Here are some updates on automotive innovations and novelties:
A New ‘Motorcycle-Car’
A new kind of electric commuter 3-wheel “car” is coming to the Los Angeles area called the Solo. It looks like a cross between a car and a motorcycle or maybe a car and an ATV.
Offered by Electra Meccanica out of Vancouver, Canada., it fits one person. The Solo gets up to 100 miles on a charge and has a top speed of 80 mph. It includes a very basic stereo with AM/FM/Bluetooth and USB. And it has a rear view camera.
The car’s tag line is “Safer than a motorcycle, cooler than a car.” It’s engine has 99 percent fewer parts than a combustion engine so there’s less to go wrong. It goes from zero to 60 in 10 seconds. Electra Meccanica says, “Every day, 119 million North Americans commute using personal vehicles—and 105 million of them commute alone.”
After launching in Los Angeles later this year, the plan is to expand to San Francisco, Seattle and Portland and the rest of the country over the next 18 months, said the New York Times. It noted that California offers a $750 rebate for the Solo; and Oregon, $2,500. The cost for the Solo is $18,500.
Ford Adds OTA Infotainment
Ford will begin offering over-the-air (OTA) updates with the launch of its electric Mustang Mach-E crossover due late this year, it said last month.
OTA updates would allow the Ford Sync radio system to receive completely new features.
“It can be used to provide not just performance enhancements, but also completely new features that might not exist when the vehicle first becomes available,” said Engadget.
Additional Ford models will get OTA capability as they are introduced.
Ford said, “Have you ever been envious when a new technology arrives just after you buy a new vehicle, or wish that vehicle could be repaired in your driveway? Ford has an answer to delight Ford vehicle owner’s and reduce repair trips.”
The base Mustang Mach-E Select model will start at $43,895, with the GT starting at $60,500.
ElectReon Wireless is continuing with its plans to electrify roads so that charging electric vehicles can be an automatic process. It plans to install electric coils in a 1.2 mile stretch in Tel Aviv, Israel in mid August, said company CEO Oren Ezer, as reported in Transportation Topics News. This will be followed by a similar trial on a Swedish Island in September.
ElectReon recently signed an agreement with German utility EnBW to test the technology in the city of Karlsruhe.
The Israeli-based company says it can electrify all of Tel Aviv’s main roads for $150 million.
Other companies including Siemens AG have also developed electric road systems that are being tested in Sweden and South Korea, said Transportation Topics News.