Electric delivery: According to Autocar, Chinese Geely wants to not only build electric taxis in the UK, but its subsidiary Emerald Automotive could kick off the serial production of an electric delivery truck with range extender. The Emerald T-001 would have an all-electric range of at least 66 miles. Moreover, Emerald says it will partake in a tender from the U.S. postal service that is looking to renew 180.000 vehicles (we reported).
NextEV fires starting pistol: The Chinese start-up will invest 3bn yuan (463m dollars) in a new facility for the development and production of high-performance motors and components for electric cars in the city of Nanjing. The factory is said to open its doors in the second half of this year and have an annual production capacity of 280.000 units.
Electric roadster form China: The Qiantu K50 electric sports car was also shown as a topless roadster at the Auto China. Qiantu Motors is currently building a factory in the city of Suzhou with an annual production capacity of 50.000 EVs. The Qiantu K50 and two more electric cars will launch in 2017.
Tesla is not content with the recently decided incentive scheme in Germany. Only EVs that cost less than 60,000 euros qualify, even though Tesla’s all-electric cars replace the segment of true gas guzzlers. The Californians now offers an attractive leasing rate of 494 euros per months for the Model S 70 in Germany – with some strings attached. But nonetheless not a bad deal.
Tesla stocks up: The California EV maker has rented two large storage facilities near its Fremont production site – probably to store parts needed for the production of the Model 3. Meanwhile, Tesla wants to conduct a job fair this weekend to find “hundreds” of new production workers.
electrek.co (storage), electrek.co (jobs)
Porsche news for the U.S.: Porsche will offer the Panamera sports wagon variant in the U.S. – and as a PHEV, nonetheless. While it is sure that the car is coming, Porsche’s US Chief Klaus Zellmer said not to expect it in 2017.
A total of 332 Toyota Prius lined up in Southern California, forming the longest parade of hybrid cars according the Guinness Book of World Records. Toyota chose California to host the event, because 40 percent of all Prius sold in the U.S. hit the road in the Golden State.
Codename AM-RB 001: Aston Martin and Red Bull’s planned hybrid sports car is said to be available as two variants: 99 units will be street legal, says Red Bull Adrian Newey. Another few units will be made especially for the race track.
Bioweapon-defence put to the test: Tesla’s HEPA filter and “Bioweapon Defence Mode” are not just a marketing gag, as test have shown. A Model X was placed in a huge bubble with very pure air quality. In just two minutes, the pollution levels dropped so far that they could no longer measured.
Compact e-motor from Down Under: Australian company Evans Electric has developed a new electric motor. The Axial flux asynchronous induction motor boasts 90 kW and 300 Nm of torque. Moreover, it is said to be 70 percent smaller as other electric motors with similar performance models.
Electrification kit: The PowerDrive is Efficient Drivetrains’ latest developer kit for plug-in hybrids. It offers OEMs comprehensive framework to rapidly develop PHEVs and includes a high-efficiency drivetrain, vehicle control and telematics software, as well as and the training and support infrastructure.
“It may appear today as if all e-motors are the same, but they aren’t. They are at a development stage similar to where combustion engines were in the 1960s or ’70s.”
Audi’s head of development Stefan Knirsch confirms that the German automaker will make in-house build electric drivetrains one of its core competences. He does, however, not see the diesel engine as being dead quite yet.
“There is nothing Tesla does that we cannot also do. We build cars, sell them, and are still able to pay the bills. But I’m not even sure you can recover all of your costs — let alone generate a profit — through electrification.’
Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said in an Interview that a hybrid version of a topless LaFerrari Spider is in the pipelines. But pure EVs are still out of the question.
“R&D development of iNext will start now. And we have the people on board to do so.”
BMW CEO Harald Krüger says the company has enough qualified people to continue with its electric vehicle programme. Just recently, a handful of key staff had left BMW to join the EV start-up Future Mobility, which is financially backed by Chinese Foxconn.
Fast-charging Switzerland: Company GOtthard FASTcharge, short GOFAST, wants to install a fast charging network with 150 kW and more in Switzerland. Some 150 stations are planned, with the first location along the Gotthard motorway said to open this summer. The goal is to set up at least 100 locations in the next two and a half years.
Germany’s North electrifies: The German city of Lübeck is looking to replace all 200 of its buses with electric ones by 2035. Depending on availability, the first buses could be swapped as early as next year. The Hanseatic city currently only counts 10 hybrid busses that are actually not as efficient, as planned. Some blame the driving style of local bus drivers.
ln-online.de (in German)
Connecting Quebec: Hydro-Québec is looking to erect 22 EV charging stations in eastern Ontario, making it easier for motorists to get to Quebec. These will also be the utility’s first EV stations outside of the Canadian capital.
No direct sales: Tesla again failed to push a bill that would allow it to sell directly to customers in Connecticut. The EV maker now wants to play its last ace up its sleeve and offer to build a distribution centre in the U.S. state. That could mean 150 new jobs – if direct sales were allowed.
Electric Aspen: This summer, the small town in Colorado, U.S., is offering free electric taxi rides. The on-demand service features five Polaris Gem E6 that can be booked via an app. While the drive is free, tips are not frowned upon.
Video tip: German Paravan has fitted a Tesla Model S with one of its Robot 3000 – an automated arm that can lift a wheelchair out of the car’s boot and move it all the way to the driver’s door. The arm can even open and close the boot automatically.
Reading tip: Apple CEO Tim Cook is not without controversy. U.S. Marketwatch therefore spins the idea of Apple buying Tesla a little further, imagining that Elon Musk would take over the reins of the IT giant.
Events for the upcoming week: Conference on Diagnostics in Mechatronic Vehicle Systems (May 10-11; Dresden, Germany) ++ Intercharge Network Conference (May 12-13; Berlin, Germany) ++ E-GO (May 13; Poreč, Croatia)
You can find a complete list of upcoming industry events at electrive.com/calendar
One Canadian has a peculiar theory about why self-driving cars could be dangerous. He believes that since people will not have to keep the hands on the wheel, they won’t keep them off each other, and warns of drivers having sex while flying down the highway.