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Richard230
29 January 2011, 1621
That is the name of a new (hopefully permanent) column in my newspaper's "Drive" automotive section. Under the SHIFT title it says: "from hybrids, technology, new vehicles and the environment, to saving money at the pump".

So here is what was discussed today:

1. A long paragraph about Olivier Chalouchi, a 31-year old Silicon Valley entrepreneur who was the first person in the world to take delivery of a Nissan Leaf. He used to commute 10 miles to work and back on a homemade electric bicycle. Now he says that with the Leaf he can take his two sons to school before heading off to work.

2. 160 Chevy Volts have left the factory and are arriving at dealerships in California, Texas, Washington DC and New York. A description of the Volt follows.

3. The first 15 "Think" all-electric cars to be built in Elkhart, Ind., have been delivered to the State of Indiana for use in its fleet of government vehicles. The Think City is a three-door, four-seat, plug-in EV, designed in Sweden, specifically for fleet applications and urban users. It has a top speed of 68 mph and a claimed in-town range of up to 100 miles on a single charge. It can accelerate to 30 mph in 6.5 seconds and to 50 mph in "a leisurely" 16 seconds. 300 Think City EVs were to be built at the plant by the end of 2010 and there are plans to build 2,500 vehicles for the US market in 2011.

4. Rental companies are purchasing electrical vehicles to add to their fleets in select US markets in December and they have plans to make them available to customers early this year. Hertz plans to make 500-1000 all-electric cars available for rent by the end of the year. Enterprises says that it will take possession of 500 Evs this month. Both firms have said that the Nissan Leaf will be added to their fleets, while Hertz has also said that it will purchase an unspecified number of Mitsubishi i-MiEVs and Chevy Volts, as well as electric cars from Coda and Smart. The Hertz "Connect By Hertz" program will see the vehicles rented at a yet-to-be-disclosed hourly rate in an urban car-sharing type of arrangement.

EVcycle
29 January 2011, 1731
Thanks for the info!

Richard230
19 February 2011, 1216
The "SHIFT" column has returned to my newspaper today. It had two interesting items:

Nissan has developed a concept car called the ESFLOW, which builds upon the Leaf's technology. In this case though, the car is a small sleek two passenger hardtop sports car. It has been designed from the outset as an EV. Andy Palmer, a senior VP at Nissan, says that the ESFLOW "addresses the misconception that living ecologically must be an act of austerity and that to save one's environmental conscience, sacrifices must be made". (I assume he hasn't seen the Tesla, yet.) The rear drive car is said to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in less than five seconds.

Another item mentions that tire manufacturer, Continental, has developed a satellite-activated sensor for electric vehicles that will immediately shut off the high-voltage battery in the event of a collision. This is designed to protect emergency-service responders against the risk of electric shock when working around the vehicle. The evSAT acceleration sensor detects a collision and passes the information to the battery-management system, which then shuts off the HV system in the car.