Monday newsbriefs

August 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

Is this pic for real or is it a Photoshop job? Never mind: it gives a taste of the scenery for the EcoVelocity show at Battersea Power Station on 8th-11th September. Latest confirmed attendees include the plug-in Toyota Prius PHEV (pictured), which will be on static display, though the production Prius, Auris Hybrid and Lexus CT 200h will all be available for (suitably-licensed) show-goers to test-drive.

In other news:

  • The first green car conference/motor show in India takes place this week. Green Automobil 2011 Expo opens on Wednesday in New Delhi and promises to be “a platform to showcase cutting edge research and technologies in the field of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles”. Its forum “will outline the roadmap for developmental plans and commercialisation of green automobility in India”, and be an opportunity for the industry to “explore market opportunities, and deliberate upon policies and initiatives to encourage future investments in delivering such commercially viable vehicles in India.” Good stuff. (Thanks to @greencardesign).
  • Toyota’s going to build the RAV4 EV in Woodstock, Ontario, with its electric powertrains sourced from Tesla in Palo Alto. From California to Canada… let’s not talk about the carbon footprint of shipping that stuff northwards. Just gives a glimpse of the logistics involved in putting vehicles together.
  • Great reception for the Ford Focus Electric on the David Letterman show: Ford CEO and former Boeing man Alan Mulally drove the prototype onto the set of one of America’s biggest talkshows, and was hailed as a ‘hero’ for saving Ford. The Michigan-built Focus Electric goes on sale in the US later this year (Edmunds Inside Line).
  • The average 54.5mpg mandated by the Obama admininstration will come at a price, say doom-mongering engineers in a survey for Ward’s Auto. Americans will all end up driving aerodynamic blobs, apparently… Full story pic (and a great pic) at Inside Line.
  • But Fiat/Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne thinks 54.5mpg is “an incredible stimulus for the American car industry. I think we can get this done”. He’s not keen on EVs, however, preferring compressed natural gas and further optimising the combusion engine. Detailed rundown of Marchionne’s recent speech at the Center for Automotive Research at Edmunds Auto Observer.
  • Latest episode of Fully Charged sees Robert Llewellyn taking on Top Gear. Further comment from his colleagues at the Charging Point. And George Monbiot’s having a go, too, at the Guardian, with the very pertinent point that TG has well and truly breached the BBC’s  guidelines on editorial honesty (I agree. I’ve done the BBC and C4 ‘compliance’  training courses and know the implications). But can we all now shut up about TG and its stance on EVs, please?
  • Toyota’s planning to take the EV lap record at the Nurburgring, reports Charging Point. It’s going to try and beat the 9min, 1.338sec set by the Peugeot EX-1 with a car similar to the Radical-based e-Wolf Alpha – and could be pitching to supply cars for an FIA EV championships, says James Allen.
  • Chevrolet’s first all-electric car in the US could be a version of the Spark (aka Beat, or Daewoo Matiz), says Green Car Reports.
  • The Technical University of Denmark has taken delivery of an AC Propulsions eBox to test vehicle-grid communications. It’s one of just 25 eBox prototypes in existence; the eBox is based on the Scion xB, and has a  range of well over 100 miles and a top speed of 95mph. Actor Tom Hanks has one, says Autoblog Green.
  • Only 16% of German motorists would consider buying an EV in the near future, according to research by Gartner Inc. Full story at Green Car Congress.
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