Friday newsbriefs

May 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

London mayor Boris Johnson launched Source London yesterday: this scheme integrates all the various boroughs’ EV-charging schemes. Members get an electronic card which will unlock any London charging point, for £100 a year (charging then free). 1000 more charging points in a variety of public places by 2013 (there’s only 150 at the moment), says BJ. Full press release here; to register or find out more, go here.  Nissan has responded quickly to the above by offering 12 months free membership to any Leaf owner living within 40 miles of a Source London charging point. Boris himself took delivery of a Leaf recently (pictured).

  • Seat is starting trials of its Leon TwinDrive plug-in hybrid. A number of prototypes are being tested in the Barcelona area by public authorities and organisations. Petrol-electric, thought to be slated for production in 2014.
  • Ford is to offer five different electric, plug-in hybrid or hybrid models on the Focus platform by 2013 (thanks, @Dan_honestjohn).
  • Volvo Cars has received a 6.57million kronor grant (about £624,000) from the Swedish Energy  Board to develop and test a flywheel KERS (kinetic energy recovery system) in partnership with Volvo Truck and SKF. There’s the potential of 20% fuel savings and six-cylinder-like performance from a four-cylinder engine; in-car testing starts later this summer.
  • No hybrid or KERS-type system in the next-gen Porsche 911, reports Autocar, but when there is a 911 hybrid, it’s likely to be a plug-in.
  • Is government intervention needed to incentivise EV sales, asks Detroit News, or should EV-makers stand on their own two feet? Discuss. 57% of American car buyers said they wouldn’t want an EV, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll; further debate at Good Transport which explains “why electric cars will succeed even though six in ten Americans don’t want them” (via @TeslaMotors).
  • Global sales of 1.25million EVs a year by 2020, according to figures from a battery consultancy (Edmunds Auto Observer).
  • Tesla is hoping to raise nearly $215million in a secondary stock offering; this cash will enable it to develop the Model X crossover.
  • Pictures and video (crash!) of the  Grand Prix de Pau Electrique at Autoblog Green. Check out the Exagon Racing cars developed from the Andros Trophy ice-racers.
  • Saab has restarted production at Trollhatten, thanks to an agreement on investment from Chinese firm Pang Da, and  the all-electric 9-3 ePower trial project is underway again. Construction of a 70-strong  test fleet is going ahead, reports Autoblog Green.
  • Nissan’s helping out the Red Bull Racing F1 team (sponsored by Infiniti) with its KERS tech, reports What Car?, which is a collaboration for mutual benefit. WC? also says that Leaf prices are going to come down as Nissan’s planning to make its batteries in Sunderland.
  • GE Energy Industrial Solutions has launched its Solar Car Port; this be-panelled structure can charge up to 13 vehicles a day from six points, plus power the lights in the parking lot where it lives. More at Green Car Congress.

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