Honda updates: The Japanese carmaker will issue a new version of its FCX Clarity featuring a smaller, yet stronger, fuel cell by 2015, reports Automotive News. Furthermore, the Civic will receive a new hybrid system enabling it to drive all-electrically. A new Fit EV is also on the agenda, but not to be expected before 2016.
Nissan updates: The compact SUV Rogue, which is only available in the USA, is set to be hybridised by the end of 2015, or latest the beginning of 2016. Furthermore, Nissan is thinking about electrifying the Frontier pick up, also known as Navara, at some point.
autonews.com (Rogue), caradvice.com.au (Navara)
Tesla in Hong Kong: Eight Model S have been handed over in Hong Kong and are the first right-hand drives sold outside the UK. Like all Tesla’s in China, they come without a navigation system as Google maps are not supported in the country. Tesla says they are working on a solution, which will then be delivered to Chinese Model S customers via over-the-air software updates.
greencarreports.com (Hong Kong) chinaev.wordpress.com (navi) via autoblog.com
Hybrid racing toy: McLaren sent a sketch of the P1 GTR design concept to its 375 customers of the plug-in hybrid supercar. The P1 GTR is designed to take things to the next level – on the race track only – and will be made exclusively available to existing P1 drivers for about 3-4 million dollars.
BMW vs VW vs Nissan: Back in May, German magazine Auto Bild compared the VW E-Golf, the BMW i3 and the Nissan Leaf. Overall, the BMW i3 could impress with the longest range, most efficient motor and best drive, though the E-Golf was not too far behind. Last in the test comes the Leaf. But one has to take into account that this EV is a generation behind, or the longest serving of them all.
greencarreports.com, autobild.de (German original)
Test drive BMW i8: Ray Massey saw a lifelong dream come true when driving the “futuristic gull-winged” plug-in hybrid, so similar to the cars in the sci-fi series UFO he loved. Apart from backseats, which should only considered “for luggage or in emergencies,” Massey finds no fault in the i8 but enjoyed the attention of onlookers.
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It is finally here – Audi’s first series produced electric vehicle. For quite some time, the carmaker from Ingolstadt did not live up to its own principle. Technical advances in EV technology were being made by Tesla and BMW. But that is all supposed to change with the A3 e-tron, with which Audi attempts to square the circle. The car is supposed to be perfect for everyday life, while featuring a complex drivetrain system. Peter Schwierz, founder of electrive.com, went to Vienna to test drive the A3 e-tron – and to debate a question of principle.
Quadrupled capacity: Researchers from Stanford University are reporting considerate progress on finding a stable lithium metal anode. If finished, it could be used in Li-sulphur or Li-air batteries and the scientists believe this would lead to EVs with 300-mile range for about 25,000 dollars.
Seven times higher energy density is the promise Japanese researchers at the University of Tokyo are working towards. Through adding cobalt, they reached a oxidation-reduction reaction that sets off peroxide. The researchers expect an energy density of 2,570 Wh/kg if the idea is applied in real batteries at some point.
More better batteries from China: China BAK Battery and the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics of Chinese Academy of Sciences have agreed to work together on batteries for electric vehicles. The collaboration entails R&D of new battery materials, testing and manufacturing technologies as well as the training of graduates.
Tesla drive problem? More and more Model S drivers are coming forward online, reporting problems with the electric motor of their cars. Edmunds says, the drive of its Tesla has had to be exchanged three times already during their long-term test. In the Tesla Motors forum, 87 Model S drivers said their motor had to renewed at least once.
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Most clicked link on Monday was the presentation of Polaris GEM’s new line-up of their all-electric vehicles for 2015.
“I really think the determination of the Chinese government makes a lot of sense, and you will see a significant amount of electric vehicles in China. There is a lot of active support, and that makes me confident.”
Hubertus Troska, Daimler board member responsible for China, on why the German company believes in EVs for China, where considerate progress has been made in the last twelve months.
“When costs drop below 200 dollars a kWh, battery-powered cars start to become competitive with conventional cars even without subsidies.”
This is the estimate of Jeff Desjardins, founder and CEO of Visual Capitalist, who delivers a graphic description of Tesla’s Gigafactory including information on the raw materials being used.
“We do it because nobody else cares! But to grow the market for electric cars, motorists must be able to travel long distances, they must have the freedom to go wherever they want. We could not wait until the end of endless discussions before embarking.”
Tesla CEO Elon Musk on why infrastructure is necessary for EVs to become broadly accepted. He also invited Renault and Peugeot to apply Tesla charging technology.
Nissan sold 124,000 Leafs worldwide so far and expects EV sales to take ten percent of its total sales by 2020. In general, the Japanese carmaker’s sales rose by 6% globally, carried along substantially by China and the USA in the first quarter of this year.
BMW charging in the USA: Californian drivers of the i3 can now charge their EV for free at NRG eVgo chargers through 2015. There are currently 50 DC chargers in the Golden State but BMW hopes to grow this number to a 100 by the end of next year. It has also developed its own DC charger together with Bosch. The compact box can be mounted to a wall, charges with 24 kW and costs 6,548 dollars.
chargedevs.com, greencarreports.com (Wallbox)
Tesla Taxi in Quebec: Christian Roy from Quebec, Canada, claims to be the first taxi driver in North America who uses a Model S for his services. His biggest problem is the lack of charging stations which forces him to charge his car at home.
Go & See Tour: A team of employees from German utility provider RWE travelled 3,471 kilometres in a Tesla Model S and blogged about their experiences. They visited several new-energy projects along their route through the Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Great Britain.
Reading tip: Peter Yared is taking a look at the Tesla Model S and BMW’s i3 trying to figure out who will make it in the end: the small(er) disruptor or the established brand open to innovation? The race is on.
Click tip: About 15 years ago, GM and Boeing started the development of the electric ‘Lunar Roving Vehicle’ which assisted Apollo 15-17 on their missions to the moon.
The Tesla CEO will appear in The Simpsons and lend his voice to his yellow comic self. The episode will see Musk taking on Springfield’s chief villain and nuclear power plant owner Mr. Burns. We cannot wait to see the Simpson family in a Model S!