Friday, August 17, 2007

$30,000 Electric Car in 2009: The XS 500 by Miles Automotive Group


Ever since we first heard about the Tesla Roadster, folks have been drooling over its sexy looks and lamenting its six-figure price tag. While that works for Jay Leno and Condoleeza Rice, many of the rest of us are left to smile nicely and hope that someone will come up with a battery-powered, zero emission (while it's driving, at least) car. While ZAP has promised a few, one is a 644-horsepower SUV and one isn't even a car (it has three wheels), so the market is still missing the sub-$30,000 electric sedan...until now (maybe).

Miles Automotive Group, featured recently at CNN Money, is promising the $30,000 Miles XS 500 to reach a top speed of 80 miles per hour and a range of 120 miles at 60 miles per hour; six hours of charging in a normal wall socket will top the batteries off. Founder Miles "Per Gallon" Rubin says he'll have 6 prototypes of the XS 500 by the fall, but they still need tinkering to get safety approval from U.S. regulators, plus do additional battery testing, meaning that the real deal could be here by 2009. "The cars will speak for themselves. You can PR it to death, but if it doesn't perform well, it's dead on arrival," he says. We'll just have to wait and see how true that will be. ::Miles Automotive Group via ::CNN Money

[Source: by Collin Dunn, Seattle on 08.15.07

The Army's first hybrid tank

Oh, yeah! Now, that's a hybrid. BAE Systems demoed the first hybrid drive for a ground combat vehicle. It's a part of the Army's Future Combat Systems (FCS). The army is also developing a hybrid Hummer. They are even going to Detroit looking for batteries. You might think: the Army, embracing this hippie crap? Don't be surprised.
Fuel efficiency means fewer supply lines. Fewer supply lines mean fewer troops in danger. The Army wants green power too. It's about saving lives. Well, our troop's lives. The Army is not the Red Cross. The army's hybrids are not going to do the environment much good either.
Pictured is the first vehicle it will be used which should begin production in 2008. Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon (NLOS-C), the lead FCS ground combat vehicle with a fully automated, 155mm self-propelled howitzer. That thing does not plant trees! YEEHAW!

[Source:, Green Car Congress]

Monday, August 13, 2007

Update - Toyota Denies Delays In Future Hybrid

Toyota says it’s “bemused” by the Wall Street Journal's recent story that the timing for its next generation of the Prius has been pushed back. Rebutting the story, Toyota issued the following statement:

“We've been very interested to note stories in The Wall Street Journal over the past couple of days purporting that the introduction of a next-generation Prius has been delayed because of the slow pace of development of lithium-ion batteries.

--- Read the full statement here.

Air-powered Car?

World's First Air-Powered Car: Zero Emissions by Next Summer

This six-seater tax, which should be available in India next year, is powered entirely by a tank filled with compressed air.

India’s largest automaker is set to start producing the world’s first commercial air-powered vehicle. The Air Car, developed by ex-Formula One engineer Guy Nègre for Luxembourg-based MDI, uses compressed air, as opposed to the gas-and-oxygen explosions of internal-combustion models, to push its engine’s pistons. Some 6000 zero-emissions Air Cars are scheduled to hit Indian streets in August of 2008.

Barring any last-minute design changes on the way to production, the Air Car should be surprisingly practical. The $12,700 CityCAT, one of a handful of planned Air Car models, can hit 68 mph and has a range of 125 miles. It will take only a few minutes for the CityCAT to refuel at gas stations equipped with custom air compressor units; MDI says it should cost around $2 to fill the car’s carbon-fiber tanks with 340 liters of air at 4350 psi. Drivers also will be able to plug into the electrical grid and use the car’s built-in compressor to refill the tanks in about 4 hours.

Of course, the Air Car will likely never hit American shores, especially considering its all-glue construction. But that doesn’t mean the major automakers can write it off as a bizarre Indian experiment — MDI has signed deals to bring its design to 12 more countries, including Germany, Israel and South Africa.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Amazing - 1,562 miles on s single Prius tank!

(originally posted on PriusChat):

Kazu Tochigi achieved 1,562 miles/tank (2,513 km). The computer mileage was 104.2 mpg (44.3 km/L).

Even with the larger tank in the Japanese Prius, this is still an amazing feat.

As noted on PriusChat, this would be the equivalent of going from NYC to Dallas, on a single tank of gas!

--- Oren