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Commented On: BMW, Toyota Confirm Hydrogen Fuel Cell, Technology Deals


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FCV's are still being pursued, because BEV's (other than the $90K Tesla Model S) do not have sufficient range and rapid refill capability to meet the utility threshold that many consumers perceive that they need. The first FCV's will definitely be cheaper, yet have the same range and rapid refill capability, compared to the $90K Tesla Model S.

Commented On: Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Cars? Daimler Delays, Seeks Nissan, Ford As Partners


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It is good to hear that Ford is tying up with Daimler to launch a fuel cell vehicle. I recognized that they had no serious internal development to offer, so at least they are tying up with someone who does. Of course all new components need high volumes to reduces costs, which is why the Chevy Volt was designed as it was, with electric drive components designed to travel at full speed on electric power alone, so that those same components could be dropped into a pure BEV with a larger battery, or into a FCV, and enjoy the lower costs of those common components due to the high volumes of Chevy Volts sold.

Commented On: Right Electric Range For A Plug-In Hybrid: Is Lower Better?


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The "right" amount of AER is a function of cost & utility. Unless a massive breakthrough in battery technology occurs, cost will be a somewhat continuous function input, gradually dropping by 10% - 15% year. Utility is more a discrete, step-function input - either AER covers your typical daily needs, or it doesn't. Given sharp differences in regional climates, urban planning (city/suburb), and individual lifestyles, utility will NOT be smoother curve. I believe the combination of cost and utility will lead to a threshold function, in which a critical minimum AER and maximum price point will be found that causes a significant jump in consumer adoption. The steep discounts of the Volt in October 2012 may have been our first indication.

Commented On: VW, Audi, Porsche Lay Out Plug-In Hybrid Plans: Paris Auto Show


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GM's series hybrid design was / is intended to be a stepping stone to BEV's and FCV's. GM could certainly add a plug to their 2 mode hybrid, but they won't burn cash to tool up for a dead-end tech (even if it would be viable for a decade or two). The series hybrid tech allows GM to tool up for the motors, controllers, charge buffers, alternator-generators, etc. required to propel an electric propulsion vehicle at all speeds, regardless of whether the electricity comes from an ICE, battery or fuel cell.

Commented On: Chrysler: Yes, We'll Build A Few Electric And Hybrid Cars (We Have To)


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Chrysler is smart to pursue complimentary technologies, such as natural gas and hydraulic hybrids on large vehicles - a space that the other major automakers have so far avoided applying any radical technologies (a hit 'em where they aint, strategy). Also, I have no problem with an automaker admitting to offering a mere compliance car, while they work on other approaches.

@John Briggs, if Chrystler's forays into natural gas and hydraulic hybrids (which I think are fantastically viable approaches to large vehicles, like trucks, SUV's, vans and larger vehicles) does not take them as far as regulations demand, they ARE at risk of falling behind in necessary electric hybrid, plug-in hybrid, BEV and fuel cell vehicle technologies.

Commented On: 2013 Honda Accord: First Images Of All-New Midsize Cars With Plug-In Hybrid Model


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I truly grieve for Honda. In highschool, I totally wanted a Midnight Blue Honda Accord - it was such a gorgeous design in those times. Now, they are clearly following their customer base to their graves, as Oldsmobile and Mercury did.

Commented On: 2012 Tesla Model S Electric-Car Deliveries To Start Today


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The introduction of the Fisker Karma shouldn't have been more risky. The conversion of the Lotus Elise using AC Propulsion and Tesla Motors' technologes is little different from combining the chassis expertise of Fisker Coachbuild (http://www.fiskercb.com/), the low production propulsion technologies Quantum Technologies (http://www.qtww.com/) and the battery technology of A123 (http://www.a123systems.com/). If it weren't for the battery pack problems from A123, people would only complain about fit / finish and infotainments system issues. I would put the relative difficulties on par, especially since Tesla Motors and Lotus Engineering had to redesign the Lotus Elise aluminum frame and replaced 90% off the parts.

Commented On: Weekend Test-Drive: Can Tiny Renault Twizy Be A Real Car?


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Don, I suspect that Renault doesn't offer full doors, because then they would have to offer climate control (defog / defrost at a minimum for safety). Even those old triangular partial windows they had on the old cars (which complemented the rectangular windows) might even lead to a windshield fogging problem.

The Renault Twizy, Opel RAK-e, Audi Urban Concept, VW Nils Concept, etc. would be perfect for me, because I don't need to take the highway, and my commute is only 5 miles. I already own a helmet and waterproof gear for my 50cc scooter, so I am ready to trade up.

Commented On: Volt Owners: Here’s Why Your Delayed Charging Failed


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George, great job tracking this one down and sharing the result with other Volt owners.

Commented On: Renault Twizy: Meet The Zagato Volpe, The New Tiny


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I believe these vehicles are just want less affluent buyers are seeking. Twizy, RAKe, etc. are all trying to bridge the gap between the minimum requirements for commuting and the costs of battery electric vehicles. I think it's smart of auto designers to design with range extenders until battery prices drop and battery power / energy density goes up.
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