Thursday newsbriefs

July 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

A lightning-quick digest of the top stories. First: 4000 new EV charging points for the UK (40 apiece in 100 towns and cities) courtesy of Chargemaster & a privately-funded initiative. Payment 90p a time and a monthly subscription for access to the network. More at The Charging Point; debate continues over public vs. private facilities.

  • Volkswagen’s Up! city car (new Lupo; pictured) will be unveiled in Paris next month in an event prior to the Frankfurt Motor Show. 1.0-litre petrol and 1.2-litre diesel versions first, EVs follow later. Prices from around 10,000 euros, say reports.
  • Scepticism growing about these Russian Yo-Avto low-cost hybrids; word is that they’ll be launching with conventional engines first of all. Reports of lots of interest (not the same as firm orders). Best pics yet at Car Advice (Australia).
  • From 2013, F1 cars will have to run on electric power only in  the pit lane, from KERS (kinetic energy recovery). Much resistance to electrification from Ecclestone and from Ferrari, says F1 pundit James Allen, but a change is gonna come – probably in the form of a series parallel to the mainstream one at first, like the TTXGP for electric bikes.
  • More EV charging points: the US state of Washington is installing Aerovironment quickchargers every 40-60 miles along the I5 and Route 2 major highways.
  • Toyota is doing a $100million deal with Tesla for electrification of the RAV4 – an ongoing programme leading to proper production from 2012.
  • GM and the ABB Group have demonstrated a prototype energy storage system using recycled Volt batteries – a use for them at the end of their automotive life. More at Green Car Congress.
  • Mercedes-AMG is to launch a new 5.5-litre V8 (415bhp) with cylinder shut-off; it’ll go in the SLK 55 AMG first, giving an average 30% fuel saving. Launch at Frankfurt (Green Car Congress).
  • The BBC has checked out the HaloIPT wireless induction charging system for EVs. Yep, wireless is the way to go, and it’s got to be better than battery-swapping.
  • More EV charging, Stateside: mega drugstore chain Walgreens is installing a first batch of 60 charging points in its carparks in Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston and Chicago, and aims to become the country’s largest ‘retail host’ of charging points. It’ll have quick-chargers, too, reports Green Bang.
  • EVs connect to the cloud: Coulomb Technologies has developed services for billing, charging, charging point location and support, battery charge monitoring, car usage monitoring and car-to-grid communications. All connected up on a cloud-based platform (Reuters).
  • And more US EV charging news: IKEA has jumped on the EV train to provide charging points, reports Autoweek – an initial batch of 10 at stores in Arizona, California, Washington and Oregon. With meatballs.
  • DIY EV of the day… is a flying car. Well, a hybrid, with two 450cc engines driving generators, which drive the motors, in a bizarre twin-hulled arrangement. More on the Burt Rutan Model 367 BiPod at Wired Autopia.
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