Electric SUV Drives Cheap, Charges Quick

Travel 130 miles for $3 in an SUV? Yes you can… Altairnano has achieved it with an electric SUV presented directly to their shareholders. The company partnered with Phoenix Motorcars to create the SUV, called the Phoenix, using Altairnano’s batteries, which can recharge in as little as 10 minutes.

They plan to target fleet use first until recharging stations become more common. However they already are in talks with Pacific Gas & Electric to create a network of charge stations that would allow users to "top off batteries during a coffee stop." While at home, 220 volt outlets commonly used for clothes dryers or stoves allow a charge in around five hours.

We reported on Altairnano’s batteries being used in the ZAP-X and it looks like they are trying to get out vehicles of their own. Either way, lets get some of these on the road, or at least one for me to drive.

Video after the jump

Reno Gazette-Journal

Via: MetaEfficient

Precise Drifting: Cutting A Cucumber With A Knife Strapped On A Car

Crazy Japanese folks, they never seem to stop surprising us. In this TV Show a knife is attached to the hood of a car and the objective is for the driver to drift 180 degrees to cut a cucumber (…) in half -which he did with jaw dropping precision. However, we’re even more impressed with the guy in the shorts and the hand camera that’s standing right behind the cucumber. Damn lucky nothing went wrong and the driver managed to cut off the right “cucumber”…

Mercedes Ocean Drive Concept To See Production By 2011?

For those of you eagerly awaiting the news as to whether or not the Mercedes Ocean Drive concept will ever see production, Motor Trend reported over the weekend that the convertible S-Class will indeed enter the market, debuting in the 2011 model year. Aside from the fact production has been confirmed, little else is revealed, other than the fact that it could be powered by anything from the current 5.5-Liter V8 to an AMG-tuned V12.

J.D. Power And Associates Awards Three Mercedes Models After This Year’s Customer Survey

Welcome back ladies and gentlemen; I hope you all had a fantastic June weekend and took advantage of the balmy temperatures blanketing much of the country. To kick things off this morning comes a story we missed last week, one which reveals a marked improvement in Mercedes’ J.D. Power rankings. In the latest customer survey, the luxury brand managed to jump some 20 spots from 25th to fifth, and in addition earned a silver J.D. Power award for their plant. Even more notable, three Mercedes models – the S-, SL- and E-Class – each received gold J.D. Power awards for quality in their respective classes, a clear indicator that Mercedes’ initiative to improve customer satisfaction and product quality is indeed having an impact.

Mercedes-Benz Accessories GmbH presents the ‘Collection for the smart 2007’: For enthusiasts and individualists

With a daring, unconventional design, the ‘Collection for the smart 2007’ captures the attitude to life that is unique to smart enthusiasts and individualists. The cult bags, fashionable clothing and attractively designed utensils are just the thing for picnics, parties or any other occasion. The ‘smart fortwo edition 2007’ products were created specially for the new fortwo. smart drivers are smart by nature and have a weakness for unusual design. And they wonÂ’t be disappointed by the current ‘Collection for the smart 2007’, now available from smart partners. The ‘digital’ and ‘analogue’ watches not only boast a modern design but also precision – either square with a striking LCD display or round with luminous hands and date window. Made from brushed stainless steel, the solid casing forms a striking contrast with the cheerful green or vivid red textile strap. The watches come in a round neoprene case and a unique feature is that the bag has compartments inside and can later be used as a CD case.

Extensive range of ‘Accessories for the smart 2007’ available: Clever and smart

The smart fortwo is a car’s length ahead of its time and lends a new, modern dimension to urban mobility. The smart’s clever vehicle concept remains unrivaled in its second generation as well, a fact also reflected by the new ‘Accessories for the smart 2007.’ The extensive range of features, which are based on intelligent ideas and sophisticated detailed solutions, include everything from practical storage elements to functional foot mats, effective navigation systems, and outstanding sound systems. The new bicycle, ski, and snowboard racks impressively demonstrate how large equipment items can be stored in the smallest possible space — it’s truly intelligent cargo management à la smart.

Volkswagen Rabbit awarded as best family car in Canadian television show

Volkswagen Canada announced yesterday that the prestigious Canadian television show, Motoring 2007 has awarded the Volkswagen Rabbit the title of the best “Family car (Under $30,000)”. This award is just one of the many awards given to the 2007 Volkswagen Rabbit from various Canadian groups, publications, and media outlets.

“We are thrilled and honored by the success that the new Rabbit has encountered from the Canadian consumers and media alike,” said John White, Executive Vice-President of Volkswagen Canada.

Volkswagen Rabbit had constant media attention ever since its June 2006 launched. It is available in either three or five-door body styles and is powered by a 2.5 liter 5 cylinder that develops 150 hp and 170 lb/ft of torque. It can be mated with a standard five-speed manual or an optional six-speed automatic with Tiptronic. Pricing starting at $19,990 for the three-door model.

Produced by Bradford Productions ltd, Motoring 2007 has been part of the Canadian television landscape for 20 years now, hosted and produced by Brad Diamond.

Volkswagen Canada, Inc. is founded in 1952, and has a headquarters in Ajax, Ontario. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG of Germany. Volkswagen is one of the world’s largest producers of passenger cars and Europe’s largest automaker. Other Volkswagen models available in Canada include the City Golf, City Jetta, Rabbit, GTI, New Beetle, Jetta, Passat, Eos and Touareg.

Vincentric is the lifecycle cost provider of Volkswagen and Audi

Volkswagen and Audi have selected Vincentric as their lifecycle cost provider. In a license agreement, it stated that both Volkswagen of America and Audi of America Corporate Sales departments will have access to the Vincentric data for use in areas such as client presentations, RFP responses, and industry advertising.

Lifecycle Costs or Cost of Ownership show the cost to own and operate a vehicle over time, and include depreciation, state fees & taxes, fuel costs, insurance, financing costs, maintenance, repairs, and opportunity cost. Gaining access to Vicentric data will mean that the two automotive companies will be able to show clients how their products can cost less to own and operate than competitive vehicles.

Vincentric announced yesterday about the agreement. They will provide Volkswagen of America access to Vinbase Online for Fleets, which is the Vincentric database of lifecycle cost information for over 2,000 vehicle configurations per model year. Vincentric’s Vinbase Online for Fleets is updated monthly with the latest vehicle pricing, fleet incentives, residual values, and fuel prices to measure current lifecycle costs.

According to Craig Cheatle, Corporate Sales Manager for Audi of America, said that they are thrilled how they can independently compiled Vincentric data to support the strong lifecycle cost results of the Audi vehicles. “We especially like the ability to customize the variables such as cap cost, fuel prices, and finance rates so the measurement matches the driving patterns of our customers. This lets them see how they can provide their drivers with luxury Audi vehicles that easily fit their budget,” said Cheatle.

Volkswagen is likewise glad with the agreement mentioning that it is a great solution for the company, according to Kristopher Arthur, Corporate Sales Manager for Volkswagen of America. “Our customers much prefer seeing lifecycle cost comparisons that haven’t been compiled by our internal staff, and with the strong Volkswagen results, this works well for us.”

Vincentric provides data and insight to the automotive industry by identifying and applying the many aspects of automotive value. They use their comprehensive, proprietary cost-of-ownership database, Vinbase, to measure and analyze the overall cost of owning and operating vehicles and its impact on the value provided to buyers. Vincentric also provide data to Yahoo! Autos, Cars.com, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, Business Fleet Magazine and Fleet-Central.com as a means of providing automotive insight to their clientele. Vincentric, LLC, is a privately held automotive data compilation and analysis firm. Their headquarters is in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

Cell Phones: Repair or Replace?

Americans throw away over 125 million cell phones per year. Even more strange,  we have over 500 million retired cell phones sitting around our homes awaiting disposal.

This not only is an expensive and wasteful habit, it represents an avalanche of e-waste which will hit our landfills sometime soon when we collectively realize its time for spring cleaning. Cell phones are complex assemblies containing the toxic metals lead, cadmium and berillyum plus a fire retardant that actually may retard the user.

So the question becomes, when these little buggers go on the fritz, what do we do? Search out the nearest trashcan? Or try and save ourselves the hassle of trying to lie our way into warranty protection, or the expense of just buying a new phone.

A friend of mine has repaired his phone several times…he even rode is bike over the thing, but somehow brought it back to life. Check out Jim Rees’ web page devoted to repair of his cell phone. If Jim can do it, we can too.

And then there’s this article from Lance Ulanoff who gives tips on how to repair things. Read the article and laugh, because most of the time Lance is fixing broken items in under 5 minutes. Is the “broken” cell phone in your drawer really beyond repair?

We can create an infrastructure for repairing cell phones, we just have to invite a few hundred DIY cell phone repair techs from China to work over here for a few years. They could open kiosks at malls, “Cell Phone Repair While U Wait”. Not quite as slick as the new iPhone, but a heck of a lot cheaper.

Via: EcoIron