Thursday newsbriefs

July 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

More on Nissan’s solar charging system at its HQ: it’s a prototype for a system using end-of-life Leaf batteries, and part of ongoing research into second-life applications of EV batteries. The battery can be reused to store excess power from renewable sources (i.e. solar, wind) for release at peak times and to supplement supply at time when the sun’s not shining and the wind not blowing; a fully-charged Leaf battery could hold enough energy to power a three-bedroom house for three days.

  • Daimler’s Car2Go hire-by-the-minute car-sharing scheme is to launch in San Diego with a fleet of 300 electric-drive Smart Fortwos. Users will be able to charge at 1000 charging points in the city installed by California’s ECOtality.
  • Mitsubishi has also installed a solar-powered EV recharging station at its US HQ in Cypress, California. This can charge up to four cars at once, do an 80%/25-minute quick-charge, and will support the launch of the i-MiEV Stateside.
  • BMW’s fleet division, Alphabet, has bought out ING Car Leasing. This will enable it to expand its leasing operations, and specifically aid the launch of programmes to lease the upcoming  i-mobility (electric) models, and their use in car-share and corporate mobility management schemes.
  • If industry forecasts are correct, we can expect to see a lot more microvehicles, buggies and quadricycles around in coming years; this Arcimoto buggy’s pretty fun-looking. 65mph, a range of up to 80 miles – and more weather-resistant versions on the way, reports Autoblog Green.
  • BMW is launching an electrically-assisted bicycle, the Pedelec, and this will first be seen in the UK in use at the London Olympics. BMW is a major sponsor of the Olympics and will be providing a support fleet of nearly 4000 vehicles, to include 400 push-bikes, EfficientDynamics models, motorbikes, 200 electric Mini Es and 1-series ActiveEs, and hybrids to include the 5-Series ActiveHybrid, to go on sale in small numbers next year.
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