Harley-Davidson is known as The Motor Company, but nobody ever thought the name would be applied to an electric motorcycle.
Meet the Harley Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle, a research project into the viability of an electric two-wheeler for the bar-and-shield brand.
The machine is one of two dozen or so demonstrator bikes that Harley-Davidson built for the Project LiveWire Experience (projectlivewire.com), an H-D dealer demo tour that will travel across the country through the end of the year and into Europe and Canada in 2015. Consumers will get to ride LiveWire and give Harley-Davidson feedback, allowing the company to evaluate consumer interest and decide if and how LiveWire would go into production.
For many, the idea of an electric Harley is a sacrilege, associating the brand with the distinctive sound of big, grumbling engines. That’s something the company says it’s very aware of, however.
“The sound is a distinctive part of the thrill,” senior VP Mark-Hans Richer said of the “unmistakable” noise of the electric engine. “Think fighter jet on an aircraft carrier.”
Let’s see how this goes…
Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) is delighted to confirm that it will take part in several races of the 2012 FIAWorld Endurance Championship, including the Le Mans 24 Hours.
The entry will be based upon an LMP1 prototype chassis from TMG, and a petrol hybrid powertrain produced by Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan.
The exact scope of this participation and its official name will be confirmed in the coming weeks.
TMG’s high-performance technical centre in Cologne, Germany, where the LMP1 chassis has been designed, developed and produced, will be the base for the team.
Tadashi Yamashina, Toyota Motor Corporation Senior Managing Officer and TMG Chairman, said: “Toyota Motor Corporation has entered Le Mans before but by using our hybrid technology this time will be a completely new challenge. We want to write a new page in the history of the Le Mans 24 Hours, as well as in the FIA World Endurance Championship, through our use of hybrid technology. In addition, we aim to learn from the experience of competing in such a challenging motorsport environment to enhance our production car technology. Le Mans is a legendary race and I would like to thank the ACO and the FIA for their constructive and positive cooperation over the last few months.”
TMG’s award-winning engineering services, including all current motorsport projects, will continue unaffected by this announcement, which it is hoped will provide further impetus to its successful business development activities.
Testing has begun at Paul Ricard – I am still hunting for official pictures of the car, but shown here is the EV that ran at the Nurburgring (setting fastest time for an electric vehicle at 7:47
At the Tokyo Motor Show 2011, japanese car company Kowa Tmsuk is exhibiting its ‘kobot’ concept line of one and two -seater fold-up electric vehicles.
Two of the ‘kobot’ designs– the ‘kobot nu’ and ‘kobot beta’– are three-wheeled single-seaters, offering an extremely tight turning radius thanks to their singular free-moving back wheel.
By contrast the ‘kobot II’ follows the form factor of a conventional car, including a roof and full sides, but in a supercompact form. all are designed for high-density urban areas, featuring a target speed of about 19mph (30km/hr).
Already small, the ‘nu’ and ‘beta’ models can be further reduced in length when parking thanks to a telescoping design, activated by smartphone, in which the vehicles’ rear wheel and seat fold up into the front of the car.
the ‘kobots’ are also capable of nesting when folded up, not unlike stored shopping carts.
kowa tmsuk envisions the vehicles being used in car-sharing plans or as shuttle vehicles in cities or tourist destinations, a means of transporting passengers from peripheral areas where they may have parked or been brought by public transport, to their ultimate destinations. discussion suggests
that the company plans to begin producing ‘kobot’ in fall 2012. Crazy if you ask me!