Fluence ZE cancelled: The production of the electric Renault Fluence has been stopped due to low sales. The battery-swap version had already come to a halt in May 2013, following the closing of Better Place. The re-badged version Samsung SM3, sold in South Korea only, remains in production.
Hybrid minivans: Toyota launched redesigned versions of its Noah and Voxy vans in Japan. The hybrid versions are set to follow in February at a price of 2.85 million Yen (27,300 dollars). Both vans feature the Prius hybrid system. The battery is located in the front cabin, leaving more space for cargo in the rear.
Kia Soul EV exposed: A prototype of the upcoming Korean electric car has been spotted with just little camouflage during winter testing. The Soul EV resembles its conventional parent, except for redesigned bumpers and indicators. The electric Kia is expected in Europe and the U.S. later this year at a price of around 22,000 euros (about 29,800 dollars).
Toyota stays cleanest: The Kraftfahrtbundesamt or KBA (Germany’s Federal Motor Vehicle and Transport Authority) ranks the Japanese as the cleanest high-volume manufacturer on the German market. Toyota’s average carbon emissions in 2013 was 121.2 g/km per car, which is 4.7% less than in 2012. The reduction is a result of the increased demand for hybrids (up 41% from 2012) which made up 28% of Toyota’s sales in Germany last year.
auto-medienportal.net (In German)