Archive for the ‘Electric’ tag
Regisseurs Rene Nuijens (rechts) en Nils Gerbens verlaten 328 Stories om als freelance regisseurs te gaan werken met productieplatform Electric ZOO Amsterdam.
Electric cars are known for a lot of great things, but power isn’t one of them. So Smart set out to disprove that by putting their Smart Fortwo car to the test in the most awesome car demonstration ever- a game of Car Pong! This beats orange cones any day! Brilliant!
Tesla Motors’ family is growing. The company just unveiled its first crossover, the Model X. Like the Roadster and Model S, the Model X is a purely electric vehicle, built on the same platform as the Model S. Tesla says pricing will be similar to that of the Model S, making the base model around $50k after tax credits. But, if all the available options are checked including the largest battery pack and performance drivetrain, the price could close in on $90k. But who cares about the price when the vehicle packs gullwing-like doors — Tesla calls them Falcon Wings, but you can call them awesome.
The Model X is built on the same skateboard platform as the Model S. This shared design allows the for the relatively affordable price. The CUV will come in both rear- and four-wheel-drive flavors with the 4-wheel drive model packing independent electric motors at each axle. Since the larger Model X will use the battery system as the Model S, Tesla says the range on the 40-, 60- and 85-kWh battery packs will be about 10% less.
If the Falcon Wings didn’t convince you the Model X was from the future, just look at the center console. Like the Model S, the Model X employes a massive touchscreen for the infotainment display and climate controls.
Space is abundant in the Model X. Since there isn’t a traditional engine, the Model X has a front and rear storage space. Elan Musk bragged at the unveiling that there’s enough room in the front storage compartment as the Audi Q7 has in the rear.
Tesla is now taking reservations for the Model X. But you’re going to be waiting a while. Tesla doesn’t expect production to begin until 2014.
Baking your own bread is a great way to save money, but if you store and freeze the dough it takes a while for it to rise before you can pop it in the oven. DIY blog The Pink Peony of Le Jardin suggests leaving your frozen bread on a heating pad to speed up the process. More »
Rumors are circulating that enterprise-focused social network Yammer is raising a new mega funding round of over $50 million, which would push the startup’s valuation near $1 billion.
Yammer provides companies with their own social network that allows employees to quickly communicate and update their activity throughout the day. A company’s Yammer network is closed off from public view and is only accessible to people who have a company-branded email address. Over 200,000 companies are now using Yammer’s social service, including 7-Eleven, Red Robin, Ford, General Electric, Shell, Penn State University, and even VentureBeat.
The new round, which allegedly came together in the last two days, attracted over $100 million from interested investors, but Yammer may have settled on half that amount, according a PandoDaily report that cites sources familiar with the deal.
Yammer declined to comment about the funding news to VentureBeat, while stating that it had “no news to share at this time.”
However, there are several reasons why news about the new round might be true. First and most notable is the company’s year-over-year success. The startup claims to having more than doubled its user growth to 4 million (compare to 1.6 million in 2010), tripled sales to $800,000 (compared to $300,000 in 2010), and tripled the number of people employed from to 250 (compared to 80 in 2010). And speaking of hiring, Yammer has added some very notable executives to its team, such as former Salesforce Vice President of Sales David Obrand.
Founded in September 2008, the San Francisco, Calif.-based startup has previously raised a total of $57 million in funding from Emergence Capital Partners, Charles River Ventures, Founders Fund, U.S. Venture Partners, and others.
The future of easy home energy monitoring may be a little bit closer, thanks to a government initiative designed to allow consumers direct access to their energy consumption data.
The White House’s new Green Button gives utilities a way to simplify and standardize sharing usage statistics with their customers via a one-click download. Two California providers, Pacific Gas & Electric and San Diego Gas & Electric, already launched the feature, adding what is literally a green button to their websites. Utility companies in other regions are expected to implement it within the next year. Customers can click the button to download their personal usage information in one place.
The interesting aspect isn’t so much in the download itself, but what can be done with it. Federal officials hope this kind of data liberation will inspire developers to build apps and services that will help customers track and reduce their energy consumption. One study showed that subjects who were given access to their data reduced their usage by 8.7% just by tracking it. At scale, this could mean an annual savings of $32 billon per year on the country’s annual $369 billion power bill.
The Green Button was inspired by the government’s success with its Blue Button initiative, which allows veterans instant access to their health care data.
The Chevy Volt is getting a lot of attention these days, and if you drive a Volt, you are, too. Volt drivers say they’re constantly getting stopped at grocery stores and cornered in parking lots by curious onlookers wanting to know how the Volt works. Surely, you can relate. What is your Volt story?
Maybe it’s about what it’s like to charge regularly and fill up rarely, the furthest you’ve driven on an electric charge, or perhaps how the Volt has made you competitive with maximizing your efficiency. Now it’s your turn to share how you have achieved these amazing feats and how the Volt has changed your life.
Please send your amazing stories to http://goo.gl/pa1Al and you may be profiled for a feature.
This post is sponsored by Chevrolet. It’s more car than electric.
Never want to be cold again? Move near the Equator, buy expensive Omni-Heat gear from Columbia Sportswear, or do as world-record holding Dutchman Wim Hof does and resist cold by concentrating and regulating your breath.
According to The New York Times, Columbia introduced heated footwear in 2009, and this fall is adding Omni-Heat Electric jackets, which cost between $750 and $1,200, and Omni-Heat Electric gloves, which cost $400.
The new Omni-Heat ad campaign is from Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners in Sausalito, Calif.
TechCrunch readers may remember Brammo as the Oregon-based designer and manufacturer of all-electric motorcycles (and the battery technology and software that powers them), or as the makers of the bike one Mike Arrington was driving around the conference center at Disrupt NYC this year, whereupon he was almost removed from Disrupt by security. Later, in conjunction with Brammo CEO (And Disrupt Speaker) Craig Bramscher, Arrington gave the motorcycle away to one lucky mother of a marine.
Back in 2008, Brammo raised its first chunk of outside investment, an $11 million round led by Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital and Best Buy Venture Capital. Today, the electric vehicle technology company has added another significant piece of change to its vault, announcing the close of the final tranche of a $28 million series B round of financing.
Gigaom first reported the company’s close of the initial $12.5 million portion of its series B back in September 2010. Today marks the official close. For those still confused, Brammo has raised just under $40 million to date.
The final tranche of Brammo’s second round of investment was led by Polaris Industries and included contributions from existing investor, Alpine Energy, as well as first-time investor NorthPort Investments. Polaris, the manufacturer of snowmobiles, ATVs, and neighborhood electric vehicles, joins the Brammo team as a key strategic partner, providing the electric motorcycle maker with an opportunity to bring its drivetrain technology to new markets.
Bramscher told TechCrunch that he hopes Polaris can be to Brammo what Toyota has been for Tesla. For those unfamiliar, the CEO was referring to Tesla’s strategic partnership with Toyota (forged prior to Tesla’s IPO in May 2010) in which Toyota agreed to purchase $50 million in Tesla common stock, followed by an announcement that the two companies would collaborate to build an electric version of Toyota’s popular RAV4.
Through its new partnerships with the powersports leader as well as its manufacturing partner, Flextronics, Brammo is looking to synthesize powersports and innovative electronics to realize scale and kick its product development plans into fifth gear.
As to these powersport product development plans, Brammo has two super moto and off-road motorcycles (Engage and Encite) coming down the pipeline as well as a sport motorcycle called Empulse, which will add to its existing flagship product, the 2010 Electric Motorcycle of the Year, Enertia — an “urban commuter” motorcycle that runs about $8K per bike.
Furthermore, Bramscher said that its partnership with Polaris will enable the company to broaden its reach in product development, geographic scale, while Flextronics gives Brammo the ability to scale through supply chain optimization and high quality assembly (the company will soon begin producing Brammo Power battery packs), as well as access to design for manufacturing services.
The new round of funding marks a big win for the up-and-coming EV maker, and we’ll be looking forward to the release of these cool new green bikes soon, especially as Brammo looks to nose out fellow American competitors and all-EV makers, Zero Motorcycles and Mission Motors.
For more on Brammo, check ‘em out at home here.
A little more than a year ago, we posted about the possibilities of electric aircraft. At the time, we also mentioned an upcoming competition that would test the mettle of these flying batteries: the CAFE Green Flight Challenge. It’s a NASA event (and purse), sponsored by Google, which like the X-Prize aims to fund innovation through competition. Entrants would have to fly 200 miles in under two hours, while using less than a gallon of fuel (or equivalent energy) per passenger.
Tough terms, but 10 teams put their designs in flight in a quiet, efficient battle for the $1.35 million prize.
The competition just wrapped last week, and the winners were revealed at an expo in Mountain View on Monday. The team taking home the big prize was Pipistral’s Taurus G-4. The four-seater more than doubled the required 100 passenger MPGe, traveling the 200 mile test distance with the electrical equivalent of just over over one gallon of gas, and at an average speed of over 100MPH as well. Here they are holding up their “very large check”:
The runner-up was e-Genius, a two-seater that hit 375 PMPGe. It received $120,000, plus a bonus prize for being the quietest: at takeoff, they recorded only around 60 decibels. That’s probably about as loud as me typing this.
Joe Parrish, NASA’s acting CTO, said that the $1.6 million in funding used to create the competition had generated over $4 million in spending by teams and their sponsors. The winning team, from Penn State, vowed to reserve $100,000 of their prize money for a future competition for supersonic electric aircraft. Elon Musk, who has evinced interest in creating such a fantastic conveyance, is no doubt pleased at this development.
[via GizMag; photos: NASA]