woop: Dyson to build electric cars

Dyson is developing an electric car at its headquarters in Wiltshire with help from public money, according to government documents.

The company, which makes a range of products that utilise the sort of highly efficient motors needed for an electric car such as vacuum cleaners, hand dryers and bladeless fans, last year refused to rule out rumours it was building one.

But on Wednesday, the government appeared to have accidentally disclosed Dyson is working on one, along with other big companies outside of the automotive industry, such as Apple.

“The government is funding Dyson to develop a new battery electric vehicle at their headquarters in Malmesbury, Wiltshire. This will secure £174m of investment in the area, creating over 500 jobs, mostly in engineering,” said the National Infrastructure Delivery Plan, published on Wednesday.

When Dyson CEO, Max Conze, was asked last year if the company was working on an electric car, he said: “We are ruling nothing out. Like our friends in Cupertino [Apple] we are also unhealthily obsessive when it comes to taking apart our products to make them better.”

Dyson recently reported profits up 20% in 2015, driven by strong growth in China, and said it plans to invest £1bn in battery technology over the next five years. Last October, Dyson bought solid-state battery company, Sakti3, for $90m, which founder Sir James Dyson said had “developed a breakthrough in battery technology.”

Asked if the company was, as the government suggested, developing an electric car, a Dyson spokesman said: “We never comment on products that are in development.”

The Guardian has also contacted the Office for Low Emissions Vehicles, which encourages the roll-out of electric vehicles as a way to cut air pollution and lower carbon emissions, and is awaiting details on the exact level of funding.

Dyson, 68, has a long history of inventions. He designed the Rotork Sea Truck, a fast cargo boat in 1970, which has been used by the military and is still sold today. In 1974, he designed the Ballbarrow, a barrow with a ball replacing the wheel, having been frustrated by wheelbarrows getting stuck in mud on a building site.

His breakthrough was the bagless vaucum cleaner, which was inspired by air cyclones used in sawmills to suck up sawdust. Since then, he has created bladeless fans and the Airblade hand dryer.

Many of Dyson’s devices use small, light and efficient electric motors developed over 10 years by his company, which may find application in developing a new electric car. Dyson is a now worth several billion pounds and in 2014 pledged his company would spend £1.5bn on research and development to create future products, aiming to launch 100 new electrical products by 2018.

 

From: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/mar/23/dyson-developing-electric-car-government-documents

Tesla Model 3: Everything we know about the ‘electric car of the people’

The Model 3 would be the most important moment in Tesla’s history to date. It would be the car that takes Tesla from a niche company into the mainstream by offering a fully electric car with a range of more than 200 miles and a price of less than £30,000.
With a release date falling somewhere in 2017, the Model 3 would likely arrive just as traditional car manufacturers get their own all-electric offerings into gear and off the end of the production line. With just a few weeks to go until the big reveal, here is everything we know so far.
The reveal might not be all that big… for now

Last year we heard that the Model 3 was coming in March, and with the world-famous Geneva Motor Show opening to journalists on 1 March, this appeared to make perfect sense. However, now we are not so sure. Tesla is attending the Geneva show – in Hall 4 with Honda, Renault and Toyota – but boss Elon Musk recently said the car would not be revealed until the end of the month.

Furthermore, Musk said the company is being “a little coy” with the Model 3 and would not be showing the car off in full at the late-March event. This could mean we only see a teasing, shadowy photo or that Tesla would reveal an early, non-functioning concept car, possibly with blacked-out windows and no interior.
It is to cost less than £30,000

Speaking at the Prince’s Trust Leadership Dinner in London in January, Musk said the Model 3 would cost less than £30,000. He has also previously said it would cost less than $30,000 (£20,000), but the difference here would be cancelled out by UK tax and the cost of shipping cars over from California.
At this price, the Model 3 will be positioning itself against the BMW 3-Series, Audi A4, Jaguar XE and Mercedes C-Class, all of which start between £25,000 and £30,000. This is arguably the toughest market for any car company to crack, and would open Tesla up to fleet buyers looking to order company cars in bulk for their staff.

The Model S currently stretches from £50,000 to a little more than £100,000. We don’t expect the Model 3’s price to double with options, but a spread of £30,000 to around £50,000 sounds reasonable. Will there be an £8,700 Ludicrous Mode to make the Model 3 Ferrari-fast? Possibly not, but…
It is to be faster than all of its rivals

Does anyone really expect Musk not to boast about the Model 3 being the faster car in its class? It might not have the 155mph top speed of some of its rivals, but it would still use that electric motor to launch off the line more quickly than anything else.
We suspect a 0-60mph time of four seconds (or three-point-something, if Musk really wants to brag) would be entirely possible, but don’t forget that a smaller car has to equal a smaller battery and less powerful motor. This is ‘the electric car of the people’, not a hot rod.

Render suggesting what the Tesla Model 3 may look like based on the Model S and XAuto-Moto

It would have a range of at least 200 miles

In March 2015, Musk said that 200 miles is the minimum expectation for an electric car. More specifically, he said this figure must be “real world” and not a case of the car only reaching 200 miles if the air conditioning is off and it is driven on a road as smooth as a snooker table. “Anything below 200 miles isn’t passing grade,” he added. “Most people [are] looking for 20% more than that.”
So let us take that to mean the Model 3’s target range is 240 miles – not far shy of the 275 quoted range of the cheapest Model S, the 70D, but a comfortable way behind the 340 miles of the 90D, which is twice the price of the Model 3.
But the Model 3 isn’t on sale yet, and battery technology is improving at an accelerating pace. The 200-240mph claim was made almost a year ago, and once the Model 3 goes on sale it would be two years old. Improvements between now and 2017 would likely see longer ranges across the board – but there is always be a gap to justify the higher prices of the S and X.
It is on schedule – for now

Momentum built up by the Model S was knocked back a peg by delays to the Model X. Adding cool but complex details such as the ‘falcon wing’ doors swallowed up time and money, delaying the new model and disappointing investors and consumers. Delays for six-figure cars built in small numbers by a niche company and sold to wealthy early adopters are to be expected – but Tesla wants the Model 3 to be its biggest seller and take a large slice of a forecast 500,000 annual sales by 2020, up from 50,000 in 2015.
Consumers do not expect delays when they order a new Ford, BMW, VW or Audi. In switching to Tesla, they are already taking a gamble that a small company will whisk them into the future; the last thing they will want is a delay – especially if a novelty feature such as a complicated door hinge is to blame.

The Model 3 platform is to be shared with the Model Y
Rumours spread in early 2016 claimed that Tesla was ready to announce two versions of the Model 3. This now seems unlikely, but we wouldn’t be surprised if the Model 3’s platform could be shared with other Tesla vehicles in the future. Cars made by the Volkswagen group – VW, Audi and Seat – have shared platforms and common components for some time. It’s an obvious cost-saving measure, and something that Tesla should also do. I would expect the Model 3 to be a small five-door saloon, followed by an SUV crossover like the Nissan Juke, entitled the Model Y.
In October 2015, Musk tweeted a fan asking if the “Model 3 crossover” would have falcon-wing doors. He said: “There will be a Model 3 and a Model Y. One of the two will.” Musk’s tweet was then deleted, but the story is a simple one: the Model Y will be to the Model 3 what the Model X is to the Model S.
It was supposed to be called the Model E

That last sentence made me angry at why carmakers don’t use fun, dynamic and interesting names any more. Instead of Daytona, Thunderbird, Cerbera and Spitfire, we have F12tdf, i10, C4 and Tesla’s range of seemingly unrelated Models. But hold on. In Tesla’s case we actually have Ford to blame for spoiling Musk’s joke: he originally wanted a line-up of Models S, E, X – with Y coming later. Geddit?

Well, now it’s S-3-X-Y because Ford’s lawyers came knocking, reminded Tesla that it owns the Model E trademark, and that no, it isn’t for sale. Ford also produced a Model Y, back in the 1930s, so Musk’s plans might have been thwarted there too. Sorry, Elon.

Swatch says it has a better electric car battery

Swatch, the innovative Swiss company known mostly for its stylish watches, made an attempt to  build an electric car way back in the 80’s. That effort was a dismal failure, mostly because the timing was all wrong. The only batteries available then were of the traditional lead acid variety. No one had even thought of using a lithium ion battery to power an electric car back then. Continue reading Swatch says it has a better electric car battery

Ev competition – more choice for customer? Porsche plans electric car to challenge Tesla

  
Porsche and Audi are hoping to challenge Tesla in the luxury electric car market, but Elon Musk can sleep easy for now. Both are still years away from production.
Porsche unveiled its first all-electric concept car at the Frankfurt auto show Tuesday. It looks like a futuristic version of the Porsche 911.

The German sports car maker boasts that the four-door Mission E will be able to drive roughly 310 miles on a single charge. The new model should take just 15 minutes to charge to about 80% of its capacity.

That would be significantly faster than market leader Tesla (TSLA), which requires about 30 minutes to reach the same level of charge.

Plus, the Mission E boasts a longer range than Tesla’s Model S. It should run for 250 miles after a 15-minute charge versus 170 miles from a 30-minute charge.

Still, Tesla has a few years to close that gap.

A Porsche spokesperson told CNNMoney that production of the car would be “feasible within the near future,” but noted that it may take five years for battery technology to advance sufficiently.

The concept is part of a bigger push by Porsche parent Volkswagen (VLKAY) into electric vehicles. VW CEO Martin Winterkorn said the group is planning to roll out 20 more electric cars and plug-in hybrids by 2020.

“No commitment to electro-mobility can be any clearer than that,” said Winterkorn, who oversees brands including Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini and Bugatti.

Audi unveiled a new all-electric SUV concept vehicle called the e‑tron quattro last month. It will have the same driving range as the Porsche Mission E, and production will begin in 2018.

The Mission E will offer features such as gesture-activated controls, eye-tracking controls and some holographic images around the dashboard.

  
 It turns out that the X5’s 3.3 l/100 km (71 mpg US/85 mpg UK) average fuel consumption is…actually average itself, compared to how good the Q7 and the XC90 look on paper. The Audi is by far the most fuel efficient SUV here, with its 1.7l/100 km (138 mpg US/166 mpg UK) average.

Sure, good luck getting anywhere close to those numbers in the real world, but for some people specs do matter a lot. We buy most of our smartphones based on who’s got the best specs, even though we rarely use all that processing power – the same mentality can be used to analyze rival cars.

More from: http://money.cnn.com/2015/09/15/autos/porsche-debuts-first-electric-car-mission-e/index.html

Tesla Model S rival: Porsche Mission E electric saloon revealed at Frankfurt

Tesla Model S rival has over 600bhp and more than 300 miles of range – and a production version is on the way. Porsche has stolen the limelight at this year’s Frankfurt motor show with the unveiling of this spectacular new 600bhp plus electric-powered concept car – the Mission E.  

Drawing on the electric drive and energy storage know-how gained in the development of the Le Mans-winning 919 Hybrid race car, along with the lightweight construction and battery technology created for the 918 Spyder hypercar, the sleek new four-door concept is claimed to closely preview an innovative new 

Telsa Model S rival that’s being readied for launch before the end of the decade.

911 Turbo pace

With a 0-62mph time to challenge the latest 911 Turbo and a claimed range of more than 331 miles, the Mission E holds true to Porsche’s practical performance mantra, while also taking a nod to the future with the latest in 800 volt recharging technology and full zero-emission compatibility.

“We always said that when we do an electric car, it would be a true sportscar. We also said it would offer the performance traditional Porsche buyers demand,” said Wolfgang Hatz, head of research and development, at the unveiling of the Mission E on Monday evening, adding, “We have achieved both goals, while providing it with everyday practicality and an exceptional range.”

Power for the four-wheel drive Mission E is provided by two electric motors – one mounted up front acting on the front axle and one at the rear providing drive to the rear wheels. Produced in-house, both units run in a permanent synchronous state for what Hatz describes as “uniform power development for reliably reproducible accelerative ability” and “greater scope for energy recuperation”.

The German car maker is yet to reveal the individual power loadings for each motor, but confirms a combined output of over 600bhp. This provides the new concept with at least 80bhp more than the twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre six cylinder 911 Turbo – the fastest-accelerating production Porsche.

With a kerb weight of over 2000kg, the Mission E is claimed to hit 62mph from standstill in 3.5sec – or just 0.1sec shy of the 911 Turbo’s official time. Porsche also quotes a 0-200km/h time of less than 12.0sec for its new concept, which uses an on-demand four-wheel drive system in which the front wheels are driven only during acceleration, under hard driving or on slippery road surfaces. An electronically controlled torque-vectoring function also automatically distributes drive to each individual rear wheel for improved handling balance.

Hatz describes the handling of the Mission E as “typically rear biased”. He also says computer simulations suggest it is capable of lapping the Nurburgring circuit in less than eight minutes – a time that places it on a similar performance plane to the Cayman S.

With 682bhp, the £79,080 Tesla Model S P85D possesses a claimed 0-62mph time of 3.2sec.  

More on autocar.co.uk

The innovators: cheaper batteries could help electric cars hit the mainstream

Sheffield-based Faradion has developed a sodium-ion battery that looks and performs in the same way as a regular lithium-ion battery but is 30% cheaper.

Chris Wright, the chairman of Faradion, with the sodium-ion electric car battery.

Chris Wright, the chairman of Faradion, with the sodium-ion electric car battery developed by the company. Photograph: Adrian Sherratt

There was a surge in the sale of electric cars last year but the number leaving the forecourts is still dwarfed by traditional gas-guzzlers at a ratio of almost 50 to one. The high cost of the batteries that power the vehicles is a prime reason.

Sheffield-based Faradion believes it has found a solution – new battery technology, the development of which has been spearheaded in the UK.

“For an electric car, the cost of a battery is crudely the same as the cost of the rest. That is quite the wrong proportion for it to take off. So people are desperate to find ways to supply cheaper batteries,” Faradion chairman, Chris Wright, said. Continue reading The innovators: cheaper batteries could help electric cars hit the mainstream

Electric car goes FASTER than F1: Battery powered ‘go-cart’ breaks world record by going 0-100km/h in 1.7 seconds

It may look more like a go-cart than a record breaking racer, but this small electric vehicle has just become the world’s fastest accelerating vehicle.

The GreenTeam Formula Student electric racing car E0711-5 accelerated from 0-100km/h (0-62mph) in 1.779 seconds, smashing the previous record by 0.006 seconds.

This makes the vehicle, developed by engineers at the University of Stuttgart in Germany, faster than a Formula One racing car or the world’s fastest road car the Bugatti Veryon.

The GreenTeam Formula

The 100kW vehicle is powered by four motors and a 6.62kWh battery.

After several attempts, driver Priska Schmid, a student at the university, set the record time during tests at the Jade Weser Airport in north west Germany. Continue reading Electric car goes FASTER than F1: Battery powered ‘go-cart’ breaks world record by going 0-100km/h in 1.7 seconds

Renault Electric Program Director: Next-Generation Renault ZOE With Real-World Range Of 186 Miles

Interesting and potentially huge news is coming out of France in regards to the new, next-generation Renault ZOE and next-gen Nissan LEAF.

According to Les Echos, the new versions of both models will be ready in 2017 with double the range of today’s Renault-Nissan electric cars.
Continue reading Renault Electric Program Director: Next-Generation Renault ZOE With Real-World Range Of 186 Miles

Breakthrough for electric cars: Supercapacitors from miracle substance graphene charges batteries in 4 minutes

The problem of limited range has been an important factor curbing the wide-spread adoption of electric cars. But scientists in South Korea have developed a new technology which could solve the problem.

The lithium-ion batteries used in most of the current generation of electric cars have limitations. They are expensive and store insufficient power for the needs of many drivers, requiring frequent top-ups. And when they have to be recharged the charging process is time consuming.

The technological breakthrough could solve these problems. And in the process, Dr Lu Wu of the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea has discovered a new use for the miracle substance graphene.
Continue reading Breakthrough for electric cars: Supercapacitors from miracle substance graphene charges batteries in 4 minutes

Renault Electric Program Director: Next-Generation Renault ZOE With Real-World Range Of 186 Miles

Interesting and potentially huge news is coming out of France in regards to the new, next-generation Renault ZOE and next-gen Nissan LEAF.

According to Les Echos, the new versions of both models will be ready in 2017 with double the range of today’s Renault-Nissan electric cars.
Continue reading Renault Electric Program Director: Next-Generation Renault ZOE With Real-World Range Of 186 Miles