Published on September 23rd, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan0
Clean Car & Bike News Roundup
September 23rd, 2012 by Zachary Shahan
There’s so much going on in the world of clean(er) cars and bike news. Here’s a roundup of some stories from around the interwebs from the past week or so that we haven’t yet covered (see our Clean Transportation category for more):
ChargePoint is giving away (yes, giving away… for $0) electric car chargers. “ ChargePoint says it will give away a free charging station and offer discounted installation costs to any company looking to install electric car charging stations for its employees and visitors.”
Chance to win $30,000… if you can design a better BMW than anyone else. “Local Motors is teaming up with BMW to offer a $30,000 grand prize to anybody who can design an urban car concept good enough to be an Ultimate Driving Machine.”
Coda is looking to grab more of the EV market: “the California-based automaker plans to take its electric car nationwide in the coming year, working up to a 30-dealer network that spans coast to coast.”
Daimler is betting on lower costs attracting more people to electric vehicles. The company well known for its Smart car (oh, and Mercedes-Benz) is looking to offer the cheapest electric car on the market. The first deliveries of its new e-Smart have been sent. “The e-Smart will offer about 145 km/90 miles of driving per charge, well within the 30 or so miles most Smart car owners currently drive in Europe, and it will do it at the lowest price point for any EV; 18,910 Euros, or about $24,600 U.S. dollars.”
Smart also has a cool-looking concept car called Smart ForStars. The car’s all-electric drivetrain comes from “famed” Mercedes tuner BRABUS, Chris Demorro informs us. The interesting new Smart car “will offer around 87 miles of range from a 17.5 kWh battery pack.” More pretty pics over on Gas2.
Next on the Tesla table is reportedly a small crossover & a new sports car. “Tesla Motors is looking out as far as 2016, when the crossover and sports car are set to hit market. Before then, the already-unveiled Model X SUV will start rolling out of factories, followed in 2015 by a $30,000 “entry-level” sedan. At some point Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, hopes to also roll out an all-electric supercar.”
Toyota Rav4 EV will be leasing for $599/month. “With $3,499 down, well-qualified lessees could driving off in a Toyota Rav4 EV for only $599 a month. Yup, that’ll cost you, though it is still a good deal less than you’d pay trying to buy the Rav4 EV.”
A BMW hybrid will likely be BMW’s first front-wheel drive car. “The BMW Concept Active Tourer hasn’t officially been given the FWD designation, mind you, but speculation and comments by BMW executives point to that being the case. The Concept Active Tourer uses a 1.5 liter turbocharged 3-cylinder gas generator to charge a lithium-ion battery pack good for up to 20 miles of EV-only driving. After that, the gas generator kicks in. The Active Tourer will reportedly go from 0-60 mph in 8 seconds, better than most hybrids.”
An upcoming Porsche 918 Spyder Hybrid has had its brochure leaked. The car will have 800 horsepower while getting 78 mpg, according to the leaked brochure. It will also look quite pretty.
And the 10 “Best Value Hybrid Cars” are… over on Gas2. Interestingly, not all hybrid cars save you money. 11 of 25 hybrid cars tested by industry analysts reportedly save you money in the long run, “with the 2012 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid saving buyers $7,001 while the 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid cost buyers over $8,065 more to own (than comparably equipped conventional vehicles).”
Hot weather killing Nissan Leaf batteries? Independent tests done by Arizonans who own the car seem to be showing that it is. I wouldn’t say it’s 100% verified yet, but if the tests done by these owners are legit, the heat in Arizona is decreasing the lifespan of their batteries much faster than Nissan promised.
Smith Electric Vehicles, which we just announced was pursuing an IPO, has quickly pulled that plan and intends to withdraw its registration statement. “We received significant interest from potential investors, however, we were unable to complete a transaction at a valuation or size that would be in the best interests of our company and its existing shareholders,” said Bryan Hansel, Smith’s chief executive officer. “We have instead elected to pursue private financing opportunities to support the execution of our business plan.”
Mercedes has a classy electric concept car for us all to gawk at. “The Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive uses a 100 kW/134 horsepower electric motor and a lithium-ion battery of unmentioned size to give the B-Class a range of around 125 miles…. With up a 230-volt and 400-volt recharge port, the B-Class Electric drive can be recharged in as little as an hour. However, the B-Class is still 35 miles behind the 160 miles of the base-class Tesla Model S sedan.”
Speaking of the Model S, if you’re one of the lost souls who doesn’t think EVs are fun, check out this great video of Pikes Peak racing legend Monster Tajima driving a Tesla Model S:
Bikes & Trikes
Interbike 2012 looked like a lot of fun, and Gas2’s Susanna Schick has some interesting notes from the conference to share. Just as a taster, here’s the start to her article: “Twice as many bicycles as cars are sold in the US each year, and the past few years have seen an exponential rise in commuter cycling. The recession has inspired people from all walks of life to save gas money by getting out of the car and onto a bike. The benefits of increased commuter cycling far outweigh the risks, even for daredevils like me- less CO2, more endorphins, better bodies, less traffic… The list goes on and on.”
Polaris electric bike unveiled… at Interbike 2012, of course. “The big product launch here at Interbike, for those of is into EV’s, is the Polaris’s electric bicycles, or eBikes. They’re launching a full line of 5 electrified bicycle models designed to meet a broad range of rider’s needs.”
Peugeot has a a companion vehicle for its upcoming diesel-electric Peugeot Onyx supercar, “the three-wheeled plug-in hybrid Onyx Scooter Concept.” And the cool, Bond-esque trike actually transforms. “Now, about that transforming bit. The Onyx Scooter Concept features a center-mounted ‘clip box’, which when removed Onyx Scooter into ‘Urban Mode’, and makes it look like, well, a scooter. But with the clip box in, the Onyx Scooter is more superbike than scooter. Also, three-wheels!”
The new Cannondale CERV is a “bike that adjusts its geometry to respond to straights, hills, and more – so the rider doesn’t have to.” Interesting. It certainly looks different. Jo’s got more details over on Gas2. More images, too, but I’ll just share one more here that demonstrates how the bike can be adjusted:
Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.