All-electric car2go launches in Amsterdam; week-end round-up

October 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

Daimler’s car2go scheme is to launch in Amsterdam at the end of November – with 300 Smart Fortwo electric-drives, making it one of the first large-scale EV-share deals and car2go’s first all-electric fleet. Hire costs 29 cents a minute, recharging will be from renewable-source energy, and customers can take one-way trips; they will have access to over 250 charging stations, most with two charging points each, across the city and up to 1000 by the end of 2012. Registration for car2go in Amsterdam will be free up until November 24th and a one-off fee of 10 euros after that; the cars can travel within a 80 sq-km area over most of the city, and there will be ‘hubs’ in Zuidas, Arena and IJburg. Cars must be dropped off within the business area, but at any parking spot or at any of the 36 designated car2go ‘Q-Park’ garages in the city centre; cars returning with less than 20% of battery charge must be taken back to a charging station, and drivers plugging in cars with less than 40% will receive ten free minutes of driving. Only cars with a 50% charge or more will be released to customers; the range of the Fortwo electric-drive is 135km.

Car2go is reducing some of its prices across Europe from November in line with the Amsterdam launch; one minute will be 29 cents, an hour 12.90 euros and the daily rate 39 euros; a special parking rate of 9 cents a minute (5.40 euros an hour) will apply for those hanging on to a car between journeys. The hire costs otherwise include all insurance, taxes, electricity and parking charges. The scheme currently operates in Ulm and Hamburg, as well as Austin (Texas) and Vancouver.

  • Audi’s launching the facelifted A4 right now. The revised range boasts an overall 11% improvement in fuel economy despite increased power and torque, and stop-start with energy recuperation is now standard. The 2.0 TDI (136hp) now returns 67.3mpg and emits 112g/km; the 163hp version does 64.2mpg/115g/km; the 1.8 TFSI (170hp) now does 50.4mpg and 134g/km, a 19% improvement over the outgoing model. The TFSI engine has gained a new thermal management system, revised valve control and lift, updated fuel injection and turbo, integration of the exhaust manifold in the cyclinder head, a reduction in internal friction and has decreased 3.5kg in weight.
  • New-generation Tesla Roadster comes 2014, confirms Autocar. It’ll be on an in-house platform this time, probably a shortened version of the Model S/Model X underpinnings. Cabriolet coming 2013, apparently.
  • GM’s going to fit a 85kW/114hp motor – built in Maryland – in the Chevy Spark EV. Detailed videos about this motor, plus press release, posted at Autoblog Green.
  • Honda is fitting its hybrid IMA powertrain (1.5-litre petrol engine plus motor) into the Japanese-market Freed, a small six/seven-seater MPV. The Freed range will include a series of specially-developed wheelchair-accessible versions. More at Autoblog Green.
  • The Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland, is to run a 5million-euro EU-funded smart grid research project. This will look at all aspects of the necessary infrastructure and communications to support EVs in Ireland. Full details at alphagalileo.
  • General Motors has introduced the first hybrid in South Korea: the Alpheon eAssist. Based on the Buick LaCrosse with the same tech, it combines a 2.4-litre direct-injection engine with a motor and starter-generator; fuel economy improvement is 25%, C)2 emissions fall by 22%. More at Green Car Congress.
  • Mitsubishi’s making a batch of 507 i-MiEVs to go to Estonia for municipal use; first 50 have been delivered (Autoblog Green).
  • The EV community is mourning the death of Bob Beaumont, creator of the 1970s CitiCar and e-mobility pioneer. Full obit at Green Car Reports.

And news just in:

  • Renault is to supply over 15,000 Kangoo Van ZEs to French public authorities. 10,000 are going to La Poste, the French Post Office, alone, and a total of 15,637 will go out to 19 state organisations or companies.
  • Kia has issued a statement today saying: it “is putting its faith in hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles as the answer to long-distance mobility with zero tailpipe emissions”. Fuel cell stacks are getting cheaper now, “enlightened countries like Korea are starting to establish a hydrogen fuel station network” and whilst “Kia has not yet decided which model in its range will be the first to go on sale with a fuel cell, it has committed to start building limited numbers of FCEVs and aims to have them commercially available by 2015.”

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