Mini Electric Hummer Is Maxi Unnecessary.

Mini Electric Hummer by Prindiville.Who would purchase an electric powered, $40,000 mini-Hummer? I think I know – a person with $40k burning a hole in their pocket who wants their full-sized Hummer to have a soon-to-be neglected sibling. I guess it could also become a beast golf cart. [Wired]


Fisker Karma Electric Vehicle On Fire.

This shouldn’t happen and unfortunately, it’ll probably play right into the hands of people opposed to Fisker, their Karma and all EVs. From Fisker:

“We have more than 1,000 Karmas on the road with a cumulative 2 million miles on them. There are more than 185,000 highway vehicle fires in the US every year. In an electric vehicle, immediate suspicion is focused on the battery and high voltage components. The location of the damage to the vehicle in this incident appears to rule out that suspicion. Fisker has not had any battery or high voltage fire incidents with any of its vehicles.”

This is the second Fisker Karma to catch fire and hopefully we won’t hear too many more of these stories. No person was hurt in either fire but the brand is getting fiskered and the vehicle is hearing its share of bad karma jokes (sorry!). [Wired]


Toyota Camatte EV Concept Car Is A Teaching Tool For Kids. Doesn’t Look Like Pokemon Character.

Toyota Camatte Daichi EVWe might’ve been onto something when we wrote about how electric vehicles in the Michelin Challenge Design looked like cartoon characters, specifically Pokemon, in an effort to attract future EV customers. Toyota is going a different route with their non-Pokemon-looking 3-seater Camatte Sora & Daichi EV concept cars that are designed for families and adjusts so that even the kids can drive it. For most DRIVERS, the main reservation against EV’s is that they have a limited range. However, our non-driving kids don’t know any differently and the opportunity to adjust, drive and recharge a Camatte EV could become part of their future driving expectation.

Toyota Camatte Sora EV

No word on the estimated release date or price of the Toyota Camatte EV’s but I’m now inspired to rent a golf cart in an effort to educate my kids on effective electric vehicle management. I’ll even sneak in 36 holes of golf in order to stretch and hopefully drain the batteries.

The Toyota Camatte EV’s will be on display at the 2012 International Tokyo Toy Show. At the show, the Camatte may come face to face with cartoon characters that inspire future electric vehicles. [Crave]


Wired’s Review Of The ZERO DS Electric Motorcycle: Looking Beyond The ‘Green’ And At The Functionality

ZERO DS Electric MotorcycleWes Siler’s review of the ZERO DS Electric Motorcycle was refreshing to read. So often, ‘green’ websites are sold on any electric vehicle (EV) on sight and then blown away by the manufacturer’s reported specs. But Mr. Siler went further and rode the ZERO DS for three weeks hoping that it could be his zero-emission commuting solution and it wasn’t. Here are his inconvenient truths about the ZERO DS Electric Motorcycle:

  • Truth #1: [Despite its spec’d 115 mile range]Sixty miles is about as much as you’ll want to rely on.
  • Truth #2: Even with a quick charger, full recharges take five hours.
  • Truth #3: Easily accessible outdoor outlets are much harder to find than you think.
  • Truth #4: Plugging in for 45 minutes here or an hour there at some random outlet (the quick charger is too big to conveniently take with you) does absolutely nothing.
  • Truth #4: Distances aren’t one way when you can only really charge at home. A 10-mile journey has to be thought of as 20 miles, or one-third the 9kWh Zero’s effective range. That’s right, something that’s 10 miles away is one-third of your maximum reliable travel distance. You can travel there three times a day max and, once you’re there, your next move has to be limited accordingly.

Check out the full article and review for more information.

Of course I’m no different – I want to see an electric vehicle succeed. But in the future, thanks to Mr. Siler’s review of the ZERO DS, I’ll be a little more reluctant to buy into the hype. [Wired: Autopia]


2XL Games’ XLR8 App For iOS And Android Will Make Your EV Sound Like It Has A Pair (Inside Car Only)

Now, if you could only blast outside your Nissan Leaf what you’re hearing inside with 2XL Games’ XLR8 app…

The XLR8 app uses the accelerometer in your iPhone or Android device to track your speed, braking and cornering. It then converts your driving data and lets you hear through your car’s audio system* the sounds of driving a V-8 muscle car that shotgun’s fuel versus sipping or not consuming it at all. It’s the spanx / toupee for your EV or hybrid.

For an additional fee, you can unlock the engine sound produced by Ferrari, Lamborghini, NASCAR vehicle and Ford GT40. Giddy up! [Wired]

* XLR8 App is compatible with Bluetooth or wired connections


The Emission Footprint of Electric Vehicles Depends On How You Get Your Power

State of Charge: Electric Vehicles’ Global Warming Emissions and Fuel-Cost Savings Across the United States

Click on the image for larger view.

We’ve been hearing about this for a while but the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCC) have put it to paper (kind of) with their “State of Charge: Electric Vehicles’ Global Warming Emissions and Fuel-Cost Savings Across the United States.” Their research suggests that depending on how electricity is generated (coal, hydro, solar etc.) where you live in the United States, electric vehicles (EV) are responsible for producing more or less emissions relative to gas powered vehicles. In parts of the country that derive most of their electricity from non-renewable resources (ie coal, natural gas), the areas in dark blue on the map above, EVs have an equivalent fuel economy above 30 mpgs when compared to a gas powered auto. In areas in light blue, EV’s have a fuel efficiency equivalent greater than 50 mpgs.

Here are the main points from the UCC report:

  1. Nearly half of Americans (45%) live in the “best” regions where EVs produce lower global warming emissions than even the most fuel-efficient gasoline hybrids on the market today (greater than 50 mpg).
  2. Another third (37%) live in “better” areas where EVs produce emissions comparable to the best gasoline hybrid vehicles (41 – 50 mpg).
  3. A minority (18%) reside in “good” regions where emissions from EVs are comparable to the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid gasoline vehicles (31 – 40 mpg).

The UCC study has been well received and initial cost aside, going with an Electric Vehicle sounds like a good, cost-saving decision just about any place you live. [UCC]

Related information: Lifetime gasoline and fuel cost comparison for EV, Hybrids and Gas-Powered Vehicles