Made in Germany

Brands + News


Audi, Nissan Leaf, Lexus, Saab, Yunnan Wulong Automobiles, BMW i.

Electric city car by Audi? The German brand will let yet another electric concept out of the bag, at least if Georg Kacher’s prediction of an upcoming city car is correct. It could be shown at the Paris Auto Show next year and is to be developed together with VW, Skoda, and Seat. An all-electric version to compete against the Smart ED or the electric Mini is likely but could take until 2020 to hit the market.

Nissan-Leaf-2013Bigger battery for Leaf in 2015? The 2016 Nissan Leaf might be upgraded with a 30-kWh battery at trim levels SV and SL, Inside EVs quotes two Nissan dealers. The standard version S would keep the 24-kWh power pack while the new-gen Leaf is to be expected by 2017.

New hybrid Lexus to come? Toyotas premium subsidiary has trademarked the LS500h name in Europe. The “h” usually accompanies Lexus hybrid models and thus points to yet another model using the power of joint efforts. No details have been released so far.

Saab resurrection in China: The Swedish carmaker Saab which has been on the edge of bankruptcy recently has now found two more Chinese partners willing to help getting the brand back on track together with current owner NEVS. Tianjin Binhai Hi-tech Industrial Development Area and the Beijing State Research Information Technology Company are to work with Saab/NEVS and plan to erect a facility focussed on electric cars and a R&D center in Tianjin, China.

Commercial EV from China: Yunnan Wulong Automobiles rolled out a 19-seat electric van called FDE6810. The company is ready to produce up to 3,500 units until March 2016. The range varies from 260 to 460 kilometres, depending on the model while prices start at 980,000 yuan (158,000 dollars) before subsidies that can reduce the price by 600,000 yuan (about 97,000 USD).

BMW i concept store in the States: The German brand has opened a dedicated facility for its i-brand, serving customers with both a showroom and a service centre. The Stevens Creek BMW i Center is (of course) located in California, in Santa Clara to be precise.

Number of the Day

Nissan Leaf taxi.

An electric cab hit the 100,000-mile mark in Cornwall as it clocked over 25,000 paid rides. C&C Taxis put the Nissan Leaf fondly called Wizzy into service in July 2013 and the EV has since covered the equivalent distance to 100 round trips from the company’s headquarter in Cornwall to Scottish Glasgow – and counting.,

Research + Technology

BYD, Motiv Power, Hydrogenics, LG Chem & AllCell.

BYD-QinBYD funds for battery production: The Chinese manufacturer plans a share sale, with which it hopes to gain about 10 billion yuan (1.6bn dollars). The fresh capital is believed to be used for expanding BYD’s battery production to fulfil increased demand for the company’s electric cars and buses.

Further expansion plans come from Motiv Power who just received a grant from the California Energy Commission over 8.1 million dollars. The money is to aid production at Motiv’s new factory in Hayward. At full capacity, the facility is said to make up to 480 all-electric powertrains annually.

Fuel cell deal for Hydrogenics: The Canadian company has landed a 50-million euro deal with Alstom Transport to exclusively supply the latter with fuel cell systems for regional commuter trains in Europe over the next ten years. Delivery of the first units is set for 2016.

Electric forklifts: AllCell and LG Chem have developed a high performance long lasting Li-ion battery for material handling applications that will replace currently used lead-acid batteries. The battery is built with LG’s cylindrical 18650-format Li-ion batteries and AllCell’s proprietary passive thermal management technology with phase change composite (PCC).

- Feedback -

Most clicked link on Wednesday was Audi confirming its Q8 for 2019 launch and its all-electric Q6 for 2018.

Quotes of the day

Ban Ki-moon, Ulrich Hackenberg, Francois Cuenot.

Ban-Ki-moon“It is time to reshape the world’s transport systems for a cleaner, safer and more sustainable future.”

UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon urges the world’s transport ministers gathered at the International Transport Forum in Leipzig to rethink and “accelerate” their transport policies to help slow down climate change. His appeal comes ahead of the upcoming international climate gathering in New York (Sept.) and Paris (Dec.).

Ulrich-Hackenberg“An Audi electric car first and foremost has to be fun to drive. It must not be a “forego car,” but has to offer rather more instead than our cars today – and those of Tesla.”

Audi’s head of R&D, Ulrich Hackenberg, is obviously ready for the fight. Hackenberg insists that the upcoming electric Audi crossover will come in 2018. But who knows what Tesla holds in store over the coming years. (in German)

Francois-Cuenot“Europe now needs to fully enforce the new rules from 2017 to bring an end to dirty diesels.”

Francois Cuenot of Transport & Environment calls to end uncertainty on Euro-6 compliancy which might be achieved through the EU´s Real Driving Emission (RDE) testing. However, lobbyists call the proposal in parts obscure (we reported).

Fleets + Infrastructure

Renault-Nissan, GM, Ford, Bangkok, Tesla, NRG EVgo.

EV fleet for climate conference: The United Nation’s COP21 climate conference in Paris this December will use a 200-strong electric fleet to shuttle 20,000 delegates from 195 nations through the French capital. The electric cars and vans will be deployed by Renault-Nissan while the alliance also plans to install 50 new charging stations in Paris to power the EVs.,

GM pilots electric car sharing: General Motors and the Shanghai Jiao Tong University started a pilot project in Shanghai. 16 small-size EV called Chevrolet EN-V 2.0 (Electric Networked Vehicle) are now integrated into the campus’ multi-modal transportation system while usage data is being collected.

GoDrive electrically: Ford’s car sharing pilot GoDrive will now become available to the public in London. A total of 50 vehicles are put into service, half of them are Ford Focus Electric. They are available at 20 locations throughout the British capital and can be ordered and paid for via an app. Ford hopes to convince 2,000 users by September.,

Electric bus in Bangkok: King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang (KMITL) and the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) now run an electric bus route. The pilot serves to see if some of the +3,000 diesel buses roaming the Thai capital might be replaced (we reported).

Europe´s biggest Supercharger station to date has been finished as planned in Italy where a total of 14 chargers now await Tesla Model S drivers in the border region with France and Switzerland.

Shop and charge: Simon, a retail real estate company, and NRG EVgo have installed fast-charging “Freedom” stations at two Western Washington Simon shopping centres. Two more are to follow at two more outlets. The stations support CHAdeMO as well as Level 2 charging.

Service + Suggestions

VW Golf GTE, Toyota Mirai showroom.

Video tip: Robert Llewellyn is taking (or granting) second chances as he re-runs the Golf GTE. This time round, the Fully Charged show allows for more detail on what the comedian thinks might become a true entry point to go electric as the plug-in hybrid’s appeal is in its closeness to conventional Golfs.

Click tip: Take a quick peak into the future as Matthew Klippenstein presents pictures from Toyota’s Mirai showroom in Tokyo which also boasts an hydrogen refuelling station.

Short circuit

Love whisper.

Volvo teases the electric bus to go into service in Swedish Gothenburg with a video sweetly showcasing the power of silence. A teenager just found the courage to ask his sweetheart out but his shy attempts are drowned by a roaring diesel bus. What if this bus was silent?!