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Axon Automotive shows off lightweight plug-in hybrid

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October 29, 2009

The Axon Automotive hybrid vehicle makes good use of lightweight, recyclable materials

The Axon Automotive hybrid vehicle makes good use of lightweight, recyclable materials

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UK car manufacturer Axon Automotive has used the Milton Keynes Science Festival to preview its plug-in hybrid lightweight passenger car. The car combines carbon fiber composite construction with a full electric mode for short-run local travel and a petrol or bioethanol-powered engine for longer distances or highway travel.

Axon Automotive says its use of carbon fiber technology delivers excellent power-to-weight ratio and reduces pollution.

“By designing light cars and giving them good aerodynamics you can radically lower vehicle emissions,” says Axon’s Managing Director, Dr Steve Cousins.

“As a plug-in hybrid we have no limitation on range but we can maximize the benefits of electrics day-to-day without the cost and weight of large batteries,” he added.

The company’s car also has a recycling angle. Axon says that the carbon fiber it uses can be recycled, and this car has fashion house-designed seating made from recycled fabrics (jeans and recycled pinstriped suits) and door panels made from recycled carbon fiber.

The Axon car is a multipurpose vehicle built for two adults and has generous amounts of luggage space. Axon says that electric-powered vehicles should be clear about the emissions needed to make the electricity they use. “We have had our greenhouse gas emissions calculated to include typical UK powerstation emissions when driving in electric mode. The result gives us just under 50g/CO2 per km for the mix of electric and petrol used in the Government test. This is just half the level needed for free annual road tax in the UK for this car,” (band ‘A’ is below 100g/CO2 per km = zero road tax in the UK).

Axon Automotive is so far the only UK-owned car company making a plug-in hybrid EV and is funded by the UK Technology Strategy Board and private investment. Axon says the first cars will be on sale in 2011 with full production in 2012.

The manufacturing roll-out will be via small factories in UK and in Europe including Spain, France, Ireland, Denmark, and Holland.

4 Comments

If it's affordable, it doesn't have much carbon fiber in it. Far better than CF would it being done in medium tech composites. Weight increase would only be 2-4% but cost would drop 50% if it was really a CF car.

I build boats and EV's from composites for a living and I've rarely found CF worth the cost. Only where cost is no object like racing.

But all the rest is great and what we really need.

Why does it always take 2 times to log in to get posts up here?

jerryd
30th October, 2009 @ 06:14 am PDT

It's a 1999 Honda Insight... only shorter

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_Insight

How far we haven't come in only 10 years.

heldmyw
31st October, 2009 @ 08:12 am PDT

It is the Honda Insight! Oh...wait...no. Reading the article I think calling carbon fiber recyclable ridiculous. It is recyclable but so are industrial plastics used in standard auto manufacturing. Only industrial plastics are cheaper - much cheaper to recycle than carbon fiber at present. Also, steel is 100% recyclable and far more efficient from a power and waste water standpoint to recycle than plastic or carbon fiber. Let us worry more about battery life and overall efficiency based on contemporary energy generation technology. The recycling angle is less important than the heat absorption of the paint.

Vexxarr
4th November, 2009 @ 10:10 am PST

I have been working with these guy in development, the recycled CF will not cause a waste. Land fill of CF a better green option ??? As to the battery development, latest technologies of the industry will be encompassed. The best way is to wait for the reviews and judge your self in person. You can never see what the inside track is unless you work with them or the developer. At least they are British and trying which is important and not farming it out to cheapest bidder!

Harvey Tait
10th December, 2009 @ 05:53 am PST
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