The SMH has a big selection of reports from the Frankfurt motor show, highlighting a slew of electric car and high fuel efficiency vehicle designs on show. First up, Renault's small flock of new electric cars - .
Renault plans to have four electric vehicles on sale by 2012. The French car maker previewed four electric concept vehicles at this week's Frankfurt motor show and says all four will make it into full-scale production. The vehicles follow on from the launch of the Leaf electric car released by Renault's Japanese partner Nissan earlier this year. They include a two-seater city runabout, two conventional cars and a van. The cocoon-shaped runabout uses a 15kW electric motor to produce similar acceleration to a 125cc motorbike, although it has a top speed of just 75km/h.
Volkswagon are displaying a high efficiency diesel engined Polo that beats the current Toyota Prius hybrid on fuel efficiency - VW reveals Prius-beating Polo.
Volkswagen chairman Ulrich Hackenberg said the Polo Bluemotion, a diesel-engined version of the compact five and three-door hatch revealed over the past few weeks, would use 3.3 litres of fuel per 100km and emit 87 grams of carbon dioxide a kilometre. The Toyota Prius, currently Australia's greenest car, uses 3.9L/100km and produces 89g/km CO2. Dr Hackenberg said the Polo was the new world leader for fuel economy in its class.
Hyundai are planning to release an EV next year - Hyundai to trial electric car in 2010.
The Korean car maker, which recently launched the world's only LPG hybrid vehicle, confirmed it would begin a limited production run of the Hyundai i10 Electric in 2010. The i10 Electric is powered by lithium ion batteries and has a driving range of 160km on a single charge. It weighs just 1000kg, courtesy of extensive use of drive-by-wire technology and electrically operated pumps and pulleys in the engine.
And to close, Peugeot are also getting in on the tiny electric car act as well - Peugoet BB1: shorter than a Smart Fortwo.
The award for trying hardest at this year's Frankfurt motor show has to go to French maker Peugeot and its BB1 micro-car. Similar to the design strategy employed for other light cars already on sale, the BB1 has four wheels pushed right to each corner. The body consists of an upright box, but it is how Peugeot has packaged it that makes all the difference. It's an electric car. And it seats four people in a body that measures just 2.5 metres long, making it shorter than a two-seater Smart Fortwo. ...
Solar panels formed into the roof help recharge the BB1's batteries, as well as running the air-conditioning system while the car is parked so that it's not too hot, or cold, once the driver returns.