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Electric Cars

  1. This Electric Car Can Go 40 Miles on a Single Charge, is 115 Years Old

    While electric cars are just now starting to break into the mainstream auto market, it should be noted that they have a far longer history than most are aware. For instance, this is the Roberts electric car, from 1896. A mere 115 years ago, before Ford's model T or heavier-than-air flight, the one-of-a-kind Roberts could go for an impressive 40 miles on a single charge. Coincidentally, this is the same range advertised for the Chevy Volt, the combination electric-gas plugin hybrid car that much of the restructured General Motor's hopes are riding on. Of course, the Roberts lacks much of what we'd expect with a car today. Things like inflatable tires, safety belts, or a steering wheel -- instead, drivers use a control rod called a "tiller." Amazingly, this century-old vehicle is still on the road having recently competed in a 60-mile vintage automobile race from London to Brighton. Seeing what the Roberts is capable of, it's a testament to both 19th century engineering and how distressingly slow the development of electric vehicles has been. Read on after the break for a video of another electric classic, the 1914 Detroit Electric -- some of which were capable of running nearly 100 miles on a single charge.

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  2. British Racing Team To Test On-The-Track Electric Car Chargers

    Drayson Racing Technologies and HaloIPT have teamed up to develop a new on-the-go charging system for electric cars. HaloIPT had previously announced that they were working on the technology and have now brought Drayson Racing Technologies into the project. The technology will be tested on race cars with the technology built into the track to wirelessly provide power so drivers don't have to stop to charge the vehicle. According to the companies, the technology deals with misalignment over the transmitter pads, which is a common problem with on-the-go charging. Primarily developed by HaloIPT (IPT standing for inductive power transfer), the technology got its start from UniServices a University of Auckland commercial subsidiary.

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  3. Flow Batteries Could Let You Fill Up Your Tank With Electricity

    When we think of electric cars, we tend to think fo zippy little vehicles that are recharged by plugging them in and waiting for the battery to be topped off. But some students at MIT think they can change that with a system that lets you fill up your tank with a liquid that gets you back on the road quickly, and fully charged. It's called a semi solid flow cell, and it is built on a oozing black substance the researchers have christened "cambridge crude." Far from being anything like oil, it is comprised mostly of solid particles suspended in fluid. These particles carry the battery's charge and are cycled through the battery system as it discharges. In an electric car powered by such a battery, drivers would have more options for how to recharge.

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  4. First Car Constructed with 3D Printer, Kinda

    Stratasys and Kor Ecologic have built a prototype electric hybrid car, named Urbee, that has been entirely constructed using a 3D printer, making it the first drivable road car ever built using a 3D printer.

    It's not quite as awesome as it initially sounds, considering only the exterior parts in the two-passenger hybrid were constructed using the 3D printer, meaning if the construction was left entirely to the 3D printer, the car would be a big, useless model car. Though the 3D printing doesn't produce parts that actually make the car drive, it does make redesigns and aesthetic tooling a very quick and efficient process.

    Either way, a car that was printed is pretty neat. Also, it looks like this:

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  5. The Chevy Volt Will Cost $41,000

    Chevrolet has confirmed that the Chevy Volt will cost $41,000 before taking tax rebates into account. Chevy says that the electric car, which has a range of 340 miles before recharging, will sell 10,000 units in California, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Washington, D.C., Michigan, and Texas, before expanding to the national market in 2012. It starts shipping later this year. [via CNET]

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