Midweek newsbriefs

June 29, 2011 § Leave a comment

The Renault Fluence Z.E. saloon will cost from £17,850 when it goes on sale in the UK next year (taking into account the £5000 Plug-In Car Grant from the government), plus £75 a month for lease of its batteries (based on 6000 miles a year over three years). The initial models, called Prime Time, will come with TomTom sat nav, climate control, cruise control, 16-inch alloys and a high level of kit; they’ll have a range of up to 115 miles and a 95hp (70kW) motor. Reservations are now being taken. As yet, it’s the cheapest EV on sale in the UK.

  • The ‘microcar’ sector of the market is about to explode in Europe, according to auto analysts Frost & Sullivan. 60 new models by 2013, and whilst some of these are only quadricycles, about 20 are ‘proper’ cars from major manufacturers, and 75% will be EVs. Full release posted at Autoblog Green.
  • The Bluebird Electric land speed record car is going to appear at the EcoVelocity show in Battersea (September 8th-11th). Its test runs at Pendine Sands this weekend have been cancelled, however, for want of a crucial component.
  • Two-thirds of drivers would be ‘more likely’ to buy an EV if there were more public charging points at roadsides and in car parks, according to a survey by – yes! – EV charging point maker/supplier Elektromotive. Conclusion is that public charging points will alleviate range anxiety (bear, woods, etc.). Obviously there’s a vested interest in all of this, but the really interesting figure is that, of the 1,400-plus who participated, only 7.8% were positive that they would not buy an EV however easy it was to charge it in public. Just over a quarter were ‘undecided’.
  • Records all round for the EVs at the Pikes Peak hillclimb: the Nissan Leaf set a new one for production EVs (and outran a few ICE cars) at 14 minutes, 33 seconds; Chip Yates charted the fastest run on an electric motorbike (12.50.094); and the Yokohama car was the fastest electric car full stop (12 minutes 20 seconds).

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