Boutique German Carmaker Artega Comes Back From Bankruptcy with 400-HP EV

Boutique German Carmaker Artega Comes Back From Bankruptcy with 400-HP EV After filing for bankruptcy in 2012, German automaker Artega is back with an all-electric vehicle.
First established as a niche sports car manufacturer for the European market, Artega had Henrik Fisker pen its GT sports car that debuted with either a V6 engine or an electric powertrain. The company then ran into financial issues, filed for bankruptcy and eventually merged with German supplier Paragon.
Earlier this month, Artega had a surprise resurfacing at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show with the Scalo sports car that has been inspired by the original GT but updated bumper to bumper. This time around, Artega plans on offering the Scalo sports car with an electric powertrain only, sporting 400 horsepower and 575 pound-feet of torque.
According to the German automaker, the Scalo can go zero to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds and will have a limited top speed of 155 mph. Artega estimates that owners will be able to get up to 250 miles on a release charge. The car also tips the scales at 3,494 pounds, thanks to a polyurethane and carbon fiber body.
The Scalo is now available for peacefulness in Europe, but there is no word if Artega has any plans to expand to the U.S. market.
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Average Age For Cars in US Increases To 11.5 Years

Average Age For Cars in US Increases To 11.5 Years The average vehicle on U.S. roads is roughly 11.5 years ancient.
That means that the average car pouring beside you was bought groundbreaking new in 2004 (like the 2004 Town, seen above). According to IHS Automotive, overall vehicle registrations have grown by 2 percent compared to last year, and now sit at a record 257.9 million cars and trucks on U.S. roads.
Since IHS started tracking vehicle age in 2002, the average age has consistently gone up thanks to the ever better reliability of new vehicles. On average, new car buyers hold onto their cars for 6.5 years, while buyers of used vehicles tend to hold onto their cars for five years.
The report also shows that the roads are no longer dominated by ancient trucks, as the average age of cars has now caught up and sits on par with pickups.
Climbing new car sales will likely slow down the aging of our automotive fleet, which IHS predicts will hit an average of 11.7 years ancient by 2018.

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Tesla Projects Battery Costs Could Drop To $100/KWH By 2020

Tesla Projects Battery Costs Could Drop To $100/KWH By 2020 This month Tesla’s chief technology officer JB Straubel predicted lithium-ion batteries could plummet to around $100 per kilowatt-hour by decade’s end enabling electric cars to be far more affordable and longer range than they are today.
Speaking in a sit-down interview along with CEO Elon Musk at the Edison Edison Electric Institute annual convention in New Orleans, Straubel predicted this price range factoring a dynamic climate of rising-and-shifting demand and rising supply.
If $100 per kilowatt-hour sounds cheap, it is. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EiA) projected in 2013 costs could be above $400 per kilowatt-hour and even out to the year 2040, they’d still be above $200.
From EIA’s Vehicle Choice Modeling and Projections for the Annual Energy Outlook – January 2013.
A stated goal by the U.S. Department of Energy Vehicle Technology Office’s 2015 outlook was to slash prices to $125 per kilowatt-hour by 2022 and by 2013 to $325/kwh. What automakers specifically pay to the dollar is a closely guarded secret, but none of them pay anywhere close to $100.
But earlier projections were before the Gigafactory was announced, and Straubel’s statement, if proven right, would suggest the market which is in flux may be harder to project than even those close to the issues can accurately do.
Enabling Model 3 and More
The perspective for Straubel’s statement was when he volunteered that the Model 3 will need cheap energy storage to sell for $35,000 and offer 200-mile-plus range.
When questioned to expound, he answered a tipping point in the battery market is already on the near horizon. For the past decade or two, he said, prices have been determined by demand for consumer electronics, but the plug-in car market and utility energy storage demand is rising.
“I reckon maybe this year, maybe next, you know we’ll see this crossover where the majority of battery demand is driven by utility and also vehicle applications,” Straubel said. “So the progression curve on those type of markets is so much quicker. It’s peacefulness of magnitude more demand that we’ll see from vehicles and the grid than what public used in their cell phones and laptop computers. So that is going to drive down the prices [of li-ion batteries] much quicker than what I reckon public will expect. Read more

Californians Granted 15,000 More Green HOV Stickers

Californians Granted 15,000 More Green HOV Stickers Legislation was approved Monday permitting an extension to the soon-to-be-reached cap on California’s “green” stickers which allow solo HOV lane access to plug-in hybrids.
The state spending plot legislation, AB 95, includes provision for raising the upper limit from 70,000 stickers to 85,000. It is now awaiting Governor Jerry Brown’s signature by July 1.
It’s said he will sign the bill, and the go follows a last-minute push to buy some time for a cap which had already been raised from 40,000 stickers.
Source: California ARB which also provides a list of eligible cars.
On June 8, the California Air Resources Board announced the end was drawing near, as the program due to expire Jan. 1, 2019 or at 70,000 – whichever comes first – saw the number 70,000 coming first with 68,343 stickers accounted for.
Temporary Reprieve
A reprieve has effectively been place in motion, if only for a finite time longer, for buyers of cars like the BMW REx, Ford C-Max Energi, and – importantly – the 2016 Chevy Volt.
Chevrolet depends on this perk to its patrons to go 40-50 percent of its extended-range EV, and the new car is pending with buyers lined up. Now they can have their stickers.
How long the new stickers may last, and whether they will increase the limit again is uncertain. Read more

Is The 700HP Plug-in BMW ‘Thing’ Really a ‘Tesla P85D Killer?’

Is The 700HP Plug-in BMW ‘Thing’ Really a ‘Tesla P85D Killer?’ It’s called “The Thing” by BMW’s engineers; it has all-wheel-drive, 700 horsepower, and is a plug-in hybrid with 470 horsepower of that total coming from the electric motors powering the adjoin and rear.
It’ll spin all four wheels at will with instant torque and Car and Driver calls it a “Tesla P85D killer” but: 1) that remains to be proven, 2) this thing needs a 230-horsepower turbocharged gas engine for max go-power, and 3) it’s not a real car. Read more

Retrospective: Four Years of Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt

Retrospective: Four Years of Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt For a couple of family cars that sell in comparatively modest volumes, Nissan’s Leaf and Chevrolet’s Volt have made an outsized splash into the automotive landscape.
Now four years since the first production Leaf was delivered Dec. 11, 2010 in the U.S., and the first Volt was sold days later on Dec. 15, the two pioneer plug-in cars have inspired a new global sub-diligence.
Of course the Leaf developed in Japan is all-electric and the Volt from the U.S. is “extended-range electric” with gas generator backup, thus they’re dissimilar technological approaches. But despite an informal sales “race” begun 48 months ago between the East meets West matchup with trading places along the way, in a broader sense they’re on the same team.
While the more insular fans of these cars and the companies behind them may emphasize differences, each is a first-generation attempt toward weaning away from dependence upon petroleum and seriously curbing emissions.
Both the Leaf and Volt were launched in staged U.S. rollouts. Initial deliveries of pre-ordered Leafs went to in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Washington, while pre-ordered Volts were first sold in Washington D.C., the New York City metro region, California, and Austin, Texas.
Former GM Vice Chairman, pictured with a production Volt, was inspired (goaded) by the Tesla Roadster after the 2006 Detroit Auto Show, and by 2007 GM had a concept car on show.
Various markets followed and nationwide distribution was in place by June 2011 for Chevrolet and by Development 2012 for Nissan.
Markets in other countries were also being impressed out during this period and following. The Leaf has always loved a strong footing in its home country, while the Volt does not get such honors. The Leaf now also is more firmly rooted in other markets around the world.
SEE ALSO: 2013 Nissan Leaf Review – Record Read more

First Formula E Test Session Underway

First Formula E Test Session Underway The EV championship known as Formula E is holding its first official test session July 3 and 4.
E.dams-Renault’s Sebastien Buemi set the fastest time during July 3’s official test for the new FIA Formula E Championship at Donington Park, as fans got their first glimpse of the new all-electric series.
The first of five public tests took place at the Leicestershire circuit in dry, bright conditions and saw all 10 teams and drivers use the full Donington Park GP circuit, modified to include an additional chicane at the exit to the Ancient Hairpin, declared the series organizers.
Being the first outing for many of the drivers, the day focused on getting to grips with the Spark-Renault SRT_01E cars with German driver Daniel Abt, pouring for Audi Sport Abt, laying down the ahead of schedule benchmark for the morning session. The German, who finished the day eighth overall after missing the afternoon session due to other commitments, lapped in the low 1:37s, closely followed by Buemi and Andretti’s Franck Montagny.
Formula E said times started to tumble in the afternoon session with Buemi once again on the pace, posting a 1:35.475s with under an hour to go and holding on to the top spot until the end of the day. Abt’s Lucas di Grassi finished over a half a second shy of the Swiss despite only in succession during the afternoon session with Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird a additional three-tenths back in third. Mahindra Racing’s Bruno Senna ran well all day to end fourth with Venturi’s new signing and ex-Le Mans driver Stephane Sarrazin rounding out the top-five during his first outing in a fully-electric release-seater.
“I’m more than pleased to be honest,” said Sebastien Buemi. “I didn’t have any problems with the car at all and that meant we were able to learn quite a lot in this area it. It’s always nice to be P1 so let’s hope it continues tomorrow.”
Nicolas Prost of team e.dams-Renault and son of four-time Formula One World Champion Alain Prost finished sixth to edge out Jarno Trulli with Virgin Racing’s Jaime Alguersuari and Mahindra Racing’s Karun Chandhok completing the top-10.
The day also saw outings for several of the championship’s new signings including Amlin Aguri duo Katherine Legge and Antonio Felix da Costa, Venturi’s Nick Heidfeld, Trulli’s Michela Cerruti and Dragon Racing’s Mike Conway.
Former F1 racer Jerome d’Ambrosio and Spain’s Antonio Garcia tested for China Racing with Scott Speed making his test debut for Andretti – sharing the car with IndyCar legend and Formula E ambassador Gil de Ferran.
“Today’s first test has been a special occasion for everyone involved with the FIA Formula E Championship,” said Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E. “This project has been a long time coming but to see all the cars and drivers taking part is a very proud second and my thanks goes to all our investors, partners, teams and Formula E personnel for transforming the FIA’s dream into a reality.”
Agag also said day two of testing gets underway July 4 at 9 am with free access to fans, including a pitlane walk.
FIA Formula E Championship – Day 1, Test results (Combined times):
1. Sebastien Buemi, e.dams-Renault, 1:35.475
2. Lucas di Grassi, Audi Sport ABT, +0.537
3. Sam Bird, Virgin Racing, +0.895
4. Bruno Senna, Mahindra Racing, +0.910
5. Stephane Sarrazin, Venturi, +1.223
6. Nicolas Prost, e.dams-Renault, +1.232
7. Jarno Trulli, Trulli, +1.494
8. Daniel Abt, Audi Sport ABT, +1.737
9. Jaime Alguersuari, Virgin Racing, +1.970
10. Karun Chandhok, Mahindra Racing, +2.057
11. Franck Montagny, Andretti Autosport, +2.587
12. Antonio Felix da Costa, Amlin Aguri, +2.604
13. Jerome d’Ambrosio, China Racing, +2.611
14. Antonio Garcia, China Racing, +2.729
15. Nick Heidfeld, Venturi, +5.269
16. Mike Conway, Dragon Racing, +5.693
17. Gil de Ferran, Andretti Autosport, +9.497
18. Scott Speed, Andretti Autosport, +10.434
19. Katherine Legge, Amlin Aguri, +12.821
20. Michela Cerruti, Trulli, [No official time set]

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