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Tesla opening a new tech center in MI to work on a CUV?

Tesla opening a new tech center in MI to work on a CUV? - Filed under: , Tesla Motors has already made clear their intentions to expand their product line beyond the Lotus Elise based roadster that's due this summer. They've previously announced plans for at least the sedans, one in the $50,000-70,000 range and another down at the $30,000 range. Now comes word via TheCarConnection that Tesla has opened up a tech center in Auburn Hills, MI, north of Detroit and has hired a dozen engineers there. The Michigan tech center will initially be working on the $50,000 vehicle which is code-named "White Star" and may turn out to be a sedan/crossover. A crossover would make more sense at this point than a sedan, because the higher floor would allow space for a larger battery pack to maintain the range achieved by the lighter roadster in the larger form factor vehicle. The product timing for this second vehicle is pretty aggressive since it will be a new-from-the-ground-up vehicle, meant to have substantially higher production volumes than the Roadster, which is derived from an existing vehicle structure. Designing, certifying and tooling up such a product in only a couple of years is hard for an established manufacturer that has facilities in place. It seems likely that Tesla will probably team up with a company like Magna or ASC, that have built full concept vehicles and have been itching to get a niche production program like this for years. The fact that they have set up shop in Michigan definitely points in this direction.[Source: TheCarConnection] Read | Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | CommentsBOLD MOVES: THE FUTURE OF FORD Step behind the curtain at Ford Motor. Experience the documentary first-hand. [EV's @ AutoBlogGreen]

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Listen to Alec Brooks' presentation at the California Air Resources Board ZEV Technology Conference

Listen to Alec Brooks' presentation at the California Air Resources Board ZEV Technology Conference - Filed under: ,
Alec Brooks could be called an expert in the field of electric cars, as a matter of fact, if you listen to this mp3 audio file, you will hear him referred to as such. And with good reason, as he has years of experience. He was involved with GM from the early days of their electric program and was an engineer on the Impact and later on the EV1 team. He currently works on unmanned aircraft.
Alec recently made a presentation to the CARB ZEV team. You can listen to it here, and read a little about him at EVWorld, where I found this information. He speaks on greenhouse gases, and with his current position at AeroVironment Inc. he discusses some of their current projects. I think it is interesting and worth listening to. I hope you enjoy it.
He has some interesting things to say about the EV1 project, how he got involved and details on how the car came about. With all the interest surrounding the Chevy Volt, it may be worth reconsidering.
[Source: EV World]


 Read | Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | CommentsBOLD MOVES: THE FUTURE OF FORD Step behind the curtain at Ford Motor. Experience the documentary first-hand.
[EV's @ AutoBlogGreen]

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China BAK Battery to Develop and Manufacture New Li-Ion Cells for Vehicles

China BAK Battery to Develop and Manufacture New Li-Ion Cells for Vehicles - China BAK Battery, Inc. (BAK) plans to construct a new facility that will focus on product development and manufacture of an advanced lithium-ion battery cell product line. The new battery cells will provide higher energy density and power, longer life cycle and shorter charge times as compared to other types of lithium-based batteries, according to the company.

The initial customer development programs will focus on applications in Light Electric Vehicles (LEV)—such as the electric bicycle—and Uninterruptible Power Supply. The planned products from this new facility also have potential application in hybrid electric vehicles.Timing of the construction of the new facility is dependent on the progress of customer development programs, according to BAK.

The facility will be owned and operated by BAK’s new indirect wholly-owned Chinese subsidiary. The new subsidiary, BAK International (Tianjin) Co., Ltd., will be located in Tianjin Beichen Hi-Tech Industrial Park in northeast China.

The earliest potential shipment from the new facility is fiscal 2008, and will become more certain as business development activities, and construction of the Tianjin facility progress.

In fiscal 2006, China BAK introduced a new line cylindrical battery cells for use in laptop computers and scaled its lithium polymer sales for mobile electrical devices significantly. BAK believes it is now in an ideal position to expand its product lines into these other emerging applications in order to capitalize on additional market opportunities.

Our new line of battery cells, which we expect to manufacture once our new Tianjin facility is completed, is a logical extension of our current product mix, it expands the market applications we serve and should strengthen our position as the worldwide market leader in lithium-based batteries cells.

—Xiangqian Li, President and Chief Executive Officer, China BAK

China BAK Battery, Inc. is one of the largest manufacturers of lithium-based battery cells in China and in the world, as measured by production output. It produces battery cells commonly used in cellular phones, notebook computers, cordless power tools and portable consumer electronics.

Early in 2006, China BAK formed a contract manufacturing partnership with A123Systems to produce that company’s first products. (Earlier post.) [Green Car Congress]

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Re: E-max scooter China partner factort is still available

This is a thread on the Zappy list about the original manufacturer of the E-Max .. the chinese company that made the E-Max is in business and visible on the Web at http://www.topmotorx.com ... ZAP is planning to import and sell it as the Zapino.

Quote:

Re: E-max scooter China partner factort is still available - Is Kasea made by Top Motor X? They look to be identical. I rode a Kasea at ZAP headquarters last November. If you scroll down the page on the link below you [Zappy @ Yahoo!Groups]

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Ford Announces Hydrogen-Electric Plug-in Hybrid Drive and Airstream Concept

Ford Announces Hydrogen-Electric Plug-in Hybrid Drive and Airstream Concept -

Airstream
The Ford Airstream Concept.

Ford has developed an electric-drive crossover concept car in conjunction with Airstream—the Ford Airstream Concept—that is powered by a hydrogen-electric plug-in hybrid drivetrain—the HySeries Drive.

The HySeries drive in the AirStream Concept combines a lithium-ion battery pack with a compact fuel cell system as a range extender—the fuel cell’s sole function is to recharge the lithium-ion battery pack as needed.

Hyserieschassis
Overview of the HySeries Chassis.

(This series-hybrid electric drive design approach is similar to that taken by GM with its E-Flex family and the Chevrolet Volt. Earlier post.)

The new fuel cell, supplied by Ford partner Ballard, operates in a steady state, allowing a reduction in the size, weight, cost and complexity of a conventional fuel cell system by more than 50%. This approach also promises to more than double the lifetime of the fuel cell stack, according to Ford.

The Ford Airstream Concept can travel 25 miles in battery mode—depleting the battery’s state of charge to about 40%—before the fuel cell begins operating to recharge the vehicle’s 336-volt lithium-ion battery pack.

With the hydrogen-powered fuel cell, the range increases another 280 miles for a total of 305 miles.

The Ford Airstream Concept can travel at speeds of up to 85 mph. An on-board charger (110/220 VAC) can refresh the battery pack when a standard home outlet is available

The concept uses 4.5 kg of hydrogen stored in a 350-bar hydrogen tank. The HySeries Drive delivers the combined city/highway equivalent fuel economy of 41 miles per gallon.

This powertrain is already on the road and driving in a Ford Edge prototype. Ford scientists and engineers created this vehicle with partial funding from the United States Department of Energy. The vehicle will be shown for the first time at the Washington, DC, Auto Show on Jan. 23. [Green Car Congress]

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Forecast: 2007 Likely To Be the Warmest Year Yet on Record

Forecast: 2007 Likely To Be the Warmest Year Yet on Record -

Met07
Global near-surface temperature anomalies compared to 1961-1990 baseline, for 1850-2006. Red bars represent the global temperature value for each year. The blue line is the 10-year running average. The green bar is the 2006 value (still provisional at this stage).

The UK’s Met Office, in conjunction with the University of East Anglia, has forecast that 2007 is likely to be the warmest year on record globally, beating the current record set in 1998.

The forecast expects the global temperature for 2007 to be 0.54 °C above the long-term (1961-1990) average of 14.0 °C, and issues a 60% probability that 2007 will be as warm or warmer than 1998, the current warmest year on record (1998 was +0.52 °C above the long-term 1961-1990 average). The 95% confidence range of the global forecast is that the temperature will lie between 0.38 °C to 0.70 °C above normal.Each January the Met Office issues a forecast of the global surface temperature for the coming year. The forecast takes into account known contributing factors, such as solar effects, El Niño, greenhouse gases concentrations and other multi-decadal influences. Over the previous seven years, the Met Office forecast of annual global temperature has had a mean forecast error size of just 0.06 °C.

The potential for a record 2007 arises partly from a moderate-strength El Niño already established in the Pacific, which is expected to persist through the first few months of 2007. The lag between El Niño and the full global surface temperature response means that the warming effect of El Niño is extended and therefore has a greater influence the global temperatures during the year.

Although 2006 was the sixth-warmest year on record globally according to the World Meteorological Organization (earlier post), the year was the warmest on record yet for the UK.

For the whole of the UK, 2006 had a mean temperature of 9.7 °C, 1.1 °C above the 1971-2000 long-term average and the highest in the series going back to 1914. Ranked warmest years for the UK going back to that date are:

  • 2006 (9.73 °C)
  • 2003 (9.51 °C)
  • 2004 (9.48 °C)
  • 2002 (9.48 °C)
  • 2005 (9.46 °C)

[Green Car Congress]

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A123Systems-Cobasys and Johnson Controls-Saft to Supply GM with Li-Ion Batteries for Plug-in Hybrid Development Program

GM has awarded advanced battery development contracts to two suppliers to design and test lithium-ion batteries for use in the Saturn Vue Green Line plug-in hybrid SUV. One contract goes to the recently announced A123Systems-Cobasys partnership, the other to Johnson Controls–Saft Advanced Power Solutions, LLC, a joint venture between Tier 1 automotive supplier Johnson Controls and Saft.

Click her to read the entire article.

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AltairNano Closes Additional Order with Phoenix Motorcars; Enters into Exclusivity Agreement and Takes 16.6% Ownership

Altair Nanotechnologies Inc. has received a $1-million purchase order for NanoSafe 35 kWh lithium-ion battery pack systems from California-based Phoenix Motorcars for delivery in February and March 2007.

Click here for the complete article.

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Honda Sees Mass Production of Fuel-Cell Cars Possible by 2018

Honda Sees Mass Production of Fuel-Cell Cars Possible by 2018 - Honda Motor Co. thinks it will be able to mass produce fuel-cell vehicles for the general market by 2018, Honda President Takeo Fukui said in a recent interview with Kyodo News.

Honda plans to begin leasing a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle based on its FCX Concept in Japan and the United States in 2008. The stack in the current FCX Concept delivers 100 kW of power, and the vehicle has a range of 560 kilometers (350 miles). (Earlier post.)

By evolving a next model based on this, I think the level of technology will become very close to that of mass-produced ordinary vehicles within 10 years or so. In 2018, I believe the development [of a fuel-cell car] will have been very advanced. It will become a real possibility to a large degree.—Takeo Fukui

Fukui told Kyodo that there will be many customers who want to buy a Honda fuel-cell car if it goes on sale for ¥10 million (US$84,000) in the general market. Estimates peg the price of current fuel cell cars at more than 10 times that figure.

Challenges that still need to overcome before mass production is possible for Honda include reducing the amount of noble metals used for fuel cells, improving hydrogen storage and lower-cost production of hydrogen, according to Fukui. [Green Car Congress]

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