• Green Driving

    How Do You Make A Camaro Muscle Car Green? Students Have 3 Years To Try…

    camaro ecocar3

    If you’re currently shopping for a fuel-efficient vehicle, the Chevrolet Camaro probably hasn’t appeared on your radar.

    With combined economy of 22 mpg for the most efficient, V-6 automatic model, that’s not a huge surprise.

    But given some time and some of the finest young engineering minds as part of the EcoCar 3 Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition, perhaps it’s in with a chance.

    General Motors is providing some sixteen North American universities with Camaros as part of the DoE competition, The Detroit News writes.

    Students will be tasked with redesigning the muscle car icon into a fuel-efficient hybrid-electric vehicle–perhaps having “an epiphany that we haven’t seen”, according to retiring GM vice president for engineering John Calabrese.

    The Camaro is not the most natural starting point, granted–but as we’ve noted on several previous occasions, the biggest gains can be made with the least efficient vehicles.

    Drag its 22 mpg figure up to something beginning with ‘3’, and you make huge real-world gains. Essentially, a car with low efficiency gives students the most room for improvement.

    Giving students a Prius, for example, and letting them struggle over an extra one or two miles per gallon is neither productive, nor does it have much point.

    The aim of the competition is to incorporate innovative ideas, solve complex engineering challenges and apply the latest cutting-edge technologies.

    While the Camaro’s body will remain the same–and therefore its visual appeal–teams will try out different engineering methods and alternative fuels to try and develop a greener powertrain.

    It’s all useful, real-world stuff: Developing a car with lower energy consumption and greenhouse gas and tailpipe emissions, while maintaining the car’s desirable performance, utility and safety characteristics–all to realistic cost and innovation goals.

    Over the course of four years (2014-2018), students will follow a development process that aligns with GM’s own development process.

    Those competing will establish a plan for research and development, analysis, and validation, just as they might working for a big company like GM. The end result isn’t just a greener Camaro, but hundreds of students with the skills to jump into an automotive engineering job.

    EcoCar 3 follows on from the last EcoCar challenge, whose results will be decided at the competition finals in Washington D.C, in May. 15 universities are competing to improve the efficiency of a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu.

    Teams in the EcoCar 2 challenge have explored everything from familiar series and parallel hybrid setups to through-the-road and fuel cell powertrains.

    The EcoCar challenge began in 2008, following on from its Challenge X predecessor. Similar competitions have run for 25 years now, with over 16,000 students in 93 countries taking part–many of whom have gone on to auto industry roles.

    via greencarreports.com

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  • Features

    Tesla Model S: NY-To-FL Trip, Day 3, South Carolina To Florida (BLOG)

    The third day of my New York-to-Florida electric-car road trip, using the newly completed string of Supercharger stations along the East Coast, brought me almost to my destination in Florida.

    Here’s how the most recent leg of my journey went.

    DAY 3: Santee, South Carolina, to Ormond Beach, Florida


    I awake at 6:30 to check the weather forecast on local television. The Polar Vortex is pushing far south–chasing me, it seems. Sleet, freezing rain, ice and 4 inches of snow are forecast for  Santee, starting in the late morning.

    A day and a half of driving for this?

    MORE: Tesla Model S: NY-To-FL Trip, Days 1-2: From Home To South Carolina

    If I leave immediately, I can get far enough south, out of the freezing zone, before the storm hits. I’m at the wheel and away before 7, without breakfast, but with a full battery for the short 110-mile leg to Savannah. The temperature is 36 degrees.

    Fat with juice, I push as fast as I dare, 75 mph or so, through occasional light rain. Arrive at Savannah with almost 100 miles in the bank.

    The Savannah Supercharger is located in the long-term parking garage at the Savannah Airport. I arrive to find three Tesla employees setting up a lectern and microphone for the initial ribbon-cutting.

    We talk Tesla for 45 minutes, while the car charges to near 100 percent for the next leg, a 175-miler to St. Augustine, Florida. (Remembering my overconfidence before my initial leg to Newark,   I want to pack in every last watt-hour).

    I’m tempted to stay for the ceremony, but I’m in a race with the Polar Vortex, which waits for no man.

    • Miles: 109.7
    • kWh: 42.6
    • Wh/mi:  344
    • Cushion: 96 miles


    2013 Tesla Model S in Florida, during New York to Florida road trip [photo: David Noland]


    The light rain continues, which reminds me how much I hate the so-called “smart” wiper system, which is supposed to wipe automatically when the rain on the windshield reaches a certain intensity.

    It seems to operate entirely at random, sometimes wiping constantly in the barest of sprinkles, and on other occasions letting the water build up to semi-opaque levels. I long for the old-fashioned manual intermittent settings.

    On the other hand, I love the car’s Internet connection, which allows me to listen to my favorite radio station, WBGO in Newark (New Jersey, not Delaware) way down here. It’s especially nice to hear the temperature back home is 14 degrees.

    I initially set a speed/cabin temp of 70 mph/70 degrees F.  I figure the leg is 175 miles, and I want a cushion of about 25 miles, so total “real” miles required will be 200.

    With a rated range of 250, I need the rated range discount to be no more than 20 percent.  From previous experience, I’ve learned that at 75 mph, the discount is more like 30 percent. So I try 70 mph.

    Once consumption settles down, I do my now-standard comparison of rated mileage decay vs real mileage traveled, and find it’s right at 20 percent. Seventy should do it.

    But the temperature begins to climb, allowing me to gradually bump up the speed. I finish strong at 75 mph with 58 miles remaining. Temp at St. Augustine is 61 degrees.


    2013 Tesla Model S in Florida, during New York to Florida road trip [photo: David Noland]2013 Tesla Model S in Florida, during New York to Florida road trip [photo: David Noland]

    The St.Augustine Supercharger is the most pleasant setting of any I’ve seen so far: in a high-end mall, shaded by trees, next to a small lake.

    It’s also the first Supercharger I’ve visited that had another Tesla charging, a blue 85-kWh model with Pennsylvania plates.

    The owner also hit the Newark Supercharger first and worked his way down, as I did–but he’s been here several days already.

    So my hopes of being the very first East Coast Supercharger traveler from New York to Florida have just been snuffed out.

    • Miles: 171.3
    • kWh: 56.9
    • Wh/mi: 332
    • Cushion:  58 miles


    After a brief lunch in the mall food court (which is surprisingly low-end considering its lush setting), I set out toward Tesla’s next  link in the East Coast Supercharger chain, in Port Orange, Florida–just 63 miles down I-95.

    My old pilot buddy Robin and his wife Rosie live in Ormond Beach, about 15 miles short of the Port Orange Supercharger, so I pull in at their house for the night without charging up.

    I let Robin, a former race car driver, take a spin in the Tesla, and he plugs me in to his 120v house current overnight. I’m hoping to pick up 60 miles, enough to get me to the final link in the East Coast Supercharger chain, at Port St. Lucie, and then 20 miles to see my childhood pest pal in Stuart.

    We’ll see.

    via: Green Car Reports

    See more from High Gear Media:

    Tesla Model S Takes On 2014 Corvette Stingray At The Drag Strip: Video
    Combined Fiat And Chrysler Corporation To Be Known As Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
    Like To Leave Your Car Running On Cold Mornings? You Could Be In For A Nasty Surprise
    Search For Used Cars
    When Is A ‘Recall’ Not A Recall? When Tesla Updates Over The Air, Apparently

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  • Videos

    Formula E Car Races Down Las Vegas Strip (VIDEO)

    Formula E car races down Las Vegas Strip

    Formula E car races down Las Vegas Strip

    Formula E racing is coming to America and it is coming in style as Lucas Di Grassi sets the tone for the debut of the all electric racing series by speeding down the Las Vegas Strip!

    U.S race fans have been known to be a little fussy when it comes to embracing new races but this will definitely have built the hype.

    The all-electric racing series, is ready to start this September with events in Los Angeles and Miami, and although the it’s appearance in Vegas was a slow one, the cars will be hitting 150 mph in season opener in Beijing on September 13th.

    Until then, get an eyeful in the video below…

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  • Green Driving

    Meet The Arrow EV – ‘A Jet Fighter For The Road’

    The Arrow EV Is A Jet Fighter For The Road

    The Arrow EV Is A Jet Fighter For The Road
    The Arrow EV might just be a concept for now, but this could well be the car that makes people accept and embrace the future of driving and three wheeled vehicles. Why? Because it’s green, it’s slick and it looks super fun!

    The tiny three wheeler was inspired by a jet fighter and runs of electricity. But don’t be fooled… there is room for two people underneath that jet fighter looking retractable cockpit and it is expected to have a range of 370 miles.

    If you are not a fan of the three wheeler, there is also a trike model and four wheeler concept being worked on, but there is something about the three wheeler that cries out “I’m the vehicle of the future”. Perhaps it’s just me getting a little excited, and until this concept is presented to us in person other than some teasing concept photos it will always be the car of tomorrow rather than the car of today.

    What do we think? Are we fans?

    Source: Charles Bombadier

    The Arrow EV Is A Jet Fighter For The Road
    The Arrow EV Is A Jet Fighter For The Road

    The Arrow EV Is A Jet Fighter For The Road

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