Hello, dear readers and riders! Welcome to the third installment of our EV news roundup for the month of October. This week, we’ll be taking a look at NASA’s solid-state battery research, Rolls-Royce’s electric debut, the advanced intelligence of the Polestar 3, and more. As always, please send any tantalizing leads to stephanie@thevintagent.com. Let’s roll.

The Ultimate Overland Toy Hauler

The ultimate toy hauler/camping rig? Maybe you don’t need that monstrous 4×4 Sprinter after all…[Ryder]
Want to get off the grid? If so, meet the Ryder from Australian manufacturer Offline Campers. Designed for overland vehicles, the Ryder allows you to fit up to three motorcycles in its deck while giving you a place to sleep at night thanks to the rooftop tent. The Ryder holds about 28 gallons of water, has an outdoor shower, and includes 210 amp-hours of AGM batteries, with both AC and DC charging stations, including a MPPT solar controller. This makes this hauler great for digital nomads.

Meet the Boxy New Brainchild of Solid EV

The Solid EV concept is exactly that – bulky. But tough looking. [Solid]
Voyager, a Dutch company, was recently commissioned by Netherlands-based Solid EV to build an e-Moped, called the Solid CRS-01. The bike features a boxy body, bulky wheels, and has top speeds of 45km/h. “We took a highly modular, product-like approach, using cost-effective materials such as sheet metal to build a self-supporting monocoque frame also doubling as the exterior panels of the motorcycle,” Voyager’s team explained.

Meet the Upgraded Hydrofoil Bike

Bicycling on water is the next wave of watersports and fitness. [Manta5]
Manta5, a company based in New Zealand, recently unveiled its second-generation model of the Hydrofolier SL3 hydrofoil bike. The electric watercraft uses a throttle-only launch and a patent-pending mechanical design that allows novice riders to boost their competence within minutes. When a rider stops moving, the EV will lower into the water until the chassis is floating on the water’s surface.

NASA is Going Above and Beyond with Solid-State Battery Research

Finally, the best brains in the business focus on terrestial issues: batteries. [NASA]
Shout out to Raúl for sending us this story! As part of their commitment to sustainable aviation, NASA researchers are making headway in developing a safer, more efficient battery pack that is commonly found in EVs. NASA’s Solid-state Architecture Batteries for Enhanced Rechargeability and Safety (SABERS) research team has successfully raised their battery’s discharge rate by a factor of 15, moving them closer to their ultimate goal of powering a massive vehicle. Researchers also discovered that solid-state architecture enabled them to change the battery’s packaging and construction, saving weight and boosting the amount of energy it can store.

Rolls-Royce Makes Its Electric Debut

It’s Spectre, not S.P.E.C.T.R.E. – that would be an Aston Martin EV. [Rolls Royce]
Earlier this week, Rolls-Royce debuted its first fully electric production car. Hitting the market in 2023, the Spectre is an electric luxury coupe that offers supreme performance, thoughtful design touches, and a whopping 260-mile range. The EV also promises to deliver 577 ponies and 664 lb-ft of torque, which is the equivalent of the Ghost Black Badge’s twin-turbo V12 torque output.

Meet the Most Intelligent EV On the Road

Polestar from Volvo is packed with tech, as one has come to expect in the EV space. [Polestar]
Polestar’s first SUV, the 2024 Polestar 3, might be the smartest EV on the roadways. Among the SUV’s many highlights include an estimated 300-mile range, 489hp, 620 lb-ft of torque, and an array of AI and driver-assistance tech, which comes standard. The Polestar 3 will be available in North American markets late next year.

See Renault Like Never Before

Are we ready for an ADV EV? Renault thinks so. [Renault]
Renault recently unveiled its 4EVER Trophy at the Paris Motor Show. The handsomely rugged EV gives us dune buggy vibes. The 4EVER Trophy boasts major ground-clearance capabilities thanks to the shortened front overhangs, LED lights, and a 42kWh battery pack, which promises 250 miles worth of range.

Poseidon Amphibworks Corporation to Develop Amphibious Three-Wheeled EV

As sea levels rise, perhaps this is the most practical EV of all? [Poseidon Amphiworks]
California-based Poseidon Amphibworks Corporation recently launched a crowdfunding campaign to build a street-legal, three-wheeled amphibious EV. Called the Trident LS-1, the patent-pending vehicle is aimed to solve the mobility challenges caused by ever-increasing wetlands and rising sea levels. “We are so excited to finally launch this opportunity for the public to join us in developing this vision of practical, affordable amphibious electric vehicles that not only perform but are efficient both on land and in bodies of water. With like-minded investors to help us, we are confident we will get our vision into production as soon as possible… After prototypes are tested within the next five years and services are established in main coastal markets around the world, we hope to have over 1000 vehicles sold globally, with many more exciting developments in the horizon beyond,” said Steve Tice, CEO and Founder of the company.

Telsa’s Autopilot is Killing Motorcyclists

Tesla’s ‘autopilot’ mode is anything but, and regularly fails to recognize motorcycles before it’s too late.

From CNN:

Tesla’s Autopilot was involved in a third fatal motorcycle crash this summer, raising questions about the driver-assist system’s ability to operate safely. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has already launched investigations into the first two crashes and gathered information on the third crash. More details of the latest crash surfaced Monday. The three fatal crashes occurred in a 51-day span this summer and follow a similar line of events: A person driving a Tesla in the early morning hours with Autopilot active strikes a motorcycle.

The crashes renew questions about whether users of the systems are kept sufficiently engaged and prepared to fully control the vehicle when needed. Research has shown that drivers glance away from the road more frequently while using Autopilot, and that many Autopilot users believe their cars drive themselves.

Tesla’s Autopilot system keeps the vehicle in its lane while traveling at a set speed, and drivers are instructed to keep their hands on the steering wheel at all times. The automaker says it detects torque on the wheel and uses a camera near the rear-view mirror to determine driver inattentiveness, and uses alerts to remind drivers to keep their eyes on the road.

Ingrid Eva Noon was riding her motorcycle in Palm Beach County, Florida at 2:11 a.m. on Aug. 26 when an impaired driver using Tesla’s Autopilot impacted the rear of Noon’s motorcycle, throwing her onto the Tesla’s windshield and killing her, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office. Driver-assist crash data that automakers like Tesla must report to NHTSA was published Monday and revealed that Autopilot was engaged.

A Tesla driver using Autopilot struck a motorcycle lying on a road on July 7 at 4:47 a.m in Riverside, California. The motorcyclist, who had already fallen off the bike after hitting a dividing wall, was killed, according to California Highway Patrol. The Tesla did not strike the rider, who had already been ejected, California Highway Patrol said.

The recent crashes suggest the Tesla system is insufficient, according to motorcycle advocates.

Motorcycle safety advocates say they’re concerned that the software fails to see motorcycles and lulls Tesla drivers into a sense of complacency and inattentiveness. The advocates say that the government’s vehicle safety regulations do not adequately protect motorcycle riders and that steps should be taken to better protect them, including testing driver-assist systems like Autopilot for motorcycle detection.

The American Motorcyclist Association has cautioned for years about the risks of emerging driving technologies not adequately detecting motorcyclists.

“If this issue is not addressed early in developing automated vehicles,” it wrote to NHTSA last year, “The consequences will prove disastrous for motorcyclists.”



Stephanie Weaver is the EV Editor at The Vintagent, and a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she’s not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.
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