Tuesday, August 24, 2010

EV Buyers, Hemp Car, Diesel Hybrids

Some thoughts for the day after skimming through green car news coverage:

Car Buyers: Wanna test drive an electric car? Join the crowd - 40% of consumers taking a survey say they do, and 42% will be following news reports on EVs. Awareness of the various types of alternative vehicles remains low - 32% report they are familiar, or very familiar, with hybrid vehicles, and only about a quarter are familiar with electric-powered vehicles. Marketing EVs requires a certain portion devoted to education in a style that will be consumed and retained. Dealers will be part of the learning curve; sales reps will need to sound accurate and informed about range anxiety, home charging setup, lifecycle costs, incentives, funding, and remarketing. That's a lot to learn and communicate.

Legal Hemp: Ford Motor Co. is taking pride in commitment to sustainability through its supply chain mandates and manufacturing cars with recyclable materials. But what about hemp? Hemp comes from cannabis, as does marijuana. Ford hasn't mentioned buying into hemp, but a Canadian company is committed to it. A car called the Kestrel will make its marketing debut during the September EV 2010 VÉ Conference and Trade Show in Vancouver. The Kestrel is an electric 4 passenger compact vehicle, designed and engineered by Motive. The body of the car is made from impact resistant bio composite material from hemp mats. Perhaps it's more doable to work with hemp in Canada?

Diesel Hybrid: As mentioned in Green Machine Digest, diesel is doing well at fueling stations these days as truckers get back on the road to do business, and the possibility that clean diesel cars are growing in popularity. But what if you had a hybrid electric vehicle with a diesel engine? That could be very efficient in fuel economy and reliable performance. Peugeot is trying this out with what it calls the world’s first production diesel-electric hybrid crossover utility vehicle. The 3008 HYbrid 4 sports a 163-horsepower 2.0-liter diesel engine and a 27 kilowatt peak (37 hp) electric motor, which could be getting 61.8 mpg, according to Autopia.

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