The Nissan Leaf can run 70-plus miles on a single charge. Now, it can also power a family home for two days if it needs to. The “Leaf to Home” project Nissan is rolling out in Japan allows the electricity stored in the Leaf’s lithium-ion battery to be fed back into a home, running major appliances for up to two days.
Electric cars haven’t killed the engine as we know it, yet. In fact, the century-old technology is getting stronger every year
By Lawrence UlrichPosted 05.06.2010 at 5:07 pm 30 Comments
With all the focus on hybrids and electric cars, you might assume that the internal combustion (IC) engine was headed for extinction. Yet more than 99 percent of the world's new cars still use one. That includes conventional hybrids, whose batteries and electric motors derive their energy entirely from gasoline. Even those automakers who are most bullish on alternative energy say that the IC engine will remain their primary propulsion system for decades.
And that's not necessarily bad news. Some IC powerplants achieve near-zero emissions of pollution-generating compounds (they will still emit carbon dioxide), while others can generate 600 horsepower more efficiently than ever. As governments begin regulating CO2 emissions, the latest trend sees automakers downsizing engines without losing the power and smoothness that drivers expect. Here, three intriguing approaches that will reach showrooms around the globe in the coming years.
It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a Nissan? Though limited to terrestrial travel, the concept Land Glider automobile from Nissan banks like an airplane, tilting into corners, giving drivers the sensation of flying. But, the likenesses to aviation don't end there. The two-seater orients driver and passenger in tandem -- one in front and one in back -- and rather than a steering wheel, the Land Glider has airplane-style, computer-guided yoke controls.