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As part of the celebrations for the World Environment Day, Chevrolet showcased an electric version of their Beat sub-compact car in India.
The Beat BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) is powered by 300 lithium-ion battery cells, which will take eight-hours to charge from a standard 240V house outlet. On a full charge, the Beat BEV can travel 130 km (80 miles), under normal driving conditions. Impressive numbers, but not exactly ground breaking. Power is sent to the drive wheels via a single-speed transmission.
At the launch, Karl Slym, president and managing director of General Motors of India said, “General Motors is committed to providing customers around the world with electrification technologies that will reduce their fuel consumption, helping them save money. GM India will lead in this ‘tailored for India’ demo program for battery electric technology, with Chevrolet Beat chosen as the best way to evaluate the technology. We are delighted that Chevrolet selected India as an important market to test battery electric technology, while recognizing the capabilities of our engineering team to help identify ways to make this technology more affordable.”
Will this particular version of the Beat just be a concept or will it go into production is not known at the moment. GM India is already offering a range of alternate fuel vehicles including the Chevrolet Beat LPG, Chevrolet Spark LPG and Chevrolet Aveo CNG to its customers.
Chevy is expected to bring a gasoline version of the Beat to North America as early as next year.
And they don’t know much more about hybrids, either. A study by London-based market research firm Synovate found that new vehicle buyers hardly knew that hybrids contained batteries, used gasoline, or couldn’t be plugged in.
Only two-thirds of people surveyed knew that hybrids used both battery and gasoline power (hence the “hybrid” name), and only one-third knew that hybrids could run on the electric motor by itself.
It gets more distressing. Those surveyed about plug-in hybrids didn’t know that they still required gasoline. Less than half knew that plug-ins, like their regular hybrid brethren, could also run in electric-only mode.
The survey was conducted from Oct. 22 and Nov. 2 of last year, among 1,898 Americans who were about to buy a new car or intended to do so. Synovate concluded from these results that a lack of buyer knowledge could affect vehicle sales, before going on to prove the aqueous qualities of dihydrogen monoxide.
“This low level of understanding about the way in which electric powertrain vehicles work will have profound consequences for vehicle sales,” said Stephen Popiel, senior vice president of Synovate Motoresearch. “In the short term, dealers will have to spend an inordinate amount of time explaining the workings of PHEVs and BEVs to interested buyers. We have to wonder if consumers will become disillusioned when they understand the actual requirements of electric vehicles.”
Ultimately, “whose job is it to educate consumers about these powertrains?” Popiel asked. Is it the manufacturer’s responsibility? The media’s? Or even the government’s? Synovate didn’t suggest anything. Either way, “long-term success of the electrification of the fleet will only come about with a better-educated consumer,” said Popiel.
Certainly, shelling out for the second most-expensive consumer purchase in one’s lifetime merits even basic knowledge of its functions. You may not have to read the owner’s manual cover to cover (unless you’re a nerd), but if you don’t remember to put gasoline in your hybrid, then it’s back to the drawing board.
We wouldn’t dare call The Ohio State University just plain ‘ol Ohio State. We know how important that ‘The’ is to those Buckeyes. And while they may have a lot to look forward to this upcoming football season, (best of luck that they don’t disappoint, coming from a Florida Gator!) some students from the University are happily setting records out at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.
Back in 2009, The Buckeye Bullet set a two-way land speed record of 300.992 mph with a fuel cell-powered version of their vehicle. For this new record however, they would be setting a benchmark for a battery-powered vehicle.
The Buckeye Bullet 2 is a collaboration with Venturi, a Monaco-based developer of electric vehicles. Gone are the fuel cells and in its place are A123 Systems’ lithium-ion batteries. Just as a sign of the future and what these badboys are capable of, the vehicle was piloted one way to 286 mph and back at 297 mph for an average of 291 mph. There was a little bit of a retune going down after the first pass, so we’re willing to bet that this Bullet isn’t far off from another pair of 300 mph passes.
But alas, the Buckeye Bullet 2 might not be seen again as this was simply a test mule for an all new 2011 car. Rumor has it that it’ll be insane and groundbreaking, but we have on details yet. Maybe they’ll be more motivated if their football team is hoisting the crystal ball come early next year. Well, at least some people over at The Ohio State University are making dreams into a reality.
GALLERY: The Ohio State University Buckeye Bullet
[Source: AutoBlog Green]