Friday round-up

August 13, 2010 § Leave a comment

Think is working with local organisations on an EV-sharing scheme in the Basque Country. 15 Think City electric runarounds will be supplied to the Sarecar project in Atuan. Recharging points are being installed in Atuan and in the Basque region by utility firm Iberdrola.  Think also recently announced the supply of a 60-vehicle fleet to eco-holiday firm Alpmobil for hire to tourists in the Swiss Alps.

  • Rumourmill #1: the great mid-engined Corvette story’s a myth, but there’s a strong chance that a new-gen ‘Vette could have a hybrid powertrain – not least to help GM meet the CAFE emissions requirements. Karl-Friedrich Stracke, GM’s VP for global engineering, told Autoweek that “You could keep a normal powertrain for a small amount of very excited car enthusiasts and turn 80-90% of your sports car portfolio to hybridisation.”
  • Volkswagen’s electric vehicle tsar Martin Eberhardt (ex-Tesla) says that there’ll be EVs with 500-mile ranges within 10 years. VW’s working with lithium-ion laptop-style cell batteries at its EV research lab in Palo Alto, California, he tells Autocar.
  • China’s Jianghuai Automobile Company is to team up with a US start-up called Hybrid Kinetic Motors in a $4.4billion 50:50 deal. JAC is planning to build a factory in Hefei, Anhui Province, with a target annual production capacity of 1million ‘new-energy’ vehicles, 1 million powertrain systems and 12 million lithium-ion batteries. HKMC, by the way, is run by the disgraced founder of China Brilliance, Yang Rong, exiled to the US after accusations of embezzlement of state assets in China. More at Edmunds Inside Line.
  • Anyone still interested in Buick these days, outside China? GM’s planning to expand the line-up, anyway, and new models are to include a rebadged version of the Vauxhall/Opel Astra saloon (‘Buick Verano’, in the US, already on sale as the Excelle in China) plus a hybrid version of the larger LaCrosse (Autoweek).

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