Concept of the Day: Citroen DS Wild Rubis

April 11, 2013 § Leave a comment

citroen-ds-wild-rubis-10Am I just being particularly puerile, or does its name sound a bit porn-star? Anyway, the DS Wild Rubis (errggh) is a “vision of a future DS SUV”, though if you were wondering whether the world really needed another large SUV, it is at least designed to take a plug-in hybrid powertrain. This luxury-spec, designer-line Citroen on the C5/DS5 platform goes on display at the Shanghai Motor Show later this month. Autocar has more details: says it’ll be called DSX Hybrid-4 when it goes into production next year for the Chinese market, and that it features a direct-injection 1.6 petrol engine driving the front wheels and an e-motor driving the rear to give a total 240bhp or so.

  • Further to yesterday’s launch of the Citroen Berlingo Electric, here’s confirmation of its (Peugeot) Partner. From £21,300+VAT (before 20% Plug-In Van Grant), on sale in the UK 23rd May. Same basic spec as the Citroen, and offered with an all-inclusive three-year/60,000-mile warranty plus five years/40,000 miles drivetrain/battery cover.
  • Not the most elegant solution, but it works: a fold-out 18-panel solar charging system which packs away neatly in a car boot for travelling. The Lotus Mobile system (no relation to the Hethel-based car co) is the work of Monarch Power of Scottsdale, Arizona, and car-charging is just one application the firm has in mind; it’s also been designed to act as a power source in emergency situations and in areas with poor infrastructure, as well as for recreational camping. More here (via @damonlavrinc, thanks).
  • There are a total 48,705 public EV charging stations in the world right now, according to a report by Navigant Research in its Electric Vehicle Supply EquipmentTracker 1Q13. Navigant is also predicting the sale of 200,000 plug-in vehicles with vehicle-to-building (or V2G/V2infrastructure) capability – for energy storage, grid-balancing and soforth – will be sold 2012-2020, and that electric bicycle sales will climb to 37.9million a year worldwide by 2020.
  • Latest count of charging stations in the USA: the Dept of Energy expects 7,100 by the end of the year, reports Autoblog Green. To include over 225 more at the grocery chain Kroger’s, announced this week.
  • Against that, there’s news that just 27 new hydrogen refuelling facilities opened – worldwide – last year. World total now stands at about 210, says Green Car Reports. 16 in Europe, including five in Germany, and 58 in the US (24 of which are in California), apparently.
  • I’ve written and researched on alternative engine architectures in the past, and long concluded that in many cases, they do not progress to mainstream production as much for practical and industrial-cultural reasons rather than any inherent failings in the technology itself. It’s down to the cost of new production lines, the leap-of-faith needed for investment, concerns over consumer acceptance and soforth – which is why the conventional ICE remains little-challenged bar the odd spark of interest in, for example, the Wankel rotary. Still, here’s some news on the diesel OPOC (opposed-piston, opposed-cylinder) engine developed by EcoMotors and said to be lighter, smaller and 20-50% more efficient than a comparable turbodiesel, as well as cheaper to make. China’s Zhongding Power is investing over $200million to build a plant for its production in the Anhui Province, reports Green Car Congress.

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