Car CO2 down, the Fisker fiasco, fuel cell buses and more…

March 14, 2013 § Leave a comment

fisker karmaProof that legislative intervention works: average new-car CO2 emissions fell in the UK by 3.6% last year to 133.1g/km, a 26.5% improvement on 2000’s average, and sub-130g/km cars accounted for over half the UK car market. And Band ‘A’ cars – currently sub-100g/km – took 8.2%, up from 3.7% in 2011.  The latest figures from the SMMT also show that ‘alternatively-fuelled vehicles’ took 1.4% of the market; 85% of these were petrol-electric hybrids (averaging 98.7g/km), and electric/plug-in car registrations rose 111.8% last year to 2,237 units. Manufacturers have been spurred to meet the EU targets for emissions reductions (including a target average of 95g/km by 2020) but the SMMT also notes a need “to encourage consumers to adjust their vehicle choices”, and that “encouraging behavioural change will require support from other stakeholders, notably government and fuel suppliers”.

  • Few of those registrations to include the Karma range-extended EV (pictured), however: latest in the Fisker fiasco is Henrik has walked away from the company he founded, with “several major disagreements… with the Fisker Automotive executive management on the business strategy” cited. Automotive News runs down the issues involved and has the full statement and comment from the man himself. I’d expect news of a takeover/buyout.
  • Big swathe of data from the EV Project: fourth-quarter 2012 figures on 60million miles-worth of electric motoring. About 80% of charging at home, range-extended Chevy Volt drivers going all-out to use as little petrol as possible; different public charging patterns in different US cities, with an impact from carshares such as Car2Go (using Smart Fortwo EVs). Handy breakdown and links at Green Car Reports.
  • The Bollore Bluecar EV (as supplied to the Paris Autolib’ carshare) has gone on sale to the general public at 12,000 euros plus 80 euros-a-month battery hire.
  • Bus news: 10 fuel cell buses are to go into service in Aberdeen. They’re made by Dutch manufacturer Van Hool, with a Ballard fuel cell module, and will be the largest fuel cell bus fleet in Europe so far. The Van Hool/Ballard buses are also going into action in San Remo, Flanders and Cologne. Ballard is also supplying fuel cell modules for buses for US customers in Connecticut, California and Massachusetts, reports Green Car Congress. And electric buses: China’s Sichuan Automobile Industry Co (SAIG) has signed a deal with California’s Balqon Corporation to buy its e-drivetrain and lithium-ion battery tech for inner-city buses; and Proterra has done a long-term deal with UQM Technologies for the drivertrain of its EcoRide BE35 bus (thanks, Green Car Congress).

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