Brands + News


StreetScooter, EU Quota, BJEV, Chery, Nikola, FF

The post van is here: Deutsche Post DHL and Ford have officially launched the StreetScooter Work XL. Its base is the Ford Transit equipped with a custom-made electric drive and chassis so that the post also likes to call it their own personal ‘e-van’. Being essentially bigger than even the latest StreetScooter Work L, it features a modular battery system delivering 30 kWh to 90 kWh for a range of between 80 km and 200 km. A pre-series of 150 pieces is to see the light of the day before the year’s end, followed by another 2,500 units in 2018. While the e-vans will first be utilised by DHL, the firm said it may sell to third parties and also showed approval of partner Ford, with who it may cooperate further in the future. On top, a second StreetScooter facility is planned with the location to be specified next month. (Work XL), (spec), (further cooperation, new facility)

EU sales quota for PEV likely: Despite denial from Brussels, diplomats and sources close to the issue say an EV sales quota is “increasingly likely” and may come as soon as 2025 or 2030. The German Ministry for the Environment even went on public record saying it expects such a proposal by the EU Commission by autumn. Clearly, the climate among EU officials has heated up and calls for enforceable targets as well as constructive cooperation from carmakers are becoming ever louder. A minimum fleet quota would likely include plug-in hybrids not just EVs though and the EU said it is committed to technological neutrality in general., (German Ministry of Environment)

1.7bn for EV development: BAIC’s subsidiary Beijing Electric Vehicle (BJEV) that specialises in EVs only has gathered 1.67 billion dollars in its latest round of financing. The money will be used to come up with the new models while expanding production capacities. Reportedly, Daimler holds a minority stake of BJEV since this June.

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Nikola goes off-road: As its fuel cell truck is open for reservation already, Nikola Motors is looking to catch new customers with a quad dubbed UTV, for utility “task” or “terrain” vehicle, or Nikola Zero officially. It sits four under the roll cage and boasts four motors, one in each wheel. The battery comes in three versions, 75, 100, and 125 kWh. Prices shall start at 35,000 dollars with reservations taken from January 2018 through a new Nikola unit called Nikola Powersports., (spec, pdf)

Chery seeks to charm the European market with the introduction of a plug-in family and some simply hybrid cousins. The first model to hit our shores will be a compact SUV due to debut at the IAA. Furthermore, the Chinese firm wants to set up distribution as well as an R&D centre in Europe.

FF to quit FE? Rumour has it that Faraday Future will leave the electric racing series due to its on-going financial difficulties, The Verge reports. A final decision has yet to be made but could mean a premature end for a manufacturer that only entered the Formula E last year as Dragon Racing’s technical partner.

Number of the Day

Tesla EV Market Share

Tesla scored 45 percent of all EV sales that happened in the States during January throughout June this year and thus clearly dominates the market. The Model S convinced 29% of the American buyers, while 16% favoured the Model X. But also the Chevy Bolt secured 16% of EV sales and 15% of buyers liked the Nissan Leaf best.

Research + Technology

Formula E, South Korea, Hyundai Mobis, Bafang

Electric touring car series? The Formula E may see a support series as early as the 2018/19 season with touring cars complementing the electric racing series. A plan is about to be finalised, Motorsport has learnt, and details from promoter Formula E Holdings could come as soon as October. To date it is unclear if it would involve one or multiple manufacturers and how to fit it into the tight race schedule.

Pods made in Britain are to support South Korea at next year’s Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. British Westfield Sports Cars has received an order for five of the driverless electric pods for initial testing with a plan to order a further 195. The project is worth 30m pounds if it goes ahead as planned and Westfield is already testing its pods for six in Birmingham and Coventry as well.

Bi-directional onboard charger: Hyundai Mobis has ventured into the world of V2G with the presentation of its bi-directional onboard charger (OBC) that allows to turn an electric car into a power source. The Korean supplier expects the vehicle-to-everything (V2X) market to grow to 30 trillion won (26.7bn dollars) by 2025.

Strong pedelec motors: Chinese e-bike drive maker Bafang will bring stronger mid-motors for electric bicycles to the Eurobike show. Bafang’s M500 has the usual 250 Watt, while the M600 aims at the speed pedelec market with 350 and 500 Watt. Integrated batteries will be on display as well.
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Quotes of the day

Martin Schulz, Steven Armstrong

“The problem is that we are in a situation where managers worth millions, at Volkswagen, at Daimler, have slept through the future and did not invest where they should have.”

Martin Schulz, leader of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) and Merkel’s main opponent in the September election on the state of the German car industry – cautiously put. Schulz also supports an EV sales quota.

“This joint project will be Europe’s largest manufacturer of emission-free, medium-sized e-vans, and it doesn’t come a moment too soon.”

Ford’s Steven Armstrong on the new e-van the carmaker developed together with Deutsche Post/DHL (also see News above). With both partners being so enthusiastic, it looks like the time to scale up electric deliveries has finally come.

Fleets + Infrastructure

Florence, Gorinchem, Australia, Tesla, New Flyer

Nissan rolls in Florence with a fleet of 67 electric Leafs. That is almost the entire electric taxi fleet of the Italian tourist haven, where city officials had issued 70 e-cab licenses last year. Florence’s cabbies are not the only ones convinced by the Nissan Leaf though and the Japanese company claims electric taxi fleets in Madrid and Amsterdam that are about a 100 EV strong. Back in Florence, Renault reportedly found favour with the city in 2015 already when it delivered 70 EVs for public service.,

Electric buses for fortress: Gorinchem, a historical fortress in the Netherlands, has taken delivery of two Citea LLE-99 Electric buses from VDL Bus & Coach to enter the city’s public services. Provider Arriva has had previous experiences with electric transport as it ordered 12 e-buses from Venlo before.

On the other side of the world three electrified buses will try to avoid koala bears on the roads of Canberra. The Australian capital has ordered two electric and one hybrid buses from Carbridge and Volvo. The contract is worth 900,000 dollars but for now it is just a 12 month trial.

Airport electrification: San José’s aviation hub has secured 3.2m dollars from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to purchase six electric vehicles and charging infrastructure. Raleigh Airport too managed to tap into the FAA 162.4m dollar infrastructure pot and will use its share of 1.6m to buy four EVs plus charging equipment.

Tesla home charging: Those ordering a Tesla may now also get a home charging solution installed as the EV maker is launching its ‘Home Charging Installation Program’ in selected markets in the States. The option in the configurator include a simple 240-volt outlet or a hardwired Tesla Wall Connector.

New Flyer is making progress on its mega deal that saw the company secure an order over a total of 525 hybrid buses. The firm is now advancing production of 105 Xcelsior diesel-electric hybrid transit buses for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA).

Service + Suggestions

DoE, Volker Blandow

Reading tip I: Times like these call for good news such as the U.S. The Senate Committee on Appropriations not only rejecting Trump’s proposed clean-energy cuts but raising the DoE’s budget by four billion dollars with a 38:1 vote instead.

Reading tip II: This is part two of the ‘Hitchhikers Guide to E-Mobility’ compiled by Volker Blandow of TÜV Süd. In case you missed it, we recommended to read part one some time ago.

Short circuit

One catchy patent

Patent applications can be lofty but this one tackles the very real problem of little things miraculously falling into that small but no less deep abyss between the driver’s seat and centre console. So Toyota’s ‘under seat capture device’ invents a chute that effectively allows any item that falls to slide into one central compartment directly under the seats. Neat.