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Green Fleet Roundup: Volt Problems, BYD EVs in London, Duke Energy

General Motors said it will correct a software glitch in the 2013 Chevrolet Volt that has caused the car’s electric motor to shut down abruptly, Edmunds Inside Line reported. The issue, which affects about 4,000 Volts, was initially reported on the company’s consumer forum GM-Volt.com. GM has asked owners to bring their vehicles to Chevy dealers for a software update, which takes less than an hour. GM recommends customers switch to immediate charging until they receive the software upgrade.

Chinese automaker BYD has agreed to supply cab company Green Tomato Cars with 50 of its e6 electric vehicles for trial use in London (see picture). BYD said it expects the electric vehicles will be available for Green Tomato Cars customers in the second quarter of 2013. The five-seat e6 model is a crossover vehicle that features a 75 kW motor and BYD’s own Fe battery, which gives the car a range of up to 186 miles on a single charge in urban conditions with a top speed of 87 mph, BYD said.

Toronto-based Baka Communications has partnered with Eaton Corporation to power its electric vehicle fleet with a commercial solar charging station. Baka has converted 60 percent of its fleet to the Chevrolet Volt. The solar charging carport system was developed by Renewz Sustainable Solutions and combines equipment from Eaton Corporation and Giulio Barbieri of Italy.

The University of North Texas in Denton is installing six electric vehicle charging stations, which will be located in three different locations throughout the campus. ECOtality, the EV station manufacturer, will provide partial funding through a Department of Energy grant. The university’s We Mean Green Fund also approved additional funding for the station’s infrastructure of power lines and fiber optic cables. All six stations are expected to be operational by the end of 2012, said UNT’s office of sustainability.

Duke Energy subsidiary Progress Energy Carolinas has installed six plug-in electric vehicle charging stations in South Carolina as part of its commercial charging station research program. These are the first public-access charging stations Duke Energy has installed in the states. The host sites will cover the cost of electricity during the research project.

Hyundai Motor Group said at the 12th Hyundai-Kia International Powertrain Conference that it will continue efforts to improve its turbo gasoline direct injection engine technology; expand its diesel lineup; develop lightweight and fuel-efficient transmissions; and will offer more customized powertrains in response to local conditions to boost its overseas sales, such as the U.S. and China.

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