Usually news from France about EV cars are good. The country started developing electric versions of models very early, although most projects were halted in the mid-90s when problems with battery technology arose. With the newest technologies, specifically lithium-ion batteries, the things are starting to work again and we've had quite a number of interesting projects lately, such as the Dassault/Heuliez Cleanova
Cleanova is a unit of the Daussault Groupe in France and they are currently testing series hybrid vehicles with an eye toward offering them to the public in 2008. The vehicle they are working on is a small minivan type vehicle based on the Renault Kangoo. The test vehicle has a 55hp engine running a generator to charge the lithium ion battery, but it can also drive the vehicle in conjunction with the
There's a new hybrid powertrain available thanks to SVE (the Société de véhicules électriques, which was created by the French companies Heuliez and Dassault). The powertrain is called Cleanova Plus and mates SVE's battery-electric system with a bioethanol-powered spark ignition engine.