And in other news…

February 11, 2010 § Leave a comment

Quick digest of a few more snippets.

Eco City Vehicles (London) is to convert the Mercedes Vito (pictured) into an all-electric taxi, using a powertrain supplied by Zytec Automotive. The eVito has a 70kW motor and lithium-ion battery pack, said to give a 120-mile range; ECV plans to have it on the road in time for London’s 2012 Olympics. Trials start later this year.

– Scientists at the University of Santiago de Compostela have launched a study into growing a yellow-flowered plant called brassica carinata (aka Ethiopian mustard) for bioethanol. It’s extremely easy to grow and harvest, with oil-seed properties. The team is also looking at fuel synthesis from waste products from paper-making, agricultural residues from flax production and other biomass sources, all for second-generation biofuels which would not use crops otherwise grown for food (scenta.co.uk).

Fiat‘s threatened Termini Imerese factory in Sicily, scheduled for closure, could be bought by electric vehicle-maker Reva, reports Automotive News. The Indian firm  is talking with a private equity group about taking the plant over; it’s also considering a US production plant in Syracuse, NY state.

Ford has been showing its electric Transit Connect again, at the Chicago Auto Show. Only an 80-mile range, however.

– A firm called Global Motor Services Inc. is trying to sign up dealers and franchisees to sell its electric vehicles in the US, with a stall at a car dealers’ convention in  Orlando, Florida this week. It’s not the most enticing line-up to convert anyone to the EV cause, however:  a three-wheeled scooter plus the EVX, a converted Chevy Aveo. Anyone?

GM is to fit its two-mode hybrid powertrain, as in its big trucks (Chevy Tahoe and Silverado, Cadillac Escalade, GMC Yukon and Sierra), in some of its rear-wheel drive cars, according to AutoWeek. The next-gen system(2013) is going to be 25% smaller and 20% more powerful, and first cars to get it will be the Cadillac ATS (upcoming BMW 3-Series rival) and next CTS.

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