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Green Fleet Briefing: Firms Buy 15,600 Renaults; Prius Production Cut Back

Nineteen French companies, including GDF Suez, Air France, Veolia and France Telecom Orange, along with public procurement agency UGAP, have agreed to buy 15,637 Renault Kangoo Z.E. electric vans over four years.

UGAP launched the joint call for bids a year and a half ago. La Poste, which organized the group order for the companies, will take 10,000 of the vehicles. ERDF will take 1,500, UGAP will take 1,200, Veolia Environnement will take 510, GDF-Suez will take 450 and Spie will take 330.

Honda is cutting production in half at all six of its North American plants, because of supply disruption from the Thai floods. Toyota also said it will cut back on production, including to Prius factories, leading to expectations that availability of the hybrid car will drop.

Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus says a hybrid-electric version of its Super Great heavy-duty truck has shown a ten percent improvement in fuel efficiency compared to diesel-only vehicles, Fleet Owner reports. The truck’s hybrid technology is based on that used in the Canter Eco Hybrid light-duty truck.

General Motors announced it will invest $325 million in tools and equipment to support production of electric vehicle components at its Warren Transmission plant in Michigan. But it did not say which products these parts are destined for. The plant currently focuses on transmissions for the Chevrolet Traverse, Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia crossovers and the Chevrolet Malibu sedan.

Siemens hybrid drives business manager Thomas Orberger says hybrid vehicles’ future appeal will depend on their accommodating a variety of fuels, from gasoline and diesel to natural gas and hydrogen fuel cells, according to Fleet Owner. The company makes electric motors and drive trains.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car has added electric vehicles and charging stations to rental locations in five California cities: Santa Barbara, Palm Springs, Encino, Newport Beach and Riverside. These join its existing EVs and chargers in the cities of Ontario, Pasadena, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Monica and Thousand Oaks.

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