Auto show concept cars are all whizzy styling and impractical interiors, and Smart’s latest offering, the Forstars EV at the Paris Auto Show, has all that in spades. But the stubby car has another show-stopping feature we’d love to see in production — a projector installed right into the vehicle’s grill. That would let you and a special friend pull the two-seater up to any white wall and beam the flick of your choice from an iPhone’s bluetooth port, while blasting the audio through the sound system. Other friends not in the Forstars’ confines would also get the sound from speakers located in the ventilation grills behind the doors. Once rolling, the concept Smart moves along with an 80 horsepower electric motor and 17.6 kWh battery, boasting 127 lb/ft of torque and an 80MPH top speed. Since the car’s currently a one-off, don’t get any ideas about heading to Lookout Point with a screen in tow — but you can head to the video after the break to see how it works.
Extra footage of record-setting Yates electric plane flight shows power loss, dramatic deadstick landing (video)
We’ve chronicled Flight of the Century founder and CEO Chip Yates’ record-breaking 202.6MPH flight in his Long-ESA EV craft before. What we didn’t quite touch on, however, is the power loss Yates’ aircraft suffered after earning that electric plane speed record. Now Yates has released new video of the flight, which includes the moment his aircraft breaks the record, the ensuing power loss and his dramatic deadstick landing. That smile you see in the photo up there is the smile of a man who just made history and is also happy to be alive. Hey, we’re glad he’s safe, too. You can witness the close call yourself by checking out the video after the break.
You won’t be driving away in this by the end of 2012, but you can expect it to smoke the EV competition. Shawn Lawless and his Rocket drag bike managed to hit just over 200 miles per hour on . We could eke out a few more words about the 14.2-kWh battery, but we’d prefer to let the video do the talking — it’s right after the break.
The future of transportation is here, folks. We’ve spent some time with the Ford Focus Electric and have seen all the bits that make it go, but we didn’t know who’d be the first to receive one. Turns out Google got an early Christmas present, and received its Focus Electric, the first production unit, just before the holidays. That means that the gang at Big G is already enjoying the 84mph top speed and fast charging secret sauce that lets the Ford fully charge on a 240-volt outlet in just over three hours — or roughly half the time it takes a Leaf to top off its batteries. Wonder whether the EV from Dearborn is destined to join Google’s Street View fleet, its cadre of self-driving cars, or replace some of those multi-colored company bikes strewn about Mountain View?
Nope, there’s nothing wrong with those wheels. As you may recall, this is Nissan’s Pivo 3, the company’s latest concept EV that provides extreme agility using its four oddly pivoted, individually powered wheels. While we couldn’t see this three-seater make sharp U-turns and do automatic parking at the Tokyo Motor Show, our very own Zach Honig managed to get his finger and trouser grease all over it.
Behind those pop-out doors one of the most interesting features we saw was the subtle side-view cameras with accompanying screens, thus reducing the car’s width. Also, it turns out the lone steering wheel handles all four wheels, meaning the driver won’t have to sacrifice too much brain power over multiple controls. That said, we can imagine that even the most experienced drivers may find this car to be a tough animal to tame initially — the lady in Nissan’s earlier demo looked like she had to steer dramatically around sharp corners. But keep the car going straight and it’ll accelerate up to 120km/h (75mph), while on a single charge it can go up to 100km (62 miles). Video after the break.
We’ve had the opportunity to ride some crazy contraptions over the years here at Engadget, like the skateboard-cum-tank Shredder and the self-balancing two-seater from GM called the EN-V. Today we carry on that tradition with another thing that can keep itself — and its occupant — perched upright. It’s called the Ryno, an all-electric single-wheeled scooter that looks like something Judge Dredd would throw a leg over before bringing justice to some nefarious evil-doers. It’s the pet product of mechanical engineer Chris Hoffmann and, after five years of tinkering and development, it could be finally making its way into peoples’ garages by next year. Join us for a wobbly first ride.
As Autoblog Greenpoints out, Australia’s Varley Electric Vehicles is known more for bulky industrial vehicles than high-end sports cars, but the company’s now looking to change that perception with its new all-electric evR450 supercar. While it’ll no doubt turn a few heads simply standing still, it also looks to measure up reasonably well under the hood, boasting a top speed of 200 kilometers per hour (or 124 MPH) and a zero to 100 km/h time of 3.8 seconds. The company’s also promising a range of 150 kilometers (or 93 miles) that can be doubled with an optional range-extension pack, although its not letting anyone actually drive the car just yet (or even look under the hood, for that matter). As for a price, Varley’s saying that the base package will come in “below” $200,000 Australian dollars (or about $213,000 US), and it says it could roll out “as early as January 2012.”
After winning the X-Prize, Edison2 decided the next logical step for its Very Light Car was to put an electric engine in it. Well, what is now known as the eVLC has been put through the EPA-certified ringer and come out boasting a jaw-dropping 245MPGe. Using the latest, more stringent, 5-cycle EPA tests the strange looking vehicle posted a miles-per-gallon equivalent almost 250-percent that of the Nissan leaf. The four-passenger eVLC also scored an impressive 114 mile range on its tiny 10.5 kWh battery (the Leaf gets 117 miles out of its 24 kWH battery) and sucked down a full charge in six hours from a standard 110v socket. For a few more details check out the PR after the break.
Tesla’s been teasing us with the Model S electric car for what seems like a cruelly long time. But, we gadget fans need to remember that designing and releasing a car is a rather different prospect than something like a phone. If your new iDevice crashes you might lose your patience, but if your new car crashes, well, the results could be rather more disastrous.
Tesla is keeping up the teasing act with the Model S Beta launch, an opportunity for a lucky few to come and check out the company’s factory (once the NUMMI facility in Fremont, CA) and to take a quick ride around the company’s test track — and we do mean quick. How do we know? Well, we got to come along. Join us for our impressions after the break.
Audi isn’t the only one with a tiny little EV with exposed wheels at Frankfurt this year. Parent company Volkswagen has one too, but this is even smaller. It’s called the Nils and it’s designed for commuters in the “world of tomorrow” — commuters who will be very thin and, apparently, short. Big people just don’t fit well into this tiny thing, but if you’re of modest size or below this could be an interesting little ride. It has only 34-horsepower (25kW) available from a rear-mounted electric motor, but since it weighs just 1,000-pounds (460kg) that should make for some peppy commutes — of less than 40 miles (65 kilometers), which is the maximum range here. More details after the break.
Not ready for the future? Too bad, it’s here — well, at least in concept form. Debuting soon at Frankfurt’s international auto show is Ford’s Evos, a cloud-connected hybrid EV that serves as a preview of the kinds of smart and hyper-connected vehicles Dearborn eventually wants to build. Details on what powers it are scant, but we do know it’ll rock the gasoline-electric drivetrain from the upcoming C-Max Energi. And when you’ve exhausted the combined 500 mile range, you can top up that lithium-ion pack by plugging in or wirelessly through inductive charging.
With gratuitous access to data you’ve slung into the cloud, the Evos is deeply intertwined with your daily routine. It’ll change your alarm clock if your morning meeting is canceled, continue music playback from other devices where you’ve left off and even suggest alternative routes based on your schedule and past driving history. Oh and it’ll monitor your heart rate too. Don’t believe us? Proof of that and more reside in the video after the break, which’ll hopefully tide you over til September — when we get to see if it lives up to the hype in person.
You know how we said that 780bhp electric pipe dream Jaguar had last year wasn’t going to be anything more than a concept? Well, we were wrong. Sort of. You see, the British automaker has just announced its intention to produce a limited run of 250 C-X75 supercars in partnership with Formula 1 team Williams, however the retail model will eschew the craziest aspect of the original design — the twin turbine engines at the back. Those will be replaced with a four-cylinder, turbocharged petrol engine, which will aid the four electric motors (one attached to each wheel). Don’t worry, though, this tweak has actually made the C-X75 accelerate even faster, as it’s now rated to go from 0 to 60mph in under three seconds. 2013 is when the earliest production of this road-faring beast is expected to commence, with prices starting at £700,000 ($1.15 million), and there’s even a glimmer of hope that a version with the gas turbines will also be built at some point down the line. Crazy, just crazy. Check the C-X75 out on video after the break, where Jay Leno gives you a tour around its dramatic design.
EV’s are great for getting around in a green-conscious way, but plug-in people must practice patience while waiting hours to juice up their ride. Better Place’s battery swapping stations offer much faster EV refueling, which is why China Southern Power Grid Co. (CSG) is betting big on the technology. The Chinese utility giant has teamed up with Guangzhou’s municipal government and Better Place to build a power pack exchange depot and an EV education center. With exhibits, meeting rooms, and EVs to test drive, the education center aims to help persuade administrative officials, captains of industry, and the general populace to jump on the electric car bandwagon. In addition, Ghuangzhou’s government will “encourage local car manufacturers” to create autos with switchable batteries and “promote” EV adoption in taxis and state vehicles — all of which seems likely to happen post-haste, ’cause what the Chinese government wants, the Chinese government gets.
What’s fast, electric, and made in Canada? No, not the latest Rush record, it’s the P1, a new electric motorcycle prototype from Quebec-based Amarok Consultants. The company — named after the Inuit word for wolf — unveiled the bike this week, announcing plans to enter it in this year’s TTXGP, an international racing series for electric vehicles. The 75 horsepower two-wheeler was designed with a laser-focus on lightweight construction, squeezing a 7.5-kilowatt-hour battery and two Agni 95 electric motors into a bantam 325 pound body — making for one of the lightest electric racing motorcycles around. The company’s not stopping there, however, shooting for 275 pounds for the second generation of the bike, putting it more on-par with gas-powered counterparts.
With gas prices topping $4.50 per gallon in some parts of the country, a car that costs a fraction of a penny per mile to drive (and looks like it belongs on the road) is sure to get our attention. The 275-pound, 2,200MPG Celeritas appears to be the closest we’ve come to having a solar-powered car that could one day take to the streets, however, which explains why the vehicle scored first prize in the Urban Concept category in this year’s Shell Eco-marathon. While it can only transport a single person (the driver), the car includes headlights, taillights, a trunk and even backup cameras. Notably absent from this version are air conditioning and a license plate — the latter of which would (naturally) be required before the car becomes street legal. The Purdue University design team chose “Celeritas” (Latin for “swiftness”) as the name for this soon-to-be-street-legal roadster, though in a category that’s notorious for slower vehicles, we wouldn’t expect the prototype to fly past us in the fast lane. Perhaps we can get Celeritas and IVy together for some alone time before we’re dropping Hamiltons for a gallon of regular?
When Nissan announced the Leaf RC we, naturally, were expecting a little radio controlled version of the battery-electric sedan that’s making its way to driveways now — slowly. We certainly didn’t expect a race version of the thing, but that’s what Nissan created, and now here it is at the New York International Auto Show, sitting on a turntable and spinning away. In fact you could envision that spinning stretching it out. It’s rather… longer than the stock Leaf. In fact, it really looks nothing at all like the stock car, but if it did it’d be all the more strange on the track than this long, low, spread-out, carbon fiber wedge. They are at least both pure electrics and both painted blue, though under the cerulean lights here just about everything is looking decidedly cool. Okay, so 107HP, a top speed of 93MPH, and a maximum duration of just 20 minutes on the track will hardly see this winning any WTCC races, but with a weight of just 2,068 pounds (some 700 less than a Tesla Roadster) we’d certainly take one for a spin — even if it were a short one.