Tuesday titbits

August 3, 2010 § Leave a comment

Auto Express has driven a Fiat 500-based all-electric supermini. The Atomik 500 is all hot-hatch in its styling, great fun to drive, and practical enough with a 120-mile range – but it costs a staggering £100,000…

  • The rumour-mill continues to generate: more on BMW’s plug-in hybrid supercar today. Called i100 ActiveHybrid, apparently, with a three-cylinder direct-injection petrol engine plus two motors – or maybe a diesel engine plus motors, says Autobild. A four-seat coupe, says BMWBlog. All speculation at this stage, though.
  • Ford has patented a plug-in system for conventionally-driven cars, reports AutoblogGreen. This appears to involve a larger-than-usual battery to power all a car’s electrical systems, enabling disengagement of the alternator, which would only kick in when charge drops too low. This could potentially give fuel savings of 15-20%.
  • There’s a lot of DIY EV conversions out there, but here’s one worth a mention: 14-year old Ashton Stark of Ontario, Oregon replaced the engine of his grandfather’s 1972 Super Beetle  with golf cart batteries to make a Bug barely slower than in its original form. Good going for a school project.
  • Engineers at Stanford University have developed a process to double the efficiency of solar energy capture; great prospects for automotive applications and for powering electric  vehicles, I think. Science bit at Green Car Congress.
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