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Published on April 22nd, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan

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Clean Transportation News

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April 22nd, 2012 by Zachary Shahan 

 
Aside from our 15 or so clean transportation stories from the past week, here are a few more from around the interwebs:

Green Cars

  • Ford has unveiled the cost of its Ford Focus Electric batteries — “$12,000 and $15,000” per battery pack. “That is up to $15,000 on top of the $22,000 or so that the Focus compact would normally cost rather well-equipped. That works out to a cost of up to $650 per kWh that Ford pays, which is still more than twice the “competitive” level of $200 per kWh that many analysts and companies are shooting for. Even so though, Ford has been able to eek out impressive ratings of 76 miles per charge and a combined MPGe of 105.”
  • GM’s Chevy Cruze Diesel has received a 72.4 Imperial MPG rating in the UK (which is about 50 MPG in the US). “The 1.7 liter turbodiesel in the UK Cruze is rated at 128 horsepower and 221 ft-lbs of torque, which is about the same horsepower but more than twice the torque of the Prius. That helps the Cruze diesel go from 0-60 mph in about 9.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 124 mph.”
  • Tesla has opened a new showroom in Norway’s largest city, Oslo. “Norway currently boasts a very enthusiastic community of over 75 Roadster owners,” the company writes.

EV Charging & Grid

  • Leviton has added a new project to its Evr-Green™ line of residential, commercial and public electric vehicle charging systems – the Evr-Green 320 Level 2 Home Charging Station. “The new device provides up to 32 amps at 240 volts AC (7.7 kW output) – reducing the charge time of any SAE J1772™ compatible electric vehicle by seven percent when compared to leading competitors. The charging station has been specifically designed to meet the needs of the next generation electric vehicles with larger on-board chargers, enabling consumers to ‘future-proof’ their charging needs.”
  • IBM, Honda, and PG&E have launched “a new pilot project that will allow communication between electric vehicles (EVs) and the power grid. This project will demonstrate and test an electric vehicle’s ability to receive and respond to charge instructions based on the grid condition and the vehicle’s battery state. With visibility into charging patterns, energy providers will have the ability to more effectively manage charging during peak hours and create consumer-friendly programs to encourage electric vehicle adoption.”

Trains, Streetcars

  • Ferrari is getting into the private high-speed trains business in Europe. “On Friday, one of 25 luxurious, red, high speed models named Italo, widely dubbed the ‘Ferrari train’, made its maiden voyage out of Rome’s Tiburtina station.”
  • California’s Legislative Analyst Office has recommended little to no funding go towards CA’s $68-billion high-speed rail project primarily due to “highly speculative funding” from other private and federal sources.
  • Tucson, Arizona has broken ground on tracks for the the Sun Link Streetcar. “The $200 million, 3.9-mile project will connect downtown Tucson with the University of Arizona and the university’s medical center…. That investment appears to be paying off already. The project has already led to $400 million worth of spending commitments along the corridor, according to a report from US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who was in Tucson for a groundbreaking ceremony earlier this week.”

Carsharing

  • Zipcar has expanded into the city of San Jose, California. “The Zipcar program will launch with 12 vehicles located in pods of two, in six locations throughout San Jose. All of the vehicles will be located in private, off-street lots within the downtown footprint and will be easily accessible by the VTA Light Rail and public transit. Pods will be located near City Hall at East Santa Clara Street and North 4th Street and on South Market Street at West San Carlos Street, amongst others, for drivers ages 21 and up. Zipcar is also placing a pod of two Ford Focus vehicles near San Jose State University at 4th Street and Passeo de San Antonio, which will be available to student drivers ages 18 and older.”

Other

  • Oklahoma City is trying to help ween its citizens off cars with three new clean transportation projects — the revival of an Oklahoma City streetcar, a new electric vehicle charging network, and a new bike-sharing program.
  • NASA “has developed a system capable of growing large amounts of algae for biofuel production within a network of floating plastic bags, an innovation its developers say could ultimately produce a new fuel source,” Yale Environment 360 and Technology Review report.

Image Credit: Treno Italo (CC BY 2.0 license)

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About the Author

spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as the director/chief editor. Otherwise, he's probably enthusiastically fulfilling his duties as the director/editor of Solar Love, EV Obsession, Planetsave, or Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and wind energy expert. If you would like him to speak at a related conference or event, connect with him via social media. You can connect with Zach on any popular social networking site you like. Links to all of his main social media profiles are on ZacharyShahan.com.



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