rimac's engineers any sleepless night, but that's not really the point.

Morgan describes the vehicle shown in Geneva as a " final pre-production phase" car. It's expected to go into production later this year and "will be priced comparably to the petrol 3 Wheeler," which starts at £31,000 (US$44,200).

More... photos and video
                                                   Story and image courtesy: gizmag


Discount City Parking for Electric, Low Emissions Cars

Added by admin 07/03/16

South Australian electric and low emissions vehicle drivers could soon enjoy "huge ... positive price discrimination" when parking in the city.
Discount car parking for electric powered and low emission vehicles would be implemented before the end of the year under a plan by the Adelaide City Council.
The council’s draft strategic plan 2016-2020, currently out for consultation, also flags a feasibility study into installing electric car charging bays across the CBD by 2017.

Lord Mayor Martin Haese told InDaily the council wanted to implement “huge … positive price discrimination” to encourage people to buy electric and low-emissions vehicles – part of the council’s goal to make the city carbon neutral by 2025.
Haese said the measures would constitute “tangible … instant gratification” for South Australians who purchase “green” cars.
But the size of the discount – along with the specific vehicle types that would be eligible and how the discount scheme would be administered in city U-parks – is yet to be decided.
Haese also conceded that the discount parking would mainly benefit wealthy city users “in the short term”, because low-emissions and electric vehicles are relatively expensive, and that the number of electric cars currently on South Australian roads was “not large”.
But he said that would be “a very short term phenomenon” because low emissions vehicle prices were falling, and would reduce “exponentially” over time.
The cost of batteries used in in electric cars – also used in solar systems – is rapidly falling.
“We have to get the volume of these vehicles up to get the price down,” said Haese.
“We need to get the prices of electric vehicles down as quickly as possible.”
Haese said that having electric cars lining up along Adelaide streets, plugged into electric charging units, would “send a strong visual signal” to encourage South Australians to purchase low-emissions cars.

                                                   Story: InDaily
                                                   Image by Eric Rodda - from a Nissan LEAF


Daimler to invest 500 million Euros in new battery factory in Germany

Added by admin 03/03/16

Daimler will invest 500 million Euros in a new battery factory in Germany. The new battery factory will produce lithium-ion battery packs for hybrid and electric vehicles for Mercedes-Benz and smart brands.
Li-Tec, a subsidiary of the Daimler Group, ceased manufacture of battery cells in December 2015. The majority of the 280 employees were transferred to the Deutsche Accumotive - also a wholly owned Daimler subsidiary - which manufactures battery packs based on LG Chem cells.

Daimler consistently expands its activities in the area of electromobility and invests around 500 million Euros in the construction of a new battery factory. This will lead to a significant expansion of the production capacities for lithium-ion batteries of Deutsche ACCUMOTIVE located in the Saxon city of Kamenz.

The new factory will produce batteries for electric and hybrid vehicles of the brands Mercedes-Benz and smart. As a first step, the full Daimler subsidiary has purchased about 20 hectares of land adjacent to the existing battery factory.
"To get closer to fully electric driving, we keep investing big in the key component of emission-free vehicles: powerful batteries. We are now devoting another 500 million Euros to build a second battery factory in Germany. This underlines our commitment to the consistent expansion of electromobility", said Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.

Daimler announced a initial 100 million euros investment to expand East German battery pack output in 2014.
With the growing electrification of the automobile, the demand for highly efficient lithium-ion batteries is also rising steadily. Through its entry into the new business field with stationary battery storage for private and industrial applications, Deutsche ACCUMOTIVE will tap into additional growth opportunities.

By the end of 2014, the Daimler subsidiary had already announced its plans for a significant increase in its production capacities and an investment of around 100 million Euros in the expansion of the existing battery factory. "With the purchase of the new land, our production area at the site will be tripled.
The previous 20,000 square meters will be stocked up by an additional 40,000 square meters of production space. We will expand the production capacity consistently in the coming years", said Harald Kröger, Head of Development Electrics/Electronics and e-Drive Mercedes-Benz Cars.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the new factory is planned for fall 2016. The topping-out ceremony will then follow in spring 2017. The new production plant is to start operations in summer 2017.
Daimler entered into the business with stationary battery storage with Deutsche ACCUMOTIVE last year. The scalability of the systems enables the use of the lithium-ion batteries in big industry for network stabilization and smoothing of peak shaving for energy producers as well as private households, for example in conjunction with photovoltaic installations.

Mercedes-Benz energy storage units for private households can already be ordered and will soon be installed at customers in collaboration with selected sales partners. In the area of industrial applications, around 29 megawatt will be connected to the network jointly with different partners.

                                                   Story and image courtesy: Electric Vehicle News


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