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The Green Side of SEMA


Braille Battery Nissan Altima Hybrid

Braille Battery Nissan Altima Hybrid

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November is a time to give thanks...for the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA). These are the people and companies who make car enthusiasts drool with automotive add-ons and accessories fit for a classic episode of Pimp My Ride.

Each November, when the SEMA show takes place in Las Vegas, exhibitors from around the world put their wildest modified cars on display. As the concept of electric vehicles gains momentum, more and more EVs and hybrids appear on the show floor.

This year, Hybrid Cars found three mean green machines that have as much in common with a Prius as they do with your neighbor's souped-up Mustang.

Among the more eco-friendly muscle cars is a variant of the Nissan Altima Hybrid. What started as a mainstream, fuel efficient family sedan, turned into a flat-out race car. Braille Battery of Sarasota, Florida, modified the Altima with a supercharger, racing suspension, brakes and tires, and a roll cage. Now the Altima makes 450 horsepower and runs the quarter mile in less than 13 seconds. (No word on what's left of the fuel economy.)

Sunshine State Restoration turned a Porsche 912 into a fully-electric sports car, replacing its gas engine with 85 lithium-ion batteries. The batteries supply 310 volts to a 40 horsepower motor. Its creators say that the zero-emissions roadster has a range of about 100 miles and achieves a top speed of 100 mph.

For those enamored with "vintage" GM products, a 1985 diesel-hybrid Chevy Blazer is also on display. A 1.0 liter diesel engine and a lead-acid battery share the task of moving the Blazer. A roof-mounted solar collector heats water that's directed to an exhaust-gas driven turbine, which powers an auxiliary alternator to charge the battery. Additional turbines are used on the Blazer's grille and in conjunction with the shock absorbers to generate even more power.

Props to SEMA for showing us that going green doesn't have to be boring. Will Toyota ever get the memo?

Source (story and photo): Hybrid Cars

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Comments (4)
  1. As you say, props to SEMA. It's very encouraging to see this stuff showing up at the SEMA show. BTW, we use Braille bateries in our vintage race cars. Very light, and quite reliable so far, knock on wood.
     
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  2. That was a lame display at SEMA the cars were in back of the building that was the furthest away from the action. SEMA -you missed the ball on this-
    LAme placement, display, and position.
     
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  3. Re Chevy Blazer: So... What were the results of these added turbines and solar water heater? What increase in milage, was it worth the effort?
     
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  4. American Express OPEN followed two cardmembers through last year's SEMA Show to document tactics that both exhibitors and attendees use to maximize their time in Vegas.
     
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