Lexus Hoverboard Revealed with New Videos

Lexus Hoverboard Revealed with New Videos Lexus has revealed more details and videos on its Hoverboard.
Fulfilling childhood dreams everywhere, Lexus showed off its Hoverboard earlier this year, but has now done a final reveal of the project following a successful testing phase in Cubelles, Barcelona. According to the Japanese automaker, the Hoverboard project started 18 months ago through a collaboration with a team of scientists from IFW Dresden and evico GmbH, which specialize in magnetic levitation technology.
The companies enlisted the help of pro skateboarder Ross McGouran to place the Hoverboard to the test within dynamic surroundings in a specially constructed hoverpark. Up to 200 meters of magnetic track was transported to Barcelona from the Dresden gift, laid beneath the hoverpark surface to start a fully dynamic test. The result? McGouran was able to exhibit tricks no skateboard could ever perform, including the skill to travel crosswise water.
Making the Hoverboard involved using two “cryostats,” reservoirs in which superconducting material is kept at -197 degrees thanks to liquid nitrogen. The board is then placed above a track containing permanent magnets with the magnetic field from the track effectively frozen into the superconductors in the board.
“Embarking on this project, we set out to push the boundaries of technology, design and innovation to make the impossible possible,” said executive vice-president at Lexus International, Mark Templin. “With this project we call ‘SLIDE,’ we collaborated with partners who share our passion for making enjoyment out of motion. Even through combining our technology and expertise, we learned making a hoverboard isn’t an simple process. We’ve experienced the highs and lows and have overcome a few challenges, but through mutual determination we have made a demonstration of our philosophy in design and technology to start Incredible in Motion.” Read more

Electric Swincar E-Spider Is Wildest ‘Car’ You May Ever See

Electric Swincar E-Spider Is Wildest ‘Car’ You May Ever See What’s part car, part spider? A Swincar E-Spider, apparently.
A creation out of France, the Swincar E-Spider boasts independent suspension and an electric motor for each of its four wheels, allowing it to be extremely nimble and able to navigate through nearly anything in its way. The vehicle, if you want to call it that, uses a technology that lets each axle arm and wheel function on their own, making one versatile ATV.
According to the company, the E-Spider can travel up and down 70-percent grades and crosswise grades of 50 percent while the long, individually articulated legs can keep all four wheels glued to the ground.
Each wheel is driven by either a 1 or 1.5 kW motor, delivering huge amounts of torque nearly instantly. Underneath the driver’s legs is a battery pack with 2, 4 or 6 kWh storage, depending on the vehicle’s specifications. Amazingly, steering the Swincar E-Spider occurs through a traditional steering wheel that turns the adjoin and rear wheels in opposition.
Made by Pascal Rambaud, Jerome Arsac and Thierry James, the Swincar has been in development for eight years and is nearly production-ready, believe it or not. That is, of course, if the company is able to find investors, resellers, distributors and partnerships to help bring it to the masses. Swincar even has plans for a two-seater if things take off, as well as a variant with joystick steering.
Watch the Swincar in action below: Read more

Study: EPA Understates Hybrid MPG By Up To 33 Percent

Study: EPA Understates Hybrid MPG By Up To 33 Percent Hybrid vehicles may really get much better fuel economy than their EPA-rated stickers say, according to a new study.
The analysis, conducted by Britt A. Holmén and Karen M. Sentoff with the University of Vermont, looked at the fuel consumption of a square Toyota Camry and compared it to a Camry Hybrid the same model year. But instead of using a controlled laboratory setting – as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency does – the researchers tested the cars on a 32-mile course spanning city streets, an Interstate and rural roads.
Changing testing methods to real-life pouring conditions increased fuel economy for the Camry Hybrid by as much as 33 percent, said Holmén and Sentoff.
“Our real-world … measurements suggest computed city cycle [square vehicle] fuel use would be nearly 2 times higher than for the [hybrid vehicle] and 1.3 times higher than the [hybrid vehicle] for highway pouring,” the researchers said in their recently published paper. “These ratios exceed the factors that EPA fuel economy values would predict for these vehicle types.”
“Thus,” they added, “inclusion of real-world road grade and ambient conditions in our [vehicle specific power] and emissions measurements, compared to controlled laboratory tests, show fuel consumption benefits for the [hybrid vehicle] increased 18 percent and 33 percent (highway and city, respectively) compared to estimates based on EPA adjusted fuel economy “sticker” values.”
Comparing the fuel economy of a 2010 Toyota Camry Hybrid (left) and a 2010 Toyota Camry with a gasoline engine (aptly). Source:
The EPA-rating on the test car, a 2010 Camry Hybrid, is 33 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. Using the calculations from this study bumps the sticker-stated fuel economy up to in this area 44 city/40 highway. Such a significant gain in fuel savings would shorten length of time it takes for the hybrid powertrain to pay for itself, and could make hybrids a more attractive option for patrons.
According to the researchers, changing testing methods from a sterile laboratory setting to a course that emulates a variety of conditions found in everyday pouring and adding additional hybrid models would yield more accurate fuel estimates.
“Prior studies are not well-suited to forecast the magnitude of current-technology [hybrid vehicles] on transportation energy use because the data were from laboratory studies of one or two ahead of schedule model [hybrid vehicles] (i.e., Toyota Prius, Honda Insight) compared to square vehicles of dissimilar make/model and vehicle size,” Holmén and Sentoff said.
“Our results with one vehicle pair exhibit that similar studies can be used to develop robust models of all types of [hybrid] platforms under actual pouring conditions and improve quantitative estimates of the future fleet contributions to the U.S. CO2 emissions inventory and petroleum consumption. Studies such as these are critical as [hybrid vehicles] and other electrified vehicles comprise a larger part of the on-road fleet.”
SEE ALSO: Study Says Most Drivers Get Better Than EPA-Estimated MPG
As the duo mentioned, more research is de rigueur to see if these results are applicable to other hybrid vehicles. But with fuel savings potentially 33 percent higher than previously plotting, it’s likely that others will step forward to additional investigate the real-world fuel economies of electrified powertrains.
More information on the researcher’s testing methods and results can be read in their paper, “Hybrid-Electric Passenger Car Carbon Dioxide and Fuel Consumption Benefits Based on Real-World Pouring.”
Green Car Congress

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More Apple-BMW Collaboration Rumors Come Forth

More Apple-BMW Collaboration Rumors Come Forth Rumors of a collaboration between Apple and BMW are heating up.
According to a recent report, Apple CEO Tim Cook visited BMW’s headquarters last year along with senior executives from the Cupertino-based company, taking a tour of the German automaker’s factory in Leipzig to learn more on how BMW manufactures the i3 all-electric vehicle. The stay finished without any sort of collaboration, with Apple wanting to explore developing a vehicle on its own, but that could all change in the future.
Since Apple’s stay to BMW, the automaker has seen new Chief Executive Harald Kreuger take position and Herbert Diess, who played a role in the initial talks with Apple, moving onto a position at Volkswagen. It remains to be unseen whether Kreuger will explore the thought of collaborating with Apple additional and how Diess’s departure affects the potential relationship.
SEE ALSO: BMW ‘Would Be Pleased’ To Share Battery Tech With Competitors
During the stay, a senior BMW source said, “Apple executives were impressed with the fact that we abandoned traditional approaches to car making and started afresh. It chimed with the way they do things too.” That of course makes reference to the BMW i3, which was developed from “scratch” as an all-electric vehicle.
Rumors of an Apple iCar have been circulating for years now, but more speculation has surfaced in recent months as the company has been spied testing its own vehicle. In addition, Google isn’t holding back in developing its own self-pouring car and Apple sees the tech-giant as one of its main competitors in numerous markets. It is said that if Apple wants to develop its own car, it will likely enter or at the very least, seek a partnership with an existing automaker.
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2016 Chevrolet Volt Rated For 53 Miles Electric Range

2016 Chevrolet Volt Rated For 53 Miles Electric Range The 2016 Chevrolet Volt is EPA rated for 53 miles all-electric range.
This 3-mile increase over an estimated 50 miles announced this January in Detroit will be welcome as each bit counts, as will a mild bump in efficiency of 106 MPGe over 102 projected, and 42 mpg over 41 projected in gas-only operation.
The MPGe, or “miles per gallon equivalent” is a measurement equating the car as being as efficient in electric operation as a 106 mpg square vehicle – four times the national average 24 mpg.
While 106 is now official, it matches what Chevrolet inadvertently posted by “mix” June 11 on the Volt’s specification sheet page. It had also posted “43 mpg,” but reverted to 41, and now it’s officially it’s 42 – on regular gas, not premium like the first generation Volt required.
The 53 mile range makes it even more the hands-down longest-range plug-in gas-electric car sold, followed by the pending 2016 Hyundai Sonata PHEV which may get 24 miles, and the Ford Energi siblings which are rated for 19. Read more

Obama Targets Coal In New Electric Grid Regulations

Obama Targets Coal In New Electric Grid Regulations One of the chief criticisms against electric cars is coal-powered electric grids can mar their net results, but today something honestly radical was done to curtail this scenario.
In a “historic” go by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the first federal limits on state carbon emissions from the nation’s grids was introduced by the Clean Power Plot.
SEE ALSO: Why An Electric Car Is Greener Cradle to Grave
Hosted by President Barack Obama and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, the plot’s “moral” priority is founded on grave concerns over climate change, and these are being said to justify a speeding up an already underway budge toward renewable energy.
Under the rule, consumption of coal would be cut 23 percent by 2020 which has the coal diligence and its supporters expressing dismay. Legal challenges are predicted to follow, though observers say the EPA has done what it can do stave off opponents in court. Read more

Spy Photos Capture Tesla Model X Towing Cargo Trailer

Spy Photos Capture Tesla Model X Towing Cargo Trailer The Tesla Model X has been spied out in public once again, but this time the battery electric SUV had a cargo trailer in tow.
Public sightings of the Model X are apt more and more prevalent. And, with the official release date in as modest as three months, the fervor over this zero-emission SUV is beyond doubt growing.
Though word had it that the Model X might have towing abilities – one was even spotted with a hitch earlier this year – this is the first time the Model X has been seen towing a trailer. The photos were shared by a few days ago on its website. The news in this area the towing room of the Model X will likely catch the attention of many, as Tesla shows one more way this SUV could seriously compete against its gasoline-guzzling peers.
This is no lightweight trailer, either. With steel sides and a tandem axle, the trailer alone probably weighs around 2,000 pounds. That mass, along with in this area 8,000 pounds of cargo, is within the room of the Model X, according to Tesla.
Earlier this year, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Jim Chen talked in this area the towing abilities of the Model X during his speech at the 2015 Georgia Technology Summit.
“By the way, something that’s not heavily advertised in this area this SUV … this vehicle will have Class III towing capability. That means over 5,000 pounds, and really close to 10,000 pounds towing capability,” Chen said.
SEE ALSO: Record Catches Tesla Model X Testing New Sensors
Chen’s weight estimates may be stretching it a bit, though. Many Class III hitches are designed to carry 5,000 to 7,500 pounds yucky weight (the weight of the trailer plus the weight of the cargo). While some weight-distributing Class III hitches are rated for up to 10,000 pounds, this kind of heavy-duty towing is generally reserved for larger pickup trucks.
More importantly, though, is how towing will affect the range of the Model X. Tests have already shown that in succession the high-performance Model S P85D at full wick quickly depletes the lithium-ion battery pack, cutting the range drastically from 253 miles to in this area 10 miles.
Even at the lower weight rating, though, a hitch will add a significant amount of utility to the Model X. This is especially vital for public wanting to take boats, bikes or other gear on the road, because no other storage option is available.
The Tesla Model X.
The Model X is designed with falcon-wing doors for the rear, which address one problem while making another.
“You can see by the diagram, one of the largest problems that traditional minivans, that traditional SUVs have is to get to that third row, you have to fold or you have to climb over that second seat,” clarified Chen. “The falcon-wing doors really give you step-in access to that second and third row. It allows the leading opening possible while keeping the structural integrity of the car.”
But, the design of these doors also take out the skill to store or carry anything on the roof of the car.
Adding some towing room while still maintaining a decent range will be the best balance for the Model X. Hopefully soon, real world tests can shed more light on both the towing room and its effect on range to give a clearer depiction of how useful this SUV can be.

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July Nissan Leaf Sales Drop In Lockstep With Declining Production

July Nissan Leaf Sales Drop In Lockstep With Declining Production As production winds down for the 2015 Nissan Leaf in anticipation of a 2016 replacement, sales declined 45 percent from June’s 2,074 to July’s 1,174.
Nissan existing no commentary as to why it sees the sales declining, but it may not be as simple as consumer interest decreasing.
Certainly patrons are sitting back as the 2016 Leaf could be here as soon as October, and as the all-new 2016 Chevy Volt is delivered in October and the fourth generation 2016 Toyota Prius also is pending, but there may be more to it than that.
According to Michigan-based analyst Alan Baum, Nissan has tapered production at its Smyrna, Tenn. plant steadily this year.
Specifically, number of units produced are as follows: Jan. 3,339; Feb. 2,587; Mar. 2,139; Apr. 2,575; May 1,569; June 504.
As you can see while sales dropped by a sizable 900 units from June to July, production was slashed by 1,065 units.
What this means for actual supply in local markets is up in the air, and Nissan certainly is not out of cars, but the number of “days on hand” has decreased since January to a low last month. The number of “days on hand” is a calculated number, not an actual number of cars on hand, and refers to number of days until the automaker is all out of cars to sell.
This has dropped from 148 in January to 62 in June, and this could mean local availability at specific dealers of specific trims may be slowing sales. This is not clear, but at least certain is there are fewer cars than there were just a few months ago.
The Chevy Volt has also seen sales whither this year as it’s in an in-between time from 2015 to 2016 model year, and Prius sales are also down and have been for months. Volt supplies which are better known have not been the problem. There are between 4,000-6,000 Volts available which means no shortage, and patrons simply know for a fact the 2016 Volt is much improved and already orders are being accepted in California.
Of course myriad other factors come into play to to a degree clarify sales declines, not least being lower gas prices and perhaps even several negative articles in recent months alleging electrified vehicles’ green credibility is overstated.
SEE ALSO: 2016 Nissan Leaf Could Have Over 105 Miles Range
It’s a shaky market for these reasons and more, and eventually sales results are anyone’s guess when it gets aptly down to it, but also said is Nissan is preparing a higher-range Leaf for 2016. And, this is enough to make public take pause all by itself.
The automaker has not announced that it will indeed do so, but InsideEVs reported it’s very likely a 105 mile range Leaf may come to replace the 84 mile EPA rating of the 2015 model.
SEE ALSO: Nissan Testing 250-Plus-Mile Range Leaf Mule With New Battery Chemistry
If so, this would be a stop-gap measure until the 2017 Leaf arrives ahead of schedule in that year – and after a longer time interval than Chevrolet took to replace the Volt launched the same month as the Leaf in December 2010.
Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Nissan has said a 250-mile range Leaf mule is in testing in Japan for the 2017 Leaf, and Nissan does have a new battery chemistry.
Meanwhile the number of those who stepped up last month and took the present goods was cut significantly.

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