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Found 372 results

  1. G. David Felt Alternative Fuels & Propulsion writer www.CheersandGears.com Toyota i-ROAD EV So in looking around at what other EV auto's were being talked about, I found Toyota has a 3 wheel bike that is enclosed called the i-ROAD. Powered by two 2kW 2.7HP motors using lithium-ion battery pack good for a range of 26 miles of inner city driving. EV.COM states that according to Toyota, the 2016 world wide version will have a 31 mile range based on an average speed of 18mph. The following video shows the i-ROAD in use around Toyota City. What are your thoughts, does the i-ROAD have a chance of making it in a global market?
  2. While the Chevrolet Volt has been doing ok in sales chart (ranging from 1,478 to 1,777 units since March), the same cannot be said for the Opel Ampera. When it launched in 2012 and took home the European Car Of The Year award, the model sold 5,200 units. But since then, the Ampera has been sinking like a rock. In 2013, dealers only moved 3,184 units, a massive drop of 40 percent. 2014 only looks to be worse as Opel has only sold 332 units through the end of May. Automotive News Europe reports that Opel will drop the Ampera once the next-generation Chevrolet Volt is launched, which is expected to happen in late 2015. An Opel spokesman declined to comment on this story when asked. Source: Automotive News Europe (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  3. While the Chevrolet Volt has been doing ok in sales chart (ranging from 1,478 to 1,777 units since March), the same cannot be said for the Opel Ampera. When it launched in 2012 and took home the European Car Of The Year award, the model sold 5,200 units. But since then, the Ampera has been sinking like a rock. In 2013, dealers only moved 3,184 units, a massive drop of 40 percent. 2014 only looks to be worse as Opel has only sold 332 units through the end of May. Automotive News Europe reports that Opel will drop the Ampera once the next-generation Chevrolet Volt is launched, which is expected to happen in late 2015. An Opel spokesman declined to comment on this story when asked. Source: Automotive News Europe (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  4. G. David Felt Alternative Fuels & Propulsion writer www.CheersandGears.com It seems the dirty laundry of other car companies is coming to light as people dig into the history of the EV movement. GM joined the lawsuit with other automobile manufacturers and oil industry to successfully kill the early laws that California passed to promote electric vehicles. In turn, GM killed its EV1 project. All the bad publicity surrounded the death of the EV1 ignores so many other automobile manufacturers which also worked to kill off the EV movement of the nineties. As GM took the brunt of the heat for shredding all its EV1 autos, Honda also silently killed off its Honda EV Plus electric cars. Honda manufactured approximately 340 EV Plus vehicles between 1997 and 1999. Subsequently, all the manufactured EV Plus vehicles were shredded. Honda was the first auto manufacturer to use NiMH batteries compared to GM's use of Lead Acid batteries. The full story and write up is here on EV.com web site along with a very interesting video. You can move the video to 16:50 to see the EV Plus taken to be destroyed. http://ev.com/honda-ev-plus-shredded-like-gms-ev1/
  5. October 11, 2013 Drew Dowdell Managing Editor - CheersandGears.com Cadillac released pricing today for the upcoming ELR due to go on sale in January 2014 in major metropolitan areas nationwide. Base MSRP will start at $75,995 including the destination charge. Cadillac is anticipating IRS certification of a federal tax credit of up to $7,500. As the ELR shares propulsion technology with the Chevrolet Volt, additional tax credits or rebates may be available at the state level. Many of the technologies released in the 2014 Cadillac CTS and 2015 Cadillac Escalade appear in the ELR. The ELR will come standard with Cadillac CUE with Navigation, LED front and rear exterior lighting, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, and the Safety Alert Seat. Exclusive to the ELR is a Regen-on-Demand feature that allows the driver to have greater control of battery regeneration using the momentum of the vehicle via the steering-wheel paddles. Click Picture to Enlarge While official EPA certification is not yet available, the Cadillac ELR's driving range is well over 300 miles. Using only battery power, the initial range is 35 miles before regeneration starts. EV range is dependent on terrain, driving style, and outside temperature. Cadillac Press Release on Page 2 Drew Dowdell is Managing Editor of CheersandGears.com and can be reached at Drew.Dowdell@CheersandGears.com or on Twitter as @cheersngears Cadillac ELR Sales to Begin in January Nationwide distribution, pricing announced for electric luxury coupe DETROIT – Initial sales of the 2014 Cadillac ELR electrified luxury coupe will begin in January in all major U.S. metropolitan areas featuring provocative design and extended range electric vehicle technology. Designed for a new generation of technology-driven luxury buyers, the 2014 ELR has a starting price of $75,995, including a $995 destination charge but excluding tax, title, license and dealer fees. Upon IRS certification of an anticipated federal tax credit, purchasers may be eligible for a tax credit from $0 to $7,500 depending on individual tax liability. Net pricing after tax credits could be as low as $68,495, including $995 destination. “The ELR is a unique blend of dramatic design with electric vehicle technology capable of total range in excess of 300 miles,” said Bob Ferguson, senior vice president Global Cadillac. “ELR is also unique in that it will be offered nationwide within a luxury customer experience, with proven benefits and care extending from the shopping process all the way through the ownership experience.” Dealers nationwide are specially trained and certified to sell and service the 2014 ELR. Backing up the dealership experience, prospective customers and buyers of the ELR can take advantage of their own ELR Concierge Representative. Trained in white-glove customer care, the Concierge Representative is an additional point of contact for information on battery care, home charging, service scheduling, news and updates by calling 855 4 CAD ELR (855-422-3357). As with all Cadillac models, the ELR comes standard with Cadillac Shield, a comprehensive suite of owner benefits including Remote Vehicle Diagnostics, a Premium Care Maintenance program and 24/7 roadside assistance. For added peace of mind, the ELR also comes with an extended battery and propulsion warranty of eight years or100,000 miles, whichever comes first, and a four-year or 50,000-mile, whichever comes first, bumper-to-bumper limited warranty. The ELR comes equipped with standard advanced technology features such as Cadillac CUE with Navigation accessible through a large, eight-inch, full-color capacitive-touch screen, light-emitting diode, or LED, front and rear exterior lighting, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, the Safety Alert Seat and the exclusive Regen on Demand™ feature, allowing the driver to temporarily regenerate energy from the vehicle’s momentum via steering-wheel paddles. The ELR interior features handcrafted leather complemented by authentic wood grain and chrome trim. Powering the ELR is a combination of pure electric drive and an efficient, range-extending 1.4L gasoline-powered electric generator. A T-shaped, 16.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack is located along the centerline of the vehicle, between the front and rear wheels to make the most of weight distribution. The pack supplies energy to an advanced electric drive unit to propel the vehicle. ELR is capable of a total driving range in excess of 300 miles. Using only the energy stored in the battery, ELR’s initial range is about 35 highway miles, or 82 MPGe, of electric driving, depending on terrain, driving techniques and ambient temperature. Official EPA estimates are not yet available. The ELR also offers unique driving features, including four driving modes – default Tour mode, the more-responsive Sport mode, a Mountain mode that maintains charge in hilly terrain and Hold mode, which allows drivers to select when to use battery power or the gas-powered generator. Cadillac has been a leading luxury auto brand since 1902. Today Cadillac is growing globally, driven by an expanding product portfolio featuring dramatic design and technology. More information on Cadillac appears at www.cadillac.com. Cadillac's media website with information, images and video can be found at media.cadillac.com. # # # CONTACT: Brian Corbett Cadillac Communications 586-612-6569 brian.corbett@cadillac.com View full article
  6. October 11, 2013 Drew Dowdell Managing Editor - CheersandGears.com Cadillac released pricing today for the upcoming ELR due to go on sale in January 2014 in major metropolitan areas nationwide. Base MSRP will start at $75,995 including the destination charge. Cadillac is anticipating IRS certification of a federal tax credit of up to $7,500. As the ELR shares propulsion technology with the Chevrolet Volt, additional tax credits or rebates may be available at the state level. Many of the technologies released in the 2014 Cadillac CTS and 2015 Cadillac Escalade appear in the ELR. The ELR will come standard with Cadillac CUE with Navigation, LED front and rear exterior lighting, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, and the Safety Alert Seat. Exclusive to the ELR is a Regen-on-Demand feature that allows the driver to have greater control of battery regeneration using the momentum of the vehicle via the steering-wheel paddles. Click Picture to Enlarge While official EPA certification is not yet available, the Cadillac ELR's driving range is well over 300 miles. Using only battery power, the initial range is 35 miles before regeneration starts. EV range is dependent on terrain, driving style, and outside temperature. Cadillac Press Release on Page 2 Drew Dowdell is Managing Editor of CheersandGears.com and can be reached at Drew.Dowdell@CheersandGears.com or on Twitter as @cheersngears Cadillac ELR Sales to Begin in January Nationwide distribution, pricing announced for electric luxury coupe DETROIT – Initial sales of the 2014 Cadillac ELR electrified luxury coupe will begin in January in all major U.S. metropolitan areas featuring provocative design and extended range electric vehicle technology. Designed for a new generation of technology-driven luxury buyers, the 2014 ELR has a starting price of $75,995, including a $995 destination charge but excluding tax, title, license and dealer fees. Upon IRS certification of an anticipated federal tax credit, purchasers may be eligible for a tax credit from $0 to $7,500 depending on individual tax liability. Net pricing after tax credits could be as low as $68,495, including $995 destination. “The ELR is a unique blend of dramatic design with electric vehicle technology capable of total range in excess of 300 miles,” said Bob Ferguson, senior vice president Global Cadillac. “ELR is also unique in that it will be offered nationwide within a luxury customer experience, with proven benefits and care extending from the shopping process all the way through the ownership experience.” Dealers nationwide are specially trained and certified to sell and service the 2014 ELR. Backing up the dealership experience, prospective customers and buyers of the ELR can take advantage of their own ELR Concierge Representative. Trained in white-glove customer care, the Concierge Representative is an additional point of contact for information on battery care, home charging, service scheduling, news and updates by calling 855 4 CAD ELR (855-422-3357). As with all Cadillac models, the ELR comes standard with Cadillac Shield, a comprehensive suite of owner benefits including Remote Vehicle Diagnostics, a Premium Care Maintenance program and 24/7 roadside assistance. For added peace of mind, the ELR also comes with an extended battery and propulsion warranty of eight years or100,000 miles, whichever comes first, and a four-year or 50,000-mile, whichever comes first, bumper-to-bumper limited warranty. The ELR comes equipped with standard advanced technology features such as Cadillac CUE with Navigation accessible through a large, eight-inch, full-color capacitive-touch screen, light-emitting diode, or LED, front and rear exterior lighting, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, the Safety Alert Seat and the exclusive Regen on Demand™ feature, allowing the driver to temporarily regenerate energy from the vehicle’s momentum via steering-wheel paddles. The ELR interior features handcrafted leather complemented by authentic wood grain and chrome trim. Powering the ELR is a combination of pure electric drive and an efficient, range-extending 1.4L gasoline-powered electric generator. A T-shaped, 16.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack is located along the centerline of the vehicle, between the front and rear wheels to make the most of weight distribution. The pack supplies energy to an advanced electric drive unit to propel the vehicle. ELR is capable of a total driving range in excess of 300 miles. Using only the energy stored in the battery, ELR’s initial range is about 35 highway miles, or 82 MPGe, of electric driving, depending on terrain, driving techniques and ambient temperature. Official EPA estimates are not yet available. The ELR also offers unique driving features, including four driving modes – default Tour mode, the more-responsive Sport mode, a Mountain mode that maintains charge in hilly terrain and Hold mode, which allows drivers to select when to use battery power or the gas-powered generator. Cadillac has been a leading luxury auto brand since 1902. Today Cadillac is growing globally, driven by an expanding product portfolio featuring dramatic design and technology. More information on Cadillac appears at www.cadillac.com. Cadillac's media website with information, images and video can be found at media.cadillac.com. # # # CONTACT: Brian Corbett Cadillac Communications 586-612-6569 brian.corbett@cadillac.com
  7. At the Chicago Auto Show, Kia unveiled the coming electric version of their Soul model. Kia claims the Soul EV will have an 80 to 100 mile range while packing one of the most energy dense batteries on the market. Producing 27kWh, the Soul EV's battery has a 200 watt hour per kilogram rating. A fully depleted Soul EV will take 24 hours to fully recharge on a standard 120v wall outlet while taking 5 hours to recharge on a 240v power source. An 80 percent charge can be achieved in 33 minutes when plugged in to a 50 kW output charger. The Soul EV can recapture up to 13% of its kinetic energy through brake regeneration. The battery in the Soul EV is located under the floor making interior intrusion minimal with only a 3.1 inch reduction in rear seat headroom. With the location of the battery being so low, it lowers the center of gravity in the car making for a more solid handling feel. In spite of Kia's current mascot, the Soul EV doesn't have just hamsters under the hood. The Soul EV produces 210 lb-ft of torque and 109 horsepower with 0-60 time in the 12 second range. Our Take: Kia's first entry comes a couple years after the competition, but it doesn't make any advancement in battery range. Press Release after the jump. Drew Dowdell is Managing Editor of CheersandGears.com and can be reached at Drew.Dowdell@CheersandGears.com or on Twitter as @CheersnGears SOUL EV LIGHTS UP 2014 CHICAGO AUTO SHOW Kia’s First Mass Market Electric Vehicle Makes World Debut in the Windy City New 2015 Kia Soul EV offers an expected 80-100 miles of range State-of-the-art 27kWh lithium polymer battery has 200 Wh/kg energy density EV-specific version of UVO eServices1 includes downloadable apps, EV charger locations and more CHICAGO, February 6, 2014– Set to the sounds of soulful electrified blues music, Kia Motors America (KMA) today hosted the global unveiling of the 2015 Soul EV at the Chicago Auto Show. Scheduled to go on sale in the third quarter of 2014, the Soul EV will be Kia’s first all-electric, zero-emissions car sold in the U.S. and expands the brand’s line of environmentally conscious vehicles. The Soul EV joined the refreshed 2014 Optima Hybrid on stage along with the Niro hybrid concept, illustrating Kia’s intent to lead the industry in providing technologically advanced vehicles that also reduce our dependency on non-renewable resources. Kia’s eco-friendly commitment was further underscored when Underwriters Laboratory (UL)1 honored the Soul EV with the organization’s first automotive environmental validation for its integration of more than 20 bio-friendly materials. The new Soul EV is at the forefront of Kia’s ‘Clean Mobility’ program and will offer an even more environmentally friendly option to our customers when it goes on sale later this year,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning, KMA. “The Soul EV retains the fun and funky style as well as the packaging efficiency and utility that have made the gasoline-powered Soul such a huge hit with consumers. And to that winning combination it adds useable real-world range and multiple charging options, making it the perfect EV for everyone.” The Soul EV will initially be sold in California and Oregon in the West and several Eastern states including New York, New Jersey and Maryland, the regions with the largest EV markets and infrastructure. KMA will look to offer the vehicle in other markets in the near future as infrastructure and demand grow. Pricing for the Soul EV will be announced closer to the vehicle’s launch. High Energy Density Battery and Usable Power A top concern for EV buyers has commonly been range anxiety. The Soul EV addresses this issue by utilizing a highly energy-dense lithium-ion polymer battery. Located beneath the floor, the 27kWh, air-cooled, 200 watt-hour/kg battery is expected to yield a range of approximately 80-100 miles of real-world driving on a full charge, with internal testing and evaluation results exceeding 100 miles in some instances. The 360 volt 96-cell lithium-ion polymer battery has been engineered for high capacity, thermal stability and safety. Accordingly, the battery features a nickel-cobalt-manganese cathode, which helps increase capacity, and a graphite-based anode, which increases durability while reducing weight. Additionally, the cells use a gel electrolyte, and each cell contains ceramic separators to significantly improve thermal stability and safety. In an effort to maximize efficiency and range, the Soul EV uses Kia’s third-generation regenerative braking system to capture up to 12 percent of the car’s kinetic energy, which is fed back into the battery while the Soul EV is coasting and braking. Soul EV owners can choose between four different regeneration modes: “Drive” or “Brake” modes in Eco-mode “Off,” and “Drive” or “Brake” modes in Eco-mode “On” (the “Brake” setting with Eco-mode “On” producing the most regeneration). The Soul EV makes charging easy by plugging into any standard 120v outlet or a conventional 240v EV charger. Two charging ports are standard, including a SAE J1772 port for Level 1 and Level 2 AC, and a CHAdeMo DC fast-charging port (480v). Found behind a sliding door located in the front grille, the dual ports offer flexibility and increase the Soul EV’s go-anywhere appeal, making it more convenient to charge inside the owner’s garage or when on the road. Recharging times vary from 24 hours for a fully depleted battery using a standard 120-volt outlet and under five hours when plugged into a 240-volt outlet. An 80-percent charge can be achieved in as little as 33 minutes with a 50 kW-output charger. Kia has partnered with three charger providers – Bosch, Leviton and AeroVironment™ – which give Soul EV buyers an opportunity to select the unit best suited to their in-home needs. Additionally, Kia retailers who sell the Soul EV will offer charging at no cost to Soul EV owners, making charging even more convenient. The front-wheel drive Soul EV is powered by an 81.4 kW, 109-hp electric motor, producing a generous 210 lb.-ft. of torque. The liquid-cooled AC synchronous permanent magnet motor uses multi-layer magnets to help improve efficiency and reduce the whine that’s commonly experienced with other electric vehicles. The motor delivers its power to the front wheels through a single-speed constant-ratio gear reduction unit. Acceleration from 0-60 mph is expected to take fewer than 12 seconds with a top speed electronically limited to approximately 90 mph. The battery’s location beneath the floor offers the stable feel of a lower center of gravity, which helps ride and handling and ensures that the EV remains true to the Soul’s fun-to-drive reputation. Additional cross bracing beneath the low-mounted battery contributes to a 5.9 percent improvement in torsional rigidity over the gasoline-powered Soul. Improved aerodynamics and the absence of engine noise, combined with special sound-proofing materials, result in an exceptionally quiet ride. For the benefit of pedestrian safety, the Soul EV is equipped with a Virtual Engine Sound System (VESS) that emits an auditory alert at speeds below 12 mph and whenever the car is in reverse. Minimal Battery Intrusion The Soul EV offers plenty of space inside the cabin thanks to minimal battery intrusion. Because of the battery’s flat design and location beneath the floor, there is only a slight 3.1-inch reduction to rear seat leg room (from 39.1 to 36 inches) from the non-EV Soul, yet Soul EV still offers more rear seat leg room than other key EV competitors. Rear shoulder and hip room remain unchanged from the gasoline-powered Soul, making Soul EV one of the roomiest in the segment. Rear cargo space is minimally impacted (reduced 5.1 cu.-ft. to 19.1) as the space under the cargo floor is utilized for the battery cooling fan and storage of the standard 120v portable charger. Uniquely Designed Inside and Out The Soul’s bold exterior design is also found on the EV. From the “floating” roof to the greenhouse that makes the car look like it is wearing wraparound sunglasses, the EV’s look is inspired by the 2012 Kia Track’ster concept and retains the iconic square-shouldered broad stance of the original Soul. Initially, the Soul EV will be offered in three color choices: Pearl White lower body with Electronic Blue roof, Caribbean Blue lower body with Clear White roof, and Bright Silver with Clear White roof. The signature two-tone paint theme is exclusive to the EV and was inspired by a similar treatment seen on the Track’ster. The EV-exclusive front fascia utilizes a larger grille to accommodate the charging ports, and other unique exterior Soul EV design features include color accent trim in the front and rear fascias, projector headlights, LED positioning lamps, and LED tail lights. “Eco Electric” fender badging replaces the “Soul” fender garnish found on the gasoline-powered car, and the Soul EV gets its own set of distinctive 16-inch alloy wheels wrapped with specially engineered Super Low Rolling Resistance (SLRR) tires that offer 10 percent less resistance than standard low rolling resistance tires, helping to improve range. When launched in 2014, the all-new Soul was lauded for its premium interior and significantly reduced levels of NVH. The Soul EV will be instantly recognizable for these same qualities. Like its gasoline-powered sibling, a circular theme pervades the cabin and is a pleasing contrast to the exterior’s angular good looks. Inside, the Soul EV sets itself further apart from its gasoline-powered sibling with bright white accent trim on the center console, instrument panel and door panels, lending a light and modern feel to the passenger space. Distinguished by Kia’s most extensive use of bio-based materials, the Soul EV has received UL’s first ever automotive environmental claim validation for its 10.9 lbs. of bio-based organic content in interior plastic. Front and center is the use of BTX-free paint on the audio system surround, vent bezel and the floor console. Bio-based plastics derived from cellulose and sugar cane are found in many places within the cabin, including the door panels, headliner, seat trim, roof pillars and carpeting. In all, organic, bio-based materials are used in 19 different interior parts, making the Soul EV an electric-vehicle segment leader in eco-friendly material application. Separate from the bio-based content validation, extensive use of antibacterial materials also help to keep the cabin clean and are found on the gear selector, audio and HVAC controls, instrument panel switchgear and the floor-mounted center console. Combined, eco-friendly materials are used in 23 different interior parts, making the Soul EV an electric-vehicle segment leader in eco-friendly material application. The Soul EV features exclusive interior color options that perfectly complement the exterior. Two interior seating materials will be offered: Standard eco-friendly cloth or optional leather. Both are gray with offsetting blue stitching on the cloth seats and blue piping on the leather seats. Additional blue stitching is found on the steering wheel and center console armrest. Standard Soul EV amenities include navigation, Rear Camera Display2, Bluetooth®3 hands free operation, power windows, power driver’s seat, cruise control, 6.6kW on-board charger and an exclusive HVAC system designed to extend driving range by minimizing energy draw. Air conditioning is one of the largest energy drains in any electric vehicle, but the Soul EV’s HVAC system is designed to provide optimum comfort while also helping to extend the car’s range by minimizing energy use. The Soul EV uses four key technologies to maximize HVAC efficiency: an available heat pump (optional on Base, standard on “+”), individual ventilation, scheduled ventilation, and air intake control. The heat pump and surplus heat recovered from the Soul EV’s electrical systems help heat cabin air. Individual ventilation allows selection of “Driver Only,” which stops airflow to the passenger side front dash and floor vents and the floor vents for the rear passenger compartment, thereby focusing airflow on the driver and reducing the amount of energy needed to reach a comfortable interior temperature. Scheduled ventilation reduces EV energy use by pre-heating or cooling the passenger compartment prior to starting the car, while it is still plugged into a charger. Air intake control regulates inner and outer air flow to minimize HVAC usage, regulating interior temperature by carefully managing recirculated cabin air. Forward Thinking Technology Available at no cost for the first five years of ownership, UVO EV Services, a special version of Kia’s award-winning telematics and infotainment system, is put to even greater use in the Soul EV. Utilizing an embedded connectivity solution powered by the Verizon network and an integral smartphone app, UVO EV Services provides owners with an innovative, real-time, in-vehicle connectivity experience that includes navigation and added convenience features specifically tailored for the Soul EV that will help owners stay informed as to their vehicle’s charging status while on the go. UVO EV Services provides real-time battery-level status, distance to empty, and the ability to search for nearby charging stations. Also, via the UVO EV app, owners can preset charging time and charging level ratios, as well as precondition the vehicle cabin with remote control of the HVAC presets. Preconditioning the vehicle moderates cabin temperature in advance, helping reduce battery draw once the Soul EV is uncoupled from the charging station. At a glance, UVO will also update EV owners of their CO2 savings and their relative positive impact on the environment. Introduced for the first time on the Soul EV, UVO EV Services includes downloadable apps that reside on the Soul EV’s standard 8-inch capacitive-touch navigation screen. EV owners may download Yelp®4, the online urban city guide that helps people find cool places to eat, shop, relax and play. Soul EV owners will also enjoy iHeartRadio, the free, all-in-one digital radio service that lets customers listen to their favorite live stations or create their own commercial-free, all-music custom stations. Sound Hound, which is also available and accessible through the touch screen, listens to what’s playing and displays all related information such as lyrics, the artist, title and album cover art. Arriving with a five-year complimentary subscription to SiriusXM™5 Data Services and Travel Link, the Soul EV has access to charging stations and travel information such as road conditions, weather and security alerts as well as sports scores, movie times and stock prices through the screen’s graphical interface and electronic program guide. The Soul EV also features Kia’s first use of Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) technology. Low energy consumption and virtually no heat build-up make OLED perfect for an electric-vehicle application. Found within the Soul EV’s exclusive Supervision instrument cluster, the 3.5-inch OLED screen is crystal clear and provides information on the vehicle’s energy flow, charging time, ECO driving level and energy economy, which measures how efficiently the battery is operating. Additionally, the OLED screen provides a three-stage alert for the Soul EV’s State of Charge (SOC), which allows the driver to quickly decipher how much charge remains within the battery and when it’s time to plug in to a charging unit.
  8. At the Chicago Auto Show, Kia unveiled the coming electric version of their Soul model. Kia claims the Soul EV will have an 80 to 100 mile range while packing one of the most energy dense batteries on the market. Producing 27kWh, the Soul EV's battery has a 200 watt hour per kilogram rating. A fully depleted Soul EV will take 24 hours to fully recharge on a standard 120v wall outlet while taking 5 hours to recharge on a 240v power source. An 80 percent charge can be achieved in 33 minutes when plugged in to a 50 kW output charger. The Soul EV can recapture up to 13% of its kinetic energy through brake regeneration. The battery in the Soul EV is located under the floor making interior intrusion minimal with only a 3.1 inch reduction in rear seat headroom. With the location of the battery being so low, it lowers the center of gravity in the car making for a more solid handling feel. In spite of Kia's current mascot, the Soul EV doesn't have just hamsters under the hood. The Soul EV produces 210 lb-ft of torque and 109 horsepower with 0-60 time in the 12 second range. Our Take: Kia's first entry comes a couple years after the competition, but it doesn't make any advancement in battery range. Press Release after the jump. Drew Dowdell is Managing Editor of CheersandGears.com and can be reached at Drew.Dowdell@CheersandGears.com or on Twitter as @CheersnGears SOUL EV LIGHTS UP 2014 CHICAGO AUTO SHOW Kia’s First Mass Market Electric Vehicle Makes World Debut in the Windy City New 2015 Kia Soul EV offers an expected 80-100 miles of range State-of-the-art 27kWh lithium polymer battery has 200 Wh/kg energy density EV-specific version of UVO eServices1 includes downloadable apps, EV charger locations and more CHICAGO, February 6, 2014– Set to the sounds of soulful electrified blues music, Kia Motors America (KMA) today hosted the global unveiling of the 2015 Soul EV at the Chicago Auto Show. Scheduled to go on sale in the third quarter of 2014, the Soul EV will be Kia’s first all-electric, zero-emissions car sold in the U.S. and expands the brand’s line of environmentally conscious vehicles. The Soul EV joined the refreshed 2014 Optima Hybrid on stage along with the Niro hybrid concept, illustrating Kia’s intent to lead the industry in providing technologically advanced vehicles that also reduce our dependency on non-renewable resources. Kia’s eco-friendly commitment was further underscored when Underwriters Laboratory (UL)1 honored the Soul EV with the organization’s first automotive environmental validation for its integration of more than 20 bio-friendly materials. The new Soul EV is at the forefront of Kia’s ‘Clean Mobility’ program and will offer an even more environmentally friendly option to our customers when it goes on sale later this year,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning, KMA. “The Soul EV retains the fun and funky style as well as the packaging efficiency and utility that have made the gasoline-powered Soul such a huge hit with consumers. And to that winning combination it adds useable real-world range and multiple charging options, making it the perfect EV for everyone.” The Soul EV will initially be sold in California and Oregon in the West and several Eastern states including New York, New Jersey and Maryland, the regions with the largest EV markets and infrastructure. KMA will look to offer the vehicle in other markets in the near future as infrastructure and demand grow. Pricing for the Soul EV will be announced closer to the vehicle’s launch. High Energy Density Battery and Usable Power A top concern for EV buyers has commonly been range anxiety. The Soul EV addresses this issue by utilizing a highly energy-dense lithium-ion polymer battery. Located beneath the floor, the 27kWh, air-cooled, 200 watt-hour/kg battery is expected to yield a range of approximately 80-100 miles of real-world driving on a full charge, with internal testing and evaluation results exceeding 100 miles in some instances. The 360 volt 96-cell lithium-ion polymer battery has been engineered for high capacity, thermal stability and safety. Accordingly, the battery features a nickel-cobalt-manganese cathode, which helps increase capacity, and a graphite-based anode, which increases durability while reducing weight. Additionally, the cells use a gel electrolyte, and each cell contains ceramic separators to significantly improve thermal stability and safety. In an effort to maximize efficiency and range, the Soul EV uses Kia’s third-generation regenerative braking system to capture up to 12 percent of the car’s kinetic energy, which is fed back into the battery while the Soul EV is coasting and braking. Soul EV owners can choose between four different regeneration modes: “Drive” or “Brake” modes in Eco-mode “Off,” and “Drive” or “Brake” modes in Eco-mode “On” (the “Brake” setting with Eco-mode “On” producing the most regeneration). The Soul EV makes charging easy by plugging into any standard 120v outlet or a conventional 240v EV charger. Two charging ports are standard, including a SAE J1772 port for Level 1 and Level 2 AC, and a CHAdeMo DC fast-charging port (480v). Found behind a sliding door located in the front grille, the dual ports offer flexibility and increase the Soul EV’s go-anywhere appeal, making it more convenient to charge inside the owner’s garage or when on the road. Recharging times vary from 24 hours for a fully depleted battery using a standard 120-volt outlet and under five hours when plugged into a 240-volt outlet. An 80-percent charge can be achieved in as little as 33 minutes with a 50 kW-output charger. Kia has partnered with three charger providers – Bosch, Leviton and AeroVironment™ – which give Soul EV buyers an opportunity to select the unit best suited to their in-home needs. Additionally, Kia retailers who sell the Soul EV will offer charging at no cost to Soul EV owners, making charging even more convenient. The front-wheel drive Soul EV is powered by an 81.4 kW, 109-hp electric motor, producing a generous 210 lb.-ft. of torque. The liquid-cooled AC synchronous permanent magnet motor uses multi-layer magnets to help improve efficiency and reduce the whine that’s commonly experienced with other electric vehicles. The motor delivers its power to the front wheels through a single-speed constant-ratio gear reduction unit. Acceleration from 0-60 mph is expected to take fewer than 12 seconds with a top speed electronically limited to approximately 90 mph. The battery’s location beneath the floor offers the stable feel of a lower center of gravity, which helps ride and handling and ensures that the EV remains true to the Soul’s fun-to-drive reputation. Additional cross bracing beneath the low-mounted battery contributes to a 5.9 percent improvement in torsional rigidity over the gasoline-powered Soul. Improved aerodynamics and the absence of engine noise, combined with special sound-proofing materials, result in an exceptionally quiet ride. For the benefit of pedestrian safety, the Soul EV is equipped with a Virtual Engine Sound System (VESS) that emits an auditory alert at speeds below 12 mph and whenever the car is in reverse. Minimal Battery Intrusion The Soul EV offers plenty of space inside the cabin thanks to minimal battery intrusion. Because of the battery’s flat design and location beneath the floor, there is only a slight 3.1-inch reduction to rear seat leg room (from 39.1 to 36 inches) from the non-EV Soul, yet Soul EV still offers more rear seat leg room than other key EV competitors. Rear shoulder and hip room remain unchanged from the gasoline-powered Soul, making Soul EV one of the roomiest in the segment. Rear cargo space is minimally impacted (reduced 5.1 cu.-ft. to 19.1) as the space under the cargo floor is utilized for the battery cooling fan and storage of the standard 120v portable charger. Uniquely Designed Inside and Out The Soul’s bold exterior design is also found on the EV. From the “floating” roof to the greenhouse that makes the car look like it is wearing wraparound sunglasses, the EV’s look is inspired by the 2012 Kia Track’ster concept and retains the iconic square-shouldered broad stance of the original Soul. Initially, the Soul EV will be offered in three color choices: Pearl White lower body with Electronic Blue roof, Caribbean Blue lower body with Clear White roof, and Bright Silver with Clear White roof. The signature two-tone paint theme is exclusive to the EV and was inspired by a similar treatment seen on the Track’ster. The EV-exclusive front fascia utilizes a larger grille to accommodate the charging ports, and other unique exterior Soul EV design features include color accent trim in the front and rear fascias, projector headlights, LED positioning lamps, and LED tail lights. “Eco Electric” fender badging replaces the “Soul” fender garnish found on the gasoline-powered car, and the Soul EV gets its own set of distinctive 16-inch alloy wheels wrapped with specially engineered Super Low Rolling Resistance (SLRR) tires that offer 10 percent less resistance than standard low rolling resistance tires, helping to improve range. When launched in 2014, the all-new Soul was lauded for its premium interior and significantly reduced levels of NVH. The Soul EV will be instantly recognizable for these same qualities. Like its gasoline-powered sibling, a circular theme pervades the cabin and is a pleasing contrast to the exterior’s angular good looks. Inside, the Soul EV sets itself further apart from its gasoline-powered sibling with bright white accent trim on the center console, instrument panel and door panels, lending a light and modern feel to the passenger space. Distinguished by Kia’s most extensive use of bio-based materials, the Soul EV has received UL’s first ever automotive environmental claim validation for its 10.9 lbs. of bio-based organic content in interior plastic. Front and center is the use of BTX-free paint on the audio system surround, vent bezel and the floor console. Bio-based plastics derived from cellulose and sugar cane are found in many places within the cabin, including the door panels, headliner, seat trim, roof pillars and carpeting. In all, organic, bio-based materials are used in 19 different interior parts, making the Soul EV an electric-vehicle segment leader in eco-friendly material application. Separate from the bio-based content validation, extensive use of antibacterial materials also help to keep the cabin clean and are found on the gear selector, audio and HVAC controls, instrument panel switchgear and the floor-mounted center console. Combined, eco-friendly materials are used in 23 different interior parts, making the Soul EV an electric-vehicle segment leader in eco-friendly material application. The Soul EV features exclusive interior color options that perfectly complement the exterior. Two interior seating materials will be offered: Standard eco-friendly cloth or optional leather. Both are gray with offsetting blue stitching on the cloth seats and blue piping on the leather seats. Additional blue stitching is found on the steering wheel and center console armrest. Standard Soul EV amenities include navigation, Rear Camera Display2, Bluetooth®3 hands free operation, power windows, power driver’s seat, cruise control, 6.6kW on-board charger and an exclusive HVAC system designed to extend driving range by minimizing energy draw. Air conditioning is one of the largest energy drains in any electric vehicle, but the Soul EV’s HVAC system is designed to provide optimum comfort while also helping to extend the car’s range by minimizing energy use. The Soul EV uses four key technologies to maximize HVAC efficiency: an available heat pump (optional on Base, standard on “+”), individual ventilation, scheduled ventilation, and air intake control. The heat pump and surplus heat recovered from the Soul EV’s electrical systems help heat cabin air. Individual ventilation allows selection of “Driver Only,” which stops airflow to the passenger side front dash and floor vents and the floor vents for the rear passenger compartment, thereby focusing airflow on the driver and reducing the amount of energy needed to reach a comfortable interior temperature. Scheduled ventilation reduces EV energy use by pre-heating or cooling the passenger compartment prior to starting the car, while it is still plugged into a charger. Air intake control regulates inner and outer air flow to minimize HVAC usage, regulating interior temperature by carefully managing recirculated cabin air. Forward Thinking Technology Available at no cost for the first five years of ownership, UVO EV Services, a special version of Kia’s award-winning telematics and infotainment system, is put to even greater use in the Soul EV. Utilizing an embedded connectivity solution powered by the Verizon network and an integral smartphone app, UVO EV Services provides owners with an innovative, real-time, in-vehicle connectivity experience that includes navigation and added convenience features specifically tailored for the Soul EV that will help owners stay informed as to their vehicle’s charging status while on the go. UVO EV Services provides real-time battery-level status, distance to empty, and the ability to search for nearby charging stations. Also, via the UVO EV app, owners can preset charging time and charging level ratios, as well as precondition the vehicle cabin with remote control of the HVAC presets. Preconditioning the vehicle moderates cabin temperature in advance, helping reduce battery draw once the Soul EV is uncoupled from the charging station. At a glance, UVO will also update EV owners of their CO2 savings and their relative positive impact on the environment. Introduced for the first time on the Soul EV, UVO EV Services includes downloadable apps that reside on the Soul EV’s standard 8-inch capacitive-touch navigation screen. EV owners may download Yelp®4, the online urban city guide that helps people find cool places to eat, shop, relax and play. Soul EV owners will also enjoy iHeartRadio, the free, all-in-one digital radio service that lets customers listen to their favorite live stations or create their own commercial-free, all-music custom stations. Sound Hound, which is also available and accessible through the touch screen, listens to what’s playing and displays all related information such as lyrics, the artist, title and album cover art. Arriving with a five-year complimentary subscription to SiriusXM™5 Data Services and Travel Link, the Soul EV has access to charging stations and travel information such as road conditions, weather and security alerts as well as sports scores, movie times and stock prices through the screen’s graphical interface and electronic program guide. The Soul EV also features Kia’s first use of Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) technology. Low energy consumption and virtually no heat build-up make OLED perfect for an electric-vehicle application. Found within the Soul EV’s exclusive Supervision instrument cluster, the 3.5-inch OLED screen is crystal clear and provides information on the vehicle’s energy flow, charging time, ECO driving level and energy economy, which measures how efficiently the battery is operating. Additionally, the OLED screen provides a three-stage alert for the Soul EV’s State of Charge (SOC), which allows the driver to quickly decipher how much charge remains within the battery and when it’s time to plug in to a charging unit. View full article
  9. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 21, 2013 Ferrari's Chairman, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo has been one the biggest critics of electric vehicles. So it comes a no surprise that Montezemolo has said the Ferrari will be doing more hybrid vehicles. “I don’t believe in the electric cars, but I strongly believe in hybrids,” di Montezemolo said in a interview. di Montezemolo explained that the brand sees hybrid technology as a way to not only improve performance but to expand the brand’s reach. He quickly added that Ferrari would not expanding their lineup or number of vehicles built. Instead the company will be reducing the amount vehicles built. Source: Bloomberg William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  10. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 21, 2013 Ferrari's Chairman, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo has been one the biggest critics of electric vehicles. So it comes a no surprise that Montezemolo has said the Ferrari will be doing more hybrid vehicles. “I don’t believe in the electric cars, but I strongly believe in hybrids,” di Montezemolo said in a interview. di Montezemolo explained that the brand sees hybrid technology as a way to not only improve performance but to expand the brand’s reach. He quickly added that Ferrari would not expanding their lineup or number of vehicles built. Instead the company will be reducing the amount vehicles built. Source: Bloomberg William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  11. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com July 11, 2013 Automakers seem to be having a tough go with electric vehicles. The only way it seems automakers are able to move their stockpile is by drastically cutting the price. We've seen it with the Nissan Leaf which saw it sales jump General Motors hasn't gone down that same route with the Volt, but is offering a number of discounts. Ford looks to be doing the former option with the Focus EV. The Detroit News reports that for the 2014 Focus EV will see a $4,000 price drop. That brings the base down from $39,200 to $35,200. While that should help out the Focus EV, that's still $6,000 more than the base Nissan Leaf. Ford said in a statement the lower price “keeps us competitive in the marketplace.” The price slash is a bit of a surprise since last month, Nancy Gioia, Ford’s director of global electrification said they would not follow in the footsteps of compeitors doing a price cut. “We’re not going to chase down to the lowest price possible — that doesn’t make sense to erode the brand image or the true value of the product,” Gioia said. Source: The Detroit News William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  12. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com July 11, 2013 Automakers seem to be having a tough go with electric vehicles. The only way it seems automakers are able to move their stockpile is by drastically cutting the price. We've seen it with the Nissan Leaf which saw it sales jump General Motors hasn't gone down that same route with the Volt, but is offering a number of discounts. Ford looks to be doing the former option with the Focus EV. The Detroit News reports that for the 2014 Focus EV will see a $4,000 price drop. That brings the base down from $39,200 to $35,200. While that should help out the Focus EV, that's still $6,000 more than the base Nissan Leaf. Ford said in a statement the lower price “keeps us competitive in the marketplace.” The price slash is a bit of a surprise since last month, Nancy Gioia, Ford’s director of global electrification said they would not follow in the footsteps of compeitors doing a price cut. “We’re not going to chase down to the lowest price possible — that doesn’t make sense to erode the brand image or the true value of the product,” Gioia said. Source: The Detroit News William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  13. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com December 20, 2012 The Detroit Free Press reports electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt aren't garnering the same residual values as gas vehicles. The report cites data from Kelly Blue Book which estimates the 2012 Nissan Leaf will hold around 20% of its value after five years while a 2012 Nissan Sentra will hold around 30%. The 2012 Chevrolet Volt is predicted to hold around 30% while a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze will hold 38%. Auto Leasing Guide (ALG), another pricing service estimates the residual values of the Leaf and Volt about a point higher than KBB. Now, the residual value estimates don't take into account the $7,500 federal tax credit on EVs. When you do, the values for EVs and gas vehicles are similar. That's due people purchasing the EV at a lower price. Source: Detroit Free Press William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  14. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com December 20, 2012 The Detroit Free Press reports electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt aren't garnering the same residual values as gas vehicles. The report cites data from Kelly Blue Book which estimates the 2012 Nissan Leaf will hold around 20% of its value after five years while a 2012 Nissan Sentra will hold around 30%. The 2012 Chevrolet Volt is predicted to hold around 30% while a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze will hold 38%. Auto Leasing Guide (ALG), another pricing service estimates the residual values of the Leaf and Volt about a point higher than KBB. Now, the residual value estimates don't take into account the $7,500 federal tax credit on EVs. When you do, the values for EVs and gas vehicles are similar. That's due people purchasing the EV at a lower price. Source: Detroit Free Press William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  15. G. David Felt Staff Writer Alternative Energy - CheersandGears.com Wednesday, November 07, 2012 Tax Payer supplied Charging stations. Are we getting our money’s worth? Recently, a newly expanded Park and Ride by my house went live with charging outlets for 20 cars having been installed at the Mountlake Terrace park-and-ride lot at 236th Street SW and I-5. A dedication "plug-in" ceremony was held Saturday a few weeks ago even though completion of the place happened back in May. Each of the 10 stations is equipped with two outlets. One is a 120-volt, "level 1" outlet that charges a car from empty to full in 16 to 30 hours, depending on the type of vehicle. The other is a 240-volt, level 2 charger than can juice up a car in eight to 15 hours per the community transit press release. This is the most charging stations installed in any one location so far in Snohomish or King Counties. The new stations in Mountlake Terrace are the first to be installed at a park-and-ride lot in the county, according to websites that show station locations. Mountlake Terrace applied for and received a $55,000 federal grant for the stations. The city paid for installation, which she estimated at a few thousand dollars. The ChargePoint brand stations are made by Coulomb Technologies of Campbell, Calif. The project was done with the blessing of Community Transit, which leases the site from the state for the park-and-ride lot. Commuters with electric vehicles can now park, plug in and let their cars charge up all day while they're gone. The service costs 85 cents per hour with a maximum of $4 per session. The charging stations take credit cards. The charger shuts off automatically when the car's battery is full. The state also is planning to install a network of stations this year along I-5 from Oregon to Canada and along U.S. 2, called the "Electric Highway." Most of these will include level 3, DC "fast chargers" that can power a car from empty to full in 30 minutes. Washington state has choosen fast chargers for the freeway systems from AeroVironment, Inc. This allows most EV’s to charge in less than 30 minutes but for older cars or to top off a battery, you will have the level 2 chargers from AeroVironment also. Plans are for users to be able to use personal credit cards or sign up for the AeroVirontment Network . The AV network is a fob based system to use for charging. During the install period, AeroVironment is allowing free charging till the complete highway system is in place. You have both the Community Transit blog and the City MountLake Terrace (PDF) talking up this event. This big question to be asked is was this really needed or necessary? In this picture you can see that 10 of the white signs are actually visible and these are to be used by plug in cars, but they seem to sit empty all the time. To the left where you see a couple cars parked the signs and the charging stations are actually covered in black plastic bags so the parking can be used by the general public as there is never enough parking for traditional gas powered cars. So we have 20 spots built for Electric only auto’s and 10 of them are actually covered up allowing traditional auto’s to park there with the other 10 being vacant and not being used at all. One can see this in the picture below also that the signs are covered in black plastic. In submitting a request to Mountlake Terrace, I got no response and in calling to the office no one was willing to talk about the electrical parking spots and the lack of use by these spots on top of the actual cost. The generalized comments have been it only cost a couple thousand to install the units, but one has to challenge that considering the unionized nature of Electrical work done in Washington State. It is interesting that depending on the model you have a cost of $490 to $39,900 per model depending on what model is chosen and then the installation cost. Yet some systems have no cost listed as the company wants to only do custom quotes. A fairly complete list of charging systems with some prices can be seen here. A recent story on the installation of charging stations on Stevens pass, Highway 2 in Washington State here says that they have chosen a vendor for the 8 to 10 DC fast chargers that came within the $1 million budget. Also stated in the next paragraph is that this is part of a $250 million electric highway. The Seattle PI had the following story on their web site that states the Seattle area is getting 2500 charging stations as part of the $230 million dollar Electric Highway. Altogether, 15,000 charging stations will be installed in 4 states (Washington, California, Arizona and Tennessee and the District of Columbia) This equals out to a cost of $15,333 per charging station for the electric highway and is in addition to the charging stations installed by Cities at park and ride lots. Tonia Buell, from the Washington department of transportation in an email response has stated that Washington already has 12 DC fast charging locations on the state’s electric highway program in addition to the public schools and private business who are installing hundreds of Level 2 (medium speed) chargers through the EV project. In asking if the state is funding any of these charging stations, the response was no this is primarily funded through the US Department of Energy, Electric Auto supply companies, private businesses and citizens contributing to the EV investment. The Washington DOT has posted on their web site about 8 to 10 fast chargers from a DOE $1.5 million grant and they talk about the EV Highway but do not mention the rest of the costs. Depending on which story and quote you go with, we either have $15,333 dollar charging stations or $16,666 charging stations. The cost of the charging stations plus which level you can use for your EV auto, Level 1, 2 or 3 gives you a 10 to 30 minute fast charge time or up to 8 hrs or longer. So you travel 80 miles if you truly can get this on a Nissan Leaf and then wait up to 30 min to charge and then travel another 80 miles. This alone means to travel the 174 miles from Seattle Washington to Portland Oregon you will need 3 stops for charging, 1 ½ hrs. plus your almost 3hrs of travel time. So you have a 4 -5hr trip from Seattle to Portland versus a 2 ½ hrs. trip in a petrol or CNG auto. Washington state DOT is using the story published by Motor Trend as a positive support and proof that you should ease your range anxiety. Yet even in this story, the amount of time spent charging along the so called EV Highway still also shows how much extra time it will take to travel a modest 250 miles. Even with the Flyer that is being provided to anyone who asks about the EV highway, it seems to beg more questions than answers. In regards to maintenance, the electric charging companies have a vested interest in these systems paying back and are responsible for maintenance to the units so as to not have a cost to anyone but those using them according the WSDOT. Yet what happens to a person when one of these systems is offline due to a need of maintenance and with no real answer being supplied on what is the life expectancy? Hours spent on a 120V charge will not cut it on a road trip. So in going back to our original question, Are we getting our money’s worth? Is the tax payer money really being well spent by investing in this technology at this time and what about the required Maintenance? Looking at the global picture we will eventually get to a need for this kind of charging, but society as a whole is nowhere near ready for using luxury golf cart type autos on the main roads for long road trips. The amount of vacant sitting parking spots dedicated to such a small amount of auto’s seems to show excessive waste in tax payers’ money when other needs should come first. It would seem that jumping on this technology which has been pushed by a very wealthy, well connected group of individuals is spending hard working tax payer’s money for a solution that is not needed at this time. Most people can charge their cars at home, drive to the park-N-ride lot and get back home without having to pay to charge up. So the question still begs to be asked; Is the tax payer getting their money's worth for the Electric highway?
  16. G. David Felt Staff Writer Alternative Energy - CheersandGears.com Wednesday, November 07, 2012 Tax Payer supplied Charging stations. Are we getting our money’s worth? Recently, a newly expanded Park and Ride by my house went live with charging outlets for 20 cars having been installed at the Mountlake Terrace park-and-ride lot at 236th Street SW and I-5. A dedication "plug-in" ceremony was held Saturday a few weeks ago even though completion of the place happened back in May. Each of the 10 stations is equipped with two outlets. One is a 120-volt, "level 1" outlet that charges a car from empty to full in 16 to 30 hours, depending on the type of vehicle. The other is a 240-volt, level 2 charger than can juice up a car in eight to 15 hours per the community transit press release. This is the most charging stations installed in any one location so far in Snohomish or King Counties. The new stations in Mountlake Terrace are the first to be installed at a park-and-ride lot in the county, according to websites that show station locations. Mountlake Terrace applied for and received a $55,000 federal grant for the stations. The city paid for installation, which she estimated at a few thousand dollars. The ChargePoint brand stations are made by Coulomb Technologies of Campbell, Calif. The project was done with the blessing of Community Transit, which leases the site from the state for the park-and-ride lot. Commuters with electric vehicles can now park, plug in and let their cars charge up all day while they're gone. The service costs 85 cents per hour with a maximum of $4 per session. The charging stations take credit cards. The charger shuts off automatically when the car's battery is full. The state also is planning to install a network of stations this year along I-5 from Oregon to Canada and along U.S. 2, called the "Electric Highway." Most of these will include level 3, DC "fast chargers" that can power a car from empty to full in 30 minutes. Washington state has choosen fast chargers for the freeway systems from AeroVironment, Inc. This allows most EV’s to charge in less than 30 minutes but for older cars or to top off a battery, you will have the level 2 chargers from AeroVironment also. Plans are for users to be able to use personal credit cards or sign up for the AeroVirontment Network . The AV network is a fob based system to use for charging. During the install period, AeroVironment is allowing free charging till the complete highway system is in place. You have both the Community Transit blog and the City MountLake Terrace (PDF) talking up this event. This big question to be asked is was this really needed or necessary? In this picture you can see that 10 of the white signs are actually visible and these are to be used by plug in cars, but they seem to sit empty all the time. To the left where you see a couple cars parked the signs and the charging stations are actually covered in black plastic bags so the parking can be used by the general public as there is never enough parking for traditional gas powered cars. So we have 20 spots built for Electric only auto’s and 10 of them are actually covered up allowing traditional auto’s to park there with the other 10 being vacant and not being used at all. One can see this in the picture below also that the signs are covered in black plastic. In submitting a request to Mountlake Terrace, I got no response and in calling to the office no one was willing to talk about the electrical parking spots and the lack of use by these spots on top of the actual cost. The generalized comments have been it only cost a couple thousand to install the units, but one has to challenge that considering the unionized nature of Electrical work done in Washington State. It is interesting that depending on the model you have a cost of $490 to $39,900 per model depending on what model is chosen and then the installation cost. Yet some systems have no cost listed as the company wants to only do custom quotes. A fairly complete list of charging systems with some prices can be seen here. A recent story on the installation of charging stations on Stevens pass, Highway 2 in Washington State here says that they have chosen a vendor for the 8 to 10 DC fast chargers that came within the $1 million budget. Also stated in the next paragraph is that this is part of a $250 million electric highway. The Seattle PI had the following story on their web site that states the Seattle area is getting 2500 charging stations as part of the $230 million dollar Electric Highway. Altogether, 15,000 charging stations will be installed in 4 states (Washington, California, Arizona and Tennessee and the District of Columbia) This equals out to a cost of $15,333 per charging station for the electric highway and is in addition to the charging stations installed by Cities at park and ride lots. Tonia Buell, from the Washington department of transportation in an email response has stated that Washington already has 12 DC fast charging locations on the state’s electric highway program in addition to the public schools and private business who are installing hundreds of Level 2 (medium speed) chargers through the EV project. In asking if the state is funding any of these charging stations, the response was no this is primarily funded through the US Department of Energy, Electric Auto supply companies, private businesses and citizens contributing to the EV investment. The Washington DOT has posted on their web site about 8 to 10 fast chargers from a DOE $1.5 million grant and they talk about the EV Highway but do not mention the rest of the costs. Depending on which story and quote you go with, we either have $15,333 dollar charging stations or $16,666 charging stations. The cost of the charging stations plus which level you can use for your EV auto, Level 1, 2 or 3 gives you a 10 to 30 minute fast charge time or up to 8 hrs or longer. So you travel 80 miles if you truly can get this on a Nissan Leaf and then wait up to 30 min to charge and then travel another 80 miles. This alone means to travel the 174 miles from Seattle Washington to Portland Oregon you will need 3 stops for charging, 1 ½ hrs. plus your almost 3hrs of travel time. So you have a 4 -5hr trip from Seattle to Portland versus a 2 ½ hrs. trip in a petrol or CNG auto. Washington state DOT is using the story published by Motor Trend as a positive support and proof that you should ease your range anxiety. Yet even in this story, the amount of time spent charging along the so called EV Highway still also shows how much extra time it will take to travel a modest 250 miles. Even with the Flyer that is being provided to anyone who asks about the EV highway, it seems to beg more questions than answers. In regards to maintenance, the electric charging companies have a vested interest in these systems paying back and are responsible for maintenance to the units so as to not have a cost to anyone but those using them according the WSDOT. Yet what happens to a person when one of these systems is offline due to a need of maintenance and with no real answer being supplied on what is the life expectancy? Hours spent on a 120V charge will not cut it on a road trip. So in going back to our original question, Are we getting our money’s worth? Is the tax payer money really being well spent by investing in this technology at this time and what about the required Maintenance? Looking at the global picture we will eventually get to a need for this kind of charging, but society as a whole is nowhere near ready for using luxury golf cart type autos on the main roads for long road trips. The amount of vacant sitting parking spots dedicated to such a small amount of auto’s seems to show excessive waste in tax payers’ money when other needs should come first. It would seem that jumping on this technology which has been pushed by a very wealthy, well connected group of individuals is spending hard working tax payer’s money for a solution that is not needed at this time. Most people can charge their cars at home, drive to the park-N-ride lot and get back home without having to pay to charge up. So the question still begs to be asked; Is the tax payer getting their money's worth for the Electric highway? View full article
  17. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 19, 2012 Opel has put a halt on plans of doing an electric version of the new Adam, citing sticker shock if it was to go on sale. "It was a business decision. We could not charge the customer the price needed to make it work on the cost side," said Dieter Metz, chief engineer for the Adam. Documents obtained by Automotive News Europe last year showed the company was cancelling it due to "excessively high additional investments.” Automotive News Europe also reports that the Adam EV had reached the prototype stage with an Adam using components from the Chevrolet Spark EV. In other Adam news, Evo magazine is reporting that Opel is considering an OPC version of the Adam to take on the Fiat 500 Abarth and MINI Cooper S. Power would come from a 1.4L turbo four-cylinder mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. A source tells magazine that the horsepower rating could be around 180 HP. There will also be changes to the suspension, braking, and body. If given the green light, the Adam OPC could be shown as a concept at the Geneva Motor Show next March with a production model following sometime in 2014. Source: Automotive News Europe (Subscription Required), Evo Magazine William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  18. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 19, 2012 Opel has put a halt on plans of doing an electric version of the new Adam, citing sticker shock if it was to go on sale. "It was a business decision. We could not charge the customer the price needed to make it work on the cost side," said Dieter Metz, chief engineer for the Adam. Documents obtained by Automotive News Europe last year showed the company was cancelling it due to "excessively high additional investments.” Automotive News Europe also reports that the Adam EV had reached the prototype stage with an Adam using components from the Chevrolet Spark EV. In other Adam news, Evo magazine is reporting that Opel is considering an OPC version of the Adam to take on the Fiat 500 Abarth and MINI Cooper S. Power would come from a 1.4L turbo four-cylinder mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. A source tells magazine that the horsepower rating could be around 180 HP. There will also be changes to the suspension, braking, and body. If given the green light, the Adam OPC could be shown as a concept at the Geneva Motor Show next March with a production model following sometime in 2014. Source: Automotive News Europe (Subscription Required), Evo Magazine William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  19. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 14, 2012 During an event in San Francisco, GM's product chief Mary Barra announced the company their green-car will focus on plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles. "A major focus for GM's electrification strategy will center on the plug," said Barra. She went onto say that plug-ins offer "a unique opportunity to change the way people commute.” GM's original strategy for green cars included the development of different powertrains, including hybrids. That plan has proven to be too expensive and not efficient. "We need to make educated bets on which technologies hold the most potential for creating values for our customers and our company," said Barra. GM's mild-hybrid system, branded the eAssist system will be sticking around. GM is hoping by 2017 to sell 500,000 vehicles with some sort of electrification. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  20. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 14, 2012 During an event in San Francisco, GM's product chief Mary Barra announced the company their green-car will focus on plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles. "A major focus for GM's electrification strategy will center on the plug," said Barra. She went onto say that plug-ins offer "a unique opportunity to change the way people commute.” GM's original strategy for green cars included the development of different powertrains, including hybrids. That plan has proven to be too expensive and not efficient. "We need to make educated bets on which technologies hold the most potential for creating values for our customers and our company," said Barra. GM's mild-hybrid system, branded the eAssist system will be sticking around. GM is hoping by 2017 to sell 500,000 vehicles with some sort of electrification. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  21. William Maley Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com April 3, 2012 Starting off the New York Auto Show pre-game show, Fisker has revealed the new Atlantic range-extended EV. Fisker says the Atlantic will utilize and updated version of the same technology found in the large Karma range-extended EV. The rear axle is driven by two electric motors fed by a lithium-ion battery back. Up front will be BMW’s 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder to act as a range extender. Unlike the Karma though, the Atlantic will have the option of all-wheel-drive. Design wise, the Atlantic shares many of the Karma's design cues, including a front fascia with two grilles, angular foglamps, and a power dome on the hood, and oversized fenders. The side profile features heavily sculpted character lines and the back door handles are hidden within the C-pillar. An all-glass roof completes the look. Press Release is on Page 2 FISKER AUTOMOTIVE UNVEILS THE ALL-NEW FISKER ATLANTIC IN NEW YORK Atlantic design prototype confirms Fisker Automotive’s bold future direction Uncompromised styling reinforcing commitment to exquisite design Four-door sporting sedan with a luxurious and practical interior Driven by Fisker’s advanced EVer powertrain technology: electric car with extended-range freedom Rear-wheel drive with all-wheel drive option Atlantic marks Fisker’s next step in its transition from start-up automaker to mainstream American manufacturer New York, 3 April 2012 – Fisker Automotive is pleased to unveil its all-new model, the Atlantic sedan. This is the latest model in the company’s expanding line up of extended-range luxury electric cars. Revealed as a design prototype at a special VIP preview event the night before the New York Auto Show press days begin, the Fisker Atlantic design prototype is a luxury four-door sporting sedan with a practical interior. It is aimed at young families who want to drive an impactful, high-end vehicle while making a positive statement about responsibilities - both in terms of their commitment to sustainability and the practicalities of everyday life. The Atlantic uses the latest second generation EVer (Electric Vehicle with extended range) technology. It will offer all the benefits of electric drive while at the same time eliminating the “range anxiety” experienced with an all-electric powertrain. Like the Karma sedan, the Fisker Atlantic is a plug-in series hybrid vehicle that allows drivers to switch manually or automatically between electric and gasoline driving modes and sustain the charge of its lithium ion batteries on the move. Its four-cylinder gasoline engine, which acts as a generator and is not mechanically connected to the wheels, is tuned to offer maximum economy and high torque. This Atlantic EVer powertrain will offer highly competitive performance for a car in its class. The standard powertrain will be configured for rear-wheel drive and an all-wheel drive version will be offered as an option. The Atlantic design prototype’s glass roof shows off a ridged ‘spider’ structure. This incredibly strong construction also allows the Atlantic to offer a remarkable amount of rear headroom for a car with its sleek, coupe-like stance. This high-tech approach fulfills and surpasses all current and future rollover safety and crash-test requirements worldwide. The Fisker Atlantic’s long wheelbase also affords extra legroom for rear passengers and more space in the trunk. The unique, exciting styling of the Atlantic retains and progresses Fisker’s signature design DNA. Henrik Fisker and his design team set out to create the most beautiful and dramatic vehicle in its class. Much of the design was inspired by nature, for example, the dynamic side theme, with strong sculptural lines that optically cross the center and over the rear wheels of the car. This gives a sense of power - replicating the stance of a wild tiger ready to pounce. Further important design details to note include an evolution of the Fisker Karma signature grille, with a wider sculptured line defining the power dome on the hood. Strong creases emerge from the inside of the headlamps and continue back over the hood to elongate the car. The sharp headlights themselves give an ‘eagle eye’ with a strength of strong character not seen on a production car before. These touches allow the Atlantic to create a greater rear-view mirror presence than any other vehicle in its class. Additionally, the rear door handles have been elegantly integrated in the rear C-pillars, to continue the sense and look of a sporting coupe without losing the practicality of a four-door sedan. The extremely slim LED tail lamps use the latest technology allowing them to split into two parts to offer a wider aperture for the trunk opening. The rear end of the car is clean and aerodynamically shaped, with a sharp spoiler lip on the trunk that runs down over the side of the car to enhance aerodynamic performance. Overall, the Fisker Atlantic’s dimensions are comparable to those of an Audi A5. It has been engineered inside and out to offer a dynamic yet compact feel on the road. “We are exceptionally proud of the Atlantic design prototype, and believe we have created another groundbreaking car that looks and will drive like nothing else on the road in this class,” said Henrik Fisker, co-founder, Executive Chairman, and Design Director of Fisker Automotive. “Fisker Automotive is transitioning from a start-up automaker to a fully-fledged mainstream car manufacturer and the Atlantic is a crucial milestone in that process,” said Tom LaSorda, CEO Fisker Automotive. “We have a long way to go, but in the near future Fisker intends to deliver this exceptional American-designed, engineered, and manufactured vehicle to showrooms worldwide.” “I’m confident the Fisker Atlantic will inspire people and win the brand many new customers who may not have considered an EVer powered vehicle like this before.” More details on the Fisker Atlantic, including statistics, prices and an on-sale date will be given closer to the launch of the production car. View full article
  22. William Maley Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com April 3, 2012 Starting off the New York Auto Show pre-game show, Fisker has revealed the new Atlantic range-extended EV. Fisker says the Atlantic will utilize and updated version of the same technology found in the large Karma range-extended EV. The rear axle is driven by two electric motors fed by a lithium-ion battery back. Up front will be BMW’s 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder to act as a range extender. Unlike the Karma though, the Atlantic will have the option of all-wheel-drive. Design wise, the Atlantic shares many of the Karma's design cues, including a front fascia with two grilles, angular foglamps, and a power dome on the hood, and oversized fenders. The side profile features heavily sculpted character lines and the back door handles are hidden within the C-pillar. An all-glass roof completes the look. Press Release is on Page 2 FISKER AUTOMOTIVE UNVEILS THE ALL-NEW FISKER ATLANTIC IN NEW YORK Atlantic design prototype confirms Fisker Automotive’s bold future direction Uncompromised styling reinforcing commitment to exquisite design Four-door sporting sedan with a luxurious and practical interior Driven by Fisker’s advanced EVer powertrain technology: electric car with extended-range freedom Rear-wheel drive with all-wheel drive option Atlantic marks Fisker’s next step in its transition from start-up automaker to mainstream American manufacturer New York, 3 April 2012 – Fisker Automotive is pleased to unveil its all-new model, the Atlantic sedan. This is the latest model in the company’s expanding line up of extended-range luxury electric cars. Revealed as a design prototype at a special VIP preview event the night before the New York Auto Show press days begin, the Fisker Atlantic design prototype is a luxury four-door sporting sedan with a practical interior. It is aimed at young families who want to drive an impactful, high-end vehicle while making a positive statement about responsibilities - both in terms of their commitment to sustainability and the practicalities of everyday life. The Atlantic uses the latest second generation EVer (Electric Vehicle with extended range) technology. It will offer all the benefits of electric drive while at the same time eliminating the “range anxiety” experienced with an all-electric powertrain. Like the Karma sedan, the Fisker Atlantic is a plug-in series hybrid vehicle that allows drivers to switch manually or automatically between electric and gasoline driving modes and sustain the charge of its lithium ion batteries on the move. Its four-cylinder gasoline engine, which acts as a generator and is not mechanically connected to the wheels, is tuned to offer maximum economy and high torque. This Atlantic EVer powertrain will offer highly competitive performance for a car in its class. The standard powertrain will be configured for rear-wheel drive and an all-wheel drive version will be offered as an option. The Atlantic design prototype’s glass roof shows off a ridged ‘spider’ structure. This incredibly strong construction also allows the Atlantic to offer a remarkable amount of rear headroom for a car with its sleek, coupe-like stance. This high-tech approach fulfills and surpasses all current and future rollover safety and crash-test requirements worldwide. The Fisker Atlantic’s long wheelbase also affords extra legroom for rear passengers and more space in the trunk. The unique, exciting styling of the Atlantic retains and progresses Fisker’s signature design DNA. Henrik Fisker and his design team set out to create the most beautiful and dramatic vehicle in its class. Much of the design was inspired by nature, for example, the dynamic side theme, with strong sculptural lines that optically cross the center and over the rear wheels of the car. This gives a sense of power - replicating the stance of a wild tiger ready to pounce. Further important design details to note include an evolution of the Fisker Karma signature grille, with a wider sculptured line defining the power dome on the hood. Strong creases emerge from the inside of the headlamps and continue back over the hood to elongate the car. The sharp headlights themselves give an ‘eagle eye’ with a strength of strong character not seen on a production car before. These touches allow the Atlantic to create a greater rear-view mirror presence than any other vehicle in its class. Additionally, the rear door handles have been elegantly integrated in the rear C-pillars, to continue the sense and look of a sporting coupe without losing the practicality of a four-door sedan. The extremely slim LED tail lamps use the latest technology allowing them to split into two parts to offer a wider aperture for the trunk opening. The rear end of the car is clean and aerodynamically shaped, with a sharp spoiler lip on the trunk that runs down over the side of the car to enhance aerodynamic performance. Overall, the Fisker Atlantic’s dimensions are comparable to those of an Audi A5. It has been engineered inside and out to offer a dynamic yet compact feel on the road. “We are exceptionally proud of the Atlantic design prototype, and believe we have created another groundbreaking car that looks and will drive like nothing else on the road in this class,” said Henrik Fisker, co-founder, Executive Chairman, and Design Director of Fisker Automotive. “Fisker Automotive is transitioning from a start-up automaker to a fully-fledged mainstream car manufacturer and the Atlantic is a crucial milestone in that process,” said Tom LaSorda, CEO Fisker Automotive. “We have a long way to go, but in the near future Fisker intends to deliver this exceptional American-designed, engineered, and manufactured vehicle to showrooms worldwide.” “I’m confident the Fisker Atlantic will inspire people and win the brand many new customers who may not have considered an EVer powered vehicle like this before.” More details on the Fisker Atlantic, including statistics, prices and an on-sale date will be given closer to the launch of the production car.

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