From Auto News
LOS ANGELES — Fisker Automotive has hired ousted General Motors’ global marketing boss Joel Ewanick to be interim chief of global sales and marketing for the maker of luxury plug-in hybrids.
Ewanick, 52, will replace industry veteran Richard Beattie, 58, who announced his retirement today, Fisker spokesman Roger Ormisher said.
Ewanick has been working with Fisker as a marketing consultant for at least six weeks and will fill Beattie’s role until a full-time replacement is named, Ormisher said. Beattie — formerly of Ford, Mazda and Jaguar — was hired by Fisker as its chief commercial officer last December.
“We would like to thank Richard for his valuable contribution in helping to grow the Fisker brand and sales in global markets over the past 12 months, and wish him well in his retirement,” Fisker CEO Tony Posawatz said in a statement issued to Automotive News.
“As we seek to appoint a long-term successor, there is no one better than Joel, with his wealth of motor industry experience and knowledge to guide us through this interim period. I am delighted to welcome him to the Fisker team.”
Ormisher declined to comment when asked if Ewanick would be a candidate to become Beattie’s full-time replacement.
Ewanick was fired from GM in July over the handling of a controversial sponsorship deal with English soccer club Manchester United. Since the split, Ewanick has done consulting work with a number of companies in the automotive industry, including TrueCar.com, according to a source with knowledge of Ewanick’s activities.
In joining Fisker, Ewanick will be reunited with Posawatz, the former Chevrolet Volt chief engineer who left GM in July and then became Fisker’s CEO in August. The relationship between the two was a major factor in Ewanick’s decision to become involved with Fisker, according to the source.
GE is set to but 2,000 Ford C-MAX hybrid Plug-In Cars for its corporate fleet, the companies said on Tuesday Nov 20 2012.
As part of the deal for the Ford C-Max Energi vehicles, the automaker said it would jointly market GE’s alternative fuel infrastructure technology, including charging stations and natural gas fueling stations, to its commercial buyers.
The agreement is Ford’s largest plug-in electrified vehicle fleet sale to date.
The C-Max Energi, with an MSRP of $33,000, went on sale last month. It can drive about 21 miles in all-electric mode before the engine kicks in and gets the equivalent of 100 miles per gallon as rated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The C-Ford MAX hits the UK roads in the middle of 2012. No UK price has been confirmed but Ford UK have hinted that the UK price will be less than the Ampera which retails for £30,000.
The C MAX combines a 2.0 L petrol engine with the electric power train. Full review to come in time.
The car company Renault are conducting a UK ZE tour to show and demonstrate their range of electric vehicles.
These include the Twizy, Fluence, Kangoo Van and the Zoe.
The display showed a number of Kangoo Vans, plenty of Twizy models a couple of Fluence cars and a single Zoe.
We drove a Twizy and it was just great – reasonable solid, fast enough, quiet and solid even with half doors.
People tend to stare at you on the road as you drive past. This is quite exciting.
Renault were also providing lots of information on the charging systems and EV infrastructure that makes owning an EV feasible. They highlighted the Source with over 500 charging points in London active today with plans to grow that to 1,300 by 2013.
Seems that the EV market is still tiny and that the Brits are rushing out to their dealers to purchase Electric Cars.
During 2011 the UK sold 1,915,816 cars powered by regular petrol and diesel motors and just 1082 battery powered cars of which 635 were Leafs. With the power of GM and the Volt coming later this year how far can this number climb?
The car with two names and three brands has taken the highly coveted Car of the Year award at the Geneva motor show. What’s more you still cant buy one in Europe.
The Volt or Ampera is a EV with a motor that acts solely as a generator, or what the trade calls a range extender.
From the judges report:
Volt/Ampera offer is a mature product, after years of development and perfectioning by General Motors, and the first example of an electric vehicle with extended range. Others will come along this path. The concept, addressed to the fears of potential customers in front of an incipient recharging net of electricity for vehicles, implies energy generated on board, to continue the journey, once exhausted the rechargeable batteries. In the case of the Ampera/Volt, that means a 1.4 petrol engine working in semi-stationary regime. The balance between electric drive range and combustion-engine help takes in account the usually short daily displacements of the average car user. The electrical autonomy is rated at around 60 km with normal driving, then it comes the 1.4 to the rescue.
Viability of such approach, in a time when recharging possibilities on the road are limited, has been positively assessed by Jury members, who see in the Volt/Ampera a product better suited to consumers’ needs than the conventional electric car. By the way one of those preceded the Opel/Chevrolet in the CotY title. In the early phase of distribution in Europe, Opel has reckoned to have around 7,000 firm orders of this model, in spite of a high price, somewhat moderated by public subsidies.
Some stringent crash test in USA recorded heat control problems in the battery pack, and the possibility of a fire. GM has thoroughly addressed the matter and applied new solutions, with better protection of the batteries and more efficient cooling systems, so customers can be assured.
VOLT TECHNICAL DATA
– Body: 5-door hatchback
– Size: 4.50 X 1.79 X 1.43 m. Wheelbase: 2.69 m.
– Transmission: Front wheel drive. Automatic clutch. Single gear.
– Tyres/wheels: 215/55-17 (7.0 X 17)
– Engine: Electric AC syncronous motor.
– Power – torque: 111 kW (151 hp) – 273 Nm
– Maximum speed – 0-100 km/h acceleration: 160 km/h – 9 s.
The Kisker Karma that recently failed in the hands of high profile magazine Consumer Reports was stopped by faulty battery components supplied by A123 systems. The company, a spin out of MIT, acknowledged a manufacturing fault or defect that caused the Karma to stop.
The EV Van subsidy scheme, which was first announced last month, means buyers can get 20% off the cost price of a new vehicle, up to a maximum of £8,000. This scheme is actually an extension of the plug-in grant launched for ordinary domestic cars last year.
Yet despite the deal, take-up has been slow. Government figures show there were just 892 applications made for the plug-in grant in 2011, despite the fact that several big manufacturers launched new, electric models for the first time. The bulk of those applications also came in the first quarter of the year, with the figure tailing off to just 106 for the final three months.
The UK government is determined to fund electric motoring for at least another three years, as part of its plan to meet ambitious emissions targets. “Our new grant demonstrates that you can be a motorist and still be pro-environment,” says Transport Secretary Justine Greening.
“The new plug-in grant also makes business sense as it’s been estimated that a small electric van will typically cost £100 less in fuel for every 1,000 miles driven compared to a diesel equivalent.”
It is not just the grant either. If you drive an electric vehicle you can benefit from zero-rate company car tax and you won’t pay the congestion charge in London.
There are plenty in the industry that believe electric motoring is currently more suited to business use than to domestic use. Think of all those white vans dashing around your town or city. They will cover no more than 100 miles in a day (that’s the rough range of an electric van), and the companies don’t use them at night, so it is easy to plug them in at the depot ready for the next day.
Telsa unveiled their sweet looking Model X at their LA design studio and claim that in the first 24 hours 500 reservations of $5,000 have been placed.
That’s not bad for a car with no advance advertising.