One more electric Audi: The German carmaker is thinking beyond the Q6 e-tron (due 2018) and wants to add another electric SUV to its lined-up, says German Auto Bild. The Audi Q4 e-tron will sit on the MEB platform. Powered by a 70 kWh battery, range is expected at around 450 kph. Pricing will supposedly start at 50,000 euros, about 16,000 euros less than the Q6.
Source: Auto Bild 5/2016, print edition
e-Golf to get 189 mile range: Volkswagen says the new e-Golf will be able to run a “genuine” 186 miles on one charge. Debut is set for 2018, shortly after the release of the petrol-driven Golf VIII on which the electric model is based. The GTE plug-in hybrid’s range will remain at 50 km, as VW believes that suffices.
autoblog.com, electrek.co, insideevs.com
Model S 85 discontinued: Tesla from now on only offers the Model S with either a 70 or 90 kWh battery option, phasing out the 85 kWh power pack worldwide. The EV maker has therefore completed its move away from all battery sizes initially offered in 2012.
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Ford to take on Prius? According to Wall Street Journal, Ford wants to open a new facility in Mexico. There, the America manufacturer will build a dedicated hybrid model by 2018, which could take away market share from Toyota’s Prius. Ford has neither given more information about nor has it confirmed the plans.
Indian electric scooter: Hero has presented the Duet E concept. The all-electric scooter is based on the Duet series and likely derives its technology from the hybrid Leap concept. The Duet E comes with a 5 kW electric motor and is said to have a range of up to 65 km. Nothing has been said about production plans yet.
rushlane.com (with video)
Fast as a falcon: Sam Bird finished first in the Buenos Aires ePrix. It is the first Formula E victory for team DS Virgin. Sebastien Buemi came in second, followed swiftly by Lucas di Grassi, who continues to make it to the podium in every race.
electriccarsreport.com, fiaformulae.com, youtube.com (race highlights)
Tesla sold about 9,000 electric cars in California alone last year, says the California Air Resources Board’s Clean VehicleRebate Project (CVRP). The Golden State thus signs for a third of all U.S. and 18 percent of worldwide sales. Registrations rose by 57% compared to 2014.
Toyota endurance racer: The TS050 is set to race in the 2016 World Endurance Championship and Le Mans 24 Hours, where the Japanese will go up against German Audi and Porsche. While specs have yet to be released, Toyota’s hybrid will boast 740 kW from a V8 coupled with electric motors.
Google pods in London? The British capital is in “active discussions” with the internet firm to trial its self-driving electric cars. London hopes to i.e. decrease costs for tunnels in the future, as they could be build more narrowly. Overall, the UK government plans to invest 20m pounds in eight driverless car projects. Google has not yet taken its pods outside the U.S. and has not commented on London’s drive.
A 1,000 km stretch of solar streets will be installed in France over the coming five years, Ségolène Royal announced. The so-called Wattway is a joint project by French infrastructure firm Colas and INES (France’s National Institute for Solar Energy). The photovoltaic panels can carry trucks and each km generates enough energy for 5,000 homes. Testing could start as early as spring, given administrative details are sorted out.
Half a million bucks for hybrid trucks: Inventev received a 500,000 dollar grant from the Department of Energy ARPA-E to develop and test its plug-in hybrid technology for heavy duty vehicles. Research and trials of the Energy SWAT Truck will be carried out on NextEnergy’s microgrid campus in Detroit.
“I think there will be an answer within the next six months to a year to decide which direction we will go, but of course electric will be a future strategy direction for Bentley.”
Rolf Frech, Bentley’s board member for engineering, hints at an all-electric Bentley. He stressed that it is a strategic rather than a technological decision, as the firm would have access to Porsche’s Mission E platform.
“We invite the whole world to look at the Philippines as the up and coming EV hub of Asia.”
Rommel Juan, President of the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP), invites foreign firms to help the country reach its target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70 percent by 2030.
“We will look at electrification – I think it could be inevitable – but it depends on the possibility of increasing performance.”
Dirk Hacker, VP for engineering at BMW’s performance brand BMW M, sees a hybrid future for the sports cars. However, plug-in attempts will be primarily designed to boost performance rather than lower emissions. A pure electric M car is therefore unlikely.
Tesla to support CHAdeMO and SAE: The EV maker is working on an inter-protocol charging adapter that would enable both CHAdeMO and SAE J1772, patent applications reveal. Tesla is also looking into sharing its Supercharger network with other carmakers and add the European standard plug.
electrek.co, patents.justia.com (patent application)
Free green charging: Tesla cooperates with Swedish utility Skellefteå Kraft to supply all 14 Supercharger in Sweden with renewables energy only. Furthermore, the agreement includes free green home charging for up to 45,000 km over three years for Swedish Tesla owners.
Hybrid cab fleet: Half of the taxis will be hybrid in Dubai by 2021, says the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). At the moment, there are 150 hybrid cabs in the desert state, but that number will increase to 4,750 over the next five years. This year alone, 791 cabs will be hybridised.
Indian inductive charging: General Electric has developed wireless charging technology for Mahindra, which was reportedly demonstrated for the e20 Sport concept. Charging with 3.3 kW, the system’s efficiency is given at 92 percent.
More chargers for Britain: North Somerset will more than double EV charging points from 22 to 50. The upgrade is made possible because of a 1.3m pound grant from the UK Government’s Office of Low Emissions.
Video tip I: It has been a while since Tesla allowed a film crew in its Fremont facility. KPIX 5 was lucky and even got exclusive shots of battery pack assembly, plus all the “usual” robot action.
sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com (press on image for video)
Video tip II: Toyota’s attempt to revamp the Prius’ image reached the next stage. The Super Bowl ad includes attributes like “badass” or “mutha-truckin ride” – unexpectedly so, to say the least. That is what happens when Japan meets Saatchi & Saatchi advertising. What the heck!
youtube.com via autoblog.com
Did you know they have log cars in the Canadian woods and that this motorised tinder sets out to break the record for the fastest log?! Guinness clocked 56 mph on a quarter-mile track for the tree powered by 20 hp electric turbines and a 35 hp electric motor at the differential. A truly green “car.”