Brands + News


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.

Number of the Day

Zero Motorcycles celebrates 100th fleet

Zero Motorcycles celebrates its 100th fleet in North America. This milestone was hit when Vancouver Police Department in British Columbia, Canada, currently introduced Zero’s electric motorcycle line-up.

Research + Technology

Apple + CATL, Schaeffler + Frauenhofer, Indian Railways, Hyperloop

Apple and CATL to create EV batteries? The tech giant’s ambitions to create an own EV seemed to decline during the last months, but rumours rise again after a report of business journal Yicai Global. Thus, in the frame of a “confidential” project, Apple is developing EV batteries with CATL, China’s biggest battery maker that reportedly seeks to generate a production output of 50 GWh by 2020, making it the worldwide biggest li-ion battery producer behind Tesla/Panasonic. Apple already partners with CATL’s holding Amperex Technology in order to supply batteries for its iPhones and MacBooks.,

Schaeffler and Frauenhofer team up: Car supplier Schaeffler and research association Fraunhofer signed a strategic agreement to intensify their collaboration – among others in the section of emission-free mobility. Just recently, Schaeffler announced to create an own electric mobility division within automotive, starting at January, 1st.

Hybrid train with solar panels: Indian Railways has started to operate the first diesel-electric train whose battery gets feed by solar cells at the wagons’ roofs. In the next days, approximately 50 such solar trains are supposed to follow on short distance lines. Later on, they shall be deployed in long-distance traffic, too.

Hyperloop line at U.S.’s east coast? Tesla CEO Elon Musk has tweeted that its other brainchild The Boring Company has gained the U.S. government’s verbal approval to build a Hyperloop line between Washington D.C. and New York City. Musk added however, that for formal approval there is still much work waiting. The White House confirmed promising talks, but did not name any details. A spokesperson of NYC’s mayor tweeted that this announcement is new for the City Hall. According to Musk, the distance between both east coast metropolis could be done in 29 minutes.,,

Quotes of the day

Mike Manley, Wolfgang Dürheimer

Mike-Manley“You’ll probably hear more about electrification towards the end of this year.”

Jeep CEO Mike Manley confirms that the new Wrangler platform is ready for electric power and moreover that its company has not just the tech but also the ambition to add electric models to its line-up.

Wolfgang-Duerheimer“It will still be too soon for a full electric car, I think – but electrification will happen.”

According to Wolfgang Dürheimer, CEO of Bugatti, just electrification can top the actual Chiron’s performance. However, the introduction of a next-gen model is still years away.

Fleets + Infrastructure

Vienna, Serbia, Los Angeles, ClipperCreek, Utah

Electric scooter and car sharing in Vienna: In the Austrian capital, car sharing provider Caroo Mobility intends to kick-off an EV sharing service with 50 EVs – mostly Renault Zoe but also Twizy models – at the latest next spring. Parallelly start-up goUrban plans an electric scooter sharing service, starting in August a pilot period with 15 scooters. 35 additional units shall join shortly after., (goUrban, in German),, (Caroo, in German)

Serbia’s first EV charging station has been erected at Presevo toll station close to Macedonia. It is the pioneer of five stations that shall provide charging opportunities along the pan-European Corridor X route and that will be installed in the upcoming months.

Emission-free bus fleet: Los Angeles County’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority has created a roadmap how to make its bus fleet emission-free by 2030. This goal includes the plan to buy more than 2,300 buses that run electrically or with hydrogen. The operator’s board has still to formally vote the transition on July, 27th.,

ClipperCreek’s expansion card: The California-based company has introduced a new 184 dollars expansion card for its charging stations, called COSMOS. It adapts to the Level 2, 240V ClipperCreek HCS Series and features a simple management interface, as well as UART Serial Communication interface for more advanced connection to third party monitoring and control systems.

Park City’s fully electric bike share: The city council of Park City/Utah claims to have launched the U.S.’s first fully electric bike share. Inauguration took place with 88 electric bikes at 9 stations. Next year, more stations and bikes shall join the fleet.

Service + Suggestions

Fremont, CA & China

Click tip: After having visited Tesla’s factory in Fremont, Wired presents a bunch of photos, showing the body line, Kuka robots and Co.

Reading tip: 1m plants and 40,000 trees feature China’s first “Forest City” that is currently under construction and will rely on renewable energy for self sufficiency. The pilot city is said to be entirely wired. Connection to Liuzhou shall be provided through a fast EV rail line.

Short circuit

“Plug-in” provoking bad connotation?

Outside of California, Chrysler promotes its PHEV van Pacifica as Pacifica hybrid, without the “plug-in” in its name. That is, because the company’s PR strategists fear that this supplement has as a bad connotation among Americans, provoking associations of empty batteries in the middle of the street. And as Chrysler rather cancels the supplement than providing information, this range anxiety is not likely to change…