Friday round-up

February 19, 2010 § Leave a comment

A quick digest for the weekend.

San Francisco‘s city council is to revise its building code to ensure that all new homes and structures have facilities to recharge electric vehicles. Local energy supplier Pacific Gas & Electric is now to run a pilot smart-charging project to ensure the infrastructure can cope with demand. Full story at the New York Times. (My picture shows a ZAP Xebra recharging in Portland, Oregon, another US hot-spot for EV use.  Sorry).

– More on the Californian EV scene in a 2-min BBC video report, which looks at a pilot scheme for EV owners to sell surplus electricity back to the national grid.

– Honda is preparing a hot Type-R version of the CR-Z hybrid coupe, claims Auto Express. Tuned by Mugen, it’ll have its engine boosted to 150bhp and its motor upped to 50bhp, with an added Sport Plus mode. Launch at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show, says the mag.

GETRAG is to show its boosted range-extender hybrid powertrain at a trade fair in Dusseldorf, reports Green Car Congress. This combines a two-cylinder engine with electric motor, alternator and two-speed transmission, with electric-only drive from start-up and in most driving conditions. Total range is over 370 miles. The system would be best-suited to a commuter car.

-An incremental improvement: supplier firm Freudenberg-NOK has developed an energy-saving, long-life polymer seal for rotating engine shafts which cuts friction by 75% and fuel consumption in a typical car by 2% (AutoBeat Europe).

– The three Tesla employees killed in a plane crash on Wednesday in East Palo Alto, California, have been named. They were Doug Bourn, a senior electrical engineer and pilot of the Cessna, Brian Finn, a senior interactive electronics manager, and Andrew Ingram, an electrical engineer. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has paid tribute to all three.

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