The U.K. government and the domestic auto industry is looking to boost the country’s share of the low carbon auto industry — will $1.5 billion for a new research and tech hub help?
Electric car maker Tesla will soon stop manufacturing its inaugural car the Roadster. But now, according to reports, Tesla plans to bring back the Roadster in 2014 based on a new platform — likely a tweaked version of the Model S.
For British sports maker Lotus, a range-extending engine for plug-in vehicles just got a green light. The automotive consultant arm of Lotus Cars (a Tesla Motors supplier), has joined hands with Fagor Ederlan to develop and eventually sell the engine globally.
Tesla has just filed its first amendment to its S-1 filing, noting that it has begun drawing funds from its federal loan facility and has struck a deal that could shrink or eliminate a potential gap in Roadster sales anticipated for 2012.
Managing perception is nothing new for alt-fuel vehicles: Part of what made startup Tesla Motors so high-profile for such a small-scale, young venture in its early days was that it refuted the longstanding perception of electric cars as slow, utterly un-slick vehicles for do-gooders. Now one of the biggest of the bunch — Toyota (s TM), the hybrid leader — is writing the next chapter in green car perception. Emerging from the maelstrom surrounding its multimillion-car recall, the automaker will face one basic challenge: to polish consumers’, partners’ and shareholders’ perception of the company and its vehicles.
As regulators dig into the root cause of the reported incidents in Toyota vehicles, and as the numbers come in on how the company is weathering the storm in terms of market share and its financial outlook, some lessons are beginning to emerge about what types of tools the next generation of plug-in and hybrid car makers will need in their arsenal to earn — and keep — good green mojo among consumers. Read More about 3 Lessons for Green Cars From Toyota on Money, Money, Money
EVO Electric, a U.K.-based startup developing a more efficient electric motor for hybrid and electric cars, will be getting a whole lotta attention in Geneva on Tuesday due to a major new partnership. The 3-year-old company has scored a deal with Lotus Engineering, and EVO’s motors are being featured in a plug-in hybrid concept sports car — the Evora hybrid — expected to be unveiled at the Geneva International Motor Show on Tuesday.
The Evora 414E Hybrid concept car is a plug-in hybrid version of Lotus’ currently available Evora (pictured above), which represented Lotus’ first new vehicle since 1995 when itstarted rolling out in Europe in September. The hybrid concept includes two EVOdrive motors, each providing 204 horsepower and 295 pounds of torque per foot, as well as EVO’s electric generator technology to help run a 35kW range extender system.
Read More about EVO Electric: Electric Car Motor Maker Links with Lotus
Bloom Energy, the fuel cell startup backed by close to $400 million from investors including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, has grabbed the spotlight after emerging from nearly eight years of stealth mode with a media blitz including an exclusive coming out party with CBS’s “60 Minutes” this Sunday. From all the attention, you might think Bloom invented the idea of using fuel cells for stationary power — a market that differentiates the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based startup from those tackling fuel cells to power vehicles or portable electronics, a field that includes startups alongside electronics and automotive giants including Samsung, Sharp, Toyota (s TM), Hyundai, Ford (s F), GM (s GM) and many others.
Read More about 10 Fuel Cell Startups Hot on Bloom Energy’s Trail
It’s hard to know where to begin. The weekend has seen a series of events unfold that manage to combine — beautifully, perfectly — into a single glorious mutually-annihilating maelstrom of silliness.
On Friday the Wall Street Journal published an inflammatory piece by Randall Stross which began “I love my iPhone…” but barely a half dozen sentences (and some obligatory ‘AT&T (s att) versus Verizon’ (s vz) white noise later) added “…the iPhone itself may not be so great after all.”
I’ll spare you the tumultuous (and largely inane) nonsense that follows, and just give you the bottom line; Stross thinks the iPhone is a flawed device; that Apple has mass-produced shoddy hardware; and that the iPhone’s poorly engineered internals lie at the heart of AT&T’s network problems. Read More about iPhone Owners Suffer Stockholm Syndrome, AT&T is Actually Awesome (Just Don’t Mention Friday’s Outages)
Lincvolt Bows Out of X Prize Competition: Neil Young’s biodiesel/gasoline/hydroxy gas-powered Lincvolt has withdrawn from the race to focus on developing technology without the distraction of devising a business model (an X Prize requirement). — Lincvolt via AutoblogGreen
Small Wind, Coming Soon to the Hardware Store: Startup WindTronics has struck a deal to distribute its small wind turbines through Ace Hardware starting this fall. — CNET’s Green Tech
Feds Unlock Cash for Biofuel Feedstocks: Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and USDA Chief Tom Vilsack announced today awards of up to $6.3 million for seven projects researching genomics-enabled improvements in plant feedstocks for biofuel production. — DOE
Q&A With GE Global Research Chief: General Electric (s GE) is pushing the smart grid and thin-film solar, but don’t expect new kinds of nuclear reactors, says Mark Little, head of the company’s $6 billion-a-year R&D effort. — MIT’s Technology Review
On the Range: A new electric concept car developed by Lotus Engineering, with a top speed of 65 MPH and a baseline range of 31 miles that can be increased with additional batteries, represents a shift in thinking from “range anxiety” to “range awareness” — Wired’s Autopia
Looks like the Moblin development team is keeping busy. Version 2.0 of the Linux-based mobile operating system for netbooks arrived last month and is already refreshed. I’m downloading it now and will likely run it off a Live CD on my MSI Wind. My little laptop is already in a dual-boot mode with Windows 7 and Ubuntu 9.04. Adding another OS to the hard drive mix, a beta at that, would likely cause the device to start smoking. 😉
The latest build has been internally tested on the Acer Aspire One, Asus eeePC 9xx, Dell Mini 9, and the MSI Wind devices. Moblin says that there are fixes and some new features, but I don’t see a list of what those features are. The known issues list is available, however.