Peugeot 208 announced; all-EV car club for Brighton; midweek newsbriefs

November 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

Peugeot has announced its smart-looking 208 supermini, on sale in the UK next summer. It’s lighter and more aerodynamic than the 207, and four out of the five models on offer get the e-HDi stop-start system. The most economical diesel gives 83.1mpg and emits just 87g/km, and all the diesels emit less than 99g/km. The petrol models get the new three-cylinder petrol engines (1.0 and 1.2) with fuel economy and emissions from 65.7mpg and 99g/km. Its rear bumper and fan assembly (and 25% of total content) are made entirely from recycled/sustainable-source materials, too, instead of petrol-derived polymers – Peugeot claims a saving of 1600 tonnes of fuel in manufacturing per year from this measure.

  • A local story: Brighton is to get an all-electric car club in 2013, as part of the redevelopment of the London Road/Open Market area. The Hyde Group, which is redeveloping this rundown district, is currently running a converted Mercedes-Benz Vito EV with help from local recharging specialists Elektromotive, and will work with City Car Club to set up the scheme. The Open Market redevelopment, to host some new high-density ‘affordable’ housing (is any housing ‘affordable’ in Brighton?), is to feature initiatives including some solar power, rainwater harvesting and exhaust-air heat pumps as well; the continuing market traders (if any of them are left: most expect to be priced out of the new-look market) will get to use the electric Vito for deliveries.
  • Zytek has won a £1.35million grant from the government’s Regional Growth Fund to develop an electric and hybrid powertrain technologies centre at its facility in Staffordshire. 44 new jobs will be created, existing personnel will have access to more training, and Zytek will invest a further £3.65million itself. The new centre will focus on next-generation motors, inverters and energy storage systems.
  • Wokingham-based engineering consultancy Nicholson McLaren Engines has developed an electric conversion for the very useful little Citroen Nemo van. Prototypes are undergoing final pre-production testing, on fleets including those of Centrica and Transport for London, and sales will start early 2012. The Nemo EV will be offered with a two-year warranty and will be sold direct by NME, which has previously supplied authorised LPG conversions to Citroen’s Ready To Run programme.
  • It’s the RAC Future Car Challenge this weekend – Saturday, Brighton-London. Preview at the Charging Point.
  • Mazda is looking at ways to revive its rotary engine after the demise of the RX-8, including using it in range-extended and hybrid powertrains (Autoweek).
  • Enterprise is putting more Nissan Leafs and Chevy Volts on its rental fleets in California: they’re now up for grabs at 11 locations in the state (Auto Observer). And six Leafs are to join New York’s taxi fleet on trial.
  • Latest progress on the Achates engine: this two-stroke, compression-ignition, opposed-piston concept is now returning 20% fuel consumption reductions compared to a four-stroke diesel (Green Car Congress).
  • Experiment in Amman, Jordan: one Nissan Leaf, two solar-roofed GEM runarounds, two Matra electric scooter and two electric bikes, and loads of sunshine. More at Green Car Congress.
  • Solar-reflecting paint reduces energy use – especially if your car’s parked outside all day in the sun. Save on air con, buy a silver car… (Treehugger).
  • Tesla has sold all of 2012′ sModel S saloons, and expects to turn a profit by 2013 (Bloomberg, via Treehugger).
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