Tuesday newsbriefs

July 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

Quickie round-up today. Londoners: 23rd September sees the 12.grn.hrs challenge at the London Design Festival. Six teams, each including a professional car designer, will be shut in a room for “an intensive day of design and eco brainstorming to create a truly unique green car design”. Sounds like fun. More at the London Design Festival website; it’s organised by the excellent Green Car Design folks (@greencardesign).

  • BMW’s ActiveE (electric 1-Series, pictured) is coming off the production lines in Leipzig: video here. And the BMW-i website has expanded for a full social media experience, with more on the i3 and i8.
  • Video of the Exagon Furtive e-GT (quicker than a Tesla Roadster) going ’round Magny Cours here.
  • Some hybrids give only limited financial benefits, says the Union of Concerned Scientists. Follow their reasoning at Autoweek. Well, it’s not all about money-saving, and if you can afford a Lexus LS 600h L or BMW 750i ActiveHybrid, surely a few cents off fuel isn’t an issue…
  • GM’s investing $129million in its transmission plants in Toledo, Ohio and Bedford, Indiana to produce more six-speed auto gearboxes with the eAssist ‘mild hybrid’ tech (electric motor assistance, regenerative braking) for Buick and Chevrolet models.
  • Enterprise is now renting the Nissan Leaf in Seattle, Portland and San Francisco; it’s planning a large-scale US roll-out of EVs on its fleet, and will add the Mitsubishi i-MiEV in selected cities later this year.
  • And on a similar note… DIY EV of the day: a solar-powered Volvo 240. Green Overdrive, at Autoblog Green.
  • Disappointment: the Toyota RAV4 EV, developed by Tesla, will only be available on fleets and car-share schemes, reports Autocar. Stories around the www suggest the same’s true for the (US-market) Scion iQ EV. Well, at least at the outset; perhaps best think of all this as beta-testing.
  • In the US, you’ll be able to buy a GE WattStation charging point at a mainstream DIY retailer: “go for a screwdriver, come back with an EV charging station”, says Smart Planet.
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