The green Gitano; Tesla’s Mercedes tie-up; hydrogen taxis & other Friday newsbriefs

November 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

A green machine on display at the SEMA show, Las Vegas: the Gitano, from Filipino sports car replica-maker Michel MotorSports, features an electric range-extended powertrain by EVDrive  with Remy-supplied motors. In the Gitano, this gives 150kW/200hp, an all-electric range of 100 miles and total range of 350 miles; the EVDrive system is to be launched in a variety of guises, giving up to 1000bhp for different applications. A different version of the 200bhp powertrain will be offered specifically for conversion of E46-series BMWs, apparently. More at Autoblog Green.

  • Tesla is to develop an electric powertrain for Mercedes-Benz, reports AutoObserver, and the two companies have signed a letter of intent. Tesla has just reported a $65million net loss for the third quarter of 2011, but puts this down to continued investment in research and development, and reckons that it will start to turn a profit by 2013. Ah well, CEO Elon Musk has deep pockets.
  • A fleet of 15 hydrogen-fuelled black taxi cabs is going into operation in London, plus five passenger-carrying, hydrogen-fuelled Suzuki Bergmann scooters. The pan-European HyTEC project will involve the setting-up of a refuelling station in London, supplementing two existing hydrogen stations which support a fuel cell bus trial (Green Car Congress).
  • Toyota is to offer a 1.5kW generator retro-fit option for the Prius and its other hybrids sold in Japan, enabling owners to use their vehicles as a power source in the event of an electricity outage or natural disaster. The system can provide the typical Japanese home with power for two days on a tank of fuel, says Toyota, which is to donate and fit 40 such generators to the Prius fleet of the Tohoku Prefecture (Green Car Congress).
  • Story on the HX-T mini-Hummer EV at Green Car Design. Sounds like fun, but it’s really only a ‘resort’ vehicle, given its golf cart underpinnings.
  • The future of personal transportation? Check out the electric one-person ‘multicopter’ flying machine, over at Treehugger… Rather reminiscent of the earliest experiments into aviation, strangely.
  • Britain’s green car/new tech journos, pundits, commenters and generally interested parties are gathering in Brighton later today for the RAC Future Car Challenge: rally kicks off on the seafront (Madeira Drive) 7.30am tomorrow morning. Full timetable at the FCC website, or follow us on Twitter – we’re using the hashtag #RACFCC.
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