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The BMW i8 – Ushering in a New Era of Sustainable Performance Priced from $135,700 in the US.

September 10, 2013 in BMW, Electric Vehicles, EV News

BMW i8 Image courtesy of BMW

BMW i8
Image courtesy of BMW

Woodcliff Lake, NJ – September 10, 2013 3:00am EDT/12:00am PDT…  Today at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, BMW unveiled one of the most widely anticipated cars in its history – the BMW i8. On most levels, this plug-in hybrid 2+2 sports car is unlike any car ever introduced. It was also announced that the 2014 BMW i8 will have a manufacturer’s suggest retail price of $135,700 plus destination and handling when it arrives in US showrooms in spring of 2014. This is before any federal or state incentives for which the i8 may qualify.

The BMW i8 at a glance

First plug-in hybrid vehicle from the BMW Group and world’s most forward-looking sports car; revolutionary interpretation of BMW’s hallmark driving pleasure; groundbreaking premium character clearly defined in terms of sustainability.

2+2-seater with LifeDrive architecture developed specifically for BMW i, aerodynamically groundbreaking body design and visionary interior design deliver an intense driving experience; Life module passenger cell made from carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP); drive system technology, high-voltage battery, chassis, and crash and structural functions integrated into the aluminum Drive module; curb weight: 3,285 lbs (1,490 kg); Cd: 0.26; very low center of gravity (below 18 inches/460 millimeters); well-balanced weight distribution.

Image courtesy of BMW

Image courtesy of BMW

Emotion-led visual impression based around established BMW i design language; classical sports car proportions and fresh interpretation of BMW design features; doors open upwards like wings; clean lines, plus surface design (external and internal) based on the layering principle; full-LED headlights as standard, innovative laser headlights – unique worldwide – available as an option where regulations allow.

Plug-in hybrid system developed and produced by the BMW Group represents the latest development stage of Efficient Dynamics; debut for three-cylinder gasoline engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology, displacement: 1.5 liters, output: 170 kW/231 hp, maximum torque: 320 Nm (236 lb-ft); power sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox; model-specific hybrid synchronous electric motor, output: 96 kW/131 hp, maximum torque: 250 Nm (184 lb-ft); power channeled through the front wheels via a two-stage automatic transmission; lithium-ion high-voltage battery with liquid cooling and usable capacity of 5 kWh.

First combination of BMW TwinPower Turbo and BMW eDrive technology plus intelligent energy management produce system output of 266 kW/362 hp (max. torque: 570 Nm / 420 lb-ft) and give the BMW i8 the performance characteristics of a pure-bred sports car (0 – 100 km/h / 62 mph in 4.4 seconds) combined with fuel economy and emissions comparable to a small car  – EU fuel consumption: 2.5 litres per 100 km / 94 mpg (US); “glued-to-the-road” AWD driving experience with torque distribution geared towards optimized dynamics.

Driving Experience Control switch and eDrive button allow driver to choose from five driving modes; range of up to 35 kilometers (22 miles) on electric power alone and a top speed of 120 km/h (75 mph); COMFORT mode offers optimum balance between dynamics and efficiency; combined range in everyday conditions: over 500 kilometers (310 miles); SPORT mode with ultra-intense boost function provided by the electric motor; ECO PRO mode can be used in both all-electric mode and hybrid mode.

Sophisticated chassis technology featuring a double-wishbone front axle and a five-link rear axle; Electric Power Steering; Dynamic Damper Control comes as standard; 20-inch light-alloy wheels are standard.

Intelligent lightweight construction with elements including a CFRP passenger cell, doors with a CFRP-aluminum structure, an instrument panel with magnesium support, an aluminum chassis and a partition between the passenger compartment and boot made from thin glass; comprehensive safety concept and an ultra-torsionally stiff passenger cell.

Extensive standard equipment includes the Navigation system Professional with proactive drive system for all-electric driving, fully-digital instrument display, BMW iDrive with freestanding Control Display and leather sports seats; choice of four exterior paint finishes and four interior equipment variants.

Image courtesy of BMW

Image courtesy of BMW

Wide range of BMW ConnectedDrive features: Park Distance Control, cruise control system with braking function, rain sensor and Intelligent Emergency Call function, optional driver assistance package with High Beam Assistant, a rear view camera, Surround View, Speed Limit Info including No Passing Info display, and Collision Warning with pedestrian recognition and braking function; also available are the Head-Up Display, BMW Online Entertainment, Concierge Services, Real Time Traffic Information and mobility services developed specifically for BMW i, e.g. intermodal route guidance as standard.

Services specifically developed for BMW i as part of the 360° ELECTRIC program: BMW i Charging Station for convenient battery charging at home, ChargeNow card giving customers a cash-free payment option at public charging stations as well as innovative mobility services such as MyCityWay and ParkatmyHouse; flexible sales concept enables made-to-measure mobility solutions.

All-embracing sustainability concept running like a thread through the value chain; carbon fiber production and vehicle assembly using 100-per cent renewable electricity; high proportion of recycled materials; use of materials manufactured and treated in an environmentally friendly manner.

BMW i8 press release continues (many details):

BMW Group In America

BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since  1975.  Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in  2003.  The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include  marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW  brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and  the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, a strategic  design consultancy in California; a technology office in Silicon  Valley and various other operations throughout the country.  BMW  Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group’s global  manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all  X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupes.  The  BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through  networks of 338 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle  centers, 139 BMW motorcycle retailers, 119 MINI passenger car dealers,  and 34 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers.  BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW  Group’s sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff  Lake, New Jersey.

This article is a repost, credit: BMW,

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IAA: Modular Battery Concept for Short-distance Traffic

September 2, 2013 in Battery Energy Storage, Electric Bus, Electric Vehicles, EV News

Modular batteries (orange) can be integrated easily in the free space of the vehicle. (Figure: KIT) Image courtesy of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Modular batteries (orange) can be integrated easily in the free space of the vehicle. (Figure: KIT)
Image courtesy of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

At the IAA International Motor Show, KIT Presents Innovations for Electric Mobility – Modular Battery Concept for Efficient Operation of an Electric Bus

Electric mobility may be economically efficient today. Battery-based electric drives can be applied efficiently in urban buses, for instance. Frequent acceleration and slow-down processes as well as a high utilization rate in short-distance traffic make their use profitable even when considering current battery costs. At the IAA International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) will present an e-city bus demonstrator to illustrate the concept (Hall 3.1, D13).

The key modules of the demonstrator are a drive train with a high-torque electric motor, a high-voltage network, a battery management system, and a novel modular battery system with lithium-ion cells made in Germany. At the IAA, the demonstrator developed for drive tests will present options for the design of the electric drive train of buses.

Using the demonstrator, the innovation potential of KIT’s research results can be validated and interaction of the components can be analyzed experimentally under the simulated operating conditions. “In this way, the demonstrator contributes to the further development of electric mobility,” Andreas Gutsch, coordinator of the Competence E project at KIT, explains.

The battery system consists of flat modules that can be stacked to reach the dimensions and electric characteristics desired. Various spaces in the different types of vehicles can be used for accommodating the energy storage system. The battery management system and drive control developed for the KIT demonstrator allow for driving operation taking into account the current performance limits of the system and its components.

“Energy efficiency of an electric bus can be increased by an adequate selection of components already,” says Martin Gießler, Head of the demonstrator development project. “Of course, an anticipatory operation and recuperation strategy plays an important role.” By means of recuperation, braking energy is converted into electrical energy again. The drive consists of a low-torque engine supplying a high driving torque for the vehicle. The engine is connected directly with the differential gear of the rear axle. It decreases the gear reduction to be implemented and, hence, ensures a high efficiency of torque transmission.

The e-city bus demonstrator development project was funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.

The Competence E project covers all research aspects from the battery material to the electric drive in a way that is unique in Germany. With an open technology platform for battery-electric vehicle drives and stationary energy storage systems, the systemic approach is aimed at developing industrially applicable solutions and their production methods. Thanks to integration along the chain of values added, battery systems with an energy density of 250 watt-hours / kg are to be manufactured at costs of EUR 250 per kilowatt-hour by 2018. This will be an important step towards the energy turnaround and reaching climate protection objectives: Increased storage capacity of stationary storage systems to compensate the fluctuation of renewable energy and enhanced range of electric vehicles for increased acceptance.

Find more on the Competence E project at:

The Mobility Systems Center pools KIT activities relating to vehicle technology. Presently, 40 KIT institutes with about 800 employees are working on methodological and technical fundamentals for tomorrow’s vehicles. It is their objective to develop concepts, technologies, methods, and processes for future mobility considering the complex interactions of vehicle, driver, traffic, and society.

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is a public corporation according to the legislation of the state of Baden-Württemberg. It fulfills the mission of a university and the mission of a national research center of the Helmholtz Association. Research activities focus on energy, the natural and built environment as well as on society and technology and cover the whole range extending from fundamental aspects to application. With about 9000 employees, including nearly 6000 staff members in the science and education sector, and 24000 students, KIT is one of the biggest research and education institutions in Europe. Work of KIT is based on the knowledge triangle of research, teaching, and innovation.

This article is a repost, credit: Karlsruhe Institute of Technology,

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Thermal management technologies increase vehicle energy efficiency and performance while reducing costs. Source: NREL

August 21, 2013 in Battery Energy Storage, Electric Vehicles, EV News, Research

By Anya Breitenbach

In NREL's Advanced Power Electronics Lab, liquid cooling equipment is used to evaluate heat transfer in vehicle components.  Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL Courtesy of NREL

In NREL’s Advanced Power Electronics Lab, liquid cooling equipment is used to evaluate heat transfer in vehicle components.
Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL
Courtesy of NREL

Mythological character Icarus’ melted wings sent him plummeting to earth when he ignored his father’s advice and flew too close to the sun. Heat was Icarus’ undoing. Today’s real-world electric-drive vehicles (EDVs) also require diligent attention to temperature. The battery, power electronic system, electric motor operating temperatures, and climate control all factor into an EDV’s performance, range, lifespan, affordability, and—most  importantly—driver acceptance.

Last year, U.S consumers drove more than 487,000 EDVs (hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and all-electric vehicles) off dealers’ lots. But most of these vehicles still can’t match the price, driving range, and refueling speed Americans have come to expect from gas-powered automobiles. Issues with thermal management cause some of these limitations.

At the same time, as the U.S. auto industry grapples to meet ambitious new government fuel economy regulations, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the cross-agency EV Everywhere Grand Challenge initiative have set goals for EDVs that more  than double driving range, cut battery and electric drive system costs by 75%, and use less energy to achieve the same level of climate control.

Heavy-duty vehicles account for 26% of national transportation sector petroleum consumption. Manufacturers and operators alike are looking to new thermal management strategies to cut fuel use, lower costs, and meet regulatory requirements.

Experts at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are working closely with industry partners to address these thermal management challenges, spark greater consumer interest in EDVs, and put more fuel-efficient trucks on the road. Their research focuses on dramatically increasing energy efficiency, improving reliability, and decreasing emissions and cost, while maximizing vehicles’ appeal to consumers.

“We can only meet new fuel-economy standards of 54.5 mpg by 2025 if we use a wide range of strategies, including broader deployment of electric vehicles,” says Chris Gearhart, director of NREL’s Transportation and Hydrogen Systems Center. “And we’ll only be able to get drivers in those cars if we solve the temperature puzzle.”

Batteries: Longer Range at a Lower Cost

NREL researchers use thermal imaging to evaluate thermal properties of a lithium-ion battery pack.  Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL Courtesy of NREL

NREL researchers use thermal imaging to evaluate thermal properties of a lithium-ion battery pack.
Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL
Courtesy of NREL

Often the most expensive of EDV components, batteries need to be affordable, high-performing, and long-lasting to make these vehicles attractive to more consumers. According to EV Everywhere, if EDVs are to gain market share, batteries will have to cost less by a factor of 4 but take drivers twice the distance on a single charge. Understanding thermal characteristics is crucial to meeting these goals.

NREL, as a recognized leader in battery thermal management research and development (R&D), evaluates battery cells, modules, and packs. The lab’s thermal behavior, capacity, conductivity, lifespan, and overall performance assessments factor in the impacts of full-system integration.

“The industry, with support of NREL and DOE, has made incredible progress—10 years ago these batteries were almost triple the cost and three times the size, but could only move a car half the distance,” says NREL Energy Storage (ES) Group Manager Ahmad Pesaran. “That said, we still have a long way to go.”

The laboratory’s tests for the U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium show that optimized thermal management can increase battery power by more than 20%. Without proper thermal management, an EDV battery that can last almost 15 years in a temperate climate, like in Minnesota, lasts only seven years in a hot climate, such as in Arizona. In extreme instances, battery overheating can lead to issues such as those that have plagued the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, resulting in fire and, in rare cases, explosion of the battery material.

NREL’s breakthrough research is focused on reducing thermal resistance of components to achieve more uniform temperatures. NREL uses its R&D 100 Award-winning Isothermal Battery Calorimeters, the only instruments in the world capable of such precise thermal measurements, for much of this research. NREL is also working with industry to develop computer-aided engineering software tools to optimize thermal management of batteries.

Power Electronics and Motors: Reduced Size, Weight, and Cost

Researcher Sreekant Narumanchi examines the performance of a cooling loop in NREL's Advanced Power Electronics Lab.  Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL Courtesy of NREL

Researcher Sreekant Narumanchi examines the performance of a cooling loop in NREL’s Advanced Power Electronics Lab.
Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL
Courtesy of NREL

Power electronics, which run a wide range of systems in conventional automobiles, are essential to EDV performance. Unfortunately, technology has yet to meet the demands of a mass-market audience.

Dramatic advances in power electronics and electric motors (PEEM) will be required to meet the EV Everywhere initiative’s affordability and performance targets. Boosting electric-drive system efficiency, while reducing cost by 75%, and size and weight by more than 35%, will rely heavily on improved thermal management.

In EDVs, power electronics control the flow of electricity between the battery, the motor, and other powertrain components. The PEEM team improves thermal performance of components and systems through modeling, testing, and analysis. This leads to cooling systems and packaging materials that meet energy efficiency, performance, and reliability targets.

“Some of this technology has already been applied to commercially available components,” says Advanced Power Electronics and Electric Motors Task Lead Sreekant Narumanchi. “We continue to work with partners in helping make PEEM components lighter, smaller, and less expensive, eventually helping make EDVs more competitive in the marketplace.”

Climate Control: Improved Range and Thermal Comfort

A vehicle undergoes thermal testing on NREL's VTIF test pad.  Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL Courtesy of NREL

A vehicle undergoes thermal testing on NREL’s VTIF test pad.
Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL
Courtesy of NREL

Climate control systems such as air conditioners and heaters make both conventional vehicles and EDVs more comfortable. At the same time, electrical energy consumed for climate control can significantly reduce EDV range—in some cases by as much as 68%.

Conventional vehicles heat cabins with engine waste heat, but EDVs do not have an engine, which presents climate control challenges for automobile manufacturers. Using the battery for cabin heating takes valuable energy away from propulsion.

By improving thermal management, NREL researchers believe they can increase EDV range by 10% during operation of the climate control system. In collaboration with the automotive industry, the lab is exploring thermal load reduction technologies and improving efficiency while maintaining the thermal comfort that drivers expect. Strategies include:

  • Zone-based cabin temperature controls
  • Advanced heating and air conditioning controls
  • Seat-based climate control
  • Thermal load reduction
  • Thermal preconditioning.

“The impact of climate control on an electric vehicle can be significant depending on the temperature and driving conditions,” says John Rugh, task leader for Vehicle Thermal Management. “Our work with industry partners aims to minimize energy for climate control so the battery can be used to power the wheels.”

Integrated Thermal Management: Closing the Loop

NREL's Vehicle Testing and Integration Facility test pad features an on-site weather station to provide accurate data on local meteorological conditions.  Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL Courtesy of NREL

NREL’s Vehicle Testing and Integration Facility test pad features an on-site weather station to provide accurate data on local meteorological conditions.
Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL
Courtesy of NREL

By working to reduce the cost and increase the efficiency of EDV cooling systems, NREL is helping the automotive industry move closer toward the goals of extending battery life and driving range between charges, while improving safety, reliability, and comfort.

Vehicles with internal combustion engines use radiators and oil coolers to remove heat from the engine and transmission. EDVs, however, require more complicated systems to meet the additional thermal demands of power electronics and energy storage systems.

Using thermal testing and analysis, NREL is evaluating the potential benefits of combining the PEEM and ES cooling loops with the engine cooling and passenger compartment climate control systems. Reducing the number of cooling systems and related components can translate into lower component and maintenance costs, less weight, reduced aerodynamic drag, and ultimately better fuel economy and range.

NREL’s thermal model of a compact-sized EDV has reduced total vehicle thermal management power consumption by combining cooling loops and using waste heat from PEEM components. Combined cooling loops use refrigerant-to-liquid heat exchangers, creating a more efficient system with improved heat transfer, as well as providing liquid to cool PEEM and ES systems.

Heavy-Duty Vehicles: Decreased Energy Loads

Truck cab models drawn from CAD geometry using CoolCalc (left and center), and a model with overlay of computational fluid dynamics flow (right) indicate areas of heat absorption and loss.  Illustrations by Jason Lustbader, Matt Jeffers, and Larry Chaney, NREL Courtesy of NREL

Truck cab models drawn from CAD geometry using CoolCalc (left and center), and a model with overlay of computational fluid dynamics flow (right) indicate areas of heat absorption and loss.
Illustrations by Jason Lustbader, Matt Jeffers, and Larry Chaney, NREL
Courtesy of NREL

Light-duty EDVs are not the only vehicles that can benefit from improved thermal management. According to an Argonne National Laboratory report, each year in the United States, long-haul trucks consume approximately 838 million gallons of diesel fuel for rest-period idling, much of which is used for heating and air conditioning. DOE’s SuperTruck program has set a goal to improve heavy-duty vehicle fuel economy 50% by 2015, and addressing thermal management and climate control loads will be essential in achieving this. Working closely with industry partners, NREL’s CoolCab program has shown that improved cab thermal management can reduce climate control loads and associated costs. This could cut fuel consumption, emissions, and operating costs.

“If we can demonstrate a three-year or better payback period with relatively low risk on these technology investments, truck operators will be economically motivated to adopt the technologies,” says Jason Lustbader, CoolCab task leader. “Our goal is to bring down climate control loads by at least 30%.”

Using truck cabs located on the Vehicle Testing and Integration Facility (VTIF) test pad, researchers investigate a wide variety of cabin thermal management technologies. Engineers quantify the impacts of different materials and equipment—films, paints, radiant barriers, and idle reduction technologies—on climate control loads.

As anyone who has been in a car on a sunny day can attest, dark paint colors absorb heat. The large painted surfaces of heavy-duty trucks further increase this effect. NREL researchers measured a 20% decrease in daily electrical air-conditioning system energy consumption after switching a truck’s color from black to white.  Engineers are also investigating advanced paints that look like darker colors, but thermally behave like lighter colors, giving truck fleets greater flexibility in selecting paint colors without sacrificing efficiency. Insulation is a factor as well. NREL tests have shown a 34% reduction in truck sleeper climate control loads using advanced methods of insulation.

Researchers and outside partners use NREL’s CoolCalc and CoolSim modeling tools to simulate energy used for climate control in truck cabs and calculate the potential benefits of thermal load reduction options in a range of use and weather scenarios. The tools make it possible to rapidly evaluate the impact of factors such as insulation thickness, material properties, and geometries on climate control loads over the wide range of weather conditions experienced in real-world operation and identify the most promising solutions.

Turning Widespread EDV Adoption from Myth into Reality

NREL researchers are working to turn widespread adoption of energy-efficient vehicles from a myth into reality. Improving thermal management will result in the enhanced performance and reduced costs needed to motivate more drivers and operators to adopt EDVs and energy-efficient trucks. And that is likely to lead to a happy ending for consumers, the economy, and the environment.

This article is a repost, credit: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Anya Breitenbach,

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New S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID: The S-Class as a “three litres per 100 kilometres” car

August 20, 2013 in Daimler, Electric Vehicles, EV News

Mercedes-Benz S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID Photo courtesy of Daimler

Mercedes-Benz S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID
Photo courtesy of Daimler

The third hybrid model of the new S-Class, the S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID, sets new benchmarks with regard to efficiency as well as drive-system and climate comfort. With 69 g CO2 per kilometre (3 litres/100 km) the S-Class sets a new benchmark for luxury saloons that just a few years ago was thought virtually impossible. The 80-kW electric drive with externally rechargeable battery makes emission-free driving for about 30 km possible. It is combined with the new 3.0-litre V6 turbocharged engine. Mercedes-Benz will present the S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID at the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA). The market launch will be next year.

The S 400 HYBRID was the first in the world to feature a standard-specification hybrid drive system with lithium-ion battery in 2009. With the new S-Class Mercedes-Benz expands the hybrid line-up in this model series to three models: the S 400 HYBRID, S 300 BlueTEC HYBRID and S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID. All second-generation hybrid drive systems share the seamless integration into the powertrain. The combustion engine can be completely decoupled from the electric motor. Further features are the second-generation recuperative braking system and the anticipatory Intelligent HYBRID energy management system.

“With the S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID Mercedes-Benz sets another milestone on the road to emission-free mobility on the basis of our modular hybrid matrix”, explains Prof Dr Thomas Weber, responsible on the Daimler Board of Management for Group Research and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Product Engineering. “In this way the S-Class turns into a genuine three-litre car with generous space and superlative drive-system comfort.”

While the batteries of the S 400 HYBRID and S 300 BlueTEC HYBRID as autonomous hybrids are charged during braking or coasting or by the combustion engine, the new high-voltage lithium-ion battery of the S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID has ten times the energy content and offers the option of being recharged from an external source with a charging socket located on the right side of the rear bumper. With the help of the electric synchronous motor (80 kW/340 Nm) the S-Class can thus drive for up to around 30 kilometres on electric power alone.

Four hybrid operating modes can be selected at the push of a button:

  • E-MODE: electric power only
  • E-SAVE: fully charged battery is reserved to be able to drive on electric power alone later
  • CHARGE: battery is charged while driving

Under the conditions specified by the certification rules the S-Class as a full hybrid generates 69 g CO2 per kilometre. With consumption equivalent to 3 litres per 100 kilometres the S-Class sets a new benchmark for luxury saloons that just a few years ago was thought virtually impossible. It delivers these top values without restrictions in power, passenger comfort or operating range and offers a high level of climate comfort thanks to the pre-entry climate control functions.

Image courtesy of Daimler

Image courtesy of Daimler

The most important benchmark data of the S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID:

  • Power output of 245 kW of the combustion engine plus 80-kW electric motor and torque of 480 Nm of the combustion engine plus 340 Nm of the electric motor
  • Overall consumption (NEDC) 69 g CO2/km (3.0 l/100 km)
  • Operating range on electric power alone about 30 km
  • Top speed 250 km/h, 0-100 km/h in 5.5 sec.
  • Intelligent HYBRID: anticipatory energy management system with optimal use of recuperation during deceleration
  • Individualisation possible as the result of the combination of the transmission modes with the four hybrid operating modes – HYBRID, E‑MODE, E-SAVE and CHARGE.
  • Haptic accelerator pedal for superior vehicle control: A point of resistance on the accelerator pedal provides feedback about the activation of the combustion engine and helps in metering the power output.
  • Fast external charging of the high-voltage traction battery
  • Pre-entry climate control of the interior
  • Intelligent HYBRID: anticipatory energy management system

The second-generation S-Class hybrids feature an anticipatory energy management system and thereby improve energy efficiency. The operating strategy of the hybrid drive system not only accounts for the current driving condition and driver input, but also adjusts to the likely route (inclines, downhill stretches, bends or speed limits) for the next eight kilometres. Intelligent HYBRID uses the navigation data from COMAND Online to manage the charging and discharging of the high-voltage battery. The goal is, for example, to use the energy content of the battery for propulsion ahead of a downhill stretch in order to recharge it while going downhill using recuperation.

Recuperative braking system: the electric motor as alternator

The largest potential for lowering the energy consumption of hybrid drive systems lies in maximising energy recovery during coasting and braking. Upon depressing the brake pedal the deceleration is initially effected by the electric motor and not by the disc brakes. The new S-Class is the first to use a recuperative braking system (RBS) of the second generation. It ensures an unnoticeable overlapping of the conventional mechanical brakes and the electric braking performance of the electric motor in alternator mode.

The driver’s desired braking power is recorded by a pedal-travel sensor. The deceleration is dependent on the driving condition and is split into a recuperative brake-force portion and a portion to be supplied by the wheel brakes. The brake pressure on the rear axle is controlled by the RBS dependent on the current recuperation potential of the powertrain.

In addition, the combustion engine is switched off any time the vehicle is coasting and its drag torque when rolling is used by the electric motor as recuperation torque. However, without depressing the brake pedal no additional deceleration torque is provided for charging the battery and the vehicle can “sail”. The combustion engine is to be used for charging the battery as little as possible and only at suitable and most efficient operating points.

Hybrid pioneer in the luxury segment

The world’s first standard-specification hybrid drive with lithium-ion battery debuted at Mercedes-Benz as early as 2009: the S 400 HYBRID was the most fuel-efficient petrol-powered luxury saloon for a long time. And the most successful hybrid in its segment: some 20,000 buyers worldwide opted for the S 400 HYBRID.

With the new S-Class Mercedes-Benz now continues its comprehensive hybrid offensive. In the S 400 HYBRID and S 300 BlueTEC HYBRID there are already two hybrids of the new S-Class to choose from:

The new S 400 HYBRID burns just 6.3 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres in the NEDC cycle (combined). This represents a reduction by 20 per cent over the predecessor. CO2 emissions of 147 grams per kilometre also represent a new record in this vehicle segment. These exemplary figures go hand in hand with outstanding performance potential: the petrol engine develops 225 kW (306 hp), while the electric motor adds another 20 kW (27 hp). The torque of the combustion engine is 370 Nm plus 250 Nm from the electric motor.

In the S 300 BlueTEC HYBRID Mercedes-Benz has combined the 2.2‑litre four-cylinder diesel engine developing 150 kW (204 hp) with the powerful hybrid module developing 20 kW (27 hp). The peak torque of 500 Nm produced by the combustion engine is overlaid by the 250 Nm of peak torque produced by the electric motor. The S 300 BlueTEC HYBRID makes do with 4.4 litres per 100 km in the combined cycle (CO2: 115 g/km) and complies with the criteria for energy efficiency class A+. Consequently Mercedes-Benz has, over the course of ten years, nearly cut fuel consumption in the 150-kW performance class by half.

This article is a repost, credit: Daimler,

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Honda Delivers Accord Plug-In to City of Torrance

August 14, 2013 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, Honda

08/14/2013 – TORRANCE, Calif.

Honda's Steven Center, vice president of the Environmental Business Development Office, presents city of Torrance Mayor Frank Scotto, left, the keys to a 2014 Honda Accord Plug-In as a continued part of Honda's advanced vehicle testing efforts Photo courtesy of Honda

Honda’s Steven Center, vice president of the Environmental Business Development Office, presents city of Torrance Mayor Frank Scotto, left, the keys to a 2014 Honda Accord Plug-In as a continued part of Honda’s advanced vehicle testing efforts
Photo courtesy of Honda

  • City of Torrance continues sustainable transportation efforts with the delivery of a 2014 Accord Plug-In
  • The EPA-rated115 MPGe Accord Plug-In will join the Fit EV in providing critical feedback to advance city’s sustainable transportation needs
  • Honda’s Plug-In is ideal for municipal use with an electric motor for city driving and a hybrid motor for longer, more fuel efficient travels

Honda delivered a 2014 Accord Plug-In vehicle to the city of Torrance yesterday as a continuation of Honda’s advanced vehicle testing efforts, a critical component of Honda’s measured approach to furthering its advancement of electric-drive vehicles. The Accord Plug-In, which is EPA-rated to operate in electric-only mode for 13 miles before transitioning between gasoline-electric hybrid and gasoline modes, will join the Fit EV in providing Torrance with in-city transportation options that reduce CO2 and tailpipe emissions.

The delivery was marked by a ceremony at the Torrance City Hall, at which a key to the Accord Plug-In was presented to Torrance Mayor Frank Scotto by Steven Center, vice president of the Environmental Business Development Office at American Honda.

“Honda’s continued relationship with the City of Torrance through our advanced vehicle testing has been instrumental in advancing our sustainable transportation solutions,” said Center. “Through real-world feedback of the Fit EV and now the Accord Plug-In, the City of Torrance plays an essential role in the refinement and evolution of electric drive vehicles and, ultimately, the expansion of customer adoption for this technology.”

Over the past year, Honda and the city of Torrance have worked together to collect real-world input from the city’s use of a Fit EV test vehicle. After driving more than 7,500 miles in combined city and highway driving, city employees, using the Fit EV for everyday business, were able to surpass the Fit EV’s adjusted Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mile-per-gallon-equivalency rating of 132/105/118 MPGe.1 By driving a Fit EV, Honda estimates the city of Torrance was able to reduce its CO2 emissions by roughly 74 percent when compared with a gasoline-powered vehicle, such as the Honda Fit.

“The City of Torrance is proud to continue its partnership with Honda where we jointly hold the keys to a compelling solution for reducing CO2 emissions,” said city of Torrance Mayor Frank Scotto. “We have been impressed by the potential of the Fit EV to significantly reduce the city’s CO2 emissions from transportation and contribute to our CO2 reduction goals. The addition of the Accord Plug-In will help enhance our efforts to reduce CO2 from the city’s operations.”

The EPA-rated 115 MPGe2 Accord Plug-In is the most fuel efficient sedan in the U.S. and is available at select New York and California Honda dealers. Based on the Touring trim level of the standard Accord Sedan but featuring unique styling cues, the 2014 Honda Accord Plug-In blends the athleticism and craftsmanship of the all-new Accord platform, combined with hybrid efficiency and electric torque. In addition to being Honda’s first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, the Accord Plug-In is the first production car in the U.S. to meet the new, more stringent LEV3/SULEV20 emissions standard, and also qualifies for single-occupant carpool-lane access in California.

The plug-in Accord can be fully charged from a low-charge indication point in less than three hours using the supplied 120-volt charger when plugged into a standard 120-volt household electrical outlet (use of a dedicated GFCI outlet is recommended), and in less than one hour using a 240-volt “Level-2″ charger3. For more details about the Accord Plug-In Hybrid, please visit

Honda Electric Vehicle Demonstration Program

As part of its advanced vehicle testing efforts, Honda has loaned Fit EV’s to the City of Torrance, Stanford University and Google to gain valuable feedback on the performance of the vehicle and to further initiatives such as research into human interaction with electric vehicles. Honda has now added the Accord Plug-In to the program with its loan to the City of Torrance.

Honda Environmental Leadership

In addition to producing the Accord Plug-In, Honda has developed numerous technologies to improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions, including the Honda Fit EV, Civic Natural Gas and the Honda FCX Clarity fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV). Honda has also led the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) rankings of overall vehicle environmental performance since 2000, and numerous Honda vehicles have earned top green scores from the America Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) list of America’s greenest vehicles for 16 consecutive years.

1132/105/118 city/highway/combined miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent (MPGe) rating; 82 mile combined (city/highway) driving range rating (adjusted).  Ratings determined by U.S. EPA.  Your MPGe and range will vary depending on driving conditions, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, lithium-ion battery age/condition, and other factors. For additional information about EPA ratings, visit

2124 city/105 highway/115 combined miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent (MPGe) electric rating; 47 city/46 highway/46 combined MPG gasoline only rating. 13 mile maximum EV mode driving range rating. 574 mile combined gas-electric driving range rating. Ratings determined by EPA. Use for comparison purposes only. Your MPGe/MPG and driving range will vary depending on driving conditions, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, lithium-ion battery age/condition, and other factors. For additional information about EPA ratings, visit

3From low-charge indicator illumination point to full charge.

This article is a repost, credit: Honda,

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by EV News

Stealth Electric Bikes Now Available in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, Russia

August 13, 2013 in Electric Bike, Electric Vehicles, EV News

Stealth Electric Bike Photo courtesy of Stealth Electric Bike

Stealth Electric Bike
Photo courtesy of Stealth Electric Bikes

Stealth Electric Bikes has expanded to new locations in Russia.  The Bomber, The Hurricane, and The Fighter Stealth Electric Bikes are all available for complete customization online or on location by El Velo in Saint Petersburg, and by Eltreco in Moscow, Russia.

“It’s exciting to see that the popularity of Stealth Electric Bikes is now reaching consumers in Russia,” Said Darin Brin, Director of Stealth Electric Bikes. “We have expanded our performance customization team in order to handle the extraordinary increase of demand we are currently experiencing for the toughest and most powerful hybrid electric bikes available anywhere in the world,” said Brin.

The Bomber Stealth Electric Bikes, quietly reaches distances of up to 50 Miles on a two-hour charge. The battery powered electric motor on all Stealth Electric Bikes run almost silently compared to most motors at only about 65db.

The Fighter and The Hurricane are two additional popular models of Stealth Electric Bikes. The Fighter Stealth Electric Bike reaches distances exceeding 35 miles on a single charge. All 2013 models now come with the rear DNM suspension upgrade as a standard feature. Likewise, this includes the coil for extra stability and absorption on any terrain.

For a complete listing of Stealth Electric Bikes authorized dealerships and retailers in the United States and across the world, please visit:

About Stealth Electric Bikes USA

Stealth Electric Bikes redefine the ride experience. They are considered by peers to be the toughest and most powerful hybrid electric bikes available anywhere in the world. Electric Bike Dealers are encouraged to inquire about opportunities to become a dealer. For more information about distributing in your area, please contact Stealth Electric Bikes USA at 480-993-0327.

This article is a repost, credit: Stealth Electric Bikes,

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Congress Recognizes Aeroscraft’s Accomplishment

August 9, 2013 in Aeroscraft, Environment, EV News

Photo courtesy of Aeros Corp.

Photo courtesy of Aeros

The House and Senate recently released their FY 2014 National Defense Authorization Act, both with language on the development of Cargo Airship technology.

Senate highlights include: “…the Pelican program recently demonstrated a limited capability of the underlying technology for controlled variable buoyancy… The committee directs U.S. Transportation Command and the Air Force Mobility Command to monitor progress in this area and report to the congressional defense committees no later than 180 days after the enactment of this Act on the status of developments in the commercial sector regarding hybrid airships that could be used to provide the capability identified by General Fraser, and to what extent the DOD could benefit from them.” The full report text can be found on page 63, US House of Representative NDAA FY14 Report.

Image courtesy of Aeros Corp.

Image courtesy of Aeros

House of Representative highlights include: “The committee is aware that hybrid airship technology has the potential to provide much needed capability for the Department of Defense, particularly with regards to cargo lift and logistics… The committee is aware of recent developments that have demonstrated innovative capabilities in airship design and lift…The committee encourages the Air Force and Transportation Command to work with industry to more fully develop the capability requirements and mission analysis needed to pursue such an operational prototype.” The full report text can be found on page 256, US House of Representative NDAA FY14 Report.

Aeros’ CEO, Igor Pasternak, is “very pleased that the United States Congress recognizes our developments that have demonstrated innovative buoyancy control capability, and that the Congress is encouraging the Pentagon to work with the industry toward realizing an operational vehicle.”

About the Aeroscraft

An Aeroscraft is a new type of Rigid Variable Buoyancy Air Vehicle, designed to control lift in all stages of air or ground operations, including the ability to off-load heavy payloads without the need to re-ballast. For the first time in history, an aircraft has been designed to control and adjust buoyant and dynamic lift, creating a new paradigm for air transportation and logistics. Poised to enhance the air transportation industry, the Aeroscraft will deliver opportunities for business and consumers globally by access to remote locations and by new cargo delivery capabilities. Developed by Aeros, the key features of the Aeroscraft include a rigid structure, vertical takeoff and landing, and operational abilities at low speed, in hover, and from unprepared surfaces.

About Aeros

Igor Pasternak founded Aeros in 1987 and advanced the company from a small advertising aerostat production manufacturer in the Ukraine to a premier airship producer and R&D firm for the aerospace industry based in the United States. Through their exceptional manufacturing quality, Aeros has achieved multiple FAA airship type certificates and operates with an FAA Production Certificate. Aeros currently boasts an extraordinary product line that includes the most advanced airships and tethered aerostats utilized in commercial and government applications throughout the world. For the past quarter century, Aeros has pioneered new product advancements in the aerospace defense technology sector, which has been a strong contributing factor in maintaining continuous corporate growth. The entire Aeros organization and the advisory board, comprised of military and commercial leaders, are dedicated to one goal of harnessing the exciting future and opportunities ahead. All Aeros team members are focused on meeting the rapidly rising demand for oversized cargo transportation solutions.

This article is a repost (press release 7-22-13), credit: Aeros Corp., Video courtesy of Aeros