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UK, German Autoland, battery gamble, Toyota, Poland, Sono Motors

london-big-ben-symbolbild-300x150UK on ICEs: The British Government confirmed its plan to ban sales of cars with combustion engines from 2040. The paper published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) exempts hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles though and leaves some air to reintroduce gas guzzlers should pollution reach “acceptable” levels again. Such hesitation could be expected from a conservative government that had to lose in court twice to finally draft the Clean Air Plan. In its latest form, it still does not include a scrappage scheme nor immediate clean air zones, critics point out. On the positive side is the pledge of 2.7bn pounds to reduce nitrogen oxide levels but much will have to happen through local government. Councils were promised 255m pounds to introduce environmental measures but are left to choose without any federal coordination. Options include Clean Air Zones (CAZ) which municipalities may define from 2020.,,, (full plan, PDF)

Another shadow has fallen over German Autoland since Daimler blew the whistle, accusing its fellow carmakers and itself of collusion before EU cartel authorities. Now BMW is quick to try to distance its business and said it will suspend all talks with its rival for now. The joint CSS fast-charging network however, is to go ahead albeit it slower than planned. After all, close cooperation is the rule rather than an exception at Daimler and BMW, who recently pondered to merge their car sharing offers to better compete with Uber and the like. (original source in German),

Battery gamble: The 85 kWh power pack may make its comeback in the Tesla line-up and first Model S and X sporting the 85 label have been delivered to Norway. For now, their capacity is limited to 75 kWh but once the Model 3 will come with higher capacity options, 85 kWh could become yet a new standard.

Toyota solid: Yesterday’s rumours have been confirmed today when a spokesperson for Toyota said that solid-state batteries are being developed. Commercialisation is scheduled for “the early 2020s,” but specific production plans have yet to be disclosed.

Micro EV from Poland: PIX is a concept EV drawn up by Polish 2sympleks, who calls it their short urban electric vehicle that is indeed anything but an SUV. At a length of 2.5 metres, it sits two or four passengers atop a 19 kWh battery – theoretically though as Pix is just a piece of design for now.,,

Plans for Sono Motors micro EV over in Munich have been scrapped in the mean time as the start-up wants to concentrate on the stronger version of its solar EV for now. This means the first Sion electric vans will have 30 kWh for 250 km of range and a price of 16,000 euros, exclusive the battery. You can witness the launch live online tonight from 20.45 CEST. (in German), (link to launch)

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Mini, UK, Toyota, Korea, Hyundai, Mercedes, Ford

mini-cooper-s-e-countryman-all4-300x150Mini to remain in UK: BMW has chosen its Oxford plant to produce the new electric Mini from 2019, after the board dismissed other options in the Netherlands and Germany as expected. The electric drivetrain will be made in Bavaria though before being integrated into the car at Oxford. Concerns over Brexit, had BMW built up an alternative manufacturing base in the Netherlands and BMW says it had not received any reassurances from the British government.,,

Britain to ban sale of all diesel and petrol cars and vans: From 2040 onwards only electric cars will be allowed, several English media reported. The British government wants to announce the project today. With this commitment, which will also take in hybrid vehicles, the UK follows a similar pledge in France.

All-solid-state at Toyota by 2022? An electric Toyota that drives on solid-state batteries may be just five years away in Japan, a local newspaper reports. While Toyota neither denies nor confirms plans for such an EV, the carmaker will reportedly begin to build electric cars in China by 2019.

Twizy to move to Korea: Renault wants to produce its electric quad in Korea, where the Twizy has hit the ground running as reservations exceeded 1,200 units in less than two months. To save import cost, the French started to check out local manufacturers but a final decision is yet to be made.,

Hyundai prices FCV: As the Korean carmaker readies its fuel cell model for serial production, Hyundai has set the starting price at 70m Won (about 54,000 euros). Add Korea’s generous EV incentives and the price falls to 30,000 euros. This positions the new FCV at a more affordable level than Hyundai’s first hydrogen model ix35, which had cost about 20 percent more. Launch is set for early 2018.

Mercedes to join FE: The electric racing series is becoming more illustrious by the day with Daimler joining from season six (2019/20) after it its entry option got extended by a year. Mercedes is the third German carmaker to enter the Formula E after Audi and BMW.

Rumour recoded: Ford is back in the gamble to buy Lucid Motors allegedly, although such talks were just recently denied. Now Recode reports however, that not only Ford is still exploring the option to snatch up the EV start-up and that two more secret buyers are looking into it as well.

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Toyota, Tesla, Bolt EV, GAC, BMW, Tianjin FAW

Toyota to produce EVs in China: From 2019 Toyota plans to make all-electric vehicles in and for China. The first model will be based on the C-HR SUV and a second EV is set to follow only a year later by 2020. While demand will ultimately determine the annual output, Toyota won’t go below a thousand units. The Asahi daily report does not name sources, but Toyota did confirm that electric cars will be a fixture in its Chinese line-up “in a few years” time but would not commit any more detailed plan.,

No more Model S 75: Tesla will scrap the entry-level version of its Model S by the end of the year and replace it with the Model S 75D. That new standard will cost 5,000 dollars more and thus serves to set it apart from the Model 3. Henceforth, both the Model S and X will be dual motor all-wheel-drive only.,

Bolt production to double after summer? The extended shutdown at Chevy’s plant for the Bolt EV is just the calm before the storm, says former GM employee Don Lockrey. While previous reports linked the closure to low demand for GM’s EV, Lockrey tells a contrary tale of redone assembly lines ready to roll out twice as many EVs in order to accommodate for nationwide deliveries from the end of August.

gac-motor-ge3-elektroauto_300x150pxGAC’s first electric SUV has arrived in China, where it is available from 19,000 euros. The GE3 utilises a novel EV platform that hosts a battery with a range of up to 310 km. For GAC, their medium to high-end SUV is the first step on the firm’s trail to sell 200,000 new energy vehicles a year from 2020.,

200m euros more shall secure the future of BMW’s plant in Leipzig, that already houses the manufacture of the i3 and i8. Building works will start early next year with completion set for 2020. While the factory will be extended overall, the central concern is the paint shop with regard to sustainability.

Electric sedan: Tianjin FAW is to introduce an all-electric version of its Junpai A70 this August in China. The electric motor powers the Junpai A70E with 80 kW for up to 280 km.

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Electric Mini, Toyota, BMW, China, GM, India

Electric Mini after all to be built in the U.K.? The brand’s main plant in Oxford shall have best chances to gain the 2019 starting electric Mini production, in spite of the Brexit. This it at least what press agency Reuters reports based on information of insiders. However, the final decision is not yet made. As reported, the board intends to announce its choice by the end of September.

Toyota to start hybrid production in Thailand: The Japanese carmaker intends to serial produce hybrid models in the Asian Kingdom and thus to apply for Board of Investment HEV privileges. Further details about scale and timetable are not yet announced. Just recently, Thailand’s government announced excise tax incentives for HEVs and PHEVs – the tax will be graded by CO2 emissions, BEVs will be taxed at just 2% – that are 10% less than before.

BMW’s new sales head: Present BMW sales chief Ian Robertson is going to retire in 2018, his successor will be Pieter Nota, who worked so far as chief marketing officer for Philips. From January, 1st, Nota will be responsible for BMW’s sales and brand division as well as aftersales for the BMW Group.,

4500 euros EV for China: Joint venture SAIC-GM-Wuling debuts with its brand Baojun at the Chinese market: First EV model now launched is the E100, a two-seater with a range of up to 155 km and a maximum speed of 100 km/h. Pricing is starting at just 35,800 Yuan (4,500 euro/5,300 dollars), after incentives.

Replacement for Chevrolet Volt hybrid? GM has plans to cancel six or more models of its line-up in the U.S. after 2020. That is what Reuters has learnt from insiders. Among these cars is obviously also the Chevrolet Volt hybrid, which is likely to be replaced with a new gasoline-electric crossover model in 2022.

Electric scooter made in India: Start-up Ather Energy is about to start production of its first electric scooter model in December. The S340 has mainly been created ground up and initially shall be offered in 3 Indian metropolises. After a warm-up stage, Ather Energy’s assembly facility in Bengaluru is said to have a production capacity of 40,000 scooters per year.

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Geely, Schaeffler, Hyundai-Kia, BMW, Nissan, Fisker.

Lynk-Co-SUV-300x150Geely, Volvo and Lynk&Co are about to establish a standalone EV technology JV in order to mutually benefit from synergies and economies of scale. In a MoU, all three agreed to share vehicle architecture and engines via cross licensing arrangements of technologies managed by the joint venture. Its headquarter will be in China with a subsidiary set in Swedish Gothenburg. Also, Volvo is about to take a significant minority stake in Lynk & Co given that they will share technology anyway.,

Schaeffler restructures its business as well to accommodate for what it calls “key opportunities for the future.” Electric mobility is to play a crucial role and will form its own division within automotive. Apart from concentrating all hybrid and electric vehicle activities in one unit beginning by 2018, Schaeffler also plans to set up a competence centre for all things electric in China. Meanwhile, the supplier has received eight series contracts for electric axles and hybrid modules from different clients worldwide. Automotive CEO Matthias Zink believes, “the sales potential of these contracts amounts to over one billion euros.”

Hyundai-Kia to double EV production: Once the all-electric variants of both the Hyundai Kona and Kia Niro will go on sale early next year, the Korean alliance hopes to double its EV sales. In numbers that means 13,000 E-Kona and 12,000 E-Niro a year.

Battery upgrade for BMW i3? 120 Ah has been named as the next threshold by the BMW blog just a year after the carmaker introduced its i3 with a 94 Ah power pack. The new cells with 120 Ah could enter the electric line-up from 2018 and are said to increase the range by another 60 percent. It is currently about 200 km in real life.

One pedal for all: Nissan continues the tease for the next-gen Leaf with yet another feature that takes electric driving most seriously. The e-Pedal essentially does away with the clutch and brake as it enables full control over stop and go and fast and slow. Nissan claims that its release would bring the Leaf to a halt even on steep hills and that it will be enough to tap the lever again to reengage the electric drive. Those however that prefer to trust their long trained two-pedal instinct have the option to switch the e-Pedal off entirely, meaning there is a brake installed still.,,

Fisker battery details: The luxury brand disappointed when it cancelled the expected graphen-based battery for now. Instead, Fisker opted for Li-ion batteries and claims a range of 640 km. The cylindrical cells stem from LG Chem (21700) and work with NCM chemistry. Tesla’s Model 3 uses the same format.,

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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.

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Porsche, Volvo, Tesla, Mercedes, Lucid, LION E-Mobility.

Porsche-Mission-EPorsche first to discontinue diesel?: The premium brand may exit diesel, surely in an attempt to put some distance between its label and the treacherous mothership Volkswagen. Additionally, Porsche is currently pouring a billion euros into its Stuttgart plant to accommodate for the Mission E production with employees even foregoing parts of their regular pay rises temporarily. A decision on the engine line-up however, will only be made at the end of the decade and depends on EV sales and the effect of the electrification strategy that includes PHEV and the e-Macan. Together with Audi, the brand further plans to share a custom platform codenamed PPE to save money on components. To top it up, Porsche’s high-power charging tech has only recently been revealed and awaits its (inter?) national roll-out.

All-electric compact Volvo? An XC20 is in the making in Sweden and designed to complement the SUV range with a small model below the XC40 by 2019, Auto Bild reports. The XC20 shall sit on a modified platform already used by both Volvo and Geely’s Lynk & Co so it is very likely that this one will come electric only and in line with the latest electrification strategy.

Murdoch son on Tesla board: After shareholders had called for a board less familiar to Elon Musk, the EV maker hired two new directors, both with powerful bonds to media enterprises. Namely they are James Murdoch, son of Rupert Murdoch and CEO 21st Century Fox as well as Linda Johnson Rice who heads the Johnson Publishing Company. On a more productive note details on the Model 3 launch have been released. It will take place on July 28, at 7pm in Fremont, that is 4am in Europe and broadcasted via live stream. (board), (Model 3)

Sprinter spotted in Spain: Mercedes’ next-gen van has been caught testing in Spain but was still covered. An electric version is planned as well and will reportedly be made in Düsseldorf.

Lucid is playing for money and time: The EV start-up from California has turned to the big guys such as Morgan Stanley and Ford as it continues to seek financing for its first electric sedan and a production plant planned in Arizona. Ford however turned an offer to buy Lucid Motors down as it is undergoing a 100-day review of its own operations. Lucid Motors now set the start of production by 2019, a year later than initially announced. It’s Air EV is up for speed records though.

LION E-Mobility in the States: Swiss Holding LION E-Mobility has set up a subsidiary with head quarters in New York City. Under CEO Roland Bopp it will offer electric storage solutions and engineering services to suppliers and other transport sectors as well as.

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Honda, Lynk & Co, Bosch, Formula E, Sevcon, Alpine.

Honda’s hybrid from October: Tokyo will see the premier of Honda’s dedicated hybrid this autumn at the Motor Show before sales will start by 2018. It marks a reload of the company’s electrification efforts, that got off to an early start in 1999 with the Insight but have been rather lame in the years between. However, Honda is working on a long-range EV as well and got the Clarity left, after discontinuing both the Fit EV and the Insight. It can be hoped for the coming standalone hybrid to venture a bit further from mainstream to appeal. Details and most of all images are scarce but Honda did say it wants to settle production in the States.,

Lynk-Co-SUV-300x150Model 2: Geely’s dedicated electric brand Lynk & Co is about to unveil its third model. It sits between the SUV simply dubbed 01 and the sedan 03 so consequently no. 02 will be a crossover. The 01 SUV is set for launch before the year’s end in China before Europe and the USA will follow by mid-2019.

Bosch eBike Systems ventures into the land of pedelec pioneers Yamaha and Panasonic and wants to introduce its electric bicycle offering at the Tokyo Motor Show this autumn. Japan is the third presence in the Asia-Pacific region for Bosch after Australia and New Zealand. The chosen local service partner is Intertec and only the Active Line Plus qualifies for Japanese e-bike regulation as well as a market that traditionally values comfort over peak performance.

Formula E in NYC: Sam Bird from team DS Virgin Racing scored a double victory at the New York ePrix, making him the second driver to ever win a double-header Formula E event. Championship leader Sebastien Buemi was absent due to his clashing commitment for the WEC.,, (highlights race 1), (race 2)

BorgWarner to swallow Sevcon: British maker of components for electrified vehicles aka Sevcon is about to be acquired by BorgWarner for 200m dollars allegedly. The merger has definitely been agreed and may be completed this year if all shareholders agree.

The SUV flood is about to swamp even Renault’s sports label Alpine comes 2019. At least, a PHEV and possibly EV variant is likely as well, Autoexpress suggests.

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Porsche, Volkswagen, EQ, Borgward, Tesla, Mellor.

Porsche-HPC-Charging-Berlin-300x150High Power Charging at 800 Volt: Porsche readies its answer to Tesla and introduces fast-charging at 350 kW at liquid-cooled stations. The first has now opened in Berlin and we were at the launch. There is seems, that VW’s sports brand is taking their Mission E rather seriously.
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e-Golf production in China: Volkswagen intends to build its e-Golf in China from 2018 with batteries from local supplier Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd. (CATL) instead of Panasonic or LG Chem, Automotive News learnt. The production shift from Wolfsburg to China, most likely to the city of Foshan, where VW already builds its combustion engine version of the Golf, may enable the carmaker to benefit from state subsidies and thus to compete on the national market. VW is going to work together with joint venture partner FAW in its latest bid to comply with the looming EV sales quota.

Agreement after trademark conflict: Daimler and Chinese carmaker Chery have settled their dispute concerning Daimler’s use of the EQ label for green cars. They agreed to simply both use the EQ/eQ brand name. While Chery has the right to promote the designations eQ and eQ1, as well as further numerical continuations thereof, Daimler will use the EQC and any other alphabetical supplements.,,

Borgward obtains EU type approval for BX7: The carmaker’s preparations for the BX7’s market entry in Europe have taken a decisive step forward, after type approval for its SUV has been given. As reported, Borgward wants to kick-off production of the fully electrified version of its BX7 in 2019 in Bremen, a PHEV version is said to follow later., (both in German)

Prominent investor for E-bility: Former Tesla manager Peter Carlsson wants to invest in German electric scooter manufacturer E-bility and its brand Kumpan Electric. While the total amount is unknown, a part of the investment will help to launch the new model 1954Ri and to further expand abroad. Carlson also owns shares of Danish start-up Spiri and is known as initiator of Northvolt, a company that reportedly intends to erect a gigafactory in Sweden. (in German)

Tesla in the United Arab Emirates: By opening its first showroom in Dubai, Tesla has expanded to the Emirates where it offers the Model S and X. While pre-orders for the Model 3 are possible, it will not arrive before 2018. Dubai has also seen the installation of the first two Supercharging stations.

Mellor’s electric bus: With its Orion E, British Mellor seeks to impress at the Busworld Europe in October. The fully electric 16 seat bus enables different seating configurations and offers space for up to four wheelchairs. The vehicle’s range shall reach 100 miles with deliveries scheduled for late 2017.
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Volkswagen, China Letter, Grohmann, Ford, Polestar, BMW.

volkswagen-vw-id-konzept-300x150VW I.D. to cost much less than Model 3: Volkswagen’s I.D. shall swing buyers with a price 7,000 – 8,000 dollars below the price of Tesla’s Model 3, currently listed at 35,000 dollars (approx. 31,000 euros). That is at least what VW’s chief strategist Thomas Sedran said at the Automobil Forum in Munich, thus confirming what Herbert Diess, head of VW’s brand management, mentioned already a few days ago, that Volkswagen is going to stop Tesla at the 30,000 euros limit. In order to put its prices that low, the German carmaker calculates with decreasing battery costs until market entry by 2020. (in German)

Car lobby sends letter to China: The country’s plans for an EV sales quota are worrying the lobby. Thus, the four biggest automotive industry associations have sent a letter to Beijing, begging it to rethink the plans. Reuters quotes the German WirtschaftsWoche which published parts of the letter. In detail, the four associations from the States, Europe, Japan and South Korea demand to change some fundamental criteria of the quota and to postpone it by at least 3 years. Given however that even Chancellor Merkel failed to bring about relief, it seems unlikely that China will be particularly impressed.

Grohmann cancels all clients except Tesla, that had acquired the German engineering specialist that is now Tesla Grohmann Automation. Previously expected “termination talks” with up-to-now clients BMW and Daimler are almost completed. Both OEMs confirmed the upcoming end of the business relation. Meanwhile Grohmann is about to finish last preparations to supply a new production unit to Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada. (in German, paywall)

Ford plug-in van due by 2019: Ford updates its Transit Custom van and says it will launch a plug-in hybrid, too. First trials with the PHEV model are going to take place later this year with fleet clients in London, as announced as the Transit is the UK’s best-selling commercial car.,

Polestar’s 600 bhp Coupé at the IAA? Volvos performance brand will offer electrified sports cars under its own logo, we recently learnt. The first model could already go on display at the IAA in September. Most probably the audience will see a coupé equipped with a 600 bhp plug-in hybrid drive.

42,573 electrified vehicles of BMW and Mini have been sold in the first half of 2017. That are 80 percent more than during the same period last year. Plus, with 51,725 EVs and PHEVs having been made already, Munich is confident to reach its sales target of 100,000 electrified cars in 2017.

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