November 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

Infiniti is teasing some more images of its upcoming electric saloon, which it has previously described a “stylish, high-performance five-seat luxury vehicle”. It’ll be revealed at next spring’s Geneva Motor Show; exec. VP Andy Palmer says: “At the Geneva show next year, we will present our vision for a totally new kind of inspired premium performance car. Infiniti already has hybrid and clean diesel models on sale. And with an all-electric sedan on the way, the natural next step was to push the boundaries where performance and the environment intersect.” More details – and a short interview with Palmer – at nissannews.com.

  • In other news: Mazda has pledged to improve the fuel economy of its fleet by 30% by 2015. The SkyActiv package of more fuel-efficient engines, lighter-weight bodies and new technologies will be applied to six all-new models in the next five years, with 80% of the company’s line-up renewed in that time-frame. Mazda’s committed to continuing with the rotary engine, and will also explore hybrid and electric powertrains. More at Detroit News. Mazda has also confirmed the lease of an electric Demio (Mazda2) in Japan (Auto Observer).
  • A bit more detail on the Honda Fit/Jazz EV, to go on sale in the US next summer; check out The Charging Point.
  • TV chatshow host and much-loved car guy Jay Leno has driven 10,000 miles in his Chevy Volt – and hasn’t yet filled up with petrol (Detroit News).
  • California’s CODA Automotive says that it has (finally) started production of its electric saloon, and that it will offer a 10-year battery warranty. The price has been reduced, too: it’s down to $39,990, or $29,000 once federal tax rebates and grants are taken into account.
  • Chevrolet is offering Californian buyers a Low Emissions Package for the Volt, which will make it eligible for an extra $1500 rebate and entry into high-occupancy vehicle/car pool lanes. The pack includes modification of the engine and exhaust, adding a second air pump to increase the efficiency of the catalytic converter and reduce tailpipe emissions.
  • Eindhoven University is developing a reactor process to turn wood waste into biofuel. It aims to demonstrate the viability of small-scale fuel production (Green Car Congress).
  • Latest lowdown on those Russian Yo-auto hybrids at Green Car Reports; featuring supercapacitors and natural gas-compatible, apparently.
  • The Obama administration has finally passed the ruling mandating an average 54.5mpg (US) across manufacturers’ ranges by 2015. Much scaremongering on exactly how much these new CAFE (corporate average fuel economy) regulations are going to cost the car-makers; let’s start with Detroit News’ estimations… Volkswagen’s already objecting, saying that the rules don’t incentivise the purchase of clean diesels, reports Automotive News.
  • Drivers of hybrids are 25% less likely to be injured in an accident, reports ther USA’s Highway Loss Data Institute, probably because hybrids are, on average, 10% heavier than their conventional equivalents. However, they’re 20% more likely to be involved in incidents with pedestrians, who may not have heard them coming in all-electric mode (Automotive News).
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