Non-hybrid Axon takes on Prius

The Axon

TEXT OF STORY

Renita Jablonski: With that, here's something that's getting a lot of interest today. A British automotive company has just launched a new car designed to cope with the fuel crisis. The company claims its new vehicle will get more than 80 miles per gallon. From London, Stephen Beard reports.


Stephen Beard: The Axon is a two-door hatchback which will carry two adults and two children. The makers claim that at more than 80 miles per U.S. gallon, it's twice as fuel-efficient as the Toyota Prius, its carbon emissions are much lower, and it will sell for around half the Prius's European price.

Unlike the Prius, the Axon is not a hybrid. It uses a conventional gas engine. The key is the car's very light-weight carbon fiber body. It's half the weight of the equivalent conventional vehicle.

The company's boss, Steve Cousins, says there's a moral here for all carmakers:

Steve Cousins: We can, using our existing gasoline infrastructure and our existing gasoline engines, radically reduce the amount of fuel that they use and still have vehicles that are very attractive to use.

He says carbon fiber is used in Formula One racing cars and is perfectly safe. The Axon is expected to sell for the same as a typical family car.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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