Three-wheeled EV de­signed for road and track

Times Colonist - - Driving -

A plug-in sports car from Cana­dian startup Gir­falco prom­ises to be one of the hard­est-ac­cel­er­at­ing ve­hi­cles on the planet. With elec­tric mo­tors powering each wheel, the two-seat Azkarra S is de­signed for both road and track use and will ac­cel­er­ate to 100 km/h from rest in a quick 2.5 sec­onds, and eas­ily reaches its gov­erned top speed of 240 km/h. The stan­dard-model Azkarra has only one mo­tor but still de­liv­ers high per­for­mance, ac­cel­er­at­ing to 100 km/h from zero two sec­onds later, with a top speed of 198 km/h. Gir­falco, based in Que­bec, says own­ers can ex­pect a range of up to 198 kilo­me­tres, de­pend­ing on driv­ing style. The top model is close to $100,000 Cdn. Au­tomak­ers col­lab­o­rate on high-power charg­ing net­work: In Europe, BMW, Mercedes-Benz par­ent Daim­ler, Ford and Volk­swa­gen Group in­clud­ing Audi and Porsche have agreed to cre­ate a high­pow­ered elec­tric ve­hi­cle charg­ing net­work. The goal is to es­tab­lish a quick build-up of sta­tions to al­low long-range travel for bat­tery-elec­tric ve­hi­cles (BEVs), which the com­pa­nies call an im­por­tant step to­ward fa­cil­i­tat­ing mass-mar­ket BEV adop­tion. An ini­tial tar­get of about 400 sites across Europe is planned, but “by 2020 cus­tomers should have ac­cess to thou­sands of high-pow­ered charg­ing points,” the au­tomak­ers said in a state­ment. “The charg­ing ex­pe­ri­ence is ex­pected to evolve to be as con­ve­nient as re­fu­el­ing at con­ven­tional gas sta­tions.” BEVs will be able to recharge “in a frac­tion of the time” of to­day’s electrics. Cadil­lac Su­per Cruise self-driv­ing sys­tem com­ing in 2017: An­nounced more than four years ago, the sys­tem is now ex­pected to ap­pear in an un­named Cadil­lac model in 2017, re­ports Reuters news ser­vice, which ob­tained a copy of a let­ter from Gen­eral Mo­tors to the U.S. Na­tional High­way Traf­fic Safety Ad­min­is­tra­tion. The ini­tial ver­sion of Su­per Cruise will be “more of a traf­fic-jam as­sis­tant” than a true self-driv­ing sys­tem, re­ports au­to­mo­tive lifestyles web magazine Mo­tor Au­thor­ity. It will be for use in heavy traf­fic and high­way driv­ing. The driver will be able to let go of the steer­ing wheel “for ex­tended pe­ri­ods of time,” but must still pay at­ten­tion and take con­trol of the ve­hi­cle through turns in the road and in other un­spec­i­fied sit­u­a­tions. Own­ers keep­ing ve­hi­cles longer than ever: The av­er­age age of cars on the road in the United States is now at a record 11.6 years old, up slightly from 11.5 years old in 2015, ac­cord­ing to a new study by re­searcher IHS Markit. And the trend of peo­ple keep­ing their ve­hi­cles longer shows ev­ery sign of con­tin­u­ing: by 2021 it says the United States will see about 16 per cent more ve­hi­cles in the newto-five-years-old cat­e­gory; five per cent more in the six-to-11-years-old group and 10 per cent more in the 12-year-and-older seg­ment. The sur­vey of U.S. ve­hi­cle reg­is­tra­tions found there are now more than 264 mil­lion ve­hi­cles in op­er­a­tion across the United States, an all-time high that’s up 2.4 per cent — or 6.2 mil­lion ve­hi­cles — from 2015. Shift points: • In a let­ter to the U.S. Na­tional High­way Traf­fic Safety Ad­min­is­tra­tion, Ap­ple says it is still in­ter­ested in de­vel­op­ing au­ton­o­mous cars. The com­pany that founded the iPod and an en­tire series of sub­se­quent i-de­vices, said it is “in­vest­ing heav­ily” in the study of ma­chine learn­ing and au­to­ma­tion, and is “ex­cited” for the po­ten­tial of au­to­mated sys­tems in ve­hi­cle trans­porta­tion. • Aus­tralian startup Green Dis­til­la­tion Tech­nolo­gies has pi­o­neered a re­cy­cling tech­nol­ogy it calls “de­struc­tive dis­til­la­tion” that re­duces worn tires into mar­ketable oil, car­bon and steel. Apart from heat, the process is emis­sions- and waste­free, and re­quires no labour or en­ergy to break down tires.

GIR­FALCO

The three-wheeled Azkarra S has three elec­tric mo­tors and can hit 100 km/h from rest in a claimed 2.5 sec­onds.

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