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Testing a Twizy at EV 'Disneyland' in Paris

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The Renault Twizy in Paris. [Photo Courtesy of M. Brice BELVEYRE, Centre Renault Z.E.]

albert-grahamI recently had the pleasure of visiting the Renault Z.E. Center located on Ile Seguin, (Boulogne-Billancourt) just a few minutes outside of Paris.  The Z.E. stands for Zero Emissions – a reference to Renault’s popular line of Electrical Vehicles (EVs).

At the Center, Renault showcases all of the vehicles which make up their Z.E. line of cars – The Renault ZOE (5-door hatchback), The Renault Fluence Z.E. (4-door saloon small family car), the Renault Kangoo Z.E. (a small utility van which is used extensively in France for deliveries) and the Renault Twizy (more on this one in just a bit).

Unique in France, and a first in Europe as well, the center has a 2 km driving track (with small hills, sharp turns and even the eventual traffic signage and traffic light! ) which permits extensive testing of the vehicles under real road conditions - all while remaining off road.

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Anti-EV friend refuses to be persuaded

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The Tesla Model S has won Motor Trend Car of the Year Awards, has won accolades from the mainstream press, has recently been driven more than 400 miles on a single charge, and single-handedly disproves virtually all EV myths, and yet that's still not enough to convince some anti-EV die-hards. Go figure. [Photo Credit: Tesla Motors]

editors-blog-entry3You win some and you lose some on the EV persuasion front.

Here’s one I won – sort of: A beaming work colleague came to me last Friday and said she’d just bought a brand new Ford C-Max, the standard hybrid version, that is. And she said, “Christof, you get some credit for this because you and your web page influenced me.”

She also said she views her new hybrid as a possible springboard into a future plug-in hybrid.

Chalk one up for me ;-)

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Nissan gives Google car some EV competition

Electric cars recently took a leap into the future when Nissan unveiled a prototype for an all-electric LEAF that can operate almost completely by itself at Japan’s largest showcase of electronics and information technology, CEATEC.

Not only can the LEAF park itself but, as Nissan explained to EarthTechling.Com, the car has a remote monitoring system that understands the environment around it via an all-around view camera and fourth generation (4G) mobile communications.

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Better deals boost LEAF, Volt sales in U.S.

volt-on-lotNissan LEAF and Chevy Volt sales – which the mainstream and EV press tend to use as the barometers of EV demand in the U.S. – rose in October with the monthly sales volume for the Volt hitting a record high of 2,961.

Nissan sold a much more respectable number of LEAFs than it did during the summer, pushing 1,579 off of dealer lots.

All told, GM has sold more than 30,000 Volts in the U.S. since Volt sales began a little less than two years ago while Nissan has sold about 15,000 LEAFs in about the same amount of time.

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Colorado plugs into National Plug In Day

Denver was one of 65 cities in the U.S. to plug into National Plug In Day last weekend. Over the course of a perfect early fall blue-sky Colorado day, hundreds of people took an electric “pit stop” at Denver’s Forney Museum of Transportation.

National Plug in Day brought together EV lovers from across America to celebrate the latest accomplishments in the EV industry. This year marked the second year in a row that Denver hosted a National Plug in Day event.

“Denver was chosen as one of the locations last year and we had such great success, that a second event was definitely something that we wanted to host and I think this year we’ve seen double the amount of attendees and double the amount of vendors,” said Natalia Swalnick, Director of Environmental Health for the American Lung Association.

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