We've been watching the progress of Volkswagen's Golf Blue-e-motion electric car for a couple of years now, and are excited to report that the vehicle is finally set for release. The German automaker says we should expect to see it arrive Stateside sometime between late 2014 and early 2015. Expect features like LED headlamps, a quick charging battery that can go from empty to 80% in about 30 minutes, and a range of 118 miles on a full charge. Oh, and zero-to-60 MPH in ten seconds. What do you think? Is a Volkswagen EV for you?
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Talk about a limited run. The Bugatti Grand Sport Vitesse Jean Bugatti Edition will sport just three models. Of course, Bugatti is known for exclusivity, and this one will cost a cool $3 million. The Type 57SC sports a carbon fiber frame, 1,200 horsepower (no, not a typo,) platinum grill surround and badges, rosewood shift knob, twin five-spoke wheels, and a silhouette of the 57SC within the door inserts.
Read More | Bugatti
Maserati is set to introduce the Quattroporte Ermenegildo Zegna Edition this week in Frankfurt, Germany, and we’re already drooling. This is a limited edition concept vehicle that gives cues to what we can expect from Maserati in the future. Decked out in fine Italian leather and textiles furnished by Ermenegildo Zegna on the interior, and painted aluminum-specked platinum with flat black primer on the outside, it's one gorgeous motor vehicle. No pricing or engine details just yet.
If you're a fan of ridiculous pink cars, listen up! Toyota is taking pre-orders for the Pink Crown throughout the month of September over in Japan. What is a Pink Crown? It's a special edition of the Toyota Crown, where the outside is pink, and the interior quality design based on the keyword "pink surprise." The result is white leather seats with pink accents in a car that Toyota says has been designed for women. There are two versions--a hybrid 2WD, and a 2.5-liter 4WD:
- Athlete G (Hybrid, 2WD) ¥6,000,000
- Athlete G i-Four (2.5 liters gas vehicle, 4WD) ¥5,700,000
If you're looking for a luxury EV and want a more established name than Tesla, BMW has entered the fray with the i3. In fact, the BMW i3 is both the first EV from the company, as well as a platform to build on for the future. The i3 will be priced at $41,350 when it goes on sale in the US in Q2 2013, although, like many electric vehicles, it isn't for everyone.
While it isn't the most expensive EV on the market, it also costs well above what the typical car buyer pays for a new vehicle. Also, range anxiety will be a problem for some as well, as a fully-charged BMW i3 will only get you 80-100 miles. If that worries you, you can opt for the 650cc two-cylinder generator add-on, that makes the i3 similar to a Chevy Volt, letting you get extra range through using gasoline. At 170 horsepower coupled with 184 pound-feet of torque, you'll be able to go from zero to sixty in seven seconds.
BMW definitely knows how to make a car, and for EV enthusiasts who've grown weary of the odd space-age concepts found in some other car manufacturer lines, could be a breath of clean, fresh, environmentally-safe air.
Read More | BMW i3
Here is a detailed inside look of how the famed all-electric battery powered Tesla Model S car is made. It's an automotive robot car manufacturing plant literally straight out of the future. Check out the video!
I made an appearance on this weeks episode of GeekWire Radio here in Seattle, Washington, and the episode is now live for you to listen to or download. It kicks off with a report from Microsoft’s Build conference in San Francisco, talking about all the Windows 8.1 news. I also share my thoughts on iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks, along with stories from my participation in the Ford “Fiesta Movement” social media campaign.
We also talk about some of the top startup news of the week, including the cool Poppy device that turns an iPhone into a 3D camera, and an app called IdealSeat that crunches large amounts of data to tell baseball fans where they should sit for the best chance of catching a ball.
Read More | GeekWire Radio (MP3)
Last night Tesla CEO and founder Elon Musk teased that the company would show off its battery swap service this evening, and lived up to the promise with an impressive demonstration. Tesla owners will be able to pull into a battery swap facility with their charge is running low, and a staff member will swap out the low battery with a full one. The kicker here is that the swap is performed faster than it takes to fill an empty gas tank at the pump--less than 90 seconds. Owners don't need to leave their vehicles, and the service is priced to be competitive with gas station services. The first swap stations will cost about $500,000 to build, and will appear in some of the busier Tesla corridors, including I-5 in California.
Swapping will take 90secs. You'll never get out of your car. Return the pack on your journey back or keep it & we'll bill you the difference— Tesla Motors (@TeslaMotors) June 21, 2013
Check out the video after the break for the live demo, recorded from the crowd.
Tesla will be showing its new technology that allows Model S owners to swap battery packs in their vehicles as its design center in California on June 20th. CEO Elon Musk made the announcement on Twitter, reinforcing previous statements that Tesla would allow its customer to driver longer distances without the need to wait for the battery to charge at a Supercharger location.
We aren't sure if this applies to current Models S cards, or if this is a redesign that will be part of future models. Apparently, switching out the batteries takes just minutes--about the same amount of time that it takes an average car to be filled up with gas.
Live pack swap demo on Thurs night at 8pm California time at our design studio in Hawthorne. Seeing is believing.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 18, 2013
At the D11 conference, Tesla CEO Elon Musk just announced a major expansion to the Tesla Supercharger network. According to Musk:
"There's going to be a dramatic acceleration of the Supercharging network. By the end of next month, we'll triple the Supercharger coverage area. There's a map that'll go live tomorrow. By the end of this year, you'll be able to drive from LA to NY just using the Supercharger network. We're improving the density of Superchargers in well-traveled routes, as well as the overall coverage area."
This is huge, as there is always range anxiety for owners of vehicles that are 100% powered by electricity. Rapid expansion of Tesla's Supercharger network is essential to curbing that feeling. Tesla Model S owners using the Supercharger can go from 0% to 80% charged in 30 minutes. Of course, the Model S is a very expensive vehicle, but getting Superchargers in place for when Tesla expects to have a $30,000 range vehicle for sale (in about three years, according to Musk,) will go a long way towards buyer confidence.