As terrifying as this cover is, we won't lie, it's a pretty accurate depiction of how we feel about our vehicles on a bad day. Car maintenance doesn't come naturally to everyone, least of all first-time car owners in the 1920s. This week, we're taking a look at some old school car safety and maintenance tips, mostly from the glory days of stick shift and all that entailed for rookie motorists.
Automakers are doing all sorts of things to cars to make them smarter and more autonomous, as regular readers are aware. Here’s a new one: GM wants to take self-parking cars to a new level, letting them drop off their drivers and go off in search of empty spaces on their own. It’ll be more fuel-efficient than having humans circle the block waiting for a spot to open up, GM says.
A pretty basic fear of the oncoming electric car boom is a concern that charging will be similar to the old cellphone-charger fiasco. Will the owner of a 2017 Mazda Thundersnake have to find particular Mazda charging stations, or will they be able to pull up behind a Chrysler EnFuego? Those fears can be allayed, mostly: seven major automakers have all agreed to adopt a single, universal charging system.
We all know that one of the biggest obstacles to electric car adoption is the long, often overnight recharge time. But Nissan claims that they've created a new charging system that'll fill up your car (Nissan would undoubtedly prefer to say "your Leaf") in only ten minutes--not much different than a regular trip to the Earth-killing pump.
In theory, remote controlled cars are great, but in practice they're just never quite exciting enough for me. That is, until I decided to attach a jet engine to one. Yes, you read that right – a jet engine.
By John VoelckerPosted 10.06.2011 at 10:39 am 2 Comments
It's been hard in recent years to tell how seriously BMW takes electric cars. In 2009, BMW-owned Mini put 600 experimental electric Mini Coopers into test fleets, but the cars were clunky and the program was beset with logistical problems. GM and Nissan have both been selling electric cars for nearly a year now; BMW, meanwhile, is preparing to launch another test fleet—1,000 "ActiveEs," 1-series coupes converted to run on batteries. Then, in July, things seemed to change.
With connectivity and smarter planning, intelligent cars promise to cut congestion, make roads safer and generally improve the whole experience of getting behind the wheel. But nobody said it was all altruistic.
To succeed, electric cars require batteries that store the greatest possible amount of energy in the smallest, lightest, safest, and cheapest package possible. But batteries pose a brutal technical challenge--one subject to all manner of misunderstandings and misinformation. Can today's lithium-ion batteries cut it? What new battery technologies lie on the horizon?
Today from 2:30 to 3:30 pm Eastern time, GM's director of Global Battery Systems, Bill Wallace, and PopSci's Seth Fletcher, author of Bottled Lightning: Superbatteries, Electric Cars, and the New Lithium Economy, will field these questions in an online chat, right here.