Video: Watch how to charge your car battery using a… chainsaw?

Filed under: Etc., Videos

How to recharge your car's battery using a chainsaw - video screencap

This video is neither as dangerous nor as insane as the title indicates, if only because you’re only using the chainsaw’s motor and not the actual chain itself. Do not take a chainsaw to your engine without first removing the chain. It would be bad.

With the chain, frame and sprocket removed from the chainsaw and an old fan belt, piece of rope, or even your shoelaces attached to the saw, you can remove the fan belt from your car’s alternator pulley. Slot the fan belt attached to the chainsaw onto the alternator pulley, and turn the saw on. The spinning alternator can now generate a current, recharging your battery, much like it would if your car’s engine were actually running.

Take a look at the video below for the full rundown on how to recharge your car’s battery like MacGyver.

Continue reading Watch how to charge your car battery using a… chainsaw?

Watch how to charge your car battery using a… chainsaw? originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 24 Jul 2013 19:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tesla answers questions about battery swap announcement

Filed under: Emerging Technologies, EV/Plug-in, Tesla Motors, AutoblogGreen Exclusive

Tesla battery swap

After last night’s initial public demo of the Tesla Model S battery swap, we attended a small press conference with Tesla CEO Elon Musk where he answered questions about the program. You can get the early details about the swap stations in our first post and then dive into our back and forth with Tesla, below. You can also scroll down to see a video of the battery swap process in action, if you’re more of a visual learner.

Question: Will owners need to make a reservation for a battery swap?

Answer: No reservations are needed. Each of the swap sites will be stocked with enough batteries to cover demand.

Question: How many battery packs will be available at each location?

Answer: That depends purely on how frequently the station is used. For the most part, expect a swap station to stock about 50 batteries. However, busy corridors will have more and less popular stations will have fewer. The quantity will basically align proportionally with the number of Supercharger units at the station.

Question: Are the batteries at the stations all brand-new?

Answer: They will be brand-new at first. But as owners use them, they will obviously have recharging cycles on them. Each will be monitored for optimal performance, so the customer won’t have to worry about that.

Question: How much does it cost to upgrade a charging station to allow battery swapping?

Answer: It costs about $500,000 per site, and that includes digging the pit, construction and hardware. The electrical capacity is already on site (supplying energy to the Superchargers).

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Tesla answers questions about battery swap announcement originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Fri, 21 Jun 2013 14:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tesla Model S battery swap takes just 90 seconds, will track your old battery pack

Filed under: EV/Plug-in, Tesla Motors

tesla model s

We’ll link to this 2009 post up front, just to make sure everyone’s clear that the fact that a Tesla EV can, indeed, do battery swaps is old news. Yes, four years ago, we learned the all-electric Model S was designed with battery swaps in mind. Or, as Tesla CEO said tonight, “We designed Model S from the beginning to be capable of swapping out the battery pack faster than you can fill a gas tank.” Are we clear? Good.

Still, last night’s first public demonstration of such a swap – which took place at the Tesla Design Studio in Los Angeles and involved two Model S EVs getting fresh packs before a gas car at “LA’s fastest gas station” filled up its tank with gasoline – represents a big new step in the evolving electric vehicle landscape. With the recent departure of Better Place, no one could blame you if you thought the only reasonable way to travel long-distance in an electric vehicle was to use fast charging (where there are three competing standards: CHAdeMO, SAE Combo and Tesla’s own free Supercharger network). But now Tesla has surprised us all with an official announcement about the Model S battery swap. Tesla has been hinting about the battery swap system for weeks now (1, 2), and here’s what we learned tonight.

Musk framed the choice to Supercharge or swap as one between “free or fast.” While Supercharging costs a Model S driver nothing, getting a new, fully charged battery pack will cost around the same as about 15 gallons of gas (so, let’s say around $60). Later, you can get your old pack back (again, fully charged and for another $60 fee) or you can pay an undetermined fee and keep the pack. Forbes says there will be a warranty available on the replacement pack, depending on its condition.

The pack swap stations, which cost around half-a-million dollars to build, will be installed next to Supercharger locations and will be available in busy Tesla areas, like the I5 corridor in California and between Boston and Washington, DC.

We’ll have more information later today.

Tesla Model S battery swap takes just 90 seconds, will track your old battery pack originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Fri, 21 Jun 2013 02:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Nissan Leaf battery replacement will cost $100/month, offers new pack at any time

Filed under: EV/Plug-in, Nissan

2013 nissan leaf

Perhaps this is where some of that excess battery manufacturing capacity in Smyrna, TN will be used. Nissan announced a new battery replacement program for the all-electric Leaf today at a cost of “approximately $100 per month.” The offer is in addition to the standard Leaf battery warranty that already covers the battery for against defects for eight years or 100,000 miles (and was upgraded late last year to cover capacity loss for five years or 60,000 miles).

Even after the warranty ends, a Nissan Leaf owner can sign up for the battery replacement program.

Here’s how it works. At any time, like when the warranty is about to end – so, at 4 years, 11 months or 59,999 miles – or even after the warranty ends, a Nissan Leaf owner can sign up for the battery replacement program. At that point, you start paying $100 a month (or whatever the final cost will be) and immediately get a new battery pack that has a full 12 bars of capacity.

Nissan’s senior manager of corporate communications, Brian Brockman, told AutoblogGreen that “Owners can opt in at any time. When they opt into the program, they will receive a new battery pack with the latest available technology that is compatible with their vehicle. Then, Nissan provides assurance that the replacement pack will maintain 9 bars or more capacity for the time that they own their car and make monthly payments. If their battery drops below 9 bars, we will repair or replace the battery pack.”

So, basically, the new program provides a reasonably priced piece of mind to Leaf owners. On top of that, anyone with an older Leaf who wants to take advantage of newer technology (as long as it’s compatible) can get a newer pack using this program. So, if you buy a used 2012 Leaf today but want a 2015 battery pack in a few years (should it fit in the car) you can get one for $100 a month. This cost is transferable to the new owner if you later sell the car.

Which brings up the questions about what happens If you stop paying after, say, six months. Brockman said the situation would be similar to what happens to anyone who stops paying their car loan and Nissan is currently trying to determine “if there is an end point” to the payments. We’ll know even more when Nissan releases more information “later this year,” including how the program will work outside the US, and there are also more details below.

Continue reading Nissan Leaf battery replacement will cost $100/month, offers new pack at any time

Nissan Leaf battery replacement will cost $100/month, offers new pack at any time originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Thu, 20 Jun 2013 18:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Elon Musk confirms Tesla Model S battery swaps, demo coming this week

Filed under: Emerging Technologies, EV/Plug-in, Tesla Motors

tesla model s red

For something as secret as a battery swap option in the Tesla Model S electric vehicle, we sure have heard rumors about it for years. Four (!) years ago, after all, we knew that the Model S was designed to accommodate battery swaps and Tesla CEO Elon Musk has talked about taking long-distance EV trips that included battery swaps, and Tesla’s proprietary Supercharger network was supposed to have a battery swap component at one time. But then the discussion shifted to focus on that Supercharger network, and how, by stopping for lots of 20-minute sandwiches along the way, a cross-country EV road trip would be totally doable. And, for a while, the Tesla battery swapping talk disappeared.

“Live pack swap demo on Thurs night. Seeing is believing” – Elon Musk

Until, of course, Musk brought it back a month ago by tweeting: “There is a way for the Tesla Model S to be recharged throughout the country faster than you could fill a gas tank.” That set off a fresh search for information, which we now know we will be cleared up later this week.

Yesterday, Musk tweeted: “Live pack swap demo on Thurs night at 8pm California time at our design studio in Hawthorne. Seeing is believing.” He also tweeted that Better Place founder Shai Agassi “actually got the idea from a visit to Tesla. The idea is obvious (many things allow battery swap), but the technology is not.”

We have so many questions about this new option: does it apply to all Model S vehicles? Will it be free, like Supercharging? Will the swap locations be at Tesla stores, Supercharger stations or at other locations? Why is Tesla thinking of battery swaps when it’s also been so bullish on its fast-charging technology? We’ll try to find answers to all of these questions when the first public swap is performed live on Thursday.

Elon Musk confirms Tesla Model S battery swaps, demo coming this week originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Tue, 18 Jun 2013 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Friends videotape man “trapped” inside C6 Corvette with dead battery

Filed under: Coupe, Etc., Videos, Chevrolet, GM, Humor

trapped inside a c6 corvette

How NOT to get out of a C6 Corvette – Click above to watch video after the jump

Are sixth-generation Chevrolet Corvette coupes attempting to take out their owners? After one man recently became “trapped” inside his ZR1, another driver, captured above, also believed he was stuck inside his ‘Vette. The real issue here, however, isn’t folks being outsmarted by their cars; it’s that vehicle owners don’t even bother learning how their cars work.

When the battery dies on a C6 Corvette, the door-release buttons stop working. General Motors isn’t in the business of creating sports cars that turn into traps, so it installs (very obviously marked) levers on the floor that, when pulled, manually open the doors. Not rocket science, guys. No need to panic. But hey, when you do freak out, and your friends are kind enough to find it hilarious and videotape it, well, we’re happy to share.

Click past the jump to watch. Just be advised: the language is not safe for work.

Continue reading Friends videotape man “trapped” inside C6 Corvette with dead battery

Friends videotape man “trapped” inside C6 Corvette with dead battery originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 14 May 2011 10:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chevrolet Volt battery covers transformed into… duck houses?

Filed under: Hybrid, Etc., Chevrolet, GM, Electric

Chevy Volt battery housing turned into bird house

Chevy Volt battery housing turned into bird house – Click above for high-res image gallery

Yes, you read that right. General Motors has indeed taken scrap battery covers that would otherwise have been discarded and, with the help of a team of youngsters from the Lasky Recreation Center in Detroit, turned them into duck houses.

Seems odd, no doubt, but we’d certainly rather see creative recycling such as this instead of sending off the scrap bits and pieces to rot for hundreds of years in a landfill or some other ignominious end-of-life scenario.

According to The General, these homes “will provide a safe place for wood ducks and even screech owls to lay their eggs.” For what it’s worth, this is the second such creative recycling project we’ve heard about from the team behind the 2011 Chevrolet Volt, the first being the reuse of oil-soaked boom material from the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico made into underhood plastic Volt parts. Nice work, GM.

Gallery: Chevy Volt battery housing recycled into duck homes

Chevy Volt battery housing recycled into duck homesChevy Volt battery housing recycled into duck homesChevy Volt battery housing recycled into duck homesChevy Volt battery housing recycled into duck homes

[Source: General Motors]

Chevrolet Volt battery covers transformed into… duck houses? originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 23 Mar 2011 18:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mercedes-Benz Celebrates 125 years with sculpture, battery patent

Filed under: Hybrid, Technology, Mercedes-Benz, Electric

Aesthetics 125 and 1886 Benz Patent-MotorWagen

Daimler celebrates 125 years since Carl Benz’s Patent-MotorWagen – Click above for high-res image gallery

Back on January 29th of 1886, Karl Benz filed the patent for his “vehicle with gas-engine drive.” It’s an important date in the history of the automobile, and Daimler is looking back at that special day that occurred 125 years ago and also using the anniversary of that day to look towards the future.

Daimler is embarking on a world tour to show off its Mercedes-Benz vehicles powered by fuel-cells. Over the course of 125 days, B-Class vehicles fitted with fuel cells will be touted all over the globe. As a nod to the past, the automaker received a new patent 125 years to the day that the original one was created. The bi-polar flat-cell frame is a brand-new technological development that will aid in the creation of lithium-ion batteries.

Mercedes-Benz took advantage of the 125th-anniversary celebrations to use art as a means of highlighting its own future. Thanks to rapid-prototyping technology, engineers were quickly able to produce a sculpture that started life as data in a computer. Called Aesthetics 125, the piece shows the level of technological sophistication available today while hinting at the design language of tomorrow.

Daimler is excited for the 125th anniversary of Mr. Benz’s wagon, and 2011 is chock full of milestones and further reasons to celebrate. Read all about them in the full press-release posted after the jump.

Gallery: Daimler celebrates the 125th anniversary of Carl Benz’s Patent-MotorWagen

Aesthetics 125 and the Benz Patent-MotorWagenAesthetics 125Aesthetics 125Aesthetics 125Aesthetics 125

[Source: Daimler]

Continue reading Mercedes-Benz Celebrates 125 years with sculpture, battery patent

Mercedes-Benz Celebrates 125 years with sculpture, battery patent originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 31 Jan 2011 18:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2012 Ford Focus EV to use liquid-cooled lithium-polymer battery

Filed under: Sedan, Technology, Hatchback, Electric

Ford Focus EV prototype

Ford Focus EV – Click above for high-res image gallery

When the 2112 Ford Focus Electric debuts in late 2011, it and the Chevrolet Volt will have a common feature in addition to their LG Chem lithium polymer cells. Ford confirms that the Focus EV will employ a liquid-cooled battery pack with automatic thermal management, just like the Chevy.

Ford opted for active thermal management solution in order to help maximize the Focus EV’s battery performance and lifespan. By protecting the battery from overheating, the system can help prevent the development of cracks in the electrodes. Those imperfections eventually reduce the pack’s ability to hold a charge. Conversely, warming the cells when cold will improve the battery pack’s winter performance. When the car is plugged in, the thermal management system will use grid power to precondition the battery before charging actually starts.

So far, Nissan and Mitsubishi are the only major EV manufacturers that are sticking with passive air cooling for plug-in vehicles. Nissan has committed to an eight-year warranty, but it remains unclear how well the battery will hold up over regular use in differing climates.

Gallery: ABG Quick Drive: Ford Focus EV mule

[Source: Ford]

Continue reading 2012 Ford Focus EV to use liquid-cooled lithium-polymer battery

2012 Ford Focus EV to use liquid-cooled lithium-polymer battery originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 04 Sep 2010 13:41:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Nissan announces Leaf rollout plans, 8-year battery warranty

Filed under: Hatchback, Nissan, Electric

Nissan Leaf EV – Click above for high-res image gallery

At the Plug-in 2010 Conference in San Jose, CA today, Nissan North America’s executive vice president, Carlos Tavares, announced that the Leaf’s battery pack will be covered by an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty – exactly what Chevrolet is offering on the Volt pack. He said that feedback from people interested in the Leaf was important in setting these levels, so that explains why Leaf hand-raisers received email surveys about the topic recently.

For what it’s worth, the official Leaf battery warranty is what about half of AutoblogGreen readers voted for in our unscientific poll on the topic. Almost 45 percent said the eight-year/100,000-mile level was good for electric vehicles, while a few more thought 10-years/150,000 miles was the preferred level.

In other Leaf news, Nissan has also announced its official rollout plans. As we already knew, the electric car will first launch in December, in California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona and Tennessee. Firm orders from these five states, which make up the so-called EV Project, will begin in August.

Following that initial wave, the machine will be sent to Texas and Hawaii in January 2011. Next up will be North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Washington DC, Virginia, Maryland, South Carolina and Alabama in April 2011. The rest of the nation will see their Leafs beginning in the fall of 2011 with availability in all markets nationwide by the end of that year.

There are plenty more interesting tidbits to glean from Nissan’s press release on the matter, which can be found in its entirety after the break.

Gallery: 2010 Nissan LEAF

[Source: Nissan]

Continue reading Nissan announces Leaf rollout plans, 8-year battery warranty

Nissan announces Leaf rollout plans, 8-year battery warranty originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 27 Jul 2010 13:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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