zero emission

Electric, News, City Car

Nissan's European electric taxi tally tops 500

A deal to supply a Hungarian taxi firm has brought the total number of Nissan electric taxis on European roads to over 550.

Green Lite Taxi Kft., based in Budapest, has purchased 65 Nissan LEAFs in a bid to become Hungary's largest zero emission fleet. 

Ors Levay, CEO of Green Lite Taxi Kft., which has installed seven quick chargers within the city to power the franchise, said: "We are delighted to be the first taxi company in Hungary to go 100 percent electric and the 199 km range means we only need to charge our taxis once during a shift. Along with the large savings on fuel and maintenance, the Nissan LEAF is very smooth to drive and almost silent, which means a more enjoyable journey for my customers and the drivers say typical 10 hour shifts are less tiresome."

Nissan delivered over 100 electric vehicles to taxi companies across Europe in 2015, making it the best-selling manufacturer of pure electric taxis. 

In Estonia, a LEAF owned by taxi company, Elektritakso, is said to have clocked up over 218,000 kilometres (135,459 miles) on its original battery pack, showcasing its durability and reliability.

In total, there are 80 electric taxis in Estonia, whilst in Lithuania, Nissan is set to deliver its first eight electric taxis to the Smart Taxi Company, based in the country's capital, Vilnius, for late 2015.

Nissan electric vehicles - which include the LEAF and the e-NV200, a passenger and light commercial vehicle - are becoming increasingly popular among European taxi businesses, with the Netherlands and the UK topping Nissan's e-taxi league table.

The newly launched 30 kWh LEAF is expected to be popular with taxi firms as it will enable drivers to travel 25 percent further than the standard vehicle.

Gareth Dunsmore, Director of Electric Vehicles for Nissan Europe, said: "We are so proud to be announcing this all-important milestone. Nissan has already delivered 30 percent more e-taxis this year than in 2014 and this figure is constantly increasing, as more taxi companies realise the benefits of becoming 100 percent electric."

Hatchback, News

Nissan debuts IDS Concept in Tokyo

Nissan has unveiled an autonomous, zero emission car - the Nissan IDS Concept - at the Tokyo Motor Show.

Nissan Intelligent Driving is the brand's concept of autonomous drive technology, and represents what Nissan says next-generation vehicles should be. "Nissan Intelligent Driving improves a driver's ability to see, think and react. It compensates for human error, which causes more than 90 percent of all car accidents. As a result, time spent behind the wheel is safer, cleaner, more efficient and more fun." said Nissan president and CEO Carlos Ghosn.

Even though it is a hatchback, the IDS Concept's long wheelbase enables comfortable seating space for four adults. But the cabin becomes even more spacious when the driver selects Piloted Drive. In this mode, the steering wheel recedes into the centre of the instrument panel and a large flat screen comes out. All four seats rotate slightly inward, making conversation even easier. Various driving-related operations are handled by artificial intelligence (AI) yet the car's performance - from accelerating to braking to cornering - imitates the driver's own style and preferences.

In Manual Drive mode, the driver has control with the linear acceleration and cornering described as 'pure and exhilarating'. Yet behind the scenes, the IDS Concept continues to provide assistance with sensors continually monitoring conditions and in the event of imminent danger, the concept will take evasive action. The roomy interior transforms with all seats facing forward. The steering wheel, which Nissan says takes styling cues from reins for horse riding, appears along with driving meters and a heads-up display that shows route and other driving information. Interior lighting switches to blue. Nissan's use of hollow-structure A-pillars reduces blind spots.

In addition to learning, the car's AI communicates with information ranging from traffic conditions to the driver's schedule to personal interests.

On the exterior, lights and displays convey to pedestrians and others the car's awareness of its surroundings and signals its intentions. The car's silver side body line, for example, is actually an LED that Nissan calls the 'Intention Indicator'. When pedestrians or cyclists are nearby, the strip shines red, signalling that the car is aware of them. Another electronic display, which faces outside from the instrument panel, can flash messages such as "After you" to pedestrians.

The height of the full carbon fibre body was constrained to 1,380 mm, minimising aerodynamic drag (Cd). Positioning the tyres close to the corners of the body maximises interior space while enabling a wrap-around cabin design. Large-diameter wheels offer 'high-performance and sportiness', but used very thin 175-size tyres to minimise air and roll resistance. Powered by a high-capacity 60 kWh battery, and combined with the its aerodynamics, low stance, flowing form and reduced weight due to its full-carbon-fibre body, the vehicle is designed to also meet the need to drive long distances.

By 2020, Nissan expect to see its Intelligent Driving technology deployed on cars in cities around the world.

Electric, Hybrid, Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car, News, Saloon

Boris Johnson confirms hydrogen Toyota for TfL

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has confirmed the Toyota Mirai, the world's first hydrogen fuel cell saloon, is coming to the capital.

As part of his work to pioneer use of cleaner technology for the future of the capital's transport and infrastructure, Transport for London (TfL) will be in the first group of UK Mirai customers.

The mayor visited Toyota's headquarters today during a three-day trade mission to Japan and took the opportunity to test drive Mirai for himself. He said: "It is fantastic that London will benefit from these new state-of-the-art hydrogen vehicles. By embracing this technology of the future, we aim to consolidate hydrogen's role as a practical alternative fuel for the 21st century and beyond. I am sure that Transport for London will provide the ideal environment for us to see everything Mirai can do and, in doing so, take another great step towards improving air quality in our city and protecting the health of Londoners."

The mayor also discussed London's position as a market for alternative fuel cars, with Toyota senior management. Paul Van der Burgh, Toyota (GB) PLC President and Managing Director said: "We have been delighted to welcome the Mayor of London to our headquarters in Japan to see for himself Toyota's commitment to sustainable mobility. Toyota believes in hydrogen as a key enabler for building a future zero emissions society and we applaud the mayor's commitment to embracing new technology in his mission to make London a leading global city for low-emission, low-carbon transport.

"The success of hydrogen will require constructive dialogue and action, bringing together industry, national governments and city authorities like London to share and develop skills and experience and to communicate the benefits that can be delivered to business and to individuals. Our Mirai fuel cell vehicle is a milestone in the history of the motor car and opens up unprecedented opportunities for cleaner, sustainable transport. Transport for London and the city it serves will provide the ideal environment for Mirai to demonstrate the significant potential of hydrogen as a practical alternative fuel for the next century and beyond."

Transport for London sees Mirai as an exciting opportunity that the mayor is keen to exploit. The TfL Mirai cars and the development of a hydrogen refuelling infrastructure are considered important first steps towards the wider adoption of the technology.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car, News, SUV

Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell breaks zero-emissions record

Two eco-pioneers have taken real-world zero-emission motoring to a new level by driving a Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell 2,383 kilometres - 1481 miles - in 24 hours.

Arnt-Goran Hartvig (Sports Scientist) and Marius Bornstein (Master of Physics) travelled around the clock on public roads in Germany, emitting nothing but water vapour from the fuel cell electric vehicle. To achieve this distance, the two Norwegians covered the 300-plus kilometre route between Vatenfall's hydrogen station in HafenCity, Hamburg and a Shell hydrogen station in Sachsendamm, Berlin as many times as possible in 24 hours. Refuelling the car takes as little as three minutes, enabling the drivers to maximise the distance covered.

Their route included city driving as well as high-speed roads, testing the suitability of the Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell for everyday use in all situations. "We wanted to see what the combination of a state of art fuel cell electric vehicle and ditto hydrogen refuelling station are capable of today. The result is stunning", stated the team after accomplishing their journey.

This accomplishment by the duo is the latest in a series of challenges to showcase the potential of fuel cell technology. In June last year the two chose the ix35 Fuel Cell to travel a record 700 kilometres on one tank of hydrogen. They have also driven from Oslo to Monaco, refuelling only at the hydrogen stations already installed along the 2,260-kilometre route.

The ix35 Fuel Cell is fitted with a 100 kW (136 ps) electric motor, allowing it to reach a maximum speed of 160 km/h. It produces no harmful emissions - only water vapour comes from the tailpipe - and has an official driving range of almost 600 kilometres on one tank of hydrogen.

Thomas Schmid, Chief Operating Officer at Hyundai Motor Europe, commented: "This endurance drive highlights both the practicality of our fuel cell electric vehicle's long driving range and the environmental credentials of our technology. Our Fuel Cell programme has already delivered many world firsts, so it is fitting that the Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell has once again delivered a new benchmark."

Prices for the Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell vehicle start from £53,105 OTR with part-funding from the HyFive project - saving customers nearly £15,000 off the un-funded on-the-road-price of £67,985.

Electric, Hybrid, News, Saloon, Estate Car

Volkswagen reveals new Passat GTE plug-in hybrid

Volkswagen has launched the new Passat GTE plug-in hybrid.

Following the Golf GTE, the new hybrid Passat is available in Saloon and Estate variants. Adding zero-emission to a long-distance touring car, VW describes the Passat GTE as a car with 'superb system output of 160 kW / 218 PS' as well as frugal NEDC fuel consumption of 147mpg and 12.2 kWh/100 km (Estate: 12.4 kWh). The Passat GTE also features an all-electric range of up to 31 miles.

Under normal operating conditions the new Passat GTE begins its journey in all-electric and thus emission-free mode. This E-Mode can also be activated at the push of a button, for example towards the end of a journey as you enter a city. In cities like London, drivers are therefore exempt from the usual congestion charge.

Volkswagen says the Passat GTE is an independent trim line. The high-tech model's 'extensive standard features' include LED headlights (for main and dipped beam), Driver Alert System, Automatic Post-Collision Braking, the Front Assist ambient traffic monitoring system including City Emergency Braking function, a rain sensor, ParkPilot for front and rear, chrome trim on the side windows and comfort seats (in the front).

In addition, there are elements of individualisation that have been conceived solely for the Passat GTE. These include at the front a specific chrome radiator grille unit with an integrated blue stripe (the colour of Volkswagen electric motoring) a completely redesigned bumper with a C-shaped LED daytime running light signature and 17-inch Montpellier alloy wheels.

On the inside, the interior has also been 'conceptually aligned to the new drive system'. The Media infotainment system features a dedicated menu matrix to the functions and displays specific to the plug-in hybrid's drive system while standard details such as the blue ambient lighting, the multi-function leather steering wheel with blue decorative stitching, a GTE-specific gear knob with blue stitching and the seats, likewise with a matching blue basic structure.

The Passat GTE and Passat GTE Estate will arrive on the European market this autumn, prices have yet to be announced.