Archive for the ‘Auto Energy News’ Category

Lithium Battery Used in Electric Cars

The lithium battery has made a splash in cordless power tools and is now the industry standard. It is much lighter and charges much faster than former rechargeable batteries. The light weight, however, makes it a great prospect for electric cars. See news at discussing new lithium battery plants that will supply the Nissan 5-seat electric car. Also, watch the video below discussing the lithium battery used in electric cars.

The 300 MPG Aptera Automobile

The Aptera is a 2-seat, 3-wheeled car being developed in Carlsbad, California that gets up to 300 miles per gallon of gas! There are two versions of this vehicle: One is electric and can go up to 120 miles per charge and the other is a hybrid that can go up to 300 miles per gallon of gas. The top speed is 95 miles per hour and it takes about 11 seconds to reach a speed of 60 MPH. And here is a real nifty benefit: Solar-powered AC that keeps your car cooled while parked in the hot sun!

Since the state of California puts this vehicle in the motorcycle class, it can then use the single-driver carpool lanes, another big plus.

The Aptera is a two-seater; three-wheeler, two in front, one in back. California classifies it as a motorcycle, meaning it can legally travel in carpool lanes carrying just the driver.

See for more information.

Solar Car!

Is this a car or a spaceship? Actually, it is a car . . . and completely powered by the sun!

This solar car, designed and built by Marcelo da Luz, will go 0-50 in 6 seconds and has a top speed of 75 mph. Marcelo drove this car a record 13,000 miles, including travel up to the Arctic Circle in low light conditions. This solar car can even go 130 miles at night if its batteries are fully charged. Very nice!

And yes, his car has been mistaken as a highway-bound UFO many times. da Luz states that he has been pulled over by highway patrolmen about 15 times and in one case he was reported to law enforcement as a “UFO driving down the highway”.

70MPG VW Rabbit Priced at $7000!

1981 Volkswagan RabbitWow! That is all I can say if this title line is true. But, according to the story We Build a 70 MPG Car, this is exactly what a group called Top Gear intends to do in their project car called Sipster.

And they intend to accomplish this with a 1981 Volkswagen Rabbit Diesel, retrofitted with a modern, computer-controlled, turbocharged VW TDI engine. Also, they will modify the gearing, oils, tires, and aerodynamics to squeeze every last MPG they can.

And the intended price of this car is only about $7000!


Note: The photo above is a 1981 Volkswagen Rabbit, used with permission, courtesy of The Rabbit Archive, a site I found that is perhaps the worlds most comprehensive VW Rabbit information site.

Tata Nano – World’s Cheapest Car

Welcome the Tata Nano – the world’s cheapest car! They call this the “people’s car”. But wait, wasn’t Hiter’s  German car named “Volkswagon”, which, coincidentally, also means “people’s car”. See Volkswagen History.  The Volkswagen was largely a result of Adolf Hitler’s actions, where engineers of Nazi Germany teamed up with Porshe to create the VW Beetle in the early 1930′s. Another interesting coincidence: The VW Beetle incorporated features from the Czech vehicle manufacturer Tatra!

Aside from those strange coincidences, we see that the Tata Nano is only a bit over 9ft long and sports a two cylinder engine stored in the rear (again like the old VW bug). The top speed of the Tata Nano is about 65MPH. If you have ever had the opportunity to drive a 60′s era bug, you will know that 65MPH was about the top speed for that car as well. There is no AC, radio, or air bags (like the old VW bugs). Gas mileage is reported to be anywhere from 42MPG to 50MPG. (Again like the old bugs).

Make this car a freezer on wheels during winter months in northern Minnesota and I think we can just call it the India Version of the VW Beetle! But even if that were so, I think this car will become a darling with some folks, just like the old VW bugs.

According to some sources, the Tata Nano may be available in the US as early as 2012. I think the Tata Nano will make a nice affordable commuter car for urban areas and slow highways where accidents are rare.

Ford Fusion Hybrid Most Fuel Efficient Midsize?

According to the article at usatoday, Ford claims that its Fusion Hybrid is the most fuel efficient midsized hybrid with MPGs of 41 MPG city and 36 MPG highway. Toyota is not taking this lightly however. Their Prius is rated at 48 MPG city and 45 MPG highway. And, both the Prius and the Fusion meet the requirements of being classified as a midsized car.

Sounds like Ford needs to do a bit of explain’in!

GM Adds 6 or 7 Miles To Range Of GM Volt Electric Car

According to , GM has made some changes to the GM Volt electric car to reduce air drag. One change consisted of rounding the front end and another consisted of sealing up the grill area sending air down the sides.

The goal of GM is that the Volt be able to drive 40 miles before needing a recharge and expected costs at about 10 cents per KWhr are projected t be only about 80 cents for a full charge! The Volt, scheduled to be released to the public in 2010, can be recharged via an ordinary household outlet, making recharging even possible at places of employment where outlets are available in parking areas.

The Volt also has a gas backup engine in case your battery runs out. The Volt gets around 50 MPG on this engine. More information on the GM Volt is found at this GM Volt FAQs Page .