Nothing is perfect in life. Electric vehicles may provide you with great fuel economy and a practically noiseless ride, but the latter quality is a double-edged sword. Like certain bodily gases, electric cars can be silent but deadly. In this case, the people most at risk are the visually-impaired and maybe old people. They just don’t hear them coming.
To address this issue, a group of carmakers and advocates for the blind have banded together to present to Congress a proposal for minimum noise levels that future electric and hybrid vehicles would be required to make.
A study by the NHTSA last year found that hybrid vehicles tend to hit pedestrians proportionally more often than other types of vehicles in scenarios where the approaching vehicle could not be seen. The language presented to Congress by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, Association of International Automobile Manufacturers, the American Council for the Blind, and the National Federation for the Blind, could become part of the Motor Safety Act of 2010, a bill currently before Congress that would create a whole host of new auto safety rules.
The kind of sounds allowed for electric cars will be limited. That is, vehicle owners would not be able to “customize” the sound of their car the same way they can download ringtones for cell phones, because such a thing is prohibited (that’s too bad). Instead, car manufacturers would provide an approved sound or set of sounds for a given make and model of car.
Electric Volvo XC40 Recharge Arrives With 249-Mile Range
The Swedish automaker’s first all-electric vehicle offers 408 horsepower and 249 miles of driving range.
Volvo has taken the wraps off the XC40 Recharge, the first of many all-electric vehicles it has planned for the coming years.
The electric SUV looks nearly identical to the internal-combustion and hybrid XC40 variants, yet the lack of a grille makes it standout as the pure battery-powered EV of the lineup. It can also be ordered with a new color called Sage Green.
The elimination of the XC40’s combustion engine makes room for a little storage compartment under the hood. In other words, there is a frunk.
Electric motors mounted at each axle gives the XC40 Recharge 408 horsepower to work with, as well as all-wheel. The the battery pack, which can be recharged up to 80 percent capacity in 40 minutes when using a fast charger, delivers a driving range of up to 249 miles (400 kilometers) on Europe’s WLTP cycle.
Like the exterior, the interior is nearly identical to the other XC40 models, with the exception of the new Android-powered infotainment system, which includes Google Assistant, Google Maps and Google Play Store.
Volvo expects electric vehicles to account for half of its global sales by 2025, with hybrid models constituting the remainder. All electrified models — plug-in hybrids and EVs — will fall under the company’s ‘Recharge’ sub-brand.
Tesla Pickup Truck Looks Like ‘Armored Personnel Carrier’
The ‘cybertruck’ supposedly doesn’t look like the renderings we’ve seen online.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has dropped a few more hints about the company’s all-electric pickup, particularly that the Blade Runner-inspired truck is very different in appearance to the numerous speculative renderings that have popped up over the years.
“Cybertruck doesn’t look like anything I’ve seen bouncing around the Internet,” he wrote on Twitter. “It’s closer to an armored personnel carrier from the future.”
Previous comments by Musk also suggest it will have an electric powertrain that delivers “crazy torque” and impressive towing capabilities, a dynamic air suspension system, a rotating tailgate that drops very low to the ground, and 240-volt outlets for industrial equipment used by welders and other professionals.
The company even wants to sell the all-electric pickup truck for less than $50,000 so that it appeals to the mass market.
The Tesla pickup isn’t likely to enter production until after Tesla is able to produce the Model Y in high volume.
2020 Porsche Taycan 4S Offers Two Battery Options, Much Lower Price
The 4S is nearly $47,000 less expensive than the midrange Turbo edition.
Porsche has expanded the Taycan lineup with the addition of the Taycan 4S, a more affordable version of its first electric car.
The Taycan 4S is powered by an all-electric drivetrain consisting of two electric motors, a two-speed transmission, and a 79.2 kWh kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack.
The larger 93.4-kWh battery of the Turbo and Turbo S models is available as part of a $6,580 Performance Battery Plus package.
The Taycan 4S produces 522 horsepower in standard form and 563 horsepower with the upgraded battery. Both battery configurations allow it to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in around 3.8 seconds and reach a top sped of 155 mph (249 km/h).
Porsche hasn’t announced how far the either Taycan 4S versions can drive on a single charge, but the electric range will likely span from around 225 to 250 miles based on the EPA’s testing.
Models equipped with the 79.2 kWh battery can be recharged up to 80 percent in 22.5 minutes.
The 2020 Porsche Taycan 4S has a starting price of $103,800 in the United States, which is nearly $47,000 less than the Taycan Turbo. Deliveries begin in spring 2020.