Mid-week round-up

June 23, 2010 § Leave a comment

  • E coli bacteria: it doesn’t just kill kids who visit farms, it can be genetically-modified to form a handy hydrocarbon for fuel use. Read the science bit at Green CarCongress.
  • Scare story of the week comes courtesy of Glass’s Guides, the car valuation people, who reckon that residual (resale) values of electric vehicles will be appalling: a typical EV will be worth just 10% of its original new price at five years old, they warn. However, they suggest that separate leasing of the batteries may ease the pain. Still, I seem to remember similar scenarios predicted for hybrids, and I’ve not seen a banger-priced five-year old Prius yet.
  • Volkswagen plans three EVs for China: a version of the Lavida saloon (for launch later this summer), the Golf (2013) and Up! city car (further into the future).
  • Coulomb Technologies is to supply 4,600 EV charging stations as part of the ChargePoint America programme, in partnership with Ford, Chevrolet and Smart USA. These will be fitted for private and public access in Austin, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, Orlando, Sacramento, San Jose/Bay Area, Redmond (Washington) and Washington DC.
  • Toshiba is to supply electric motors to Ford for hybrid and electric vehicles, and is to build a new factory in Houston, Texas, to make these for the US market. Production will start in 2012. Toshiba has also developed a system called Charge Grid, for fast-charging of EVs.
  • US government-funded firm Dow Kokam has broken ground for a factory in Midland, Michigan, to make lithium-ion batteries for the automotive sector. The company received $161million of federal aid and plans to power up to 60,000 vehicles a year.
  • Biotech firm LS9, a partner to Proctor & Gamble, has won a Presidential Award for its work on renewable fuels; it’s also using bacteria, in a fermentation process for sustainable-source hydrocarbons. Science bit again at Green Car Congress, which also reports on a team of European researchers’ work on fermenting sugars for ethanol.

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