If you’re wondering about the title of this post It’s quite simple. I’m fed up dealing with all the excuses that car companies make when trying to sell EVs. It’s not going to make them popular. Plus it gives the Jeremy Clarksons of the world ammunition in their mission to hate anything without a V8 and a huge exhaust. And who can blame them. When so many in the EV world make silly claims about their cars or silly excuses about how they perform.
I’ve been thinking about this post for quite some time, ever since I went for a test-drive for an EV in London and found that the company offering the test drive were about as professional as buying a car from a dodgy guy in a pub car-park. Why? It was poor organisation, delivery and knowledge. Oh, and a car which was nearly empty. Not good publicity. (They’ve since improved greatly).
Last week at the 2009 SAE World Congress the final plans were bashed out for a new way to charge plug in vehicles. Sadly it’s not an inductive one like the oh-so-simple charge paddles which were used on cars like the EV1 and RAV4EV to name but a few. No, this new standard is a good old-fashioned mechanical plug. You plug your car in and up to 30 Amps at either 120 or 240V flows into your car. Neat.
The latest version of the charging standard, called J1772, will include a five prong plug, capable of allowing communication between the external charger and the car charging. The Volt is rumored to be using it and Tesla have already signed up to make it standard on their cars. But it’ll only be used in the USA. Europe, in it’s own special way, has gone a different route, with a three-prong design capable of up to 80Amps at 240V. Unfortunately, the European standard is three-phase, meaning that it is unlikely to work in most European domestic situations without a complete home re-wire.
Fast charging is great, but does this spell the end for the DIY converter, or those of us who already drive cars with standard domestic plugs? And when you scratch the surface we risk looking at a future where charging plugs are far from standard. With the European standard and US standard finalized, are car companies now going to play nice and only ever use one of two EV charging plugs. What about cross-continent imports? And will those of us with cars now be able to retrofit our cars?
The Detroit Electric company appeared on CNN yesterday to announce that they plan to bring not one, but two EVs to market by 2010.
Appearing on the CNN Corner Office Detroit Electric CEO, Albert Lam, announced the pricing and range of the two EVs that his company plans to launch in 2010.
At the moment the company are offering two versions of the same car.
- The “City Range”
100 Mile Range
- The “Extended Range”
200 Miles Per Charge
At that price, it certainly looks a good deal. The spec sheet is impressive too, with a top speed of well over 100 mph and a 0-60 time of less than 8 seconds. The car’s specs on the website look really good. There’s little mention on the website though of ordering or who will stock it. Nor where you can go for a test-drive.
CNN video after the jump, plus more about Detroit Electric
Tesla motors are good at crushing stereotypes. They did it back in 2007 when the Tesla Roadster was unleashed on the general population. It was fast, sexy, efficient and the new plaything for those web 2.0 millionaires. It also generated enough interest that many EV enthusiasts contemplated pawning everything from their grandmother and their dog to their limited edition Star Wars box set to get one. Me included. Although I must admit at this point that it wasn’t any of the above… it was my mortgage. Okay, only for a split second, but it was there.
So, imagine my absolute joy when I opened up my mail this morning. It contained in it some news that the team of Tesla Roadsters taking place in the 2009 Rallye Monte Carlo d’Energies Alternatives finished the rally on a single charge, with over 40 indicated miles remaining on the car’s energy gauge. The course length? 241 miles.
More after the jump, along with details of how the Top Gear team have egg on their faces
For serious EV enthusiasts who want full size vehicles which go fast and far there’s nothing more irritating than a joke EV making the headlines. It’s important for car makers to get new and exciting electric vehicles out in the public eye, but only if the vehicles in question give EVs a good name. But to put it bluntly the GM/Segway PUMA prototype looked no more than a complete joke when it hit the news earlier this week.
Unveiled as an early prototype at the New York Autoshow, the little two-wheeled, self balancing personal transport vehicle can carry two people at up to 30 mph around town for up to 35 miles.
More after the jump
So you want an EV but you’re put off by the stupidly expensive price tag. You’re caught in a lease or finance plan with your current car and don’t have the money to get out. But you really want that new plug in. Or perhaps you’re one of the tens of thousands who have signed up for the Volt, the iMiev or maybe even one of those Smart EDs. Point is, although those vehicles aren’t available to the general public yet it’s a good time to save some cash up so you can afford to buy that greener, cleaner car sooner.
Photo by Michael Tyas
It’s probably easy for me to say. After all, I have been driving electric vehicles and hybrids now for nearly one-third of my driving life. But stick with me, because some of the techniques I use to maximize my range (and thus minimize the amount of money I spend on travel) come from my days driving classic cars and cycling.
So, even if you don’t have an electric or PHEV, you can use smart driving to help save money now. Not only that, but these techniques are essential following when for when you do have that smarter EV or PHEV. No matter what your fuel type, these will help you greatly. Below is part one of my two part guide to driving smarter to get a smarter car.
Tips and tricks after the jump!
Today is going to be a low post day on www.aminorjourney.com. . It’s because I have spent most of today on the road, traveling the 300 mile round trip between my home in Bristol and the south of London. The purpose? To help a good friend to pick up his first ever EV: A 1985 CityStromer EV.