Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Here Come the PHEVs

Audi Metroproject Quattro
This has been a big week of announcements from car manufacturers. One is from the new auto start up Fisker.

Fisker's high end-plug in
CNET News Blog
Posted by Michael Kanellos

Fisker Automotive. Think of it as a marriage between the Chevy Volt and the Tesla Roadster.

The company is planning to come to market in about 18 months with a high-performance, high-end, plug-in hybrid sedan. The car will cost $80,000. It will go about 50 miles on a battery charge, which isn't far, but the car will also come with a built-in gas engine that exists primarily to charge the battery. With the charging capability, the car can go hundreds of miles, according to Henrik Fisker, the company's CEO.

With a range of hundreds of miles, the car will go farther than other electric cars coming to market. The new electric cars go only about 225 miles on a single charge at best. Granted, Fisker's car uses a little gas--something electric cars don't--but it won't burn much. (clip)

Fisker also hopes to come out with SUVs and other types of cars. The drive train comes from Quantum Technologies, by the way. Quantum works with a number of companies and government agencies on alternative fuel vehicles. Initial production will be about 15,000 vehicles a year.

The company will show off a prototype at the Detroit Auto Show, according to the company's somewhat cryptic Web site. "


And then there is a Chinese entry called the F6DM, thanks to got2begreen:

Plug-in Hybrid to Recharge in 10 Minutes

"BYD Automobile Company, a fairly new Chinesecar manufacturer owned by one of the world’s largest makers of cell phone batteries, plans to begin producing and selling plug-in hybrid electric cars in 2008 that can recharge in 10 minutes with iron-based batteries.

China will be first to receive the F6DM. Unfortunately, there are no immediate plans to release the plug-in hybrids in North America.The car will be priced at about 150,000 yuan ($19,966)."

And thanks to EV World, here is a new small sports car from Audi

The Tokyo Show isn't all about Japanese cars. As proof, Audi is poised to release the Metroproject Quattro concept, a plug-in gasoline-electric hybrid four-seater designed to make life difficult for the Mini Cooper.

The Audi features a 1.4-liter turbocharged direct-injection four-cylinder engine producing 148 horsepower and returning about 48 mpg. The kicker is a 30kW electric motor positioned between the rear wheels (which, in a truly inspired touch, is visible through a window in the rear load floor) that provides extra oomph (and all-wheel drive) under full throttle, or drives the car exclusively at lower speeds.

The car's lithium-ion batteries, which can be charged from a standard household outlet, will keep the Metroproject moving for about 60 miles.

The Metroproject also features another interesting concept — a suspiciously iPhone-like handheld unit called the Audi Mobile Device that plugs into a slot on the center console. It's a phone, an entertainment center, a remote vehicle-systems manager, a navigation-system interface, and a LoJack, all in one.

Meanwhile, also thanks to EV World, Misubishi showed off innovative electric sports car , the i-MIEV Sport. This cute and sporty beetle-esque electric car comes with optional photovoltaics for solar power, and will be powered by a pack of Li-ions that will allow drivers to go about 100 miles before needing to recharge.

While concept electric vehicles are released every year that never make it into production, this snappy little vehicle gives us hope for the future, because it will go into production in 2009.

And if that's enough, Shai Agassi has announced his intention to invest 200 million dollars to create an electrical infrastructure for all electric cars. His Project Better Place will install and operate an Electric Recharge Grid consisting of charging spots and battery exchange stations.

Momentum continues. Here at Plug in Partners we've added Oceanlink Energy Solutions, Energyrush TV ,and Green Gears for a total of 625 partners.

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