Tuesday newsbriefs

August 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

Smart is to launch the Mk3 Fortwo ED (electric-drive) at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month. The two-seat tiddler is to get a more powerful Bosch motor (up to 73hp/96 lb ft), new German-made batteries (from Deutsche Accumotive, a joint venture between Daimler and  Evonik) and a higher top speed of 75mph; acceleration is also much-improved, 0-62mph now coming up in less than 13 seconds. Range is up to 87 miles, and the battery can now be quick-charged in less than an hour. Smart’s also planning to show a plug-in electrically-assisted bicycle.

  • Hyundai’s added another sub-100g/km model to its line-up. The i20 Blue supermini has the 1.4 CRDi diesel engine (90hp), stop-start and low-rolling resistance tyres, and returns 76.4mpg & 98g/km. Prices from £13,195.
  • Ford’s just fitted a third wind turbine at its Dagenham Diesel Centre; this engine production facility is now 100% wind-powered.
  • Today, I am enjoying the debate with “EV-haters” at Grist.
  • Latest from Californian EV start-up CODA: it’s done a deal with China’s Great Wall Motor Company to develop cars for world-wide sale. We might yet see its cars in production… More at Green Car Congress.
  • Visitors to the Eden Project in Cornwall can test-drive a Peugeot iOn, Smart Fortwo ed (not the new one), Mitsubishi i-MiEV or Nissan Leaf as part of the appallingly-named Sexy Green Car Show which runs till August 28th; a safari-spec Land Rover Defender EV and a Tesla Roadster will also be on display. Entry to the automotive exhibits is free with a general admission ticket.
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