News & Events - October '09


28.10.2009Axon unveils UK plug-in hybrid 

Axon unveils UK plug-in hybrid

New UK car manufacturer Axon Automotive has previewed its plug-in hybrid electric vehicle at the Milton Keynes Science Festival. The vehicle combines full electric mode for local travel and uses a petrol or bioethanol powered engine for long distance or motorway travel.

Axon Automotive uses revolutionary manufacturing techniques to make carbon fibre technology, which has been associated with racing cars, affordable for eco cars. "By designing light cars and giving them good aerodynamics you can radically lower vehicle emissions," says Axon's Managing Director, Dr Steve Cousins.

"As a plug-in hybrid we have no limitation on range but we can maximise the benefits of electrics day to day without the cost and weight of large batteries," he added.

The Axon car is a multipurpose vehicle built for two adults plus substantial amounts of luggage. Stressing that carbon fibre can be recycled, the car has fashion house designed seating made from recycled fabrics (jeans and recycled pinstriped suits) and door panels made from recycled carbon fibre to complete this new approach to cars in a low CO2 world.

Axon insists that electric powered vehicles should be clear about the emissions to make the electricity they use. "We have had our greenhouse gas emissions calculated to include typical UK powerstation emissions when driving in electric mode. The result gives us just under 50g/CO2 per km for the mix of electric and petrol used in the Government test. This is just half the level needed for free annual road tax in UK for this car," [Band A <100gCO2/km is zero-rated for road tax].

Axon Automotive Ltd. is the only UK owned car company making a plug-in hybrid EV and is funded by the UK Technology Strategy Board and private investment. The first cars will be on sale in 2011 with full production in 2012. The manufacturing roll-out will be via small factories in UK and in Europe including Spain, France, Ireland, Denmark, and Holland.

Newspress, Axon Automotive

27.10.2009Greenwich Clean Time! 

Greenwich Clean Time!

The University of Greenwich has replaced an ageing diesel fleet with 3 Goupil electric vehicles as part of their ongoing drive to reduce carbon emissions. These zero emission vans are environmentally friendly and at the same time reduce operating costs for the University.

Simon Earp, Transport & Green Travel Manager for the University of Greenwich said: "These electric vehicles are ideal for the short stop-start journeys we make around the campuses for building and grounds maintenance, post and other portering tasks".

John Griffiths, Business Development Manager for Locators Electric Utility Vehicles commented: "The University evaluated many of the electric vehicles currently available on the market. We are delighted to be selected to supply these Goupil electric vans which meet all of their operational requirements".

Offering a payload of up to 700kg and only being 1.1 metres wide, the Goupil is ideally suited to urban and city operation. There are over 20 versions available all based on one modular chassis. All vehicles have low running costs with zero emissions as well as offering up to a 100km range and a maximum speed of 40 kmh.

Simon also remarked: "As well as being impressed with the overall quality of the Goupil range, Locators are able to support the fleet with a team of mobile service engineers, ensuring the vehicles never have to leave our sites".

For further information please contact Keith Hampton Marketing Manager Locators Ltd keith.hampton@locators.co.uk, www.locators.co.uk

23.10.2009iMiEV wins award at Japanese show 

iMiEV wins award at Japanese show

The Mitsubishi iMiEV city car was announced as the winner of the Japanese Car of the Year 'Most Advanced Technology' award at the 41st Tokyo International Motor Show 2009.

The iMiEV has a top speed of 81 mph, a range of 100 miles and can be trickle charged from flat to full in 6 hours, costing less than £1.00/$1.60 for a full charge. In addition, the iMiEV can be fast-charged from flat to 80% in just 30 minutes.

The all-electric zero-emission iMiEV was praised for the way it has applied its advanced lithium-ion battery technology into a full four-seat family city car, and having achieved full-production status.

The Japanese Car of the Year award underlines Mitsubishi's long standing expertise in the field of electric vehicles since the early 1970s. It also further enforces the company's place at the forefront of electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle development and signals excellent progress towards its stated goal of having 20% of total production as either electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles by 2020.

The Japanese award comes less than a month after the iMiEV scooped the UK's Electric Vehicle of the Year Award at the GreenFleet awards ceremony in London. The GreenFleet panel likewise noted the car's four seat practicality, range and charge time. It also scored highly for the simplicity with which it could be used, thanks to the use of conventional controls and functional cabin layout.

Mitsubishi Motors' Sales and Marketing Director, Toby Marshall, commented: "The iMiEV is only the start of an exciting future for Mitsubishi Motors. ... we'll be showing the Concept PX-MiEV at the Tokyo Motorshow, a next-generation plug-in hybrid with 141 mpg, and we already have other great environmental technologies such as ClearTec. This low CO2 technology is already on the Colt city car, and will soon be arriving on many other vehicles in the Mitsubishi line up."

The iMiEV has been available in Japan from July this year with all 1,400 of this year's units destined for the Japanese market already sold. An additional 900 orders have also been received in Japan for the 2010 build allocation.

European production is scheduled to begin in October 2010 and will be available in left hand drive markets across Continental Europe towards the end of the year, according to market. The UK, which benefits from being a right hand drive market as in Japan, will see its first cars go onto UK roads in December this year.

Newspress, mitsubishi-cars.co.uk, iMiEV WhatGreenCar review

13.10.2009New Elektromotive-Smart EV trial 

New Elektromotive-Smart EV trial

The world's leading provider of electric vehicle (EV) recharging solutions, Elektromotive, has been selected as one of the UK companies trialling the smart electric drive. By testing the car in 'real-life' situations, Elektromotive will provide invaluable data to Mercedes-Benz, the manufacturer of smart, which will help shape the development of this iconic car.

Elektromotive has taken delivery of its own fully electric smart and, over the next 4 years, will report back on the car's battery performance, reliability and range. The information will be evaluated by smart as it moves towards small series production of the smart electric drive in 2010.

The trial will also form part of Elektromotive's ongoing research and development programme, helping it devise new EV charging facilities for installation at the roadside, in car parks, at homes and in business premises.

The keys to the smart electric drive were presented to Elektromotive's Managing Director, Calvey Taylor-Haw, by the smart electric drive Project Manager, Tom Morrison Jones at Mercedes-Benz World in Brooklands, Surrey.

"The shift towards zero emissions motoring is fast gathering pace, and it is vital that fully compatible recharging infrastructures for EVs are put in place across Europe," said Mr. Taylor-Haw. "With daily access to a smart electric drive we will accelerate the real-world evaluation of new charging technologies, such as fast-charging solutions for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles.

"To be working with a major manufacturer like smart also enables us to have an input into how future EVs will operate, especially in terms of battery performance."

The smart electric drive has been developed by Mercedes-Benz and is powered solely on electricity. It is virtually silent when running and also emits no harmful substances, such as carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide, into the environment. Charged using a standard three-pin plug, the iconic two seater has a range of up to 70 miles and has a top speed of 60mph.

Dermot Kelly, Managing Director Mercedes-Benz UK, commented, "The smart electric drive project is an important part of our commitment towards developing sustainable transport solutions across the Mercedes-Benz business. smart continues to be a pioneer in the world of environmentally friendly and economical driving and we're delighted that Elektromotive is our partner in this exciting electric car trial."

Already located on roadsides throughout London and in other major UK conurbations, as well as in shopping-centre car parks across the country, the Elektrobay charging station is compatible with all fully-electric vehicles and plug-in electric hybrids. Its ease of use has already proven popular among electric vehicle drivers, leading to round-the-clock usage and heightening demand for additional installations on UK streets.

Newspress

12.10.20091.7 million electric cars in UK by 2020 

1.7 million electric cars in UK by 2020

The first annual report to Parliament by the Committee on Climate Change, published today, concludes that a step change is required in the pace of UK emissions reduction to meet carbon targets already set by Government.

The Committee said the Government is unlikely to be able to meet the target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 34% by 2020 unless there is a radical step change in power generation, transport and homes.

As outlined in the Committee's first report in December 2008, road transport emissions need to be reduced via a combination of efficiency improvements (reductions in grams per km) and measures which will constrain growth in traffic volumes: emission cuts of 30% by 2020 are possible.

The Committee reiterates its belief that the carbon-efficiency of new cars can and should be reduced from above 160g/km today to 95g/km by 2020. This reduction could be achieved by improvements to fuel efficiency on conventional cars, but further reductions beyond 2020 will require a significant role for electric cars.

Although manufacturer announcements of electric car initiatives have progressed even more rapidly than envisaged, the Committee recommends that two new mutually reinforcing government policies are required: consumer support for new car purchase to drive initial volumes and help manufacturers achieve economies of scale, and support for battery charging infrastructure.

The report estimates that subsidies for the car industry, together with an increase in charging infrastructure, should encourage 1.7 million electric cars onto the roads by 2020.

The Committee also recommend tighter legislation for conventional car use including improving fuel efficiency by strictly imposing 70mph speed limits on motorways, and the possible use of road pricing to reduce congestion and emissions and incentivise the switch to public transport. Eco-driving is also proposed as a way to reduce carbon emission from road transport.

Lord Turner, Chair of the CCC said: "With the carbon budgets in place, we now need to achieve a step change in the pace of emissions reduction. The Government needs to build on its “Low Carbon Transition Plan” and put in place a comprehensive delivery framework. What we have proposed is achievable and affordable but action needs to be taken now if we are to make our contribution to combating climate change."

Committee on Climate Change