Nissan IDS Concept shown in Tokyo

by Ernie Hernandez on November 7, 2015

 Nissan_IDS_Front 3-4Nissan IDS Concept takes EVs up several notches

Styling carries the expected futuristic cues, a 60 kWh battery is on board, but the most notable features of the electric drive IDS concept are its self-driving capabilities.

Nissan has been working on autonomous vehicle design since the 1990’s – one of the first automotive manufacturers to do so. The Japanese market Nissan Cima was one of the first vehicles to offer adaptive cruise control – one of the first steps toward a self-driving car. The company’s goal is to introduce their first version of its Piloted Driver system in Japan next year. While not offering complete self-driving capabilities, it will provide for autonomous driving under heavy highway traffic conditions. That sounds like precisely the kind of assistance that many drivers facing a long commute home at the end of the day might appreciate. The goal is to have fully autonomous vehicles on the road by 2020.

Back to the IDS, at its core it looks like a potential futuristic LEAF but incorporates too many GT-R Nismo attributes for our taste. The Nissan SWAY launched at the Geneva Auto Show earlier this year would be a better candidate to base the next gen LEAF’s look on. Perhaps incorporating the tail lights from the IDS onto the SWAY for a sleeker look.

Concepts always have all of that out there stuff that fortunately never makes its way to production and the IDS does not disappoint. It has a steering wheel that is more of a handle than a wheel. Oh, and it folds into the dash when in auto-pilot mode. The seats also swivel toward each other when the car takes over the driving chores. Here’s a video to check out some of its more esoteric features.

Nissan shows a range of 518 kilometers or 322 miles. Pretty good for a 60 kilowatt hour battery. We’ll see if Nissan gets there by 2020.




Volkswagen – It’s Simple

by Ernie Hernandez on September 27, 2015


Turn the emissions control systems on

Much has been reported in recent days about the Volkswagen emissions control scandal. Little has been said about what to do about it. It’s simple – turn the emissions control systems on.

Having read many reports about the situation, it is clear now that Volkswagen has emissions control systems in place on their diesel engine vehicles that, when operating, place these vehicles in compliance with emissions regulations. What Volkswagen has chosen to do, at least since the 2009 model year on several diesel engine model vehicles, is to turn these emissions controls off when being driven by consumers, and turn these controls on when being tested for their emissions. Volkswagen has employed emissions defeat devices before in the United States, dating back to the origination of emissions control systems in 1973 models. In both instances, these were not unintentional errors but deliberate actions taken to sidestep regulations.

In a statement Volkswagen CEO of the Volkswagen brand Herbert Diess said “We are working at full speed on a technical solution.” It seems they already have a technical solution – turn the emissions control systems on.

The problem with this is that the emissions control systems are turned off while consumers are driving to achieve other goals such as better fuel economy and performance. VW rightly fears that their customers won’t like their vehicles performance or fuel economy with these systems restored to proper operation which is why they are now looking for a “technical solution.” In other words, what they should have done in the first place – develop a system that could control emissions and still provide the customer with the performance and fuel economy they desire. VW has sold over 11 million vehicles globally with this defeat system in place.

Perhaps it’s time for Volkswagen to come up with another name for its TDI technology other than the Clean Diesel they’ve used in the past. Perhaps you can provide some assistance with that.



2016 LEAF gets 107 mile EPA range, new battery warranty

September 10, 2015
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New larger battery increases range, price Nissan has announced the release of the 2016 LEAF with a 30 kilowatt hour battery as standard equipment in the SV and SL models, providing an EPA rated mileage of 107. The S model continues with the 24 kilowatt hour, 84 mile EPA range battery. “The new battery offers […]

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Free Advance Reader Copy of The Electric Car

September 6, 2015

Update: This offer has now expired. Thanks to all of you who requested the advance reader copy. Look for ebook publication on Amazon soon. With National Drive Electric Week almost upon us, what better time than now to publish my new ebook – The Electric Car: Is an Electric Car Right for You? As my […]

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Innovative use of used EV batteries

August 1, 2015
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FreeWire Technologies develops mobile EV charging One concern of the relatively new EV industry is what is going to be done with used EV batteries. California based FreeWire Technologies, one of hopefully many more to come, has a creative solution. When an electric vehicle (EV) battery produces only 70 percent of its original capability due […]

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Stopgap larger battery 2016 LEAF due this fall

May 31, 2015
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2016 LEAF to bridge gap to LEAF 2.0 [UPDATE 6/13/2015] I have confirmation that Nissan’s upper two trim levels will use the new technology battery cells in the current battery modules. Nissan will not confirm the range, but it’s a safe bet that range will improve to at least 105 epa-rated miles. *** It seems […]

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Look for Monster Tajima at Pike’s Peak in Rimac electric race car

May 26, 2015
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Potential record setting combination I’ve written about Rimac before (found here). Founded five years ago, Rimac hasn’t run out of money yet, and they build a wicked fast electric vehicle (EV) concept. Now, according to their new YouTube video (found here), it looks like they are teaming with the also wicked fast Monster Tajima to […]

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Tennessee, Connecticut offer EV incentives

May 25, 2015
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States encourage EV ownership Connecticut EV buyers will for the first time qualify for rebates up to $3,000. Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell and Toyota Mirai will also qualify for the maximum rebate. Hybrids or EVs with a seven to eighteen kilowatt hour battery qualify for $1,500, while smaller battery hybrids are eligible for $750. Tennessee, […]

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The Electric Car book

May 24, 2015
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Looking for beta readers for my new electric car book I have just completed my new e-book The Electric Car – Is an Electric Car Right for You? After fretting over it for the past four years, I think it’s time that I finally stopped fretting, and got to publishing. I am looking for fifteen […]

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Let’s talk about battery degradation

May 9, 2015

Battery degradation isn’t that big of a deal for many [UPDATE: Here’s a link to an article (found here) about a LEAF in the UK that went 100,000 miles in under two years with no degradation.] First, a definition. Electric vehicle (EV) battery degradation is when the battery loses capacity over time. If you’ve ever […]

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