Friday newbriefs #1

July 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

A quick rundown of the end-of-week news, in no particular order. First up, the very cool-looking Venturi Volage: going into production next year, claims PluginCars.com. This all-electric coupe, designed by Sasha Lakic, features Michelin-developed ‘active wheels’ with in-wheel motors and suspension. Production, such  as it is, will be in very limited numbers, no doubt, but development work on the car is now complete, and it’s a good showcase for the tech.

  • The Greater Manchester area is to get 300 EV charging points, including fast-chargers, and six larger ‘pod centres’ in a programme to be rolled out by Manchester Electric Car Company this autumn. The pod centres will include sales facilities for electric vehicles (including vans, bikes and scooters), charging points and their sale, EV rental and car club facilities and aftersales services; they will be located in the city centre, Manchester Airport, the Trafford Centre, Stockport, Oldham and MediaCityUK at first, with a network of 25 intended in the medium term. Private company MECC’s investment is matched by £3.6million from the government’s Plugged In Placed fund.
  • Gordon Murray is teaming up with ACAL Energy to develop “an affordable” fuel cell vehicle. This will be based on Murray’s iStream chassis concept with ACAL’s platimum-free fuel cell tech. A 12-month project is supported by the Technology Strategy Board.
  • CEME, the Ford-run public-private Centre of Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence in Rainham, Essex, has gained a 45-panel solar-assisted EV charging point. It’ll be used by the Ford Transit Connect Electric demo fleet and other EVs visiting CEME, which is a training facility.
  • Axeon has received funding from the Technology Strategy Board to study recycling and reuse of hybrid and electric vehicle batteries. The battery-maker will work with the Sustainable Vehicle Engineering Centre at Oxford Brookes University.
  • Subaru has confirmed the launch of its first hybrid in 2013. This could be based on the Hybrid Tourer concept seen last year.
  • McDonalds is to use its own waste oil from its burger-frying to power its delivery trucks in the United Arab Emirates. Dubai-based Neutral Fuels (is that not a contradiction in terms?) is to convert 1million litres of the waste cooking oil into usable biodiesel.
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