March, 2001

Geneva Motor Show 186 mph electric Kaz steals limelight...

(Update Mar 2003 - Now watch superb exhilerating FPC movies of Kaz on the open the the motor shows!! )

The 186 mph Japanese electric car the 'Kaz' took centre stage this week at the Geneva Motor Show. The eight-wheeled Kaz (one 75 bhp motor in each wheel, Lithium batteries...)3—4can travel up to 186 miles on a single 1 hour charge.3—4What's more it can cover the standing quarter mile in only 14.5 secs - so head-to-head with the Porsche Boxster S for example - and using just a fraction of the energy. Check out the Kaz website for full details and pictures of its starring role at the 71st International Motor Show.

Note: as far as we know BBC World's"News 24" was the only TV company to cover the Kaz/Geneva story - and a very positive and enthusiastic film report it was too. As we've often commented, UK domestic TV (domestic agenda...) companies - unlike BBC World TV and Radio - just refuse to go there...
Thanks to 'Chris' of North London for alerting us to this one...

March, 2001

'Petrol has had its Day'- Mike Rutherford. There are signs that one or two mainstream motoring journalists are at last seeing the light and daring to criticise carmakers for their innovative lethargy and failure to actually sell viable electric vehicles....

In a recent article "At Full Chat" in UK magazine Auto Express (Feb 2001), the indomitable Mike Rutherford almost throws away his erstwhile petrol-head credentials with the refreshingly heretical pronouncement that... "Petrol has had its day".

Welcome aboard Mike!(If your Auto Express column is mysteriously cancelled we'll understand why).

December, 2000

New BP TV ads: Back to Petroleum

BP has come clean and at last ceased airing its hysterically unconvincing 'Beyond Petroleum' ads - yes, the ones that banged on about the need for Nice try...but we just can't cut that oil-umbilical, can we?

In the new 'green-sheen' ad it's more a case of "Beyond the Petroleum we were floggin' last year" - all-new, whiter-than-white, better even than the MTBE-fortified carcinogenic variety of yesteryear(Homepage SEARCH 'MTBE'). Check out the cringingly phoney corporate-smooth voice-over this time around: "It's not an end to the problem - but the solution has to start somewhere." What?! Only just "starting"?! And of course that dreaded word 'alternative' - as in 'alternative power' - is clearly still considered too radical for Primetime TV.

'Alternatively', BP could do worse than emulate Texaco's bold lead with its 50:50 joint venture with world-beating battery-maker Ovonics. Now that would be moving Beyond Petroleum. Punch hits out at 'Blair Petroleum' (BP) (Dec 01) - a year or so after our own little 'BP' side-swipe appeared here, Punch magazine - that venerable Leviathan of British satire - this week (Dec 5-18) blew the lid off a veritable oil-can-'o-worms with its no-holds-barred 3-page cover-story:

Blair Petroleum : the full story of New Labour's love affair with BP

A few extracts:
(opening paragraph...)

" When Tony Blair's most influential adviser, Anji Hunter, was hired by BP-Amoco plc it crystallised the cosy, incestuous relationship New Labour and the multi-national oil giant. Rarely have the interests of a government been so closely intertwined with a major corporation....."

Author Mark Hollingsworth goes on to describe how Ms. Hunter and Downing St. had confidently promoted and backed a - whoops - doomed deal in which BP 'naively' paid $571 million ($400 million) for a 10% stake in Russian state oil company Sidanko: "Within months the company was asset-stripped and millions of dollars left the country....Amazingly BP and Labour have emerged unscathed from the Sidanko debacle, which has attracted virtually no publicity in the UK media." ( surprise to us here at EVUK cf. EVUK eMission statement and our reference there to the "...cosy coalition between oil companies/carmakers/the media/government...")

Punch - as always - pulls no punches: "BP and New Labour are now like a joint-venture - working together to their mutual benefits and interests is not so much friendship as a love affair." Or Political Loilty perhaps?
(..Punch's delicious cover pic showed a beaming Blair brandishing a big bright red(still the party colours..) petrol-pump nozzle...)

December, 2000

Texaco buys into Battery World-Beater.

Texaco (now recently also merged with Chevron) has bought a 50-50 stake in Ovonic Battery(the power behind the record-breaking Solectria Sunrise and Gen II GM EV1).
In a press statement (issued Oct.31 2000) we are told that " the joint venture, to be renamed Texaco Ovonic, will be restructured and... will continue to manufacture and commercialize high-efficiency nickel-metal-hydride EV and HEV batteries...". Is this too good to be true? This seemingly unlikely merger could bode well for the future of pure electric vehicles - but let's hope that the new company will not at some point (ab)use its position to quietly phase out pure EV battery applications...

November, 2000

Lorry protestors and road hauliers should be looking not to Blair but to 'The' Hague for a solution to many of their largely self-inflicted woes...perhaps?
Carlucci put this question to Sky radio phone-in on fuel protesters this week...(Also printed as lead letter, The Independent, Thurs. Nov. 15th) ...But they dumped our side-splitting title: "The Hague NOT Blair".

Perhaps lorry protestors and road hauliers should be looking not to Blair but to 'The' Hague for a solution to many of their largely self-inflicted woes?

I'm curious to know for example what pressure these groups have been putting on vehicle manufacturers and others over the past 2, 5 or even 10 years to increase the fuel efficiency of lorries, trucks and agricultural vehicles. Or are they now simply reaping the rewards of their collective inertia and short-sightedness - as so many environmental organisations have been predicting for so long?

Please prove this cynic wrong: maybe the likes of David Handley have indeed been taking the initiative in pushing tirelessly for the widespread adoption of alternative and cheaper fuels such as biodiesel, gas or hybrid electric? Could your guest please maybe talk to us knowledgeably for a minute or two about the presumably strenuous efforts they've been making in this direction over the last 5 or 10 years?

Then again, maybe the protestors should consider taking their convoy via Harwich over to the Hague and holding up banners demanding cheaper fossil-fuel for the entertainment of climate-change delegates gathered there?

EVUK footnote:
You'll notice that the letter deliberately makes a crowd-pleasing reference to "hybrid electric" as opposed to "electric", pure and simple...without this bit of compromise/self-denial even the Independent would doubtless have binned the whole piece. (It's down to that 'electric-vehicle-must-be-a-nut' syndrome - a sort of incurable psychosis/paranoia traceable to early Sinclair C5 traumas - particularly rife in British newsrooms...).

November, 2000

Poor rural RANGE ROVER driver...

(Carlucci to Sky People:)
In one news segment (yesterday) you seek our sympathy for a 'poor' farmer and his dependence on a 15 mile a gallon gas-guzzling Land Rover Discovery. Similarly, in another report, you describe the appalling flooding in the south of England, Britain's most expensive natural disaster. Today, Monday, you show us the devastation in Turin - home of carmakers Fiat.

Both of these floods - according to most impartial experts - are caused in large part by man's (and that includes Fiat's and the media's) stubborn refusal/failure to look beyond fossil-fuel and the Internal Combustion Engine. Despite this, SKY continues defiantly - almost bloody-mindedly - to campaign for cheaper fossil fuel(ie. petrol) and for cheaper fossil fuel vehicles..

When can we at last expect some responsible joined up journalism in respect of the beloved car? When will you at last start pressurizing the carmakers to actually start SELLING alternatives to the crank&piston?

Can I suggest you take your cameras to Murdoch University (yes, as in "Rupert") in Perth and put together a refreshing report on the groundbreaking work being done there by "ACRE" the Australian Cooperative Research Centre for Renewable Energy . I'm sure Rupert would be 100% chuffed at the excellent work being done there in his name - and with his money....

November, 2000

Nissan Hypermini - Hyper-maxi price for minimal-range city-shopper.(£35,000/60 mpc).
Nissan Hypermini: Japanese kamikaze launch-price £35000!! Weep at half the price!

Yes, £35,000 - self-destruct, kamikaze pricing - this despite a recent whopping 90% reduction in the production-cost of lactone for Lithium Ion batteries.

Essentally this charmless little Hypercliche lacks everything that reviewers and customers(US and Japan) loved about the 125 mile per charge Nissan Altra EV and simply demonstrates yet again how badly carmakers want you NOT to buy or to like electric cars....It may have won the New Energy Grand Prize from the Japanese Ministry-backed New Energy Foundation but at 35 'Grand' it's failing to electrify most impartial reviewers - especially those who've driven the Altra...

October, 2000

Battery range set to double?
No excuses for rural commuters any more!!

Evercel's Nickel Zinc batteries look set to double the mileage-range of electric bicycles, scooters and motorbikes in the very near future. Already leading bike/scooter makers Zapbikes, ATALA and EVT (see links below...) have signed deals with the groundbreaking Connecticut-based battery manufacturers - although the three companies in question are understandably keeping pretty quiet about exactly when they will be launching Evercel-based products.... In a recent update(Oct 23,2000) to EVUK, Evercel boss Robert Kanode is mega-positive about this new generation of Nickel Zinc 2-(and 3?)wheelers:

"We are very pleased with our progress on electric scooters and bikes. Our strategy has been to focus on electric scooters first and follow with a strong focus on electric bikes. ( I am leaving for Italy this afternoon to participate in further introductions of electric scooters with very strong government support.)

We are emerging as the battery of choice in high performance electric scooters. We have helped form the Italian corporation Oxygen and remain a major stock holder. During the next few months you will see significant progress in Italy through the Oxygen group.

Asia is still proceeding well but the supporting infrastructure, public charging stations, etc., is not as advanced as Italy.

You will see further progress during the next months. From a larger battery perspective (100Ahr) we are introducing a marine deep discharge battery which electric boat companies in Europe are purchasing. Our products have excellent deep discharge, long life and light weight advantages.

See following selection of other Evercel-related press releases: 1) ZAP Lectra motorbike(see picture) and Zap/Evercel plans:

2) ATALA has announced it will be ceasing production of all petrol-powered scooters and focusing on battery power see Evercel press release:

3) EVT and picture of EVT's "Evercel" electric scooter(67 km per charge, 45 km/hour) at EVS17 in Montreal:

As always the UK's crank&piston-fixated media is ignore all of this Zero Emission, petrol-tax-avoiding innovation. Sad, if not tragic, ain't it folks?

Update 2002 !! Lepton electric scooter from Oxygen S.p.A, Padua, Italy(formerly Atala) - outperforms the rest by miles/kms, Evercel Nickel Zinc batts - now available in UK. 50+ km per charge, punchy acceleration, 20 minute quick-charge, highly accurate charge-gauge. Proving very popular in Italy...See EVWorld Lepton review and Oxygen World.

October, 2000

SCANDAL!! Guinness Book ditches electric RANGE-BUSTERS! Any BEER as long as it's BLACK ....any car as long as it's NOT long-range ELECTRIC....

The Guinness Book of World Records has quietly left out all electric vehicle range record-breakers (Solectria Sunrise and Force) from its Year 2001 edition. This is unforgiveable: despite the increasingly disastrous effects of climate change, despite the almost inescapable petrochemical stench in our streets...the Guinness Geniuses, bless them, have decided, against all possible logic, NOT to include these Zero Emission trailblazers in their second edition of the New Millennium.

Yet they do find room for hundreds of frivolous feats - such as, for example, the fact that 283 baked beans have been eaten in 2 minutes by 4 Oxford students. Even more laughable and tawdry is the Guinness people's shameless, virtual sales-pitch - one long drooling paragraph - singing the praises of the (you guessed it...) Toyota Prius hybrid.

If, like us, you are outraged - or at least mystified - by this "mysterious" removal of EV range-records why not send a pithy email to ? ...and maybe even threaten to boycott the BLACKSTUFF unless and until the records are replaced?

October, 2000

Will neither-fish-nor-fowl mongrels like the Prius and Insight kill off the penny-a-mile threat of pure electric vehicles - as carmakers, oil companies and petrol-tax-loving governments so clearly hope?

A few comments then on the current concerted outbreak of hybrid-hype - being generated around the long-postponed UK launch of the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight. Although these vehicles may appear radically innovative to the 'electrically' unitiated, neither of them, tragically, offer electric-only (and hence also noise-free ) operation for low-speed urban/local driving. The Citroen Xsara Dynactive on the other hand will offer this zero-emission mode. But of course British carbuyers will have to wait at least another year for the petrol-tax-busting Dynactive to appear in UK showrooms.

Global Warming - NO WORRIES??

In Australia, Holden's Olympic torch-bearing hybrid, the "ECOmmodore" - according to some reports - also appears to promise this electric-only advantage - but don't hold your breath...this Aussie concept-car experiment has all the hallmarks of Olympic eco-tokenism and no records are likely to be broken rushing the ECOmmodore off the production line and into the real world....(See also 'AXcess' hybrid)

....Anyway - if antipodean sun-worshippers really want to avoid barbecuing themselves downunder (...and elsewhere) through an ever-widening OZone hole it's surely high time they all began driving round in literally record-breaking Solectria Sunrise-type marvels - powered and charged up from solar/PV systems mounted on that continent's vast ACREeage of sprawling suburban rooftops.

In short, instead of just religiously blocking out the sun's rays with barrel-loads of overpriced sunscreen, shouldn't Australians - hosts, after all, of this year's "Green Games" Olympiad - be rejecting fossil-fuel altogether and actually harnessing the sun's energy in order to power both their cars AND their houses? (see Ed Begley Jnr.) What indeed is the point of Australia's celebrated fun-in-the-sun World Solar Challenges if there is no will to actually get realworld state-of-the-art electric vehicles into car-showrooms??

But we digress....

......As for hybrids in general: even if UK drivers do squeeze 60 or so miles from each £4 gallon of petrol, hybrids will still cost 6 or 7 times more - mile for mile - to drive than pure electric vehicles. That translates as : 6 pence a mile('ICE') compared to just over 1p per mile('NICE'). And who knows what the price ratio will be next year(OPEC...taxman)?

Add to that of course the unfamiliar maintenance-costs of the rather unwieldy piggy-backing hybrid combo....No, sorry - give me the cost-saving, planet-saving simplicity of pure electric power every time....

(Note for Australian websurfers....power-supplier Energexwill now pay you for your surplus solar power. See also great map of Australia's greener energy suppliers at on the website)

Note: 'ACRE' - believe it or not - is Murdoch University's(Perth) 'Cooperative Research Centre for Renewable Energy'. Yes, Rupert Murdoch - the unlikeliest "Green Evangelist".

October, 2000

BUY, BUY, BUY more cars!

Yet again the relentless rallying-cry from the media - including the allegedly commercial-free BBC - is:
"CARS WILL BE CHEAPER ....SO PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE - GO OUT and BUY, BUY, BUY!!". Despite FOUR plus pounds a gallon, despite the inescapable stench of vehicle-exhausts in our streets, despite the 25 000 deaths a year from chronic asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, heart-disease etc...despite the irritating little nuisance of Global Warming - yes, despite all this, we are all yet again being asked to rejoice ecstatically that yet more people will now possibly be able to afford to add to the ludicrous asphyxiating gridlock on our streets.

Joined up politics? How about some joined up journalism with respect to the future of this little planet of ours??
Alternative-powered, zero-emission, cheap-to-run vehicles ARE being developed, "talked up" AND indeed driven - mysteriously enough - anywhere but in the UK and Europe where petrol prices and taxes are highest. So for how much longer exactly does the entire UK media intend defending and championing these hopelessly outdated, 'devil-may-care' oil-economy products and attitudes?

September, 2000

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) Friday reinforces mandate requiring automakers to market thousands of zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) in the state starting in 2003

Yes, over in California, apparently on the same planet as the UK, air-quality regulators have have voted to keep a rule requiring up to 10 percent of new cars and light truckssold in the state to produce zero emissions, despite industryobjections that meeting the goal would be too costly.

ARB Chairman Dr. Alan Lloyd said, ì"We have to think not just of 2003 but also of protecting the stateís air quality far into the future.î" He said California could lose the battle against air pollution unless its motor vehicle fleet moves toward zero emissions.

Will a British government dare to implement a similar ZEV mandate and demonstrate a real, genuine comitment to improving air quality for all? Will the mainstream press perhaps one day raise the question?

September, 2000

"EX-hausted" Olympic Athletes

David Coleman commented during the women's marathon that due to some runners's breathing problems some of the camera-bikes /support-bikes were now battery-driven (we await more details). At times during marathons, triathlons, cycling events etc. athletes' highly-optimised lungs at times seem to be deep-breathing in the tailwind of fleets of exhaust-pipes.....
The Sydney Olympics were billed as the Green Games but we never heard much about this groundbreaking/recordbreaking side of things from the Beeb or the media in general..another wasted opportunity..

September, 2000

Formula 1 designer aims at 410 mph record - in a ZEV!

Ex-Formula 1 designer Martin Bryant is aiming to break the 410 mph wheel-driven land-speed record for ANY VEHICLE - in an electric (or possibly hybrid) speed-machine called Pegasus. The current record of 245 mph is held by White Lightning. Bryant, heading up a high-powered team at Podium Design in West Sussex, UK, told Autocar magazine (26 July, 2000) :
"Technology has moved on so far since the Thrust project in the '80s....we're talking about a totally different level of engineering. Road cars are starting to switch to alternative fuel sources. Our racing cars and record breakers should do the same."
Amen to that.

In a recent meeting (18.Oct. '00) Bryant told EVUK's Moira Govan that - for better or worse and for reasons he'd prefer to leave to our imagination - sponsorship for the project has been far more forthcoming since he made the conscious decision to emphasise the 'hybrid factor' to potential backers. Nevertheless, he assures us that he and his team are equally committed to both record attempts and both propulsion systems - pure electric and hybrid.
The public reponse, he tells us, even at this early stage, has been tremendous, especially from school and college students and groups. The Pegasus/Podium website - still in development - has been recording as many as a million hits a month - surely some kind of electric vehicle record in itself...
See also: PrimeTime - British Land Speed Record - aiming to break 245 mph electric record in late 2002 with vehicle e-Motion. Cutting-edge, still-secret batteries and drive system that PrimeTime believe will revolutionize pure battery EV's....

August, 2000


Ford e-Ka beats Ka hands down.
July/Aug 2000: Ford's e-Ka 125 mile per charge, 80 mph (restricted) getsrave reviews from UK and worldwide motoring media! But the public will have to force Ford to mass-produce it. The e-Ka simply outclasses the old-tech petrol-powered Ka: 88bph compared to 59 bph, 140lb of instant torque compared to the KA's almost pitiful 77lb peak at 2500rpm. And the e-KA reaches 62mph in 12.7 secs... Two years ago Nissan introduced the Altra EV - Lithium Ion batteries, 125 mpc and similar performance to the e-Ka. But like so many state-of-the art EV's it's only available - and publicised - in the US and Japan. We desperately hope Ford aren't TH!NKing of watering down the e-KA and producing yet another silly little 60 mile per charge eco-shopper. Please - let's have mainstream looks that attract mainstream buyers. In his almost ecstatic review(2nd August 2000) Autocar's Jesse Crosse states that "the e-Ka will never hit the streets in this form...". Why this oh-so-familiar concept-car cop-out clause? Also: like so many EV reviewers Mr. Crosse seems strangely keen to persuade the reader that the e-Ka is a "good proposition as a second car". Second? The reality for many electric converts in the States is that the EV becomes the Most Frequently Used Vehicle: often the petrol-powered vehicle is so seldom used that it is traded in. For those occasional longer (100+ mile) journeys a regular ICE vehicle is rented - resulting in big savings. Maybe this is precisely the 'ICE' meltdown/ EV-genie effect that the oil-rigged motoring lobby fear most of all.... See CAR-tels and CAR-bolics for Jim Carlucci's fully-charged response to Autocar's August review:

August, 2000

"Electric" Queen Mum...Queen Mum has Birthday card delivered by electric Post Office van sensation!

Confronted with the word "ELECTRIC" emblazoned on the bonnet of the electric Post Office van delivering the Queen Mum's Birthday card, celebrating her 100th year, car-lobbied Sky News and the BBC had no choice but to say the 'e' word in their live broadcast today. Sky News commentators had to mention the fact that 100 years ago most vehicles were in fact electric, revealing also that the Duke of Edinburgh travels round London in an electric taxi! Will the media omit this in detailed evening coverage...?

EVUK footnote:
Paul C kindly revealed details of the Royal electric taxi, a Lucas Taxi EV. Top speed 65 mph, range 60 miles.
(Mexicans have been able to hail zero-polluting air-compressed cabs since 1998 - range - 120 miles. See News and Campaign) page.There is a picture of the Lucas taxi in the Shire Album on Electric vehicles.

July, 2000

Sydney Harbour is home of the world's first solar/wind powered boat...

The Solar Sailor built in Australia will "revolutionise the way the world travels on water", says Trevor Robertson, CEO of Solar Sailor. The vessel features mounted wings which harness the sun and wind and consequently produces no water pollution, low wash, minimal noise and low fumes. See the Solar Sailor website for more details.....
Bill Gates likes a 'clean ride' -see Electrifying Times for picture of Mr Gates in an electric boat...

June, 2000

GM EV1 increases range to 225 mpc at the American Tour de Sol...

A production General Motors EV1 equipped with NiMH batteries produced by GM Ovonic achieved a range of 225 miles on a single charge at the American Tour de Sol last month. A two-wheel electric scooter also powered with Ovonic NiMH batteries achieved a range of 73 miles.

May, 2000

Sydney Olympics 2000 'goes electric'..

A fleet of 400 electric and solar-assisted buggies will be used to transport athletes, officials, spectators, police and the fire brigade between Olympic venues during the Sydney 2000 Games.
EVUK comment: These buggies do nothing to destroy the milk-float image of course. So will Sydney dare to afford real long-range EV's maximum global TV exposure by introducing long-range zero-emission camera cars? Will Sydney Olympics 2000 provide the first ever clean road races?

May, 2000

Ford unveils prototype e-Ka..

FORD has extended the limits of electric power by producing a prototype e-Ka which uses a new generation of high-tech batteries.

This achieves performance approaching that of a petrol Ka with acceleration to 60mph in just over 12 seconds and 82mph top speed. It has a range averaging 95 miles between charges stretching to 125 miles if you can manage to drive at a steady 50mph. Read more about this in RAWSTUFF

[The Internet Electric Vehicle List News. For Public EV informational purposes. Contact publication for reprint rights.] --- {EVangel}

April, 2000

Jeremy Leggett reports in the Times India on the Carbon Club

"As the world's weather grows warmer and deadlier",says oilman turned leading environmentalist, "uneasy public opinion is starting to see climate change as the ugly legacy of the oil era"

March, 2000 K-EV-in Spacey 'ZAPS' Manhattan..

Oscar winning Hollywood star K-EV-in Spacey was seen recently by millions of American CBS viewers zapping around the streets of Manhattan on his electric scooter the ZAPPY.He carries it around in cabs and jumps onto his trusty scooter if he gets stuck in a jam. Spacey first appeared back in April 1999 with his 'zappy little American Beauty' on the David Letterman show

March, 2000

ZAPPY, HOVERBOARD & BUZZ - STEALTHY SILENT E-SCOOTERS are now all the rage in San Francisco too - no longer just that darned crazy spaced-out Kev Spacey and the wild Manhattan crowd...
EVUK's Moi Govan - always ahead of the curve - reminisces: " funny to think I spent the summer of '98 in California trying to spread the word about electric scooters to the crowd... scooting down SF Market and Santa Monica beachfront...hey, there's always Brighton or Clacton..."

There's a trendy new mode of transportation among the crowd in San Francisco, and it's not the newest/latest BMW or gas-guzzling SUV. It's the new breed of electric scooters. They're inexpensive, they're environmentally friendly, they plug into a standard power source, and they go up to 14 miles an hour.

The three main scooters out there right now are the Zappy from Zapworld, the Hoverboard from Patmount Motor Werks, and the Buzz, which is being distributed by Huffy. While each scooter had something to offer over the others, our overwhelming favorite was Huffy's Buzz, a scooter that's fast, quiet, easily collapsible, comes with a comfortable seat and a storage basket. But that's not to say the other two weren't just as fun to tool around on.

The Zappy and the Hoverboard have their strengths as well. Zappy is lightweight and can take a beating when going off curbs and smashing into things. It's great for doing tricks and thrashing in general. The Hoverboard, on the other hand, has a comfortably large standing platform and a really small form factor when collapsed down. Of course all of these scooters have their flaws, as the following reviews will show, but for the most part, these new scooters are more than just a lot of fun; they're a compelling tool for getting about town.

Testing methodology: Our testing methodology was simple: Give all of the scooters a real-world beating. We used each scooter to commute to and from the office, we jumped them off curbs, drained their batteries, raced them on the streets and sidewalks, and pretty much rode 'em until they screamed for mercy.
By Rick Popko ( posted on 'Honda EV' mailing list - see
( EVUK footnote: you may also like to check out the CityBug

March, 2000

Leonardo Dicaprio Backs Promotion Of Alternatives To Oil

BBC News 24 reports that Leonardo DiCaprio has called on governments ahead of the upcoming Earth Day 2000 on April 22nd to concentrate on developing alternatives to oil.
As usual only non-mainstream TV - ie. BBC World, BBC News 24, CNN have the guts/editorial integrity to provide any exposure to the DiCaprio/Clinton/Earth Day 2000 happening. How tragic that we need this celebrity endorsement at all - even just to get grudging token media coverage. Nevertheless, yet again Hollywood is seen to hit out fearlessly at Washington's special-interest puppets...give DiCaprio an Oscar for 'Best Environment-Supporting Actor'...

February, 2000

Gloucester Gets UK's First Electric Taxi In 100 Years

Gloucester "eco cabbie" Adrian Lawton's battery-powered vehicle has become the country's first electric taxi in nearly 100 years. To ensure unlimited range, Mawton of Eco Transport in Stroud,Gloucestershire uses an on-board petrol-powered generator. However for 99% of his journeys, the generator, he explained, would not be needed.
Electric taxis last ran in London in 1908.

More of these please! See Campaign page. (This report first appeared in The Citizen on 21st Jan, 2000).
If you would like more information on this battery-powered taxi, telephone UK+ 1453 765646/ email:

February, 2000

Mexico City's 87,000 taxis to be replaced by zero polluting compressed-air cars

Ex-Formula One lightweight engine designer Guy Negre is cleaning up the streets of Mexico City with his air-powered car.The clean-burning 2-cylinder motor uses a combination of heated outside air and supercompressed air from tanks stored under the car. Its was first reported back in 1998 that the Mexican Government was planning to buy a fleet of 40,000 compressed-air powered cars with the intention of replacing all 87,000 of its internal combustion engine taxis. At petrol-station air pumps where others inflate tires, Negre can fill up in less than 3 minutes and a tankful lasts about 120 miles.A full tank of compressed air costs around $2 and run for 10 hours in urban conditions.It reaches a top speed of around 60 mph. Carbon filters scrub the expired air before it is released. It produces negative pollution, Negre says. He and his team of 20 engineers have developed 3 prototypes: a taxi, a van, and a pickup. They are expected to be released in 2000 at an average cost of $13,000." Guy Negre has tried to sell his idea to french car makers like Renault and Peugeot. Not surprisingly, without any success.
So why are filthy IC engine taxis still dominating our streets here in the UK? When will London Black Cabs go Green? The company website can be found at this address:
(news source:;

February, 2000

TZERO electric sports car smacks the a!*se (US=a!s) of a Ferrari in San Francisco.

AC Propulsion's tzero out-accelerated a Ferrari F355, a new Corvette, and a Porsche Carrera 4 in a series of 1/8 mile drag races held on January 22, 2000 at Moffett Field in Mountain View, California, and at Calstart's northern facility at the former Alameda Naval Air Station.
This sleek smooth operator has arange of 100 mpc and achieves 0-60 mph in a mere 4.07 seconds. The Tzero goes on sale this year
For more on the above story and information on the Tzero go to the AC Propulsion website

February, 2000

Arrividerci fumo
Rome's ban of non-electric cars on the first Sunday in February looks to have been a success!

" We cannot continue to keep our children under house arrest because of the smog," said Green Party President Grazia Francescato"It does not solve the problem but it means for one day we can reconquer our cities"
Meanwhile here in the UK, Nottingham has announced plans to make its Old Market Square a 'Cleanzone' allowing access to electric and natural gas vehicles only. For more information on electric vehicle developments in Nottingham, read the online edition of Nottinghamshire Evening Post

February, 2000

EPIC Electric Minivans to Shuttle Passengers At Busy LA Airport

Since January this year commuters at busy LA airport have been experiencing state of the art advanced clean technology first hand thanks to the introduction of DaimlerChrysler's 11 EPICs at Xpress Shuttle,California's second largest shuttle service. Up to 50 EPICs may eventually be in service.
EPICs can go up to 80 miles per hour and are equipped with air bags, antilock brakes, air-conditioning and power door locks.
This smart minivan can carry a payload of 925 pounds -- about five passengers and 175 pounds of cargo. The current model is powered by 28, 12-volt advanced nickel-metal-hydride batteries that deliver up to 80-90 miles per charge. In addition, the batteries can be fast-charged in about 30 minutes, a feature that can keep them on the road as many as 16 hours a day covering 350 miles.EPICs will carry more than 500,000 commuters per year
"We'll be exposing a lot of people to this new technology," said Mike Clement, Director of Alternative Fuel Vehicle Sales and Marketing for DaimlerChrysler, "people who until now have associated electric vehicles with golf carts. They're in for a pleasant surprise."
Even with petrol at around 90 pence per gallon, L.A.'s main reason for using the electric EPIC Minivan is to save money! Imagine what savings would be made if these EV's were introduced at Heathrow in the UK where petrol is of course three times the price....
To read more about the Minivan go to EV World test drives

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