Monday, February 8, 2016

Morgan 3-Wheeler Goes Electric

The acclaimed English car company Morgan has confirmed plans to build an electric version of the original 3-wheel, 2-seat Henry Frederick Stanley (HFS) Runabout thanks to an a £6 million ($8.5 million) grant from the UK’s Advanced Propulsion Center.

The EV3 is expected to go into small-scale production later this year, 106 years after Henry Morgan designed the original HFS Runabout, which went on to become one of the most successful lightweight cars of the early motoring days.

The Runabout’s success was the result of clever design where a powerful motorcycle engine and simple transmission was fitted to a lightweight chassis and body.

This meant drivers of more modest means could afford the freedom of the open road and the Runabout was in high demand and at the forefront of the mass production of automobiles.

Echoing the beginnings of the original Runabout, the Morgan ethos continues into the electric EV3 of the future with each vehicle being coach built and subjected to ongoing development. Current safety standards are high on the agenda along with the thoroughbred performance that underpins the Morgan name.

The grant, which was announced recently by the UK’s business secretary Sajid Javid, will also fund the development of a plug-in hybrid and electric powertrains which will feature in the EV3 and across the Morgan portfolio of vehicles. 

‘This is a very exciting project for us,’ said Morgan’s Managing Director Steve Morris.

‘We have been involved in the research and development of new propulsion technology since the inception of the LifeCar project almost 10 years ago.

‘We are now ready to develop the best hybrid and electric drivetrain solutions for production implementation before the end of the decade.’

According to Morris, buyers of the electric model could expect the new technology and ‘broaden the appeal of the brand and attract new customers in our key markets’.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Getting a Grip on ‘The Grin’

Now that Tesla has chosen the specially engineered Pirelli Scorpion Asimmetrico tyres to meet the requirements of its new Model X, which uses two different sizes at the front and rear, owners of the new 7-seat SUV will have something else to grin about.

With a top speed of 250kph for its latest model but with W speed rating, the Scorpion Zero tyres with the M + S markings will ensure optimal performance all year round.

The new SUV is not only renowned for its top speed but also for its ‘insane’ acceleration, the Model X can go from zero to 100kph in a mere 3.4 seconds thanks to the torque produced by vehicle’s electric motor.

High performance Scorpion Zero Asimmetricos are standard equipment on some of the world’s most powerful SUVs, now including the Tesla Model X.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Fiat Chrysler CEO Snubs EV motoring

All anybody is taking about these days in the world of motoring is electric (EV) cars. However the heads of popular manufacturers aren’t entirely on board with the idea. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) CEO Sergio Marchionne is just one of those people.

During an interview at the Detroit Auto Show Marchionne revealed a key reason why he detests the EV revolution: it takes away the core competitive advantage of FCA, as well as other major automakers”.

Manufacturers outsource most of the work that goes into building a car, but what they still specialise in is building internal combustion engines (ICE) and ICE drivetrains. If the world transitions away from that process, manufacturers no longer have much of a competitive advantage to hold their privileged places near the top of the economy.

Marchionne is also concerned that if manufacturers transition into 100% electric vehicles, they will lose control over the parts that go into making them. If the popularity of EV models increases, the streamlined and central process they currently use to create them will have to be outsourced, similar to how they’re producing their diesel and petrol models.
“It’s been a very steady, rigorous process of disintermediation,” said Mr Marchionne.
“If we start losing any of that…we will not be able to hang on to any proprietary knowledge and control of that business,” said Mr Marchionne. “We won’t be manufacturing the batteries. We won’t be manufacturing the electric motors that are part of that powertrain.”
Since car brands have been outsourcing their manufacturing process for decades, auto industry experts aren’t too concerned about what will happen if EV vehicles become more popular. This disruption is a natural process of company growth, and most agree that manufacturers need to shift with the market to be successful.