Wednesday, November 23, 2011

World’s Cheapest Car, Tata Nano, Gets More Features, Better Economy


We may have unfairly called the Indian-built Tata Nano “unusually combustible” last week, but there’s no denying that the world’s cheapest car is responsible for helping tens of thousands of Indians get behind the wheel of their first car. Now the diminutive Tata Nano has just undergone its first major revision since its release in 2008, offering an increase of power, more standard features, and a headline-grabbing fuel economy of 59.7 miles per gallon.

Just like its predecessor, the upgraded Tata Nano features a simple 0.6 liter rear-mounted engine and rear-wheel drive transmission. But Tata’s engineers have managed to squeeze extra power from the small unit, harnessing 50 horsepower from an engine which previously only produced 46 horsepower.

Read full article here.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

EVs: Drivers demand range, convenience

Nissan's latest electric concept car, the Pivo 3, was unveiled in Tokyo last Saturday. Whether it will allay consumer fears is debateable.
By Peter Gorrie - Toronto Star
Two weeks ago, I asked how much range an electric vehicle must have before you’d consider buying one.
From your responses, carmakers must dramatically improve range, but charging convenience is equally important.
“Although today’s electric vehicles may suffice for commuting, they’re woefully inadequate for longer trips,” writes John Pereira. “How do I get a five-minute fill or 80 per cent recharge during the trip?”
Ron Robinson, who drives a Mini, notes electric-vehicle owners could rent for longer trips, but that “still adds to my costs as well as the trouble it takes to pick up and return the vehicle. He awaits “an infrastructure to support battery swaps because I am not going to sit for a few hours on a trip to wait for a battery charge.”
“I really want a vehicle I can drive from, say, Toronto to Montreal,” writes Alister Sutherland. “I suppose one can always rent a conventional car for trips like that, but I want to use the one I paid for.”
Gunther Petersen, of Barrie, says his minimum range requirement is 500 kilometres. “As well, you have to take winter driving into consideration, first to keep the windshield clear, and second to heat the car’s interior. I have spent many winter nights driving in Ontario. Only a big, fat, fully charged battery would be acceptable.”
Andre Tonelli agrees on 500 kilometres. “But the real question is: How much does it cost to recharge?”
“I will be persuaded not by range of kilometres or even price, but rather by charging that is as fast, available and convenient as gas is now,” says Al Strickler, of Toronto.
Read full story here.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Mobilicity asks consumers to put a number on smart savings for chance to win year of smart cars and smart phones

Carrier marks one-year anniversary in Vancouver and Ottawa with
modern twist on the classic jelly bean guessing game

VANCOUVER AND OTTAWA, Nov. 10, 2011 /CNW/ - Mobilicity is marking its one-year anniversary with a nod to the classic jelly-beans-in-the-jar guessing game - only this modern-day guess fest isn't just sweet, it's smart and worth thousands of dollars in prizes.

Mobilicity's 'Get smart' contest invites Vancouverites and Ottawans to guess how much faux Mobilicity money is inside specially marked smart cars and see how much their city could save if everyone switched to Canada's smart mobile carrier's truly unlimited plans.

The closest guess in each city will win a smart fortwo one-year car lease, HTC Panache Android smartphone plus one year of Mobilicity's unlimited talk, text and data service - a total prize value of approximately $8,700 each.

"We developed Mobilicity's 'Get smart' contest to help people visualize, in a fun and memorable way, the phenomenal amount of money Mobilicity can save," said Chief Customer Officer Anthony Booth. "Our customers have saved a fortune with our smarter, more affordable way to use wireless," he added pointing to a few of the many Canadians who have switched to Mobilicity in the last year:

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