Tuesday newsbriefs

November 16, 2010 § Leave a comment

This red box is the plug-and-play MotoCzysz/Remy International D1g1tal Dr1ve system, launched last week and available next spring from $8999. It’s a complete electric powertrain unit, including gear-reduction, cooling system and a differential, which can simply be mounted into a chassis for a home-built EV or conversion of an existing vehicle; this D1 model develops 100bhp and up to an incredible 848lb ft of torque (peak, or 627lb ft continuous), but other versions will follow.

  • LA Auto Show: GM’s Buick is launching its eAssist system in the LaCrosse. eAssist is a kind of microhybrid; the alternator is replaced by a starter-generator, with regenerative braking, stop-start, electric motor assistance at speed and under acceleration, plus electric-only start-up. Combined with a new six-speed auto gearbox and aerodynamic enhancements this 2.4-litre LaCrosse will now do 37mpg (US) on the highway and 25mpg around town.
  • Ford’s launching the Focus Electric in 19 US cities late 2011. It’ll be on offer in Atlanta, Austin, Houston, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, Orlando, Florida, San Francisco, San Diego, Phoenix, Tucson, Portland, Raleigh-Durham, Richmond, Seattle and Washington DC, plus more when there’s judged to be adequate infrastructure.
  • Volvo’s going to expand its electric C30 test-programme across Europe, China and the US, says Edmunds Green Car Advisor, which has the full lowdown plus a road test report.
  • Renault’s going to do a hot-hatch Gordini version of the Zoe EV, says Autocar: it’ll get the Nissan Leaf powertrain, good for 134bhp and 200lb ft of torque.
  • Chinese car-maker BAIC is making an electric version of the last-generation Saab 9-5; on sale 2011, reports Autoblog Green.
  • Oh no, oh my: Neil Young’s LincVolt, his custom-built 1959 Lincoln Mk IV Convertible with multi-fuel turbine-hybrid powertrain, has been badly damaged in a fire. More details – plus videos – at Autoblog Green.
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