electric cars

electric cars



Audi E-Tron Sportback Concept Gets Totally Lit

Wait, we were talking about LED’s, what were you talking about?

Audi just dropped a new concept vehicle at this year’s Auto Shanghai show, offering us a glimpse at the brand’s potential upcoming high-tech SUV future. It’s called the e-tron Sportback, and to our eyes, it’s a weird amalgamation of SUV and lifted hatchback, with a self-described coupe-like roofline to boot. And of course, what futuristic concept would be complete without an all-electric powertrain, geometric shapes, and surplus of advanced lighting elements?

The Audi e-tron Sportback certainly has a lot of lighting – check out the attached video to see what I’m talking about. The brand says it included matrix LEDs from front to rear, with two light fields in the fascia sporting roughly 250 LEDs a piece to create all kinds of signals and graphics. Basically, it’s a light show of “animated movements and signatures,” offering features like a welcome signal when the car is started or the doors are opened.

The lights are also practical, offering enhanced safety with daytime running lights for driving with the sun up, “Miniscule Digital Matrix” projector lights when the sun is down, and an illuminated Four Ring badge in the nose to show off whenever you please.

Audi is quick to remind us that it was one of the first to incorporate LED lighting on passenger cars, and this concept looks to be the next step in that technology.

A production variant of the concept is expected to arrive in 2019. Read on for specs on the powertrain and more info on the cool tech onboard.

Continue reading for the full story.

Lucid Motors Crashes Back To Earth, Admits It Needs More Money

Seems ironic now that one of its models is called Lucid Air

Over-promising and under-delivering isn’t a good business practice. Lucid Motors is learning that the hard way after the company’s chief technology officer, Peter Rawlinson, admitted to Automotive News that it’s going to need more money before it can make good on its promise to be a game-changing electric car maker.

According to Rawlinson, the company is looking to secure its next series of financing before it can proceed with breaking ground on a $700 million production facility in Arizona that will house the production of the Lucid Air electric sedan. The company is touting the car as the first real challenger to the Tesla Model S. More cautiously, Rawlinson added that it would be “irresponsible to start moving fast or start anything until we have a financial runway to execute that professionally and with absolute integrity.”

The statement comes with a tinge of humility – one that flies against what the company said in December 2016 when it stood on a pulpit and proudly and quite loudly told anybody willing to listen it was going to take the fight to Tesla. Its vehicle was promised to beat the Model S in several conceivable ways, including a range of more than 400 miles thanks to a larger battery pack. The startup alluded to its partnership with Samsung SDI as its trump card, confident that despite the ills Samsung has been through in recent years, it still had a product that could reshape the electric car industry in the future.

None of that will matter though if Lucid can’t find the funds it needs to get the project off the ground. That’s the most pressing issue Lucid Motors will have to deal with, although at this point, it might be better for the company to tone down on the rhetoric before it knows it has a product that can literally live up to them.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Tesla’s Semi to Debut in September, but Will it Live Up to the Hype?

The hypetrain is about to roll out of the tracks

Leave it to Elon Musk to drop a bombshell just as we’re all getting ready for the weekend. The always provocative Tesla CEO took to Twitter last Friday, April 14, to announce plans to introduce the automaker’s first venture into the world of semi-trucks this coming September. The news itself isn’t groundbreaking since Musk already laid out what the company’s intentions were back in July 2016 as part of its “Master Plan, Part Deux” mission. But, until late last week, those plans were of the vague persuasion, devoid of any specific timetable.

Well, the timetable has arrived…and it’s literally five months from now.
Not one to be caught saying too much in the way of juicy details, Musk kept the announcement short and sweet, opting only to say that the “team has done an amazing job,” presumably in the development of the semi-truck and that the vehicle itself is “seriously next level.” Those statements aren’t much to go by at this point, but the mere hint that we’re closer to seeing the actual vehicle - even if it’s a prototype - so soon after its announcement is pretty indicative of the company’s intentions in staking its name into the electric semi truck arena.

At this point, the waiting game now begins on more details surrounding the semi-truck. If Musk’s past comments about the development are anything to go by, expect the Tesla Semi - or whatever name it ends up getting - to “deliver a substantial reduction in the cost of cargo transport while increasing safety and making it really fun to operate."

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Should Tesla Have to Pony Up for Driver Error?

Who wants to take responsibility for their own mistakes, right?

It’s no secret that Tesla has been the target of plenty of lawsuits over the last year or two. In fact, it seems that just about anyone who crashes their Model S or Model X wants to blame Tesla. Musk was smart, however, and has equipped each of Tesla’s vehicles with a data recorder, which has proven invaluable in protecting the company from people that seem to forget how to drive. Usually, it’s someone saying autopilot screwed up, but there are others others that claim their vehicle accelerated all on its own. This guy from California, however, really takes the cake. Last year, this cat (Son Ji-chang) drove his car through his garage and firmly lodged it right into his living room. He immediately pointed the finger at Tesla and initiated yet another lawsuit – one that’s attempting to evolve into class-action status. He even used his wealth to launch a media campaign to slander Tesla a bit. His claim?

“The vehicle spontaneously began to accelerate at full power, jerking forward and crashing through the interior wall of the garage, destroying several wooden support beams in the wall and a steel sewer pipe, among other things, and coming to rest in (his) living room.”

Well, the suit also names several other complaints that have been reported to the NHTSA, a good number of which point to driver error. In other words, the driver hit the accelerator, and the car did what it was supposed to do; Go. And, in this specific case, a third-party even reviewed the logs from one of these alleged rogue cars and determined the same thing, so it’s not necessarily just Tesla trying to flip things around. Well, the people behind the most recent suit have changed their approach, and instead of saying Tesla is responsible for this unintended acceleration, they say that Tesla is responsible for not preventing this unintended acceleration. Basically, they say the car should know that the driver accidentally hit the gas pedal and ignore that input…

Keep reading for the rest of the story

Source: Electrek

Volkswagen Could Throw the Proverbial Turd in Bentley’s Punch Bowl

The Volkswagen Group Could Put a Stop to Bentley’s two-seater sports car

A couple of years ago, Bentley surprised us all by showing off the 2015 Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 Concept, a delicious-looking coupe with a bold design and more character than a Stephen King Novel. Then, just a couple of years later, Bentley found itself in the same place, only this time with the 2017 EXP 12 Speed 6e Concept. It had the bold styling of the first concept, but this time it was said to have an electrified drivetrain and unlimited headroom. The business case has been made, and the masses have shown lots of interest in such a model, but the Volkswagen Group could keep the Bentley two-seater from ever seeing production.

See, since Bentley is a part of the dirty VAG (pun intended,) it has to be careful when it comes to intergroup competition, and with the Audi R8 being a big model for Audi, VAG may not approve of the EXP in production form. In an interview with Motoring, Uday Senapati – the Head of Technical Operations at Mulliner – said, “From within Bentley, definitely yes [there’s momentum]. But we’re part of a big group, and it has to work with the rest of the group… Because we are a portfolio of brands, we can’t be overtly competing against each other.” When asked if a direct competitor to the R8 was off limits, he responded with, “Exactly. So if we can create a niche segment for it, then yes [we can do it].”

So, with that said, Bentley can’t just go the usual route with the two-seater if it’s ever to see production, but that doesn’t mean all is lost. Keep reading to find out.

Source: Motoring

Dodge To Offer Challenger Demon With Faster All-Electric Option

Say goodbye to V-8 roar, say hello to battery-powered buzz

With the seemingly endless parade of teaser videos and pictures that Dodge is churning out to whet our appetites for the upcoming Challenger SRT Demon, there’s certainly been no shortage of speculation as to what will be offered under the hood. Most folks believe this drag monster will come equipped with the same blown 6.2-liter V-8 as the Challenger Hellcat, albeit with a bit more output than the 707 horsepower provided by the bad cat. However, no one expected this – electric motors and a battery pack.

The startling revelation comes courtesy of insider sources citing an internal memo between Dodge and SRT that looks to “explore alternative power sources” in the ongoing quest for ever-faster performance machines. One company official, who asked to remain anonymous, said the Tesla Model S was considered a serious threat to the Demon’s intended domination at the drag strip, and as such, Dodge would offer an even-faster Demon EV to counter.

While electric performance enthusiasts are thrilled at the prospect, traditionalists are appalled. “I want my car to sound like it’s a volcano erupting, with explosions and fire – not an overactive blender,” said one elderly racer upon hearing the news.

Continue reading for the full story.

2017 Skoda Vision E

The concept that previews Skoda’s first all-electric model

Skoda is gearing up to kick Tesla’s ass with a competitor for the Model X. The production model will be Skoda’s first electric vehicle and is set to go on sale at the turn of the decade. But, before all of that happens, Skoda has decided to preview that model with an “SUV coupe” known as the Vision E at the Shanghai Auto Show. Said to have a range of more than 300 miles, all-wheel drive, Level 3 autonomy, and a silhouette that’s sure to grind wonder boy’s gears a bit, the Vision E proves that Skoda isn’t playing around these days.

Its production equivalent will likely be toned down as far as exterior design goes, especially in the front end. But, that’s usually the case when it comes to concepts, right? Back to the subject at hand, the Vision E is just a bit shorter and wider than the new Kodiaq and is built on VW’s MEB platform. So far, we’ve yet to see official images, but Skoda saw fit to release a few sketches to keep us on ice until the Shanghai Auto Show kicks off. So, let’s dive on in and talk a little more about what’s going on with the Vision E, and what it tells us about Skoda’s future.

Continue reading to learn more about the Skoda Vision E.

Watch The Nio EP9 Smash the Nurburgring Record for EVs

The world’s fastest EV around the ’Ring is only 13 seconds slower than the Huracan Performante!

The EV craze has unearthed several startup automakers claiming to develop the best high-performance vehicle in recent years. However, most of them failed to deliver anything beyond a prototype, while those that did weren’t that impressive. NextEV is an exception from this unfortunate rule, with its Nio EP9 set to go into production soon with amazing specs. What’s more, the electric hypercar has already set a new record for EVs at the Nurburgring track.

And, the Chinese firm has just released the video!

Packing 1,341 horsepower and a staggering 4,671 pound-feet of torque, the Nio EP9 lapped the "Green Hell" in only 7:05.12 minutes, setting a new record for electric cars. Definitely not surprising given the outrageous output, but the fact that the Nio EP9 is only 13 seconds slower than the quickest production model at the ’Ring is damn impressive. Not to mention that it’s 17 seconds quicker than the previous record holder for EVs, the Toyota TMG EV P002. And yes, I’m talking about a race car!

Getting back to how awesome the Nio EP9 really is, only three gasoline production models were quicker on the ’Ring: the new Lamborghini Huracan Performante, the Porsche 918 Spyder, and the Lambo Aventador SuperVeloce. The Radicall SR8LM and SR8 are also quicker, but both are track-only vehicles. The Nio EP9 lapped the German track quicker than cars like the Nissan GT-R Nismo, Mercedes-AMG GT R, Dodge Viper SRT-10 ACR, and Ferrari 488 GTB, among other spectacular production models.

Pretty impressive right?

Granted, it’s not as exciting as a conventional car when it comes to engine note, but I’m willing to look past the whining and swooshing for the performance. Hit "play" to watch the video.

2016 Electric Vehicle Sales in the U.S. [INFOGRAPHIC]

Plug-in Electric Vehicle Sales by State in 2016

Electric cars have technically been around since 1837 when a chemist named Robert Davidson built an electric car that was powered by galvanic cells. But, the first highway-legal electric vehicle didn’t hit the market until 2008. Since then, interest in electric vehicles has increased slowly but steadily, and in 2017 there are at least 25 PEVs now available on the market. This includes models like the Tesla Model S and X, Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid, Mercedes C350E, and the Volvo XC90 90 T8 PHEV, among others.

So, what is a PEV, really? A PEV is a subset of electric vehicles that includes all-electric or battery electric vehicles (BEVs), plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs), and electric vehicle conversions of hybrid electric vehicles and conventional internal combustion engine vehicles. But, are PEVs actually taking a hold in the automotive market or are they set to see a decline as they did in the early 1900s? Well, we’ve put together an infographic to detail the electric vehicle market statistics here in the United States for the year 2016, including market growth, most popular models, and the number of sales by state. So, let’s take a look at the infographic in detail and talk a little more about it.

Continue reading for the full story.

The List Of Competitors Lining Up To Take On Tesla Continues To Grow

Now you can add the Hybrid Kinetic and its Pininfarina-penned H600 to that list

The term “Chinese money” is being thrown around a lot these days as it relates to startup electric car manufacturers. Some like Faraday Future are already teetering to the point of collapse while others like Lucid Motors are still on the right side of the fence. Then there’s Hybrid Kinetic, a company not many of us here in the West have heard of but recently made headlines due to its attendance at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. Remember the Pininfarina-designed H600 Concept that we saw in Geneva? Well, that’s Hybrid Kinetic’s concept vehicle and according to the company, it won’t be a concept for too long.

HK board member Carter Yeung recently made the proclamation to Automotive News about the concept’s future as a production model, before adding a few nuggets of information regarding the future of the car. According to Yeung, the production model of the H600 will be largely based - around 85 to 90 percent - on the concept that we saw in Geneva from a purely aesthetic point of view. It’s also going to feature electric motors, which will combine to produce as much as 804 horsepower through a battery pack that can be recharged even as the car is on-the-move, all thanks to micro turbine range extender that the company is developing.

And if any of those items aren’t ambitious enough, Yeung also added that Hybrid Kinetic has a long-term goal of building “well over” 200,000 vehicles per year within five to 10 years. Can’t say that the company isn’t short-changing us on its promises, can you?

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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