What happens when you drive a Toyota Mirai 16 hours a day for 107 days in the middle of winter in Germany? According to Electric Cars Report, the answer is — nothing. The test started on 21st September 2015 and finished on 10th February 2016. During its 100,000 kilometer journey, the car was refueled nearly 400 times with just over 1000 kg of hydrogen, its tires changed twice, and its front brake pads replaced. No mechanical breakdowns were reported.
The automotive world has massive, industry-defining press events at Geneva, Detroit, and Tokyo every year, and every year these shows see the debuts of jaw-dropping concept cars. For motorcycles, however, there is really only EICMA, and EICMA is awesome. The new/future bikes are below, the one-off customs are over here.
For 2014, the 100th anniversary EICMA show saw the unveiling of a number of new bikes based on the latest, ultra lightweight, ultra fast, ultra-expensive MotoGP machinery. Retro-styled concepts from Triumph and Husqvarna were shown off along with radically forward-looking concepts from Kawasaki and an updated version of Suzuki’s industry-leading fuel-cell Burgman was also shown off. Down the hall, Harley-Davidson’s electric LiveWire concept drew massive crowds, as did the latest in a long line of legendary Yamaha R1 liter bikes. It’s one thing to describe the awesome depth and breadth of what the world’s motorcycle-makers had on display for 2014, and it’s entirely another to see these two wheeled masterworks for yourself.
Short of flying to Italy last week, the massive floor gallery at the show’s official press site is best place to see these incredible motorcycles. I’ve picked out a few of my favorites, below, and encourage you to check out the rest over at the official EICMA photo gallery.
EICMA 2014 – New / OEM Concept Bikes
Source | More Photos: EICMA Gallery.
This is the new Chrysler 200. One of the first fruits of a unified Fiat-Chrysler and an undisputed looker, the new 200 introduces a level of Italian style, advanced drivleline technology, and interior refinement that seems totally at odds with most people’s understanding of the company that brought us the K-Car.
That’s one of the things that the Chrysler execs showing off the new car addressed, actually- along with the fact that the new Chrysler 200 required a billion-dollar round of upgrades to the Sterling Heights assembly plant which, in addition to delivering incredibly precise tolerances, improved the plant’s energy efficiency by more than 60% compared to the plant producing the outgoing Chrysler 200.
The big news for gear heads, though, is under the hood of the new Chrysler 200. The latest Multi-Air engine does away with an intake cam, and makes use of a infinitely variable pneumatic cams … last seen in Ferrari’s Formula 1 V8 race car last season.
We’ll cover the new Chrysler 200’s Multi-Air engine in its own post later on (yeah, it really is that good). Until then, enjoy some of these up-close and personal shots of Chrysler’s new sexy … and maybe let us know if you think it deserves to be the new Lancia Delta, after all, in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
Original content from Gas 2.
In the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t that long ago that the Nissan Leaf was still just a concept, but a Washington man named Steve Marsh bought one of the first- and has put more than 100,000 miles on his Leaf since new, saving thousands on gas and oil and keeping tons of harmful carbon emissions out of the sky, as well.
“I’ve saved more than $9,000 compared to my old gas-powered car since I bought my LEAF,” says Marsh, who has a 130-mile daily commute, who added “my LEAF is a perfect car for my commute.”
Marsh was recognized by Washington Governor Jay Inslee, state Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson, and representatives from Nissan for crossing the 100,000 mile- um, milestone in his Nissan Leaf earlier this month. You can get more on the story, and check out a video of Steve and his awesome EV, in the 1Sun4All article below. As for me, I was impressed when these guys took a Leaf for a trip of “just” 500 miles!
With a daily commute of about 130 miles, I’ve saved more than $9,000 compared to my old gas-powered car since I bought my LEAF. With plenty of public charging options, as well as a charger installed at my office, my LEAF is a perfect car for my commute…
Ever wish you drove a hybrid, but can’t stomach paying a premium price for a new or even used model? You’re not alone. For many Americans, the extra MPG’s aren’t worth the extra cost, and some hybrids can take decades to pay off that price premium. But what if you could pay a lot less for a hybrid retrofit kit that could double your MPG’s? That’s what students from Middle Tennessee State University have been developing with help from their professor, and the results are promising to say the least.
Hybrids For The Masses
The MTSU students, led Dr. Charles Perry, have been working on this project since the last gas spike in 2008. Developed for front-wheel drive cars, the bolt-on hybrid kit uses an electric motor installed between the brake hub and wheel to send power to the back wheels. Utilized on a 1994 Honda Accord, the MTSU team saw gains of between 50% and 100% in fuel economy.
Yes, they basically doubled their fuel economy with a bolt-on hybrid kit, and what’s more, the estimated cost to sell this kit would be around $3,000. I know people who spend twice as much on turbocharger setups for their V8’s; I can tell you right now, lots of people would line up to buy such a retrofit kit if it came to market.
Not A New Idea, Just A Good One
Other companies, most notably XL Hybrids, are pursuing similar projects aimed at commercial fleet owners. The MTSU project seems like it might actually be something you or I could order from Summit Racing or Pep Boys. With the cost of gas creeping upwards again, interest in these projects will peak with prices.
That said, I do have some concerns. Their test car was a Honda Accord station wagon, which has room to spare. But the size of the battery and control unit might mean sacrificing a good bit of trunk space. Also, I worry about wear and tear on the rear wheels over the long term; this isn’t the kind of system I’d drop into a recently made car. I’m also hoping someone develops a version for rear-wheel drive cars…imagine how many hot rodders would line up to double their fuel economy from 15 mpg to 30? Hell, I know I would.
That right there is the 50 cc Honda Metropolitan that’s been carrying me across Chicago these past few months. With only 50 cc pushing the little scooter along, I can’t say it’s fast – but in rush hour traffic, with big-engine pickups and ultra-fast turbocharged Porsches dicing for position among stop-and-go city trucks? It’s plenty fast enough, then …
… and, when Chicago’s downtown traffic really grinds to a crawl, it’s the fastest thing on the road.
If you can’t tell, I’ve grown rather fond of the little Honda these past few months. I worry, though, that I’ve begun to take the Metro for granted.
Hear me out: the other day, I had the opportunity to ride one of Genuine Scooters’ 150 cc Internationals (more on the whys and hows of that another time). On my second day of riding it, about 80 miles in (78, to be exact) it needed gas.
“OK,” I thought to myself. Then I bought 0.9 gal of Shell’s finest E10 and motored along.
I rode the Italia along my usual route the following 2 days, which – with an almost exactly 55 mile round trip – meant I burned through that “gallon” of gas in less than 2 days of riding. I found myself, with the needle on E, pumping $3 of gas into a (fast! fun!) vehicle and cursing its 76 mpg fuel economy and how it had inconvenienced me. I shared this frustration with the coffee-shop girl what gives me freebies every now and then (possibly because I am adorable), and her response was totally negative. “I have a hybrid,” she said, “I think I get only 40 (mpg), and I still have to make payments on it.”
There I was, complaining about fuel economy that worked out to nearly 90 mpg to someone who had paid well over $20K on a vehicle (specifically because it promised high mpg) that, on its best day, got a little better than half the fuel economy of the MUCH more fun and exciting scooters. Complaining, let’s remember, because my 90 mpg ride didn’t quite get the mileage that my little 114 mpg Honda got.
SO, while we’re here talking about the latest and greatest coming technologies from Chrysler or Volkswagen or Mercedes-Benz that promise 40 or 50 or 60 mpg, let’s remember that you can, right now, go out and buy a small, efficient urban vehicle that can carry a “size M” rider at 42 mph and give said rider back a healthy 100 + mpg any day of the week.
Thank you, Honda!
There’s more to pollution than the emissions that come out of a tailpipe. The process of actually building a car is energy intensive and contributes its own fair share to the world’s pollution output. However, Ford’s Dagenham Diesel Engine Assembly Line located in the United Kingdom recently erected its third wind turbine. The result—a saving of 5,000 tons of CO2 each year and an engine plant that runs 100% on wind power.
With the construction of the third wind turbine the plant now runs 100% on electricity powered by the wind. When the plant was running with two wind turbines those two turbines generated 5.92 million kWh of electricity per year—enough to power 1,794 homes. The third turbine will bump that electricity generation up to a whopping 11.4 million kWh.
Ken Macfarlane, Vice President of Manufacturing for Ford of Europe, said:
Since 2000, we have reduced our global operational energy use by 30 percent and CO2 emissions from our facilities by 39 percent. Globally Ford is committed to continue leading the way in environmental responsibility, whether with the vehicles and powertrains we make or through the processes we use to make them.
It is easy to dismiss this as a plant making dirty engines through clean energy use. However, looking long term when large companies like Ford adopt alternative energy models and implement them into their manufacturing the results are positive for the alternative fuel movement.
Like it or not, large corporations do have deep pockets. Those deep pockets allow for green energy manufactures to contract out their products, generate income and attention, and ultimately push alternative fuel usage to the next mainstream level. This wind powered plant, combined with Fords EcoBoost v6 engines, are all positive signs that alternative fuels have broken through into the mainstream from not only the production plant but to the finished product.
Source: Ford | Image: exfordy
Andrew Meggison was born in the state of Maine and educated in Massachusetts. Andrew earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and International Relations from Clark University and a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Northeastern University. Being an Eagle Scout, Andrew has a passion for all things environmental. In his free time Andrew enjoys writing, exploring the great outdoors, a good film, and a creative cocktail.
Was it the entry-level Insight that made the difference, or the availability of the new CR-Z that pulled the numbers up? Maybe the economy really is looking up – if only for Honda’s target demographics? Whatever the reason, Honda’s line of hybrids saw huge year-over-year sales increases for the month of March, surging 111.8%.
Granted, that’s still “only” 4900 (ish) total hybrids sold, but it has to be a huge psychological victory for Honda after years of the Toyota Prius‘ market dominance. Good on them!
Full press release, below.
American Honda Motor Co., Inc., posted March sales of 133,650, an increase of 18.9 percent based on the daily selling rate*, the company announced today. March marks the sixth straight month of double-digit sales increases for American Honda. Year-to-date sales of 307,978 represent an increase of 18.5 percent based on the daily selling rate*.
Sales of fuel-efficient Honda vehicles led the division to March sales of 121,039, an increase of 20.7 percent compared to March 2010. March sales of Honda cars increased by 29.1 percent to 74,168, led by the Accord, up 11.2 percent to 33,616; the Civic, up 33.8 percent to 31,213; and the Fit, up 43.4 percent on record March sales of 6,955. Honda hybrids also posted strong sales, with the Insight up 62.2 percent on record March sales of 2,782. The CR-V, the best-selling SUV in America, posted record sales for the second straight month, up 42.7 percent to 21,998.
“While we are extremely pleased with this month’s sales performance, our foremost thoughts are with the Japanese people during this difficult time,” said John Mendel, executive vice president of sales for American Honda. “We know there will be challenges in the coming months as we continue to deal with supply chain issues resulting from the devastating earthquake in Japan, and we continue to appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding.”
Acura Division posted sales of 12,611 for March, an increase of 3.6 percent. The Acura MDX led the division with sales of 4,113, an increase of 20.7 percent, followed by the TL with sales of 3,995.
Before you click play: there is some probably NSFW language in the video (lower the volume).
As a fan of oddball things in general and scooters and mopeds in particular, I’ve been to my share of scooter rallies and moped rides, and this short trailer for the Sundance indie film “Satan Since 2003” is definitely going on my “must-watch” list. The film itself is described as a “mockumentary” that follows Richmond Virginia’s “Hell’s Satans” moped gang (extra points to you if you get the reference), giving film-maker Carlos Puga “an eye-popping peek into this otherwise reclusive society, but also a satirical jab at the process of documentary film-making.”
I’m not sure I’d call a group of guys who flips mopeds into lakes and uses Molotov cocktails to fire-bomb rival moped gangs “reclusive”, but I wouldn’t know anything about all that.
What I do know is that mopeds are generally enough transportation to reliably get you around most major and minor American cities, and – with about 100 mpg average fuel economy and nearly eternal re-build-ability – mopeds have a pretty minimal impact on the environment compared to say, an old Honda Civic or Ford Escort. Movies like this one and “the Wild One” a generation (or two) ago which may glamorize some violence now and again do a very good job of creating a sort of “mystique” around two-wheeled vehicles, which (in my opinion) can only be a good thing.
So, watch the video, enjoy the movie, and don’t try anything you see there at home. Those people are
trained professionals lining up for Darwin Awards. All good fun, then – if not exactly news. Still, enjoy!
Source: IMDb, via random web search for moped goodies.
The furor over the Chevy Volt seems to have subsided a bit, which means I can go back to picking on the other guy. I am of course referring to the Nissan Leaf, which unlike the Volt is a 100% electric car. No gas motors here. Furthermore, the Leaf is about $7000 less than the Volt, in part because unlike a hybrid there is no gasoline engine to mesh with the electric motors or drive system. Just a simple, battery-operated automobile.
As the old saying goes though, you get what you pay for. In the case of the Leaf, that means a lot less range. How much less? It all depends on how you drive.
GM has touted the Volt as a car for people who have “range anxiety”, i.e. those who don’t want their electric car to run out of juice while they are driving. The Volt boasts a total driving range of between 300 and 400 miles, including 25-50 miles of electric-only power. The Leaf, on the other hand, has been marketed as having a 100 mile all-electric range, which would cover many commuters. However, depending on how you drive and the external conditions, your range can vary…just as in any regular gas-powered car.
The reality is, depending on how you drive and external conditions, your mileage will more realistically range from 62 miles to 138 miles. The maximum range of 138 miles (which is very respectable for an electric car) is attainable only in ideal conditions on flat roads going a constant 38 mph. 38 mph? Seriously? That means it would take you over 3.5 hours to travel 138 miles…while at highway speeds (65 mph) the same trip would take just two hours.
Lets say you dare to take the car up to highway speeds of 55 mph in 95-degree weather with the air conditioning on? Well then your range plummets down to just 70 miles. If you’re stuck in stop-and-go traffic in the same weather, your mileage eeks even further down to just 62 miles. If it is a nice day out and you’re just running around town, averaging 24 mph, you can get about 105 miles out of your Leaf.
I appreciate Nissan’s honesty in this matter, and for many people who can plug in at work or home, this range is still perfectly within their commute. If you’re stuck in one of those infamous California traffic jams and your battery is running low, you might have some problems. For me, the only major drawback is the speed. The Leaf does not seem very comfortable at highway speeds, and I just can’t see myself stretching a 138 mile journey out over 3.5 hours. Soon-to-be Leaf owners, I hope you are a patient bunch.
Source: Automotive News
I’ve got quite a few friends with motorcycles (I prefer four wheels, thank you very much). All of them share the same need for speed, so when I try to talk to them about electric motorcycles they stop listening. The truth is though, electric motorcycles are getting better by the day, and the Killacycle is just one example of how fast these bad boys can go.
One of the early contenders in the mass-market electric motorcycle arena is Brammo. They just announced an all-new motorcycle which has two things many motorcyclists are looking for; more speed and longer range.
Fisker Automotive is one of the electric car hopefuls that has won many of us over with their sleek, sexy visions of what an electric car should look like. The company has received hundreds of millions in government funding, and recently acquired an old GM plant in Delaware which they are retooling to produce their Karma plug-in sedan and an as-of-yet unnamed, “lower cost” sedan.
During a recent presentation at the New Castle Chamber of Commerce, Fisker spoke about the progress of the plant and their future plans. This includes hopefully producing around 100,000 plug-in electric vehicles per year by 2014.
So far as we know, oil is a finite resource. But it is still the most widely used fuel for transportation right now, and likely will be for the near future. It could be twenty-five years or more before alternative fuel vehicles make up a majority of the new car market. So until then, we are stuck with petrol engines. But that doesn’t mean they won’t get better.
A California-based company called Transonic claims that its fuel injection system increases fuel efficiency by 75% while cutting emissions in half. No electric motors, no gimmicks… just a supercritical injection process. Which is what, exactly?