First glimpse of NextEV: NextEV’s electric sports car was spotted in the Nordschleife of Nürburgring, where it appeared for a promo video allegedly. The Chinese firm based in California meanwhile added Jamie Carlson to its ranks as Senior Director of Advanced Technologies. He worked for Tesla and reportedly Apple on self-driving technology before.
youtube.com via autoblog.com, electrek.co (Carlson)
Atieva now Lucid Motors: The other Sino-Californian EV maker underwent a name change, probably to clarify its intentions to launch an autonomous electric car. More images of the latter have been released but remain rather indistinct. The new website is shiny however.
hybridcars.com, insideevs.com, lucidmotors.com
VW presented the Phideon, a sedan exclusive to China, that takes inspiration from the C Coupé GTE concept car unveiled at the Shanghai auto show last year. While luxurious, the PHEV aims at understatement, echoing the climate of reduction currently valued by the Chinese government.
europe.autonews.com, theglobeandmail.com (video)
Mahindra 4-door EV: The Indian manufacturer launched the e2o Plus, a four-door electric car now on sale in India. It comes in four variants and a 19 kW electric motor coupled with a 48V battery. The premium trim features a 30 kW drive and 72 V power pack.
Ford on green wave: The carmaker trials its Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory (GLOSA) technology in Mondeo Hybrids in the UK for two years. The system gathers information on traffic light timings from a roadside unit and then advises the driver on the best speed to avoid stopping at a red light.
In with the new: The BMW i3 has got a bigger battery and long-time electric driver Michael Beinenson is sold. Not only provides the 33 kWh power pack more range than stated, the new trims also include a sun roof and the added weight gives the electric car more stability.
BMW sold over 7,000 plug-in vehicles this September and thus accumulates more than 40,000 plug-in sales in 2016 alone. The BMW i3 ratio changed since the bigger battery pack has been introduced so that now the all-electric version outsells the REx variant regularly.
insideevs.com, insideevs.com (REx)
Toyota to sell H2 bus: Toyota will start selling its hydrogen bus by early next year in Japan. The FC buses will first be introduced in Tokyo. Based on Mirai technology, another 100 units are to be delivered in 2018 ahead of the 2020 Olympics. The FC bus can also be utilised as external power supply.
greencarcongress.com, autoblog.com, hybridcars.com
Tesla Supercomputer: The EV maker is tuning all its models for the future of autonomous driving as they are being equipped with a “supercomputer.” The hardware is based on the Drive PX 2 AI platform by NDivia and said to deliver 40 times more processing power. Here, the neural net for vision, sonar, and radar data runs together.
greencarcongress.com, forbes.com, electrek.co
Blood molecule for batteries: Yale researchers found that the heme molecule, which transports oxygen in blood could work as a better catalyst in Li-O2 batteries. Heme improved the Li-O2 cell function by lowering the amount of energy required to boost the battery’s charge/discharge cycle times.
In-flight charging: Scientists at Imperial College London have demonstrated wireless power transfer (WPT) technology on drones. The flying objects could thus stay airborne and charge by simply hovering over a ground support vehicle. The team hopes to have a product ready to sell within a year.
“We have set for ourselves a target five years ago to become the number one car premium manufacturer. That was supposed to be reached in 2020, but it seems that we are awful close already. So we can set a new target to ourselves and that is equally to be the leader in electric premium vehicles as well. This includes not just our current competitors, but new entries as well, including Tesla.”
Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche is most satisfied with his firm’s progress and considers electrification the next segment to take a lead in, or where to go head to head with Tesla. It is EV premium he is talking, naturally.
“I think it’s pretty clear when you look at the market, when you look at the premium market, there’s really only one company that is out there, and it’s Tesla.”
Henrik Fisker is certain who he considers his biggest competitor. However, as Tesla is moving further into autonomy, Fisker does not “believe that it makes any sense for an automaker to develop autonomous driving.”
businessinsider.com via insideevs.com
“The sharing economy is one of the shining economies. That, in cities, might be the direction. But it’s also a difficult business model to make work, because at the end of the day, whether somebody is sharing or using it, somebody has to pay for it. The asset must be funded. It’s an interesting business model but not an easy one.”
Says Toyota’s European President & CEO Johan van Zyl. He also mused on the electrification of the compact Aygo that Toyota produces together with PSA as EVs could definitely play a part in the urban sharing economy.
Fast-charging London: ChargePoint and BluePoint London from Bolloré plan to introduce fast-chargers for the British capital’s Source network. Until summer 2017, 30 rapid chargers are to go up. Both firms also declared interoperability of GeniePoint and Source London charge spots.
Electric trucks for UK: The British government will make 4m pound available for electric vehicles over 3.5 tonnes. Companies are to receive grants of up to 20,000 GBP to switch large trucks to electric equivalents. The move comes amid Nissan’s fears over Brexit with regard to its Sunderland operation.
Polish e-mobility initiative: Poland’s utilities PGE, Energa, Enea and Tauron entered a Joint Venture to foster electric transport. Each firm holds 25% and the project aims at 1m electric cars on Polish roads in 2025. The university as well as the National Centre for Nuclear Research take part as well.
energetyka.wnp.pl (in Polish)
Denmark and Nissan go V2G: The Danes are working with the Japanese to introduce vehicle-to-grid technology. Denmark’s utility, Frederiksberg Forsyning, installed ten V2G charging units at 10 kW each from Enel. There, ten Nissan e-NV200 will be plugged via ChaDeMo for bi-directional power transfer. The project is the world’s first commercial V2G hub, according to the firms, as all parts are available.
E-bus fleet: 15 electric buses place Greater Louisville’s fleet among the largest electric bus squadrons in the States. The last six units by Proterra have just been acquired by the Transit Authority of River City (TARC). The electric buses come with a bike rack and replace 16 year old models.
Reading tip: While Apple’s Titan is seemingly going down, Tesla’s self-driving endeavours intensify. Matthew DeBord looks at why an electric car has to come before software if it is to be truly autonomous.
Video tip French Lohr New Mobilities presented its self-driving electric shuttle called Le Cristal in Berlin and electrive took the liberty to produce a video with voices and wheels on the occasion.
LeEco was to present its LeSee Pro self-driving car in San Francisco. Yet, instead of a car materialising from the cloud on the catwalk, founder Jia Yueting came running to tell the audience, that A, the showcar was involved in a serious accident, and that B, the other model flown in was stuck in traffic.