60 years later, the Berkeley Bandit returns as an EV

Six decades after it came and went without much fuss, the Berkeley Bandit is ready to make its triumphant return. And in order to actually stick around this time, the sporty speedster will come with two very modern features: an electric powertrain and sustainable parts.

Late last week, the recently resurrected British automaker, best known for its compact sports cars, announced that it would relaunch with a new and improved Bandit. And a zero-emission powertrain isn’t the only way the new car with differ from its predecessor; it will also be available as a roadster or a coupe.

The original Bandit was supposed to be the car that would push Berkeley into the mainstream, but before that got a chance to happen, the automaker declared bankruptcy in 1960, pulling the plug on operations before the car could make it to production. Despite this, the roadster is still looked upon fondly by British sports car lovers, some of whom view the two-seater as having been “ahead of its time.”

As did the original prototypes, 60 years ago, Berkeley designers proved that simple, smooth, ain’t a bad way to design an automobile. I liked their work back then. Like it even more, now.

Latest generation of Restomods merge past and present-tech

…The concept is pretty alluring: take a vintage car and all the great things that go with it— looks, backstory, rarity; and add the best of modern driving — comfort, eco-friendliness, not breaking down every time you drive it.

In a corner of this field is a newer crop, where past and present collide to even more dramatic effect — electrified restomods. Here, the guts of the original car are ripped out entirely and transplanted with electric motors, batteries and circuitry.

Yes, this costs more than the average family budget allots for motor vehicles. But, like any new-tech solutions, electrification of classics should become cheaper over time. I’d love to try it on with an XK150 Jaguar coupe.

The purist car geeks will be aghast at the concept; but, then, they’d look askance at preferring an XK150 over an XK120, anyway.

Aptera Claims Three-Wheel EV Can Go Shopping on Solar Only

❝ Aptera…is claiming its forthcoming electric three-wheeler can operate on solar power without ever plugging in to charge.

Every hour it’s parked in the sun generates five miles of range, so Aptera claims 44 miles of range in a day based on solar charging from the summer sun in San Diego.

Users can still plug in the Aptera EV, which Aptera recently claimed will have a 1000-mile range between charges.

Interesting reads, warts, caveats and all. If it performs as promoted – and affordable in my retiree household – it makes all the sense in the world. Our average weekly shopping trip to town rarely exceeds 30 miles roundtrip. We’re in sunny New Mexico with all the solar energy you could ever wish for pouring down every day. Enough room for my wife and me + groceries, etc..

1970 Toyota Land Cruiser – with all-electric drive

❝ For many decades, so-called crate engines—most often V-8s—have been the basis for adding more excitement or a life extension to old cars and trucks, fresh out of a shipping crate and with a minimum of fuss.

So how about a “crate” electric motor system that’s disguised as a V-8?

❝ Electric GT, of Chatsworth, California, is in the process of doing a “TLC build” electric conversion of a 1970 Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser. This conversion, which is nearly complete, also happens to be a testbed for an all-in-one modular “crate” system.

❝ With Electric GT’s product, it should be a matter of dropping the “crate engine” in as you might an engine swap of a V-8 into an old car, then attaching harnesses and installing the battery. The goal is to have something that greatly reduces the number of conversion hours while offering something that’s “very stylistic, all functional,” according to WInberg.

Eventually, easier means cheaper, as well. Be nice to turn my 25-year-old Dodge pickup into an electric beastie.

Tesla: case study on depreciation vs demand

Depreciation in the used car market is one way to read demand for a manufacturer’s vehicles. Vehicles that are more in demand depreciate less. To compare the depreciation of the Tesla Model S with competing in class vehicles, we collected data on used cars and constructed an ordinary least squares (OLS) regression model. Here are the takeaways:

  • After 50k miles, a Tesla Model S will have depreciated 28% vs the in-class competitor average of 38%.
  • A Tesla Model S holds 7% more value than its competitors regardless of variables like model year, miles driven, and initial sale price.
  • In a stable economy, the used car market is a proxy for new car sales. This study is a sign that Tesla continues to gain share vs. comparable in-class vehicles.

Of course, if you haven’t a clue about the value of your ride – and don’t care – there are plenty of Buicks available.

China plans for an end to gasoline and diesel-powered cars


Volvo plans on selling a million electrified cars by 2025

China, the world’s biggest car market, plans to ban the production and sale of diesel and petrol cars and vans….The country’s vice minister of industry said it had started “relevant research” but that it had not yet decided when the ban would come into force…

China made 28 million cars last year, almost a third of the global total

Chinese-owned carmaker Volvo said in July that all its new car models would have an electric motor from 2019…Geely, Volvo’s Chinese owner, aims to sell one million electric cars by 2025…and has announced plans to go electric across the board.

Other global car firms including Renault-Nissan, Ford and General Motors are all working to develop electric cars in China.

Automakers are jostling for a slice of the growing Chinese market ahead of the introduction of new rules designed to fight pollution.

China wants electric battery cars and plug-in hybrids to account for at least one-fifth of its vehicle sales by 2025.

The proposals would require 8% of automakers’ sales to be battery electric or plug-in hybrids by next year, rising to 12% in 2020.

Trump and the Republican Party are debating whether or not they want cars sold in the USA to be all fossil fuel-burners or coal-burners.