Brands + News


Infiniti, Mahindra, Volvo, Toyota, Tacita, Tesla.

Dedicated EV by Infiniti: Nissan got electrification in its veins and it will pump up its premium arm by 2019 when Infiniti plans to launch its first electric model. Rather than building on an existing one or even on a Nissan platform though, it shall be an all new model and a sleek and powerful one on top. Debut is set for Detroit next year. Infiniti showed an electric concept back in 2012 and also electrified Pebble Beach this year (we reported).

EV brand by Mahindra and Pininfarina? The Indian conglomerate may engage its Pininfarina subsidiary in setting up an all-electric label to target the premium segment. Multiple models could emerge over the next 3 – 5 years, effectively turning the design house that used to sign responsible for Ferrari into an EV manufacturer to catch up with Tesla.

Volvo presents XC40: The new compact SUV has made it into the Swedes’ line-up and is the first to utilise the CMA platform, which builds the base for all following 40 series Volvo. This includes the plug-in versions although these are not offered at this initial launch of the XC40. Volvo has not given a precise on-sale date for the EV and PHEV in Europe but it is certain, they will come. Fancy stuff like a smartphone compartment with inductive charging is included in all variants.,,

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Toyota pushes for performance and has created a new label called GR for Gazoo Racing. The first GR versions will hit Japan before they reach European markets at a later date. As Toyota announced recently, its wants to offer its hybrod bestsellers in two variants, one efficient the other powerful, so expect to see a Prius GR soon.,

Electric motorbike from Italy: Tacita has brought its T-Cruise to the AIMExpo in the States. The electric motorcycle is offered in three battery variants (7.5 – 27 kWh) with the highest lasting for a cruise of up 270 km. Prices start at 11,000 dollars in the USA.

Tesla understatement: The EPA has rated the long range version of the Model 3 and attests 537 km, more than the manufacturer’s estimate of 500 km. Tesla may have understated the range on purpose in order to distinguish the economy model more clearly from the Model S.

Number of the Day

EV Sales in China.

China’s EV fleet grew by 95.5 percent this August, so almost doubled compared to the same month last year. This means 58,000 electric cars found new owners. Another 10,000 Chinese opted for electrification light, thus increasing the number of plug-in hybrids by 21.6% compared to August 2016.

Research + Technology

Rosatom, Ontario, Johnson Matthey, MTEE.

From nuclear to lithium: Russian nuclear giant Rosatom, rushes to join the lithium run and targets 30 percent non-nuclear sales by 2030. The state-owned corporation builds on the electric car boom and plans to mine and trade the metal and supply complete power packs as well. Rosatom is already looking into reviving lithium mines in Siberia and also got its eyes on South America to buy its way in. A trading company is open for business in Swiss Zug and Rosatom stated an interest in working with carmakers as well. The move comes as sales of uranium, Rosatom’s core business, are in rapid decline.

Concepts for fuel cell trains wanted: Ontario is seeking design concepts for hydrogen-powered trains as an alternative to overhead wires. The province wants to electrify its GO rail network to change how people move around the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). A feasibility study called HyRail is currently running and train design will become a decisive part of it.

E-mobility is Johnson Matthey’s next bet on big business and so it will invest 200m pounds next year to include battery materials in its portfolio. The British specialty chemicals company explains its move with the growth it expects in the electric automotive industry.

Novel Range Extender: Mitsubishi subsidiary MTEE presents the Range+ a generator for charging while driving. The range extender uses a gas turbine to drive a generator that charges the battery.

Quotes of the day

Wang Chuanfu, Joerg Hofmann.

“We are very confident about all the timetables (to eliminate fossil fuel cars) and we think it will happen earlier than expected.”

BYD CEO Wang Chuanfu expects there to be no more gas guzzlers on China’s roads by 2030. The government in Beijing considers to ban sales of ICE entirely.

“Politicians have a responsibility, too. Without the right infrastructure with charging stations, sustainable power production, storage and distribution, a rollout won’t succeed.”

Joerg Hofmann, chief of German trade union IG Metall, seeks the government’s support to smoothen the electric transition rather than simply forcing the ICE out.

Fleets + Infrastructure

NYC, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Helsinki, DriveElectric.

1,000 fast chargers for NYC: 10m dollars to install fast-charging infrastructure in the big apple is what Mayor Bill de Blasio is willing to spend between 2018 and 2020. He reckons that will be enough to help Con Edison set up 50 fast-charging hubs with 20 charging points each in all five boroughs of New York City. That is a 1,000 fast-charge points in two years time for the city that aims for a 20% EV share in new registrations by 2025 and is part of the C40 Cities network. Lead on.

Generous EV incentives: Baden-Wuerttemberg, home to the likes of Daimler and Porsche and usually known for its frugality, is increasing its e-mobility incentive scheme for the third time. The “Landesinitiative III” offers 43.5m euros that will be handed out as vouchers (BW-e-Gutscheine) to not-for-profits, nurseries, SMEs, bus and taxi companies as well as car sharing clubs or driving schools. Such entities can claim 6,000 euros when buying an electric car or 1,500 for a PHEV on top of the federal incentive. Cargo electric bicycles are funded with a generous 4,000 euros, while bus companies may get up to a 100,000 euros, the same is true for those looking to invest into an electric truck.

Bi-directional charging goes public: A public V2G charging point in Europe is being installed in Helsinki, Finland. The two-way charger is part of the EU mySmartLife project and a cooperation between Virta, Helen and Nissan as it complements an existing solar power plant and stationary energy storage.,

Over on the Isles a V2G charging service has been launched by DriveElectric, a provider of leased ULEVs. Drivers can charge both at home or at the workplace and DriveElectric signed a MoU with Japanese manufacturer Nichicon to sell and operate the company’s V2G chargers in the UK.

Service + Suggestions

Finnoey, Nissan, Events.

Reading tip: Not only is Norway the poster child for e-mobility but its island Finnoey is taking things further. Every tenth islander got an electric car there and thus saves 6,000 dollars in tunnel toll a year.

Video tip: Yes, the Nissan Leaf is here to stay and yet it still inspires new videos. The latest deliver “walk arounds” and detailed insights.

Events for the upcoming week: Automotive Battery Management Systems (Sept 26-28; Mainz, Germany) ++ Energy Independent EVs (Sept 27-28; Delft, Netherlands) ++ Powering Mobility (Sept 28; Enschede, Netherlands) ++ You can find a complete list of events at

Short circuit

Diesel blockade.

Greenpeace activist have boarded a ship carrying Volkswagen diesel vehicles in an attempt to stop them from being delivered to the UK. The block failed, but the Rainbow Warriors managed to call on Volkswagen to go fully electric. VW pointed out that there were 37 PHEV aboard the ship, so we took this occasion to reminisce on Greenpeace’s Dark side campaign back in 2011 and found a somewhat sexy sequel. (the ship), (Dark Side sequel)