We're big fans of electric cars, being vehicles that run on clean energy and all, but we're also incredibly sensitive to design. When we first caught wind that BMW was getting into the electric car business, we hopped around ecstatically like little schoolgirls. But those were concept renders. BMW took the wraps off its new BMW i series vehicles and both of them look futuristically gorgeous — or at least as true to a BMW as a car from the future can look.
Until electric cars evolve beyond the need for gigantic battery packs, we're going to end up lots of batteries that have reached the end of their lifespan. This doesn't mean that all those batteries are destined for the scrap heap, though, and GM has some creative ideas on how to reuse them.
Electricity is nothing like gas. You can't just pump a tank full of it into your electric car, which means that we're reduced to lengthy charge times or inefficient compromises like battery swap stations. MIT researchers may have come close to solving this problem with a battery goo that you can pump just like gas.
The Hummer, once a proud symbol of extreme suburban excess, was well known for two things: being obnoxiously large, and having gas mileage inversely proportional to its size. The latest officially licensed Hummers are small electric "resort vehicles," stripping away everything anyone could want from a Hummer, except obnoxiousness.
It's a car! It's a motorocycle! It's- Well, okay, it's technically a motorcycle, but the three-wheeled R3 includes enough amenities (like actual seats and an integrated Galaxy Tab) that you might be able to convince yourself to commute in one.
Seeing as we don't yet have ultracapacitors in our electric cars that can recharge themselves in seconds or minutes that would make refueling comparable to gasoline, the only reliable way to get a hot n' fresh stack of batts looks to be these robotic battery swapping stations.
With its massive centralized government, the European Union often thinks really big, and few proposals are quite a big as a just released plan that would ban all fossil fuel powered vehicles in cities by 2050.
Most of you probably thought you were safe from Washington State's proposed mileage tax targeting hybrid and electric cars that pay less in gas taxes, but the federal government is now considering the same thing, complete with wireless mileage monitoring devices for every car in the country.
Next time you find yourself stranded out in the middle of suburbia with a low battery in your electric car, you can just whip out the PlugShare app and find a total stranger to hit up for a charge.
We all think that electric cars are great because they don't run on gas. Unfortunately, not needing gas means that those cars never end up paying any gas taxes, and Washington State wants to implement a fee to make up the difference.