Archives – September, 2013

Nissan Leaf, the Ultimate Prize for the Ultimate Charity Bid

In conjunction with the London Press Club Ball, Nissan intends to reveal their new electric car, the Nissan Leaf. The event, scheduled for October, is expected to have a twist. In addition to launching their new model, Nissan and the partner London Press Club Ball will offer an auction for a year’s driving experience of the Nissan Leaf, with the proceeds of the highest bidder going to charity.

Due Date

The event is taking place on 10 October this year in London’s Royal Courts of Justice’s Great Hall. According to Nissan, the company opted to sponsor the event that is currently regarded as an annual feature of the social calendar of the media fraternity. Some of the renowned media companies are expected to be represented by their chief executives, journalists, program makers and editors. The excitement does not end there, popular national newspaper firms, and TV companies will also be at the event.

Fun and Entertainment

Those in attendance of the auction will be treated to a host of fun and live entertainment. The flamboyant journalist and TV presenter, Kate Silverton, will be the host, ushering in star performances by former U.K. X-Factor contestant, Handerson Ella. The climax of the evening will be the bidding process, which will be overseen by Nick Ferrari, one of the popular celebrity auctioneers. Nissan also intends to thrill the VIP attendees by providing a fleet of Nissan Leaf that will shuttle them to the event.

A handsome Nissan reward awaits the winner of the auction. The winner will be a symbol of Nissan’s compliance with current technologies while enjoying a year’s driving of the unique Nissan Leaf electric car. Furthermore, the winner will also have a dedicated charging point fitted at his home or office.

A Word from the Chairman

The chairman of the London Press Club was thrilled to announce this years’ offer by Nissan to sponsor the event. According to the chairman, Nissan’s decision to launch the new brand will be a good example of evolutionally electric cars that goes hand-in-hand with the technological changes taking place within the media fraternity. In addition, the chairman was also optimistic that the unique design and features of the Nissan Leaf will attract a lot of bidders for the charity.

The finesse of Nissan’s model lies in the new Nissan Leaf electric car’s ability to charge to full capacity within four hours at a dedicated charging point. Opting for public chargers will guarantee at least 80% of the battery capacity within 30 minutes, further improving the expectation of this premium car.

 

Leave a Comment September 27, 2013

General Motors to Lower Battery Prices and Increase the Range of Electric Vehicles

A battery-powered Chevrolet Spark has a range of 82 miles. Although GM claims that this range is sufficient for the majority of daily commuters, the company is not stopping yet. According to GM’s electrification spokesperson, the company has been working for quite some time to come up with a next-generation battery technology. The goal of this new technology is to decrease the cost, while at the same time increasing the range. The spokesman further acknowledged the need to go further, regardless of the fact that GM’s research indicates that most commuters travel less than 40 miles daily.

Message from the Company’s Vice President

The Vice President of General Motors global product development, Doug Parks, said that the major aim of the company is to make an electric vehicle that is powered only by a battery. The vehicle should be able to travel at least two hundred miles on a full charge, and be available to customers for approximately 30,000 dollars. The automotive press perceived the announcement as a response to the ‘third-generation’ mass-market vehicle by Tesla Motors. The vehicle is scheduled to be presented in the next few years; however, neither General Motors nor Tesla Motors has given a specific timeline for the release of the mentioned electric vehicles.

The General Motors’ spokesperson said that the company has established the goal of developing a vehicle that can adhere to the desired criteria. However, the timing and other specifics have not yet been discussed. The spokesman further added that a key significant issue is the cost, particularly with respect to the car battery. The success of Tesla Motors with huge battery packs has prompted other automakers to consider the issue of vehicle range. For instance, with the Model S, some consumers have shown the willingness to pay more as long as they are assured of the stated three hundred miles per charge range. The big question for General Motors is whether it can achieve the two hundred mile goal.

Consumers’ Switch to Electric Cars

For consumers that prefer gas cars, a range of 200 miles could serve as a sweet spot to convince them to shift to electric cars. This is according to Navigant Research’s Research Director for smart transportation, John Gartner. Such vehicles would offer a great comfort degree because they would be comparable to gas vehicles. There is a huge difference made when buyers do not have to worry much about range considerations. Generally, it is clear that the switch to electric and hybrid cars should be embraced by the public because of the great benefits achieved.

 

Leave a Comment September 27, 2013

Electric Cars to Play a Vital Role in the Future of Volkswagen Group in Frankfurt

One of the key consistent messages among the Volkswagen Group cars in Frankfurt is that of electricity playing a vital role in its future products. This is evident from the Group’s brand where two electric cars were presented. These are the e-Golf and e-UP. The 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid supercars were presented by Porsche. All the bases were covered by Audi with the invention of the Sport Quattro concept and the A3 e-tron. Sport Quattro is a plug-in hybrid characterized by a hybrid powertrain with a 700-horsepower twin-turbo V-8.

Message from the Group’s Boss

According to Martin Winterkorn, the Group’s boss, every future product that will be designed by Volkswagen will be made in such a way that it would accept a pure-electric or hybrid powertrain. Winterkorn further added that Volkswagen Group had the potential to increase its electric vehicle and hybrid count from five to forty if there was support from customer demand. A similar case was presented by Audi, whose former boss, Wolfgang Durheimer, whose plan to abandon the electric and e-tron hybrid powertrain program pushed for the company to relieve him of his duties. Meanwhile, Bentley’s resistance to electric drive appears to be vanishing. This is a clear indication that more and more automakers are leaning toward hybrid and electric vehicle technologies.

Message from the Group Member in Charge of Sales and Marketing

According to Christian Klinger, Volkswagen member in charge of sales and marketing, electric vehicle and hybrid technology is the future of the Group. He asserts that the technology is an integral component of the brand and adds that buying the technology is more cost effective for the supplier, compared to developing it in-house. He believes that a great change will be witnessed in consumer acceptance once electric vehicles can go 150 to 200 miles on a single charge. However, he acknowledges the fact that there is no single solution. Instead, the future will be characterized by a blend of alternative propulsion technologies from diesel to natural gas, to hybrids, biofuel, electric vehicles, and more. Basically, Volkswagen Group holds the notion that electric vehicle and hybrid technology, in addition to biofuel, diesel, and other alternative technologies are the future of the automotive industry.

In conclusion, hybrid and electric vehicle technology has numerous advantages. One of the key advantages is that the technology has led to cars with better mileage. Additionally, hybrid and electric cars are effective in enhancing fuel economy. They are environment friendly and cost-effective compared to their non-hybrid counterparts.

 

Leave a Comment September 20, 2013

Johnson Controls Debuts Production-Ready Micro-Hybrid System

Johnson Controls plans to unveil a production-ready micro-hybrid system that is believed will boost the fuel economy of a car by 15 percent. The micro hybrid is designed in such a way that car makers will have an alternative that is cheaper compared to full-scale electric or hybrid vehicles. This alternative will not only boost gas mileage, but also adhere to the regulations of global warming that have been placed around the globe. A prototype version of the technology was unveiled by the Glendale, California, firm in January. The firm is now planning to ship the battery’s first generation to automakers so that it can be tested in December. Frankfurt’s Motor Show will provide a platform for unveiling the batteries.

Operation Mechanism of the Micro-Battery System

The system uses a 12-volt starter battery and 48-volt lithium battery. The major role of the lithium battery is capturing energy at a faster rate from braking, as well as supporting energy-consuming features such as chassis technologies and air conditioning. Johnson Controls is the largest automotive batteries’ supplier in the world. By developing the micro hybrid technology, the company will help the car industry in meeting the aggressive standards of gas mileage and minimize the rate of carbon dioxide emissions.

More About Johnson Controls

The company develops lithium-based batteries for hybrid cars in addition to lead-acid batteries for start-stop systems. This enables the car to turn off when it is idle and restart once the accelerator is turned on. Johnson Controls is among the 11 companies around the globe that has been attempting to get a niche in next-generation technologies of batteries. This is according to Navigant Research analysts. This consulting firm asserts that Johnson Controls is the one of the leading companies in the race for lithium-ion battery technology, along with Japan-based AESC and Korea-based LG Chem.

International Controls

There is a possibility for European automakers to invent novel micro-hybrid-battery models prior to the year 2020. It has been mandated for novel cars to attain a mean mileage of 58 miles per gallon by that year. All the United States vehicle makers are expected to adopt the micro-hybrid technology once it is revealed. The micro-hybrid technologies could be deployed by two-thirds of all vehicles sold by the year 2020. This is according to a forecast by Johnson Controls. To help lower the technology’s manufacturing costs, the batteries have been designed with a standardized size and components. Generally, it has been projected that the automotive batteries’ market will expand rapidly to include more plug-in and hybrid technologies in the future.

 

Leave a Comment September 20, 2013

Top Accessories for Your Toyota Prius

Buying a new Toyota Prius is often followed by finding means of personalizing it. There are several accessories that can enhance the style and versatility of a new hybrid car. Here are some of the leading accessories that can be bought to help your Toyota Prius show your good taste.

Keeping Things Handy

Those who haul things in their Prius’ trunk on a regular basis should consider cargo net envelopes. These are nets that stretch across your hatchback’s back and have expandable pockets that can be used for holding small items. The net can easily be removed when not in use and folded flat so that it takes up little space.

Staying Toasty and Warm

An accessory that would be useful for staying toasty and warm in your hybrid car is the remote starter. With this accessory, you don’t have to get into a freezing cold car. With a remote starter, you can not only start your car remotely, but also control the inside temperature and activate the vehicle’s defogger and defroster.

Elegant Lighting

Illuminated door sills make getting in and out of your car stylish and easy. These sills are designed in such a way that they replace the standard scuff plates. They are often branded with the Prius logo which is illuminated with blue lights. The logo lights up when the car doors are opened and closed.

Providing Protection

The rear bumper applique is the most suitable accessory for those who would like to protect the rear bumper from scratches and minor nicks. This accessory is a clear covering that is almost undetectable. The covering also contains the logo for Toyota Prius. The accessory is made from urethane, as well as a topcoat that is UV-protective. Specially designed door-edge guards are also used to protect car doors from scratches and dings. These accessories are simply thin plastic pieces that slide down over the door’s edge. In this way, they provide a cushioning layer against other objects.

These accessories for your Toyota Prius can be purchased from any Toyota dealers across the world. To get them at a much lower price, it is advisable to visit the Toyota website. The website contains car parts and accessories that are not only premium quality, but also Toyota approved. Customers get the chance to make a comparison of different accessories available. Choosing the right accessories will not only make your Prius stand out from the crowd, it will make your investment worthwhile. You can find the accessories that show your unique style and fit within your budget.

 

Leave a Comment September 13, 2013

The Potential of Power Electronics to Lower the Cost of Hybrid Cars

Hybrid cars, which are often referred to as ‘cars of the era,’ use electrical energy when the engine is started. In this way, the tab is kept on emissions from the tail pipe. As the use of vehicles increase in every part across the world, the threat of global warming and dangerous pollutants also increases. A gasoline engine takes charge when a hybrid car engine starts. Accelerating the car requires the use of a gasoline engine.

Power Electronics

A new concept that is thought to have the potential of making hybrid cars cheaper is the integration of power electronic functions and an electric motor. The combination of these two has the potentiality of minimizing hybrid car costs. Several people, including Hollywood stars, are encouraging the use of green and clean automobiles. Researchers are also playing the role of increasing the availability of hybrid cars to common citizens. Hence, they are trying to find new innovations and inventions that would lower hybrid car costs. According to an EZH Zurich researcher, it has been thought that hybrid cars can improve one’s image, however, in some instances; the vehicle companies face the challenge of covering the costs of such cars.

Why Hybrid Cars Are Expensive

The high cost of hybrid cars is accounted for by management system of power electronic energy. In this system, CD/DC converters and inverters play a vital role. Such inverters and convertors eat up a large sum of money. Power electronics focuses on the electric motor and power electronic components. The volume of the multiple electronic parts’ used, helps to somewhat reduce cost.

Other Advantages of Power Electronics

In conventional hybrid cars, batteries are used in providing energy to radio, electric motor, the lights and the ventilation. A low direct current voltage is enough to give power to a vehicle radio. This is contrary to the electric drive system that requires conversion of a high direct current voltage in three stages to an alternating current voltage. Inverters play a crucial role of converting direct current to alternating current. DC/DC converters play the role of transforming power between radio batteries for two levels of voltage. Therefore, it can be concluded that converters serve as vital power electronic mechanisms in hybrid cars and electric cars. Nowadays, converters are located externally on electric vehicles. Researchers are working towards inventing a mechanism that would combine the DC/DC converter, inverter, and electric motor functions. This will enable sharing of specific electronic components, which would eventually lower the costs of hybrid cars.

 

Leave a Comment September 13, 2013

An Overview of the Toyota Prius Accessories to Purchase

Selecting the most appropriate Prius accessories is the key step to personalizing your car and giving it all the capabilities it requires. Automotive accessories are useful in dressing up a car. They not only give it shine, but they also enhance a car’s personality and color. The accessories in question include sport dual wipes, chrome parts, and hood protectors or bras. Here, we will shed some light on the accessories that can be bought for a third generation Toyota Prius.

Prius accessories can be purchased at any auto dealer or even online. It is up to the buyer to decide on the perfect location. Official approved accessories can be found at the Toyota website and dealership. The website contains high-quality products sold at a much lower price. Generic options can be found at national and regional auto parts supply chains such as Kragens, O’Reilly, Schucks, Checkers, Autozone, and Pep Boys. A wide range of accessories and electronic gadgets are also found at catalog companies such as Crutchfield and JC Whitney.

Navigation Systems

There are different navigation system types available for a Toyota Prius. One of the most popular factory systems has an interface that is touch screen and allows iPod connectivity through a USB cable and a port.

Floor Mats

The major function of floor mats is protecting carpets from damage, wear, and soiling. Such mats are removable, and are therefore, easy to clean. A good example of a company that makes a type of floor mat called Original Clear Floor Mat is the ExactMat. A notable feature of such mats is that they have anti-bacterial treatments, which provides them with a high heath safety level.

Car Covers

These accessories can be found in any car part store or dealer. A good example of a company that makes car covers that are Toyota approved is known as Covercraft. The major function of car covers is protecting a car’s paint from the negative effects of weather.

Sunshields

These are one of the most popular car accessories. They can be seen in cars in many places. Sunshields provide thermal protection to every car window. You will find them most on the front windshield protecting the dash and steering wheel from heat.

Dash Mats and Hood Protectors

Hood protectors are normally referred to as bras. These accessories can be bought at any store that sells automotive accessories and parts. Dash mats are for covering dashboards. For many people, they serve the role of providing friction, which is necessary for placing items such as sunglasses and cell phones on the dash. Dash mats also provide protection from the effects of the sun, such as cracking.

Generally, all the mentioned accessories are fundamental to help keep your Toyota Prius in good condition for a very long time.

 

Leave a Comment September 6, 2013

An Effective Cooling System for Hybrid and Electric Cars

When scientists discovered the use of tiny micro-channels to boil fluids, they also discovered various models and formulas for cooling high-power electronic gadgets. The gadgets in question include hybrid and electronic cars, computers, aircraft, and other electronics. Researchers have found that if a liquid can be heated in cooling system, it is possible to analyze the amount of heat that can be taken away, compared to merely bringing a liquid to boiling point. Boiling liquid in tiny channels differs from boiling in large cooling systems. When boiling liquid in tiny channels, spherical bubbles are not formed. Instead, long, continuous, oblong vapor slugs are created in the form of liquid.

Cooling Hybrid and Electric Cars

Hybrid and electric cars require an innovative and effective cooling system to prevent overheating of gadgets such as high-power switching and bipolar transistors that are fitted in such vehicles. Chips are needed when a vehicle is accelerated from zero to 60 miles per hour within ten seconds or less. The chips play the role of switching large power amounts from the battery to the electric coils, driving electric motors, among other functions. Similar gadgets are needed for regenerative braking. Currently, electric motors serve as generators for producing power for battery recharging, braking vehicles, and converting electric current for running vehicle accessories. The gadgets also transform alternating to direct current when charging the battery from the plug-in. It is evident that such high-power electronics produce heat that is four times the amount needed to heat the common computer chip.

Use of Dielectric Liquid

The use of dielectric liquid serves as an effective means of cooling electric and hybrid vehicles. A dielectric fluid does not conduct electricity; hence, it can be directly used in circuits without resulting in electric shorts. Special chips are used in such a fluid. The chips in question measure approximately half an inch each and have 25 temperature sensors fitted on them. There is a small heater under each of the sensors. This is important to allow for adjusting of the heat amount applied to specific chip locations and simulate what goes on in the actual chip. It is generally believed that extra heating leads to lowered electronic chip performance or circuitry damage. For dielectric-liquid systems to be designed properly, it is essential to have the ability to predict the rate of heat transfer and the cooling amount that will be achieved. Generally, such cooling systems will also be used for cooling electronic control in military systems, aircraft, and other applications.

 

Leave a Comment September 6, 2013


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