…and more EV news

November 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

Fiat is to unveil the all-electric 500e at the Los Angeles Auto Show on Sunday, and has confirmed sales in California next year. No more details than that as yet.


  • GM is launching an EV sub-brand called Springo in China; first model is an electrified version of the Chevrolet Sail. It’s all part of the plan to sell 500,000 plug-in vehicles by 2017, a number of these to include the extended-range tech as in the Volt and upcoming Cadillac ELR. The Chevrolet Spark EV (with 20-minute fast-charging capability)  is being launched at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week, and GM has also recently demonstrated a second-life application for Volt batteries: a modular unit of five batteries which can be used as back-up for domestic grid supplies in the event of a power outage.
  • Californian start-up KleenSpeed Technologies is starting testing of its KAR GT sub-$10,000 EV, reports Autoweek. The donor car design is China-sourced; the company is now looking for a manufacturing partner. Batteries will be leased separately.
  • Pembroke-based EV Innovations is reporting that its ultralightweight electric delivery vehicle Prototype No 1 ‘has proceeded under its 0wn power for the first time’. 1kWh of electricity = 30 miles driving, they say.
  • Some battery developments: from Dow Energy Materials, lithium manganese iron phosphate, promising a 10-15% hike in energy density over lithium iron phosphate (Green Car Congress); the SmartBatt consortium has shown a battery pack concept meeting tough weight, packaging and cost criteria; Toyota is testing manganese-ion batteries; Rice University (Houston) is experimenting with silicon-nickel electrodes.
  • The US military is working with Southwest Research Institute on a robust microgrid system to support EVs and general power needs in the event of a natural disaster, accident or attack; the EVs themselves act as back-up energy storage devices. More at Green Car Congress.
  • Fuel cell news: the California Energy Commission is to award grants totalling £28.59million to develop a hydrogen refuelling infrastructure in 25 selected areas of the state. More here. Meanwhile, researchers at the University of Rochester (New York State) have developed a solar hydrogen synthesis process using nanocrystals and a nickel catalyst.

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