Made in Germany


Brands + News


Toyota, Tesla, Lexus, Volvo, Ford, BMW.

Toyota EV for China? According to a Chinese news portal, Toyota is planning to introduce a new brand as part of its joint venture with the Guangzhou Automobile Group. “Lingzhi” will offer affordable electric vehicles especially to the younger generation. If those will be purely electric remains to be seen.

European Tesla facility grows: The Californian carmaker wants to add an additional 49,000 square meter hall to its assembly plant in Tilburg, Netherlands, essentially tripling the plant’s size. The new space will open its doors in April of next year., (in Dutch)

Lexus NX 300h gets price tag for the US: The front wheel version starts at 40,645 dollars, while the all-wheel drive model will go for 42,235 dollars. All prices include shipping. The NX could be seen as a good alternative to Lexus’ RX 450h, which starts at 48,545 USD.

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Volvo stretches out: A longer version of the Volvo S60 shown at the Auto China will become available as plug-in hybrid on the Chinese market in mid-2015. The four-cylinder and electric motor have a combined output of 305 hp, while the S60 is said to have an all-electric range of up to 80 kilometres.

Ford cuts prices: The manufacturer has once again reduced the sales price of its Focus Electric. After slashing the cost of the 2014 model by about 6,000 dollars, the 2015 version is to be another 6,000 dollars cheaper. The upcoming model will therefore start at around 29,995 USD.

BMW i8 reviewed: This look at the Bavarian supercar could also be described as an ode, as the author admires the car’s “interesting silhouette” and sporty design. It comes to no surprise that once he slid into the front seat and took it for a spin, he declared himself a true lover of the i8.

Number of the Day

UK Plug-in car grants.

Over 5,000 grants for electric and plug-in vehicles were issued by the British government between July and September. That is more than twice as many as in the second quarter of 2014. The subsidy reduces the price of vehicles by up to 5,000 pounds (8,000 USD) and by 8,000 pounds (13,000 USD) for vans.

Research + Technology

Visio.M, Revolvo, Riversimple, Tracked EVs, ABB.

VisioM-2014Presenting the Visio.M: The Technical University Munich took off the wraps of its lightweight prototype yesterday. Designed as a second car, the EV seats two passengers. Featuring an electric engine producing 15 kW, top speed is set at 120 kph, while the 13.5 kWh battery allows the Visio.M to go up to 160 kilometres on one charge. The vehicle is said to cost about the same as petrol-driven car in the same category. But according to researchers, the way to serial productions is still a long one.,,, (all Links in German)

Retrofit hybrid kit: At the IGEM 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Indian supplier KPIT presented its retrofit plug-in hybrid system. The Revolvo kit has already been tested by the Royal Malaysian Police, reducing fuel consumption by 23 percent. The force now considers fitting more vehicles with the technology.

Hydrogen vehicles from Wales: Start-up Riversimple has developed a fuel cell two-seater with a body made from composite materials. The vehicle is said to be able to go up to 300 miles on one fill. First tests are planned for late next year.

Roads without drivers: Welsh engineer Will Jones wants to introduce electrified roads for autonomously driving EVs in the U.S., inspired by racing track for toy cars. Because the track is electrified, electric vehicles could have unlimited range.

New ABB research centre: The technology group inaugurated the new facility in Dättwil, Switzerland. There, ABB wants to further develop power electronics used in i.e. fast chargers for electric vehicles. (in German)

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Most clicked link on Monday was the news that Local Motors is looking to begin selling the 3D printed Strati EV starting next year.

Quotes of the day

Gerald Killmann, Raymond de Callafon.

Gerald-Killmann“The hybrid story was driven by Toyota and could be driven internally because there was no infrastructure requirement. For fuel cells, we can drive the vehicle development like we did with the hybrid, but we cannot drive by ourselves the infrastructure solution.”

Gerald Killmann, Toyota’s director for powertrain R&D in Europe, says the carmaker could be limited in pushing its fuel cell car, due to the scarcity of hydrogen filling stations.

Raymond-de-Callafon“It also allows you to keep up with the latest battery technology. If you buy an electric vehicle and the battery is fixed in there, your warranty expires and that’s it.”

Raymond de Callafon, a mechanical engineering professor at UC San Diego, is part of a team attempting a cross-country trip in a converted VW Golf without charging. The EV has modular batteries that also come in handy as technology improves.

Fleets + Infrastructure

CARB, Chicago, Hannover, Tritium, Malaysia.

CARB to cut ZEV? Back in 2012, the California Air Resources Board decided that six Large Vehicle Makers will be required to sell a certain number of zero emission vehicles (ZEV). Afraid not to be able to meet requirements, Immediate Vehicle Makers called for the rule to include plug-in vehicles. The measure is said to be passed in the coming days.

Zero emission chauffeur fleet: Late Chicago gangster Al Capone has reason to be jealous. Now one can hire one of six Tesla Model S, ready to hit the street of the Windy City. Chicago’s first all-electric fleet is operated by E-Motion Chauffeurs and Hires of Chicago.

University of Hannover goes electric: The German university received six VW e-Caddy and will test the lightweight delivery vehicles during the upcoming 12 months. Data collected about energy consumption, servicing and battery capacity will be send to VW for evaluation.

Fast-charger from Down Under: The Australian charging infrastructure provider Tritium has signed a deal with E-Wald. The pilot scheme will be the first European client to use the “Veefil Electric Vehicle Fast Charger,” which supports CCS as well as CHAdeMO.

New market for BYD: At the IGEM 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, BYD presented the first electric bus for Malaysia. Manufactured in China, the K9 has already found buyers in Malaysia – Panorama Melaka has ordered 40 units and Sunway BRT 15 units.

Service + Suggestions

LaFerrari running in electric mode, XL3 hybrid drive system.

Video tip: Even Ferrari drivers could need to get used to silence. Even though the manufacturer stated that its LaFerrari could not be driven in an all-electric mode, this video proves otherwise (at least on the first few metres).

Click tip: The four million mile mark has been met. That is the combined distance driven by XL Hybrid customers using the XL3 Hybrid Electric Drive System. The technology enables fleets to retrofit existing vehicles and reap the benefits immediately.

Short circuit

Spooky clean.

Ford celebrated Halloween a little early, luring unsuspecting drivers into a car wash that had been slightly redecorated. Among soap bubbles and brushes, some scary creatures are up to no good. We hope you’re not afraid of the dark!