EVs in Austrian rally, Joule gets canned, Friday news round-up

July 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

The Silvretta E-Car Rallye takes place this weekend, part of the Silvretta MotorKlassik tour. 29 EVs, RE-EVs, plug-in hybrids and fuel cell cars, including prototypes, will run 333km through the demanding terrain of the Austrian Alps; cars taking part include the Mercedes-Benz SLS E-Cell, Fisker Karma, Volkswagen Golf Blue-e e-motion, Audi A1 e-tron, Mercedes-Benz A-Class E-Cell (x2) and B-Class F-Cell (x2), Smart Fortwo electric-drive (x2), Volvo C30 Electric, BMW ActiveE, the ER ElectricRaceAbout, Mini E and Tesla Roadster Sport. Daimler’s also sending the Smart e-bike to tackle some sections of the route. Full gallery of the entrants, who set off yesterday, here; Daimler press release on its entrants (pictured) here.

  • First time I came across displacement-on-demand or cylinder shutdown tech, it was in a Cadillac V8: now it’s in a Volkswagen Polo. The Polo BlueGT has a turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol engine plus what VW’s calling Active Cylinder Management (ACM) to deactivate two cylinders and 700cc at low revs and under low load. It’ll thus do 62.7mpg and emit 105g/km, an improvement over the slower, less lively 1.2 TSI. Full lowdown at Autocar.
  • Writers have been checking out the new BMW 3-Series ActiveHybrid, a fast-accelerating high-performance machine with regenerative braking and a range of up to 2.5 miles under electric power only. Interesting thing is that BMW is said to be exploring topographical mapping – a sat nav function checking out the road ahead and thus optimising the use of EV, coasting or petrol-only modes. Sounds like the Ricardo-developed Sentience tech to me, as in the Intelligent Energy RE-EV van. More at Autoweek. But does it stack up in diesel-friendly Europe, asks Autocar?
  • The Optimal Energy Joule, a promising-looking EV developed in South Africa, has been canned, reports SA’s Engineering News (via Autoblog Green). The company failed to secure funding, and its state backers pulled out too.
  • Mazda is to lease a trial fleet of 100 Demo (Mazda2) EVs in Chugoku, Japan. They’ll hit the road in October and are said to have a range of 200km.

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