Friday newsbriefs

September 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

This little thing’s the Greentech Automotive myCar, going into production in the US, reports Autoblog Green. The company’s under new management, and intends to build the car near Tunica, Mississippi. Whilst this Fortwo-sized neighbourhood EV can only do 35mph, apparently “full-speed, all-road vehicles” are on the way, as well as European sales. An earlier version of the MyCar has been sold in the UK by the NICE Car Company and then EV Stores. I’m none too enthusiastic about many of these microcars and quadricycles, but if they make ‘em strong, safe and speedy enough… perhaps the bubble car is on its way back?

Industry snippets:

  • Vauxhall/Opel’s “seriously considering production” of the RAKe tandem two-seater, says Autocar.
  • Hybrids – including extended-range plug-in models – will account for 20% of all car sales worldwide by 2020, says Takeshi Uchiyamada, Toyota’s executive VP for R&D and engineering. Hybrids already account for 20% of sales in Japan (where they don’t do diesel), reports Bloomberg. Toyota has just sold its millionth Prius in Japan.
  • Siemens AG is aiming to make some acquisitions to get back into the automotive market, and specifically to develop products for electric powertrains, recharging systems and power grid management (Reuters). It set up a business unit called Inside Electric Car last year.
  • Delphi Automotive has shown off its wireless EV charging tech at Frankfurt; its magnetic coupling system is claimed to be more practical and flexible than earlier induction charging concepts (Green Car Congress).
  • Hyundai is partnering with the Beijing Automobile Industry Holding Co to form an new Chinese brand to sell EVs. BAIC chairman Xu Heyi tells Bloomberg that the brand could be introduced by the end of the year. BAIC already builds ICE Hyundais for sale in China.
  • Mitsubishi is in talks with Proton over a partnership for advanced powertrains and small-car development, reports Autobeat Daily. The deal could see sharing of components from Mitsubishi’s new small car, and Mitsubishi’s EV and hybrid technologies.
  • Gearbox supplier Getrag has announced a new dual-clutch, two-speed transmission for EVs and plug-in hybrids. The 2eDCT600 ‘box gives a range improved by 10%, better off-the-mark acceleration and a higher top speed than a typical single-speed transmission; it can handle up to 369lb ft of torque (AutoTech Daily).
  • Best summary of the Frankfurt Motor Show comes from Car’s Ben Barry. Yes, been there, done that, happy to leave it to someone else’s feet these days.

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