Citroen C4 Cactus, EV and car-sharing news

February 10, 2014 § Leave a comment

citroen c4 cactusI rather overlooked the Citroen C4 Cactus (to be seen at the Geneva Motor Show next month) when it was announced recently – ICE powertrain, looked to me much like just another SUV-alike small car – though there are a few interesting points to consider. One diesel version will do 91.1mpg with CO2 emissions of just 82g/km, and there’s a petrol emitting less than 100g/km; all auxilliary controls (air con, navigation, media, 3G/Bluetooth communications) are touchscreen-based; and the Multicity Connect portal features a range of apps including ‘fuel’ (locating nearest/cheapest forecourt), ‘Yellow Pages’ and ‘Trip Advisor’ apps for hotels, restaurants etc, ‘Michelin traffic’ for live traffic info, and ‘Coyote’, for alerts on high-risk roads. It’s also 200kg lighter (at 965kg) than the outgoing C4 hatch. And I like the ‘Airbump’ protection against minor scrapes and dings, too. Reflects the move towards lower running costs/more distinct styling/tech and connectivity in this sector as opposed to hot-hatch sportiness, anyway. No word yet as to whether it’s going to get Citroen’s hybrid powertrain, though as the emphasis is on low(ish) costs, this may not be a goer. More technical detail on the weight-savings and design-engineering at Autocar.

  • Here’s a smart move: renewable energy supplier Ecotricity is offering 1000 ‘free miles’ to (UK) customers with EVs or plug-in hybrids. Those signing up to the ‘Green Electricity + Car’ tariff will see these miles in terms of lower costs per kilowatt hour, reports Transport Evolved. They’ll also get free access to Ecotricity’s ‘Electric Highway’ superchargers on the UK’s motorway network. Ecotricity is also teaming up with the VW Group to offer buyers of the e-Up! and subsequent EVs from Volkswagen, Skoda, Seat and Audi the tariff plus free smart-meter installation. More details here.
  • Strategic EV-charging, the hunt for free chargers – and in the US network, how the numbers of free-to-use chargers are dropping (no surprise). Some good anecdotal detail from California at Detroit News. Who’s guilty of “plug-squatting”, then?
  • Daimler’s expanding its car2go car-sharing (short-term rentals) by adding the B-Class to the previously Smart-only fleet; a pilot phase will see 200 Bs go into service in Hamburg and Berlin this month. The car2go Black scheme allows one-way and open-ended trips, within/between cities, with smartphone-based rentals. The service will expand later in the spring to all car2go members and new customers, with long-term reservations to be available. Daimler is also reporting that it is to expand its moovel mobility app to integrate more mobility services and to include more cities around the world; its latest addition is ‘Park2gether’, a platform for linking drivers with those offering parking spaces (much like Parkatmyhouse).
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