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Green Fleet Roundup: Fiat MPGe Best, New Leaf Model, Polaris Recall

The EPA has given the Fiat 2013 500e a 116 miles per gallon equivalent combined fuel economy rating (122 MPGe city and 108 MPGe highway – which Fiat says is the highest highway rating of any EV in the US market). EPA testing indicates when fully charged, the Fiat 500e (pictured) will travel about 87 miles and estimates the annual cost to power the electric vehicle is $500. The Fiat 500e will arrive in the California market in the second quarter of this year.

Nissan will introduce a lower-cost S-grade model of the all-electric Leaf in 2013. A 3.6-kW charger will be standard on the S-grade model, while a 6.6-kW charger will be included on all SL and SV trim models of the 2013 Leaf. This charger should help the Leaf compete with faster-charging competitors such as the Ford Focus Electric, reported Autoblog Green. The 2013 Leaf will have regenerative brakes and other features, such as leather-appointed seating and new exterior colors.

Questar Fueling has signed an agreement to build, own and operate a compressed natural gas fueling facility in Houston that will serve up to 200 natural-powered trucks operated by Swift Transportation and Central Freight Lines. The trucks are projected to use about 5 million gallons of natural gas per year.

Merecedes-Benz is adding two BlueEfficiency Edition models to its range of A-Class vehicles. The A 180 CDI BlueEfficiency Edition features a fuel consumption figure of 3.6 l/100 km (65 mpg), according to the MVEG cycle and CO2 emissions of 92 g/km—making the vehicle the most fuel-efficient combustion-engined Mercedes-Benz yet, reported Green Car Congress. The gasoline and diesel-fueled models will go on sale Feb. 1, 2013.

Mansfield Energy Corp. is providing the equipment, installation and training for a $15 million CNG project at Waste Industries’ site in Bolivia, N.C. The station will offer 23 dual time-fill hoses allowing for the fueling of 46 vehicles simultaneously.

Polaris is recalling 4,394 GEM electric vehicles due to faulty parking brakes, reported Autoblog. The mechanism may prematurely wear, leaving the brakes to fail – meaning the vehicles could roll away and cause accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The recall applies to models built between Jan. 14, 2010 and November 23, 2013. Polaris will replace the parking brake lever assembly free of charge once the recall campaign begins February 4.

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