Society expects carmakers to lead the way in electric mobility. But they cannot face this challenge alone. They need to partner with key national, regional and local organisations. Governments are developing integrated systems for greener and smarter mobility:
- By funding new infrastructures to provide car owners with a highly efficient charging network.
- By setting aside dedicated facilities and services, such as parking spaces reserved for electric vehicles and toll-free access to city centres.
- And most importantly, governments are offering financial incentives to electric car buyers in the form of tax breaks and cash-back rebates.
With the participation of the automotive industry and governments, a whole new green economy is emerging. An economy in which infrastructure and network developers, energy companies, and private fleet managers also have an important role to play.
With everyone working together, electric mobility will become a reality sooner than you might imagine.

All New Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 Race Car Montage

Renault Electric Vehicle

In this 6th edition: the 80th edition of the Geneva Motor Show: car manufacturers presented their latest innovations in terms of clean vehicles. Then an interview with Uwe Hochgeschurtz, Director of Corporate Sales at Renault. He explains the role played by «key account» customers in the success of Renaults electric vehicle.

2011 Hybrid variant of Sonata comes with a new front fascia

Here is a teaser image of the U.S. market 2011 Hyundai Sonata hybrid, which Hyundai will be debuting at the upcoming New York Auto Show.

The 2011 Sonata hybrid will have a somewhat different design than the standard model. As is evidenced from the image published here, the hybrid variant will feature its own distinct front fascia. That new face includes a new large-mouthed grill, new headlamps, sporty front bumper with bigger air intakes, as well as new fog lights.

Hyundai's Blue Drive hybrid system for the Sonata consists of a 2.4 liter, 4-cylinder gasoline/petrol engine, a 30 kW electric motor with 205 Nm (151 lb-ft) of torque, and a six-speed automatic transmission. The electric motor is powered by lithium-polymer batteries but Hyundai doesn't say what kind of range they provide the Sonata hybrid. Power figures for the gasoline/petrol engine are also not included, although Hyundai's standard 2.4 liter engine rates 201 bhp (150 kW / 204 PS) and 252 Nm (186 lb-ft) of torque.

The 2011 Hyundai Sonata hybrid will premiere at the New York Auto Show on Wednesday March 31. Prices for the US market will be revealed then.

BMW Vision EfficientDynamics Concept is reporting that BMW may be replacing its top performer, the M6, with a new model to compete against the likes of the Audi R8.

The new model will be a V8 powered sports car/supercar drawn from the Bavarian brand's Vision Efficient Dynamics concept. That Vision ED concept came with a diesel-electric hybrid system with 356 bhp (258 kW) and 800 Nm (590 lb-ft) of torque. But that model featured a turbocharged 3-cylinder diesel engine which is hard to envision being placed under the hood of an R8 competitor. That engine may make it to the streets wrapped in a 1-Series or a 3-Series BMW one day, but the new supercar will more likely opt for BMW's 4.4 liter twin-turbo V8 power plant.

The 6-Series was always more tourer than out-and-out sports racer, with its comfortable and robust dimensions. This new supercar will also be going up against the likes of the Porsche 911 and the upcoming baby SLS from AMG.

Klause Draeger, head of research and development at BMW, has said that in order to make a car that competitive it will need to be "intelligent and dramatic-looking."

New Ferrari ID comes to UK

What’s more, Car Dealer Magazine helped the supercar firm move in, for an upcoming feature!

Graypaul’s brand new £5m dealership in Solihull, Birmingham, is the 4th Sytner Group franchise. It has been built fast, taking just 12 months to replace the firm’s temporary premises in Bromsgrove.

This came after the franchise was acquired from Nick Whale Sportscars.

The slick new car dealer has a flash new showroom with space for up to 10 cars – ordinarily, 4 Ferrari and 4 Maserati models will be shown. There is also indoors space for a further 12 Ferrari Approved used cars.

Graypaul has installed a dedicated ‘Atelier’ specification room, too. And, naturally, plenty of goodies from the Ferrari Dealer Selection goodies range.

Matteo Torre of Ferrari North Europe was on hand to help open the new dealership. He said ‘we are delighted to see the new showroom opening here in Solihull as I know we have many enthusiastic clients in the area.’

Sytner Group sells more than a third of all Ferrari UK new cars, and 4 in 10 of its used car stock. Franchise director Mario Vignali said Solihull was chosen ‘because it is the 6th richest borough in the UK.

‘We are proud to be representing Ferrari in Solihull and this new dealership demonstrates the confidence we have in the brand.’

Vauxhall Ampera in Britain and is currently in discussions

GM talking to potential Ampera customers in UK, interest in vehicle builds .
General Motors has begun pushing the Vauxhall Ampera in Britain and is currently in discussions with potential fleet customers. According to GM, there is a significant amount of interest from government agencies and public companies. The Ampera will be launched in a Vauxhall-badged righthand drive version in the UK in 2012, the same year that the Olympics come to London.

GM-UK spokesman Denis Chick spoke with just-auto about the upcoming release of the Ampera and about consumer interest in the vehicles and said:

We'll start off with fleet demonstrators. But we are already picking up plenty of interest from potential fleet customers. The fact that the right-hand drive car goes on sale in the UK in 2012 - the year of the next London Olympics - is also highly significant in terms of visibility for some fleets.

One of the largest groups to show interest in the Ampera is none other than London's Metropolitan Police Force. Chick hinted at a possible announcement of a big deal with the London police coming later this year. Timing the Ampera to arrive as the Olympics roll into town is important. With London as the center of attention, the Ampera will be there to share the spotlight.

New electric Nissan LEAF price will be about 3.76 million yen in Japan

YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) - Nissan Motor Co. said Tuesday its new electric car, the LEAF, will start at 3.76 million yen ($40,000) in Japan, aiming to put zero-emission cars within reach of drivers around the world.

The U.S. sale price for the LEAF will be announced later Tuesday. Deliveries of the car will start in December and customers in Japan will be able to place orders starting April 1, Japan's No. 3 automaker said.

The company said had it already received tentative orders for 9,300 of the curvaceous four-door hatchbacks.

Nissan said if current Japanese government incentives continue, the LEAF will be eligible for a 770,000 yen credit, making the price 2.99 million yen in Japan.

The LEAF would be cheaper than Mitsubishi Motor's i-MiEV electric car, which costs 4.59 million yen ($50,000). Japan's No. 4 automaker began selling the model in Japan last year and sold 1,400 in Japan between July 2009 and March 2010, and 250 during the same period abroad, mainly in Britain and Hong Kong. The i-MiEV will be start to be sold in the U.S. next month.

The LEAF has a range of 100 miles (160 kilometers) on a single battery charge. Nissan estimated that over six years of ownership, the electricity cost for running the car would be 86,000 yen. That compares with an estimate of 670,000 yen of gasoline cost for a similar class of vehicle, the company said.

Nissan's CEO Carlos Ghosn, who also heads France's Renault, has been a vocal proponent of electric vehicles. While Toyota Motor Corp. has staked out a leadership position in the market for hybrids, which use a gasoline engine as well as an electric motor, Nissan is striving to become a global leader in electric vehicles.

Japanese auto industry officials believe the time may be ripe for electric vehicles to catch on among ordinary consumers given concerns about emissions and dependence on oil. But there are still several obstacles that need to be overcome, including better battery technology, high production costs and having recharging stations in convenient locations.

So far, electric vehicles have been largely experimental. In Japan, the main users are government-linked groups. Japan's government has made reducing greenhouse gases a pillar of its policy, and has encouraged the production of electronic vehicles as a way to achieve that.

In March, Nissan, Toyota, Mitsubishi Motors and Fuji Heavy Industries, which makes Subaru brand cars, and a major Tokyo power company set up a group of 160 business and government organizations to promote electric vehicles by standardizing recharging machines and marketing the technology abroad.

Tata Conformed NANO EV for Europe by 2012

Tata Motors believes in technology for tomorrow. The Tata Nano is to launch in Europe in 2011, followed by an electric version in 2012, Tata confirmed March 2 at the Geneva Auto Show.
The "Nano Europa" is to be 20 centimeters longer than its Indian counterpart and will include some additional features for the European market such as improved suspension and ABS braking. The price has not been confirmed by Tata.
Tata is displaying a Nano EV at Geneva and says that it will offer a range of up to 160 km and a 0-60 km/h acceleration of under 10 seconds. It will join the firm's larger Indica Vista, which has a range of up to 200 km, as the centerpieces of its electric portfolio.
Mr. Ravi Kant, Vice Chairman of Tata Motors, said, "Electrification will be an integral part of our initiative to launch environment-friendly vehicles. The Indica Vista EV will be introduced in select European countries, beginning this year. We will progressively introduce electric vehicles in all relevant markets."
The Tata Nano is priced from Rs 100,000 (approx €1,500) in India, making it the least expensive production car in the world. In December 2009, it was awarded the 2010 Indian Car of the Year award by Indian automotive journalists.

First of Tazzari to Monaco

A new small electric vehicle will make its Italian appartition on the French market. We had announced last year and discovered earlier this month at the Geneva show is the Tazzari Zero. We had announced last year and discovered earlier this month at the Geneva Motor Show is the Tazzari Zero. Its dimensions are slightly smaller than a Toyota iQ, but with a much more sympathetic, and a strong personality for the segment. Its dimensions are slightly smaller than a Toyota iQ, but with a much more sympathetic, and a strong personality for the segment. Attention because it is not a real car, but what is known in France quadricycles cumbersome. Caution Because it is not a real car, but what is known in France quadricycles cumbersome. Strict 2-seater is a pure electric vehicle. Strict 2-seater is a pure electric vehicle

With lithium batteries, its autonomy is announced at 140 km and top speed is 90 kph, with an electric motor of 15 kW. The weight distribution is treated (rear engine and batteries under the seats), and surprisingly for a vehicle as powerful few, the Tazzari Zero is presented as ... Sports. We hope to have the opportunity to verify this. The Zero will be seen in the Monaco-Ever lounge which opens this Thursday, it will also reveal Carcerano Sonny (below), a beautiful concept which we had formerly served in our prayers development of electric vehicles. This will be also a first for the show in Monaco.

Honda reports 8,000 orders for CR-Z hybrid

In its home market of Japan, the Honda CR-Z has proven to be a sales success in the early stages. In less than three weeks the company has reported sales nearing the 8,000 unit mark. That's nearly eight times higher than expected since the sporty hybrid went on sale at the end of February

Higher than anticipated sales volume may lead Honda to rethink its initial yearly sales target, currently set at 40,000 to 50,000 vehicles worldwide. According to the company, one aspect stand outs amongst the 8,000 CR-Z buyers: 40 percent have chosen the manual transmission option, a stark contrast to the Japanese automotive market which is dominated by automatics. Even with a sales spike, Honda still trails competing Toyota by a wide margin in the hybrid market. For comparison, Toyota sold 27,000 Priuses last month while just 3,500 Insights left dealer lots. Honda has a lot of work ahead to catch Toyota.

Initial demand in the Japanese market does not always translate into worldwide success. It's worth mentioning that the Insight also saw early sales success in Japan, only to end up with lower than anticipated volumes worldwide. Several reviews critical of the Insight certainly did not help sales either. Still, if success in Japan is any indication of what to expect here, Toyota may have to share a little more of the market.

Geneva 2010 - Valmet Automotive Eva concept

Today marks the conclusion of the 80th edition of the Geneva Motor Show but we could not let this remarkable episode end without mention of one final electric city car: the Eva concept by Valmet Automotive. The contract constructor, whose Finnish facility fabricates the Th!nk City, the genteel Garia golfcart and will soon furnish Fisker with the Karma, took it upon themselves to engineer their own vehicle as a way of exhibiting their expertise in this area as well.


Valmet Automotive leading the way in going green

Valmet Automotive, a Finnish service provider for the automotive industry, has successfully renewed its strategy and service offering. In addition to being an expert on premium cars and convertibles, the company is today a forerunner in the field of electric vehicles.

For the Geneva Motor Show Valmet Automotive has developed an innovative electric concept vehicle "Eva" to illustrate its capabilities in concept car development and complete car engineering. The company also presents three other vehicles which represent its cooperation with innovative green automotive companies.

"The Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Fisker Karma, the THINK City urban electric car and the Garia LSV Concept Car are the best evidence of our successful partnerships", Mr. Ilpo Korhonen, President of Valmet Automotive, said in a press conference today. "Despite of the challenging global financial situation we have signed new engineering and manufacturing contracts."

The engineering and manufacturing of electric and hybrid vehicles is a rapidly growing field at Valmet Automotive. The manufacturing of Porsche Boxster and Porsche Cayman sports cars represents the company's track record in the production of premium vehicles.

"We have anticipated the change in the automotive industry and renewed our strategy. Today, the engineering services, originally an integrated part of manufacturing, are also available on stand-alone basis. In addition to engineering and manufacturing we provide our customers with business services preceding engineering and following manufacturing. This way our customers can best benefit from our 40 years of experience in the automotive business."

By developing an own electric concept vehicle Valmet Automotive aimed at developing new innovative solutions for body structures as well as powertrain and control systems and recharging of electric vehicles.

According to Mr. Korhonen, the idea was not to start manufacturing an own brand, but to develop Valmet Automotive's knowhow in a way that benefits the company's current and future customers. "Our aim is to offer a variety of tailor-made services from concept development to manufacturing of electric vehicles."

"We started the project over a year ago with a market analysis and a concept study. We set a target to create a concept of a new urban electric vehicle for environmentally conscious European and American individuals and families, a car for driving not only for showing", Mr. Korhonen said.

As a result of the analysis, a 2+2 seat urban electric vehicle for families with a range of 160 km and top speed of 120 km/h was created.

The aluminum space frame of "Eva" is optimized for an electric vehicle and the modularity makes it easily adaptable to different types of vehicles. A direct drive motor simplifies the vehicle's mechanical structure and increases efficiency. The HMI (Human Machine Interface) indicates the future communication needs between the driver and the electric vehicle. The powertrain control systems have been developed in cooperation with universities.

Valmet Automotive invited a dozen of innovative companies and universities to bring their expertise to the project. The partner companies are Fortum, Nokia, NAVTEQ, Vacon, Nokian Tyres, Idis Design, Cadring, AXCO-Motors, Hybria, Powerfinn, Convergens, Aalto University, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences and RLE International.

Fortum is a leading energy company focusing on the Nordic countries, Russia and the Baltic Rim area. Its activities cover the generation, distribution and sale of electricity and heat and the operation and maintenance of power plants. Fortum's vision is to be the benchmark power and heat company excelling in sustainability.

Fortum has in cooperation with UTU ELEC developed a charging station, which starts and ends charging of an electric vehicle by SMS. There are four different outlets in the charging station: Nordic Schuko, Mennekes pre-standard 0–63 A, Caravan outlet and 3-phase factory standard outlet.

Nokia is showing a new technology to allow its smartphones to connect to and exchange information with the in-car infotainment system. If adopted as an industry standard this technology, called Terminal Mode, would allow the full range of smartphone features, services and applications to be accessed through a car's own speakers and displays. Just as importantly it also allows the smartphone to access performance and other data from the vehicle itself.

NAVTEQ is offering a broad range of features and attributes geo-referenced to its high quality digital map that enable more advanced use cases beyond navigation and routing. Electric and hybrid cars such as the concept vehicle by Valmet Automotive, use knowledge of the road network to regulate speed and acceleration to maximize range of the vehicle in the most eco-efficient way, as well as calculate point of no return or to identify reachable charging stations and calculate routes. With information on sharp curves or steep hills for example, as provided by NAVTEQ, eco-friendly driving and routing can be enabled and improved.

CHAdeMO Association aims to increase quick-charger installations worldwide indispensable

CHAdeMO suggests drinking green tea while recharging your electric car

CHArge de MOve", equivalent to "charge for moving", and is a pun for "O cha demo ikaga desuka" in Japanese, meaning "Let's have a tea while charging" in English. This logo means smiles which associate a bright future and happiness with a combination of the circuit symbol of battery representing "Charge", and a dynamic curving line representing "Move". This ecological green is the color of "Green Tea"

Establishment of CHAdeMO Association

March 15, 2010

TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION (Toyota), NISSAN MOTOR COMPANY (Nissan), MITSUBISHI MOTORS CORPORATION (Mitsubishi Motors), FUJI HEAVY INDUSTRIES Ltd. (Fuji Heavy Industries), and THE TOKYO ELECTRIC POWER COMPANY, INC.(TEPCO), have formally established "CHAdeMO Association" under the resolution of its general assembly held today. The five companies above have become its executive members.

CHAdeMO Association aims to increase quick-charger installations worldwide indispensable to further diffusion of electric vehicles and to standardize how to charge the vehicles. Last August, Nissan, Mitsubishi Motors, Fuji Heavy Industries, and TEPCO started a preparatory committee. Then, TOYOTA joined the committee and the Association has been established with the five companies as its executive members.

As of today, 158 business entities and government bodies including 20 foreign companies are expected to join the Association, such as automakers, electric utilities, charger manufacturers, charging service providers, and other supporting groups.
Electric vehicles(including Plug In Hybrid electric vehicles) can contribute enormously to reduction of CO2 emissions in the transportation sector. The Association is going to promote the electric vehicles through the efforts of technical improvements of quick chargers, standardization activities of charging methods, and international extension of our knowledge related to quick-charger installations.

General Outline of "CHAdeMO Association"

1. What is "CHAdeMO"?

"CHAdeMO" is a trade name of quick charging method that this Association is proposing globally as an industry standard.
"CHAdeMO" is an abbreviation of "CHArge de MOve", equivalent to "charge for moving", and is a pun for "O cha demo ikaga desuka" in Japanese, meaning "Let's have a tea while charging" in English.

This logo means smiles which associate a bright future and happiness with a combination of the circuit symbol of battery representing "Charge", and a dynamic curving line representing "Move". This ecological green is the color of "Green Tea".

2. Structure of the Association
President: Tsunehisa Katsumata (Chairman, THE TOKYO ELECTRIC POWER CO., INC.)

Daimler and BYD's new electric vehicle will be sold under a new brand

The electric vehicle partnership between Daimler and BYD will spawn an electric car sporting a new brand badge in China. The two companies will also set up a research and development center in Shenzhen to work together on this new vehicle. A timeline for the vehicle's introduction remains a secret (if it even exists). A fleet made up of 100 units of BYD's first electric vehicle, the e6, is operating in Shenzhen as taxis.

Earlier this month, Daimler chairman and head of Mercedes-Benz Dieter Zetsche said that Daimler's EV architecture and BYD's battery technology and electric drive systems were "a perfect match." In May, 2009, Daimler entered into a partnership with Tesla Motors.

Second-gen Toyota Prius

Toyota's full release is available after the jump, but the gist of it is that the things Sikes said happened don't seem to mesh with what the Toyota engineers were able to observe and analyze (earlier, we heard pretty much the same thing from the Department of Transportation). The engineers looked at the components involved and downloaded data from the vehicle, but did not find any diagnostic trouble codes. Then there's this:

Toyota engineers believe that it would be extremely difficult for the Prius to be driven at a continuous high speed with more than light brake-pedal pressure, and that the assertion that the vehicle could not be stopped with the brakes is fundamentally inconsistent with basic vehicle design and the investigation observations.


Toyota Offers Preliminary Findings From Technical Field Examination of Alleged 'Runaway Prius' in San Diego

Toyota Engineers Conclude Two Days of Investigation; Driver's Account Of Event Inconsistent With Initial Findings

SAN DIEGO, March 15 /PRNewswire/ -- At a press conference today, Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc. offered key preliminary findings of technical field examination and testing that were performed on March 10 and 11 regarding an alleged "runaway Prius" event dramatically covered by national news media.

Toyota engineers completed an investigation of the 2008 Prius driven by Mr. James Sikes that was the subject of a 911 emergency call on Monday, March 8. The driver reported that the vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed, the accelerator pedal was stuck, and that the vehicle was out of control and could not be stopped. The emergency operator repeatedly instructed the driver to shift the car into neutral and turn off the power button.

A California Highway Patrol officer intercepted the vehicle and instructed the driver to press firmly on the brakes, apply the emergency brake and turn off the car, at which time the Prius came to a safe stop.

While a final report is not yet complete, there are strong indications that the driver's account of the event is inconsistent with the findings of the preliminary analysis.

Toyota engineers employed data download/analysis, static and dynamic testing as well as thorough inspections of all relative components. In addition, they retraced the reported driving route taking into account driving time and accounts from the 911 recording.

The investigation revealed the following initial findings:

* The accelerator pedal was tested and found to be working normally with no mechanical binding or friction. It should be noted that the Prius is not subject to a recall for sticking accelerator pedals and the Prius component is made by a different supplier than the one recalled.
* The front brakes showed severe wear and damage from overheating. The rear brakes and parking brake were in good condition and functional.
* A Toyota carpeted floor mat of the correct type for the vehicle was installed but not secured to the retention hooks. It was not found to be interfering or even touching the accelerator pedal.
* The pushbutton power switch worked normally and shut the vehicle off when depressed for 3 seconds as the 911 operator advised Mr. Sikes to do.
* The shift lever also worked normally and neutral could be selected. The neutral position is clearly marked and can be easily engaged by moving the lever left to the "N" marking.
* There were no diagnostic trouble codes found in the power management computer, nor was the dashboard malfunction indicator light activated. The hybrid self-diagnostic system did show evidence of numerous, rapidly repeated on-and-off applications of both the accelerator and the brake pedals.
* After examination of individual components, the front brakes were replaced and the vehicle was test driven, during which the vehicle was observed to be functioning normally.
* During testing, the brakes were purposely abused by continuous light application in order to overheat them. The vehicle could be safely stopped by means of the brake pedal, even when overheated.

The Prius braking system uses both conventional hydraulic friction brakes and a regenerative braking system which switches the electric drive motors into brakes to generate electricity. The system features a sophisticated self-protection function which cuts engine power if moderate brake pedal pressure is applied and the accelerator pedal is depressed more than approximately 50 percent, in effect providing a form of "brake override."

This function, which is intended to protect the system from overload and possible damage, was found to be functioning normally during the preliminary field examination.

Toyota engineers believe that it would be extremely difficult for the Prius to be driven at a continuous high speed with more than light brake-pedal pressure, and that the assertion that the vehicle could not be stopped with the brakes is fundamentally inconsistent with basic vehicle design and the investigation observations.

These findings suggest that there should be further examination of Mr. Sikes account of the events of March 8.

NHTSA investigators were present during Toyota's examination, and are conducting their own investigation of the vehicle and its performance. Toyota's examination was also observed by a congressional staff member.