Concept of the Day: Pininfarina Hybus

October 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

Pininfarina has unveiled a hybrid diesel-electric bus at the MobilityTech forum in Milan. It doesn’t look terribly exciting – snazzy patriotic paint job apart – because it’s basically a conversion job of a 17 year-old Iveco bus, done to show the possibilities of retro-fit conversions. The HyBus gets a 1.3-litre Fiat Multijet diesel engine plus electric generator, two Magneti Marelli motors, a regenerative braking system and a lithium-ion battery pack; this is around 60% cheaper than a new hybrid bus, apparently. More about it here. I like the prospect of the revamp/upcycling of an otherwise obsolete old bus, too.

In a lightning-quick round-up of the best of the rest for the end of the working week:

  • The next-generation Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution – Evo XI – will be a diesel-electric hybrid, reports Autocar.
  • Detailed drive story on the Audi Urban Concept – a 6ft 7in journalist folds himself into this tiny city EV – from Automobile (thanks, @GreenMotor).
  • Daimler-owned car2go and Europcar have joined forces to roll out the car-share scheme in 40-50 European cities (Green Car Congress).
  • Only 106 electric cars were bought in the UK in the third quarter of this year. Still, when your choice is limited to the C-Zero/iON/i-MiEV (very small city car, fleet-lease only), Nissan Leaf (if you can get your hands on one), Tesla Roadster (ditto) and a few impractical little quadricycles, all very expensive for what they are, then that’s hardly surprising, is it? More choice, more sales expected next year; debate (not all of it well-informed) at the Guardian.
  • 10 US states and the District of Columbia have joined forces to create the Northeast Electric Vehicle Network, funded by government grants. The aim’s to reduce the region’s emissions and oil dependency, and create an EV recharging infrastructure¬† in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington DC (Michelin Challenge Bibendum).
  • Defence of Fisker at Grist – ol’ Henrik has come under fire from certain US media outlets who’re insinuating that Obama handed out a lot of government money for building inaccessibly-expensive cars in Finland. As Grist points out, Fisker’s now got production off the ground, is employing a load of people at a formerly-defunct GM plant, and is bringing more mainstream models to market having established its brand in the luxury sector. ‘Project Nina’ hits the road late 2012 with full production due mid-2013.
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