Monday, May 31, 2010

Fwd: The latest on electric cars ANS

Subject: The latest on electric cars   ANS

Here are a couple of articles about what's happening in the world of electric cars. 

from Sunpluggers:

Fisker Automotive Ready to Roll Out Plug-In Karma on Cross-Continent Tour

Submitted by admin on Fri, 04/16/2010 - 23:39
The Fisker four-door Karma and the
company's convertible "Sunset" model.

Published April 16, 2010

Fisker Automotive, a California-based startup company that will manufacture plug-in hybrid electric cars, is setting up a cross-continent tour to introduce its Karma model.

The wheels of the Karma will be driven by electric motors, but the car will include a gasoline engine to charge the battery pack when its power runs low. The car is expected to have an all-electric range of about 50 miles. The total range, with the engine charging the battery pack, is expected to be about 300 miles before the car would need more gas or an electric charge.

The four-door version of the Karma, which is being marketed as a luxury car, is priced at $87,900. After a federal tax credit of $7,500 is considered, the price is $80,400. The company is accepting orders now and expects to begin making deliveries toward the end of 2010.

The car will come in a four-door version that seats four, and later as a two-door convertible. The price of the convertible has not yet been released. Deliveries of this model are not expected to begin until late 2011.

The Karma will contain a 23-kilowatt-hour battery pack and will have power output equivalent to about 400 horsepower. For comparison, the Chevrolet Volt battery pack will have a capacity of 16 kwh and the all-electric Nissan Leaf's battery capacity will be about 24 kwh.

The Karma is expected to have fast acceleration, from zero to 60 mph in 6 seconds.

In September 2009 Fisker Automotive was approved for a conditional U.S. Department of Energy loan of $528.7 million, which will go toward the development of a line of lower-priced plug-in hybrids as well as the purchase of a former General Motors assembly plant in Wilmington, Del. The company expects to create up to 5,000 direct and indirect U.S. jobs in the coming years.

fisker hq  
Fisker's headquarters in Irvine, Calif.

�This tour provides local retailers the opportunity to introduce the beautifully styled and environmentally friendly Karma to their customers and potential prospects,� said Marti Eulberg, vice president of global sales and marketing at Fisker Automotive, in a news release. �Fisker Automotive has established a network of proven retailers that will deliver the highest level of customer satisfaction.�

The tour is scheduled to kick off Tuesday, April 27, from the company�s Irvine, Calif.,  headquarters. The two-month tour is expected to stop in 42 cities in 26 states and three Canadian provinces. An intended schedule is published below. Interested consumers should check with local retailers for exact dates and times.

April 27, Irvine, Calif.: Depart Fisker Automotive

April 28, Las Vegas: Gaudin Automotive

May 1, San Antonio: Barrett Holdings

May 3, Austin, Texas: Roger Beasley Highline Group

May 4: Houston: McDavid Auto Group

May 5, Fort Worth: Frank Kent Motor Co.

May 6, Plano, Texas: McDavid Auto Group

May 7, Tulsa, Okla.: Don Thornton Cadillac

May 10, Huntsville, Ala.: Century Automotive Group

May 11, Atlanta: Classic Cadillac

May 13, Tampa Bay, Fla.: Elder Automotive Group

May 14, West Palm Beach, Fla.: Palm Beach Motor Cars

May 15, Miami: Warren Henry Automobiles

May 17, Orlando, Fla.: Fields Auto Group

May 19, Winston Salem, N.C.: Flow Companies

May 20, Greenbelt, Md.: Capitol Cadillac

May 21, Fairfax, Va.: Ted Britt Auto Group

May 22, Wilmington, Del.: Union Park Automotive

May 24, Langhorne, Penn.: H.A. Ott Motor Cars

May 25, Paramus, N.J.: Bergen Jaguar

May 26, Great Neck, N.Y.: Jaguar Great Neck

May 27, Greenwich, Conn.: Miller Motor Cars

May 28, Norwood, Mass.: Jake Kaplan�s Ltd.

June 1, North Olmsted, Ohio: M2 Motors, Inc.

June 2, Grand Blanc, Mich.: Serra Automotive

June 3, Toronto, Ontario: Dilawri Group

June 7, Glencoe, Ill.: Fields Auto Group

June 8, Schaumburg, Ill.: Patrick Dealer Group

June 9, Neenah, Wis.: Bergstrom Corp.

June 10, Minneapolis: Borton Automotive

June 12, St. Louis: Plaza Motor Group

June 15, Denver: Rickenbaugh

June 18, Calgary, Alberta: Dilawri Group

June 21, Centerville, Utah: Hadley Auto Company

June 24, Vancouver, British Columbia: Fields Auto Group

June 25, Bellevue, Wash.: O�Brien Auto Group

June 26, Portland, Ore.: Ron Tonkin Family of Dealerships

June 27, Marin, Calif.: Price Family Dealerships

June 28, Sacramento, Calif.: Price Family Dealerships

June 29, Silicon Valley, Calif.: Price Family Dealerships

June 30, Santa Monica, Calif.: Sullivan Luxury Cars

July 3, Irvine, Calif., Orange: Shelly Automotive Group

July 5, San Diego: Marvin K. Brown Auto Group
[]   ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

from Reuters:

Quirky, 3-wheeled Aptera EV edges closer to launch

Dana Ford
CARLSBAD, California
Fri Apr 16, 2010 7:56am EDT

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CARLSBAD, California (Reuters) - The space-age Aptera might look like something straight out of a futuristic cartoon, but executives at the California start-up behind the electric vehicle say its time is now.

Delivering on that promise might be tough.

The company, which delayed production plans because it could not find financing during the 2009 credit crisis, now says it will start production of the car next year.

The Aptera, which has a 100-mile range per charge and gets some 200 miles per gallon equivalent, has three wheels and looks like a sleek, aerodynamic egg. It's often compared to a vehicle from the futuristic 1960s cartoon "The Jetsons."

The vehicle's structure and feel give the immediate impression it's nothing like the hybrid sedans and electric sports cars being produced by most of the big automakers -- which are planning to roll out electric vehicles of their own in the next two years.

"We still have a little bit of work before we can say that we're fully funded and ready to start production," said Aptera's Chief Executive Paul Wilbur, who unveiled Aptera's latest design in Carlsbad, California, this week.

The company has applied for and is counting on a $184 million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy. The loan would help to fund Aptera's capital needs for five years, executives said, adding they expect to hear a decision on it soon.

Once funding is secured, Aptera would take about 11 months to start production, Wilbur said.

The company has partnered with several firms to supply parts for the Aptera, including A123 Systems and Wind River, a subsidiary of Intel Corp.

The newest version of the vehicle features roll-down windows, a redesigned suspension, and front and back bumpers. It has a body that rides low to the ground, which makes getting in and out easy, and both front and side airbags.

Aptera's makers say it would meet crash safety standards.


Electric vehicles are widely seen as a key weapon in the fight against climate change, by cutting emissions and helping reduce the need for gasoline.

But the market for them right now is extremely small. Battery electric vehicles are expensive and the charging infrastructure for the cars still needs to be built out.

Aptera would also have to go up against big automakers like Nissan, Ford and General Motors, which are planning to launch electric cars soon. Small players like Tesla Motors already sell them.

Still, Aptera executives say they have the world's most efficient vehicle and aren't worried about their competition.

Demand for electric cars is expected to grow sharply over the next two decades as fuel economy and emissions rules strengthen.

The cost of the vehicle is expected to be between $25,000 and $40,000, depending on features and whether buyers want an electric, hybrid or traditional powertrain.

The car can be recharged by plugging into a regular electric outlet, which Tom Reichenbach, Aptera's chief engineer, said should feel as comfortable and eventually as common as charging a cell phone.

"We think this is going to be America's poster child for efficient vehicles," he said.

(Reporting by Dana Ford; Editing by Poornima Gupta, Phil Berlowitz)


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