Category Archives: Electric Vehicles

Top 5 Green Cars of Fall 2013

Top5GreenCarsFall2013

Alternatively fueled cars aren’t sexy simply for how they help the environment—they save you the money you normally would spend on gas, too. From hybrids to true electric, luxury to everyday driving, these five cars mark an exciting time in U.S. car culture. Plug in to these alt-fuel cars and enjoy the ride, as well as the savings in your pocket.

Cadillac ELR

The Cadillac ELR is what the Chevy Volt was intended to be, according to Car and Driver. It’s fuel-efficient, fun to drive and a feast for the eyes. The drive train is the same as the Volt, the engine is bigger and the exterior has the lines of the Converj concept car displayed at the 2009 auto show in Detroit. Planned for a late 2013 release, the price is rumored to be close to $60,000, which will keep curiosity seekers away but draw those with a green conscience and a taste for luxury.

A large console dominates the front interior, to cover the 288-cell battery that powers this machine. This is the same battery as in the Volt, with two drive motors and a 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine to keep it charged. Per GM, the performance is expected to be in the range of zero-60 mph in eight seconds. One may expect 35 miles on a full battery charge.

BMW i3

Car Connection reports that the i3 is a new-from-the-ground-up design. It’s not an electric retrofit of another model.

The body is carbon-fiber reinforced plastic, making it lighter and stronger than other cars. The entire side of the car can be opened for access, because there is no need for a door pillar. This shell sits on an aluminum frame which holds the battery and drive train.

A two-cylinder gasoline engine is available as an option to generate enough electricity to keep the car moving between charges. This is a standard feature in the Chevy Volt, but is optional in the BMW.

BMW states the expected mileage on a charge is 80-100 miles. The estimated MSRP is $41,000. People who love their BMWs may watch how well this new design takes off. The initial buyers will likely already have a BMW in their garage.

Ford Focus Electric

Less about style and more about function, the electric Focus has an estimated mileage of 75 on a full charge. Otherwise, the performance should be similar to the gas version of the Focus. At an MSRP of $39,200, this Focus is packed with many standard features, such as HD radio, navigation and Ford’s MyTouch infotainment system.

This is still a Ford Focus with an electric engine. Those who prefer the subcompact world but want to step into the green, all-electric world, should look into this vehicle.

Chevy Volt

The Volt was a pioneer of electric cars, and it has set the tone for many designs after it. The $39,000 MSRP may scare off potential buyers, but by now, the Volt will be showing up in used car listings. The Kelley Blue Book has used cars and prices, so future Volt owners may find a good deal on a 1-year-old electric car.

The two electric motors and unique drive train are still innovative. The standard gas engine charges the battery and gives an average 35 mpg. For many, this is still the car to buy as an entry into all-electric driving.

Nissan Leaf

Available in late 2013 will be the second generation of the Leaf. There are a few changes, mainly to the electrical equipment. With the improvements comes a reduction in price. The MSRP will be $29,650.

An improved charging system, navigation, voice SMS read-out and backup camera system highlight the equipment changes. Mileage is expected to be almost 75 miles on a full charge.

The Leaf has had a year of production driving, so consumers will have real road statistics from which to buy into electric.

What green car are you most intrigued by?

Tesla Electric Car Plans

Starting with the over $100,000 Roadster, Tesla Motors has steadily innovated and shrunk this with each model, and now has plans for a $35,000 all electric car.

Tesla electric car plans also include building solar powered charging stations across the United States, so that you can now drive from LA to NYC on clean energy from the sun!

Tesla Electric Car Plans

Follow their page to get regular updates! https://www.facebook.com/teslamotors

Tesla to Setup More Supercharger Stations Across the US and Canada

“Within six months the Tesla Supercharger network will connect most of the major metro areas in the US and Canada, the company said, making it possible to travel from Los Angeles to New York using only the Tesla Supercharger network.”

Teens Build Electric Car Powered by Social Media Posts

Converting old gas-powered cars to run on electricity has become easy enough that Minddrive, a Kansas City non-profit, has made such conversions part of an after-school education program for inner-city teen-agers. For this year’s project, Minddrive decided to set a higher bar by challenging the students to build a car powered by tweets and Facebook posts.

More at http://autos.yahoo.com/blogs/motoramic/teens-build-electric-car-powered-twitter-facebook-posts-211628188.html

Massive Amount of Lithium Deposits in Wyoming

“They’ve found lithium – a lot of it – in Rock Springs Uplift, a geological feature in southwest Wyoming. Data so far suggests that brines from a 25-square-mile area could contain 228,000 tons of lithium. That’s enough to meet annual U.S. demand, and almost twice as much as the reserves from the biggest domestic lithium producer (located at Silver Peak, in Nevada).” Read more at: http://www.treehugger.com/cars/vast-reserves-lithium-found-wyoming-could-meet-all-us-demand.html

Solar Electric Cars more efficient than most Biofuels

“The analysis considered land-use, greenhouse gas emissions, fossil fuel use, and took into account the production and use life cycles of both the fuels themselves and the vehicles they power. …all things considered, a pretty clear win for solar-powered electric battery vehicles.”

http://cleantechnica.com/2013/03/28/solar-electric-cars-crush-biofuels-in-efficiency/

solar-vs-biofuel-cars

 

…this is an interesting study, however it is not considering a much more efficient ethanol crop, algae!

Check this out: http://organicmechanic.com/ethanol-from-algae/

Electrathon America: A New Eco-Sport


There is a relatively new sport that promotes social awareness and comprehension of efficient alternative electric vehicles. Currently growing in popularity with the support of environmentally conscious individuals the Electrathon is held throughout the country. The Electrathon America competition is a race which involves participants to drive electrically powered vehicles as far as possible within their allotted time using a specific amount of battery power. It supplies a platform where sheer expertise and originality can be demonstrated. The Electrathon is an economical sport established to ensure proper regulation and safety precautions. Most Electrathon competitions have one hour races on a blocked loop course drawing on restricted electrical energy.

The entire sport is sort of a fun experiment to test the boundaries of alternative vehicles. Each vehicle is designed to seat only one person. They are often lightweight for speed and steamlined. These three to four wheel electric vehicles are created by their owners or club team. The battery packs are deep cycle lead acid never weighing more than 67 pounds under Electrathon’s regulations. To participate you must join their competition membership. The general membership is mainly for the events supporters who do not want to race. All memberships last for an entire year. The Electrathon allows participants to build their own battery operated vehicle and compete among other environmentally-friendly competitors. Through racing they learn the mechanics of electrically powered systems. The winner is the individual that created and manipulated the electric battery for better efficiency.

Anything that can bring excitement to alternative vehicles is worth exploring. To truly make a difference in our environment eco-conscious can not be a select group of people but the entire world. The Electrathon can assist families to teach their children early that fossil fuels are not a necessity. You can race and have an entertaining event while still living a sustainable lifestyle. It is a fantastic event to attend that represents your beliefs. Managing a green way of life can be difficult. The Electrathon America competition gives people a positive outlet to spread awareness and enjoy life at the same time. This sport is also a great way to showcase what electric vehicles can really do to crowds that have never considered alternative energy vehicles before.

If you’d like to attend an Electrathon competition you can check out their calendar for event locations. Countless electric marathons are started by local green residents who wish to spread awareness in their neighborhood about alternative energy. Electrathons can be started locally through researching if any are held in your area, finding a venue, recruiting contestants, collecting the money to fund the event ($500-$5,000), and obtaining insurance to hold the sanctioned race. High schools are also eligible to sanction Electrathon events. This is usually done through the Power Drive Program which helps students construct their single person electric vehicles and educate them on alternative resources. The more people who get involved with Electrathon the sooner it will be an annual sport.

Smart Energy Technology: www.OrganicMechanic.com

Where To Get Charged At Glastonbury

I spotted this the other day and thought that it was a simple, wonderful, solution … something we need more of.

From Ubergizmo:

Recharge Pod Tent at Glastonbury

For those making an effort to attend this year’s Glastonbury, you won’t have to panic when you realize that you have left you rcell phone charger back home. Orange will ensure you can get your devices juiced up by erecting a seven-meter high recharge Pod tent. This is a green initiative since it uses 500-watt solar panels as well as a 500-watt wind turbine to generate electricity for public use. Orange has the intention of keeping up to 100 devices powered up each hour. Why can’t such brilliant ideas be implemented elsewhere around the world?

Smart Energy Technology: www.OrganicMechanic.com