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Tag Archives: electric

The Johammer J1 is a 125-Mile Range Electric Bike

Johammer J1 -

You ain’t seen nothing yet when it comes to electric bikes unless you’ve seen the Johammer J1. One thing that has discouraged a lot of people from going for electric motorcycles is the limited range, when compared to the gas-guzzling variety. You might argue that electric cars like the Tesla have great range for something that runs on electricity, but that’s because the fact that they’re cars means that they’ve got more space for batteries.

The Johammer J1 puts electric bikes back in the running though with its 125-mile range, which is way better than previous numbers. Its sleek and futuristic design and the fact that it looks pretty bad-ass is just icing on the cake.

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Is This What The BMW i8′s Keyfob Will Look Like?

BMW-i8-keyfob-1

You may be looking at BMW’s key fob for their upcoming i8 plug-in hybrid car. It kind of looks like a mini smartphone and allegedly features a high resolution LCD that informs you of a few essential metrics on your vehicle, like its current range and charge time. There are rumours that it’ll be programmable to display other info, but we don’t have details on that. Matter of fact, this could be someone’s photoshop project for all we know, although it looks somewhat legit. The BMW i8 will hit the road in 2014 and is expected to sell out quickly. It does the 0-60 in 4.4 seconds, and will reportedly do 113 miles to the gallon. It’ll also dent your bank account to the tune of $135,000.

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VIA [ AutoBlog ]

Is NEVS Going Electric With the Next-Generation Saab 9-3?

Next Saab

So it’s been almost two years since Saab went bankrupt. It’s a huge shame, but the silver lining is that National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) will be releasing a new model under the Saab name in 2014. At least, that’s the plan anyway. A bunch of sketches of purported Saab car designs hit the web recently, and speculations are rife that NEVS might be working to make the next model an electric car.

The image was posted on design firm Yovinn’s website. The featured designs are sleek and classy–typical Saab–and appear to be the same size as the 9-3. It’s crazy how these images have created so much buzz over the auto-blogosphere.

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Rubbee Turns Any Old Bicycle Into an Electric Bike In Seconds

Rubbee

Electric bikes aren’t cheap. They might even seem like a frivolous purchase, especially if you’ve already got a bicycle that cost an arm and a leg when you bought it a few years ago. While there are a lot of conversion kits available to “electric-fy” your bike, most of them make your bike look like an experiment or a work in progress.

Then along came Rubbee, a recently-launched project on Kickstarter that promises to turn your regular bike into an electric one in seconds.

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LOLGAS: Wolkswagen To Release 314mpg XL1 Hybrid

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With all the talk about the superior performance of the Tesla Model S, it’s easy to forget that most electric cars aren’t quite as swift. But what the Wolkswagen XL1 lacks in speed and acceleration, it makes up in fuel efficiency. The plug-in hybrid was tested at 340mpg, but the officials in charge of the test imposed a rounding error, from 0.83L/100km to 0.9L/100km (not sure why), bringing the official mileage to 314mpg. That’s still decent enough to travel 300 miles on $1.5 of electricity and $4.5 of diesel, at European energy prices. That works out to $6 for 300 miles with the XL1, versus $13.68 with the Model S.

Of course, there are some drawbacks. The diesel engine develops 48bhp, the e-motor 27bhp, which means that acceleration is crap, taking 12.7 seconds to get to 60mph. And if you keep going past that, you’ll top out at 100mph. And to make things really bad, you can’t really take advantage of the super mileage, because the gas tank is only 10L. Of course, you can still travel long distances by refuelling along the way, and you’ll still get 141mpg that way, the only inconvenience being that you have to stop every 300 miles. But we’re not sure where we sit on this one. Wolkswagen isn’t planning on mass production anyway, so obviously nor does VW. There’s no official price, and the talk is that 50 will be made, with maybe more if there’s demand. So it’s a wait and see.

[ Top Gear ] VIA [ Uncrate ]

Tesla CEO Offers Damning Refutal To NYT’s Negative Model S Review

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On February 8th, the New York Time’s Josh Broder released a scathing review of the Tesla Model S, claiming it was unfit for cold weather driving. The problem was, according to Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, there were factual inaccuracies in the piece. Matter of fact, according to him, the review “was fake” and he would produce some hard data to back that up. Yesterday, he did, and it’s quite shocking. It turns out Broder did a number of things to, at least apparently, purposely sabotage the test. Here are just a few:

    The car never actually ran out of battery, even as the flatbed truck was being called.
    On the final leg of Broder’s trip, he disconnected the charger with a range of 32 miles on the dash, when that leg of the trip was going to be 62 miles. “He did so expressly against the advice of Tesla personnel and in obvious violation of common sense.”
    On that last leg, Broder drove right past a charging station, even as alarms on the dash were telling him that he was low on charge.
    Perhaps most damning of all, in one of the legs of the trip, Broder drove around in circles in a tiny parking lot for over half a mile, attempting to drain the battery fully, which was displaying “0 miles remaining”. He didn’t succeed that time, though apparently that motivated him to try harder next time.

There are quite a few other things, and you should definitely head over to the Tesla link below for more details. It’s sad to see media outlets trying to destroy the reputation of what could very well be the future of transportation. In the end, hard data speaks louder than everything, and we hope Tesla succeeds in reversing whatever damage the NYT might have done.

[ A Most Peculiar Test Drive ]

Tesla Model S Does Quarter Mile In The Twelves

We knew the Tesla Model S was fast, but when we read that it was doing the quarter mile consistently in the 12s. region, we were blown away. “This past weekend at the Palm Beach International Raceway in Florida, the National Electric Drag Racing Association awarded the Tesla Model S its stamp of officiation for being “the quickest production vehicle” in quarter mile tests.” It ran the distance in 12.371 at 110.84mph, a number that is very impressive for very large and very fast combustion cars, let alone electric ones. It’s even more impressive considering the Model S is rated at only 416HP and weighs in at a hefty 4,700 lbs. Clearly the electric power delivery and curve, and instantaneous torque, all combined with the lack of gear changes (it uses a single-speed gear-reduction transmission) produce the kind of thrust that is hard to match without consuming ridiculous amounts of gasoline. And don’t forget that despite the blistering acceleration, the Model S is capable of traveling up to 350 miles on a charge, although of course this is with more sedate driving.

This car is still a luxury item, and it’s not even one that will really save you money on the long run. It is however electric, and on par with luxury sedans in its class, cost-wise. So all else being equal, if you’re really hankering for a greener ride but are worried about performance issues, the Tesla Model S won’t let you down.

VIA [ Engadget ]

Students Working On Futuristic Looking Bike With Spherical Wheels

Wheels, it turns out, are very passé. Balls is where it’s at. At least that’s what a student team from the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering at San Jose State University is out to prove with the above early prototype of the Spherical Drive System, a self-balancing electric bike that rolls on spheres friction-driven by three off-center rotors. This setup should technically give the vehicle omni-directional manoeuvrability. Why? Because the future, that’s why. And also because the students believe it to be safer than conventional bikes, and that it would provide the rider with more driving freedom. We… buy the freedom thing, but we’re not sold on the safety part.

Still, the balls themselves are solid, made from carbon fiber and fiberglass with an industrial rubber coating, and the team has already taken delivery of them along with other essential parts. They’re still assembling the prototype as well as working on the software and they hope to have it ready to test by the end of 2012. Obviously since this is a student project, it’d be really optimistic to expect fast development and commercial availability any time soon, although they are looking for sponsor. Consider this project a proof of concept for now, a concept for which there may not even be a demand. But hey: the future!

Hit the jump for pics and links.

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Brammo Empulse Electric Bike Has Actual Clutch And Gear Transmission

By David Ponce

The thing about most electric vehicles is that there’s no real need for the traditional gears, or even a clutch for that matter. While some say this can be more efficient, it also produces a driving feel that’s completely alien and upsetting to purists. The Brammo Empulse electric bike tries to alleviate some of that pain by introducing the

“Integrated Electric Transmission (IET™) – IET™ is a mechatronic propulsion unit that emulates the feeling and performance of a traditional internal combustion engine, with a specially developed electric motor, clutch and gear shift, that enables the 2012 Empulse to accelerate hard from the line up to a high top speed, something that is just not possible to achieve with a single ratio electric motorcycle.

The bike is also the first to feature water cooling and its battery will be fully charged in 8 hours. With a full charge you should get a 121 mile city range, 56 mile highway and a combined 77 miles. There’s a 100mph top speed and two driving modes: Normal (limited acceleration and top speed) for added range and Sport for the reverse combination. Assuming 13 cents /kWh for electricity, it’s going to cost you roughly $4 for 400 miles of range and at current gas prices, that works out to 336mpg. Unless we screwed up our calculations somewhere.

In any case, expect to pay $16,995 for the Empulse and $18,995 for the Empulse R, which features carbon fiber accents and fully adjustable front and rear suspension. The company is accepting pre-orders now.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ GearPatrol ]