Tesla upgrades to 100 kWh: The EV maker now offers its Model S and X with a 100 kWh battery pack. The Model S 100D has a range of 315 miles (613 km) and is the first EV to exceed the 300-mile-threashold. Able to go from zero to 60 in 2.5 seconds, the Model S 100D with Ludicrous is also the third fasted production car ever made. The range of the Model X increases to 289 miles.
engadget.com, tesla.com, greencarcongress.com
Denza EV with endurance: Daimler and BYD have upped the range of their jointly build model for China. The Denza 400 now has a 62 kWh battery pack (up from 47.5 kWh), allowing it to go up to 400 km on one charge. Why can’t Daimler offer a similar electric car in the other corners of the world?
FF EV caught on camera: First images of the upcoming electric car from Faraday Future have surfaced online. Even though the testing vehicle is still heavily camouflaged, it is clear that we have a crossover model similar to the Tesla Model X to look forward to.
Strict rules for utility vehicles: The U.S. EPA and DOE have determined fuel efficiency standards for utility vehicles from 2021 to 2027. Tractor units, for example, will then have to emit 25 percent less CO2 than allowed in 2018.
Soul gets makeover: The Kia Soul has gotten a small facelift. Next to some minor updates, it now comes in five different colours. The electric variant sells from 42.75m won (38.300 USD) in South Korea.
More money for electric mobility: The German federal state of Hesse announced that it will increases grants for electric mobility from 1.5 to 2.3m euros for 2017. The money will be spent on pilot projects, practical applications and community mobility hubs. Another 5m euros annually will be earmarked to purchase electric buses and help develop EV charging infrastructure.
bundesverkehrsportal.de (in German)
Toyota sold 708,998 hybrid vehicles worldwide in the first half of 2016, up 17 percent from the same period last year, when 606,530 Toyota hybrids left the lot. Driving forces were the new generation Prius and RAV4 hybrid.
ZF joins Formula E: Automotive supplier ZF Friedrichshafen is now on board as Venturi’s official technical partner for season three of the racing series. The goal is to jointly develop a new drivetrain, which will hit the track in 2018/19 – the Formula E’s fifth season.
No race driver needed: Roborace has presented the prototype of its first self-driving race car, called DevBot. It will enter in driverless races as part of the next season of the Formula E, which will use the same track as the racing series. The goal is to show what autonomous technology can do.
theverge.com, telegraph.co.uk, youtube.com (Video)
Kawasaki goes electric? Plans for an all-electric motorbike from Kawasaki have appeared online, according to which the manufacture wants to use an oil-cooling system. Unfortunately, technical details as well as a possible release date are still unknown.
The future of EV batteries: Researchers form the Pennsylvania State University say they have found the “ideal energy storage material” for electric car batteries. It allows a higher energy density and does not show any attrition after 30,000 charging cycles at high temperatures. The key is said to be the material’s three-dimensional, sandwich like structure.
“If we want to actually send energy back from the car to the electricity grid, this gets much more complex, and that’s something that I don’t see being a very economic or viable solution — perhaps ever, but certainly not in the near term.”
Tesla CTO JB Straubel is surprisingly critical of vehicle-to-grid technology. He is also not a fan of using old car batteries for stationary energy storage projects.
“There have been some efforts to produce such batteries from foreign firms, which includes the US firm Johnson Controls, but all of them failed to mass produce.”
Yoo Ji-sang from Korea Electronics Technology Institute’s Advanced Batteries Research Center believes that hollow batteries, which Apple is supposedly developing for its EV, won’t be ready for serial production for at least another ten years.
Charging alliance I: German mapping service Here has teamed up with Finish Vitra, which operates hundreds of public chargers in different European countries. Thanks to the cooperation, these are now visible on Here maps.
Charging alliance II: Hong Kong Telecom (HKT) and CLP Holdings have founded a 50-50 joint venture to offer charging solutions in Hong Kong. The new company Smart Charge is mainly said to install chargers at parking stalls in front of apartments and offices.
Climate Leadership Plan: The Canadian province of British Columbia has published its plan on how to reduce emissions. That includes making EVs more affordable and increasing the support for charging stations in buildings. The goal is to reduce emissions by up to 25m tonnes below current forecasts by 2050.
Charge while shopping: Spinx has set up fast-chargers (Level 3) at seven of its convenient stores in South Carolina. The charging stations are part of Nissans “No Charge to Charge” programme, but are accessible for an EV with the right inlet.
Rochester goes EV: The city of Rochester, Massachusetts, has received a state grant to lease three electric vehicles for three years, as well as set up a charging station. The best location of the latter will be decided on soon.
Study tip: The Norwegian Institute of Transported Economics surveyed 8,000 people and found that 71 percent of EV drivers used the electric car as a second vehicle. Households that only have one car mainly prefer Tesla, also because of the range.
toi.no via chargedevs.com
Video tip: Chevrolet asked owners of the Chevy Bolt if they wanted to take a test spin in the new Bolt. Judging by the promotional clip, the feedback was quite positive. A second video gives more detailed driving impressions form inside the EV.
youtube.com (teaser), youtube.com (impressions)
A woman, who took a Mercedes for a test drive in Virginia, didn’t get very far. It took only six seconds before she stepped on the wrong pedal, trashing the Beamer and four other cars – a true combustion engine destroyer!