Toyota C-HR premier: Toyota will premier their new C-HR at the 24 Hours Nürnburgring race in Germany. Though a racing version of of the car will be used, a hybrid model is also set to be released. This comes in conjunction with a statement from Toyota Europe’s executive vice president, Karl Schlicht, who says the company is aiming to be the biggest hybrid brand in Europe. And here we thought they already were…
newcarz.de (in German), autocar.co.uk
Daimler backing start-up ecosystem: Daimler partnered with the Silicon Valley accelerator Plug and Play, the University of Stuttgart and ARENA2036 to establish the ‘Startup Autobahn,’ an ecosystem for start-ups in Stuttgart, Germany. The focus will be on both software and hardware technologies. Some 25 start-ups will be invited to ‘Selection Day’ in July.
Possible iCar store? The recently opened Apple flagship in San Francisco sports huge glass doors, begging the question of whether they were designed for cars to drive in and out. This follows on speculations from several analysts that the tech company may be rolling out an Apple Car. Simultaneously, Tesla is also opening new stores in the Hamptons and Cape Code to lure tourists over the summer.
applecarfans.com (iCar), autonews.com (Tesla)
Model S turned pickup: Australian automotive designers RainPrisk have converted a Tesla Model S into a pick-up truck. Chopping off the roof and adding some massive tyres make the electric luxury sedan shine in a whole new light.
Porsche 918 Spyder run: Top Gear’s Jack Rix tested out the Porsche 918 Spyder and reports that the hypercar felt both fun and practical to drive. He also reported an internal economy test, wherein the Carerra GT and the 918 were driven on the same track, together, for 1,000 km. The test showed that the 918 used 30 percent less fuel overall.
A whopping 52 miles per gallon rating makes the 2016 Toyota Prius the most efficient vehicle ever tested by Consumer Reports. This number comes from a city figure of 43 mpg and highway figure of 59 mpg. A mid-trim Prius Three was used for testing.
Tesla testing on consumers: Tesla is using the Model S always-on internet connection to pull sensor data from customers’ vehicles. The company reportedly installed the software on drivers’ cars remotely, enabling their self-driving technology to observe and be passively tested on the real road while customers drive.
Google R&D Center: Google announced plans to open a dedicated self-driving car technology development centre in Novi, Michigan, near Detroit. As per Google’s recent partnership with Chrysler, the 53,000 square foot centre will prep the Chrysler Pacifica self-driving hybrid minivans for the road.
Zero-emission port project: The 26.6m dollar Green Omni Terminal demo project has been launched in California to achieve real-time zero and near-zero emission at the new Pasha marine terminal. The project is funded in part by the California Air Resources Board. Implementation will start in June and will include a fleet of zero-emission cargo handling equipment.
UK-based battery developer Nexeon secured 44m dollars to develop Li-ion batteries with silicon anodes. Compared to batteries with carbon anodes, the Nexeon batteries can delivery almost ten times more gravimetric capacity per gram. The funds will be used to open a lab in Asia and to build a larger factory.
– Feedback –
Most clicked link on Thursday was the SAE issued industry guideline for wireless power transfer between infrastructure, vehicle suppliers and OEMs.
“Every year thousands of Londoners die because of poor air quality and by supporting the freight sector – which is vital to our city – we will make a real impact. I am confident that LoCity can substantially improve London’s air quality and most importantly, help save lives.”
London Transport Commissioner Mike Brown talks about the LoCity programme and improving London air quality. The industry-led programme recently took its first steps by publishing data to increase availability and uptake of low emission vehicles in the freight sector.
“Toyota and BMW – one company has technology and the other money. They can probably make good partners. But is it really going well with the consortium of Nissan, Ford and Daimler?”
Director of eco-vehicle performance for Hyundai R&D, Byung Ki Ahn, says Hyundai will take on the cost of hydrogen fuel cell development alone. Though they have received offers of partnership from other manufacturers, the Korean company doesn’t believe it would actually help their development.
“We are certainly looking at more hybrids. I don’t think our decision is based on the VAT coming down on hybrid cars. Our decision is based on improving fuel efficiency, reducing emissions and weight.”
RC Bhargava, chairman of Maruti Suzuki India, describes the company’s plan to introduce hybrid options to existing models in an interview with AutoCar Professional.
Apple EV chargers? Apple is quietly investigating EV charging stations, contacting experts and searching LinkedIn profiles. There are few details known, as any related companies would have signed non-disclosure agreements, Reuters hints. The tech company has, however, already hired at least four EV charging specialists, raising several questions as to what they are planning.
BMW ridesharing investment: BMW is part of a 5.1m dollar seed round for California-based ridesharing platform Scoop Technologies, whose app lets commuters find each other and ride together. The app is currently in a limited rollout in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale and North San Jose. Scoop also works with employers to organize rides to and from work.
New central Canada chargers: Tesla announced five new charger locations in Canada, all located in Ontario and Quebec, where significant EV incentives are in place. The new chargers are set to be installed by the end of the summer. Tesla also confirmed plans to install their first supercharger in Mexico, to be located in Cuernavaca City in the coming months.
electrek.co, globalnews.ca, thecountrycaller.com
Worcestershire gets chargers: Twelve rapid chargers have been installed in Worcestershire, including along the M5 corridor. Ten are included in the POLAR Plus network, meaning POLAR members can use them as part of their monthly subscription. Chargers can be used for 5.50 pounds for 45 minutes.
Video tip: In this YouTube video, Nissan explains their new vehicle-to-grid technology. The V2G system was developed with energy company ENEL, and enables consumers to recharge and store energy from renewable resources, as well as give energy back to the grid.
Reading tip I: American Lithium has acquired huge properties from a British Columbia-based mineral exploration company, increasing their Nevada portfolio of prospective lithium brine projects to over 20,000 acres. The company’s largest U.S. lithium operation is now only 3.5 hours from the Tesla Gigafatory.
Reading tip II: Transport Evolved uncovered some official Tesla fanclub paperwork that showed just how strict the automaker is. Unlike most clubs, Tesla plays a huge role, using non-disclosure agreements, requiring clubs to fight IP infringement and support relevant local legislative efforts, and even pushing for much more, it seems.
One Tesla Model X owner has taken Tesla to court, citing several problems, including malfunctioning doors. The owner, who owns multiple Tesla models, claims the doors regularly slam shut on drivers’ legs and have flung open in the garage, damaging both the car and garage.