Concept of the Day: Bluebird DC50

July 11, 2013 § Leave a comment

bluebird dc50Pembrokeshire-based Bluebird Automotive, which has been punting around some lightweight electric van concepts in recent years, is planning to make a limited-edition sports car. The DC50 (50 to be made) commemorates the 50th anniversary of Donald Campbell’s water and land-speed records (in Bluebird prototypes) and will be launched in September at the Sustainable MotoExpo, to be held at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu. The scissor-doored car’s said to give up to 360bhp and “acceleration to match a Porsche”, plus a range of up to 200 miles. It’ll come in blue paint only. And Bluebird is also to show its GTL electric racer, designed for next year’s FIA Formula E series.

  • Discussion today at the LowCVP Annual Conference on measurement of lifetime carbon emissions from vehicles: whole lifecycle analysis ‘beyond tailpipe’. Recognising the need to measure impact taking into account emissions embedded in the production process, from the manufacturing of components, from power stations/energy sources, end-of-life disposal, recycling etc., the LowCVP is calling for a new test-cycle and well-to-wheel approach, and the development of standards for measurement. Building on the earlier study for the LowCVP by Ricardo, a new report by PE International – “Life Cycle CO2e Assessment of Low Carbon Cars 2020-2030” can be downloaded here.
  • Will connected cars benefit consumers? Yes, says the telematics industry (obv.), pointing out direct cost-saving equations in terms of fuel efficiency, shorter journey times and safety. Now they have to persuade buyers to pay extra for the tech… More here.
  • Further to the LowCVP story (above): total lifecycle carbon and greenhouse gas emissions of medium-duty electric trucks are lower than, and total ownership costs similar to, those of comparable diesel trucks. Benefits vary according to the type of usage/duty cycle/speed. Study from a team at Georgia Tech, published in Environmental Science and Technology; handy rundown at Green Car Congress.
  • Car buyers are more likely to go for a plug-in vehicle if they are offered access to renewable electricity, i.e. a complementary solar cell installation – a 23% increase in demand from would-be ICE purchasers. Study by Jonn Axsen (Simon Fraser University, Canada) and Kenneth Kurani (UC Davis) in Environmental Research Letters (ERL); they also found that EV/hybrid buyers were more motivated by saving money and local air pollution than wider concerns about climate change. More here.
  • How very Silicon Valley: Tesla Model S owners can remotely control some functions of their car via a Google Glass app. But of course. More here.
  • 25 BYD electric buses are going to Los Angeles Metro: more here. These use BYD’s lithium-ion phosphate batteries, said to give a 155-mile range.
  • BMW is showing its Concept Active Tourer (seen in New York earlier this year) again: the concept features a plug-in hybrid powertrain, though conventional ICE, no doubt, for the production 1-Series GT. More here.

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