Zipcar is a company that operates a car-sharing network around the country. The company also operates car sharing networks outside the US with operations in Canada, the UK, Spain, and Austria. Users can rent over 30 different vehicle makes and models by the hour or by the day to take care of whatever it is they need a car for.
There've been a surprising number of EVs that caught fire recently. The last high-profile fire in an electric vehicle was over the past weekend when a Fisker Karma caught fire in a grocery store parking lot. The exact cause of that fire is still under investigation. It's not only street legal EVs that have caught fire in recent days. A racing electric vehicle caught fire during the annual Pikes Peak Hill climb race in Colorado over the weekend.
Researchers all around the world are teaming up with automotive manufacturers and battery manufacturers to attempt to design improvements in battery packs that will help electric vehicles drive farther. GE, Ford, and the University of Michigan are all working together on a new project with the goal of extending battery life for EVs. Longer battery life equates to a longer driving distance for electric vehicles.
Yesterday Toyota handed the keys to its RAV4 EV over to car geeks in the media for the first time. Along with allowing the first non-Toyota folks to drive the new EV also comes a slew of new statistics and facts about the electric SUV. The RAV4 EV is completely electric powered and will arrive in select California dealerships later this summer.
BMW has revealed its latest electric vehicle, but unlike the i-Series cars the new C evolution bike is somewhat less glamorous and likely to be a whole lot more affordable. Part of BMW's Motorrad group, the BMW C evolution uses a 11 kW electric drive for a top speed 120 kph and a range of 100 km from an 8 kWh battery. Unlike electric city cars, however, BMW believes the C evolution bike is perfectly suited to motorway driving as well.
GE has announced the creation of a new world-class traction motor for hybrid and electric vehicles. The new prototype electric motor delivers higher power density and better acceleration efficiency in a smaller frame at a lower cost than existing electric motors. The goal for GE is to extend the range of electric vehicles and reduce fuel consumption for hybrids using the new motor.
Honda has announced that it has delivered its first 2013 Fit EV to a customer. The Fit EV is available in a limited area to begin with including some select California and Oregon markets. The vehicle was given a 118 MPGe rating by the EPA and consumes 29 kWh of electricity per 100 miles driven. The Fit EV is one of the most efficient EVs in the country.
I'm not sure I'll ever understand why many makers of electric vehicles can't (or won't) design an attractive car. It's like if you're driving a green vehicle some manufacturers think it has to be quirky and odd to scream green. I'm always happy that at least Tesla makes its EVs attractive. The latest quirky and not so good-looking electric vehicle to cross my desk is the ECOmove QBEAK.
It has been a long road, but electric vehicle maker Tesla is set to ship its first Model S EVs as early as today. The first 10 Signature performance versions of the EV will be picked up by their owners at the Tesla factory in Fremont, California. These cars priced between $95,400 and $105,400.