Category: Electric Vehicles
Audi today announced the battery-electric Audi A3 e-tron pilot program in the U.S. to define a progressive e- mobility driver experience for premium car buyers. Audi made the announcement of the engineering-based pilot program for the A3 e-tron today at TED2012 in Long Beach, Calif., where Audi is presenting a vision for the role transportation will play in the world’s increasingly congested urban centers of the future.
The A3 e-tron pilot program marks the first step by Audi into the expanding U.S. electric vehicle landscape, which is a central component of the discussion expected at the Audi Social Space at TED2012.
At TED2012, Audi intends to spark a progressive dialogue about the role transportation will play in the global megacities of the future. The Audi Social Space will present a variety of perspectives on this topic on touch-screen video installations allowing attendees to pose new mobility scenarios for future urban spaces and contribute in real time to Audi’s live Twitter feed through the #AudiTED hashtag.
Elements of Audi balanced mobility initiatives will provide a backdrop for the interactive Social Space and spark conversation on future urban mobility and how to achieve CO2 neutrality across the mobility chain. Initiatives include: the lightweight A2 concept EV that features technology built specifically for the megacity of the future, like traffic-friendly piloted drive technologies for stop-and-go congestion; the Audi e- gas project, which utilizes offshore wind turbines to generate clean power for the production of electricity, hydrogen and methane; and futuristic cityscapes designed by partner architects of the Audi Urban Future Initiative.
Audi A3 e-tron, a global debut
Adding a new electric dimension to driving performance, the Audi A3 e-tron pilot program will allow Audi to identify challenges and opportunities with plug-in vehicles as progressive luxury car buyers become increasingly receptive to EV technology. By studying e-tron use across multiple geographical regions, Audi will monitor the effect of climate conditions, driving patterns and energy performance and use insight gained in the final development of future EV technology applications.
The A3 e-tron pilot program will take place in the San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and Denver markets.
“As part of the long-range Audi corporate goal of moving toward CO2-neutral mobility, there will be e-tron plug-in vehicle products exhibiting all of the performance and design attributes Audi drivers have come to expect,” said Johan de Nysschen, President, Audi of America. “Audi is committed to refining Audi e-tron technology and we expect our plug-in vehicles to become a significant choice for our buyers within a growing line of advanced, efficient Audi powertrains over the coming years.”
With the A3 e-tron pilot program Audi engineers and technical experts will explore EVs in a real world setting and monitor in real-time how e- tron technology operates in everyday scenarios. The pilot will run throughout the year and provide actionable feedback and telematics data to Audi engineering teams in the U.S. and Germany. This approach follows the Audi philosophy of engineering innovation by introducing fully developed alternative technology to ensure no compromises are needed by Audi owners.
“The A3 e-tron pilot program serves as an important innovation platform for Audi to develop greater insight into electric vehicles and how American driving conditions affect use of the progressive technology in everyday life,” said Jeff Curry, e-mobility and sustainability strategy lead at Audi of America. “We will integrate the data generated from this program into the launch of a range of Audi e-tron models for American drivers.”
The e-tron name indicates that an advanced electrified power train with a plug-in capability is onboard. As a core philosophy of e-tron, Audi engineers are researching e-tron power concepts tailored to different vehicle types and driving needs including full battery-electric (BEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and extended range electric (EREV) versions. The goal is to have the right product for the market at the right time – the best solution for the individual requirements of Audi customers. Audi e-tron becomes the latest entry to Audi’s stable of ingredient technologies, including Audi ultra lightweight construction, Audi TDI® clean diesel, Audi connectTM navigation and infotainment and Audi’s signature quattro® all-wheel drive.
Based on the award-winning Audi A3, currently sold to U.S. consumers in gasoline-powered and clean diesel TDI configurations, the Audi A3 e-tron features a fully electric powertrain with a 26kw lithium-ion battery, and zero driving emissions. Providing a sporty driving dynamic, Audi A3 e-tron has 199 lb-ft torque, a battery range of approximately 90 miles and a top speed of 90 mph all while retaining the full interior space and versatility of the A3.
Audi also is working on standardizing peripheral technologies that have to be taken into consideration for wide spread EV adoption and use, including driving the establishment in 2011 of common global standards for charging. As part of the pilot program, Audi will develop its network of infrastructure partners, test advanced services and create partnerships that will be central to providing the premium Audi experience for e-tron buyers.
By Alysha Webb
Volkswagen will use the same battery module design for all its electric vehicles globally across all its brands according to Dr. Tobias Giebel, head of the Volkswagen Research Lab in Shanghai. Those battery modules and the battery cells in them are likely to be sourced from China, he said.
“You have to be focused beyond the cell level. That is the only way, said Giebel at the EV Battery Forum Asia 2011 in Shanghai. The Forum took place on November 7 – 9, 2011.
Volkswagens Giebel was optimistic about Chinese battery makers’ capacity to one day build low-cost, high-quality vehicle batteries. In an interview with PluginCars.com, Giebel said Volkswagen is working with local battery manufacturers in China to produce a product that meets Volkswagens global standards. We believe the future of battery cell sourcing is in China, he said. Today, Chinas lithium-ion battery makers are focused on consumer technology, said Giebel. Its automotive-grade batteries are not up to the high-level vehicle traction battery manufacturers in Korea or Japan, he said.
But Volkswagen is working closely with about 20 of Chinas more than 100 battery producers, and is already seeing improvement. We think in a couple of years we will have really strong suppliers in fully domestic companies, said Giebel. When they are, Volkswagen will use the same source for its Asia, Europe, and the United States operations, he said.
That could mean a significant amount of business because Volkswagen will use a standard module for all electric vehicles across all its brands. That means all hybrids, plug-in hybrid electric, battery electric, and fuel cell vehicles produced under the Volkswagen Groups 10 nameplates, which include Volkswagen, Skoda, Audi, Seat, Bentley, Porsche, Scania, Bugatti, Lamborghini, and Volkswagen commercial vehicles.
“The module shape and number of cells will be the same, said Giebel. The module is not part of any international norm. It is a company internal standard. Inside the module, Volkswagen might adapt the connection between the cells to vary the number of parallel and serial cells, said Giebel. The module is a company internal standard, he added.
Volkswagens current parallel hybrid models, including the Touareg SUV, have a different technology, but the company will use the standard module concept first on battery electric and plug-in hybrid electric models, said Giebel. The extension to parallel hybrid (HEV) will be decided later, he said.
According to independent testing by the Technischer Ueberwachungs Verein (TUV), Europe’s recognized automotive certification agency, the Fisker Karma Vehicle with extended range achieves 112 mpg (2.1 L/100km) combined fuel economy and emits just 51 g/km CO2. TUV tests also validated the Karma’s all-electric range at 51.6 miles (83 km.)
In separate testing, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has rated the Karma a 10 out of 10 for fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions, while the California Air Resource Board (CARB) recently offered its certification, making the Karma emissions compliant in all 50 states.
With 400 horsepower, the Karma is capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 6.1 seconds and is the most efficient, lowest emission automobile available despite its size, performance, and design. All this is achievable due to the Karma’s cutting-edge EVer™ (Electric Vehicle extended range) powertrain technology, which combines the zero-emissions and efficiency of electric drive with the range and freedom of petrol-powered cars.
Unlike pure electric vehicles, the Karma can travel long distances without range anxiety or long recharge times. And as a series plug-in hybrid, the Karma gives drivers the ability to run emission free on-demand. While the Karma can run on all-electric power in Stealth mode for 51.6 miles, it has a total range of up to 300 miles (483 km) before a stop for gas or recharge is required. When driven in charge-sustaining Sport mode, the Karma achieves 26 mpg (9.2 L/100 km) combined fuel economy in TUV tests, the best of any full size, US-market luxury car.
“We are naturally very pleased with the TUV results, which show we have delivered better than our anticipated fuel efficiency figures,” said CEO and co-founder Henrik Fisker. “We believe the Karma is a car well-suited to the lifestyles of many people, and these results only reinforce that position.”
|CO2||58 g/km||47 g/km||51 g/km|
|Fuel Consumption||98 mpg(2.4 L/100 km)||118 mpg(2.0 L/100 km)||112 mpg(2.1 L/100 km)|
|Electric Range||51.6 mi(83 km)|
The Fisker Karma has achieved 83 km/51.6 miles running in silence on electric-only mode during independent fuel efficiency tests carried out by Europe’s regulatory body, the Technischer Ueberwachungs Verein (TUV).
Founded in 1871, TÜV Rheinland is a global leader in independent testing, inspection, certification, and consulting services. The company inspects technical equipment, products and services; oversees projects; and helps to shape processes for U.S. companies seeking entry to worldwide markets.
The TUV have carried out the most thorough tests yet of the Karma’s real-world urban performance. This is an independent process that measures every element of the Fisker Karma luxury plug-in hybrid’s performance.
“We are delighted that the TUV has confirmed that most owners will achieve a 50 mile range running purely on electric during their daily commute,” said Fisker Automotive CEO and co-founder Henrik Fisker.
The Karma has already been awarded the highest possible score of 10 out of 10 for fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions on its label from the US Environmental Protection Agency.
Rather than build an entire new building for our new Fisker Santa Monica store, we took an existing building that was our former Lexus Santa Monica store, remodeled it to be as green as we can be, and will be selling the first truly Eco-conscious luxury car, the Fisker Karma. Let’s let Mike Sullivan tell you all about it.
LAcarGUY was well represented at the 6th Alt Car Show, which took place at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium on September 30 and October 1, with vehicles from 4 of our dealerships. Inside the display area the new FISKER KARMA was featured and ended up being the hit of the show. Toyota Santa Monica did have the Prius V available for test drives during the well-attended weekend. Also available for test drives were the new CT 200h and the HS250h from Lexus Santa Monica as well as the new redesigned 2012 Passat TDI and the VW Golf TDI from Volkswagen Santa Monica. There was never a lull for test drives throughout the entire two days. Toyota future vehicles were also on display, with the 2012 RAV EV and Prius PHV receiving plenty of attention!
It is quite fitting that HSH Prince Albert of Monaco was the one to put the Fisker Karma through its paces at the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix. His Serene Highness is known for his commitment to the environment and has always expressed a strong interest in encouraging innovative solutions for environmental protection and sustainable development around the world.
According to Henrik Fisker, it was actually the Sovereign Prince that was the inspiration behind the development of the Karma. Fisker commented: “The Fisker Karma project has a distinct Monaco link. Prince Albert was one of the people who inspired me to create the Fisker Karma. When I met him at the Top Marques Show in Monaco in 2006 he commented that he would love to see a fuel-efficient luxury car, and from that small seed grew the concept of what became Fisker Automotive and our focus on premium EVer cars that deliver pure driving passion.” We want to thank both the principality of Monaco and Prince Albert for not only being the inspiration, but also a great support for our groundbreaking automotive green initiative,” continued Fisker.
Visitors to the world’s most prestigious motorsport event were among the first to see the first Fisker Karma off the production line as it made its European driving debut on the famous street circuit. On Saturday 28 May 2011, before official race qualifying began, the first European production version of the Fisker Karma, the world’s first true Electric Vehicle with extended range, took to the streets of Monaco, completing a couple of laps.
The Fisker Karma is the first American-designed and engineered luxury vehicle specifically developed to appeal to world markets, inspired by Henrik’s paradigm of Responsible Luxury. It is the only luxury sedan in the world that meets future fuel consumption and emission requirements, making it suitable for any international city. It is the only true Electric Vehicle with extended range where its rear wheels are powered using two rear-mounted 201.5 horsepower (150 kW) electric traction motors that draw energy from the lithium-ion battery pack for up to 50 miles (80 km.) The gasoline engine drives a 175 kW electric generator to power the motors and there is no mechanical link between this engine and the drive motors.
The Fisker Karma is unique in that it can operate in two separate modes: Stealth and Sport. Stealth Mode maximizes efficiency, giving it the greatest range on battery power before having to activate the gasoline engine-driven generator to sustain the battery charge. In this mode, the Karma is capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 7.9 seconds and tops out at 95 mph. In Sport Mode, the gasoline engine drives the generator to provide enough electricity for 403 total system horsepower, which accelerates the Karma from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.9 seconds, topping out at 125 mph.
The Fisker Karma was designed to be a true driver’s car. Its proprietary aluminum space frame gives it the necessary rigidity and strength that enable world-class ride and handling characteristics. It is the first production car that has been specifically tuned to run on standard 22-inch aluminum wheels, giving it that final air of sophistication.
Fisker plans on delivering vehicles to all current deposit holders during the 2011 model year. We invite you to come in for a test drive as soon as the first vehicles hit showrooms. Follow us on Twitter and join our Facebook community to stay in the loop of the latest updates.
We are excited to announce that LAcarGUY’s Mike Sullivan will be participating in the Sustainable Business Council’s Electric Vehicle roundtable this Thursday, September 30th. The roundtable is open to the public and is only $25. Click here to rsvp.
We have posted the press release with more info about the event and other panelists below.
SBCLA MIXER AND PANEL PRESENTS ELECTRIC VEHICLE ROUNDTABLE AND DRIVE-A-THON WITH KEY INDUSTRY PLAYERS
ON THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 30th AT VALCUCINE IN BEVERLY HILLS
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — September 23, 2010 — The Sustainable Business Council of Los Angeles (SBCLA), a non-profit organization which provides a professional networking and education forum for Southern California businesses and individuals working with sustainable products, services, and processes, will host “Electric Vehicle Roundtable and Drive-a-thon.”
The panel features six key players in this fast-emerging and competitive industry who will help guide the audience through a topic that is especially integral to the fabric and future of Los Angeles. The event will take place on Thursday, September 30, 2010, from 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. at Valcucine’s showroom in Beverly Hills. The distinctive presentation reinforces SBCLA’s commitment to showcasing environmentally-conscious businesses, and spotlighting cutting-edge sustainability trends and best practices across a broad range of industry sectors.
Moderated by Plug In America’s (http://www.pluginamerica.org) VP, Paul Scott, who is also President of the Electric Vehicle Association of Southern California, “Electric Vehicle Roundtable and Drive-a-thon” presents:
* Laura Marion, CFO, Aptera (http://www.aptera.com)
* K. Forest Beanum, VP of Public Affairs & Communications, CODA Automotive (http://www.codaautomotive.com)
* Richard Steinberg, Manager, Electric Vehicle Operations and Strategy, BMW of North America, LLC (http://www.bmwusa.com/ActiveE)
* Eric Shieh, Account Executive, Coulomb Technologies (http://www.coulombtech.com)
* Mike Sullivan, Owner and President, LAcarGUY (http://www.lacarguy.com/green)
This distinguished group of professionals—representing the cycle of invention to delivery and consumer use—will address the value proposition of these businesses and California’s leading role in the sector’s growth. “We will explain why this technology will improve our environment, strengthen our economy and increase our national security,” states Paul Scott, VP, Plug In America. “With the new era of electric vehicles mere months away, this is information vital to anyone who cares about these issues,” Scott added. Specific topics may include:
* Why is the timing for electric vehicles more ideal now than when “Who Killed the Electric Car” was released in 2006? What has changed? Or has it?
* What are the sustainable aspects of the vehicle industry vs. other forms of mobility, especially in Los Angeles?
* What are the economic implications of millions of Californians switching from 60% foreign oil to 100% domestic renewable electricity?
* What do national security experts say about the need to switch from oil to electricity as the energy source for our transportation fleet?
* What plug-in vehicles are available today and what will be available in the near future?
* How many charging stations are there, and how many are really needed?
* What companies are opening electric vehicle showrooms in L.A.?
* How important is the L.A. market as a model for electric vehicle adoption?
* What are the predictions for the future of electric vehicle adoption? What will be future trends?
“On behalf of the SBCLA board, I am thrilled to welcome such a strong representation of this vibrant, rapidly-expanding industry to the Valcucine showroom,” said Laura Berland-Shane, member of the SBCLA board of directors, and business development manager of Alternative Energy at SIEMENS Industry. “We anticipate a lively discourse that will inform and hopefully inspire creative thinking and planning in light of the current electric vehicle renaissance. We are particularly excited to note that many of the companies we will hear from are California-based.”
Advance registration is required to attend SBCLA’s “Electric Vehicle Roundtable and Drive-a-thon” panel discussion and drive-a-thon. To RSVP, please visit http://www.sustainablebc.org.
General admission price of $25 includes:
* Admission to “Electric Vehicle Roundtable and Drive-a-thon” mixer and panel discussion.
* Electric Vehicle displays.
* Tour of Valcucine’s showroom featuring sustainable kitchen furnishings.
* Light refreshments
The event is sponsored by Stonefield Josephson, Inc. LAcarGUY, Valcucine, “Dom,” Luna & Larry’s Organic Coconut Bliss, Summa Marketing Communications, New Belgium Brewing, Evenson Design Group and dubroWorks Public Relations/Marketing/ Project Management.
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LAcarGUY offers automotive products and services to our greater Los Angeles area customers. The company carries a comprehensive line of vehicles by Volkswagen, Toyota, Scion, Audi, Lexus and Porsche, providing new and used cars featuring hybrids, TDI clean diesel and other industry-leading alternatives. LAcarGUY counts the nation’s top selling Toyota and Lexus Hybrid destinations as part of its family of dealerships. They also offer trusted car repair, original car parts, and financing as well two dedicated body shops.
The Supervisory Board at Porsche this week gave the green light for series development of the 918 Spyder, the 718-horsepower all-wheel-drive hybrid sports car with outstanding fuel economy and claimed 3.2-seconds 0-62 mph quickness.
Taken from drawing to 2010 Geneva Auto Show in less than five months, the 918 Spyder mixes a 500-hp, 9,200-rpm, 3.4-liter gasoline V8 with two electric motors for a combined 718 hp. Porsche has calculated that it could be quicker than the old Carrera GT around the Nordschleife.
The 918 Spyder, one of three hybrid models Porsche presented in Geneva, can go up to 25 kilometers (15 miles) on electric power. The two-seater reportedly limits gasoline consumption to three liters per 100 kilometers (78.4 miles per gallon) and emits just 70 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer.
No time line has been given for when the car will be ready for the road, but Green Car Advisor doesn’t expect the first production models before the spring of 2012. Pricing has not been announced, but Bloomberg news service has reported it could cost $630,000. Porsche said more details will be disclosed in coming weeks.
The car was just unveiled for West Coast US eyes last night at the Monterey Motorsports Reunion
Thanks Edmunds.com Green Car Advisor