260.5 EVs set world record for electric vehicle parade [w/video]

Filed under: EV/Plug-in, Green Culture, Europe/EU

A half Nissan Leaf participates in the world record EV gathering in Oslo, Norway

Norway has long led Europe in electric vehicle adoption, and now the country’s EV advocates can boast of holding a new world record: the largest-ever gathering of moving electric vehicles. We are particularly amused that the record was set by 260 and a half EVs, since one of the cars was a cutaway version of the Nissan Leaf. The sliced EV is complete enough to drive, and was thus eligible to participate in the emissions-free parade.

Organized by the Electric Vehicle Union (EVU) and the Norwegian EV Association, the 2.5-mile parade featured a lot of Leafs (understandable, since it’s the world’s best-selling electric car) and took place in and around Oslo, Norway’s capital. For proof, the drive “was monitored by two-camera carrying drones to ensure that all vehicles were moving simultaneously and qualified for the new world record.” In support, Nissan announced it wants to have its EVs from around the world reach a cumulative 1 billion all-electric kilometers (621,371 miles) by the first day of 2015. A video featuring snippets of happy EV drivers talking about their cars and a press release about the event are available below.

The previous EV record was set last December when 225 Leaf EVs gathered at Silverstone in the UK. 260.5 certainly is a lot, but we have National Plug In Day coming up in the US at the end of the month, so we’ll see if this new record stands for more than 30 days.

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260.5 EVs set world record for electric vehicle parade [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Tue, 03 Sep 2013 13:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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260.5 EVs set world record for electric vehicle parade [w/video]

Filed under: EV/Plug-in, Green Culture, Europe/EU

A half Nissan Leaf participates in the world record EV gathering in Oslo, Norway

Norway has long led Europe in electric vehicle adoption, and now the country’s EV advocates can boast of holding a new world record: the largest-ever gathering of moving electric vehicles. We are particularly amused that the record was set by 260 and a half EVs, since one of the cars was a cutaway version of the Nissan Leaf. The sliced EV is complete enough to drive, and was thus eligible to participate in the emissions-free parade.

Organized by the Electric Vehicle Union (EVU) and the Norwegian EV Association, the 2.5-mile parade featured a lot of Leafs (understandable, since it’s the world’s best-selling electric car) and took place in and around Oslo, Norway’s capital. For proof, the drive “was monitored by two-camera carrying drones to ensure that all vehicles were moving simultaneously and qualified for the new world record.” In support, Nissan announced it wants to have its EVs from around the world reach a cumulative 1 billion all-electric kilometers (621,371 miles) by the first day of 2015. A video featuring snippets of happy EV drivers talking about their cars and a press release about the event are available below.

The previous EV record was set last December when 225 Leaf EVs gathered at Silverstone in the UK. 260.5 certainly is a lot, but we have National Plug In Day coming up in the US at the end of the month, so we’ll see if this new record stands for more than 30 days.

Continue reading 260.5 EVs set world record for electric vehicle parade [w/video]

260.5 EVs set world record for electric vehicle parade [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Tue, 03 Sep 2013 13:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Nissan Patrol attempts Guinness record with 170-ton cargo plane tow

Filed under: SUV, Marketing/Advertising, Videos, Nissan, Middle East, Off-Road

Nissan Patrol SUV pulls 170-ton cargo plane for Guinness world record.

Yesterday, Nissan teased us with a video showing a Patrol pulling up to a 170-ton cargo plane at an airport in the Middle East – we could only assume that the not-for-America sports utility vehicle would attempt to tow the jet.

Well, somebody leaked the official Nissan video, which indeed shows the Patrol successfully pulling the plane 30 meters for what reportedly is a Guinness world record. While Guinness hasn’t confirmed the record on its website at time of writing, the 170-ton jet would be the heaviest plane ever towed by a production automobile. The video was taken down quickly, but another video shot by an observer at the event was posted for our enjoyment. We figured Nissan would move to repost the official video sooner rather than later, and it did.

The Patrol seems to have no problem towing 340,000 pounds, but let’s just say it wasn’t a quick ordeal. Check out the official and unofficial video of the tow below, as well as Nissan’s teaser video. In a reversal of fortunes, we also threw in another, somewhat smaller but perhaps just as impressive vid, just for fun.

Note, this isn’t the first time a passenger vehicle has towed a massive air-bound machine behind it. See here and here, and for another record-breaking tow record, click here.

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Nissan Patrol attempts Guinness record with 170-ton cargo plane tow originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 23 Aug 2013 10:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Average US car now a record-setting 11.4 years old [w/poll]

Filed under: Car Buying

Heavy traffic is shown on north-bound Interstate Highway 5, Monday, Oct. 24, 2011, in Seattle. Commuter traffic was congested but moving slowly in Seattle on the first weekday commute following the nine-day closure of the elevated Alaskan Way Viaduct, one of the city's main north-south highways. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Cars are becoming less and less of a disposable item, according to a report from The Detroit Free Press. The average age of the 247 million cars and trucks in the US fleet is now up to 11.4 years, an increase of two full years since 2007 and 0.2 years since 2012. The newspaper spoke with Mark Seng, vice president of industry research firm Polk, who cited consumers’ desire to avoid monthly payments and the ever-improving quality of mainstream cars and trucks as reasons for the increased age.

The first item is fairly obvious – no one really likes to carry a monthly car payment. The second point, though, is perhaps less obvious. The fact of the matter is that modern vehicles are just so reliable that people aren’t feeling the need to scrap them as quickly. In fact, scrappage has fallen 50 percent since the start of the recession, a stat that is sure to pain junkyard scroungers everywhere.

But while the nation’s average vehicle age is likely to continue to increase, it is expected to do so right along with increasing sales of new vehicles. After a 30-year low of 10.4 million vehicles in 2009, the annual average is running right along at 15.5 million according to The Detroit Free Press. While it seems counterintuitive for these two stats to climb together, the combination of improved reliability, lower interest rates and readily available longer-term financing options has created a kind of perfect storm for both long-term ownership and new vehicle sales.

How old is your primary vehicle? Participate in our poll below, then let us know your thoughts in Comments.

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Average US car now a record-setting 11.4 years old [w/poll] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 06 Aug 2013 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: High-speed bicycle inspired by land-speed-record cars

Filed under: Etc., Videos, UK

Land-speed-record bicycle

Inspired by the backyard engineering of land-speed racers who built 600+miles-per-hour rockets on wheels, bicycle frame builder Tom Donhou built a bike intended to exceed 100 mph under pedal power alone. As the mini-documentary video below attests, Donhou was able to reach about 80 mph behind his aerodynamically optimized Ford Zephyr 6 draft car (complete with column-mounted manual shifter), but he’ll need a draft car with a higher top speed if he wants to top 100 mph.

To pedal the bicycle to such a high speed, Donhou also needs the correct gearing to get him there. The huge 104-tooth chain ring connected to a 13-tooth sprocket should suffice, as he proved with a run to 102 mph on rollers. Don’t expect to see him riding up any hills, though you may soon spot him testing the bike on public roads behind his next draft car: a friend’s more capable Ford Capri Cosworth.

We hope the Capri’s much higher top speed will allow Donhou to go even faster on his next run, but until then, watch his first experiment in speed in the nicely produced video below.

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High-speed bicycle inspired by land-speed-record cars originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 03 Aug 2013 09:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Watch 1,208 Porsche 911s collect at Silverstone for world record

Filed under: Videos, Porsche, UK

Porsche 911 parade lapping Silverstone Grand Prix circuit

Porsche has been spending the majority of 2013 celebrating the 50th birthday of the 911, with its latest stunt taking the German brand to the home of British motorsports, Silverstone. To celebrate, Porsche invited enthusiasts to take their personal 911s on a lap of the former airfield, and boy, did the Porschephiles show up. 1,208 911s took part in the lap around the Grand Prix circuit, making it the largest-ever gathering of the iconic, rear-engined cars.

This wasn’t just a celebration of 50 years for the 911, though. Funds raised were channeled towards Hope For Tomorrow, a cancer charity that works with the United Kingdom’s National Health Service in operating mobile chemothereapy units that make life just a little bit easier on cancer patients.

Take a look at the long video below, and enjoy the passing of what are likely examples of every 911 model ever built.

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Watch 1,208 Porsche 911s collect at Silverstone for world record originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Jul 2013 19:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Study: Average new-car fuel economy figures continue record pace

Filed under: Budget, Hybrid, Honda, Hyundai, Volkswagen, Electric

Manufacturers are making more efficient cars and trucks; we’ve known that to be true for some time. Nearly every new car has some sort of trick to eke a few extra miles out of every gallon of fuel. Whether that be turbocharging, active aerodynamics or hybrid technology/electrified powertrains, the fact is that our vehicles are more efficient than ever before.

Thanks to a recent study by TrueCar, we’ve got fresh quantitative data to support the above statements. For the fourth month in a row, we’ve seen an improvement in national fleet fuel economy. We Americans are 0.7 miles per gallon more efficient than we were last month, and our cars are 1.6-mpg better than at this time last year. That said, we’re still down on 2013’s high, which was set back in January at 24.5 mpg.

Not only does this reflect the improved technologies in our vehicles, but it demonstrates a changing mindset among consumers, who are purchasing more efficient vehicles despite the relative stabilization of fuel prices. Every fuel-efficient model sold drives its manufacturers fleet average up.

The top three brands among mainstream manufacturers aren’t a huge surprise. Hyundai, which offers 10 models with four-cylinder engines (including the excellent Elantra range) took the top spot, while the diesel and turbocharged models from Volkswagen finished just 0.8 mpg behind Hyundai’s 27-mpg average. Honda is further back in third, thanks to its remarkably efficient four-cylinder engines. American makes didn’t fare as well, with Ford, General Motors and Chrysler all finishing below the 23.7-mpg industry average. This isn’t a huge surprise, though, as the Detroit Three are responsible for the vast majority of eight-cylinder pickups and muscle cars sold in the US.

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Average new-car fuel economy figures continue record pace originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 13 Jul 2013 11:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Fangio F1 car sells for record $29M at Goodwood auction

Filed under: Motorsports, Auctions, Mercedes-Benz, UK, Racing

Rare gems of automotive history are always popping up at the Bonhams auction at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, but the racecar you see above just made a little more history. This Mercedes W196R was driven by Juan Manuel Fangio to wins in the 1954 German and Swiss Grand Prix races, and when the hammer fell at auction yesterday, the $29.65 million price it fetched made it the most expensive car ever sold at auction. It’s also earned the honor of being the most expensive F1 car ever sold and the most valuable Mercedes-Benz in the world.

Still battered by racing and time, this car in an important piece of history to both Formula One and Mercedes-Benz alike. According to Bonhams, Fangio’s wins gave Mercedes its first back-to-back post-war Grand Prix victories, and it introduced F1 cars to fuel-injection, tubular spaceframe chassis and inline eight-cylinder engines. Robert Brooks, Bonhams Chairman, called this car the “most important historic Grand Prix racing car ever offered for sale.”

Based on our own records, the Mercedes W196R came close to almost doubling the prior record holder for the most expensive car sold at auction, a 1957 Ferrari 250 TR Prototype that sold for $16.39 million at Gooding & Company’s Pebble Beach auction in 2011. The Mercedes even came kinda-sorta close to the record price for a car sold privately, the current big seller being a 1962 Ferraro GTO built for Sterling Moss that went for a reported $35 million in a private sale last year.

Scroll down for more information about the Mercedes W196R F1 car, and be sure to check out the trio of images (including one of the car in action).

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Fangio F1 car sells for record $29M at Goodwood auction originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 13 Jul 2013 08:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Drayson Racing EV hits 204.185 mph, sets new FIA world land speed record

Filed under: EV/Plug-in, Green Culture, Racing

Michelin Drayson Electric Speed Record

A 39-year-old FIA World Electric Land Speed Record has fallen to a sleek, green electric machine called the Lola. Officially the Drayson B12 69/EV electric Le Mans Prototype, the 1000-kilogram (2,204-pound) race car hit a top speed of 204.185 miles per hour yesterday at RAF Elvington Airfield in Yorkshire, England. That’s over 29 mph faster than the previous record of 175 mph that was set in 1974 by Battery Box General Electric.

“I’m delighted we’ve beaten the record tonight and can show the world EVs can be fast and reliable.”

Completing two runs down the three-kilometer track, Lord Paul Drayson piloted the finely tuned, 850-horsepower EV to the record-setting run. Afterwards, the proud driver said, “I’m delighted we’ve beaten the record tonight and can show the world EVs can be fast and reliable. It is not the outright speed of 204.185mph that is most impressive about this record, but the engineering challenge of accelerating a 1000kg electric vehicle on a short runway over a measured mile.” The car has a 30-kWh battery and ran on confidential-specification LM P1 Michelin tires. You can see a video of the run below.

Of course, there are records and then there are records. The Ohio State University Buckeye Bullet, for example, is an EV that has topped 300 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. But, according to the FIA, Drayson is now the team to beat. We have to assume that someone will try to snag the title before another four decades are up. Nissan, perhaps?

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Drayson Racing EV hits 204.185 mph, sets new FIA world land speed record originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Wed, 26 Jun 2013 18:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: VW Passat TDI sets 77.9 mpg fuel economy record through Lower 48 states

Filed under: Sedan, Volkswagen, Diesel

Volkswagen Passat TDI Mileage Record holders - award ceremony

Volkswagen has announced the company’s Passat TDI has set a new world record for the category of “lowest fuel consumption-48 US states for a non-hybrid car.” Drivers Wayne Gerdes and Bob Winger managed an impressive 77.99 miles per gallon over 8,122 miles, trouncing the previous record of 67.9 mpg. The duo also sailed past the hybrid record of 64.5 mpg, another record set by Gerdes. As the founder of CleanMPG.com, Gerdes spends his time squeezing the best fuel economy possible out of passenger cars and trucks, and he’s personally set records in over 100 vehicles.

For this particular world record, Gerdes and Winger visited all 48 contiguous states in 17 days, and Guinness World Records has certified the endeavor. You can read the full press release below for more information, including a few tips to pull the best fuel economy possible out of your personal vehicle.

Continue reading VW Passat TDI sets 77.9 mpg fuel economy record through Lower 48 states

VW Passat TDI sets 77.9 mpg fuel economy record through Lower 48 states originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 24 Jun 2013 16:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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