Nissan Motor Co. reported strong annual production and sales export figures for Jan. 2014, and also that it’s being embraced. . . in Bhutan, among other places.
Electric car supporters and companies have responded to a slap down by the Washington Post editorial board last week, which accused the Obama Administration of wasting money to help launch electric vehicles, such as GM’s Volt and Nissan’s Leaf.
The opinion piece “GM’s Vaunted Volt is on the Road to Nowhere Fast ” accused the administration both of having “paltry” goals for electric vehicles — 1 million by 2015 — and of spending too much money on subsidies for the new technology.
Pushed by the dwindling prospects for fossil fuels, the auto industry is undergoing changes not seen since the days of Henry Ford. Today’s innovators aren’t just looking to gear up production, they’re trying to dial back energy use, and that’s produced a bumper crop of wild and wacky (and some not so wacky) concept cars.
Here are eight of our favorites:
It would cost less to manufacture (and buy), less to maintain, less to fuel and there would be no emissions. The makers of this car, Air Car Factories, are either on drugs or they’ve seized the Holy Grail. Their car would run on compressed air collected by see-saw devices on the road. Each car would be refueled through regenerative driving. The Barcelona-based company expects to begin with electric models, until testing is completed on the Air Car. A green dream? We hope it’s a reality.
That’s right. This is a car designed by a shoe maker. It doesn’t much look like a shoe. More like…nothing you’ve seen before. The car is intended to be “athletic.” No joke. “An athlete training to drive the Nike ONE uses a physical resistance simulator, that mimics the vehicle’s controls, along with the digital simulation within GT4 to train their muscles and mind for specific tracks and competition scenarios,” explains Phil Frank, lead designer, who said his team was inspired by the principals of Nike founder Bill Bowerman. The long term plan is that any movement by the driver would be converted into electricity through nanotechnology using a “Spark Suit.” Frank calls it “the ultimate in convergent technologies.” We agree.