Nissan PIVO 3 concept to debut at Tokyo Show

November 10th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The Tokyo Motor Show has become well known for having its share of wacky futuristic concepts and Nissan are making sure this reputation is upheld.

Nissan is taking its PIVO concept to the 2011 show in its third concept form. The first PIVO 1 was unveiled in 2005, the PIVO 2 in 2007 and now the PIVO 3.

The PIVO 3 is sticking to the same three-seat layout and central driving position as its predecessors but its styling has moved towards a more production-ready concept.

Francois Bancon, Nissan deputy divisional GM for product strategy, has said that Nissan is considering pushing ahead with the PIVO. “There is no decision to do this. We are now considering the next step of the EV after LEAF and Infiniti EV and an LCV EV. We are going to have many ways to propose to the market what seems radically different, it must be an EV signature [model], if you will.” Continue reading “Nissan PIVO 3 concept to debut at Tokyo Show” »

Development starts on all-electric DeLorean DMC-12

October 18th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

From our ‘About Time’ file comes news that the DeLorean DMC-12 will be brought back from the dead and rebuilt in a new EV form. The DMC-12 was made famous by the popular  Back to the Future blockbuster movies and has enjoyed an iconic status ever since. With legions of fans for the vehicle a modern-day rebuild makes plenty of sense and is destined for much publicity.

Planning to build a new DMC-12 in electric form is a collaboration effort between the reborn DeLorean Motor Company and an electric car startup company named Epic EV. DMC is now operating out of Texas, U.S.A and expects to put the new electric vehicle into production by 2013. Epic EV is a firm started by Aptera co-founder Chris Anthony and currently has other electric-powered projects in the pipeline.

Little is known about the car itself at this stage but early reports say it will a power output of around 195kW and a top speed of 200km/h. It will cost around $100,000 USD. In terms of styling expect the gullwing doors from the original to remain, but the engine layout may shift from the rear and who knows where the batteries will go. Continue reading “Development starts on all-electric DeLorean DMC-12” »

Audi releases first images of A2 concept

September 7th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Audi has revealed the first batch of computer-enhanced photos of its electric A2 concept before its unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The eco-friendly concept is expected to provide the base for a production version scheduled to go on sale in the next two years.

Details are thin at this stage but it is thought that the new A2 will be built with both full electric and conventional petrol powerplants.

In terms of size the A2 concept is taller than Audi’s current A1 hatch but is shorter at 3,800mm and also narrower at 1,690mm. Despite its small dimensions Audi claims the A2 will be a genuine four-seater thanks to a flat floor, ultra-thin seats and the absence of a traditional dashboard with lower console. Continue reading “Audi releases first images of A2 concept” »

Gaddafi’s bespoke Fiat 500 EV taken by Libyan rebels

September 2nd, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Ex-Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has lost his palace, lost his country and now has lost his Fiat 500 Castagna EV.

The bespoke electric vehicle was taken from the ousted dictator’s bunker in Bab Al-Azizia, Libya. Gaddafi had almost as many flash cars as he did fancy hats but the $144,000 USD custom Fiat 500 was a little bit special. Despite being known to have business links with Fiat, the 500 was ordered through a intermediary for Gaddafi in June 2009 with a number of special requests. The Fiat had to be delivered to Libya by September that year and required custom touches including being doorless, having a two-tone paint job, a cream leather interior and wood trim. Special Libyan-themed accents also included a back-lit Lion of the Desert on the A-pillar and a silhouette of Africa badge on the front. Continue reading “Gaddafi’s bespoke Fiat 500 EV taken by Libyan rebels” »

Solar Powered Motoring

August 28th, 2011 by Tim Grimley

Thanks to ticking a little box somewhere in a signup process that signified me as the kind of eco-conscious person who does not want to see our planet burn-up and die due to excessive use of envelopes, each week my power company sends me an e-statement detailing exactly how much further into electrical debt I and the currently Mrs Grimley have plunged. A neat little feature of this is a little graph which tracks our power consumption and lets us know by how much our usage has varied from the previous seven days; usually it’s no more than a couple of percent each way, so you can imagine my shock to find that this week we had outdone ourselves to the tune of 1057%.

After climbing off the floor and double checking I hadn’t been sent a report on the historical rate of inflation in Zimbabwe, I sat down and did a few calculations. Admittedly we were out of the country for a couple of days, but even with that taken into account things weren’t adding up until I remembered the heat pump.

Get in. Drive. Tama-nui-te-rā demands it.

Thanks to the Antarctic blast that swept the country and brought single figure temperatures to the inside of Grimley Towers, our usual strategy of simply adding more layers was abandoned in favour of the mechanical wonder that has sat patiently unused on our wall since we moved in last December. This was a good move in the sense that it allowed me to walk around in my stubbies and get full enjoyment from chilled beer, but in hindsight it would have been far better on the bank balance to find heat from other sources. Like shivering.

But it got me thinking that if it is so easy to unintentionally eat up beer money just by keeping warm, then it may not be a bad idea to investigate other aspects of our life that might be haemorrhaging dineros. Continue reading “Solar Powered Motoring” »

Cadillac confirms production for electric ELR Coupe (+video)

August 19th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Cadillac’s smooth styled ELR Coupe has been given the green light for production. With its sharp looks and range-extending hybrid drivetrain, General Motors has high hopes for the luxury two-door.

The model was originally shown as the Cadillac Converj concept at the 2009 Detroit Motor Show, rumours have been around ever since that it would enter production. Now, development has been officially confirmed with the new model, named the ELR Coupe, heavily borrowing technology from the Chevrolet Volt.

“The concept generated instant enthusiasm,” said Don Butler, vice president-Cadillac Marketing. “Like other milestone Cadillac models of the past, the ELR will offer something not otherwise present – the combination of electric propulsion with striking design and the fun of luxury coupe driving.”

No official specs have been released but Cadillac has confirmed its ELR will use a version of the same Voltec drivetrain as the Volt, but possibly a more advanced set up. This will feature a T-shaped lithium ion battery, an electric drive unit, and a four-cylinder engine-generator. Continue reading “Cadillac confirms production for electric ELR Coupe (+video)” »

Toyota Prius Plug-in charging to Frankfurt debut

August 16th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Eco-warriors rejoice, the production version of the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid will make its world debut at next month’s 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show.

It’s a huge launch for Toyota and the Japanese carmaker is claiming that the Prius Plug-in is the next “major milestone” in its 40-year quest for sustainable mobility. The production plug-in hybrid sedan has a freshly designed, compact lithium-ion battery that allows this latest Prius to reach a new low in minimal fuel consumption, sipping just 2.2 litres per 100 kilometers with CO2 emissions of just 49 grams per km.

The plug-in Prius isn’t a successor to the current model and Toyota will continue to focus on hybrid vehicles without a plug,. But Toyota says the Plug-in Prius is its new flagship that showcases the latest developments in hybrid-drive technology. It also says that the car’s value and incredible fuel consumption combine to make it the ultimate eco car. Continue reading “Toyota Prius Plug-in charging to Frankfurt debut” »

Audi reveals sketches of electric Urban Concept (+video)

August 12th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Design sketches have been released of Audi’s Urban Concept vehicle which is set for its debut at next month’s Frankfurt Auto Show.

The Urban Concept is the latest in a range of e-tron electric car concept Audi has revealed with many scheduled for production in the coming years.

The car is an open wheel, 1+1 seat, ultra-light cruiser for congested urban environments. Interestingly, the passenger doesn’t sit directly behind the driver instead the passenger seat is located to the right and just slightly back from the driver’s seat. Access is via the tailgate with a roof that slides back to open as well.

Development of the concept focused on lightweight construction, efficiency and reduction. There is no unnecessary weight and the drivetrain is built for absolute efficiency. The concept is made from a carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) monocoque frame that integrates the substructures of the two seats as well. The alloy wheels measure 21-inches. Continue reading “Audi reveals sketches of electric Urban Concept (+video)” »

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