Brands + News


GM, Mercedes, DS, China, Korea, BYD.

GM shuts down Bolt plant: As inventories swell, GM has halted the lines in Michigan, where the Chevy Bolt and Sonic are made. While the carmaker claims the shutdown was temporary and down solely to slow Sonic sales, there is an oversupply of its EV as well. Still the Bolt is only available in some states before a nationwide roll-out in August. At the same time, only a few Ampera-e have been allocated to Europe – too few maybe but it is impossible to simply rebrand the Bolt for Opel due to specific parts suppliers cannot deliver quickly enough.,

Mercedes-S-Klasse-2017-300x150S-Class facelift: Mercedes unveils its latest luxury flagship that now includes 48-Volt tech and a plug-in hybrid variant with a bigger battery at 13.3 kWh for a range of 50 km. The 7.2 kW on-board charger and a new wallbox promise faster charging but the S-Class PHEV won’t be available at on-sale this fall.,

DS electric SUV by 2019: PSA fledgling DS prepares to fly solo and revealed a second model to follow the DS7 Crossback PHEV. Next up will be a compact SUV comes 2019 and it will also incorporate an all-electric variant. Two years later anoter SUV is to join the club, this time as a standalone hybrid.

German “Extrawurst”? Beijing might make an exception for German carmakers regarding China’s EV sales quota, WiWo reports after speaking to the German embassy in the Chinese capital. They revealed, there would be “a satisfactory solution” but how that could look like or, what that actually means or, if it will also apply to other countries has not been said. Only recently, OEM associations from the four biggest car nations had turned to Beijing begging for mercy so they could pollute the planet a little longer. (in German)

Korea grants special treatment to Tesla as Seoul wants to open its subsidies from September to include the Californian EV maker. Its models had been excluded before because Korean regulation limits incentives to electric vehicles that take less than ten hours to charge.,

Dreaming ever bigger: BYD is about to expand again further with the extension of its production facility in Lancaster, California set for completion next month. The plant will then be able to produce 1,500 electric heavy-duty vehicles, i.e. buses as well as trucks, a year with its 700 employees.

Number of the Day

BYD PEV Sales in June.

BYD has sold over 11,000 plug-ins this June in China, making this a record month to date. Sales were driven be the newly arrived Song PHEV, which convinced 4,552 buyers. Also, the e5 all-electric car reached its highest sales ever as 3,206 were moved during the month.

Research + Technology

GaN Systems, H2 Street Sweeper, Romeo Power.

BMW i Ventures moves into next-gen power electronics as it makes a strategic investment into GaN Systems. Their transistors use Gallium Nitride (GaN), a semiconductor material that allows for higher energy efficiency, smaller form factors and higher performance.,

H2-street-sweeperH2 street sweeper: The streets of Dutch Hoogezand will henceforth be cleaned silently by a new hydrogen cleaning machine. It is a first and Finnish Visedo signs responsible for the electric drive of the street sweeper, that had been converted from diesel to fuel cell by Holthausen. Groningen municipality is involved in the project too and already Rotterdam and Amsterdam have signalled interest, as has the Vatican. A single hydrogen fill got the machine on its sweep for 1.5 days so to speak and its operating noise was reduced by half and is expected to fall to about 40 dBA with upgrades.,

From space to earth: The Indian Space Research Organisation has approved Li-ion batteries developed by the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (we reported) for commercial use by major car manufacturers. The approval may soon see them appear in buses, EVs and rickshaws.,

Universal fork lift battery: Romeo Power presents its Thunder Pack-C and says this Li-ion battery pack fits any fork lift model. 4,000 charging cycles are guaranteed.

Quotes of the day

Gilles Normand, Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer.

Gilles Normand“Today, some countries are removing incentives, and the problem if you move too quickly, it’s a shock in the market, like we’ve seen in Denmark. We can foresee in Europe that incentives for EVs will fade away progressively, and that’s OK.”

Gilles Normand, Renault’s head of EVs warns that stopping subsidies abruptly can effectively kill a market. Still, he believes enough in EVs to know that subsidies won’t simply be necessary anymore at some point.

Ferdinand-Dudenhoeffer“Diesel is over and it’s time to switch to new technologies.”

It almost feels as if Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, analyst at the University of Duisburg-Essen’s CAR, is stating the obvious but given the state of the discussion still, some things cannot be said often enough.

Fleets + Infrastructure

Floatility, Sun Mobility, Massachusetts, Ballard.

Scooter sharing floats: German Floatility has convinced Singapore to launch a pilot with its solar-powered stand-up scooters at its development partner Autodesk. Their staff will kick about the facility on the partly 3D-printed, three-wheeled and self-balancing EVs, that come with custom-built docking stations to charge. Another pilot is due to start in Vienna in the coming weeks, when tourists will be asked to float around town., (Austria pilot, in German)

Swapping a battery in India shall become most easy as Sun Mobility plans to work together with various OEMs to integrate their solution into electric cars, buses but also scooters and rickshaws. So far, only Ashok Leyland is on board but further steps are to be announced later this year.,

Hybrid bus order: Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) expects the delivery of 345 new buses of which 156 will be diesel-electric and 175 CNG. Overall, they will replace a third of the fleet with cleaner options once they arrive next month and shall make the system more reliable, esp. in winter.,

Ballard scores again: The fuel cell specialist received an order from the SunLine Transit Agency for five FCveloCity systems to power hydrogen buses in Palm Desert, California. The 150 kW systems are expected to be shipped in 2017 and Ballard here works with ElDorado National and BAE System.,

Short circuit

Opel Ampera-e, Tesla Fremont.

Video tip: Deutsche Welle took the Opel Ampera-e aka the Chevy Bolt for a spin. While the verdict considers the range “relatively long, so is the waiting list to get one.” (with video)

Click tip: As Tesla expands its production facility in Fremont to make room for the Model 3, new aerial photos show just how massive the new multi-storey structure is.

Short circuit

Triple cool.

What do you get if you combine 3D-printed Lego bricks, an electric motor and an inventive skater? The most modern electric skateboard ever. It was built by James Bruton of XRobots and even the motor looks like Lego. Although it is work in progress, the thing is rideable.,