Not so long ago, when electric vehicles were being touted as a true alternative to fossil fuel powered vehicles and said to be “the” next big thing, all eyes turned toward China and it’s burgeoning middle class. If anyone was going to start buying electric cars, it was thought, it would be Chinese consumers.
Fast foward a few short years and the truth is out: Chinese consumers, like just about everyone else in the world, prefer fossil fuel powered cars. Or they don’t believe electric vehicles are reliable enough or safe enough or worth the added investment required to park one in the garage.
Last year China sold just a handful, 7,000 to be precise, electric vehicles. The Chinese government has said it wants 500,000 EV’s on the road by the end of next year. Either people will be force marched to dealerships or car companies will have to try harder to sell them, because the trend is not leaning in their favor when it comes to meeting the goal.
China is already the world’s largest manufacturer of electric bicycles and electric tricycles, but no less than 13 automobile manufacturers in China offered 18 different models of electric automobiles in 2013.
Two years ago, on June 28, 2012 the China State Council passed the New Energy Automobile Industry Development Plan for 2012 to 2020. The goal of the plan? To have 500,000 electric vehicles on the road by the end of 2015 and five-million electric vehicles on the roads by the end of 2020. Yet in 2013, Chinese automobile manufacturers sold just 6,900 highway-speed electric passenger automobiles and 1,247 plug-in hybrid automobiles. (We’ve got detailed lists available below). This number doesn’t include electric buses, which will play a big role in electric vehicle growth in China, but if sales numbers for passenger automobiles continue in this manner, China’s 2015 half-million EV goal will be very difficult to achieve.
Toyota revealed a hydrogen fuel cell-powered electric vehicle at CES 2014, along with the announcement that it’ll be hitting the market sometime next year! Annie spoke to Toyota’s Fuel Cell Group senior engineer Jared Farnsworth about the project, including fueling the vehicle, testing the vehicle, and the obstacles that stood in their way while developing the tech.
The quintessence of a success story. For some it is the ideal culmination, for Porsche only an interim stage in the journey. To coincide with the fiftieth anniversary, the new 911 RSR is the most concentrated form of this classic sports car they’ve ever produced.
One of the greatest things about the wave of technology is that it is finally coming within reach of every one. That means people, especially those who are mechanically inclined, have better access to the nuts and bolts that make modern machines, in particular electric ones, run. This coupled with the ability to build a fiberglass chassis, buy used parts just about any where and modify them or simply manufacture your own, means that enterprise folks can build their own automobile of the future.
Take a look at this electric vehicle built by a high school student in his garage:
If you’ve been thinking about taking a crack at building your own vehicle–whether electric or gas or something completely unique–we’d love to hear about it!
The Terrafugia Transition is the most recent in a long line of vehicles meant to bridge the gap between cars and airplanes. It has fold-up wings and is street legal. Park it in your garage and drive it to the movies if you’re interested in impressing your friends.
Fresh from the success of their first flying car, the folks at Terrafugia just announced they are moving on to phase 2, which involves designing and selling a new type of flying car. One with rotating propellers that allow for vertical take-off and automated landing.
We applaud their decision to advance the science of flying cars. In fact, our only complaint is that you won’t need us to transport this vehicle anywhere for you.
Pulses are racing as BMW fans gear up for the latest incarnation of their beloved M3. So when someone releases video of the 2014 BMW M3 being test driven it makes waves. Big waves.
There isn’t much to see in this video. Just the BMW M3 cruising around the Nurburgring, making a little noise and wooing future buyers (undoubtedly) but that’s hardly enough to deter fans from watching. They also did the usual camouflage to the car which makes it difficult to see just what the vehicle looks like–given that it’s colored like a zebra gone wrong.
But again–if you’re a BMW fan, who cares that you can’t really see anything. The fact is the 2014 BMW M3 is almost ready for its debut.