Concept of the Day: Bertone ZER (1994)

June 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

This streamlined single-seater is the electric Bertone ZER (1994). It’s going on display at the Turin Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile till mid-October, in a show to mark the centenary of the Bertone design studio. The ZER – which has a drag co-efficiency of just 0.11 – set a record for distance covered in an hour by a zero-emissions vehicle, doing 199.882km (124.204miles) at the Nardo circuit, and later clocked up a top speed of  303.977kph, setting a new world speed record for EVs. Full story on 100 years of Bertone here.

Other thoughts of the day:

  • Even the US car mags are getting worried: Motor Trend is asking “Is the automobile over?“. It’s picked up on the now-numerous ‘peak car’ studies this year which are arguing that ‘Generation Y’ consumers are driving less, buying fewer cars and appear to be more interested in smartphones and communications tech than in cars. Economy/financial considerations are still the biggest factors, but MT’s also quoting research by the Frontier Group showing that youngsters are increasingly migrating to cities and walkable/bikeable suburban areas, are cycling and walking more, and are using more mass transit/public transport solutions. Car-shares such as Zipcar are a factor as well. Surprising degree of insight in the comments to the MT article, too – beyond the expected knee-jerk responses.
  • Hertz is launching EV rental in Italy from the Rome Tiburtina and Rome Ostiense stations. The Smart Fortwo electric drives are offered at a discounted rate to passengers arriving on the Italo-NTV private high-speed rail service, and can be booked from eight euros an hour. City authorities in Rome have a manifesto, reports Green Car Congress, to increase EV usage; incentives include free parking in designated areas, and access to otherwise limited city centre traffic zones.
  • Estonia is to get 200 EV charging points by the end of the year, reports EV Fleet World, and the first fast-charger has gone live in Talinn. This roll-out is a partnership between power firm ABB and state-owned financial institution KredEx; the state is operating a fleet of over 500 Mitsubishi i-MiEVs and consumers will be offered incentives for EV purchase.
  • More details on the Source Bristol EV charging scheme, launched last month, at Next Green Car. 36 Chargemaster points around the city, including one 32-amp fastcharger, free ‘leccy in exchange for feedback to the scheme from users.
  • Have just learned that from today, EVs are now VAT-exempt in Iceland (thanks, @keith_johnston). With VAT at 22.5% (some goods/services are discounted from the standard 25.5%, apparently) that’s a useful discount, bringing them on a par with ICE vehicles, though a ceiling price limit will be applied. And Icelanders can also run their EVs on all that lovely geothermal electricity…

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