The Tesla Model S surpasses any other electric vehicle on the market with its 265-mile driving range. The automaker isn’t stopping there, though. Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk recently announced that Tesla may be able to increase that range to 600 miles as soon as 2017 and by 2020, the driving range could climb even higher to around 725 miles on a single charge.
Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, tweeted in December that the all-electric carmaker was working on a charger “that automatically moves out from the wall and connects like a solid metal snake. A video shows it’s more bizarre and mesmerizing than we could have imagined. Of its unveiling, Musk tweeted, “Tesla Snakebot autocharger prototype. Does seem kinda wrong :)”
The UK is hoping to significantly boost the range of electric cars by introducing roads in an 18-month trial that can charge the vehicles as they drive along them.
At the LA Auto Show in California, Audi technical development chief Ulrich Hackenberg told reporters that his employer plans to release an electric car with a range of 280 miles “around 2017.” Hackenberg wouldn’t say what kind of car – or crossover, perhaps – it will be, but one report said it would be “a large car, fitting five large people with ample luggage space.” Most observers expect it to be a sedan to take on the Tesla Model S.
Environmental benefits are not the biggest attraction to electric cars.
People love to categorize things. Sometimes people categorize too quickly and too simply. Electric cars are linked to their environmental benefits and being green, but the electric cars’ performance and convenience benefits are the biggest electric car attractions for most consumers.
Columbia Engineering and the Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have reported that they have made the first experimental observation of piezoelectricity and the piezotronic effect in an atomically thin material, molybdenum disulfide (MoS2), resulting in a unique electric generator and mechanosensation devices that are optically transparent, extremely light, and very bendable and stretchable.
Dr Heinz-Jakob Neusser
The head of Volkswagen’s powertrain development, Dr Heinz-Jakob Neusser, thinks that electric cars with over 300 miles of range aren’t too far off. The foundation of his argument is that the energy density of electric car batteries has been improving rapidly and will continue to do so.
Foxconn wants to make an electric car priced less than $15,000.
Foxconn, Apple’s manufacturing partner, is notorious for its empire of iPhone-assembling employees and robots, but the electronics manufacturer is looking to shift gears, by building a dirt cheap electric car and it’s already investing $811 million to speed up the process.
Electric vehicles will yield big environmental improvements in China.
China is supposedly about to invest a hundred billion yuan (equivalent to about 16.3 billion US dollars at today’s exchange rate) into electric vehicles and the infrastructure to support them, like public charging stations, according to “two people familiar with the matter”, says Bloomberg.
For those planning to buy an expensive electric vehicle in the near future there is some good news: Electric car powerhouse Tesla Motors will be making plenty.
The Nimbus is a funky little hybrid that looks like a retro-styled SUV, but its actual story is even more intriguing. The Nimbus concept car is a microbus that can take electric hybrids off-road. The concept comes from Brazilian designer Eduardo Galvani who claims it offers a greater driving range and better fuel economy than any hybrid currently on the market. (Pics)
We aren’t out of the woods yet when it comes to providing a steady supply of clean energy for electric vehicles. So, designer Neville Mars has conceived of an incredible EV charging station that takes the form of an evergreen glade of solar trees. His photovoltaic grove serves a dual function, acting as a go-to source for clean renewable energy while providing a shady spot for cars to park as they charge.