Friday round-up

August 27, 2010 § Leave a comment

Latest on the Zero Carbonista/Ecotricity ‘wind car’, the Nemesis: it’s been for track-testing at Bruntingthorpe, its motor shut-down safety has been trialled, and it did a standing quarter-mile in a very respectable 12.71 seconds. Top speed recorded so far is 134.5mph so far, and the team think they can get it faster yet.  The car’s a Lotus-derived (but substantially re-worked) personal project by the founder of Ecotricity, supplier of wind-generated electricity. It’s not a production contender, but it looks like a blast – and an instructive learning experience for EV-builders. Full story and video at Zerocarbonista.com .

  • Lots of EV news Stateside. An 18-month trial of Local Use Vehicles (LUVs) has started in Los Angeles County with six runarounds on test in Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach and South Redondo Beach. More far-reaching: Ford has announced partnerships with Portland General Electric and city authorities in Seattle in anticipation of the lanch of the Transit Connect and Focus EVs. Meanwhile, Better Place is extending its battery-swap taxi trials in Tokyo till the end of the year.
  • A new phrase: supercritical fluid injection. Gives the potential for 30% fuel savings in petrol engines, says a Californian company called Transonic Combustion: the fuel is heated and catalysed, allowing for diesel-style compression ignition and very lean fuel-air mixtures. Works with diesel, ethanol and butanol, too, and negates the need for expensive exhaust aftertreatments, they say. Full low-down (and plenty of sceptical comments) at Autoblog Green.
  • Toyota is supplying ten fuel cell cars – the FCHV-advs, latest iterations of its Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle prototype –  to SunHydro of Connecticut. The firm is working on a hydrogen refuelling structure for the US East Coast, including a ‘hydrogen highway’ network from Maine to Florida. Its first refuelling point, will be in Wallingford, Conn., near its HQ.
  • DIY EV story of the day #2: students from the University of British Columbia are driving across Canada in a converted 1972 Beetle. Long distances, difficult terrain, and very little infrastructure; they’re aiming to set a record for the fastest coast-to-coast in an electric vehicle. More at Wired.
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