Saturday, August 31, 2013

Dutch Drivers Cover 388 Miles On Single Charge Of Tesla Model S

When Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] first announced a 250-300 mile range estimate for its top-spec 85 kWh Model S, it suggested that 400 miles could well be a possibility for some drivers.
Owner David Metcalf was the first to prove that theory last December by extracting 423 miles of range on a journey through Florida.
European owners are now getting in on the act too. Despite a less clement climate, drivers in the Netherlands have already got close to that number, at 625 kilometers, or 388 miles.
What separate the two journeys is the driving style. Metcalf's 423 miles, a world record, was set at an average speed of 18 mph. The Dutch team, sponsored by Athlon Car Lease and driven by students from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU Eindhoven), was attempted on regular Dutch roads, in traffic, at regular speeds.
The team's 16-hour journey to complete its 388 mile trip works out as an average speed of just over 24 mph. Still not high, but representative of busier roads, and still a great advert for the Model S's ability to cover distances far greater than the car's 265-mile EPA rated range, particularly in lower-speed rather than highway driving.
While not a world record, the journey does also represent a European record for electric cars, and one that probably won't be beaten for some time--with no other electric car sold there able to challenge the Model S's range. The long-distance attempt has been recorded in several videos on the website.
After the first Model S outside North America was delivered in Oslo, Norway a few weeks ago, Tesla has also announced via its Twitter feed that the first customer car has now been delivered in the Netherlands too.
The country is an important hub for Tesla Motors, as the home of Europe's Tesla distribution center.

Source: Green Car Reports

Next Toyota Prius Aiming For 55 MPG


For more than ten years the Toyota Prius has been the overwhelming champion of fuel-efficient cars, with no competitors coming even close to its 50 mpg combined mileage. But the competition among fuel-efficient cars has grown exponentially in the past few years, and in order to stay on top Toyota needs to deliver more efficiency for less money, with a goal of 55 mpg.
The new Toyota Prius has been hinted to arrive around 2015, and will be the first to roll on Toyota’s New Global Architecture platform that includes a lower center of gravity and better structural rigidity. To put it simply, this new platform is stronger, and less likely to roll over. The new architecture will also allow Toyota to lower the price of the Prius by spreading development costs over a wider range of models.
But who cares about safety when we can talk sexier advancements, like a smaller electric motor that makes more power, and a gasoline engine that could achieve 40% thermal efficiency. That would make it one of the most efficient engines in the world (many gas engines have around 28 to 30% thermal efficiency, losing a lot of energy via heat). Toyota is also said to be working on a new kind of electric motor that uses fewer rare earth elements, decreasing the automaker’s reliance on China.
All told, Toyota engineers think they can deliver a 10% improvement in combined gas mileage, from 50 to 55 mpg. That may not seem like a huge leap, but keep in mind that no other hybrid or diesel car has come even close to that kind of efficiency, at least in the North American market.
For now, that will probably be enough to keep the Prius on top, and Toyota actually has some other potentially-exciting applications of hybrid technology in the works, like the Yaris Hybrid-R. Perhaps a similar drivetrain will find its way into the Toyota Prius C? And of course I expect improvements to the Prius V and Prius Plug-In as well, the latter perhaps becoming available with wireless charging in the near future.
The Japanese giant is looking mighty vulnerable these days, but the Prius will probably remain the unshakable champion of fuel economy for at least a few more years.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Electric Car Conversions Gain Popularity In Australia


While many areas of America aren’t suited to the limited range and lack of charging infrastructure, it is nothing in comparison to Australia’s outback, where there could be hundreds of miles between filling stations. But even in Australia, DIYers and small shops are converting old cars into short-range EVs as petrol prices continue to rise.
As it stands, there are only a handful of electric vehicles for sale in Australia, including the Nissan Leaf, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Tesla Roadster, and Renault Fluence ZE. The Chevy Volt is also sold in Oz as a Holden, but that’s it. Also, Australia imports all of these EVs, jacking up the price of the Nissan Leaf to $39,999, or about $36,000 in U.S. dollars. Not cheap.
So many Aussies have turned to EV conversion shops like EVworks or using websites like quicksales, an Australian version of craigslist, to buy and sell cheap EV parts to perform their own conversions. Many of the conversions are performed on older Aussie classics, like the Ford Capri, as well as more familiar vehicles like the Mazda Miata and Volvo 960. People like John Williams, who runs, have managed to convert cars like the Daihatsu Charade into electric cars on a budget.
With gas prices in Australia averaging over $6 a gallon, a cheap EV conversion can deliver 40 or 50 miles of driving for about $4 per charge, better cost efficiency than any conventional car. Young people are especially drawn to the cheap nature of DIY EV conversions which, even at $10,000 to $20,000 per car, still end up cheaper than a new car like the Nissan Leaf.
Even the Land Down Under is going electric; EVs seem unstoppable now.

Source: Gas2.0
Image: John Williams

Tesla Sizing Up Europe And Asia For Factory Locations


Even though the Tesla Model S has been in production for just a year, things are looking mighty good for Elon Musk’s electric car company. While Tesla has a long way to go before it taps out the production capacity of the former NUMMI factory in California, executives are already sizing up overseas facilities that could eventually produce mass market EVs in Europe and Asia.
Tesla is on track to sell 21,000 Model S sedans this year, and hopes to double that in 2014. Even so, that’ll still be less than 10% of the NUMMI factory’s 500,000 car-per-year production capacity. Musk obviously has big plans for Tesla, but there are other factors are work too.
In China for example, domestically-made electric vehicles are eligible for substantial tax credits and breaks from the government, while imported vehicles are hit with high tariffs. The same thing is true for Europe, where taxes and tariffs jack the price of the Model S from $70,000 to $96,000 for the 60 kWh variant.
Tesla could shave thousands of dollars off of that price by moving production closer, making the value of its mass market EV all the more appealing. But this is all projecting years into the future; for now the Model S is assembled, but not built in a small facility in the Netherlands, and the NUMMI factory and well within its production capabilities. Ten years from now, I could be writing a much different story.

 Source: Bloomberg News

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Volvo unveils plug-in hybrid Concept Coupé; the “next-generation P1800” leveraging SPA

Volvo unveiled the new Volvo Concept Coupé, the first of a series of three concept cars that reveal the design possibilities created by the company’s new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA). 
The concept car features a two-liter high-performance Drive-E gasoline engine with a supercharger and turbo. The petrol engine is teamed with an electric motor on the rear axle. This gives Volvo Concept Coupé a total output of around 400 hp (298 kW) and more than 600 N·m (443 lb-ft) of torque.
The design points towards the next generation of Volvo models, starting with the forthcoming XC90 in 2014.
The Volvo Concept Coupé is no futuristic dream car. It is designed to demonstrate the capability of our new architecture: the confident stance, the proportions and the most prominent design signatures. Even though the all-new XC90 is an entirely different type of car, you will recognize the connection instantly when it is revealed next year.
—Senior Vice President of Design, Thomas Ingenlath
The Concept Coupé also features elements that echo the design of the iconic Volvo P1800 sports car from the 1960s.
Concept Coupé. Click to enlarge.

Source: Green Car Congress

Next-gen Toyota Prius aiming for 55 mpg, could arrive in 2015

Twenty years ago, a small group of engineers at Toyota were tasked with the G21 project, a look into the "Global 21st Century" and how Toyota could make vehicles that used less fuel and emit less CO2. You might be able to guess that the result of that project was the Prius, which became an icon and is today the world's most popular hybrid (in Japan and California, it's the most popular car, period).

Speaking at the Toyota Hybrid World Tour, a rock 'n roll-themed media event in Ypsilanti, MI today, one of those engineers, Satoshi Ogiso, who is now Toyota Motor Corporation's managing officer, gave some hints on the next-gen Prius. The headline number: roughly 55 miles per gallon thanks to a new platform – the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) – and a more thermal efficient engine. The TNGA will provide a lower center of gravity as well as improved ride and handling, Ogiso said, and the new Prius motor will be more power dense as well.

The 55-mpg number is a big deal, but it is in line with the improvements in the model's history. The first-gen Prius got 41 mpg, the second-gen got 46 and the third got 50. So, there was around a 10-percent improvement each time. "To beat your own record becomes very difficult," Ogiso said, adding that it becomes all the more rewarding when you manage to reach your goal. The big question, of course, is when this next-gen Prius is due? "It's a sensitive question," Ogiso said, but then gave a big hint that 2015 is likely. Once again, he pointed to history. After all, the first-gen was 1997, second-gen was 2003 and third-gen was 2009. It's always been six years between models he said, laughing.
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Category: HybridMPGToyota

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Toyota Now Offers RAV4 EV From $299/month, plus Unlimited Mileage Option

Toyota has announced a new leasing deal on the RAV4 EV in order to move the sales needle a little faster in California.  To date, Toyota has sold 709 RAV4 EVs, and would like to move 2,600 by the end of next year for compliance reasons.
Ye Olde Fine Print
Ye Olde Fine Print
Starting this month, eligible buyers can lease a RAV4 EV from $299 per month with $3,999 due as a “drive off.”
Sure the down payment is a little steep in relation toother EVs on the road, but considering the all electric, 103 mile (EPA rated) SUV has a starting MSRP of $49,800 – that is a heck of a deal.
Toyota gets to the magic number of $299  by offering$15,400 worth of “lease cash” in the deal, and by finally including the full $7,500 federal rebate into the lease deal – previously it could only be fully realized by purchasing the RAV4 EV directly.
According to Carly Schaffner, a Toyota spokeswoman, the offer will only be a short one – running through September 3rd.
“The use of our incentives is tactical, reinforcing our value and focus on keeping our products competitive in the market.  We’re still evaluating the market demand for EVs.”
While the $299 deal does sound rather appealing, what caught our eye was that there now appears to be an option to also lease the RAV4 EV with unlimited mileage (normal allowance is 36,000 miles over 36 months) for about $30 more a month.  A concept that Honda has had great success with renewing interest in the Fit EV.
Looking at the broader picture, and after more than a few lucrative deals in the past on the RAV4 EV that failed to move the sales needle, how will Toyota respond if they continue to come up short each month on their goal of selling 2,600 electric SUVs?    Is cancelling the RAV4 EV prematurely a viable option?  It might be.

Volkswagen Unveils Production e-Golf

Volkswagen e-Golf will debut together with e-Up!
Volkswagen e-Golf in front of e-Up!
Volkswagen e-Golf in front of e-Up!
Today, Volkswagen unveiled its production-ready e-Golf, a vehicle that will have its world premier alongside the VW e-Up! next month in Frankfurt, Germany.
The electric Golf is based on latest Golf platform, but its electric drivetrain seems to be fairly similar to early Golf blue-e-motion prototypes.
The production e-Golf still utilizes an 85 kW / 114 HP electric motor with 270 Nm (199 pound-feet) of torque and a single speed transmission.
According to VW, the e-Golf will go 0-100 kph (62 mph) in a leisurely 10.4 seconds.
Maximum speed for this front-wheel drive, five-seat car is limited to 140 kph (87 mph).
The production e-Golf is equipped with 24.2 kWh li-ion battery pack that, together with the motor and gearbox, were developed and are made in-house by Volkswagen in Germany.
Range in NEDC should be about 190 km (less in real life of course – think 75 miles on the EPA). On average (in NEDC) e-Golf will consume 12.7 kWh per 100 km (62 miles).
For now, we know that e-Golf (like e-Up!) will have two driving modes (“Eco”, “Eco+”) and four “easy to activate”regenerative braking modes (“D1”, “D2”, “D3” and “B”).
Both new VW electric cars will have the option (probably not standard in base versions) to quick charge in about 30 minutes to 80% via DC CCS (aka combo plug). Charging times for the on-board charger haven’t been disclosed yet.
Volkswagen is saying that both models will be attractively equipped:
“Standard features: automatic climate control with parking heater and ventilation, radio-navigation system, windscreen heating, LED daytime running lights and, in the e-Golf, the Volkswagen brand’s first use of LED headlights.”
In summary, it seems that Volkswagen made the e-Golf to be close to Nissan LEAF in terms of range, battery pack size, speed and acceleration.  Yes, VW seems to be behind the times here.  Oh well, at least VW is getting on board now.
Pricing information has not yet been released.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Nissan Leaf sales ready to expand beyond early adopter markets in US

One of the treasures of ZZ Top's excellent 1979 album Degüello is the rather funky track I'm Bad, I'm Nationwide. We can imagine that song blasting from the six-speaker sound system in Nissan Leaf all over the US now that Nissan is getting ready to get serious nationwide. The world's most popular EV, initially marketed and popular mostly on the West Coast, has gained substantial momentum within the flyover states. This helped the sales rate through the first seven months of the year more than tripled from a year earlier. Indeed, a recent jump in Leaf demand in the Atlanta, GA area has pushed that market to No. 3 among US cities, with locales such as Nashville, TN and St. Louis, MO sneaking into the US Top 10.

Granted, the Coast is still the king when it comes to Leaf sales. It's even Nissan's best-selling model in San Francisco, CA, Portland, OR and Seattle, WA. Big state incentives and HOV-lane allowance for solo Leaf drivers keep San Francisco and Los Angeles, CA in the top two slots for US Leaf sales, with Seattle and Portland coming in at No. 4 and No. 5, respectively. Rounding out the Top 10 are Honolulu, HI, San Diego, CA, Sacramento, CA and, of course, the aforementioned Nashville and St. Louis. Chicago, IL and Denver, CO are in a dead heat for 11th place, according to the Japanese automaker. Somewhat surprisingly, while New York, NY comes in 15th in Leaf sales, it is in the top five overall for EVs, according to R.L. Polk. Check out Nissan's press release below.
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Image Credit: Andy Kahn

Mazda reports strong Skyactiv sales, plans to boost output 25%

Mazda is set to expand production of its Skyactiv engines after critical and commercial acclaim for the fuel-sipping powerplants. The Japanese manufacturer has a number of plans in the works to bump up production, with the first being a 25-percent increase in output from its Hiroshima, Japan engine facility.

Besides adding a new line, Mazda will modify the line that built MZR engines, a family of mills that includes the 2.3-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder found in the Mazdaspeed3 and the 2.0-liter found in the MX-5 Miata. The bump in production is just part of Mazda's goal of selling 1.7 million vehicles globally by 2016, with 80 percent of those vehicles expected to wear a Skyactiv badge.

Mazda also builds Skyactiv engines at a joint-venture facility with Ford, in Changan, China, while a Mexican facility will go online by March of 2014. Skyactiv engines currently power the Mazda3Mazda6 and CX-5.
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News Source: Mazda

Opel Adam LPG Can Go Up To 745 Cleaner-Burning Miles


Liquified Petroleum Gas, better known as propane, is a clean-burning alternative to compressed natural gas (CNG), though it gets little love in the U.S. But GM’s European arm, Opel, has just rolled out a LPG option for the new Opel Adam microcar. The gas/propane hybrid can get a combined 745 miles, while spewing fewer emissions and costing less money (at least in theory).
The Opel Adam LPG, has a 35-liter LPG tank under the hood that can offer an extra 310 miles of range on top of the 435 miles regular gasoline will get you. In Germany, LPG sells for about half the cost of gasoline, which is currently selling for around $8 a gallon. So even though the 86 horsepower, 1.4 liter ecoFlex engine only returns 34 mpg when running on LPG, compared to the 46 mpg it gets on gasoline, there is still potential for big savings if you can get by on LPG alone.
While the Opel Adam LPG starts at $21,565, about $4,000 higher than a base-model Opel, it’s apparently a cheaper alternative to the proposed Opel Adam EV, which was killed on the concept car floor. As for the U.S., the only LPG options open to us are expensive aftermarket conversions or to old-school, carburetor style, neither of which writer Jo Borras is a fan of.
His loss; propane burns cleaner, costs less, and is better for engine longevity than even the “cleanest” gasoline.

Source: Carscoops

Monday, August 26, 2013

Top 15 Nissan LEAF markets in US in 2013

Top 15 LEAF market year-to-date in 2013. Source: Nissan Click to enlarge.
Nissan provided a list of the top 15 markets in the US for the Nissan LEAF battery-electric vehicle. Nissan LEAF sales in the United States are up by 335% year-over-year since the launch of the enhanced 2013 model in March. Nissan has sold 11,703 LEAFs in the US during the first 7 months of 2013—an increase of 230% from the 3,543 units for the same period in 2012.
Four of the top 15 markets are in California: San Francisco (1), Los Angeles (2), San Diego (7) and Sacramento (8). Another three are on the West Coast and in Hawaii: Seattle (4), Portland (5), and Honolulu (6).
LEAF always has sold well on the West Coast for a number of reasons—state tax incentives that stack on top of federal, High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) and High-Occupancy Toll (HOT) access, environmental mindedness, a concentration of early adopters and an EV culture and enthusiasm that dates back to some of the earliest EV experiments before Nissan took them mass-market,. In fact, for several months LEAF has been the Nº 1 seller in the Nissan portfolio in Seattle, Portland and San Francisco.
—Erik Gottfried, Nissan director of EV Sales and Marketing
The Top 15 LEAF markets nationally, rank-ordered (Nissan does not specify sales data down to the DMA level, but does suggest reasons for the sales performance):
  1. San Francisco. LEAF is among the top ten best-selling vehicles, regardless of powertrain.
  2. Los Angeles. LEAF performs well because of a good charging infrastructure, a dense urban footprint and congestion.
  3. Atlanta, a “New Wave” EV market that has nabbed the Nº 3 spot due to a number of factors including congestion where LEAF performs well, state incentives and HOV and HOT access. Georgia has a tax credit worth up to $5,000 for zero-emissions vehicles. In Atlanta, Nissan workplace outreach has resulted in more than 100 LEAF sales to Southern Company employees.
  4. Seattle. Energy companies have been a major proponent in developing the West Coast Electric Highway that has helped to educate consumers and raise awareness for EVs.
  5. Portland. Oregon has a Chief EV Officer to promote EV use.
  6. Honolulu, with 26 quick chargers, has one of densest charging grids in the US. The island environment also makes it easier to strategically place charging points so that EV drivers have easy access to reach key destinations. EVs fit into a larger energy-independence initiative in Hawaii since the state can make its own energy and become less reliant on shipping in fuel.
  7. San Diego ranks in the top LEAF cities for many of the same reasons in other California and West Coast markets: state tax incentives, HOV/HOT access and general environment-mindedness.
  8. Sacramento as state capital has a high level of awareness and education around EVs with a concentration of early adopters and an appreciation of EV culture.
  9. Nashville, home of Nissan Americas headquarters and the plants that assemble both LEAF and its battery. Many “New Wave” EV markets demonstrate a high level of viral sales growth. In Nashville, Nissan gives credit to a robust charging infrastructure and a core group of employee enthusiasts who raised awareness of the practicality of the vehicle in the market in 2011.
  10. St. Louis, where the reasons for growth in this “New Wave” market include enthusiastic dealer engagement that results in increased community education and awareness, corporate and university outreach and midwestern pragmatism that appreciates the value equation of an EV.
  11. Chicago and Denver (tied). In Chicago, charging infrastructure growth has been more recent and now is robust. Illinois provides a $4,000 state tax incentive for purchases and reduced registration fees. Driving habits in Chicago also are heavy with suburban to urban commuting patterns. The enhanced driving range of the 2013 LEAF—partially enabled by the energy-efficient hybrid heater that is an especially important feature for Chicago—has helped make the EV a viable commuter car in this huge car market, Nissan said.
    Helping to popularize LEAF in the greater Denver market is Colorado’s $6,000 state tax credit, EV enthusiast dealers who sponsor considerable grassroots education and awareness activities and a general green-mindedness in the market.
  1. Washington D.C. Again, the compact footprint with urban-suburban commutes in easy range, strong LEAF demographics of highly educated buyers in a tech corridor and a quickly growing fast charger network lend to the increasing popularity of LEAF in the nation’s capital. Additionally, for the greater D.C. area, Maryland offers a $1,000 EV tax credit.
  2. Dallas-Ft. Worth, which has a healthy charging infrastructure in the state that is home to NRG’s eVgo, which provides car charging services. Adoption of EVs in the market also has been accelerated by peer-to-peer selling at tech and transportation workplaces such as Texas Instruments and BNSF Railroad. Texas is planning to offer a $2,500 state rebate for EV purchases.
  3. New York City. Demographics and compact footprint have helped make EVs popular in communities surrounding Manhattan. Communities in the market such as Princeton and Westchester and areas of Long Island and New Jersey that are conducive to home charging are the most popular. The New York market also benefits from sales of small EV fleets, including the NY Department of Sanitation. High-visibility projects such as the LEAF taxi pilot have helped to raise consumer awareness.

    Source: Green Car Congress

Nissan to add Rogue, Murano hybrid around 2015

Except for the limited-production, Toyota-assisted Altima HybridNissan has pretty much shied away from hybrid vehicles, but that is all about to change. As a part of a plan to launch a total of 15 electrified vehicles by 2016, Nissan is launching the Pathfinder Hybrid, which goes on sale this fall, and we've heard in the past that the Altima will get another hybrid variant, as well. Now, Green Car Reports is confirming that the Murano and the smaller Rogue (seen above in next-gen prototype phase) will both receive hybrid powertrains.

Though riding on different platforms, both hybrid crossovers could share the system being introduced in the Pathfinder, consisting of a 2.5-liter supercharged four-cylinder engine, a 22-horsepower electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack. There is still no word on when the next-gen Murano will arrive, but the 2014 Nissan Rogue will be introduced on September 10.

Source: Autoblog

Toyota provides some details on Yaris Hybrid-R 420hp powertrain; three 45 kW motors

The Yaris Hybrid-R features three 45 kW electric motors, one on each rear wheel and a third between the engine and transmission that operates as a generator. This third motor can act as an advanced traction control system. Click to enlarge.
At the Frankfurt Motor Show, Toyota will showcase the Yaris Hybrid-R concept, created as a showcase of possible ideas for the development of hybrid technology for maximum performance and increased driving pleasure. Toyota has now provided a few additional details about the powertrain in advance of the show.
The front wheels are driven by a 300 hp (224 kW) 4-cylinder 1.6 turbo gasoline direct injection engine specifically developed by Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) according to the rules of the International Automobile Federation (FIA) for a Global Race Engine to be utilized in various motorsport disciplines.
1.6L GRE engine. Click to enlarge.
At the rear, each wheel is individually powered by a 60 hp (45 kW) electric motor—the same as those used in the standard Yaris Hybrid. Taken together, the hybrid powertrain system develops a total system output of up to 420 hp (313 kW).
The two electric motors work as electric generators during the braking phase, and supplement the petrol engine during the accelerating phases.
Just as in the TS030 HYBRID, the energy recovered during the braking phase is stored in a supercapacitor. Compared to the standard NiMH hybrid battery, the supercapacitor has a higher power density and a fast power charge / discharge speed. It is well-suited to the requirements of sporty driving on track, which requires brief and immediate bursts of power, Toyota said.
The level of power depends on the duration of energy delivery desired. In road mode, the supercapacitor releases the energy recovered under braking for a maximum duration of 10 seconds per charge and the total power of the two electric motors is reduced to 40 hp (30 kW). In track mode, the rear electric motors reach a combined maximum power of 120 hp (89 kW) for up to 5 seconds per charge, reflecting the higher frequency of braking and acceleration events during circuit driving.
A third 60 hp electric motor, located between the engine and the 6-gear sequential transmission, operates as a generator in two different cases: during deceleration to feed the supercapacitor and during acceleration to directly power the rear electric motors.
The latter will only happen when the engine power and torque exceed the grip potential of the front wheels. The generator behaves like an advanced traction control system, redirecting the torque as electric energy to the rear wheels, to boost the acceleration and improve the handling rather than to simply limit the engine power.
Rear electric motors—one per wheel—can greatly influence the Yaris Hybrid-R handling characteristics during cornering by altering the distribution of torque between the left and right rear wheels.
Each motor can be used independently as a generator or a motor to achieve the same effect as an intelligent torque vectoring differential.
Depending on the radius of the curve, the system can send more torque to the outside rear wheel allowing higher cornering speeds into the corner (middle-speed curves), apply more braking force to the inside wheel (fast curves), or even brake and accelerate each wheel independently (slow curves) to adjust the yaw effect for a better line, to limit steering angle, and understeer.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Scrooser Electric Scooter: "A Harley-Davidson For The Sidewalk"

Introducing the Scrooser electric scooter. You can pre-order this unique concept for the tidy sum of $4,790. Gulp.

Nissan demonstrating new safety technologies and scenarios on LEAFs

Nissan Motor Co. Ltd., is demonstrating two new safety technologies, and accompanying use case scenarios, on-board Nissan LEAF EVs at the Nissan 360 event. The innovations are also steps toward achieving autonomous driving.
The first innovation is in the area of advanced sensors. Laser scanners and Around View Monitor cameras monitor the surroundings of the vehicle in a full 360 degree circle, continually looking for obstacles, other vehicles and potential risks, as well as road signs and signals. The second is in the area of vehicle intelligence, enabling the car to react to the data the advanced sensors collect.
Together the innovations enable the car to handle complex real-world road situations. Three new scenarios are being demonstrated at Nissan 360 for the first time:
  • Autonomous side distance control. Side distance control is used on the highway. It enables the car to recognize when the lane is closed due to obstacles narrowing the travel path, and steer to avoid a collision. Such a situation might occur in the real world when lanes on a highway are closed for road works.
  • Intersection entry and turning with oncoming traffic monitor.Intersection entry/turn with oncoming traffic monitor is an application for city driving. The Nissan LEAFs at the N360 event are capable of passing through a junction while avoiding oncoming traffic.
  • Overtaking with oncoming traffic monitor. Overtaking with oncoming traffic monitor is a capability also used in urban areas. The vehicle can detect a parked car at the side of the road, check for a gap in oncoming traffic, and steer around the obstacle when it is safe to proceed.
The innovations being demonstrated at Nissan 360 come from Nissan’s Research and Development with the long term aim to create “Collision-free cars”. Nissan has already developed, and continues to improve, Safety Shield, which provides the driver with an all-around driver support system, including Around View Monitor, Back-up Collision Intervention, Lane Departure Prevention and Distance Control Assist. Safety Shield monitors 360 degrees around the car for risks, offers warnings to the driver and takes action to prevent an accident.
The new technologies strengthen the capability to detect and avoid a potential risk from an early stage, before the situation becomes critical, based on the idea that cars should help protect people.
The philosophy of Nissan’s Research and Development is to put driver and car into a partnership with the shared goal of a safer journey. There are three basic steps in driving and avoiding a potential accident: Recognition, Judgment and Action.
Nissan’s existing Safety Shield assists with all three. The technology being demonstrated at Nissan 360 is an extension of the capabilities of Safety Shield, and research into further advances is underway.