Just as the winner of a 2012 Chevy Volt in our Drive for Innovation contest was announced, the automaker revealed changes for the 2013 version of the car that goes on sale in August. (But I don't think winner Ted Yan will be feeling all that left out!)
On the technology side, the major upgrade is increasing battery capacity from 16kW to 16.5kW, along with as yet undisclosed changes to the battery chemistry. These revisions result in the EPA electric-only range of the car going from 35 miles to 38 miles. Consequently, full recharge time on 120V goes from 10 hours to 10.5 hours.
GM says, based on Volt owners' experience and data, that battery life is not as sensitive as it first supposed -- which could mean future versions will use more of the battery capacity with deeper discharging to improve range along with charging closer to full battery capacity.
The list price (including destination charges) stays at $39,995, not including a US government rebate of $7,500.
For a close-up look at GM's Chevy Volt, go to the Drive for Innovation site and follow the cross-country journey of EE Life editorial director, Brian Fuller.
More often than not, with the purchase of a sports car comes the sacrifice of any sort of utility. In other words, you can forget about a large trunk, extra seats for the kids, and more importantly driving in snowy (or inclement) weather. But what if there was a vehicle that offered the best of both worlds; great handling and practicality?
Science fiction author Isaac Asimov may have the best rules for effective brainstorming and creativity. His never-before-published essay, "On Creativity," recently made it to the Web pages of MIT Technology Review.
Much has been made over the potentially dangerous flammability of lithium-ion batteries after major companies like Boeing, Sony, and Tesla have grappled with well-publicized battery fires. Researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution to this problem with a smart sensor for lithium-ion batteries that provides a warning if the battery is about to overheat or catch fire.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.