The lumbering, polluting trucks that have collected garbage from French streets for years will soon become a noisy memory once a new generation of super quiet, all-electric vehiclesstarts making the rounds next week.
The zero-emission, made-in-France trucks are still large and bulky, but they promise to pack as much punch as their cousins with a vastly reduced impact on the environment and a relatively inoffensive, low humming engine sound.
All existing trucks– which operate on dual electric and thermal motors – will eventually be replaced by the new vehicles, of which 11 will be in operation by the end of this year, according to SITA France, a subsidiary of waste management company Suez Environnement.
“The engineers faced a real challenge of how to make it all work together – how they would be able to minimize overall electrical usage and come up with the vehicle that we have here,” said SITA industrial director, Cyril Fraissinet.
In the works for the past three years, the all-white trucks with the words “clean vehicle” proudly displayed on their flanks were developed by French company PVI, which makes electrical vehicles for industry, and Semat, a division of Zoeller that makes collection vehicles.
The new garbage trucks are fully computer-operated and include a screen inside the front cabin so that the driver can see colleagues working behind the truck.
Of the 80 vehicles, 50 will be hybrid trucks while 30 will be electric vans. Hybrid and electric vehicle developer Azure Dynamics is manufacturing the vehicles, with Ford Motor Company providing the chassis. The hybrid trucks will feature Azure’s hybrid powertrain into the Ford E450.
Each van can run 80 miles in a single charge, has zero tailpipe emissions and is “virtually silent” when driven.
The trucks can shift to electric drive mode at low vehicle speeds and use regenerative breaking. The conversion reportedly improves fuel economy by 40 percent and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 30 percent.
A variety of green urban mobility solutions are hitting the news market. After recent confirmation by MINI for its electric scooter concept at the Paris Auto Show, Daimler seems ready to expand its Smart range of electric scooters. Although further details have not been unveiled yet, what seems to be sure is that the eScooter For Two as most likely will be called, it would be powered by lithium ion batteries with a range of 60 miles.
Highest priority is placed on safety and the electric scooter is expected to be equipped with a specially designed airbag to protect the rider against injury in the eventuality of sustaining a hit. The firm has already partnered up with Renault to produce the replacement for the ‘For Two’ in 2012, and will add a larger For Four version soon later on.
Chinese electronics manufacturer Haier unveiled a prototype human-powered washing machine at IFA 2010. The system includes an exercise bike with a lithium-ion battery that collects energy as the user pedals. Collected energy is then used to power a front-loading washing machine without drawing any power from the grid.
Nissan and Hawaii have agreed to build an electric vehicle charging infrastructure network across the state to boost E.V. deployment.
Nissan will guarantee a steady stream of the Leaf to the state and will work with dealers to ensure smooth selling and lease.
Additionally, Hawaii has put in place a $4,500 state tax credit on the purchase of electric vehicles and a $500 state tax credit on the purchase and installation of home charging stations. That incentive coupled with a $7,500 tax credit for electric vehicles coming from the federal purse could significantly reduce the cost of the Nissan Leaf from the suggested retail price of $32,780 to $20,780.
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Nearly half of the more than 5 million electric vehicle charging stations expected worldwide by 2015 will happen in China, according to Pike Research.
Six companies have formed China’s first international alliance for promoting the electrification of both private and public fleet vehicles, with a supporting charging infrastructure. The Sustainable New Energy International Alliance at the time, is consisted of three United States-based and three local businesses:
I.B.M. Corporation representing, network information systems and smart grids
Ohio-based Eaton Corporation which specializes in vehicle power systems, charging stations and batteries
Top local companies are lithium-ion battery maker CITIC Guan, electric motor provider Zhongshan Broad-ocean Motor Co. and Beiqi Foton Motor Company, China’s largest commercial vehicle producer.
The Ford Focus Electric, will make its debut in the United States late in 2011 and in Europe in 2012.
According to sources the Ford Focus Electric, will be powered by an advanced lithium-ion battery that utilizes heated and cooled liquid to help maximize battery life and gas-free driving range.
The new thermal management technology will help the electric vehicles operate efficiently in a wide range of ambient temperatures.