Close [X]

Frankfurt Motorshow 2009 - Electric shockers

img
img
img
img

What are they?

Reva NXR and Reva NXG

What can they do?

The NXR is available with two battery options — Lead acid and Li-ion. The lead acid model, called the City, is powered by a 17 bhp (13 kW), 5 kgm electric motor while the Li-ion NXR, called the Intercity, gets its motion from a more grunty 25 bhp (25 kW) motor that puts out 9 kgm of torque. A full charge takes eight hours for both battery types. Range for the City is 80 km and top whack is 80 kph while the Intercity's range is 160 km and is slightly faster with a pinnacle speed of 104 kph. The Reva NXG is a hotted-up and stylish model, slated for production in 2011. The NXG will have a range of 200 km on a single charge and a top speed of 130 kph. The motor's thirst will be quenched by a Li-ion phosphate battery pack.

Looker or cooker?

The NXR is quite appealing but the NXG is the more attractive of the two.

Any tech stuff to boast about?

Both the NXR and the NXG get an integrated communication console, rear camera, dual airbags, impact sensing door unlock and keyless entry and operation. Dual charging ports will cater to either regular or fast charging requirements but the regenerative braking system will make sure these are used less often.   What is it?

Volkswagen E-UP

What can it do?

For starters, it can be charged in your warm garage into the same 230v outlet that powers the weed-wacker. It would take about five hours to get to full charge and this is good enough for around 100 km. The electric motor produces a maximum of 80 horses (60 kW) and torque of 21.4 kgm — good enough for a claimed top speed of 135 kph.

Looker or cooker?

It certainly wasn’t the best looking electric car at the show, but it’s quite dinky and cute-like.

Any tech stuff to boast about?

Quite a lot, actually. The batteries are housed in the underbody of the E-Up in a crash-protected tray such that the weight of the entire system is distributed efficiently and the cooling systems are placed in at the front of the arrangement. Called the ‘Integral Drive’, the powertrain comprising the electric motor, transmission and differential are combined together and this allows a unit that is both compact and has a relatively lower weight of about 140 kg. The E-Up is also fitted with solar panels on the roof. These panels convert solar energy into electricity which is used to recharge the batteries and when the car is parked, they provide the juice to power the ventilation system to keep the passenger compartment cool. And to complete the techno blitzkrieg, the E-Up has something called the Human Machine Interface (HMI). This HMI is basically a touch screen that provides assistance and monitors various parameters of the car such as charge status of the batteries, prompting you about the closest recharge centres and the like.   What is it?

Renault Fluence Z.E. Concept

What can it do?

The motor is a 95 bhp (70 kW) electric unit with 23 kgm of torque. Renault claims the Z.E. is good for a range of 160 km on a single charge.

Looker or cooker?

Looker, definitely.

Any tech stuff to boast about?

The Fluence’s Li-ion batteries can be charged in three distinct manners. The first is a standard charge that would take between four and eight hours. The second is a lightning quick charge of about 20 minutes and the quickest is the 3-minute ‘Quickdrop’. This is basically a rapid battery exchange system where in the user drives up to the station and the drained battery is swapped for a charged one in just three minutes. Although not confirmed, the Z.E. might also feature regenerative braking and solar panels for additional input of energy into the batteries. And you can bet on it that some Nissans will share motive power with the Fluence when it gets into production. This is a full sized family car that’s designed to be practical. What is it?   Audi e-tron

What can it do?

The question ought to be: what can it not do! Two motors each on the front and rear axles combine to produce 313 bhp (230 kW) and nearly 459 kgm of torque. So it’s no surprise that this electric missile shoots off from 0 to 100 kph in 4.8 seconds and 60-120 kph in just 4.1 seconds. Top speed, thankfully, is limited at 200 kph. The range is approximately 248 km.

Looker or cooker?

Looker, looker, looker!

Any tech stuff to boast about?

Let’s start from the way the e-tron puts all that power to the ground. The torque from the four electric motors is distributed as and where required which provides excellent driving dynamics and precision and nimble handling, especially while cornering. A first for any automobile, the interior is heated with a heat pump — something that’s used almost exclusively in buildings as of today. What it does is that, instead of using the heat generated by the powerplant, it converts mechanical drive into heat energy. Then, the ‘Car-to-x communication’ completes this Audi and is an information processing system which will reduce energy consumption, increase safety and efficiently regulate traffic flow. Highly efficient LED technology is used in all the lighting systems which brings down power consumption quite significantly. The headlamps automatically adapt their illumination according to the weather conditions, all thanks to a camera linked to a computer that measures the visibility condition. Liquid cooling of thebatteries ensure optimal performance at all times. Regenerative braking technology also makes the e-tron its home. Phew!