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Geneva International Motor Show
Spotlight on electric and hybrid cars
cars
photo credit: AFP
Porsche 918 Spyder hybrid concept car
cars
photo credit: AFP
Twizy, an all-electric concept car by French car maker Renault
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photo credit: AFP
BB1, an all-electric concept car by French car maker Peugeot
cars
photo credit: AFP
A dancer performs next to the new Mini Cooper "County Man"
cars
photo credit: AFP
Zakumi, the 2010 FIFA World Cup official mascot, presents KIA's sportage
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photo credit: AFP
F800 style concept car by German car maker Mercedes
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photo credit: AFP
Green HY-KERS vettura laboratorio (experimental vehicle) unveiled by Ferrari
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photo credit: AFP
The new Audi A1

The 80th Geneva International Motor Show will be remembered for its display of electric and hybrid concept cars. Porsche showed a hybrid prototype, the 918 Spyder concept, claiming a mileage of 78 miles to the gallon. Volkswagen outlined plans to become dominant in electric cars by 2018. Daimler announced a partnership with Chinese battery and carmaker BYD to cooperate on a new electric model in China. And Tata Motors displayed an electric version of its ultra-low-cost Nano.

Ford is expanding its programme to offer electric or hybrid vehicles in Europe by 2013. PSA Peugeot Citroen plans to launch the Peugeot 3008 plug-in diesel hybrid in 2012, as well as the Citroen DS hybrid as part of its strategy.

Nissan is banking on electric vehicles with its Leaf, and also showcased a line of electric models catering to urban mobility. Lexus introduced its CT 200h full hybrid hatchback. Even Subaru and Fuji are now showcasing electric vehicles.

BMW is developing environmentally friendly cars as a part of its “Project I” initiative. It showcased its 5 series ActiveHybrid concept. Audi revealed its A1 e-tron, an electric city car concept, along with its A8 Hybrid.

Mercedes showcased its F800 style concept, which can either be turned into a fuel-cell or plug-in hybrid vehicle. Mercedes has invested in research and development of fuel cells, and that is one of the reasons for this parallel approach.

A green Ferrari?

The bright green HY-KERS vettura laboratorio (experimental vehicle) unveiled by Ferrari is, according to the company, “an example of how Ferrari is approaching the development of hybrid technology without losing sight of the performance traits and driving involvement that have always exemplified its cars”. Ferrari aims to be in a position to comply with future CO2 emission standards, particularly in urban driving.

Ferrari has employed its racing experience to adapt an advanced, lightweight hybrid drivetrain to its concept car, while ensuring that vehicle dynamics are unaffected. Ferrari has also applied its Formula One technology to the design, engineering and construction of the highvoltage electric motor of the HY-KERS, which weighs about 40 kg and is coupled to the rear of the dual-clutch 7-speed transmission. When braking, the electric drive unit acts as a generator, using the kinetic energy from the negative torque generated to recharge the batteries.

 

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