Tuesday titbits

October 5, 2010 § Leave a comment

Van of the day: the Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation and Morgan Olson MT-EV WIV (Walk-In Vehicle). It’s all-electric, with Tesla-supplied battery cells, and a 100-mile range is promised; there’s a gross vehicle weight of up to 8845kg, and a clever control/driver information system with sophisticated fault code reading. FCCC (a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks America) is positioning it as an urban delivery vehicle.

  • Fisker is going to expand its range to six plug-in hybrids within the next five years, including a relatively affordable and accessible model known as Nina (2012), and the Karma, seen in Paris in production format. The Irvine, California-based company’s considering an IPO, like Tesla.
    • More relevantly for anyone outside California, Volvo is to build all future driveline architectures with a view to accommodating plug-in hybrid capability. A plug-in diesel hybrid’s planned for 2012, and Volvo has built V70 PHEV diesel prototypes capable of a 31-mile all-electric range. Further into the future, range-extended EVs are under consideration (2016-2018) but coming first are the C30 EV and plug-in petrol hybrids (Green Car Congress).
    • Some years back, Saab was experimenting with a variable compression engine. Nothing came of that one, but French firm MCE-5 Development has now raised E10.3million from shareholders and investors to develop its own take on the VCR theme. Its engine, showcased last spring at the Geneva Motor Show in a Peugeot 407-based prototype, is a 1.5 with two-stage turbocharger, delivering 220bhp and 310lb ft. Compression ratio can be varied from 20:1 to 7.1, and the engine returns 6.7l/km (42.2mpg) and emits just 158g/km (Green Car Congress).
    • The Porsche 918 Spyder Hybrid is on track for production in 2013, Porsche CEO Matthias Muller told Car magazine. 90mpg and 70g/km “when driven gently” – as if anyone would.
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