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Full hybrid system with selectable EV, ECO and POWER driving modes New Eco Drive Monitor

Fuel-efficient, low emissions driving does not have to confine the motorist to a one-size-fits-all driving style. Thanks to Toyota innovation, the new third-generation Prius comes equipped with three selectable “on-demand” driving modes that let the driver make the most of different driving conditions. These include an EV (electric vehicle) mode that allows the car to run for certain distances purely on electric power, cutting fuel consumption and emissions to zero. Ideal for slow moving urban traffic, it’s a function that can only be enjoyed with a full hybrid system such as Prius’s Hybrid Synergy Drive; EV operation is not possible with the mild hybrid systems featured in some rival models.

And for those owners who want to keep a close eye on achieving consistently fuel-efficient performance, a multi-function Eco Drive Monitor keeps them informed of how the hybrid system is operating and the level of efficiency, moment by moment. Details can even be projected on to the windscreen using the new head-up display that’s a standard feature of all new Prius models.

These features form part of an extensive package of advanced equipment that reinforces new Prius’s position as the most technically advanced family car you can buy, a model that’s brimming with technology, but which is supremely user-friendly and easy to drive.

Three on-demand drive modes
Prius’s transmission is supplemented by three “on-demand” drive modes the driver can select to increase efficiency, performance and fuel economy. From start-up and at speeds less than 44mph, Prius automatically operates in EV mode, using electric motor power alone. The petrol engine is only introduced under hard acceleration to boost system power. The driver can also use a switch to activate EV mode manually. This is a function unique to the full hybrid technology of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive and is not available in mild hybrid vehicles.

In EV mode, Prius owners can drive around town with minimal noise, zero CO2 and NOx emissions, and at speeds of up to 31mph, for up to two kilometres, according to the level of battery charge. Because the petrol engine is switched off, EV mode contributes to a significant reduction in overall fuel consumption.

In ECO mode, throttle response to aggressive accelerator pedal input is reduced and air conditioning control is adjusted to support better fuel economy. According to driving conditions and the ambient temperature, ECO mode can help the driver reduce fuel consumption by 10 to 15 per cent, when used in conjunction with the ECO Drive Monitor (see below).

POWER mode modifies response to throttle inputs by up to 25 per cent, boosting power to improve acceleration and increase driving pleasure. Under a 50 per cent throttle, Prius acceleration time from 31 to 50mph (50 to 80km/h) is improved by 1.7 seconds to 4.11 seconds.

Eco Drive Monitor
The Eco Drive Monitor is designed to help drivers make the most of Hybrid Synergy Drive’s fuel efficiency, using a range of four status displays on the dashboard.

The Energy Monitor shows the current operating conditions of the engine and the flow of electric power. Working in real time, it helps the driver understand the basic energy flow through the Hybrid Synergy Drive system.

The Hybrid System Indicator shows real-time accelerator use, helping the driver modify inputs and driving style to achieve the maximum fuel efficiency.

A new Consumption Monitor displays fuel consumption and energy recovery levels at one and five-minute intervals, so drivers have instant feedback on the fuel efficiency of their driving style.

A new Past Record Monitor presents trip computer mileage and average fuel consumption records.

Eco Drive Monitor data can also be projected on to the windscreen in the driver’s eye-line, using the new head-up display – a feature standard on all versions of new Prius. What’s more the driver can select the preferred data read-out without taking his or her hands off the steering wheel using another Prius innovation, the Touch Tracer switch.

New Prius will go on sale in the UK from 1 August.

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Hydrogen breakthrough offers new hope in fuel crisis

8 Jly 2008
A UK company, ITM Power, has made significant breakthroughs that overcome many of the hurdles standing in the way of the use of hydrogen as an alternative fuel. At 10.30 am on Wednesday, July 9, at the SMMT’s offices in Halkin Street, London, the company is holding a press briefing at which there will be an opportunity to drive a hydrogen-powered car. ITM will also show its Refuelling Station that will allow hydrogen to be produced at home or in the workplace, overcoming a major stumbling block to the hydrogen economy – the current lack of a refuelling infrastructure. If you would like to attend the briefing, and for an electronic invitation, please contact Eric Lafone or Doug Wallace at Impact Press & PR on 01789 490530 or e-mail or

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7 July 2008

Number of cars with under-inflated tyres doubles in past year Britain could save £1.4 billion by inflating tyres to correct pressure 2.2 million extra tonnes of carbon caused by under-inflated tyres

With motorists looking for new ways to cut their fuel bills, Kwik-Fit’s annual nationwide tyre spot check concludes that 12 million motorists could cut costs at the pump by a combined £1.4 billion in the next 12 months - simply by keeping their tyres inflated to the correct pressure. Indeed the company’s field study found that 46% of cars in the UK are driven with at least one under-inflated tyre, which according to official tests, wastes up to 8% more fuel.

Furthermore Kwik-Fit also calculates that an extra 2.2 million tonnes of carbon could enter the atmosphere this year, as a result of tyre under-inflation. That’s the equivalent to the annual CO2 emissions for Iceland.

Sadly, the figures are significantly worse than last year’s spot check when only 20% of cars were found to have an under-inflated tyre. The company blames this on a decline in fully functioning, publically available tyre gauges. Indeed a recent report from Auto Express found that over a third (39%) of service station tyre gauges are damaged, out of order, or giving incorrect readings.

David White, customer services director at Kwik-Fit, commented: “It’s disappointing that, despite the extra financial pressure on motorists, this year’s spot check found that the number of underinflated tyres more than doubled in the past year. With fuel prices soaring, we hope that by showing how under-inflated tyres add to our fuel bills will provoke motorists into action. If not, then perhaps the impact on the environment will.”

Motorists that are keen to ‘drive green’ might consider Kwik-Fit’s Go Green service. Go Green only costs an extra £29 on top of a normal interim or full service. For this Kwik-Fit will also carry out a number of other important checks and enhancements and will turn your car into a green machine.

David White, continues: “Aside from increasing the amount of fuel used, under-inflated tyres can cause a blow-out – where a tyre suddenly explodes without warning. Any motorist that has had this happen to them will know it is an extremely alarming situation to be in and has the potential to cause a serious accident.”

Any motorist that is unsure about how to check tyre pressure for themselves or would like a tyre safety check is welcome to visit any of Kwik-Fit’s 670 centres nationwide, without appointment, for a free check-up.

Go Green Service Extras

  1. Adding a fuel treatment to the tank that systematically cleans the engine and ensures it burns cleanly and efficiently.
  2. Checking brakes are operating efficiently - minimising the amount of fuel needed to slow the car.
  3. Checking emissions for improper gases so that they meet and exceed legal requirements for a balanced mix.
  4. Checking that engine management system sensor for O2 is operational and sending the optimum amount of fuel to the combustion chamber.
  5. One third (£10) of the £29 Go Green charge goes directly to carbon offsetting activity organised by the Carbon Neutral Company. One tonne of carbon by funding verified emissions reductions projects around the world. This is equivalent to 6 months or 4000 miles of average driving by the average car.
Top Driving Tips for Keeping Green Remember, you can help reduce your carbon emissions every day by following our top tips to reduce your driving carbon footprint:
  1. Check your tyre pressure often (or get Kwik-Fit to do it for you) – an underinflated tyre takes more petrol to roll.
  2. Service your car annually to check that all is working efficiently and not using more fuel than necessary.
  3. Remove any unnecessary items from your car – a heavier car (and one with a roof rack) takes more fuel to move.
  4. Easing off the gas a little and accelerating slowly will cut fuel a lot – reducing speed from 70mph to 56mph for example, will reduce costs by one quarter.

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13 Mar 2008
Honda’s low-emission Civic Hybrid has recorded rapid growth during the first months of 2008, with sales up by 206 per cent. CO2 emissions of just 109g/km make the Civic Hybrid one of the cleanest saloons on the market – but it’s also one of the fastest growing cars in the UK.

“The performance of Civic Hybrid over the past 12 months is pleasing, but not surprising,” says John Kingston, Environment Manager, Honda (UK). “In 2007, the Alternative Fuel segment was 76 per cent up – further evidence that car buyers in the UK are looking at emissions and other environmental credentials before purchasing.”

Honda expects the proposed changes to the VED system announced by the Chancellor in his Budget yesterday, to continue to drive customers towards cleaner cars. “The growth of lower-emission cars, like Civic Hybrid, will form a solid platform for Honda to launch our Global Hybrid car in early 2009 – which will be smaller and more affordable,” adds John.

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12 Mar 2008
SEAT’s ‘green’ champion, the new Ibiza Ecomotive, is one of the few four-wheeled winners in Alistair Darling’s first Budget as, despite significant increases in Vehicle Excise Duty, it remains road tax-free. The ultra-low emission supermini, which produces just 99 g/km of CO2 and is capable of a pound-stretching 88.3 mpg, is one of a tiny handful of conventional-engined cars to entirely escape the Chancellor’s grasp. While Band G cars now face a withering £400 annual road tax fee, the Ibiza Ecomotive’s ongoing position in the lowest Band A category sees it continue to duck the taxman.

In fact when it comes to affordable, ‘green’ driving, the Ibiza Ecomotive is hard to beat. Offered in three- and five-door bodystyles, it is among the least expensive low emissions models on the market today. But the frugal Spanish supermini, priced from £10,995 RRP and arriving in showrooms in the next few weeks, doesn’t cut comfort as it slashes emissions. A generous complement of standard specification includes goodies such as manual air conditioning, electric front windows, steering wheel-mounted audio controls for the MP3-compatible single-disc CD/radio and speed-sensitive electro hydraulic power steering.

Based on the already clean, economical Ibiza Reference Sport 1.4 TDI, the Ecomotive uses a variety of clever developments to make small but important incremental improvements in economy and emissions which, together, add up to a road tax-busting car. New software is added to the characterful three cylinder powerplant’s ECU, while particulate emissions are further reduced thanks to the addition of a state-of-the-art Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF). Ratios in the Ecomotive’s slick five-speed manual gearbox are lengthened, too, making for both more relaxed cruising and improved economy.

This Ibiza is also more slippery through the air, with a Cd (coefficient of drag) figure of 0.30, compared with Cd 0.315 for the standard 1.4 TDI model. And special low rolling resistance 14” tyres from Dunlop help reduce road friction. With the Ibiza Ecomotive also now confirmed as being London Congestion Charge-exempt, from 27th October, it can rightfully claim the title of ‘economy champion’.

For more details of the Ibiza Ecomotive, along with the rest of the sporty SEAT range, log on to or freephone 0500 22 22 22.

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7 Sep 2007
For the second year running Citroën has been named ‘Car Manufacturer of The Year’ at the GreenFleet Awards, ahead of fierce competition from runners-up Toyota and Honda. Specifically commended for its “continuing moves to reduce the environmental impact of its vehicles”, Citroën was also named runner-up in both the ‘Green Marketing Campaign of the Year’ category, for its TV advertisements, and in the ‘LCV Manufacturer of the Year’ category.

The award comes just as the Company prepares to unveil three new vehicles at the Frankfurt Motor show, all incorporating major new Green initiatives. The C-Cactus concept features a diesel hybrid drivetrain and is able to achieve almost 100mpg on the combined cycle, the C5 Airscape is equipped with an Urban Hybrid system, while the C4 BioFlex can run on E85 Bioethanol.

But it is for the range of cars that UK motorists can buy today that Citroën has again won this award, and there are numerous reasons for its GreenFleet accolade. Today the Company offers one of the most fuel efficient and lowest CO2 emitting product ranges around - over 40% of the Company’s sales are diesel, with ultra-clean Diesel Particulate Filter Systems widely available. Importantly, the environmental benefits of these models are available at affordable prices. No fewer than three of the top ten lowest CO2-emitting diesel cars on sale in the UK are Citroëns, while fuel-saving Stop & Start technology is available on C2 and C3 models. The Company has over 20 models with CO2 emissions of 120 g/km or less, including one of the only family cars to fall into this category - the C4. The new C-Crosser SUV is capable of almost 40mpg whilst a low 175 g/km CO2 version of the executive C6 is also offered.

The GreenFleet Awards are designed to promote ways of reducing emissions and of increasing awareness, among those responsible for transport procurement, about making greener fuel and vehicle decisions. The Awards were judged by representatives from the Institute of Car Fleet Management, The Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership and GreenFleet magazine, the only publication dedicated to environmental fleet management.

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3 Apr 2006
Hybrid petrol electric vehicle advocates trumpet the environmental benefits of the petrol-electric vehicles, but, results of an exhaustive two year study say that the overall energy picture for hybrid vehicles isn’t as favorable as it seems. CNW Marketing Research, of Bandon, Ore., USA says that when the total cost of hybrids to the environment is calculated, including factors like original production and then recycling of batteries and electric motors, into a "dollars per lifetime mile" figure, hybrids come up short against conventional powered vehicles which where thought to consume more of the world’s energy.

"If a consumer is concerned about fuel economy because of family budgets or depleting oil supplies, it is perfectly logical to consider buying high-fuel-economy vehicles," says Art Spinella, president of CNW Marketing Research, Inc. "But if the concern is the broader issues such as environmental impact of energy usage taking into account the energy needed to plan, build, sell, drive and dispose of a vehicle from concept to scrappage some high economy vehicles actually cost society more than conventional or even larger models over their lifetime."

Hybrids are not so "green"
CNW’s "Dust to Dust" survey studied hundreds of variables but to make it easy for the consumer to understand, developed an energy cost per mile driven figure. Topping the league with the most "energy expensive" vehicle from 2005 is the Maybach at $11.58 per mile, VW Phaeton at $11.213 and Rolls-Royce Phantom at $10.660 while the thriftiest is the Scion xB at the bottom of the scale, at $0.48 a mile, ahead of the Ford Escort at $0.568 and Jeep Wrangler at $0.604. However, the research brings into question the whole concept of hybrids as "energy-saving", at least for the planet as a whole.

The industry straight average of 312 vehicles was $2.281, yet all the hybrids cost more than this. Compact family hybrids like the Toyota Prius ($3.249) and Honda Civic hybrid ($3.238), cost more than a full size SUV Land Rover Discovery ($2.525) or Lincoln Navigator ($2.617). By comparison America’s best selling car the mid-size Toyota Camry cost $1.954 or similar Nissan Altima only $1.381. Hybrids actually get higher lifetime costs than their regular counterparts due to the extra complexity and production and recycling costs: the Hybrid Honda Accord has an energy cost per mile of $3.29 while the regular version’s is $2.18. A regular Honda Civic costs $2.420.

"This study is not the end of the energy-usage discussion. We hope to see a dialog begin that puts educated and aware consumers into energy policy decisions," Spinella said. "We undertook this research to see if perceptions were true in the real world."

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28 Mar 2006

  • 51% of drivers have never heard of hybrid cars
  • 77% would be more motivated to change their driving habits by money than environmental damage
  • 70% say the Government or car manufacturers are responsible for encouraging people to buy cleaner cars
  • New research revealed at the launch of Honda’s Civic Hybrid car shows that British drivers are in blissful ignorance when it comes to understanding greener motoring.

The research, carried out by TNS on behalf of Honda (UK), questioned 1,200 British drivers on their attitudes towards the environment and their understanding of alternative fuel vehicles during January 2006.

More than half (51%) of British motorists were not even aware of hybrid cars. Of the drivers who said they knew of hybrids, more than 40% didn't know that it was a car that uses both petrol and electric power. Incorrect responses ranged from the intelligent guess ("a car that uses a combination of fuels") to the bizarre ("two cars welded together" or "a car made by more than one manufacturer").

The research also asked people to name a type of alternative fuel vehicle and a huge 82% failed to mention the petrol-electric hybrid car. Despite the fact hybrids are as easy to use and refuel as a standard petrol car, people were more likely to quote LPG (far more complex for a day-to-day motorist) or fully electric cars (impractical because of the frequent need to stop and recharge).

People were even less aware of the potential cost savings of owning a hybrid car. Only 35% of those surveyed correctly associated hybrids with lower fuel costs. Very few knew that hybrids entitled the owner to reduced company car tax (4%), lower road fund tax (2%) and the 100 per cent discount from the London congestion charge (2%).

The irony is that the research shows British drivers are more likely to be motivated by money rather than by environmental responsibility. When the 73% who said they were unlikely to buy a hybrid were asked what would make them consider one, the top factor (43%) was "if I was sure running costs would be lower" followed by "if petrol became too expensive" (34%). This substantiates the number one reason for rejecting a hybrid: "too expensive" (34%).

Similarly, of the 18% who would consider a hybrid car, the top motivating factor was lower fuel costs (54%) rather than environmental benefits (39%).

hen asked who should be responsible for encouraging better take up of greener vehicles, 70% suggested the Government or car manufacturers (35% each).

Further confirming the 'head in the sand' attitude, less than a fifth (17%) of drivers saw it as their own responsibility to lessen the environmental impact of their vehicles.

The Honda Civic Hybrid goes on sale on 1 April, priced at £16,300.

  • More power than a 1.6-litre car (115PS)
  • 1.1-litre economy (61.4mpg)
  • Super-low CO2 exhaust emissions of 109g/km
  • Futuristic interior design with ‘dual link’ dash concept
  • Multi-link double-wishbone rear suspension
  • 100 per cent discount from the London congestion charge
  • Top speed: 115mph
  • 0-62mph: 12.1secs
  • Combined MPG: 61.4
  • CO2: 109g/km
  • Engine: 1339cc, SOHC, i-DSI, petrol
  • Motor: IMA electric motor/generator
  • Power: 115PS (95 petrol + 20 electric) at 6,000rpm
  • Torque: 166lb.ft at 4,600rpm
  • Auto: CVT transmission as standard
  • Insurance group: 7
  • Service interval: 12,500 miles/12 months

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Hybrid....a plant, an animal or a car?

28 Mar 2006

Fifty per cent of motorists have never heard of a hybrid car, according to new research* to be published today (28).

This comes on the launch day of a new hybrid Honda Civic and the publication of Government’s UK Climate Change Programme 2006. The RAC Foundation claims greater encouragement of technological solutions such as hybrid and fuel cell vehicles and an education programme to encourage eco-driving would be an effective way of cutting road transport carbon dioxide emissions.

According to the Foundation current hybrid myths include:

  • Most people think of a hybrid as "an off-spring of two animals or plants of different species" rather than a car with a combination of a petrol engine with an electric motor.
  • People probably still think hybrids have to be plugged in as 70 per cent admitted they don’t know how a hybrid works.
  • Many people don’t realise that the driver does not have to switch between petrol and electric.
  • Many people think hybrids are only for "tree huggers".

The reality is that a good hybrid car feels and performs just like any decent car. The electric motor assists the engine by giving it a boost during acceleration to improve fuel economy. It runs the car at idle so it is quiet and has reduced emissions when stuck in traffic. The battery even charges itself up with regenerative energy from deceleration and braking.

On the day of the publication of the Government’s Climate Change Review the RAC Foundation is calling for more to be done to close the motorists’ "attitude-action gap"**. Motorists have a concern for the environment and the environmental impact of cars but this does not translate into behavioural change. One of the reasons for this, according to the Foundation, is a lack of knowledge or understanding of some of the technological fixes such as hybrid vehicles.

The RAC Foundation in its report "Motoring towards 2050" argues that the hybrid car could be stepping stone to the zero emissions hydrogen fuel cell vehicle and therefore more should be done to encourage the take-up of hybrids. The Foundation welcomed the reduced tax discs for cleaner vehicles announced in the Budget but still believes greater incentives are required.

Possible solutions floated in the Government’s Climate Change Review have included:

  • A crackdown on motorists who speed on motorways
  • Increase car sharing (Government has announced HOV lanes)
  • Investment in public transport
  • Cutting back on the school run
  • Inclusion of road transport in EU Emissions Trading Scheme
  • Introduction of road pricing
  • Biofuels encouraged under Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation (announced)
  • Reform of VED (announced at budget)
  • The RAC Foundation believes that a dual approach to reduced road emissions is required. This would involve:

Greater encouragement and longer-term incentives for the development and take-up of technological solutions such as hybrid and fuel cell vehicles. An education and communication programme to encourage eco-driving.

At the new Honda Civic Hybrid launch, Edmund King, executive director of the RAC Foundation will say:

" We need to show people that hybrids are not freak animals or plants but important technological innovative cars for the present and future. Our motoring vision of the future does not include Dan Dare and the Jetsons in their flying cars but it does involve technologically advanced hybrid cars as a longer term stepping stone to the zero emissions hydrogen fuel cell car.

"Climate change is an urgent issue. Our report "Motoring Towards 2050" shows optimism for the future but the future must start here and now.

"We need to close the attitude-action gap by encouraging motorists to opt for cleaner, greener cars and adapt our driving styles to radically reduce pollution. The combination of technology and driving style will do more to instigate change than Government dictates."

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Motor industry driving down emissions

27 Mar 2006

Thought it was the Chancellor who was leading the push for lower emissions? The motor industry recognises that cleaner cars are key to reducing the world's carbon dioxide emissions, and has been working hard to address this issue. That's the message today from Christopher Macgowan, SMMT chief executive:

'There are 850,000 people working in the UK motor industry and we are all concerned about the impact our industry has on the environment. We recognise that we are part of the problem and also the solution. This is why we have invested so heavily in research and development of new technologies that have helped us to create cleaner vehicles.'

Car parc up 25 per cent, carbon emissions flat
The total amount of carbon emitted by cars in the UK in 2003 was the same as in 1993, despite a 25 per cent increase in the number of cars on the road. In 1993, there were 24 million cars on the road in the UK1 emitting 19.8 million tonnes of carbon. In 2003 the number of cars had grown to 30 million, yet the total amount of carbon was the same2.

More new cars in lower VED bands
In 1997, 77 per cent of new cars would have been in the top three vehicle excise duty bands: vehicles emitting more than 166 g/km of CO2. In just eight years, that figure has nearly halved to 41 per cent. In the lowest three bands, there are now four and a half times more new cars: 34.1 per cent, up from 7.8 per cent in 1997.

1: Motor Industry of Great Britain 2005, SMMT
2: DfT Transport Statistics Great Britain 2005: Carbon dioxide emissions in the United Kingdom: 1993-2003

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21 Mar 2006
GoinGreen, the pioneering retailer of the Reva G-Wiz electric car is building on its successful launch of the G-Wiz in London by expanding the range of products it sells to include other environmentally friendly vehicles. Customers will now be able to go to GoinGreen for the smart LPG fortwo and forfour, the Toyota Plug-in Prius, the Mega range of compact electric vans and trucks and LPG and electric scooters. The G-Wiz was launched in May 2004 and with over 400 already on London’s roads, with more on order, the company is on target to achieve sales of 500 in London by the end of April, making the G-Wiz the best-selling electric car to date.

Keith Johnston, managing director of GoinGreen says: ‘The G-Wiz is a great city runaround, with fantastic benefits, both environmentally and financially. Our aim is to provide green transport solutions to a range of private, business and fleet buyers, and for GoinGreen to become Europe’s premier zero and low emission vehicle retailer ’.

Exclusive to GoinGreen is the Toyota Plug-in Prius, an award-winning conversion of the standard hybrid car developed by an Anglo-American collaborative, which launches in April. It offers up to 130mpg, more than two-and-a-half times that of the hybrid Prius, up to 30 miles in electric, emission-free mode (30 times more than the standard Prius), does close to 1,000 miles on a single tank of fuel and has a top speed of 115 mph. Simply plugging it into a standard electric socket charges the car and if the car isn’t charged, it reverts to standard hybrid mode. GoinGreen will be running an early-adopter programme from April, where a limited number of hand-built conversions will be available to private individuals in return for access to the road data the car generates. The commercially produced conversions will be available from September 2006.

The ultra compact range of Mega electric commercial vehicles are perfect for small businesses, especially in London, where they benefit from the same concessions as the G-Wiz such as exemption from the London Congestion Charge and free parking in Westminster and the City. Available as a van, truck or pick-up, the Mega has the lowest total cost of ownership and has an eight-hour duty cycle capable of working a shift without recharging.

Also new to GoinGreen is the smart LPG range, an ideal car for city and inter-city driving. The conversion offers dual fuel capability - LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas) is less than half the price of petrol and particulate emissions are 90% lower and CO2 emissions are approximately 20% to 40% lower than for other similar size cars. GoinGreen sells new and second hand smart LPG fortwo (2 seater, 84mph, 60mpg combined cycle) and forfour (4 seater, 103mph, 60mpg combined cycle) in the pulse, pure and passion models and also offers the LPG conversion of customers’ existing smart fortwo and forfour cars to dual-fuel. The cost of the conversion is quickly recovered from savings on the cheaper fuel and, if driven in London, exemption from the £8 Congestion Charge.

Electric scooters are emission-free and deliver the equivalent of 1,000 mpg and GoinGreen will have a selection to choose from. For a little more power and range, there is the new Vialli LPG scooter, which is a very cost-effective mode of transport that also cuts down on particulate and C02 emissions. Both offer exceptional value for money and clean, low carbon transport.

GoinGreen sells direct to the customer via its website There are no dealers, no showrooms, no advertising and no brochures and the savings are passed on to the customer. Test drives are bookable on-line and the company provides a full after-sales service via their team of mobile engineers. All CO2 produced by GoinGreen in its operations is off-set and a small ‘climate levy’ is added to every vehicle sold.

Further information

1. The G-Wiz list price is £8,299 and is available at a special price of £7,799. Any orders received before 31st March also get free leather seats worth a further £499. GoinGreen is also introducing a ‘no-frills’ basic entry level G-Wiz for £6,999. All G-Wiz prices quoted include VAT.

2. Early adopter price of a Plug-in Prius conversion is £12,700 plus VAT. The commercially produced versions, available from September, are £7,700 plus VAT. Add the cost of a Toyota Prius to these prices, if not having an existing car converted.

3. The Mega electric commercial vehicles start at £9,500 plus VAT and leasing finance is also available.

4. The smart LPG fortwo starts at £8,559 inc VAT, the smart LPG forfour starts at £9,999 inc VAT. smart LPG conversions on fortwo and forfour smart cars are £1,999 plus VAT.

5. Prices of the Vialli LPG scooters start at £1,595 plus VAT.

6. There are 1,500 LPG refuelling stations around the UK

7. Westminster Council is putting in a further 36 electric charging points in Westminster, 34 in MasterPark car parks and two on the street. This is in addition to the 22 points already existing in nine car parks.

The GoinGreen website is being redesigned and the new-look version launches at the end of March. In the meantime, full information on GoinGreen and the G-Wiz is on the existing site. Telephone: + 44 (0)20 8574 232.

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Hybrid Land Rovers, new technology tackles fuel consumption and the environment


  • Innovative application of environmental and efficient technologies that enhance both on- and off-road performance
  • Real world solutions that will be available on Land Rovers progressively in the next few years
  • Potential for 30 per cent improvement in fuel economy
  • New technologies could reduce emissions to an approximate 150g/km CO2 (on a vehicle similar in size to a Freelander)

    Land Rover is showcasing a catalogue of innovative technologies – collectively known as the e-Terrain System – that reduce both fuel consumption and CO2 emissions while also improving the outstanding breadth of capability of Land Rover’s 4x4 vehicles.

    The efficient technology initiatives are all illustrated by Land_e, Land Rover's e-Terrain Technology Concept. Together, they contribute to a potential 30 per cent improvement in fuel economy over a current vehicle of similar size and performance. And most of the technologies will be available on Land Rover production models starting in the next few years.

    The key to Land_e's importance is that it shows available and relevant technologies – plus some new systems that are unique to Land Rover – in the most innovative and effective way possible. It combines mechanical and electrical advances to make gains in areas ranging from transmission function to cooling efficiency, and from battery power management to power steering efficiency – all without compromising the breadth of on- and off-road capability that defines all Land Rover products.

    "The e-Terrain technologies are practical, feasible, real-world solutions," says Matthew Taylor, managing director of Land Rover. "In every case, they preserve – and in most cases improve – our breadth of capability. We are not prepared to dilute the essence of Land Rover. But we are committed to improving fuel economy and reducing CO2 emissions."

    Over the past nine years, Land Rover’s cross-range emissions output has fallen by 13 per cent, compared with the motor industry’s overall average improvement of 9.7 per cent. Indeed, the Freelander Td4 diesel’s CO2 emissions compare with many hot hatches, and the seven-seater Discovery 3 TDV6 has CO2 emissions to match many saloons. Furthermore, the CO2 emissions from the latest 2006 Range Rover V8 have been improved by 11 per cent over those of the outgoing 2005 model.

    In addition, more than 90 per cent of all Land Rover vehicles currently sold in Europe are diesel powered, combining the versatility of a 4x4 with the economy of a typical family car.

    But the Company is committed to going much further. While adhering to Land Rover’s core abilities as versatile, all-terrain vehicles, the Land_e technologies target a sub 150g/km CO2 figure which equates to a combined fuel economy figure approaching 50mpg or 5.65l/100km – in a vehicle similar in size to the current Freelander. Such CO2 emissions levels are comparable with a typical petrol B segment or diesel C segment car, representing an almost 30 per cent improvement on today’s figures.

    The technologies that Land_e showcases are:

  • Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive
  • ISG Integrated Starter-Generator
  • Innovative Propshaft with Seamless Re-connect
  • Terrain Response e-Mode
  • Bio-diesel capability
  • ITP Intelligent Thermal Programme
  • EPAS Electric Power Assisted Steering
  • IMES Intelligent Management of Electrical Systems

    Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive: provides electric drive alone at low speed, plus improved 4x4 ability in tough conditions

    Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive – used in conjunction with the ISG Integrated Starter-Generator system (as described below) – improves both urban emissions and off-road ability.

    Land Rover’s unique electric drive is different from the hybrid technology used by some 4x4 rivals. They use electric drive only to the rear axle, significantly reducing off-road capability. Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive enhances off-road performance by augmenting rather than replacing the mechanical drive.

    Off-road, the Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive system can provide additional torque, as required. And because electric power can offer maximum torque from standstill, it is most effective from virtually zero mph/km/h. This offers better low-speed control and enhanced pull-away in difficult situations – such as on slippery surfaces or when towing.

    On-road, the additional low-speed torque input from the Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive offers multiple advantages. It allows electric-powered 'traffic creep' and low-speed acceleration up to 20mph or 32km/h, without restarting the engine, benefiting fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Whenever required, the ISG system restarts the engine, and the vehicle is then propelled by a combination of electrical and conventional engine power. The combined effect of delaying the restarting of the engine plus the continued assistance of electric drive, significantly reduces fuel consumption.

    When quicker acceleration is required, the engine can be restarted immediately, so both the conventional engine and the Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive system supply power from rest. In this case, the electric torque boost provided by the Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive significantly improves acceleration without adversely affecting either fuel consumption or CO2 emissions.

    The additional low-speed electric torque boost not only gives extra off-road ability, it also improves efficiency by using stored energy from the additional high-voltage battery system. Completely separate from the normal 12-volt battery system, this is a high capacity lithium-ion battery pack which is charged by regenerative braking energy.

    The regenerative braking puts otherwise wasted braking energy back into the high-voltage storage battery system. When slowing the vehicle, pressing the brake pedal causes the driveshafts and propshaft to transfer energy from the wheels to the Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive system, decelerating the vehicle and transferring the 'braking' energy to the storage battery. For harder braking and for emergency stops, the conventional braking system is retained and fully operational, working in conjunction with the regenerative braking function.

    ISG Integrated Starter-Generator system improves emissions in traffic
    One of the simplest yet most effective CO2-reducing features highlighted on the Land_e is the ISG Integrated Starter-Generator. The ISG package replaces the conventional alternator and continues to take its drive from the normal ancillary belt. It is a ‘micro-hybrid’ system that allows the engine to be stopped automatically whenever the vehicle stops, as in traffic, and under the control of the ECU it restarts the engine quickly and smoothly when required. The engine does not idle unnecessarily when the vehicle is stationary, to the further benefit of both fuel economy and CO2 emissions.

    Together the engine stop-start function of ISG, plus the regenerative braking function, provided by the Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive offer the potential of a 20 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions. The outstanding multi-terrain ability that is at the core of Land Rover is also enhanced.

    Propshaft with Seamless Re-connect enhances driving experience, and improves economy
    Seamless re-connect is a system that significantly reduces fuel consumption by cutting mechanical losses. Drive to the rear wheels is automatically disconnected when conditions allow, such as cruising on a dry surface. Yet unlike hybrid and selectable 4x4 systems, there is instant access to Land Rover’s full range of four-wheel drive abilities. The Propshaft with Seamless Re-connect allows the Propshaft and rear drive components to come to rest, avoiding unnecessary rotational losses.

    When rear drive is required – when, for instance, the system detects slippery conditions – the system reconnects the rear axle automatically and virtually instantaneously. The system not only re-engages full 4x4 much faster than rivals, it also offers much better 4x4 capability when connected. Re-engaging drive seamlessly also has safety benefits. It does not affect the car’s dynamic balance in the same way as a slower and less progressive re-connection.

    The technology also reinforces Land Rover’s fundamental principle to ‘Tread Lightly’. By ensuring that front and rear wheel speeds are correctly matched, and with the additional control of the Integrated Electric Rear Axle drive, the drive layout virtually eliminates wheel slippage, which in turn reduces soft-surface damage – for instance on grass.

    The ISG Integrated Starter-Generator, Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive and the Seamless Re-connect propshaft are fully compatible with all Land Rover engine and transmission options, and could be adapted for any model and any market.

    Terrain Response e-Mode, for improved fuel economy in town, Land_e shows six Terrain Response modes:
    The e-Mode is shown for the first time and focuses principally on on-road use. This configures all the vehicle’s e-terrain systems for optimised fuel economy. It always retains instantaneous access to Land Rover's four-wheel drive capability but adopts soft throttle responses, and delivers early shift points.

    The other five modes are already available on some Land Rover products – General Driving; Sand; Mud and Ruts; Grass, Gravel and Snow; and Rock Crawl. In the Land_e, all use combinations of normal engine and Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive. In all off-road modes, the engine is never shut down, even if the vehicle is stationary.

    In Sand mode, primary power is supplied by the engine; the Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive system monitors torque to detect either wheelspin or bogging-down, and intervenes as necessary, either to stop tyre slip or to provide additional torque to deal with soft, deep sand.

    In Mud and Ruts mode, primary power is again supplied by the engine, while additional torque is available from the Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive system for heavier mud or deeper ruts.

    In Grass, Gravel and Snow mode, control is more important than power, so engine power is fed in only once the vehicle is underway. Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive is used for driving away without wheelspin even on very slippery surfaces – by constantly monitoring torque and intervening rapidly to prevent tyre slip. In this mode, the Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive can respond to wheelspin even more quickly than the engine management, and can cancel the initial slippage within one-eighth of a wheel rotation – a critical figure that is small enough to regain grip and prevent permanent damage even on wet grass. No other system achieves this.

    In Rock Crawl mode, speeds are typically below 5mph/8km/h. Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive now provides the primary power source, boosted as necessary by normal engine torque. In all cases, the great advantage of Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive is that an electric motor offers maximum torque at the lowest wheel speeds, for the ideal mix of power with control.

    Bio-diesel moves towards a lower carbon fuel
    An increasing emphasis on diesel power is clearly important to overall CO2 reductions, and bio-diesel capability extends the potential advantages. Bio-diesel is a fuel derived from renewable and sustainable sources, such as natural oils from soya beans or other easily cultivated vegetable or cereal crops. It is currently commercially available as a blend of bio-derived diesel and petroleum-derived diesel, in varying proportions, and bio-diesel offers reduced emissions compared with petroleum-derived diesel.

    Currently, a five per cent bio-derived content is typical with forecourt diesel. Potentially, a vehicle could operate on a 25 per cent bio-diesel mix, which is a realistic goal within a few years, and one supported by the oil industry and governments. A vehicle running on 25 per cent bio-diesel mix could potentially reduce its CO2 emissions by up to 25 per cent. Next generation bio-fuels made from crop wastes are also being developed, and these will deliver even greater CO2 reductions, as well as being more sustainable.

    Other important technologies can make a difference
    Beyond the efficiency-enhancing drivetrain technology, the Land_e showcases other fuel saving technologies.
    The ITP Intelligent Thermal Programme controls engine parameters including exhaust heat management and cooling system function. Through heat exchangers, the EHRS (Exhaust Heat Recovery System) utilises what is normally wasted heat from the exhaust system to promote faster engine and gearbox warm-up from cold, with several advantages. In a production application, ITP could also control Active Aero Vanes, which would allow specific sections of the radiator aperture to be closed under certain operating conditions. That would reduce high-drag airflow through the radiator core and engine bay when cooling air is not needed – for instance at low ambient temperatures and when running in low-load conditions. The vanes would also be closed during engine warm-up, again to ensure that the engine reaches optimum operating temperature as quickly as possible. Faster engine and catalyst warm-up significantly reduces emissions in the first minutes after a cold start, and by bringing engine and gearbox oils up to operating temperature more quickly, it reduces mechanical frictional losses.

    An electronically controlled thermostat and cooling circuit give far more accurate control of coolant temperature than a conventional system, allowing the engine to run closer to its optimum temperature. The system also incorporates an electric water pump, which, unlike the conventional belt-driven water pump, is driven only on demand, and at variable speeds, avoiding inefficient and unnecessary overspeed running. Mechanical energy savings, optimum temperature control and fast warm-up from start offer the potential for additional CO2 emissions benefits.

    Significant benefits are also possible with the use of electric power steering technology, EPAS (Electric Power Assisted Steering). EPAS completely eliminates the pumped hydraulic assistance of a conventional system and powers the steering rack directly, by electric servo motor. That eliminates pumping power losses, including the significant losses when the pump is being driven at high speed even though assistance is not required, again offering a noticeable CO2 benefit compared to a belt-driven hydraulic system. The higher-voltage electrical supply made possible by ISG also allows the possibility of more powerful assistance for more demanding use – on off-road terrain, for example.

    All electrical system functions are controlled by IMES (Intelligent Management of Electrical Systems), with further efficiency gains. It incorporates a closed-loop system that monitors battery charge, vehicle electrical system demands, and generator speed and load. It uses the monitored data to ensure that the whole electrical system operates in the most efficient way. It charges the battery only when it needs it, avoiding the over-charging associated with ‘non-intelligent’ systems, and unless it is absolutely necessary, it avoids charging the battery when it is in ‘low-acceptance’ states – such as cold ambient conditions, below around 10 degrees C. It also regulates high electrical loads until the alternator is operating at high efficiency, which gives a further reduction in CO2 emissions.

    Editors comment: Toyota have got thousands of Hybrids on the road over the last few years. So come on Land Rover don't just talk about it get them in the showrooms now.

  • Back to News Index


    6 Jan 2006
    TOKYO – Nissan Motor Co., Ltd, has received approval from Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport to begin public road testing and leasing of its latest high-pressure, hydrogen-powered X-TRAIL fuel cell vehicle (FCV).

    The latest sport utility FCV is powered by a Nissan-developed fuel cell stack that is about 60% smaller compared with the previous stack on the 2003 FCV model. Despite its compact size, the new stack has a power generation capacity of 90kW, an improvement of more than 40% compared with the 2003 stack, giving the all-new FCV a top speed of 150 km/h. The 2003 model has a top speed of 145 km/h.

    The FCV is also equipped with a compact, 35MPa high-pressure hydrogen storage cylinder whose capacity has been reduced by 15%. However, thanks to a more improved fuel cell system, the FCV’s cruising range has been expanded to more than 370 km compared with about 350 km in the previous model.

    Separately, Nissan also announced it has also developed an X-TRAIL FCV equipped with a 70MPa high-pressure hydrogen storage cylinder and a cruising range of more than 500 km, about 1.4 times that of the 2005 model. Nissan plans to test the vehicle on public roads in Canada in February 2006 and in other locations when compatible hydrogen stations are available.

    Nissan has been working on FCV development since 1996. In addition to the design and engineering work conducted in Japan, extensive testing and development has been conducted in other markets, most notably the United States, where Nissan is a member of the California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP). Nissan FCV activities in the US have focused on testing and demonstration work since 2000.

    Major specifications of the all-new X-TRAIL FCV. Figures in parentheses refer to FCV equipped with 70MPa high-pressure, hydrogen storage cylinder.

    2005 model

    2003 model


    Overall length/width/height (mm)



    Vehicle weight (kg)

    1790 (1860)


    Seating capacity (people)



    Top speed (km/h)



    Cruising range (km)

    Over 370 (over 500)

    Over 350



    Coaxial motor integrated with reduction gear

    Coaxial motor integrated with reduction gear

    Maximum power (kW)



    Maximum torque (Nm)



    Fuel cell stack

    Fuel cell

    Solid polymer type

    Solid polymer type

    Maximum power (kW)




    Developed by Nissan

    UTC Fuel Cells (United States)

    Rechargeable battery


    Compact Lithium-ion Battery

    Compact Lithium-ion Battery

    Fueling system

    Fuel type

    Compressed hydrogen gas

    Compressed hydrogen gas

    Maximum pressure (MPa)

    35 (70)


    Back to News Index

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