In December last year, Josh Hill, riding the electric Alta Motors’ Redshift, beat Ricky Carmichael, aka “The GOAT”, who was riding his Suzuki RM-Z450 (combustion) motorcycle, during the final night of the Geneva Supercross 2017. That victory gave Alta Motors the confidence to sign up two riders on almost-stock Redshift MXR electric motorcycles for what is arguably the hardest enduro race on earth, the Erzberg Rodeo in the small town of Eisenerz, Austria.
This morning Uber Technologies Inc. announced that they have agreed to purchase 24,000 Volvo XC90 plug-in hybrids from the Swedish company to for a fleet of driverless cars. Let that sink in for a moment, 24 thousand self-driving sports utility vehicles. That is 10,000 more than the number of yellow cabs in New York City.
Over the weekend rumors started floating around on social media about a possible stop-sale and recall on all the BMW i3’s sold in the United States of America. This morning BMW came out with an official statement, confirming that, during recent testing by the National Highway Safety Administration, it was discovered that the BMW i3 (BEV and REx) marginally exceeded one particularly edge case of the many Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard criteria with respect to frontal impact performance.
Today, we are reviewing a different kind of bike, the Pedego Ridge Rider, a hardtail mountain bike with RockShox Recon adjustable front suspension. Pedego likes to view itself as the Tesla of e-bikes, according to the CEO, Don DiCostanzo. Apparently, Elon Musk has a few in his garage. Unlike some other e-bike manufacturers, Pedego only makes electric bicycles. For them it is not some afterthought, it is their only thought. We had the Ridge Rider for a couple of weeks towards the end of the summer and after a few long rides, we can say that we thoroughly enjoyed it.
KTM is going green! The motorcycle maker recently revealed the new 2018 KTM Freeride E-XC in the Red Bull Hangar-7 in Salzburg, Austria. New for 2018 are; a 50% capacity increase from KTM’s PowerPack, resulting in 1,5 hours worth of riding time, re-gen on coasting and braking, quick charging up to 80% in 50 minutes (100% in 80 minutes) and new front and rear suspension components.
A few weeks ago, I was able to get my hands on the 2017 Raleigh Redux IE Diamond Frame and it has become one of my favorite commuter-style e-bikes ever. The Redux IE is fast, very maneuverable, light (for an e-bike anyway), quiet, it strikes the right balance when it comes to value for money (regularly $3199, on sale now for $2699) and maybe most importantly, this bike is so fun I can’t wait to ride.
The Russian company Kalashnikov, better known from products like the AK-47, unveiled an electric motorbike at the Army 2017 International Military-Technical Forum in Moscow, Russia. Kalashnikov introduced two versions, one for military purposes and one for the police force. If these bikes are anything like their infamous assault rifle, then they will prove to be virtually indestructible and hugely popular among certain demographics.
It’s admittedly a stretch considering the nature of the different products, but most electric bikes, such as the Zero DS, offer high-tech features like the digital dashboard and smartphone app. Kalashnikov does not get into such tech wizardry. Instead, they opt for good old-fashioned flip switches, indicator lights, and a chronological speedometer. Nothing wrong with that.
Earlier this summer, we had the opportunity to test a 2015 Zero DS (Dual-Sport) Motorcycle for a few days. What a blast we had! If you are used to riding traditional ICE motorcycles than, yes, you will miss the exhaust note, the vibrations and shifting through the gears. With the Zero, you get none of that, but as it turns out, that doesn’t detract from the riding experience at all. Actually, the fact that it is a near silent bike adds to the experience. We took the Zero DS to Bear Mountain in New York for some spirited riding and we had a great time.
At the upcoming 45th Tokyo Motorshow (October 27 to November 5), Honda will introduce their new ‘Riding Assist-e’ self-balancing motorcycle. As the name suggests this motorbike is aimed at motorcyclists who are just starting out and are still getting used to riding on two wheels. To make it easier for the rider, Honda lowered the seat, the center-of-gravity and added self-balancing technology without the use of a gyroscope. Take a look at the video below to see what a difference that makes.
Bosch eBike Systems acquired COBI, a connected biking startup that enables cyclists to use their smartphones as an eBike control and display unit. The exact amount and terms have not yet been disclosed publicly.
COBI already offers many more services than the Bosch’s current eBike system which focuses mostly on drivetrain functionality. With COBI you can use services such as GPS navigation, music, phone, and fitness but also services such as Strava, Spotify, Apple Health and third-party Bluetooth fitness sensors, whereas with Bosch your display is really only a control panel for your bike. Cobi integrates both worlds and connects the rider….
Volvo recently announced receiving their largest order for electric busses ever, 25 fully electric 7900 buses, ordered by Tide Buss to be used in the Norwegian city of Trondheim. AtB, the public transportation administration company in Trondheim, was one of the first in Europe to order hybrid buses from Volvo back in 2010. Now, with the new purchase, Tide Buss will have a total of 35 electric buses – making it the largest fleet of electric buses in Norway.
Starting in 2019, Volvo’s buses will be used on four different routes in Trondheim, ranging from 7.5 to 9.5 miles each.
Like you, we have been waiting for months (some may say years!), to get a good view of the new Nissan Leaf 2018. Months ago we had some spy shots we could share with you. Later Nissan itself teased us with a few pictures but still no good look at this brand new electric vehicle until the launch event last week. Last night, when Seth and I went to the National Drive Electric event in Bridgewater, NJ, where a not-yet-road-legal 2018 Nissan Leaf was shown. We had the chance to take a good look at it, sit in it, fold the seats, pop the hood, turn on the lights, etc. but unfortunately we did not have the opportunity to actually drive the car.
We hope to do that soon. But until then check out the gallery below:
“Goodbye car,” is what it says on the Trek website and that was our initial question: Can this bike replace a car for a meaningful percentage of commuters?
Clearly, Trek is positioning the Trek Super Commuter +8S bicycle as a viable alternative to a car for your daily commute. As far as the price of this bike goes that comparison is a fair one. For the $4,999.99 that you have to shell out for this bike, you could buy a used car! But let’s not talk money yet, could this bike replace a (preferably electric) car for your daily commute? Is the bike good enough and practical enough to replace the car for your drive to and from the office? I rode the Trek Super Commuter +8S from Croton-on-Hudson, NY to New York City to find out. Along the 40+ miles I rode on this bike, I encountered backroads, muddy single tracks, gravel roads, bike paths and the busy city streets of Manhattan. Granted, I don’t expect people to use this bike for a daily 40 miles commute each way, but the point was to put the Trek through its paces and see how it would stack up. How good of an electric bike is it really?
A few weeks ago I wrote about the sales of EV’s in Europe, and one thing stood out like a sore thumb; the success of the Renault Zoe. Now in its second generation, the Zoe is the number one selling EV in Europe with a 14.7% market share. However, when you look at the sales in Renault’s home country, France, the Zoe is simply killing the competition with a 70.1% market share. The little Renault has enjoyed an oversized market share of at least 50% ever since she was first launched in 2013. What makes the Zoe so special and what else can explain its mega success. By coincidence, I happened to be in France last month, so I stopped by a local Renault dealer to get some background on these sales numbers and to have a quick test drive in this number one selling EV.
According to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, alternative fuel vehicles (AFV’s) in the Europe Union are off to a very strong start in the first quarter of this year, increasing their numbers sold by 37.6% to 212,945 vehicles.
Hybrid vehicles (HEV) showed the biggest growth with 61.2% versus the same period last year, now counting 111,006 units. Electrically chargeable vehicles (ECV = BEV and plug-in hybrids) grew with 29.9% from 36,322 units sold in Q1, 2016 to 47,196 units in Q1, 2017. This includes 49% growth for “battery-only” (BEV’s) to 24,592 units sold and 13% growth for the plug-in hybrids (21,644 units). The U.S. market showed a similar growth of 49% for electric car sales to 40,700 units sold in the first quarter according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The American car market is about 16% larger.
The market share of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids keeps increasing steadily in California during the first quarter of 2017 according to the California Auto Outlook quarterly report. On the other hand, the market share of hybrids, excluding plug-ins, has been declining since 2013 and continues to do so in the current calendar year.
Nationwide new car registrations decreased by 1.4 percent. However, dealers in The Golden State saw a 0.7 percent increase in registrations and the state is now on track to top 2 million new car registrations again for this year. The Californian market hit a low of 1.04 million new light vehicle registrations in 2009 and topped the 2 million mark in 2015 after years of strong recovery since the financial crisis.
The opinions of people on the BMW i3 seem to be very divided. They either love the car or simply hate it. It is either good or bad. Black or white. Is that accurate though? Can it be placed in a box like that or is there more to this little EV?
I think there is a lot more to this car than meets the eye. The i3 seems to be the only car over a long period of time where BMW actually took a risk and thought outside of the box. BMW went all out and built a car that was entirely new from the ground up. And when I say new, I don’t mean new, like the new 5 series is new. No, I mean new as in using a new approach with new materials, based on a new design and with a new way of propulsion, i.e. electric.
BMW thought way outside of the box and built a very efficient and lightweight electric vehicle. I lease an electric-only i3 from 2015, and over the last so many months I have put more than 10,000 miles on it, driving it all over the NY metro area. I drove it during warm summer days, during torrential downpours and during the Stella snowstorm. By now, I think, I have enough miles under my belt to know (and share) what it is like to daily-drive the BMW i3. The last twelve months have changed the way I see this car and it is anything but simply black or white. Some features, I love and some others I don’t. Read on and find out what it’s like to drive in, and live with, the BMW i3.
“Charging is optional, thrilling is not.” it says on the BMW iPerformance website. A bold statement but one that is unfortunately true. The regenerative brakes charge the battery, so you don’t necessarily have to charge it, and the 330e is indeed a thrilling ride. However there are so many questions: Is the 330e still the Ultimate Driving Machine? Did BMW successfully bridge the gap between a sports sedan with an internal combustion engine and an electric vehicle? Can it drive like an EV in urban environments and still provide a thrilling drive on backroads while being somewhat frugal on gas? Is the BMW 330e the ultimate hybrid or an overpriced Prius on steroids?
Keep reading and find out our conclusion after putting this car through its paces.
Plans for an all-electric MotoGP support class have been confirmed by Dorna Sports, the parent company of MotoGP and World SuperBike. Dorna’s CEO, Camelo Ezpeleta said electric motorcycle racing could start as early as 2019.
The FIA Formula E championship for racecars has been growing rapidly and has been quite the success story since it was started three years ago. For bikes, on the other hand, it has been relatively quiet with the exception of the Isle of Man TT, which has included electric racing (TT Zero) since 2010.
Elon Musk discusses future plans for Tesla and his other endeavors with curator Chris Anderson at a TED Conference in Vancouver, Canada, April 28, 2017. The transcript below is an attempt to capture the conversation as accurately as possible.
Chris: Elon. Hey, welcome back to TED. It’s great to have you here.
Elon: Thanks for having me.
Chris: So, in the next half hour or so we’re going to spend some time exploring your vision for what an exciting future might look like, which I guess makes my first question a little ironic. Why are you boring?
Oil companies begin to capitulate: Total admits EVs will be 30% of new vehicle sales by end of next decade
For an oil company to forecast strong growth of EV’s, and to take steps to prepare for this future, is quite something, but that is exactly what Total has done. First with their purchase of a controlling stake [paywall] in the solar company SunPower Corp. in 2011. Secondly with their acquisition of battery maker Saft early in 2016. And then, later in the same year, Total announced to invest $300 million to install solar panels at 5,000 gas stations around the world. So, I think it is fair to say that Total is (reluctantly?) getting ready for a world in which oil will be less important for transportation purposes.
Audi has had a very remarkable and successful history in rally racing. In the early eighties, long before Red Bull came around, Audi first introduced their 4WD Quattro system and shattered the competition. Then after a number of successful years, Audi launched one of the most powerful and infamous Group B rally cars, the Audi Sport Quattro S1 . Its combination of a 4WD Quattro system, a turbocharged engine, and a carbon-kevlar body shell meant that these cars literally flew around the rally stages in the most spectacular and dangerous ways. No wings required.
Now Audi will have a go at it again but this time with electric powered rally cars. Attracted by the abundant and instant torque of electric engines, Audi motorsport boss Wolfgang Durheimer has indicated that the prospect of electrified rallycross is a very intriguing one.
As part of the BMW of North America and the US National Parks Services event we wrote about earlier, we had a chance to take a look at Thomas Edison’s garage in Llewellyn Park and his Detroit Electric Model 47 that is on display there. This is the actual car the Thomas and his wife Mina used about one hundred years ago when electric vehicles were quite popular. Around the turn of the century only 22% of vehicles on the road were gasoline powered, 40% were powered by steam and a whopping 38% (= 33,842 vehicles) of all the vehicles on the road were EV’s. Imagine 38 percent of today’s vehicles being electric vehicles and what an impact that would make on emissions and noise pollution…
This year one of the sleekest, sexiest cars at the New York International Autoshow has to be the Concept One from Rimac. It is labeled as the first fully electric hypercar and was first introduced in 2011. The final version that you see here made its debut at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. We had a chance to do quick interview with Monika Mikac, COO of Rimac Automobili, during this year’s show.