• Category Archives: Transport

    Tata Motors sets 12 month deadline for EV option

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    Even thought it is busy in meeting its deadlines to get the world’s cheapest car into production, Tata is currently working on five prototypes of electric vehicles. The vehicle is supposed to be initially assembled in Norway. India’s only other electric car maker Reva has sold 2,500 units, including 1,000 in the UK, and is hiking capacity to 30,000 units by December from 6,000. Tata will use its Indica platform for the development of its electric car instead of the $2500 Nano.

    Posted in Transport on July 29, 2008
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    Emirates stops publishing in-flight magazines to save fuel

    emirates_airlines.jpgWhen you walk into any airline cabin today you are greeted by a pleasant hostess/host showing you your seat. Once that mystery is solved the next thing on your agenda is to find something to pass your time before the in-flight movie begins. That’s when we find the airline magazine filled with boring PR and insanely expensive perfume/gift catalogue, along with the in-flight entertainment guide. These magazines are usually thick and printed in high gloss sometimes scented paper. Well, step into the new Emirates Airbus 380 and you will be surprised to not find a magazine in the front shelf of your seat. The decision to ban all onboard paper will lighten the aircraft by a tone thereby reducing fuel expenses and saving the environment. The printed matter will be replaced by content shown on the aircraft’s seat-back TVs.

    Posted in Transport on July 29, 2008
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    Daimler EV Smart coming in 2010

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    Daimler was not so forthcoming about their EV Smart till it didn’t pass around a hundred tests or so, and apparently since the car has done sufficiently well in those tests, the car will be on the roads by 2010. This tit-bit was announced by none other than the company CEO Dieter Zetsche. Hopefully this announcement has nothing to do with the fact that the Chevy Volt is scheduled to come out in 2010 as well. Little else is known, except that the company is undecided whether it wants to sell or lease the batteries. Leasing does lower the up-front cost, but continued cost of ownership may be an issue. Neither pricing nor US release has been indicated.
    Source

    Posted in Transport on July 25, 2008
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    Electric MINI Expected In US By Summer 2009

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    At a recent presentation, MINI USA VP Jim McDowell clarified that there is no concrete news on the car’s US debut, except that will be in “regular customers hands” by the summer of 2009. Although he could not specify what type of battery that will be in the cars, he did say that MINI would make a further announcement later this year, probably at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Furthermore, it has not yet been finalized whether the cars will be leased or sold, or how many will be built.

    Posted in Transport on July 23, 2008
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    The Parajet Skycar redefines flying a car

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    They say that the Parajet Skycar will be the world’s first carbon neutral flying car. But what piques my interest is that a Skycar Expedition team plans to fly/drive/whatever the vehicle from London to Timbouctou in 2009. Using a combination of flight and driving to combat the Saharan terrain will cover the 3000 miles journey. A cross between a dune buggy and a paraglide, the Parajet Skycar is a unique vehicle. A biodiesel-modified Yamaha R1 1000cc motorcycle engine powers it. The motor runs through a Continuously Variable Transmission either to power the rear wheels or to turn a large rear-facing propeller via a belt drive. In the Fly Mode, it takes off from a field or airstrip in less than 200 meters. In this mode the latest ram-air wing suspends it. Since the vehicle has no pitch control it will not stall or dive. It has a take-off speed of 60 kmph, a top speed of 110 kmph and a range of 300 km. Cruising altitude will be 2000 to 3000 ft with a maximum altitude of 15,000 ft. In the event of engine failure, the pilot simply glides to the nearest field or strip of land. The car carries a passenger and a pilot.

    Posted in Transport on July 17, 2008
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    Volkswagen developing the One-Litre car

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    This car looks straight out of the movie Gattaca or a 1960’s retro machine; in fact it could be the answer to all our gas woes. Volkswagen is the latest company to join the 2010 alternate fuel car manufacturers list, with its One-Litre car. The tank holds just 1.4 gallons of diesel (6.5 litres) with the ability to cover 400miles nonstop; it holds two people one behind the other like a cockpit of a fighter jet. SO driving from London to Edinburgh without refueling and still have 70 miles worth of fuel to spare. At the average price of diesel of $11.95 a gallon, it would cost just $16.94 to fill up the One-Litre. The vehicle is shaped like a teardrop; it has tandem seats like a jet fighter with the passenger sitting behind the driver, a gull-wing door and sheathed wheels. Even its side mirrors have been thrown out, for the sake of aerodynamics in favor of on board cameras and LCDs to look behind. The car is offered in the default black shade, has a magnesium steering wheel to further reduce weight.

    Posted in Transport on July 14, 2008
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    Zero X – The Zero emission totally green bike

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    There is no greener transport than the humble bicycle, add a motor to that and make it battery powered and you get Zero X. The American-made Zero X weighs 140 pounds, which weighs in about 100 pounds lighter than a typical 250 cc dirt bike. The Zero X is so small and light that it feels more like a big, electric mountain bike; it can hit 30 mph in just two seconds. Speed of the Zero X may not be as important to some as its silence. A casual trail ride on a pair of these bikes where riders can not only hear the sounds of the wilderness around them, but also carry on a conversation as they ride is completely unimaginable on a conventional motorbike. The bike is designed with aluminum rails that are easily removable, 40-pound, lithium-manganese spinal battery pack as the power source, which is claimed as can recharge in 2 hours for 2 hours of driving or a 40-mile range, depending on conditions. The unit is fully recyclable and can be swapped for another one in a mere 30 seconds. The 58-volt, 2.2 kwh pack is a proprietary design with 168 cylindrical cells, each with its own heat sync for cooling. The pack itself costs around $3000 and is built to last about six years, or 600 full-depth charging cycles.

    Posted in Transport on July 14, 2008
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    Online classes prosper as gas prices rise

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    The price of gas has given teenagers one more reason to ditch college. The high costs in tuition and the transit to and fro to the university from the dorm has made online courses much more appealing. Given how spoiled we have become by cheap gasoline, many of those students have never had to consider alternative ways of getting to class. What’s more, now that they are looking for alternatives, often times they are lacking entirely or highly inefficient, since mass transit, bike lanes and cities designed on a human scale don’t just sprout overnight. Colleges around the US have reported a 50% increase in online student enrollment. This however is not good news for the students who live in areas where the internet access is spotty and sometimes non-existent.

    Posted in Transport on July 12, 2008
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    Lotus announces the Eco Elise

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    Most car companies are focused merely at the providing their consumers with an alternative to fuel without changing their old hazardous habits. Lotus however has gone ahead and announced an environmentally-friendly car with its Eco Elise demo vehicle. Expected to be launching at the British Motor Show later this month has the managed to use sustainable materials such as hemp, ‘eco wool’ and sisal in creating the body panels and trim. An environmentally-friendly water-based paint covers these new-age materials. The car is also 70 lbs lighter than the standard Elise S model. Inside there is a shift light that can urge drivers to shift at engine speeds that are ideal for increasing fuel economy and thereby reducing tailpipe emissions. A more extreme effort to save gas involves two solar panels installed in the removable hardtop roof, now made from hemp, that lighten the load on the alternator.

    Posted in Transport on July 11, 2008
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    BMW to turn the Mini all electric

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    After Mercedes going green with its all electric and ditching petroleum technology its now BMW that’s keen on turning the humble Mini into an all electric car. BMW is testing electric powertrains and is using a fleet of several hundred Minis to experiment with electric drive systems and determine the alternative drive of the future.

    Posted in Transport on July 10, 2008
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