Free parking for EVs, fishy fuel sources, hybrids in NY

March 29, 2013 § Leave a comment

madeira-drive-charging-pointDebate of the day: should electric cars have a ‘green badge’ for free parking, and exemption from road tolls and congestion charges, to incentivise their use? Much discussion at The Guardian, amongst others… The suggestion comes from the Institute for Public Policy Research; original document here. Of course, plenty of cities are offering free parking to EVs already, usually whilst charging (or parked on a bay with a charger…), not to mention the exemption from the London congestion charge. Can’t say I agree with the idea that EVs should be allowed to park anywhere, i.e. on double red or yellow lines, however – what are they thinking? Quite apart from safety implications (for cyclists, in particular) that’s a potential congestion-causer.

  • You’ve heard of tuna, but how about tunicate? These marine creatures – ‘filter feeders’, of the ascidiacea family – are found in all oceans, and could be a handy source of ethanol and biofuel, according to researchers at the University of Bergen.
  • Renault has delivered 22 Kangoo Maxi Van ZEs (all-electric) to Center Parcs, for use at its various holiday villages in the UK. They’ll be used by the technical services and maintenance teams, and for food/beverage deliveries to guests. Looks like an ideal EV fleet application.
  • Prototype drive of BMW’s new three-cylinder engine – for the i8 plug-in hybrid powertrain – here.
  • Plenty of hybrids on display at the New York Auto Show this week; so far, have heard about Audi A3 Sportback e-tron, Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid, Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid (same powertrain as the big Infiniti QX60), Subaru XV Hybrid, Honda Accord plug-in, plus range-extended BMW i3 EV and news that the new-gen 2014 Range Rover Sport will come with a plug-in hybrid option. Evidence to suggest, I reckon, that electrification (if not pure-EV powertrains) is beginning to go into the mainstream.

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