Transport

Czech it Out: Classic Čezeta Reborn as an Electric Scooter!

The world of electric vehicles is getting bigger and bigger each day. As an EV enthusiast, that’s pretty exciting– only I’m not exactly an EV enthusiast. Or, maybe a better way of putting that is to say, “I’m not only an EV enthusiast.” I’m interested in almost all mechanical things, and I’m especially excited about weird mechanical things that were/are built in small volumes by clever people with an absolutely bonkers aesthetic. As all those things and (I like to think) more, I love the new Čezeta electric scooter. If you look at this bike and it seems a bit like an old, Cold War-era, communist government moped– well, that just means you’re paying attention. “The Čezeta started life in 1957 at the height of the space age,&#...

Road Trip! Getting there in an EV?

I’ll admit that I suffer from anxiety from time to time. While I’m not proud of this fact, I must admit that there are benefits to being overly concerned about things. I’ve never been late on my taxes. I’ve never missed my wife’s birthday or our anniversary.  I’ve also never run out of charge on my electric car (EV), although I have come very, very close to doing so. I don’t really like leaving my little bubble of a town in Northern Virginia in my EV. I once went to the mall about 11 miles away from my house with about 20 miles of charge left. On the way back, I almost had a heart attack when the warning light came on telling me that I was getting close to “empty” and would need to charge as soon as possible. All this got me thinking: c...

Can I Jumpstart my Electric Car?

I often joke with my wife that the only reason I keep her around is for her blood, (this is very-much a bad joke so please don’t get upset). Being Type O-Negative, she can donate to me in a pinch even though I can’t reciprocate with my inferior A-Negative blood. All this joking about blood-types got me thinking about a different type of “donation.” We are a mixed-car family. I, being the courageous eco-warrior that I am, drive an environmentally friendly all-electric (EV). She drives a gas-guzzling, earth-destroying SUV. It’s amazing that still we’re still a couple! Sarcasm notwithstanding (and this entire paragraph has been nothing but sarcasm, so far), I have often wondered what would happen if my EV ever ran out of juice at the wrong time. Could my lo...

Watch a Nissan LEAF Plus Outrun a Tesla Model S

The Nissan LEAF is such a mainstream car, I often forget it’s electric. That’s a shame, really, because it’s actually a pretty great little electric car, with just a touch more range than the more popular Tesla Model 3 at a lower asking price. Compared to the bigger, even more expensive Model S, the LEAF not only seems like it’s playing in a different league– it’s playing a different game. That’s why it was so surprising to see a Nissan LEAF Plus barrel past a Tesla Model S on the 11th lap of an all-electric car race. You read that right, kids: the Nissan LEAF Plus will catch– and pass!– a Tesla Model S in a circuit race. Especially if that circuit race involves twist, turns, and (apparently) more than ten laps of action. That’s b...

Ford Will Use VW Tech to Build its Electric Cars

Ford may be pushing hard to develop electric cars for China, but its efforts to bring electric cars to its traditional markets in the US and Europe have, arguably, been falling behind for years. Now however, the company is hoping to leverage its blossoming relationship with German industrial giant, Volkswagen, to develop new electric cars like, now– and VW seems into it! One of the biggest challenges that both Ford and VW face in getting more consumers to buy electric cars is to bring prices down to make the cars price competitive without big tax credits. Executives from both companies said that boosting economies of scale by sharing the Volkswagen-developed MEB platform is the best way to do that. “We will see more collaboration [on electric cars] because the timing is not cle...

Five Electric Vehicles that Failed Miserably

We have all heard of the Telsa Model 3, the Nissan Leaf, and the Chevy Volt, (some of us even own them). But have you ever heard of the Aptera Motors 2 Series, the Fisker Karma, or the Chevy S-10 EV? Unless you are a die-hard, electric vehicle (EV) enthusiast, and have been one for decades, probably not. Let’s take a look at five EVs that completely failed to spark any interest from consumers. ZAP Xebra ZAP is the first Chinese company to attempt to import a car into the United States. The Xebra, a strange motorcycle/car/truck looking vehicle turned out to be a complete bust. With a Sticker price of about $12,000, ZAP did manage to sell around 700 units in the U.S. The vehicle featured a 5kW DC electric motor which allowed for speeds of up to 40 mph. In an effort to be coy with Ameri...

Electric Scooters Arrive in Northern Virginia!

The mid-sized City of Fairfax, VA recently announced a year-long pilot program that will allow residents and visitors to travel the streets using an electric scooter. The program was approved by the Fairfax City Council on May 14th of this year and went into effect last week. Three different scooter rental companies will deploy roughly 250 scooters across the city which can be rented for a reasonable price using an app on the rider’s smartphone. “We are excited about the opportunity to provide a new mobility option in the City of Fairfax. We are encouraging users to proceed cautious in the use of the scooters but we’re excited about this new program,” Fairfax City Transportation Director Wendy Sanford told the local paper. This year’s decision to allow electri...

Electric Vehicle Culture: Who are the Buyers?

2006’s Idiocracy is one of my favorite comedies of all time. In the movie, Luke Wilson plays Joe, the most average person in the world. I can sympathize with Joe. I’m pretty average myself. I live in a nice leafy suburb of Washington D.C. I have a wife and 2.5 kids that I adore and as our readers know, I am the proud owner of a Nissan Leaf. This got me thinking: are all electric-vehicle (EV) drivers like me? Is there an “average” EV owner? In the quest for answers to these questions, it turns out that I am the quintessential “Joe” of the EV world. One of the most extensive dives in to EV demographics I found was conducted by CleanTechnica. Their method was to combine four separate surveys (one for current EV owners, one for potential buyers, and two for ...

Video: Inside the Koenigsegg Regera Direct Drive Transmission

Christian von Koenigsegg has been called many things, but it would be hard to argue that he isn’t a visionary. The engineering coming out of the Swedish design firm that bears his name can sometimes a Tesla look like Model T, and the multi-million dollar, 1500HP Koenigsegg Regera hybrid hypercar is chock full of it. From the car’s advanced, power-packed battery to its biofuel-capable, twin-turbocharged V8 engine and lightweight, aerodynamic body, the Regera oozes big-brain details. Its most impressive detail, though, may be its unique, “direct drive” transmission. Instead of a multi-speed transmission, the Koenigsegg uses a viscous a fluid to transmit mechanical power from the engine directly to the rear axle. The coupling can open and close, connecting or disconnec...

Harley-Davidson LiveWire Buyers to Get Free Charging

Harley-Davidson is betting big on a future beyond the Baby Boomers, and its new LiveWire electric motorcycle is leading the charge (see what I did there?). Whether or not the bike will be a commercial success is something that remains to be seen, of course– but it just got a big boost in the form of a partnership with Electrify America that will give electric Harley buyers something pretty cool: free charging. “At Harley-Davidson, we are taking significant steps to lead in the electrification of motorcycling, including supporting the development of global charging infrastructure … including having access to complimentary charging on Electrify America’s growing network.” says Luke Mansfield, vice president and chief strategy officer for Harley-Davidson. That “g...

Curtiss Zeus is a Stunning, V8 Electric Motorcycle

If you haven’t heard of Curtiss Motorcycles before, get wise– because these guys are building custom electric motorcycles that are the spiritual successors to choppers and cafe racers, but with (what I’ll call) a greater respect for technology. They are every bit the real deal, and their latest blood, sweat, and gears-based proof of that fact is the bike you see here: Zeus. Curtiss Motorcycles has been working closely with Zero motorcycles to build this stunning machine and put it into limited production, and is currently taking $1000 deposits on the Zeus. The hope is that the bike’s unique styling and high-quality materials will help the company pursue its stated mission to “create sustainable, desirable, intergenerational, mean, clean, and green future-proof...

SEC Defends Defends Diesel Emissions Cheating Case Against VW

Back in March, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed charges against VW and its former CEO, Martin Winterkorn, for defrauding U.S. investors by raising billions of dollars through the corporate bond and fixed income markets while making a series of knowingly deceptive claims about the environmental impact of the company’s so-called “clean diesel” vehicle offerings. Now, the government body is under fire from judges who are questioning the timing of the case against VW. “My basic question is what took you so long,” said US District Judge Charles Breyer, when he questioned the SEC’s “lateness” in suing VW more than two years after the German automaker settled the US Justice Department’s criminal probe. He added that he was &#...