Mitsubishi Outlander Hybrid Sells 33,000 Units

2015 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Mitsubishi has delayed the US launch of its Outlander Hybrid several times already- but that’s not because the award-winning technology behind the PHEV isn’t ready. Instead, it’s because Mitsubishi’s PHEV is selling out in every market it’s being sold in – and Mitsubishi Outlander Hybrid sales just surpassed 33,000 units!
At the moment, Mitsubishi is building Outlander Hybrids as fast as it can – and it looks like North America will have to wait for the all-new, completely-different2016 Outlander before we get a taste of Mitsubishi’s forward-looking PHEVs.
Until then, we have Mitsubishi’s official press release and a chart telling us something Gas 2 readers already know: the plug-in cars are winning!

Cars and CO2 law spurs automotive innovation as electric vehicle sales double in 2013 – Brussels – for immediate release
Sales of electric vehicles (EVs) have doubled annually in Europe since they were first marketed in 2010, the electrification section of T&E’s cars and CO2 report reveals. In 2013, provisional sales data from the European Environment Agency show that nearly 50,000 plug-in vehicles were sold, representing around 0.4% of all car sales in the EU.
The top three selling EV models in 2013 were all new entrants to the market (Renault Zoe, Mitsubishi Outlander and Volvo V60 Plug-in). In contrast, sales of the best-selling models in 2012 (Opel Ampera and Peugeot Citroen iOn / C-zero ) both fell significantly.
“Electric vehicles can play an important role in the shift to more sustainable mobility, and their increasing sales are being driven by carmakers’ need to innovate to meet EU CO2 regulations,” said Greg Archer of Transport & Environment.
The report highlights the importance of establishing new car emissions standards for 2025 and 2030 to ensure investment in low-carbon vehicles technologies is maintained. It warns that proposals by German carmakers to include transport in the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) would lead to higher transport emissions, more oil imports and less innovation in low carbon vehicle technologies because the ETS wouldn’t require emissions reductions in the transport sector.
“Including transport in the Emissions Trading Scheme would put a brake on low carbon vehicle innovation. Emissions standards complemented by targets for ultralow carbon efficient cars will ensure the current rapid pace of innovation is maintained,” Archer concluded.
The report shows sales of electric cars in Europe represent around a quarter of global sales. Sales in California are the highest in the world driven by a mandatory but tradeable requirement on carmakers to supply small numbers of these vehicles. T&E advocate a similar policy for the EU rather than encouraging EV sales through the flawed system of ‘supercredits’ that simply reduce the need for carmakers to improve the efficiency of conventional vehicles.
Cars are responsible for 15% of Europe’s total CO2 emissions and are the single largest source of emissions in the transport sector. The EU’s first obligatory rules on carbon emissions require car manufacturers to limit their average car to a maximum of 130 grams of CO2 per km by 2015, and 95g by 2021.

Source: Mitsubishi, via Autoblog.

Tesla Model S Stars in Awesome “ORIGINS” Video

To say that the Tesla Model S has changed America’s understanding of what an electric car could is something of an understatement. Tesla built an electric car that was fast, capable, and desirable in an age when most people thought – and most oil companies hoped! – that, at best, an electric car was always going to be a glorified golf cart.
Teslas, however, get artsy fan videos like this one here, titled “ORIGINS” by director, David Holm. The video itself is introduced simply enough, with the following words on Cool Material:
“Men love women. Even more than that, men love cars.” While we might not fully agree with the line from Rush, we will say we have a little love affair with horsepower. Tesla captured a little of that infatuation in this short. You’ll want to hop behind the wheel immediately after.
Take a quick minute to watch a Tesla Model S blast across the desert in the video, below – and watch out for rattlesnakes!

Tesla Model S in the Desert
SourceDavid Holm, via Cool Material.

Energica Ego Review | A Proper Electric Superbike

Energica at the Snake

Imagine you had the choice between an Italian supermodel and that nice girl next door. Both of them like you, but the girl next door loves shopping at Walmart and it shows. The Italian? Well, you probably think she’s too rich for your blood. But all that goes out the window once you actually ride her, feeling the way her top shelf suspension components hug the curves of your favorite road, and the delicious bite from her 240mm Brembos as you brake hard from her top speed of (governed) 150mph, you know you want her. At any price.
I only had her between my legs for about 17 miles, even though I begged CRP to let me ride the Energica Ego further, and faster. Even at a staggering 568 lbs, she’s easy enough to ride. Even confidence-inspiring, as Asphalt & Rubber also said. Sure, it’s not a bike you’d flick around through tight traffic, but it performed beautifully in the tight twisties known as “The Snake“. Because I’ve primarily been riding Yamaha R1′s the past decade, I felt right at home on the bike. The footpegs were a bit too high for me (I’m 5’11), but it was a nice contrast after scraping pegs on the Zero SR the day before at Laguna Seca.
The Ego is a big bike, and I like big bikes. At 100kw, it’s got twice the motor of the SR, and 143 ft/lbs of torque vs 106 on the Zero. We were forced to sign a contract promising not to wheelie the Ego, or ride recklessly, and I did my best to hold back. We had to stay behind our ride leader the entire time. As you can see in the video, it was a fairly mellow ride:
The Ego is a very smooth ride that definitely corners like it’s on rails. It hold its line perfectly through the twisties, although I would really love to be fast enough to put this bike through its paces in the TT Zero. I rode in sport mode the entire time, with the regen set to “standard” for the first few miles. But the regen was so subtle I switched it to max, and it felt more like a Ducati, with that nice engine braking. It’s easy to switch modes on the fly, and the Ego features 4 settings for riding and 4 for regen.
The Energica Ego also sounds different than any other electric motorcycle. CRP explains the Ego has straight cut final drive gears similar to the drive train of an F1 car. Which would explain the high-pitched whine of the motor. It was novel, and sounds really badass, but I missed the peaceful silence of my Zero FX. Riding in Los Angeles is a bit stressful, so having one less source of noise vying for your attention, even if it’s your own bike, is nice.
The good news is, the Ego isn’t Desmosedici expensive. Just Panigale expensive. Well, the purchase price at least. Maintenance costs are basically $0 compared to a Ducati. CRP is hoping to get this bike to market at $34,000, while the Zero SR as I rode it, with the power tank, has an MSRP of $19,490. The maintenance costs on both of these bikes are practically nonexistent, so total ownership cost is more manageable than it would be for an Italian gas superbike.

That Price Includes Top-Shelf Components

You may recall we toured their factory in 2010, to see where the magic happens. CRP’s main business is 3D printing ultra-light parts for racing vehicles and spacecraft from their patented carbon “ink”, Windform.
This ultralight material enables them to pack more battery power into the Ego- 11.7kWh to be exact. CRP claims 31 miles of range under racing conditions and as much 93 miles of city riding. The TT Zero is 37.73 miles long, so they’re not far from making a bike that can compete there. The bike also features a reverse gear, to make it easier to park. This is nice, since the regen can really make it hard to back up even the 280 lb Zero FX.

Energica Ego at Rock Store

Marchesini wheels hold Pirelli Diablo Rosso’s, my personal favorite tire brand. Brembos stop those wheels with a pair of 320mm rotors and 4 piston caliper brakes up front and a 220mm rotor and 2 piston caliper on the rear. In production, there will also be a Bosch ABS system.
This massive beast is exceptionally well handled by fully adjustable Marzocchi 43mm forks and a fully adjustable Ohlins shock. None of which were adjusted specifically for me, and I felt fine on the bike. My videographer said I looked much more comfortable on the Ego than I do on my R1. I felt more comfortable, even though it’s 140 lbs heavier. It’s just so much smoother and easier to manage the power. I thoroughly enjoyed riding this bike, and would certainly consider it as a canyon and trackday bike.

Source: Energica

Android Wear App Lets You Control Your Tesla

Android Wear for Tesla

You have your shiny new Tesla Model S sitting in your driveway, and you have even added that way cool lighted Tesla logo to the trunk lid. What else can you do to set yourself apart from every other Tom, Dick and Elon out there?
How about an app that lets you control your Tesla from your wrist?
Android Wear has just the gadget for you. It’s called Tesla Command for Android Wear app, and it’s available free at the Play Store reports 9 to 5 Google. You can tap to lock or unlock your car, open and close the sunroof, flash the lights or beep the horn. Imagine how excited your friends will be when your Tesla’s door handles slide in and out at the touch of a button on your wrist!
Check out the video below for a demo of the app.

Source: Google

New Battery Boasts 7 Times More Energy Density


Imagine a lithium-ion battery that packs 7 times more energy per kilogram than any battery available today. How would that change the future of electric vehicles?
Just last week, we reported on a conversation with  Mitsuhisa Kato, Toyota’s head of research and development, who complains that the batteries available today are simply not good enough to make EV’s a credible choice for most buyers. Kato said it will take a “Nobel Prize winning battery” before EV’s go mainstream. Toyota, Honda and the Japanese government have made a major commitment to hydrogen fuel cell cars instead.
This week a research team at the University of Tokyo School of Engineering has announced a new lithium ion battery that packs seven times more energy density – at 2,570 watt-hours per kilogram – than current lithium ion batteries. The team, led by Professor Noritaka Mizuno,  adds cobalt to the lithium oxide crystal structure of the positive electrode, which promotes the creation of oxides and peroxides during the charge/discharge cycle. In addition, it promises significantly faster recharge times as well.
Isn’t it ironic that the “Nobel battery” Toyota’s Kato referred to may have been invented by a team of Japanese scientists? For a more detailed technical explanation of the of the new battery, see the report first published in Nikkei Technology.
Of course, this breakthrough is still in the experimental stage. Energy dense lithium ion batteries will not be on the shelf at WalMart any time soon. But if the claims for the new battery prove valid, expect to see the struggle between EV’s and FCV tilt sharply in favor of electric vehicles. Now the range for the new Porsche Cayenne PHEV could be 112 miles instead of 16, and that shiny new Nissan LEAF could go over 500 miles on a full charge instead of just 73. And the Tesla Model S would be able to drive some 1,855 miles before needing to be plugged in.
Maybe now would be a good time for the folks at the University of Tokyo School of Engineering to find space for that Nobel Prize?

Source: Gas 2.

2015 Mustang EcoBoost Good For At Least 31 MPG?


The 2.3 liter EcoBoost engine found in the 2015 Mustang is one of the most talked-about motors of the past two years, and we finally have some hard numbers attached to it. The official ratings are 310 horsepower and 320 ft-lbs of torque, which is comparable to the Mustang’s V8 engines of just a decade ago. Now we’re getting the first reports on fuel economy, and it ain’t too shabby.
A post over on reddit from u/noname87scr claims to work at a Ford dealer, where a 2015 Mustang EcoBoost just showed up. He posted the above shot of the engine bay, and says that the Ford rep claimed he was getting 31 MPG on the highway. 310 horsepower and 31 MPG? I’m still set on getting a Tesla, but those are the kinds of numbers that make it a good time to be a Mustang fan, especially after hearing this torquey EcoBoost engine gettin’ it on at the track.
Just wait until the aftermarket gets its hands on this engine too. 400 horsepower shouldn’t take much more than an ECO reflash, a bigger exhaust, and a small shot of nitrous. The tiny turbocharger could also do with an upgrade, pushing well into Mustang GT territory. The EcoBoost engine comes at a $1,500 premium to the base V6, but is some $7,000 cheaper than the heavier V8-powered GT model, adding to my argument that the V8 muscle car is on its way out.
Ford still hasn’t revealed the official fuel economy figures, but could Ford land numbers as high as 35 MPG on the highway? If a Ford rep was really managing 31 MPG on the highway, and was driving it with any sort of gusto, 35 MPG wouldn’t be too much of a stretch.

Source: Ford

Zero SR + Power Tank Review | Ride Farther


When I first rode the 2014 Zero SR I was terrified; this was an electric motorcycle after all, a completely different beast from what I was used to, and at high speeds I felt like I might fall over. Then I found out why; I had over-inflated the tires because the 25 psi I’d gotten them at felt way too low. But 36 was entirely too high, so the next morning I reduced it to 32. It felt better but still not great. So I took the bike to my mechanic to tweak the suspension to my weight and swap the tires for the Pirelli Diablo Rosso’s I have loved for over a decade.
When I got the bike, it felt like a completely different bike. All of a sudden the bike felt planted and solid at high speeds. The stock tires are a cheap, hard compound tire with a rather square profile of 140/70. The 150/70 Pirelli’s felt much better. I set the tires to 28 psi, as recommended by a friend who races 250cc bikes, a fairly similar comparison. With 54hp the bike is similar to a 250 cc powered bike.
The next day I trailered my Zero SR to Laguna Seca for Refuel, an EV track day held by car guys Speed Ventures. Brandon Miller, who wrote about the SR here when he first bought his, won the production class of the motorcycle race.  There was about $5 million worth of Teslas present, and about 10 motorcycles, mostly Zeros. Tesla had conveniently scheduled their owner’s conference, Tesla Motor Connect, to be held the same weekend in Monterey. It was a beautiful sight watching about 50 Model S’s lined up for the parade lap…so beautiful that I forgot to take a picture.
In the first racing session I felt comfortable until I started scraping pegs on some of the right-hand turns. Other than that, the Zero SR was a blast to ride. It’s weird riding an electric bike on a track you’ve more recently ridden on a gas bike, because you just slow for the corners instead of downshifting. You have to hope you slow down enough. I learned that after I went into the corkscrew a bit hot a couple times and was faster through T2 than I’ve ever been on my R1, my lap times were much slower. What I lack in cornering courage I make up for on that delicious front straight, as the R1 is capable of 185mph flat out, compared to the 95 MPH top speed of my Zero SR.


For the second session, Zero’s Director of Prototype and Test Bill Ruehl tweaked my suspension as recommended by Zero racer Jeremiah Johnson. We dropped the front forks 10mm and gave the shock a bit more preload. I took it out for a spirited ride around the access roads to get used to it, and I liked it. However, in the next sessions I was slower. I didn’t scrape anything, but my times were about 3 seconds slower. Perhaps because this time I hadn’t started out right behind Eric Bostrom, trying to keep him in my sights. Yes, mere mortals get to ride with Brammo factory racers at Refuel! Because there are so few bikes on course, it’s safe enough to put us all into one group.
What’s strange is that I was faster on my personal Zero FX than I was on the SR. Yes, it’s 172 lbs heavier at 452 lbs, but also has 23 more ponies at 67 hp. What it came down to is that I’m just much more comfortable on the FX, and not afraid to flog it for all it’s worth. The SR suspension is stiffer, as the FX is like a dirt bike. Yet for me, the SR underperformed against the FX where it’s supposed to excel- on a paved course. You can read about last year’s Refuel here.


I still say the FX is more fun to ride and am still glad it’s the one I bought. But the SR with the power pack has more range than any electric motorcycle currently on the market at a combined 131 miles of combined driving range. So if it’s range you want in a fun daily commuter and weekend canyon carver, the Zero SR is your bike. If you want a sportier ride, the SR needs rear sets, clip ons, and some cosmetic surgery to give the clip ons clearance. Better suspension components would be nice too, and the stock tires should be burned in a bonfire, regardless of the emissions.
The bolts are an issue too, as the stock hardware is a bit soft. There was also an issue with some bikes being assembled with excessively strong loctite instead of a medium strength loctite. This resulted in plenty of stripped alan heads for anyone wanting to change tires. As you can see, someone had fixed that on the press bike I got, and a Zero engineer (many were present, as Refuel is basically held in their backyard) told me they would love to use better bolts, but the marketing folks want the cute ones. Ultimately, I think it really comes down to the locktite problem, and just steel quality. It would be nice to have harder steel bolts for the things you’re likely to take off frequently, like wheels.
The 2014 Zero models have a much better dash than previous models, it’s not only gorgeous and has all the information you’d most want, it’s also really easy to read. This includes my favorite feature- a clock! There is now a handy range estimate based on current draw. That is a real confidence booster when you’re squeezing out the last few volts.
Since they can’t account for variables such as wind resistance, it can’t predict your range based on speed, but I found it to be accurate enough to trust. At Refuel, a Zero engineer told me they tested range with two nearly identical riders and found it to be about 7% different between the two of them. Yet the power tank really gave this bike so much range I didn’t even need to plug in after distances my Zero FX could only dream of covering. I didn’t even bother trying to be more aerodynamic.
In conclusion, the SR with the power tank has the most range of any electric motorcycle I know of, and certainly the most below $20,000. But at what price? If you absolutely need an electric bike for your 100 mile commute to work, this is the bike. But if you have a shorter commute, skip the power tank. The $2500 you’ll save would be well spent on better suspension and braking components.
Dropping 45 pounds should help the bike’s handling a bit too. It’s an awful lot of weight and $$$ for a 20% increase in range. The power tank plays into the range anxiety gas vehicle owners tend to suffer from. My daily rider has half the range of the SR without the power tank, and that suits me fine, even in the sprawl of Los Angeles. I’ve found my own range, riding it like I stole it, actually matches their posted range, which is nice.

SR charging courtesy of CRP

The day after Refuel, I rode the SR from downtown LA to Malibu in a hurry for the CRP Press Launch. I was late and figured an electric bike launch would include charging. I made the 39 mile ride with about 50% to spare. 35 of those miles were freeway miles, ridden fast. I could’ve made it home on that, a bit slower, but went ahead and plugged into the generator CRP had brought. After the CRP test ride, I rode to Malibu Country Mart for lunch, and plugged in again.
Thus, I made it back home the long way, about 60 miles, with stops in central LA to run errands and no heat issues. This is a great city bike, and fine in the canyons at moderate speeds, but needs help before it hits the racetrack.

Source: Zero

BMW i9 A Performance-Focused Hybrid Supercar?


Able to dash from 0 to 60 MPH in 4.5 seconds, nobody could call the BMW i8 a slow car with a straight face. But to celebrate its 100th birthday, BMW is reportedly planning a faster and more robust version of the i8 called the i9, with a bigger engine and battery to boost horsepower.
Between the 1.5 liter three-cylinder engine and the electric motor, the i8 makes 357 horsepower and 420 ft-lbs of torque in a chassis with perfect 50/50 weight distribution and a curb weight of under 3,300 pounds. That’s a great starting point for a new hybrid supercar that could see the three-cylinder engine replaced by something bigger and with more guts. A larger electric motor might be on tap soon, though the report in Auto Motor und Sport says that BMW is definitely sticking with the plug-in hybrid setup.
The bigger battery could also mean a longer all-electric driving range, with the i8 currently rated at about 23 miles before the gas-powered range extender kicks in. With Tesla and BMW reportedly in talks about sharing technology, maybe the i9 could be the first BMW to first Supercharger technology as well.
Then again, if it really is being imagined as a centennial celebratory car, BMW might want to go it alone on this one. Whatever it takes to get an even faster version of our favorite hybrid supercar on the road is alright by me.

Source: Gas2

2015 Porsche Cayenne Will Offer Plug-In Option


When the all new 2015 Porsche Cayenne hits the showrooms later this year it will offer a real plug-in hybrid option that mates a supercharged V-6 with a 70 kilowatt electric motor and 10.8 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The combination should power the nearly 2 ton Cayenne from 0 to 60 in just 5.4 seconds, while sipping comparatively little fuel. That’s the good news.
The not so good news is the car will have an electric only range of just 16 miles, after which it will require a 3 hour recharge period. It appears that the Cayenne plug-in power train is the same one found in the Panamera S E-Hybrid, which is rated at 50 MPGe or 25 MPG in gasoline only driving. Porsche says the plug-in version will list for $76,400, plus a $995 delivery charge.
The new Cayenne will also offer a 3.0 liter turbo diesel, a 3.6 liter twin turbo V-6 and a 4.8 liter twin turbo V-8 for those seeking the more traditional drivetrain.
Although the Cayenne will have the plug-in luxury SUV market pretty much all to itself for now, the long rumored Tesla Model X is lurking out there somewhere. Will SUV buyers prefer a hybrid with plug-in capabilities, or the pure electric vehicle bearing the lusted-after Tesla name.

Source: Gas2

2016 Honda ACX Hydrogen Car Gets Rendered, Looks Good

2016 Honda AC-X

Honda’s successor to its original FCX Clarity hydrogen fuel cell car got teased in the form of the FCEV concept car that debuted in 2013. The concept’s wild styling was expected to carry over, to some extent, to the 2016 Honda ACX- but, Dillon C’s rendering is reliable, it looks like Honda could go in a more conservative direction and launch the car to a larger, more mainstream audience.
Such a move would mirror the hydrogen fuel cell efforts of rivals Hyundai and Toyota, who are bringing their own zero-emissions vehicles to market as 2015 models in the form a fuel-cell Tucson and the fuel-cell FCV that recently debuted in Asia.
Regardless of how accurate the rendering above finally is, however, one thing is certain: Honda is promoting hydrogen as the sparkling clean, water-producing fuel of the future, and has made moves to market the fuel and establish a new infrastructure on the back of existing gas stations in both the US and Japan.
What do you guys think of Dillon’s rendering? Do you think this is the direction Honda’s gonna go, or will they follow up the FCX with something equally wild? Let us know what you think in the comments, below!

Source: Dillon C, via HondaPro Jason.

New Lithium-Ion Battery Uses Peroxide To Boost Energy Density By 7 Times: Report

Chevrolet Spark EV at CCS fast charging station in San Diego.
Chevrolet Spark EV at CCS fast charging station in San Diego.

All electric vehicles currently in production use some form of lithium-ion chemistryin their battery packs.
Finding ways of improving that chemistry is therefore very important--the aim being to make future electric car batteries cheaper, more stable and more energy-dense for longer range.
Researchers from the School of Engineering at the University of Tokyo have found a way to develop a lithium-based battery with seven times the energy density of current lithium-ion batteries, according to Nikkei Technology.
This has, at least theoretically, each of the major benefits you'd expect should it be introduced in production form--lower cost, greater capacity and increased safety.
Led by Professor Noritaka Mizuno, the team have used a new material on the positive electrode in the battery, formed by adding cobalt to the lithium oxide crystal structure. This aids an oxidation-reduction reaction during which peroxides are produced, and electrical energy is generated.
The researchers claim energy density of 2,570 watt-hours per kilogram. That's actually a little less than the theoretical density of lithium-air technology (3,460 Wh/kg, and a current leader in lithium battery developments) but as a sealed design it's more stable (and therefore safer) than lithium-air.

The team also proved that there are no unwanted byproducts in the battery's acceptable charging and discharging cycle--no excess oxygen or carbon dioxide is produced during the reactions.
Tests at the university have also shown it's possible to repeatedly charge and discharge the battery at a large current, boding well for faster charging.
In theory, at least. As with all current battery research projects, there is still some way to go before the technology can be applied in a practical format--one that could be used in electric vehicles.
While the team mentions no apparent drawbacks, such a concept would require more thorough testing before it's applied inn the real world. As ever though, it's evidence that battery technology is still progressing behind the scenes--and that one day, electric cars should be able to travel much further on a charge.

Source: Green Car Reports

Audi to demonstrate automated driving technology in Florida

Audi will be the first to test its automated driving technology on the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway in Tampa, Florida—which recently was designated as an automated driving and connected car test bed—using an Audi A7 equipped to handle piloted driving functions on freeway conditions up to 40 mph (64 km/h).
Audi believes this initial version of piloted driving—Traffic Jam Pilot—could be available to consumers within five years. As Audi outlined this type of piloted driving functionality at CES in 2013, the system is based on the functionality of Audi adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go, extended by adding the component of lateral guidance.
If the system detects a traffic jam situation (with physical separation of the opposing lane or lanes) at speeds below its 40 mph threshold, the driver can activate the function. The system then takes over the steering; it also accelerates and brakes autonomously. The Audi system for piloted driving in traffic jams continuously assesses the status of the car and its entire surroundings. The car behaves exactly like Audi ACC stop & go in accelerating and braking; it also reacts cooperatively to cars moving into or out of the lane.
When piloted driving reaches its system limits are reached, such as when the traffic jam dissolves or the end of a divided road is reached, it prompts the driver to take back control.
If the driver does not take back control within a few seconds of being prompted, light braking and a more intensive warning are triggered. If the driver fails to react within an additional five seconds, the system establishes a minimal-risk state. The car is braked to a stop and the hazard warning lights are activated.
As described at CES in 2014, the piloted traffic jam system uses a radar system to monitor the area in front of the car in a 35-degree field of view and at a distance of up to 250 meters (820). A video camera with a wide angle of aperture detects the lane markings as well as pedestrians and objects, such as other vehicles and guard rails. Up to twelve ultrasonic sensors are used to monitor the space near the car.
A laser scanner is now being used for the first time. It provides highly precise data at a range of up to 80 meters (262.47 ft). Its laser diode emits nearly 100,000 infrared light pulses per second that are invisible to the human eye.
The sensor scans a field of view of 140 degrees with a resolution of 0.25 degrees over four different levels. The control unit computes a highly detailed surroundings profile from the light reflections. This profile represents other vehicles as well as guard rails. The key advantages of the laser scanner are:
  • Because of the large angle of aperture, cars entering the lane are detected very early.
  • The laser diode means that it is fully functional in the dark.
  • Its measurement method enables it to detect any objects, even those with a solid pattern or with no visible structure.
As an assistance function, piloted driving in a traffic jam enables the driver to devote his or her attention, within certain limits, to other activities while the system is operating. If the vehicle reaches the limits of the function, for instance the traffic jam disperses, the driver is prompted to take over control.
Audi has also said it is developing piloted driving for parking at curbside and in garages.
In 2012, Governor Scott signed into law HB 1207, which allowed the testing of autonomous vehicles in the state, and made Florida one of only three states (Nevada and California being the other two) where automobile and technology manufacturers could invest, with certainty, in research and design projects for autonomous technology. Because Florida created an environment that allows for the testing and development of autonomous technology, companies such as Audi have decided to bring research and development efforts to the state.
Governor Scott has cited this kind of R&D work as a catalyst for attracting leading engineers, scientists, and students to Florida as they define the future of transportation. The state also is hopeful that this research will unlock innovations that will bring safety advances to Florida drivers sooner.
To highlight the role that the State of Florida is playing in the development of automated driving and connected cars, Audi will hold a press conference with Governor Scott on Monday, 28 July. Immediately after the press conference, Governor Scott, Florida State Senator Jeff Brandes and select media will be offered the opportunity to experience the technology first hand in the driver’s seat of the Audi A7.

Source: Green Car Congress

Chip Yates World Record Electric Flight Gets Official

chip yates sets 5 world records

This stuff is great. We absolutely eat up all the advances in electric mobility and happily pass along to you, our Constant Readers.
Chip Yates is our generation’s Chuck Yeager. He’s a freakin’ hero, in other words- having set speed record on 200 MPH electric motorcyclesrun at Pike’s Peak, and built his own go-fast electric airplane, already, Yates’ place in Gen-X’s pantheon of awesome is already assured. Still, it never hurts to make things official, and that’s exactly what happened just last week: the five (5!?) world records Yates set last year in his electric plane were finally officially verified by the Fédération Aéronautique International (FAI).
The best part of all this, however, might just be that Yates’ record-setting plane – which he calls the Electric Long ESA – could be yours for just $100,000! If that sounds like a lot to you, check out how the ESA stacks up against its peers …


… so, yeah. Really not bad at all for the battery-powered plane. As for how that’s possible, consider that (like cars powered by batteries) electric planes offer a few performance benefits over their oil-burning brothers. Most prominently, internal-combustion engines need oxygen to burn fuel and generate power. As a plane (or car) climbs higher in altitude, there is less oxygen to use, so engine power and climb rate (speed) drop as altitude rises. That’s not the case for battery-powered vehicles, however, which don’t need oxygen and which can benefit aerodynamically from thinner air causing less drag. Indeed, Yates claims his plane will climb at a rate of 2,000 feet per minute until it runs out of power.
As for the wisdom might be present – or absent! – in running an EV out of power at however many thousand feet in the air, I’ll leave that to you, dear readers, to comment on. As for Yates, however, he has his sights set on being our generation’s Charles Lindbergh, too. Enjoy!

Source | Images: FAI, via Wired Autopia.
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