Lightweight auto news

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GM CEO Akerson confirms 200-mile EV in the works, says death of the V8 "greatly exaggerated"

03/08/2013   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: EV/Plug-in, Hybrid, Manufacturing/Plants, MPG, Chevrolet, GM, Lightweight

2014 chevy spark ev

General Motors isn't talking about how far the 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV can go before it needs a charge, but par for the course for today's electric vehicles i2 around 70-100 miles. GM CEO Dan Akerson today confirmed that the company is working on a 200-mile EV (perhaps a Spark, perhaps not) during a speech at the IHS Ceraweek conference in Houston. According to Bloomberg, he said, GM is "running a dual play" with EV technology to develop both a 100-mile and a 200-mile EV.

Akerson also pushed for a coordinated public-private effort to invoke an energy policy that will broaden natural-gas use, reduce foreign oil dependency and greenhouse-gas emissions, and provide cleaner water and more affordable energy to US citizens. Akerson also promoted quality improvements in the company's smaller cars as well as the cost benefits of natural gas and fuel-economy improvements in GM's larger engines.

"I believe the President should immediately appoint a Blue Ribbon Commission to develop a 30-year energy policy framework."

"I believe the President should immediately appoint a Blue Ribbon Commission to develop a 30-year energy policy framework," Akerson said in prepared remarks. What that actually means is anyone's guess, but at least Akerson insisted that the policy be required to hit certain "checkpoints" every five years.

Akerson, whose company's small-car sales have surge on a broader product line and higher gas prices, allowed that GM's early efforts in that arena were less than successful.

"It's no secret that our small cars back then weren't built to the standards of our other vehicles," he said. "Mercifully, those vehicles have since been recycled into Energy Star refrigerators and other useful goods."

"Mercifully, those vehicles have since been recycled into Energy Star refrigerators and other useful goods."

Akerson also spoke positively about broader adoption of natural gas use among fleet operators, estimating that "a typical Class 8 operator" may save as much as $3,500 in monthly refueling costs by switching to liquefied natural gas (LNG). He also said that GM's vaunted V8 engines will remain relevant because of fuel-efficiency gains, noting that "the death of the V8 engine has been greatly exaggerated."

Additionally, Akerson reiterated his claim from November that GM will have a half-million electrified vehicles, which is about equal to all registered vehicles in Vermont, on US roads by 2017.

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Rumormill: Mercedes-Benz working on electric SLS eDrive for 2015

07/10/2009   [Original: Autocar via Autoblog]
Category: Coupes, Sports/GTs, Tech, Supercars, Mercedes Benz, EV/Plug-in, Mercedes Benz, Lightweight, Rumormill

Mercedes-Benz AMG SLS - Click above for high-res image gallery

Green-minded fans of the upcoming SLS supercar that Mercedes-Benz AMG has been working on for well over two years, rejoice. The rumormill is buzzing with word that an all-electric version of the gullwinged monster could enter limited production in 2015. That's a ways off, but considering the gestation period of the gas-chugging version, it's pretty much par for the course.

According to the gossip-happy blokes over at Autocar, the electric SLS will share its lightweight aluminum body, gullwing doors, and most of the interior with upcoming SLS. The changes for the SLS eDrive will mostly be contained in the powertrain, which will use four 98 kW motors (one at each wheel) for a total of 392 kW (532bhp) and 649 lb. ft. of torque. A rumored 0-62 mph time of under four seconds and a top speed of 120 mph would put it in the realm of the Tesla Roadster if the SLS eDrive were available today, albeit undoubtedly at a much higher price point.

Of course, nobody actually knows what the electric gullwing will be capable of - if indeed it reaches production at all. According to Autocar, the SLS eDrive figures to have a shorter range than the Tesla, somewhere between 93 and 112 miles from a full charge that takes eight hours from a standard outlet, or five to six from a more powerful outlet.

The gasoline-powered SLS is expected to debut at this year's Frankfurt Motor Show.

Gallery: Spy Shots: Mercedes-Benz AMG SLS

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