Green Fleet Roundup: Tesla’s Supercharger, Enterprise Pilots Fuel, Nissan Tests Leaf Battery
Tesla Motors unveiled its proprietary Supercharger, a network of high-speed charging stations that will be placed along well-traveled routes in North America. Six stations are currently active in California and will expand to more than 100 locations by 2015. The chargers are designed to give its Tesla Model S half a charge in about half an hour, which translates into 150 miles of range with its 85 kWh battery. The 90 kW supercharger delivers four and half times more electricity to the battery than twin chargers, the EV automaker said.
Enterprise Holdings, the owner and operator of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent a Car brands, is piloting a program with Mansfield Oil Company to use renewable synthetic diesel fuel in its airport shuttle buses at Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans and Houston Hobby Airport in Texas. Synthetic diesel reduces non-methane emissions 68 percent, NOx gases 33 percent and carbon monoxide 23 percent, according to the Southwest Research Institute.
Nissan posted an open letter to MyNissanLeaf.com to update owners on the company’s findings regarding battery capacity loss concerns brought up by a number of drivers in the Phoenix market. Nissan inspected seven vehicles and did not find any battery defects. The company acknowledged a small number of Leaf owners in Arizona are experiencing a greater than average battery capacity loss due to their unique usage cycle, which includes operating mileages that are higher than average in a high-temperature environment over a short period of time. Nissan also announced the creation of an independent global advisory board to help the company with communications.
Toyota might have triggered electric vehicle alarmism by announcing it will lower sales targets of its iQ EV hatchback to just 100 units of this all-electric vehicle, but the company has never pursued all-electric vehicles in earnest, according to an analysis by Lux Research. The research firm said the announcement reinforces that Toyota’s strategy is a rebuke to the investment by the US and other governments in EVs and subsidies.
Nopetro has opened its compressed natural gas facility in Tallahassee Florida, the largest CNG fueling operation on the East Coast of the US and part of a planned regional network aiming to make CNG a workable cost-saving option for government and commercial fleets as well as individual CNG vehicle owners. Nopetro has identified 18 additional cities in Florida and Georgia for its network of CNG fueling stations, including Atlanta and Miami. The Leon County School District, which is located near the Tallahassee facility, is converting it entire fleet of diesel-powered school buses to CNG to take advantage of the fueling alternative.
The board of Transport for London approved a production order for up to 600 of New Bus for London vehicles over the next four years, creating the largest fleet of hybrid business in Europe. The 600 buses represent a 200 percent increase in its current hybrid fleet. When the final batch of new buses is delivered in 2016 more than 1,000 hybrid buses will be in service on the streets of London. The first 30 buses will enter passenger service in April 2013.
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