We took the Cadillac ELR out for a spin in Manhattan with Pam Fletcher, the executive chief engineer at GM for electric vehicles. The ELR has a 5.5’ battery in the chassis and a small gasoline engine up front. It also can be plugged in, making it a true plug-in hybrid.
"The ELR is the ultimate design statement: a luxury coupe, that, oh by the way, happens to be an electric car,” says Fletcher. With a nine-gallon tank and a total range of 380 miles, 37 of which are electric, the ELR is certainly eco-friendly. But is the price tag justified? Fast Company's Chris Dannen finds out.
Here’s what automakers can do when cars have built-in smartphone capabilities.
It’s no secret that cars are trying to replicate the smartphone experience. Touchscreen interfaces are common in today’s cars, dashboard designers take UI tips from iPhones, and automakers want to build apps for cars. And starting this year, large automakers like General Motors are taking the next obvious step and integrating 4G LTE service into their cars. Drivers pay a monthly service fee for in-car 4G that’s separate from their smartphones, and use it for an array of services from movies for kids in the backseat to sophisticated GPS-on-steroids solutions. It’s a win-win for automakers, the dealers who sell the 4G add-ons, and carriers like AT&T. But is it a win for consumers?
TerraMax kits turn ordinary military trucks into self-driving road warriors.
When you think of self-driving vehicles, you probably think of Google, Audi, and Daimler. Although the research underlying all of their advances was funded by DARPA, it’s somewhat surprising that the military isn’t already way ahead of everyone else when it comes to remote-controlled ground movement.
Bonita Stewart Coleman’s passion for ballet has seeped into her corporate career path. Here’s how she made the leap between auto and tech.
Being ahead of the curve has proven to be Stewart’s biggest hurdle as she’s risen through the ranks. “Whether it’s working within auto industry or now with Google’s advertising clients and publisher partners, the biggest challenge is convincing others to see what you see,” she tells Fast Company, “and encouraging them to pick up the pace of change.”
When the classic VW bus was at the height of its popularity in the ’60s, ads bragged about the fact that it got 24 miles per gallon. Fifty years later, that’s actually still a lot better than some similarly sized vans, but it isn’t exactly carbon neutral. Brazilian designer Eduardo Galvani decided to reinvent the hippie bus as something truly sustainable.
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has never been one to shy away from controversy, or grandiose gestures (see: the Hyperloop project). After hinting at the news this past weekend, Musk announced today that all of Tesla’s patents are now open source.