September 13, 2005

Word for the week: hybrid

The word for this week seems to be hybrid. I can think of several hybrid news items off the top of my head: (1) BMW going in with DaimlerChrysler and GM; (2) Suzuki looking at selling a hybrid version of the Grand Vitara in the US; and (3) Volkswagen saying that it won't tie-up with anyone in Europe on hybrid technology, but is happy to work with SAIC on a hybrid vehicles for China.

One thing that is a little puzzling re Volkswagen is that it seemed to be on course to work with Porsche on hybrids - something which would also make sense if the idea is to perhaps utilise the technology on Touareg/Cayenne. Maybe the VW-Porsche discussions are still going on and the two companies cooperate so closely (they always have done) that working with Porsche still constitutes 'go-it-alone'. Or has Porsche simply decided not to bother with hybrids? Or even, whisper it, cut to the quick and work with hybrid market-leading Toyota?

Anyway, that's me done for the week. Beer o'clock and we're still enjoying a very pleasant 'Indian summer' in England, so I'm outta here for some fresh early evening air. I'll be at The Oval in London tomorrow (with some old friends, not a corporate do) to watch the rather big cricket match that is on here (football? what's that?). Should be good.

GERMANY: Volkswagen and Porsche to team up on hybrids - reports

06:13 AM in Hybrid | Permalink

February 02, 2005

How Hybrid Cars Work

Have you pulled your car up to the gas pump lately and been shocked by the high price of gasoline? As the pump clicked past $20 or $30, maybe you thought about trading in that SUV for something that gets better mileage. Or maybe you're worried that your car is contributing to the greenhouse effect. Or maybe you just want to have the coolest car on the block.

The auto industry now has the technology that might answer all of these needs. It's the hybrid car, and a few manufacturers are selling their versions in the United States. You're probably aware of hybrid cars because they've been in the news a lot. In fact, most automobile manufacturers have announced plans to manufacture their own versions -- you can even expect some hybrid SUVs to hit the streets this year.


06:08 AM in Hybrid | Permalink

November 30, 2004

California Congressman Introduces Federal Bill to Grant Hybrids HOV Access

A bill that would grant a special exemption for solo drivers of hybrid vehicles to travel in HOV lanes was introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday.

Sponsored by Rep. Brad Sherman [D-CA], the measure is the final step needed to allow a California law permitting hybrid access to go into effect. Though signed into law September 24 by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the state law is invalid because Federal rules govern HOV use.

Because Federal funds are used to build HOV lanes, states are not permitted to circumvent stipulations that only vehicles with two or more passengers are allowed to travel on them. While the state of Virginia does allow hybrid vehicles such as the Toyota Prius and Honda Civic in its HOV lanes, the practice has been recognized as being in violation of federal law.

California’s law would allow to hybrid vehicles that get at least 45 miles per gallon to have HOV access, and limits the statewide number of permits to 75,000. The law also allows state officials to close access on HOV lanes deemed to be too crowded.

06:02 AM in Hybrid, News | Permalink