Paul Ross demonstrates how to use an electric car charger

TV and Radio journalist Paul Ross demonstrates how a 50kw rapid charger works and how easy it is to switch to electric driving.    

Companies could save £350,000 by switching 10% of their fleets to electric

Companies could cut the running costs of their fleets by an average of £350,000 and reduce CO2 emissions by more than 5% (830 tonnes) each year by replacing 10% of their current vehicles with electric models. The potential savings were identified in a British Gas study, conducted by TRL, the UK’s Transport Research Laboratory. The report found that converting 50% of a fleet to electric vehicles would result in an average annual cost saving of £1,753,000 for companies and reduce CO2 emissions in Britain by around 26% (2,320,000 tonnes).   The report found that some sectors can achieve greater benefits than others from a 10% switch to electric vehicles. Fleets in the financial services sector stand to make the highest average fleet saving at £484,000 a year and could cut annual CO2 emissions by 5.7%, or 800 tonnes.   The top five sectors that…

Indianapolis to replace fleet with electric, hybrid vehicles

Indianapolis intends by 2025 to become the first major U.S. city to replace its entire fleet with electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.   Mayor Greg Ballard signed an executive order Wednesday mandating that the city replace its current sedans with electric vehicles. The city will also work with the private sector to phase in snow plows, fire trucks and other heavy vehicles that run on compressed natural gas, and it will ask automakers to develop a plug-in hybrid police car because one doesn’t yet exist.   The city hopes to complete the switch by 2025.   Ballard hopes that in making the switch, Indianapolis will help the country reduce its dependence on foreign oil. City spokesman Marc Lotter said the mayor considers it an issue of national security.   “The United States’ current transportation energy model, driven by oil, exacts an enormous cost financially…

Honda developing hybrid, electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles

Honda has outlined the technology that will power future low- and zero-emission models, but remains committed to developing diesel engines for European customers.   And the company wants to give its future low-CO2 models a more sporty feel, with its next small hybrid model likely to feature a dual-clutch gearbox instead of a CVT.   Honda is about to launch a 1.6-litre diesel engine in the Civic, developed under the company’s Earth Dreams Technology banner, but it also has a range of alternative technology in the pipeline, including petrol-electric hybrids, battery electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell cars.   Toshihiko Nonaka, in charge of automobile operations at Honda’s R&D centre in Japan, denied that Honda had been late in producing a range of diesel engines for its medium-sized cars following the launch of its first 2.2-litre diesel in 2004, but explained that the manufacturer…

Renault responds to announcement on BiK incentives for cleaner vehicles

This week’s announcement in the Autumn Statement that the Government is re-considering BiK incentives for take-up of ultra low-emission vehicles has been greeted by Renault sales director Darren Payne, who has added however that a longer-term view needs to be taken on the duration of incentives.   The Government has said it will ‘consider the case for providing time-limited incentives through company car tax to encourage the purchase and development of ultra-low emission vehicles, while ensuring that all company cars are subject to a fair level of taxation’.   The u-turn has come about following the announcement in this year’s Budget of sharp hikes in BiK for cars with CO2 emissions of 95g/km and under from 2015/16.   In response, Darren Payne, sales director, Renault UK, said: ‘Renault welcomes the spirit of the move to reconsider BiK on ULEVs. However the details will be…

The Fiat 500 goes electric…

There’s a buzz surrounding this little Italian city car at the 2012 LA Auto Show – and it’s not just from the car’s new all-electric powertrain. The Fiat 500e is making its world debut in America, mixing retro style with futuristic technology.   The Italian manufacturer has replaced the standard combustion engine – be it petrol or diesel, two- or four-cylinders – with a lithium-ion battery.   The drive unit produces 111hp, although Fiat has not yet released any performance figures. It’ll major on nippiness around town – given the electric motor’s maximum torque is available from just 1rpm it should be pretty swift in the city and pokey enough to zip into that gap in traffic.   The car’s average range stands at 80 miles on a full charge, rising to 100 miles in urban driving thanks to the added input of extra…