Midweek newsbriefs

August 31, 2011 § Leave a comment

More information on the 1088bhp Rimac Automobili Concept One, an electric supercar to be revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show; teaser shots have been released. Designed by Adriano Mudri, interior styling by an ex-Pininfarina team, two have been ordered already by members of the royal family of Abu Dhabi, reports Autoblog Green. Fully-homologated road cars come in 2013, a production run of 10-15 a year and a total of 88 is planned, priced a little lower than exotics from the likes of Koenigsegg and Pagani.

  • At the other end of the automotive scale: the new-gen Fiat Panda, also set for launch in Frankfurt, gets stop-start with the latest TwinAir two-cylinder engines (85bhp with turbo, 65bhp without). The 69bhp 1.2 four-cyl is revised, and there’s a new 75bhp 1.3 Multijet diesel, also with stop-start. No mpg/CO2 figures as yet.
  • Ah, the Detroit News’ most conservative columnist thinks that all the carmakers showing EVs at Frankfurt are wasting their time. Mind you, I do agree with Neil Winton (a Brit) on one thing: I wouldn’t rent my car to my neighbours in a car-share scheme either.
  • More than five million EVs and plug-in hybrids will be sold in the next six years, according to Pike Research. The US will become the world’s biggest buyers of plug-in vehicles, ahead of Japan, and China the largest producer. Small numbers in the great scheme of things, and figures down from previous predictions due to production delays, but growing to become a significant number nonetheless. Further to the above, so ner.
  • But more EV-hating: it’s ‘time to kill the electric car, put a stake through its heart and burn its corpse’, according to an analysis by John Petersen, an advisor to the World Energy Council – who happens to have worked for the one company he describes as ‘the surprise winner’ in the battery market. Vested interests, perhaps? (Via Autoblog Green).
  • Let’s take to the water for a moment: the University of Birmingham has converted a canal boat to run on a hybrid hydrogen fuel cell/battery-electric powertrain, augmented by solar power. This system would only demand hydrogen refuelling one a month if travelling 650km a year through Britain’s canals, and could have a 100-year lifecycle. Bring back the barges! (Alpha Galileo).
  • Volvo is teaming up with Siemens to develop power electronics, control systems and charging tech for the C30 Electric, reports Business Green. A test fleet gets underway by the end of the year, with a further 200 cars going to Siemens next year for real-life evaluation. BG’s also reporting today that two EV charging points have been installed at the Silverstone racetrack for use by race-goers.
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