November 11, 2011 § Leave a comment
New public EV charging points opened this week here in Brighton; the latest pair are on the seafront at Madeira Drive, by the pier, Sea Life Centre and Brighton Wheel. This brings the total up to 8 (in four locations). Brighton Council says that there are now 22 registered users of the facilities – and interestingly, the majority of them live outside the city, showing that electric commuting is becoming a reality. More than half have registered a new vehicle, too. The council is about to send out a survey to these users to get feedback on why they’ve opted to buy and run an EV. This ties in nicely with the other recent announcement (in this briefing) of an all-electric car club/car-share scheme in the city, and today’s launch of the Eco Technology Show (15th/16th June next year at the Amex Stadium).
- And in other odds-and-ends news for the week: San Francisco is aiming to become the EV capital of the US. It’s pulled together $5million-worth of funding to form the Bay Area EV Strategic Council, to develop infrastructure, etc (Green Car Congress).
- Rolls-Royce is taking the 102 EX (experimental electric Phantom) on a world tour, and it’s currently in the US in advance of an appearance at the LA Auto Show. Green Car Reports had a go in it.
June 6, 2011 § Leave a comment
New pictures released of the Tesla Model S Alpha saloon. Alpha’s the first stage of on-road testing, with Beta stage to follow. Full gallery – and video – at Tesla’s site.
- BMW’s new 1-Series range goes on sale in the UK in September. Both manual and automatic versions get auto start-stop (the auto’s now an eight-speed), and a new Eco Pro mode automatically adjusts throttle response for more efficient progress (with fuel saving calculations displayed to the driver). At a later date, a 116d EfficientDynamics model will be available: this delivers 116bhp, returns 74.3mpg and emits just 99g/km of carbon dioxide.
- The Nissan Leaf NISMO RC is going to appear on-track for the first time at Le Mans Vers Le Futur – a support event at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (June 11th-12th). Other cars taking part include the Porsche 911 GT-R Hybrid, Audi e-Tron, Peugeot RCZ Hybrid, hydrogen-fuelled BMWs and a Mazda RX-8, a Tesla Roadster and an electric Andros Trophy ice-racer. The demo laps will take place at 12.10pm in the run-up to the main race next Saturday.
- Rolls-Royce owners aren’t impressed by the all-electric Phantom 102EX, says Wired Autopia. My friends at thechargingpoint.com say it’s ‘sensational’, however.
- Korean EV-maker CT&T’s plan to manufacture in the US appears to have stalled, reports Detroit News. Given that their cars were just 40mph two-seaters, probably no great loss.
- The European Association of Battery, Hybrid and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles is to hold discussions in Brussels: the European Electric Vehicle Congress (EEVC, 26th-28th October) will involve research institutes, industry figures, NGOs and public authorities.
- Graduates of the automotive design course at Coventry University have shown off their concepts at the annual degree show. Various lightweight/ultra-aerodynamic/electric/hydrogen-fuelled/low-impact studies; I haven’t got copyright-free images to show you here, so check out Autocar’s report.
- Chip Yates, maker/racer of a 190mph/240hp electric superbike, has been testing for a run at Pikes Peak; follow him @chipyates89.
August 16, 2010 § Leave a comment
Tata is talking about two EVs for the UK: the Indica Vista, which could arrive as soon as September, and the Ace small van, to come by March 2011. Sales of these two are also planned for Scandinavia – but not Tata’s home market of India, as there’s insufficient infrastructure to support them (Edmunds Green Car Advisor).
- Canada’s to get EV charging stations in almost every city: Rapid Electric Vehicles (REV) and electrical contractors Viridian Power of Vancouver have done a partnership deal to fit and maintain charging points supplied by Coulomb Technologies. They’re now in talks with city councils, utility firms and businesses with a view to building a coast-to-coast network (Edmunds Green Car Advisor).
- Rolls-Royce is looking at ways to curb the gargantuan gas-guzzling of its luxury liners: hybrid, electric and even – god forbid! – diesel solutions are under consideration, CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos has told Autoweek. Most likely option is lifting BMW’s petrol-electric hybrid tech, however.
- Meanwhile, at the other end of the BMW family, no diesel-electric hybrids for Mini, reports Autocar, whatever its powertrain partner PSA is doing. Too heavy, not efficient enough out of town; instead, Mini’s focusing on making conventional diesel engines more efficient, and an all-new three-cylinder unit’s on the way.