Concept of the Day: Bentley Hybrid

April 9, 2014 § Leave a comment

bentley hybrid conceptAm not entirely sure what this represents in terms of an environmental leap forwards, nor indeed, as a symbol of anything, but Bentley (the world’s largest producer of 12-cylinder engines) is to preview its plug-in hybrid technology at the Beijing Auto Show. This will be fitted in a version of its upcoming SUV (2017), though the Hybrid Concept showcases it in the Mulsanne limo body.  Bentley’s promising that ‘at least 90%’ of its production models will be available as plug-ins by the end of the decade; all-electric range will be ‘at least 50km’, giving a 70% reduction in overall CO2 emissions (despite a power increase of up to 25%). I could see this as a cleaner way of propelling embassy-issue or plutocrat-chauffeuring vehicles around the city, I suppose, which is progress of sorts if not exactly a mass-market solution.

  • Upcoming report from the United Nations: to claim that cars are to be the fastest-growing contributor to GHG emissions to 2050, reports Bloomberg. Points from the leaked report include a predicted 71% rise in GHG emissions from cars 2010-2050, especially in developing/emerging economies. Vehicle emissions are said to have doubled 1970-2010, with 80% of the rise due to road transport; road transport accounted for 27% of total ‘end use’ energy in 2010. Bloomberg also quotes predictions from IHS Automotive that global car sales will rise 4% this year to 70.2million, with a 27% rise to 2020; demand is expected to peak at around 100million units. On a global level, we’re a long way from ‘peak car’, if that’s the case.
  • Some figures on Western European EV sales for Jan/Feb via the ever-EV-sceptic Detroit News; up to 0.34% of the market from 0.23% in Jan/Feb 2013, with 5,894 sold versus 3,810. Tiny numbers, indeed, and if you take out Norway’s numbers (2,484, 12.3% of the country’s market) EV sales actually fell 10% Europe-wide. Small rise in Germany, though (1,038, up to 0.23% of the market).
  • The 2014 answer to the Segway – not exactly a mass-market solution for urban mobility, but may have its uses – could be the Ryno monowheel/electric unicycle, now in production… (via Autoblog Green).
  • Sugar: could be better in biofuel than the human body. The US Navy has tested a DSH (Direct Sugar to Hydrocarbon) fuel in a 50:50 blend in diesel engines; details of a paper presented at the SAE World Congress here.
  • More from the SAE World Congress: transmission-maker FEV is showing a two-speed transmission for plug-in hybrid vehicles and for use as a range-extender. It has no torque converter and is said to be 10% lighter than a comparable DCT. More here.
  • Daimler has bought out former partner Evonik’s shares in two lithium-ion battery-making firms. It now owns Li-Tec Battery GmbH and its factory near Dresden, which makes the cells for the Smart ForTwo e-drive, and battery developer/producer Deutsche ACCUmotive, outright. More here.
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