Archive for October, 2011

Varley evR450 – Ultra-light Electric Sportscar

October 31st, 2011

A new powerful electric car is going to be built by an Australian firm that specializes in aerospace, defense and EVs.

The prototype of the Varley evR450, which costs just under $215,000, was unveiled at the Third Annual Australian Electric Vehicle Conference.

The materials used in the vehicle make the car extremely lightweight and the 125-year-old company looks forward to collaborating with experts from Tritium and Ultramotive in order to introduce new features in its vehicle.

Varley has equipped its electric car with two Ultramotive CARBON motors. Weighting just 30 kilograms, each motor can generate a maximum of 150kW and provide continuous power of 58 kW.

According to the Australian company, its new car will be able to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds and register a top speed of 200 km/h (125 mph).

In case an extra lithium-ion battery pack is added, the range of the car will double from 150km (93.21 miles) to 300km. the batteries used in the car can be recharged if plugged in to mains power.

[via Gizmag]

Student-Built Electric Vehicle Sets New Land Speed Record

October 13th, 2011

A group of students from the Brigham Young University managed to set a new speed record for EVs with their electric bullet car.

The event took place on the Salt Flats of Utah, where the student-built electric vehicle was able to reach a top speed of 175mph. It would be interesting to note that the record is the ideal close for Professor Perry Carter, the leader of the group, who is retiring after spending 31 years teaching and 7 on this project.

The average speed registered by the one-seater aerodynamic car, dubbed Electric Blue, was 155.8 miles per hour, which is a new speed record for its weight class.

The wheels of the Electric Blue are enclosed so the vehicle could deter air resistance. The body is made carbon fiber and was designed using a 3D modeling wind tunnel program that helped students build a more aerodynamic car able to reach maximum speeds for its class.

In addition, the car was able to show good results thank to lithium iron phosphate batteries. The hovers of the vehicle are just an inch above the ground. It is worth mentioning that in 2010 the car created by the same team was able to reach a speed of only 139 miles per hour and the current result is definitely a win.

[via Physorg]

Nissan Working on Fast EV Charger

October 13th, 2011

Probably the biggest problems that make customers doubt electric vehicle is a low driving range and long charging time.

With this in mind the famous car-maker Nissan decided to solve one of these problems – recently the Japanese news agency Nikkei announced that the company managed to come up with an experimental system that makes it possible to fully charge an EV battery in just 10 minutes.

The technology features a capacitor in which the electrode is created using a mix of tungsten oxide and vanadium oxide that replace the conventional carbon. This considerably increases the power of the charger, allowing it to function much faster.

Nissan has carried out tests on the batteries and did not find any considerable effects concerning voltage or their storing capacity.

The new charger is about half the size of the fast charger that Nissan currently uses. It was also said that the new device will be able to charge batteries from different manufacturers. At the same time it is worth mentioning that it might take about 10 years before the EV charger hits the market.

[via NY Daily News]

Ford Sees Coconuts As Alternative to Petroleum

October 10th, 2011

Throughout the past couple of years, Ford managed to increase the use of various eco-friendly materials in its vehicles.

The famous car-making company started making cushions using soy foam seat, instrument panels using castor oil foam, underbody systems using recycled resins and more.

Recently Ford started experimenting with coconut fibers that are also known as coir.

The new material is expected to make door and seat trim, plastic storage bins, and cup holders mode durable, as well as making its vehicles more recyclable.

It would be interesting to note that coconut fibers can be used to make lightweight products, which means that a car can save more energy.

In addition, these fibers create more pleasant interiors due to the fact that they have a more natural-looking textured finish.

According to Dr. Ellen Lee, technical expert for Plastics Research at Ford, the company is continuously looking for ground-breaking renewable technologies able to cut the amount of petroleum used.

[via Cnet]