Milton Keynes, A2B, Naperville, AAA.
Let’s take the Pod: Funded by the UK government with 1.5 million pounds (2.47m dollars), 20 of these all-electric, autonomous driving machines on rails will be installed in Milton Keynes in 2015. Each Pod seats two and will transport people from the train station into the city centre. If the trial is successful, the government plans on putting 100 of the pods in service by 2017.
A2B takes over Electric Bicycle Network: The latter had counted some 5,000 e-bike rentals in the UK per year, especially to tourists in national parks. With the acquisition, A2B, an electric bicycle brand by Hero Cycles, hopes to extend cooperations with other tourism networks and therefore rental business of its e-bikes in the UK.
Naperville to get two new charging stations: Due to high demand, EV drivers have to queue before they can get power at the only existing charging point in the small town in Illinois. Even after a 1.50 dollar charging fee was introduced in 2013, the station remains overrun. The local government will now install two further chargers.
Extreme weather range: According to a new study by the American roadside assistance firm AAA, the range of EVs can drop by almost 60% in extreme cold and drop by 33% in extreme heat. In their research centre, the Nissan LEAF, Ford Focus EV and a Mitsubishi i-MiEV were put to the test.
The New Fisker, Chevrolet, Saleen, A2B, Cadillac.
The New Fisker: This is the name under which Wanxiang will start selling the plug-in hybrid “as soon as possible.” Production of the Karma is to be restarted in Finland while all planned Fisker models like the Atlantic, Surf Shooting Brake and the Sunset convertible are said to be launched eventually.
autoweek.com, greencarreports.com, thenewfisker.com (new website)
Chevy Volt redesign: Industry insiders believe GM to launch an update of its Volt in the U.S. by 2015. It will possibly feature a new front-wheel drive platform while the body style is not expected to change too much.
edmunds.com via electric-vehiclenews.com
Saleen to enter China: The automotive manufacturer has chosen GreenTech Automotive (GTA) as its distributor in China. The US-based GTA will start selling in spring and offer the full Saleen range in China. Saleen has recently made the news when it teamed up with AC Propulsion to work on a new electric sports car (we reported).
Review Alva+ e-bike: This model of the A2B company is a hybrid between e-bike and pedelec, combining pedal-assist and throttle operation. While Jason Fogelson concludes that the Alva+ is “a very attractive form of alternative green transportation” he cannot see it outperform a scooter or motorcycle yet.
The Caddy ELR is more than just a luxury version of the Volt: John Voelcker joins the club of reviewers who admit that GM has launched a “very stylish coupe with a luxurious interior” but still thinks it overpriced by as much as 30,000 dollars, esp. as its electric drive is “just not there” in freezing temperatures.