In attempts to boost the “green car” industry, the UK government has announced a two to five thousand pound incentive scheme for customers buying electric and hybrid plug-in cars. The scheme will start from 2011, when we should be seeing more options for hybrid purchases, and more eco-friendly cars on the road.
The program includes infrastructure plans for electric car networks around the UK, amounting to 20 million pounds. The combination of personal customer incentives and infrastructure development is set to make electric cars a real option for drivers.
Source | CarScoop
After the dream success realised by Barack Obama at the US Election, he now has some hot potatoes to juggle, one of which is the deep crisis in the US car market. In recent comments, Obama has declared his willingness to revolutionise the White House automobile fleet, using hybrid plug-in models.
The message to US car manufacturers is clear - while General Motors and Ford have prospects for developing this technology, and new models on the way, it’s time to move forward and get serious about the products on offer. We wonder what’s going to happen to the new Limousine from Cadillac photographed over the recent months of the election.
Via | Quattroruote
EDF (Électricité De France) and Toyota plans for testing of the hybrid plug-in are developing as after the first tests in France, in September 2007, the two companies are now experimenting on the streets of Britain. The tests are being undertaken mostly in suburban areas to study the necessary infrastructure required for these vehicles. The tests will continue for the next 12 months.
The first test car will used by EDF staff as if it were part of the fleet of company cars, to evaluate the realistic possibilities of daily use of a plug-in. The Prius used is equipped with a new recharge system, studied to be compatible with the next generation “refuel” stations. EDF has already installed 40 of these stations, but over the next months that number is likely to grow.
The first figures of the Prius plug-in are clear: compared to the current version, over a 25 km course, fuel consumption is reduced by up to 60 percent! This is an excellent result for a project still at the beginning of its research.
Source | GreenCarCongress
Whether the pursuit of multiple hybrid models will be very profitable or not, Fisker has plans to produce three different versions of its Karma plug-in hybrid technology. The company has limited experience in this niche market but plans to produce a range of cars.
Vic Doolan, board member at the Finnish company, has revealed that the aim will be to have 3.3 percent market share in the luxury segment by 2012. The first roll-out of cars will take place in 2010, at 7,500 vehicles, a number expected to double by 2011. The company is adding to its sedan version a coupé, a cabriolet, and even a SUV - each to be produced in 7,500 units a year.
Source | MotorAuthority
According to a survey from J.D. Power, 72 percent of Americans are ready to evaluate the acquisition of a hybrid or electric car. It’s a resonant figure when we think of American car history, but it demonstrates the more rigorous environmental spirit and equally high petrol prices assailing the US.
Even though a hybrid or electric car can cost up to 5000 dollars more than a traditional model, survey participants preferred “cleaner” cars. The same survey, undertaken in 2005, gave a similar result but stopped at figures of 58 percent. Three years ago, petrol had a very different price and market offerings of hybrids or electrics were limited.
Via | Repubblica (Thanks to JackDaniel)
Toyota has confirmed that the commercialisation of the first plug-in hybrid on the European, North American and Japan market will be available from 2010. From next year, the batteries (lithium ion) will be made in a joint venture with Matsushita.
According to Reuters, the batteries can be recharged by plugging in to a normal household socket. The developments are not limited just to this however, as the Japanese giant has created a new research and development department that is studying other Li-ion solutions for the future autonomy of cars and household appliances.
From 2010 the manufacturer is counting on selling one million hybrids a year, thanks to the differentiation achieved: the next Prius is expected (which will offer for the first time some changes in bodywork and size), and the broadening of the range of other models’ engines.