Metrocab RE-EV specs; Gen-Y research; EV charging in Canada & some hybrid headlines…

January 16, 2014 § Leave a comment

metrocabSo, specs for the Frazer-Nash/Ecotive Metrocab extended-range electric taxi: 75mpg; 75% less CO2 than the current London cabs (it emits less than 50 g/km); a 560km combined electric/engine-extended range; typical cost savings to the cabbie of £30-£40 a day; six seats with optional seventh front passenger seats; lithium-ion polymer batteries with an electric motor at each rear wheel. It’ll rival the Nissan e-NV200 (see below). London taxi drivers are being invited to take part in field trials in advance of its roll-out in other key cities and international markets; registration and full details here. Now, can they make it go south of the river? And Mayor Boris has said that he wants all London taxis to be ‘zero-emissions capable’ from 2018, but, well, Boris says a lot of things…

  • Generation Y/Millennials not into cars? Nope, the majority will still buy some wheels when they can afford to, according to a new study from Deloitte LLP. Their priorities are different, however, to those of their parents/grandparents: rather than power and speed, they’re into technology and digital connections, plus alt-powertrains. Lowdown from Automotive News and at Detroit News, chase up the full report (nice infographic here) if you’re interested. Presented at the Detroit Auto Show this week. Some pull-out figures: 61% of Gen Y-ers say they plan to buy or lease a car in the next three years (up from 50% last year); 59% believe they’ll be driving an alt-powertrain vehicle in five years’ time (up from 57%); 80% without a vehicle say it’s simply because they can’t afford one; 75% specifically cite running and maintenance costs as factors. 40% of those who don’t own their own car borrow one or use car-shares, incidentally – so they’re driving nonetheless – though they are willing to walk and use public transport. The majority also said they’d pay a premium for more fuel-efficient vehicles.
  • Chinese car-maker BYD  plans to bring its Qin plug-in hybrid – a small family hatch – to Europe in early 2015. This has an all-electric mode of up to 44 miles, returns an overall 177mpg, does 115mph and 0-62 in 5.9 seconds, apparently; prices in China start from an equivalent of £19,645.
  • Charging in Canada: Sun Country Highways, which has placed over 1000 free-to-use charging stations coast-to-coast, has signed up VIA Motors in a $80million deal to provide vehicles and equipment for hotels and other businesses. First example of this is electric shuttle vans for Best Western – 1000 of its Vtrux, says Green Car Reports, which notes that Sun Country/VIA /Best Western also have activities below the border for Washington State, California, Florida and Texas. More VIA: the company will offer the Recargo PlugShare app in its in-dash information system (Green Car Congress).
  • Summary of today’s events  at the Transforming Transportation 2014 conference (#TTDC2014) in Washington DC at TheCityFix: the theme’s ‘the future we want/data and technology’, and sessions included ‘Enhancing Transport with Technology – presentations on a case study on smartcard fares from Seoul; modelling geographic and demographic data; platforms to incentivise ‘good’ commuting behaviour.  
  • Oh, and Toyota has now sold 6 million hybrids, and is planning 15 more in the next two years. It sold nearly 157,000 hybrids in 2013 in Europe alone, 43% more than in 2012, and hybrids now make up nearly 20% of Toyota’s total sales in Europe (28% in Western Europe). Yaris and Auris hybrids doing well, as well as the Prius.
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