Are fuel cell vehicles the future of motoring or just “mind-bogglingly stupid”?

Mark Schneider | 28/05/2018 10:00:00 AM

Hydrogen is the most common element on the planet and most carmakers seem convinced that hydrogen-powered cars are the future of motoring, but with a whole range of electric vehicles about to enter the market it’s worth asking the question: why the push for hydrogen? On the face of it hydrogen does offer advantages as a vehicle fuel. Unlike fossil fuels it’s theoretically a very clean fuel. Use hydrogen to drive your car and the only thing coming out of the tailpipe is water v...

Is Tesla about to be overtaken?

Mark Schneider | 28/05/2018 8:00:00 AM

Tesla may have successfully launched a car into space but back here on Earth it’s beginning to look like its competitors may be about to blast past the electric car innovator with electric vehicles of their own. History isn’t always kind to innovative companies who produce brilliant ideas only to have others pick them up and then run past them. Take Kodak for example. It invented digital photography, failed to capitalise on it and went bankrupt in 2012. On the other side of th...

Electric trucks promise to slash running costs

Mark Schneider | 19/02/2018 1:44:28 PM

Tesla has promised to turn the trucking industry on its head with the development of a powerful new electric semi that promises dramatically reduced running costs. But as usual with Tesla, the glittering promise is qualified with a lot of "ifs, buts and maybes". The semi is undeniably big and impressive – "a beast" according to Tesla's Elon Musk that's designed for heavy-duty work. Apart from that not much is known about it apart from a claim that it will...

Are universal road user charges inevitable?

Mark Schneider | 17/07/2017 10:25:09 AM

The idea of road user charges - directly charging people to drive on the roads – has long been a favourite of policy wonks and economists, but political anathema to politicians. Now however there are a few factors at play forcing politicians to at least consider the issue. They're all driven by looming technological change. One is electric vehicles, and the other is autonomous ones, which brings with it the threat of increased traffic congestion. If you hate the id...

12-volt electrical systems are reaching the end of the road

Mark Schneider | 6/01/2017 9:13:05 AM

The pace of change in vehicle technology has been dizzying in recent years with engines, brakes and safety systems all undergoing radical transformations that have brought dramatic improvements. They don’t make cars like they used to, and we can all be very thankful for that. However one thing that’s remained unchanged for decades is the electrical system that underpins much of this technology. Cars have been running 12-volt electrical systems since the 1950s when most manufac...

Ferrari resists all-electric performance push

Mark Schneider | 2/12/2016 8:47:11 AM

Sales of electric cars may still be a trickle but that trickle may yet become a flood if Toyota’s reported plans to mass-produce long range electric cars by 2020 come to fruition. Toyota’s decision coincides with Renault-Nissan’s recently announced plans to introduce an US$8,000 electric car to the Chinese market. One manufacturer that won’t be joining in the electric revolution anytime soon however is Ferrari. While the exotic Italian intends to give all its new c...

Formula E is electrifying motor racing

Mark Schneider | 27/09/2016 12:07:54 PM

The cars may look familiar and the action is fast, furious and close. The commentators hyperventilate with excitement and even the drivers’ names are steeped in motor racing royalty. There’s a Prost and a Senna and a Piquet on the grid alongside former Formula 1 drivers Jarno Trulli, Sebastien Buemi and Nick Heidfeld. But when the rubber hits the road at any race of the Formula E series there’s something distinctly different about it. It’s the sound – there&r...

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Categories: Electric

Chinese start-up poaches BMW’s electric experts

Mark Schneider | 19/07/2016 1:01:59 PM

In a sure sign that China is getting very serious indeed about the future of electric cars, Chinese electric vehicle startup Future Mobility has recruited the brains behind BMW’s electric i8 sports car. The Chinese company may be an unknown in the vehicle world, but it’s backed by some very big money - the curiously named Tencent Holdings and Foxconn. Tencent Holdings is an electronics, social media and online gaming giant worth over US$200 billion, while Foxconn, which manufa...

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