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Wednesday, September 14, 2011
The Future of Honolulu Rail? Libyan Rebels forced to Push when Ansaldo Motor Won’t Run
By Andrew Walden @ 6:00 PM :: 14879 Views :: World News, Rail

“If something goes haywire, say so.” – Sen Dan Inouye, August 25, 2011

by Andrew Walden

In another black eye for troubled Honolulu Rail contractor Ansaldo, Libyan rebels raiding a compound formerly controlled by Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi have liberated an electric car powered by an Ansaldo motor. And as this picture shows, the rebels, unable to get the Ansaldo power-plant started, were forced to push the car through the combat zone.

The images came pouring out of Libya just one day before Senator Daniel Inouye’s ominous warning to Honolulu Area Rapid Transit board members.

Il Corriere, August 24 includes an elaborate photo essay including pictures of the car being shipped from an Italian custom carmaker >>> LINK

Translated by Auto Observer, the Il Corriere report explains

Following directions from an order placed through an intermediary in June 2009, Castagna fitted the interior with cream leather with green trim, a sandy-colored soft top, and green and gold bodywork. Painted on the left A-pillar is the backlit image from the movie "Lion of the Desert," a 1981 critically acclaimed but box-office flop Libyan action film starring Anthony Quinn that was funded by Gaddafi, and on the A-pillar on the right is a circle with a symbolic representation of the Libyan society. On the nose of the car, where a Fiat badge would usually appear, is a black silhouette of Africa with Libya highlighted in green. The order specified that the doors be removed for quick entry and exit. Also to order: A 34-kilowatt electric motor built by Ansaldo in Genoa and extra-large lithium-ion battery packs to permit a top speed in excess of 100 miles per hour and a range of 150 miles between charges.

The Ansaldo Electric traction motor given to Gaddafi for his personal Fiat, is a smaller version of the traction motors used to drive rail cars. The Economist reports Gaddafi’s Libyan Investment Authority took a 2% stake in Finmeccanica, the parent company of Ansaldo, in 2009 and is its fourth-largest shareholder.

According to Il Corrriere, Gaddafi owned many electric vehicles.



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