Green Cars

BMW i3 Electric car and i8 Hybrid car

Posted on September 9th, 2011 in Green Cars by JP No Comments
BMWi i3 Electric Car

BMW i3 Electric Car concept

 

BMW are going to venture in to the green car market with 2 new cars, the BMW i3 and the i8.  Both these cars are still in a concept phase but they do have working models on both which are currently being tested.

 

The BMW i3 (as pictured left) is a full electric car BMW will offer.  As with all electric cars the BMW i3 is still going to be limited to around 100 miles on the battery but they are stating that the battery can be fully charged in 6 hours via a normal domestic plug socket and claim they will be able to achieve 80% charge from a high powered socket within the hour.

 

The car is made from a carbon fiber mix which means it’s going to be very light, this will enable the battery to be smaller as it wont have a big weight to push around.  As always though these electric cars are going to be for people who live and work in cities and will be no good for travelling around the country because of the small range they offer, lack of charging stations and of course the amount of time to actually charge the car up.

BMWi i8 Concept Car

BMW i8 Concept Car

 

The BMW i8 concept car is a hybrid super car running on both petrol and electric.  BMW are claiming this car will be able to go from – 60 mph in under 5 seconds and claim a 94 mpg which is unheard of.

 

The BMW i8 will also be made out of a carbon fiber mix meaning for a sports car it will be very light.  This will help and will be needed if the car is going to reach the figures BMW are saying for the 0 – 60 time along with the mpg.

 

The i8 should be able to run around 20 miles just on the electric motor but I would guess this will without a doubt depend on the speed you are travelling.

 

Both The i3 and i8 are expected to go on production in 2013 by which time many of the facts and figures will no doubt change.  It’s been estimated (various web sites) that the i3 will have a price tag of over £20,000 while I do not disagree with this figure I would expect it to be much higher given the prices of the current electric / hybrid cars.

You can find more information by visiting the BMW i series official site: BMW i Series

 

 

Most people put off using Green Energy

Posted on August 2nd, 2011 in Green Cars, Money Saving by JP No Comments

It has not been a really big shock to read that people are put of using green energy because of the price but it’s been reported that a large percent of people are interested but knowing the price they don’t bother

At the moment it can cost well in excess of £10,000 to have a solar solution installed in (or rather on) your home.  It’s estimated that having a home solar solution installed would save a bit more than half of your yearly electric bills and of course  cut down the carbon emissions.  It is a great idea for all but the initial outlay of money is beyond the reach of many people.

So what can we do?

As with all technology as the months pass by there are always new advances and of course this is the same with solar panels.  It may take a bit longer but prices should start to drop once different ways, methods, materials are found to work with the solar panels.  Time is the main factor here, if you wait that bit longer you should see the prices fall and the chance to get some panels installed and for you to harness the solar energy will get closer.

What can we do now?

If you keep reading my blog and watch my videos I’m always trying to find the cheapest ways to cut down the eclectic bill.  Apart from changing various things in the house I’ll also be setting up a solar panel ‘charging station’.

The idea behind the charging station is a cheap (under £600) solution to charging various devices and to see just what we can run off this solution.  It’s all about saving money in the longer term not the short term.

Basically if you can’t afford to pay out £10,000 + and want to save money on your electric bill then keep reading and watching for my hints / tips / real examples of saving money at home by using solar energy.

Electric and Solar Cars

Posted on July 30th, 2011 in Green Cars by JP No Comments

I keep coming across news about the solar car ‘World Solar Challenge’ where you enter in a 3000 km race where the car is totally solar powered.

The cars at the moment will never (or at least in my life time) go in to mass production as they are not good enough in anyway but the concept of a solar powered car is something that may start hitting the streets.

At the moment we of course have the fully electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf and of course hybrid cars and it’s getting to the point that most of the main car makers are trying to get in to this market area.  What you don’t see and I really don’t know why is a fully electric car with built in solar panels to charge the batteries.

I know Toyota have the hybrid car the prius and a optional extra is a solar panel roof which will help run the air conditioning unit for the car so the question is why are the ‘all’ electric cars not actually running solar panels to help recharge the batteries?

There seems to be a few cars that do seem to be adopting ‘build in solar panel’ for the car but I would of thought this would of been high on the list for the new green cars.

To me having build in solar panels on all electric cars would make some sense, I would not expect the solar panels to keep the batteries fully charged but surely it would help them to gain a little extra charge.  It should, in theory, give the all electric cars a slightly better range (although depending on solar panel size it might not be very far) but it would also help with charging times and cost by reducing both of these.

Perhaps in the near future when the solar panels and batteries get better they might be a little more common as lets face it, they should go hand in hand!

Electric charge points on our motorways

Posted on July 27th, 2011 in Green Cars, Green News by JP No Comments

The company Ecotricity is going to be installing electric power points at Welcome Break services on the main motorways between London and Edinburgh.  It will be a bit of a welcome addition for electric car owners as with still having a fairly hopeless rang the electric car was never one for people who need to drive long distances.

The electric car has come a long way since it was first created but really still has a long way to go before the UK will / can adopt the idea as a real solution to petrol / diesel cars.

We are still faced with some big limitations, one being the useless range a electric car has and two the time it takes to fully charge the battery.

As time goes on though the range is starting to get a bit longer with some cars showing a 100+ mile range and the charging time is starting to reduce but until they get to more realistic figures I can’t see the electric car taking off as it should!

I guess the other biggest factor with electric cars is the price… basically they are very expensive with many costing £16,000 (ish) for the basic model which can then rise to … well far to much more!

I would like to have a electric car but with many of my car journeys being 165 miles (from my house to where my holiday caravan is located) having a electric car is just not feasibly.. more so as I also have a 2 year old son and I refuse to wait a couple of hours for the car to charge, he would drive me insane!!

Green cars

Posted on May 18th, 2011 in Green Cars by JP No Comments

As part of the ever growing trend / need to ‘go green’ cars are of course among the large targets in the UK. It seems like green cars is quite a new thing as they are getting pushed more in to the public eye but I think people don’t know / release that some hybrid cars have actually been around since the year 2000.

As the hybrid is becoming more popular and the much better option to the all electric cars more and more car companies are starting to look at bringing out there own hybrid.

As a side note to why the hybrid is a better option than the electric car, the electric car has a rather pointless range and too few charge points, I for one who, when I travel, drives around 3 hours south of my location and of course the electric car would not make that in one go. Not a great problem ‘if’ you can find somewhere to charge it but my big issues is having my 21 month old son in the car so stopping to recharge the car is more hassle than it’s worth!

With hybrid cars Toyota have of course been leading the way for some time. The cars have plenty of ‘mod cons’ great MPG and look.. well ok. One of the let downs to their range of cars is the price. For a top of the rang model you are looking at £24,000 (or around there) which is not cheap.

As the time passes though and the technology gets better the prices should drop and hopefully more people will buy the cars which should help with all the pollution we face today on the roads.

Speaking of the pollution, how long before we see hybrid busses.. I don’t know if there are any working hybrid busses yet but it would be nice to see some.