Concepts of the Day: Mitsubishi GR-HEV, CA-MiEV

February 14, 2013 § Leave a comment

mitsu concept cr-hevTwo electrified concepts from Mitsubishi at next month’s Geneva Motor Show: GR-HEV, a diesel-electric pick-up truck using hybrid tech developed from the Outlander PHEV (though it’s not a plug-in) and CA-MiEV (below), an all-electric ‘suburban EV’ with a claimed range of 300km. The one-tonne 4WD GR-HEV is intended as a simple, hard-working but sporty hybrid solution delivering less than 149g/km – and no doubt hints at the future of the L200-series range – whilst the CA-MiEV showcases next-generation electric drivetrain tech with the potential to take EVs out of city centres and further afield (or into the suburbs, at least). Range will be helped by its light weight and “advanced aerodynamics”. Mitsubishi also promises “high density batteries”, plus wireless inductive charging and smartphone-controlled functions. The company’s noting that it “started research and development on electro-mobility back in 1966”, and that it has “always believed that electric vehicles would eventually become long-term core products”; it is aiming for 20% of its output to be electrified (including hybrids and plug-in hybrids) by 2020.

mitsu concept ca-mievMore comment on the hydrogen/fuel cell vs EV vs traditional ICE debate at Detroit News; the ‘peak oil’ crisis is over, apparently, and ‘nobody wants’ EVs… And yet again, an obsession over finding a dominant, ‘winning’ solution – one-size-fits-all – rather than determining the most suitable solutions for particular niches and applications. Quote from one analyst, however, “that there will be a lot more car sharing because people want more versatility than a given powertrain will give them”; he at least has picked up on the idea that you could, for example, use an EV for your everyday short-distance commuting but hop into a car-club hybrid/ICE vehicle for the odd longer trip you might need to take.

  • GM, meanwhile, is going to add an EV to the Chevrolet Spark line-up in selected markets, including California, Oregon, Canada and South Korea. European sales next year, preview of Euro-spec model (130hp, no figures for range yet) at Geneva.
  • A team at Universidad Carlos III, Madrid, has developed a GPS for cars with accuracy improved by up to 90%; this has particular pertinence for autonomous driving, collision avoidance, ‘co-operative driving’ (there’s a phrase to remember), pedestrian-sensing and soforth. More here.
  • Can smart transport planning help hospitals? A project is underway at Great Ormond Street with Southampton University, looking at logistics in the supply chain. Researcher Gavin Bailey has come up with an electronic lockerbox system using RFID tags plus a consolidation centre for deliveries, which will be trialled in the London area. More here. Such concepts could be applied in any number of settings/industries/sectors to reduce traffic, of course.
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