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."
Major move forward for UK’s nascent marine energy sector
Although the industry is small and the technologies are limited, marine-based energy systems look to be taking off as “the world’s most powerful tidal turbine” begins grid-connected power generation at the European Marine Energy Centre.
At around 74 metres long, the turbine single-handedly holds the potential to supply the annual electricity demand to approximately 2,000 homes within the UK and offset 2,200 tonnes of CO2 per year.
Orbital Marine Power, a privately held Scottish-based company, announced the turbine is set to operate for around 15 years in the waters surrounding Orkney, Scotland, where the 2-megawatt O2 turbine weighing around 680 metric tons will be linked to a local on-land electricity network via a subsea cable.
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Described as a “major milestone for O2” by CEO of Orbital Marine Power Andrew Scott, the turbine will also supply additional power to generate ‘green hydrogen’ through the use of a land-based electrolyser in the hopes it will demonstrate the “decarbonisation of wider energy requirements.”
“Our vision is that this project is the trigger to the harnessing of tidal stream resources around the world to play a role in tackling climate change whilst creating a new, low-carbon industrial sector,” says Scott in a statement.
The Scottish Government has awarded £3.4 million through the Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund to support the project’s construction, while public lenders also contributed to the financial requirements of the tidal turbine through the ethical investment platform Abundance Investment.
“The deployment of Orbital Marine Power’s O2, the world’s most powerful tidal turbine, is a proud moment for Scotland and a significant milestone in our journey to net zero,” says Michael Matheson, the Cabinet Secretary for Net-Zero, Energy and Transport for the Scottish Government.
“With our abundant natural resources, expertise and ambition, Scotland is ideally placed to harness the enormous global market for marine energy whilst helping deliver a net-zero economy.
“That’s why the Scottish Government has consistently supported the marine energy sector for over 10 years.”
However, Orbital Marine CEO Scott believes there’s potential to commercialise the technology being used in the project with the prospect of working towards more efficient and advanced marine energy projects in the future.
“We believe pioneering our vision in the UK can deliver on a broad spectrum of political initiatives across net-zero, levelling up and building back better at the same time as demonstrating global leadership in the area of low carbon innovation that is essential to creating a more sustainable future for the generations to come.”
The UK’s growing marine energy endeavours
This latest tidal turbine project isn’t a first for marine energy in the UK. The Port of London Authority permitted the River Thames to become a temporary home for trials into tidal energy technology and, more recently, a research project spanning the course of a year is set to focus on the potential tidal, wave, and floating wind technology holds for the future efficiency of renewable energy. The research is due to take place off of the Southwest coast of England on the Isles of Scilly