Brands + News


EPA, Tesla, Solarstratos, Smart.

EPA pushes emission standards: In a rush to affirm the 2025 fleet emission standards of 54.5 mpg before Donald Trump takes office, the EPA decided to leave them in place. Carmakers had hoped for further negotiations until 2018. While the president could change the standards at a later date, it would neither be easy nor quick.,,,

Tesla-Model-X-final300Designers wanted at Tesla: It looks like the Model Y and other ideas are slowly taking shape. There are several jobs posted at the Tesla Design Centre in Hawthorne and while descriptions remain vague, interesting tasks lay ahead. Elon Musk only recently mused on the Model U for example.

Tesla made in India? Indian steel-to-power group JSW is to venture into electric cars next year. Government subsidies make the idea particularly attractive for the debt-laden company. There has been talk of Tesla technology but neither Tesla nor JSW would confirm any cooperation.

To soar to the edge of space on solar power alone is the plan of Swiss Raphaël Domjan. The Solarstratos plane by PC-Aero is just 8.5 meters long and runs on a 32-kW electric drive and 20 kWh Li-ion battery. The hangar and aircraft will be presented next week with take-off set for 2018.,

First drive Smart ForTwo: The electric 2017 mini Mercedes clearly is a European invention, Jeff Jablansky found out, when taking the city slicker to Miami. There, fuel is cheap, cars are large and roads are wide. Luckily, the little Smart ED convertible stood out and may make a great second car.

Number of the Day

GM could loose money with its Bolt.

GM may loose 9,000 dollars with every Bolt that Chevrolet sells, Bloomberg reckons. Still, it makes business sense because carmakers need zero emission credits to continue to sell their more profitable gas guzzlers in key states. California’s ZEV credit model is effective and spreading.

Research + Technology

Fast Storage BWII, TU Graz, Huawei, Ford.

High-energy storage cells: ZSW is developing novel coating technologies for nickel-based electrodes to be used in super caps. A first demonstration cell is ready, which enables charging and discharging times of less than three seconds, that is a c-rate of 1,200. The research is part of the ‘Fast Storage BWII’ project, that is funded by Baden-Wuerttemberg with 3m euros. The technology may be utilised in hybrid vehicles and electric fork lifts at a later stage. (in German), (project)

Battery meets super cap: To combine the high-energy density of batteries with the high-power output of super capacitors in a single system, researchers at TU Graz experiment with a novel redox active ionic liquid that consists of an organic salt. The study is funded by the European Research Council (ERC)., (paid content)


High temperature battery: Huawei presents a graphene-based Li-ion battery, said to withstand heat of up to 60 degree C and to last twice as long. Apart from graphene, the therrmal advance is aided by an additive in the electrolytes and a modified large-crystal NMC material used for the cathode.,

Autonomous car testing in Europe: Ford is to start testing autonomous cars on European roads after having established its self-driving car projects in the USA. There, it will triple its fleet of self-driving Fusion Hybrids by next year.

Quotes of the day

Dave Zuckowski, Sigmar Gabriel, Matthias Erb.

dave-zuchowski“To be honest with you, Toyota surprised me a little bit in that they appeared to be going all one way with fuel cells.”

Dave Zuchowski, CEO of Hyundai Motor America, comments on his competitor’s change of strategy regarding battery-electric vehicles. Hyundai has been keeping all options open.

Sigmar-Gabriel“We should launch a major initiative to build independent battery cell production and research for all European car makers.”

German Minister of Economic Affairs, Sigmar Gabriel calls for a joint effort by Europe and its car manufacturers to start to produce battery cells for electric vehicles.

matthias-erb“We see a cost line crossing between battery-electric vehicles and diesels. Some of the strategists in our company see that by 2023, 2025, due to the emissions standards for diesel, are going to become really expensive. We expect that when those two lines cross, this will be the time when huge pressure comes on diesel.”

Dr. Matthias Erb, Executive Vice President of the NA Engineering and Planning Center of VW America sees diesel under increasing pressure and thus believes a transformation of Volkswagen’s strategy to be all the more important.

Fleets + Infrastructure

Virta, Fastned, London, Osnabrück, Federal Transit Administration.

Domestic smart charging: Finnsih Virta introduced its home charging unit that charges electric cars depending on tariffs. Owners can also allow others access to the charging device either for free or for a fee. Virta has recently set up shop in Berlin to coordinate its German operations. (in Finnish), (Berlin office)

Fastned-City-ChargerUrban fast-charging: The Hague and Fastned opened the first of five EV fast-charging stations. The urban location completes the Dutch company’s offering that so far was concentrated along motorways.

More chargers in London will go up in the vicinity of Westminster council. From next January, existing charge points will be upgraded and 20 new ones installed, including rapid chargers. Operators will vary.

Electric buses wanted: The utility of the German city of Osnabrück, Stadtwerke Osnabrück, is calling for tenders for 13 electric buses including charging infrastructure. The call is Europe-wide. The company aims to operate a fully electric line by 2018 and will make its decision in June 2017. (in German)

Zero Emission Research Opportunity: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) made another 2.75m dollars of funding available for its ZERO programme. FTA is looking for nonprofit consortia to facilitate zero-emission public transportation vehicle technology and related infrastructure.

Service + Suggestions

Electrify the World, Fully Charged, events.

Click tip: ‘Electrify the World’ is Nissan’s motto for a new initiative, with which the carmaker seeks to inspire discussions around electric mobility and a more sustainable lifestyle. Of course, the carmaker also wants to sell a few EV along the way.

Video tip: In this episode of Fully Charged, Robert Llewellyn tests a four-wheeled pedelec called the Bio-Hybrid by Schaeffler. It tries to combine advantages of a car like a roof with the green and healthy virtues of electric cycling.

Event for the upcoming week: International EV Batteries 2016 (Dec 06-07; London, England) ++ You can find a complete list of upcoming industry events at

Short circuit

LaFerrari for charity.

Ferrari is selling the last piece of the very limited LaFerrari edition to raise money for Italy’s victims of the earthquake. While only 499 pieces were made initially, the Italian sports carmaker made No. 500 and it may go for more than 6m dollars this weekend at Sotheby’s.