Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Electric Cars

Folks, this stuff is happening right now and the stakes are huge.
Yesterday the Online Wall Street Journal had this story:

GM Expresses Confidence In Electric Car Technology
General Motors Corp. is "100% confident" its battery technology for an electric car won't run into the heat problems that have hindered a similar effort by rival Toyota Motor Corp., a senior GM executive said.

GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz added that he isn't certain GM will have a dramatic time-to-market advantage with its electric car over Toyota, if its battery development efforts prove successful.

"If this stuff is going to work, everybody's going to have it," he said ahead of a news conference on the eve of the Frankfurt auto show....MORE

The Detroit Free Press gives us the timeline:

Volt to be tested in '08
GM plans to put Chevrolet concept car's electric drive system on the road in the spring
General Motors will begin testing the revolutionary electric drive system in the Chevrolet Volt concept car on the road in vehicles next spring, company Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said at a dinner Monday night. By this time next year, GM may allow selected people outside the company to test the system.

"You personally will be able to experience the joy of gliding down I-94 at 70 miles an hour" solely on electric power, Lutz said at a preview dinner for the Frankfurt Auto Show....

Meanwhile, CNN gives us the Mercedes approach:

Maxwell Technologies to Design and Produce Ultracapacitors for Advanced Engineering Hybrid Drive Train Program

Ultracapacitors' Rapid Charge/Discharge Capabilities Boost Acceleration and Increase Braking Energy Recuperation Efficiency, Reducing Fuel Consumption and Emissions

Maxwell Technologies, Inc. announced today that it has been awarded a contract by Mercedes Car Group to design and produce ultracapacitors for an advanced engineering hybrid-electric drive train program incorporating a braking energy recuperation system that enables it to increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.

David Schramm, Maxwell's president and chief executive officer, said that the contract provides for funding from Mercedes to develop a new BOOSTCAP(R) ultracapacitor cell specifically designed to meet the energy storage and power delivery requirements of one of Mercedes' torque assist and recuperative braking systems.