I agree with you, Naperlou, but we're unfortunately seeing that EVs and plug-in hybrids are a better fit for the luxury segment, largely because lithium-ion batteries are so expensive. I would hate to think how much the 60-kWh battery in the Mercedes SLS AMG costs.
I agree with Rob: Great slideshow, Anne. It's interesting to see how many of these EVs are concept cars. Concept cars give the automakers a chance to dip a toe in the water and enhance their images at the same time by showing off environmentally-conscious vehicle designs.
One thing that strikes me is that most of these cars are small and underpowered. I point this out becuase we have seen the sale of elecric and hybrid vehicles slow down. This is partly becuase of the economy (EVs and hybrids require a much higher up front payment) and partly because they do not provide what people seem to want. Believe it or not, sales of SUVs and crossovers have risen in Europe. Even with their high gas prices this class of vehicle is becoming more popular. I prefer more of an aerodynamic car myself, but I am not typical, it seems.
I am most dissiapointed in BMW and Mercedes Benz. Their market is not price sensitive. Fuel economy is not important to their customers. The battery on the SLS-AMG in slide 20 is outrageous. The battery in the Tesla Roadster, with comparable performance, is 75% of the battery in this car. They are going the wrong way.
Peugot has some of the best in new technology. In slide 22 the sports car they show has some great high-tech materials and performance that might be of interest to a wider audience. The crossover in slide 24 has reasonable horsepower for once.
I love looking at the concept cars. BMW always offers something to drool over. Peugeot and Infiniti did a good job too. I'd drive an Onyx!
This slide show specifically shows only the electrics but it would be nice to see what else is at the show.
Outside of the concept cars, I don't see any interesting designs. I'm the last person to wax nostalgic about the 50's or 60's but at least the cars made a statement. Designers brought (or were allowed to bring) a unique look and feel to cars.
Anne, when crude oil pricings are rising up, obliviously peoples will look for vehicles with alternate energy source. As of now EV is the only alternate source and in coming years more and more alternate energy sources may be identified. Very recently I had read an article in EE times that in some university researchers had produced petroleum from Air. Such alternative energy sources will be helpful for automobile business.
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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