Midweek newsbriefs

July 6, 2011 § Leave a comment

This is the KleenSpeed EV-X11, and it’s just set another lap record for electric prototypes at the Refuel SportElectric TT, Laguna Seca. Averaging 81.5mph, it lapped the circuit in 1.38.858, beating its own time set last year, thanks to a new  liquid-cooled motor giving 200hp and 300lb ft of torque, plus lighter lithium-polymer batteries. California-based KleenSpeed is claiming the 140mph EV-X11 as “the fastest electric track racing car in the world”, and says that it’s a test-bed for technologies, research and development which could be used in the real world. It also set a lap record in the conversions class with its ‘Eiata’, an electrified Mazda Miata (MX-5). Full press release and video posted at Autoblog Green.

  • Nissan has started testing an electric van based on its NV200. A first initial prototype is being run by the Japan Post Service in Yokohama in a two-month trial, when its usage in a real-world environment will be studied, and further testing will be carried out in Japan and Europe.
  • The second RAC Future Car Challenge will take place this year on Saturday 5th November, and a team from Imperial College, London, is again overseeing the data measurement and judging of the most energy-efficient vehicles on the 60-mile run from Brighton to London. This year, however, all the data logs will be made public directly after the event, and there are new categories for the 90 entrants: pure electric; extended-range and plug-in hybrid; hybrid; hydrogen; internal combustion engine (emitting up to 110g/km of C)2 and using any legal fuel). Prototypes will also be distinguished from production vehicles.
  • Only 1% of UK motorists questioned for a survey by the AA said they would buy a hybrid or electric vehicle in the next 12 months; 50% said that the cost of ‘green’ cars was prohibitive. However, over 75% of the 150,000 people questioned said that they were affected by the price of fuel…
  • Better Place is planning to install 20 battery-swap stations (plus conventional recharging points) in Denmark within the next nine months. The first opened in Gladsaxe this week.
  • The city of Normal, Illinois is offering EV buyers a 1% sales tax rebate. The offer applies to cars – including the range-extended Chevy Volt – registered in the city till 2014. Local authorities hope this will boost car sales in the area as well as incentivise EV purchase (Autoblog Green).
  • Portland, Oregon, meanwhile is named by All Cars Electric as “a leading market” for EVs and the first place to have a public fast-charging point. EVs are well-suited to the area’s commuting habits and layout, and local-use neighbourhood EVs are surprisingly popular.
  • A Turkish investment group, BD Otomotive, is in talks to rescue Think Global from bankruptcy. The group already runs EV conversion facilities, installs and operates recharging infrastructure, assembles battery packs and has opened battery recycling plants, and is also starting to distribute Fisker  and BYD vehicles in Turkey. If it is successful in its takeover of the Norwegian firm, it plans to “launch new platforms and the next generation of vehicles” (Green Car Congress).
  • Manufacturers’ plans for EV and plug-in hybrid production are way behind national targets, according to report by the International Energy Agency. Around 0.9million are scheduled for 2015 and 1.4million a year by 2020, but national targets call for 1.5 million a year by 2015 and 7million by 2020 (Green Car Congress).



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