Archive for the ‘cars’ Category

Hyundai looks to build a >300-mile-range electric car

August 17th, 2017

Enlarge / Signage for an electric car charging booth is displayed at Federation Square car park in Melbourne, Australia, on Friday, April 28, 2017. Photographer: Carla Gottgens/Bloomberg via Getty Images (credit: Bloomberg / Getty Images)

On Thursday, Hyundai said that it intends to produce a long-range electric vehicle by 2021 that will be capable of traveling 310 miles on a charge. That vehicle, a luxury Genesis sedan, will follow an electric version of the Kona sport utility vehicle that the Korean automaker hopes to release in the first half of next year. The electric Kona should have a range of 243 miles, Reuters noted.

Along with affiliate company Kia, Hyundai announced eight electric cars and two fuel-cell vehicles coming to market in the near future—a significant jump in the number of electric vehicles (EVs) that the company has planned to bring to market in years prior. Hyundai, like Toyota, has boosted the fuel cell vehicle for years. Fuel cell vehicles use hydrogen as fuel and emit water as a byproduct. But the compressed hydrogen that runs fuel cell vehicles is hard to store and hard to transport, so it has been slow reaching the market, although fuel cell vehicles do have the advantage of being fast to refuel, unlike electric vehicle batteries.

Toyota has also recently shown signs that it’s pouring more resources into mass-producing a long-range electric car as well. In July, an article in The Wall Street Journal noted that the Japanese automaker was working on building a battery with a solid electrolyte that would go into production in 2022. With Tesla and Chevrolet rolling out moderately priced EVs with long-range capabilities, other automakers known for moderately priced cars seem to be ready to get in the ring as well.

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Posted in cars, Chevrolet, electric, hyundai, Tesla, Toyota | Comments (0)

Fiat Chrysler, BMW, and Intel announce plans to build self-driving tech

August 16th, 2017

Enlarge / Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne speaks at an event in Michigan on August 26, 2016. (credit: Bill Pugliano / Getty Images)

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is joining forces with BMW and Intel to develop self-driving car technology, the company announced on Wednesday. FCA is joining an existing alliance between BMW and Intel that also included Mobileye, the self-driving technology company Intel announced it was acquiring in March.

FCA is the smallest of Detroit's Big Three automakers, and its approach to the self-driving car revolution has been less ambitious than rivals GM and Ford. GM paid $1 billion for self-driving car startup Cruise last year and is hoping to develop its own self-driving car technology. Ford invested $1 billion in the self-driving car startup Argo AI earlier this year and has also opened a technology subsidiary in Silicon Valley.

By contrast, FCA seems content to rely more on partners to supply the self-driving technology it will need to make its vehicles competitive in the coming decade.

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Posted in autonomous cars, BMW, cars, Fiat Chrysler, Intel, Mobileye, self-driving car | Comments (0)

Aston Martin and Zagato team up again for Pebble Beach

August 15th, 2017

Aston Martin

The build-up to this year's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance continues apace. Yesterday was Infiniti's turn, with its gorgeous, retro-styled electric Prototype 9 concept car, while today the headlines go to Aston Martin. Once again, the British carmaker teamed up with Italian design house Zagato, this time on a pair of limited-edition versions of a rather old model: the Vanquish Zagato Speedster and Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake.

That now makes a total of four different Zagato-bodied versions of the venerable GT car, for the two companies have previously collaborated on a Vanquish Zagato Coupe and Vanquish Zagato Volante (which means "convertible" in Aston Martinese).

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Posted in Aston MArtin, cars, pebble beach, Zagato | Comments (0)

Uber’s Levandowski: Let’s “give physics lessons about stupid shit Elon says”

August 15th, 2017

Enlarge (credit: Aurich / Thinkstock)

The ongoing Waymo v. Uber lawsuit continues to yield more interesting information about the internal plans of the ride-hailing company and its self-driving car ambitions. Uber was recently compelled by the court to hand over copies of text messages sent between former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and Anthony Levandowski. While there's no "smoking gun" in the redacted document that would settle the matter in Waymo's favor, the messages—sent between February and December 2016—do show a particular disregard for Elon Musk and Tesla's autonomous driving project.

Waymo says that Levandowski stole more than 14,000 secret files while he worked at Google, then departed to create his own startup, which was purchased last year by Uber for $680 million. Now Uber stands accused of using Google trade secrets in building its self-driving car project—charges that Uber vehemently denies.

Levandowski's texts have a particular relevance to the case since he hasn't answered many questions himself, instead pleading his Fifth Amendment rights to avoid testifying. Earlier this year, Uber fired Levandowski when he wouldn't cooperate with court-ordered document production.

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Posted in autonomous driving, cars, Elon Musk, Policy, Tesla, Uber, Uber v. Waymo | Comments (0)

Parked electric cars are earning money balancing the grid in Denmark

August 14th, 2017

Enlarge (credit: NIssan)

A year-long trial in Denmark is showing that utilities can use parked electric vehicles (EVs) as spare batteries, and those EVs can earn quite a bit of money for their owners from the utilities.

In an interview with Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Nissan Europe’s director of energy services, Francisco Carranza, said that a fleet of 10 Nissan e-NV200 vans has earned €1,300 ($1,530) over the year.

Electricity grids around the world are facing an era of rapid change as more electric vehicles hit the road and as grid supply changes. For grid managers, sometimes small amounts of power are necessary to regulate current frequency and keep the grid working. At the same time, if a lot of electric vehicles draw power from the grid concurrently (for example, when they’re parked at home at night, or when they’re parked at work during the day), that threatens to change how grid operators plan to meet demand, as well.

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Posted in cars, enel, Energy, Nissan, science, vehicle to grid | Comments (0)

With Prototype 9, Infiniti imagines what a 1940s electric race car could be

August 14th, 2017

Infiniti

If the automotive world has an equivalent to the Met Gala, it would be the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. It takes place later this week in Monterey, California, and each year it features an assortment of classic and historic cars that are more akin to four-wheeled works of art than the more mundane stuff you or I drive on a daily basis. (Unless you're Ralph Lauren, in which case, carry on.) It's not just car collectors that bring along their machines to show off; the OEMs get in on the act, too. In Infiniti's case, that's a "what if" called Prototype 9, a 1940s-inspired electric race car.

"We discussed the idea of 'chancing' upon an unrecognized race car, hidden away for decades in a barn, deep in the Japanese countryside," explained Alfonso Albaisa, SVP of Global Design at Nissan (Infiniti's parent company). "We wanted to explore what this looked like, what it would have been made of. Open-wheeled racers of the age were beautiful machines, elegant and powerful and with a wonderful purity of purpose. It's an automotive fantasy, but the notion captured our imaginations enough to put pencil to paper."

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Up close and personal with Scuderia Corsa’s Ferrari 488 GT3 race car

August 12th, 2017

Although we usually pay for our own travel expenses, for this trip, Ferrari provided a night's accommodation in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

Scuderia Corsa

LAKEVILLE, Conn.—We weren't sure that we'd get a chance to see IMSA's WeatherTech Sportscar Championship race in 2017, but then a call came from the nice people at Ferrari asking if we wanted to drive one of their 488 GTB supercars up to the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut. As you might imagine, that wasn't a hard decision to make. You can read all about the road car elsewhere on the site, so what follows is an up-close-and-personal look at Scuderia Corsa's 488 GT3 race car.

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Up close and personal with Scuderia Corsa’s Ferrari 488 GT3 race car

August 12th, 2017

Although we usually pay for our own travel expenses, for this trip, Ferrari provided a night's accommodation in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

Scuderia Corsa

LAKEVILLE, Conn.—We weren't sure that we'd get a chance to see IMSA's WeatherTech Sportscar Championship race in 2017, but then a call came from the nice people at Ferrari asking if we wanted to drive one of their 488 GTB supercars up to the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut. As you might imagine, that wasn't a hard decision to make. You can read all about the road car elsewhere on the site, so what follows is an up-close-and-personal look at Scuderia Corsa's 488 GT3 race car.

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Road tripping in a Ferrari 488 GTB: Worth the wait

August 12th, 2017

Although we usually pay for our own travel expenses, for this trip, Ferrari provided a night's accommodation in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

Video edited by Jennifer Hahn. (video link)

LAKEVILLE, Conn.—Anyone lucky enough to be shopping for a mid-engined supercar in 2017 has quite the array of possibilities before them. There's the Lamborghini Huracán, now also available with just rear-wheel drive. McLaren has its new 720S, the follow-up to the sublime 650S we were so smitten with.

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Posted in Ars Approved, Ars Technica Videos, cars, Features, Ferrari 488 GTB | Comments (0)

Road tripping in a Ferrari 488 GTB: Worth the wait

August 12th, 2017

Although we usually pay for our own travel expenses, for this trip, Ferrari provided a night's accommodation in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

Video edited by Jennifer Hahn. (video link)

LAKEVILLE, Conn.—Anyone lucky enough to be shopping for a mid-engined supercar in 2017 has quite the array of possibilities before them. There's the Lamborghini Huracán, now also available with just rear-wheel drive. McLaren has its new 720S, the follow-up to the sublime 650S we were so smitten with.

Read 38 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in Ars Approved, Ars Technica Videos, cars, Features, Ferrari 488 GTB | Comments (0)