Thursday, 28 February 2013

Silex is Golden

Welcome to the Silex Power Cheerios - sorry, Chreos.

This is a start-up based in Malta and the initial publicity and drawings remind me of the early releases from Eterniti with their Hemorrhoid, which eventually transmogrified into the re-jigged Porsche Cayenne that is the Artemis - so nothing like they were initially claiming - and with most of their setting up done by Porsche.

Another thing that makes me sceptical about the Chreos is that everything shown so far is computer-generated.

And some of their claims seem highly optimistic:

This is an electric car with a range of 1000km (620 miles in real money) and a full charge time of just 10 minutes.

It can also do 185mph and has a sub 3 second 0-60 time.

Fisker must be very worried.

If the claims are to be believed, then this will be an electric car that could be used in the real world in place of a petrol car.

GM, Ford, Toyota etc. must all also be worried.

Silex Power's Website has a promotional video that looks OK:
although the font they use is a bit tricky to read. The car looks like a Bugatti Galibier from the side and an Alfa-Romeo from the front but since it's all CGI that doen't really mean much yet.

They are being very cagey about their batteries but say it is just a development of existing technologies, They also say that the recharge uses something called Hypercharging - there is some information on their site about how this will work but it involves lots of numbers and talk of inverters and kilowatts and amps that went over my head.

They say that they will build their first full-size prototype in July and be selling the cars in 2015.

If they are right, then this is a very big deal. Fox News have picked up on the story but, apart from them, I'm not seeing a lot of coverage.

Is it too good to be true?

Ask a serial optimist...

...or a cereal optimist.


Oh well, cheerio.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Bond Villain

My story last month about Roger Moore didn't really have much to do with James Bond but this one does actually involve Steven Berkoff who played General Orlov in Octopussy alongside Roger Moore.

Now, being a Daily Mail story, they do enjoy a misleading headline.

For example: Pay and dismay: Mercedes left marooned after builders excavate station car park around it

No it wasn't, the story here clearly states that the builders left an escape ramp.

Another good example: Mystery solved! Elizabeth Hurley's car found covered in parking tickets after reports it was stolen during shopping trip

No it wasn't - it had three on it. Story here. Nearly another James Bond connection though - she was a star of Austin Powers which is a very entertaining JB spoof.

Anyway, the misleading Berkoff headline is James Bond villain Steven Berkoff, 75, banned from the road for jumping red light when he heard police sirens

He wasn't. He lost his licence for getting 12 penalty points on it. He also rather naughtily tried to declare his Californian driving licence number but that didn't work.

He claimed he moved through the red lights to get out of the way of an emergency vehicle. Seems like a reasonable thing to do, although he did it at 27mph!

It did get me thinking about what I would do if waiting at traffic lights and an emergency vehicle came up behind with its sirens blaring and lights flashing. What is the correct thing to do?

Well, thank you to Jerry from Lincolnshire who taught me something when he added the following comment to the Mail article, "It is absolutely never the right thing to do to pass a red light in these circumstances. It is absolutely not a defence to the crime of passing a red light to say you moved to allow a blue light vehicle to pass. If you do pass a red light and get prosecuted any compentent lawyer will advise you to plead guilty and try to minimse the sentce through mitigation. Emergncy vehicle drivers are trained that if they are behind a vehicle stopped at a red light they MUST wait for the light to go green before they can expect the vehicle in front to move. They are also supposed to turn off any siren until the light change but can keep blue lights on."

What he says is backed up here so I gave his comment a green up-arrow.

Now, basically, Berkoff jumped a red light at nearly 30mph, pretended he didn't have a British driving licence and claimed he was making way for an emergency vehicle. Worse than that, he was driving a Beetle.

General Orlov would not have been impressed.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Tailgating - Good or Bad?

It depends upon if you are British or American.

If you are British, then this is tailgating:although, really you need to replace the car in the mirror with an Audi.

Anyway, it's not a good thing - in fact, it's a downright dangerous thing. If you are American, then tailgating seems to involve a barbecue:
Here's a better picture -it actually involves a pretty girl tailgate:

Here in Britain, we have things called "car boot sales" which do not involve the purchase of cheap car boots (or "trunks" if you are American - trunks to us are what elephants have or what men wear to swim in)

In America, they have tailgate thefts which I would have assumed to be thefts from the cargo bays of Pick-Up Trucks but actually is the theft of the vehicle tailgate itself. Fox News reported on it yesterday together with some statistics on cities, States and makes of vehicle most likely to be targetted and tips on how not to let it happen to you.

Meanwhile, North of the border (in Canada not Scotland) they have a different crime again called "curbsiding" which has nothing to do with Kerb-crawling. The Canadian car-site I sometimes delve into had this story last month. Apparently, this particular crime is trading in used (often repaired after damage) cars while pretending to be a private seller and not disclosing the history of the car. Although, if anyone repaired and then sold on the car they used to illustrate the story, then good luck to them:

Whatever motoring crime you decide to take part in, if caught, you may well end up before a judge.

And that judge may well be an expert on motoring crime.

Like this chap.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Holden Out For A Hero

My favourite Aussie car news site has got very excited this morning about the launch of the new Holden VF Commodore - the latest family sedan from GM's Australian Division.

Due to the geography of Australia, the family sedan is still important down there just like the Cavalier and Sierra used to be over here. This is an entirely Australian designed and built car but the question is, will it look like GM's American Chevrolet Cruze:
or GM's European Vauxhall/Opel Insignia?

Well, here's the conclusive answer:
Glad that small matter is cleared up.

The launch itself was quite interesting. Catch the video here if you want although it was mostly concerned with the impressive technological features of the new car. It was fronted by Holden's MD which may stand for Managing Director (his job) or Mike Devereaux (his name).

It is only at the very end of the launch video that you actually get to see the car but I've just shown it to you anyway.

The Americans are quite interested, AutoGuide had the story here - they are interested in the implications for a new Chevy SS.

Even before the launch, though, the Aussies were looking further ahead to the VF replacement on sale in 2017. I think they were trying to reassure Australia that there was a longer-term future for The Commodore but to quote one of the comments added below the story, "Stealing a bit of the VF's thunder. It no longer seems as important now." Oops.

Still, I wouldn't go Holden a grudge about it.