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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Report: London Mayor Boris Johnson hits Obama’s motorcade with congestion charge

Filed under: Sedan, Government/Legal, Cadillac, UK

Cadillac 1 in London

Rules are rules, and they apply equally to everyone – including the President of the United States. Especially when he’s on foreign soil.

After President Barack Obama’s famous Cadillac limousine – known as The Beast – got stuck exiting the US embassy in Dublin, it was shipped across the Irish Sea to England, the next leg of the president’s European road trip. Now the mayor of London is demanding Obama pay the congestion charge for his limo and the rest of his motorcade.

A notorious car nut and onetime automotive journalist, Major Boris Johnson insists that the £10 ($16) charge applies to each of the president’s vehicles, and that the bill is currently being tabulated. The fees are only the latest part of an ongoing dispute between the city’s transportation department and foreign missions like the American embassy, an issue that Johnson reportedly raised directly with Obama during his visit.

London insists that embassies in the British capital city owe some £51 million ($83m) in congestion charges for driving through the city during peak hours, of which the American embassy’s share is estimated at £5.3 million ($8.7m). Diplomats view the fee as a tax from which they are exempt under international law.

London Mayor Boris Johnson hits Obama’s motorcade with congestion charge originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 31 May 2011 19:25:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Is the quickest way to charge a Nissan Leaf… by towing?

Filed under: Etc., Technology, Videos, Hatchback, Nissan, Electric

Towing a Nissan Leaf with a Toyota Tundra

Towing a Nissan Leaf to charge it – Click above to watch video after the jump

When you have a Nissan Leaf with an empty battery, desperately need to get somewhere and there’s no charging station around, your options are pretty limited. For the moment at least, Nissan will gladly tow your EV at no cost, though something tells us the driver may have an issue with being your personal chauffeur. But there may be another alternative to help you get where you’re going. As one enterprising Leaf driver recently found out, towing the vehicle using a tow bar actually quickly charges the batteries thanks to the vehicle’s regenerative braking.

Now, as you can tell from the video after the break, this may not be the best thing for the Leaf’s powertrain. The owner’s manual specifically warns against towing in this manner unless it’s a dire emergency, and the Leaf’s computer seems all kinds of out of sorts after a brief tow session behind a Toyota Tundra. We wouldn’t be surprised if this even led to warranty issues down the line, too. The bottom line is that while the stunt makes for compelling internet entertainment, it’s not something we’d recommend trying at home. Be warned that the video may be a little NSFW due to some brief foul language (the audio is in Dutch, but there are English subtitles). Check it out after the jump.

Continue reading Is the quickest way to charge a Nissan Leaf… by towing?

Is the quickest way to charge a Nissan Leaf… by towing? originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 25 May 2011 12:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: How apartment dwellers can charge their electric vehicles

EV charging for apartment dwellers is a challenge. Click above to watch video after the jump.

Recently, we got an email from a reader named Bernadine asking about apartment dwellers charging their plug-in cars. She wrote:

I would like to see Autoblog contact, address, and consider how would apartment dwellers fit in the scheme of things by the manufacturers of “green” vehicles. I am quite sure there are others, like myself, who would love to purchase or get in line to order such vehicles. However, we do not have garages or nearby outlets that we can access to charge our vehicles, once purchased. Are there any projects in place that will address the needs of apartment dwellers? Will our local gas stations be transformed into electric stations?

Turns out, Bernadine isn’t the only one thinking about this particular issue. We covered it in some depth about a year ago in this Greenlings article, which noted that, in 2009, Mitsubishi helped develop an electric vehicle charging system for apartment buildings in Japan. More recently, our friend Paul Scott and Santa Monica Nissan did a presentation very subject at a local library. The panelists included people with deep knowledge of EVSEs, permitting and other related issues. You can watch a well-edited video of that event provided by Plug In America after the jump.

Lastly, we have some news about charging for people without a garage or a dedicated parking space. A company called 350Green is bringing a fast EV charging station network to the U.S. that is designed specifically for this type of plug-in driver. The network is made up of DC fast chargers that will be installed at “select, high-traffic retail locations” in six cities in the Bay Area. Find more details in the press release on the other side of the jump.

[Sources: Plug In America, 350Green]

Continue reading Video: How apartment dwellers can charge their electric vehicles

Video: How apartment dwellers can charge their electric vehicles originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 06 Feb 2011 15:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Nation’s first public quick-charge station opens up in Portland, OR [w/video]

Filed under: Government/Legal, Electric

Quick charge station in Portland, OR – Click above to watch video after the jump

The installation of what’s being dubbed “North America’s first public quick-charge station” is now complete at the parking garage of the World Trade Center building in downtown Portland, OR. The nation’s first public charger is capable of taking most electric vehicles from zero to 80 percent charge in just 20 to 30 minutes.

The grand opening was lead by Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski, who’s seen in the video below cautiously attaching the charging cable to the Nissan Leaf. As Engadget reports, use of the quick-charge station is free of charge, but entry into the public parking garage will set you back three dollars.

Follow the jump to read more about the nation’s first public quick-charge station and don’t forget to watch the Nissan Leaf as it inches its way in for an electron fill up. Hat tip to Raymond!

[Source: Portland General Electric, Engadget]

Continue reading Nation’s first public quick-charge station opens up in Portland, OR [w/video]

Nation’s first public quick-charge station opens up in Portland, OR [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 09 Aug 2010 18:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Chevrolet dealer ready to charge $20,000 over MSRP for Volt… will more follow?

Filed under: Car Buying, Hybrid, Sedan, Chevrolet, GM

2011 Chevrolet Volt – Click above for high-res image gallery

Researchers from Edmunds decided to drop their local Chevrolet dealer a line to inquire about staking a claim for one of the first available Volts, and the response was shocking at best and galling at worst. Here’s the email, sans names:

Hello *****

Thank you for your online request, as you know the Volt is going to be a very limited production vehicle for the first 2-3 years. Demand is going to far exceed supply for this vehicle, initially our asking price for the Volt is going to be MSRP plus $20,000, we are expecting only receive 9 Volts all of next year.

I will keep you in my customer base for when the Volt comes out and I will contact you with any information as I receive it. We are taking orders right now for the Volt, if you would like more information, please let me know and I will be more than happy to help you. Thank you.

***** *****, Internet Specialist
******* Chevrolet
********, CA

You read that right. A $20k markup over MSRP for a 2011 Chevrolet Volt.

As Edmunds’ AutoObserver points out, this email exchange took place before General Motors announced its plans to increase Volt production by 50% for 2011, churning out approximately 45,000 units in its first year. But even with that knowledge, would the unnamed dealer still avoid bilking early adopters? We doubt it.

While it’s not clear if any other Chevy dealers plan to follow suit, history would suggest that big markups are likely – the Corvette ZR1 initiated this sort of fervor when it was announced, too. On the flip side of the coin, AO sites a report from GM-Volt.com this past June, in which a GM spokesperson is quoted as saying: “We also aren’t expecting our dealers to overcharge anyone for this vehicle, either, and will monitor the situation closely when we launch,” adding, “we’ll be paying close attention when the vehicle launches and do our best to strongly discourage this kind of behavior, as we always do with any GM-branded vehicle.”

GM is allowing Volt buyers to lease the plug-in hybrid for $350 a month (with a $2,500 down payment) when sales begin later this year, so it strikes us as odd that someone would choose to purchase a Volt outright if the dealer would tack on such an astronomical amount to the MSRP. Then again, there’s the possibility that dealers might only allow purchases, negating the option to lease.

With so much riding on the Volt’s success – from GM’s long-term environmental program to the political pressures over the federal bailout – the General better get its dealers in line post-haste. If not, the fallout has the potential to stymie the Volt’s success before the first owner takes delivery.

Gallery: 2011 Chevrolet Volt

[Source: AutoObserver]

Report: Chevrolet dealer ready to charge $20,000 over MSRP for Volt… will more follow? originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 02 Aug 2010 14:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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