London city taxi
Three venerable London taxis, similar to this one, will be converted to Azure Dynamics' new series hybrid-electric drive system.

Azure Dynamics: A Hybrid Dark Horse

An interview with Azure Dynamics' president and COO, David E. Deacon

By Bill Moore

Toronto-based Azure Dynamics has sort of come out of nowhere, a dark horse in a already crowded field of competitors that range from the world's biggest automakers to a stableful of relatively minor players, all seeking to garner a piece of the hybrid-electric vehicle "purse" that is expected to be the propulsion system of tomorrow.

In the last month, the company has announced two technology demonstration projects, perhaps the most interesting involving the conversion of three London taxi cabs to the firm's series hybrid architecture. According to company president and COO, David Deacon, previous conversions in Canada have shown a 50% or better fuel efficiency improvement in the test vehicles. How much the system will improve the fuel performance of the three test taxis won't be seen until later this fall when first taxi is slated to be returned to service in London.

EV World decided to learn more about this hopeful upstart and its claims that its conversions will not only save fuel, but will have a suprisingly fast payback, especially in cities like London where fuel prices are not only high, but a new congestion control zone in the heart of the city makes a zero-emission hybrids increasingly economical, as well as good for the environment.

As usual, we've divided our 32-minute interview into two equal parts. You can listen to EV World's conversation with Mr. Deacon by clicking the two Play Audio links at the top of the right hand column.

New Policy

Effective immediately, we have decided to not provide free transcripts or write-ups to this or future interviews. Instead, early this summer we will be introducing our much-delayed subscription model to access selected content on EV World, including our exclusive interviews. At that time, subscribers will have full access to both audio and text versions of our interviews and feature stories.

We are implementing this policy to provide our paid subscribers with not only improved content, but more in-depth content, as well as to pay for the time, expense and effort it takes to generate this material. The subscription will be modest, probably under $30US annually for access to a maximum number of articles each year, a model similar to that used by the Boston Globe. In addition to improved coverage, we will also be able to eliminate much of the advertising on the site, something many readers have asked us to do.

We believe you will find this new approach far better in terms of the quantity and quality of the material we can present you.

But for now enjoy, EV World's interview with David E. Deacon.

Times Article Viewed: 6106
Published: 19-Apr-2003


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