Transportation Anyone?

7 08 2007

Urban Core International BlogMy brother and I have been talking a lot lately about the changes and progression of the auto industry and the release of all these new awesome electric or hybrid vehicles being produced. And, of course, which one we would get and when…So, we thought we’d spend this week talking about transportation and some of the different alternatives out there. Please feel free to chime in at any point, let us know what you think and, of course share your great ideas.

As alternative energy becomes more and more important, we see its effects all over the world. More and more homes are producing energy on site, and more utility companies supplementing traditional power with solar and wind installations. It seems that now we are seeing alternative energy leap into a new industry – automobiles. Hybrids cars such as the prominent Toyota Prius come to most peoples mind, but there is much more available today than there was a few years ago.

Hybrids are certainly a great step in the right direction, like the new “HyS” scooter from Piaggio, makers of the Vespa scooter, whose hybrid“HyS” scooter from Piaggio engine gives it up to one hundred and seventy miles per gallon. The scooter itself recharges on a standard 220v outlet, and can travel up to twelve miles on electricity alone! What truly makes this bike so unique is the control the driver has over the engine; a unique switch allows the driver to choose to optimize mileage, performance, battery charge, or any combination.

Other interesting developments in the scooter world are coming from a company called eGO Vehicles, makers of entirely electric scooters whose use is devoted primarily to short distance errand running and local commuting. EGO VehiclesThese entirely electric scooters have a range of up to 25 miles with cargo room built into the back, allowing people to easily run local errands and run around town without burning gas. This may not serve for a road trip, but it certainly cuts down local emissions rates, keeping your air cleaner at home.

What about long term travel? Those who need more than short range? New developments in cars and trucks by a company called ZAP will prove to be the future. ZAP is a company that designs a wide array of hybrid and fully electric vehicles, from cars and pickup trucks to ATV’s and dirt bikes. Of the many products they provide, all of which are not only efficient but also incredibly stylish, one has the potential to revolutionize its industry. ZAP collaborated with Lotus engineering, and the results wereZAAP-X phenomenal; the ZAP–X crossover electric car. If its range you want then its range you get, up to 350 miles on a single charge. Is speed more your speed? You’ll find it with a potential 644 horsepower engine propelling you 155 m.p.h! An electric car with that much power, must take quite some time to recharge, right? Wrong again. The ZAP–X recharges fully in as little as ten minutes, and best of all, it does so from any standard outlet. As if that weren’t enough to put your name on the preorder list, perhaps some of the extra features will, including touch screen controls on a windows XP platform, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and an IPOD ready sound system. Still not impressed? Maybe the keyless biometric entry and ignition and the photovoltaic glass is more your style. Photovoltaic glass? Yes, this time, they thought of everything. Who would have thought that your windows would be powering your car while you drive?

Park & PowerWith such advancements in the field, the only question left to ask is why it’s not catching on quicker. The answer is simple – the infrastructure. To charge electric cars, you need a charging station. An interesting solution we have seen popping up in England called “Park and Power” seems very promising. These small charging stations are about the size of a parking meter. Customers can purchase a 6 or twelve-month license, which gives them access to a magnetic fob. This is used to activate the park and power machines when they connect to their electric vehicles. As these become more and more popular and are installed at more locations, electric vehicles will become easier to own. Can this truly be the next step in the automotive industry? We think so.

Co- Authors: Josef Newman + Aaron Newman, Urban Core International, S.A.




One response

7 08 2007

I love your article. I am thinking about changing my car too. the cost of going into a new loan does not really push my interest too much. Still i do want to consider my next car to be very eco-friendly. Your article made fun to go about looking at alternatives. thanks for all the info. keep it up. “ecomama”

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