Brands + News


Daimler, VW + JAC, BMW, Nissan, Tesla.

Battery-Factory-AccumotiveGroundbreaking for battery factory: German Chancellor Angela Merkel has broken ground at the site for Daimler’s planned 500 million euro factory in Saxony. There, Mercedes subsidiary Accumotive is to assemble battery packs for the upcoming EQ series as well as for Smart ED models, hybrids and commercial electric vehicles. Cells will come from both Samsung and LG Chem with production scheduled to start by mid-2018 in Kamenz. The new facility will be within sight of Accumotive’s existing facility and the site thus quadruples to include a total of 80,000 sqm, probably one reason why Daimler likes to speak of it as a “Gigafactory” à la Tesla.

It’s a Go for VW and JAC as the Chinese authorities agree to the carmakers’ joint endeavour to produce an EV for China as early as next year (we reported). For Volkswagen it is the third joint venture as it already serves its largest market together with FAW and SAIC and thus required the government in Beijing to make an exception. Usually China permits no more than two JVs.,

BMW iNEXT to liken I-Pace: It looks like the BMW iNext will bear little to no resemblance with the concept currently making the rounds once it will hit production by 2021. Instead the autonomous EV will go head to head with the likes of the Jaguar i-Pace when it comes to size and style, insiders allege.

Electric SUV from Nissan: The Japanese have their next concept EV on the drawing board and think big this time. Dubbed Vmotion 3.0, Nissan wants to launch the electric SUV within this year and plans to pack all three future technologies inside, namely connectivity, autonomy, and electrification.

Tesla has hit a trade barrier in India, or would be held back if it would attempt to launch the Model 3 there. Elon Musk had to turn down requests from Indian Tesla fans, saying that India’s manufacturing is not advanced enough for the EV maker to comply with the 30 percent locally sourced components rule. (feed) via

Meanwhile, Tesla rewards early-ish adopters as it binds unlimited Supercharger access to owners rather than the vehicle. This means those who ordered any model between January 15, 2017 and yesterday fast-charge free for life. For anyone new buying into Tesla, the 400 kWh credit applies.

Number of the Day

PEV Sales in California.

A total PEV marketshare of 4.8 percent is the highest ever recorded in California and has been reached during the first three months of 2017. All-electric cars saw a rise in particular as 14,000 registrations translate to 2.7% of the plug-in market. via

Research + Technology

TerraE, Volkswagen, Eindhoven.

TerraE-Logo-300x150Cells made in Germany: Details emerged on the planned battery production from TerraE as the newly founded firm confirms its intent to build a German Gigafactory. It will follow the principle of a foundry known from the semi conductor industry and will build up capacities to make up to 34 GWh per year successively until 2028. BMZ and Leclanché sign responsible, while Holger Gritzka, formerly ThyssenKrupp has been appointed as CEO. (in German)

VW incubator: Volkswagen reaches out to start-ups as its opens its transparent factory in Dresden for an incubator programme. One company from Berlin pitched successfully despite (or because of) its unusual concept. Tretbox is a pedelec but sheltered like a car. (in German),

Million mark passed: Electric buses in the Dutch city of Eindhoven have billed one million kilometres since their inception last December. The 43 VDL Citea single deckers operate across eight different routes and owner Hermes says the buses are running for about 9,000km each day on average.

Quotes of the day

Elon Musk, Steve Burns.

Elon-Musk-Twitter“New control algorithm feels as smooth as silk.”

Such self-promotion seems smug even if it comes from Elon Musk. The Tesla boss sings the praise for the Autopilot update due by June but his remark comes after users complained about the last update that felt a little rougher than usual.

Steve-Burns“Our goal is to be known as the electric truck company that caters to fleets. That’s why we arrived at a hybrid, or a range extender.”

What Workhorse CEO Steve Burns wants to say is that his business clients need to know that they will get the job done with an electric pick-up despite the lower electric range. The latter is due to high cost for batteries Workhorse needs to balance.

Fleets + Infrastructure

Shanghai, Paris, Nagpur, Sacramento.

210,000 charge spots in Shanghai: The Chinese harbour metropolis is fast becoming China’s model EV city. 210,000 charging facilities are to stand by 2020 with both the authorities and businesses making an effort. Currently most new energy vehicle drivers charge at the workplace but wish to see more opportunities to rejuice in residential areas as well. There are about 30 charge point operators in Shanghai at the moment with fees often paid via mobile app/s.

Paris ePrix is to generate energy even after the heat of the race is over as the Formula E leaves behind a glycerine generator. It produces electricity from a diesel by-product clean enough to drink and can be used to power buildings or EV charging stations. It sure prove of use to Swiss pilot Sebastien Buemi, who scored yet another victory in this Formula E season last weekend. (generator), (ePrix)

A first for India: The city of Nagpur wants to electrify the entire cab fleet. A pilot will start later this week with 200 electric taxis provided by the municipal government. The vehicles have yet to be confirmed but will likely be either e20 Plus or the e-Verito.

Share a bike in Sacramento: 900 bicycles will become available in California’s capital with the first 50 having launched already through Social Bicycles. The company plans to make 900 available, 100 of them electric by November but is still seeking sponsors.

Service + Suggestions

VW Doka with Tesla Drive, Hyundai.

Video tip: New life has been given to a 1990 Volkswagen Vanagon Transporter Doppelkabine pickup truck when EVTV combined it with a Tesla drive. Ludicrous mode is most certainly on. via

Reading tip: A plug-in hybrid below 20,000 GBP (22,375 euros) is worth considering and Autocar finds Hyundai’s Ioniq PHEV “worthy” and got “very creditable” results on range and fuel economy.

Short circuit

Renewed remake.

Mitsubishi is to revive the past with the car that started it all – the Model A (Tesla missed out on that one). But more than a remake, the chassis from 1917 will sit on the Outlander PHEV platform, thus forming a bridge to today’s technology.