Archive for the ‘Transportation’ Category

RUF’s Electric Porsche

Friday, October 10th, 2008

The initial rumors about the German tuner, RUF, making an electric car were based on the Cayman. It is now known that the new electric platform will be based on the 911. The new electric motor will have 200 hp and a most impressive 480 lb.-ft. of torque, go 0-60 in under 7 seconds, and have a top speed of 160 mph. Like the Tesla, it will have a lithium-ion battery pack, but performance figures for the initial offering of RUF’s electric do not compare to the Tesla Roadster. The following is what we know of the Electric RUF, Tesla Roadster and Fisker Karma. read more »

The World’s First Hydrogen Powered Motorcycle

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

Prototype hydrogen powered cars have been around for a while, but earlier this week, scientists at Loughborough University showed off the world’s first hydrogen powered motorcycle. The ENV (emissions neutral vehicle) has an onboard hydrogen fuel cell that can be filled in 3 minutes. It then converts the hydrogen into usable electricity powering the motorcycle to speeds over 50 mph and has a range of about 100 miles, and of course only gives off warm air and water as exhaust.

The motorcycles are said to be easy to operate. The university has already planned to build a fleet of the ENVs for use around the campus.

via gas2

Tazzari Cuts Recharge Time to 45 Minutes

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

An Italian company, Tazzari, has taken a significant step towards resolving one of the biggest drawbacks on electric vehicles…recharging. The company claims that the Tazzari Zero will be able to get a full charge in just 45 minutes. Although not clarified, it will probably be from a 220v outlet.

The upcoming Chevy Volt will reportedly charge in under 3 hours with a 220v outlet, and similarly the Tesla Roadster will charge in about 3.5 hours. Although the Zero charges much quicker, the Tesla read more »

Hydrogen Storage Milestone

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

Nanotechnology is at work once again. The US Department of Energy’s target of 45 grams per liter for hydrogen storage has almost been met using graphene sheets that are one atom thick connected by columns of carbon nanotubes. Hydrogen is stored in the gaps between the nanotubes and the graphene sheets. The researchers also added lithium ions to the structure for increased storage capacity.

While they haven’t built the ‘pillared graphene’ structure yet, the scientists’ calculations indicate that it could store up to 41 g of hydrogen per litre, just short of the DOE target of 45 g per litre.

“Our material is capable of hosting a large number of hydrogen molecules without the aid of external pressure,” says Froudakis. “Thus the material [should be] safer for usage on automobile applications and will provide faster loading times than any other existing material.” read more »

Audi A1 Sportback Concept Gets Over 60mpg

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

Audi has thrown down the gauntlet to Mini with the A1. It is equipped with a 1.4-liter, 150 HP TSI engine that has both a turbocharger and supercharger, but also a 27 HP, 111 Lb-Ft electric motor for performance and efficiency. The production version is supposed to hit for the 2010 model range. The press release follows.

Compact five-door model with hybrid drive
Audi A1 Sportback concept

At the Paris Motor Show (October 2-10, 2008), Audi is unveiling the A1 Sportback concept study: following on from the Audi A1 project quattro, the three-door show car presented in 2007, this is a concept for a five-door
four-seater for the sub-compact class – once again exhibiting all the characteristics of a genuine Audi. The 3.99-meter long (13.09 ft) and 1.75-meter wide (5.74 ft) vehicle combines cutting-edge, dynamic styling with
optimum economy of space and supreme quality. At the same time, a series of visionary technical solutions take efficiency, dynamism and motoring pleasure into new territory as only Audi knows how.

Audi is presenting another version of the innovative hybrid technology in the drive unit for the A1 Sportback concept. At work under the hood is a 1.4-litre TFSI engine developing 110 kW (150 hp), whose power is directed to the front wheels by means of the S tronic dual-clutch transmission. A 20 kW (27 hp) electric motor integrated in the drive train is able to deliver up to an additional 150 Nm of torque (110.63 lb-ft) when the vehicle is accelerating. During the boosting phase, i.e. when the TFSI engine and electric motor operate simultaneously to enable a sporty driving style, the two power packs deliver impressive propulsion. The tried-and-tested front-wheel drive – supplemented by the newly developed, ESP-controlled active front differential lock – ensures optimum transfer of power to the road.

The electric motor is furthermore capable of powering the vehicle alone for zero-emission driving in residential areas, for instance. The capacity of the lithium-ion batteries gives the vehicle a range of up to 100 km (62.14 miles) in pure electric mode; the motor can be recharged from any power socket. The automatic start/stop facility, energy regeneration and phases of purely electrical operation reduce the fuel consumption and emissions of the Audi A1 Sportback concept by almost 30 percent compared to when it is running on the combustion engine alone. Despite its sporty performance, with acceleration of 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 7.9 seconds and a top speed of 200 km/h (124.27 mph), the Audi A1 Sportback concept requires only 3.9 liters of premium fuel per 100 km (60.31 US mpg); CO2 emissions are an efficient 92 g/km (148.06 g/mile) read more »

Electric Smart At Paris Motor Show

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

At the end of last year Smart leased 100 Electric Smarts in London for real world experience. Well, it looks like they passed all their tests and have graduated on to the big stage at the Paris Motor Show. The Smart Fortwo is not really as green as one would expect given its diminutive size averaging 37mpg combined. The Electric Smart is a different story. The press release is below.

Paris – at the Paris Motor Show 2008 smart is presenting the latest generation smart fortwo with electric drive to an international audience for the first time. In future, the advantages of the smart fortwo electric drive, which produces no local emissions, will be demonstrated in everyday service in the project “e-mobility Berlin” which Daimler AG presented together with the energy provider RWE at the beginning of September 2008. This project underlines the pioneering role of the young car brand in developing environmentally friendly and sustainable concepts for the individual mobility of the future. The current models already boast low fuel consumption and minimum carbon dioxide emissions. The smart model range includes the CO2 world champion, the smart fortwo cdi, with CO2 emissions of just 88 g/km – the lowest figure of any production car worldwide. Moreover, since October 2008 the two petrol smart fortwo models with 52 kW/71 bhp and 45 kW/61 bhp engines have been equipped with an intelligent and user-friendly start/stop system which further reduces their fuel consumption. The two-seater car is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year and its unique concept has now become firmly established. Thanks to new ideas and a design that combines functionality with joie de vivre, the smart fortwo has become a cult car. Since the launch of the first model in 1998, more than a million models of the two-seater car have been produced. Today it is on sale in 37 countries around the world – including the USA since January 2008. From mid 2009 the smart fortwo will also be available in China. read more »

Pininfarina B0 Electric

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

The name Pinifarina evokes images of gas-guzzling, but incredibly beautiful automobiles like the 599 GTB Fiorano, 612 Scaglietti, the Enzo, and the Maserati GranTurismo. Here at The Modern Green, we would never want any of these cars, or would even want to look at them (cough, cough) maybe just listen to their engines for a while. I digress…The B0 (pronounced B Zero) is a four-door electric hatchback created in partnership with Bolloré and is NOT a concept car. The first production run will be in late 2009 and will gradually be ramped up depending on the supply of batteries. The car has a range of 153 miles, and will top out at 80mph. The press release is below.

Pininfarina B0 (to be pronounced B Zero) is dedicated to the memory of Andrea Pininfarina who was a firm believer in the project.

“To think, draw, design and build cars is not only an enthralling mental process.
Nor is it simply a business choice. It is also and above all a great social responsibility.”

Andrea Pininfarina (1957-2008)

The B0: the solution for a cleaner world

Bolloré and Pininfarina have entered into a partnership featuring all the expertise required to launch serial production of an electric car which, thanks to its technical characteristics and its attractive styling, is bound to make waves in motoring circles.

This car will not be a prototype. It will be a mass production model, with the first units coming off the production line at the end of 2009, after which production will be ramped up gradually based on the availability of the batteries. Built in Turin by Pininfarina-Bolloré, a joint venture formed by the two family-owned groups, the B0 electric car will be powered by Bolloré’s proprietary LMP technology, using a combination of batteries and supercapacitors manufactured in Bolloré’s plants in Quimper, France and Montreal, Canada. The B0 will be a fully-electric vehicle without any carbon dioxide production, having been designed from the ground up with that aim in mind. Its batteries will be housed in a compartment specially designed for that purpose and located under the car, between its axles, lowering its centre of gravity and providing it with outstanding road-holding properties.
With its superb body styled by Pininfarina, Italy’s renowned vehicle design shop, the B0 electric car will be an elegant four-seater, four-door hatchback with an automatic gearbox. Its LMP battery, which will be rechargeable in a matter of hours from a standard domestic main socket, will provide it with a range of 250 km (153 miles). The B0 will have a top speed that is electronically limited to 130 km/h (80 mph) and will feature potent acceleration, reaching 60 km/h from a standing start (0 to 37 mph) in 6.3 seconds. The B0 will also feature solar panels on its roof and hood, so as to help recharge its electrical power reserves. read more »

Zero Emmisions Renault ZE Concept

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

The Paris Motor Show unveiled some of the direction of the Renault/Nissan partnership. Though the fluorescent green windows may look outlandish, they serve to insulate the vehicle. The rest of the car works like a thermos using air to insulate the passengers. The press release is below.


In parallel to its new TCe and dCi engine ranges, Renault is furthering its strategy aimed at curbing CO2 emissions with the development of electric vehicles. Since the beginning of 2008, the Renault-Nissan Alliance has signed agreements with several states and regions (Israel, Denmark, Portugal, Japan’s Kanagawa prefecture, the state of Tennessee in the USA), which will lead to the mass marketing of this form of vehicle from 2011.

Z.E. Concept (‘Z.E.’: Zero Emission) is Renault’s vision of the electric vehicle as an efficient, user-friendly zero-emission car. Based on the brand new Renault Kangoo be bop, Z.E. Concept features a design which has been adapted to the spirit of an electric vehicle, with the focus on minimizing energy consumption while at the same time providing core comfort features.

The energy consumption of auxiliary functions such as lighting, heating, climate control, etc. is a key factor when it comes to an electric vehicle’s range, so special attention has been paid to optimize energy management. Z.E. Concept also incorporates several interactive information features which are easy to use.
Z.E. Concept is powered by a 70kW electric motor with torque of 226Nm, with lithium-ion batteries. read more »

Free Piston Engines

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

Although it sounds revolutionary, these piston-free engines have been around since the 1920′s and have had a resurgence due to the gaining popularity of hybrids. It is basically one piston and has one moving part with no crankshaft, rods, or transmission.

The one piston has two combustion chambers located on either end that help the piston to travel back and forth. On the shaft of the piston itself are batteries that pass over coils in turn producing electricity. There is no loss of power through a crankshaft and will reportedly increase efficiency by 65%. Another advantage of this particular engine is it can be tuned to take on a number of different fuel types including gasoline, diesel, hydrogen, or compressed natual gas.

via nextbigfuture

New Honda Insight Hybrid

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

There was exciting news coming out of the Paris Auto Show. The all-new Insight will be on sale in Spring of ’09 and be priced at around $18,500. They are forecasting 200,000 vehicle sales worldwide. The details are that it will get similar mileage to the Civic Hybrid which means fuel economy of 40 city/45 highway for 42 combined mpg. The exterior shape of the car looks similar to the Prius although the interior takes design elements from the current civic with the split level display. read more »