Too quiet to be a race car

Do we really go to the races for the visceral shiver a race car’s engine can give you, the aching memory frisson that the stink of castrol can trigger?

Formula One dominator Sebastian Vettel gave short shrift Saturday to the new, electric Formula E series, saying it would be far too quiet and was “not the future”.

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An Electric Air about them


Flying hybrid: This two-seater electric-gas airplane may be the first of many to take to the skies

Read more at MIT TR :Once a Joke, Battery-Powered Airplanes Are Nearing Reality20130709-183958.jpg

UVa’s Sustinere design for a 50-seat jet eschews batteries in favor of a turboelectric distributed propulsion (TeDP) concept – two 2,500shp turboshaft engines under the wing generating electrical power to drive six 3,300lb-thrust fans arrayed in a duct that wraps around the upper fuselage.

Read more at AWST: Battery or Superconductor – FAA Picks Hybrid Winners20130709-184659.jpg

The EADS IW concept uses a single large turbine engine to generate electricity to power six ducted fans that provide thrust. This allows propulsive and thermal efficiency to be optimized separately. The turbine engine can be optimized for thermal efficiency (turning fuel into shaft power) while the ducted fans increase effective bypass ratio and therefore propulsion efficient (turning shaft power into thrust).

Read more at AWST : eConcept – EADS’s Hybrid-Electric Airliner20130709-185351.jpg

Two years after Honeywell and Safran announced plans to develop an electric-drive system, the team is preparing to demonstrate a proof-of-concept system on an Airbus A320 at this year’s Paris air show.

Read more at AWST : Electric Taxi Puts On A Show At Paris By Guy Norris20130709-190343.jpg

The result of close collaborations with Finmeccanica companies – Selex ES, Ansaldo Breda, and Ansaldo Energia – and partner companies from Italy, UK, U.S. and Japan, the aircraft embeds some unuque features: aesthetically pleasing styling and aerodynamically unique tiltrotor configuration; carbon graphite exterior surfaces; High-Integrity Flight Control Computer and Actuator Control Unit; custom produced electric motor inverter and motor control algorithm; axial flux permanent magnet electric motors.

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EADS eFan electric training aircraft

From: tiny ducted fan aircraft, only about 40 hp and it can do aerobatics, 1 hour touring around or about 30 min of loops etc.

People still say that battery technology is throttling eTech but I see huge amounts of work based an nano tech, material tech, graphene / carbon tech, etc which points to continued significant improvements in battery energy density etc for many years to come. Along with the rapid improvement in light strong structures, much of it fueled by carbon fibre technology, the improvements in electric propulsion, electronics, sensors, etc one wonders if the Jetsons are really all that far off…

Zero DS || Wired

Article:Alexander George, Photo: Alex Washburn/Wired

When the light turns green and the two-lane road begins an ess turn, it’s clear the Zero DS is a true motorcycle, not just a scooter with sport bike pretensions. This is an electric hoon machine that will put you ahead of almost anything on four wheels. Going from a standstill to 60 mph takes a tick over five seconds, and high-end torque slings the bike through on-ramps with aplomb. The Zero has the power to inspire that smirk of speed euphoria I crave from a bike — something that hasn’t been lost with the removal of a traditional internal combustion engine.


As a two-wheeled electric vehicle, the Zero DS is perfect. The engineering has accounted for everything important in a transportation vehicle. Riding the Zero, you think, this is how a civilized society should move about. This is a lithe and efficient vehicle, and an exemplar of what motorized travel should be: four-hundred pounds of weight moving between destinations silently, parking unobtrusively, and most of all, forcing the rider to be deliberate and unwasteful. Take only what can fit in the storage space and travel knowing that you have a finite range and must act resourcefully. Those restrictions, again, keep the Zero from being a true all-around motorcycle, but I like the idea of noble asceticism so long as the thrill of speed remains.