Midweek newsbriefs

July 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

More at the Guardian on the government backtrack on publicly-funded EV charging points. Yes, most EV users will charge at home, but there must be facilities out there for reassurance and to encourage new buyers beyond the early-adopters. But public (council-funded) or private-sector provision? Depends on your politics, perhaps… The pic’s of my closest public charging point, btw, and I’ve yet (in over a year) to see another vehicle using it apart from this Aixam Mega van, maybe an argument in favour of cutting council-funded facilities – my council tax paid for this. But would this van (and others which will surely come, one day) be doing its zero-emissions deliveries around the city centre if the council hadn’t put in the post? As the Guardian says, chickens and eggs, and we need more of both.

  • General Motors is working with General Electric on electric car-to-grid communications. A test fleet of Chevy Volts leased to GE will be fitted with GM’s OnStar tech, and their energy usage and recharging patterns monitored. More at Detroit News.
  • Mitsubishi is looking for extra suppliers of lithium-ion battery packs to support its ambitious EV rollout plans, reports Autoweek. Eight new EVs  and plug-in hybrids coming by 2016, with EVs and plug-ins accounting for 20% of output by 2020.
  • Toyota will offer the RAV4 EV to private individuals in the US after all, though the Scion iQ EV will be fleet-lease or car-share only. No fast-charging, however; Toyota’s waiting for more research on its impact on batteries and an agreed standard for charging products (Edmunds AutoObserver).
  • Spy shots of the Volkswagen E-Up! (electric city car, member of the replacement-Lupo range) at Auto Express; word is that it’s only got an 80-mile range, however, although it will take a quick-charge for 80% battery capacity in under an hour. The Up (electric or otherwise) is going to have a 3+1-style interior layout, apparently.
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