Friday newsbriefs

August 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

Rumours are recirculating that GM’s going to give the green light to the Cadillac Converj coupe (Chevy Volt-based, pictured). Sounds plausible. Full story from Green  Car Reports. The Converj, first seen at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show, was put on hold as GM said that it couldn’t make it profitable. But presumably now the Volt’s up and running, and in demand, the sums could add up… It’ll get a more powerful version of the Mk2 Volt’s powertrain, apparently, and go on sale in 2013.

Perhaps further to the above: GM has done a deal with battery-supplier A123 Systems for “tens of thousands” of lithium-ion battery packs a year. That’s some new EVs and/or plug-in hybrids coming, then.

  • More mutterings: Honda’s Acura line-up’s to get some hybrids,  says Automotive News, versions of the TL, RDX and MDX. Sounds necessary, for these big saloons and crossovers.
  • Take up the challenge to design an eco-friendly car – in 12 hours. The folks at Green Car Design are running the 12.grn.hrs event on September 23rd as part of London Design Week 2011; teams will be headed by pro car designers.
  • Multi-speed transmissions for EVs are on the way: Vocis is to demonstrate a two-speeder, developed in partnership with Zytek, at the Low Carbon Vehicle Show at Rockingham (September 7th-8th). It’s currently fitted in a minibus demo vehicle.
  • Researchers in Quebec have developed improved iron-based catalysts for fuel cells, which are capable of generating more electrical power (Green Car Congress).
  • A team led by Toyota Research Institute of North America has developed a magnesium-sulphur battery concept – twice the energy density of lithium-ion, apparently, though some technical issues are still outstanding (Green Car Congress).
  • More battery research: the Nanomaterials and Energy Group at the University of Western Ontario, Canada, is working on lithium-air tech with graphene nanosheet cathode materials. Science bit at, again, Green Car Congress.
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