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The Legendary Electric Car From The 1970s That Led US Electric Car Sales Until Tesla Came Along

We all know that Tesla didn’t build the first electric vehicle. EVs have been around since the horseless carriage days. For better or for worse, the gas engine soon gained supremacy, but over the years, both major automakers and startups have experimented with EVs, and a few models have briefly gone into production. Many may be surprised to learn that the best-selling EV in US history prior to the advent of Tesla was not produced by any of the Big Three, but by a small company based in Florida.

Late 6HP electric CitiCar at the America on Wheels Auto Museum. Photo by Klaus Nahr; cropped by uploader Mr.choppers. CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

The oil crisis of the 1970s spurred a short spurt of interest in EVs. A car salesman named Bob Beaumont designed an EV called the CitiCar, and set up a company called Sebring-Vanguard to build it.

The CitiCar was produced between 1974 and 1977 at the company’s plant in Sebring, Florida. It embodied the unfortunate stereotype that many people still have of EVs. A tiny two-seater based on a Club Car golf cart, it ran on eight 6-volt lead-acid batteries and featured a plastic body. It had a top speed of 60 mph and a range of about 40 miles. Some 4,444 CitiCars and related models were produced, giving it the distinction of the most produced American EV until the Tesla Roadster took that title in 2011.

Several models of the CitiCar were offered over its short lifetime. Classic Car History provides a detailed description of the various variants, including how to tell them apart (just in case you run across an old CitiCar at a garage sale).

The early SV/36 featured six 36-volt batteries and a 1.9 kWh (2.5 hp) motor. Top speed was about 28 mph, and range was around 35 miles. Shortly after launch, the CitiCar got an upgrade — the SV/48 had eight batteries and a 2.6 kWh (3.5 hp) motor. Top speed was 38 mph, and range was around 40 miles. Beginning in 1976, Sebring-Vanguard started building a new version known as the Transitional or 1976 1/2 CitiCar, which had a far more powerful 4.5 kWh (6 hp) motor.

For comparison, most modern EVs use a 400-volt system (the Porsche Taycan, and several upcoming models, run on 800 volts). The latest Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus offers 306 hp and 353 miles of range.

The CitiCar was priced at around $3,000, which was cheaper than the average gas-powered car at the time, and it sold pretty well for a couple of years. However, once the energy crisis passed and gas prices went back down, demand plummeted, and the company declared bankruptcy in 1977. A company called Commuter Vehicles later purchased most of the company’s assets, redesigned the vehicle and renamed it the ComutaCar. This was produced from 1979 to 1982.

In 1980, the company won a contract with the US Postal Service to build 500 electric postal vans. At some point the contract was canceled, and the dispute ended up in federal court (40 years later, the USPS still hasn’t committed to electrifying its antique fleet). According to Classic Car History, it appears that 367 of the Postal ComutaVans were built, and some were sold to the public.

Source : https://cleantechnica.com/2021/09/30/the-legendary-electric-car-from-the-1970s-that-led-us-electric-car-sales-until-tesla-came-along/

Production of the 2022 Lucid Air EV Started Today

Here’s how Lucid left Tesla in its wake with 520 miles of electric car range

Luxury electric car startup Lucid Motors kicked off production at its Casa Grande, Ariz., factory this week and is coming out of the box with a strong effort that beats rival Tesla in one key area.

Its launch vehicle, the Lucid Air sedan, boasts a maximum driving range of 520 miles per charge, far surpassing the Tesla Model S Long Range’s rating of 405 miles.

Lucid’s top figure is for the 933 horsepower $169,990 Dream Range trim level, but all Air models down to the entry-level $77,400 Pure offer at least 406 miles of range.

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The Dream Range achieves its rating with a 113 kilowatt-hour battery pack, while the Pure’s is smaller than the Model S Long Range’s 100 kilowatt pack, Lucid Senior Vice President of Product and Chief Engineer Eric Bach told Fox News Autos.

The Dream Range also outshines the Model S Long Range’s efficiency with an EPA rating of 125 miles per gallon equivalent to 120 MPGe.

Bach credits the performance to the fact that Lucid designs the Air’s key drivetrain components, including motor, inverter and transmission in house, which makes it easier to optimize how they work together.

Bach’s team focused on minimizing friction in the powertrain, which can often account for 30 percent of the energy being wasted. It also used silicon carbide in its power electronics to reduce heat during the transition from DC to AC as the electricity transfers from the batteries to the motors, which means less energy is needed to run the cooling systems.

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Bach said the motors feature a unique copper winding design and that the cooling channels for them are located very close to the windings in “dead zones” they found in the magnetic fields to make them more effective.

The Air also a very aerodynamic car, with a drag coefficient of .21 and a small frontal area thanks to its low, narrow stance.

To celebrate the achievement, Lucid will build 520 cars this year as it ramps up production and is aiming to sell 20,000 cars in 2022.

Hyundai and Tesla electric cars safer than Ford Mustang Mach-E … for moose?

Electric utility vehicle does poorly in evasive maneuver “moose test”

 

Who knew mustangs were a natural enemy of moose?

The Ford Mustang Mach-E

 fared poorly during a recent “moose test” in Sweden, which simulates a vehicle’s ability to make quick evasive maneuvers if something steps in front of it on the road.

The evaluation was conducted by the Teknikens Värld news outlet using a Mustang Mach-E AWD Long Range and found that the vehicle was unable to negotiate the left-right turn at the benchmark speed of 72 kph, or 44.7 mph, without losing some control and leaving the designated path. The testers chalked the issue up to the tuning of the Mach-E’s stability control system and thought its steering was too slow and its suspension too soft.

The maximum speed that the Mach-E could get through the course cleanly at was 42.3 mph, while a Hyundai Ioniq 5 had no trouble at the 44.7 mph speed.

A Tesla Model Y that was also tested set the fastest speed of 46.6 mph. Reporter Linus Projtz described the Tesla was “really good” and the Mach-E “really bad.”

The moose test is notoriously tricky and has tripped up many popular models over the years, including the Toyota Rav4 Prime and Porsche Macan.

A Ford spokesman said the automaker has scheduled a meeting with Teknikens Värld to discuss the test.

“While we cannot yet explain the results of this specific test, we remain confident that the Mach-E performs to the very highest standards set globally by Ford including our extensive stability and Electronic Stability Control tests without issue,” he said.

The Mach-E did recently impress during a different track test in the U.S., where the Michigan State Police gave it a passing grade during its annual pursuit vehicle evaluations.

Ford doesn’t currently offer a police version of the Mach-E, but retail versions have been converted into patrol cars.

Source : https://www.foxnews.com/auto/hyundais-teslas-electric-cars-safer-fords-moose

Luxury brands leading the charge toward an electric vehicle future

 

When it comes to the combination of luxury and battery-powered cars, the sky seems to be the limit.

Next year, you’ll be seeing an all-electric Cadillac out on the road.

“It is the first step toward an all-EV future for the brand, and while it is an all-electric vehicle, it continues to be unmistakably Cadillac,” said Mahmoud Samara, the vice president of sales, service and marketing for the luxury division of General Motors.

It’s called the LYRIQ, a compact crossover SUV.

As GM’s premium brand, Cadillac will roll its newest model into showrooms next year, presumably to great fanfare.

The launch of the LYRIQ, which comes with a starting price of around $60,000, is among the first of a string of Cadillac models that will be fully electric.

READ ALSO | Increasing electric vehicle sales now leaving some automakers scrambling to meet demand

Electric vehicle sales are on the rise as people continue making the switch from gas to electric. California also continues to expand the infrastructure needed to accommodate electric vehicles.

“We are going to continue to deliver what our Cadillac customers want, but we also feel we have an opportunity to welcome new customers into the Cadillac brand, especially when it comes to the EV space,” noted Samara.

You could eventually see an electric Cadillac flagship with a six-figure price tag.

Meanwhile, rival U.S. luxury nameplate Lincoln already has a bit of a head start in its own quest with plug-in hybrid SUVs like the Aviator and Corsair in its upper trim levels. Ford has promised that its upscale division will embark on a big electrification program in the coming years.

In Germany, things are going plug-in in a big way.

Mercedes-Benz’s new EQS sedan – which can be described as the battery-powered version of the company’s S-class – leads the charge with a price tag that starts at nearly $105,000.

But credit has to be given to Tesla.

READ MORE | Ford, GMC, Chevy announce fully-electric pickup trucks arriving soon

Several American truck makers including Ford, Chevrolet, GMC and Rivian are set to release fully-electric pickups trucks within the next year.

In 2012, the company showed the automotive world that some customers would be willing to pay up to, or even over, $100,000 for an electric car. First with the Model S and then with the Model X.

Of the German automakers, Audi probably has the biggest head start on this race toward an electric future.

The company has three plug-in models currently on sale, including the stunning high-performance e-tron GT.

That model comes with a base price of about $100,000, though Audi has other EV models for way less. But GT is Audi’s new battery-powered flagship, and there’s even a more powerful RS version that’ll carry a jaw-dropping $140,000 price tag.

Electric vehicles priced for mainstream buyers may be arriving in showrooms, but when it comes to the combination of luxury and battery-powered cars, the sky seems to be the limit.

 

Source : https://abc7.com/electric-cars-luxury-vehicles-cadillac-lincoln-aviator/11057509/

More Hawaiʻi Drivers Are Embracing the Electric Vehicle Movement

electric-car-1458836_1920.jpg

For National Drive Electric Week, The Conversation talked toTam Hunt, director of the Hawaii Electric Vehicle Association, about what it’s like to own an electric car. There’s also a webinar this weekend about how motorists are embracing the electric vehicle movement.

Hunt said there are some 16,000 electric vehicles in Hawaiʻi — the second-highest per capita ownership in the country behind California.

Source : https://www.hawaiipublicradio.org/the-conversation/2021-09-28/more-hawaii-motorists-are-embracing-the-electric-vehicle-movement

 

 

Ride-Share Pioneer Has a New Company to Spur Electric Cars

 

Sunil Paul is launching a new company called, Spring Free EV. 

Sunil Paul, one of the pioneers of the ride-sharing concept, is launching a new company that he hopes will help encourage the adoption of electric vehicles.

The business, called Spring Free EV, aims to tackle one of the biggest barriers to more widespread use of electric vehicles: high upfront costs. By offering financing and charging a fee per mile of use, Paul says Spring Free’s approach should make costs for electric vehicles equal to or lower than their fossil-fuel-guzzling counterparts, especially for high mileage drivers. Price parity is crucial for the startup’s first clients — fleet managers — who acquire cars in bulk and who have seen strong demand for electric vehicles on consumer car-sharing and ride-sharing platforms.

Paul co-founded Spring Free EV with Martin Lagod and Cassandra John with an ambitious first goal — to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by one gigaton by 2030. That means doubling the number of electric vehicles worldwide to 200 million from the current 100 million.

Expert insight into the future of cars.

 

The 2021 Bloomberg EV Outlook predicts there will 169 million passenger electric vehicles on the road by 2030. Getting to 200 million won’t be easy, but Paul believes it’s necessary to slow global warming. The key is lowering the price. Paul says that even within the first five years of ownership, the total cost of a Tesla Inc. Model 3 is lower than a Toyota Camry or BMW 3 Series. Tax credits and economic incentives further reduce the total cost of electric options.

Backed by a slew of high-profile investors and entrepreneurs such as Ev Williams, Reid Hoffman,  Mark Pincus and Marianne Wu, Spring Free EV contracts with electric car manufacturers including Tesla and Nissan Motor Co. to acquire the cars in bulk. Spring Free then supplies the electric vehicles to small and medium-sized fleet managers who pay based on the mileage purchase agreement.

Spring Free EV has plans for quick expansion. The company has already deployed 200 vehicles with fleet managers in six states, including HandiFleet in Texas, Flux in California, and Island Rides in Florida. Two to six fleet managers are signing up every week, and Spring Free has plans to be in 20 states by the end of 2021.

The company is only going to have an impact on the climate if it’s “insanely successful,” Paul says, and gets other companies to use the same approach. “I have been copied a lot of times in my career, but nobody wants to copy you if you aren’t successful.”

Spring Free is Paul’s second venture into the automotive business. In 2011, he co-founded the ride-sharing company Sidecar Technologies Inc., which created one of the first apps to try ride-destination tracking, discounted carpooling, and deliveries that placed people and packages on the same route. Paul hoped to have a positive environmental impact by making transportation more efficient. But four years later Sidecar was squeezed out by its better-known, better-funded rivals Lyft Inc. and Uber Technologies Inc.

Sidecar also didn’t live up to its original climate goals. Ride-sharing proved to be even worse for the environment, with each trip causing about 69% more greenhouse gases than the one it displaces, according to a report last year by the Union of Concerned Scientists. Paul knows he can’t put the genie back in the bottle, but he’s hoping that Spring Free EV can help mitigate global warming. “Can I take something I was totally wrong on and make it something where I was totally right?” he asks.

The next category of customers for Spring Free after fleet managers would be high-mileage drivers, such as delivery service providers, gig workers, and, of course, ride-sharing. “Ride-sharings have failed the climate and they also represent a great opportunity to help the climate. They are the best target to go electric,” Paul says.

Source : https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-09-20/ride-share-pioneer-launches-new-startup-to-spur-electric-car-use

Here’s how Lucid left Tesla in its wake with 520 miles of electric car range

Luxury electric car startup Lucid Motors kicked off production at its Casa Grande, Ariz., factory this week and is coming out of the box with a strong effort that beats rival Tesla in one key area.

Its launch vehicle, the Lucid Air sedan, boasts a maximum driving range of 520 miles per charge, far surpassing the Tesla Model S Long Range’s rating of 405 miles.

Lucid’s top figure is for the 933 horsepower $169,990 Dream Range trim level, but all Air models down to the entry-level $77,400 Pure offer at least 406 miles of range.

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The Dream Range achieves its rating with a 113 kilowatt-hour battery pack, while the Pure’s is smaller than the Model S Long Range’s 100 kilowatt pack, Lucid Senior Vice President of Product and Chief Engineer Eric Bach told Fox News Autos.

The Dream Range also outshines the Model S Long Range’s efficiency with an EPA rating of 125 miles per gallon equivalent to 120 MPGe.

Bach credits the performance to the fact that Lucid designs the Air’s key drivetrain components, including motor, inverter and transmission in house, which makes it easier to optimize how they work together.

Bach’s team focused on minimizing friction in the powertrain, which can often account for 30 percent of the energy being wasted. It also used silicon carbide in its power electronics to reduce heat during the transition from DC to AC as the electricity transfers from the batteries to the motors, which means less energy is needed to run the cooling systems.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Bach said the motors feature a unique copper winding design and that the cooling channels for them are located very close to the windings in “dead zones” they found in the magnetic fields to make them more effective.

The Air also a very aerodynamic car, with a drag coefficient of .21 and a small frontal area thanks to its low, narrow stance.

To celebrate the achievement, Lucid will build 520 cars this year as it ramps up production and is aiming to sell 20,000 cars in 2022.

Source : https://www.foxnews.com/auto/heres-how-lucid-left-tesla-in-its-wake-with-520-miles-of-electric-car-range

Electric car company Polestar is going public via SPAC

Source : https://www.theverge.com/2021/9/27/22696139/polestar-spac-public-value-ev-startup-volvo-geely

Lucid to start deliveries of electric cars with range exceeding Tesla’s in October

People test drive Dream Edition P and Dream Edition R electric vehicles at the Lucid Motors plant in Casa Grande, Arizona, U.S. September 28, 2021. REUTERS/Caitlin O’Hara

CASA GRANDE, Ariz., Sept 28 (Reuters) – Lucid Group Inc (LCID.O) said on Tuesday it will start delivering its luxury electric sedans with a Tesla-beating driving range in late October, in a major challenge to the market leader whose sales of premium models have stagnated.

The California-based startup began production of its long-delayed Lucid Air cars at its Arizona factory on Tuesday. The company, founded in 2007, received funding from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund in 2018 before going public via a shell company in July.

Lucid Group’s CEO, Peter Rawlinson, who had overseen Tesla’s Model S development before he left the company in 2012, faces tasks similar to those of Tesla in its early days, including how to address manufacturing challenges and scale up production.

“I think the big challenge for Lucid will be execution,” said Sam Abuelsamid, a principal analyst at Guidehouse Insights. “I think that they have a very good car. It’s very attractive,”

Lucid said on Tuesday it has received more than 13,000 reservations for Lucid Air models, whose price starts at $77,400. It also said it has increased the planned total production of the top-end Lucid Air Dream Edition to 520 vehicles. That car is priced at $169,000 and will be available in late October, followed by less expensive models: Grand Touring, Touring and Air Pure.

A version of the Dream Edition has received an official government rating of a 520-mile (837 km) range, delivering more than 100 miles of additional range over its closest rival, Tesla’s Model S, which is priced at $89,990.

“The proprietary EV technology that Lucid has developed will make it possible to travel more miles using less battery energy,” said Rawlinson.

Lucid has not yet disclosed the battery capacity of the top-end version of Lucid Air, but it said its Lucid Air Grand Touring version has an official EPA rating of 516 miles of range with a 112-kWh battery pack, giving it an industry-leading efficiency of 4.6 miles per kilowatt-hour.

Musk said in June that Tesla has canceled its plan to launch a Model S Plaid+, with a target driving range of 520 miles, saying another version is “so good.”

Tesla’s combined sales of Model S and Model X luxury models stood at only 1,890 in the second quarter of this year, down from 22,300 during the same period three years ago. Tesla does not break out figures for the two high-end models.

“The Model S doesn’t look fundamentally different from a Model S nine years ago,” Abuelsamid said. “In the premium market, customers are looking for the latest and greatest.”

“What Lucid is going to potentially have an advantage is the Air feels like a luxury car, feels a lot more premium,” he said.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk in October 2020 cut the price of its Model S, shortly after Lucid announced the pricing of its base model. “The gauntlet has been thrown down! The prophecy will be fulfilled,” he tweeted at that time.

Musk reiterated this month that “production is hard.”

“Production with positive cash flow is extremely hard,” he said, citing carmakers’ razor-thin margins.

Electric vehicle maker Rivian, backed by Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) and now preparing for a public stock listing, earlier this month started production of electric pickup trucks. That move came ahead of similar expected moves by Tesla, General Motors Co (GM.N) and Ford Motor Co (F.N), which are all preparing to launch electric pickup trucks.

Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin in Casa Grande, Ariz. Editing by Matthew Lewis
Source : https://www.reuters.com/business/autos-transportation/lucid-start-deliveries-electric-cars-with-range-exceeding-teslas-october-2021-09-28/