Posts Tagged ‘electric car’

Audi H-Tron Quattro Shows Off Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology Study

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Battery powered electric vehicles are dominating the topic of conversation when it comes to green vehicle technologies, but several manufacturers are still toying with the idea of a hydrogen fuel cell based power source to solve some of the complex problems with battery EVs. Chemical batteries have a lot of drawbacks, such as large weight and long recharge times, which hydrogen fuel cells solve quite easily.

Audi revealed their version of the fuel cell vehicle here at the Detroit NAIAS with the H-Tron Quattro Concept, which is a hydrogen fuel cell version of their E-Tron Quattro concept. By using a fuel cell coupled to an electric drivetrain, it completely eliminates range anxiety by delivering 600km of range in a 4-minute hydrogen refill. The fuel cell is rated at 110kW, and a smaller battery provides short boosts of 100kW, essentially doubling the available power of the H-Tron Quattro.

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Autopilot Showdown: Tesla P85D vs Mercedes E63S Wagon

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Tesla’s Autopilot function dropped over the air last week to all who have a car built in October 2014 and later. Cars built September 2014 and earlier don’t seem to have all the equipment necessary for Autopilot to function. At least, that is what I am gathering from some quick research I did. Tesla isn’t a company that has my attention at the moment as I feel you are paying a premium for an unfinished car. Updates come out sporadically and they have been slow to bring their new products, like the Model X, to market. In my head, electric cars are for the future, when we humans have figured out how to get electricity into batteries faster, or when we have battery change stations, or have batteries that last longer. Tesla is building the infrastructure to compete with the fossil fuel burning internal combustion engines, but you still really can’t match the convenience of gas stations or the range (1000 km from a dirty VW diesel) of oil burning vehicles. But enough about how I feel about the Model S, this is about the new Autopilot update.

Over the last few months, we have heard more and more about the Autopilot capabilities that Tesla was to release. It really sounded a lot like what Mercedes has had on the E-class for a couple of years now in feature they call (Distronic Plus with Steer Assist). I ordered that option on my car after seeing reviews where the car basically drove itself. It uses short, medium, and long range radar as well as stereoscopic cameras (fancy way of saying 2 cameras) to keep you in your lane and keep you from hitting the car in front of you. Early reports made the Tesla system sound very similar. The difference being that Tesla uses a single camera, 12 ultrasonic sensors as well as the GPS to guide the car.

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Toyota Adds Hybrid Model For 2016 RAV4

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Hybrids are infecting the rest of the Toyota Line. Today, in New York, Toyota unveiled the latest RAV4. The Rav4 got a bit of a polishing with new LED headlights, tail lights and bumper treatments. Other improvements include a new cup holder that accommodates your favourite mug with handles and paddle shifters on the new SE trim level.

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Venturi Launches Updated America Electric Buggy

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A couple years ago Venturi launched their all electric buggy called the America at the 2012 Paris Motor Show and now two years later at the same show they have brought an updated America boasting even more power.

The Venturi America now packs 407 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque which translate into a 0-60 (actually 0-100km) time of 4.5 seconds and a 0-200km time of 14 seconds flat. Other changes for the new America include a slightly higher ride height and an updated electric powertrain. The 53kW lithium battery has enough capacity to provide a range of 250km on a single charge, which takes about 3 hours. For reference, the original Venturi America had just 300 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque.

Looking at the new America at the Venturi booth inside the Paris Motor Show, I assumed the fact that Venturi calls it an electric buggy and refers to it as an electric crossover on their literature that the America would be an all-wheel-drive vehicle but it turns out it is actually driven only by the rear wheels. This is even more confusing when you learn that the Venturi America actually packs a twin electric motor powertrain.

I’m really not sure what Venturi is thinking with the America, perhaps they couldn’t quite make an all-wheel-drive work without compromising too much range or they have something else up their sleeves. Either way, this is definitely a niche vehicle for those looking for something a little different. Venturi plans to build only 25 Americas each of which will be individually numbered.

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Tesla Roadsters At The Drag Strip