Thursday, March 5, 2009

Think Big, Dream Big –an Electric Car


 image  Well, We see a lot of fuzz about clean & green energy .have You ever considered what are the advancements that are going on in Automobile Industry for such Energy.If yes/No,lets see some concepts here..

Do anyone know Musk,

Musk is a 37-year-old technology entrepreneur who became extremely wealthy when eBay bought PayPal, which he had co-founded. A lanky South African, he is using that wealth to finance two quixotic efforts. The first is SpaceX, a company he hopes will one day make it possible to colonize Mars. (I kid you not,Let us wish for this success also.)

The second is Tesla Motors, which was started in 2003 — Musk became its chief backer and board chairman in early 2004. After raising $150 million and going through four years of technological and internal struggles, the company has begun manufacturing the first-ever all-electric sports car, the Tesla Roadster. Its base price is $109,000. And if Musk is willing to concede that the Roadster, by itself, isn't a world-changer, he fervently believes that the technology Tesla has created — technology that gives the car a range of 227 miles per battery charge, and enough acceleration to go from zero to 60 in under 4 seconds — will indeed change the world. The age of the electric car, he is convinced, has dawned.

The Tesla Roadster is a gorgeous sports car. That's not a surprise: one of Tesla's goals was to prove that an electric car didn't have to look stodgy — or resemble something out of "The Jetsons." Tesla's other goal, though, was to show that an electric vehicle could provide a driving experience that was a good or better than any finely tuned sports car.

They appear to have succeeded at that as well. "My experience was highly positive," said Don Sherman, the technical editor at Automobile magazine who test-drove it last December. "It was a very exciting, very interesting piece of work that I found quite appealing." Though I'm no auto expert, I'd have to agree. I took the wheel for an hour last week and came away exhilarated by how quickly it accelerated, and how beautifully it handled. For the first time in my life, I had car lust.

So far the company has delivered four cars, with 27 more in production. It has 1,080 customers waiting patiently for a Roadster, which is a year behind schedule. (Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, both Tesla investors, are scheduled to get cars seven and eight.) Tesla expects to be delivering four cars a week soon, a number it eventually hopes to double.

But for all its sex appeal, the Roadster only hints at Tesla's real ambition. By the end of 2010, Musk and his executive team expect to be manufacturing a five-seat, all-electric $60,000 sedan. This, however, will be a much more expensive and difficult task — and many auto experts doubt that Tesla can pull it off. Which raises the question of whether the era of the electric car is really about to begin, as Musk believes — or whether the Tesla Roadster is little more than an expensive toy for rich people.

In the documentary "Who Killed the Electric Car?" — about the EV1, an all-electric car General Motors began making in 1996 and killed once and for all in 2003 — the filmmakers posit the theory that the vehicle was done in by a grand conspiracy involving the oil industry, the Bush administration and the car industry. But that's not what happened. Gas was cheap when the EV1 was on the market; auto buyers preferred S.U.V.'s. And the technology didn't exist to allow the EV1 to become a viable mass-market automobile. Among its flaws, the EV1 used a nickel metal hydride battery that couldn't get more than 75 miles before needing a charge.

"My daily commute was 37 miles one way," wrote a man named Michael Posner on a Web site called The Truth About Cars, who drove an EV1 for several weeks back in 1997. "Every trip was loaded with drama," he added. "If I went to lunch, I gave up a few precious miles. That could mean disaster." At General Motors, they took to calling this problem "range anxiety." Is it any wonder the car didn't catch on?

Jump ahead a decade. Oil is so expensive that everybody is thinking about alternatives to $4.50-a-gallon gasoline. At the same time, the technology that makes electric cars possible has greatly improved. The development of lithium ion batteries, in particular, was such a great leap forward that it has made it possible, with enough additional innovation by electric car companies, to produce vehicles that get more than 200 miles. Suddenly, an electric car seems viable.


Other automakers -- including Chrysler, Mitsubishi and Ford -- also touted their plans for cars equipped with electric motors as the industry both seeks to overcome the current crisis that has decimated sales and meet increasingly tough environmental and carbon emission standards.
Only European giant VW bucked the trend, saying its answer to the electric car would come out "in the coming decade."
European drivers could be silently cruising around in the Ampera by the end of 2011 -- the first 60 kilometers on pure electricity augmented by another 500 kilometers of extended range from a gasoline engine, which would generate less than 40 grams of C02 emissions per kilometer.

    The Ampera presented in Geneva was a white four-door sedan with a hatchback -- and a set of front headlights that created a menacing, masculine impression. An Opel official demonstrated how the car could easily be plugged into any household electrical supply. "This is the kind of game-changing technology that the auto industry needs to respond to energy and environmental challenges," President of GM Europe Carl Peter Forster said. Mitsubishi Motors Corp. said it has reached an understanding with Peugeot Citroen PSA to sell its new electric car "i MiEV" to European customers as early as late next year.

Mitsubishi's president Osamu Masuko said the collaboration could help pave the road to "tomorrow's sunny days" for the automotive industry, which is struggling amid the global economic downturn and a decline in global sales. Peugeot will sell the car under its own brand in Europe, while Mitsubishi will launch the car in Japan this year. The four-door electric-only hatchback produces no carbon dioxide emissions and has a top speed of 130 kilometers per hour (80 mph). It has a range of 145 kilometers once its 330-volt lithium ion battery is charged for 14 hours.

By contrast, Ford and Chrysler showed only concept cars that illustrate the company's thinking about electric cars.
Ford's presented at its stand a five-seater passenger vehicle called the Tourneo developed for European markets by Smith Electric Vehicles, part of the Tanfield Group, which developed the Ford Connect van in the United States.
"The plan is to go into production as soon as we feel the market is ready for production," Tanfield CEO Darren Kell said.
Chrysler showed its Dodge Circuit EV sports car, which was unveiled in Detroit.

    VW is moving more slowly. Chairman Martin Winterkorn said the German automaker would launch its first electric vehicle "in the next decade" ."Announcements alone have never brought new technology onto the road," Winterkorn told a presentation at the Geneva Auto Show. "It's a long path to safe electric cars that are available for everyone. We are not talking about being the one with the fastest solution. We want the best solution". "We expect to increase market share. Not volumes," Winterkorn said. Translation: VW cars will outsell their competitors, even as new car sales shrink.