Made in Germany


Brands + News


Ashok Leyland, Qianli, Spyker, BMW i, Lexus, Honda.

Ashok-Leyland-eTruckCommercial EVs from India: Ashok Leyland has presented three new electric commercial vehicle concepts – the Dost LCV, a 10-tonne electric Boss truck and a 10-tonne electric midi bus. The models could be commercialised within two years, if a viable market is found.,

Minimalistic EV from China: The Qianli Sea Turtle only has room for two – one in front, the other in the back. The electric motor has an output of only 2.2 kW and is mated to a lead-acid battery. And the price tag is minimalist, too: The EV goes for a mere 23,450 yuan (3,754 dollars).

New hope for Spyker: Dutch luxury car maker Spyker is no longer officially bankrupt, an appeals court ruled this week. Spyker thus returns to the status of “moratorium of payment,” seeking a quick deal with creditors. The company plans to pursue previous plans and merge with an U.S.-based manufacturer of electric airplanes in order to use their technologies for electric Spyker cars “in the foreseeable future”.,,

India-bound i8: BMW will launch its i8 hybrid sportscar in India on the 18th of February. Only a limited number will be available and for a hefty price: The i8 will cost around 20 million rupees (324,000 dollars).,,

Lexus NX debuts in Malaysia: The SUV has gone on sale in Malaysia with the hybrid variant 300h starting at 385,063 Ringgit (about 106,000 dollars). Some 600 units have already been ordered since October; how many of them are hybrids, was not announced. (specs), (order numbers)

New hybrid offering in Down Under: Honda is giving its hybrid portfolio in Australia a makeover. The CR-Z and Civic Hybrid will be scrapped. Instead, Honda wants to introduce its Accord Hybrid in Australia before mid-2015 and also begin selling the new NSX hybrid sports car in 2016.,

Number of the Day

Tesla goes insane.

Just 2.8 seconds to go from 0 to 60 mph? If you believe the rumours based on informations from Tesla insiders, a new firmware update will give the Model S P85D the extra boost to make the “insane mode” even more insane. How insane that already is, can be seen in the video below. via, (video; viewer discretion advised)

Research + Technology

Virtual Vehicle, Toyota, Volvo & Spheros, Renault Sports F1.

EU gives millions to “green vehicles” research: The EU programme Horizon 2020 earmarked funding for another five projects for the Austrian research centre “Virtual Vehicle” in Graz. These deal with i.e. optimising the range of EVs, developing new cell technologies for batteries, and increasing efficiency of hybrid drivetrains. The budget allotted for Virtual Vehicle’s coordination of these projects amounts to 2.9 million euros. The total budget for the realization of the projects is 75.4 million euros., (articles in German)

Testing SiC semiconductors: Using a Camry hybrid and a fuel cell bus, Toyota will begin on-road tests with silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductors in Japan later this year. The carmaker hopes that the technology will significantly increase the efficiency of vehicles with hybrid and electric drivetrains.,,

Energy saving air con: Volvo has signed another framework agreement with the German company Spheros. It states that all of Volvo’s air-conditioned hybrid buses for the European market will be equipped with the REVO-E all-electric roof-mounted air-conditioning system.

New Renault drivetrain for the track: The Renault Formula One team has given a sneak preview of its upcoming drivetrain to be used by Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso. The main changes compared to last season concern the combustion engine, the turbo charger and the battery.

- Feedback -

Most clicked link on Thursday was the report from French daily Les Echos on the next generation Renault Zoe coming with a real-world range of 300 kilometers.

Quotes of the day

Vincent Bolloré, Nihar Patel.

Vincent-Bollore“We’ve embarked on a very different path, which is a people’s electric car, democratic, that everyone can use. Tesla positioned itself on the completely opposite end of the range. Overall, all this goes toward the same direction and this is very positive.”

Vincent Bolloré believes that his affordable approach to electrification is the best way to fight pollution. Bolloré also announced that he is targeting Los Angeles and Singapore as the next markets for his electric car-sharing.

Nihar-Patel“We think that the federal credit expiration last year puts hydrogen customers in a fairly disadvantageous position.”

Nihar Patel, vice president of North American Business Strategy for Toyota, wants fuel cell car drivers in the U.S. to receive the same advantages as BEV drivers do. At the end of December, the U.S. federal government let the 8,000 dollar tax credit for hydrogen-powered vehicles expire.

Fleets + Infrastructure

Van Hool, Siemens & Volvo, eMio, Car2go, Georgia, San Diego.

EU supports H2 buses: Belgium bus OEM Van Hool has signed an agreement with the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU), which is financing the deployment of 21 fuel cell buses. These will be powered by Ballard Ballard FCvelocity-HD7 modules.,

E-Buses and chargers for Sweden: Siemens and Volvo have signed a deal, saying they will work together to supply electrified bus systems to cities. In 2015, Volvo will deliver hybrid and all-electric buses to the Swedish cities of Stockholm and Gothenburg, while Siemens will set up fast-chargers there with a charging capacity of up to 300 kW.

Electric scooter sharing in Berlin: Berlin-based start-up eMio will kick off its electric “Share-a-Scooter” programme in the German capital in March. Following the testing phase, 200 electric scooters will be up for sharing in the centre of Berlin. The two-wheelers can be booked per app and are free floating., (articles in German)

New electric Smarts for San Diego: Carsharing provider Car2go is renewing and increasing the size of its fleet in the Californian city, bringing in 400 new electric Smarts. These will replace 350 models from 2010. According to the company, it counts over 33,000 customers and over 1 million trips in San Diego since the scheme launched in 2011.,

“Get Current” will be the name of a new initiative launched in Georgia, USA. Utility provider Georgia Power Co. has earmarked 12 million dollars that it will spend on erecting 50 new public charging stations, as well as on subsidies for the installation of private chargers.

San Diego wants cleaner cabs: The U.S. city launched a 360,000 dollar incentive programme to get taxi drivers to switch from petrol to hybrid. Taxi owners will receive up to 4,000 dollars for the purchase of a new hybrid or alternative fuel vehicle and will also pay reduced airport fees.

Service + Suggestions

Colibri, Amsterdam, Event.

Reading tip: BBC takes a closer look at the “tiny” EV Colibri from Jena, Germany, calling it “Germany’s one-seat wonder.” And in terms of success, the wonder car seems a shoe-in as well, as some 150 dealers from around the globe have already applied for licenses to sell it.

Click tip: The American network CNBC brings a story about electric cars in Amsterdam (text and video), explaining why the city believes that EVs are the answer to growing CO2 emissions. Looking at the success of the Amsterdam Electric initiative, it might be on the right track.

Event for the upcoming week: Trophée Andros Electrique (Feb 07; Saint-Dié-des-Vosges, France)

You can find a complete list of upcoming industry events at

Short circuit

Surf’s up.

No, electric transportation does not need wheels. Take this surfboard designed by Hamburg-based Sashay. With range of 12 miles and a top speed of up to 34 mph, the Lampuga is not only the fastest electric surfboard out there, it could definitely let you catch a wave or two. (video) via