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The Lohner-Porsche Mixte Hybrid was the first hybrid vehicle developed in 1899 by Ferdinand Porsche. It was a series hybrid using wheel hub motors mounted in each wheel, and powered by electricity delivered from both batteries and a small generator. In concept and general layout, it presaged the Volvo ReCharge Concept, the Chevrolet Volt, the Opel Flextreme, and other modern series hybrids.
This morning more follow up on the release of the Nissan LEAF electric car in sceptical America. While Europe , Japan, and China are more enthusiastic about the prospects for the arriving e-mobility age , in America for once there¶s a distinct lag in the public¶s p erception of progress. In part it¶s down to media advertising dominated by entrenched interests in the old way of doing things. In part I think it¶s because there is a lack of awareness of the many hands-on testing schemes just getting underway this year and next. We open with Enterprise Holdings adding 500 electric cars to their US fleet of 680,000 cars and 8,000 hybrids. They plan to offer other manufacturers models as they become available later next year.
Enterprise Orders 500 Nissan LEAF Electric Cars
By John Addison updated 9/14/10
Enterprise Rent-A-Car will be renting the Nissan LEAF electric car in key locations in 2011. In January it will start taking delivery of the LEAF with plans for 500 by the end of 2011. This is the first phase of its plans to offer electric vehicles (EVs) at select offices throughout its neighborhood network of more than 5,000 U.S. locations. To get more details, I had breakfast with Lee Broughton, director of sustainability for Enterprise Holdings, which owns and operates Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Alamo Rent A Car, National Car Rental, and WeCar Sharing. Enterprise Holdings will also offer customers electric vehicles from other manufacturers as they become available. Enterprise Holdings owns and operates the world¶s largest fleet of passenger vehicles. Mr. Broughton said, ³With airport and neighborhood locations within 15 miles of 90 percent of the U.S. population, our Enterprise Rent-A-Car offices are uniquely positioned to test the market viability of new alternative fuel technologies like the electric vehicle with daily commuters nationwide.´ The LEAF¶s 100 mile range per electric charge will meet the needs of most car rental customers. Enterprise Rent-A-Car initially will offer electric cars to customers in 8 markets where over 10,000 charge stations are being installed, including Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz.; Knoxville and Nashville, Tenn.; San Diego; Los Angeles; Portland, Ore.; and Seattle. Beginning this October 2010, Enterprise will start pilot tests with its first Nissan LEAF in Carson, California, where it is installing its first charge station. In 2011, charging stations will be installed at select locations, including several of the Enterprise ³hybrid branches´ ± nearly 100 designated locations which offer hybrids. Some charging will be from solar parking structures at some Enterprise locations. ---- Enterprise Holdings rents 8,000 hybrid vehicles to its individual and fleet customers. This is the world¶s largest hybrid fleet More. http://www.cleanfleetreport.com/clean-fleet-articles/enterprise-nissan-leaf-electric-car-rental/ Another entrant in the hybrid sector debuted earlier this month at the Paris Motor Show, though to start with it will only be available in Japan. The rest of us have to wait until sometime next year. My guess is that Enterprise will be adding it to their 8,000 hybrids at some point next year.
The new hybrid from Honda stable
In tune with its focus on continuing with combining hybrid attempts and smaller size, Honda is offering another hybrid ± the smallest and cheapest. This fall, Honda¶s Fit will be on sale in Japan priced at 1.6 million yen hoping to become an instant hit. Honda will be launching the cute little car in the 2010 Auto Show at Paris in October under the name
Honda Fit Hybrid. Its petrol version, called Jazz/Honda Fit is already in the markets. The Hybrid Fit will have the distinction of being the first hybrid subcompact car model marketed by Honda. ---- Reports indicate that Fit will be fitted with Honda¶s 1.3 litre/4 -cylinder petrol unit to work in tandem with a 9.7kW electric motor and is expected to generate about 97hp. Plans are afoot to launch the automatic (CVT) version as well as the manual Fit Hybrid version. All features like brake-energy regeneration that are usually found in Honda hybrids are found along with an Economy button for maximum fuel efficiency. ----- Making its advent in the 2010 Auto Show at Paris, the sales are expected to start by 2010 end or early 2011. http://www.alternative-energy-news.info/cheapest-green-car-honda-fit-hybrid/ In other hybrid developments Spain is taking the lead in hybrid, fast charge electric buses. While the writer suggests recharging at every bus stop, something very unlikely to be practical or needed, I can see where they¶re going with this idea for inner city bussing. If nothing else, most cities noise pollution levels look set to fall.
Opbrid introduces Busbaar; an overhead rapid charger for hybrid, electric buses
Oct 8th 2010 at 7:02PM When Spain-based Opbrid Transporte Sostenible S.L. chief executive officer, Roger Bedell, threw this quote into the company's press release regarding its overhead rapid-charging system for hybrid and electric buses, we couldn't help ourselves and immediately went digging for more: With this system, it is possible to change most of the urban bus systems in the world from petroleum to electricity simply by changing diesel buses to fast charged hybrids and installing these charging stations. We can do this now, and we need to do this now. Bedell, speaking about the company's revolutionary Busbaar ± an overhead, pantograph-based rapid-charging station for buses ± is ecstatic for good reason. You see, the Busbaar system leverages the rapid charge capability of lithiumtitanate batteries and employs an end-of-route high-power charging (250 kW) system that operates without plugging in. Its simplistic operation could forever change the bus industry. The Busbaar system functions like this: as buses pull in to either pick up or drop off passengers, the overhead charger swings into action. Within five to six minutes, the bus' charge is sufficient to continue on to the next stop where it repeats the process again. Opbrid suggests that properly outfitted hybrid and electric buses, charged by the Busbaar system, could handle the daily task of transporting people to-and-fro without using a drop of diesel. http://green.autoblog.com/2010/10/08/opbrid-introduces-busbaar-an-overhead-rapid-charger-for-hybrid/ Elsewhere, e-mobility is gearing up for the coming recharging build -out. I¶ll close for the day with under reported developments in Southeast Asia. Under reported in the UK, at least, possibly better reported elsewhere.
Bosch Establishing E-mobility Service Platform in Singapore; Open Platform Accommodates Third-party Integration
8 October 2010 The Bosch Group has successfully bid for a pilot project in Singapore that includes a software-based service platform for e-mobility, as well as the necessary charging and communication infrastructure that goes with it. The target customers and users of the platform are people who drive or rent electric vehicles. The internet-based eMobility Solution not only helps drivers find available charge spots, but also lets them reserve spots in advance. The eMobility Solution is designed to be open and flexible, so that additional business models and value-added services can be integrated, such as the option for drivers to reserve power from renewable sources at the corresponding ³eco-rates" or plan routes including alternative forms of transportation.
The many possibilities this integrated service platform offers are becoming especially apparent in megacities. The Singapore government has recognized this opportunity and is now working together with Bosch to make this pioneering technology a reality. ²Franz Fehrenbach, chairman of the Bosch board of management ----The service platform was specifically designed to be open enough to allow competing companies ²public utilities, for example²to participate as well, or other providers to integrate their charge spots. The approach deliberately encourages unrestricted competition for creative ideas relating to e-mobility. More. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2010/10/bosch-establishing-e-mobility-service-platform-in-singapore-open-platformaccommodates-third-party-integration-thebosch.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+g reencarcongress%2FTrBK+%2 8Green+Car+Congress%29 One way or another, e-mobility is arriving and will only increasingly get better. But to ³only get better´, will require many rare metals mines to get into profitable commercial production outside of China, to meet the coming demand. 2011 looks to be the crossover year in e-mobility, the year commercial operators of EVs get valuable feedback from the early adopters, and get feedback on the practical difficulties or running existing EVs. Like all new technologies, unexpected difficulties get exposed as they are adopted. Better ways of doing things become apparent rather than the way that was planned at the start. If we only match the rate of change o f the 1900s automakers, or only match the rate of change of th e first age of electrification 1885-1905, we are in for big change this decade, and big profits to the early rare metals miners who keep costs under control.
"If rare earth minerals were used up, how would the world and China deal with the problem?" Prime Minister Wen Jiabao .
Graeme Irvine. London. http://www.raremetalblog.com/
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