Harmonious mobility in Grenoble

September 16, 2014 § Leave a comment

toyota hamo grenobleThe Cité lib by Ha:Mo (harmonious mobility) project launches in Grenoble on 1st October, for a three-year trial; this puts 35 Toyota i-Road three-wheelers and 35 Toyota COMS micro-vehicles on the French city’s streets in a short-distance car-share programme. Partners include local authorities, EDF, SODETREL (an EDF subsidiary installing, managing and maintaining charging points) and the local car-share operator, Cité lib, with Toyota’s Ha:Mo management as trialled in Japan. It’s a one-way ‘free-floating’ system, with access to 27 charging stations where vehicles will be dropped off and plugged in, and the concept is to link people with local transport hubs for onward/inward journeys. “Urban mobility solutions will be a key growth for Toyota in the future”, says Takeshi Uchiyamada, Toyota Motor Corporation chairman. In the trial, data on technical issues and user behaviour will be collected.

  • Here’s a nice thought to start the week: drivers are more motivated to employ eco-driving techniques by environmental concerns than by financial savings, according to a study reported here. Three groups of Dutch motorists (305 in total) were told six things they could do to save fuel/emissions; one group was told about the specific CO2 benefits, one about the financial, and the third given no info at all, and the lot told about the CO2 savings thought making the effort would be the most worthwhile. Even small ‘green’ gains were thought worthwhile, but small cost-savings not thought worth the effort.
  • The first Motiv Power Systems electric garbage truck has gone into operation in Chicago, reports Clean Technica; this has a 9-tonne payload, is to work a 60-mile refuse and recycling round, and is the first of a fleet for the city.
  • The problems of the Wankel rotary engine have been solved, apparently: Libralato Ltd‘s rotary – tested at Loughborough University – gets 40% efficiency, but is 50% smaller (and 30% cheaper to make) than a  conventional ICE. It features a new thermodynamic cycle and engine mechanism, with a new switched reluctance motor (containing no rare earth magnets), and 48V operating electrics, and has been designed with a PHEV powertrain in mind. Libralato calls it the ‘Town & Country 48V Hybrid’ powertrain, or TC48, and says it would give (in an average car) a 15-mile all-electric range in town, and 54mpge (US) out of town. More here.
  • New EV registrations in Q2 2014: 2746, a 141% rise on the same period last year. Calculations are that the total EV fleet of all ages in the UK (including PHEVs and vans) is now over 13,200 (thanks, NextGreenCar, who’ve added up the numbers). More here. 
  • Mercedes-Benz: sceptical of the concept of increasing urbanisation, planning for continued dwelling in the ‘burbs and indeed, a future of ‘mega-suburbs’, reports Fast Company.
  • A smartphone app to simulate EV-driving: e.CODRIVER, developed at the University of Ghent, predicts the suitability of different EVs dependent on your driving needs and style (put phone on your dashboard). It can be downloaded free from Google Play.
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