Cleantech Automotive: Volume 2: Pre-Geneva Motor Show

by David Heyerman on February 18, 2009


  • Nissan – The above pic is a teaser shot of Nissan’s new Qazana, slated to be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show this March.  The only thing we know about the concept thus far is that it’s “assertive and sporty.”  Most recently, Nissan put up a countdown to build anticipation for their first electric car release in the US 17 months down the line.  Unfortunately, that’s the only real positive news that’s come out of Nissan within the last couple weeks.  Back in January, I reported that Nissan was planning to roll out over a billion in investment for hundred’s of thousands of EV’s by no earlier than 2011.  However, due to the current economy, that goal has been put on temporary hold.  In even worse news, Nissan announced a fiscal third quarter loss of $810 million last Monday and plans to layoff 8.5% of it’s worforce (215,000 people) by March 30th, 2010.  [photo via: ABG]
  • Toyota – GM’s been the world’s top auto manufacturer since the 1930′s…..well, not anymore.  Toyota just took over the coveted spot reporting 8.97 million vehicles sold in 2008 as compared to GM’s reported 8.35 million.


  • GM – Speak of the American failure giant, they’ve had a few worthwhile clean tech announcements over the last few weeks.  One being the above teaser shot of the Opel Ampera, or the european version of the Chevy Volt.  Although not fully official, the extended-range EV will be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show.  They’ve also announced a planned $30 million investment towards a battery assembly plant for the Volt.  [photo via: GM]


  • Honda – The other Japanese giant just announced a nice little milestone; their 300,000th hybrid sold.  Hats off to Honda.  In other news, Honda says it plans to have a hybrid to market by 2010 based off the above CR-Z concept, which has been seen around since 2007.


  • BMW – Looks like BMW’s got the Prius in it’s sites with their new 1-series 116d.  The diesel powered, 2-liter coupe brings back an awesome 53 MPG, still pushing out 116 horsepower.  The 116d is BMW’s most efficient car ever.  [photo via: EcoGeek]


  • Shelby – At first, Shelby had some outstanding claims for their electric supercar, the Aero EV.  They said it would have a 150-220 mile range, put out 1000hp with 800lb-ft of torque, 0-60 in 2.5 sec, and will recharge within 10 min.  Yea, right (said the interweb chorus).  Well, the recharge claim has been revised slightly, and refers to a 10 min charge on 220V, not the normal 110V outlet.  Even more impressive is the car includes a “Charge on the Run” in-car charging system, pretty much eliminating the need to go to a battery swapping location, which is nice.  Who knows really how much truth there is to any of these claims, but I’m sure time will tell.  [photo via: ABG]


  • Tesla – In case you missed last week’s post, here’s the first official teaser shot of Tesla’s four-door Model S.
  • Chrysler – The failing US manufacturer just asked the US government for an additional $2 billion.  In exchange, they say they’ll be releasing 24 new cars within the next 48 months, of which, atleast one will be pure EV.  I say, just quit already.
  • VW – CEO of Volkswagen, Dr. Martin Winterkorn, wants to be the first to bring afforable EV’s to the mass market.  That’s why he recently signed a letter of intent with Toshiba to co-develop power electronics and electric drive systems.
  • Aptera -  The plug-in hybrid manufacturer finally rolled out it’s first production vehicle, although it was seriously delayed.  They also released full technical specs regarding the aerodynamic coupe.  Things we didn’t know until now are the car comes with an optional rear-view cam, DVD based nav system, a proximity-unlock/auto-start smart key, and seats made of recycled plastic.  Most importantly, they announced the drag coefficient stats coming in at .15, which is incredibly impressive compared to the Prius’s .24.
  • Wal-Mart – Everyone’s worst nightmare might be coming true.  Wal-Mart and Sams Club are showing immense interest in selling electric cars direct to consumers straight out of their big-box retail locations.
  • Renault and PSA Peugeot Citroën – In the French version of the auto bailout, Renault and PSA Peugeot Citroën are set to receive $3.8 billion in loans each from the French Government.
  • Ferrari – Although it’s near impossible to label Ferrari as a clean tech car producer, atleast the manufacturing part is getting a little green.  Ferrari recently announced a rooftop solar setup at their Engine Mechanical Machining facility in Maranello, Italy that consists of 1,075 solar modules that push out 213,985 kWh of power per year.
  • MIT – A cool clean tech automotive development recently came out of MIT.  They’ve now developed an electricity generating shock absorber.  The researchers claim adding the system could potentially raise fuel efficiency by 10%.

Into Electric Cars, check out these related posts:

Frustration Alert: Tesla Unveils First Official Model S Teaser Shot

Detroit Auto Show Paints Itself Electric, Green

2009 Cleantech Automotive: Volume 1: Pre-Detroit Auto Show

Mission Motors Drops The Tesla Of Street Bikes

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