Friday May 6th, 2011 17:41 Peugeot’s EX1 Smashes Nurburgring Record

Peugeot EX1

 

Peugeot’s EX1 concept roadster has just set the record for the fastest lap at the Nurburgring by an electric vehicle. The record previously stood at 9 minutes and 51.45 seconds, and was held by the Mini E Race, a lightweight version of the Mini E two-seat EV. Despite weather conditions being “far from favourable,” the EX1 managed to cut over 50 seconds off the previous record, clocking a lap time of 9 minutes and 1.338 seconds. The electric car managed to do this with an average of speed of 86mph.

Although it is supposedly styled to look like a water droplet, the EX1 has, in terms of its appearance, been likened to the batmobile. Based on the Asphalte and the 20cup concept, it is powered by two electric motors. While one motor is located at the front of the car, the other is located at the back. It has a 30kWh lithium-Ion battery pack, and can be recharged from a standard electric outlet. Alternatively, it can be recharged simply by parking it inside the custom-built garage that Peugeot has built to go with it. According to Peugeot, under normal driving conditions, the EX1 can run for a maximum of 174 miles.

In comparison to other green cars, the Peugeot EX1′s performance statistics are certainly very impressive. Its horsepower stands at 340bhp, nearly 100bhp more than the Tesla Roadster, and its maximum torque stands at 240Nm, 40Nm more than the Roadster. It goes from 0-62mph in just 3.7 seconds and, from a standing start, can reach its maximum speed of 162mph in just 6.6 seconds. That top speed of 162mph is 37mph faster than Tesla’s Roadster.

Built as part of Peugeot’s 200th anniversary, the EX1 has already set 6 new world acceleration records, and looks to be a significant step forward in terms of high performance green cars.

 

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Friday April 8th, 2011 15:33 Tesla Motors vs Top Gear

Tesla Roadster

Last week, it emerged that Tesla Motors was taking legal action against the BBC’s Top Gear TV programme over what they felt was an intentionally misleading depiction of the Tesla Roadster in an episode of the show first broadcast in December 2008.

In the episode, presenter Jeremy Clarkson experiences a number of problems while test-driving two Tesla Roadsters. In addition to running out of charge, one model’s motor supposedly overheats and becomes immobilised, while another model develops a problem with its brakes. One scene shows a Roadster being pushed back into the Top Gear hangar, while at another point in the segment, Clarkson says, “although Tesla say it will do 200 miles, we worked out that on our track it would run out after just 55 miles.” The segment concludes with Clarkson commenting that “in the real world, it doesn’t seem to work.”

Tesla Motors have refuted the show’s claims, and accused Top Gear of intentionally staging these breakdowns. Unhappy that the episode in question has frequently been rebroadcast around the world on television, DVD and the internet, Tesla say they have taken legal action in an attempt to stop any future repeats of the road test. In a statement, the electric vehicle manufacturer said: “Tesla simply wants Top Gear to stop rebroadcasting this malicious episode and to correct the record, but they’ve repeatedly ignored Tesla’s requests.”

A Top Gear spokeswoman initially responded to Tesla’s allegations by saying that “the BBC stands by the programme and will be vigorously defending this claim.” However, any thoughts that this argument would be resolved quietly were dismissed when Top Gear’s Executive Producer, Andy Wilman, took to the show’s Transmission blog on Saturday to address what he saw as Tesla’s “quite noisy” attempts to promote their side of the legal battle in public through the media.

Although Wilman did admit in his post that Top Gear had prepared a rough draft of a script in advance of the road test, he said that this was normal procedure, and any comments about the car’s performance were “added on the day.”

On Monday, Tesla expressed its belief that Wilman’s comments about the script will only help to prove the case of libel and malicious falsehood against Top Gear. In a statement posted on its website, Tesla said: “It seems actual test result don’t matter when the verdict has already been given – even if it means staging tests to meet these predetermined conclusions.”

As of yet, there has been no further response from Top Gear, but it does not look like this very public feud will be resolved any time soon.

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