Honda Fit EV to Come with Free Insurance
Honda Motor Co.'s new Honda Fit electric vehicle is enticing buyers with more than just improved technology, but also collision insurance without any deductible.
Although automakers generally shy away from offering insurance for drivers, General Motors experimented with the concept last year in Oregon and Washington, but did not expand the program once it expired.
Concerned that insurers would have trouble rating the financial risk involved with repairs of such a low-volume vehicle, Honda officials said they will be offering the insurance as a way of removing the barrier of introducing its first electric car in the US. According to some insurance estimates, a single man living in California will save up to $600 a year under the new program. And based on current gas prices, the Honda Civic will run about $1,000 more to drive 12,000 miles than the Fit, with a nighttime charging rate of 12 centers per kilowatt-hour.
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Coming to showrooms in July, Honda will offer just 1,100 leases for the car. Compared to other electric vehicles on the market, the Fit EV will have faster acceleration and better passing performance, especially in “sport mode.” Honda also says the car will be more agile, with a battery pack in a flat configuration beneath the car that lowers the center of gravity. But even more impressive are improvements in range, charge time and new pricing approach.
The Nissan Leaf travels 73 miles on a single 7-hour charge, while the Ford Focus electric travels 76 miles on a 4-hour charge. The Fit, on the other hand, can travel 82 miles on a single charge that takes about 3 hours.
"Every next-generation electric car is going to be a little bit better than the previous one," said Thilo Koslowski, an automotive analyst at research firm Gartner Inc, to the LA times."The technology is improving. Every mile counts. This is an area where the industry can gain a lot more expertise, but that puts early adopters at a disadvantage."
Itronics successfully tests manganese recovery process
Itronics - a Nevada-based emerging cleantech materials growth company that manufacturers fertilisers and produces silver - has successfully tested two proprietary processes that recover manganese, with one process recovering manganese, potassium and zinc from paste produced by processing non-rechargeable alkaline batteries. The second recovers manganese via the company’s Rock Kleen Technology.
Manganese, one of the four most important industrial metals and widely used by the steel industry, has been designated by the US Federal Government as a "critical mineral." It is a major component of non-rechargeable alkaline batteries, one of the largest battery categories sold globally.
The use of manganese in EV batteries is increasing as EV battery technology is shifting to use of more nickel and manganese in battery formulations. But according to the US Department of Interior, there is no mine production of manganese in the United States. As such, Itronics is using its Rock Kleen Technology to test metal recoverability from mine tailings obtained from a former silver mine in western Nevada that has a high manganese content.
In a statement, Itronics says that its Rock Kleen process recovers silver, manganese, zinc, copper, lead and nickel. The company says that it has calculated – based on laboratory test results – that if a Rock Kleen tailings process is put into commercial production, the former mine site would become the only primary manganese producer in the United States.
Itronics adds that it has also tested non-rechargeable alkaline battery paste recovered by a large domestic battery recycling company to determine if it could use one of its hydrometallurgical processes to solubilize the manganese, potassium, and zinc contained in the paste. This testing was successful, and Itronics was able to produce material useable in two of its fertilisers, it says.
"We believe that the chemistry of the two recovery processes would lend itself to electrochemical recovery of the manganese, zinc, and other metals. At this time electrochemical recovery has been tested for zinc and copper,” says Dr John Whitney, Itronics president.
“Itronics has been reviewing procedures for electrochemical recovery of manganese and plans to move this technology forward when it is appropriate to do so and has acquired electro-winning equipment needed to do that.
"Because of the two described proprietary technologies, Itronics is positioned to become a domestic manganese producer on a large scale to satisfy domestic demand. The actual manganese products have not yet been defined, except for use in the Company's GOLD'n GRO Multi-Nutrient Fertilisers. However, the Company believes that it will be able to produce chemical manganese products as well as electrochemical products," he adds.
Itronics’ research and development plant is located in Reno, about 40 miles west of the Tesla giga-factory. Its planned cleantech materials campus, which will be located approximately 40 miles south of the Tesla factory, would be the location where the manganese products would be produced.
Panasonic is operating one of the world's largest EV battery factories at the Tesla location. However, Tesla and other companies have announced that EV battery technology is shifting to use of nickel-manganese batteries. Itronics is positioned and located to become a Nevada-0based supplier of manganese products for battery manufacturing as its manganese recovery technologies are advanced, the company states.
A long-term objective for Itronics is to become a leading producer of high purity metals, including the U.S. critical metals manganese and tin, using the Company's breakthrough hydrometallurgy, pyrometallurgy, and electrochemical technologies. ‘Additionally, Itronics is strategically positioned with its portfolio of "Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies" to help solve the recently declared emergency need for domestic production of Critical Minerals from materials located at mine sites,’ the statement continues.
The Company's growth forecast centers upon its 10-year business plan designed to integrate its Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies and to grow annual sales from $2 million in 2019, to $113 million in 2025.