Wuling Motors has registered its new electric vehicle, the AirEV, with the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. The local regulator always publishes live photos of objects entered into the database, and this provides a good opportunity to understand what AirEV is all about.
As you can see, this is still a compact electric car, in the spirit of the Hongguang Mini EV. Wuling AirEV will have two versions – with a wheelbase of 1635 and 2010 mm. Accordingly, in the first case, the electric car is designed for two people, in the second – for four. In the “stretched” version, additional windows appear at the back. Accordingly, the dimensions of the short version are 2599 x 1505 x 1631 mm, the “long” version is 2974 x 1505 x 1631 mm.
Power reserve has not yet been reported, but there is data on power. The short version uses an electric motor with a power of 41 hp, in the “long” version – 68 hp. You might think that the top version on a single charge will drive at least 200 km, like the Wuling Hongguang Mini EV Gameboy.
There are no prices yet, but you can think that the cost of AirEV will be about the same as the Wuling Hongguang Mini EV.
NASA’s Martian “vehicle fleet” returned to service after a long radio silence
The American Aeronautics and Space Administration NASA gave the latest news about its missions to Mars. Spacecraft are again operating at full capacity after a forced pause taken during the conjunction of Mars with the Sun.
The agency did not send commands to its Mars explorers from November 10 to November 25, while Earth and the Red Planet are on opposite sides of the Sun.
Sending commands to missions is suspended during this period because hot ionized gas ejected from the solar corona could potentially affect radio signals sent from Earth.
NASA’s Perseverance rover team reported that they are looking forward to continuing the sample collection process. And the Ingenuity helicopter team talks about its 67th flight last weekend, when the device covered 393 meters in a little more than 2 minutes.
Perseverance and Ingenuity are not NASA’s only Mars probes. The Curiosity rover has been exploring Gale Crater since August 2012, and three NASA probes are studying Mars from orbit: Odyssey, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and MAVEN.
BMW X3, X4 and X5 recalled due to exploding pumps
Several hundred BMW X3, X4 and X5 models need to be repaired in the United States because they are equipped with defective Takata airbag inflators that can rupture.
The company reported that 486 of its vehicles were equipped with a Takata PSDI-X pump, which may have a manufacturing anomaly. On November 6, 2023, BMW received a customer complaint from the owner of a 2014 X3 whose airbag ruptured. Initial reports indicate a manufacturing error at the Takata plant in Monclova, Mexico, is to blame.
The recall involves 457 units of the 2014 BMW X3 xDrive28i and X3 xDrive35i manufactured between February 22, 2014 and March 7, 2014, one 2014 X4 xDrive35i manufactured on March 3, 2014, and 28 units of the 2014 X5.
Owners of affected vehicles will be notified of the recall beginning January 16, 2024, and dealers have already been informed. Owners will be invited to BMW dealerships for a free replacement of the driver’s front airbag. Any owner who has already paid to fix the problem will receive a refund.
“We don’t want to give up,” Toyota won’t give up on combustion-powered sports cars. They can find new life thanks to hydrogen
Toyota believes sports cars with internal combustion engines could get a new lease of life by switching to hydrogen. The announcement of new Toyota electric vehicles does not mean that the internal combustion engine is on its last legs.
Gazoo Racing manager Masahito Watanabe told Autocar that creating an all-battery car line is not the company’s ultimate goal, as zero emissions can be achieved with hydrogen. He recalled that the GR Yaris and GR Corolla have already become hydrogen-powered racing cars, while retaining their three-cylinder turbocharged engines.
“We continue to believe that the internal combustion engine has some potential, and in doing so we will of course endeavor to comply with all applicable regulations depending on the region in each country. But we don’t want to give up. It’s not over yet because if you look at the internal combustion engine, there’s still hydrogen combustion that could be part of that zero-emission line, so I think the development of such models will continue.” – Masahito Watanabe
However, Watanabe acknowledged one big obstacle: the existing charging infrastructure for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles like the Mirai is “severely insufficient.” Consequently, Toyota realizes that there is currently no point in selling ICE vehicles powered by hydrogen.
That said, Watanabe believes hydrogen can eventually gain traction in Europe, the US and Japan.
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