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Archive for the ‘emissions’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Is it Really Surprising that California Wants to Ban Internal Combustion Engines?

So, once Donald Trump became president, California reminded us that it’s the home of the biggest bunch of crybabies on the planet and started screaming for secession from the United States. Of course, those of us who are informed know that California simply couldn’t survive on its own, but hey that’s just my opinion. The point is, the state has a habit of thinking it knows better (hence the emissions laws that are more strict than in the rest of the nation) and now, it’s looking to take things another step further by imposing a state-wide ban on the internal combustion engine. This, of course, comes after several other nations in the world have put out the word that they, too, will ban the ICE in coming years.

This move would put California on the same pedestal as the Netherlands, Norway, France, the U.K., India, and China, with the list to surely grow even more in the future. There’s no official word as to when any of these bans will be set in stone, but anytime between 2025 and 2040 is a good guess. This would, however, have a huge impact on automakers, and could force them to take the move to EVs even more seriously, as Cali is responsible for registering more vehicles than France in 2016 – that’s a lot of cars, folks. Members of CARB have gone on record saying that such a ban would be at least a decade out, so If you’re ready to tell California to bite you, you still have plenty of time to relocate. And, in fairness, electric cars have to be readily available and affordable to the everyday joe – otherwise, you’re leaving a lot of people without a legal mode of transportation. We used to bootleg booze… next, it’ll be gasoline.

Where’s That Strong Earthquake When you Need One?

Okay, so maybe that header is a little harsh, but for real… If California wants to impose its own liberal ways so bad, maybe it shouldn’t be a part of the continental United States or the union as a whole. It wants to pretend to be its own nation, then perhaps we should cut off all water supplies and government funding and see just how well it does on its own. That Earthquake that is set to separate a good chunk of the state from the content might even be welcomed at this point – let them float out to sea and be their own little sovereign nation for a bit.

“This move would put California on the same pedestal as the Netherlands, Norway, France, the U.K., India, and China”

And, before all of you start hating and tying me to the stake, let me just point out that I’m not hating on the independence of the state, but at the same time, it hasn’t exactly made life easy for the rest of the country in the past either. Admittedly, my issue is that I’m just a little mad because I just had to pay out an extra $300 for emissions-related parts because my car was built to be CARB compliant. Maybe I should praise the state, as that exact thing would be a thing of the past if all cars went electric, right? Hmmm, decisions decisions.

Back to the point, it seems that if the state doesn’t get its way it wants to secede with absolutely no effort to actually find common ground and come to an agreement with the rest of the country. I understand that an ICE ban from California alone could do some good for the world – considering it registers a massive number of vehicles each year, and more than France in 2016 —
but, at the same time, I have a feeling that it won’t even try to take into consideration the right time to do this, and that’s what irks me. But, what do you all think? Am I being too harsh? Does California have the right idea? Will it set the bar and lead the way for the rest of us? Let us know in the comments section below.

References


Owning an All-Electric Car in New York is About to Get Easier - image 733314

Read more emission news.


2020 BMW i3 M - image 733434

Read more electric care news.

PostHeaderIcon Why The U.K.’s Ban on Petrol and Diesel Cars Won’t Save The Earth

As I’m sure many of you’ve heard, the U.K. wants to ban the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by the year 2040. According to the British government, the proposed ban is supposed to lower air pollution and save the penguins or something. I’m sorry, but this is total nonsense. The fact of the matter is, switching from diesel and petrol-fueled vehicles will, at best, do nothing. It is true that electric cars are more efficient than petrol and diesel-fueled vehicles, and they produce fewer emissions post-production. But by switching from petrol and diesel cars to electric cars, you are relying more on the nation’s power grid.

The British government hasn’t released full year statistics regarding energy production and consumption since 2015, and as a result, these figures may or may not be totally accurate. These figures were taken from the 2016 press release of U.K. Energy Statistics for 2015 and Q4 2015 [1]. According to this document, the majority of energy produced in the U.K. comes from non-renewable resources. Natural gas seems to be the energy source of choice, accounting for the most electricity generated at 29.5 percent. Renewable energy sources account for 24.7 percent, nuclear for 20.8 percent, coal for 22.6 percent, and oil and other sources for 2.4 percent.

PostHeaderIcon Ferrari SUV to Arrive in 2020

Rumors of Ferrari planning to build an SUV have been flying around for more than a decade now, and the general consensus is that a utility Prancing Horse is no longer a matter of “if,” but “when.” And that time is getting closer, with new reports from people familiar with the company’s plans claiming that the Ferrari SUV will get the green light by the end of 2018. Specifically, Sergio Marchionne wants to devise a new five-year plan for the brand until he retires in 2021 and the new strategy will include a four-seat “utility vehicle.

According to Bloomberg, Ferrari finally wants to move beyond its traditional supercar niche in an effort to double profits by 2022. Sounds like the kind of strategy we’ve seen from most automakers, including Maserati and Alfa Romeo, lately, right? Yes, but for Ferrari, things are a bit more complex. Adding an SUV means that the self-imposed limit of 10,000 vehicles produced per year will be exceeded and push Ferrari beyond its small vehicle maker status that protects it from some of the more severe fuel and emission rules. In return, Maranello will have to roll out more hybrids in order to keep its carbon footprint down.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Maserati Is Going Hybrid in 2019

Founded in late 2014, the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles alliance isn’t doing particularly well, despite initial high hopes and what appeared to be a solid five-year production plan. With Jeep reported to do better than the entire group, FCA needs to act fast if it wants to keep up with the likes of GM, Toyota, and the Volkswagen Group or even avoid facing a second bankruptcy. Company CEO Sergio Marchionne is well aware of that and devised a new five-year plan that revolves around launching a host of plug-in hybrid vehicles. This is far from surprising, but interestingly enough, Marchionne wants Maserati to lead this offensive with full electrification from 2019 onward.

The Italian boss didn’t have much info to share, but it seems that the plan is for all Maserati vehicles launched in 2019 and beyond to plug-in hybrid or all-electric drivetrains. “When it completes the development of its next two models, it will effectively switch all of its portfolio to electrification,” he told journalists. “As these products come up for renewal post 2019, it will start launching vehicles which are all-electric and which embody, I think, what will be considered state of the art technology.” In addition to that, more than half the FCA fleet will be electrified in some way by 2022.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon More Bad News For Oil Burners; DOJ Sues FCA Over Cheating Diesels

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, also known as FCA, has issued a statement in response to a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Environmental and Natural Resources Division over alleged diesel vehicle emissions cheating. The suit claims FCA pursued “a deliberate scheme to install defeat devices to cheat U.S. emissions tests,” similar to the dieselgate scandal that’s plagued the Volkswagen Group since 2015. In response, FCA is offering up a software fix that will hopefully quell the problem without affecting individual vehicle fuel economy.

In the recent statement, FCA says it has collaborated with the EPA and California Air Resources Board (CARB) for the past several months to rectify the issue, testing diesel emissions for 2014 through 2016 model years of the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500. Back in January, the EPA and CARB accused FCA of diesel cheating via “defeat devices” that alter engine programming during emissions tests, providing cleaner results than those returned during normal operation. It’s estimated that roughly 100,000 vehicles are affected. The suit has already dinged FCA’s stock price, which hovers at 10.57 as of this writing.

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Trump Endorses Dirty Air with Reduced Funding for EPA

The EPA has done wonders for keeping automakers in check and making sure they report fuel economy and emissions output accurately. In the past few years, the agency has cracked down on automakers like Hyundai and Kia for overstating fuel economy and investigated the largest automotive scandal in history when Volkswagen was found to be cheating on emissions testing. But, don’t expect automakers to be held accountable for much longer if Trump gets his way. See, a recent budget document shows that the Trump administration plans to cut $48 million of federal funding for the EPA – a move that deprives the agency of 99-percent of its funding for testing and has some convinced that it will all but shut down the EPA’s emissions and fuel economy testing labs.

All told, the move will cut 168 of the 304 full-time jobs in the EPA’s testing division and could lead to delays in new vehicle testing and sales as the agency tries to keep up with nearly half of its workforce missing. The Trump Administration has a plan to keep some funding rolling to the EPA testing divisions, however, by increasing the fees that automakers and engine manufacturers pay for testing. While that sounds like a suitable compromise to some, that will undoubtedly delay the availability of new cars and engine technology, and could ultimately increase new car pricing as automakers will have no choice but to recoup the additional money spent by passing the expense on to consumers.

Keep reading for the rest of the story


PostHeaderIcon Emissions Cheating: Did Porsche Jump Into the Swamp with Volkswagen?

Volkswagen played a risky game when it decided to cheat on emissions testing. The Dieselgate scandal has tarnished the brand’s reputation that will take many years rebuild. But, it isn’t only VW that has come under scrutiny for cheating, as the massive scandal triggered investigations of other automakers as well. Mitsubishi and Chevrolet have since found to have been involved in misstating MPG figures, while brands like Opel, Daimler, Fiat, PSA, and Renault have all been found or accused of cheating as well. All were to a lesser extent than VW, but it’s cheating nonetheless. Now, Porsche is being investigated for using a cheating device similar to that of Volkswagen.

It all started for Porsche when insiders told a German newspaper known as WirtshaftsWoche that Porsche was indeed cheating. The investigation is being conducted by Germany’s Motor Transport Authority known as KBA. The purpose of the investigation is whether or not some Porsche models have software that can detect if a car is undergoing examination and, subsequently, engage a “Special” mode to dramatically cut back on power output, CO2 emissions, and increase fuel economy. The software in question is that which detects steering wheel movement – an easy way to determine if the car is actually being driven or sitting on a machine, as the steering wheel generally isn’t moved during emissions testing.

We tried to reach out to Porsche for comment, but have yet to receive a response. Carbuzz, however, has reported that a Porsche Spokesman has denied all allegations, claiming that the data from the steering wheel sensors are only used to help calculate shift points. So far, there’s no word as to what models here in the U.S. could be affected, but the 911 is one model that makes use of a steering angle sensor, so if Porsche really is cheating, you can bet the 911 will be on the list of cars affected.


PostHeaderIcon Scientists Discover How To Easily Turn CO2 into Ethanol

Converting CO2 in ethanol isn’t a new concept but, up until now, it hasn’t exactly been easy. During an experiment at the Oak Ridge National laboratory in Tennessee, scientists stumbled across a new method that is that uses common materials and nanotechnology to create ethanol from Co2. The experiment was initially designed to determine a series of chemical reactions that would make the conversion, but much to the surprise of everyone working on the project, the very first step in a series of many produced the result they were looking for.

To put things simply, copper and carbon are arranged into nanospikes on a silicon surface, ultimately allowing the reaction create to be very precise with a limited number of contaminants – essentially reversing the combustion process. Dr. Adam Rondinone – one of the authors of this study – said, “By using common materials, but arranging them with nanotechnology, we figured out how to limit the side reactions and end up with the one thing that we want. A process like this would allow you to consume extra electricity when it’s available to make and store as ethanol. This could help to balance a grid supplied by intermittent renewable sources.”

Outside of the fact that the whole process can be done with common, and therefore cheap, materials, the most important aspect is that the reaction that creates the ethanol can be created at room temperature. This means that the process can be controlled easily and will little energy cost. And, while it can have major positive implications for the automotive industry – cars are said to be a major contributor to the on-going CO2 and global warming problem – it could really help bring peace to the entire energy industry as this process is a controllable way to make fuel efficiently.

Renewable energy sources like wind and solar power are growing in popularity, but we have no way to control the weather and therefore cannot control when we generate energy from these sources. This process isn’t exactly the solution to our global energy needs quite yet, but it could ultimately provide the buffer needed for us to rely more on renewable energy in the future.

Keep reading for the rest of the story.


PostHeaderIcon The Era of Small Engines in Europe Could be Coming to an End

The war on emissions has been on-going with automakers continuously pressed to lower emissions output from their vehicles year after year. Over in Europe, the strategy to meet stringent emissions regulations has resulted in the downsizing of engines and the addition of turbochargers to make up for the power deficit. As such, the average engine size in Europe is anywhere between 1.3- and 1.9-liters. The shrinking of engines has worked well for emissions tests in Europe up until now, but according to Reuters, new on-the-road emissions testing has shown that smaller engines actually fail to meet the latest standards. This being the case, automakers are being forced to rethink their strategy, and those smaller engines could be on the chopping block.

So how bad is it? Well, real-world testing has shown that most of the smaller engines currently in use – like GM’s 1.2-liter diesel and VW’s 1.4-liter, three-pot diesel – can produce NOx levels up to 15 times the current legal standard when driven at higher loads. Smaller gasoline engines of similar size lose fuel-efficiency and “spew fine particles and carbon monoxide.” Renault’s 0.9-liter H4Bt engine injects excess fuel to prevent overheating, which has been found to produce massive levels of unburned hydrocarbons, fine particles, and CO2. So, what can automakers do to meet the tougher emissions regulations that must be adhered to by 2019?

Automakers have largely remained silent as to what their strategy will be going forward. But, sources have indicated that Volkswagen, Renault, and General Motors are all preparing to upsize some of their best-selling smaller engines while others will be retired altogether. All three have declined to comment on specific plans so far, but Alain Rapos – the Head of Powertrain for Renault-Nissan – said, “The techniques we’ve used to reduce engine capacities will no longer allow us to meet emissions standards. We’re reaching the limits of downsizing.”

Keep Reading for the rest of the story.


PostHeaderIcon NASA is on a Mission to Bring Electrification to the Skies

No matter what way you look at it, if the human race continues on as it is, our future will no doubt be electrified. The push in the personal transportation sector is strong, with all major manufacturers like Ford, Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes, and GM (among others) all pushing their own hybrid and electric technology in next-level cars. Eventually, there won’t be a car on the road that has a fuel-powered drivetrain, but what the mass transportation sector? I’m not talking about your municipal public transportation service; no, I’m talking about long-distance travel or, more specifically, airplanes. You can look really hard, but you won’t find any in-service hybrid or electrical planes, but if NASA has its way, all that will change soon enough. How you ask? Well, the U.S. Government’s space agency has recently announced its newest facility – NASA’s Electric Aircraft Testbed (NEAT) – where engineers will design, develop, and test electric aircraft.

That’s right! NASA is officially designing and testing all-electric aircraft. Things are still in the early stages, however, so don’t expect to board an all-electric Boeing anytime soon. But, NEAT ran its first test last September in which 600 volts of electricity to test an electric power system that was large enough to power a small, one- or two-person aircraft.

“As large airline companies compete to reduce emissions, fuel burn, noise and maintenance costs, it is expected that more of their aircraft systems will shift to using electrical power,” Said Dr. Rodger Dyson – Technical Lead of NASA Glenn Hybrid Gas Propulsion. “What we’re hoping to learn now is how to make it more efficient and light-weight. Next year we’re going to upgrade the size of these motors – we’ll use the same technology to test the higher-power stuff next.”

For now, NEAT is just in the beginning stages, but give it time and it will be a “world-class, reconfigurable testbed” that will be able to create and test systems rated at over 20 Megawatts of power – the massive amount of electrical energy it will take to propel a large passenger aircraft like the Boeing 747, for example.

Note: The image above shows two engineers conducting the first test of an electric aircraft engine at NEAT

Keep reading for the rest of the story.


PostHeaderIcon Renault Plans to Phase Out Diesel Engines by the Turn of the Decade

Over in Europe, Diesel engines are quite popular. But, Euro 6 emissions standards are getting tougher and, starting in 2019, emissions performance tests for new cars will be based on real driving scenarios. This means that manufacturers ultimately have to spend more to treat emission systems. And, according to a report from Reuters, Renault is rethinking its investment in diesel altogether. In fact, Renault is expecting diesel engines to disappear from most of its European-market cars due to the ever increasing cost of emissions equipment.

Sources who attended a Renault meeting before the summer break have said that Thierry Bollore – Renault’s Chief Competitiveness Officer – has said the tougher standards and testing methods will ultimately increase technology costs so much that diesel will be forced out of the market. And, this all comes after Renault (along with Peugeot) went on a heavy defensive to boast the future viability of diesel engines.

Long story short, Renault is predicting that by 2020, emissions standards will push diesel out of the B-segment vehicles like the Renault Clio and even some C-segment vehicles like the Megane hatchback. Renault has remained rather silent to the public on this matter, however, more than 60 percent of Renaults 1.6 million vehicle deliveries in the B- and C-segments were powered by diesel. Put simply; diesel engines are the clear winners as far as fuel economy goes in non-hybrid vehicles, but they are dirty – at least by the government’s standards.

Keep reading for the rest of the story.


PostHeaderIcon Bavaria to File Lawsuit against Volkswagen for Pension Fund Losses

The whole Dieselgate scandal has done a number on Volkswagen financially. Despite my harsh words for the company in the past over the scandal, I’m starting to feel bad about for it. It’s been hit for billions here in the U.S., and there are more lawsuits coming down the pipe than I can shake a stick at. The most recent suit is coming from within the company’s home country from the state of Bavaria, but it’s nowhere near as bad as some of the suits.

According to Reuters, the lawsuit will be filed in September and is supposed to recover at least a portion of the €700,000 that the state’s pension fund lost when the scandal went public, and stock prices plummeted. This isn’t the only suit of this type. Norway’s sovereign wealth fund has filed a similar suit along with a fairly large group of individual investors too. Each suit has a different reason or purpose, but it’s like the blows just keep coming for the German automaker.

So far, the U.S. has nailed the company pretty harshly, and South Korea has also taken efforts to claim some of VW’s cash. Even individual states within the U.S. have also filed similar suits. As far as Bavaria goes, the lawsuit seems rather slim compared to some, but something tells me it isn’t the last suit we’ll be seeing. At this point, one really has to wonder: Is everyone going to sue VW straight into bankruptcy?


PostHeaderIcon Nissan Bladeglider Prototype

The hard-edged slab of future tech you see before you is called the Bladeglider, and it’s Nissan’s latest effort in creating an all-electric performance machine that combines the frugality of zero emissions with the fun of adrenaline-inducing speed. It’s a prototype (if that wasn’t already abundantly obvious), but it’s already got all the equipment needed to take a spin out on the open road, including two 130-kW electric motors, a boatload of torque, and a tight, high-performance interior.

The Bladeglider was developed from a concept originally shown at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. That vehicle, which was also called the Bladeglider, came with a similar three-person cabin layout and all-electric drivetrain, but this latest prototype is the product of two years of development from the original.

Nissan says it represents “future technologies that will combine Intelligent Mobility, environmentally-friendly impact and sports car driving capabilities,” while Carlos Ghosn, the President and CEO at Nissan, calls it an “electric vehicle for car-lovers.”

So then – what makes this thing such a hoot to pilot, and more importantly, is there any chance of it ever reaching production? Read on to find out.

Continue reading to learn more about the Nissan Bladeglider Concept.


PostHeaderIcon Volkswagen Hopes New Particulate Filter Will Make you Forget About its Disregard for Emissions Standards

The whole Dieselgate turkey is still in the oven, and Volkswagen is already busy doing everything it can to make us forget that it blatantly cheated to hide the level of emissions that its diesel vehicles were creating. It’s most recent effort comes in the form of a particulate filter that will be installed on its direct-injection gasoline-powered engines. According to Volkswagen, the filters can drop the emissions of soot particles by up to 90 percent. If this all sounds familiar, it’s because diesel engines have been using particulate filters for years, and they have been proven effective for some time now.

Dr. Ulrich Eichhon, the Head of Group Research and Development, said, “Following increases in efficiency and lower CO₂ output, we are now bringing about a sustained reduction in the emission levels of our modern petrol engines by fitting particulate filters as standard.”

The first engines to receive this new particulate filter will be the 1.4-liter TSI gasoline engine in the new Volkswagen Tiguan and the 2.0-liter TFSI gasoline engine that comes in the Audi A5. Volkswagen plans to implement these filters starting in June of 2017 and says that the number of vehicles equipped with the new technology could reach seven million by 2022. Furthermore, VW is boasting comparative measurements from “independent testing bodies” that claim modern EU 6 rated diesel and gasoline engines from the Volkswagen Group are “already the cleanest on the market.” According to the EQUA Air Quality Index, out of 440 of the most popular models, the VW Group is labeled as a top performer.

Keep reading for the rest of the story.


PostHeaderIcon The EPA Wants To Ban Turning Road Cars Into Race Cars

Hidden deep inside a 629-page document in the Federal register, the EPA has proposed changes to emissions regulations that would literally ban turning a street car into a competition-focused racing vehicle. SEMA claims the proposed regulation would impact all vehicle types that are commonly converted for use at the track. Here is a short excerpt from the proposed regulation:

“Certified motor vehicles and motor vehicle engines and their emission control devices must remain in their certified configuration even if they are used solely for competition or if they become non-road vehicles or engines; anyone modifying a certified motor vehicle or motor vehicle engine for any reason is subject to the tampering and defeat device prohibitions of paragraph (a)(3) of this section and 42 U.S.C.”

As you can see, the way the rule is written, it would outlaw removing emissions equipment, even if the car is never intended to touch public roadways ever again. Ultimately, if the proposed rules fall into place, racing parts that defeat emissions equipment and the intentional act of modifying or removing emissions equipment will be completely banned.

Up until now, the Clean Air Act was understood to only apply to road-going cars, but the EPA is now claiming that isn’t the case, and competition based cars also fall under the Clean Air Act umbrella. In that document, the EPA claims it “may assess a civil penalty up to $37,500 for each engine or piece of equipment in violation. It’s hard to think of any race car performing at its best with constant worry about whether or not the car meets the EPA’s strict emission regulations.

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Audi Produces Its First Batch Of e-diesel

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, carbon dioxide levels are at an 800,000-year high, but what if we could pluck CO2 particles out of thin air to use as a raw material for a carbon-neutral fuel? It’s not a pipe dream, because it’s exactly what Audi is doing at a research facility in Dresden, Germany. Called e-diesel, the fuel is currently being produced (following an incredibly rapid commissioning phase of just four months) and already powering an A8 3.0 TDI.

Researched and produced in partnership with Dresden-based energy company Sunfire, the only raw materials needed to make e-diesel are CO2 and water. The method works using the power-to-liquid principle and primarily uses CO2 supplied by a biogas company. The secondary source of CO2 is even more impressive: Another Audi partner, Climeworks in Zurich, has developed a way to capture CO2 particles from ambient air. That means CO2 emitted from e-diesel cars (and anything else that emits CO2, including humans) can potentially be recaptured and reused as fuel, making it a carbon neutral energy source.

Continue reading to learn more about the Audi e-diesel.

Audi Produces Its First Batch Of e-diesel originally appeared on topspeed.com on Wednesday, 22 April 2015 12:00 EST.

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PostHeaderIcon Powerplant Showdown Part II — Steam, Wind-up Cars & Everything Else

Meet “The Neverending Article.” It seems like a pretty straightforward proposition, right? Compare and contrast the major motivators out there today. No problem. And it probably wouldn’t have been, if we’d just stopped at Part I of this article, which focused almost exclusively on powertrain options available for the last 20 years or so. But here in The Future, the minute you think you’re done writing about one kind of powertrain, you’re right back to recycling the intro from the last article to open the next one.

But hasn’t that been the way of the automotive industry for the last century or so? Slightly modifying a product that was mediocre to begin with so it seems relevant compared to similarly mediocre products? The next iteration is rarely about net improvement so much as it is keeping up with the neighbors. It’s a Sisyphean task indeed, not recycling the same crap from last year; over-using the same tired approaches for decades, and pretending as though “new and improved” weren’t a suspiciously relative compliment at best.

In Part II of our Powertrain Showdown, we’re going to go over some of the “weirder” technologies out there. Though probably the weirdest thing about a lot of them is how recycled they actually are. Sure, taken out of context, some of these ideas seem a little bit out there in left field; but a lot of them have been around at least as long as today’s powertrains. It’s just that they, like hybrid and electric technologies, have languished in under-development from the century-long scourge of cheap gasoline.

But, you have to give antiquated piston-engine technology this: it did make writing about powertrains a pretty straightforward endeavor for a while. At least when you were done talking about gas and diesel, you were done talking. Unlike today, where our Neverending Article continues with Part II, and our boulder rolls right back down the hill again.

Powerplant Showdown Part II — Steam, Wind-up Cars & Everything Else originally appeared on topspeed.com on Friday, 17 April 2015 13:00 EST.

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PostHeaderIcon Tech Tuesday: Electric Vehicles

While the swoosh and whir of the electric vehicle, or EV, is usually associated with contemporary times, the first examples appeared almost two centuries ago, when the invention of the battery and electric motor in the first half of the 1800s prompted the creation of “electric carriages.” Scottish inventor Robert Anderson is often credited with pioneering this concept using non-rechargeable power cells around the year 1836. In 1890, William Morrison, a chemist living in Des Moines, Iowa, unveiled a six-passenger electrified wagon capable of 14 miles per hour. Then in 1898, Ferdinand Porsche, founder of the sports car company that bears his name, created the P1, an all-electric, three-horsepower carriage with a top speed of 21 mph.

By the turn of century, electricity powered a third of all cars on the road. The quiet, easy-to-use EV exemplified the perfect city commuter next to its noisy, polluting, gasoline-powered contemporary. But as the 20th century wore on, the internal combustion engine (ICE) improved dramatically. Electric starters, cheaper gas, the invention of the muffler, demand for higher range, and the introduction of the Model T all contributed to the decline of the EV, and by the mid-1930s, petrol power dominated.

Since then, the EV passenger car has made the occasional half-hearted comeback. However, in the last 15 years, its popularity has skyrocketed. The Nissan Leaf, for example, is the best-selling, highway-capable all-electric vehicle in history. EVs are also gaining ground in motorsport, invading starting grids traditionally ruled by the ICE, like Le Mans, as well as carving out their own niche series, like Formula E.

Why has it taken so long? How has this technology evolved? And is it finally here to stay?

Click past the jump to read about electric vehicles.

Tech Tuesday: Electric Vehicles originally appeared on topspeed.com on Tuesday, 17 February 2015 07:00 EST.

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PostHeaderIcon Electric Vehicles Explained

While the swoosh and whir of the electric vehicle, or EV, is usually associated with contemporary times, the first examples appeared almost two centuries ago, when the invention of the battery and electric motor in the first half of the 1800s prompted the creation of “electric carriages.” Scottish inventor Robert Anderson is often credited with pioneering this concept using non-rechargeable power cells around the year 1836. In 1890, William Morrison, a chemist living in Des Moines, Iowa, unveiled a six-passenger electrified wagon capable of 14 miles per hour. Then in 1898, Ferdinand Porsche, founder of the sports car company that bears his name, created the P1, an all-electric, three-horsepower carriage with a top speed of 21 mph.

By the turn of century, electricity powered a third of all cars on the road. The quiet, easy-to-use EV exemplified the perfect city commuter next to its noisy, polluting, gasoline-powered contemporary. But as the 20th century wore on, the internal combustion engine (ICE) improved dramatically. Electric starters, cheaper gas, the invention of the muffler, demand for higher range, and the introduction of the Model T all contributed to the decline of the EV, and by the mid-1930s, petrol power dominated.

Since then, the EV passenger car has made the occasional half-hearted comeback. However, in the last 15 years, its popularity has skyrocketed. The Nissan Leaf, for example, is the best-selling, highway-capable all-electric vehicle in history. EVs are also gaining ground in motorsport, invading starting grids traditionally ruled by the ICE, like Le Mans, as well as carving out their own niche series, like Formula E.

Why has it taken so long? How has this technology evolved? And is it finally here to stay?

Click past the jump to read about electric vehicles.

Electric Vehicles Explained originally appeared on topspeed.com on Tuesday, 17 February 2015 07:00 EST.

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