Tuesday titbits

May 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

Porsche is reporting huge interest in the Boxster E (pictured) from ‘many prospective customers’ after a four-wheel drive version of this electric prototype took part in the Michelin Challenge Bibendum. Comprehensive rundown of the Boxster E’s tech, its design and the trials at Porsche’s own site.

  • The US government is to order 116 plug-in hybrids and EVs for its fleet, reports Detroit News. Obama’s administration is buying 101 Chevy Volts, 10 Nissan Leafs and five Think EVs, and will install charging points in Detroit, Washington DC, San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles, where these cars will be used by staff from 20 different governmental agencies.
  • Back in Britain, North Lanarkshire County Council has taken delivery of a fleet of 12 Mitsubishi i-MiEVs. They’ll be used as pool cars; the council hopes to save £150,000 in the next 18 months with its pool car scheme, though it’s worth noting that it’s been helped by a £215,000 grant from the Sustainability Carbon Trust.
  • The GreenFleet Arrive ‘N Drive event takes place at Rockingham tomorrow; UK fleet managers get to test 20 different EVs plus low- and zero-emissions cars including the Vauxhall Ampera.
  • Think Global’s major backer, battery-maker Ener1 Inc., has handed back its 31% equity stake and taken a $73million writedown on the investment, reports Autobeat Daily, as it ‘doesn’t want to inject further funds’. Struggling Think now ‘needs to recapitalise’, says Autobeat.
  • Toyota is rolling out a social media network for its US-based EV and plug-in hybrid owners; Toyota Friend will allow users to remotely access vehicle data, with apps including an alert on battery charge, and to connect with other owners, dealers and the company. The system, developed by San Francisco’s Salesforce.com, is part of Toyota’s venture with Microsoft; it’ll be rolled out in other regions and to other customers later, but the green guys and girls get it first. It works with Toyota’s Entune infotainment/internet/streaming media system (Autotech Daily).
  • Honda has signed an agreement with the city of Saitama for a project called E-Kizuna (‘Kizuna’ means inter-personal connections and ties, apparently). This involves the testing of EVs, plug-in hybrids and electric scooters and Honda’s Smart Home system (a domestic energy generation and management system combining technologies including solar energy capture, natural gas generation and other Honda technologies). The project will also look at energy supply in the event of a natural disaster. Full story at Green Car Congress.
  • Renault-Nissan and Daimler are in talks over a joint venture and equity-swap, probably involving an EV and battery collaboration, reports Reuters.
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