Even easier charging: The next-generation Volt, which will debut at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, is said to come with facilitated charging. Volt-owners will be able to pre-set a preferred “home” charging location and charging levels. Charge status indicators get a redesign, too, while the portable 120V cord is to be extended.
electriccarsreport.com, greencarreports.com, transportevolved.com
Efficiency comparison: The EPA just named the BMW i3 the most efficient production car sold in the United States. Its 125 MPGe rating even sets its apart from the 2013 Tesla Model S 85 (89 MPGe) by an impressive 39 percent.
8Fun re-brands as Bafang: The hub motor manufacturer has taken back its original name under which it is about to open a European service centre in the German Eiffel region. Furthermore, Bafang added the mid-motor ‘Max Drive’ to its range. With a max. torque of 80Nm, it can power s-pedelecs and will go into production by March 2015.
Making the e-Golf: Karl Brauer went to Wolfsburg and Braunschweig to take a close look at Volkswagen’s production of the electric Golf. About 70 e-Golfs are produced daily on the same assembly line as the conventional model, making it easy to shift according to demand.
Driving the future: At the LA Auto Show, journalists finally got a chance to take a spin in Toyota’s Mirai. While Consumer Reports is not exactly excited but liked it “fairly well,” Eric Pfanner thinks the FCV clearly is no Prius but a car that is “fun to drive.” The Australian Motoring is not sold on the design but finds the drive rather “inspiring.”
consumerreports.org, blogs.wsj.com, motoring.com.au
Benelux dealers wanted: Mando Footloose is looking for resellers for its chainless electric folder, moving away from its online sale strategy. The European branch of Korean Mando – Halla Meister Europe BV – strives to find 40 outlets ready to offer the Footloose for 2,690 euros (3,375 USD).
Tesla shares dropped 4 percent this week, after Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas revised his sales expectations for the Model X from 15,000 to 5,000 in 2015. However, Carter Driscoll from MLV and Company was quick to offer reassurance to shareholders when emphasising the EV market’s long-term potential.
news.investors.com (Jonas), video.cnbc.com (Driscoll)
More HyMotion details: Volkswagen’s answer to Toyota’s Mirai FCV is safely rooted in the Golf family, as it is based on the same Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) platform. Also, its interior is close to its gasoline counterpart. VW puts acceleration from 0-62 mph at 10 seconds, making the fuel cell Golf a little quicker than the electric one.
Mini Citysurfer concept: The BMW subsidiary brought the Citysurfer to LA. This electric kickscooter fits folded into a Mini trunk, where it can also be recharged. Power is controlled via throttle, while you can reach 15 mph for up to 15 miles. Get kicking!
Flakes to spheres: Australia-based Syrah Resources has produced uncoated battery grade spherical graphite from natural flake graphite. Samples will be sent to anode producers for trials and testing, as well as to big Korean and Japanese Li-ion battery producers.
Tuned Model S: Custom T Sportline is to present its modified Tesla at the LA Auto Show. While technical details are still scarce, the self-declared “world’s first Tesla tuner” comes with a price tag of 200,000 dollars for the revamped Model S.
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Most clicked link on Thursday was the unveiling of the Audi A7 h-tron quattro performance fuel cell plug-in at the Auto Show in Los Angeles.
“Rumors about canceling Falcon wing doors are false. At Tesla, the production car will always be better than the show car.”
Tesla CEO Elon Musk tries to end speculation about the Model X. Analyst Adam Jonas of Morgan Stanley had named the wing doors as one possible reason for Tesla pushing back delivery of the electric SUV to the third quarter of 2015.
“Demand for bicycles for mobility, health and active sports purposes is structurally strong. This will continue to boost sales of electric bikes and sports bikes in the higher end of the market in particular.”
René Takens, CEO of Dutch Accell Group, has high expectations for his company, as margins are growing due to the trend of high end (and high price) electric bikes. The growth is fuelled by fair weather, as well as the uptake in more European markets.
“Tesla and its owners are a testament to the fact that the private sector can and should support the necessary infrastructure, alleviating private and public sector investments in costly hydrogen networks.”
Arndt Ellinghorst, head of global automotive research at ISI, says that even as the trend toward zero emission vehicles rises, some see public infrastructure as a “waste” of public money. Tesla dedication to extend the Supercharger-Network helps counteract that impression.
Hydrogen for Germany: The Clean Energy Partnership (CEP) announced that it will erect six new H2 stations in the German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, bringing the total number of stations there to 8 by the end of 2015. The stations will be installed in seven cities, will come from Air Liquide, Linde, Westfalen and Shell and are part of a planned network of 50 hydrogen stations across Germany.
carzoom.de (in German)
Hybrid waste collection: Miami-Dade County has ordered another 29 hydraulic hybrid refuse trucks from Autocar, increasing its fleet to 64. The E3 waste collection truck is powered by RunWise’s ‘Advanced Series Hybrid Drive System,’ said to reduce fuel consumption by up to 50 percent.
Honda is following Toyota’s lead of bringing H2-charging infrastructure to California. A loan of 13.8 million dollars is to go to FirstElement Fuel to expand the network by 12 charge stations. More funding is to come from the Golden State itself.
EV charger in New Zealand: Tainui’s Novotel and Ibis hotels will install electric car chargers in their car parks. Installation will be done by company Mighty River Power (MRP) and is soon to start. MRP is looking to switch its fleet to hybrid electric vehicles.
Hawaii charged up: Volta Industries is opening two EV charging stations on Maui and plans to roll out more across Oahu in 2015. The stations are sponsored by American Savings Bank and Rising Sun Solar and usage will be free. The electric and hybrid vehicles now almost have an eight percent market share in Hawaii.
Video tip: Listen to what Dr. Peter Harrop, Chairman of IDTechEx, has to say about the electric vehicle market of the future. EVs will be everywhere – on land, water and in the air and will be most intelligent. In short, the “radical new” is near.
Is Malaysia ready for EV uptake? Pretty much, if you agree with Matthew Stuart, who lists the numerous industry and government initiatives. Furthermore, Mitsubishi and Nissan are already on the market but have yet to wait for significant consumer uptake.
You can find a complete list of upcoming industry events at electrive.com/calendar
The ancient art of fighting with the Katana, the Samurai swords, has found its modern expression with two high precision robots by CPM Special Bearings crossing blades. Obviously, the fight was non-bloody and programmatically rehearsed.