Tuesday news round-up
June 3, 2014 § Leave a comment
Mitsubishi’s got a 603bhp EV to go up the hill at Pikes Peak this year: more on the i-MiEV Evolution III (pictured) at Autocar. All good for EV consciousness-raising…
And in other news today:
- Apps to simulate EV use/ownership are seen as an important way of engaging potential buyers, and one’s been developed for the Bollore Group (maker of the BlueCar), reports EIN Newsdesk. It’s a 3D ‘augmented reality’ experience for tablets, by ATOS (yes, that one, I believe, but its IT services division rather than the outsourcing lot doing the benefits assessments), and “enables our future customers to easily observe the specific advantages of Bluecar”, says the Blue Solutions sales director.
- McLaren – an all-electric supercar is under consideration, and all models will become hybridised (to some degree) in the next ten years, reports Edmunds.
- Eight US states have announced an 11-step plan to get 3.3million zero-emissions cars on their roads by 2025: more on the Multi-State ZEV Action Plan here, but the key take-outs are encouraging fleet adoption, investing in charging infrastructure and simplifying legislation.
- On a cycling note: the retro-look pedelecs (tech by Applus Idiada) from Barcelona’s Otocycles are pretty damn cool.
- Peugeot-Citroen is considering canning its EV-making relationship with Mitsubishi and rethinking its EV strategy, reports Reuters. Contributing factors: sales of just 651 Citroen C-Zeros and 455 Peugeot iOns in Europe last year (down from 3,142 and 3,080 in 2012, respectively), says Automotive News Europe. Of course, it may be due to both models remaining ridiculously expensive, and other cheaper, more advanced and/or more desirable alternatives (namely the Renault Zoe and BMW i3) coming to market… (thanks, Green Car Website).
- Demo of the Alcoa/Phinergy aluminium-air ‘1000-mile’ battery car in Montreal: video and more details here. The aluminium hydroxides produced are fully-recyclable, but note that these batteries are not rechargeable… electrolyte-swaps (in this case, water) needed.
- Non-rare, low-cost alternatives to platinum catalysts in fuel cells: some suggestions from MIT.
- Natural gas vehicles: worldwide sales of light-duty NGVs will grow from 2.5million to 4.2million a year by 2023, according to the latest forecasts from Navigant Research. That means nearly 40 million NGVs on the road in the next 1- years, 2.6% of all vehicles. And more on the whole erdgas thing from me here…
- And here’s a sad story/salutary lesson about attempting a cross-Europe trip in an EV right now… Even careful planning can’t foresee technical failures, the problems of French public holidays, and the sheer stupidity of a public network operated by multiple providers with incompatible access requirements. This is the difference between doing such a journey in a high-range Model S with access to the private Supercharger network and being an average (albeit well-informed) member of the public in a Leaf. And why there is still so much work to be done before electromobility is truly viable on a mainstream level.
- In Japan, however, Nissan, Toyota, Mitsubishi and Honda are joining forces in the Nippon Charge Service to develop a universal network… lowdown here.
- Some market research on how happy EV owners (US) are with their purchases: net promoter scores calculated by PlugInsights put Tesla Model S owners as the most satisfied, with Chevy Volt drivers also pleased, though Nissan Leaf owners’ NPS has fallen. And 96.7% of all surveyed would have another EV or RE-EV. More at Green Car Reports.
- Batteries disguised as car seats? Carbon nanotube composite yarns could be woven into upholstery fabrics, according to research from Wuhan University (more here).
- Traffic jams are getting worse, with congestion and journey times rising 1% in the last year, according to research by TomTom. Most congested city in the UK is Belfast, followed by London, Edinburgh, Bristol then Brighton & Hove (no surprises there, says a resident…). Lowdown here.