Wednesday, December 3, 2008

An electric car from Ford motors

One of the best known car manufacturers worldwide is the Ford Motor Company. As one of the largest car companies, they have been in no rush to get into manufacturing the electric car market. Due to consumer demand, an electric car was manufactured, placed on the market and sold by Ford - a cleaner, environmentally friendly car producing less pollution and no greenhouse gas emissions. It was their first version of an electric car,
called the Think City electric, Ford produced many years ago, and a lot of people were keen to take advantage of this new vehicle. It was pollution free and more energy efficient than a fuel powered car. The United States have very rigid standards about the road safety of vehicles on their road, so the Think City electric didn't meet those strict standards. Ford had to cease production of their first prototype and as a result many of the cars were returned once customers had reached the end of their leases. The cars were then crushed as they couldn't be sold in America. So Ford no longer market the Think City cars, although a few can still be found.
Ford have now implemented and produce hybrid electric cars after much research. These mostly run on battery power, as well as being able to use gasoline power at the touch of a switch. Many of these electric cars can be seen on the roads. As a leading manufacturer of electric cars in the industry, Ford decided to branch out and produce electric vehicles such as Ford trucks, mini-vans and the SUV's, rather than limit their production to just electric cars.
Ford mostly produce electric cars of the hybrid version to meet safety standards, but abroad you can find Ford brand electric cars. Many countries do not have as rigid safety standards, so the electric car can be seen driven by even more people in countries such as England and France.
Some people may be disappointed that Ford had to move from producing electric cars to hybrid vehicles, but as they weren't able to meet the safety standards, there was no choice for the company. As a result it was more cost efficient to produce a more environmentally-friendly vehicle to cope with their customers' demands, than it was to keep the electric cars on the road and try to meet the safety standards.
Ford do continue to listen to their customers and are trying to come up with a suitable model for an electric car. As leaders in the industry, it may only be a matter of time before they can replace the hybrid version with a new exacting Ford brand electric car. Customers will have to wait and see what comes up in the future. With the fast pace of modern technology, it could be possible.


Monday, December 1, 2008

REVA,the car that runs on a battery

REVAi (REVA G-Wiz i in some markets) is an Indian electric car intended for use as a City car. More REVAs have been produced than any other currently selling electric car and sales are increasing. It is manufactured by the Reva Electric Car Co, in Bangalore, India, currently the world's leading electric car manufacturing company .
REVA is the brand of Reva Electric Car Company, a Bangalore based company formed as a joint venture between Maini Group of India and AEV LLC of California and venture backed by lead US investors Global Environment Fund and Draper Fischer Jurvetson.
The Reva is a small 3-door hatchback measuring 2.6 m (8 ft 6 in) long, 1.3 m (4 ft 3 in) wide and 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in) high. It weighs 745 kg (1,640 lb), including its 280 kg (620 lb) lead-acid batteries. The car can accommodate two adults in the front and two children in the rear. The back seats can also fold down to increase cargo space. The maximum passenger and cargo weight is 270 kg (600 lb).

The Reva is intended for city trips and commuting, particularly in congested traffic.

The car may be exported to the USA with a speed limiter for use as a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV).
The current price in the UK (where it is marketed as the G-Wiz i) is approximately £9,500 (€12,000) for the standard model . It qualifies for exemption from the London congestion charge due to being an electrically propelled vehicle.

REVA has a "running cost of just 0.4 rupees/km" (40 paisa/km)
Power comes from eight 6 V, 200 A h, lead acid batteries wired in series to create 48 V. The batteries are located under the front seats.

In the older model, power flowed through a 400 amp motor controller to a DC motor rated at 4.8 kW (6.4 hp). The motor could handle a maximum of 13.1 kW (17.6 hp).

In the 2008 model (REVAi), power flows through a 350 Amp motor controller to a 3-phase AC motor rated at 13 kW (17 hp) peak. It has a "boost" switch that gives 40% extra torque for improved acceleration and hill-climbing and increases the top speed to 80 km/h (50 mph). The range is approximately 80 km (50 mi), but using the heater reduces the range.
Safety concerns
The G-wiz i is currently exempt from most UK crash test rules, because its size allows it to be classed as a quadricycle instead of a car.

The UK Department for Transport found “serious safety concerns” after crashing a G-Wiz at 56 km/h (35mph) into a deformable barrier on 24 April 2007 , which is the normal test for cars. Likewise, a test commissioned by Top Gear Magazine that followed the Euro NCAP crash test specifications found that the occupants would suffer "serious or life-threatening" injuries in a 64 km/h (40mph) crash .

As a result, the current REVAi model (released in January 2008) features a much revised and reinforced chassis that has been successfully crash tested in India by ARAI. It also has an AC drive system which raises the maximum speed to 80 km/h (50 mph). A 25 mph (40 km/h) frontal crash test video of the new model is available on the GoinGreen website.

Reva claims the car has an excellent safety record, saying “In over 40 million km of Reva usage, there has not been a single fatality or serious injury”.
Traction Motor: AC, 13 kW peak power
Charger: Onboard
Charging connector: Cable to standard domestic 230V 13 Amp outlet
Charge time: 8 hours to full power
Pack voltage: 48 V
Battery type: 8 lead-acid batteries
Battery rating: 6 V, 200 A h each
Batteries location: Under front seats
Maximum speed: 80 km/h (50 mph)