Three-wheeled EV designed for road and track
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.