Brief bits & pieces

October 14, 2010 § Leave a comment

  • Maruti Suzuki has provided 10 SX4 Hybrids and four Eeco Charge EVs for use by officials at the Commonwealth Games in India. The Eeco Charge has a 50kW motor and lithium-ion battery, giving a range of 61 miles and just over 60mph; it’s based on the Eeco MPV sold in India with a 1196cc petrol engine. The SX4 Hybrid combines a 1.2-litre petrol engine, 50kW motor and an automated manual gearbox to give a 25% fuel saving, and has a short all-electric range.
  • Fast-charging points for EVs will be installed at 45 BP and Arco service stations in key areas of the USA from next spring. The ECOtality Blink 480-volt chargers can juice up batteries fully in just 15-30 minutes, depending on the vehicle: this is the tech “that will ultimately un-tether people from their garages with electric cars”, says ECOtality’s CEO. They’ll be fitted first in Portland, Eugene, Salem and Corvallis (Oregon); Seattle; Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga (Tennessee); Phoenix and Tucson (Arizona) plus San Diego and Los Angeles.
  • Coulomb Technologies and Aker Wade Power Technologies have also launched a 480-volt fast-charger, the fully-networked CT3000. The first one’s going into Magna ECAR’s facility in Rochester Hills, Michigan.
  • Rumour of the day: Lexus is to replace the SC 430 cabrio with a hybrid drop-top, reports Motor Trend. This’ll get a version of the LS 600h’s powertrain (500bhp), good for 0-60 in less than five seconds, plus all-wheel drive and a metal folding roof. Suggested name is LC 600h, debut’s said to be slated for 2015, to follow an update to the LS 600h saloon.
  • More infrastructure: 5,300 ChargePoint charging stations are to be installed in Michigan, with new ones in key locations in downtown Detroit – including out front at GM’s global HQ – this month. And the state of Massachussetts is putting in 100, inviting local authorities and organisations to apply to get one.
  • Yet more infrastructure: Renault-Nissan is working with French retail giant E.Leclerc to put 500 EV charging points at its centres by 2015.
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