March 30, 2015 § Leave a comment

honda s660So Honda has launched its S660 roadster in Japan – a tiny kei-class 660cc turbocharged lightweight, a belated follow-up to the Beat – but there’s talk there might be an electric version. Remember the EV-ster concept (Toyota Motor Show, 2011)? That clearly had some influence on the S660’s design… More on the (very cute) little S660 here, anyway. Not-so-funnily enough, I’m much more interested in this than the equally long-anticipated NSX.

  • A steering system based on in-wheel motor tech reduces the drain on battery range in EVs; the three-year e2-Lenk project at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology is to develop this assisted steering system with a view to saving cost, weight and manufacturing complexity. More here.
  • Not sure about the name (toilet humour alert) but the e-floater (!) is a promising-looking ‘last-mile’ urban transport solution. It’s a battery-powered stand-up scooter, using composites and plastics from BASF (it weighs less than 12kg), with solar charging option. More details from Floatility Gmbh.
  • Alongside last week’s announcement about OLEV grants for electric motorcycle/scooter buyers came confirmation of £6.6million for hydrogen infrastructure projects, including 2 new refuelling stations (Brentford, Croydon), upgrades to existing stations in Sheffield, Port Talbot, Swindon, London/Greater London, an upgrade to a mobile refuelling station (to support test drives, conferences, demos, etc) and one more mobile station. More here.
  • Jaguar Land Rover is to double the size of its Whitley engineering/research/design centre for the development of “ultra-low-emissions vehicles”; these are to include all-electric versions of the XE and F-Pace crossover, reports Autocar, with an all-electric Range Rover likely too. The aim is, says the mag, to tap into the market identified by the Tesla Model S for luxury-level EVs which enable the affluent to get around LEZ/congestion charge-type legislation. Obviously.
  • Another week, another rather ridiculous ‘hypercar’, but the 200mph LM2 Streamliner – to be unveiled at the upcoming New York Auto Show, ‘cos it’s really well-suited to the streets of the Big Apple – will also be offered in all-electric form, says Autocar. Which doesn’t necessarily make it alright.
  • Better biofuels: researchers at University of East Anglia have identified strains of yeast that make the process of  turning waste agricultural material – straw, sawdust, corncobs –  into fuel more feasible. More here.
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