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Fleet Roundup: Honda Fit EV, Nissan DeltaWing, Audi Axes A2

The 2013 Honda Fit EV has received a combined adjusted EPA mile-per-gallon-equivalency rating of 118 MPGe and a consumption rating of 29 kWh per 100 miles — the best-ever consumption rating awarded by the EPA. The Fit EV battery can be recharged in less than 3 hours from a low-charge indicator illumination point when connected to a 240-volt circuit, Honda says, and its EPA-rated annual fuel cost is $500.

The Nissan DeltaWing (pictured) has completed its first running on the 8.5 mile Circuit de la Sarthe, the home of the 80th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The DeltaWing features half the weight, half the horsepower and half the aerodynamic drag of a typical prototype; Nissan expects it will consume less fuel and fewer tires. Powered by a 300 horsepower 1.6 liter Nissan DIG-T turbocharged engine, the car also features specially developed Michelin tires that are four inches wide at the front.

UQM Technologies has begun supplying the PowerPhase HD 220 electric drive systems to Boulder EV to build delivery vans for FedEx Express. As part of this initiative, Boulder EV will use the PowerPhase HD 220 systems in its composite delivery van designed specifically as an all-electric vehicle. The electric drive systems delivers a maximum output of 220kW, and 120kW on a continuous basis.

Westport Innovations has signed agreements with Caterpillar to co-develop natural gas technology for off-road equipment, including mining trucks and locomotives. While the agreements initially focus on engines used in mining trucks and locomotives, the companies will also develop natural gas technology for Caterpillar’s off-road engines, which are used in a variety of electric power, industrial, machine, marine and petroleum applications worldwide. Development programs will start immediately for both new and existing engines, combustion technology and fuel systems. The companies expect commercial production to begin in about five years.

Philadelphia-based PECO has launched a new rebate and incentive program, Smart Driver Rebates, for residential and business customers investing in EV technology. The electric and natural gas utility, a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation, will pay residential and business customers $50 per car for letting it know they have purchased an electric vehicle. For government, institutional and nonprofit customers, PECO will pay $1,000 per unit toward the cost of installing up to two Level 2 public chargers, and will pay local counties up to $3,000 to install a Level 2 public charging station in each of the counties PECO serves.

Audi has cancelled its all-electric A2 project because the model’s projected €40,000 price-tag was too expensive, Car magazine reports. Audi has reportedly also axed its A1 e-tron.

Mazda Motor Corp. President Takashi Yamanouchi said the carmaker will use its hydrogen-fueled rotary engine technology as a range extender for an electric vehicle it plans to start leasing next year, Nikkei reports.

NEC and GS Yuasa have reached an agreement to supply components for the lithium-ion battery field. NEC will provide its lithium-ion battery electrodes to GS Yuasa by the end of October 2012. They companies say they’ll expand their cooperation through areas such as lithium-ion batteries for energy storage systems and, as worldwide demand for large-scale lithium-ion batteries grows, NEC and GS Yuasa say they want to capitalize on their experience in the mass production of lithium-ion batteries for automobiles.

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