Friday round-up

September 10, 2010 § Leave a comment

Audi is launching a trial of its e-tron extended-range EV in Munich. 20 cars will be operated by the local authority, energy provider E.On and Munich Technical University, and systems including smartphone apps and car-grid communications will be studied.

  • Peugeot’s released UK prices for lease of the iOn electric car, available at the end of the year. It’s doing a four-year/40,000-mile deal at £415 a month excl. VAT, to include full warranty cover (batteries and all),  servicing and maintenance, and membership of Peugeot Connect (from April 2011). Second owners of the car will be offered the same contract too.
  • McLaren is considering the development of a hybrid powertrain for its supercars, reports Autocar, and has advertised for an electrical engineer to work on the packaging and wiring system.
  • Lotus Engineering has received a $2million grant from the California Air Resources Board to develop a lightweight vehicle structure. The Lotus centre in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is to produce a steel, magnesium and aluminium concept by April 2011; previous prototypes have indicated fuel savings of 23% without affecting crash safety.
  • King Canute Award this week: Neil Winton for his Detroit News column,  now arguing that electric vehicle use will lead to ‘an enormous increase in call-outs’ for breakdown services (stranded cars with flat batteries), a ‘scary rise’ in accidents, and ‘more pedestrian deaths and squashed pets.” And he accuses the EV industry of “hype”…
  • Mitsubishi has been touring the i-miEV around Canada with a great big truck and generator to support it. A bunch of Canadian students, however, built their own EV based on a classic Beetle and drove coast-to-coast across the Great White North with no back-up whatsover and on a very limited budget. More at Wired.com.
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