Midweek matters

August 11, 2010 § Leave a comment

The only truly cost-effective hybrid is the Mercedes-Benz S400, at least in Canada: the British Columbia Automobile Association looked at 16 hybrids on offer, crunched the numbers and concluded that only the Merc paid for itself in terms of fuel savings versus extra purchase price over a five-year ownership period (Green Car Reports). But surely it’s not all about money, is it?

  • Rumour-mill #1: the next-generation Volkswagen Beetle – to be revealed next January in Detroit – could have a hybrid option. The 150bhp 1.4-litre Twincharger petrol engine/27bhp electric motor combo from the upcoming Jetta CC is under consideration. No diesel-electric hybrids, however, as they’re too expensive and most interest in hybrids comes from markets which prefer petrol (Autocar).
  • Michigan is experimenting with special electricity rates for EV/plug-in hybrid owners, approved this week by state regulators. Detroit Edison is offering low-rate overnight charging or a $40 a month flat-rate charge for each vehicle, and will subsidise up to $2500 a household to fit a charging point and meter. The offer’s available to the first 2,500 customers signing up as a trial-run deal to enable DTE Energy to evaluate electricity demand and usage patterns from EV owners.
  • More DIY EV conversions – and the makers of a documentary called Revenge of the Electric Car are calling for yours to feature. The Revenge isn’t a Christine-style possession; it’s about getting your own back on fossil fuel, Detroit, etc., and a retaliation against the baddies of their previous doc, Who Killed The Electric Car?. First comment comes from the maker of the EV-GT40, based on a fibreglass late-’60s GT40 replica.
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