Thursday briefs #2

September 23, 2010 § Leave a comment

  • More about the Peugeot EX1 (pictured) at Autocar: features ed Matt Saunders is now convinced that high-performance  EVs can “go the distance”.
  • Opel (incl. Vauxhall) has announced that it will build an all-new city car, and that there’ll be an all-electric variant. This Ford Ka/Fiat 500 rival, currently codenamed Junior, will be built in Eisenach, Germany, from 2013.
  • Nissan’s Infiniti division is to launch the M35h hybrid at the Paris Motor Show next week. We’ve seen it already at Geneva, but the facts and figures are now out: its 306PS 3.5 V6 and 68PS motor combine for 0-100kph in 5.9 seconds, a top speed of 250kph and a return of 38.6mpg and 170g/km. It’ll do 80kph on electric power alone. European deliveries start spring 2011.
  • Honda America held a web conference this week to discuss “the future of the automobile”, reports the LA Times. Yes, the company’s hedging its bets – but we knew that anyway.
  • An airborne diversion: a University of Toronto PhD student has built a human-powered ‘ornithopter’ and flown it for 145m. Todd Reichert’s creation, made from balsa wood, carbon fibre and foam, weighs just 45kg and generates its own energy from pedal power and, uniquely, the pilot ‘flapping’ its wings. This glorified glider will probably never fly again, however. Video at the National Post; a more detailed story on human-powere flight at the Globe & Mail.
  • An interesting discussion of Tesla and its relationships with Daimler and Toyota, both shareholders, at Der Spiegel.

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