Monday, 25 April 2022

GM reveals first images of the EV Chevy Corvette

2020 Corvette Steering Wheel

The great American sports car is going electric. General Motors President Mark Reuss shared the news this morning, and released the first images of the upcoming electric Chevrolet Corvette. He says the vehicle could be available for sale as soon as “early next year.” And the electrification of the Corvette is the least exciting part of the announcement: The video clearly shows the front tires are powered, meaning only one thing: The Corvette is going all-wheel drive.

Chevy appears to be building for an AWD future. Automotive rumors peg the unannounced, high-performance Corvette C8 Z06 to sport AWD, and the video here all but confirms the arrangement in the EV version, too. It appears that the EV Corvette will be based on the existing mid-engine Corvette platform, which leaves plenty of room in the front and back for motors on each axle. With internal combustion affairs, vehicles require significant retrofitting to make room for all-wheel drive’s extra driveshafts and differentials. With EVs, it just takes another motor and some computer programming.

According to Reuss, the electric Corvette utilizes GM’s Ultium platform, which is underpinning numerous upcoming GM EVs, including the Hummer EV, Silverado EV and Blazer EV.

General Motors has been quiet about replacing the Corvette’s small block with batteries and motors. The first murmurs of the vehicle came several years back when GM moved the Corvette team into EV building in Warren, Michigan. And today’s announcement doesn’t shed a lot of light onto the subject either. GM did not release expected price point, battery range or 0-60 mph times.

Corvette faithful knew this day was coming. The Corvette is the quintessential American sports car, and since nearly the beginning, a small block Chevy V8 has been its beating heart. An electric Corvette will, of course, lack the comforting rumble of a V8, but the electric motors will no doubt make up for it with explosive performance — especially if it comes equipped with motors on each axle.

Sunday, 24 April 2022

High gas prices pump up demand for electric vehicles


One way to avoid the pain at the pump is to never have to go there. Katie Mitchell bought an electric car in January, and says she's now saving hundreds of dollars a month by charging up instead of filling up.

When she watched gas prices skyrocket in recent months, she said she felt "lucky" and "grateful."

"It's one of the things that I give thanks for," she said of her decision.

CBS News poll found 59% of Americans would or might consider buying an electric vehicle. Those who would cited the environment and high gas prices as their top reasons.

But a lot of the electric models that automakers keep announcing are not yet available, and a looming battery shortage could pump the brakes even more. Tesla is the electric vehicle market leader, but the waiting list for its cars is several months long.

"People are begging for a better, less fuel intensive way to drive to be divorced of fuel pump prices, and yet finding any new car — let alone a model that's electric — is so hard right now," Brian Cooley, editor at large for CNET, told CBS News.

The CEO of electric vehicle automaker Rivian, which is struggling to deliver its new vehicles, warned this could be worse than the current chip shortage as demand for the materials inside the batteries — specifically lithium —  skyrockets.

The U.S. has just one lithium-producing mine in southern Nevada, providing less than 2% of the world's supply.

Wednesday, 6 April 2022

High gas prices increase demand for electric cars and charging stations


SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Soaring prices at gas stations are driving up the demand for electric car purchases.

Drivers say more charging stations will be needed down the road.

Apps help electric car owners find charging stations during road trips.

Popular charging locations for locals and tourists include the Camino Real Marketplace in Goleta.

The Rosewood Miramar in Montecito also has a row of chargers for Tesla, and new ones appear ready to charge by the Bank of America on upper State Street.

There are also chargers at rest stops along the coast.

On weekends they often have to wait their turn in Goleta.

Nanny Navarro said, "The weekend it is packed here it is, it is hard to get a spot."

Her brother Giovanni Comin owns two types of electric cars and prefers his Tesla and Tesla charging station.

"The non Tesla charging is still as little more rudimentary, and kind of a little more difficult to get the hang of Tesla got it pretty  dialed," said Comin.

Charging usually takes less than half-an-hour, giving drivers enough time to pick up coffee or take out.

A full charge often costs less than a quarter tank of gas, but owners can be charged by the minute if they leave their car too long in a location that has drivers waiting.

Sabine Corsiglia drove to Goleta from the Bay Area on a single charge.

"I just plug in my destination and it gives me the closest time that I will need to get charged."

Some electric car owners are 

like walking or in this case driving advertisements

.There is no maintenance, no oil changes."

While he charges the car, he said he can use his steering wheel to play driving video games.

"It is fun for kids you know, or adults, there is a lot of stuff to do. You have a computer right in front of you."

Some drivers are able to use the money they savings on fuel to pay off their electric vehicles

We’re Not Even Close to EVs Being as Cheap as Gas Cars, Mercedes Says


Photo credit: TOBIAS SCHWARZ/Getty

The electric vehicle industry has seen a massive transformation over the last decade, in no small part thanks to massive reductions in the cost of large lithium-ion battery packs. Yet there’s still a significant initial cost penalty to a battery-electric vehicle over an internal combustion car. According to Mercedes’ Chief Technology Officer, that’s not going away anytime soon. In fact, EVs may not get much cheaper at all over the next few years.

“Coming to [a battery price of] 50 U.S. dollars per kilowatt, which would lead to comparable cost basis to an I.C.E. engine, I would say this is far out there,” Mercedes CTO Markus Schäfer told Road & Track. “I don’t see that with the chemistry that we have today.”

Photo credit: Nissan
Photo credit: Nissan

Reaching so-called “price parity,” Schäfer said, just isn’t possible with any current commercially available battery technology. The kind of affordable, high-density batteries required to make it possible either don’t exist or only exist in tightly-controlled lab settings. Even once we know which one will work, adapting it for the automotive industry—with its high volumes and extremely challenging durability requirements—will be a years-long process. While we wait for a breakthrough, Schäfer says they can’t promise that EVs will get any cheaper in the near term.

Photo credit: STR
Photo credit: STR

“It’s a crystal ball thing to answer. And it will very much depend on mining capacity [for raw materials] and the global ramp-up of EVs. So these are the two main factors,” he said. “But I would say, for quite a while we will see headwinds on the raw material side.”

While increasing demand for large battery packs has helped through manufacturing advancements and economies of scale, it’s this scale that is now posing a large challenge. Thanks to both the increasing popularity of EVs and continued growth in consumer electronics, the demand for lithium batteries is on pace to far outstrip the capacity of current rare-earth metal mines. Earth has more deposits of lithium, but bringing mines online is complicated and expensive. As of now, analysts don’t expect the lithium shortage to be over by mid-decade.

“So the anticipated decrease well below 100 US dollars or Euros per kilowatt, that might take longer,” Schäfer said. “The chemistry, honestly, if we’re staying with the ingredients we have today ... there’s not that breakthrough foreseeable.”