We took a look at electric vehicle range extender technology this week – GM may be first with the Volt/Ampera but a lot of other beady eyes are also on the segment.

There have been some encouraging announcements of new investments in plants or people, too. Our own, as in the UK’s, Nissan plant is gearing up to make the next generation Qashqai/Dualis and the Leaf EV, plus batteries, and guess what, they’re hiring. Those engineering and tecnician posts will be welcome and, with the armed forces, known for excellent skills training cutting back, Nissan is likely to find a well qualified and experienced workforce ready and waiting for its offers. There were some pretty decent production figures out this week, too.

In Japan, Toyota is also investing in new plants, despite recent top management comments about the difficulties associated with the high yen, and the company is also pouring more money in to help the earthquake devastated north east; note the plan for on site generated electricity.

Ford made it clear the CD player will soon be gone (it has already axed factory fit multi-disc players) as car audio heads into an all-digital future and we also talked the future – transmissions this time – with Prodrive.

Have a nice weekend.

Graeme Roberts – Deputy Editor – just-auto.com