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Brands + News


Gigafactory, Toyota, Specialized, BMW, Chevrolet, Fiat.

Tesla-GigafactoryDetails on Gigafactory deal: Tesla and Panasonic have agreed on the basics for the planned mega battery facility. The carmaker will be responsible for the property while the Japanese will possibly invest 20 to 30 billion yen (194-291 million dollars) into machinery. At a later date, Panasonic’s investment might go up to one billion dollars. Nothing is official yet though the formal announcement might be made tomorrow when Tesla publishes its quarterly figures.,,

Fuel cell Future: “Mirai” means “future” in Japanese and will apparently be the name of Toyota’s FCV, Bloomberg reports quoting an insider. The carmaker has not yet confirmed the name but Mirai is registered as a trademark in the U.S. already. via

Specialized is committed to e-bikes and introduces two more pedelec models to join their Turbo offering. While the original Turbo S is a speed pedelec (45 kph) the new Turbo 25 and the Turbo 25 X feature very similar technology and an integrated battery but with electric support only up to 25 kph.

Special edition i8: Ahead of the U.S. launch of the hybrid sports car, BMW will present the “Concours d’Elegance Edition” at the show of the same name at Pebble Beach, California. The special i8 comes in an unique colour and with special interior and will be auctioned off at the event on August 16th.,

It’s all in the gearing: When Green Car Reports pitched a Chevy Spark EV against the Fiat 500e, the testers noticed that at city speeds the small Italian felt and was much quicker than its American counterpart, which has better power ratings. Chief engineer for the Fiat 500e, Brett Giem, solved the riddle: gearing, which is 9.6:1 reduction in the 500e, vs 3:1 in the Spark EV.

Number of the Day

Green HOV-lane sticker program.

Some 4,903 green stickers of the 15,000 additionally granted by the Californian ARB has been claimed in only three weeks. The decals give drivers of hybrids and range-extended EVs access to HOV lanes and are apparently in high demand.

Research + Technology

GKN Power Hybrid, Evatran, LG Chem, CD-adapco.

F1 technology in London buses: Go-Ahead has ordered GKN Power Hybrid to retrofit 500 buses with its electric flywheel system called Gyrodrive Kinetic Energy Recovery System. It includes the flywheel, as well as the company’s EVO electric motor, gearbox, and installation. The buses will come to London one by one over the next two years and are said to save up to 20% fuel.,

Cadillac to charge wireless: Evatran will be offering its inductive charging system for the Cadillac ELR by the end of this year. The system is already available for the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Volt. Furthermore, Evatran announced it would soon include two more premium models but has not specified which yet.,

Hyundai on 48 volts: LG Chem has developed a 48-V litium-ion battery to be exclusively used in SUVs by Hyundai to power the on-board electronics. It will replace the 12-V system in a not yet specified electric SUV set for launch in 2017. Furthermore, by implementing 48-volt systems carmakers can adopt electric drive technologies more easily than by using dual-battery systems.

Battery simulation tool: CD-adapco has completed the development of a software providing seamless integration between the work of electrochemists and thermal engineers designing batteries together. The tool is part of the DoE project CAEBAT (Computer Aided Engineering of Electric Drive Batteries) which started back in 2011.

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Most clicked link on Tuesday was our review of the Audi A3 e-tron that our editor-in-chief took for a spin around Vienna.

Quotes of the day

Luke Tonachel, Takehiko Kikuchi, Brian Smith.

Luke-Tonachel“There are people coming in to dealerships who are very enthusiastic, but yet they are being turned off by someone who doesn’t really know the technology.”

Luke Tonachel, senior analyst of the Natural Resources Defense Council, believes that dealers are (partly) to blame for the slow uptake of EVs. His belief is based on research by the University of California-Davis.

Takehiko-Kikuchi“As consumers realise the EV is more economical, hybrids will no longer have meaning.”

Takehiko Kikuchi, CEO of Nissan Korea, leaves no doubt that he believes in the Japanese company’s strategy to go all electric or nothing.

Brian-Smith-Lexus“They’ll probably come back. I think the question remains to be seen how many people will buy a second Tesla.”

Lexus’ VP of Marketing, Brian Smith, admits that his brand might have lost a few customers to Tesla but does not think there is a problem with the Lexus offering as such.

Fleets + Infrastructure

London, Maryland, California, Civita, Merseyside, Shropshire.

Diesel is next on the list of London’s Mayor Boris Johnson’s air-improvement plan. From 2020, all diesels might be charged an extra ten pounds to enter the low emission zone in the inner city. The same goes for petrol vehicles from before 2006. Only diesel vehicles vehicles that meet the Euro 6 emissions will be exempt from the congestion charge. At the same time, more cities in the UK, among them Birmingham and Bristol, are also considering to introduce low emission zones.,

Fast chargers for Maryland: In June, the Maryland Energy Administration began its ‘Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Grant Program’ (EVIP). One billion dollars are reserved for the installation of quick chargers in the state and applications will close on October 1st this year.,

Electric school buses: The consultancy National Strategies (NSI) has received a 1.4-million dollar grant from the California Energy Commission to start a demonstration project for V2G technology. Together with earlier funding, a total of 2.2 million dollars is now available to develop six electric school buses to be deployed in The Golden State.,

Better living with charging: Civita is a newly developed community in Mission Valley with about 5,000 homes. Developer Sudberry Properties said it is working together with NRG eVgo to install EV charging stations there. More EV chargers are planned as the city within the city grows. By late summer, twelve charging stations will be in operation, which can also be used by car2go San Diego.

The first of 124 charging stations were installed at the Seacombe Ferry terminal and mark the beginning of Merseyside’s charging infrastructure development. The project is funded by the UK government and led by Merseytravel, which plans to erect the public chargers at key locations in the metropolitan county. Shropshire in the West Midlands also inaugurated its first charging point. It was erected in Church Stretton together with Co-Op, the Councils and has received a grant from ‘Plugged in Midlands.’ (Merseyside), (Shropshire)

Service + Suggestions

Electric mini car Nanico, BMW i8 review.

Video tip I: The Brazilian Caio Strumiello designed a mini electric car to tackle not only pollution, but also congestion, parking problems and social misconceptions. Meet the “Nanico” and its maker on a mission in sunny Sao Paulo.

Video tip II: Zach Vlasuk from Kelley Blue Book reviews the BMW i8 in a video spiked with details on design and a few little side blows on the hybrid sport car’s practicality for example.

Short circuit

Metal thumb up.

If you happen to drive through Canada you might be lucky enough to meet the HitchBOT. It is probably one of the few hitchhikers almost everyone would pick up as the robot is trying to get from Halifax to Victoria, relying on the kindness of strangers and their car’s cigarette lighter. It is programmed to make conversation too so chances of abduction are somewhat high., (video)