Herald Sun - Motoring - - News -


Elec­tric ve­hi­cles will ac­count for 3 per cent of Volk­swa­gen’s global sales by 2018. Its zero-emis­sion, all-elec­tric range will start in 2013 with ver­sions of the Up model. VWhas signed up its sec­ond bat­tery sup­plier, Bosch, to de­velop car bat­ter­ies. It also has a con­tract with Sanyo. To meet strin­gent emis­sion reg­u­la­tions and thwart ris­ing fos­sil fuel prices, all mak­ers are fast­track­ing plans for hy­brid, plug-in hy­brids or full elec­tric mod­els. Chal­lenges are the cost of bat­ter­ies and lim­ited range of elec­tric ve­hi­cles.


The reign­ing world Car of the Year has be­come the first elec­tric car to score top marks in the Euro­pean New Car As­sess­ment Pro­gram. The Nis­san Leaf at­tained the high­est five-star car safety rat­ing fol­low­ing its per­for­mance in the in­de­pen­dent or­gan­i­sa­tion’s strin­gent crash tests. It rated 89 per cent for adult safety, 83 per cent for child pro­tec­tion and 84 per cent for on­board safety as­sist sys­tems, which in­clude elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol and a speed lim­iter as stan­dard. The com­pact fam­ily hatch also earned an aboveav­er­age 65 per cent rat­ing for pedes­trian safety.


Fuel has be­come so ex­pen­sive in Bri­tain that thieves are tar­get­ing fuel tanks. Last week a driver was phys­i­cally threat­ened by sev­eral peo­ple si­phon­ing 40 litres of diesel from his truck while he was parked at a high­way ser­vice sta­tion. The Road Haulage As­so­ci­a­tion says crim­i­nals are sell­ing stolen diesel at less than bowser price.


Gov­ern­ment work­ers must down­size ve­hi­cles un­der a new US pres­i­den­tial or­der. The rul­ing cov­ers ve­hi­cles used for law en­force­ment, pro­tec­tive, emer­gency re­sponse or mil­i­tary tac­ti­cal op­er­a­tions. Ex­ec­u­tive fleet ve­hi­cles larger than a mid-size sedan, or not meet­ing al­ter­na­tive-fuel ve­hi­cle re­quire­ments, must be dis­closed.

Safety leader: The elec­tric Nis­san Leaf

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