Hybrid Lexus Goes on Display at Harrods

By dancurranjr On December 20th, 2010

Billed as the first ever hybrid luxury hatchback, the Lexus CT 200H has gone on display in the window of the world’s most luxurious department store this week.

The green luxury car boasts a hybrid engine which offers the option of powering the car by either electric or petrol. The Lexus CT 200H is aiming to offer a green choice of vehicle for the luxury car market. What better place is there to showcase the first ever hybrid Lexus than in London’s most prestigious store?!

The Lexus is on display in the window usually used to showcase super cars such as Ferrari vehicles and Aston Martins. In fact, the last vehicle to go on display in the Harrods shop window was the Aston Martin Cygnet, as reported by Cars for Stars News last month.

Thanks to its super green credentials, the hybrid Lexus is the only luxury automatic to be exempt from the London congestion charge. As well as offering reduced emissions which makes it ideal for city driving, the Lexus CT 200H offers the same level of performance and comfort as you’d expect from a vehicle from the top name car maker.

The hybrid is part of a four window Lexus display in Harrods which will run from this week, until January 15th 2011. The window display has been designed so as to allow customers the opportunity to get up and close to the luxury vehicles so they can get a real feel for the car,  so what are you waiting for?! Head down to Harrods now for a chance to check out the new Hybrid Lexus CT 200H in the flesh.

SOURCE: Cars for Stars

Chevrolet Volt for UK sale in November 2011

By dancurranjr On December 14th, 2010

Chevrolet will start selling the Volt range-extender hybrid from UK Chevy outlets in November 2011 and plans right-hand drive from launch. It means that GM will offer Europeans the choice of the Volt or the Opel/Vauxhall Ampera – the Euro spec version of the same car.

Although prices are not yet set for either model, CAR understands the Chevy is likely to be positioned slightly cheaper than the Vauxhall. Sadly it’s not as simple as taking the US price and converting it; that would point to a UK list price for the Volt of £25,500.

‘It will be a higher price product,’ said Wayne Brannon, president of Chevrolet Europe. ‘The Volt will be restricted in terms of volume for some time. It will be a small number of cars for 2012 and we will not sell an impressive number – but it will gain credibility for the Chevrolet brand over here.’

Where can I buy my Chevrolet Volt in the UK?

Brannon said that the Volt would be sold from around just 50 of the existing Chevrolet dealerships across Europe, with just a handful in the UK rather than at all 150 showrooms.

Sales are likely to focus around the larger metropolitan conurbations, such as London, Birmingham and Manchester. ‘That’s where the early adopters and people who drive low-mileage commutes of 40 miles or less are most likely to live,’ said Brannon.

Chevrolet is undertaking a European pricing study at the moment and will announce the European cost for the Volt at the 2011 Geneva motor show.
Chevrolet Volt: the background

There’s a buzz around the so-called range-extender hybrids, as they bridge the gap between full electric cars and hybrids. They remove ‘range anxiety’ as the battery will never go flat in day-to-day driving; the on-board internal combustion engine is used primarily as a recharger to top up the battery, rather than to turn the wheels.

That brings many advantages, and owners who use the car to commute short distances and plug in the Volt overnight to charge may have to fill up with petrol only once a year. However, it also means that they are lugging around a heavy and compromised combustion engine in what is essentially an electric car.


Electric Cars to Reach 20% of U.K. Vehicle Sales by 2016

By dancurranjr On December 4th, 2010

Electric cars will make up 20 percent of U.K. auto sales by 2016 as drivers take advantage of government subsidies and lower fuel costs, according to National Grid Plc Chief Executive Officer Steve Holliday.

“Our base scenario has a million electric cars on the road in 2020,” Holliday, who runs the U.K.’s power grid, said in an interview in London. This would mean about one in five of all cars sold in the U.K. from 2016 will be electric, he said.

The U.K. is using subsidies to promote electric vehicles to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Motorists will receive as much as 5,000 pounds ($7,795) from January if they buy an electric or plug-in hybrid car. As much as 8.8 million pounds has been earmarked to support the development of a national recharging network, intended to boost the number of roadside plug-in points to 11,000 by 2013 from about 300 today.

The Nissan Motor Co.’s LEAF and Mitsubishi Motors Corp.’s iMiEV will be the first two electric cars to go on sale in the U.K. within the next few weeks, Colin Couchman, a London-based analyst with consultant IHS Automotive, said in a telephone interview. The cars will cost about 29,000 pounds and can be charged using a regular household plug, he said.

“At the start, people will plug in at home or at work,” he said.

In 2009, there were 31 million cars in the U.K., according to the U.K. Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, or SMMT. The average daily distance traveled by British drivers is 25 miles and the length of a single journey is 8.6 miles, the society estimates.

Struggle for Balance

While National Grid’s high-voltage electricity transmission system can manage the demand of 1 million electric cars, “penetration up and above that becomes a real issue,” Holliday said. Local distribution networks in cities like London may struggle to balance their grids if drivers choose to all plug in their cars at the same time, he said.

The cost of charging an electric car with the LEAF’s 100- mile range could cost as little as 96 pence and take between six and eight hours, according to an SMMT report. “Depending on how fast it charges, an electric vehicle can draw as much power as a house,” Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst Albert Cheung said in an e-mail. “So if half a dozen neighbors plug in electric vehicles on the same street, it could push the local transformer over its rated capacity.”

Other incentives being adopted to encourage the use of electric vehicles in the U.K. include not having to pay central London’s 8 pound-a-day congestion charge and free parking in some neighbourhoods.

Total fuel costs of operating a standard car, driving 10,000 miles annually over a three year period, are around 2,767 pounds, compared with 756 pounds for an electric car operated over the same time period, according to the SMMT.

Across Europe

European emissions standards taking effect in 2014 that require carmakers to cut nitrogen-oxide emissions for diesel engines by 56 percent may boost demand for hybrid and electric motors. Few diesel cars now comply with the new, Euro 6 regulations.

The Euro 6 rules may help raise the share of hybrid and electric vehicles across Europe to 13 percent by 2020 from about 0.1 percent today, according to IHS.

European carmakers including Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, PSA Peugeot Citroen and Daimler AG are developing electric and hybrid vehicles to help meet tighter environmental regulations and expand the product line-up to boost sales.

SOURCE: Bloomberg

London’s Iconic Red Double-Decker Bus Goes Hybrid

By dancurranjr On May 22nd, 2009

london-busAround 20 hybrid-electric drive buses have entered service on routes around London and are recording unprecedented levels of carbon efficiency.

The state-of-the-art red double-deckers have achieved the best results for fuel consumption and CO2 emissions ever recorded from bus fleets – an unprecedented 10mpg.

Revolve Technologies, an Essex-based leading engine development and engineering services provider, helped support Northern Ireland-based Wrightbus on the major hybrid drive performance and optimisation programme, which includes the Gemini 2 HEV double decker.
At the heart of the Wrightbus hybrid system is a standard 2.4 litre Diesel engine – as used in the Ford Transit. With the base engine operating as a generator, Revolve engineers have been able to predict load and speed changes in advance, thus allowing greater freedom with injection strategies and EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) rates.

Drawing on their knowledge of the engine EMS system, engineers have also been able to utilise some of the existing vehicle based strategies to carry out functions which otherwise would have required significant software changes. This, coupled with a unique CAN interface module, has allowed the full integration of the engine and its controller into the overall hybrid control system – and at a relatively low cost.

Paul Turner, Revolve’s Technical Director of Product Development, said, “Having the engine control as a fully integrated part of the hybrid system is a major advantage – and, coupled with a unique calibration, we have been able to achieve exceptional improvements in fuel consumption. The Wrightbus programme involves optimising Series Hybrid Drive systems through a detailed analysis of generator load patterns.

“As a result of this analysis, we have been able to recalibrate the engine to operate at its peak performance throughout the drive cycle, by using smart charging and load control technology. Overall engine performance is significantly improved when compared with normal applications.”

Revolve Technologies’ Executive Chairman, Andrew Williams says, “The Wrightbus hybrid programme gives further insight into the depth, scope and capability which we offer this important and growing area of the market.

“It is also an excellent working in practice example of the formal technical partnership between Revolve Technologies and Ford Component Sales (FCS) and highlights Revolve’s rapidly expanding hybrid and alternative fuels activity.”

The company is currently involved with projects from small capacity, lightweight units through to heavy commercial, marine and industrial applications.”

SOURCE:  Green Wire