10 more top clean car stories from the past week (other than our 13 or so clean car and transportation stories):
1. GM has ceased production of its Chevy Volt for 5 weeks. And while some are eager to call the Chevy Volt dead, Chris DeMorro of sister site Gas2 says it is anything but that. He has a long post on that (second link above), but here’s the summary: “In short, the demise of the Chevy Volt has been greatly exaggerated. I’m not saying the Volt isn’t in trouble. It’s image is tarnished, its sales are slow, and its future is uncertain. But I still wouldn’t bet against the Volt, and GM, to make a strong comeback starting this year. Politics tend to go out the window when gas prices go up.”
2. IKEA plugs in 4 more electric vehicle charging stations (something it’s been doing a lot of in the past year). Again, these are Blink Pedestal electric vehicle charging stations from ECOtality. The new EV charging stations are at its Tempe, Arizona store.
3. Mitsubishi has developed a “prototype electric vehicle (EV) motor system with a built-in silicon carbide inverter.” What does that mean? The new motor system, which is half the size of Mitsubishi Electric’s existing motor system using an external inverter, and the smallest of its kind, “is expected to enable manufacturers to develop EVs offering more passenger space and greater energy efficiency. The company plans to commercialize the motor system after finalizing other technologies for motor/inverter cooling, downsizing and efficiency.”
4. Eos Energy Storage is working on “a refillable flow battery that uses air as a cathode, zinc as an anode, and a liquid electrolyte.” What does that mean? “Theoretically, Eos says their system could be fitted to a standard passenger car costing around $25,000, allowing for a 400-mile range and ‘recharging’ in as little as 3 minutes.” We’ll see!
5. Morgan, a UK car manufacturer, revealed a concept electric sports car with a manual transmission at the Geneva Motor Show this week.
6. The Nissan Leaf is reportedly going to be “on sale at over 1,000 dealers across 24 European markets by 2013.” Winning Japan’s Car of the Year award, and being one of the coolest cars ever (in my opinion), I’m sure this will make many people happy. (Note that the Leaf just became available nation-wide in the U.S.)
7. Nissan may soon be coming out with a green SUV, too. Its new hybrid prototype, the Hi-Cross, was just revealed at the Geneva Motor Show.
8. Volkswagen (VW), perhaps tired of being shamed and gamed by Greenpeace, is reportedly investing a ton of money into “ecological restructuring,” two thirds of its entire €62.4-billion investment program, to be exact.
9. The Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded Eaton Corporation a $1.84 million grant “for the development and demonstration of more efficient commercial electric vehicle (EV) chargers,” Eaton notes. “The project will promote smart charging technology that better manages the efficiency, availability and reliability of power, especially during peak times and at popular charging locations…. Eaton’s grant is part of a larger federal research and development program to help reduce the current costs of EV chargers by 50 percent over the next three years and to support the adoption and deployment of EVs.”
10. Liberal Democrat London Mayoral candidate Brian Paddick says he would “convert buses and taxis to all electric using innovative financing approach” if elected mayor. This comes after it was revealed that “the current Mayor of London has failed to make progress with a £1m clean taxi fund annouced more than two years ago.”