Change Alley

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I Want One Of Those!

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Talking of green cars … as you’d expect from an event taking place in California, the greenest place on the planet, the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show is packed with models that would be powered by various combinations of alternative fuels or hybrid drive-trains, if only the motoring masses could get their hands on them.

Volkswagen unveiled the latest and most advanced member of the up! family of concept cars. The space up! blue is powered by a pioneering high-temperature fuel cell linked to a set of 12 lithium-ion batteries. A bank of solar panels built into the roof allow the charge in the batteries to be topped up by available light. Many of the surfaces are constructed out of recycled materials – the instrument panel and the door mouldings are made out of organic plastics or biopolymers.

The space up! blue has a range of around 65 miles on batteries and 155 miles using the fuel cell, giving a maximum range of 220 miles. As for performance, on batteries it can reach 62 mph in 13.7 seconds, with a top speed of 75 mph.

I wish I could drive. Sadly, a production version won’t evolve before the end of the decade.

New York Times on the Auto Show


Written by Pete Smith

November 20, 2007 at 12:45 pm

One Response

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  1. > A bank of solar panels built into the roof

    I’ve always wondered why the roof hadn’t been utilized in this way. Guess the high price of oil has spurred venture capital investment into these new car projects.


    November 20, 2007 at 1:32 pm

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