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Electric cars and bikes in the news

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The new Tesla p85d

The new Tesla p85d

Lots of news on electric vehicles this week. Tesla unveiled its latest model, the P85D, an amazing car that is a disappointment at the same time. I’m disappointed because I was hoping for the long-expected moderately-priced sedan; instead, here’s a supercar (0-60 mph in 3.2 secs). Which, I suppose, makes sense, considering that Elon Musk needs money to keep his operation afloat. So might as well sell supercars to the 1% – they’re the ones with the money. Who else can afford a car with a base price of $120K (still cheaper than a Ferrari, mind you).

In other news, Harley Davidson announced its all-electric motorbike, while the van.eko brand launched the be.e, an electric scooter with a frame made entirely from compressed plant material (doesn’t get much greener!). And the European Vivax unveiled a super-compact battery-motor unit that can be adapted to any bike (a little marvel of efficient engineering).

The most compact e-bicycle drive yet

The most compact e-bicycle drive yet

And the future of electric transportation looks bright, judging by news from Norway (where a variety of incentives have created the largest fleet of electrical cars in the world) and China (where electric cars are tax-free).

But it’s not just about money. In Vancouver, journalist Kelsey Klassen enthuses about how her new Leaf has “changed her life”: not just guilt-free commuting for an environmentalist, but a surprising boost to her social scene: everyone stops and talks at charging stations.

Which brings us back to Tesla. Many enthusiasts can’t wait for the lower-priced model, which promises a combination of longer range with affordability. A solid boost is indeed needed for Tesla; investors are starting to get grumpy, according to the Globe. But all of us want to see Musk succeed: his giant lithium battery factory is likely to not only make electric cars affordable, but also be a shot in the arm for every technology that requires energy storage (hello, solar collectors) and a most welcome vote of confidence for manufacturing of large-scale high tech in North America. The future is just around the corner. I hope.

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Written by enviropaul

October 13, 2014 at 4:59 pm

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